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Tetris - Tournament and Lottery

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

If you have not caught on, I have sort of a fetish for Tetris (seriously).

Well a couple of Tetris related happenings have come crossed my path recently, the first being something I hope to see you all in (then CRUSH YOU!).. a Tetris Splash Tournament being held on Xbox 360. This is the second one to be created and held just by other Tetris lovers on the official forums. User ‘cyno‘ has posted the information in a post here.

The long and short of it is, send him a PM that you would like to be in the tournament by March 12 (tomorrow) at 5:00pm. On the 14th, check the Tetris Splash forums and see the brackets.. easy enough? Well sign up and get to practicing! Want to see the best of the best from the last tournament, check this video below so you know what you are getting yourself into:


Sony and Microsoft Talking About Blu-ray Capable Xbox 360 - Add-On Or Built In Drive A Possibility

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Ever since HD DVD as a format died a bitter death back in early February, there has been speculation over what Microsoft would do now that their decision to support the format has gone horribly wrong. Now it seems that they are at least talking to Sony about the possibility of a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360, to replace the now virtually worthless HD DVD one.

Microsoft has already cut the price of the HD DVD drive to bargain basement levels, and now it seems they are keen to move on from the dead format altogether.

There are reports that not only could an Xbox Blu-ray drive be on its way, it might actually be fully integrated in to the console, rather than merely available as an expensive add-on.

According to the Financial Times, Sony Electronics US president, Stan Glasgow, claims his company is in talks with Microsoft about the possibility.

if this does happen, what’s interesting is that it would mean Sony making money on every Xbox 360 sold, as well as every Playstation 3, which regardless of sales figures would make it the big winner in this format war.


Bully: Scholarship Edition On Xbox 360 Is Broken

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Reports are all over the Internet today that the Xbox 360 version of Bully: Scholarship Edition is basically broken, with gamers complaining that the game is prone to continually freezing up and suffering all kinds of glitches.

Rockstar may have released their first game which isn’t pleasing gamers everywhere, and the reason? Because due to a lazy development port from the Playstation 2 to the Xbox 360, and a massive failure in the Quality Assurance testing process, the game has been released on to the general public with faults which can kill the game, and certainly make it unplayable.

There were rumblings across various gaming forums about problems with the game, but until a poster on Neo-Gaf pulled all of those together, they were too spread to indicate a serious problem.

Then, gaming news site Kotaku got wind of the story, and used their power to bring the issue to the attention of Rockstar Games, who have issued a statement explaining the nature of the problem, and promising to work towards a solution.


Metal Gear Solid 4 Gets June Release Date & PS3 Bundle Details - Is It The End For Solid Snake?

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
has finally got a release date, ending months of intense speculation. The game will come out on June 12 across all of the gaming regions, including America, Japan, and Europe. It will of course be a Playstation 3 exclusive, and a new console bundle will also be released at the same time.

The Metal Gear Solid games have been one of the ever present exclusives throughout the Playstation era, with number 1 on the original Playstation, 2 and 3 on the Playstation 2, and now the fourth game in the series arriving on the PS3 by the summer.

The big news is that this latest instalment of the best selling series could signal the end for Solid Snake, as Raiden gets converted in to the main man. This comes from the game’s developers Konami, who it was thought wanted to finish the series off altogether. Now it just seems Solid Snake may have had his time, and a new hero is being prepared for the lead job.


Disney Announces ‘Ultimate Band’ For Nintendo Wii & DS - New Competitor For Guitar Hero & Rock Band?

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

It was bound to happen. As with every other industry, you get a successful game, and then a whole host of imitators. Guitar Hero was the original game to put you, the gamer, in the role of member of a band, and then Rock Band took the idea and ran with it, allowing you to choose to be a singer, guitarist or drummer. Now there is to be a new addition to the genre, in the form of Ultimate Band from Disney.

The game will only be available on the Nintendo consoles, Wii and DS, mainly due to the fact that Disney Interactive were keen to keep costs to the gamer down by doing away with the need for any expensive add-on peripherals. So the game, when it gets a release in the fall, will use the Wiimote, and touchscreen respectively. Gamers will be able to play lead guitar, bass, and drums, using just a combination of the already existing controllers.


Phil Harrison Quits Sony

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Taking away from the complete randomness that was EA’s offer to take Take-Two for two (billion dollars), a new news story has broken in the form of a press release which outlines the split between Phil Harrison and Sony (Note: I dare you to say the full previous sentence five times fast!)

