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Five reasons you should write for free

Freelance Image

So for the last couple of months (and especially over the last few days) there's been a resurgence of "no one should ever write for free, ever, never never" among freelance games writers and paid career professionals. As someone who takes games writing very seriously and who's also worked as a mostly-unpaid-but-not-always reviewer for the last twelve years, I wanted to take a few minutes and share my thoughts on the subject.

Armchair Analysis: December 2011 NPD, Part 1—Hardware

Xbox 360 Kinect Image

December 2011 is a month that, upon review of the NPD report, continues the slide that the console video game industry has seen for much of the year. Hardware sales were down 32% from a December ago, with weaker Wii and PlayStation 3 sales leading the decline.

Consoleation: The future is digital

Xbox Live Dashboard Update Image

We've been seeing a gradual shift in software sales in the last couple of years towards digital distribution. Full retail games have been available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 over that time and, although the digital library is but a fraction of the retail library, digital has been catching up.

System and story

ICO Screenshot

Quantitatively speaking, I prefer Plants vs. Zombies to every game, ever. Plants vs. Zombies is not my favorite game. I'd say it's not even in the top 20. That honor belongs ICO, a game that typically lasts less than six hours and that I have played exactly four times, to net less than a fifth of the hours I have spent playing Plants vs. Zombies. ICO is my favorite game because of how it makes me feel.

Video: Angry birds and pigs bond over Seal

Now I really hate Angry Birds!

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 55: Great Indie Games, E3 2011 Predictions

This week, we honor the little guy. (Not Herve Villechaize; for that, check out my Fantasy Island podcast.) No, it's all about great Indie Games we think you should play. Plus: Highly improbable E3 predictions which, knowing us, will probably wind up coming true. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad "The Diamond" Gallaway, Richard Naik, and Tim Spaeth. Happy birthday Ryan!

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Consoleation: E3: Bringing the "A" game

Nintendo Project Cafe Wii HD Concept Art Image

Looking at the calendar, we're less than two weeks away from what will be one of the most important E3 events in recent memory when it comes to what I call the Hardware Trinity—that is Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. Each of the three companies have issues to address. Nintendo is facing lackluster 3DS hardware sales and the lame-duck status of the Wii until its new platform is launched. Sony has to deal with the aftereffects of one of the largest online security breaches in history and major losses in the last year. Microsoft may seem bulletproof, but the stagnant nature of the Kinect sensor and a slow trickle of software for it call into question the viability of the technology.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 48: The Future of Mobile Gaming

3DS! PSP! Smartphones! Which represents the true future of mobile gaming? Plus: Our most anticipated titles of 2011, and you'll struggle to hold back tears as Richard becomes a man. (NOTE: We recorded this episode before the big PSP2/NGP announcement—you'll marvel at the semi-accuracy of our predictions!) Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "The Timely Producer" Spaeth.

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My phone has evolved, but have the games?

HTC Evo 4G

As a long-time Palm device loyalist dating back to the original PalmPilot in 1997, I was rather disappointed that the Palm Pre wasn’t able to restore the company to its former glory in the crowded smartphone marketplace now dominated by iPhone and Andriod devices. For 3 years, I stood idly by Palm with the Centro, hoping they would finally release a true iPhone killer, but it never happened and the company was later bought out by HP in April of 2010. When that happened, I knew I was done waiting and it was time to move on.

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