Video


No longer just a rumor, no longer just an announcement at a press conference, Farmville on the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad/iToaster is now a reality, at least on the New Zealand App Store.

And here’s the proof: a quick video showing off the basics of the iFarmville interface. Look for more detailed impressions of the newly mobile Facebook game here soon.


Script:

  • PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE: After being leaked in ads from Target, Walmart and Best Buy, Microsoft finally confirmed a $100 price drop for its top-of-the-line Xbox 360 Elite system late this week. Anyone taking advantage of the new price should thank my cousin, who bought an Xbox 360 just three days ago, thus ensuring it would be cheaper before too long.
  • CATACLYSMIC: Blizzard this week announced Cataclysm, a 2010 expansion for World of Warcraft that will include two new playable races, a higher level cap, and, most importantly, the ability to master Archaeology as a skill. Indy would be so proud.
  • GOOD TASTE: According to a Twitter report, the sequel to cult classic and critical darling Beyond Good & Evil is “on hold” for the time being. Meanwhile, Cabela announced this week that the Wii version of Big Game Hunter 2010 would come with this large orange plastic shot gun. So congratulation, lowest common denominator. You win again.
  • RECORD BREAKING: Germany’s new GamesCom conference saw 245,000 visitors, making it the largest gaming trade show in history according to organizers. Despite this, attendees failed in an effort to break the record for most cosplayers in a single location. Come on Germans, step up your dress up! Let your freak flags fly!
  • LEGAL LIMBO: A bureaucratic snafu discovered this week means that England’s Video Recordings Act, which prohibits minors from buying adult-rated video games, has not technically been enforceable for the past 25 years. They’re working on fixing the loophole, but in the meantime I expect society will crumble as hordes of Manhunt-addled youths wreak destruction through the streets of London.
  • AND FINALLY this week we saw pro skateboarders gleefully demonstrate how Tony Hawk: RIDE will make all those years they spent enduring injuries and mastering highly specialized real world skills completely obsolete. And that was the week in Gaming for August 28, 2009.

(Watch video)


Script:

  • SLIMMING DOWN After months of credible rumors Sony finally unveiled the PS3 Slim, a new model that’s 33% lighter, 36% smaller and, most importantly, $100 cheaper than the bulbous old PS3. The new Slim system removes the ability to install the Linux operating system though, drawing protests from the feature’s dedicated fan.
  • Meanwhile, in Britain, Microsoft is reportedly planning to raise the price of the Xbox 360 from 130 pounds to 160 pounds. I know this is due to a weak exchange rate across the pond, but still, someone ought to tell them they’re going in the wrong direction…
  • THE BLOODBATH CONTINUES According to NPD sales data released this week, every single video game system reported a year-over-year sales decline in July. The Wii was particularly hard hit, dipping to its lowest sales rate since systems were in short supply in March 2007. Even so, the Wii still handily outsold every other console on the market this month, so congatulations to Nintendo, the biggest shrinking fish in a smaller-than-ever pond.
  • SURVEY SAYS: YOU SUCK! A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this week found that American gamers were more likely than non gamers to be fat and mentally unstable. On the other hand, the same study found the average gamer is now 35 years old, thus proving that GAMES AREN’T JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE! YAY!
  • MAGICAL MYSTERY SONG: Harmonix this week revealed 19 more songs for their highly anticipated Beatles: Rock Band game leaving the final track as a hidden surprise. The mystery track could be anything, but I’m secretly hoping for “Why Don’t We Do It In the Road.” Classic.
  • LONG LIVE DEAD TREES Future Publishing this week announced a new official magazine devoted exclusively to World of Warcraft. I’d say this would make great bathroom reading for devoted players, but I’m pretty sure most of them are so hooked they’re taking the game with them to the toilet. Ew.
  • TWENTY YEARS AGO this week, the Sega Genesis first hit store shelves. Also 20 years ago this week, I got my first Nintendo Entertainment System for my seventh birthday. Coincidence? I THINK SO!
  • AND FINALLY this week a new Scribblenauts trailer showed Abe Lincoln shooting a giant crab with a mini-gun, which isn’t technically news… or historically accurate… but is definitely cool enough to earn and endlessly looping playback in this space. And that was The Week in Gaming for August 21, 2009.

Script:

