Global Game Industry News Blog

Friday, July 28, 2006


Not sure if it's the best route, but it's one.

Game developers are at high risk of burning out, says union //
Bectu is trying to encourage more game developers to join the union in a bid to improve working conditions. "We are trying to build up membership so we can go to employers' associations and show we represent the industry, the critical mass," he stated.

Interesting Retail Idea

I think the thing that makes me nervous about this has nothing to do with extra content for pay, but the idea that some publishers will take this opportunity to make me pay any time I want to play a game (like WoW), but for something that isn't like an MMO where that makes sense. "Why can't I pay Mario?" "Because you haven't payed your rent for it." "I was renting?" There needs to be a balance between asking me to pay and having me pay and get it.

This is one of my gripes with Xbox Live. I bought the system, why should I pay for the service? Let me buy games and content through it. This is more where Wii and PS3 seem to be going.

GameDaily BIZ: Opinion: How to Fix the Broken Game Business - The Retail Solution
In other words, publishers need to think like media programmers, not car salesmen. Think of World of Warcraft and where the real profits come from; it's the user engagement. Publishers can also leverage the pricing of add-on products that can be subsidized by in-game ads. You may get extra levels and online member access if you agree to get ads in your games. If you don't want ads, that's ok. You'll just pay more for your game services. Retailers can be paid to upsell these services by paying commissions for additional services. Each game SKU can be tracked to a retailer, as was done last year with RYL. This forgettable MMO had different retail SKUs for each retailer and promised to pay a bounty for online sign-ups. Don't you think there would be more WoW users if the guys at Best Buy tried to sell online sign-ups as well?

I think Microsoft gets this model with Xbox Live and its Arcade services. If publishers engage consumers with excellent experiences, they will spend time and money. If publishers just hope to sell the same repackaged crap with license for $60, they will lose. Today's gamer is a media consumer. The competition is MySpace, music, blogs, YouTube and online games.

Scotland...Amongst Others

This article really reads like an advertisement.

That point aside, while I wont poo-poo Scotland's ability to figure out what it takes to get a game industry going, they're not the only ones doing it. You can find individual states in the United States and Canada doing similar things. Ireland is doing it. China is doing it as well. So is South Korea. This is about the game industry getting (more) global. Scotland is just doing the smart thing. I wonder why Scotland gets an article?

GameDaily BIZ: Why Scotland is Good for Gaming
What happens when an entire small nation decides to make developing its gaming industry one of its priorities? Is there government funding to help young companies grow? University programs dedicated to gaming research and development? Companies working on major releases from small towns? If you are Scotland, then the answer to all of the above questions is a resounding "Yes."

Established...Just Now...Right Then

So it's interesting that a report is necessary to determine that offshore outsourcing is "established" in the game industry. I think that's kind of like a report announcing that Sony, MS, and Nintendo have a lot of pull in the industry. I think a lot of people in the game industry have already been outsourcing, or trying to figure out when and where to do so. Outsourcing is a strategic business component, and not something that gets done willy nilly. I suppose it does get done willy nilly from time to time, but that's probably where a lot of the problems come from.

The game industry and game development as it's modeled itself right now isn't really good at outsourcing though, because that requires having some idea of what you need, want, and where you're going, which is a systemic problem in the industry. "I want, that....I mean, that!" The rise of outsourcing could very well be a boon to developers in the industry hoping for better work conditions, as before outsourcing becomes as prevalent as the rest of the software industry, you're going to have to get a lot better at planning. If you need hands-on, highly flexible, local development, it's not going to work outside your company walls. I hate to break it to you.

GameDaily BIZ: Report: Outsourcing in Gaming Industry Established
"58% of respondents with outsourcing experience admitted that the process of offshore outsourcing was significantly harder than they had anticipated, while only 18% found it much easier than they expected," said Gunjan Bagla, Principal of the Game Industry Practice at Amritt. "It's reasonable to add new vendors due to capacity issues as 19% of our respondents did, or to reduce risk, as another 15% of respondents reported. But disappointments over quality and schedule indicate systemic issues."