To mourn the great loss of this proud warrior, let us remember some great quotes and ideas from this man:

“.…rumble was last gen and no longer needed.” - On PS3 controller debuting with no rumble. May 8th, 2006

The PlayStation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC.” - May 31st, 2006

What he hell, to help celebrate the life of Phil rather than his passing from SCE, I have a few more gems I have been wanting to post from other Sony greats, continue on after the break for classic stuff:


‘Gears Of War 2′ To Ship In November - Microsoft Finally Reveal A Big Exclusive Release

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Big exclusives games seem to be a bit thin on the ground for the Xbox 360 of late. While the PS3 has a whole slew of them lined up for the next twelve months, Xbox owners are having to be content with retro releases through the Xbox Live service.

But finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel, as Microsoft has announced Gears Of War 2 is to be released in November. So just the 8 months to wait.

Microsoft made the official announcement at the Game Developers Conference (GDC). Rumours of a sequel to the best selling Gears Of War have been doing the rounds for the last few months, but this is the first official confirmation. It’s no doubt been brought forward due to poor hardware sales over the past few months, which won’t be helped by the death of HD DVD.

The PS3 is likely to see an upturn in sales purely for the fact it has a Blu ray player built in, making it one of the cheapest options for playing high definition movies on.

Add in the fact that Sony have a lot of big games due out during 2008, and Microsoft definitely had to pull some sort of announcement out of its ass, and quick.


GDC 08 - Microsoft Keynote Cliffnotes

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Probably one of the most notable presentations at this years Game Developers Conference is Microsoft’s Keynote. Without Sony or Nintendo doing personal presentations themselves, this left Microsoft with a pretty easy “win” if you want to fuel the console wars fires. Though no “Free Xbox Live” was to be seen, some pretty damn big announcements have been made, including a surprise title coming out this year that had not been previously announced, read on for the quickest notes on the keynote ever:


DJ Hero Trademark Filed

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Activision is on their way to putting EA out of business (oh how we could only hope). On top of the recent announcement of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, news of a trademark being filed by the company for another title, DJ Hero has hit the nets. No dates are mentioned, just the following tidbit from their filing:

“Computer game software and related instruction manual sold together as a unit; interactive video game programs; computer game discs; downloadable software for use in connection with computer games; video game controllers; Interactive video game comprised of a CD or DVD sold as a unit with a video game controller”

How will this game play? So far the only comparable game to what they will be introducing is Beatmania, which I would definitely not call a huge success in the U.S. I would say that if there were ever a time to release a beat/rhythm based game, now of course is that time. I know DDR has its following, but until Rock Band and Guitar Hero III hit, these type of games were something to be ashamed of playing, now even my non-video game playing cousin enjoys stepping up to the Guitar Hero III demo at Circuit City.

In a quick related blurb, for Guitar Hero III players, make sure to download your free copy of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” only available until Monday.

[Source: Trademork]

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“We will never go back to Vegas” - Rainbow Six

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

As work for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 finishes up, a designer on the game, Philippe Therien sat down with Eurogamer to discuss the series. The second sentence and first quote posted ends up being a huge “THANK GOD” heard worldwide across millions of computers as they read the news:

“We will never go back to Vegas - at least, not in the foreseeable future.”

Now does this mean the next Rainbow Six (After Vegas 2) will include a full game that sticks with one locale, that is not known at this moment. What is known, is that a lot of gamers were very happy when Rainbow Six was released and having the full game be set in Las Vegas = cool! However the novelty has worn thin, I think Xbox Live activity numbers can attest to that, Rainbow Six Vegas ended up being a rental rather than a buy for a lot (or at least CoD4 and Halo 3 has stopped everyone on my friends list from playing.. which I am sure is partly to blame as well).

Still, I have read Eurogamers’s preview of the game and I know at the very least I will be adding this to my GameFly queue right this second, the game is shaping up quite nicely, still not a “must buy” so far, but I can wait for full reviews to get behind that statement fully.

(Note: Literally 10-20 seconds after posting this news I was emailed a Digg story from the good folks at MEGATONik showing 9 new videos of Rainbow Six Vegas 2 in action.. I am off to check that post now because reading a preview of a game vs video of said game is no brainer)

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Rock Band IS Coming To The Wii - EA Confirms

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

There have been rumours rumbling for months now about a version of Rock Band for the Nintendo Wii. Although Electronic Arts, who distributes the game for publisher MTV, wouldn’t confirm of deny the intense speculation, it seems EA’s chief executive John Riccitiello just couldn’t hold the news in any longer.

