Recent Gaming News Posts



July 13, 2008

25% off imports at Play-Asia

From now until July 20 Play-Asia is having one hell of a summer sale: 25% off. Lets take a look at some of these insane prices:

$ 9.68: Pump It Up EXCEED Portable
$ 27.92: Pump It Up Zero Portable
$ 37.42: DJ Max Portable 2
$ 37.42: HAZE
$ 5.18: The Block Kuzushi Quest - Dragon Kingdom

April 7, 2008

Stephen King: Videogame Lunacy

Must read material. It is really refreshing to hear his take on the subject, seeing as his books and movies are rather violent and all.

March 5, 2008

New Mexico Game Tax Defeated

News from the VGVN:

Thanks in part to the swift action of New Mexico members, the New Mexico House Business and Industry Committee rejected the bill on a 9-0 vote. Many New Mexico legislators had never heard a constituent defend video games. By taking this step, members across the country can actively participate in defending future legislation.

I didn't think that bill held any water.

February 16, 2008

Reminder: Download GHIII Aerosmith Free for 2 Days

Don't forget to download "Dream On" now through 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Monday, February 18th. After that it is not free, though I cannot find how much it will cost.

The most notable item here however is the fact that Sony can in fact put DLC on their PSN Store on a day that is not Thursday. This is a concept that Sony should embrace more regularly. You know, like on Tuesdays when Rock Band has new songs.

December 15, 2007

Guitar Hero III gets update, PS3 finally gets Quickplay Co-op

Title Update is out. Some nice fixes, really. Why the hell is Quickplay Co-op just now hitting the PS3 version? Xbox 360 owners got a Day One Title Update with the feature.

Yet again, PS3 owners get things late. You know, like ports of 360 games one to six months after the fact, with the added bonus of bugs and frame rate issues.

Punk Pack 01 (Rock Band) is Rated EC?

I am looking at Xbox Live Marketplace content for Rock Band, and Punk Pack 01 has an EC icon on it.

Yea, punk is so for babies!

Wait a minute, it must have been a glitch in The Matrix, now when I leave and come back to the detail page for Punk Pack 01 it says T for Teen. Really strange.

November 2, 2007

Regarding "broken street date" Rock Band copies for sale

OK, this is priceless, and possibly the funniest thing I have heard in a while. Matt, working at a retail chain, should get even more enjoyment out of this. Who is the bigger idiot? The guy who buys it or the guy who sells it?

Hey all,

I just wanted to officially talk about the sudden influx of broken street date bundles that are being sold. First of all they aren't "real" versions of the game, they are demos for the store that are getting accidentally sold. Retailers don't have bundles sitting in the back room just waiting for November 20th. These demo builds are kind of hobbled - for one the drums don't have kick pedals. Some of the demos don't have mics. And the build isn't a full-real retail version of the game. It is hobbled a bit and, obviously, the bass drum autoplays since there is no pedal that comes with the demo.

I guess what I am saying is beware of any auctions that might show up the next few days, and please alert me to them if you see them as it is quite obviously a huge mistake. I know how badly y'all want to get your hands on the game but it is only 19 more days until it comes out.

Thanks,
Sean

Oh and be sure to read this post, copied from CAG.

I can see the jokes/headlines now... "The most expensive demo ever!"

Do you think this will become a collectors item?

March 7, 2007

Microsoft Word 2007 .docx

You know I haven't had a good rant in a while. I think it is time.

I have a beef. I don't have Microsoft Word 2007. I have a PC with Office XP on it And you know what? My PC is dead right now (and I am willing to bet that Office XP will not open a .docx file). But I use a Mac all day. I have Office 2004. It does a really good job of opening .doc files, it allways has.

Why on Earth would Microsoft put some of the GDC fact sheets out in Microsoft Word 2007 .docx format? That is just plain stupid. Frankly, I am a little disappointed in Microsoft over this.

Maybe someone will read this who can post actual word documents, that can be read by any version of Word before 2007 (but I doubt it). I am sure (read: probably not) when Office 2008 ships for the Mac, it will read .docx files, but that is little help to me right now.

Couple this with the fact that the two games I am most looking forward to, and looking for information on (Forza 2 and Mass Effect) both have their fact sheets in .docx format.

How about putting the releases up in PDF format? Wouldn't that be a grand idea? I would have thought PDF was the standard by now.

Thank you Microsoft for making my job of covering your games that much easier.

January 31, 2007

Godzilla and the Wii

I always knew there was a connection between them, but now my Wii can be a giant monster thanks to Pipeworks software. Mecha Gigan FTW!

January 24, 2007

'Hold your wee for a Wii' audio recording

DJ 1: "Can't you get water poisoning, and like... die."

Check it out, only 30 seconds into the clip. Then of course this is this wonderful sound bite:

DJ 1: "Maybe we should have researched this before."

DJ 2: If it gets dangerous for somebody, their body will automatically throw it up. And if you throw up the water, you are automatically out of the contest.

But this takes the cake at 1:00 into the recording:

Caller: "I want to say that, um, that those people that are drinking all that water can get sick and possibly die of water intoxication."
DJ 1: "Yeah, we're aware of that."
DJ 2: "They signed releases, so we're not responsible. It's OK."

YouTube after the break. I have to wonder when/if they pull this though.

Once the jury hears this recording, I don't see how they won't convict.

Continue reading "'Hold your wee for a Wii' audio recording" »

January 16, 2007

Top 10 WTF Moments of 2006

1UP has a pretty funny look at the top 10 WTF moments of 2006. The Wii takes the number one spot.

October 30, 2006

Gamerspacelive: MySpace for Gamers

Closely linked with the superb Intothegame.com that I plug at least once a week, Gamerspacelive is just what the title says. Look at this way. If you're going to be stalked by a pedophile, at least he'll be a gamer, possibly one that enjoyed Bully a little too much.

I played around with it tonight and set up a quick profile. It's a basic interface, not that much different from MySpace. Some nice features, though nothing revolutionary. It's small and cozy for now which is definitely a plus compared to the other sites like it.

UMD Movies Not Dead

So says the SVP of Sony's marketing team. There's a great quote about the selection of UMD movies in there:

We didn’t really talk to the studios well enough to tell them who the PSP consumer was and what type of content they might be interested in. On Golden Pond doesn’t make a lot of sense on PSP.

Neither did the price point, but that didn't stop you from trying to sell them at $25 a piece, now did it?

October 24, 2006

Sony denies responsibility for closure of Lik-Sang

Accuses retailer of "sour grapes"

In a statement issued to GamesIndustry.biz, Sony has denied any responsibility for the closure of Lik-Sang - accusing the online retailer of "sour grapes".

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

Didn't see this one coming (joke). Lik-Sang's rage filled press release and prior statements on last week's court rulings were sure to catch the ire of Sony. But it can be hard to separate business from emotions when something like this happens.

What Stays In Vegas... Can't Be Played In Vegas

For some reason, the new Rainbow Six: Vegas demo is not available in North America. This is yet another reason to setup a Japanese or European Xbox Live Account (it doesn't cost you a penny).

And I highly recommend you grab the demo. The smoke and the blur do not look terribly good, but I am to assume that this demo was created many months ago.

The game plays good, and the controls feel great. Is it worth setting up a Japanese account for? Yep.

UPDATE: Circumvent region lockout from the Xboxic Wiki.

EA Selling Fake Money For Real Money On XBLM

Strolling by Major Nelson's site today I noticed this. EA is selling more cheats on Xbox Live Marketplace, this time for The Godfather.

Only one item, the favors mission pack, is really legit. The MobFace Apparel Bundle is free, but the rest will cost you an arm and a leg.

There is no level 4 weapon in the game, so that is also a legit upgrade, too - it is just overkill. What is the point? I have the level 3 weapons and I do just fine.

Hired Assassin (250 Points) gives you a crew member that seems to be better than what is available in the game right now (as he will cost you $10,000, and the crew member I can hire right now only costs me $5,000). But again, what is the need? The level 4 crew member I hire does just fine.

But this one is baffling: In-Game Money - $50K/$100K/$250K. That will cost you 40, 75, and 150 Points for in-game money. I am at the point in the game where I rake in at least 80K a week from all the business I own in New York. Rob every bank once a week, and you have no problem getting $250K "the old fashion way."

So now we have a new low on Marketplace. EA is selling fake money for real money.

Read it strait from the horses (severed) mouth.

Lik-Sang.com Out of Business due to Multiple Sony Lawsuits

Lik-Sang.com, the popular gaming retailer from Hong Kong, has today announced that it is forced to close down due to multiple legal actions brought against it by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Sony claimed that Lik-Sang infringed its trade marks, copyright and registered design rights by selling Sony PSP consoles from Asia to European customers, and have recently obtained a judgment in the High Court of London (England) rendering Lik-Sang's sales of PSP consoles unlawful.
Source: Lik-Sang.com

So much for that partnership I setup for Blogcritics!

I found this out when I got up today because Matt emailed me, and I got an email of my order being canceled. I was in line (in the front of the line too) to purchase a Japanese Wii. So much for that.

But this is major news, I did not think the lawsuits by Sony would topple Lik-Sang. I wonder how Play-Asia feels right now about selling Sony products?

No matter how this plays out in the press, it is going to be a major black eye for Sony, as many, many people used Lik-Sang to buy games. What a sad day.

And it doesn't matter if Sony has every right to defend itself. Right now, that is besides the point. As if Sony needed to give people another reason to hate them, well, here is another reason.

October 19, 2006

Konami Gets ITG, WWE Sues THQ

Man, if you don't like alphabet soup, this blog post is not for you!

Today saw some surprising news in the video game biz. Konami now owns Into The Groove. Since Konami owns the ITG IP, will they kill it?

In even bigger news, the WWE has sued THQ. SEC filings show that THQ has sold WWE games in Japan/Asia. This is apparently a bad thing.

THQ will fight grapple the suit. The WWE franchise is a major part of the THQ bottom line, this could turn out very much badly.

Miz Says Microtransactions Are The Future

Umm... bull shit! IGN interviewed Mizuguchi on Lumines Live! and his answers are nothing short of degrading to gamers. Here is a very insightful answer:

IGN: What do you think people's reactions are going to be when they see the core game -- and all these additional packs? Are you worried that people will feel they're getting charged too much? Or that they're going to complain that all these packs should be put into one game?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: (Long pause.)

October 18, 2006

Lumines Live! Not Really Live

It seems that the stress of bringing Xbox Live back online after over a day of being down has been causing major problems.

I cannot download anything, even though Major Nelson is reporting that Live is back online.

Some people are online and playing Lumines Live! and that is great. But there are a fair share who are not.

They should have just said that Live would be out for 36 hours, or something like that. Then I would not mind. It is 11:35 AM EST when I am writing this, and I have been trying since 8:30 AM.

I can connect and see my friends list (not many people online, usually only one) and even listen to a voice mail and friend request a friend just sent me last night.

I just cannot access anything on Xbox Live Marketplace. No big deal, I have work to go to. I just hope all is resolved when I return this evening.

I understand you are all working very hard (and want to thank the Xbox Live team). It compounds issues exponentially because Lumines Live! is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, release on XBLA so far.

October 3, 2006

Google and Yahoo News Love

You may or may not know that Blogcritics is an official news source for both Google News and Yahoo News. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that 'Nintendo Wii' is a hot search term right now. My article only hit #3 using Yahoo, but is #1 using Google (at the moment).

So what is the lesson in all of this? Chose your headlines wisely.

google-news.jpg

September 28, 2006

Oblivion Heads to PS3, PSP

Yes, the rumors are true: Oblivion is heading to PlayStation 3, and an upcoming cover story in Official PlayStation Magazine has the exclusive first look.
Source: 1UP

As much as I hate the magazine, especially the design, I cannot wait for my next Official PlayStation Magazine to arrive.

Of course they had to add new content, and that is a new faction called Knights of the Nine.

