Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nintendo issues warning against 3D games

   Nintendo has released a statement which cautions children under the age of 6 from playing its upcoming Nintendo 3DS handheld. Nintendo issued the warning on its Japanese website which is promoting a 3-day exhibition in Japan where gamers can test the new gaming machine. The translated warning advises:

"For children under the age of six, looking at 3-D images for a long time could possibly have a negative impact on the development of their eyes."

   On the release of the warning and a weak broader market, Nintendo shares dropped 2.4% drop on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Nintendo's 3DS features technology known as autostereoscopic 3-D which does not require the use of special 3D glasses to view the 3D effect. The 3DS includes a slider control which adjusts the level of 3D effects that are shown on the handheld screen.

   The Nintendo 3DS is scheduled to be released in Japan on February 26, 2011 and in North America and Europe in March 2011. 

Square files trademark for Final Fantasy Type-0

   Square Enix has filed a trademark in the European Union for "Final Fantasy Type-0" which was accompanied by a logo in black calligraphy script as shown below. No additional details have been divulged by Square concerning the project.

Porn Names and Video Games

He watches a lot of porn.

Kids opening video games

These kids are well-behaved and don't freak out at the sight of video games.

Too many Video Games

We also operate which is currently on hiatus so I figured I'd throw in a stick figure video on GEX until TSF returns next year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

C64 Commodore Ms Pac-Man

The quality of the C=64 port of Ms Pac-Man is almost 1:1 to the arcade original.

The Jimquisition: The shittest games of 2010

A fat bastard who speaks with a chuff accent talks about the shit games that were released in 2010. If you turn down the volume, you could dub in dialogue so that the fat bastard talks about all the burgers, fries, and chips he gobbled in 2010. Do it.

Arcade Jumper iOS Preview

I don't really want this game but I'll probably buy it anyway since I'm a sucker for the old school.

Effin Adam Sessler (Extended interview from Video Games Versus)

Damn. Who are these people?

"The most amazing video game dances"

I think the word, "amazing" is used too liberally these days. Spiderman is amazing but video game dancing?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Barbie and Pickles play Mario Kart Wii

I talk to the screen too when I'm playing Mario Kart Wii.

Beer Filled From the Bottom

A new way to dispense beer.

NASA: UFOs From Nowhere

Fast forward to 2:30 for the show. The people who speak in the background refer to the objects as "material" and at one point, someone asks, "Are they thicker?"

Can you count how many UFOs?

What the person taking the video thinks are UFOs are probably just insects.

UFO Documents RELEASED by New Zealand Government

Where's Art Bell when we need him?

Microsoft Flight PC teaser

Lets Play Minecraft Episode 12

Minecraft is facking addictive. Minecrack is a more appropriate name.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

X-Ray Camera Captures Lightning Strike

   An article on National Geographic and an accompanying photo (seen to the left) details the first image of an artificially induced lightning strike which shows x-rays at the head of the lightning bolt. The 1,500 lb custom-built camera takes ten million images at 30 pixels every second. National Geographic link.

   The article was originally published on December 23, 2010 and the image was taken at Camp Blanding, Florida.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Checking in with Nerdphilia who gives out her Christmas greetings and gripes about the cold and snow in Sweden. She should probably move to Hawaii.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010 Christmas Lights

There are some very imaginative folks out there.


This is a funny video because the speaker doesn't understand the lawsuit. The details of the lawsuit may be viewed here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lake Lure Inn host to a ghost?

Ghost in Lake Lure Inn & Spa photo? Looks more like a reflection of something off the ice sculpture than a ghost...

Dead Space 2: Head to Head - X360 vs PS3 (HD 720p)

A head-to-head comparison of Dead Space 2 on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mt. Wilson Observatory Webcam - UFOs over L.A.- December 2010

From the description for the video: This webcam takes 1 picture every 2 minutes. The daytime one (at the beginning) was awesome. I want to know what the streaks are that show up at night. If it is due to a slow exposure/shutter speed on the camera then I would like to know why not ALL of the objects appear as streaks. Some appear as orbs/dots of light that move across the screen in succession to the time.

WoW Cataclysm Guide : Secret Hyjal Achievement

How to clear an infestation of bears in WoW Cataclysm.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

UFOs Live Webcam NYC - Dec 17, 2010

The video purports to show UFOs but if you visit the webcam's live feed here:, you'll see that there's always lights in the sky which leads me to believe that they're planes, reflections, or something entirely mundane. Not UFOs.

UFO sighting in Amsterdam #2

The UFOs in Amsterdam return for another filming session.

UFO sightings in Amsterdam

The guy taking the video and his friends in the background sound like a bunch of yokels. The video is of shaky-cam quality but there never seems to be any real good equipment on hand when UFOs are floating in the sky.

UFO Shreveport #36 (bright over Hardman Hydroponics)

If I was trying to debunk this, I'd just say it was the planet Venus.

'Charges against Assange absurd, expose US hand'

Assange is in Uncle Sam's gunsights.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Best Magazine Covers of 2010

Moonward presents their best magazine covers of 2010.

   In our office, we get a lot of magazines because subscriptions are either very cheap or the workers in the other offices in the building give them to us when they're done instead of throwing them away. Despite all of the magazines we get every week, we've only seen half of the magazine covers featured in Moonward's "Best Magazine Covers of 2010" which gives the top prize to a Rolling Stone cover where the cast of Glee make like the cast of "Friends." The second best cover is the Mad Magazine cover seen to the left where Alfred E. Neuman proclaims his lost love for President Obama.

Electric Eel Lights Up Christmas Tree

A well-fed pond of electric eels can probably provide enough power for a small apartment building.