  • TOUGH TIMES: Bionic Commando developer GRIN announced this week they were shutting down due to an “unbearable cashflow situation,” while Six Days in Fallujah developer Atomic Games said they’ve had to lay off “many” staffers while searching for a publisher for the controversial docu-game. Meanwhile, SEC documents filed this week showed Midway Europe Director Martin Speiss recently purchased the French and British arms of the crumbling company for… a single Euro? Wow… he got totally ripped off. OOOH BURN!
  • Speaking of stretching your money, Nielsen Research reported gamers were spending 21% more time playing games this summer than last, despite buying fewer new games and systems. Yup, there’s nothing like a recession to make you appreciate all those old games you never had time to finish.
  • LOOKING GOOOOOOD! A major update for the Xbox 360 Dashboard introduced new features such as synchronized Netflix movie-watching parties, downloadable versions of select retail games and the ability to purchase clothes for your avatar. Meanwhile, your local Goodwill announced a new program where you could spend that money on clothes for real people, y’know, if you were so inclined.
  • ANNOUNCING ANNOUNCEMENTS! Square Enix president Yoichi Wada said in an interview with Japan’s IT Media that an announcement of the Final Fantasy XIII release date would be coming “in a few weeks.” Meanwhile, Sony announced they’d be “making an official announcement regarding our forthcoming Video Store, next week, at Gamescom.” So, consider yourself warned, I guess. In other news, it’s August and this is what passes for other news in August, OK?
  • SAFE BETS: Raven Software designer Manveer Heir this week publicly offered to reimburse all receipt-holding purchasers of the upcoming Wolfenstein game, but ONLY if the game outsold the upcoming Madden NFL 2010 in August. So, wait, he’s essentially risking money against the success of his own game? That’s a little depressing, although, given the summertime sales success of previous Madden games… I can’t say I really blame him.
  • Speaking of Madden, in honor of the game’s launch today, Walmart is lowering the price of a dozen roses to $8 for gamers who “may need some early forgiveness [from] gals who don’t want to feel ‘left out.’” Yeah, those flowers ought to shut her up while you spend all weekend sitting on the couch building the Lions into a Super Bowl caliber team.
  • AND FINALLY this week we saw a video of a kid solving two Rubik’s cubes WHILE playing an Expert-level Ozzy Osbourne song in Guitar Hero. This isn’t technically important news but…. uh… sorry, I’m… I’m just mesmerized here. Um… that was the week in gaming. For August 14, 2009.

(Watch video)


Watch the Video

Script:

  • THE NUMBERS GAME! Newly released corporate earnings reports from Capcom, EA and Nintendo revealed some concrete software shipments numbers for a bunch of big name releases. Some highlights:
    Bionic Commando: 550 thousand
    EA Sports Active: 1.7 million
    The Sims 3: 3.7 million
    Resident Evil 5: 5 million
    Wii Fit: 21.82 million
    and Wii Sports: 47.62 MILLION? Good lord. Pretty soon they’re going to outpace those AOL discs.
  • PRICE DROPS? HAH! Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said a Wii price drop is something “there aren’t a lot of discussions going on about” despite slowing system sales. No word from Sony on a PS3 price drop either, even though CEO and executive VP Nobuyuki Oneda admitted this week the system costs them 70% less to make now than it did back in 2006. And Microsoft? Well, they’re reportedly getting rid of their $300 “Core” system configuration, so… hmmm… is a price disappearance is kind of like a price drop.
  • BETTER LATE THAN NEVER! Activision announced that a version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be coming to the Wii this holiday season. That’s the two-year-old original Modern Warfare, not the highly anticipated sequel. That one’s only coming to fancy systems like the Xbox 360, PS3 and, er, mobile phones… *cough*
  • BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: PART II: Games joining the ever-increasing “delayed until 2010 list” include Activision’s Starcraft II, Capcom’s Dark Void and Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell Conviction and Red Steel 2. Some of these delays were actually announced last week, and I’d have told you about them then, but I was… delayed! Eh? See what I did there?
  • UNNECESSARY PROTECTION This week we learned the German Collector’s Edition of Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint 2 will reportedly include a full sized army helmet. Useful for deflecting all that shrapnel you’re likely to encounter SITTING ON THE COUCH!
  • AND FINALLY this week, the publishers of Golden Tee 2010 produced this music video trailer to promote the game. Because nothing represents the world of golf better than… alt country… And that was The Week in Gaming for August 7, 2009

Watch the Video

Script:

  • RED INK A slew of earnings reports this week showed Microsoft’s console and PC gaming sales DOWN 12 percent, Sony’s gaming and computer sales DOWN 37 percent and Nintendo’s Wii and DS sales DOWN 40%. On the software side, Ubisoft’s first quarter sales were DOWN 51% and Viacom said Rock Band sales were DOWN 41%. The one bright spot: THQ’s earnings were UP 77% on the strength of UFC and Red Faction: Guerrilla, proving once again that the road to riches is paved by hitting stuff.
  • PUBLIC RELATIONS FAIL Electronic Arts courted controversy this week with a Dante’s Inferno “Sin to Win” promotion that asked Comic-Con attendees to post pictures of their “Acts of Lust” with booth babes. EA issued an apology, then picked this picture for a runner up prize, so… um… hmmm… yeah.
  • SILVER SCREEN An updated list of games that may or may not be getting movies. Infamous, YES. Grand Theft Auto: NO! Myst, YES. Halo, NOT ANYMORE! Gears of War, YES! The Rock in Gears of War… apparently not, according to director Len Wiseman!
  • WORKING THE SYSTEM London’s Telegraph newspaper reported this week on plans by psychiatrists to offer in-game counseling to addicted World of Warcraft players. In related news, Alcoholics Anonymous announced this week they’d start holding meetings at bars!
  • POWER TO THE PEOPLE In Germany, an Internet petition protesting a potential violent game ban has garnered 68,000 signatures and forced a public hearing on the matter. Wait, an internet petition actually did something useful? That can’t be right… no apparently that’s right. Wow.
  • FIFTEEN YEARS AGO this week, the newly formed Interactive Digital Software Association proposed a game rating system to Congress. Fifteen years later, nearly one in four parents apparently don’t generally care if little Billy wants to kill a bunch of virtual hookers.
  • AND FINALLY THIS WEEK concept art has leaked out for “Epic Mickey” a secretive Warren Spector project for the Wii set in a post-apocalyptic, Disney-infused steampunk universe. Just like Uncle Walt envisioned decades ago.