I will have no problem at all playing through this again on the PS3, and PSP. I look forward to doing a head-to-head between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.

September 26, 2006

NBA Live 07 ESPN Integration

Today I received NBA 2K7, and will be getting NBA Live 07 soon, so will be able to write an Xbox 360 head-to-head on the two big names in basketball.

After the break you will find the information on the ESPN integration from the EA press release. It is absolutely unreal what they have done (finally) with the ESPN license they (sadly) bought from 2K Sports.

I only played one game in NBA 2K7 this morning, and it is immediately obvious that the game play has been tweaked. Nothing spectacular mind you, but things feel better. There was only one charging call (a problem with the series) and the new Isomotion moves are great.

I just can't wait to see all this ESPN content in NBA Live 07.

Continue reading "NBA Live 07 ESPN Integration" »

September 6, 2006

Sony delays European PlayStation 3 launch to March 2007

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp. said on Wednesday it would delay the European launch of its PlayStation 3 (PS3) video game console by about four months to March and cut its target for shipments this year by half.
Source: Reuters UK

This gives the Xbox 360 a two Christmas lead in PAL regions, and a four month lead for the Wii across the pond too.

At the expense of my Brit friends, this gives me a little more hope that the PS3 launch in the US will not be so bad. Yea right! It is still going to be hard to find a unit at launch.

Why do I want to get a PS3 you ask? Well, I don't want it, but I need it for review materials at Blogcritics. If it was not for my job there, I seriously doubt I would spend the $600+ for it. I would rather put that money to better use, like purchasing every single launch title for the Wii.

Now we have many questions, of course. Will software developers regard November as a soft launch, and use the extra four months to polish their games? That is the first thing that comes to mind.

Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

Special thanks to Andy for pointing this news out.

UPDATE: Joystiq is now reporting, via the International Harold Tribune, that the US will only get 400,000 units for launch, while Japan sees only 100,000. Those numbers just don't seem right. You would think that the US would get the shaft here, not Japan.

September 4, 2006

High-end PS3 shipping without HDMI cable

Sony can't seem to get any good news lately about the PlayStation 3. Joystiq is now reporting that there will be no HDMI cable in that $600 box. Read the FAQ for yourself (why the hell do they have to put this shit together in Flash?).

August 29, 2006

August '06 Xbox 360 Back Compat Update

You might have read our series on the Back Compat debate, and I feel this is another step in the right direction. Backwards compatibility of Xbox games is very important. Major Nelson has the list of new and updated games.

Of note are Sid Meier's Pirates. This is a game that I sold to pay for my Xbox 360. I will go and buy it back now that it will work on my 360. This is a title that I have completed 100% of the optional quests on, but I will play again now that it works on my 360.

Burnout 3: Takedown and Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection are also nice additions. Lego Star Wars II, and a couple other new or soon-to-be-released titles are also on this list. This is a very smart move by Microsoft.

Still no Psychonauts, but the list is growing at a good pace. With 267 original Xbox titles, Microsoft is well on their way to their goal. The August '06 update added 39 more titles, and updated compatibility for nine others.

August 11, 2006

Illinois Ordered to Pay ESA Half Million

As result of trying to enact a law banning the sale of violent videogames (which was found unconstitutional), the State of Illinois must pay the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), game industry trade group, $510,528.64 in attorney fees.
Source: IGN

Wow, that is a great use of tax payers money. Good job Illinois!

July 20, 2006

PSP NCAA 07 Bugged

After last years fiasco with Madden on the PSP (the game would lock up everytime after a franchise game in week 2 and they recalled it a week before Christmas), you would think they would learn.

Nope.

This years debut of NCAA on the PSP has an unbelieveable, impossible to miss glitch. I don't have the game yet to test this, but it's been confirmed by everyone, including IGN who re-did their review. Why is it impossible to miss?

How can testers not see that when a runner is touched on a running play, that's where the ball is spotted? Clarification: Not tackled, touched. In other words, if you break a tackle say 2 yards in the backfield, and run for 20 afterwards, the ball is considered down in the backfield. EA's response?

"During running plays the ball will be spotted at point of first contact where the tackle is initiated. The ball will not be spotted where the player is ultimately taken down."

That's from their FAQ on the game. Seriously. They act like it's a proper gameplay feature, which is utterly baffling. After looking through various message boards, it seems that the glitch is around 50% of the time, which is enough to ruin the running game entirely.

Once I get my hands on a copy, I'll do a full write up on this for Blogcritics. Until then, I think fans have a reason to complain.

Update: Someone on the EA forums has a video up of the glitch. Might want to look around the same forum too. Lots of heated bitching!

June 24, 2006

The Government Sells Machinima As Terrorist Propaganda

Between their latest hearing on video game violence where they blasted the ESRB and this Battlefield 2 machinima video, our government is really starting to show their ignorance toward video games. ABC News has their broadcast online now.

June 16, 2006

Dragon's Lair in HD Released

And does it ever look incredible. Check out the screens and the trailer too. Now, give me Mad Dog Mcree!

Oh, and for $60 they can keep their HD Dragon's Lair.

PSP, DS Continue to Dominate Each Other

I've received two press releases in the past two days, each asserting that one of the portable consoles is currently kicking the ass of the other...

So, who's lying? In a sense, neither of them are. Sony points out that PSP just squeaked by Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance in hardware sales this past May: 160k units, 146k units, and 152k units respectively. Of course, the question is: once the Game Boy Advance stops selling, to where will those dollars migrate?

Source: Games|Life Blog

Funny thing is, I got the same two press releases. I just think that Nintendo hired a better writer.

(That was a joke, people.)

June 15, 2006

Nintendo DS Continues to Dominate

From the attack-of-the-bullet-points department:

  • After going on sale May 15, New Super Mario Bros. sold at a nonstop rate of roughly one every four seconds nationwide during the reporting period.
  • New Super Mario Bros. emerged as the No. 1 game of the month, even though it was in stores for just 13 days of the four-week reporting period.
  • Just two days after Nintendo DS Lite went on sale in the United States on June 11, the new lighter, brighter portable system sold more than 136,500 units, with many retail outlets reporting sellouts.
  • By comparison, DS Lite is outpacing 2003's launch sales of Nintendo's juggernaut Game Boy Advance SP by more than 12 percent.
  • Major retailers report that sales of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day tripled over the previous week.
  • Retailers also report that New Super Mario Bros. sales doubled over the previous week.
Bullet point number four is rather scary.

May 10, 2006

E3 2006: Microsoft Connects Everything and Shows Something Called Halo 3

A recap is up for those of you who missed it or can't get video.

May 9, 2006

Nintendo Press Conference Recap Up

As promised, it's up on Blogcritics.

E3 2006: Sony's Press Conference, PS3 Pricing and Date

In case you missed it, we've posted a rundown of Sony's E3 press conference over at Blogcritics. You can expect the same for Nintendo and Microsoft.

May 3, 2006

Elder Scrolls Pulled From Stores?

If this thread on CAG has anything to say about it, then yes. They're the only site that has this posted as of right now, but it seems to be limited to Circuit City stores. It has been pulled from their site too and the only version still up as of now is the CE version on the PC. Why would only CC pull copies, and without reason? Let the completely un-fact based speculation commence.

April 27, 2006

Nintendo Revolution Named Nintendo Wii

Nintendo has announced the name of their next generation console, code named Revolution. Rumored for months to be named “Go,” today Nintendo announced “Wii.” That is Wii, pronounced “we.” Wii symbolizes Nintendo’s goal of creating games for everyone, and bringing people together. The “ii” not only stands for two people, but for the console's two unique controllers.

While I, and many others, have grown to like the name “Revolution,” Nintendo will not be keeping the code name as they did with the Dual Screen. “Wii” makes sense on so many levels. Without even reading the introductory text, I immediately was able to connect with the “ii” in the name. This is the universal appeal Nintendo is going for, and is exactly what they need as we step even closer to the next console war between Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.

The world will find out a lot more about the Nintendo Wii at next month’s E3 expo in Los Angeles. Wii can only wait and see.

March 2, 2006

Utah "Pornographic" Game Bill Fails

A few expected this to have a chance because of its wording, but Gamepolitics is reporting it failed to make it.

The best part here it to listen to Rep. Hogue's statements, which can be found on this site. You'll need RealPlayer (look for HB0257SO1), but it's obvious from his speaking that he does not understand what he's trying to prevent, and sounds dangerously close to Jack Thompson's usual pointless ramblings.

February 25, 2006

Talk about your oddball gaming stories

Those crazy Koreans are at it again. A war (really) has broken out in Lineage between Chinese "mining" companies and Korean players of the game. It's so bad, they're patrolling their borders in the game! Gamepolitics covered it if you want the whole story, but this is bizzare.

February 23, 2006

GamerDad Interview Ignored In ABC News Debacle

Following on from our news last Friday about the ABC News debacle surrounding the supposed dangers of DS Pictochat to children, its come to our attention that ABC News were informed beforehand of the facts, but chose to ignore them and publish a misleading report clearly aimed at frightening parents and causing a moral panic.
Source: Spong

If you missed this ABC News (Channel 6) story spreading FUD you should read it. It makes the Spong article even better. This is just bad journalism folks. I take it fact-checking is not what it used to be.

February 22, 2006

Call of Duty Ads Called Misleading

According to the complaining parties, Activision's advertising was misleading because "the graphics used in the [advertisement] were superior to that of the game itself."
Source: IGN

Now there is a revelation! You mean video game commercials show footage that looks better than actual game play? No shit sherlock!

Get ready for jaggies in your commercials folks. Especially if groups like the Advertising Standards Authority starts to scare publishers the world over.

February 5, 2006

I'm OK: The Murder Simulator

This is the game of the year, no questions asked. When Jack Thompson ran his mouth about he would donate $10,000 to charity if a company would make a game to his specifications, someone did. He said it was satire.

Now someone really did make that game, and it's hilarious. Created by "Thompsonsoft," this is the game for anyone who has followed the gaming violence situation with intense frustration. The opening cinema alone is worth the free download, PC only.

January 29, 2006

Blizzard of GLBT gaming policy questions

Popular maker of online game World of Warcraft cites a gamer for harassment for using the term 'GLBT'; other gay guilds request clarification.
Source: In Newsweekly

In other words, stay in the closet. And keep your Real Life (RL) out of the game world.

PSP: Great Movie Device Also Plays Games

Here’s a piece pointing out good news that might potentially be bad news: There are now 330 films available or coming soon for the Sony PSP, versus 100 games. Also, as of Aug. 31, Sony had sold 9 million PSP games and 8 million UMD movies, according to Home Media Retailing.com. So it seems Sony’s portable game playing device is being consumed primarily as a movie player.
Source: Kotaku

Wow. A three to one ratio. That is bad. Oh and "Great Movie Device Also Plays Games" is just spot on.

January 27, 2006

LA City Attorney Files Hot Coffee Suit

Los Angeles city attorney Rocky Delgadillo announced yesterday that his office has filed suit against Take-Two Interactive, claiming the publisher "engaged in unfair business practices by hiding pornographic material in a game which received an M rating."
Source: GameSpot

Alright. I am pissed at this point. When is this shit going to stop? And where is the "pornographic material." I mean seriously folks. The "girlfriend" was wearing a t-shirt and a thong. Carl was wearing a hoody and jeans. That is not pornography. Dead or Alive 4 is more pornographic the Hot Coffee. Nevermind the amount of work you have to do to input the codes to get it working on the console version of the game.

This Hot Coffee crap is going to ruin Rockstar before long. Their stock price is in the gutter, a member of their board of directors just resigned - I can't imagine why.