Nerd news with nerdphilia 2

Nerdphilia gives this year's Video Game Awards a thumbs down. She also calls "Call of Duty," COD. As in the fish.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dead Space 2 Trailer

DS2 ships on January 25, 2010. J-Sonoma is on vacation for the remainder of 2010.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg "Man of the Year"

Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg has been named TIME magazine's Man of the Year. Well, the politically correct heading that they're been cowed into using is, "Person of the Year" but I'm not cowed.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

1-UP: Yu Suzuki Interview Part 2

   The second part of James Mielke's interview with Yu Suzuki "The Disappearance of Yu Suzuki: Part 2" may be viewed on 1-Up. Yu talks about Shenmue, Space Harrier, and discloses that his favorite current game is Tomodachi Collection on the Nintendo DS.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mortal Kombat Reboot News

   According to a member on the Mortal Kombat fan-site TRMK who was able to access a file directory on the official MK site, the character list for the new Mortal Kombat game includes the following fighters: Ermac, Goro, Kabal, Noob Saibot, Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, Sindel, Smoke, and Stryker in addition to the previously revealed Raider, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero. The file directory on the MK site has since been blocked to the public.

   The January issue of Official Playstation Magazine also reveals that Kratos of God of War fame will be a playable character in the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot.

World of Warcraft Cataclysm CE Unboxing

The guy who made this video cut his hand "making potatoes" with a cheese grater. It's a wonder he didn't injure himself further whilst unboxing the CE bundle.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

1-UP: Interview with Yu Suzuki

    James Mielke returns to 1-Up (momentarily) for a guest-interview with Yu Suzuki titled The Disappearance of Yu Suzuki. The first part of the interview is up today and the piece is an entertaining read.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter = Dumbass

   In a recent "Pach Attack" segment on Gametrailers, Michael Pachter of Wedbrush Morgan flapped his gums and uttered the following:

"We're not even close to saturated on the videogame consoles, and we are way approaching saturation on the handheld market. We're starting to see DS hardware sales crack. I think the ubiquity of the iPod Touch is cutting into the handheld market. I think the PSP2 is gonna be dead on arrival. It looks to me like young kids are just as happy playing with an iPod Touch or a Nano. The Touch is cool, it plays games, it plays music, they're gonna put a camera in it, you're gonna have all sorts of cool stuff."

   I've read this guy's stuff before. He's not very bright and really shouldn't be commenting on videogames. He's old, he's tired, and he enjoys comparing apples to oranges and then tries to make an argument out of it. I'll destroy him sentence by sentence:

We're not even close to saturated on the videogame consoles, and we are way approaching saturation on the handheld market.

   According to who? You? You don't have a clue as to what the saturation point of the console or handheld market is so how can you say what's saturated or not? Stop creating artifacts out of this air and then base your reasoning on a self-crafted artifact.

We're starting to see DS hardware sales crack. I think the ubiquity of the iPod Touch is cutting into the handheld market.
   Yeah, the DS was really supposed to sell like hotcakes forever. Things slow down, Michael. Even the iPod Touch will slow down one day. The Rubik's Cube once sold like plastic was going out of style. Look at it now.

I think the PSP2 is gonna be dead on arrival. It looks to me like young kids are just as happy playing with an iPod Touch or a Nano. The Touch is cool, it plays games, it plays music, they're gonna put a camera in it, you're gonna have all sorts of cool stuff."
   Anyone else think this guy's a paid Apple shill? What's his motivation? He pushes the Apple iPod and Nano at the drop of a hat. What's the story, Michael?

Star Wars Alphabet

   You love Star Wars, right? I love Star Wars too. Kids can love Star Wars as well with the Star Wars Kids Alphabet which was designed by Emma and Brandon Peat for their son Tycho.

   The letter "A" is for Akbar and the letter "L" is for both Luke and Leia. "H" is for Han Solo and "V" goes to Darth Vader. Twelve selections from the Star Wars alphabet are featured in today's album.

WOW 4 New Continent

   World of WarCraft Cataclysm, the third expansion in the wildly popular game series is being released tomorrow. Blizzard's lead systems designer Greg Street spoke to CVG today and mentioned that the fourth expansion would likely add a brand new continent. Street said: 
"I think the next expansion will be something more like a new continent approach. More like the Burning Crusade or Nothrend, where we send players somewhere new that they haven't seen before. I think the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor are good now, we won't have to mess with them. There might be some small areas that may require polish or changing if things still don't feel quite right. On the other hand we have this weird story now where you almost go back in time when you hit the Burning Crusade and Lich King content. We're going to have to do something to bring that up to speed.

"You're hearing all about Deathwing and all the destruction and then you leave Azeroth and go to Outland and they're talking about Illidin. That's a little bit of a non-sequitur, particularly for new players. We need to make that whole story a little smoother," he said, adding that the plot-fixing might be something Blizzard will update via a patch or wait until the next expansion to do. We want to get expansions out on fairly regular schedules so we can't really sit back for too long.

Tumblr Down

   The Tumblr platform is down and has been down all night. In fact, it's been down for nearly 16 hours as I'm posting this at 12:41PM EST. Try to access any Tumblr-hosted site and you'll be greeted with the following message:
We'll be back shortly.
We're working quickly to recover from an issue in one of our database clusters.  We're incredibly sorry for the inconvenience.

Update at 2:38PM EST: Still down.
Update at 3:54PM EST: Still down, which makes it 19 hours and counting.
Update at 5:15PM EST: 20 hours and not a peep. Can we make it to 24 hours?
Update at 6:35PM EST: 21 hours and Tumblr's own site is online. One of my blogs there is up but the archive is unaccessible. According to a recent Tumblr tweet, full service should be restored soon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Michael Wolf's Tokyo Compression

   Michael Wolf is a German/American photographer whose oeuvre explores the unique cultural identity of China and Hong Kong which has been his home since 1995. Along with Wolf's photographic record of the Hong Kong skyline and the environs below, he also photographs the citizens of the city and their living spaces.

   In a new exhibition titled, "Tokyo Compression," Wolf captures the morning commute of Tokyo's citizens where they pack themselves into subway cars in overly cramped conditions. If I were to label the series of photographs with a single adage, I'd choose, "Suffer in Silence." Link to photo album.

