Monthly Archives: November 2012

Microsoft sends Xbox 360s to long-time users

Early last week, Microsoft confirmed that they are giving away special edition Xbox 360 consoles to people who’ve used their Xbox Live service the longest.  The bundle also included a free year of Xbox Live.  The service originally came out in 2002 for the Xbox.

Whenever I hear about some sort of crazy deal going on in the game industry, I tend to question the motives behind such charity.  In this case, I think it might be just that.  I guess you could say marketing and PR, but who is going to argue with the people mailing out Xbox 360s to people just for brand loyalty?


A (belated) Happy Birthday

On Nov. 16, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto celebrated his 60th birthday.  Miyamoto is responsible for various classic game franchises, including Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong.

For my seventh birthday, I recall my favorite gift being a copy of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the Game Boy Color.  I spent countless hours with the game, giving it more attention than anything else.  This was long before I knew who Miyamoto was, let alone that I shared a birthday with the video game icon.  Here’s to us, and our forty-year difference.

“DmC” caps at 30 fps

DmC director Hideaki Itsuno justified the video game’s lower frame rate in a recent statement.  Currently, the game caps at 30 frames per second, half that of its predecessor, Devil May Cry 4.  According to Itsuno, the game’s design fills in the blanks where you would perceive the lowered frame rate, making it appear smoother than it is.

This game has caused drama since its announcement, splitting the fanbase in half over issues ranging from character design to gameplay.  This setback is nothing more than icing on the disappointment cake.  If there is anyone still excited for DmC, they won’t be turned off now if they haven’t been already.

Official Playstation Magazine closes

According to Game Informer, Playstation: The Official Magazine will be ending production with their Holiday 2012 issue.  The magazine’s publisher, Future US, also announced the closing of Nintendo Power in August, with the last issue coming out this December.

As an avid fan of print journalism, it pains me to see so many video game publications biting the dust.  There’s not much to say on the subject, but this post goes out to all the print journalists, gaming or otherwise.

Ubisoft offers discounts to storm victims

On Monday,  the Assassin’s Creed Facebook page posted two discount codes directed specifically toward customers being affected by Tropical Storm Sandy.  The deals entitled fans to both 50% off any game except Assassin’s Creed 3 and 15% off anything from the Ubi Workshop website.

The people at Ubisoft really know how to turn lemons into lemonade.  They take one of the worst natural disasters to hit the east cost in a long time, and they turn it into good PR and profits.  I find this kind of thing tasteless and underhanded, but can I really criticize a well-timed discount?

“Curiosity” set to launch Friday

Peter Molyneux’s first of 22 experimental projects, titled Curiosity: What’s Inside The Cube?, will be released Nov. 7 on iOS and Android devices.  The app features a box which players can chip away at to get to the core.  The box is universal to everyone who gets the app, so if someone else chips part of the box off, it will count towards your progress.  However, the core of the box holds a secret Molyneux describes as life-changing, and the only person who can see this secret is the last person to chip away at the box.  The app also allows you to buy upgraded pickaxes that more efficiently chip away at the box, with the most expensive costing $50,000.  22Cans, the indie game developer headed by Molyneux, will create 21 experiments similar to Curiosity: What’s Inside The Cube, as well as one full game.

Anyone who is remotely familiar with Molyneux is aware of his tendency to over-hype his own products.  It could be argued that his own fame is a result of this hype.  For all I know, he could have found the cure to cancer and put it in the app, but I just don’t see the contents being worth the price of admission, let alone the upgraded pickaxes.  Personally, if I wanted to waste money, I’d buy a lottery ticket.