Archive for the 'Gaming' Category


WoW not so far ahead of everyone else?

It’s widely been recognized that WoW is and has been the king of the MMO market. Whether striking a nerve that EQ2 didn’t, or being so digestable that it brought in crossover players, it can’t be denied that Blizzard’s big hitter is number one. On the other hand, it has it’s problems. People have been screaming lately about the possibility that Age of Conan and Warhammer : Age of Reckoning might steal away WoW’s PVP crowd by doing it better, more intelligently, and with a little more care. Still, AoC and WAR are still a ways away from launch, and most likely won’t see a population boom for a few months after that. However, one other MMO has been slowly & quietly climbing the sales charts : Guild Wars.

WoW, having reached 10 million subscribers in late January 2008, has been the focus of the MMO industry’s growth. But it’s Guild Wars that should be the true mark of growth. While WoW has brought in players well and above the much accepted MMO player base (that is, an MMO only had to sell about 500,000 copies to be considered “wildly successful”,) the recent anouncement that Guild Wars has sold 5 million copies is the real news. People are still coming to MMO’s via WoW, but they’re now staying here and having a look around.

With the recent release of the sci-fi alternative Tabula Rasa, the PVE beauty LOTRO, & Pirates of the Burning Sea for the magic-hating PVP crowd, we’re seeing a huge boon to the MMO crowd. No longer is the genre content with carving up the same small player base, but now reaching out into the overall gaming world as the preeminent PC gaming destination. So what kind of numbers can we expect out of future titles like AoC, WAR, Star Trek Online, and Blizz’s proposed next-gen MMO? At this point it looks like the sky’s the limit.


Take Two: Cannons Ready! Fire!

In addition to my earlier post about EA’s bid to acquire Take Two, it seems that things are starting to get ugly…

GamePolitics has just received a press release from Take Two Interactive in response to Electronic Arts’ hostile takeover bid.

In the release, the Take Two board confirms EA’s offer and pronounces it “inadequate in multiple respects and not in the best interests of Take-Two’s stockholders.” From the release:

After careful evaluation, the Board has determined that EA’s proposal substantially undervalues Take-Two’s robust and enviable stable of game franchises, exceptional creative talent and strong consumer loyalty.

We believe EA’s unsolicited offer is highly opportunistic and is attempting to take advantage of our upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto IV, one of the most valuable and durable franchises in the industry.


EA in bid to puts hands on Take Two

According to GamePolitics. Well, it could be worse. It could have been SONY…

 An EA press release claims that it offered $26 per share for Take Two stock in a February 19th letter from EA CEO John Riccitiello to T2 boss Strauss Zelnick. After Take Two management rejected EA’s offer, Riccitiello decided to appeal directly to T2 shareholders. The $26 offering price represents a better than 60% premium over recent T2 share prices.


So it appears there’s a new chance to get in the WAR beta

By buying:

Comdemned By Fire #1 Cover C

Essentially this is coming out of Wondercon this week:

Each copy of WARHAMMER: CONDEMNED BY FIRE #1 contains a scratch-off which reveals a code giving readers a 1-in-5 chance of entry into the WARHAMMER ONLINE beta test.

More info should be coming out in the next newsletter. But word is approximately 20% of codes submitted will be invited to participate in the beta test. Also, the promotional code must be activated by May 31, 2008 to be eligible for the beta test. Which means that we’re almost entirely guaranteed to see a June release if they’re stopping all beta apps at the end of May.


I’ve been bored out of my mind waiting for my beta invite. That is, I did the above before I closed my WoW account about a week after WAR beta opened. I’ve been making due with the PS3 and BF2142, but COME ON, MYTHIC. I put in a beta invite minutes after it opened.

So I’ve taken to helping out with editing HammerWiki.


Will video games become cultural slumming like comics?

Level Up fights that horrible thought:

 And while the report’s summary does not specifically cite videogames, it’s likely that interactive entertainment has picked up some significant, um, market share among young people. Based on this trend alone, even if there were no changes in interface or accessibility, it stands to reason that videogames would become more pervasive simply because videogame “literacy” is becoming more widespread.

I other words, comics are hard (said with the same sort of whiney distaste that a twelve-year-old would use to avoid doing chores) . And video games are easy (one would assume, like that girl who had a leather jacket in high school.)


Nanotube forests grown on silicon chips for future computers, electronics

Stolen from Warren Ellis.


Engineers have shown how to grow forests of tiny cylinders called carbon nanotubes onto the surfaces of computer chips to enhance the flow of heat at a critical point where the chips connect to cooling devices called heat sinks.


Minneapolis Hospital Using Wii to Help Stroke Victims

Minneapolis Hospital Using Wii to Help Stroke Victims

Patients use the Wii’s motion-sensing controller to simulate real-world actions, helping them recover balance, dexterity and motor control. Jerry Pope, a 77-year-old member of the U.S. Tennis Assocation Northern Hall of Fame, suffered a stroke in June and has been using Wii Tennis in conjunction with regular rehabilitation techniques to recover lost function. “Because of the interaction of the game, I get the physical sensation of playing tennis,” he said. “It really works. It can fool me into thinking that I’m doing what’s happening on the screen.”

Pope’s intense dislike of the traditional repetitive exercises used in stroke recovery programs led occupational therapist Matthew White to consider the Wii’s unique control system as a therapeutic tool. The other high-tech equipment in the hospital’s Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute typically costs thousands of dollars, so the inexpensive Wii system was easy to incorporate. “It’s just one more tool I have as a therapist,” White said. “It’s one more way to challenge Jerry.”

Wii consoles have also been employed in similar programs at other hospitals. Nintendo’s Perry Kaplan said, “We’ve seen reports of soldiers returning from Iraq using Wii as part of their rehab and a way to help them heal. We’ve heard directly from several cancer patients telling us the Wii is an integral part of their recovery and rehabilitation, and it makes a huge difference in their spirits.” In Edmonton, Alberta, a hospital was recently reported to be using a Wii system to help a boxer recover from a brain injury.

Mike Black is…

A writer, reader, commentator, music lover, art lover, futurist, tech lover, pragmatist, romantic, DepDecoist, and a bastard. Hopefully you enjoy.

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