When 2012 is all said and done Sony will have released three games starring Sackboy, the nondescript hessian bag of fluff and ice cream who made his name in Media Molecule's ground-breaking create-your-own platformer LittleBigPlanet.
Strap yourselves in folks, there are bargains galore this week. We've two nicely discounted consoles available, a stellar pre-order offer, a couple of fairly recent releases getting their first proper discount, and a bite-sized game for just a quid. If Cheap This Week every Wednesday isn't enough for you, you can always find more cheap games over at SavyGamer.co.uk.
First, an apology for failing to publish a Game of the Week last week. This wasn't a silent comment on the paucity of the release schedule in January but a silent comment on the paucity of my brain in January, because I forgot to do it.
A little over two years ago, Sony hung PlayStation 3 on a charming character made by British bright sparks Media Molecule, Sackboy. He was the star of LittleBigPlanet, a game that embodied the bold creative strides Sony wanted to make with PS3. And the gamble paid off, as Media Molecule's carnival of creation became Eurogamer's Game of the Year 2008.
Every Sunday we haul an exciting article out of the Eurogamer archive so you can read it again or enjoy it for the first time if you missed it. John Teti compiled and created these for us back in 2011.
Let's face it, "trailer" is just a fancy word for "advert". They exist to whet our appetites for forthcoming games, to get us excited about them and to make us want to know more. This is why trailers rarely feature footage of loading screens, pause menus or the main character wandering round and round the same set of corridors looking for a rusty key.
But what if things were different? What if trailers revealed what we can really expect from games, or what the people making them are thinking?
Every year at the Eurogamer Expo we invite you to tell us what you thought of the games you played, and without fail every year (so far anyway) you exhibit amazing taste in huge numbers. This year's Expo line-up was our strongest and most diverse yet, so we were excited to see what would follow in the footsteps of last year's winner, God of War III, or 2008's Mirror's Edge...
If Media Molecule starts a new studio and it's called Incredible Compound, we want some kind of fee. Well, at least a pat on the back. We didn't come up with the name but we encouraged it. Which is what LBP2 is all about, really: encouraging creativity. The user-generated platformer (should we still call it a platformer?) is at Eurogamer Expo 2010 right now, as is Media Molecule itself, fresh from a developer session which asks the question: what goes into a MM-made LBP2 level? Here, in an interview with community managers James "Spaff" Spafford and Tom "Tom" Kiss conducted beforehand, Eurogamer finds out.
Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet remains to this day a remarkable game - a title whose longevity is entirely down to the ingenuity and enterprise of the people playing it. Long after the game's preloaded levels are complete, LBP continues to enthral and entertain thanks to the mammoth collection of brand new stages created by a large, vibrant community.
I wish I loved LittleBigPlanet. I wanted to. It's clever and confident, expressive and inventive. All the things you hope for in a new game. Yet I could only admire it from afar for the things it tried. Every attempt I made to snuggle up close and lose myself in its tactile universe was stymied by floaty, twitchy control and occasionally fussy level design. Whenever I tried to create something of my own, the creation suite overwhelmed me with a tangle of levers and connections that meant that all the great ideas in my head fizzled on the screen.
The game sold slowly but steadily, but the idealised dream of a vast fuzzy-felt community never really came to pass. The game clocked up a few million user levels shared, but once you remove the abandoned works in progress, half-finished doodles and levels designed to help players rack up Trophies without trying, it was clear that only a small percentage of those who bought the game ever really grasped the full potential of the design side of things. Most were content to rely on these few to make good on the concept's promise.
The temptation for a follow-up, you'd think, would be to pare things back, make it idiot-proof, box things in a bit more and make it easier for more people to make simpler things. What you lose in creativity, you gain in sheer volume of activity. The safe approach. It's to Media Molecule's credit that instead it has stuck to its guns and continued its expedition ever deeper into the jungle of user-defined content, knocking down the partition walls marked "Platform Game" and allowing everyone to make any kind of game they please.
In Digital Foundry's last Saturday feature before the onslaught of E3, we talk to one of Media Molecule's tech masterminds, Alex Evans, about the origins of the company's association with Sony and how they got to grips with unique PlayStation 3 architecture.
As the name always suggested, LittleBigPlanet was pretty comfortable with its own contradictions. It used complex technology to render a world of needle and thread, tweed and cardboard. It had huge ambitions, but tried its hardest to keep things simple. Most tellingly of all, it was one of the friendliest games ever constructed, and yet it was capable of making some of its players feel very, very stupid.