The Hardware is Pretty Different

While I think he's right that getting the hardware out earlier is a bonus, there is still the problem that the PS3/Cell architecture is significantly different from what developers have been working on in the past. The 360 was pretty darn close to everything that had been seen before. More horsepower and fancy stuff support, but the mult-core-ed and core specific juju that's going on is more different than new toys but a similar architecture.

GameDaily BIZ: Epic Games' Mark Rein Talks PS3
In the interview, Rein discusses the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and indicates that Sony may be in a better position with the launch of the PS3 than Microsoft was one year ago with the launch of the Xbox 360.

"Developers were just getting final PS3 hardware [around E3], which is a long time before ship," stated Rein, speaking with Eurogamer TV "Developers did not have finished Xbox 360 hardware last year at E3. So Sony's actually maybe in a better place vis-a-vis Microsoft in relation to launch."

Despite the fact that many developers received final Xbox 360 development tools late in the development cycle, the console still launched with critically acclaimed titles such as Call of Duty 2 from Activision and Perfect Dark Zero from Rare. At the same time, many titles that were originally scheduled to launch with the system were delayed, including Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from Take-Two Interactive.

Me Thinks the Handheld Market is Different

So while it's great that SCEA is putting out some games for the PSP that are actually afordable, the metric seems weak at best. This means that the only $20 games you'll see are those that sold well originally at the $40+ price point. The handheld market really is different than the console market, so I suspect you're not going to see all that many bargain titles for the PSP. Bummer.

SCEA launches budget PSP software range //
Retailing for US$19.99, the first selection of games to hit retail in North America include Ape Escape: On the Loose, ATV Off-Road Fury: Blazin' Trails, Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee, Twisted Metal: Head On and Wipeout Pure.

Games eligible for inclusion in the Greatest Hits Collection must have been on the market for at least nine months, and sold in excess of 250,000 units.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Land of Confusion - Genesis

I heard this song today, as well as a recent cover by Disturbed. I know it isn't necessarily "about" the video game industry, but there was something about the imagery in the video, and the parodic elements that I could not quite put my finger on.

Certainly it's relevance to the global space in which all of our lives play out is an aspect of the video, and these cannot be removed even from the world of play which the game industry revolves around. It does make me desire a parody or a play on our current global state of things which moves me in a way that this video and song apparently can.

Sorry if it's off topic.

Like they said...

"It's more expensive than my rent."

GameDaily BIZ: Japanese Dev on PS3: "It's more expensive than my rent."
The Japanese developer community responded overwhelmingly that the PS3 is too expensive, with 90.29% saying it's too high. One dev even made the "rent" comment in this story's headline.

Why Can't VP's Give Real Answers?

I'm serious. Wouldn't it be an oportunity for VP's to give real answers to journalists? Let PR give the standard speil. VP's are the ones that should be cutting through the crap and talking truth.

So, I was especially interested in the comment, "revolutionary rather than just evolutionary on the cheap," which made me wonder about the revolutionary on the cheap, which seems to be what Nintendo figured out. The reason developers are interested in targeting the Wii is not just it's lower price point and inovative controller, it's about production. Developers already know how to develop for the Wii, because most of them have been developing for (or capable of doing so) the GameCube already. Now they've got some more horsepower, capabilities, and a nifty new controller. It's enough to make developers drool.

Engineers might drool over some of the Cell/PS3 capabilities, but the producers, managers, artists are sure that filling up that big a** BluRay disk with content (though the engineers are worried about reading that data at a decent speed) and making something that people will play has a whole lot of people just seing it as a frightening risk. There aren't defined pipelines, people are unsure, it's scary.

The Wii on the otherhand has a defined pipeline. It's got momentum. People know how to handle it, and are excited about innovative control.

So instead of offering us the tired old tripe, Sony VP's ought to be saying, "there is risk here, yes. what we're hoping is that people see us as revolutionizing the living room, not just the game room." Maybe you shouldn't have called it a Playstation then.

United Press International - Hi-Tech - Tech File: Sony's Playstation Portable
WASHINGTON, July 19 (UPI) -- Tech File caught up with Peter Dille, senior vice present of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., to grill him about the future of Sony's portable multimedia device the Playstation Portable (PSP). With recent announcements that Hollywood studios are pulling out or cutting back on the UMD movie format and complaints from gamers about the lack of games, we thought it'd be a good time to get an update on the system.