The suit alleges that Take-Two was fully aware of the Hot Coffee minigame when it made the game and that it manipulated the Entertainment Software Ratings Board rating process into giving the game an undeserved M for Mature.
Yea. Right.
...it says that the company marketed the game "in a fashion that encourages the creation and use of mods" to boost its counterculture image and popularity.
OK that's a new one. I haven't heard that before. I also can't understand it one bit, considering modding is not something that Take-Two allows by their end-user agreement.
It bears mentioning that Delgadillo is currently running for another office, hoping to be elected the Attorney General of California this November.
Bingo. Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding. We have a winner! Well, loser if you ask me. This has gone far enough.

I say you send rdelgadillo@atty.lacity.org a - nice - long email.

January 26, 2006

Marble Blast Ultra, Full Auto Demo Hit Xbox Live

Fresh content! Keep these Xbox Live Arcade games coming.

Marble Blast Ultra is ready for download for all you Xbox Live Arcade fanatics out there. It costs 800 Microsoft Points (roughly $10) and features 60 single player levels, 12 Achievements, 20 Easter Eggs, and eight-player multiplayer mayhem in 10 different levels on Xbox Live.

Continue reading "Marble Blast Ultra, Full Auto Demo Hit Xbox Live" »

January 23, 2006

Call of Duty 2 Conquers Sales Charts

We've reported before about how Call of Duty 2 had impressive sales numbers, but who knew it sold so well that it broke into the top 20 grossing titles of 2005? Practically everyone who managed to get a hold of Microsoft's next-gen console must have had this title on their wish list since it blew away a lot of strong competition from popular titles on both the Xbox and the far more prevalent PS2.
Source: IGN

Now there is a statistic to be proud of. Not only is CoD2 the top selling Xbox 360 game, but it made it onto a rather exclusive list after only being out for less then two months in 2005. It outsold games like Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube! (That came out in January 2005.) The real clincher is that it made more money then every single PC game released in 2005.

Heck, I just ordered it myself. The demo of the game was frustrating as hell. Here I find out it is late in the game. Why they put a demo out like that I have no idea. But this weekend I played through the training mission and part of the first mission and I am sold. The smoke and fire effects are like nothing you have ever seen before in a video game.

Matt was right about the T (Teen) rating by the ESRB. This is a brutal game with a lot of blood and bodies flying everywhere. I am sure the T rating made for higher sales, however.

January 20, 2006

Top Sellers On Xbox Live Arcade

IGN has obtained an official Top 10 List of Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) games. Here it goes:

1. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
2. Gauntlet
3. Smash TV
4. Bejeweled II
5. Zuma
6. Bankshot Billiards
7. Outpost Kaloki
8. Mutant Storm Reloaded
9. Joust
10. Wik: Fable of Souls

Of those, I own Geometry Wars, Smash TV, Bejeweled II, Zuma, Bankshot Billiards and Mutant Storm Reloaded. Odd that Bankshot Billiards is sitting so high at #6 as this is a $15 title. All other XBLA games, so far, have been of the $5 variety.

I can tell you why Bankshot Billiards is so high on this list: it is a great game.

This proves a point that people are willing to pay $15 for a XBLA game too. I expect Street Fighter II Hyer Fighting to be $15 too. I hope I am wrong, because $5 is a great price point for the XBLA.

In short, I play XBLA games as much as I play the $60 Xbox 360 games. But are they worth $15? Maybe. I think they are a great deal at $5 and hope they stay at that price point.

January 10, 2006

DOA 4 Features Game Clearing Glitch

Someone on Digital Press reported they had the same problem about a week ago, but we all thought it had something to do with the Fight Night demo. Not so as Gamespot is reporting.

December 9, 2005

Gamers get heated over Xbox 360

As soon as the Xbox 360 game console was released in the United States last month, the media filled with reports of widespread problems with the system overheating and crashing — but those reports may have been overblown.
Source: BG News

I posted this here for two reasons. I think Dan did a good job on it, and Matt was interviewed for it. And as much as he though he was, he does not sound like an idiot in his quotes that Dan used. So good choice of the quotes Dan!

I have to say, I am still getting the error messages telling me to put the game disc in a Xbox 360. I have to give it 20 minutes with XBL Arcade, that or twiddle my thumbs, then I can play my next game. That is just lame. The next time it happens I am going to call Microsoft.

November 11, 2005

Full 360 Backwards Compatibility list

Wow! I'm so relieved we can all play Barbie Horse Adventure. I was worried. Seriously though, it's a nice list, but it sounds like an awful lot of work for an almost useless feature.

November 7, 2005

Thompson drops out of Alabama GTA III case

Awesome news. A classic Jack quote came from this one:

"The other side wants to make me the issue."

That's because you are Jack. Sadly, the case may still see trial, and if it does, then it would have been better if Jack handled it. They obviously had no interest in dealing with his shenanigans. Hopefully the judge has enough common sense to toss the case out.

November 2, 2005

D'oh!

EA signed another exclusive. This time, the Simpsons will feel their wrath. Then again, considering some of the Simpsons games we've been dealt (Simpsons Wrestling anyone?), maybe it's not so bad to give a new developer a shot.

October 30, 2005

Review: Rockstar Custom Soundtracks

It did not take long for Rockstar to release a utility to enable custom soundtracks in Liberty City Stories (LCS). I would hope that it was planned to launch a few days after the release of the game, and not because of the amount of emails and ranting I am sure that Rockstar has received.

At any rate, it is nice to have custom soundtracks in LCS. You can download Rockstar Custom Tracks v1.0 (RCT) from Rockstar's official site, among other places. But you cannot use it on a Mac. It is Windows only software. This is disappointing as I use a Mac application to manage all of my PSP media.

Continue reading "Review: Rockstar Custom Soundtracks" »

October 28, 2005

41 Xbox 360 Games & Their Release Dates

Joystiq has a listing of Xbox 360 games and their expected release dates that blog GamersReports claims comes directly from a GameStop point-of-sales system printout.

My only question is why do we have to resort to this underground way of gathering information? With less then a month before the release of the Xbox 360, (26 days for those of us counting) I do not see why there is no official news from Microsoft yet. I cannot remember a console launch where we did not have an official list this close to launch.

Continue reading "41 Xbox 360 Games & Their Release Dates" »

October 15, 2005

Microsoft finally confirms launch games for 360... sort of

Ha ha. Gotcha. Isn't it sad that Microsoft has not yet released a list of launch titles for the US Xbox 360 launch? I personally think it is because so many of them are going to be 11th hour decisions. Of course I also think that Microsoft could have waited until the spring to release the 360, giving developers enough time with the final hardware. But then I still say the 360 is coming too soon, as there is still life in the Xbox (Ninja Gaiden, for example).

The Xbox Live Arcade service lets gamers purchase and download arcade-style games directly to their hard drives. The service is part of the casual games movement, aimed at a broad audience. Pricing has not yet been announced, but most games are expected to sell for fewer than $20.
Source: GameSpot

So you will have a list of 21 parlor games to play on your brand new next-gen console. Forget Perfect Dark Zero, fire up Hexic HD (free with the 360 hard drive) and get your puzzle on.

These games should not cost more then cell phone games - they surely do not take (much) more programming to pull off. If they cost $19.99 I don't see people buying them. But then I was totally off on UMD movies. And they are flying off store shelves.

Popcap Games is the biggest surprise on the list. This developer has some pretty addicting games. Astropop is one of my favorites. The list of arcade games ready for launch is only overshadowed by the list of developers that will be contributing to the Live Arcade service, including heavyweight Q Entertainment (Meteos, Lumines, Every Extend Extra).

Microsoft could really have something here with these 'casual' games. I don't really see a casual gamer spending $300 or $400 to play parlor games, but this has a chance to turn into something successful.

Now, how about that launch list Microsoft!

October 14, 2005

Bully Comes Under Fire from Petition

Rockstar's upcoming video game won't hit the market for months, but a teen suicide is already prompting protest over the title...

Rochelle Sides, the parent of a teen who committed suicide after being bullied, has started an online petition addressed to Rockstar President Sam Houser, pleading with him not to release the video game.

Source: BusinessWeek Online

I am sorry that this kid took his life, but this is not the way to memorialize your teenager. I don't know what this lady is going through, but I do not think she is going about things in a healthy manner. If anything this is going to galvanise this release, and probably give it more sales then it might get otherwise. So much for trying to get the game canned.

Continue reading "Bully Comes Under Fire from Petition" »

October 10, 2005

NFL Network refuses to air Blitz commercial

You won't be seeing Ron Mexico on the NFL Network anytime soon. And you can forget about watching touchdown celebrations from the greatest receiver in the game, T.O. Mass (announcers pronounce it Moss). That's because after receiving initial clearance to promote Blitz: The League on the NFL Network through paid commercial advertisements, the people at Midway have just been informed that the NFL Network is now pulling out, refusing to show the spot headlined by one of the league's own legends, Lawrence Taylor.
Source: IGN

IGN has the commercial, I know you are dying to watch it. But did you really think that the NFL was going to run a commercial that competes with Madden 06? I mean when the NFL decides there will be a monopoly in NFL video games (and it was the NFL - not EA, EA just happened to have the deepest pockets) they mean a total monopoly, advertising included.

Having LT and the writers of Playmakers associated to the game probably did not help either.

October 8, 2005

"GTA" killer sentenced to death

Hooray for justice! All we need now is the lawsuit against the game maker and store to be dropped too.

October 7, 2005

PSP virus makes history

It's the first virus made specifically for a gaming console.

September 25, 2005

Rockstar re-releases San Andreas with extras

Well, Rockstar does need to recoup its losses after all. The PS2 version will include 'The Introduction' and 'Sunday Driver' included as extra DVDs. The Introduction is a short movie setting up the events that unfold in San Andreas, and was previously available to those who bought the single CD soundtrack (but not the mammoth 8 disc boxed set - bastards).

Sunday Driver is a behind-the-scenes look at California's low rider car club, The Majestics. Directed by Carol Strong, Sunday Driver chronicles the work and dedication of The Majestics car club as they attempt to create the ultimate in custom vehicles while attempting to legitimize their lifestyle under the scrutiny of the authorities.
Sources: IGN PS2, Xbox

There is a Xbox special package too: the GTA Trilogy. You get GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas for $60. Not bad if you don't have them. A shame the Xbox version does not have the PS2 extras.

And remember kiddies, these will be the 'M' for Mature versions of San Andreas, so no Hot Coffee for you!

September 21, 2005

New DS colors ship with Nintendogs in the box

This will be hot for Christmas.

Game Boy Micro now 200% worthless, SP upgraded

Yep, it's possible. The SP is being released with a new, backlit screen. Here's where the rumors started, and multiple stores have begun getting them in, but only with the two new colors. The comments say it's a hoax, but it's confirmed. They'll be leaking out this week.

Free PSP demo... on your PC

Yes, it makes sense. It's Tetsuya Mizuguchi's new one, Every Extend Extra. Goofy name, great game. Here's a direct shot to the download.

September 15, 2005

Nintendo Revolution controller revealed

This has got to be a joke, right? Nope, its real, and IGN has a hands-on article.

Xbox 360: November 22nd

That title is all you really need, but here's a link anyway.

Massive update to the Digital Press review page

If you're only reading my game reviews here on BW, you're missing 90% of what I write. All of my reviews for non-current consoles appear on Digital Press. There's a reason I normally don't post this information here (I'd be doing it every week), but this update is a special one.

We broke the record.

Continue reading "Massive update to the Digital Press review page" »

September 13, 2005

Michigan governor signs gaming bill into law, sort of

Granholm prematurely announces signing of violent-game laws, signs laws prohibiting display of sexually explicit games instead.

Democratic Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that she signed into law legislation that prohibits the "sale or rental of mature or adult-rated video games to children."

Source: GameSpot

None of these yahoos can get this done right. I also saw on the news that this does not go into effect until Dec 1, so it could get overturned by... you guessed, the 1st amendment - just as so many of these types of video game bills have fizzled in the past.

Playstation 2 power cord recall

If you have one of the slim models, you need this new cable apparently. They seem to enjoy following Microsoft a little too closely, given that companies recall earlier this year.

