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Console Takeover: Is PC Gaming Dead?

400°
315w ago - Facing tough competition from a red-hot console market, developers are looking online in a bid to keep computer-based gaming alive.

There was a time when personal computers were the tools of choice for hard-core gamers. But four years ago, on the brink of the release of the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360, analysts were proclaiming the death of PC gaming.

These new consoles - well, Sony's PS3 and Microsoft's Xbox - were more powerful than the computers at the time, and were integrating with home entertainment systems to provide high definition experiences beyond just gaming. Nintendo, meanwhile, offered a completely new approach to gaming with its Wiimote controllers.

And this year, Electronic Arts decided to kill the PC versions of many of its popular sports titles, including Madden NFL 09, Tiger Woods PGA Tour and NBA Live. LucasArts is releasing The Force Unleashed, its new Star Wars title, on every platform except PC.

Even developers who built their companies by producing games for computers are now turning to console development.

Crytek's Stan Huebler has indicated that his company, which stunned the industry with its PC-processing intensive Crysis, won't be making any more PC exclusive titles, and id Software's John Carmack told Tom's Hardware Guide that...
 

Take-Two Considering Grand Theft Auto on Wii?

50°
315w ago - Take-Two may be thinking about bringing Grand Theft Auto to the Nintendo Wii, reports MCV. At an earnings call, Take-Two CEO Ben Feder commented on the close relationship the company has garnered with Nintendo in the development of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.

"I will tell you that we've spent an enormous amount of time and effort working with Nintendo and developing that partnership," he said.

He goes on to comment that the company will "continue to build that relationship," and calls Chinatown Wars an "important step." When asked directly about a Grand Theft Auto game on the Nintendo Wii, Feder turned suspiciously evasive. "So without commenting on whether GTA specifically...is coming to the Wii or not, I will say that Nintendo and Take-Two work very well together," he said.

"We intend to continue to grow that relationship." This isn't by any means a confirmation, but refusing to give a straight no means it could be in the cards.

Note, of course, that he says GTA, not mentioning Grand Theft Auto IV by name, a game which could be difficult to port to the less powerful Wii hardware. If a title in the series is on its way to Wii -- and that's already a big "if" -- it's more likely to be a new...
 

It's D-Day for Take-Two Interactive

50°
315w ago - Yesterday's session featured some strange exchanging of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) shares, just one day before the company is set to release earnings.

There was no news released, though Barron's later said that the price decline was due to rumors about Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS) walking away from merger talks. ERTS had an executive speak at a conference right around noon.

Below is a graph of TTWO's trades between about 11:15 and 12:05, when shares declined sharply, rebounded sharply, and then settled roughly 5% lower than where they opened.

As the stock crossed $24 about eight minutes into the graph, the first pickup in volume can be seen, possibly by stop-limit orders being triggered. The price continued to slide on light volume until shares broke through $23, when volume accelerated to over 50,000 shares per minute.

As the shares dropped below $22, volume topped 150,000 shares per minute, which is impressive, considering only 500,000 shares traded during all of Friday and only 1.3 million exchanged hands yesterday.

Frantic selling and buying took place over the following ten minutes, as about 1.3 million shares were traded. It seems as though stop-limit orders first were triggered, panic selling ensued, and finally, as the stock sat at $22, buyers...
 

EA and Take-Two Negotiating Behind Closed Doors

50°
317w ago - It's unclear if the FTC's now closed investigation was the only thing holding Electronic Arts and Take-Two back from entering into negotiations, but regardless of that, an SEC filing made yesterday by EA has confirmed that the two companies have entered into a confidentiality agreement where Take-Two will reveal their three-year product plans, according to Reuters.

As a result, no further details on the negotiations will be revealed publicly unless the two decide to either end their discussions or formalize a deal.

From the filing: "The terms of the confidentiality agreement prohibit each of EA and Take-Two from, among other things, publicly disclosing the status or terms of any discussions or negotiations between EA and Take-Two unless EA or Take-Two notifies the other that it is terminating discussions.

As a result, EA does not intend to make any further announcements regarding the status of any discussions or negotiations with Take-Two unless and until discussions between EA and Take-Two have been terminated or such parties have entered into a transaction.

As previously disclosed, EA now requires due diligence to support any proposal to acquire Take-Two and there can be no assurance that any proposal, negotiations or transaction will result."

Once again, this...
 

Microsoft hire comedian Seinfeld to take a bit out of Apple

50°
317w ago - Microsoft have hired Jerry Seinfeld for a huge $10 million in order to be a pitchman for Microsoft and essentially take a bite out of an Appple. In particular, he will battle against the Mac Vs PC commercials.

To quote: The Seinfeld ads, part of the software company's new reported $300 million advertising campaign, are slated to begin running on September 4, and will feature the funnyman along with Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Although his eponymous show has been off the air for a decade, Seinfeld, thanks to re-runs, is still a very bankable pitchman who starred in a series of successful American Express ads.

The Wall Street Journal also reports that Chris Rock and Will Farrell are similarly being considered as pitchmen for Microsoft.
 
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