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[] 2K explains BioShock 2 on-disc DLC Didn't want to "split the player base". news Iga_Bobovic
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[] Microsoft patents Xbox Live upsell idea Detects, offers, sells, installs content. news Iga_Bobovic
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[] EEDAR: Are X360 Achievements too hard? Less than a third earn half the rewards. news Iga_Bobovic
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[] Brand new Medal of Honor trailer The scalpel and the sledgehammer. media Iga_Bobovic
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[] Gameinformer 9.3 review of FFXIII A phenomenal RPG destined to be remembered as a technical milestone for the series. impressions gamingeek
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[] Analysis: Examining Declining Wii Software Revenue At least $60 million of the difference can be accounted for by the drop in demand for Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus news gamingeek
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[] PC is on another level of graphics to 360 Says Metro dev news gamingeek
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Fragile Dreams Examiner review Its themes of friendship and time with others is often delivered elegiacally and can bring the user to states of reflection. impressions gamingeek
Conduit 2 teased at GDC I bet you cannot wait news gamingeek
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Harvest Moon Coming to the Browser Robio's productivity slows to a crawl. news aspro
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Bioware Founders Interviewed Talk about EA, Dragon Age and Mass Effect. editorial news aspro
[] Sony Move; Too Little, Too Late Stock Analyst editorial aspro
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[] Press Room Podcast  #52 Only 28 MB - But so much entertainment. Steel makes an appearance. editorial impressions media news aspro
Professor scraps grades, uses EXP instead Complete assignments, level up. editorial news Yodariquo
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PS3 DVR Big Seller At Launch Can "Tivo" while in standby. Watch recorded shows on PSP. news aspro
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Yakuza 4 Ships More Than Any Previous Entry Shipped not sold...yet. news aspro
[] Trip Hawkins: new game customers aren't into high-end graphics news Ravenprose
[] Warner unveils new LOTR Action RPG EA consequently starts to develop a Dragon Age action RPG. news gamingeek
[] Rage of the Gladiator Nintendolife Review - 9.0 Just as good as Lost Winds 2. It will now be ignored. impressions robio
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32X 15th Anniversary SEGA releases commemorative soundtrack. news aspro
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Country: GB
Comments: 46248
News Posts: 59731
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 13:39:47

SteelAttack said:
I don't understand your proposal. The concept of a flaccid penis is alien to me.

 I forgot that you have a mangina. LOL

Or was that Leo?

Country: GB
Comments: 46248
News Posts: 59731
Joined: 2008-06-21
Wed, 17 Mar 2010 13:42:15

I am bored. 

So, interview time. Continuing off from where we ended. 

Reggie Fils Aime said: 
IG: Right, and I guess that plays into the nature of the Wii as well. I had a conversation with Will Wright earlier this week, and he noted how the Wii is more like something in the toy market where it provides a quick five-minute pick-up-and-play experience. And while it would be great to have a BioShock or GTA on Wii, because it's not as powerful as the 360 or PS3, those third parties can't create that same type of core experience. It has to be very custom-made for the Wii, and the core gamer that's out there probably already has one of those other two platforms. So I think the problem for Nintendo is that most core gamers are getting that experience on PS3/360 and developers recognize that and the Wii it seems has been a little bit pigeonholed into becoming a casual games machine.

Reggie: So let me correct a couple facts. First, based on our own research, the Wii platform by far is the system that stands alone in the consumer's home. In our data, we actually see much more dual-ownership between a PS3 or Xbox 360 both being in the home vs. a Wii and a 360 or a Wii and PS3. Secondly, the point that you make that in order to create an experience for the Wii platform that you really have to approach it singly – you can't simply port something – is absolutely true. That means the development community needs to have dedicated resources; clearly it is easier to create either for the PS3 or 360 and port to the other system. So that's a challenge.

Having said that, there is a consumer appetite for more active player titles. All you need to do is look at titles like Zelda, Smash Bros... the opportunity is there. It needs to be high quality, and it needs to be marketed. I think the one difference in our consumer base vs. the competitive platforms is that our consumers don't rush out to the store the day a title comes out. The sales curve, whether it's our titles or third-party titles, tends to be over a much longer time period. What that means from a publisher's standpoint is that you have to be prepared to support a title over a longer-time period. And isn't it interesting... you look at when publishers have done this with everything from Rock Band, Guitar Hero to EA Sports Active, and the sales are there. The sales don't tend to be there if a publisher takes an approach of let me try to do a big launch and then move onto something else; that experience has not been positive.

IG: Yeah, that reminds me of something Cammie Dunaway had said months ago regarding GTA Chinatown Wars on DS. She commented that sales could have been much better if Take-Two had done more marketing around it. So to your point about the typical “fire and forget” marketing mentality on the other platforms, I guess you would agree that third-parties need to do more marketing beyond launch on both Wii and DS.

