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What is next-gen, Cliff Bleszinski ponders in his developer's note, a preface to the Gears of War instruction manual. Well CliffyB, we think you are.
This little personalized note sets a new precedent for the industry, where next-generation isn't just about hardware upgrades and "soul," as Bleszinski puts it. It's about celebrity. In this next generation we will begin to see the rise of popular interest in the off-the-job undertakings of the game world's celebs; a new gaming culture that builds up these personalities. We're not far from a time when, for lack of blockbuster franchises, rising development costs will prompt publishers to sell their games using these freshly sculpted celebrities' names -- the games' concepts being just footnotes. And then, wrought with betrayal and jealousy, we will strike down these primmed and pampered figures from their pedestals, greedily hastening their downfalls; and the industry with them.
So, if you find yourself in the line at the EBGames at Universal Citywalk this evening (4pm, PT), waiting to get Mr. Bleszinski's signature emblazoned across your brand-new copy of Gears, just think: man, I'm so 'next-gen' right about now.