GameStop Exec Reveals Video Game Release Margins

200°
256w ago - Answering an earnings call, GameStop exec David W. Carlson reveals the release of four major titles by October and November.

Noting that GameStop is a US retailer, the only conclusion we can make out of the info is that the release margins are for the US, and we can only speculate on how it's gonna be for other regions.

Here's what he said, responding to a query on new titles:

Yes, the new title base actually looks very very strong for the second half starting in the fall obviously with Madden, Rock Band Beatles, you've got Guitar Hero 5, the new Halo 3, and Batman as I said earlier, and then going into October with Tekken 6 and BioShock 2, and then going into November with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Assassin's Creed 2, and we believe there's a couple of Nintendo titles coming that have not been announced. So, it looks like actually a very very strong fall and holiday season.

So based on what Carlson has said, it's October for Tekken 6 and BioShock 2. For November, it'll be Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin's Creed 2 plus a few unannounced Nintendo titles. We already know Modern Warfare 2 is due out on November 10th, while BioShock 2 has a vague Q4 '09.

Given that those four titles are multi-platformers, it's not clear if all versions would come out all...
 

Nielsen Report Reveals Nintendo Wii Has Lowest User Activity

50°
263w ago - Nielsen's State of the Video Gamer study, released Tuesday, indicates that Wii owners use their console less than Xbox 360 and PS3 owners.

To quote: The research firm said Wii owners used their consoles 6.8 percent of the total amount of time that they could have used the system during Nielsen's measurement period during December 2008.

This compares to Xbox 360's "Active User Percentage" of 10.2 percent and PS3's 10.6 percent, which both led the way amongst current and last-gen consoles.

In average usage days, Wii trailed all other consoles except for GameCube with five days (GameCube had 4.5 days). PS3 and Xbox 360 were used 6.8 and 7.1 days average, respectively.

Wii also was last in terms of daily average number of sessions with 1.78 sessions, versus 2.42 for PS3 and 2.15 for Xbox 360.

Nielsen noted that Xbox 360 and PS3 have more features (particularly multimedia capabilities) than other consoles measured in the survey, which would lead to more usage.

"Predominant users of the Wii and GameCube are likely to use these consoles at most once a week and for fewer minutes and the fewest number of sessions compared to the other two groups of consoles,"...
 

GDC '09: Sony Upgrades PhyreEngine, Reveals Four New Titles

100°
265w ago - Sony announced earlier that they upgraded their cross platform engine, the PhyreEngine, to version 2.40.

To quote: New features included 'foliage rendering', which allows for more ultra-realistic trees and leaves, best seen in the PSN exclusive title, Flower.

For gamers though, the bigger news is that Sony has seemingly unveiled 4 unheard of games which are all using the PhyreEngine.

These include an unamed title from Australian developer Big Ant Studios, puzzle/platforming PSN title Topatoi developed by Boolat Games, third person action game Strength of the Sword from Invent Studios, and finally, The 7th Seal by Paul Cuisset's (of Flashback fame and Shaq Fu notoriety) studio VectorCell.

Hopefully as GDC goes on, we'll hear more about these titles.
 

Irem Reveals Details of 'Irem Plaza' PlayStation Home Lounge

200°
268w ago - Irem became the latest publisher to join up with Sony's Home virtual world as it offered today a first look at its very own virtual lounge.

Similar to Bandai Namco's lounge, the Irem space is meant to be a general area for the publisher rather than for a particular game.

To quote: Named "Irem Plaza" ("Irem Hiroba" in Japanese), this lounge has been designed in image of a Japanese festival. Visitors will find the types of sights and activities one might find at a Japanese-style carnival, including booths and areas for food, shooting, fireworks, and Bon Odori.

The lounge will also offer a variety of items, including traditional "yutaka" festival clothing for player avatars and R-9 figures from R-Type as furniture items.

The lounge promises four areas from the start:

• Observation Deck
Allows visitors to look out onto the beach and see fireworks and the setting sun

• Message Board
Details lounge events and information about new stalls

• Night Stalls
Players can play mini games and purchase items here

• Yagura (Watch Tower)
This is the central area of the lounge where players will gather

The lounge will also eventually be updated with a special game lounge...
 

Microsoft Reveals Details of Gazelle Browser

250°
268w ago - Microsoft researchers are working on a new browser called Gazelle which it promises will have some impressive new features and capabilities.

The firm released a research paper (PDF) late last week, saying that the new browser would offer significant security improvements compared to other browsers, including Internet Explorer.

"No existing browsers, including new architectures like Internet Explorer 8, Google Chrome and OP, have a multi-principal operating system construction that gives a browser-based operating system the exclusive control to manage the protection of all system resources among web site principals," Microsoft said in the report.

The browser will change this tradition by being built on its own kernel, in effect allowing it to operate as an operating system. This means that Gazelle could intelligently identify traffic, and react to anything malicious.

"Our prototype implementation and evaluation experience indicates that it is realistic to turn an existing browser into a multi-principal operating system that yields significantly stronger security and robustness with acceptable performance and backward compatibility," the researchers wrote.

The browser is only open for discussion at this stage,...
 







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