Watch the Video

Script:

  • THE SKY IS FALLING! NPD announced this week that June game sales suffered their worst year-over-year drop in nine years, with software sales off 29 percent and hardware sales down 38 percent. In happier news, the number of pundits calling gaming “recession-proof” plummeted nearly 100% this week.
  • CROSS-PROMOTION The San Diego Comic-Con brought word of new comics based on God of War, Dead Space Extraction and Free Realms. In exchange, the world of comics is giving gaming a cameo appearance by Stan Lee in the upcoming Marvel Ultimate Alliance game. Uh… is it too late to trade back?
  • YOU’RE THE STAR Harmonix this week announced the Rock Band Network, a new initiative that lets indie bands upload tracks for consideration as Rock Band downloads. So instead of pretending you’re in some of the world’s biggest musical acts, soon you’ll be able to pretend you’re that garage band from down the street that got seven people to show up for its last show. Whoo…?
  • Speaking of USER CREATED CONTENT LittleBigPlanet celebrated the creation of its one millionth user-made level this week. MediaMolecule says it would take over five years to play through all of them… or over five minutes to play through all the good ones. AW SNAP!
  • HOLLYWOODCRAFT Legendary Pictures announced this week that Sam Raimi is directing a film based on the Warcraft universe. Early reports indicate the main characters will spend the first hour of the movie killing small animals and standing in the middle of town, begging passersby to let him join their guild.
  • ALTERNATE HISTORY 10 years ago this week, Steve Jobs introduced the original Halo at Macworld ’99. The game went on to help sell millions of Macintosh computers and cement Apple’s reputation as a company that cares about gamers… IN BIZARRO WORLD!
  • LEGAL EAGLES New York state legislators this week passed a bill that bans playing video games while driving. In other news, apparently before now it was legal to play video games WHILE DRIVING in New York! Who knew?
  • AND FINALLY this week, Activision unveiled the first trailer for Band Hero, which is apparently just like Guitar Hero… only for insanely beautiful people.

Grinches in July, cross-platform madness, and the goggles — they do something

  • PUSH ‘EM BACK PUSH ‘EM BACK WAAAAAY BACK!: A bunch of games are getting pushed back to 2010
  • JAPANESE RPGs: Dragon Quest 9 sells 1 hojillion copies.
  • PLATFORM SHUFFLING: A bunch of games get release for other systems.
  • BORING EXERCISE: Konami announced rhythmic walking simulator “Lets Walk it Out” for the Wii
  • FIGHTING WORDS: UFC president Dana White says he’ll blacklist fighters appearing in EA’s unlicensed Mixed Martial Arts game.
  • RETURN OF THE KING:  MCV reports a new game feature King of Pop Michael Jackson has been in development for months and is due out by Christmas.
  • AND FINALLY this week Activision announced a $150 “prestige edition” of Modern Warfare 2 that includes working night vision goggles.

(watch video)


Please, sir, may I have a PS3 price cut? Plus: games that hurt and gamers who blow.

  • POLITE REQUESTS Tecmo Koei CEO Kenji Matsubara mentioned in an interview with Computer & Video Games that he frequently asks Sony reps to quote,  ‘Please cut the price’ of the PlayStation 3.
  • ECONOMICS In Japan, Enterbrain reports games sales are down 25% in 2009, but in the US Nielsen reports “hours played per week” has hit an all time high on the strength of strong used sales and rentals.
  • WORLD OF WARCRAFT got an in-game client to read and send Twitter updates as well as a free version of casual gaming favorite Peggle.
  • GAMES FOR HEALTH Bayer revealed the Didgit, a portable blood-glucose meter for the DS that unlocks in-game items through consistent testing.
  • THEME PARKS Six Flags announced that it would feature the upcoming Wii Sports Resort in its theme parks.
  • UNSURPRISING FOURS. This week EA revealed Command & Conquer 4, actress Mila Jovovich confirmed a fourth Resident Evil movie and Valve said that Left 4 Dead 2 has twice as many pre-orders as the original. Shocking…!
  • AND FINALLY this week, the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention hosted to the world’s first NES cartridge blowing competition.

(watch video)


Games go Hollywood, StarCraft players go nuts, and Disney goes to the third dimension.

In this edition:

  • Plastics!
  • Sony Rumors!
  • Game Movies!
  • The Future!
  • Real Time Protest!
  • Fire Sale!
  • Girl Gamers!
  • And finally: 3D Glasses!

(view video)


Next Page »