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Column: Vox Populi

COLUMN: Vox Populi - 'Two is More than One'

July 25, 2008 8:00 AM |

[Vox Populi, a somewhat unexpected new development for GameSetWatch, is a new bi-weekly column discussing things we've heard - and things you've told us - about video games today, and video games in the future.]

Well, there was a first Vox Populi column, and shortly thereafter - there was a second. Which is this. As per usual, feel free to contribute - or if you don't care for that, just read and appreciate.

- You may know that Metal Gear Solid supremo Hideo Kojima is a bit of a fan of the Ubisoft Montreal-created Assassin's Creed. After all, there's an Altair costume in Metal Gear Solid 4, for starters. And now, Vox Populi has learned that Kojima has been visiting Ubisoft Montreal's offices this week. Friendly chat, or something more substantial? Make up your own mind.

- The edgy renaissance of EA Redwood Shores, currently in process with the distinctly adult Dead Space, seems to be continuing, according to job postings seen by Vox Populi. They discuss "a new M-rated action-adventure" in the early stages of production for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 - with "an Oscar-nominated writer" on board with plans to expand to turn the IP into a massive multi-media franchise. Maybe M is the new E for the EA Games label?

- Do you like Tinker-ing around? Apparently, our favorite Xbox 360 creators do, too, since Vox Populi has discovered a mysterious trademark registration for 'Tinker' by Microsoft - citing intention for use in relation with "game software for use on computers." And nope, Vox Populi has no idea what this is - anyone? Bueller?

- So far, you might know Electronic Arts' Montreal studio for cute Wii games like Boogie or distinctly grungier action games such as Army Of Two. But would you be surprised to know that the developer is also working on a new racing game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360? That's what Vox Populi has heard - expect more details on it soon.

- So, about all this Halo MMO farrago. Vox Populi may have seen some glimpses of the much-hyped title, and has worked out the following. Firstly, the title was not in development at Bungie. Secondly, it - or at least, the version Vox Populi has seen - is no longer in development. And thirdly, you may be hearing more about the aforementioned defunct version soon.

[DISCLAIMER: Vox Populi is the voice of the people. Literally. So it lives on what it hears. Please send it information. It endeavors to ensure that the information in this entertaining missive is correct, but, citing an excellent, similar column in another medium: "All stories are sourced from well-connected individuals. But I urge you to use your judgment and remember, context is everything."]

COLUMN: Vox Populi: 'The First Of Its Kind'

July 11, 2008 8:00 AM |

[Vox Populi, a somewhat unexpected new development for GameSetWatch, is a bi-weekly column discussing things we've heard - and things you've told us - about video games today, and video games in the future.]

Welcome to the first Vox Populi column. As you can see, there's some information we thought it might be good to bring to light - so we have done just that. We hope you enjoy it:

- What's SuperNormal? Other than the state of being extremely normal, Vox Populi believes that it's the name of Ready at Dawn's new project - and may very well be the original IP targeted towards next-gen systems that the Irvine studio is currently working on. It's probably too early to see much of that game at E3, but watch for more information about it as it gets further into to development.

- EALA's acclaimed Wii physics puzzler Boom Blox looks to be getting some kind of spiritual successor, according to job postings Vox Populi dug up. Several of the naughty specifics cited: "Come join the team that created BOOM BLOX, here at Electronic Arts Los Angeles!"..."creating accessible, quick-to-the-fun games for all ages on the Nintendo Wii!"..."Interest or experience with physics gameplay a plus!" More throwing things at things, then?

- Funcom's Age Of Conan has been the most successful launch at PC retail in America since the last holiday season, according to Vox Populi's sources, with almost 250,000 retail units sold in just its first ten days on sale in the U.S., between standard and limited editions. This ties up with recent public figures that say 700,000 players have created accounts, worldwide.

- It appears that Activision has backtracked on its recent decision to shutter Underground Development (formerly Z-Axis) at the end of May, since the Foster City, CA studio is "currently working on an expansion for the highly rated Guitar Hero series," according to some web pages Vox Populi was pointed to. We're thinking Guitar Hero: Metallica, but who knows?

- Vox Populi has received word that Ubisoft's 'CamCam' product may currently be in private beta testing - but what is it? Other tipsters have uncovered trademark indications suggesting it's some kind of camera-related software - given Ubisoft's predilection for DS add-ons such as the pedometer for My Weight Loss Coach, perhaps the add-on is a DS camera/game combo? We vote for either that or something Wii-y.

- Sources have told Vox Populi that EA Chicago's now-canceled sequel to lukewarm-received hip-hop fighter Def Jam: Icon would have allowed players to create their own songs to use in the game, in a manner none too different from the highly touted create-a-song feature of the forthcoming Guitar Hero: World Tour. However, the opportunity for gamers to create their own beats with the legendary rap label may not be dead, if a recent Def Jam trademark filing for "RapStar" for use in games is any indication.

[DISCLAIMER: Vox Populi is the voice of the people. Literally. So it lives on what it hears. Please send it information. It endeavors to ensure that the information in this entertaining missive is correct, but, citing an excellent, similar column in another medium: "All stories are sourced from well-connected individuals. But I urge you to use your judgment and remember, context is everything."]