The Fryer, Vol. 15
Report: 86 percent of your Xbox Live friends "watching a video or some shit"
The proportion of your Xbox Live friends who are using their systems for "stupid non-gaming crap" reached its highest level in three years, according to a recent study.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project today revealed the results of its annual look at the automatically reported usage status of your Xbox Live friends. The elegantly bound 20-page report, unveiled at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., found a shocking 86 percent of your friends were "watching a video or some shit" at any given time, a more than twofold increase compared to this time last year.
Your Xbox Live friends are busy getting lamer Achievements.
"These results definitively show that the people on your friends list are total casual/mainstream douchebags that don't even want to play games anymore," said Sonia Campbell, lead researcher on the exhaustive study. "While many of these friends used to be cool people who liked to play Halo 3 and stuff, the data proves that most of them would now rather spend their time watching 'Sex and the City' or whatever."
While the report shows a 20-percent year-over-year increase in the average number of your friends that are online at any given moment, the number of those friends participating in deathmatches or "capture the flag" scenarios dropped a whopping 35 percent compared to 12 months ago. Single-player "campaign" mode play also dropped 19 percent since last year, according to the study.
The increase in non-gaming ass-hattery among your Xbox Live friends is primarily the result of the popular Netflix streaming service introduced late last year, but that's not the only culprit. According to the report, on average 12 percent of your friends are "listening to some music that probably sucks," 19 percent are "chatting with their gay friends in some Xbox Live Party," and a whopping 23 percent are "just sitting on the Dashboard for hours like f***tards."
You weren't shocked at the news. "Whenever I used to pop in Modern Warfare or Team Fortress 2, there were like 10 or 15 dudes already playing and eager to invite me to their game," you said. "Now, whenever I invite people to a game, they're all like 'Maybe when this episode is over,' or 'Whoops, I wasn't watching the Xbox,' or 'Sorry, I have to change my tampon,' or something lame like that."
Despite the setback, you vehemently denied rumors that you're considering getting a PlayStation 3 in the near future. "At least with Xbox Live I know there'll be people on my friends list, even if they're doing stupid crap I don't care about," you said. "Plus, Trophies are totally gay."
Tecmo/KOEI unenthusiastically reveals yet another Dynasty Warriors game
In a startlingly frank press conference today, Tecmo/KOEI revealed that the next game in the popular Dynasty Warriors franchise would decidedly not set the world on fire with "innovative gameplay, exciting new modes or unforgettable experiences."
"We'd really love to be able to tell you that Dynasty Warriors 7 will be the most dynamic and action-packed entry into the series yet," said KOEI Vice President for Marketing Jim Samwell, "but what we've seen of the game so far just doesn't support a claim like that."
Dynasty Warriors 7 characters will receive graphical updates in the form of new hats.
"While the game will definitely be new, referring to it as 'improved' would be a bit of a stretch," Samwell added while looking at his shoes somewhat sheepishly.
Using a projector, Samwell showed the assembled press members the first screens for the new game, using a laser pointer to highlight similarities between them and shots from previous games in the series. "As you can see, it's pretty much just the same old crap we've been cranking out for over a decade now," he told reporters.
Lead developer Shinji Yamamoto said the game's development team simply "didn't come up with any good new ideas this time around" despite trying their hardest for a matter of months. "We were drawing a total blank on what we could add to the series at this point, but we had all these people assigned to make a new Dynasty Warriors game, so we just decided to go ahead and make one anyway," he said.
A fact sheet distributed at the event mentions game "features" (quote marks in original document) such as "new abilities that look slightly cooler than the old abilities," "roughly five-percent more characters on-screen at the same time" and "dozens of new heroes from Chinese history that are practically indistinguishable from the hundreds of others you already know."
Dynasty Warriors 7 will hit the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 "in time for the holidays, if anyone cares," Samwell said.
Supermarket Sweep Live coming to Xbox Live Primetime
Following up on the success of the recent 1 vs. 100 beta, Microsoft and Endemol announced today that Supermarket Sweep would be the next title in its series of pre-scheduled Xbox Live Primetime game shows.
"For our second game, we wanted a property that would be universally accessible -- and what's more universal than buying food?" said Endemol Lead Designer Jim Henderson in an exclusive interview with the Fryer. "We really feel the Xbox, with Xbox Live, is the first system to be able to accurately capture the constant thrills and nonstop excitement of competitive grocery shopping."
Xbox Live Avatars and their shopping carts will battle it out in Supermarket Sweep.
The semi-popular television game show, which premiered on ABC in 1965, featured pairs of contestants competing to see who could load the most expensive groceries into their shopping carts within a set time limit. Henderson said they've studied the original show and its '90s cable remakes closely to really capture what made them special.
"We've got the most realistic shopping-cart physics ever implemented in a videogame," Henderson said. "The weight of each item will affect the speed and momentum of the cart. We're even putting in random 'sticky wheel' penalties that lurch the cart ever so slightly to the side, just like in real life. Mark my words, this is going to be the Gran Turismo of shopping cart simulations!" he boasted.
While only three lucky pairs of contestants will be chosen to compete for actual groceries ("delivered overnight by air freight," Henderson explained), spectators will be able to roam the virtual aisles in parties of up to four "ghost carts" to compete for bragging rights. "It's not just a competition, it's also a learning experience," Henderson said. "So if you see someone in your group going for the rib-eye steaks, maybe next time through you'll be like 'Hey, maybe I should try to get the steaks this time, because they cost a lot.' There are whole layers to the strategy that we hope players will learn just by studying each other."
Much like 1 vs. 100 Live, Supermarket Sweep Live will feature an occasional audio commentary from a familiar face. "When we heard [Lifetime/PAX Network Supermarket Sweep host David] Ruprecht was available and looking for work, we were totally psyched to get a little piece of the TV show in our version," Henderson said. The game won't break for commercials, but will feature what Henderson calls "subtle product placement," like huge inflatable bottles of Snapple that can be loaded into the cart for extra cash and prizes.
When asked about eventual support for Microsoft's upcoming Project Natal motion controller, Henderson was coy. "Obviously, being able to actually reach out and grab that 36-pack of toilet paper would make the experience that much more thrilling, but no, we haven't announced any plans for Project Natal yet," he said.
Editor's note: These stories are 100-percent satire. Yes, Kyle Orland made it all up.