University of Texas rummaging around Lord British's storage closet
Apr 29, 2007
Submitted by WildKard (12186)
The Austin-American Statesman is reporting
(registration possibly required) that the University of Texas'
Center for American history is receiving new historical materials relating to videogames. Specifically developers such as Richard Garriott
, Warren Spector
, George "the Fatman" Sanger
are going through their basements, attics or whathaveyou and finding all kinds of materials to donate. This includes promotional material as well as design documents, memos and old PC Gaming magazines.
As someone who's currently doing his own "spring cleaning" and finding that I have dozens of computer and/or game-related boxes, I can definitely sympathize with the need to "find a good home" for some of this material. Hopefully the materials in this new archive will become invaluable for the hundreds of students and researchers destined to analyze the art, conception and organization of game design.
This news story is a week old and comes via
the good folks at WCNews (Wing Commander CIC)
, whose website I was surfing earlier today. To give them a quick plug: this website has been consistently , over the past 10 years, been finding news and general fandom relating to the Wing Commander Series and Space Combat in general.
Ken Kutaragi is leaving Sony
Bloomberg is reporting
that Ken Kutaragi, the father of the PlayStation, will retire in June of this year. "Kutaragi, who stepped down from day-to-day management in December, will relinquish the role of chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Kazuo Hirai, president of the unit, will take over, Tokyo-based Sony Corp. said today in a statement."
The conventional wisdom is that the corporate bosses aren't too happy with the missteps Sony Computer Entertainment made in the launch of the PS3. I can't say that I am surprised, but I am not sure what a management shake up will do. The train seems to have already left the station.
Jeanne hits the 30,000 mark, Evil Ryu the 20,000
Apr 26, 2007
Submitted by chirinea (31386)
We're proud to announce more new milestones in MobyGames history!
First, our long time approver and contributor Jeanne
, one of the two female approvers in our staff (the other one is monkeyislandgirl
), broke the 30,000 barrier not so long ago, becoming the 8th person (and first woman) to achieve such feat!
Also, our Brazilian top contributor, Evil Ryu
, best known for his fighting game's screenshots recently became the 13th person in MobyGames history to reach the 20,000 points mark.
WildKard Hits 10K
Apr 26, 2007
Submitted by YID YANG (162399)
MobyGames user and approver Fester Blatz
... uh... I mean "WildKard", has become the 24th person to collect 10000 or more MobyGames contribution points. He's the third Canadian to achieve this honorable position. Congratulations, WildKard, and keep up the good work!
PC Games on the Rebound
Heavily posted and commented New York Times reports
the once moribund PC gaming sector on the rise. "Anita Frazier, an industry analyst for the NPD Group, a market research firm, noted that in the first two months of 2007, domestic retail sales of PC games reached $203 million, a 48 percent increase over the $136.8 million in the period a year earlier."
It's hard to gauge a full year on the results of just two months. The lack of a strong retail title in such a short period could account for the much of the difference.
Historically PC games have accounted for a smaller and smaller slice of the gaming market pie. In 2006 PC games in the US dropped 14% from $1.1 billion to $953 million in only two years according to NPD. NPD which tracks point of sale data admits that MMOs, games distributed electronically through Direct2Drive and Steam and alternative business model PC games are not included in the calculation.
No one really knows how much this is but everyone thinks it is a lot. Valve
is privately held and does not release it's numbers. Blizzard
at least is part of a publicly traded company. Going over Vivendi's annual report
I came up with a back of the envelope
guess that World of Warcraft
is pulling in about $500-600 million a year.
Buying a boxed PC game in a brick and mortar store may not be the future. Heck, go to your local game specialty store and check out how much shelf space PC games take up. PC games are also seriously hampered by rampant piracy and a non-standardized hardware platform. Will PC gaming go away? The New York Times doesn't think so ... and ... they are never wrong.
Hand drawn Mario toilet seat
Just what every house needs. Scott at Extra Life
has created a hand drawn Mario Toilet Seat
. You can check out the Making Of Video
on YouTube. Should you actually want to buy such a thing the auction
is running until April 28.
Fan art has always had a special place in my heart. Coupled with a healthy prepubescent fascination with all things commode I cannot possibly see how I could not bid on this.
1000 Amstrad CPC games documented
MobyGames now has entries for 1000 games for the Amstrad CPC system. Launched in late 1984 by Alan Sugar (who now runs the UK TV version of 'The Apprentice'), the system was usually in the shadow of the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 in the UK, although most popular games released for the Spectrum were also released for the CPC, as it shared the same processor. Sadly, a lot of these were straight ports which did not use the Amstrad's superior graphics power - Strider
and Pit Fighter
are particularly glaring examples. The situation was similar in Spain, where the Spectrum, Amstrad and MSX gave the Z80 processor a market dominance.
It was in France where the Amstrad flourished. As the top 8-bit machine, it received many games which were not released for other 8-bits. Arcade adventure Crafton et Xunk / Get Dexter
, the action sport Disc
, and Pang
all show the machine's power. The later Plus model and its spin-off GX4000 console were less successful, but produced several enhanced titles; Prehistorik II
is particularly impressive.
