Are you unsure about which version of "Fallout 3" to buy next month?
If you're interested in getting the most out of you post-apocalyptic experience, you'll probably want either the Xbox 360 or PC versions. Bethesda Softworks is delivering downloadable content for "Fallout 3" to those versions, not to the PS3.
Bethesda still isn't saying what the content will be. But they at least offered Multiplayer a size estimate. It will be bigger than Bethesda's infamous horse armor download for "Oblivion," the studio's product manager, Pete Hines, laughed. How much bigger? Hines pointed towards the "Knights of the Nine" content for "Oblivion" as a base of comparison for "Fallout 3" content. It just won't be as substantial as full-fledged expansion pack, as "Shivering Isles" was, he explained.
Following a four-hour session with a near-final build -- more on that later -- I asked Hines which version of "Fallout 3" that people will flock to. Hines argued downloadable content isn't necessarily something that sways consumers at the outset.
"The first question is always 'How many folks are actually legitimately making that distinction?"" he questioned, in-between bites of a sandwich. "How many folks have all three [platforms] and every time [they buy a game] are always like 'okay, which platform do I play it for?'"
Many hardcore gamers do, in fact, have every machine. Does that mean "Fallout 3"'s extra content is something designed strictly for those folks?
"No, because of how many folks are still buying 'Oblivion' stuff today," said Hines. "The number of people who bought 'Oblivion' content yesterday is just ludicrous. It's [the] end of September 2008 -- that game came out two and a half years ago and people are still buying it by the thousands, ten of thousands. It's not just one day; it's every single day for the last two and a half years."
"If you really sort of deadlocked ... DLC may be one that may push you towards one platform."
Hines and I debated what would be the full "Fallout 3" experience. Without the option for downloadable content, PS3 owners would be missing out on something. While Hines agreed they're missing something, he didn't see it as a negative.
"For us, with a game that offers 100 hours of gameplay, we don't feel like we're sort of short changing you up front," he said. "You're gonna get your $60 worth out of this game, no matter what platform you buy it for, because there is so much content and so much stuff to do. And you can replay it and have it play out differently. So I think we feel pretty confident in terms of, no matter which platform you choose, you're getting a good experience that will hopefully be one of the best, if not the best game you play this year on that platform."
Still ... the PS3 version doesn't have the content. Period.
"Beyond that," he admitted, "if you really sort of deadlocked and you've gotta have your reasons to make a decision between one platform or the other, then yeah, DLC may be one that may push you towards one platform."
Which version of "Fallout 3" are you buying, readers?
Have a hot tip? Is there a topic that Multiplayer should be covering and isn't? Is the addition of DLC a significant factor in your purchasing decisions? Drop me an e-mail.