Will Sony's Pricey PS3 Pay Off?
At its autumn games preview on July 13, for instance, traditional Sony ally Electronic Arts (ERTS) spent far more time showing off innovative Nintendo games than it did titles for the PS3. EA announced six Nintendo Wii launch titles and showed long working demos for two of those. But it offered only a short clip of a car-racing game for PS3. EA says it's still testing the potential of the PS3. "Many developers think the console's initial high price will lead to slow sales and are holding off on creating games for Sony," Hamamura says.


Anyway you look at it, that hurts. Even off the starting block, Sony will be spending more than $750 to manufacture each machine, more than the initial retail price. It's not unusual for console makers to swallow losses in the early years of a new machine's life, making up some of the difference through licensing fees from game developers, and relying on efficiency gains later to turn those losses into profits. Yet Sony could go as much as $2 billion into the red in the PS3's first year, says Goldman Sachs (GS) analyst Yuji Fujimori. With sales of packaged games declining, Sony execs say they're looking to other sources such as fee-based online gaming and downloads, as well as ads for games Sony creates in-house. "Game advertising is likely to be an important part of our strategy," says Izumi Kawanishi, senior vice-president of Sony's Games division.

Sony executives won't comment on the PS3's cost, other than to say they will try to make the machines at a profit as soon as possible. But they note that no one has ever built such a complex console and that the PS3 will feature new technologies such as the high-definition Blu-ray disc and ultrafast Cell chip.

And Stringer says he's happy to take his chances. "The price of the PS3 is high, but you're paying for potential," he told Tokyo journalists in late June. It's the risk of being "revolutionary rather than just evolutionary on the cheap."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Could Nintendo Have Purposefully Done This?

I think you've got a two fold problem here. Publishers by and large are conservative. Some more so than others. I'd be interested to look at the number of GC titles that Ubisoft published next to others. I'd also be curious about Ubisoft and riskier titles. Nintendo was probably interested in talking to publishers very carefully, because a couple of really bad (or conservative) launch titles could actually hurt the uptake of the Wii.

I'd be surprised to find out that this wasn't a strategic move. Award those who have been working with you all along. Repremand other publishers a bit. Ensure your launch titles meet your own desires. Sounds like a win for Nintendo. The question it begs of course is, will publishers retaliate. I think the answer to that question is the success rate of the Wii. If it is the big seller, can publishers afford to not embrace it?

GameDaily BIZ: Wii Success Bad for Publishers?
If publishers aren't able to cash in on Nintendo's new system this holiday it could be disappointing for investors as well. One hedge fund manager said, "No one's going to make money on the software except Ubisoft." Ubisoft's Red Steel impressed many at E3 and is expected to debut with the Wii. "Everyone got caught flat-footed," the hedge fund manager added.

Some publishers believe the problem actually stems from Nintendo itself because the company was so tight-lipped until E3. Miguel Iribarren, Midway's vice president of publishing, explained that Midway had basically nothing in the pipeline for Wii until recently. "We didn't have the information to work off of," Iribarren said. "I think everyone pushed [Wii development] to the back burner till they got the information on the machine itself and the business model."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We're Not Arrogant...We're Just Think You Should Always Agree With Us


Sony's Phil Harrison: "I don't think we're arrogant" - Joystiq
Phil then said something along the lines of "well those were positive questions", in a vaguely sarcastic tone.

This got me to thinking, does that mean Phil was expecting "nice" questions? Has the situation got so bad that executives are surprised when journalists ask questions that are hard to answer? If "the face of the PS3" is surprised when a blogger asks him a question that goes beyond "uh, so what's your game like?", then you have a very large, and worrying indicator that something, somewhere is going wrong in terms of the relationship between the press and video game companies. If anything, Phil should have been surprised if I wasn't asking tough questions!

Finally, and let me clear about this; Phil Harrison is absolutely not the primary instigator of this mentality amongst public figures in the games industry. We're talking "endemic" and "industry-wide" here folks.

Growing the Market = What's the Market?

I think there is an interesting key point here. That sh*t is hitting the fan. The industry is changing.

