Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

March 2013

You are browsing the archive for March 2013.

Is GameStop Viable?

March 28, 2013

There were two unexpected points that emerged today that got me to thinking. Sometimes the best events are the things that are a synthesis of others, and these two items got me to asking a question: is GameStop as a company viable? And the answer was kind of surprising.

First came reports of the financial kind. It's probably not going to be a surprise that GameStop had a sound fourth quarter.

PlayStation 4 Gets A Closer Look At GDC

March 27, 2013

With the 2013 Game Developers Conference in full swing, this was all the opportunity Sony needed to bring out some fresh information regarding the technical loadout involved in its new system. So how will it stack up? The early word is looking pretty good.

First, the word delivered by Sony Senior Staff Engineer Chris Norden took a look at the chips. First on the slate was the 64 bit x86 chip, with the eight cores.

My Time In Bioshock Infinite's Columbia

March 26, 2013

Columbia may be the gem of the ocean in old songs, but in Bioshock Infinite, it's a lot more than that. I got a chance to sit down with this game for some one on one time, and it's time I told you about my trip to Columbia.

First off, I was terribly excited to get a chance to go to Columbia with Bioshock Infinite. And why not? A Bioshock with sunlight more often than in the ending?

Ouya Looking To Make Hay With Retro Games

March 25, 2013

An interesting development has emerged from one of the up and comers looking to take on the entrenched line of major game consoles, as the Ouya is going to put on a bit of a push toward retro gaming. The best part is, it's going to cover a waterfront's worth of gaming, and make this dark horse console a very attractive prospect indeed.

The Ouya console will be launching, according to the Ouya forum Ed Krassenstein, with a lineup of original Nintendo, Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 games thanks to a series of emulators included in the system. EMUya will be handling NES emulation, at last report, while SuperGNES will handle Super Nintendo and Mupen64Plus will tackle Nintendo 64. Better yet, the emulators can be installed directly, without the need to side-load any of the emulators.

The question, of course, is what kind of games can be had for these emulators.



Mobile Devices: New Frontier For Core Gaming?

March 21, 2013

Not long ago, we talked about the core gamer here and discussed his--and occasionally her, but mostly his--impact on the gaming market as a whole. But something new has occurred to me, and it's largely related to where the core gamer might be heading in the near future.

Core gamers are largely console gamers. Yes, there are plenty of PC gamers out there, and they're certainly part of the core gamer mix. But two interesting bits of news jumped up together to coordinate a full-on strike on my senses.

One, I caught a bit about how Nonstop Games had raised just shy of $3 million in a bid to bring "core games"--in particular its strategy title Heroes of Honor--to iOS and Android app stores.



How The Digital Omnivore Is Changing Gaming

March 20, 2013

One interesting thing I spotted today was a new report from Deloitte, its "State of the Media Democracy" report. It was the seventh such report to emerge, and it had plenty of exciting information for just about every sector of the electronics and media landscape. But what we deal with here is gaming, and guess what? There was plenty of information in the Deloitte report to keep the gamers paying attention.

While the Deloitte report is posing interesting incidental tidbits for the gaming market--like the fact that the "digital omnivore", or someone who owns a tablet, laptop and smartphone, is up big time, or that tablet use is on the rise in general even if they don't fit into the digital omnivore class--there are some very clear specifics that make for a big set of possibilities.

First is the news that 80 percent of consumers multitask while watching television.



Early Word On The Elder Scrolls Online Suggests Exciting Possibilities

March 19, 2013

Recently, some early reports started slipping out about The Elder Scrolls Online, the first MMO from Zenimax using the Elder Scrolls world as its backdrop. What's coming out around this title certainly bodes well for players, but the universal question is, just how well is it likely to do?

We begin with something of a universal truth: World of Warcraft and its various expansion packs pretty much own MMO. While we slip away every so often to try a little slice of new and different--The Secret World, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Eve Online, and so on--most gamers out there come back to World of Warcraft. It's where their friends are, it's the game they know and enjoy and have come to have the most fun playing.

How Saints Row IV Means Bad News For Nintendo

March 18, 2013

Anyone who's been following the progress of the Wii U over the course of the last few months since it's been released is likely quite aware there are some big problems on that front. But a new chunk of bad news has come into frame thanks to the release of a big new game this summer...everywhere but Wii U.

Now, for those who don't already know, Saints Row IV will be coming this August; more specifically, it will hit August 23 worldwide, but August 20 in the United States. But it won't be hitting the Wii U, and at last report, neither will Dead Island: Riptide. And this is extraordinarily bad news for a system that did not need more bad news.

Saints Row IV and Dead Island: Riptide are going to be two of the biggest games to hit this year, and given that this year is likely to be a launch year for two new game systems--the PlayStation 4, which we've already seen (sort of) and the new Xbox, which hasn't yet made its appearance--that's saying something.



Video Games: Not Just For People Any More

March 14, 2013

Being a writer here has introduced me to a wide array of bizarre events. I've seen unusual tech releases, odd news, strange happenings and quotes that made me at least wonder, once or twice, if the milk that commonly goes with my breakfast donuts had somehow turned alcoholic. But today, I caught a glimpse of something even more bizarre than just about anything I'd ever seen: gaming for cats.

