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Interview: Niko's Hanson on Chinese Game Biz Growth

50°
325w 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...
 

Pure - updated impressions

50°
325w ago - Rarely have we seen a game that made us want to throw up in a good way. Watching director Jason Avent preload up a gravel-laden peak and launch off amidst gondolas and hot air balloons in the cloudy New Mexico sky was all at once mesmerizing and lunch rejecting.

The soundtrack mutes, the trash-talking rider Supermans his body while barely grasping the seat. Quickly, he plummets down to earth. Jason's trajectory is off and the rider crotches himself on the seat before painfully smashing into a boulder.

Such is the life in Pure, a more-than-basic ATV racer with shades of SSX. If our new screens are any indication, Pure will speed away from the pack of other drab racers.

We already got a good look at Pure's racing dynamics earlier, but today we were able to get a clearer sense of how the trick system worked. On your HUD, the system is represented by the Y, B and A buttons for high, middle and low level tricks respectively.

Tricks and boost are essential to winning races - hence our SSX comparison - and strategizing when to use each will dictate your chance of victory.

You build up boost by performing low level tricks - or the A button tricks. Successfully pulling off one of these can start to build up your mid-level boost, to perform B button tricks and so...
 

30 Ways to Tell if you are a GTA IV Addict!

50°
325w ago - Grand Theft Auto IV has been out for a whopping four days and we here at The Exploding Barrel are already officially addicted to Niko and Liberty City. Borrowing a page from the redneck comedian Jeff Foxworthy, we've compiled a list of 30 ways to tell if you are addicted to GTA IV.

Ready? "You might be a GTA IV addict if..."

- You adopted an awkward Eastern European accent because it makes you feel like a badass.

- You've pretended to carjack your own car that was sitting in your driveway.

- You made your girlfriend stand on the corner just so you could drive up and honk your horn.

- You drive around town aimlessly with nothing but the GTA IV soundtrack blaring from
your car.

- You blow through every single red light you encounter, but still take it easy around the fuzz.

- You've taken a sudden interest in local Russian vaudeville shows.

- You spend more time planning Niko's outfits than your own.

- You've seriously contemplated getting a tattoo of Niko on your forearm.

- You've started to wear gold jewelry and keep the first three buttons of your shirt open.

- You refuse to watch any television other than the in-game TV at your safehouse.

- You run when...
 

UK Retail Hails Record-Breaking GTA IV

50°
325w ago - Gian Luzio, Play.com's head of games, says Grand Theft Auto IV has become the online store's fastest selling game ever, while specialist UK retailer Game has labeled the title's launch "phenomenal".

"GTA IV is the fastest selling game ever on Play.com and has broken the record previously held by GTA San Andreas," Luzio told Next-Gen on Thursday.

He said that sales had been "neck and neck" between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game building up to release, but that in the last couple of days the 360 version had been "creeping ahead in daily sales". He did add that "the PS3 GTA IV hardware bundle sold out within 24 hours."

Both versions of the title are temporarily out of stock, but Luzio said that customers shouldn't have too long to wait before they can pick up a copy.

"We are receiving regular shipments from Take-Two and they have handled the biggest game release admirably. Congratulations to all of them for doing such a great job in difficult circumstances (enough groveling, give me more stock!)."

While business has been booming in recent weeks for UK videogame retailers, with the likes of Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit and now GTA IV bringing in the pounds, Luzio said that the latter half of the year may yet prove to be even...
 

Video: How to run Grand Theft Auto IV at 1080p!

500°
325w ago - Here is a little how-to guide on how to run Grand Theft Auto at 1080p on the PlayStation 3. If you have a 1080p set and the game keeps booting up in 720p all you need to do is disable the other resolutions, I will show you how to do that now...

Go to to the display option under settings
Select video output settings
Select HDMI
Select custom
Untick 1080i and 720p
Press X
Press X again
Select finish
Launch game

Please note that you need a 1080p HDTV in the 40" range and preferably connected via HDMI.

Here is a video:




 
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