If your parents always told you that wasting away your time with videogames would never make you any money, Adult Swim comedy show Robot Chicken must be quite the wakeup call. Those guys make money by playing with action figures. And now, they’re doing it with videogames too! It’s really not fair; if we try playing with the action figures on our desks while blogging about videogames, we just get thrown in MPC’s patented Pain Room – the horrors of which we aren’t at liberty to speak about.
“The campaign was conceptualized by Robot Chicken co-creators Seth Green and Matt Senreich and executed by the writing team including Matt Beans, Doug Goldstein, Mike Fasolo, Breckin Meyer, Dan Milano, Tom Root, Kevin Shinick, Hugh Sterbakov and Zeb Wells,” according to the press release, and includes such gags as “exploding poo, angry yetis, ruler yielding librarians and more.” Make of that what you will.
The DLC will be free with the upcoming Spore expansion Galactic Adventures, and is meant to show off the versatility of GA’s Adventure Creator tool. Based on some of the monstrosities birthed by Spore’s creature creator and the above description of this Robot Chicken DLC, we actually think this whole thing makes quite a bit of sense. Now whether that’s a good thing or not, well, we’re not so sure.
Tread softly and carry a big stick seems to be the motif of the Spy’s latest implement, and the self-described “cannon” sure seems to fit the bill. Nope – no subtlety here. Just big, loud, accurate lead. Oh, and your mom.
“There are two sorts of men in this world: the sort with blood pouring out of a hole in their heads, and the sort holding the Ambassador [hand cannon]. It has the ammo count of a revolver and the pinpoint accuracy of a sniper rifle, even at long range. (But remember, a gun that packs this much heat needs to cool off between shots, so make every shot count.),” says the Team Fortress blog.
The gun’s barrel – in keeping with Meet the Spy’s risqué twist – initiates its potent humiliation-death combo with an engraved picture of your enemy’s mother. And if your mom doesn’t (ahem) have it going on, well, the image actually can be unseen. The death part tends to take care of that.
Microsoft continues its quest to convince people to watch TV on their PCs with today’s announcement that Netflix subscribers can finally stream more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes through Windows Media Center. But there’s a catch; two, actually.
Reports have claimed that Microsoft is currently in the developmental process of creating a mobile platform that mixes many elements of the Xbox and Zune – earning it the nickname “xYz.”
The rumored handheld is reported to be “unlike anything on the market today … think of a mashup of the Sony Mylo, the PSP, and the iPhone… errr, the iPod touch; [the MS handheld] doesn’t need access to a phone network. Although the Microsoft handheld is definitely a converged device, this is not a Zune Phone. Microsoft won’t compete with its Windows Mobile customers.”
The device will supposedly be based off of Live Anywhere, for the most part. “There will be a single online marketplace; the lines between the Zune, Xbox Live and Sky marketplaces will blur when the handheld launches.”
Given that both Nintendo and Sony have strong footholds in the handheld gaming sector, it seems like a natural progression for Microsoft to move here as well. Let’s just hope that this rumored handheld takes less pages from the book of Zune and more pages from the book of Xbox.
It would appear that EA’s latest Sims title has fallen prey to the piracy that they so desperately tried to prevent for Spore, and only a few weeks before the game’s official release.
Now, while we won’t officially report on the game leak’s status (because you can’t confirm news like this without engaging in illegal acts), reports have stated that the files are real and working fine. A note included with the torrent is said to read, “Support the software developers. If you like this game, BUY IT!” Seems a like a strange place for morality to come into play, but hey, why not?
Unfortunately for EA the game doesn’t require any type of online activation to play, due to its disc-based copy protection, so pirates will be almost impossible to stop. They have stated on their official site “We feel like this is a good, time-proven solution that makes it easy for you to play the game without DRM methods that feel overly invasive or leave you concerned about authorization server access in the distant future.”
At a panel about the future of filmmaking Michael Lynton, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s CEO, had some choice words to say about the Internet and what it has done for his business.
“I’m a guy who doesn’t see anything good having come from the Internet. Period.” His complaints are stemmed from the belief that the Internet has “created this notion that anyone can have whatever they want at any given time. It’s as if the stores on Madison Avenue were open 24 hours a day. They feel entitled. They say, ‘Give it to me now,’ and if you don’t give it to them for free, they’ll steal it.”