September 12, 2005

$39.99 UMD movie coming soon

Theatrical bomb Stealth will be $39.99 on UMD, but... it will have exclusive Wipeout Pure playable items, including the jet from the movie as a playable ship and an exclusive track (not to mention all the features of the regular game).

September 9, 2005

California (almost) passes video game bill

Come on Arnold... you're smarter than this. Don't sign this one. It's too vague, and Leeland Yee would win. We don't want that.

September 8, 2005

PSP shatters sales records

In Europe at least. This is probably from the delay, and people going crazy for this as American gamers talk about the emulation and such. The test is time. Let's see if it keeps up since they actually have "new" games to play. You know, like the opposite of America.

September 7, 2005

Lumines and Meteos go mobile

The PlayStation Portable puzzler Lumines and the Nintendo DS sensation Meteos are coming to mobile, courtesy of Gameloft. The mobile maker has signed a long-term exclusivity agreement with Q Entertainment, developer of the original titles. Both games were ushered on to their respective portables by famed producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi.
Source: IGN PSP

Great news to mobile phone users everywhere!

September 5, 2005

Sony: 9M games, 8.2M UMD movies sold

Hollywood (CA) - At the Entertainment Media Expo in Hollywood California, Sony executives touted the success of their Universial Media Disc (UMD), specifically movie UMDs. Millions of these 2.3 inch-diameter discs that hold either movies or games have been sold to PlayStation Portable (PSP) owners. Sony believes that movies will make more than 60 percent of UMD sales in the near future.
Source: Tom's Hardware

It may well hit 60% sooner then Sony predicts if they don't start releasing some games. Thankfully we will start to see releases starting at the end of September, and continuing on through the holiday season. This slump in PSP games has forced us to become aware of the multimedia capabilities the PSP has to offer.

I am very surprised that UMD movies have been a huge splash (as is everyone else). And I mean huge. Selling a near 1:1 ratio of games to movies is more then anyone expected, probably more then even Sony predicted.

It amazes me that a format that is so closed has become so popular with PSP owners. It is pretty impressive for a DRM'd format that can only be viewed on a PSP.

I get the feeling that the lack of video games have fueled this crazy UMD buying frenzy. But it is obviously more then that, as sales figures have shown.

I am now waiting to see a UMD Audio disc that have not only a full album on it, but a bunch of music videos too. That would sell. Even if it costs more then a CD in the store. At least by the logic of the UMD movie blitz, sure, they would sell like hotcakes too.

September 2, 2005

Massive Xbox 360 information

Dashboard, menus, and features discussed. About the only thing there I didn't like was the feedback system on Live. What's there to prevent a 12-year old from dropping negatives because you beat him in a game? There will need to be extensive safeguards. Other than that, sounds great.

August 29, 2005

Sony Calls DS 'Gimmick'

"With the DS, it’s fair to say that Nintendo stepped out of the technical race and went for a feature differentiation with the touch screen,” Harrison continued. “But I fear that it won’t have a lasting impact beyond that of a gimmick – so the long-lasting appeal of the platform is at peril as a direct result of that.”
Source: MCVUK

Let the mud fly. Ever since Sony decided to get into the handheld market, and invade Nintendo's utter dominance in the space, both Sony and Nintendo have been trading blows.

Continue reading "Sony Calls DS 'Gimmick'" »

August 24, 2005

Online Chinese gamers regulated

Depressing that a government can determine how long you can play because of a few people.

August 17, 2005

Game Boy Micro in September

Launching September 19th for $99.

Xbox 360 pricing confirmed

Just ouch. $400 for the budle, $300 without.

I find it funny that the bundle includes a hard drive, wireless controller, Hi-def cable, and more junk, yet no game, the single most important item for a console. There's no reason to buy the $299 model (and as the article states, that's what they'll advertise), at least depending on what sort of functionality the hard drive has. $400 console and $60 games. Ouch again.

August 16, 2005

Nintendo DS gets price cut, now $130

That was quick. This is the version without a game included (that one remains $149). Great time to pick one up with some great titles that have come out in the past few months.

August 13, 2005

Sony Flakes on 2.00

Sony pulled a switch on us today. Although reps for SCE originally reported to us that the Firmware update 2.00 was going to be downloadable this week, its release has now been moved to next week. According to SCE's press release:

"The PSP Firmware 2.0 Upgrade for the North American market will be available during the week of August 15th, instead of on August 12, as previously reported."

Source: IGN PSP

Hey, it's August 12th, and I cannot download the 2.0 update.

Sony really likes to piss people off. It really doesn't matter what it is, PSP related or not.

This is just absolutely preposterous. I am going to download the Japanese 2.0 firmware update (that has been reported to work just fine on US models). I say it is absolutely preposterous because there has been this barren desert of releases since the first few weeks of the PSP's existence and now Sony is pushing the release of their web browser back to a soft date of next week? There is no reason for that.

They could have just put the date at August 15th or whatever for the US release of the update. What do they have to do for the official US release? Point the home page to a US server? I would like to think that the US release will see something above and beyond what came out in Japan weeks ago. But I doubt it.

The DS is killing the PSP in the games department right now. There is no reason for Sony to delay the release of the web browser, especially since there are so little games, and very few quality games that have been released since launch. Your goal is to give your users what they want.

It seems Sony itself, not the DS, is its own biggest problem lately.

Someone screwed up. Good one Sony. Strike one.

August 10, 2005

Economist article on video game debates

Fantastic read, and the first major media source I've ever read that says it's the generational gap causing all these problems. Well that and Jack Thompson. It also cites studies that show there isn't aggression coming from players. Kudos to the author (who is sadly uncredited) for understanding, and writing something other than "Games kill people!"

Man dies after long gaming marathon

Well lookie here, just what the industry needs! These Korean people are crazy about their online games. This is the third or fourth story I've heard about serious addiction over there (Lineage in particular). I've pulled a few all nighters in my day, but 50 hours? That's too much even for me.

August 9, 2005

RockOrchestra games

Finally, my two loves together: The Los Angeles Philharmonic is doing some video game music. And it looks like they'll be the first of many classical orchestras doing this sort of thing.

Sample playlist:
"Some of the greatest game franchises and music ever created are being showcased including Mario, Zelda, Halo, Metal Gear Solid, Warcraft, Myst, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Medal of Honor, Sonic, Tron, Tomb Raider, Advent Rising, Headhunter, Beyond Good & Evil, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, EverQuest II and even a classic arcade game medley featuring games from Pong to Donkey Kong."

Ha ha, friggin' sweet.

August 5, 2005

PlayStation 3 processor could support Mac OS X Tiger

It's unclear at the moment exactly what this will mean for Mac or PlayStation 3 users. Sony's Cell processor is a derivative of IBM's PowerPC chip used by Apple in its personal computers.

Source: AppleInsider

I love rumor mills. Especially the far out bizarre claims. I would think that Sony would put a Linux distro on the PS3, since it already has one for the PS2. But thats just me. But whatever. Anything could happen. I mean Apple switched to Intel chips and finally after 21 years released a multi-button mouse.

August 4, 2005

Sony to release PSP 2.0 firmware update Aug. 12

Sony has already released a 2.0 firmware upgrade to its PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Japan. Sony has announced plans to release that software in North America on August 12. the update adds a Web browser, photo sharing options and more to the handheld gaming console and media player.
Source: MacCentral

This we know (or should). This article focuses on the Mac side of things.

August 3, 2005

Rockstar draws protest

It's not for GTA either (though sort of in a way). It's for Bully, their latest attempt at ticking someone off, and well, they have. Apparently, some group called "Peaceaholics" doesn't want the game released, and Rockstar is comprised of felons. Yawn. $100 says they've never played it.*

Continue reading "Rockstar draws protest" »

Australia Bans 'Grand Theft Auto'

SYDNEY, Australia -- Banned down under. That's the fate of the video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas."

Officials for the Australian agency that rates software and game titles says the game has been banned from sale.

That means the game can no longer be legally sold, rented, advertised or exhibited in Australia.

Source: KSBW-TV

If you want to talk about a raiting system that needs an overhaul, take a look at Australia. Their highest raiting is 15! This would be like at T rating here in the US. I can't believe San Andreas had a 15 rating in Australia in the first place.

July 31, 2005

NBA 2K6 is starting over

Taking the franchise in a new direction. Shot Stick, franchise, trademark moves and more.

Gone from the series is Full Authority. Gone are the cut scenes of players talking to you looking for advice or a trade during The Association. Gone is IsoMotion as you knew it.

Source: IGN Sports

No more isoMotion? Yea, that's different. Entirely new offense, defense, and rebounding too. NBA 2K5 was good, but there was a bit of shine to Live 2005 that 2K5 just didn't have this time around. It takes a lot to take a franchise in a totally new direction, with new controls and new game mechanics. Visual Concepts saw the writing on the wall.

I am looking forward to seeing what VC comes up with this year for their NBA series. They know it has to be good, since EA took the NFL franchise from under their feet.

July 27, 2005

Women sues over GTA sex

She must not have read the box which states it contained strong sexual content. She must not have read that it was rated M for 17+. She must not have read that her grandson had to WANT to access the hidden code. Gamers, keep banging your heads against a wall. It's not going to be over soon.

July 25, 2005

GTA to undergo federal investigation

Why are we still bothering with this? The game is getting the rating they wanted, it's been pulled from most store's shelves, and they're still going to blow money to investigate it? Only in America.

July 23, 2005

GTA San Andreas pulled... from eBay

It's bad enough you can't walk into a Best Buy and get it, but now eBay has begun pulling auctions for the super-hot title. If you have a bid on a copy, expect a cancellation. If you have one for sale, expect a cancellation. The game was reaching ridiculous prices ($112 at one point) which means more cash for eBay, but they obviously don't want the pressure. They may still allow sales in the adult category, putting the game in the same level as pornograhy.

July 22, 2005

Jack Thompson goes nuts again

Now it's over the Sims 2, which according to him is:

"much to the delight, one can be sure, of pedophiles around the globe who can rehearse, in virtual reality, for their abuse."

Supposedly now, there's nudity under the pixelated blobs (which is what is included when the game ships) and they can be removed. Someone get this guy a Barbie doll and a copy of the original Sims which allowed nudity via mods. The Sims and Sims 2 are rated T.

July 21, 2005

NY Politician wants grafitti game not to be released

To quote Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons:

"There is no emoticon for what I am feeling."

Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure is the latest target of a politician. Peter F. Vallone is a New York City Council Member. The game has players creating graffiti, sneaking into and out of areas to avoid authorities, and proving themselves to be the best artist in the game's fictional city. Voice actors include P. Diddy.

This attack on the game industry is so out of hand, so over the top, and so ridiculous, something, ANYTHING needs to be done to stop it. Jet Set Radio anyone? Bart vs. the Space Mutants? Games have featured grafitti long before Getting Up. This is nothing new, and it only shows just how uninformed these people are. The game looks awful anyway, and sadly, it's going to sell once people hear that it's controversial.

Just as it looked like it was all over, and Grand Theft Auto had finally ran its course, someone else decides a game is the reason for the world's problems. Someone should tell him to go to a library and ban all the books on the topic too. That's not going to make him look as good though, and that's obviously far more important than actually caring.

July 20, 2005

GTA: SA gets AO rating

Is it over?. Will the critics finally back off? What does the AO rating mean for future Grand Theft Auto entries? What does it mean for games in general?

Simply put, no one knows.

Continue reading "GTA: SA gets AO rating" »

July 18, 2005

Clinton takes aim at sex, violence in video games

U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to introduce legislation to help keep video games with pornographic and violent content out of the hands of children in the wake of a controversy over the popular “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” video game.
Source: MacCentral

If you think Matt and I beat this to a pulp, then why are there 30 comments to this on a Mac based news site?

My favorite comment comes from macFanDave:

She ought to spend her time preparing articles of impeachment against George W. Bush.