Apparently, Purina--the guys who make Friskies cat treats--is putting up a whopping $20,000 in cash prizes for the top three games that make the best fit for cats. No, really.

Why More Games Need Special Events

March 13, 2013

I know that this sort of thing has been going on for a little while now, but I felt it was a good time to bring up the idea of special events in gaming. Several of them have happened recently, and this is actually an idea that I'm very much personally in favor of.

Recently, Microsoft concluded a string of special events in its Live Arcade game store, allowing users to pick up old games at prices that were best described as almost criminally low. I personally got in on this one myself, buying--for me--an almost disturbing number of games in one place. I picked up old favorites "Bioshock" and "Rayman: Raving Rabbids", and two I'd never seen anywhere else: "El Shaddai" and "Dark Messiah: Might and Magic Elements." Turns out that, for the last two, there was a good reason I hadn't seen them anywhere.

Zynga + Yahoo = Success?

March 12, 2013

A recent set of reports suggested that there may be a move in the gaming community, and in an unexpected direction. The question that should be asked is, is this move likely to prove a success? The answer, sadly, is more complex than some would think.

The recent reports indicate an interesting possibility: Zynga may be ripe for a takeover, at the hands of, of all places, Yahoo. The report came in from Wunderlich Securities, which noted that Yahoo! had previously been seen as having an interest in Yelp and OpenTable.

Video Games To Get Public Relations Makeover In New Campaign

March 11, 2013

Video games, lately, have taken something of a bad rap. With recent events making video games look like the fuel of massacres like Sandy Hook, and even the vice president taking potshots at the medium, it's not a bad time for video games to get a little extra polish. In the court of public opinion, many people have already made up their minds about games. To that end, the Entertainment Software Association has set out to put that extra polish on games by starting up something of a charm offensive, with a new public education campaign.

The Entertainment Software Association's new public information campaign is multifaceted in nature, with plans to unleash a set of new public service announcements to call better attention to gaming issues.

Old Games: Deserving Of Preserving

March 7, 2013

I've been playing "Bioshock" for the last few days now since I picked it up as part of that big sale Microsoft was running on Xbox Live Arcade. But what was worse was, by the time I was neck deep in Little Wonders trying to figure out how to smell like a Big Daddy, an article emerged on Gamasutra that rang a chord for me: what do we do about old Games?

It's a strange topic to think of, especially when you're blasting Splicers with a tricked-out 12 gauge that's got a steampunk motif, but it's no less valid a question for the outlandish conditions which spawned it. The article in question out at Gamasutra had something of a strange spawning point of its own, namely, the death of Kenji Eno, creator of games like D, its Dreamcast-only sequel D2, and Enemy Zero. But it came down to the same question: what do we do, as a gaming society, about our old games?

This is an extremely sticky issue. The issues of copyright and trademark get involved, the issues of rights and ownership...all those things that can make a well-meaning project turn into a disaster area for anyone who's not willing to play ball--metaphorically speaking--and take apart a beautiful idea.

Anyone who's been gaming over at least two systems--even PC games--is familiar with the idea of "abandonware", games that are largely lost to time.





Who Is The Core Gamer, And Why Could He Kill Gaming?

March 6, 2013

It's a strange headline, I know, but as ever, there's something to it. A potentially disastrous something, not to put too fine a point on it. The NPD Group recently made a study of the so-called "core gamer" and discovered some very interesting points about this group that a lot of game companies are pinning their collective hopes on. But this may well be a bad move, in the end, especially if the fullest implications aren't considered.

The NPD Group's studies focused on a survey group of 6,322 citizens in the United States, over the age of nine, who played games on either consoles--any make qualified from the Wii U to the Xbox 360 and down--or PC at least five hours, on average, per week.

Green Throttle Launch May Spark New Console War

March 5, 2013

Exciting news comes from console buffs today, who are likely to discover a whole new breed of console starting to make its way to the market. The best part is, in the case of Green Throttle, you already likely have much of what's required to own one of these consoles.

The Green Throttle gaming system is another in the growing array of Android-based gaming consoles. Much like the Ouya, the system relies on that great iOS competitor to function. But quite unlike the Ouya, the Green Throttle isn't so much a console as it is a system.

Shenmue 3 May Be Coming After All

March 4, 2013

Long time gamers out there remember, in all likelihood, coming in contact with a round of Shenmue at some point. The original, the sequel, or just being part of the crowd that was longing to see more of this series come out. The third one has been in development hell for years now, and may be more likely than ever to actually happen, for a change.

Shinmue's creator, Yu Suzuki, was recently caught out at the Monaco Anime Game Show talking about a few different things when, as it commonly does, the conversation turned to Shenmue. More specifically, the conversation turned to Shenmue 3, and if it will ever be made.

Suzuki, meanwhile, shocked reporters by saying that, indeed, Shenmue 3 may well make it back into circulation and thanks to an unlikely source: crowdfunding.