GameDaily BIZ: Opinion: The Video Game Business Is Broken
5. Growing the market - Where will the growth come from? Will the size of the hardcore audience suddenly double and triple or do we need the broad base of the mainstream to grow the business? The answer is obvious and so far the winners seem to be Microsoft with Xbox Live Arcade and possibly Nintendo with its easy to use and enjoy Wii games.

At a recent trade event, a game retail representative said that video games are "not a business but an industry." There is a lot of nervousness out there as to what's around the corner. Recently investor Stewart Alsop of Alsop Louie Partners said that this is not just another console transition but a fundamental change of market. What are the publishers' and retailers' strategies to react to the new landscape? Will online distribution be additive to the retail model or directly competitive? Is there a business model for many game publishers or is there just room for a few gorillas who ultimately consolidate everyone else?

Maybe I like Playing Games on my Console Rather than my PC?

So why not get a licence for consoles?

In part because it's hard. But if the distribution model was less expensive for consoles, you might see more interesting/new titles on consoles. But because that would require releasing some control to those zany developers, it's unlikely.

It's just a weird connection. Why not blast MS/Sony/Nintendo for not letting enough up and coming companies to develop console titles? Why the focus on Intel?

Develop: Rein blasts Intel for "killing" PC gaming //
"Integrated graphics cannot compete with the console gaming experience," he told the audience. "If you're going to be out there creating these great next-generation games that kick ass and look wonderful, and help to sell these next-gen systems, you're screwed if your customers have Intel integrated graphics."

So, like that's cool, but what about some new games?

(read the subject)

Microsoft to release five Live Arcade titles in five weeks //
  • July 12 - Frogger (Konami)
  • July 19 - Cloning Clyde (NinjaBee)
  • July 26 - Galaga (Namco)
  • August 2 - Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting (Capcom)
  • August 9 - Pac-Man (Namco)

Casual Games

I think casual games are both casual and not-so-casual. Games like "Bejeweled" that are both casual, but not always casually played.

GameDaily BIZ: Study: Korean Game Market $2.0 billion in 2007
"One of the fastest growing segments is casual games that are free-to-play, easy-to-learn and can be played in 'micro-slices' of time of ten minutes or less. Pearl Research believes that casual games account for more than 30% of the online games market and appeals to a wide audience including females and gamers 30 years and older. Mobile games represent one of the fastest growing games segments and are forecasted to exceed $275 million in 2006 in South Korea. A slate of new technologies capable of delivering rich mobile content; ubiquitous marketing by South Korea's three mobile carriers, SK Telecom, KTF and LG Telecom; and innovative 3D mobile games are expected to drive the market."

I Need to Find This Patent (and I did)

Patent number 6,816,972, "Disk recording medium, reproduction device and method for performing
reproduction on disk recording medium." This was GRANTED in 2004. It was originally filed in 2000.
A device and method for protection of legitimate software against used
software and counterfeit software in recording media. The device includes
a disk is set in a main unit. A specific title code is read, and if this
title code has been registered, the main unit shifts to a normal
operation. If the code has not been registered, verification software is
initiated, PG detection is performed, and when a PG pattern and
verification data match, the code is registered in the COCT. If matching
does not occur, the disk is processed as illegitimate software.
I'm just trying to figure out how this is any different than what they're already doing in the PS1 and PS2. I'm almost positive that the PS2 is covered by this. It was an improvement over the system for the PS1 that made it hard to copy/burn PS1 disks. Could be wrong though.

GameDaily BIZ: Analysts: Sony's 'Used Games Ban' Tech May Still Be Utilized for PS3
In October 2000 Sony patented technology that would prevent PlayStation consoles from playing used, rented or borrowed games. Since this was discovered earlier this year, the web has been rife with speculation that Sony would finally use this technology to make it impossible to play games on its forthcoming PS3.

Monday, July 17, 2006

He Does Have a Point

"These people" refers of course those politicians giving game publishing/developing/distributing companies trouble. While I don't think it would be a good thing, he's definitely got a point. At the same time, I've got to wonder why Los Angeles didn't get their panties in a bunch about something like Die Hard. While I can identify with the fear of being linked to terrorist plots, that doesn't make it true. Seriously, they've got television shows about Las Vegas that link it to plenty of other things. It's interesting why the specific fear of terror.

As usual Tycho's commentary is spot on.

