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Monday, October 01, 2007

Rooney scores Fifa game ad role


Watch the Ad here

The Fifa 08 football computer game - which features a digitised version of Wayne Rooney - has drafted in the real life footballer as part of a pan-European advertising campaign.

Rooney stars in a TV advert that shows the England footballer taking over a golf driving range to prove to a pair of gamers that his footballing skills are as good as his computerised alter ego.

The campaign - the largest that games manufacturer EA Sports will run in Europe this year - includes a series of three TV commercials, press, outdoor and online ads.

Eric Quennoy, the creative director of Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam, the agency behind the campaign, said: "A lot of sporting titles leverage the fact that famous athletes inform the creation of their game.

"The breakthrough for us was when we decided to flip that on its head. Instead we wanted the game to inform how the athletes played".

Read the story here

Source: Guardian

Kids Creating Computer Games


Free Educational Software that teaches student computer programming in a 3D environment



Computers used to keep businesses on track, assist doctors with complicated surgeries and even develop life-saving combinations of drugs. The demand for computer programmers has never been greater, yet there has been a 50-percent drop in the number of computer science majors over the past seven years -- especially among women. A new program uses the lure of animated movies to entice young students.

The sky should be the limit for someone imagining a future in computers. But how do you light a fire under an aspiring student? Find a way to make it fun. Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a revolutionary new way to teach the basics of computer programming called "Alice."

Instead of using Java -- the computer language with lots of numbers and punctuation -- "Alice" relies on three-dimensional figures placed in a storyline.

"We like to refer to it as Pixar in your garage. It's 3-D characters, but it's obviously low-budget," says Randy Pausch, director of the Alice Project at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Users manipulate their computer mouse to select from a gallery of 700 characters and backgrounds. Next, they choose their character's movements using a pull-down menu. Researchers say "Alice" is the perfect way to engage pre-teens, especially girls.

"To really have a substantial impact on the number of female students that end up in computer science, you really have to reach them no later than middle school." Caitlin Kelleher, Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn.

For 12-year-old Lucy Gabriel, "Alice" made her computer class the highlight of the school day.

"I like designing the characters. Making them look funny, or making them look the way I want them to look," Gabriel says.

"It's almost sinister in the fact that they're programming, but they don't know it," says Laurie Heinricher, Dean of Students at Winchester Thurston Middle School in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Alice's developers give the software away as a free download. They're hoping someday, Alice sparks enough interest in computer programming to sharply increase their ranks.

Alice's developers say they don't know exactly how many schools are using the program to teach computer programming, but they say there have been more than a half a million downloads. Download your own copy at: Alice

$169 Rock Band on November 23



Harmonix rep confirms Amazon.com price and date for upcoming PS3 and Xbox 360 rhythm game bundles; PS2 edition to follow December 10 for $159.99.



Shortly after Rock Band was first announced for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, retailers posted product pages for the game's various instruments and an all-in-one bundle. However, Harmonix and MTV Games remained stubbornly mum on the subject of pricing and package options for the music game.

That changed today when a Harmonix rep confirmed for GameSpot that Amazon.com's latest changes to the game's price and release date are accurate. The online retailer is currently listing the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 bundles of the game for $169.99, with a November 23 release date.

In addition to that news, the representative also confirmed the PlayStation 2 version's price and release date. Last-generation gamers will have to wait a little longer to shred, but the price of admission won't be quite so steep, because the PS2 bundle will sell for $159.99 when it arrives December 10. The game and instruments will also be available separately.

Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 bundles will include the game, a wired drum kit, and a microphone. The 360 bundle will also come with a wired Fender Stratocaster guitar controller and USB hub, whereas the PS3 bundle will come with a wireless version of the Stratocaster controller and no USB hub. The PS3 edition's instruments can also be used with the PS2 edition of the game.

In May, results that were leaked from a focus group revealed that MTV Games was asking potential customers about three price points: $150, $175, and $200. Shortly thereafter, GameStop began listing the entire bundle for $199, which indicated that Harmonix, MTV Games, and distributor Electronic Arts had opted for the highest price point possible.