Even if they go nowhere, I am sure they will be fun for her to write and for us to read!

Off topic for sure, but funny none the less. You have to admit, this entire debacle is getting laughable.

I have a great idea. Lets put a V-Chip into all the video game consoles sold. Then see if the parents can figure out how to use it. Once they do, then the problem is solved. Parents could block games by title or by ERSB rating.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: This is not the job of our government, it is the job of the parents/guardians.

I think this graph from a GameSpot article sums things up very nicely:

Given that the minigame is about as raunchy as an episode of Sex and the City, cannot be accessed without entering a long string of cheat codes, and takes several hours of effort to access, charges that San Andreas is "pornographic" may seem extreme to some. However, its existence does appear to contradict Rockstar Games' carefully worded statement blaming hacker mischief for the existence of the Hot Coffee mod.

July 15, 2005

GTA sex games don't require mod

Rockstar said the hack was created by a modder. They lied. Gamespot checked it themselves, and it is on the retail copies. You do still need an Action Replay, but they blatantly denied the code being on the disc. Rockstar deserves whatever they have coming to them at this point. They should have known better. Sadly, this only gives more weight to the argument for the other side.

July 13, 2005

Hiliary Clinton wastes more time fighting GTA

Yes, killing polygonal cops isn't important enough, but god forbid someone has sex with polygons. Then it's time to call in the FCC. Maybe they should look into God of War. How about Lesuire Suit Larry? What about the Guy Game? Nah, soccer moms won't recognize those games. Tell them the game industry is evil because of one game. They'll believe that. Also, you have to love how NO ONE from the industry will be present.

June 20, 2005

Senator doesn't want 25 to Life on shelves

Ah, the genius of politicians. This New York senator feels the upcoming 25 to Life is the worst video game, morally wise, ever released because you can shoot cops, take human hostages, and shoot gang members. What this guy fails to realize is that you can play either a cop or drug dealer (player's choice), multiple games (dating back to the NES era) featured human hostages, and GTA lets you do far worse. He also probably didn't epect the game to jump over 400% in Amazon in Amazon's movers and shakers (as found by a cheapassgamer member) after his statement. Yes, you just made every kid in America want it even more, not the game maker. Brilliant.

May 22, 2005

E3 2005: A brief overview

E3 is over, and it doesn't seem like gamers gained much from it. Yes, the next generation was unveiled, but keep in mind that was before the show actually started. The mainstream press seemed more content on discussing Microsoft's risky strategy, whether or not Sony's Killzone video was real, and Nintendo's totally under whelming news then on any of the actual games on the show floor.

Continue reading "E3 2005: A brief overview" »

May 18, 2005

E3 2005: Power outage slows down trade show

Maybe some gamers needed more time to digest everything thrown at them with the pre-show conferences, but attendees to E3 will have to wait to divulge information. Early this morning, power was unavailable to the media room. The show floor itself was running and a back-up generator is being delivered to restore power elsewhere.

Maybe it's just me, but shouldn't they be prepared for something like this? Obviously this is the type of event that cannot happen without electricity. Who does the planning for this? Yahoo has the full story.

E3 2005: Three for PSP from Midway

The first retro compilation for the console will be from the Midway Arcade Treasure series. The games are from the first edition which featured games like Spy Hunter and Moon Patrol.

NBA Ballers is Midway's popular attempt at arcade basketball after years of NBA Jam rehashes. The feature set should be similar to the console version release last year to surprising critical acclaim.

The latest edition of Mortal Kombat, called Deception, is up next. It should include all the bonus games (including the addictive mini-games) just like its console counterpart. Decapitating people should be even more fun on the go.

E3 2005: 360 Running at One-Third Power

When asked about this issue our source replied that the current playable 360 games would all have frame rate issues due to the fact that they are running on alpha units... This is because the Alpha units do not run anti-aliasing and simply don't have the power to run a high-res game at full quality.
Source: IGN

Odd that we are not hearing this strait from Microsoft. Seems a little shady. And why would they show off an underpowered system at E3? Or is this just in response to the fact that Sony actually had tech demos and games to show off, and they blew the Xbox 360 out of the water at E3 this year?

Oh and you might notice a certain Apple computer on that page, its the Xbox 360 dev. unit. This is the first time I have actually seen visual proof that it was a G5, although I have heard it for some time now.

Of course if this is true, and they are running older G5 towers for alpha units, it does make sense. But why would the floor units at E3 be G5 towers? They are shipping by Christmas after all. It sounds to me like Microsoft doesn't even have the console finished yet. And they will ship before the PS3?

Oh and has anyone heard about Xbox 360 backwards compatibility yet? I find it a little disconcerting that Microsoft doesn't know yet.

Nevermind, it will be selective. Thats what happens when you go from nVideo to ATI. Selective compatibility is not exactly the best answer, but its better then non at all. I was hoping for full emulation of the nVidia instruction set.

May 17, 2005

E3 2005: Sony Europe confirms Grand Theft Auto PSP

Shown only behind closed doors, the new entry to the series will obviously follow Grand Theft Auto III. Now gamers can kill hookers anywhere they go.

E3 2005: Three new Metal Gear games announced

Konami today announced there would be three new Metal Gear games across the three Sony platforms. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence will be a compilation of the games in the series, plus additional online play for up to eight players. They also mentioned new game modes, but nothing was announced as to what those will be. It will be available on the Playstation 2.

Metal Gear Ac!d 2 is the sequel to the unique card based game on the PSP. The series will continue to be exclusive to the portable system. Metal Gear Solid 4 picks up the storyline after Metal Gear Solid 2 baffled gamers with its strange, confusing ending. They plan to bring back classic characters including Meryl and Ocelot on the Playstation 3. Theyre also planning online play for this new sequel as well.

E3 2005: Microsoft's Pre-Show Conference

Microsoft started with another woman coming down an aisle with the console, briefly followed by a video montage of system features and games. Jay Allard, Robbie Bach, and Peter Moore discuss how they plan to redefine the gaming industry. It's obvious they have plans on every home containing a console, regardless of the age. They discussed the success of the original console, and Xbox Live, which will soon break the two million-subscriber mark. They move on to the new titles for the standard Xbox, pledging full support for the old hardware. Some of the games showcased here are:

Continue reading "E3 2005: Microsoft's Pre-Show Conference" »

E3 2005: Nintendo's Pre-Show Conference

Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, begins the show. He brags that he beat Reggie Fils-Aime in Smash Bros. in broken English. This is followed by a video montage covering DS and GameCube consoles. Aimes takes over when they come back, announcing Nintendo has sold two billion games since they entered the industry. Similar in tone to Microsoft, Aimes speaks on how they plan on targeting different demographics, other than the 18-34 year old male. He then proceeds to throw out some deceptive numbers, including the claim that the PSP had a worldwide launch before Christmas. He takes a cheap stab at Sony while spouting off these numbers.

Continue reading "E3 2005: Nintendo's Pre-Show Conference" »

E3 2005: Nintendo Reveals Revolution

Nintendo revealed their hand, oddly, in USA Today, which came out before their pre-E3 press conference. The company is still sticking to their philosophy of games first, whereas Microsoft is touting its next generation Xbox as a media center. The new console looks much like a standard PC DVD or CD-ROM drive and will again be the smallest of the three home consoles vying for dominance. It can be aligned either horizontally or vertically.

The biggest announcement is the ability to download Nintendo classics and previous generation games to play on the Revolution. That gives the console a range of titles from the original Mario Bros. all the way up to Super Mario Sunshine. How these games will be stored is not yet known. Gamers will still be able to play any of their Gamecube games with the original discs. The controllers, the source of speculation, have not yet been revealed.

May 16, 2005

E3 2005: Playstation 3 announced

As expected, Sony has released the expected information on the upcoming Playstation 3, now the official name. Ken Kutaragi, designer of the console, spoke on its multimedia capabilities, including photo viewing and internet access. It will be backwards compatible with both the original and second generation Playstation.

It will run Sony's own Blu-Ray discs, their own Hi-Definition DVD standard. Wireless controllers will be the standard, though USB ports may allow for third-party controllers to connect via a cord. The slot for Memory Stick Duo cards could lead to some form of compatibility with the PSP.

E3 2005: Capcom announces Final Fight: Street Wise

The classic brawler that started Capcom's love affair with the genre is coming back on the Playstation 2. This 3-D update puts Cody in the hands of the villains and it's up to his brother to rescue him.

The beat-em-up genre has been on its last legs for years now, living on slightly when mixed into titles like God of War. The recent update of Sega's Spikeout, along with Sony's Rise to Honor are two previous titles that attempted to resurrect the classic gameplay. Sony's Playstation 2 launched with Square's dud The Bouncer. Whether or not this new Final Fight finally brings the beat-em-up back to life won't be known until it's released.

May 13, 2005

Nintendo Revolution details

Just read how small it's going to be! Backwards compatibility is somewhat of a waste, but it seems like they're going in head first this generation. E3 can't come soon enough.

May 10, 2005

New Xbox revealed early

So much for the surprise reveal on MTV. Hey Microsoft, here's an idea. How about designing a game system that *gasp* actually looks like a game system? Or, is that too much to ask? And is it just me, or does it look like that controller could slice fingers off?

May 4, 2005

New Illinois game bill goes forward

I hate politics. I really, really do. Here we are, trying to educate parents about the game rating system firmly in place. They aren't getting it for whatever reason. What's Illinois going to do? Slap their own rating on the box! Genius, pure genius! Instead of moving forward with the simple system already in place that at least some parents are familiar with, let's confuse these people even more with TWO on the box! Hooray for common sense and starting all over. Idiots.

April 29, 2005

IGN Readers choose 99 greatest games

And what a farce it is. Half the games have seemingly come out in the past month. It's all based on reader reviews on their site, and if you've read even a handful of those, it's not that difficult to figure out most people there don't have a clue what they're talking about.

April 27, 2005

Yamauchi retires from Nintendo

You can look at him as the man who saved video games, launching the Famicom into a dead market. Then he brought it over as the NES to America and ressurected video games. Many thanks to him for that.

April 25, 2005

Companies desperate for piece of football gaming

And of course the ridiculous idea comes from 989. The NBA idea is unique (but linear), but this other one... just wow. It's the most absurd premise for a 'sports' game in the history of the industry. Here's a direct link to the 'football' game.

April 22, 2005

Video game NARC hits a new low

Seems that these parental groups spend more time playing the games they hate so much instead of parenting. Ironic isn't it? Or maybe they just read the media tells them and makes stuff up as they go along. Yeah, that's it. On another note, it's nice to see they're over the cop and hooker killing in GTA. We all know taking drugs is far worse than killing a cop. Way to go guys, you look even dumber than you did before.

Side note: It's not a first person game as the article states right off the bat, more proof these 'professionals' have no idea what they're talking about.

April 20, 2005

Key California Assembly Committee Clears Video Game Bill

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A key committee of the California Assembly on Tuesday backed a bill to restrict the sale of violent video games to minors.

The measure is one of many pending before state legislatures and local councils across the country. Two federal appellate courts have already ruled, however, that such laws violate the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment.

Source: Yahoo! News

I have six words for you: The government should not get involved. Here are four more: They most probably will.

The ESRB does a very good job of taming down the 'M' rated games as it is. If these psycho psychologists looked at the builds of the 'M' rated games that got turned down there would probably be blood in the streets. It is really the retail market who has put a dagger in 'AO' (Adult Only) rated games, so no developer in their right mind will sit with an 'AO' rating from the ESRB. They go back and make it an 'M' rated game so it will sell. So blame the retail channel. Or you could blame the parents that buy the 'M' rated games. Just a thought.

Continue reading "Key California Assembly Committee Clears Video Game Bill" »

April 18, 2005

Next-gen Madden unveiled Saturday

During the NFL Draft, EA will reveal the next-generation of Madden. Hopefully this is going to be a nice look at what these systems will be capable of and if it's worth such a quick upgrade.

