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Why Microsoft is Still in the Gaming Business.
game: Xbox 360
news | 04/20/07 | Aaron Stanton
There\'s an interesting article written back in 2006 that asks the question, \"Why is Microsoft still in the gaming industry?\" After losing $5.4 billion between 2001 and 2006, what incentive does Microsoft have to stay in the home console market? In fact, Microsoft has no incentive, unless you look at what the entertainment division does for Microsoft as a whole. Microsoft wants to keep control of the living room away from companies like Sony and Apple, and uses the Xbox 360 as a strategic tool for a larger company vision independent of its individual profits or losses. Additionally, there\'s an 800-lb gorilla in the room that keeps getting overlooked: XNA.
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LocoRoco: Super Happy Fun-Time for the PSP
game: LocoRoco
review | 09/27/06 | Shawn Rider
Sony has borrowed another good idea and brings forth a quirky Japanese game that is obviously meant to target the Katamari crowd. Yet, the Katamari crowd is not one to be easily swayed by imitators. So how does Loco Roco fare? Rather well, arigato gozaimus. Funky, lovable graphics, super happy fun-time music, and quirky gameplay that\'s part Super Monkey Ball and part Super Mario Bros. combine to create one of the best games we\'ve ever played, especially on our PSPs.
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Response and Rebuttal Part 2: A Target for Criticism
editorial | 09/12/06 | Chris Martin
In Part 2 of our two part \"Response and Rebuttal,\" our two debaters, Chris Martin and Garrett G have been going at it over the function of videogame violence studies after Chris\' post \"Videogame Violence Causes Subdued Reactions.\" In the premier part, Garrett had accused Chris of having the wrong target for his criticism. Here\'s how Chris responded...
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Circuit City Tries to Charge $28.99 for Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility
news | 09/04/06 | Aaron Stanton
It\'s common for companies to sell services that a customer could easily do themselves with a little training; it\'s often more convenient to pay someone to do the job than to take the time to learn. But now, Circuit City is offering to install software on your Xbox 360 that is basically shipped preinstalled from the manufacturer. For a fee of $28.99, Circuit City will install software that lets you play original Xbox titles on your Xbox 360. Their advertising doesn\'t mention that many Xbox games can be played without their \"software\" installation, or that what they\'re really offering to do is to install a free update from Microsoft. The problem isn\'t the service, it\'s the misleading style of the service, and we sincerely hope the practice changes very soon.
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When In-Game Advertising Ruins Your Game
game: Dungeon Siege 2: Broken World
news | 08/16/06 | Aaron Stanton
In-game advertising will have a large impact on the future of the game industry. Not only can it represent another form of post-release content delivery, it helps fund the developers that make the games we love. However, there\'s bound to be some bad implementations as the technology gets going, where game companies test their boundaries to see what gamers will accept. 2K and Gas Powered Games included a voiced NPC in Dungeon Siege II: Broken World that directly references an upcoming PSP game, and it\'s sparked a bit of a negative response from gamers. Take a look here for the details.
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E3 Is No More: After the Shock
news | 08/03/06 | Aaron Stanton
E3 has fundamentally ceased to exist. You\'ve probably heard. Last year, E3 was attended by over 70,000 people. Next year, the ESA estimates attendance will fall somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000, making it smaller PAX. The L.A. Convention Center is a thing of the past, given up in favor of hotels throughout the L.A. area. What does it mean to have the industry\'s largest event disappear with no warning at all, nearly overnight? Half the industry is breathing a sigh of relief, and the other half has already opened a questing eye looking for the next event to take its place. The opportunity for random discovery has diminished, but the chance to get actual, useful information out of the event has increased immensely. We can only wonder at the consequences. GamesFirst and E3 were started at nearly the same time, within a year of each other, and it\'s like seeing a brother get married or something. They\'re still there, but you don\'t get to hang out with them as much anymore.
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Is E3 Going Away?: Next-Gen Reports Possible Cancellation of E3 2007
news | 07/30/06 | Aaron Stanton
In a turn of events that is so unexpected it reminds us of an April Fools joke out of season, Next-gen.biz is reporting insider information that E3 2007 is canceled. The magazine reports that a number of large companies (we can only assume companies like Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, EA, or Ubisoft) have decided to withdraw from the exposition. Without the support of the yet unnamed companies, the ESA is considering closing E3 in its present form. Next-gen reports that an official announcement is expected in the next few days, as in 48 hours. Next-Gen.biz has proven to be reliable in the past. When its editor was asked about the story, he repeated his confidence in the story\'s sources and replied, \"I\'m sure the story is right. E3 is done.\"
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SteelSeries 5L Review: It Will Cost You in Gold
game: SteelPad 5L
review | 07/16/06 | Tristan Mayshark
SteelSeries has a line of high-end peripherals that includes the \"5L Steel\" mousepad, an extra large 15x11 inch mousepad designed to give you the edge in PC gaming. Despite being durable and perfectly suited for what it\'s designed to do, the SteelPad suffers from the same symptom that afflicts most high-end specialized gaming gear: It\'s a top notch mousepad, but costs twice what it should.