Bravia TV with Built-in PS2

   Live in the UK and still in the market for a Playstation 2? Y'know, that previous generation console which has been supplanted by the Playstation 3? If so, you might want to look at Sony's new Bravia KDL-22PX300 22" TV with an integrated Playstation 2 console which is located in the rectangular base.

   Who would buy this you ask? Well, folks are are still in the market for a PS2 as previously mentioned and TV buyers who enjoy a good gimmick. The new Bravia Freeview HDTV supports 720p, comes with 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB ports, and accepts component, SCART, and ethernet inputs. The Bravia KDL-22PX300 is currently only available for sale within the United Kingdom at a suggested retail price of GBP200 which is US$315.50 as of this morning.

Angry Birds is NOT the new Pac-Man

   I laugh at dumb writers. Laugh at 'em with the hearty fire of at least two suns. Here's one of them:

   Is there a single new mobile brand that has become as ubiquitous as fast as Angry Birds, the addictive little casual game that started on the iPhone and is now EVERYWHERE? We were wondering what a good analogy for Angry Birds might be, but Daring Fireball's John Gruber beat us to it on a recent episode of his "Talk Show" podcast. Angry Birds is the new Pac-Man.

   Pac-Man has been around for three decades. Angry Birds has been around for a year. One year. Let's hold off on the facile Pac-Man comparisons for at least another year, mmkay?
Oh, I get it though. John Gruber and Dan Frommer know about Pac-Man and maybe Donkey Kong because those are icons of gaming and I guess in their eyes, Pac-Man was the shit. Why not compare Angry Birds to Frogger? How about Kangaroo? At least those were animals... like Angry Birds.

   If you walk down any street in America and ask a random person about "Angry Birds," he'll look at you and say something like, "Well, I saw some pigeons that were pecking seed that looked kinda angry." No, Angry Birds is not "EVERYWHERE" as Dan so eloquently expresses himself.

   I also like it when a writer uses the word "We" and "Us" to refer to his own opinions and actions. I guess his thoughts and actions are by committee. Sigh. 

Wikileaks IP, the domain name, is down but as Wikileaks tweeted yesterday, "WIKILEAKS: Free speech has a number:" Cut and paste that string of numbers into the address bar of your browser and pops up. The I.P address resolves to as of this morning. Punch that into a traceroute and the following information appears:

Results returned from
# The following results may also be obtained via:

NetRange: -
NetName:        RIPE-213
NetHandle:      NET-213-0-0-0-1
NetType:        Allocated to RIPE NCC
NameServer:     TINNIE.ARIN.NET
NameServer:     NS-PRI.RIPE.NET
NameServer:     SUNIC.SUNET.SE
NameServer:     SNS-PB.ISC.ORG
NameServer:     SEC3.APNIC.NET
NameServer:     NS3.NIC.FR
NameServer:     SEC1.APNIC.NET
Comment:        These addresses have been further assigned to users in
Comment:        the RIPE NCC region. Contact information can be found in
Comment:        the RIPE database at
Updated:        2009-03-25

OrgName:        RIPE Network Coordination Centre
OrgId:          RIPE
Address:        P.O. Box 10096
City:           Amsterdam
PostalCode:     1001EB
Country:        NL
Updated:        2004-12-13

ReferralServer: whois://

# ARIN WHOIS data and services are subject to the Terms of Use
# available at:

Results returned from
% This is the RIPE Database query service.
% The objects are in RPSL format.
% The RIPE Database is subject to Terms and Conditions.
% See

% Information related to ' -'

inetnum: -
netname:        WIKILEAKS
country:        AU
admin-c:        WL805-RIPE
tech-c:         WL805-RIPE
status:         ASSIGNED PA
mnt-by:         OVH-MNT
changed: 20101202
source:         RIPE

person:         Wiki leaks
address:        BOX 4080
address:        University of Melbourne Branch
address:        Victoria 3052
address:        Australia
phone:          +33974760185
nic-hdl:        WL805-RIPE
mnt-by:         OVH-MNT
changed: 20101202
source:         RIPE

% Information related to ''

descr:        OVH ISP
descr:        Paris, France
origin:       AS16276
mnt-by:       OVH-MNT
changed: 20010217
source:       RIPE

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Space Invaders Fruit Juice Packaging

   Design firm New Movement has created a series of fruit juice cartons that were inspired by Taito's Space Invaders game. Rows of fruit serve as the "invaders" whilst a lone cannon sits at the bottom in defense of the planet. Three cartons for apple, plum, and pear were fabricated - when was the last time you had plum juice? The gallery may be viewed at

Assassin's Creed 3 Survey UK

   Ubisoft has commissioned a UK-based polling company to conduct a survey on what the Assassin's Creed demographic would like to see in the next game. However, the target demographic isn't easy to determine because I wasn't allowed to take the survey even though I'm a young and virile male who plays Assassin's Creed. Is this a new "design by crowd-sourcing" methodology that game developers are turning to nowadays? In any case, the following questions are in the survey:
Would you like to see ____ in the sequel to the ASSASSIN"S CREED: BROTHERHOOD?

1) An upgrade to the assassin's blade that increases the fluidity and speed of free-running

2) An enhanced Eagle Vision: see the patrol paths of guards, spot clues to complex navigation puzzles, detect when characters are lying during interrogations, etc.

3) An intuitive crafting tool that lets you create custom bombs from dozens of ingredients found throughout the game world

4) Tactical use of a variety of bombs suited to unique contexts and situations (smoke, poison, flash, explosive, etc.)

5) An additional objective where you and your Assassins guild fight against the Templars to gain control of a city, district by district

6) Playing as a new Assassin, in a different historical time period

7) A continuation of Ezio's story as the leader of the Assassins, set outside of Italy

8) Deeper connectivity between all the Assassin's Creed projects (eg. an action you make on the Facebook game will impact your game experience on the console; events that you read about in the comics will be related to the storyline of the videogames, etc.)

