October 2006

But what about the kind of knowledge that transcends the tactical – the kind of knowledge that lets you truly understand your enemy’s motivations and background, his hopes and fears? As far as most games are concerned, such knowledge is unimportant. The enemy exists only as a part of the environment – a set of pre-programmed rules to be figured out and bested. It’s enough to know that Piston Honda wants to send you a "TKO from Tokyo" or that Cats thinks you have "no chance to survive make your time." We want to know the enemy, just not, y’know, personally.

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It’s been a long time we shouldna left you, without phat pressstart to listen to…:o) In our 8th podcast wii are talking about the upcoming console wars: Wii vs. Ps3!! And someone went to spain to keep up with the latest on X-Box 360? Rob, Ralph, and Kyle tell you what they are playing. Listen up yall it’s time to PressStart!

(Download MP3) 

It’s been a long time coming. In our 8th podcast, we talk about the upcoming console wars: Wii vs. Ps3!! And someone went to Spain to keep up with the latest on X-Box 360? Rob, Ralph, and Kyle tell you what they are playing.

Download podcast (MP3 — 24:37)

Remember the days when games had to fit on a few 1.4MB floppies or they were physically impractical? The extent to which those days are long gone was put into stark relief by a recent Eurogamer interview in which Sony worldwide studio head Phil Harrison said that some PS3 games were already nearing the 25GB capacity of current Blu-ray discs. In the same interview, Harrison said he expected PS3 games to fill newer 50GB-capacity discs by the end of next year. It’s enough to make us wonder — what’s going in to all that space, and what are we as gamers getting out of it?

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At 8 a.m., these four hearty souls waited with me in the near-freezing weather for the Wii preorders to open up at the EBGames on Route 198 in Laurel, MD. University of Maryland students Adam McClure (second from left) and Tristan Edmondston (far left) had been driving by the store to check for potential lines since midnight, finally parking to stake out the location at 5 a.m. Their main motivation for coming out: There was nothing better to do. "It’s more of an adventure than anything," McClure said.

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I was in the third grade when I created my first and last videogame fan fiction. It plumbed the hidden motivations of the nameless driver from Excitebike who, it just so happens, was actually Mario, transported from the Mushroom Kingdom into other NES games through a secret warp pipe. The page-long story ended on a dramatic cliffhanger, as the final jump of the Excitebike course hurls Mario into another secret warp pipe, setting up an entire series of Mario-in-other-games stories that, to this day, remains unconcluded.

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The line to fork over $100 to reserve a Playstation 3 started at 6 a.m. at the Gamestop on Route 1 in Laurel, MD. Mike (the red-shirted gentleman in the picture above, who refused to give a last name) lined up at the early hour to ensure he got a system for himself and said he planned to go to another local store to reserve a system "for eBay." By 9 a.m. the line had grown to the seven hearty souls above, who still had an hour to wait before the store would open and take their money.

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With several leauges, dozens of national-level tournaments, hundreds of thousands of bucks in prize money, and multiple upcoming television deals, professional gaming is poised for the big time. Yet many gamers can name more pro bowlers than pro players. So we picked five fearsome console competitors whose skill and passion bring them this close to becoming household names. Study their collectible cards and figure out how to follow in their footsteps…

(See Electronic Gaming Monthly #208 for full article)