Posts made in September, 2011

Video Game Retail: Dead or Dying?

Video Game Retail: Dead or Dying?

Summer is not typically a hot time for video game sales. People spend more time outdoors, they go away on vacation, or they start preparing for the long college haul. The NPD numbers for August 2011 are especially grim: thanks to the Madden 2012 delay that came as a result of the NFL lockout threat, overall retail sales in the industry dropped 23%. Though it’d be easy to point to these sad numbers and talk about the inevitable death of physical game retail,...

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Nintendo 3DS Expansion Slide Pad: Good Move?

Nintendo 3DS Expansion Slide Pad: Good Move?

The 2011 Tokyo Game Show (TGS) and the Nintendo 3DS conference that preceded it brought some interesting bits of news for Nintendo’s new handheld. A surprise came first: The revelation that Capcom’s enormously popular Monster Hunter franchise would live on the 3DS with Monster Hunter 4. An accompanying piece of news came later, though not through Nintendo’s official pre-TGS conference: the Nintendo 3DS “Expansion Slide Pad,” which...

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iPad Lack of Flash Support: Hurting Developers?

iPad Lack of Flash Support: Hurting Developers?

Adobe’s Flash is a central component of many modern games (especially those of the web-based variety), but Apple’s iOS devices don’t get along with the multimedia platform. The iPad and the iPad 2 don’t support Flash, and it’s unlikely Steve Jobs will budge with the iPad 3, as he regards Flash as cumbersome and outdated next to HTML 5. But there is still enough of a functionality difference between Flash and HTML 5 that some developers...

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Will John Carmack Get What he Wants?

Will John Carmack Get What he Wants?

When the first whispers about a brand new game console hit the Internet, the hardware wishlists quicky follow. We want our new consoles to support HD, we want plenty of storage space for demos and downloadable games. We want smooth online interactions and easy access to indie and triple-A blockbuster titles alike. Also, we want to be able to ride the console like a pony. But a developer’s wish list for a new console tends to go a bit deeper than that of the...

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Is There Room For Another Halo Trilogy?

Is There Room For Another Halo Trilogy?

2007’s Halo 3 for the Xbox 360 challenged us to “Finish the Fight.” And we did. Then 2010’s Halo: Reach said, “C’mon, Fight One More Time.” None of us were naive enough to believe that Halo 3 would mark the end of the Xbox 360’s most popular exclusive franchise, but maybe a few of us were just a smidge surprised when PAX 2011 not only re-affirmed that Halo 4 is coming, but revealed that a whole new Halo trilogy is on...

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Game Genres: What’s in a Name?

Game Genres: What’s in a Name?

When two gamers make introductions, the question inevitably comes up: “What kind of games do you like?” A list is subsequently rattled off: First-person shooters, role-playing games, social games, adventure games, horror, and so on. Every game is neatly tucked into a genre–or so we think. Truth is, game genres are blending into each other more and more. An adventure game will often offer a big helping of puzzles. A social title might have...

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Is There Still Hope for the Xperia Play?

Is There Still Hope for the Xperia Play?

Remember the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone? You can be forgiven if its existence has slipped out of your mind over the past few months. Sony’s Android phone, which has a special emphasis on gaming (especially retro PSOne games), has existed in North America since April 2011, but hasn’t made a big impact on a very busy, very big market. Sony realizes that the Xperia Play hasn’t made much of an imprint on the smartphone scene, and it hopes to...

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New Wii System: Enough to Rekindle Europe?

New Wii System: Enough to Rekindle Europe?

The Wii hasn’t exactly enjoyed a stellar year in terms of sales, but Nintendo needs to get one more holiday season out of the ol’ girl. This time next year, we’ll be bouncing off the walls about the Wii U, so how does Nintendo propose to keep us interested in the Wii for that long? It has an answer, at least for Europe: A slimmer version of the Wii that’s packed with the Wii Remote Plus and copies of Wii Sports and Wii Party. The unit also...

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Can Zelda: Skyward Sword Save the Wii?

Can Zelda: Skyward Sword Save the Wii?

If you’re the owner of a Wii, your system may currently seem…er, a bit dusty. The latter half of 2011 has not been booming with games for Nintendo’s little console. But cheer up! The dry spell is coming to an end!…if you like the Zelda series. The long-awaited Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword finally has a release date: November 20. Not a big surprise, given that it’s the Wii’s only tempting offer this holiday season outside of...

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Are Pre-Order Bonuses Getting Worse?

Are Pre-Order Bonuses Getting Worse?

Once upon a time, pre-order bonuses for video games were a fun way to score a little something on release day, thus amping up the buyer’s excitement over the game by a small but delicious notch. While some companies have a legacy of distributing classy pre-order stuff, most tactile bonus material involved keychains, or oversized shirts that were perfect for schlepping around the house in. Downloadable content (DLC) has helped elevate pre-order bonuses from an...

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