9) Online Cooperative Mode

10) Offline Cooperative Mode

11) The availability of new maps for the Multiplayer

12) A choice of additional Multiplayer characters with new skill-sets

13) Playing new Multiplayer modes

14) A deeper team-based Multiplayer experience (guilds / squads that have common objectives, new tools for clan management, etc.)

15) A customization of the Multiplayer experience (logos, avatars, objects, team names, etc.)

Playstation Phone Video

This video was released yesterday and shows a demo of the Playstation Phone which is apparently codenamed "Zeus Z1" and is powered by Google's Android. The model when it goes on sale is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Z1. From the video, it's clear that the phone has a camera, a slide-out control panel, a touch-sensitive screen, and a portrait/landscape viewing mode. A control pad, four buttons, and shoulder-trigger buttons are also built into the phone along with a "Playstation" button which alludes to PSP gaming. So, is this basically a PSP-GO with phone capabilities? I think so.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Groupon Rejects Google

According to a news story out of the Chicago Tribune a few minutes ago, Groupon has apparently rejected Google's $6 billion takeover attempt. This probably won't be apparent to Google now in their throes of takeover passion but this is a good thing. I've mentioned before that Groupon is a fad. It's a fad business model that preys on businesses. There is no long-term sustainability in the social buying business model but Google can probably build their own "Groupon" using their ample resources for a tenth of what Groupon would have cost them.

Cats Playing Patty-cake

Cats Playing Patty-cake with accompanying audio track. I love how the facial expressions of the cats are so impassive and stoic.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Keiji Inafune Resurfaces

   After being a career Capcom employee for over 23 years, Keiji Inafune left the company in late October 2010. Keiji has resurfaced with a personal blog where he espouses his future plans and goals. According to his posting, Keiji is looking forward to producing new types of games in the social networking and online areas. Keiji added, "I'd like to challenge things that I couldn't do during my salaryman era and greatly exceed my former self," in a reference to his former position at Capcom. Keiji's blog link:

Playstation 3 Supercomputer

   In a Gamasutra story released yesterday, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has built a supercomputer made up of 1,760 Playstation 3 consoles. According to the AFRL, the PS3-supercomputer named "The Condor Cluster" is the fastest interactive computer in the Defense Department. The cost for the project was $2 million and the Condor Cluster uses 1/10 of the power of comparable supercomputers. The Condor is currently located in Wright-Patterson AFB in Rome, NY

Nerdphilia: DREAMHACK WINTER 2010

Nerdphilia is batty, blonde, and occasionally entertaining. She reminds me of a teacher I had in school who was like a Nordic Valkyrie - tall, blonde, and imposing but she taught math instead of carrying her chosen dead to the afterlife. All the boys were in awe of her.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

EA CEO Talks Acquisitions

   In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, EA CEO John Riccitiello described potential acquisitions as "too expensive" thus far and went on to say, "There are probably 25 companies on our radar that would make sense for us at somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the asking price.” When asked about the possibility of acquiring Harmonix which produces the Rock Band rhythm games, Riccitello stated, "While buying the Rock Band music video game franchise could make “theoretical” sense, it’s not the strategic direction the company is moving in." In 2006, Harmonix was acquired by MTV Networks which is owned by Viacom. Earlier this month, Viacom expressed their interest in selling Harmonix which is unprofitable.

Playstation Move Reaches 4.1 million Units Sold

   In a press release this morning, Sony marked a milestone in sales of the Playstation Move which has reached 4.1 million units sold globally since its release on September 17, 2010. With an installed base of 41.6 million Playstation 3 consoles in the world, the Move has reached nearly 10% of the userbase. It's still too early to determine if that sales figure is good enough for publishers to continue developing Move-compatible software.

   Microsoft also released sales figures for their Kinect motion-sensing device today at 2.5 million units sold since its launch on November 4, 2010. Microsoft expects to sell another 2.5 million Kinects during the 2010 holiday season.

Sony Patent Application #20100299595

   Akihabara News has been sleuthing around recent patents filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website and they’ve found seven patents filed by Sony Computer Entertainment of America. The diagrams included with the patents appear to indicate a touch-sensitive screen of some sort, a thin clamshell design, text entry capabilities, a mini keyboard, and a mass storage port or built-in device.

   Akihabara News and other sources that have picked up on the news appear to speculate that this might be a future PSP model but the device looks more like a PDA of some sort that might be capable of playing multimedia applications such as games, music, and video. The patent application #20100299595 may be viewed at

The abstract for the patent reads as follows:

    A hand-held electronic device, method of operation and computer readable medium are disclosed. The device may include a case having one or more major surfaces. A visual display and a touch interface are disposed on at least one of the major surfaces. A processor is operably coupled to the visual display and touch screen. Instructions executable by the processor may be configured to a) present an image on the visual display containing one or more active elements; b) correlate one or more active portions of the touch interface to one or more corresponding active elements in the image on the visual display; c) operate the one or more active elements according to a first mode of operation in response to a first mode of touch on one or more of the active portions; and d) operate the one or more active elements according to a second mode of operation in response to a second mode of touch on one or more of the active portions, wherein in the second mode of operation, the second mode of touch activates an enhancement of one or more of the active elements.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kinect doesn't connect in Japan

   Following the stunning sales of the Kinect in the United States, the Xbox 360 hardware accessory has met a more muted response in Japan. According to new data from Media Create, the Kinect sold 26,000 units in its first two days of sales on November 20-21. Earlier this month, Microsoft sold a million Kinects in the first 10 days of availability in the United States. The Kinect currently retails for JPY14,800 which converts to roughly US$175.

Pirate Bay Loses Appeal;posts
   In another blow to online file-sharing, a Swedish appeals court upheld on Friday the copyright convictions of three of the four founders of The Pirate Bay--perhaps the world's most well-known and notorious file-sharing Web site.
    The court agreed with last year's ruling, which found Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundstrom guilty of helping Pirate Bay users break Sweden's copyright law. However, it revised the ruling to decrease the defendants' jail sentences and increase the amount they must pay in damages.

