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Old 26-08-2009   #1
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Rumor: EA Preventing Universal In-Game Voice Chat on PS3?

According to Super_Secret's information one major company has been holding back the in-game voice chat on PS3, and we managed to decipher one of his clues.

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Old 26-08-2009   #2
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Well shucks, just when I thought EA and Sony were getting close.

Full post by super_secret reads

Quote:
I promised you all an update on Cross-Game chat, so here it is.

And you're not going to like it.


As I told you before, Cross-game voice chat has been in the works for a while now. I mentioned last time that it was on target for 3.0 providing that we didn't hit any snags. Well guess what, we hit a snag! An all too familiar snag.

Time for a history lesson.

How many of you remember what it was like before FW 2.4? That's right - no in-game XMB. No custom soundtracks. In-game XMB was the most heavily requested feature at the time and we worked tirelessly in order to get it in (By "we", I mean Sony Japan - as I said before, FW isn't my department). It very nearly didn't happen, you have no idea how difficult it is to backport a feature like that onto a system (the game) that doesn't even know its there, but somehow we managed it. Well, for most titles. There are still the odd few titles out there that don't support in-game XMB ("black" titles).
Custom soundtracks was another one we had working in nearly every title. Obviously it was never going to work in black titles, but about 95% of the titles that worked well with the in-game XMB, had custom sountracks working as well.

So what happened? Why is it that titles HAVE to be developed specifically with custom soundtrack support when it was working more or less just fine?

Is it because Microsoft owns the patent on custom soundtracks in games?

This is something that makes me laugh every time I see one of the less educated ones spouting it off. That's an absolute fabrication. Patents don't matter, Sony as a while infringes upon thousands of patents through the whole company, both hardware and software. If you infringe a patent, you pay royalties to the owner or find a different way of doing the same thing that doesn't infringe. That's it. Microsoft infringes upon all kinds of patents we own but that's up to legal to sort out.

No, the reason we had to drop Custom soundtrack support like that has nothing to do with Microsoft. It does, however, involve a different company. A rather large company.
You see, one of their games happened to fall into the 5% that didn't support in-game custom soundtracks. And they did not like this.
When they found out that a new firmware update was going to suddenly make one of their games look inferior to just about every other game released, they protested. A lot.
They threatened everything, from legal action to dropping support for the PS3 all together.

What could we do? There was almost no way of getting it to work correctly due to the way their game was made (i.e. Poorly) and we certainly couldn't leave a broken implementation in there. That's when the hard decision was made to remove all support for older titles and instead adopt the "opt-in" approach that, to this day, most developers simply ignore. I have to hand this to Microsoft - they did their system right from the beginning and by completely separating it from the developers, they have universal support. Its very unlikely that you'll ever see mandatory support for custom soundtracks in games on our system, I'm afraid.
So yeah, lets nail this on the head: The next time someone starts blaming Microsoft for something the PS3 doesn't have, tell them they're an idiot, they don't know what they're talking about. Are we clear on this? This is a pet peeve of mine because while everyone's happy to go around blaming Microsoft, the real culprits are getting off scott-free. Of course, I can't actually name them directly or, should I get caught, I might even get done for slander (you can never be too careful), but you can figure it out - it's not Activision and they have a poor history with the PS3.

So what has this got to do with Cross-game voice chat?

Guess.

I warned you that we might hit a snag and we did. We've found a couple of titles that just don't like it. Similar to the custom soundtrack fiasco, it can cause lag, crashes, desyncronisation (very very bad when this happens), you name it. It can't be used in these games and it just so happens that some of these games are owned by the same company I've been talking about above.
So we're in a predicament: Cross-game chat is useless if only certain games support it. It's not too bad if its just the odd one that doesn't like it, but at this rate we'd have to drop support for the ENTIRE back catalogue, which would (As I said) make the whole thing useless.
Furthermore, we can't rely on developers to implement direct support for it. It didn't work with Custom Soundtracks, so why would it work here?
So right now, we're trying every little trick in the book to find a solution that works for everyone, but don't hold your breath on this one, so far it looks like the best you're going to get is a gimped implementation of it that only works with a handful of new games.

Now as I said, FW isn't actually my department and even I'm not supposed to know some of this stuff, but this is actually where we are right now. It sucks majorly, but there you have it. Depending on the end result, it could come in FW 3.1 or it could come in FW 4.0, hell it might not even come at all but rest assured they are working very hard on it. And if it doesn't come, you know who to blame.
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Old 26-08-2009   #3
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Old 27-08-2009   #4
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Super_Secret was spot on with his PS3 Slim info. If this is indeed SS, then I believe it. I'm questioning if it is him, though, because he said he'd never reveal who he worked for, which he obviously did here.
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Old 27-08-2009   #5
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The EA message boards are being stormed
lol check this one out


Last edited by SaintAvi; 27-08-2009 at 12:50 AM..
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Old 27-08-2009   #6
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I honestly dont know a couple things here

1 Why not make it so certain games can disable it? Like how when you have in game music it will state "That feature is un-availible in this game." ? It makes no sense that just because EA doesnt like it means Sony would cut it out. Obviously EA has a reason to block it and Sony agree's with it, so EA is taking the heat.