Wow, some pretty brash words. What’s most surprising is that this man is a CEO of a very successful company that no doubt uses the Internet to conduct business on a daily basis. Though, I suppose if you want to get in a pissing match over piracy, being quotable is more important than being correct.
We often preach the importance of maintaining a good backup scheme, but when it comes to the internet, such a task would now be incredibly overwhelming. Just how much data are we talking about? According to the guardian.co.uk, enough to fill a stack of books stretching from Earth to Pluto 10 times over. Put into a different perspective, it would take one top-end iPod for every two people on the planet to back up the entire internet.
In more concrete terms, the amount of data online now sits at 487 billion gigabytes. And get this - that number is expected to double in size in the next 18 months, according to technology consultancy IDC. Compare that to in 2007, when the IDC estimated the world's digital content to be at 161 billion gigabytes.
The rapid rise in data can be largely be attributed to digital cameras, cell phones, and the social networking phenomenon.
"Devices such as camera phones, and the web 2.0 services like social networking sites have created a nation of digital hoarders," said Mike Altendorf, managing director of EMC consulting, the firm who sponsored the research.
Buying and selling used games has proven ultra-lucrative for Gamestop, who in 2008 revealed sales figures of $8.8 billion. Despite the current global recession, Gamestop expects that number to grow by another billion dollars in 2009. Such sales figures are proving too large to ignore, with Walmart being the latest to test the used game waters.
According to Gamasutra, Walmart has leased store space to Ohio-based E-play, and third-party automated kiosk company. As part of the limited pilot program, "Video Game Buyback" stations have been placed at 77 of Walmart's 3,656 U.S. locations.
The way it works is users looking to sell their used games will scan the UPC code from the game's case. A value will appear on-screen, and if the owner decides to sell, he will then need to enter in his credit card and driver's license information. Once the game is inserted and authenticated, the value is then put on the credit card. Because of the authentication process, buy backs are limited to Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii console games.
"I can't see this having tremendous appeal to hardcore gamers, unless the credits are substantially higher than those offered at GameStop," said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter." Even if this takes off, it's not going to make much of a dent in the used market. I don't see it being a big deal."
Do you see this going anywhere? Hit the jump and sound off.
Flock takes its Web 2.0 experience a few notches higher with the release of version 2.5 of its social networking browser. The new version updates its core code to Firefox 3.0.10, the latest Firefox build (in final release form) currently available.
New in version 2.5, Facebook Chat has now been integrated as an instant messaging service As has been Flock's M.O., users have the ability to drag content from web pages directly into the chat box. The Flock team also completely overhauled the browser's Twitter integration. Replies, now called @mentions, and direct mentions are now separated in the sidebar, and a new widget added to MyWorld makes it possible to perform and save Twitter searches.
Other new features include FlockCast, which allows users to broadcast actions from the web directly into Facebook, and the addition of Bebo as a People service.
On hindsight, Jammie Thomas may one day look back and wish she would have taken whatever deal was being offered during a court-mandated settlement conference just days ago. Certainly that seems to be what her lawyer, Brian Toder, must have wanted her to do, as Toder is now attmempting to withdraw from the case less than a month before a retrial in the RIAA's first copyright infringement suit to go to a jury is scheduled to take place.
According to what Toder told U.S. District Judge Michael Davis of Minnesota, he is owed nearly $130,000 "that will never be recovered, coupled with the likelihood that a similar, additional amount will be incurred if ordered to continue representation of defendant."
The RIAA doesn't appear to be opposed to Toder withdrawing from the case, but at the same time, it doesn't want another delay. Should Toder get his way, a delay would seem inevitable, as "there's no way another lawyer could try this case by June 15," Toder said in a telephone interview with Wired.
If you haven't been following, Jammie Thomas was found guilty of copyright infringement in 2007 and fined $222,000 for allegedly sharing 24 songs via Kazaa. Judge Davis later declared it a mistrial on the basis that he falsely instructed the jury that just by making available copyrighted works on a file sharing program constituted copyright infringement, even if it couldn't be proved that anyone actually downloaded the songs.
Barring another delay, a retrial is scheduled for June 15.