News Blips: Epic demands “face-melting” graphics, ex-THQ exec rails against used games, and Valve’s possible hardware plans

I'll forgive CliffyB's use of a tired cliche only because I finally pulled off a double kill in Gears of War 3 multiplayer before immediately exploding into meaty chunks like I always do. 

News Blips:

Epic Games Design Director Cliff Bleszinski thinks the most critical component of next-generation consoles is "face-melting" graphics. "I really want our next-gen consoles to pass what I call the 'Mom Test,'" Bleszinski told GameSpot in an interview. "If you were to show this console and games to your mom, she would be like, 'Wow, this clearly looks better than your last console.' It's an essential step that needs to be taken by both Sony and Microsoft." I'm glad we've skipped past the "eye-tickling" and "nose-brushing" phases for graphical fidelity.

An ex-THQ executive believes used games harm single-player content. In a GamesIndustry International editorial, former THQ Vice President of Core Games Richard Browne wants Sony and Microsoft to follow Ripley's example and nuke the used market. Browne also used Ninja Gaiden's multiplayer mode as an example of tacked-on features by publishers to avoid store returns after the single-player is completed, saying, "No doubt the budget and resources for the team weren't massively extended when the request for multiplayer was added, so it absolutely must have materially impacted the people building the core game." 

Valve's recent job listings hint at a possible hardware project. The Half-Life franchise developer's posting for electronics and mechanical hardware engineers states: "Valve has been all about writing software that provides great gameplay experiences. Now we're developing hardware to enhance those experiences." I'll bet Valve's design blueprint involves a certain spigot- or regulator-like shape.

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