2 Its not like EA is saying "if you allow that we will stop supporting the PS3!" *caugh activision *caugh*

I call BS lol.
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Old 27-08-2009   #7
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"What could we do? There was almost no way of getting it to work correctly due to the way their game was made (i.e. Poorly) and we certainly couldn't leave a broken implementation in there. That's when the hard decision was made to remove all support for older titles and instead adopt the "opt-in" approach that, to this day, most developers simply ignore. I have to hand this to Microsoft - they did their system right from the beginning and by completely separating it from the developers, they have universal support. Its very unlikely that you'll ever see mandatory support for custom soundtracks in games on our system, I'm afraid."
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Old 27-08-2009   #8
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LMAO @ the EA forums. PS3 fanboys have such a short fuse, it's kinda embarassing sometimes. Nontheless, I'm loving the show!
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Old 27-08-2009   #9
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I think some "fans" are losing credibility now lol. Dont know what to say. Stuff like in-game soundtracks and cross game chat, thats all the developers decision. Its not Sony's job to allow people to interfere with the experience given at hand by the developers. Its like listening to Master of Puppets by Metallica during a sad scene in Uncharted, you ruin the game.

If the developers see it as necessary and enough people truly want it, they will implement it. Sony is giving them the opportunity to do so and no one is, so in that case i dont want it.
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Old 27-08-2009   #10
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If EA is trying to cover it up, you don't think they want it completely covered up, otherwise what they were trying to prevent still would happen, especially since cross-game chat needs to be universal if it's going to come out, it's not quite the same as custom soundtracks, the whole point behind cross-game chat is it works with every game, not selected ones. So EA here's my salute to you and for reaffirming my refusal to buy any more of your products, you've just joined Activision on my list at the top.

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Old 27-08-2009   #11
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I still dont think so. They dont like it, they explain why to Sony, Sony says "fine we understand" and sets the project on the side and works on something else. Plus sure its supposed to work with all games, but you can still do it without EA. When enough people get tired of EA games being the only ones not working, EA would give in and go. So to me there is something more to it and this was probably all started by someone that dislikes EA, and being EA saying something like this is like throwing a match into gasoline, it will tick off all the fans.
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Old 27-08-2009   #12
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Well, given the track record of the guy who leaked the info, we are inclined to believe he
isnt fibbing when he said that EA was about as subtle as a gorilla when confronted
with the possibility of their titles looking lackluster and threatened to pull their support all
together.

This would lead to people never experiencing EA titles going bonkers when trying to use the features and
crashing because EA would have effectively stopped the feature from rolling out to begin
with to expose them.
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Old 27-08-2009   #13
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i dont understand why Sony wouldnt put a feature in because EA for some reason didnt want it in there and why woudl they care when they are already in the Xbox
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Old 27-08-2009   #14
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It's simple, you manufacture a machine whose main purpose is to play games,
you lose money for every machine sold but take the loss because you ultimately will make it up
with a licensing fee for every game sold, one of the largest developers of games, whose
titles were not programmed with the updates in mind thinks said update is going to make
their titles look bad and instead of patching it to work in harmony, threaten to no longer
create games for your machine.
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Old 27-08-2009   #15
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You would think EA would do something to support cross-game voice chat since they made more money with the PS3. So I say let EA not develop for the PS3. I like the 1st party titles better and Madden isn't fun anymore.

I get the feeling there is more to the story and it smells like Microsoft (IMO). I do agree with super-secert on the "micrsoft did it right from the beginning" comment.
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Old 27-08-2009   #16
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This issue really has blown up now. Looks like EA is shutting down the forums.
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Old 27-08-2009   #17
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Well EA isn't shutting them down, but it's getting pretty nasty, I'm sure their moderators are working overtime today trying to delete threads as quickly as possible but a lot of people are bringing up a single point, even threads showing support for EA's supposed actions are being deleted and no response has come from EA yet, so it begs to question how much is EA trying to hide, do they really think their own forums are where it's all at, it's something that has spread and at this point a response no matter what it is might actually help control things even though I seriously doubt the CEO is going to come forward and say, we are at fault here.

Here's the better part, I don't know if EA is controlling Google News at this point or if many website just don't know but if you search EA under Google News, nothing comes up about this "rumor", the biggest EA news there is Maxis has fired staff and FIFA has lost to PES.
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Old 27-08-2009   #18
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Yeh i really dont get it, last time I checked none of the big gaming sites have said anything
I fully expect them not to acknowledge the rumors, but ignoring the response is
surprising
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Old 27-08-2009   #19
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Kotaku got a response from EA and Sony saying the rumor is BS(I'm on the PS3 browser so I can't copy/paste), but honestly, they would never come outright and confirm it...
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Old 27-08-2009   #20
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Well here's the article from Kotaku but the response from EA isn't that straightforward and it almost seems they are trying to avoid saying anything, almost as if they are just trying to get attention away from themselves because it's true.
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