JT's got to shut his trap
At least when it comes to frivolous lawsuits aimed at Take Two
. Game Industry Biz is reporting
that firebrand attorney Jack Thompson and Take Two have reached a settlement where, "Thompson has agreed he will not sue or threaten to restrict sales or distribution of future Take Two titles."
In an interesting twist Thompson has agreed to only communicate with Take Two through the publisher's legal counsel. This isn't the end of troubles for Take Two. There has recently been a major management shake up and threats of the publisher losing it's NASDAQ listing.
Can the tide really be turning? Given Rush Limbaugh's recent, enlightened comments
can it really be that the mainstream press is waking up to the respectibility of video games?
Nintendo game cart sells for $21,400
Retro-gaming seems to be in, at least judging by the fact that someone just purchased a copy of Nintendo World Championships 1990
cart for $21,400 at myebid
There were only 116 copies ever made and just 26 of them were of the gold variation and these are considered the Holy Grail of Nintendo collectibles. The game belonged to a father of a soldier killed in Iraq who didn't realise the value so put the initial price to $24, $1 per game sold on the auction.
Pokemon DS pre-sales top 500k in US alone
Reuters is reporting
that Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl for the Nintendo DS is expected to be in top selling games of 2007. All this based on pre-sales numbers in the US in excess of 500,000. "The new games will hit U.S. store shelves on April 22. Early orders are more than twice as strong as the presale numbers for Pokemon FireRed and Pokemon LeafGreen, which launched in 2004 and went on to sell more than 3.4 million units combined in North America."
I don't know what's more amazing, that a handheld title can have so many pre-sales or that Pokemon is still this popular. Titles like Gears of War
garner all sorts of attention, but there is an aspect of gaming that Nintendo really seems to have down pat.
STALKER not Stealing
As was widely reported
on the 'Net GSC Game World
was accused of pilfering art assets from Doom 3
and Half-life 2
for it's game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
. As it turns out GSC did not steal the assets The Inquirer is reporting
."Textures used by both Valve and GSC GameWorld, the makers of STALKER, come from a texture pack sold by Marlin Studios."
It looks like each company purchased some of the same third party art assets. Hmm. Could the gaming community have really jumped to a conclusion too soon? In this age of instant, always on, twenty four hour news
is this really avoidable? Since the truth came out in the end, what's the harm?
Michael Bay to direct Prince of Persia Movie
Filed under, at least it ain't Uwe Boll
, /film is reporting
that Michael Bay of Transformers, The Island, Pearl Harbor, Armageddon has signed on to direct the movie adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
. Mega-movie-man Jerry Bruckheimer will produce the film."Rumors of The Prince’s casting have already exploded across the internet. Names have ranged from John Abraham, Brendan Fraser and Barry Watson, to David Zandi and Josh Somerhalder. Some people have even thrown Howard Stern’s American Idol Loser turned winner Sanjaya Malakar into the mix."
Has there ever been a good film adaptation of a game? Could this be the first? Even though Transformers isn't even out yet, the consensus is that it will be an awesome movie. Will people really get excited about a game movie?
Apr 13, 2007
Submitted by YID YANG (162399)
The well-known MobyGames contributor and approver chirinea
, who is also a specialist in obscure Brazilian console games, has become the 23rd person in the history of the site to have collected 10000 points. He is the second Brazilian (and generally South American) contributor after Evil Ryu
to have attained this honorable position.
StarCraft = ON NOTICE~!
According to IGN PC
, it's looking better on the StarCraft 2 front. However, it looks less promising for fans of the original game.
"The report also claims that Blizzard plans to shut down its original StarCraft servers in order to ensure the success of the sequel.
I'm not sure that you need to deactivate the old servers to ensure the success of SC2. You could put the word "Blizzard" and a $50 price tag on a couple million blocks of wood these days and they would still sell out if you left them in a computer store.
Still, I feel a bit bad for the old-school SC players if this is indeed going through. You can always get stuff going on the side, but it just gets harder and harder when official support is dropped. But StarCraft is getting on ten years, so you can't say that it hasn't been a good run.
20Gb PS3 Officially Dropped in North America
Kotaku is reporting
has announced it is discontinuing the 20Gb PS3 in North America. "Initial retail demand in North America was upwards of ninety percent in favor of the 60GB sku, so we manufactured and shipped-in accordingly. Due to the overwhelming demand for the 60GB model from both retailers and consumers, we have ceased offering the 20GB model here in North America."
Lame IMHO. The 20Gb model was really the only model I was interested in. Wireless in my neighborhood is too flaky for gaming and the hard drive is easily upgradeable with just about any OEM SATA drive. Not worth the extra $100. $500 seemed steep but reasonable. Am I off my rocker? Am I the only one who isn't excited about wireless and and a memorystick slot?
Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
Capcom just announced that the much-acclaimed last iteration of the Resident Evil series is coming to grace Nintendo's Wii...
Imaginatively titled Bio Hazard 4: Wii Edition, this updated version features new Wiimote-specific controls. These include using the remote to aim weapons, moving the control to reload and using a knife by waggling the controller.
