There is an underlining message with what we saw out of what could be the most talked about happenings at this year's E3. I am talking about the appearance of Gabe Newell at Sony's presser to announce that Portal 2 would be headed to the PS3. It was something that shocked all of us, given what Gabe has said in the past about the system, but in truth, should we be surprised? We all knew that, at some point, it had to happen, and it if not at E3, then at some other conference this year. Let's face it: Valve couldn't continue the charade for too much longer after some people in the press grilled them over why there was no PS3 version of Portal 2 in the works. Of course, we know now there will be, and there will be auto updates and cross system multiplayer that some MMOs such as the two online Final Fantasy games already enjoy between PS3 and PC users.
No matter how you look at it, Gabe at the Sony presser was a game changer. Make no bones about it. For whatever reason you believe Portal 2 is now a true multiplatform game and why Gabe is suddenly a PS3 fanboy, it's a game changer. It showed Microsoft that if you are too draconian with your online ways, you will be burned. Valve already had enough, and from the speech Gabe made at E3—which was a fabulous speech that spoke of truth about where gaming development is headed—we can safely say that the closed-minded Xbox Live system was not the only reason Gabe is building the bridges he burned with PS3 gamers, which he's building rather quickly out of steel this time instead of wood.
But there is, again, the underlining message. That is this: no matter how much you make people angry, there is a sense that that one thing you do to make things right will make people want to give you another chance. Yes, it is harder on your second chance than your first to please people when it's not easy to forget what happened the last time. You not only have to prove yourself that you can do what you say you will do, but they will be looking behind their backs this time to make sure you don't have a knife in your hand, as well. After all, people are willing to give second chances, but they're not exactly ready to give out a THIRD chance (that whole “fool me once” deal). Though I do not expect Gabe to be the Brutus to our Ceaser anytime soon due to his honesty to many subjects, I can understand why he was nervous in his Sony speech.
Yes, it is easy to forgive as bad of an offense as that was. Yes, it is okay to be a critic to a system. No one has ever said he could not say things about the console that we didn't like him saying, as long as people knew it was a valid claim. People were instead wondering if he needed some defense for a sanity hearing. Things we knew weren't true were said without a second thought by Valve. No one will ever forget his 2007 comments that have been so broadcast by now that even Gabe might be sick of hearing about them.
The Sony fanboys, the Defense Force, Protection Group, call them what you will. Bottom line is that we see that they are a very forgiving bunch. We do not know if the Microsoft equivalent to the three Sony faithfuls that I mentioned have actually forgiven Hideo Kojima for not giving them Metal Gear Solid 4, even with Rising is coming to the 360. Though we expect them to be just as gracious, nothing is set in stone. By the way, no Sony fanboy is going to be upset with Kojima making a 360 game. If anyone can make a game that makes a Sony fanboy want a 360, it's Kojima; he's got a lot of class, sort of what Gabe showed us he had this past Tuesday.
The Sony faithful have now praised Gabe. People may ask why they do now when they hated him before. Look at how society works. This is how it SHOULD work. Second chances should always be given, and it's not just Sony faithful that have this kind of big heart. It's a lot of people who have done this since the dawn of time. Back in the day, news commentator Edward R. Murrow was slammed for what he was exposing from Joe McCarthy and his “everyone is a communist” rants. Today, Murrow is considered a hero. How about Japan? How would someone who was in World War II and fought against the Japanese forces would say now if they saw that they are one of our better friends in the world, and that we are constantly treated to Anime and some of the best games and creative minds the world has ever seen. History books will tell you about how America and Britain were once bitter enemies. Far cry from how the UK and the US are now. It's as if nothing ever happened. Hell, the day of 9/11, Great Britian played the US National Anthem as a tribute to the fallen. How would those that fought the War of 1812 be enjoying seeing that such a friendship had developed?
Of course, Gabe's actions didn't start world wars, or made people want to deport others, or want to take over countries...well, in the literal sense, anyway. But this is to show just how forgiving the human race can be. It's not a Sony fanboy thing that someone can be forgiven. It's a civil thing to do. Whether or not one would actually do such a thing is up to the individual.
And let's be honest, after the speech Gabe made on Tuesday, he very much deserves such forgiveness. Games shouldn't be about, as he said, number crunching, but about giving people a fun time, regardless of WHAT games they enjoy to play. It's easy to see how Gabe and Valve got lost in all of that when you see what they have revolutionized the gaming industry. It's easy to see how they forgot for a while that gaming is supposed to be fun, and though their games were fun, the anti-PS3 rhetoric was making us wonder if THEY were thinking the same thing. Several devs have done so in the span of gaming history. No one is saying that they had to praise everything about the PS3 to be lauded as good devs, but it was how extreme such rhetoric got.
But the past is the past, and Gabe is clearly ready to turn over a new leaf, and PS3 owners are ready to do the same. One is also ready to let the other do just that, and to quote a famous line from Valve's games, this time, the cake is not a lie. And before you go clicking reply to grill them about why they are doing a “flip-flop”, ask yourself this: Would you want it any other way?