MobyGames now has the true capability to support all gaming platforms. And to prove it, we've added Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Playstation, and Playstation 2 to the list of supported platforms.
We don't have to tell you how significant this is, but we're going to anyway: Supporting all gaming platforms opens up MobyGames' audience to a whole new chunk of the gaming population -- and the more people contribute, the better a resource MobyGames can be to everyone. We're honored to bring the same quality and consistency that MobyGames has pioneered for the PC gaming community to the wide world of console gaming.
To be fair, we've always had the capability to support multiple platforms; the distinctions between DOS and Windows, for example, were treated this way. But to support platforms that differ completely from one another, we realized that we had to support different types of gamers as well. So a major modification was made with the concept in mind that console people and PC people aren't necessarily the same. To make viewing individual platforms easier, you can limit what you see in MobyGames simply by going to our URL prefixed with the platform name. This means if you go to n64.mobygames.com, you'll see only Nintendo 64 games, or pc.mobygames.com means you'll only see PC platforms (DOS, Windows, Booters, etc.). Of course, you can still go to www.mobygames.com if you want to see all platforms. Check our release notes for a full list of new features and filters.
Arguably, one of the biggest benefits to supporting multiple platforms is to developers. Ever since the late 1970s, different developers have worked on the same game but for different platforms, and now that information can be properly catalogged and presented. For example, some of the developers in the database only have a few games listed on their automatically-generated Bio page, but now their Gameography can be fleshed out thanks to the addition of more platforms.
Another major change in the new codebase involves handling user contributions. Things like specifying which people worked on which platform is now possible, as is different publishers for different platforms of the same game. And, not related to platform-specific enhancements, you can even directly contribute polls and featured Games of the Week now.
Now, I can probably guess what you're thinking: "Why stop at consoles? Why not add all classic computer, gaming, and arcade platforms?" There are many answers to that question, but the short answer is that we want to work out the kinks in this new operational model before we commit to more platforms. We're sure you can appreciate the nature of this change, so it's no surprise we want to make sure everything is working properly, both conceptually and technically, before expanding our scope even further. Note: There is no planned release schedule on adding more platforms, console or otherwise. We will announce new platforms in the future on the News page.
Of course, there are many more enhancements that uber-coder Brian has added, so for a complete list, check out the release notes for this particular rollout. And if you find anything odd going on, please let us know at [email protected]. (We're expecting quite a lot of mail on this subject in the next few days, so your patience is appreciating in waiting for a reply.) Kick the tires, look under the hood, and above all let us know what you think about our new direction.
On a completely unrelated note, I just now learned (months late) that FASA is throwing in the towel. FASA is, of course, responsible for the BattleTech/Mechwarrior pen-and-paper game universe, and the resulting computer games licensees we know and love. I cut my teeth on pen-and-paper gamng like Dungeons & Dragons and Gamma World, and the original Mechwarrior is probably one of the top ten games responsible for Brian and I creating MobyGames in the first place.
I'm sad to see FASA go -- and yet it can be argued that computer games were primarily responsible for the P&P market dying way down and becoming unprofitable. They're selling all assets and intellectual property to Wiz Kids, so here's hoping Wiz Kids will do the series proper. Until April 1st, they're still in business and selling their inventory, so move your ass on over there if you want to pick up what you can while you can.
I'd like to thank David Berk, our newest addition to the MobyGames family, for holding down the fort the last six weeks. For someone who doesn't have Brian's and my 2-year experience administrating MobyGames, I think Dave's done a great job so far getting the day-to-day done.