A whole new kinda shovel
According to Pro-G, Sony is aiming to have 7,000 PSOne titles for PSP
in 18 months. Maybe I am being a little pedantic but the verbiage is, "up to
7,000 titles". Well if we are setting upper bounds why not 8,000? Heck how about 10,000? Are there even 7,000 titles available for Playstation? MobyGames only has a measly 1,000 or so Playstation games
in its database. Are we really that behind the ball? Is Sony blowing a little smoke up the lovable, but sometimes gullible consumers behind?
Who wants a trophy?
Recently Xbox 360 Achievements reported
the latest achievements for NCAA 07 Football ( American not the stuff being played in Germany ). My question is, who cares? Do you care that you will get 15 gamer points for throwing four touchdowns in a single game? More importantly do I care that I would get 20 gamer points if I found the Pummel Weed in Kameo
? I mean here is a game I will never play ... ever. However, I must confess to being a total Geometry Wars addict. Brian is in New York right now and can attest that I am in the clutches of a deep addiction. It does feel good when I get a new achievement, as few and far between they are right now. Is this something we should be recording? Does achievements enhance the game somehow?
Disappointing DS Lite numbers in the UK
Digit Battle is reporting
that only 35,000 DS Lite units were sold in the UK since its launch last Friday. Strangely enough sales numbers for the original DS did not decline. Being a proud owner of the DS Lite I have to say it is definitely worth the extra £10. Could this be a supply problem? Could the fact that an entire shipping container of Black DS Lites were stolen, as previously reported
, have some impact on the numbers? The eBay meter
, usually a good indicator of unmet demand, is not suggesting a supply problem. What gives? Is £10 really too much?
I would like to be paying for something a little more tangible
Yes, the PS3 is going to be pricey. Yes, Sony seems a bit beleaguered right now. Its E3 showing was less than stellar. Everyone seems to be in love
with the Wii and the thing is not even out yet. However like a wounded bear, Sony can be dangerous when cornered so don't yet count them out. I haven't yet sold the few shares of stock I own from way back when I used to work there. I am definitely buying a PS3 and already have a pre-order strategy all mapped out.
Even a self-admitted Sony enthusiast such as I has to wonder in awe at the babblings of Sony CEO Howard Stringer. News0r.com is reporting
that, "Stringer Claims Victory Despite High Price Tag". Never one to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity Stringer says, "[the consumer is] paying for potential". Wha?!?! Potential
. I for one would like a lot more than just potential. Hell, my laptop would make a wicked as satellite if I could just get it up into geo-synchronous orbit. I doubt that anyone would be willing to shell out the $15 million or so just on its potential. I am taking bids
Spyware won't be Left Behind when religious game ships.
IGN is reporting that Left Behind: Eternal Forces, the video game based on the popular series of Evangelical Christian novels, contains an in-game ad engine sure to be controversial. Double Fusion's engine will not only manage the in-game advertising, but will also report on the player's behavior and collect personal information which will be sent to Double Fusion's servers.
OFLC rejects Reservoir Dogs
The Office of Film and Literature Classification, the government organization responsible for classifying computer games in Australia, has just banned the game version of Eidos Interactive's Reservoir Dogs
. Since there is still no adults-only classification for games in this country, this means that nobody, not even adults, can buy this game in Australia. The current attitude is "only children play computer games". Well, as a gamer over the age of 18. Well, I find it offensive that I am still considered a minor. Australia has the worst censorship in the world that we are made the laughing stock.
Jun 24, 2006
Submitted by YID YANG (162390)
As the Australian soccer team advanced, for the first time in its history, into the next round of the World Cup, the contributor Ben Kosmina
from the same country captured the 50th place of our All-Time Top Contributors List.
I would like to buy a vowel
has announced the release of G.R.A.W.
Chapter 2. It is downloadable on Live for a mere 1200 credits. What is that in real money? Up to now MobyGames hasn't supported Live games. There is some internal debate about how to model the data and we have not come to consensus. What about this episodic content? It is an expansion pack of sorts, but currently only on Live. What to do about things like cover art? Or the other various elements to distinguish the game?
Oh I know better ...
While his movies are absolutely terrible, I am beginning to enjoy Uwe Boll as a personality. Boll is the universally reviled director of such terrible video game movies as House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark and Bloodrayne. While his films are financially successful, they are widely regarded as some of the worst movies ever made.
