xbox 360

iPhone Shakes Up the Video Game Industry

Hugh Pickens writes “Troy Wolverton writes in the Mercury News that in less than a year, the iPhone has become a significant game platform, but its bigger impact could be to help change the way the game industry does business. ‘It’s got everything you need to be a game changer,’ said Neil Young, co-founder and CEO of ngmoco, which develops games solely for the iPhone. With a year under its belt and an installed base of iPhone and iPod Touch owners at around forty million, the iPhone/iPod Touch platform has eclipsed next-gen console penetration numbers and started to catch up to the worldwide penetration of both Sony’s (50 million) and Nintendo’s (100 million) devices. Wolverton writes that not only is the iPhone one of the first widely successful gaming platforms in which games are completely digitally distributed, but on the iPhone, consumers can find more games updated more often, and at a cheaper cost per game than what they’d find on a typical dedicated game console. While an ordinary top-of-the-line game for M|cr0s0ft’s Xbox 360 sells for about , and one for Nintendo’s DS about , a top-of-the-line iPhone game typically sells for no more than . With traditional games, developers might wait a year or two between major releases; ngmoco is planning on releasing new versions of its games for the iPhone every four to five months. ‘You have to think differently,’ says Young. ‘It’s redefining what it means to be a publisher in this world.'”

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Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on iPhone Shakes Up the Video Game Industry

Why Natal Is a Big Deal

Kikizo has an editorial piece evaluating the Xbox 360’s upcoming motion-control scheme, Project Natal, and discussing why it’s a bigger step forward for interactive gaming than many people think. Quoting: “[Natal] accurately perceives players in 3D space, simultaneously tracking over 48 joints on your body, enabling it to accurately redraw your skeleton in real time as you move about. On a separate ‘debug screen’ in the closed-doors session, we could witness for ourselves the ‘mind’s eye’ of Natal, visually showing how it completely understands where we are, how we’re moving, where we are in 3D space, how far in front of my face my hand is, whatever. It can supposedly even track individual hand and finger movement when it switches into this more finely-tuned mode. … There is a surprising feeling of tactility and iPhone-like fluidity and precision to the way Natal works.” Another interesting bit of news about Natal is that Wii-hacker Johnny Chung Lee is part of the development team. We’ve discussed some of his creations in the past.

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Friday, June 12th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Why Natal Is a Big Deal

Does the Wii Provide A "Watered-Down" Game Experience?

CNet is running a story inspired by comments from Ubisoft’s Ben Mattes about how the Wii affects game development. When asked why there was no Wii version of Prince of Persia, Mattes said, “The reality is that from a technical standpoint, the Wii cannot do what we wanted the game to do. The AI of Elika was highly advanced and required a lot of processing power; the world size and dynamic loading, the draw distance, the number of polygons in the characters… If we had done a Wii version, it would have been toned down, probably linear; it wouldn’t have been an open-world game, and so it would have been a very different experience.” The article goes on to look at a number of Wii games that are stripped-down versions of their Xbox 360 or PS3 counterparts. Of course, part of the Wii’s drawing power is that it’s much simpler than the other systems, and has brought casual gaming to millions more people than it would have otherwise. The question remains, as Kotaku points out, whether the Wii’s audience will persist after the other systems match its casual-gaming capabilities.

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Thursday, June 11th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Does the Wii Provide A "Watered-Down" Game Experience?

Microsoft at E3: Look, Nintendo, No Controllers!


M|cr0s0ft is controlling the early buzz at the massive E3 video game convention with its Project Natal technology, which allows gamers to interact with their Xbox 360s without the need for handheld controllers. Along with the publicity, though, the company is creating a lot of questions regarding its ability to deliver on the innovation and promise demonstrated on a Los Angeles Convention Center stage Monday. M|cr0s0ft invited Steven Spielberg to help introduce Natal to the throng of media and industry insiders in the audience.

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Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Microsoft at E3: Look, Nintendo, No Controllers!

Microsoft at E3: Look, Nintendo, No Controllers!


M|cr0s0ft is controlling the early buzz at the massive E3 video game convention with its Project Natal technology, which allows gamers to interact with their Xbox 360s without the need for handheld controllers. Along with the publicity, though, the company is creating a lot of questions regarding its ability to deliver on the innovation and promise demonstrated on a Los Angeles Convention Center stage Monday. M|cr0s0ft invited Steven Spielberg to help introduce Natal to the throng of media and industry insiders in the audience.

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Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Microsoft at E3: Look, Nintendo, No Controllers!

Xbox 360 Full-Body Motion Control Is Here: Project Natal

M|cr0s0ft unveils its newest control scheme at E3 today: full-body motion control that doesn’t require a controller of any kind called Project Natal. On first glance this thing looks amazing–the Wii is dead.

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Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Xbox 360 Full-Body Motion Control Is Here: Project Natal

Left 4 Dead 2 Announced For November

hansamurai writes “Left 4 Dead 2 has been announced at E3, and a trailer for the game has surfaced. It will be released November 17, 2009, just a year after the first game. Gameplay changes include a new focus on melee weapons, especially the iconic anti-zombie weapon, the chainsaw. The cast of characters is brand new, but the plot appears to take place during the same zombie outbreak.” The game is being developed for the PC and Xbox 360, and Valve says it will make use of a new version of their AI engine, which has the ability to “procedurally change weather effects, world objects, and pathways in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match the players’ performance.” Rock, Paper, Shotgun got the chance to do a hands-on preview, providing details about the gameplay and confirming that “it’s a coherent new imagining of the game, this time bigger, smarter, and far more elaborate. Oh, and gloriously more gory.”

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Monday, June 1st, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Left 4 Dead 2 Announced For November

Microsoft Debuts Full-Body Controller-less Gaming At E3

quintin3265 writes “At today’s Electronic Entertainment Expo press briefing, M|cr0s0ft unveiled Project Natal, a technology that eliminates the controller from gaming on the Xbox 360. In one demo, a player used her arms and legs to hit balls in an attempt to destroy a brick wall, and in another game, an employee threw virtual “paint” on a canvas to create a painting, even drawing an elephant using a silhouette feature. An accompanying video also demonstrated automatic login using facial recognition, videoconferencing with other Xbox Live members, and participating in a gameshow against another family through the Internet using speech recognition.”

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Monday, June 1st, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Microsoft Debuts Full-Body Controller-less Gaming At E3

Microsoft morphing Xbox 360 into social, entertainment hub

M|cr0s0ft kicked off this year’s E3 by announcing the long-expected motion camera and the arrival of Facebook, Last.fm, Twitter, and more on the Xbox 360.

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Monday, June 1st, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Microsoft morphing Xbox 360 into social, entertainment hub

Xbox To Get Live TV and Massive VOD Update

CNETNate writes “It’s a global first for M|cr0s0ft, and massive news for Xbox owners. Redmond and the largest pay TV service in the UK — Sky, owned in part by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp — has tied a deal that brings simulcast TV, sports, entertainment shows, pay-per-view movies and back catalogue television to the Xbox 360. It’s an entirely streamed service, offering no download-to-own content, and partly rivals the BBC iPlayer, which is available on UK PlayStation consoles and the Nintendo Wii. The service will go live later in the year at no cost to existing subscribers, and screenshots show it fits in seamlessly with the Xbox Live interface.”

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Friday, May 29th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Xbox To Get Live TV and Massive VOD Update