Gaming News July 2008

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FpsBrain Supplement – The Gamer’s Pill
Tweak Town :: Wednesday, July 30, 2008
These are no ordinary supplements I’m soon to discover, they contain a little extra to help you focus and be able to concentrate more. Now, I’m a world class sceptic when it comes to the herbology department and I looked at the bottle like it actually contained snake oil.

The next night without them, I felt tired much quicker than the night before. About two and a half hours in I found myself needing more breaks to get a drink and rest for a while in an effort to get my concentration back. Obviously there is something to be said for these super-vitamin pills.

Video Games Are a Family Affair
Futurelooks :: Sunday, July 27, 2008
Video games are most definitely a part of the mainstream and are really no different than getting your entertainment through music, movies, and television. With this growing popularity, it seems that the face of the gaming demographic has changed substantially as well. They’re not kids and teens anymore. They’re your moms, your working professionals, and even dear old grandpa and grandma. Nothing seems to suit the perfect family better than the perfect video game.

Saling The World: Final Fantasy IV Heads DS Charts In Debut Week
Gamasutra Columns :: Friday, July 25, 2008
Gamasutra’s latest “Saling The World” charts see the just-released Final Fantasy IV surpassing long-time chart leader Guitar Hero: On Tour on the Nintendo DS in North America, as KORG DS-10 leads DS sales in Japan.

Critical Reception: Square Enix’s Final Fantasy IV
Gamasutra Columns :: Friday, July 25, 2008
This week’s edition of Critical Reception examines online reaction to Square Enix’s Final Fantasy IV, a Nintendo DS remake that reviews alternately describe as “one fantastic role-playing title,” and “needlessly redundant.”

Release This: Final Fantasy IV DS, Izuna 2 Premiere Stateside
Gamasutra Columns :: Friday, July 25, 2008
Gamasutra’s latest “Release This!” explores a week that features North American releases for Final Fantasy IV and Izuna 2 on the Nintendo DS, while Japan gets Wario Land Shake and Siren: New Translation.

Saling The World: Dragon Quest V Tops Multiplatform Charts in Japan
Gamasutra Columns :: Friday, July 25, 2008
Gamasutra’s latest “Saling The World” charts find EA’s NCAA Football 09 leading sales on the Xbox 360 in North America, while a remade Dragon Quest V for the Nintendo DS leads cross-platform sales in Japan.

Critical Reception: EA Tiburon’s NCAA Football 09
Gamasutra Columns :: Friday, July 25, 2008
This week’s edition of Critical Reception examines online reaction to NCAA Football 09, a college football sequel hailed as “national-championship caliber” in recent reviews.

Bungie president ‘certainly didn’t agree’ with decision to postpone E3 reveal
Xbox Scene :: Friday, July 25, 2008
From eurogamer.net : <BR><I> Bungie president Harold Ryan has denied “laughing” when Xbox boss Don Mattrick told him that the studio’s latest Halo product would not be shown at E3. “Keeping things clean, I certainly didn’t agree with the decision to delay our news until sometime after E3,” Ryan told Eurogamer today. “Bungie is always concerned first and foremost with our fans. Whenever we are prevented from exceeding their positive expectations it is not a laughing matter.” </I><BR><BR> Full Story: eurogamer.net

Xbox 360 will outperform PS3 in software for years – Mattrick
Xbox Scene :: Friday, July 25, 2008
From eurogamer.net : <BR><I> When we asked to clarify if he [Microsoft’s Don Mattrick] meant Xbox 360’s next three or four years of software will outperform PS3’s, and that PS3 will be unable to make up the ground, he replied: “That’s what I said.” Mattrick famously hung the Microsoft’s E3 press conference on the claim that Xbox 360 will defeat PS3 worldwide in this generation of consoles and told Eurogamer that he came out and said it because he was fed up of being asked about it. “I did the math, I did the math a different way, I did the math…there was no equation that I came to where I got a different answer, and I went, ‘You know what? This is getting boring,'” he said. “Like, instead of everyone standing on the sidelines trying to hedge, I’m just going to say it.” </I><BR><BR> Full Story: eurogamer.net

Xbox Live’s Worst Demos
Xbox Scene :: Friday, July 25, 2008
From oxm.co.uk : <BR><I> When a demo is done properly, it can create a lot of buzz around an unheralded title. The early days saw Fight Night Round 3 stun 360 owners with its sharp visuals and crunching slow-mo knockout replays. Later down the line Civilization Revolution, Lost Planet, Bioshock and Burnout Paradise all had stellar demos that did a great job of selling the game in question. Sometimes it’s too easy for developers to fall into a “here’s the boss, now the demo ends” trap. Unfortunately, some developers tend to fall even further. Here are the five most disappointing demos, all notable for the fact that they’ve turned people off the game rather than onto it. They might be free but sometimes, you get what you pay for… 5. Battlefield 2: Modern Combat 4. Sonic The Hedgehog 3. Turning Point: Fall of Liberty 2. Too Human 1. Hour Of Victory </I><BR><BR> Full Story: oxm.co.uk