So, "using the remote to aim weapons", huh? And what the &#@% was it that prevented them from doing the same thing with the mouse in the PC version, again?
China is Big
I am sure we all know that there are a lot of people in the China. Cellular News is reporting
that China Mobile, China's largest mobile operator, has announced a subscriber base of 301 million. Yup, that's more than the entire population in US."Julie Pohlig, senior analyst at Vital Wave Consulting, a research and consulting firm focusing exclusively on emerging market business growth, says the 300-million-person milestone provides perspective on the sheer size of the Chinese market, and illustrates the perceived value of information and communications technology (ICT) to a population that has far less purchasing power."
However subscribers in China pay about 80% less than their American counter parts. While the market is huge the per capita income in China is US$1,700 compared to US$44,000 in the United States.
Joystiq is reporting
that Red Octane
has officially admitted that two models the the Xbox 360 Guitar Controllers for Guitar Hero II
are defective. "We have isolated this issue to two model numbers that can be found on the guitar's packaging. The numbers are 95065 and 95055. We are asking that customers who puchased [sic] their items from a retailer perform an exchange with that respective store (for a model number other than the defective two listed above). Customer's [sic] who purchased through our online story [sic] can complete an rma request for their defective item and we will exchange it for a fully function [sic] guitar controller. We do apologize for the inconvenience and will resole [sic] these matters."
However there appears to be a disconnect between the model number on the box and guitar model included inside. Xbox 360 Fanboy received Guitar Hero II model 95067, but it included a broken
Due to a rather hectic travel schedule recently I neglected to purchase GHII for 360. I love the game and would happily drop down the cash for the extra songs. Now I am glad I waited.
Online Cell Block
MCV is reporting
that Atari, known for such innovative titles as Driv3r
and Path of Neo
, is set to change the gaming world with a Web 2.0ish, user generated online gaming experience.
"Atari is to roll out a major new online initiative in the summer which will allows users to create their own gaming experiences."
The project will be PC and US only to start. That right there hints that the project
won't really take off. I assume like the Sony PS3 Home this Atari thing will be overly restrictive and structured. Friendster at one point invented and own the entire social networking market. MySpace won ( or is winning ) not because it is better. It's not. MySpace looks like an online landfill. MySpace won because it didn't restrict what its user could do and I guess users wanted to make crappy looking pages.
That little tidbit, "US Only"
leads me to believe that Atari is going to miss the open and free essence of user generated communities. The question I have been wondering, is MobyGames too structured? Is MobyGames too restrictive?
Oops, I did it again
Gizmodo is reporting
that the Blu-ray Disc Association has changed the spec mid stream.
"all players released after October 31, 2007 must support a specific feature set for BD-Java—the technology responsible for giving Blu-ray discs the extra features"
Also beefed up is the amount of required persistent storage. Since the vast majority of installed Blu-ray players are PS3s it should be relatively simple to update the firmware. However, if you were one of the few people who plunked down for a $1000 buck unit without
a Ethernet port ... well ... grab yer ankles. Isn't it wonderful to be an early adopter?
What ever happened to Gears of War?
Gears of War
for the XBox 360 was the most anticipated game of 2006 and one of the best selling. Yet the game still has to make to tournament levels. GamingJunky.com's Kristin "BatGirl" Reilly points out the different issues
keeping this M-rated game far from TV broadcasting.
"Television networks are hesitant to broadcast a game that's either too hard for the general public to follow or something they feel wouldn't be appropriate to show to a broad audience due to violence or gore."
Is TV really the right medium for competitive gaming? Blood spatter aside, is Gears really a good competitive platform?
Kansas Board of Education Bans Pokémon
Daily Gaming News is reporting
that the forward thinking and progressive Kansas Board of Education has banned all things Pokemon.
"The Kansas Board of Education approved a controversial measure yesterday that will ban all Pokemon video games, trading cards, and related merchandise because of the franchise’s blatant promotion of evolution."
Oh lord. This one just speaks for itself.
Give them enough time ...
and the Xbox 360 will have a lifetime warranty. Microsoft has announced
further enhancements to the Xbox 360 service and warranty. A bit back we posted
that Microsoft was extending the 90 day warranty on the 360 to a full year. Effective immediately:
- Warranty service includes free ( as in beer ) shipping
- Replacements guaranteed for at least 90 days
- Original console will be returned instead of a refurbed replacement
It seems that both the support and the reliability of the 360 has steadily improved. Of course there are quite a bit of Wiis out there with nary a peep in regards to defects. Is this too little, too late? Even if the policy changes, is this really going to chance the crappy, by all accounts, actual service? Given that everyone I know has had to replace some Xbox 360 component, heck Brian's 360 replacement unit has already crapped out, does this even matter?
Retirees find Wii not just for the grandkids
Nintendo bet that the new Wireless Wii consoles would be a hit with all generations. It was a very good bet as many seniors are discovering how fun it is to play games on the Wii. Link to CNN article.
Due to a lack of funding the site will be shutting down in two weeks.
The data gathered over the years is safe. Hopefully we will find more funding to bring the site back up soon.
The MobyGames staff would like to thank everyone for the wonderfully years of dedication everyone has put into this project and we hope to see you soon.