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Archive For November, 2010

PlayStation Move Controllers Make An Appearance At G-Star

November 24, 2010 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili

If you look deep enough into Dengeki Online's gallery of booth model photos from last weekend's G-Star 2010 expo in South Korea, you'll these four guys dressed in PlayStation Move controller costumes, either gesturing the "Peace" sign or telling someone off-camera to order combo #2 from the food court.

Apparently these characters were traipsing all around South Korea's streets, taking photos with babies, getting into fights with pedestrians, letting kids push their buttons, and dancing around a pole (in a safe for work manner). You can check out photos of those activities at Korea's PlayStation Blog.

[Via Eastern Mind, Siliconera]

In-Depth: Where Do Wii Sales Go From Here?

November 24, 2010 12:00 AM | Simon Carless

[Examining U.S. sales of Nintendo's Wii as part of his October 2010 sales analysis, Gamasutra analyst Matt Matthews showcases the significant slowdown in Wii's momentum and asks -- what should the company do to stimulate sales?]

In relation to U.S. retail console sales for the past few months, let's look at Nintendo's Wii. With the hardware's $194 average price at retail clearly below the $200 MSRP, retailers are already promoting it with special deals.

If the retailer offers become more aggressive through December, that average price should drop further, and sales should increase – but to what levels? This is the key question for Nintendo through the end of 2010, and one we will explore further below.

Unfortunately for Nintendo, the Wii's days of consistently dominating the console segment appear to be over. It has not been the best-selling console since May of this year, just prior to the launch of the Xbox 360 S model.

In fact, Nintendo's console has seen its year-to-date sales decline by 24%, a change which has allowed the Xbox 360 to take the crown of best-selling console so far this year.

The current malaise in Wii hardware sales is a troubling sign, and it makes estimating sales through the end of the year difficult.

As the figure below shows, Wii hardware sales have been on the decline since peaking in 2008, but the contraction has accelerated in the past couple of months:

Double Fine's Next Charming Concept: Stacking

November 23, 2010 2:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Never one to release a game with a predictable premise or cast, Double Fine's next downloadable title after Costume Quest, Stacking, features a world full of Russian nesting/matryoshka dolls and is set in the 1930s. As you'll see in this trailer, there's some flatulence humor, too.

In this adventure-puzzle game, players take on the role of Charlie Blackmore, "the world's smallest Russian stacking doll", who can possess other dolls by hopping inside them, and then take advantage of those dolls' particular powers or attributes.

Double Fine plans to release Stacking to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network next spring.

[Via IGN]

Bytejacker's Top-Down Zombie Shooter

November 23, 2010 2:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Secret Base's Raymond Treo (Tobe's Vertical Adventure) alerted us to his newest title, a "retro, arcade-like zombie shooter" based on indie gaming video show Bytejacker. Of course, it's titled Bitejacker -- how could anyone pass up on such a perfectly appropriate title?

In the game, you can play as Bytejacker's affable host, Anthony Carboni, or the show's cameraman, Jon Rivera. As you fight hordes of zombies around Brooklyn, you pick up weapons, upgrade abilities, witness spoofs/parodies of classic horror movies and retro games, and meet characters from other indie titles.

The Singaporean indie developer says that Bitejacker is "almost completed" and will be available as a Flash title. You can keep an eye on this page for updates. There's also a desktop wallpaper you can grab for free at Bytejacker.

Best of FingerGaming: From RAGE to Lego Harry Potter

November 23, 2010 12:00 PM | Simon Carless

[Every week, we sum up sister iPhone and iPad site FingerGaming's top news and reviews for Apple's nascent portable game platforms, as written by editor in chief Danny Cowan and authors Tucker Dean, Jason Johnson, and Ryan Hibbeler.]

This week, FingerGaming covers Lego Harry Potter, id's RAGE, and Cave's Mushihimesama Bug Panic.

Also within are the lists for top-grossing, most-downloaded free and paid Apps from Apple's store, as well as a review for Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode 1.

Here are the top stories from the last seven days:

- Top-Grossing Game Apps: Smurfs’ Village Overtakes Angry Birds
"Capcom’s microtransaction-supported simulation title Smurfs’ Village currently earns more daily revenue than Rovio’s longtime chart leader Angry Birds, and ranks as today’s highest-grossing iPhone game."

- Id Software’s RAGE Premieres for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
"Arriving well in advance of its scheduled 2011 release for consoles and PC platforms, id Software’s anticipated first-person shooter RAGE has received an adaptation for the iPhone and iPod Touch."

- Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode 1
"Despite the technical savvy of the surgeons who transplanted Sonic 4 to iOS, one basic truth remains: a bad game in a new body is still a bad game."

Mustache Mercenaries Need Your Money To Grow

November 23, 2010 10:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Mustache Mercenaries' concept is wacky enough to grab most people's attention: a social game in which historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, Mary Shelley, and Harriet Tubman pilot giant, steam-powered robots battling enemies in turn-based combat.

