News for Tuesday: The UK acquires a unified games rating system — seems pleased, and Microsoft already shoots back at 1UP’s Natal rumors.
After a bit of governmental deliberation the United Kingdom has chosen to make PEGI (Pan European Game Information) ratings the sole standard for labeling the content of videogames. The decision came about as part of the Digital Britain report, an inquiry begun last October by Stephen Carter, the country’s first Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting, to primarily help modernize Britain’s telecommunications capabilities. PEGI’s ratings will be enacted with help from the independent Video Standards Council (think of it as the British version of the Entertainment Consumers Assocation…kinda).
In light of Tuesday’s announcement, PEGI has unveiled its new color-coded classification icons for UK game releases, as seen above. The freshly minted labels keep the same age ranges as the previous ones, but ditch the black-and-white, Electronic Software Ratings Board-like design.
Previous to Tuesday’s ruling, PEGI ratings were used in conjunction with the British Board of Film Classification‘s (BBFC) system of certificate labeling (e.g., Universal, 12 and 18 among others), resulting in a somewhat confusing dual game rating — especially for mature titles. Now that PEGI has control of classifying videogames released in the UK, the hope is to create a clearer and more easily managed system which provides parents and families with easy-to-understand ratings.
If anything, let’s hope for the sakes of our British friends that the decision prevents any more game bans from happening in the future.
Not a few days after 1UP posted its bold rumors about Microsoft’s Project Natal — as we mentioned here on Monday– did the company that Bill Gates built snap back and dampen the prophetic claims. According to Xbox’s director of product management, Aaron Greenberg, “Natal will run on Xbox 360 so no new console investment will be necessary.” Greenberg’s statement is directly opposite 1UP’s rumor post, which states that Natal will be released sometime in the fall of 2010 and become “the cornerstone of Microsoft’s next evolution of the Xbox…as an add-on for the Xbox 360…[with] similar hardware but upgraded, repackaged, and rebranded.”
Who really knows, though. Microsoft could be enacting its damage control protocols to cover up an updated model of Xbox; Eurogamer’s rebuttal post isn’t exactly heavy on details. And while an entirely new console is unlikely, Natal being packaged with an Xbox 360 and marketed as a new experience is very feasible. Maybe that’s what 1UP’s source was implying.