Source: Game Spot

SEGA Rally


SEGA Rally



Title: SEGA Rally
Developer: SEGA Racing Studio
Format: PS3, XB360, PC, PSP
Genre: Racing
Release date: September 28th 2007

GAME OVERVIEW


The introduction of SEGA Rally™ to the arcades in 1995 had the single biggest impact on the racing genre. Subsequent console rally games concentrated on a realistic simulation of the sport but their popularity, reflecting in sales, steadily dropped over the last decade. Now, SEGA Rally is back and set to reinvigorate the genre with the vital ingredients that many of the modern racers lack – fun, character and beauty, with few rally games able to match its unique and rewarding experience. Rally’s dead, long live SEGA Rally.

Arctic Environment
Set in one of those days which are brilliantly bright, yet utterly freezing, the Arctic Environment in SEGA Rally is where players can warm themselves up by haring across snowy tracks at break-neck speeds. Featuring a range of surfaces to challenge drivers, tracks take players past icy industrial buildings, across frozen lakes and along snow covered roads which beautifully show off the unique SEGA Rally deformation engine. These tracks certainly aren’t for the faint hearted, yet offer room for empowering power slides around heroic corners. Players will have to remain focused, and be careful not to be distracted by the likes of sea planes sweeping over head or ski-do riders showing off next to the track, if they are to become the ultimate SEGA Rally champion.

SEGA Rally will be released across Europe on September 28th 2007. For more information on SEGA Rally please visit www.segarally.com. For assets please visit www.sega-europe.com.

Sleeper Hit Cooking Mama Coming To Mobile Phones


Test your cooking skills wherever you are when Cooking Mama, the popular fast-action cooking simulator is served up for your mobile phone! Taito Corporation is mixing up a simplified version of the Nintendo DS game that was named by IGN as the "Best DS Most Innovative Design of E3 2006.

" The game is expected to release in early 2008.

"Given the success of Cooking Mama on other platforms, Cooking Mama is sure to be a hit on wireless phones as well," said Keiji Fujita, co- producer of Cooking Mama. "The style of gameplay is accessible and fun for casual and serious gamers of all ages."

Cooking Mama challenges players to use the game controls as master kitchen tools to cook real-world dishes. Under Mama's watchful eye, players must first prepare ingredients, then combine, cook and present the final meal. Let's get cooking, Mama!

Cooking Mama is expected to be available on most major mobile carriers in the United States in early 2008. Pricing has yet to be determined by each of the individual carriers.

FREE Alten8 Skateboard DVD Free with every copy of EA Skate bought in store at Blockbuster UK


Alten8 is pleased to announce that it is working with Blockbuster to provide a FREE copy of the Alten8 produced ‘Skateboard Tips And Tricks’ instructional DVD with every copy of EA games SKATE purchased in a Blockbuster store within the UK.

Filmed at Bay Sixty6 the UK’s largest skate park and sponsored by XBOX360 , it features all the tricks and tips needed by skateboard beginners. It also features a world exclusive interview with USA pro-skater Ronnie Creagor.

The DVD should also be featuring on XBOX Live downloads in the near future.

Paul Andrews, CEO of Alten8 commented “This is the first of many Alten8 video productions , and also shows the wider remit of Alten8 in terms of games development , publishing , and other media creation. We are very pleased and proud to be associated with such a great game as SKATE and to have our work partnered with such high calibre product.”. “It also demonstrates how Entain8 can allow both publishers and retailers to add extra value and market share by working with us”

Parents can now check games ratings online


Parents will find making decisions about which films and video games are suitable for their children much easier from today, as the BBFC launches a new website specifically for parents and guardians. Parents BBFC – www.pbbfc.co.uk – provides detailed information about the content of ‘U’, ‘PG’ and ‘12A’ films and all video games classified by the BBFC, and why they got the classification they did.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:
“By providing parents with more information about the content of films and video games they will be in a better position to make informed choices about what their children watch and play. This is particularly relevant in the area of video games, where not all parents are as technology literate as their children. We have included all games, including ‘18’ rated games, on the site because we know that parents come under a lot of pressure to buy the latest big selling title. So now when they are told by their offspring that ‘it’s only a game’, particularly if it’s rated ‘18’, they can look at the new website and see what the game contains and why it got the rating it did.

