Above the spectacle of PAX East's show floor, in the lobby of the convention center, gaming charity AbleGamers set up their own mini pachinko parlor. With its vertically-mounted machines, loud noises and flashing lights, the Japanese devices were quite a spectacle. Curious to learn more about the sort of group that would bring them to PAX, I managed to grab Craig Kaufman, a member of the AbleGamers team, to learn more about what the charity does and how he got involved.
For those who don't know, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has taken on Nintendo and Super Mario because Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS features a Tanooki suit. According to PETA, this as good a time as any to call attention to the plight of the adorable tanuki.
Only Nintendo could get the game industry excited by "announcing" a date for when it would later announce the official Nintendo 3DS release date. On September 29 in Tokyo, Japan, Nintendo held a press briefing where it revealed not only the release date, but some other tidbits on the latest iteration of the DS handheld.
What the PlayStation 3 has lacked until now in its losing battle with the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii is a compelling price point.
That looks like it will finally change this September—or maybe before that. Sony has announced it will drop the price of the PlayStation 3 (80GB model) priced at $399 to $299 immediately. That means you can run out right now and get the current PlayStation 3 for $299. What interesting though is that in a couple of weeks (September 1st), you can go to you local electronics chain and get a sexy new, slim version of the PlayStation 3 for $299 as well. On top of that the slimmer version comes with a 120GB hard drive.
A video has been leaked from the June issue of Qore. Qore host Veronica Belmont gets to handle the new PSP Go as Sony's John Koller watches. From the video we learn that the UMD drive is gone in favor of16GB of internal memory that can be augmented with Sony memory sticks and it is Bluetooth compatible. Games like Metal Gear Solid, Jak & Daxter and Gran Turismo are mentioned. We'll have to wait until next week to hopefully see more footage.
Of course, ours involved three-dimensional, cybernetic, holographic overlays ala Dead Space or Grand Theft Auto.
Jack Schulze and Matt Webb, creators of the "Here and There" map, were indeed influenced by games—even some not so obvious ones—but games were just one of many influences. (This is probably a good thing given how limited most in-game maps actually are.)
So far it is simply available in poster form, but a 3D-perspective melded with a top down view would seem to have profound applications outside of gaming. Not that gaming wouldn't see a benefit. Gaming worlds are getting bigger and navigating them can be as daunting as navigating the streets of Manhattan for some of us. A "Here and There"-influenced map would be a godsend.
In a prepared statement, Take-Two VP of communications Alan Lewis said:
"We can confirm that our relationship with 3D Realms for Duke Nukem Forever was a publishing arrangement, which did not include ongoing funds for development of the title. In addition, Take-Two continues to retain the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever."
A representative for Deep Silver and Apogee Software said they "are not affected by the situation at 3D Realms. Development on the Duke Nukem Trilogy is continuing as planned."
Duke Nukem Forever was not the only project that 3D Realms had worked on, but it was probably the one that the developer was most known for.
Given these tough economic times, the performance of titles like Prey and ongoing development costs, 3D Realms finally had to lay off its entire staff.
This week, Polish developer CDProjekt announced, boastfully, that their 2007 role-playing fantasy game The Witcher had cracked the top 100 of the all-time best-selling PC games, having sold around 1.2 million copies. A reworked version of the game, called The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf, is on its way to consoles this Fall as well.
I had actually intended to do a review for The Witcher long ago when I first bought the game shortly after its release in October of '07. Unfortunately, after spending many, many hours with the game, I re-installed my operating system and accidentally deleted all my save games. I shelved the game for a long time, as it's tough to find the motivation to re-start such a deep and complex game, but CDProjekt's release of the "Enhanced Edition" content—which was a free download for all owners and is now the de facto version of the game—provided a nice incentive to do just that. But unfortunately, by that time I was quite backlogged with numerous other totally new games that I wanted to play. I've plowed through most of that now, and have been re-playing The Witcher with the new enhanced content. I may still do a comprehensive review one of these days, but for now this humble little blog will have to suffice.
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