Monday, February 23, 2004

Open letter to Playstation 2 developers

Dear Playstation 2 developers,

The Playstation 2 has slots for two memory cards. Just to be clear, I'll say it again. The Playstation 2 has slots for two memory cards. That means that if your game can only load and save to a memory card in slot 1, then your game sucks. Does your favorite bicycle have only one foot pedal? Do you like to eat with only one chopstick? Do you wear one earmuff and one glove in the winter while skating on a single ice skate, on your way to the hair salon where the stylist cuts half of your hair with one scissor? No? Then why can't you support both memory card slots? It's not as if the second memory card slot is some exotic third-party add-on that costs 95,000 Yen and only sold 39 units in some remote town in Kyushu -- it's on every single Playstation 2 in the world! Figure this out, ok? If you can devise new dynamic lighting effects and artificial intelligences, surely you can figure out how to support memory card slot 2.

Here's another thing that should be obvious. The player should be able to pause the game at any time. And by "at any time" I mean, even in the middle of cinematic cut-scenes! What, you think the phone doesn't ring during cinematic cut-scenes? You think somehow the whole world knows to come to a halt, with no possible interruptions, just because I finished a level and got to the next pre-rendered story section?

Jak II gets both of these points right. It supports both memory card slots, and can pause in the middle of cut scenes. If Jak II can do it, any game can do it. Your game should, too.

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