“The well known and understood Consumer Advice – the short sentence about a film’s contents seen on posters, advertising and packaging – has proved both popular and helpful, but by its very nature cannot provide the sort of detailed information which parents would find useful. For each film the site will provide information about why the film got the classification it did, a synopsis of the plot, significant plot lines and how they might affect young children. This is particularly important when deciding whether to take a child younger than 12 to a ‘12A’ film, or whether the elements which moved a film from ‘U’ to ‘PG’ might be too much for a very young child. This website will take the guess work out of the family outing to the cinema and open up the world of video games for those who don’t know their PSP from their Wii.”

Football Manager 2008 local websites up now!



SEGA Europe Ltd. and Sports Interactive today announced that the website for Football Manager™2008, the next edition of the award-winning Football Manager™ series, is available in French, Dutch, Spanish and Italian, as well as the already existing English version.

As well as product information, the websites will be updated on a daily basis with blogs from Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive, a round-up of community websites all over the world and special guides to help you play and understand the game even better.

“For Sports Interactive, this is a fabulous way to tell our fans everything they want to know about the game,” said Miles Jacobson, “Readers of my blog are stimulated to give feedback on new features, using our new forum structure, while learning new stuff about the game from players all over the world.”

We would also like to welcome you to our re-vamped forums, with all new territory-specific sub-forums, where even the moderators speak the same language as you do!

The release date for Football Manager™2008 will be announced in one of the upcoming blogs on www.footballmanager.net, so make sure you check them every day.

Gametribe UK Launch


GameTribe.com Announces UK Beta Launch of Online Gaming Portal



GameTribe.com, an online gaming portal and sister company to 505 Games, today announced the beta launch at www.gametribe.com. The portal launch also sees the appointment of Faisal Ahmed, who has held senior positions in the past with Amazon.co.uk, Playboy and Premium TV, as Head of Marketing UK. The launch adds an all-new online element to the ongoing 505 Games success story, which includes recent chart success with Cooking Mama on Nintendo Wii and DS.

GameTribe.com has immediately opened the closed beta testing for Dream of Mirror Online, DOMO, a free to play MMORPG developed by Softstar, with a following of 400,000 registered users in Taiwan alone. With 3D anime and an emphasis on close teamwork, DOMO is the first of a range of quality titles designed to appeal to the burgeoning MMO market.

Joining DOMO in GameTribe.com’s drumbeat is KongKong, a 3D platformer based in a toy world full of colourful and comical characters, all participating in a jumping race against time. KongKong is a game with universal appeal and ensures that the wider family market is just as comfortable on the gaming portal as fans of RPG.

Completing GameTribe.com’s hat trick is Kicks, a free to play street football MMO with a distinctly Brazilian street football flavour. Developed by Entermate, Kicks was originally launched in Korea in July 2006 and has already gained the support of 450,000 flag-waving, trumpet-toting registered users playing three, four and five-a-side games on unconventional pitches such as roofs, streets and factories. Kicks offers street football gameplay at its finest.

All GameTribe.com’s games are free to play and, following commercial release, contextual items, such as kit and clothing, will be available for purchase on a game-by-game basis.

“We’re excited to bring these acclaimed MMO games to Europe,” commented Faisal Ahmed, Head of Marketing UK, GameTribe.com. “Combined with GameTribe’s expertise in games, we’ll be providing the best service to European gamers.”

GameTribe.com today announced its beta launch and is planning its commercial site in late October with more games to come to enrich the consumer experience.

Wii-kly Update: Two New Classic Games Added To Wii Shop Channel


This is a special week on the Wii Shop Channel. Frankly, it's a gamer's dream come true: Nintendo is launching the new Import genre with the release of two games that previously have never been available in the Western Hemisphere on their original platforms. The first will be hugely popular with Mario™ fans, who will love reliving the style of his classic games as they encounter new skills, new levels and new dangers. Nintendo® 64 enthusiasts also get a masterpiece of the shooter genre and perhaps the best game never released outside of Japan. Welcome to Import Week for the Wii Shop Channel!