Gamestop to buy EB Games

So much for competition. Gamestop never even comes close to offering the trade-in, pre-played or other various sales that EB did. They don't even carry PC or classic stuff. This is a travesty. It's odd they (EB) would sell too, considering their stock prices have been quite high as of late.

PSP owners gobble up Memory Sticks

You can still buy a PlayStation Portable if you look in the right places, but good luck snagging a memory card for it.

High-capacity versions of the Memory Stick cards that the new gadget uses to store video, photos and music have been in short supply almost since the handheld game player went on sale. Flash memory specialist SanDisk is scrambling to get more in stores.

Source: C|Net News.com

The fact that PSP owners are causing shortages of Memory Stick Duo cards goes under the "No s#!t sherlock" category. Frankly, its getting pretty damn irritating. Why some enterprising business like EB Games or Amazon.com does not fill the void, is beyond me. Sony itself makes Memory Stick Duo cards for crying out loud. Are they making this shortage on purpose? SanDisk is the other major vendor, and they don't seem to have the stock either. One of these days I will be able to unlock the true potential of my PSP. And no, I do not want a 256 MB card.

You would have thought that Sony would have had stock of Memory Stick Duo cards in reserves. Sony knew using the Memory Stick Duo format would spark the sales and make it a more widely used format. They should have done better. The Memory Stick Duo shortage is one of the bigger black eyes of PSP launch.

April 14, 2005

PSP game sales released

Ok people. If someone can give me 10 reasons why Ridge Racer isn't on top of Need For Speed, I'll give you a cookie. Seriously, what is with you people and original titles? "Oh no, Ridge Racer is a new game and not a port? Gasp!" Sure, Need For Speed is a great game, but you can play that at home. Give an original game a chance once in a while, will you? It's nice to see Untold Legends up there; shows you figured something out.

April 13, 2005

Four arrested in Nintendo Piracy sting

Way to go Nintendo! Though the article isn't exactly specific, these must be those "all in one" consoles you see in malls and such. They're usually junk and sell for about $20-$30 a pop.

April 11, 2005

Three new PS2 sequels (Updated!)

Yawn. The THIRD Sly Cooper and the FOURTH Jak game are all coming out this year. Keep in mind both these franchises debuted with this same hardware, the shortest lifespan for any hardware yet. Granted, Jak is switching things up a bit, but it's not like car combat is anywhere near innovative either.

Update: Seems that Ratchet and Clank are coming in for another go too. Yay! Or maybe not. Split screen is nice, but this whole yearly sequel thing along the lines of EA games is out of hand.

EA secures NCAA Football

Ok, I cut them some slack when it was announced the NFL wanted exclusive rights, not EA. Then they irratated me when they nabbed the Arena League. Now it's hit bullsh*t proportions. This is now a monopoly, and I don't care what some high priced laywer says.

New Xbox to be unveiled on May 12th

On MTV yet! This is a first. It's also smart, beating out E3 announcements which will be flooding in that week. Still, there's no reason for another console gen this soon, but that's another editorial.

April 9, 2005

VIS Closes its doors

Pretty much a good thing except for the whole lost jobs part. They made the way overhyped State of Emergency and dropped the ball with it. Seems the sequel may still make it out. If it does get released, for the love of all things holy in video game land, give it a real mission structure with realisitic time limits.

April 8, 2005

Godfather film director whacks Godfather game

Francis Ford Coppola is none too pleased with Electronic Arts' adaptation of his classic mob movie...

"I knew nothing about it. They never asked me if I thought it was a good idea," he [Francis Ford Coppola] reportedly said. His ire was further riled when he was given a preview build of the game by EA. "They use the characters everyone knows, and then for the next hour they shoot and kill each other. I had absolutely nothing to do with the game, and I disapprove," he was quoted as saying.

Source: Gamespot

I would like to know what kind of rock Francis Ford Coppola has been living under to not know that this game would be about going around and killing people. I mean, hello! They go around killing people in the movies. That and games with shootings and killing seem to sell really well.

I bet he is really pissed because he is not getting a cut.

April 7, 2005

Demoted Sony Electronics Guru Is Outspoken

TOKYO (AP) -- Ken Kutaragi, whose name is often paired with "geek" and "genius," seemed to many a logical choice to take Sony Corp.'s helm as it struggles to turn around its stumbling electronics business. He is, after all, known as "Father of the PlayStation" for siring the industry's most popular video game console.
Source: Yahoo!

It is old news that Ken Kutaragi did not get promoted like everyone thought he would. What is new is that he also got demoted right off of Sony's board. He still runs SCEI, but that is hardly what he deserves.

Connery back as 007 for Bond game

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Actor Sean Connery, the original James Bond of the big screen, has agreed to reprise his role as Agent 007 for Electronic Arts' upcoming video game version of "From Russia With Love."

Connery will record dialogue for the game, and his likeness will appear as it did in MGM's 1963 hit movie, his second outing as the suave British super spy.

Source: CNN

Did anyone have any doubt that EA would not pay to have Connery? I hope "From Russia With Love" plays like "Everything or Nothing," as that was the most fun I had playing Bond since my N64 days playing "GoldenEye" in the dorms.

Half of PSP stock has been sold

Not the greatest number, but when you consider the price, time of the year, and lack of any major promotion, it's an ok launch. The European release is going to be real interesting, especially considering they delayed the system over there.

Note: This number conflicts with a Gamespot report, which says an extra 100,000 have been sold.

April 2, 2005

EA's PSP launch games do not support online play

Several EA launch games for the PSP do not support online (infrastructure) mode, despite clear labeling on their boxes saying otherwise. EA has stated that there was a misprint on the boxes, and that the games only support the multiplayer (Ad Hoc) mode.
Source: PSPworld

That is a rather big mistake. It is labeled wrong on all their 6 first round titles. It is a real shame too, as it would have been great to play EA Sports titles via Infrastructure mode

April 1, 2005

How Nintendo escaped the case that might see Sony pay Microsoft for every PlayStation product sold

Following on from news earlier this week which saw Sony lose a key IP case and almost had all PlayStation products withdrawn from sale in the US. Immersion Corp CEO Victor Viegas has spoken exclusively to SPOnG about the case.
Source: SPOnG

March 29, 2005

Former First Lady Slams GTA

Hilary Rodham Clinton, D, NY, has taken sides. Apparently, the wrong one. In an article with the Sunday Times, the first-time senator and two-term first lady, said she wants to launch a $90 million investigation into the effects of videogames on children.
Source: IGN

Well that sounds like my tax dollars spent well. Maybe they should test the parents. The parents who buy M rated games for their kids without the knowledge of what the game is about. Her quote about having sex with prostitutes and then killing them is a very old claim. Maybe she should make her own statements.

March 28, 2005

Sony loses PlayStation patent case, must pay $91M

A U.S. court ordered Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) to pay Immersion Corp. US$90.7 million for patent infringement of touch feedback technology used in PlayStation games consoles, said court documents...

The court also ordered a halt to U.S. sales of infringing PlayStation-brand consoles and 47 software titles as part of a patent-infringement lawsuit but put the order on-hold pending an appeal.

Source: MacCentral

I figured they would have to pay them. I didn't think they would have to pay the entire amount. Sony can still sell their infringing console and games while they appeal that part of the suit.

There has been some discussion about how Outrun in the arcades had force feedback, but the two patents that Immersion Corp. hold are rather specific if you read them thoroughly.

Microsoft licensed the technology in 2003, and I would be willing to bet that Sony will now do the same.

March 27, 2005

Wipeout Pure: The Hidden Web Browser

It seems if you have Wipeout Pure and some *nix skills, you too can browse the internet with your PSP. Wipeout Pure's browser uses system API's for text entry, and even javascript alert boxes. Some basic stuff does not work like H1 tags. The browser even has its own USER AGENT. It is all very promising stuff. Someone has Windows instructions online (with screens).

Now to go setup a DNS on my G5...

Sony responds to PSP dead-pixel reports

SCEA downplays widespread reports of LCD screen problems, says warranty is still in effect and defective units can be exchanged.

Soon after the PSP launched in Japan last December, reports began to surface that some units' LCD screens suffered from pixels that were either permanently light or dark. Within 24 hours of the portable's North American launch, similar complaints began to reverberate around the Internet. The locus of the complaints was, ironically, the official PlayStation forums, which was temporarily down yesterday following heavy traffic.

Source: GameSpot

Dead pixels is the number one reason I did not import at PSP. I am happy to say that my PSP does not have any dead pixels. I have checked and checked, and triple checked. No dead pixels, thankfully.

The best way to check is to put a bunch of monochromatic 480x272 px. images on your PSP. I would suggest at least: black, gray, white, red, green, and blue. Check in both the light and a fully dark room.

I figured that the manufacture's warrantee would cover dead pixels. People just like to get all up in a tissy about these things. The problem with Japanese PSP units is that SCEA will not honor the Japanese warrantee. So it was a smart choice to wait.

PSP to Get Battery Upgrade

It's really not that bad now (I got about 5 hours yesterday switching between "Wipeout" and "Ridge Racer"), but it seems it's a problem for most. Those who have waited could be on the receiving end of a stronger battery.

March 23, 2005

Tomorrow is the day

This is killing me. I have one more day to wait for my PSP and I can't take it any more. I have received three games and my accessories for my PSP and all I can do is look at them.

I haven't been this excited about a console launch since... since the Game Boy Advance. Ahh, fond memories. I ordered a GBA from Japan and had mine months before the U.S. launch. Playing Castlevania: Circle of the Moon in Japanese was a little odd, but I managed.

Importing a PSP is a lot more costly then a GBA, so I passed.

I don't remember a launch lineup as strong as this lineup for the PSP. The only bad things I have read are load times and the two-step method to shoot the ball in NBA. But then these are first generation games, and NBA is a 989 game.

Since I have an AirPort network in my apartment, it will be easy for me to use the Infrastructure mode to play games like Twisted Metal: Head On online.

With the 4.3 inch screen, I think I will be more inclined to sync my photos with my PSP then my iPod. We will see. Its all about the software. If someone designs a good User Interface to sync with the PSP and iApps, the iPod photo of mine might take a back seat for photos.

I am sure you will all know somewhat shortly after I get my hands on my PSP. The click is ticking, and yes, I am counting.

March 22, 2005

NBA Makes Minor Video Game Deal

Now this is great idea. Make the companies alternate years so they have time to do more then just update a roster.

March 20, 2005

After cable recall, Xbox's still frying

14 million games console owners are still at risk of waking up to find their Xbox has become an ex-box. For when Microsoft issued a safety advisory for Xbox customers last month, it failed to address the underlying problem.
Source: The Register

Game bill picks up steam in Illinois

Called The Safe Games Illinois Act, the bill would supersede current ESRB ratings when it comes to video games with "violent and sexually explicit" content, according to that state's governor's office.

In effect, the bill would allow state officials to determine standards that would form the basis for a ratings system somewhat similar to what the ESRB currently has in effect.

Source: GameSpot

The sad thing here is the fact that this bill should not have to exist in the first place.

March 9, 2005

Sony to connect PSP to Mac, PC

Sony Pictures' vice chairman Yair Landau told attendees of the iHollywood Digital Living Room forum that his company will release software allowing its PlayStation Portable (PSP) hand-held game console to connect to Macs and PCs, according to a recent report. What's more, the device will also be able to work with Connect, Sony's music download service, offering potential competition for Apple's iPod.
Source: MacCentral

And it looks like Sony already is going to have competition on the Mac, with iPSP, a 3rd party application that transfers photos and music to your PSP.