Microsoft: Rivals have been slacking off
Xbox Scene :: Friday, July 25, 2008
From mcvuk.com : <BR><I> Don Mattrick has told MCV he is confident that Microsoft ‘won’ E3 this year – and has even accused Sony and Nintendo of slacking off over the past year. In assessing his rivals’ E3 conferences, he said: “I think we got more than 12 months’ work done, and others went on an extended vacation. Hopefully they got some good vacation photos, because they sure weren’t showing up at work.” “Of course I’m going to be biased, but so far what I’ve heard is that Sony and Nintendo have disappointed. And Microsoft has been leading, innovating and driving a very comprehensive global programme.” </I><BR><BR> Full Story: mcvuk.com

TVersity v1.0.0.3 RC2
Xbox Scene :: Friday, July 25, 2008
A new release candidate of TVersity Media Server(info ) 1.0 has been released. What’s new/fixed: * New Features o Album art support is now available and is compatible with the Sony PS3 as well as with the HTML interface (PSP, iPhone, Blackberry, etc.) and flash interface (Wii). Album art relies on JPEG files conforming to certain naming conventions that are present in the same folder as music tracks. These files can be created by either Windows Media Player or WinAmp and TVersity will pick them up, or users can add them manually. o Individual YouTube videos can now be added by pointing the browser to a specific video on YouTube and dragging and dropping the address bar icon to TVersity (or copying and pasting the URL). * Bug Fixes o MShare now refreshes as fast as it was in 0.9.11.4. o No files are periodically added to the Temporary Internet Files folder while the GUI is running (browser caching was turned off). o Fix crashes when adding/refreshing some FLAC and some MP3 files. o Flash interface is now more reliable when switching from one live stream to another and then going back to first one. o TVersity service was failing to start on machines that had a non ASCII character in their hostname. Official Site: Download: here

MS: We Keep Selling The HDD-Free 360 Because ‘Consumers Like Choice’
Xbox Scene :: Friday, July 25, 2008
From multiplayerblog.mtv.com : <BR><I> Don Mattrick, head of Xbox at Microsoft: “What we’ve learned is that consumers like choice. So we’re providing a choice in flexibility to consumers. There’s different entry points. There’s different types of experiences people want to use. That program is working for us. Retailers like it. Consumers like it. So that’s why we have it.” </I><BR><BR> Full Story: multiplayerblog.mtv.com

How long can Microsoft keep charging for Xbox Live?
Xbox Scene :: Friday, July 25, 2008
From guardian.co.uk : <BR><I> I’m a big fan of Xbox Live. Friend lists, achievements, ease of use – Live still towers above the Playstation and Wii online services. But then it should. Live costs around 40 quid [GBP] a year, Sony and Nintendo’s offerings are free. Sure the service is good but how long can Microsoft get away with charging? The news that Games for Windows Live – essentially a PC version of Xbox Live – will now be available for free makes it increasingly difficult for Microsoft to justify charging a subscription to Xbox Live. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: guardian.co.uk

ex-XNA member Weller about Xbox LIVE Community Games
Xbox Scene :: Friday, July 25, 2008
From David “LetsKillDave” Weller’s Blog : <BR><I> People are buzzing about today’s announcement that developers can start making money soon off their Xbox LIVE Community Games built using XNA Game Studio. Being an ex-XNA member, I can still say, without a shadow of doubt, that Microsoft is offering a groundbreaking game channel, and that some people stand a chance to make great money from the system. It’s an exciting opportunity, but the danger for consumers lies in Microsoft’s deliberate steps to avoid discussions regarding game quality, even during peer review. I firmly believe that avoiding commentary/ratings on game quality will result in frustrated consumers, who will have no way to discern the quality of a game among (ultimately) thousands. Of course, the game creator has the option of offering a trial game, but it will be interesting to see how many developers take advantage of that path, (as it is not required) [Edit: Peter Hatch points to a Wired article where Chris Satnchell states that a timed trial will be enabled by default, but my concern about te lck of quality indicators still stands]. I doubt consumers will get a refund for buying a sucky game either. Before anybody thinks I’m bashing the XNA team, please keep in mind that this is the same approach taken for Xbox LIVE Arcade games — you’re on your own to find genuine game reviews and ratings. The difference is that XBLA games have a higher standard for quality and consistency regarding the gaming experience. XBLA games have a large number of technical conformances to adhere to, which are tested by the XBLA team prior to its approval for release — the Community Games has no such thing during the peer review (remembe, peer review is a check on the content, not on technical quality or gameplay quality). I think the upcoming plethora of games on the Commuity Games pipeline will only create more consumer confusion without them having a reliable guide </I><BR><BR>