   Despite the convictions and affirmation of the convictions, the Pirate Bay continues to operate and is still in business. It's unlikely that the defendants will appeal the decision but who knows, anything's possible in the war between the copyright holders and the pirates.

   In other recent news, the U.S. government has begun seizing domains that are providing file-sharing services or selling counterfeit goods.,, and 2009jerseys.were all taken down yesterday and their index pages were replaced by a notice which read, "
This domain name has been seized by ICE--Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court."

   I thought the following statement related to the Pirate Bay case was absurd: "In two years, this type of piracy will be over. After a ruling like this and all the pioneers start to get older and have children and families, piracy won't occur to this extent," Monique Wadsted, an attorney representing American record companies, told the Swedish news agency TT.

   What Monique doesn't take into account is that every generation of pirates is replaced by a newer generation. She's dumb (for a lawyer) if her mind can't comprehend the fact that the pool of pirates is constantly replenished just like the pool of software designers is constantly replenished. So many people in this world can't think beyond their own little boxes that they've build around themselves. Feh. I'm done.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Imageepoch sticking with J-RPGs

   Japanese developer Imageepoch announced eight upcoming games yesterday to some fanfare. Four of the games are expected to be released next year and they're all J-RPGs with the remaining four planned for future delivery beyond 2011. What is a J-RPG you ask? Well, it's a Japanese-style RPG in all of its linear, formulaic, and highly conventional splendor. You can expect the graphics to be formulaic and conventional as well. The four games that were announced yesterday are:

PSP Black Rock Shooter (
PSP Tale of the Last Promise (
PS3 Chevalier Saga Tactics
NET Chibito Rock Shooter

Japanese-style RPGs may have gone out of style stateside sometime in the past 5 years but Imageepoch doesn't appear to care. They are targeting the Japanese and Asian market with their upcoming games and there are currently no plans to release them outside of Japan.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DoubleFine Reveals "Stacking" Trailer

DoubleFine has released a trailer which includes footage from their upcoming "Stacking" game which features Russian nesting dolls aka matryoshka. There's stacking, flatulence, and thrills galore...

Sony shows commitment to 3D

   In a nod of support to the 3D revolution, Sony SCEE studio director Mick Hocking spoke at the Develop Conference earlier today in the UK and stated that 3D games are in Sony's future. According to Hocking, over fifty 3D games are being developed for the Playstation 3 by Sony and publisher. Hocking said, ""We're applying 3D to more than 20 internal games at Sony. It's a very positive thing to see the great level of interest in 3D from our development studios."
   Sony released a firmware patch in June 2010 to give the Playstation 3 the ability to render games in stereoscopic 3D. Note however that a 3D-capable television and 3D glasses are required in conjunction with the games to view them in 3D. Mick also mentioned "holographics" in his keynote speech, as follows,
   "Well, our focus absolutely is the home space right now. That’s where 3D will triumph. On the big screen is where, for the moment, players can experience 3D at its best.However, 3D on mobile devices, and other forms of 3D, are all possible and many companies are working on them right now. We also have techniques like holographics for the PS3 that I think will be very interesting for the future 3D games."
   You heard it folks, "holographics" are on the way.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Details on Fallout: New Vegas’ first DLC, “Dead Money”

   Bethesda released a newsletter last Friday which included information on the upcoming Fallout New Vegas DLC titled, "Dead Money." The full text follows below:
On December 21st, Fallout: New Vegas' first DLC, Dead Money, will be available exclusively on Xbox 360 for 800 Microsoft Points.

To give you a sneak peek at the content, Senior Designer Chris Avellone answered a few of our questions about the heist-themed content.

Here's the interview…

    Can you discuss the setting for Dead Money?
    Dead Money is set in the Sierra Madre, an opulent and extravagant resort that was supposed to be the greatest casino in the west – except that it never opened. Bombs fell before the gala opening, and the Sierra Madre froze in time, its state of the art security system locking the place up tight. Nothing could get in, and none of the guests could escape. Years passed. The climate control and air conditioning system within the facility began to spit toxins into the surrounding city, causing a slow cloud and haze to form over the area - which proved lethal to anyone who tried to explore the city. Only a mysterious group called the Ghost People survived to call the city home, trapped inside what appeared to be hazmat suits and never speaking to their victims... only capturing them alive and dragging them away to the depths of the city deep within the Cloud.

    And so the Sierra Madre faded from the history books, only occasionally being seen in posters across the wastes, until it took on mythic ghost story status... a supposed "City of Gold" in the Mojave Wasteland where all the treasures of the Old World were rumored to be held. It was kept alive as a late-night saloon story by prospectors who'd claimed to have found maps leading there... and were willing to part with the "map" for a few caps. Or a drink. Or a warm place to sleep.

    How will the player reach this area?
    The Sierra Madre is a mythical place in the wastes, with travelers all risking their lives to find it. Only one man truly "found" it - and lived. After the fall of HELIOS One, Father Elijah of the Brotherhood of Steel set out to find new weapons to eradicate NCR. And in the process he found the Sierra Madre. The Courier is lured to the Sierra Madre by a faint radio broadcast advertising the gala grand opening.

    From a gameplay standpoint, Dead Money is accessed by loading a save file from any point in Fallout: New Vegas prior to the endgame sequence, in the same way as Operation Anchorage, Point Lookout, The Pitt or Mothership Zeta were triggered in Fallout 3.

    Can you share details on some of the new creatures/enemies players will encounter?
    This being an extension of Fallout: New Vegas, players will encounter several unique characters, each with their own motivations, all of whom will have to work together if any of them are going to survive. Aside from just struggling with their would-be companions, the courier will also have to deal with the mysterious Ghost People as well as the casino's substantial defense systems.