March 6, 2005

ESRB offers new E10+ game rating

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) on Wednesday introduced a new video game rating category -- E10+. The new rating has been developed to help consumers more easily differentiate between games that have content appropriate for the whole family and games that are suitable for ages 10 and over, according to a statement from the organization.
Source: MacCentral

So now there is a stop gap between a 10 year old and a 13 year old, where the Teen rating kicks in. This new E10+ rating is good because Everyone is for kids 6 years and older. E10+ fits in the right spot in the middle of Everyone and Teen. I just hope that parents actually take note of this change. So what is the difference between E10+ and Teen you may ask? I am so glad you did:

Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language, and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood and/or infrequent use of strong language.
Source: ESRB.com

So E10+ has less drugs, sex, and violence then Teen does. Everyone just has "minimal" drugs, sex, and volence. Clear as pea soup to be sure. Regardless, kudos to the ESRB.

February 11, 2005

EA Securing NCAA Exclusivity?

First it was the NFL. Then came ESPN. And now, it appears Electronic Arts is very close to securing another license: NCAA Football. Sources tell us that the publishing powerhouse will soon announce an exclusivity deal with the NCAA, enabling only EA to make football games using university squads (thus shutting another football door in the face of rival 2K Games).
Source: 1UP.com

This is bad.... very bad.

February 7, 2005

IBM, Sony, Toshiba unveil nine-core Cell processor

Researchers from IBM Corp., Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Toshiba Corp. unveiled the long-awaited Cell microprocessor Monday, revealing a multicore, multithreaded gaming engine described as "a supercomputer on a chip..."

The prototype chip discussed Monday is comprised of one 64-bit PowerPC processor core and eight separate processing cores that the companies call "synergistic processing elements," or SPEs. The cores can support multiple operating systems and programming models through the use of virtualization technologies, said Jim Kahle, director of technology at the Design Center for Cell Technology, and an IBM fellow.

Source: MacCentral

Not only is this great Playstation 3 news, this is great news for IBM. The next X Box, Playstation, and probably Nintendo console will all be using IBM CPU's and ATI GPU's. Thats really great news for IBM and ATI.

It is great for IBM because it means there are more uses for the PowerPC processor then just Macs. Who would have thought the next X Box, from Microsoft, was based on the Apple G5 processor. Its not exactly a G5, of course, but all these next generation gaming consoles are using PowerPC derived chips.

January 19, 2005

Ubisoft announces Myst V: End of Ages

Ubisoft has announced that Myst V: End of Ages will be released later this year in hybrid format for both Mac OS X and Windows. Developed by Cyan Worlds Inc., creators of the Myst franchise, Myst V: End of Ages is billed as the finale to the adventure game series.
Source: MacCentral

I am glad to hear that Ubi is doing this. I assume this means that their Montreal studio is doing the development once again. They developed Myst IV which I am playing right now, and it is great (short review soon). The Myst IV interface is great.

It is sad to hear that the Myst story will be coming to an end, but it is rare for a series to make it to a 5th game. Discounting the horrible flop that was Myst: Uru, the Myst franchise has been a tremendous success. I hope Myst does not go away entirely, but it has been a great run. I am sure Myst V will be nothing short of amazing. I can't wait to see it!

January 18, 2005

Electronic Arts, ESPN hook up in exclusive 15-year deal

The news is the second blow to current license-holder Sega (and its Visual Concepts development studio). It recently lost the right to publish sports games using the NFL license when EA scooped that license up. Now, it loses the right to the ESPN brand as well.
Source: GameSpot

So will Madden be out of the picture now? I found this as well:

What that will mean for EA's long-standing Madden franchise remains unknown. Madden is under contract with the game publisher through this year, but has not signed beyond that. EA said negotiations are continuing.
Source: CNN Money

I especially like the quote at the end:

"I think there's plenty of room for competition," said Probst. "At the end of the day its who can build the highest quality products. There's plenty of room for other third party companies - and console first-party companies - to do that. Just because EA Sports and ESPN are partnering I don't think people are going to run for the hills and not compete with us."
Just because EA Sports, who has an exclusive deal with the NFL, and ESPN are partnering I don't think there will be any competition. But thats just my take. That 5 yr. NFL exclusive rights is a deal stopper, no?

EArEVIL_sm.gif
Thanks to Matt for the GameSpot link, and this funny picture. I do not know where to give credit for the image.

I for one hope that Madden goes by-by. I cannot stand him or his wonderful color on ABC or in the game. He just spews out the most obvious information, all the time, in his annoying-as-hell voice. "If Randy Moss had caught that ball, he would have had a first down" is something that comes out of John Madden's mouth on Monday Night Football, it is even worse in the game.

Since EA now has the ESPN namesake and the talent, I hope they put Dan Stevens and Peter o' Keefe into the next EA game.

I also hope they throw out the play calling UI from Madden 2005. I found a copy of Madden 2005 in the bargain bin and I picked it up, what the heck. Of course it still cost me $10 more then the far superior NFL 2k5. I have not played Madden since the Genesis. I am not impressed with Madden 2005 one bit.

Hopefully the ESPN brand will help with the user interface. We can only hope.

January 10, 2005

Take-Two to Launch New Grand Theft Auto Game for PSP

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (Nasdaq:TTWO - news) on Monday said it plans to launch a new version of its hit "Grand Theft Auto" video game franchise for Sony Corp (news - web sites)'s (6758.T) PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld device, which is expected to debut in the U.S. in March.
Source: Yahoo News

I am sold. I already liked the PSP lineup, Its launch lineup already blows away what the Nintendo DS linup was at its launch (and has out today). Why did they release the Nintendo DS last year again? Would someone remind me? To be out first? With no software?

Thanks to Matt for the link.

Another Exclusive Football Deal for EA

Having already secured the exclusive rights to the NFL, Electronic Arts has today partnered with the much less popular Arena Football League (AFL) to exclusively produce an AFL video game in time for the start of the 2006 AFL season.
Source: GameDAILY BIZ

This goes under both the SOB! and WTF categories simultaneously. I mean, huh? The Arena Football League is not exactly scrapping with rabid fans here. Sure NBC has signed the AFL, but who is going to watch? Sure, EA has signed the AFL, but who will buy?

December 1, 2004

Kennedy assassination re-created in video game

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- A new video game to be released on Monday allows players to simulate the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

The release of "JFK Reloaded" is timed to coincide with the 41st anniversary of Kennedy's murder in Dallas and was designed to demonstrate a lone gunman was able to kill the president.

Source: CNN

This is sick! The FAQ page is a real winner, and makes me want to throw up with entries such as "Can you give me some background information on the role I am playing?"

I can't wrap my head around why someone would want to play the roll of assassin and kill a digital JFK.

November 8, 2004

Kids prefer video games over TV, toys

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Teenagers deem video games a more meaningful form of entertainment than television, executives said Tuesday at the What Teens Want conference in Beverly Hills. And the medium is appealing more and more to younger kids, too...

Boys aged five to 12 spend more time with video games than they do with traditional toys, said Steve Schnur, worldwide executive of music/audio at Electronic Arts, the world's No. 1 video game maker.

Source: CNN

I would really like to know why the media and the general public still to this day do not see video games as the market that it is. It is baffling, it truly is. I have seen different sources state that the video game industry has out-grossed the movie industry. Yet video games is still a "fringe" market to most of the media, and therefor the public.

October 26, 2004

Ads insinuated into video games

SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- Roar down city streets in the upcoming "Need for Speed Underground 2" racing game and you'll see a Best Buy store amid the skyscrapers along with bright billboards hawking Cingular Wireless, Old Spice, and Burger King.
Source: CNN

I am waiting for GTA to have actual brand names in the game.

What do you think of ads in video games? I would like to hear your opinion.

Matt Paprocki has a good point. If they do not get in the way, and would make games cheaper, then why not!

October 25, 2004

GTA: San Andreas Soundtrack

Rockstar has announced that they will be releasing a double-CD soundtrack as well as an eight CD box set for the upcoming Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Both of these are set to hit the streets on November 23, almost a month after the release of the game. The double-CD will have 23 songs from San Andreas and a full song list has been released, but there are no details about the full box set.

Source: IGN PS2

You can get an idea of what will be on the 8 disc box set from the in game soundtrack. I assume like with Vice City the box set will not have every song that is heard in game, but most of them. Continue reading to see the list that the radio stations in the game play. Thanks to Maury for pointing me to the list.

Continue reading "GTA: San Andreas Soundtrack" »

October 4, 2004

Tecmo wins naked Kasumi court case

The Japanese Supreme Court has upheld a ruling by the Tokyo district court that software company West Side's 'naked Kasumi hack' for the PS2 version of Dead or Alive 2 violates Tecmo's copyrights, according to Japanese news reports. West Side has been ordered to pay two million yen (around €14,500 or £10,000) in damages...

Source: EuroGamer

Did the makers of Nude Raider get sued?

September 12, 2004

Myst IV Revelation hits stores Sept. 28

Ubisoft has announced that its new game Myst IV Revelation has gone gold master, the final step before a game enters duplication. The company expects Myst IV to hit store shelves on September 28, 2004. It will be released in hybrid format for Windows and Mac OS X on DVD-ROM for US$39.99 and has been rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB...

Source: MacCentral

It is great to see a new Myst so soon, especially since Uru never made it to the Mac.

August 22, 2004

Video game ad angers mother

An advertisement for a video game displayed in Transit Windsor buses is being removed after a Windsor woman complained her four-year-old son was too afraid to ride. "It's about time," Collette Clairmont said Tuesday when she heard the signs were coming down. "I am shocked something like that is even on the bus." Source: Windsor Star Thanks to Matt for the link.

August 2, 2004

"Manhunt" kills 14-year old

Here we go again, only this time, it didn't happen in the US. As you can read here, Warren Leblanc (17) was obsessed with the game "Manhunt." He has confessed to killing Stefan Pakeerah (14) with a claw hammer and a knife. For those who don't know (since the above story makes little mention of it), "Manhunt" puts players in control of a man forced to kill and survive. The player is a product for a sick individual that not only created the world, but also enjoys watching the killings on closed circuit TV. The goal is to survive and find the man responsible. Of course, almost immediately, the game has become the focus of the crime. This story comes just a few weeks after sports video games were attacked by a parental watchdog group (my thoughts here). The parents have claimed the game should not be for sale to anyone and stores in the UK have pulled it from their shelves. The 17-year old Leblanc is likely facing life in prison. Now, I feel just as sorry for the victim here as the next person. It's a tragedy. But, once again this is entirely the fault of the parents. Stefan's mother is quoted that she feels Warren was "inherently evil." I'm not a parent, but I can assure you that if I felt one of my child's friends was "inherently evil," they would never come in contact with them. Also of note is that the game is rated as such that only people over 18 should be allowed to purchase it. Mom obviously fronted the money for the bill on this one. It also must be known that the X-Box has parental controls built into the console so preventing anyone from playing the game is easy. If your child is becoming obsessed (which he was according to the story), you can either take the game away or lock it out of the system. Guess mom didn't care enough. The murder itself does closely mimic the game itself. Could the idea for the crime come from the game? Certainly. Does the game put you into a mindset to commit a murder? Uh, no. If that were the case, I'd be running around shooting people like I saw in the NES game "Contra" over 18 years ago. This type of thing has to stop. It was thought up by some money-hungry lawyer who got the brilliant idea after seeing a story on how much money these games haul in every year. It's odd that only video games should be banned now. Maybe everyone forgot that movies are far more realistic and kids manage to watch those as well. Parents, learn how to raise your children properly and have some common sense for once before buying your kids products like this.