During a conference call discussing EA’s 3rd quarter financial results, he spilled the beans on what will be music (pun intended) to Wii owners ears, saying:

“In terms of pacing the next few quarters, you’re probably well aware of the more than $2.5 million music downloads that have occurred on Rock Band,”

“What’s probably the most interesting pieces right now is the coming launch on the Wii, the continued sale of the core platforms in North America, and then the fiscal ‘09 launch across Europe against all of the SKU.”

That seems pretty clear to me, and unless it’s a wind up of massive magnitude, I think a release on the Wii is almost guaranteed now.

There are obviously no further details present as of yet, including how the game would work, the control method it will use, a release date, and planned pricing strategy.


GameFly Third Distribution Center Opens (Again?)

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Last I had wrote up on GameFly, it was to announce that a brand new Tampa distribution center was opening. I remember the Pittsburgh or Texas news, which left me with no difference in turnaround time for games that I had noticed, still, I stick with this service because I am usually either working or sleeping just about all the hours Blockbuster is open, plus who doesn’t like to get mail (and honestly, there is a part of me that has a lot of faith in GameFly to get up to par with Netflix).

Well today while checking the ol email, I get an one with the subject, “News Flash: New Shipping Center!” …. Wow, quickly I open and read this:


A Game Based On Horror Flick ‘Saw’ In The Works

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Oh wow, this is sure to have those tabloid newspaper hacks frothing at the mouth in anticipation of writing an ill researched, illogical hate piece about how all computer and video games are evil, and contributing to the downfall of civilised society.

But no, it’s just a new video game, albeit one based on the gory psychological horror film Saw, and it’s due to be released in October 2009.

Brash Entertainment, the game’s developers, held a press conference, where they showed journalists a teaser trailer featuring the Jigsaw puppet, the main protagonist from the original film, and its three (and counting) sequels.

Not much is yet known about the game, probably even by the game’s makers themselves, but a positive sign is that the people behind the films will be providing lots of input, hopefully helping this stay out of that pile known as ‘yet another crappy movie tie-in game’.


Rez HD and Chessmaster Make Xbox Live Debuts

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Last week saw Undertow given away free on Xbox Live Arcade to placate all those unfortunate souls affected by the service outages over the whole of the holiday season. Not a great game, but not bad for a free download.

However, this week sees a classic piece of video gaming goodness making it’s début on the Xbox Live Arcade, in the form of Chessmaster… no, just kidding, Rez is the big one, and Chessmaster is also being thrown in there to please the nerds.

Those of you who have never played Rez are in for a treat, and a bit of a mind fuck in to the bargain. Those of you who have never played Chessmaster have got lives, and good on you.

Rez, for the initiated, is a rhythm action and shooter game unlike any you may have previously experienced. You play a hacker who enters a computer network to try an reboot the AI at the centre of it. Think of a cross between Tron, and being a rave, and you’ll be maybe halfway there.


How Did PC Gaming Fare In 2007? NPD Figures

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

The latest NPD results are in for PC gaming during the whole of 2007, and they show two distinct things: PC gaming revenue is down overall, at least in terms of over the counter retail sales; the same old faces are topping the charts for sales, with add-ons, expansion packs and alternate versions of existing franchises taking the top ten places on the chart.

The NPD numbers don’t take in to account anything other than retail sales, so that immediately rules out the effect of digital downloads on outlets like Steam on sales figures.

Bearing that in mind, retail sales have fallen quite substantially from $970 million in 2006 to $910.7 million in 2007. That’s a fall of almost $60 million and bears out thoughts that the PC gaming market is struggling at the moment.

The Top Ten PC Games Sales For 2007 In The US:

1. World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Vivendi) - 2.25 million
2. World Of Warcraft (Vivendi) - 914,000
3. The Sims 2: Seasons Expansion Pack (Electronic Arts) - 433,000
4. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision) - 383,000
5. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (Electronic Arts) - 343,000
6. Sim City 4 Deluxe (Electronic Arts) - 284,000
7. The Sims 2 (Electronic Arts) - 281,000
8. The Sims 2: Bon Voyage Expansion Pack (Electronic Arts) - 271,000
9. Age Of Empires III (Microsoft) - 259,000
10. The Sims 2: Pets Expansion Pack (Electronic Arts) - 236,000

It’s no surprise to see World Of Warcraft and The Burning Crusade expansion pack taking the top two positions. Although I was quite surprised to see such a big gap between them and the third placed Sims 2: Seasons.


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