Kingdom Under Fire II Headed to PS3

   Citing the inability to give away free items on the Xbox Live network, Blueside CEO Sejung Kim announced that Kingdom Under Fire II is headed to the Playstation 3 instead of the Xbox 360. Kingdom Under Fire II is a real-time strategy game where players control a hero who leads armies into war ala Koei’s Dynasty Warriors.
    In addition to single-player action, KUFII also features a multiplayer online mode where hundreds if not thousands of players may participate in the carnage of a bloody battlefield. Despite the “II” in the game title, KUFII will be the third game in the series; it is the sequel to Kingdom Under Fire: A War of Heroes and Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders which were original Xbox games. KUFII is currently in development and no release date has been announced thus far.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vivendi CEO praises Call of Duty: Black Ops

Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO Vivendi
   The chairman and chief executive of Vivendi which owns a controlling stake in Activision spoke to investors in Barcelona yesterday at the Morgan Stanley TMT Conference. Jean-Bernard Lévy praised the recent success of Call of Duty: Black Ops which has raked in $650 million in global revenue in the first five days of its launch. The figure bests the previous 5-day sales record of $550m achieved by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. According to Activision, over 2.6 million gamers have played the game and have logged millions of online multiplayer gaming sessions.

   Activision Blizzard’s chief executive Robert Kotick said, "Call of Duty has become the first entertainment property in history to set five-day launch records for two consecutive years across all forms of entertainment, The title’s success illustrates the mass appeal of interactive entertainment as millions of consumers are choosing to play Call of Duty: Black Ops at unprecedented levels rather than engage in other forms of media. The number of people playing online and the number of hours they are playing demonstrates how online gaming has become a mainstream form of entertainment and certainly validates Activision Blizzard’s leadership role in online entertainment."

Friday, November 19, 2010

The 3rd Birthday : Debut Trailer with subtitles

Fans of Parasite Eve rejoice with the upcoming third game in the Parasite Eve series which is titled, "The 3rd Birthday."

Gaming News Bits for November 19, 2010

- Yars' Revenge Remake in Development
 The classic Atari 2600 game "Yars' Revenge" is undergoing the remake treatment courtesy of Killspace Entertainment. In the game, players control a fly-like insect known as a Yar who retailiates against an alien species known as the Qotile. Yars' Revenge is slated for release in 1Q 2011 and will be available as a download for the Playstation 3,  Xbox 360, and PC.

 - Portal 2 Pushed Back
 Valve has delayed the release of Portal 2 by two months to April 20, 2011. In Portal 2, players take control of a protagonist named Chell who is able to open "portals" on walls and floors by using an aptly device called a portal gun (Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device). Chell's objective is to find his way out of the Aperture Science Lab which has been abandoned. His nemesis in the lab is a sentient computer named GLaDOS who observes and attempts to derail Chell's escape attempt. Portal 2 is being developed for the PlayStation 3, PC, Mac and Xbox 360 platforms.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tetris headed to Playstation 3

   According to the brain-related research of Professor Osamu Shinohara of Tokyo University, playing Tetris stimulates the frontal lobe of the brain and may prevent dementia. This bit of information isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Tetris since observing the mating ritual of the humpback whale is probably just as stimulating... in terms of the frontal lobe. In any case, Tetris is a ubiquitous game and gamers have played hundreds of variants, clones, public domain iterations, and sequels through the years. Our frontal lobes have been stimulated like the dickens.

   Just like Jello however, there's always room for Tetris and EA is planning a version for the Playstation 3 which is being developed by EA Mobile. Tetris fans can look forward to the single-player default "Marathon Mode" or get competitive with a multi-player option which allows up to six gamers to rotate blocks in "Shared," "Team Battle," and "Battle" modes. To see how your elite scores stack up against other players, a regional and global leaderboards list the scores of top players around the world. EA touts 1080p and 5.1 surround sound for a high-definition Tetris experience.

Tactics Ogre leads Japanese sales has listed the Media Create software sales data for the week of November 11, 2010 and PSP Tactics Ogre leads the pack with 176,153 units sold. PS3 Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 followed in second place and Wii Super Mario Bros 25th Anniversary Collection came in third.

    Rounding out the top ten were: (4) NDS Pokemon Black, (5) NDS Tongari Boushi to Mahou no Omise, (6) PSP God Eater Burst, (7) PS3 Winning Eleven 2011, (8) Wii Party, (9) Wii Sports Resort, and (10) Wii Keito no Kirby.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds on February 15, 2011

Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds on February 15, 2011
   Capcom finalized the ship date for their upcoming 2D fighting game which pits the camps of Marvel and Capcom against each other. The game will be available in a regular edition as well as a Gamestop exclusive limited edition which is packaged in a steelbook case. The cast roster is as follows:

» Capcom: Amaterasu, Chun-Li, Chris Redfield, Dante, Mega Man Zero, Nathan "Rad" Spencer, Wesker, Tron Bonne, Viewtiful Joe, Ryu, Morrigan, Felicia, and Trish.

» Marvel
: Captain America, Doctor Doom, Dormmamu, She Hulk, M.O.D.O.K., Spider-Man, X-23, Thor, Deadpool, Hulk, Wolverine, Iron Man, and Super-Skrull.

   Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be available for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shenmue City on Mobagetown

   Sega's getting into the social networking arena with an interactive mobile phone app called Shenmue City. Sega hopes Shenmue City will serve as a way for friends to encounter and fight each other while playing a Shenmue sidestory which takes place in the city of Yokosuka. The protagonist is a student who attends Hazuki Dojo along with Ryo Hazuki and other pupils.

   In the game, players can interact with citizens of Yokosuka, work part-time jobs, practice kung-fu, run a dojo, operate an arcade, and battle other online players. The game includes 11 scenarios and will be available on the Mobagetown mobile service as well as the Yahoo Mobagetown service for PCs. In related news, Yu Suzuki recently revealed in a Famitsu interview that Shenmue 3 could become a reality.

