Posts made in November, 2010

Why Hits Are Increasingly Important

Why Hits Are Increasingly Important

Halfway through November, word got around about Activision selling off Bizarre Creations, the Liverpool-based developer it had taken under its wing. Bizzare’s most recent work, Blur, was a vehicular combat game, not unlike Mario Kart for an older crowd (a point emphasized by the game’s commercial). Blur didn’t sell to expectations, with 31,000 copies moved on launch day. The analysts and NPD had expected a number closer to 100,000 units sold....

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Online Downloads: iPhone vs. 3DS, PSP2

Online Downloads: iPhone vs. 3DS, PSP2

Angry Birds by Rovio is the story of irritated fowl, greedy egg-napping pigs, and big, big, slingshots. It’s also one of the most successful downloadable games (and game apps) of all time, with 10 million copies currently existing on Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch devices alone. Angry Birds has since hit Android, Nokia smartphones, and will soon be coming to the Nintendo DSi, Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network, PSP, and WiiWare. Suffice it to say that...

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Yes, Video Games Can Make Players Cry

Yes, Video Games Can Make Players Cry

When a movie sets out to evoke a specific emotion in its audience, it succeeds about half the time. A portion of the audience will laugh or cry on command, while the rest will walk out at the end, snorting about how the movie wasn’t that funny/sad. There are exceptions, of course; nobody watches Schindler’s List for light dinner and make-out fare (unless you’re Jerry Seinfeld). Video games are an even trickier means of extracting emotions from...

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Why Do We Keep Buying Game Sequels?

Why Do We Keep Buying Game Sequels?

From game-related message boards and comment threads across the Internet, the message comes loud and clear: We need more original franchises. Developers are getting too comfortable falling back on familiar IPs. And then we blow it all by buying seven million copies of Call of Duty: Blacks Ops on launch day. If we say we’re sick of sequels, why do we fall in love with them? At the end of the day, there’s something to be said about the comfort of...

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Why Isn’t Nintendo Talking Wii 2 Yet?

Why Isn’t Nintendo Talking Wii 2 Yet?

If you’re hoping for some console cheer next Christmas season, don’t count on Nintendo to play Santa. Recently, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told Kotaku that Nintendo won’t even open its mouth regarding the Wii’s successor (alias Wii 2) until the current video game system sells at least 15 million more units across America. “As we sit here today we’re saying the Wii has many, many more units to sell,”...

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Microsoft Kinect: Violating Players’ Privacy?

Microsoft Kinect: Violating Players’ Privacy?

Take note, conspiracy theorists: Kinect may be watching you play. Put your pants on. It seems like every month there’s at least one uproar over a major corporation gathering private information through its digital services. But the government isn’t using this data to work out candidates for reconditioning through beatings and wire rat masks. Instead, gathered information usually goes to advertisers who find other, admittedly less painful ways to tap...

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What Went Wrong With Metroid Other M

What Went Wrong With Metroid Other M

Samus Aran is a bounty hunter who travels the galaxy seeking her fortune. Nintendo had hoped that the girl warrior would garner another kind of bounty by autumn: Namely one million sold copies of Metroid: Other M, which saw release in late August 2010. So far, Nintendo has yet to move half a million copies of the action-adventure Wii game, and the company is honestly stumped on what’s gone wrong. “We believe that it could be, should be a million unit...

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How Kinect Can Benefit Autistic Kids

How Kinect Can Benefit Autistic Kids

When Microsoft conceived and developed hands-free motion control system Kinect, it intended to make gaming as hassle-free as possible. But maybe even the company’s best engineers couldn’t foresee just how intuitive Kinect would prove itself to be. John Yan, a writer for GamingNexus, recently reported that his autistic son, Kyle, manipulated menus and games in Kinect with little instruction. Kyle is on the higher end of the autism spectrum, meaning he...

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Is a Rock Band, Guitar Hero Teamup Doable?

Is a Rock Band, Guitar Hero Teamup Doable?

The initial sales numbers for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock have been poor, and Rock Band 3′s numbers have unfortunately been even worse. Despite yielding high review scores, Rock Band 3 sold a paltry 7386 units across the United Kingdom in the week ending October 30. Whereas it was initially tempting to credit Guitar Hero: Warrior of Rock‘s low sales numbers to a hesitant audience that was waiting to see how Rock Band 3 fared with critics, the state of...

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Can Microsoft’s Hands-Free Tech Succeed?

Can Microsoft’s Hands-Free Tech Succeed?

What comes to mind when you think of video gaming? A test of mind and reflexes? A journey into a land of impossibilities? Or just lounging on the couch after a hard day? Microsoft wants you to associate the word “gaming” with “Kinect.” It wants you to associate a lot of gadgets with Kinect, actually. For Kinect Creative Director Kudo Tsunoda, that would be a literal dream come true. “Think about a world where machines understand what...

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