News Blips: PETA vs. Mario, Halo 4 won’t be next-gen, Halo living monument, and more

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Glad to see everybody's here to read about today's news! You are here, right? Or are you off actually playing games? Weirdos. 

News Blips:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, colloquially known as PETA, have taken an issue with Mario’s flamboyant taste in fashion. In Super Mario 3D Land, the koopa-thumping plumber can wear a suit fashioned after a Japanese raccoon-dog known as a tanooki. It’s ever so cute, though PETA sees it differently. The animal-rights group has created a website titled “Mario Kills Tanooki,” which is either factually inaccurate or I’ve missed some substantial levels in past Mario games. PETA claims that the mustachioed mascot is sending the message that it’s cool for people to wear fur.

PETA, let’s rap. I get that you really love animals, but you’re only hurting yourself. Most gamers also love animals; they're a natural ally. No one's going to hop around Super Mario 3D Land and then say, “Man, I really want to skin and then live inside the carcass of a deceased raccoon-dog, because OH EM GEE that would be totally adorbs!” We’re not sociopaths. Also, this complaint is, like, two decades late. Mario’s been wearing the flesh of dead animals since Super Mario Bros. 3. Unfairly characterizing a harmless game is one thing, but gamers won’t forgive a huge gap in knowledge like that. Honestly, all you’ve done is given me a news story to goof on. Besides, the only people that tanookis should be mad at are the Japanese for creating unrealistic expectations about their genitalia.

Halo 4 is not an Xbox 720 game. At this year’s E3, Halo 4 developer 343 Industries didn’t talk a lot of specifics about the next entry in the Master Chief saga. This led to Internet rumors speculating that the game would be a launch title for the next-gen Xbox. Well, now we know that isn’t the case. Halo Franchise Director Frank O’Connor posted on popular gaming forum NeoGAF that “Halo 4 will be on Xbox 360 and use a modified core of the Halo engine.” Now that we've cleared that up, I'm pretty sure the Internet is completely assumption free. [GamePro]

Speaking of Halo, Microsoft has launched a “Halo Living Monument” which combines player photos to make a digital statue of Master Chief. “Visitors can upload pictures of their favorite Halo memories from the last decade and watch as they seamlessly coalesce with images submitted by legions of other fans around the world to form an interactive, 3D mosaic image of Master Chief,” 343 Industries explained in its press release. I’ve been to the site, and I think something must be wrong. For some reason it won’t let me place my favorite tea-bagging memory on the Chief’s crotch.

Microsoft is working on cloud-related features for its gaming console. The multimedia conglomerate has spent a princely sum developing a suite of services that exist only in the magic of cyberspace. According to the company’s cloud evangelist, Brian Price, the six servers designed specifically for hosting the technology cost $2.5 billion apiece. With a serious investment like that, Microsoft obviously wants to spread the love to every aspect of its empire. “You will be seeing things in the Xbox platform that’s cloud-specific. I’m already doing it,” Price said at GDC China. “It’s really exciting, but I can’t tell you about it or else I’ll get fired.” I bet he is totally allowed to talk about it, but if he hears himself say “cloud” one more time, he’ll lose his mind. [Gamasutra]

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