Penny Arcade! - F(r)iction
It's my theory that the videogame industry just isn't giving these people enough money. It's always a big scandal for five seconds when the true extent of this practice is exposed, but they aren't going to get out of this crap until they start greasing their forearms all the way up to the elbow and shoving handfuls of Benjamin Franklins so far up a senator's ass that he can read off the serials.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yet Another NEWS Report on Unnanounced Products

Not to say that it's not INTERESTING, but is it the job of The Seattle Times to be writing about unnamed sources "close to the project." Just about everyone knows someone who knows someone who "works in games" or "works for Microsoft." I keep reading these unconfirmed reports of an Xbox/iPod-Killing/Dragon-Slaying/Dish-Washing/Grout-Cleaning/Cat-Bathing digital media product line-up from Microsoft, and I keep wondering, why is this game news?

GameDaily BIZ: Report: Microsoft's 'iPod Killer' Will Play Games
"What's being developed is actually a complete line of Xbox-branded digital-media products, including a device that plays media, a software media player and an online media service," he says.
Although Microsoft's plan has been to get Argo on the market by this Christmas, Dudley suggests that "it may be a struggle to get it all done by the end of 2006. The project isn't completed yet, the holidays are approaching fast and the team is under intense pressure to get everything absolutely right."

Naturally, none of this has been confirmed by Microsoft, so it would be wise to take it with a grain of salt for now. It certainly is interesting if true, however. Is there room in the market for yet another portable games console? Is it wise for Microsoft to take on Apple, Sony and Nintendo at the same time?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Best Comment EVER on PSP vs DS

So, I know the article is mostly about telling Sony "put up or shut up", but that PSP/DS line... I laughed out loud. I wonder if Sony will see the writing on the wall, or if they're going to just continue promoting their executives who apparently only say what other executives want to hear, or start listening to some gamers/developers? Just a thought.

British gaming legend accuses Sony of arrogance //
British games industry veteran Jeff Minter has accused Sony of adopting an "incredibly arrogant" attitude with regard to the PlayStation 3's high price point, warning: "Nobody likes smug."
"Sure the PSP was beautiful, shining, pretty and posh, whereas the DS
was definitely the ugly sister. But hey, the ugly sister is better in
the sack."
"We need games, not smugness, games that will make me want to get hold of the PS3 rather than a bunch of stuff either identical or broadly similar to what I'll be playing on my 360," he wrote.

"I want sweet Feisar temptation, not a bit of snotty attitude."

Minter concluded by warning Sony: "Yeah, you've got the lion's share of the current market, but don't get smug... Nobody likes smug, and it's not an attitude that has served companies well in the videogames industry."

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dude! I've Played that Game!

It's called Rampage. :)

A+E Interactive: The Best Game Nobody Has Played
And it was a game where monsters went around a big city, tearing skyscrapers out of the ground and smashing people. It had a 1950s-style theme to it, the way that "Stubbs the Zombie" or "Destroy All Humans." But the game got canceled.

So When Did the Format Wars Invade the Console Wars?

So, I've been wondering lately about how HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have gotten into the mix of this whole next-gen console war. Why on earth is the next format war being fought on the grounds of video game consoles. Most folks don't use their PS2 or Xbox to watch DVD's. Some do, but seriously, even if they couldn't, people would go out and buy one for $50.00 or less at BestBuy.

Consoles have always used priorietary formats. While I agree that it's cool if you can play another disk in your console, I don't see how it's the major selling point. The Blu-Ray and HD-DVD war isn't going to won on the console front. If Sony thinks just by selling PS3's the Blu-Ray will win, they've got another thing coming.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Video game legend criticises Sony
The new PlayStation comes with a Blu-ray high definition DVD player inside and Sony is hoping that its inclusion will prove attractive to gamers moving into the HD era.
Microsoft has said it will soon sell an external HD-DVD player, which is a rival format to Blu-ray, but has not specified a price.

Friday, July 07, 2006

They Should Have Hands Too...

This particular comment made me laugh.

GameDaily BIZ: Blizzard May Be Looking at Next-Gen Consoles
The candidate is also to have "strong passion for both playing and developing console games," and "experience with establishing and monitoring efficient development processes," which is highly important to any video game project but is even more crucial in today's video game market where the cost of development is growing ever higher.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

He Must Mean CPU Crunching...