The two new classic games go live at 9 a.m. Pacific time. Nintendo adds new games to the Wii Shop Channel every Monday. Wii owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points™ to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets. This week's new games are:

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (NES, 1 player, rated E for Everyone, 600 Wii Points): Originally released in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2, this game has previously made only brief cameo appearances in the Western Hemisphere. Now available on the Virtual Console™ in all of its original splendor, Mario fans will appreciate the familiar look and feel of the game, while finding that its updated game play creates an entirely new challenge. No longer content just to wear different-colored overalls, Mario and Luigi also possess different skill sets: Mario can stop quicker, while Luigi can jump higher. In addition to the classic enemies already known to fans worldwide, there are also Poison Mushrooms, backward Warp Zones, and the occasional wind gust (which can help or hinder your progress) to take into account. And if that's somehow not enough, expert players can go looking for the game's secret worlds. So get ready to put your Mario skills to the ultimate test, and save the Princess again. Just don't be surprised if she's in another castle.

Sin & Punishment (Nintendo 64, 1-2 players, rated T for Teen – Blood, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, 1,200 Wii Points): Created by the legendary development studio Treasure, this is a game that hard-core gamers and fans of Japanese imports recognize as one of the finest Nintendo 64 titles to have never previously reached North American shores. Its unique combination of English voice-overs with Japanese subtitles (preserved in this version) has only added to the enthusiasm for its eventual release here. Experience the frenetic pace of a classic shooter, while choosing from a variety of options and a number of different skill levels until you are ready to take on the full-blown challenge of Turbo Hard mode. Not to be outdone by the action, however, the intriguing story line gives the game its soul and draws you even further into the mix. Set in the near future, on an overpopulated Earth starved for resources, players uncover the intriguing mystery of two teenagers (Saki and Airan) and their battle against the Ruffians as they advance through level after level of nonstop action. Take a deep breath, gather your energy and prepare to see why this game is so highly praised.

For more information about Wii, please visit wii.com.

Wii waves light sabre at Sony

ABOVE: Early 'Light Sabre' Game

Nintendo’s Wii console has overtaken Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in worldwide sales – now more than 11 million sold, compared with slightly fewer for the Xbox 360, which had a year’s advantage in sales. Sony’s PlayStation 3, released two weeks before the Wii, has sold about 4.6 million – less than half its rivals.

Meanwhile, LucasArts – set up by Star Wars creator George Lucas – will next year release a game in which you get to wield a light sabre, just like those Jedi folk. And it’ll be on the Wii too.

Demand for the Wii is going to remain high. And Sony has a big, big problem. The only consoling thought for Howard Stringer at the top of Sony is that as it loses money with every console sold (unlike Nintendo, which profits), low PS3 sales actually help with its bottom line.

Terrible Video Game Endings Compilation



There are a lot of great endings to video games but then you have those games that just have terrible game endings either by what they say or do... Even a simple typo can make it pretty bad... or a few???

Some games just suck throughout the game and what completes a terrible game is a terrible ending!

This is only the first edition. I wanted to start out with NES games for this one because I know a lot of them have terrible endings.

Final Fantasy Ring of Fates multiplayer


Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the Gamecube was a bit of a hit-and-miss title. Touted as a multiplayer roleplaying experience, the game required you to have access to four Gameboy Advances (and three friends) to fully enjoy. The lackluster single player mode meant many were put off before they even started calling through their little black books looking for GBA owning friends.

The franchise has survived, however, and has moved onto the Nintendo DS in the form of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates. We took advantage of the strangely short line (the game being out in Japan might have something to do with it) and played a 4-player multiplayer game with the Square Enix booth attendants.

Multiplayer seems to consist of co-operative dungeon crawler, with no sign of story or non-battle gameplay. Players can choose their character class, which affects their base attack style. Magic can be used by all players by picking up giant materia orbs, just like in the original. The action all takes place on the top screen while the bottom screen contains your stats. The bottom screen also shows how many of each materia you have and allows you to change between the different magics by tapping the desired orb on the screen.

Report from: Joystiq

Top 25 Most Popular Video Game Sites September 2007


When it comes to video game sites, we've found that many casual gamers regard the sites they happen to frequent as gospel, and therefore feel they have little to no use for other sites. However, as the truly elite gamers know many sites publish unique information that you just cannot find duplicated elsewhere. Therefore, to be truly informed you need to be armed with as many informative sites as you can. To that end, we at eBizMBA here provide you with the Top 25 Video Game sites ranked by a combination of Inbound Links, Google Page Rank, Alexa Rank, and U.S. traffic data from Compete and Quantcast.

Read the list at ebizmba