Posts by Nadia Oxford

How Japan Can Regain Its Crown

How Japan Can Regain Its Crown

The cultural divide between Eastern and Western gamers is keeping Japanese game developers up at night. “How can we break into the worldwide market?” the developers fret. “What kind of thematic content will make our games interesting to Western players?” Famous Japanese game director Hideo Kojima has an answer: Japanese game developers should separate themselves into “Japanese” and “Worldwide” markets. Further,...

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How to Save Sonic the Hedgehog

How to Save Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog hit the big 2-0 on June 23, 2011. Unlike more responsible and down-to-earth game mascots like, say, Super Mario, Sega’s spiky rodent has gone through an adolescence that’s rougher than the buzzsaw on his back. Sonic’s fast-moving games catapulted the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive above and beyond the Nintendo Entertainment System in the early ’90s. Opinions are mixed on how Sonic spent the money he earned as child star, but...

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Retail vs. Streaming Video Games

Retail vs. Streaming Video Games

There isn’t a foolproof way to woo the mainstream public into adopting a new technology that’s still a little shaky on its newborn legs. There’s one way to give that technology a decent chance, though: Get Wal-Mart to utilize it. Wal-Mart has signed an agreement with Gaikai to provide streaming services for its GameCenter website. “Over the next 12 months, when people see a video game on TV and want to try it out, they can be sure the...

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Redbox and Video Games: Will it Work?

Redbox and Video Games: Will it Work?

If you want to rent a video game, you have a couple of options. You can try and hunt for a Blockbuster Video store, but given the chain’s massive troubles, you’re likelier to flush a unicorn from the city dump. You can use a mail-rental service like GameFly, but that won’t suit you if you’re in the middle of some chores and are suddenly bitten by the impulse bug. Redbox, the distinctive DVD rental kiosk that stands tall at grocery stores and...

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Free to Play: Do Big Licenses Work?

Free to Play: Do Big Licenses Work?

Studios are adopting a new strategy for standing out in the hyper-competitive free-to-play game market: They’re acquiring major properties on which to base their titles. Gamasutra lists a couple of examples in a recent feature about licensed massively multiplayer games: Three Rings, the studio behind Puzzle Pirates, is working on a free-to-play multiplayer version of the hit sci-fi show Dr. Who. And Bigpoint, a studio based in Germany and acquired by NBC...

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Does Xbox Have a Future in Japan?

Does Xbox Have a Future in Japan?

Let’s be honest: When most of us think about the gaming scene in Japan, Microsoft’s offerings don’t even cross our minds. The size of the original Xbox’s failure in the Land of the Rising Sun was matched only by the console’s massive shell (*pause for audience laughter*). Any other game company might have slunk away from releasing any follow-up consoles, but Microsoft is not easily thwarted. The Xbox 360 hit Japan in 2005, and to...

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Wii U: Has Its Hype Killed the Wii?

Wii U: Has Its Hype Killed the Wii?

Nintendo put a lot of energy into its presentation of the Wii U, and it’s paid off: The hype surrounding the new video game system is strong. At the very least, even the skeptical want to know more. But the Wii U’s unveiling commanded a hefty price: It may have administered a lethal injection for the original Wii. Gamasutra analyst Matt Matthews took a thorough look at the Wii’s recent slide in sales numbers and determined that, even with the...

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EA Buys PopCap: Smart Purchase?

EA Buys PopCap: Smart Purchase?

EA has a lot of confidence in the social games market. Oh boy, does it ever have a lot of confidence in the social games market. Multiple reports indicate that EA has dished out a billion bones to acquire PopCap, one of the biggest and most recognized developers of casual and social games. Bejeweled, Peggle, and Plants vs Zombies are just three of PopCap’s hits. Given EA’s breathless dive into the social games market, including its 2009 acquisition of...

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Games and Toys: High-Tech Crossovers

Games and Toys: High-Tech Crossovers

It’s not unheard of for a video game to be coupled with a physical toy, or toys: In its earliest incarnation, the Nintendo Entertainment System was packed with “ROB,” a little robot pal who could interact (awkwardly) with one of the system’s pack-in games. Though ROB existed only to fool game-weary parents into thinking they were buying an “entertainment system” and not a video game console, Rob is still looked on fondly as an...

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Why Wasn’t The Last Guardian at E3?

Why Wasn’t The Last Guardian at E3?

All the exciting sights and sounds of E3 weren’t enough to distract us from the absence of two much looked-for guests: A little boy and his baby monster. Team Ico’s The Last Guardian, a beautiful and mysterious follow-up to the celebrated Shadow of the Colossus for the PlayStation 2, lay low for E3 2011, much to our disappointment. When footage of The Last Guardian blinked into existence in 2009, it introduced us to an adventure/puzzle game that made...

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