Because an indy-developer couldn't provide enough content. So a game that programatically does lots of neat things, rather than based on large numbers of artistic assets. So totally the opposite direction of the rest of the industry. That might actually be interesting.

PS3's online service will lower barriers for developers - Sony exec //
"Our first party projects are all unique to PS3. Some of our games, by virtue of their design and hardware demands, simply couldn't work on Xbox 360."

I Love Product Annoucements...

Of course a new product "is said to offer" X, where X beats their competator. However, unless you're releasing the product tomorrow, that doesn't really mean jack. While I'm happy to see a competator, if MS wants to play in this market, Apple may want to decide that they want to play in the OS licensing business. It's hard to say what will happen by Xmas. Heck, supposudly we're going to have PS3's, Wii's, and now MS-iPod-Killer's. I'll believe all of it when I see it.

Related to this of course is that Apple has been hiring game developers as of late, specifically game developers skilled at console and limited memory systems. I wouldn't be horribly surprised if Apple and Nintendo were teaming up to offer GB, GBC, and GBA games on iPod's sold for 99 cents over the iTunes Music store.

That idea's got as much backing as this stuff. I can make things up too.

New MS portable could be in stores by Christmas //
Sources claim the new device - allegedly created under the guidance and supervision of Xbox evangelist J Allard with entertainment and devices president Robbie Bach - will allow consumers to download music using Wi-Fi technology. It's said to offer better picture quality than Apple's iPod.

Almost Too Much to Respond to...

First... Red Octane has a division in India. This means that Activision has an India based office now. This will be very interesting.

Second... You wont see downloadable tracks on the PS2 unless they're saving on memory cards, because so few PS2's have hard-drives. Perhaps on the PS3.

Opposable Thumbs: Activision buys Red Octane. Activision now publishes Guitar Hero? That doesn't rock
We all know that Guitar Hero 2 is going to be huge. It seems as if Activision knows it as well. That's why they bought Red Octane, Guitar Hero's publisher.

It could be worse though, Activision has released some decent games in their time. Plus, and I'm getting excited here, they drop a bomb on us. Apparently they're interested in exploring downloadable music, and mixing that up with Guitar Hero would be the perfect match. Perhaps Activision knows what they're doing here, and will bring us what we've always wanted: downloadable tracks.

There's an upside and a downside here. Red Octane loses some of its independence, but they and Harmonix now will have bigger pull to make bigger moves with the music in the game. We'll see how this one turns out in the long run.

Wii Launch Speculation

Just a link. But I am curious about launch titles... Seems like rushing it might make for a light line-up, unless we're looking at Nintendo first-party games only. Although, if they release it in Sept/Oct with Mario, Metroid, WarioWare, and a MarioParty, then let the 3rd party games trickle in for the holidays, could be interesting.

GameDaily BIZ: Unconfirmed: Wii to Launch Month or More Before PS3
It's also worth noting, as Morris does, that Nintendo has a history of launching in the September/October timeframe. Although the GameCube didn't go on sale until November, the original NES was released in the U.S. on October 18, 1985 and the Nintendo 64 made its debut on September 29, 1996.

This Might Have Something to do with the 10NES Patent?

I haven't had a chance to look at the actual patent yet, but I'm curious about this one. Nintendo has primarily patented things as a means of protecting content delivery. I wouldn't be surprised if this has something to do with that. Because the Wii is going to support Nintendo's old library of games (and from the sound of it Sega's too), then they're going to need a good way to do it. Because they don't want people beaming ROM's into the Wii, but buying their online ROM's, you get this.

I'll have a deeper look. The patent to which this baby is referencing is 6,672,963. It's title is, "Software implementation of a handheld video game hardware platform." It specifically references GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and GameBoy Advance on low-capability target platforms. This would mean specifically non-PC targets. So emulating the GB, GBC, and GBA on things like cell phones, iPods, etc. I also did a quick search on Nintendo as the assignee for patents. Pretty interesting. Wonder about Sony and Microsoft. I'll let you figure out who's winning the patent battle.