Reggie: And when it's done, it works! Most recently, Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games, a title that launched September or so of 2009. Sega did a great job with the Olympics and went back on air with a marketing campaign and did exceptionally well. And we've seen it with our own titles, whether it's Mario Kart for either Wii or DS, New Super Mario Bros. for both platforms... very long legs and will continue to have long legs. So again, I keep coming back to the [fact] that the game's got to be stellar, you've got to be focused against the right consumer target (whatever that might be for the title) and you need to support it beyond day one. If you're able to do that, the results will be there.
IG: I wanted to ask you about some comments from analyst Michael Pachter, who said recently that the Wii's year-over-year decline this past month is not simply a result of shortages and that products like Wii Fit had “historical lows.” He also said that for the rest of 2010, while Microsoft and Sony have catalysts in their upcoming motion controllers that Nintendo seems to “lack a big upcoming catalyst” to spark its business. What's your reaction?

Reggie: First off, I know exactly what's happened to our business in January and February. What's happened is that we had such a strong holiday period that it left us from an inventory situation in a position of having to play catch up. And that's true not just for hardware on Wii, but it's also true for Wii Fit Plus, and it's true for Wii Remotes (which are included in Wii Play). Just think about it – we sold 3.8 million pieces of Wii hardware and 25 million pieces of software from first and third party all in the month of December. Our warehouses were dry, retailer warehouses were dry, and so we're in the process of essentially replenishing to catch up. And so when you look at the month of February and see a fairly modest number for Wii Fit Plus, that's because of all the product that was sold in December and a fairly large amount of product that was sold in January. We simply have no inventory to put on the shelf. The same is true for White Remotes; you could go find a Blue Remote or a Pink Remote right now, but standalone White Remotes and Wii Play are short right now in the marketplace.

I have a lot of respect for Michael; we go back and forth a lot – but the fact of the matter is, as we sit here today, the Wii platform continues to have an exceptional level of demand. It's a level of demand right now that we can't meet. So our first catalyst is meeting that consumer demand. Our second catalyst is our very strong lineup of first and third-party titles that we've already announced now through the end of June. Think about it – Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid: Other M, Sin and Punishment. For some publishers that might be a good year, or maybe a good back-half calendar, but that's our first-half calendar. On top of that, there's Monster Hunter Tri and the partnership we're doing with them to bundle in the Classic Controller Pro, and for Red Steel 2 some will come packed in with Wii MotionPlus. So we've got a number of strong catalysts for the first half of the year, and certainly we'll share more about the back-half at this year's E3.

IG: I think what Pachter was hinting at is that although this is going to be a longer console cycle, and the motion controllers from Microsoft and Sony will help extend it, that Nintendo would need to be first to upgrade to HD or just come out with a more powerful system before the competition. And I know you said recently in another interview that you're not even thinking about the next console, but we all know that Nintendo is always thinking about what's next.

Reggie: The benefit that we have with hardware developers side-by-side to software developers is that for us, when Mr. Miyamoto and his team come up with an idea and they say, 'I can't do it on the current platform,' that's when for us hardware development kicks into high gear. And we're not at that point yet. We're nowhere that point. So for us, it's not a time-based decision; it's an innovation-based decision and a software-based decision. That's how we think of any system's lifecycle. And we believe that for the Wii, there are tremendous ideas that we'll be bringing to the marketplace to continue exciting the consumer. The other comment I'll give you to the question you pose is that I hope what people see with the Wii and the DS is that technology by itself is not what moves the consumer and it's not what moves this industry. If that were true, then DS would not be the leading handheld platform in this current generation. If that were true, the Wii would not be the leading platform in this home console generation. What motivates the consumer are great, innovative, entertaining experiences. So to me, I think what our competitors are doing is quite interesting but it's always going to come down to the software. And I've yet to see a piece of software [from the competition] that's an innovative experience for the consumer.

IG: Well, to tie that back into what we were discussing earlier, you're right it's about the software and if you're looking to get a BioShock or a Mass Effect or a GTA, I bet you that if you said to publishers, 'We have this more powerful system now with HD' it would be much easier for Nintendo to attract that sort of core third-party support.

Reggie: You may be right, but we would argue that simply doing a Wii in HD is not going to advance us vs. the current path that we're on from an installed base standpoint. In our view, HD by itself is not enough for the consumer to upgrade vs. what they have today in terms of the Wii.
IG: I was going to ask you about PlayStation Move, because it's sort of like Wii in HD. The controls are pretty similar but the graphics are much better. And I guess Sony is hoping that people will upgrade from Wii because of those motion controls. Sony wants Wii consumers to say now, 'Hey let's go get a PS3.'

