Every year people complain about what it wrong with the games industry and each year more games are sold and more people become gamers. Is the industry really broken? Or do people just like to complain?
I hate to sound cynical, but... DUH. Did we really need a study for this? Anyone who is anything more than a casual game player knows this... We play MMORPGs to live a more satisfying life than our own, play shooters to release stress... heck, even my wife, who *is* a casual game player, remarked a long time ago that she plays repetitive games like Tetris and various enhanced versions of Space Invaders because they lend structure and order to her hectic life.
Dev kits and 3rd-party support libraries for the 360 and PS3 are better than their parent generation's kits, so you could argue that developing a game for modern consoles is actually easier than previous consoles. However, those savings are eaten up by the unending march of technology and expectations: All in-game characters must have full voice acting and several outfits; there must be at least 16 different levels and 12 hours of gameplay; etc. So I guess the cost of games, moving forward, is still pretty much the same -- as soon as the first year of a console goes by...
The Wall Street Journal's Jason Fry reported on his experiences finding the biggest power hogs in his house. The results are no surprise. Low tech stuff light the lights, fridge and dryer consumed the most amount of electricity. The power consumption of consumer electronics were relatively modest.
However he readily admits various shortcoming in his analysis. With the proliferation of electronics in the home this small 24 hour a day trickle could turn into a flood of wasted energy use. What really bothers me is that these devices have stopped obeying my commands. When I want them off, they decide ... "Nah. He didn't really want me off. I am going to stay on and blink and pulse until he wants to play with us again" Is when we can no longer turn off our machines the first step towards when they take over?
"Three Auckland teenagers were killed when the vehicle they were in crashed off the Northwestern Motorway in Auckland during a high-speed police pursuit on Christmas Eve.
National's transport spokesman Maurice Williamson says today's young people think they are bullet-proof. He blames Playstations and X-boxes for making teens think they can drive stupidly and just push the reset button if anything goes wrong."
Destructoid has some pretty spot on commentary. It has slowly come to my attention that gaming is really the root of all evil. We should outlaw them all and return to when the world had no problems. Uh....
I'll alienate a few people and say that, yes, I cheat as well, but I've got very strict and simple guidelines for cheating: I only cheat if I'm stuck so badly that I'm frustrated and angry. Because, let's face it, the primary reason we play games is to have fun. It doesn't matter if I'm stuck due to poor level design or my own stupidity -- if I'm stuck, I'm not having fun. So the cheats come out fast and furious until I'm not stuck any more. And I'm happy, and my family is happy, and ultimately, the game studio is happy because I forget my frustration and buy the sequel.
So when do you cheat? Or, more piously, on what games are you proud of that you have never cheated on?
I'm hoping that this is the first of many studies that will finally get in-game advertising out of games. I'm angered by any in-game adverts that I see -- advertising is supposed to be the payment you make for free things. If PGR 3 has advertising, then why isn't it half the price of other games? Morgan Webb of X-Play fame made a similar point about a month ago on G4: If online play inserts advertising into the game, why isn't Xbox Live (for example) a free service?
Of course this is all just rumor. However, Microsoft rumors seem to always come true. The official announcement will happen today.
It appears Microsoft has no intention of making any money on the 360 any time soon. Given the evidence of overwhelming numbers of busted systems the quantity of repairs and replacements has to be staggering. So much for Sony having a better standard warranty. Now the question is: Will Brian ever get his 360?
Update: Rumor confirmed. c|net is reporting that the warranty has been in fact extended.
"The class action lawsuit seeks to enjoin Nintendo from continuing its unfair or deceptive business practices as it relates to the Nintendo Wii.The lawsuit also seeks an injunction that requires Nintendo to correct the defect in the Wii remote and to provide a refund to the purchaser or to replace the defective Wii remote with a Wii remote that functions as it is warranted and intended."
Seems pretty lame to me. While Duey, Cheatum and Howe LLC doesn't explicitly state the Wii mote strap as defective that is my guess. Nintendo has already offered the replace the strap free of charge. I cannot imagine what these lawyers are trying to pull.
We traced the problem to his video processor (HDTV upscaler, deinterlacer, etc.) which he had recently added to his theater setup. By feeding the processor an interlaced signal, it was employing a deinterlacing strategy that needed 2 or 3 frames to work, and that meant 2-3 frames delay in the output. As you can imagine, this made playing games nearly impossible because the video lagged behind the actual game action.
Guitar Hero 2 contains a "lag offset" feature to try to deal with this, and it turns out that some people are using this to measure their home theater setups. We tried it, but all it did was reduce the error rate; you can't magically send your button presses forward in time to compensate for real lag.
The solution for him was to purchase the PS2 component cable, plug it directly into the TV (bypassing the video processor), and setting the PS2 output to 480p (progressive). But I wonder how many other people will spend thousands of dollars on home theater setups, only to run into the same problem and wonder what's going on...
