Games

Xbox 360 Gets HD-DVD

From 1Up:

Microsoft has always expressed an interest in providing a next-generation disc format for Xbox 360, but there was no way they could incorporate the technology into their hardware if they were going to launch last November. They went with a standard drive.

Tonight at CES, Microsoft corporate VP Peter Moore announced they’ll be producing an external disc drive capable of reading Toshiba’s HD-DVD discs. Moore’s speech notes the drive is for users to enjoy high-definition films, though, and makes absolutely no mention of videogames taking advantage of the device.

Many viewed Microsoft’s decision to skimp out on a next-generation disc drive as controversial in lieu of Sony’s inclusion of Blu-ray into PlayStation 3. Tonight’s announcement helps sidestep that problem, but unless Microsoft decides to splinter their userbase (after splitting them via the dual SKU, one with hard drive and one without), the HD-DVD drive will likely remain movies-only.

Much of the reason for developing the external HD-DVD drive seems to be fueled by Microsoft statistics researched by Penn, Schoen, Berland & Associates. Their research shows 90% of Xbox 360 owners own or intend to purchase an HDTV in the six months, nine out of 10 of the people purchasing an HDTV cite Xbox 360 as the primary catalyst, and 10% of those with an HDTV also purchased an Xbox 360 simultaneously.

There’s little surprise the amount of users taking advantage of and picking up HDTV sets is accelerating due to more devices that take advantage of high-definition. “Xbox 360 is a high-definition growth engine for Microsoft and our entertainment, broadband provider, consumer electronic, and retail partners,” said Moore.

Games

Maryland, Indiana Consider Game Bills

No one learned anything from California, Illinois and Michigan.

Strong pushes from state governors in both California and Illinois didn’t help either state pass legislation making the sale of mature-rated videogames a crime. Such bills never went into action in Michigan, either, yet Republicans and Democrats from Maryland proposed HB 54 and HB 75, and Indiana will reportedly face upcoming bills, says Game Politics.

HB 54 is actually a different approach. Most bills have sought to criminalize the sale of Mature-rated videogames, whereas HB 54 actually bans the rental and sale of Adults Only-rated videogames, with penalties including a year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. HB 75, on the other hand, is described as “California redux,” which would be much like the legislative proposals in other states.

Indiana, however, has not yet actually encountered proposed legislation, but supposedly such proposals are in the works from both Republican State Senator Dennis Kruse and Democratic State Senator Vi Simpson.

Simpson’s comments paint a similar opinion to what’s been heard from other representatives. “We’re not setting ages or changing the ratings, we are asking retail agencies to enforce it,” said Simpson to the Associated Press. “Right now, kids can walk into just about any store and get their hands on a video game in which they can shoot police officers, use drugs, steal cars, rape women or even assassinate a president. That’s frightening to say the least.”

The road to artistic censorship regulated by the government sounds a little scarier to me, but hey, I’m no state senator, so what do I know?

Games

Too much?

According to xfire, in the last year I have played games for 33.791666666666666666666666666667 days. I did not double check it but I think I added it up all correctly. I don’t know, that kind of makes me feel meh knowing that I spend a months worth of time playing games. Then again, there were many times that I left xfire on for hours while I was not actually playing but there were times when I also forgot to turn it on while playing. Hmm, well I guess its not that bad. Its not like I do anything else (like watch tv). I am willing to bet that a lot of people spend way more then 33 days a year watching tv.

To check it out for yourself click on my profile below. I have been an xfire member since Jan 2, 2005.

Xfire Profile

Games

How did I miss this one?

So I found Conker: Live and Reloaded for sale over at Amazon ($10 when I bought it) and decided to grab it. I remember hearing about it back when it first came out on the N64. I was told something about it being for adults so I never picked it up. Too bad I didn’t, the game it pretty good. Its interesting that the platforming game play still hold up years later. The only way you could tell its age is from the jokes (it has a lot of old movie parodies). But yeah, this game is pretty good. I have only spent about an hour on live with it but I had a lot of fun even though I did not know what I was doing. I am glad I didn’t miss this one the second time around.
Video Review
Conker 1Conker 2Conker 3Conker 4Conker 5Conker 6

Games

Bad Gaming Trends

Patches
Stop releasing buggy shit. Please see my post here.

Big Price Tags
Ok, ok, I know the next gen games cost more money to make. In fact, development costs have been rising for years now without a price increase of games. I expect the new games that come out for the xbox 360 to be $60. My issue is that multi-platform titles should have the same prices. There is no reason why an xbox 360 version of Gun should cost $60 when I can buy the xbox version for $30. And its not just Gun, there are a lot of xbox 360 games that are also available on xbox that cost at least $10 more. Most of these games don’t even offer much of a graphical improvement. It is completely bullshit.

Different Game, Same Title
The first game that comes to mind is Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty 2: Big Red One. The first title is a xbox 360/pc game and the second title is a current gen xbox title. Both are developed by different companies and are entirely different games. I am willing to bet that most of the people who bought Big Red One thought they were getting the other title, which scored a lot higher in reviews. Then there is Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2: Modern Combat–are those the same game? Is one an expansion for the other? No and no. Two totally different games

In-game advertising
The images speak for themselves:
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Now you can be dynamically robbed of cohesive gameworlds…at no extra cost to you, the user! Because, let’s face it, the one thing every sci-fi-themed action game is missing is ads for some stupid real-life movie or soft drink.

Long and Stupid Titles
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Never Ending Tomorrow
A testament to the sheer number of Gundam games that exist, the titles need to be excessively long if only to make at least one notable difference between them.
Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie
You’d think King Kong would be enough to drive the point home, but the marketing geniuses behind this title obviously thought something else about the game was more poignant.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge
As opposed to that other guy’s Nightmare Before Christmas. We understand that the movie came out a long time ago, but a longer title isn’t necessarily going to jog people’s memories any faster.
Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose
Changing the subtitle to German is probably just a really clever cover-up for the fact that it’s the name of another video game (Beyond Good and Evil).
Yu-Gi-Oh! 7 Trials to Glory: World Championship Tournament 2005
As with Gundam games, the length of this title can only be due to the number of Yu-Gi-Oh games in circulation, approximately as many as there are letters in the title.