Microsoft Moves a Million Kinects in 10 days

   Since its launch on November 4, 2010, Microsoft has sold 1 million Kinect units and bundles in the first 10 days of availability. The Kinect is Microsoft's answer to the Wii's motion-sensing Remote and Nunchuk controllers which allows gamers to play video games without using a handheld controller. Microsoft is expecting to sell a total of 5 million Kinects by the end of 2010 which is up from the company's earlier projection of 3 million units.
   Sony's answer to the Nintendo Remote and Wii is a device called the "Move" which shipped to American retailers on September 17, 2010. According to Sony, over 1 million Move devices have sold in the first 30 days of availability.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Games Japan Festa 2010

   The ninth annual Games Japan Festa 2010 ( took place at ATC Hall in Osaka, Japan over the weekend. Admission to the show is free and an estimated 30,000 attendees visited the venue.

   Sony and Microsoft were the main exhibitors along with smaller publishers but Nintendo doesn't do shows. That's right, Nintendo doesn't exhibit at the Tokyo Game Show or Games Japan Festa and they opt to hold their own press conferences and the occasional "Space World" event to showcase their products.

   Popular exhibits at this year's event included Level 5's Ninokuni Shikkoku no Madoushi adventure game, Chunsoft's Zombie Daisuki, and Sega's Sonic Colors. A stage show featuring Radio Osaka and free prizes kept the visitors entertained.

Using Kinect to Capture Video in 3D

The Kinect hacks keep coming. Check out this video from "KinectHacks" which shows off 3D images that have been captured by the Microsoft Kinect camera... but that's not all. He's projecting the color images back out into space to create a "holographic" representation of the persons or objects that are bring captured.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nintendo targeting 45 million in total Wii sales before next console

   In an interview with Kotaku, Reggie Fils-Aime stated that Nintendo is looking to sell at least another 15 million in the United States before considering the development of their next console. Nintendo has sold 30.4 million consoles in the U.S. market thus far. Despite the competition from Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's Move, Reggie didn't see a pressing need to address the Kinect or the Move now.
   "After we've reached an installed base of 45 million here in the U.S., we can have a conversation about the next generation," said Fils-Aime. He also went on to say that a succesor to the Wii would not be forthcoming for the 2011 holiday season. The Wii was released on November 19, 2006 so it took the company four years to sell 30.4 million consoles. Sales are slower nowadays but they'll probably move the next 15 million consoles within 3 years time. If that's the case, then the successor to the Wii won't be heading to retail until 2015.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kinect costs $56 to manufacture

   That’s the consensus from an outfit known as UBM TechInsights which provides IP lifecycle management services. According to an article in the EE times, approximately $17 goes to the camera, sensors, the microphone array which contains four mics, and the processor. The remaining $39 in costs is parceled out between the memory chips, the camera interface controller, subprocessors, USB connectors, and the snazzy black plastic shell that encases the whole shebang.

   Before griping about the nearly $100 difference between production cost and retail price, consumers will have to take into account the manufacturing costs, Microsoft’s promotional campaigns for the Kinect, R&D, and the costs of getting the product into stores.

    “Basically, the strength of the design is the huge design win for the Israeli fabless company PrimeSense,” said Allan Yogasingam, a technical marketing manager at UBM TechInsights. “They’ve provided the most innovative portion of the Kinect with their image processor, audio and video interface.”

    A listing of the major parts found by UBM TechInsights within Kinect:

* PrimeSense PS1080-A2 – PS1080 SoC image sensor processor (works with CMOS image sensor and an IR light source)
* Marvell 88AP1-BJD2 – Possible Marvell camera interface controller
* Elpida E5116AJBG-6E-E – 70nm DDR2 SDRAM (SI#18324)
* (2) Marvell G39 00A1P
* H1025519 XBOX1001 X851716-006 GEPP – Serial EEPROM for Marvell Controller
* Fairchild Semiconductor FDS8984 – N-Channel PowerTrench MOSFET
* NEC uPD720114 – USB 2.0 hub controller
* (2) Wolfson Microelectronics WM8737G – Stereo ADC with microphone preamp (one for every two microphones)
* STMicroelectronics 25P16V6G – M25P16 – 16 Mbit, low voltage, Serial Flash memory with 50 MHz SPI bus interface
* STMicroelectronics H28A 9017
* WT245 – Texas Instruments SN74AVC4T245RGYR – 4-bit noninverting dual-supply bus transceiver
* Texas Instruments 70530-08T-AVF4 –  TPS3705-30 – Processor Supervisory Circuits with Power-Fail
* Texas Instruments TAS1020B – universal serial bus (USB) peripheral interface device
* Kionix KXSD9 – 3-axis accelerometer
* (2) Analog Devices AD8694 – Quad, Low Cost, Low Noise, CMOS Rail-to-Rail Output Operational Amplifier
* TI ADS7830I – 8-Bit, 8-Channel Sampling A/D Converter with I2C Interface
* Allegro Microsystems A3906 – Low Voltage Stepper and Single/Dual DC Motor Driver
* STMicroelectronics M29W800DB – 8 Mbit (1Mb x8 or 512Kb x16) NV Flash Memory

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Trademarking "It's On Like Donkey Kong"

   Nintendo has filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the phrase, "It's on like Donkey Kong." Really. This is another case of corporate douchebaggery where a common phrase that's used in the American vernacular is sought to be leashed and owned by a big corporation.

   Does Nintendo really need to own that phrase? Are they seeking the control of the phrase so that it can't be used in trite advertising from other companies? Nintendo didn't even come up with the phrase. Sure, they own "Donkey Kong" but if another phrase pops up in popular culture with "Donkey Kong" in it, will Nintendo try to trademark that too? When will it end? If the phrase "I'm eating pie like Pac-Man" becomes popular, should Namco seek to control and own that phrase too?

I can see the outcome of the trademark application already: DENIED.

