3DS Sale Climb, PlayStation Vita Sales Fall

Posted by | December 31, 2011

Sony’s latest handheld gaming system, the PlayStation Vita, may be on the ropes. Sales of the new portable during the Christmas season were extremely slow, and showed a sharp decline from the device’s debut week. In possibly related news, sales of Nintendo’s latest portable, the 3DS, continue to rise. After a price cut and the release of a host of top-quality games, the 3DS has started to post solid sales and has now reached a record high. Gamasutra has the story.

Guitar. Atari. gAtari

Posted by | December 31, 2011

The Atari 2600 is a fascinating device. For many gamers it was their first exposure to interactive digital entertainments, or as the kids say these days, vidya games. While the Atari has been overtaken by stunningly superior machines, the little console that could has two great things going for it. A bottomless well of nostalgia, and an immensely simple programming structure. Hacky gamers have used both to great effect, for example, lashing the Atari’s sound chip to a custom software controller and transforming the thing into Frankenstein’s robot Atari guitar. Here’s an article about the gAtari, along with concert video of the device in action. It’s magical. Gizmodo has the story.

Nintendo, EA, and Sony Electronics Pull Support for SOPA…Sortof?

Posted by | December 30, 2011

stop-censorshipRight now, with GoDaddy staring down the barrel of a boycott over their initial support for the Internet-censorship bill SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) other companies are beginning to follow suit and renege support for the bill.

World’s largest video game producers Nintendo, EA, and Sony Electronics have yanked their direct support of the bill and this is a good thing.

However, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)—an alliance among whom EA, Nintendo, and Sony happen to claim membership—still supports SOPA. Unless the big three listed above remove themselves from that alliance they are still supporting SOPA by proxy (and with their money.)

Pulling their name from the list is

A Non-Gamer Review of Star Wars: The Old Republic

Posted by | December 30, 2011

Star Wars: The Old Republic is out on the streets and causing trouble. The gamer community seems taken by BioWare’s epic story-MMORPG, but what about people beyond our little fold? How about the sci-fi community? Here’s a review of Star Wars: The Old Republic from the kind of people who know Star Wars is Science Fantasy, not Science Fiction. ScienceFiction.com has the story.

Social Games Might Train Players to be More Helpful in Real Life

Posted by | December 29, 2011

There are a bunch of games out there that reward players for being social, and not the “show up for raids” type of social, either. We’re talking the sharing, trading, working together social networking that mirrors cooperation in the real world. It seems that players who enjoy such games are trying out the lessons learned in the real world, and are getting good results. Are games training us to be more social? Games Blog has the story.

Man Spends 16-Grand on Game That Isn’t Out Yet

Posted by | December 29, 2011

The game is called Age of Wulin, an MMORPG soon to be released in China. The $16,000 human dollars went for a special sword in the game, apparently a unique item. Other players have dished out stunning wads of cash for unique weapons in the game, but the sheer scale of this purchase makes it noteworthy. What kind of ads are they running for Age of Wulin over there to set off this buying frenzy? Either way, the story highlights the growing demand in virtual economies, with game items making up a major source of revenue for companies. TIME has the story.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Coruscant Datacron Sneakthrough Guide

Posted by | December 28, 2011

If you’ve been playing Star Wars the Old Repulbic long, you’ve either found or heard of datacrons. World objects that give you stat boosts that are hidden across all the different maps. Some are easy to access and some are extremely difficult; all of them provide a worthwhile reward and some bragging rights.

Look no further than this walkthrough: here’s the datacrons available on the 10-16 level city-world of Coruscant.

Old Galactic Market – Shipping and Receiving Docks, +2 Presence Datacron

Not that difficult to locate, but it’s guarded by an elite (11) enemy and his pals. After entering the area, and picking up the first few missions, head immediately north through the firefight in the double-bridge. Turn west (do not use the elevator in front of …

I’m Tired of Saving the World

Posted by | December 28, 2011

Well, not me, exactly. That’s the title of an editorial which ponders the idea that games can be more personal, with stories about characters and their troubles, not the fate of millions. While high stakes have a place in culture; books, movies, and comics have used world-ending threats for decades, that’s not the only type of story there is. Some of the best art out there is based around smaller concepts. A thought, an old memory, a future hope. There’s no reason that video games can’t work on the same level. Where are the video games that strike close to home? Joystiq has the story.

Augmented Reality and Mobile Computing in the Era of the Personal Cloud

Posted by | December 28, 2011

I personally enjoy the discussion near the 13:00 mark when it rolls into augmented reality.

Anyone who reads science fiction should look at Acellerando by Charles Stross—it’s exactly the sort of thing to set up any technologist for the potential future we might see coming out of wearable computers and the advent of augmented reality. By this, I don’t mean the high science tech seen in the later book, but the very beginning where the star of the show is the everyman cyborg who uses his technology to better mankind.

Manfred—who I keep thinking is Mankrik—happens to be an excellent example of how technological near-telepathy comes out of our personal cloud and mobile devices. We already augment our reality as cyborg beings every day with our Internet-connected …

A Countdown of Crates

Posted by | December 28, 2011

Crates and boxes are a vital part of video gaming. Every game has them. Every game needs them. The way a game uses its crates and boxes plays a vital role in the success or failure of the game in the hands of the capricious gamer community. So have an article about the top 7 boxes of 2011. GamesRadar has the story.

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