While this conformity makes sense from a technical standpoint, I'm saddened by the decision to take it to the retail standpoint. Part of what I loved about buying, playing, and collecting computer games is the wide diversity in the personal computer field. Are we losing yet another unique aspect of our artform, or am I just being melodramatic?
Between the high price, screwy HD display and lack of force feedback I am none too excited about the PS3. However I am still going to buy one. Call me a sucker but I feel an obligation to own every console and handheld no matter how expensive or how wonky. Are there others out there? I wonder If I will be able to get a refund on the unused portion of the PS3.
Can someone really deserve a Wii more than another? Sure there are fans and there are FANS, but if you wait in line and pay the money, what entitles one person over another?
I am sure the company reasoning when something like this, "Hmmm. Kingdom Hearts II was pretty successful. What should our next project be? Maybe, Kingdom Hearts III"
Everyone always complains so much about sequels and then those very same people go out an buy the next installment in the franchise.
I've heard of missing work because someone was up all night playing WoW, but this takes it to an all new level. What is your worst/best story about games interrupting your life?
"'She pulled the cord and the whole game console fell over,' Spellman said in his statement, read by Homicide Detective John Cummings. 'I thought it was broken. I popped her in the face. I picked her up and tossed her in a chair.'"
That nutty lawyer from Florida is planning his public mass media gloating I am sure.
Donkey Kong is 'lame.' Tetris is 'boring.' Space Invaders 'needs a superbomb or something.' And why play Pong when it's more fun to 'jump up and down on one foot'?"
Interestingly enough The Legend of Zelda (NES 1987) received quite favorable treatment.
Does the world need another MMOG? Does $75 million seem a bit steep? Would you buy a mutual fund that invests in video game projects?
As you may recall 100% of the MobyGames staff has had to deal with MS Xbox support in one form or another. Brian's Xbox 360 has been stolen by Microsoft. There is no other explanation. He bought the unit on launch day, November last year and since then has had an operational 360 for no more than 30 days. Currently his unit is floating around the globe and MS has refused to do anything about it.
I had a HD DVD disembowel itself. The guy on the phone was a complete goofus. He kept asking me what my favorite games were and that I must be very wealthy to own a HD TV. After getting his supervisor I was informed that Microsoft was sending out a replacement and to return the unit in the box provided. Great I thought. Wrong! This is where the fun begins.
After a couple of weeks with no replacement I decided to call support. The guy said, "Oh. Don't worry. This is a brand new unit and we will be shipping out a replacement soon.". Ok. No problem. More waiting. After a few weeks and no replacement I called again. After getting a supervisor he said, "Oh. I apologize for the mistake. You need to send in the unit for repairs. No we will not pay shipping. No I will not tell you my name. No I will not send you an email confirming any of this. No I cannot guarantee that what I am telling you is any more accurate than what the two previous guys told you." Ok. So maybe that is not a direct quote, but it is pretty much what he said.
Yup. They got it.
So I FedExed to them bearing the full cost. Gods know what they do with packages that do not require a signature. My guess is throw em in the grinder. The last call I had was a bit confusing. The rep said HD DVD drive had arrived at the repair center and was scheduled for pickup, whatever that means. He also said they would either repair it or send a replacement. It should ship back to me by December 13. That's today. So I called Xbox Support to see if I could get a tracking number. Nope. No luck. The support rep asked me if I had already sent the drive to the repair center. Gah. It sounds to me like they lost the unit. Of course I couldn't speak to a single person that was able to provide any more information other than I should call back in a few days.
Personally, I'm glad someone picked up the Alien license, and all the better that it's Sega. They always seems to be hit (Otogi) and miss (Shadow the Hedgehog), but with a franchise as important as Alien, I'm sure they'll give it the appropriate care it needs... I hope. Given my current experience playing Full Auto 2: Battlelines, I'm more than inclined to believe that if
The The Hollywood Reporter picked up a bit more information, including that the games will not directly be based off of the four movies, but may include characters or elements.
There's always been this idea that movies make terrible games, but when your movie (or franchise, in this case) has been out forever, does it still apply? Recently The Godfather and Scarface have come out which aren't bad which is saying something I guess. But then there were Die Hard:Nakatomi Plaza and Fight Club, real dogs by any stretch if the imagination.
Can you really make an RPG out of the franchise (the RTS was awful)? Any particular Alien games stick out in anyone's mind as being a cut above the rest?
In other news, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion picked of Game of the Year. Company of Heroes, Burnout: Revenge and Dead Rising won Best PC, Best Racing and Best Action game respectively.
Of course it could be that the realism of the action in the sports games built for the Wii are taping into people's muscle memory.
"An online survey of 1,014 U.S. children and their parents, conducted by market researcher Harrison Group -- and commissioned by U.S. game publisher Activision -- found 58 percent of parents surveyed said they play video games and more than half this time is spent with their children."