As reported all over the place, but probably first at Skewed and Reviewed, Boll has issued a bizarre press release
challenging his top five critics to a fight. Quote: "Towards the end of the filming of the “Postal” the 5 most outspoken critics will be flown into Vancouver and supplied with hotel rooms. As a guest of Uwe Boll they will be given the chance to be an extra / stand-in in “Postal” and have the opportunity to put on boxing gloves and enter a BOXING RING to fight Uwe Boll."
Best yet the fights will be streamed live over the Internet and some of the footage may make it into the film. What is even more impressive is that the fights will be ten rounds each over the period of two days. I have done a bit of boxing conditioning in the past and fifty rounds in 48 hours is a LOT. Heck, I am assuming Boll plans on knocking out his opponents quick.
What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine...
I saw on Blue's News
that according to GameBanshee - IGN lifted some of their content directly off GaneBanshee for the Titan's Quest Vault site. Having our own brush with certain individuals liberating content I figured I should bring this up...
What IGN did violates more ethical boundaries then legal boundaries... but where do you draw the line? If I paraphrase your review word for word and publish it on my own... is that unethical even if the points are true and I would have come to them on my own anyway? Does it matter if the site is a pay site or non-profit?
Is there a way to stop this? Should a site operator even try?
Today, according to Gamespot
, THQ’s resident Brian Farrell was questioned about the lack of major publishers entering the MMORPG gamespace. His answer was pretty much that no one is willing to put a serious effort into a fantasy MMORPG to try and topple Worlds of Warcraft while its at the top of its game.
WoW is easily dominating the competition, but his quote on Gamespot almost makes it sound as if there is absolutely no reason to compete at all. Shouldn’t this be encouraging someone to change the business model to find a way to introduce new gameplay to beat that of WoWs rather then just giving up on producing any MMORPG at all? Do you guys think anything has a chance of beating WoW while it’s still going strong? What would it take to draw players from WoW?
King's Quest III remake
Infamous Adventures has just released a remake
of the classic King's Quest III
. The release is a faithful 1:1 remake of the game with modern VGA graphics and sound. As a King's Quest
fan myself I think this is an amazing project. However, it does beg the "intellectual property" question. Sierra
is very much alive and kicking as part of Vivendi
and "owns" the King's Quest trademark. Did these guys get permission? What risks do they run doing a remake such as this? Is a love for the game enough to protect them from an over zealous legal department?
Who's got £549.99?
UK online retailer PLAY.com has already put up the PS3 for pre-order
. Yes it is six months away. No, they do not guarantee delivery before Christmas. It is first come, first serve. However if you buy now you are probably pretty close to the front of the line ... or maybe not. Obviously this is for the Europeans. The US and Japanese versions will have different region codes yadda yadda. I checked around for a US retailer taking pre-orders, but have yet to find one. Seeing as how Blu-ray players are about to be released in a few weeks with a sticker around $1,500 the PS3 is starting to look more and more like a better deal. It could also be another Neo-Geo. Really cool, really expensive and no one really buying them.
A whole lotta DS gone missing
As reporting like everywhere, but probably reported close to first on Play Gadgets, a container of black DS Lites has gone missing
. The container, the equivalent of one full tractor trailer truck or $2.23 million dollars, went missing in Hong Kong on its way from China, where they are manufactured, to Europe. The DS is an obvious target of thieves, light, portable and highly liquid. The stolen black DSes should be easy to sell if they haven't been already. Hong Kong police are offering the nice even reward of $128,831 for a tip that I assume leads to an arrest. OK. OK. $128,831 works out to one million Hong Kong dollars so maybe it is an even number. I remember in my younger days that CDs were always a target of theft. Portable and easily sellable, you always had to hide you CDs whenever you threw a party. I imagine with a thriving used game market, games are the same way. While I love the fact that I can sell my old games and pick up games I want used at a discount. Do places like Ebay make it easier and thus more profitable for people to steal? Also why does Europe get black and I am stuck with lame white?
All your MMOG are belong to us
Video Games Blogger is reporting
... er ... blogging ... er ... whatever, that Blizzard
will create MMOGs out of all its franchises. The direct quote, "All Blizzard franchises will become MMOGs." came during an analyst presentation by Vivendi Universal. Vivendi also claims they can bang out a MMOG in a mere three years for $50 million. Some other boogely was about the various segments of the MMOG market is also available. Starcraft and Diablo are obvious candidates for a MMOG makeover, but what else is there?