Reggie: And why would they say that? That's the piece that to me is very interesting. So I'm a consumer and I'm having a great experience with my Wii. And we know that's the case – we look at the software that's being purchased. Consumers love the Wii. What's going to motivate them to spend minimally $300 for a new [PS3] system, plus minimally $100 for the Move motion bundle? So [as a consumer] now I'm into this for $400 and I still have to spend money on software. What's going to motivate me to do that?

IG: Well, I can't speak for the consumer, but I played around with Move and it's an interesting product.

Reggie: I'm sure it is.

IG: Have you had a chance to play around with it?

Reggie: I have not had that chance. One of the things I find very interesting about this industry is that people don't seem to want to look at propositions from the consumer viewpoint. And I think that's very troubling. We're constantly thinking about how the consumer is thinking about the product. How do they approach it? What's in it for them? Why should I as a consumer open my wallet or pocketbook to buy product X? We constantly think about that, because in the end, if the experience isn't compelling enough, if the value isn't strong enough – and value meaning what you get for what you pay – then there's nothing in it for the consumer. And a product will die. I can look back over the last 2-3 years with products that have died in the marketplace, because they were not thought of from the consumer point of view.

IG: Right, to Nintendo's credit, you wouldn't be where you are today without that mindset. Switching gears for a minute, one of the big buzz words in the industry now is social gaming. I wrote an op-ed a while back suggesting that Nintendo should bring its IP to Facebook. I realize it's a completely different business model, but Nintendo in my view could do amazingly well in that social space. Imagine the power of Mario, Animal Crossing, Pokemon or Zelda on Facebook. Look how well Zynga's done with FarmVille. Would Nintendo want to get into that space?

Reggie: You know, we are very fortunate in having fantastic franchises. And we believe those franchises are integral in driving our installed base and creating an environment where we and third-party publishers can create business opportunities. The social gaming space is very interesting, and the elements within that space of truly bite-sized, morsel-sized entertainment and micro-transactions is very interesting. But the concept of our franchises being leveraged in that way is, at least right now, something that we have absolutely no interest in. We want the next great Zelda experience to be on one of our own platforms. We want the next great Pokemon experience to be on one of our platforms. For us, that's what motivates the consumer to buy software, buy hardware and to create this environment for us and others to participate in. Now, that's not to say that we're not looking at the social gaming phenomenon, looking at micro-transactions – I mean, we have to in order to continue being leaders in this industry. But it's not a place in the near-term that you'll see our franchises.

IG: I realize we're almost out of time, so I'll finish by asking you about the DSi XL. Your favorite analyst Michael Pachter told us a few weeks ago that he didn't think the XL would be a success at launch because the pricing is too high. He believes that pricing it just $10 below the Wii is a bad move and makes the handheld a much less attractive purchase. So what is your thinking on the DSi XL price point and what it offers consumers?

Reggie: First factoid: In Japan, where the DSi XL has fabulous momentum and is currently outselling the base DSi model and outselling it pretty substantially, the price point for the DSi XL is exactly the same price as the Wii home console. So what that suggests to us is that the value proposition inherent in that system – 93% larger screen, wider viewing angle, essentially a more sociable gaming experience in a handheld – is certainly resonating with consumers, at least in Japan. We think that will resonate here in the U.S. So we believe the $189.99 price point is consumer relevant; we think the $20 premium vs. the DSi is the right level of difference and we think it's going to do quite well here. Personally, I believe that our DSi business will continue to be the largest part of the DS family. I don't think we'll have that same phenomenon that Japan has had, but I could be wrong.

And one of the things that I love about Michael, as well as all the analysts that cover this industry, is that they can make some pretty bold pronouncements and not be held to going back and looking at how good the batting average is. Our batting average has been pretty high. And we believe that not only the hardware, but the software that we're launching concurrently with DSi XL – everything from WarioWare D.I.Y. to America's Test Kitchen, Picross and 100 Classic Books coming shortly thereafter – we think we've got a great software lineup to drive the installed base of DSi XL.

IG: Thanks very much for your time Reggie.


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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 14:04:28

Former Ensemble designer hits back at crunch claims

A lead designer at the now defunct Ensemble Studios has hit back at claims that the Age of Empires developer closed because of a combination of ingrained crunch culture and spiralling costs.

Writing on his website, Ian Fischer disputed claims made by Paul Bettner at GDC last week, in which he implied that over-spending and excessive work hours irreparably damaged the respected development team.

"Ensemble Studios, while certainly fond of numerous inefficient development practices, was no costlier or less efficient than any other developer of our calibre during this period of operation," wrote Fischer.

