GAMING UPDATE February 2011 GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 //
February UPDATE GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // 2010 already seems ages ago. The Kinect feels like it’s been around forever and we’ve almost forgotten how excited we were about the introduction of the Nintendo 3DS - that’s how fast we adapt to new technology. We’re already looking forward to what the big names will introduce at E3 four months from now. And which game we will be putting on our wish list for Christmas. The gaming industry doesn’t wait for anyone. So here’s a quick rundown of what happened this month in gaming, right here and now!
GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // DEAD SPACE 2 //YOUR MOM WILL HATE IT! A lot has been said about violence in games. And there is a splattered brains and broken bones galore in this one. Now, what would your mom say about that? How would she react to all that blood splattering across the screen? To find out, the marketing guys on Dead Space 2 decided to invite some mothers to the studio and film their faces as they were watching the game. Result: a hilarious video showing the weirdest facial expressions you’ve ever seen on an older woman’s face (except, perhaps, for that botox stare you see in Cher’s early 2000’s videos). The conclusion is obvious: your mom would absolutely HATE Dead Space 2! What better motivation is there to buy the game than that? Or as one mother put it: ”It’s not a game, it’s a dangerous, mind-numbing, mind-altering, demonic weapon!” The videos spread around the Internet in record time, getting boys all over the world all excited about showing the game to their mothers as well. VIDEO www.deadspace.ea.com
GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // MINECRAFT HITS ONE MILLION //STILL IN BETA We humans like to build things. Houses. Roads. Bridges. Monuments - the bigger, the better. But to build big things you need big money. And unless your name happens to end with Rockefeller or Trump, chances are you don’t have enough dough to build a 20-story replica of the earth or a dome big enough to house 56 football fields. If you find yourself in that unfortunate situation, don’t panic, there’s always Minecraft. Already more than a million people from all around the globe have bought the game and are using their creativity to build with virtual Minecraft bricks, turning a game that was initially just written by a single Swedish programmer into a true global gaming phenomenon. Little fact… Minecraft isn’t even officially released yet! Yes indeed, it’s still in beta to discover the bugs and test the whole concept. But that surely doesn’t keep people from playing the game already. The official release is expected some time later this year. If you’re already a beta player you save 25% of the list price of €20. And the game won’t just be available on PC. iPhone, iPad and Android versions of the game are schedule for later this year as well. www.minecraft.net source: minecraft.net
GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // GOGO GOES GAMING //CALL OF DUTY AT 10.000 FEET Only a decade ago, an airplane was the only place where you could make time to finally read that book you always wanted to read. For the simple reason that there was nothing else to do except for keeping an eye on that beautiful foreign stewardess. But then came the little screen with movies, followed a couple of years later by (very expensive but working) Internet connections. Gogo, one of the companies to deliver in-flight WIFI, recently revealed their view on the future of high altitude media consumption: a service that will provide a large movie library and eventually even live gaming up in the air. Gogo isn’t providing a whole lot of additional details as of yet, but we have the feeling that those long transatlantic flights might suddenly feel like they didn’t last quite long enough... ”but captain, only one level more and I would have completed the game!” www.gogoinflight.com GAMING BUDGETS GO TO MOBILE //THE MONEY SHIFT What everyone has been predicting all along is now finally backed up by cold hard numbers from research company Nielsen: the traditional gamer is using an ever increasing part of his gaming budget on mobile app purchases. But the Nielsen research paper goes a layer deeper. It reveals that people are again spending more money on other leisure activities, which results in a lower percentage for gaming in the entertainment category as a whole (down to 8.5% from last year’s 9.3%). This doesn’t mean that the total amount of money spent on games declined, though. Because of a 9% raise in income, gamers actually ended up having more money to use for entertainment, including games where apps for iPhones or Android devices are making up a bigger and bigger percentage. Or as Nielsen puts it: ”The screen is shifting but the content may be the same.”
GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // LITTLE BIG PRIUS //HYBRID BRANDED GAME Toyota and Sony have teamed up to bring the Prius – Toyota’s much hyped hybrid car – to Little Big Planet 2. The time of branded mini-games and inefficient in-game advertising may soon be a thing of the past now that one of the coolest game titles dedicates an entire level of their game to one brand. Even more, it allows gamers to build thousands of levels around it… Little Big Planet style! Little Big Prius is a contest where players have to create their own gaming world around the car. First, you have to drive your way through the Prius level (created by Sony) and collect a bunch of items that you can use to build your own level. Now connect your creation to the Little Big Planet server and cross your fingers – you might win some very nice prices (but not a Prius!). No pushy commercial messages here, just plain fun. And, honestly, the LBP-version of the Prius looks pretty cool, too. Well done, Toyota. VIDEO www.lbp.me source: lbp.me
GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // ONLIVE GOES ALL-IN //PLAYPACK AVAILABLE Onlive has made headlines a couple of times this year already - maybe because nobody seems to come as close to the future of gaming as this on-demand cloud gaming service. But will anyone actually be willing to simply rent all their games? Our guess was that the whole service would fall or stand with the pricing. With the launch of the new ’PlayPack’ all-you-can-game subscription, Onlive seems to have taken a step in the right direction. Onlive VP of Games and Media, John Spinale had this to say about the initiative: ”Countless members asked us for an ’all-you-can-play’ video game plan, and we’re giving it to them. Now players have the option to blaze through a bunch of amazing titles that they may have missed the first time around or dig deep into one immersive world at a time. It’s a never-ending supply of entertainment. All for a monthly fee that’s a fraction of the cost of a single console game.” And the guy is right. $9.99/month won’t even get you a family-pack of peanuts. At Onlive, however, $9.99/month gets you instant, limitless access to total of 38+ games ranging from Tropico 3 to BioShock, no long-term strings attached. Should you decide to have a little gaming break, your saved games will be kept on the server for at least a year. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to us. www.onlive.com
GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // ANDROID IS NO FUN //NOT THE BEST PLACE FOR GAMING Is Android for serious people and iPhone for the hipster crowd? We wouldn’t dare say, but when it comes to gaming it’s a whole different story. Phil Larsen from Halfbrick (Fruit Ninja and Raskulls) had this to say: “ Despite some enthusiastic Android gamers claiming otherwise, that market is much smaller than iTunes by a significant margin. Android devices are selling very well, but the core gaming ecosystem is not set up like the App Store is in regards to usability and consistency. There are no checks or reviews on Android. You upload your game or app or program of any kind, and it is live on the store immediately. Overall, game downloads are much lower on Android, even at the top of the charts." Enough said. www.halfbrick.com source: android.com
GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // KINECT TAKES YOU SWIMMING //DIVE IN WITH MICHAEL PHELPS We’ve been jumping up and down in excitement to the point of driving our downstairs neighbors out of the building. We’ve been hitting our co-player with our wildly flapping arms and we’ve strained a muscle or two trying to reach the top score. Yes, Microsoft’s Kinect really got us moving, but until now the games have all been quite simple. The new swimming game, ’Michael Phelps: Push The Limit’ will… well, push that limit. Better go find that Speedo you wore years ago because this game means business. You need control, timing, fitness, and technique all at once - though not necessarily in that order. The teaser trailer shows a young guy competing against Olympic swimming phenomenon Michael Phelps. Not a chance in the world that you are going to win that battle, but the trailer invites you to at least give it a try. Along the way you might be loosing buckets of sweat, but we all agree that is the price you have to pay for the chance to compete against an Olympic champion, even on Kinect. VIDEO www.michaelphelpsgame.com
GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // PLAYSTATION MOVE FOR PC //A BIT OF JEALOUSY After all the Kinect hacks (like THIS ONE ), PlayStation Move got a little bit jealous. Having an IT-student hack your product and post a Youtube video about it, proved to be an excellent way to get a lot of free publicity. So why not push the envelope even further and bring out a ’server project’ for fans to develop their own Move software on their home pc’s? It seems like we are slowly approaching a perfect gaming world in which mobile games intertwine with their console versions, and where you can use your favorite PlayStation motion controller to play Angry Birds on your iPhone. Wait, that last idea wouldn’t make sense now, would it? source: dualshockers.com PLAYSTATION FOR ANDROID //MOBILE GAMES STORE As already mentioned, the Android platform is lagging significantly behind the iPhone when it comes to gaming. But that might all change with the launch of ’PlayStation Suite’. The Japanese gaming giant has big plans to bring its games to every Android phone in the world. The ‘Suite’ will start with emulated PlayStation 1 classics, but the platform is intended to grow into a full-fledged PlayStation store filled with ’PlayStation Certified’ games for mobile devices. Sony Ericsson’s newly released Xperia Play phone and the next generation PlayStation Portable can only be expected to benefit from this.
GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // APPLE TV TO SUPPORT GAMING //HINTS SPREAD IN NEW CODE If you like reading through programming code, this might be something for you. Find all hints on the integration of gaming in the new Apple TV and win a trip to… no, that was just a joke. source: engadget.com
GAMING UPDATE // FEBRUARY 2011 // ADVANCE_GAMING ON TWITTER
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