I showed up a couple of years late to the party that has been the Xbox 360. Thanks to my cheapness and the joys of region encoding, I held off getting Microsoft’s newest system while I was in Japan, vowing to grab one mere minutes upon my return to the United States. Over the past two years I have had bouts of jealousy, smug satisfaction, and concern as I watched the trials and tribulations of the Xbox 360 owner. From red rings of death to the release of Halo 3, I have quietly observed from the sidelines and bided my time. Well, that time has come. Holding true to my promise, I picked up a 360 Elite two days after landing in the US and since then I have been sampling the many facets of the console. → Read the rest
At the time of this writing, Dead or Alive and Virtua Fighter have released new entries on next generation consoles. Tekken 6 was just announced, and I’m sure it is only a matter of time before we hear something about Soul Calibur 4. It seems that fighting games are doing A-okay on the next gen systems. And yet I still get a sinking feeling about one of my favorite genres. I’m not going to go and make an assertion about fighters being doomed to become as niche as the schmup, but I still can’t shake a feeling of worry. Let’s break it down by companies and see why:
Namco/Sega: These two are responsible for the three (Tekken, VF, and Soul Calibur) most popular and powerful 3d fighting franchises. All three have dedicated fanbases that will ensure they do well enough in terms of sales. → Read the rest
Double Fine finds a new publisher to bring their flops to market
Tim at Double Fine is working on another game. Rumors suggest it may be Psychonauts 2: Straight to Bargain Bins. The good news for us perpetual whiners is that if it’s as creative and fun as the first game and does as poorly, there will be plenty of hell to raise.
EA predicts you’ll buy 18 copies of the new Madden
Good news, tons of people still buy new Maddens despite the fact that they are basically the same game. The proportion of internet whining I mentioned is directly proportional to how many times Maddens sales quadruple the new Double Fine game. My estimate is 32. → Read the rest
Japanese game market doing better
The market is up 33% in the first half of the 2006. Unsurprisingly, Nintendo played a large role. While I prepare the next news point, you pick one of the two following arguments:
– The Japanese game market is being revitalized by innovation. The success of the DS is a sure sign that the Wii will do well in Japan.
– The Japanese game market is being revitalized by handhelds. This does not mean their interest in consoles will pick up.
Ok, now find a friend who picked the argument you didn’t. Found someone? Excellent, now debate.
Microsoft’s iPod killer coming this Christmas
Funny, MS Word doesn’t recognize iPod as a word. A lot of powerful companies have gone up against Apple and none have taken the portable MP3 player market from them. → Read the rest
UMD movies failing
Is it possible Sony somehow is responsible for a failed format? Of course it is, they love failing, and I love to see their new formats fail. This is a good sign for those of us who want game systems to focus on playing games. To read more complaining, read this.
Blizzard sued by some guy who wants to sell Warcraft guides on the internet
This is a very interesting and possibly important lawsuit. The guy suing Blizzard sold his guides on eBay until Blizzard complained and they were taken down. They say he is trying to make money off of their good will and recognition they’ve built with their games, whatever that means. → Read the rest
It’s said that Americans want everything in a single package. We want a machine that chops, dices, blends, cooks, roasts, minces, and purees. We want a lawn tool that cuts, mows, prunes, digs, weeds, and buries bodies. The Japanese, however, supposedly want specific devices for each thing. They would rather own more things, each doing what they are designed for very well. I agree with the Japanese; I do not want a cell phone that takes pictures. I want a cell phone that has a long battery life, gets great reception and has clear sound. I do not want a dolly that is also a hand truck, a step ladder land a flatbed cart. Actually, I probably don’t really want any dolly. → Read the rest