Boston-based indie developer Macguffin Games thinks the idea is gold and has already launched a public beta on Facebook, releasing regular updates that add dueling with friends and more, but it's looking to raise funds in order to continue development.

The studio managed to release said it's raised money from family and friends to get this far, but it needs "more gas in the tank" to "get the game over the finish line". Its goal is to use the cash to get the game to a point where it can support the small company.

Macguffin hopes to raise $15,000 in the next 16 days, and it's already picked up almost $2,900 in pledges. Its offering incentives like postcards, stickers of game characters, exclusive in-game items, banana bread, robots named after contributors, and more.

You can check out Mustache Mercenaries and play it for free here. After the break, we've got a newly released video celebrating the social game's beta launch.

They Bleed Pixels Revealed For XBLIG

November 23, 2010 8:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Last week at Canada's GamerCamp 2010 festival, Spooky Squid Games (Night of Cephalopods) unveiled a trailer for its latest project, They Bleed Pixels, a "fast-paced, gothic, low-fi pixel art, platforming beat’em up with a chiptune style soundtrack" provided by DJ Finish Him.

The game is inspired by Niddhogg, but I also saw touches of Super Meat Boy and some of Griptonite Games' handheld titles (The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows), in the platforming and combat -- which is definitely a good thing!

Spooky Squid's Miguel Sternberg says They Bleed Pixels is all about how the game feels, and is focusing on "the kinetic joy of moving and interacting with the game and creating beat’em up combat that isn’t button mashy or button heavy.

The developer hasn't announced when They Bleed Pixels will hit XBLIG, but it plans to put out more information about the game as its release approaches.

[Via IndieGames.com]

Panic's CandyBar Cartridge Found, Released

November 23, 2010 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Almost a year ago, we posted about Mac software developer Panic's amazing find of retro materials: never-used boxes and promotional posters for four of its lost Atari 2600 games, coincidentally based on its major software releases like Transmit and Coda.

Now the company has unearthed something even more impressive after sifting through boxes in its storage warehouse: a single production cartridge of its lost CandyBar game! It seems hard to believe, buy you can check out a video of the Atari 2600 title here.

Okay, the real story is that independent developer Jason Santuci recently created the game with Batari BASIC and packaged it in a cartridge as part of his entry for the recent "A Game By Its Cover" competition. It's available to download for free on TIGForums.

[Via @KyleOrl]

In-Depth: Xbox Live Arcade Sales Analysis, October 2010

November 23, 2010 12:00 AM | Simon Carless

[Sister site GamerBytes editor Ryan Langley offers charts and leaderboard data for most of the titles, which gives us an idea of which titles are were hits or misses during October on the Xbox Live Arcade.]

The Xbox Live Arcade's Game Feast has ended, but a lot of big titles were released during October -- Sonic 4, Comic Jumper, Pinball FX 2 and more. But there were also many titles with very little promotion at all.

This month also came at a price for chart-watchers. With Microsoft being so busy with the upcoming release of the Kinect peripheral, Xbox Live's Major Nelson, aka Larry Hryb, was unable to reveal any Top 20 lists. This means several titles such as Costume Quest were unable to be followed by any means at all.

Still, we've done our best to show just what went well and what fell to the ground, and how publishers and developers alike can help make their games do better on the Marketplace.

Here's what we know about the new releases on Xbox Live Arcade for October 2010:

eGameRevolution Gives History Of Electronic Games Its First Permanent Home

November 22, 2010 4:00 PM | Eric Caoili

[As a guest GSW article, professor and exhibit advisor Stephen Jacobs was nice enough to fill us in on the opening of a dedicated video game exhibit in New York state at the Strong Museum Of Play, including a host of excellent resources and archives from the history of gaming, from arcade machines to historical artifacts and beyond.]

This past Saturday the first visitors to eGameRevolution streamed past "life-size" figures of Link, Sonic and Pikachu to watch decades old video of Ralph Baer demoing a “brown box,” play on 30 original arcade cabinets like Asteroids, Tron, and Rampart, and see collections of games and systems from days gone by.

eGameRevolution is a 5,000 square foot exhibition and a love letter to games that draws on the combined resources of The Strong. The Strong is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG), the National Museum of Play, and the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play among other ventures, and all three played a part in contributing content to the exhibition.

This ensures that exhibit-goers see more than just a litany of who begat what. According to JP Dyson, ICHEG’s director and vice president, The Strong wanted to ensure that the stories of the interchange between electronic games and the culture of play, as well as the interchange between games and society were on exhibit.

Dyson, curator Eric Wheeler, and cataloger Shannon Symonds mined ICHEG’s collections with and assistance from RIT co-op interns Matt Fico and Ned Blakely. They pulled some of the most unique items from the almost 25,000 items collected so far to populate the exhibit with electronic games of all types, game related merchandise, video audio, and more.

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