So I found out this morning that a website ( who will remain nameless ) has wholesale taken game descriptions from MobyGames without permission. Additionally the site makes playable online games that are definitely NOT abandoned. Obviously this person knows what they are doing is illegal. They have gone to great length to host their servers in a country with very lax intellectual property laws. They have also registered the domain with Domain By Proxy. DbP registers the domain themselves and makes it very difficult to determine who is actually behind the domain. The question is what should I do? We have spent an enormous amount of time and money, not to mention some personal sacrifice, to build MobyGames up to what it is today. Do I post what I know and get people involved? Does that hurt or help the offending site? Do I try to take legal recourse? What do you think?
Credits for GTA IV
Computer and Video Games is reporting?!?!
that the first glimpse of GTA IV cast
details are available via IMDb. This raises a few questions that I have had about IMDb and its coverage of video games in general. While the IMDb database is pretty good the credits it has on file is very much in my opinion a movie square peg jammed into a video game round hole. You see over at IMDb an emphasis on writing, directing and acting and less so on the other aspects of game development animation, art and programming. The other question I have is of the nature of this credits information before a game is released and its credits published. In the film industry once talent commits to a project there are certain contractual obligations and usually some way to verify the data. In games there is no union or agency representation. To publish credits before
the game is released seems fraught with risk. What do you think? Am I just grumpy because IMDb is beating us to the punch?
Nintendo DS Lite now for sale in US
Today the DS Lite for is officially for sale
in the US. I ended up picking one up mostly because I think Brain Age
and Big Brain Academy
are pretty interesting games
. There were some rumblings that retailers will violating the June 11 embargo date and selling the units early. If you are in Japan, got a Lite early or live in the US enjoy your DS Lite goodness.
May hardware sales numbers ... surprise included
The professional gaming blog Joystiq posted console hardware sales figures for May
in the US. For the most part sales are down across the board as we entered the summer video game lull, however analysts were surprised by an actual increase in the number of PS2 units sold compared to April. There is some speculation that the hugely successful Kingdom Hearts II
or the large sticker price of the PS3 drove PS2 sales. The Sony PSP continues to out sell the Nintendo DS. Yet DS sales are on the rise and the PSP took a 17.1% slide. Not included in the post, but worth mentioning, is Xbox 360 supply has officially caught up with demand. Could there be a possible price drop in the future? With the PS3 being so expensive and the Wii so cheap will Microsoft keep the X360 price where it is?
Our buddies at Gamasutra are reporting
Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO, Ken Kutaragi, states that the new PS3 is a computer and NOT a video game console. Kutaragi goes on to say that, "I think it's okay to release a [extended PS3] configuration every year." This may just be some marketing slight of hand to justify the exorbitant price of the PS3 out of the gate. However this could also be a serious departure from the conventional playbook for console manufacturers.
Brian and I have a long standing dispute over why the PC game market is shrinking. My personal belief is that it is just too easy to pirate PC games. No matter how smart you are at writing software you just cannot secure an insecure platform. Brian believes it is just too hard for PC gamers to keep up with the hardware requirements to play modern games. He feels that PC gamers turn to consoles because they know that no matter what game they get for the PS2, Xbox whatever, when they pop it in ... well ... it works. Another argument is that people play games on a certain platform, whether it is a console or PC, not because of the platform, but because of the games. People play MMOGs on the PC not because they have a PC and that is what is available, but rather they like MMOGs and that is the platform the games are available on. Supply side economics. So from a developers point of view it makes much more sense to make a game for a PS2 when you know that there are 100 million units out in the wild and every single one can play your game. While there may be WAY more PCs out there, each PC has a wildly different operating system, CPU, memory, video card combination. Making the game pushes the envelope of what is technically possible, while still being able to work on the hardware of a large install base is a risky and expensive proposition. Developers make games for the consoles because that is where the players are. People play games on console because that is where the games are.
Kutaragi may be throwing a wrench into the works with a new version of the PS3 each year. Now the question to developers is what version of the PS3 do you make your game for? Today the question is easy. There is only going to be one type of PS3, but in three or four years the question becomes harder. Now the main advantage of the consoles as a gaming platform is lost ( from Brian's perspective, I still think it is piracy ... but that is a whole different post
). If developers only make games for the base configuration to ensure the largest number of players can buy their game, then where is the motivation to spend the extra bucks and get an enhanced system. Sega tried this by creating add-ons to its wildly successful Genesis / Megadrive
gaming platform with the Sega 32X
and Sega CD
. Not a lot of consumers bought all the extra doohickeys because there were not a lot of games that used the enhanced features. Not a lot of developers bothered to make games since there wasn't a huge install base. In the end the enhanced platforms were a commercial failure.
Kutaragi obviously thinks Sony will be able to do a better job than Sega did in the mid 90s. I am not so sure.