"Every single game Ensemble Studios made, across more than a decade, paid for it’s development and made a profit.  Microsoft had it’s reasons for closing the studio but to imply that it was because we cost too much is fiction."

Bettner had said that as a manager he had not stood up to crunch culture at Ensemble, but Fischer claimed the company did not pressure staff, and was in fact more laid back with regards to working hours - although his open letter does confuse comment made about Bettner's time at Ensemble with comments made by Bettner on crunch culture at other studios including Rockstar and Electronic Arts.

"Of the people who worked at other developers prior to Ensemble, the most common complaint was that the studio was too lax, that we allowed our people too much freedom and did not hammer individuals for playing games or not being at their desks by the official start of the workday," wrote Fischer.

"There were certainly people at Ensemble who did not like working long hours for extended periods (all of them, in fact) but your implication that it was a place that used people up is wholly untrue and contrary to all evidence. The leadership of Ensemble Studios saw crunch as a failure. While it was certainly used, it was never 'institutionalised' or accepted."

Fischer ended his attack on Bettner by disputing his role at the studio, suggesting he was never in a position of authority and that his public CV is incorrect.

"You were never a member of the management team at Ensemble Studios," added Fischer. "For that matter, neither you, nor anyone else, was 'creative director' at our studio. You were in no way involved in any of the conversations between Ensemble’s and Microsoft’s leadership regarding the closure of the studio."

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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 16:49:29

SteelAttack said:

I have something for you then.


Now youo can dick around properly. LOL

Ha! Mine's BIGGER!


The VG Press

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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 17:08:03

Ravenprose said:

SteelAttack said:

I have something for you then.


Now youo can dick around properly. LOL

Ha! Mine's BIGGER!


Yeah, but yours is stored inside your anus. It doesn't count. Besides, hamsters are more known by the size of their balls.

Country: US
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 17:58:29

SteelAttack said:

Ravenprose said:

SteelAttack said:

I have something for you then.


Now youo can dick around properly. LOL

Ha! Mine's BIGGER!


Yeah, but yours is stored inside your anus. It doesn't count. Besides, hamsters are more known by the size of their balls.

Now how can that be true?! If Hamsters had big balls they would constantly be rolling over on their backs like up-ended turtles!

Country: NL
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:11:40

Hey look at my erect penis

The VG Press
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:11:44

They do!

Country: US
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:15:26

Eegads! That hamster was blessed by the God of Balls!

...speaking of which: Where has Vader been for the last two days?

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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:34:53

phantom_leo said:

Eegads! That hamster was blessed by the God of Balls!

...speaking of which: Where has Vader been for the last two days?

 God of War 3 + Final Fantasy 13 = 

Vader unreachable. 

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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 21:33:05
Yo Leo. Did you get Resonance of Fate and Infinite Space?

If so, how are they so far, if you played them yet!

I'm thinking about skipping Infinite Space. It doesn't look that fun after reading the IGN review. So any impressions would be great!


Now Playing: Golden Sun Dark Dawn, God of War Ghost of Sparta, and DKC Returns

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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 21:40:50
I will let you know tonight!
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 21:48:35
Ubisoft vs Pirates


Tell me to get back to rewriting this site so it's not horrible on mobile
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 21:55:40
^ I love how excited the dog got after the dude fell in!  Nyaa
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 21:57:04
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 21:58:21

Dvader said:

phantom_leo said:

I aint paying $40 for a glorified expansion pack.

Did you buy Gran Turismo 5 Prologue???


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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 22:10:51

So yeah, picked up Perfect Dark this morning (since the fucking thing wouldn't unlock at launch). Basically - it's just the 64 game, but with better visuals, a few new control schemes and online multiplayer. Everything from the 64 version is there, and there's still quite a bit to do, which is awesome.

It actually holds up rather well too, which is nice.

Country: UN
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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 22:12:50

Don't you assholes know what came out today?!

PERFECT DARK 360!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One of the best games ever made, now even better!! Better graphics, better frame rate, better controls, online multi-player....Goldeneye maps....hell I'll probably play this more than any of the NEW shooters this year! In many ways this game still offers more than modern shooters, and I downloaded it this morning and I can't wait to revisit this classic shit!

BTW, Mass Effect 2 also came today!!! But I have to play through the first game again since I don't have my old save on my new 360, and try to do all the same shit I did the first time to carry it over the ME2.

Anyway, "its a good time to be a gamer".



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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 22:26:53

LOL Kevin Butler is awesome!


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Wed, 17 Mar 2010 22:28:48

phantom_leo said:
^ I love how excited the dog got after the dude fell in!  Nyaa


Yeah me too. I'd love to know what the dog was thinking.


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