Tagged: Nfamous

Meanwhile, on NfamousGamers…

There’s (another) new Twitter game in town called Spymaster. I checked it out and despite its nice design it’s pretty much like the rest. I’ve got more to say if you’re interested in abusing your own Followers. In equally intangible gaming territory, Team17’s upcoming re-imagined Alien Breed trilogy is one of the most expensive downloadable games yet made and could drive DLC prices to new heights. There’s some quotes and links to more dev talk in my full write up, here.

PlayStation Network has another sure-to-be-overlooked arcade darling in Shatter which I’ll try to evangelize until I finally play it and probably end up not liking it. Watchmen continues to generate massive amounts of geek cash with the upcoming Blu-ray, DVD and super ultimate collector’s edition sets which include everything from extra scenes to Part 2 of the Watchmen: End is Nigh game.

Playlogic is adding to the pot of online, downloadable games portals with Gamessence.com, real prizes are finally up for grabs in 1 vs 100, God of War does kart racing on the Wii (not really), and *surprise* there’s another new puzzle game for the iPhone. My Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood review is also live on the site but there’s probably another post about that coming soon to GameLuv.

This is ME, over THERE

I’ve been a little behind on cross-linking my NfamousGamers pieces so allow me to recount them in abbreviated form here. Most notably, I take a wild look at what the new EGM might be like when Steve Harris reveals some crazy news, I get giddy over a four-disc Shinobi Music Collection and try to be excited about the first DSi-exclusive game, Jigapix. A little bit before all that I get angry over another round of cheap Wii peripherals for MotionPlus, try to get everyone hooked on the first Twitter game, SNODS (which I’ve given up “playing” since), and check out GameFly’s online flash game portal, PONGED.com.

I also reviewed Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic for PlayStation 3 and (as I posted yesterday) Kodu Game Lab for Xbox 360. I’ve got a Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood review coming up soon that I’m really happy with so, yes, I’ll be linking to that soon too. Deal! And thanks for reading!

The NfamousGamers Roundup Post

I really enjoy working at NfamousGamers, getting things sent to me with expectations of a timely turnaround, but it’s made it hard to work on GameLuv since a lot of what I write would probably end up here as well. I’ve been linking individual stories but I think I’m going to do a roundup kinda post since a lot of what I’m writing now is press release recaps. I’m still proud of what I write and want to share it here (and across Livejournal, and Twitter, and Facebook… hi guys!!). I’m especially pleased with this write up I did on the whole “new Xbox” talk which is posted here in its entirety with some older headlines after the cut.

It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point, what with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer having just confirmed a new Xbox for 2010 that features a “natural interface,” but I think it’s worth looking back over our shoulders at the bread crumb trail. Out of E3 it was Microsoft conference MC Don Mattrick who cryptically revealed that the motion sensing Project Natal would support the current Xbox and all Xbox hardware going forward. I assumed he was talking about future backward compatibility with any Natal games that were released for the Xbox 360 but it was a carefully worded hint at this newly confirmed console release.

Then came the news that Microsoft would no longer be sending out Xbox Coffins, the all-too-familiar, pre-paid cardboard box that the company had been shipping to Xbox owners with defective hardware. Coupled with this news is the recent discovery of yet another new hardware chipset in the Xbox 360 Arcade unit featuring 512mb of memory, up from 256mb. Microsoft confirmed the new hardware to Eurogamer stating that, “The Xbox 360 system software uses some of the included 512mb memory. We want to offer consumers a bit more memory at the same low price so they can enjoy more experiences on Xbox LIVE.” And then fellow Nfamous Gamer, Robert’s Xbox died.

This new Xbox 2010, for lack of an official name, is going to do more than just bundle in the Natal hardware. It’s a Nintendo style “refresh” to be sure, just like the DS Lite was to the original Nintendo DS, but it may also be a chance for Microsoft to finally put the Red Ring of Death era behind them. Over the years they’ve added heat sinks, changed out microchips, reworked the layout of the components, and added more ventilation but it’s never been enough to keep the Xbox 360 running reliably for long. Now able to completely update the hardware and even redesign the case with Xbox 2010 the biggest technological advance might be one we never even realize; no more red rings.