The survey also found that nearly 3/4 of parents are just fine with video games being a part of their family life. Of course no article is complete without the idiots chiming in about the danger of violent video games for children. It's nice to see evidence that the vast majority of parents out there are realistic and rational. All to often the hysterical extremes hijack the public discourse when human tragedy and an easy scapegoat present themselves.
When you also consider that the data from the Australian isn't in and that the European launch is forth coming (December 8th), it's not unrealistic that Nintendo will have a good holiday.
European ship numbers though are expected to be tight according to reports from early last month of sites and stores unsure as to if they'd be able to fill the pre-orders they'd already taken.
Now, figure that between North America and Japan that a bit over a million units have been sold. That means essentially between Europe, Australia and additional units being available in the North America and Japan that Nintendo has roughly 3 million units to go to meet the four million unit sold projection by the end of the year.
While I have my doubts as if to they can reach the four million milestone. I'd say they'll probably get close (probably within about half a million).
Microsoft had sold six million XBox 360s by September 30th and had projected to sell another four million in the three remaining months. This seams pretty unrealistic now. Next-Gen ran an article that had numbers from Arcadia Investments that put the XBox 360 at having sold more than 500,000 units in November (with 200,000 going on black friday week alone). But, this means that Microsoft would need to clear around three and a half million units between October and December which seems very unlikely. And to those who might argue that projections change, Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell told Next-Gen that they were still on track to meet the ten million projection, which Microsoft's Peter Moore re-affirmed today and agreed with the notion that they might even exceed the ten million mark. Seems mighty unlikely.
And then there's Sony... Sony sold a little over 80,000 Playstation 3s in Japan combined 125,000 to 175,000 they shipped to North America (less the 15,000 of those that were for kiosks) puts them quite a bit away from their target mark. There were supposed to be 400,000 units from North America and not making that number has made things that much more difficult.
In August, they projected four million, then it was two million, then as little as about two weeks ago, the projection was lowered to one million units. Now with only around 200,000 units out in the wild, selling a million by years end seems to be a pipe dream.
Had they hit the 400,000 ship number for North America, they might have met this projection, but with around 800,000 left to produce, ship, and sell in about 25 days seems impossible.
So, lets see what we've got here. Nintendo is pretty much on target, but probably gonna run a little short, Microsoft who apparently believes that making bold claims will sell units, and Sony who apparently has trouble counting how many units they're going to actually ship.
Who is going to make their ship numbers? Are the attachment rate of games to consoles be more important? Why does Europe keeps getting screwed in terms of system launches?
Tortora stated, "The game console device could be morphed out of some combination of the MacMini and iTV, while the handheld player could be developed as an enhancement to a future version of the widescreen iPod,"
If any of Apples past offering are to go on the iConsole ( or whatever it will eventually be called ) will be beautiful to look at, work seamlessly, and be outlandishly expensive. Apple also has had a die hard following that puts even the most fanatical Nintendo fanboy to shame. Do we really need another hardware platform? Does Apple stand a chance?
"Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the original media or hardware as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace."
Well it seems nearly all abandonware does not fit this criteria. The rules seem to explicitly require original hardware or media excluding emulators. The DMCA exception seems to be focused of libraries and archives and not websites like HoT and Adbandonia. From my understanding of the issue the rule change was granted by the USPO specifically with Archive.org in mind. The conclusion that abandonware is now legal is either horribly irresponsible or a cynical attempt to sensationalize an otherwise banal story.
Thanks to tarmo888 for pointing out the story on the forums in the first place.
But while the screen time is good to have, it almost seems handicapped. These programs seem to air in morning/afternoon time slots on Saturday morning - which would tend to mean that the intended audience is kids. Because of the time slot, CBS is even going so far as to extremely limit the amount of actual game play footage being shown. The reasoning is simple, most of the games end up being pretty graphic - blood and violence aren't new to TV, but don't really have their place during Saturday morning. This is some what foolish because the games (Halo 2, Counter-Strike, Quake 4, ect...) are mature rated games intended for the 17 and over - why would you put a show with content intended for a higher age audience in a time slot for kids?
The answer is that they still really haven't figured out who they should be marketing to (or they know and just don't care). With the way TV is programmed, this most likely fail to capture its target audience (which given the time slot is grade school kids) regardless of how many people actually watch it and instead of someone realizing that they can probably get a time slot for a more age appropriate audience, they'll throw the baby out right with the bathwater.
Will competitive video games ever find their true place on TV? What will be the break through game? What really needs to happen to make pro gaming a spectator sport?
And more importantly, would you watch televised competitive gaming?
With rare items and powerful characters being sold daily for very considerable prices, not to mention the many "gold farming" services easily found for the most popular online games, this market thrive on the lack of regulation (like many other internet services), but for how long will treasuries worldwide neglect the possible income from e-trades?