December 2007

Video-Game Publishers See Another Blockbuster Year
By Priya Ganapati

“Spore has been hyped for years and years now,” says Kyle Orland, a blogger for games blog

“EA has a lot of franchises and is not going to fail if Spore doesn’t meet expectations,” he says. “Yet it will be watched very closely because it’s all about expectations in the industry.”

“With Little Big Planet, the idea was not to put big developer resources into it,” says Orland. “You are counting on the people playing it to make the game good and that’s a trend we could see more of in 2008.”

(Full story)

Still selling your used video games for cash or store credit? That’s so pre-Internet. Trading used games with gamers from around the world is where it’s at today, and a bevy of sites have popped up to let you do just that. We looked at a few of the biggest game trading sites to see how they stacked up. 

(See Electronic Gaming Monthly #228 for full article)

Media Coverage talks to the X-Play co-host about some big changes for the show and the status of “gaming” network G4.

(full article)

In this holiday podcast of Press Start Kyle Orland and Ralph Cooper Interview Alex Markson about his do-it-yourself Multi Arcade Machine Emulator, or MAME for short. IT’S AMAZING!! But don’t take our word for it: check out the pictures and videos.

(Download MP3)

Media Coverage does a quick summary of game journalism news without mentioning Jeff Gerstmann even once. Whoops. Well I don’t mention Jeff twice. Whoops!

(full article)

Videogame consoles have been about more than just videogames for a while now, from Nintendo’s news-downloading Famicom modem to the music-playing Sega CD. But the game console didn’t really become a multimedia hub until the PlayStation 2 and its included DVD player.

Thanks to a combination of strong brand recognition, a low, Sony-subsidized price point and impeccable timing, the PlayStation 2 became the movie player of choice for millions of consumers ready to advance past the decades-old VHS format. For a time, PS2 hardware was selling better than PS2 software in Japan, suggesting that many early buyers were ignoring the system’s game-playing functions altogether. More than any other product, the PS2 drove DVD adoption in the format’s infancy, driving down prices on hardware and software through sheer volume and force of corporate will.

Now, one console generation later, videogame makers are again trying to use their position in the gaming space to influence the home movie market. So far, the results of their efforts have been less than transformative.

(full article)

Despite what you may have heard, Media Coverage was not locked out of his office last Wednesday over a negative review of GamePro.

(full article)

The last three months of the year tend to fit the Dickensian cliché as the best of times and the worst of times for gamers. They’re the best because a ridiculous number of high profile games come out – this year’s season saw the release of highly anticipated games like Call of Duty 4, Crysis, Super Mario Galaxy, Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect and Rock Band, all in a three-week period. It’s the worst of times because, well, a ridiculous number of high profile games come out. A game aficionado has to spend a fortune and divide his attention to a ridiculous degree just to keep up.

Sure, there are worse problems for a gamer to have, but that glut certainly seems like a waste come April, when the holiday games have finally been played out and the shelves are practically empty. People play games throughout the year, yet publishers seem to think people will only buy them in a three-month period at year’s end. Why can’t publishers spread those AAA titles throughout the year a little bit more? Why can’t the videogame release calendar be a little more balanced?

(full article)

In this 24th episode of Press Start, Kyle Orland and Ralph Cooper sit down with Perrin Kaplan, Vice President of Marketing of Nintendo. Even though she’s leaving the marketing machine that she’s created one pokeball at a time over the past 15 years, she still loves her job! We had fun doing this one!!

(Download MP3)

When you think about video games, ivy league institutions like Harvard don’t exactly spring to mind. That might start to change, though, with this recent creation of the Harvard Interactive Media Group. Part academic consortium, part gaming club, the group is part of a new wave of interest in organizing gamers on campuses nationwide. We talked to HIMG President and Harvard Senior Benjamin Decker about bringing together the Harvard gaming community.

(See EGM #222, pg. 36 for full article)