Wired News: EFF Publishes Patent Hit List
8. Nintendo's video-game emulator patent. The entertainment powerhouse has patented the technology for emulating its old games, something Schultz said used to be allowable under the fair-use doctrine. "A bunch of small game companies are writing these emulators, and they're really no threat to Nintendo," said Schultz. "But Nintendo is being a big bully."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Holy PS3 Batman...

That's about $690 Million (USD) if you care.

Sony takes out ¥80 billion loan as PS3 production ramps up //
Sony Corp. has taken out an 80 billion Yen (545 million Euro) three-year floating-rate bank loan - marking the first time the company has borrowed funds in ten years.

But You Must Admit the Potential for Badness...

So while I would agree that nothing was meant by the adds. They probably should have put some more thought into it given the general level of possible mis-interpretation these kinds of adds would have. Perhaps a ying-yang? I know...orientalist, but probably less loaded than a black woman and a white woman facing off.

Sony defends PSP ad following accusations of racism //
Dutch marketing campaign "has no other message or purpose"


Amortize - Reduce or extinguish a debt by money regularly set aside. Or... Gradually write off the initial cost of an asset.

"... a certain license..."

Atari audit reveals further losses //
Troubled software publisher Atari has filed its annual SEC report, final audit adjustments revealing an additional loss of almost US$ 2 million and casting further doubt on the company's future.

According to a company statement, the adjusted earnings are related to "the amortization of a certain license," although specific details have not been revealed.


DFC is impressing me more and more when they release statements about market trends. IDC should take some lessons from a company that seems to understand something is going on in the game industry right now that makes it fundamentally different from previous generations of consoles.

GameDaily BIZ: Opinion: Could Sony Go From First to Worst?
Suffice to say events of the past six months have forced us to overhaul our models like never before.
Unlike many market prognosticators, DFC does not claim to know exactly how the market will shakeout.

Global Games

I expect to see more of this in emerging game markets. China and India are high on my list.

I don't expect Nintendo to be making any deals with North Korea after yesterday's missle play however.

GameDaily BIZ: Nintendo Opening South Korean Affiliate
Nintendo today announced that it it will establish an affiliate in South Korea. The board of directors has asked for the local firm to be set up in Seoul on July 7. The initial investment in this subsidiary will be 25 billion won ($26.4 million).

Kojima/Konami Backs their Vested Interest, the PS3

If it's honesty you want, don't ask the folks who have already shoveled more money (save Sony perhaps) into an upcoming system. It's interesting to see that the novelty of the Wii is totally lost. He is right that the PS3 is a movie theater, and it costs a lot to make a movie that looks good. In terms of production costs, he's probably right on. In terms of what gamers are hoping for, he might just be wrong. It's also interesting to see someone sneering at DVD as a medium when it's fairly mainstream. Reminds me of Nintendo sneering at CD's back around the time of the PS1. Mainstream tech will often get you further than you realize. I understand he's using Theater, DVD, TV as a metaphor in this case, but it's also what's fundamentally wrong with Sony's next-gen strategy, which is to demand too much for what will be next-gen tech, but before it's had any kind of maturity. By the time DVD was put into PS2's and XBox's it was a proven technology. UMD and Blu-Ray are not proven technologies.

I'm also curious about the number of people with "Movie Theater" ready homes. But I suppose anyone able to plunk down the cash for a PS3, likely has the cash for that home theater. I can imagine justifying it to my wife already.

"See sweetie, we NEED the new TV, reciever, and speakers, so I can play the PS3 that you got me. Oh, and new games, they only cost $80.00."

GameDaily BIZ: Kojima Backs PS3, Says It's Like a "Movie Theater"
"The PS3 is a movie theater. You pay 1,800 yen and view a movie with great sound and a huge image. These aren't movies that are remade directly from television, but video that's been made for the movies, and everyone comes wanting that. Xbox 360 is watching a DVD at home. It's for people who want to watch a movie, but anything is okay. The Wii is a television program. You turn on the television, and you can watch soccer or watch a variety show -- enjoy a program lightly," he said.

He continued, "If you think about the future of the industry and game creators, I get the feeling that the winner had better be the movie theater -- or, the PS3. No one will say that the price is cheap. However, the PS3 is 'the future.' The Wii is interesting, but in terms of functions, it's a machine with past concepts."