Posts made in October, 2010

The State of Modern Music Games

The State of Modern Music Games

It’s no secret that sales of music video games hardware have been on the decline for several years (although industry executives claim that sales of software and digital song downloads are actually on the rise). Naturally, this presents a challenge for the makers of popular franchises like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, even as presents opportunities for a wave of newcomers from Def Jam Rapstar to Linkin Park Revenge. Rather than stick with the previous excuse...

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Dozens of Video Game Classics Being Remade

Dozens of Video Game Classics Being Remade

Retro video game enthusiasts are in for a treat this holiday season: Looking for a cheap way to boost sales and raise brand awareness, many of today’s top gaming companies are turning to classic games as a modern source of fun. Dozens of remakes, reboots and updates of popular series are all in the offing, no matter whether you grew up with an Atari 2600, Super Nintendo, arcade joystick or IBM PC-compatible keyboard in hand. Our recent column for CNN, titled...

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Should Games Writers Avoid Using Jargon?

Should Games Writers Avoid Using Jargon?

Last month, writer Ben Abraham delivered two messages to the collective video games press. They were as follows: 1) “‘Replayability’ is not a word…” 2) “…so stop using it, you idiots!” Some offense followed, accompanied by plenty of chin-stroking. Case in point: What, precisely, is wrong with a term like “replayability?” Sure, it’s not in the dictionary, but neither is the definition for an acronym...

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What PlayStation Can Still Teach the Industry

What PlayStation Can Still Teach the Industry

Console games went through a huge transition when the 16-bit era gave way to the 32-/64-bit era. In fact, it’s arguably the most tumultuous time the video game industry has gone through, barring the infamous Crash of ’83. Mascots who had dominated the second dimension took their first shaky steps into the third. Camera angles, depth perception, and other non-issues in the 16-bit realm streaked to the fore of every new game. And Nintendo and Sega were...

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Wii 2? PS4? What’s in a Console’s Name?

Wii 2? PS4? What’s in a Console’s Name?

Naming a commercial product–a video game system, for example–is a big undertaking, almost as solemn as naming a newborn child. Game companies like Nintendo and Microsoft pour hundreds of hours into researching appropriate names for their new systems, to say nothing of millions of dollars. And when everything comes together and the final moniker is unveiled, the Internet usually points and laughs. It can be hard to resist. Surely Nintendo suspected that...

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Gaming’s Dirty Little Secret

Gaming’s Dirty Little Secret

We’ve gone on record with the media many times explaining what’s happening to the video games industry, and how it’s being utterly transformed by the advent of online game downloads, social gaming, iPhone/iPad apps, free-to-play titles and other new forms of interactive entertainment. But our recent column for The Daily Beast, dubbed simply The New Revolution in Video Games summarizes the situation quite nicely, if you’re looking for a short...

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How Many 3DS Systems Can Nintendo Sell?

How Many 3DS Systems Can Nintendo Sell?

Nintendo is understandably excited about the launch of its new 3D gaming system the 3DS, planned to debut throughout Japan in February and the US in March of 2011. It’s also confident about the portable handheld console’s sales potential. Very confident. As in, “The Nintendo 3DS will sell 4 million units in its first month of life” confident. That’s a heck of a number. By comparison, the Wii shipped close to 4 million...

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Should Xbox 360 Worry About Blu-ray?

Should Xbox 360 Worry About Blu-ray?

In the year 2000, a lot of families were still struggling with the fuzzy playback that VHS tapes offered. Renting tapes could be a trial: More often than not, previous renters were not kind and did not rewind. Morever, accessing one single scene of a movie involved rewinding, fast-forwarding, then rewinding again. Favorite titles had the unfortunate habit of turning into burning plastic stuffed with brown goo. In other words, when DVD players hit the market, movie...

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Can Big-Budget Titles Still Perform?

Can Big-Budget Titles Still Perform?

Video games aren’t cheap. They’re not cheap to buy, and they’re not cheap to make. There are a few obvious exceptions: On Xbox Live’s Indie Games service, developers can make and sell distractions for a the price of a pack of cigarettes. But if you’re a larger studio looking to develop and release a big project, better tuck a few million into your pocket before you get started. More disturbingly now though comes news that even if you...

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Where Are New Games for Nintendo’s 3DS?

Where Are New Games for Nintendo’s 3DS?

The unveiling of the Nintendo 3DS has proven pretty exciting for handheld gaming enthusiasts. The system has 3D graphics, a tilt sensor and a Virtual Console service that will let fans relive favorite Game Boy releases. What’s not to get excited about? Oh, and then there’s the games, of course. Kid Icarus Uprising, a new Animal Crossing, a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a remake of Star Fox 64, a remake of Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater,...

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