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Consoleation: The not so noble intentions of abandoning instruction manuals

Fight Night Champion Screenshot

I came out pretty strong on Twitter recently, decrying the loss of instruction manuals as publishers such as Ubisoft and EA Sports have made moves to abolish print manuals in exchange for digital manuals that can be found as extra content on the game disc. While publishers are reasoning that eliminating such manuals is better for the environment, it seems evident to me that there are more significant factors at work here.

Consoleation: Review embargoes and the consequence of inconsistent silence

Homefront Screenshot

Last October, I wrote about what I perceive to be the dishonorable practice of review embargoes. I stand by my belief that the reason for many embargoes is to prevent early negative reviews for potentially spoiling sales of a game. Consumers can be excited about the game and buy it and launch day without reviews being made available until after many purchases have already been made. The cases of Medal of Honor back in October and of the recently-released Homefront are classic examples of using embargoes to this effect.

Consoleation: DLC -- Be careful what you wish for

L.A. Noire Screenshot

I already have problems with launch-day downloadable content. Although discussions about the subject on Twitter with PR people and those "on the inside" have generated a few valid explanations, I'm still not 100% fine with the practice.

Consoleation: E3 2011 -- Cheering the locked door

Consoleation: E3 2011 -- Cheering the Locked Door

Recent events make me realize that some of the same people that I have had respect for also want to see me fail—at least indirectly. In response to the ESA's recent decision to link press invitations to E3 with site traffic, which will likely all but eliminate any chance that I have at attending this year's event, I have been seeing some of these people approve of these changes and actually consider them to be better for everyone. I will not publicly call any of these people out, but I will say that the sense of entitlement among these privileged individuals is disheartening and disappointing.

Consoleation: December 2010 console gaming sales data

Donkey Kong Country Returns Screenshot

Nintendo righted the Wii ship a little with decent December in terms of sales. Comparatively speaking, however, Nintendo's victory was hollow when you notice that Wii sales were down a whopping 38% year-over-year (YOY). Put that number next to a 42% increase YOY for the Xbox 360 and you can argue that Nintendo wasn't a winner at all.

Consoleation: Five predictions for 2011

Portal 2 Screenshot

2011 has the potential to be a big year for video games. We're weeks away from seeing the Nintendo 3DS hit retail, motion control technology for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 will continue to mature, and there's going to be plenty of software just waiting to be bought. Before the year really gets into high gear, I'm going to log five predictions here about some events that I think will happen.

Consoleation: December 2010 sales predictions

Gran Turismo 5 Screenshot

Although we're officially into 2011 now, it's not quite time to turn the page when it comes to sales numbers as figures for December 2010 should be trickling out over the coming week or two.

Consoleation: November 2010 domestic console video game sales

Super Mario All-Stars Screenshot

Since NPD stopped sharing its domestic sales figures with the press (and therefore the general public), it's very difficult to pinpoint numbers and interpret larger trends. Over at NeoGAF, fellow armchair analysts have taken the time to sift through press releases and have posted what available information that's been released regarding November's sales numbers. I'm going to borrow from that data to forge a bit of analysis.

Consoleation: Status Report and Two Rapid Reactions

Dead Space 2 Screenshot

EA Games' Frank Gibeau is quoted in the piece as saying that single-player games are "finished". It's funny to me how the desire to play a game alone is now perceived by the industry to be some sort of cancer that needs curing. It's obvious that the single-player model doesn't appeal to the industry any longer because it's far easier to produce DLC for multiplayer functionality.

Interview with Frictional Games' Jens Nilsson, developer of Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Amnesia: The Dark Descent Screenshot

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is highly likely to be my 2010 game of the year, and is the proud recipient of only the second perfect 10 that I have given out. Jens Nilsson, one of the developers at Frictional Games, was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about Amnesia and the future of Frictional.

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