Now for the bad news. It’s obvious the repair program for all those years of dead systems has taken its toll on Microsoft’s bottom line. They’re drawing back support already by ditching the coffin boxes, which must cost quite a bit on their own for cardboard, packing foam, plastics, and shipping costs. We’ve still got the hyper-extended three year warranty but it’s apparently only a matter of time before everyone’s Xbox 360 dies and we’ll eventually have to pay for shipping and repairs or finally upgrade to an Xbox 2010. For those of us not yet ready to invest in a whole new console let’s hope the Natal hardware doesn’t push our Xbox 360’s any harder… or that Microsoft offers a sweet incentive deal. Hey, we’re on the verge of controller-less gaming of the future, I can dream right?

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Your Sunday PodShot is full of people!

I don’t know about everyone else but Life has seriously been cutting into my game time this past week! I did manage to get a new-ish video card for my PC and played a little Max Payne 2 and Audiosurf while the rest of the gang got in on Magic: The Gathering on Xbox 360, more Sims 3, Raiden Fighters Aces, Ghostbusters, and discussions on Nintendo’s “kind code” and why I don’t like BioWare games. All that AND we’re joined by special guest, NfamousGamers’ Robert!

Trending Topics from E3 2009

I’m really proud that I finally got this one written up. The full thing is at NfamousGamers but I posted a larger-than-normal clip below.

e3trends-1

Now that we’ve had a while to wrap our heads around what went down at E3 I thought I’d chime in with a few of the trends I noticed from the show. This is by no means empirical proof, just some things that made me go hmmmm as we head towards 2010.

Motion Control or Nintendo Wins
They may have already won from a shear sales point of view but 2009 is officially the year when Nintendo broke Sony and Microsoft. Both companies, once devout supporters of the “hardcore” audience were fumbling all over their respective stages to flaunt the next level of… motion controls. Congratulations Nintendo, you’ve won it all. Just like the Wii there will no doubt be plenty of games for the core audience that use both Project Natal and Sony’s motion control (please, give it a name already!) but both demos were clearly aimed at a much wider audience, especially Natal.

2010 is going to be the banner year for motion control whether Natal and Sony’s tech make it to store shelves or not. E3 was just the opening salvo in what will become the new ‘we’ve got more bits than you’ technology arms race that has supplanted the time honored war of ‘we’ve got the next new console’ that would normally be happening around this time. It’s actually a good thing as new console announcements at this economic standpoint would probably be a death sentence for The Big Three. Instead they’re relying on less-expensive peripherals to help refresh the current generation of hardware by offering new experiences.

What I wonder about is if all three very unique motion controllers will be any easier to cross-develop for. Porting from the Wii to Xbox 360 requires a lot of controller re-programming but will gyroscopic input be any easier to translate to Natal’s motion tracking camera? Will a game on the Wii feel better than one played with Sony’s tech or will Natal’s “nothing to hold” interface feel the most natural and responsive? We could soon see a return to the days of console exclusives simply because of the disparity between technology.

Proprietary Plastic Peripheral Peril
Motion controls may make our familiar button-riddled controllers obsolete one day but it doesn’t look like game-specific peripherals are going away any time soon. For impact I’ll simply list all the peripherals we heard about at E3 and let you try figure out how you’d store them all in your home.

  • Project Natal camera
  • Wii MotionPlus
  • Wii Vitality Sensor
  • Sony’s Motion Wand/Controller
  • Ubisoft’s Your Shape camera
  • Tony Hawk Ride’s Skateboard
  • The Beatles: Rock Band’s FOUR instruments
  • Squeeballs GameTrak Freedom Wand for Xbox

But wait, there’s even more stuff at NfamousGamers!