290w ago - While Metal Gear Solid 4 looks set to take the video gaming world by storm, Hideo Kojima is lamenting the fact that Japan is no longer "molding the world's gaming industry."
Yesterday, Konami held a press conference confirming that development on Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots had concluded and that the game has gone gold. Series creator Hideo Kojima took the stage and talked about the game's development and how pleased he is with how it has turned out. He also made some comments about overall trends in the industry towards casual games and, in general, how the industry is no longer steered by Japan.
"Casual games have become mainstream in the industry," declared Kojima. "It's not just a Japanese phenomenon but also something that's happening worldwide. There are new markets and possibilities opening up thanks to the trend, which is great. But on the other hand, we shouldn't forget about the hardcore gamers whose lives are about videogames.
The gamers who consider video games a subculture, and enjoy taking their time to sit down and play games that gives them energy and courage. I wanted to remind those gamers about the fun of video games. I know that we're going against the trend, but we've been working hard for the past four years so that the fire [of non-casual games] won't...
292w ago - Market research firm Niko Partners has released results from its 6th Annual Review & Forecast Report on China's Video Game Industry, a comprehensive study of trends in the online, PC offline, and console gaming segments in the world's most populous country.
Revenue for online games was up 71 percent from 2006 to 2007, to $1.7 billion - with 21% of that figure coming from casual and "advanced casual" titles.
The firm expects a further 47 percent growth next year, with compound annual growth of 29% through 2012 to $6 billion. Niko managing partner Lisa Cosmas Hanson elaborated on the sharp increase in an exclusive interview with Gamasutra.
An Increasingly Game-Aware Culture
"Disposable income is rising, and people are able to spend a more money on games then they have in the past. The number of games has increased because as it becomes a more popular pasttime, the younger kids join this force, and the older gamers continue to play," said Hanson.
"In addition, prices have fallen, so people have bought more home PCs, so they can play more than when they just had to go to cafes. People still go to cafes for competition, however, and in cities where income is not as high."
Niko puts the number of hardcore Chinese gamers at 14 million, with that group...
293w ago - It's bikes; as in, bikes are coming to Burnout Paradise!
"For the first time, we'll let you loose in a Burnout game on motorbikes!" Criterion exclaims, explaining that it's planning to get bikes in via its Davis update for the racer. It's expecting to have the update out in August.
"And because we're dedicated to bringing you game-changing new Burnout Paradise content all year, bikes will feature their own game modes, challenges and even some new locations tailored to fit their unique performance and handing characteristics", the developer continues.
It adds, "The other big news relating to bikes is that we've introduced night-time to Burnout Paradise for the first time.
"We wanted to clear the traffic out a little to give you the chance to learn how to ride in safety, and we've always wanted to cruise the streets of Paradise City with incredible night-time visuals.
We expect to ship bikes as part of our Davis software update, due for release sometime in August." Criterion says it'll have first footage showing bikes up on its Web site soon.
293w ago - There has been some mystery about a "Tournament Kit" item bundled with the special edition of SoulCalibur IV. The official announcement didn't explain the item in detail and in case you were waiting on bated breath to hear what it is, we found out. It's a tournament bracket card.
However uneventful this information is, we discovered something else about the SoulCalibur IV limited edition. The t-shirt you get tucked in the tin is different if you purchase the PlayStation 3 version or the Xbox 360 release.
Buy the Xbox 360 version and you get Yoda/Siegfried on a white shirt. PlayStation 3 purchasers get Mitsurugi/Darth Vader on a black tee.