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Sounds Good, Good Sounds: Turtle Beach Ear Force X2 Review
game: Ear Force X2
review | 06/29/06 | Shawn Rider
Turtle Beach brings their Xbox-targeted headphones to a whole new level of quality with the Ear Force X2 Wireless Xbox Headphones. The Ear Force X2 is a (mostly) wireless setup that works very nicely with your Xbox 360 console, providing high quality audio and voice chat in a audiophile quality package. And the X2 headphones deliver the goods for just under a hundred bucks, which makes them a natural choice. We can see why the MLG would license these as the \"official\" headphones of Major League Gaming.
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Square Enix PR Faces Gamer Wrath for Overreaching Embargo Attempt
game: Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria
news | 06/26/06 | Aaron Stanton
1Up.com editor Luke Smith recently called Square Enix to task on a press embargo they attempted to impose for the Japanese release of Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria. The embargo laid out guidelines about what the press could and couldn\'t say regarding the storyline of the already released Valkyrie Profile 2, including which characters and locations were safe to talk about. Of course, you can\'t embargo publicly available information, and Smith called them on it, opening Enix to a public lashing in the forums. Here\'s to 1Up\'s editors for having the guts to talk about it, and here\'s a sympathetic shake of the head to Square Enix PR. They\'ve got to be slapping themselves on the head right now.
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Rush for Berlin Review
game: Rush for Berlin
review | 06/21/06 | Sean Hilliard
Get your combat boots, helmet and double rations of vodka ready. No, it\'s not another night out on the town with the GF! staff, it\'s Rush for Berlin, the latest WWII strategy game. Stop groaning, it actually isn\'t that bad. Especially after a couple double rations of vodka. Check in with GF!\'s shell-shocked and stodgy wargamer, Sean, for more irreverence and colorful insights than you can shake a potato masher at.
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Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday Review
game: Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday
review | 05/21/06 | Sean Hilliard
Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday may not be the casual gamer\'s best intro to the uberhardcore world of wargaming, but it\'s not half bad, either. If you\'re a n00b to the strategy wargame, then you might want to cut your teeth somewhere else. But if you\'re aching for some serious, strategic global warfare, then Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday might be worth your weekend. Get the full review from our shell-shocked reporter, Sean Hilliard.
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The Ongoing Conflict: Ubisoft's Haze
game: Haze
preview | 05/19/06 | Blaine Krumpe
Ubisoft brings us another military-themed First Person Shooter, Haze, which there obviously aren\'t nearly enoug of these days... But Haze feels a bit different, too. Charged with some serious political satire, Haze gets you all tied up with Mantel Global\'s corporate mercenaries in the ongoing war for democracy. Expect plenty of drugged-up supersoldiers and some tricky ethical decisions, two things we\'d like to see a lot more of in the FPS genre. Get Blaine\'s full preview here.
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Jack Thompson Seeks New Limelight Over Oblivion
game: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
news | 05/05/06 | Aaron Stanton
Jack Thompson has earned a reputation for championing legislation restricting video games. He\'s appeared on news shows like CNN, often presenting what many would argue is a one-sided assessment of the state of the game industry. Now, he\'s booking appointments for talk show appearances over the recent Oblivion re-rate issue. In a press release sent to GamesFirst, Jack Thompson makes himself available for talk show interviews. The press release contains huge and obvious factual errors, a tactic that\'s been used by Jack Thompson repeatedly in the past. Still, you have to love quotes like, \"(The Oblivion nudity) is not a modification or \"mod\" of the game by gamers. It is an unlocking of content that was put there by Take-Two with the unlocking code provided by the developer!\" If you\'re up for a laugh, or to just be really pissed off, read the full press release.
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Pre-E3: Lost Planet Preview
game: Lost Planet
preview | 05/01/06 | Chris Martin
E3 is on the horizon, and we\'re all aching to see what is coming down the road for the future of gaming. Right now the inventive minds behind Onimusha and Devil May Cry are working hard on Lost Planet for the Xbox 360. Large robots played a role in the launch of the original Xbox with MechAssualt, and now Capcom hopes to use big robots again to push the Xbox 360 firmly into the next generation of gaming. With seamless environments and a mix of gameplay styles (in-Mech and on foot), Lost Planet might be just the thing to keep the Xbox 360 fresh and selling strong come December. Though it\'s a ways off, we\'re still eager to play some of this incredible looking actioneer. Read why inside!
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