I'm back. I was at a 3-day wedding in Vegas for a college buddy. -J-Sonoma

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spain names streets after video games

    If you're a Spaniard or visiting Spain, you're now able to meet friends and walk on "Avenida de Super Mario Bros." Unveiled this past Saturday in the suburb of Zaragoza located in northern Spain, the street is the first in the world to be named after a video game. From CNN:

   The government-sponsored Arcosur project aims to build more than 21,000 residences for people ages 20 to 35 who are buying their first homes, he said. Construction began last year. A dozen of the development's streets will be named for video games, Almudi said. Names of musical composers and Spanish monuments will grace the neighborhood's remaining 46 roads.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cook in 8-bit (NCSX syndicated content)

   Ever wonder what kind of meal Koopa is? Yoshi’s tongue is probably a delicacy after it’s been sliced to paper width and flecked with truffle oil. How about Chocobo? Probably tastes like chicken. Right? Right?!

If these questions have ever crossed your mind, take a gander at Jude Buffum’s limited edition giclee prints which depict video game characters as… meat. The characters that are drawn and quartered into chops and filets include Yoshi, Blooper, Cheep Cheep, and Chocobo.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Call of Duty: Black Ops - Eminem "Till I Collapse"

CODBO is shipping tomorrow so here's a little taste. Eminem sounds like he's mad-spittin' all over the place though.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

EA And Paramount Digital Entertainment Team Up For ‘Rango’ The Video Game

Official Press Release
Rango the Video Game to Launch Alongside Paramount Pictures’ Upcoming Animated Feature Film
   EA and Paramount Digital Entertainment today announced a distribution agreement that will catapult an upcoming Paramount property into the hands of gamers worldwide. Rango The Video Game, is an action-adventure title inspired by the upcoming animated feature film starring the voice of Johnny Depp.
Rango The Video Game invites players to continue on Rango’s wild journey through new adventures inspired by the movie.  The game is set in the Old West town of ‘Dirt’ where players romp through a gritty, pint-sized, Wild West filled with wild rides, off-color characters and frantic shoot-outs. Rango is Paramount Pictures’ first full-length animated feature film; both the film and the video game will be released in March 2011.

   “We are thrilled to be working with Paramount and the upcoming release of the video game version of its first animated feature,” said Sinjin Bain, Vice President of EA Partners at Electronic Arts. “Rango is a one-of-a-kind character that we know kids will love. We’re excited to give families worldwide the opportunity to take the humor and fun from the big screen into their living rooms.”

   “We are pleased to team up with EA to deliver an exciting, action-packed adventure game that captures the spirit of the film and puts the fate of Dirt in players’ hands,” said Tom Lesinski, President of Paramount Digital Entertainment.  “We’ve added exciting twists and turns in the video game that will challenge players of all levels on their adventures as Rango.”

   Developed by Artificial Mind & Movement, Rango The Video Game will be available on console platforms including the PlayStation 3 computer and entertainment system, Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system, Wii, and Nintendo DS in March 2011. Rango The Video Game has not been rated by the ESRB and PEGI.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gran Turismo 5 Production Kicks Off?

   The SEMA Trade Show kicked off yesterday in Las Vegas and runs until November 5. At the show, Kazunori Yamauchi stated that Gran Turismo 5 (retail) discs are being manufactured and stamped NOW. Really Kaz? You're not pulling anyone's leg are you?

   If the discs are really being stamped now, why hasn't Sony finalized the ship date in Japan after last month's delay announcement? Why haven't retailers gotten an inkling of the new date? WHY? Well, then again, aggregators like Rakuten still list the ship date as November 3. Feh.

   If Gran Turismo 5 only ships in Japan this year, I'm good with that. Importers will get to play the game before anyone else (legitimately). The early release in Japan also allows the Japanese gamers to basically road-test and bug-test the game for the other regions so that USA and Europe will get a bug-tested build that's been pored over by millions of Japanese gamers when it's time to release the game in the West.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jackass 3D Blows

   I enjoyed the first two Jackass movies. They were raw and featured a bunch of lovable clowns in outlandish and potentially suicidal situations. Remember that dude who took a dump inside a store bathroom in the middle of a showroom? He could've been murdered by the shop owner. Then there was the stunt where Steve-O fell into a pool of alligators. Dumbass could've gotten torn up.

   Anyway, Jackass 3D features the gang in another series of stunts. I laughed out loud at about 3 of them. The other stunts were just dumb, slaphappy, and literally shitty. There's also one stunt where Steve-O vomits about a pound of the contents of his stomach after drinking a real vile concoction. The opening sequence is a beautifully produced slow-motion affair where Bam, Knoxille, and the rest of the lot are smacked, smashed, kicked in the face, shot (paintball) and brutalized in sadistic fashion. Here are the three that I laughed out loud at:

1) High Five - the one where Bam gets smacked in the face with a big hand prop that's unleashed by Knoxville. To add to the hilarity, a bag of flour is attached to the hand which explodes in Bam's face. There's two other "high-fives" before Bam's but I laughed out loud at his smacking.

2) The bar fight scene where Wee-Man and his wee date are confronted by another wee man. A whole cast of little people then join in including brawlers, dwarf cops, and little paramedics. The look on the faces of some of the patrons in the bar... priceless. Check out the lady bartender who's probably seen everything under the sun holding her hands to her mouth in utter shock.

3) Pin the Tail on the Donkey - a dude has to gingerly approach a donkey and pin the "tail" on the animal but he gets kicked every time he gets too close. In the first kick, the donkey hits his thigh but in the second kick, he gets smashed right in the family jewels.

   The rest of the movie didn't make me laugh. I may have smiled but I got bored after a while. The bee tetherball was cruel because all the bees who stung those jackasses died when their stingers were ripped from their abdomens. Movie-goers can also look forward to farting action, porta-potty hijinx, a projectile-shit eruption scene, flying dildoes, a swinging-dick baseball scene (not as graphic as the Bruno movie though), and a scene involving a hungry pig and a fat dude on all-fours. Use your imagination to figure out what the pig does. Old-ass Johnny when he's in the wheelchair is sort of funny. J-Sonoma Rating: 5/10.