June 16, 2004

Game companies sue over game-copying software

Atari Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., and Vivendi Universal Games Inc. have sued 321 Studios LLC, the developer of a software utility that can be used to copy video games, for allegedly violating the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) said on Tuesday. The three game companies, all members of the ESA, claimed that 321 Studios' Games X Copy software is illegal because it allegedly violates a DMCA provision that bans software that circumvents copy-protection technology used in game software, the ESA said in a statement. The suit against 321 Studios, which seeks a ban on the manufacture and distribution of Games X Copy, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, it said... Source: MacCentral As if having the MPAA after you isn't enough, now 321 Studios has the video game industry after them. They better be glad they did not write software that lets you make copes of music CDs, or god forbid VHS tapes. The video game industry is using the DMCA on this one. Why? Because they can and the DMCA has been used in many other cases. The DMCA is becoming a crutch, it really is. There is one major problem here. The DMCA totally undermines fair use. It severely limits the writes of law abiding citizens. That being said I agree with most of the DMCA, but by no means think it is a great law. Now I know that 321 Studios software is not being used for law abiding means by everyone. But to be able to make a backup copy of a CD or DVD for when your kid stomps on it or whatnot is a valid reason. I mean this stuff is not getting any cheaper. You should have bought DVD X Copy and Games X Copy when you had the chance, they have great user interfaces. I think you can still purchase Games X Copy. There are alternatives out there. DVDBackup, DVD2one, DVD Shrink, Alcohol 120% - just to name a few of the more popular ones. No one is going after them. But they are not a software company that can loose their shirts. If I buy something I should be able to make a backup copy. Didn't software agreements used to/still say you may make a backup copy of it? What if my $25 DVD or $50 game gets scratched. What if the government is yet again taking away my rights? Yet again we are all guilty until proven innocent. Or am I the only one who feels this way?

May 27, 2004

GTA "Bomb Scare" Leads to Jail Time

The Florida Union-Times today reported on one Grand Theft Auto player whose experience with the game led to fairly serious consequences. Anthony S. Jones, a 27 year-old Jacksonville resident, was at home playing the game with a child he when called a co-worker at the Cross Creek Barbeque Restaurant. At one point, while on the call, he apparently told the child, "There's a bomb in the building. There's a bomb in the building. Everyone needs to get out!" Jones has explained that he was referring to the game, but the words were taken very seriously by his co-worker, whose night manager notified police. The restaurant was evacuated and searched for explosives, though none were found... Source: IGN PS2 Talk about opening your mouth before you think! What a moron.

May 21, 2004

Blizzard offers OS X-native Diablo II installer

When Blizzard Entertainment released Diablo II in June, 2001, Mac OS 9 and earlier were still the dominant operating systems on the Mac platform. Three years later, much has changed: Now Mac OS X is dominant. To better address today's gamers' needs, Blizzard has just released a fully Mac OS X-native Diablo II installer. What's more, a Mac OS X-native version of the installer for another popular Blizzard game, StarCraft, is in development. Source: MacCentral Why is it that Blizzard is the only game house that (now) releases both Mac and Windows versions of their games? That is such a quality that needs to be replicated. I know, I know, the Mac gaming market is very small. BLAH to that. Blizzard does it right. As a side note, I agree with the posters to the MacCentral board, Blizzard games last a long time. I go back and play Blizzard games more than any other console or computer game. I still cannot beat Diablo II on the hardest setting, and I have played it since it came out in 2001. I know, I know, thats lame.

May 11, 2004

Man Accused Of Badly Beating Baby For Breaking PlayStation 2

6:37 p.m. EDT May 6, 2004 - A Lake Worth man is charged with aggravated child abuse after he took his 21-month-old stepson to a local hospital limp and unconscious. The boy also has a blood clot in his brain. Cedrick Ferguson, 26, admitted to beating his stepson with a belt earlier this week. Police said Ferguson told them the boy broke his PlayStation 2 video game system, prompting the beating. Sgt. Dan Boland, of the Lake Worth Police Department, said the boy had bruises across his body. But Ferguson denied striking him in the head, Boland said. Source: MSNBC This is very sad. I only hope that this is not blamed on video games. We all know that "it's always the video games fault" is the boiler plate of today's media. This is a case of "he would have done it anyway" which, happens to be my response to all the "it's always the video games fault" comments I read.

April 27, 2004

Olsen Twins Don't Got Game

The tween twosome are, like, totally mad at Acclaim Entertainment, which has allegedly done a slipshod job of developing and marketing a line of videogames featuring the adventures of the young millionaire duo. According to a lawsuit filed last week in Los Angeles and posted online by celebrityjustice.com, Acclaim has "blatantly abandoned the Mary-Kate and Ashley line and has taken the franchise of the Mary-Kate and Ashley brand in videogames and has now run it into the ground." Source: Yahoo News Thanks to Matt Paprocki for the link, and as he put it "Did anyone honestly expect a decent game??"

February 2, 2004

Microsoft leaks details on Xbox Next

Three IBM-designed 64-bit microprocessors. The combined power of these chips means the Xbox Next will have more computing power than most personal computers. Earlier versions of these PowerPC chips are used in Apple Computer's high-end G5 PowerMac machines now. A graphics chip designed by ATI Technologies with speeds much faster than its upcoming R400 chip for the personal computer. This chip will help the next Xbox to display games with the resolution of high-definition TV. Compatibility with the original Xbox, which is based on Intel and Nvidia chips, isn't guaranteed. Microsoft is concerned it would cost too much money in hardware or in licensing fees to enable the Xbox Next to play old Xbox games. This is risky in part because Sony's strategy has been to maintain compatibility with its old consoles. Source: Mercury News Thats the way to grow your market share, no compatibly with the first Xbox.

January 29, 2004

Xbox for $99? Xbox 2 in 2005?

For the past two years, Microsoft has established a reputation as a follower in the video game war. When Sony acted, Microsoft reacted – especially when it came to price cuts. Things could be about to change. Microsoft's Xbox may be on the verge of a substantial price cut, falling from $179 to $99 by Labor Day, according to P.J. McNealy, an analyst with American Technology Research. "It is our belief that the price on the consoles in North America could see a stepped drop this year, with both the PS2 and Xbox being cut to $129 between now and the May E3 trade show, with [Microsoft] then cutting the Xbox further to $99 in the late summer," he wrote in a research note released Wednesday. Source: CNN Money An XBOX as cheap as a Game Cube? I don't know if I buy that one. Maybe $129, but not $99. We will just have to wait and see.

January 27, 2004

Italian court rules mod chips legal

A court in Italy has dealt a major blow to the efforts of the platform holders to crack down on mod chips, ruling that PS2 mod chip devices are designed to "avoid monopolistic positions." The case was brought over a seizure of modded PlayStation 2s by the Italian authorities some days previously, with the court deciding that this seizure was illegal and that modding consoles is a legitimate practice. Source: The Register Great! I will send my xbox to get a 120 GB HD installed!

January 21, 2004

Square-Enix Media Blitz

Note to the fine folks at Square-Enix: Stop. I figured it was just the Christmas holiday season, but it still continues. I cannont fathom why you are still spending the money. It's illogical, it's annoying, and for the record I will never buy another one of your games....ever. That's right, your TV and print ads have officially driven me to the brink of sheer insnanity and now have had the opposite effect. I must either watch every show in your target demographic or you are simply trying to mesmerize every 10 year old into your tired Final Fantasy series. Whenever I hear the words "I Know, I know," I immediately change the station. The rest of the words are unitelligable and the song is borderline infuriating at this point. During the Chritmas season, I was bombarded by ads for True Crime, Tony Hawk Underground, Max Payne, and your junk. I accepted it and nearly lived with it. It has now been a month and I still see the same stupid ad filled with misleading CG cinemas 10 times a day (and that's NOT an exaggeration). The other ads have stopped. Yours have not. If this wasn't bad enough, your 4 page ads clog up my magazines and in the worst cases, even take over the cover. I'm not sure if you think that their is at least one person out there who may have escaped your evil grasp, but anyone who wanted your game in the first place has it. Magazines are done covering it and moving on to the next chapter, so why are you still blasting me? I fully understand the rough market out there, filled with hundereds of games vying for consumer dollars. However, your game is Final Fantasy, a series that has been around for 15+ years. Anyone who knows about your RPG's knows there's a new game in the series. Mainstream America has never embraced RPG's and likely never will. Final Fantasy 7, arguably the most overly popular game in the entire series, sold billions of copies on about 3 advertisements total. So Square-Enix, if you can see my point (and I think it's pretty obvious), your not going to sell anymore copies by bombarding the airwaves and discgracing my otherwise fine magazine covers. I can never again look at Yuna like I once did as her image now completely disgusts me. Her voice is nausitating, the song irratating, and that 30 second clip of an already horrific pop song is now simply too much to bear. I used to respect you, but I am no officially disowning you for not only this generation, but all of them to follow as well. Of course, a second sequel to Chrono Trigger may change my mind....

December 10, 2003

Rockstar to drop 'kill Haitians' line

A New York-based video game company announced Wednesday that it would make changes to "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City," a game that had provoked angry protests from Haitian immigrants and city officials.
Source: C|NET Well, I hope they change the "kill all the Cubans" mission too then. Of course the article does not say anything about that, so, maybe it is OK to kill Cubans in video games, but now Haitians? This is asinine people!

December 9, 2003

Group warns parents about 'killographic' games

A public interest group had a holiday warning and a new word Monday for parents of video game users: Beware of "killographic," defined as the "graphic depiction of brutal violence." .... Lowenstein noted that the average age of those who play video games is 28, and said as adults they should be allowed to pick their entertainment. He also pointed out that the industry rates its games on age appropriateness, and that Walsh's institute found most parents are not aware of a game's content. "The message is that parents in many cases aren't doing their job," Lowenstein said.
Source: CNN No! Really? Parents don't know what is in video games? Shocking! You know there is a ratings system in place, maybe parents should take notice of that. Just a thought. And stop blaming this crap on the video game companies. I, frankly, am getting sick and tired of hearing this same old story being rehashed from a zillion different angles.

December 8, 2003

Sony Pares Back Specs for All-In-One PSX Console

Sony Corp said on Friday it had pared back specifications for its all-in-one PSX console, an entertainment system that includes a hard disk drive (HDD) and DVD recorder plus a PlayStation 2 game machine. Sony reduced the PSX's dubbing speed from its hard disk drive onto a DVD to 12 times normal speed from 24 times. The machine also will not record or play DVDs in the DVD+RW format, as in the original plan, but it will play and record in DVD-R or DVD-RW formats. The PSX will not play CDs in the CD-R format, as planned, and there also will be no video format support for certain Sony digital cameras and support for MP3 music playback.
Source: Reuters I have only heard of crippleware in the software arena. This is very disappointing. Now its really not worth the price!

December 5, 2003

IGN and GameSpy Announce Merger Agreement

No, it's not April Fool's Day. To quote the Simpsons: "I had a big company, and he had a big company, and now we have a very big company." Former rivals IGN Entertainment and GameSpy Industries have kissed and made up and have signed a definitive merger agreement creating the Web's largest network of destination sites for gamers. Both brands will remain separate entities.
Source: IGN Wow! Big merger! I have been a member of IGN for a couple years now. It should be interesting to see what, if any, members of either service will get from the other service.

December 3, 2003

Future PlayStations to read hand gestures

Sony is planning to enable future versions of its PlayStation gaming console to recognize user gestures and even emotions, according to a company executive. The PlayStation 3 may also incorporate a motion sensor and camera add-on similar to Sony's EyeToy.
Source: C|NET I have had a chance to use the EyeToy. Its fun, but more of a novelty. Concentrated fun for a short period of time tho, so it serves its purpose, I guess. This technology does bring up some other applications, as this article illustrates. This all sounds pretty cool.

November 17, 2003

Composing Myst's Musical World

I am eagerly waiting Uru, the 4th chapter in the Myst series that started many years ago as a Mac made, Mac only game. I have played through Myst, Riven, and Excile many times. Its not often you find a game so engaging and so much fun, and it does not have guns and wide spread maiming in it.
The Uru project absorbed Larkin for nearly three years. “The graphics are so incredible,” he says. “As you walk through the Uru environments, everything moves with you — in real-time, photo-realistic 3D.” Watching these scenes evolve provided continual inspiration to the composer. “I’m very visual,” says Larkin. “When I’d go through an area in the game, I could hear what music or ambient sounds should be introduced.”
Source: Apple.com



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