The next big thing...
The wii seems to be on everyone's mind because it really brings something new to the table, but why? I think the controller has a lot to do with it as it’s this new innovation and has the potential to provide new and interesting gameplay experiences. But then again, there are various technologies that get introduced in the field of games that have a big impact.
Leaps in physics engines are another thing that has increased the realism in games and now that's being developed even further. The mainstream move to 3d accelerated graphics was another such leap. So this begs the question - are new input controls the next big thing? Or is it possible that something else will rival it?
Microsoft seems to think its online play. They've been dumping a lot of time, money, and effort into making the play that online play and online content is something that'll drive the industry - and while they seem to be being proven right, the 360 is just an extension of this concept that they introduced with the xbox. Even if it’s just refining this concept of an online community that's always alive - that’s an important step.
Could part of the reason for Sony's lackluster position be that they don't seem to have any key aspect that sets them apart from anyone else (that is, except for costing many hundred dollars more...)? Furthermore, how does this idea of focusing on 'gimmicks' effect the PC market?
To space ... and beyond
I got into Computer Science because way back when I was in school Mechanical Engineering had a lot of drafting and my drawing skills blow. I have however always been fascinated with aerospace and aviation. At one time as a kid I always envisioned myself working on satellites or rockets.
In addition to being responsible for the technical wizardry behind Doom 3
, John Carmack
spends part of each weekend making rockets. I mean real honest to goodness space vehicles. John Carmack leads in their own words, "a small research and development team working on computer-controlled LOX/ethanol rocket vehicles, with an eye towards manned suborbital vehicle development" called Armadillo Aerospace
. What is also quite remarkable is that Carmack candidly documents the groups progress kind of monthly on the companies website. I find myself regularly drawn to his postings. In an industry notorious for secrecy is there a place for this level of openness or is Armadillo Aerospace just an indulgence of a rather wealthy technologist?
I think in the future the Internet will be big
Our friends at Gamasutra are reporting
that the worldwide online game market will reach $13 billion ( yup you heard it right ) in five years. Last year online games were $3.4 billion. That is World of War Craft
, City of Heroes
, Eve Online
and all the other MMOGs subscriptions and sales totaled $3.4 billion. So basically to hit $13 B online games have to grow 30% per year for the next five years. The analysts at DFC Intelligence who authored the report believe that the combination of better broadband connectivity, higher PC penetration and most importantly Internet capable console systems are going to drive this massive online growth.
PC games sales have been in a slump for some time. Is online play really where the PC game market is headed? Having played a lot ( I mean a LOT ) of games online on my X360 I have to say consoles are just not a great platform for an online RPG. Additionally if you compare Battlefield 2
to its console cousin Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
there is just no comparison. BF2 is a way richer game, has a better lobby and matching system and is way deeper in terms of squad and battlefield commander capabilities. BF2:MC has had to strip a lot of that out just because the player is limited in what they can do with just a console controller.
Can someone make a 2 million player MMOG on the consoles? Having been involved on the periphery of a few successful and not so successful online games I am skeptical.
New X360 update
For all you 360 owners, Xboxic is reporting that there is a new Xbox 360 Dashboard update
. Some of the new features include background downloading, start up options and a revamped market place. There are also some improvements to the media player, but since I do not have a XP Media Center ( nor do I plan on getting one ) this is pretty worthless to me. I would love to stream music and video from my PC to my TV and stereo via the X360, however there is no way I am going to get XP Media Center. I use my PC for work first and play second. It almost feels like I would have to get a dedicated PC for play in order to use what I consider a potentially cool feature of the 360.
Does anyone run Media Center? My gut feeling is it is garbage. Am I correct?
Late data center update
The move went at first poorly then exceptionally well. Half way through the migration the tech coordinating the move said he would call me back and turned off his phone. This was while we were in the middle of an outage due to the migration. To cut the guy some slack I was yelling at him a bit. XO didn't deliver on what was promised and I was pretty mad. To make matters worse my cell phone wouldn't work in the data center and I would have to stand outside to talk to the NOC. Oh yeah, and it was raining. The whole outage was about a four hours. Much longer than we wished but not terrible considering we had to move everything across town. I did finally talk to a manager at XO the following day and they apologized profusely. XO did deliver on what they promised and then some, though I am not sure they would of if the tech wasn't a complete twit. The facility supervisor even ended up buying us a few beers which was a nice gesture and definitely appreciated after slogging away for two days in the data center.
3 new platforms now supported
We just added Odyssey, Channel F, and the Commodore PET/CBM.