It's the last Roundup before E3, and I must say that gaming news didn't really slow down as much as I'd expected this week. This, of course, calls E3's relevance into question, and whether or not the show will blow our minds or simply flaunt how awesome Starcraft II will be for the umpteen-jillionth time. I'm hoping developers are keeping a few secrets pressed tightly to their chests in anticipation of next week, but those same hopes aren't too high.
As for today's batch of news, we have a bevy of Acti-Blizzard details -- including which developers are taking a few blows as a result of their new daddy -- some sad news for Warhammer Online fans, and some even sadder news for-- oh wait, it's Hellgate.
The last time Sony slashed PS3’s price, it immediately translated into much improved sales. However, Sony isn’t too keen on cutting prices at this time, according to its CFO Nobuyuki Oneda. This denial comes amidst rumors that suggest the Xbox 360 Pro console – one with the 20gigs drive – will soon receive a $50 price cut.
Even though the PS3 has climbed back to a position of moderate strength after the abyss it plunged into almost immediately after launch, it still is making huge losses. But Oneda told a forum in Singapore that he expects the gaming division to churn profits this fiscal year. Sony can do a world of good to PS3’s prospects by expanding the console’s small games library than lowering prices.
Pretty soon you might be able to build a complete PC with nothing but OCZ-branded components and peripherals. Adding to the list of power supplies, RAM, USB thumb drives, videocards, coolers, and mice is OCZ's new Elixir keyboard. The keyboard kicks off OCZ's Alchemy line of gaming products, whch the company says "is designed to offer gamers quality gaming solutions that deliver both exceptional performance and value." Products in the Alchemy line will evidently target budget-minded gamers, and could potentially give Razer a run its money.
Getting back to the Elixer, the new keyboard claims a combination of ergonomic and sturdy design. Features include 10 blue macro keys with 3 user-programmable profiles, mode selection (standard PC or customized gaming mode), a pop-up menu shortcut, and eight multimedia keys. Rounding out the feature-set are membrane tactile keys with all rubber-coating and a USB port. The Elixer will carry an MSRP of $29.99, putting it in a good position to compete other similarly spec'd gaming keyboards at much higher price points.
It all sounds good in theory, but can OCZ pull off releasing quality gaming peripherals at budget prices?
Hype. The gaming industry lives and dies by it. More often than not, however, our expectations are sent crashing to the floor when our anticipations finally come to fruition. Today, then, was like tumbling to the ground, only to look up and glimpse an 18-Wheeler that's primed to make you into a road pizza. So, if you think you can take it, why don't you jump past the break to find out why you should be feeling more than a little let down?
Oh, and to make up for today's Debby Downer syndrome, you'll also find a link to a page that sells completely legal DRM-free copies of classic games. Or will sell them. In September. But that's something, right?
Today's Roundup explores a few ways games reach the marketplace -- from free downloads, to piracy, to not being released at all. Between BioWare, the creator of Earthworm Jim, and even Google, everyone has their own way of placing games into the hungry mouths of gamers. Er, you know what I mean. Anyway, "Read More" and all that.
"Action-packed!" "A wild ride." "Nearly as exhilarating as the video game industry!" Ah, who am I kidding? The first two don't even come close to matching the third, and today serves as a large, billowing banner for that fact. We've got mergers, buyouts, children, slavery, drugs, and even CliffyB! If every day were this exciting, action movies would be out of a job. Now click that "Read More" link; you know you want to.
Come September 30th, neglected significant others will have another item to add to their geek gift list for that special WoW-obsessed someone in their life: A talking plus Murloc. The doll will be sold through Play.com for £25, or roughly 31.5 Euros (almost $50) after shipping for U.S. gamers, and you can already put in your pre-order. Exactly what the amphibious, fish-like humanoid bipedal will spurt out isn't yet known, nor will it ever be known as he gurgles out phrases in Nerglish.
If you really want to go for the double-whammy this holiday shopping season, compliment the gift wrapped Murloc by stuffing a Blizzard Authenticator Dongle into his stocking. Hey, it's better than the alternative.
Credit goes to gaming enthusiast Bamatick for "inventing" the plush Murloc, who has released his design to the public free of charge.The legality of selling plush Murlocs remains very much in question, a point which Bamatick acknowledges and warns against doing:
"I would love to spend 16 hours hand-sewing each plush murloc for the 100,000 or so of you who expressed a desire to have such, the cost would be prohibitive. Especially considering that I can't sell them, even at no profit. So, I have decided to go the GNU/Linux route and offer my pattern up for open 'source.'[...]I wanted to use this project as a positive for the gaming community."
We're only a week away from E3, and the news faucet has tapered off to a mere drip. And yet, despite the drop-off in quantity, Monday has provided us with unprecedented quality. In today's Roundup, there lurks a reason for big-time excitement, as well as another. Let's just say that for some of you, this week may very well be more exciting than E3. No, you're not hearing things; that's the "Read More" link beckoning.
Each day, some big-wig exec says PC gaming is writhing on the ground, scrambling towards the light. Generally, I just scoff and log back in to the 10 million person chatroom that is World of Warcraft. But what about when someone who I actually respect utters the dreaded D-word? Well, I scoff at them in article form, and what better platform to use than the Roundup? Hit the ever-present "read more" link to read all about the aforementioned exec, as well as topics ranging from Gametap to Led Zeppelin, and a few things in-between.
Today's Gaming Roundup isn't afraid to ask questions. Why do gamers hate color? Why is World of Warcraft so big? And why, in almighty God's name, is Star Wars Galaxies getting a trading card game? The Roundup asks, and it also answers -- all just a hop, skip, and jump (past the break) away.