Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Halo 3 to Feature 4-Player Online Co-Op

It's funny how the gravity of an announcement can be altered by previous knowledge or expectation. Take for example, the iPhone. There were so many rumors and news stories floating around speculating on its debut that when it finally was announced, the fanfare made less of an impact. True, the hype still grew, but I was less blown away than I would've if it had been a total secret.

On the other hand, hype can have a huge impact on expectations. But, if your expectations are low, the treat of good news can often be blown out of proportions. About two weeks ago, Bungie announced that Halo 3 would not release with online coop. Since games like Gears of War and Crackdown already showcased online cooperative play, gamers have come to expect it this gen. Like most I shrugged this off as an acceptable sacrifice for an early Fall release. Then, when the announcement came that Halo 3 would feature not 2, but 4-player online co-op play, my brain had trouble fathoming the news. I'm sure the dev team was still busy working on this feature and it just happened to pan out, but because of the timing, it just sounded that much better to my ears.

On the flip side of things, expectations can be a nuisance to live up to. It's hard for any developer to justify removing features from a product. When you have something and then it gets taken away, your defensive tendency is to complain, shout and moan. Add something great that people weren't expecting and it's smiles all around.

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