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Rare is About to Become a Whole Lot More Valuable

100°
305w ago - Rare were the stars of the 5th generation. Releasing the famous Donkey kong 64, Banjo kazooie and Banjo Kazooie tooie, and of course the legendary Goldeneye.

They made millions on the Nintendo 64, however this tempted Microsoft as they entered the console wars. They were snapped up by Microsoft for a hefty $375 million, the most ever payed for a gaming studio. However since their purchase by Microsoft Rare haven't yet made a truly blockbuster game, either in terms of sales or reception.

Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Conker reloaded were the first two Xbox games Rare made while under Microsoft's rule, both of which barely scraped along the average mark and neither of which sold particularly well, and Grabbed by the Ghoulies was the biggest flop in Rare's history.

Rare's mass appeal on the Nintendo 64 was the massive casual market. Although the Playstation dominated the scene, the Nintendo 64 still had millions of casual gamers, games such as Banjo Kazooie and Donkey kong are the sort of colourful games that appeal to these gamers.

One of the reasons Rare have underperformed on the Xbox and Xbox 360 is probably due to the fact that the Gamecube and Playstation are more appealing to the casual gamers.

Sales for the Xbox 360 were slowing down, as with the original Xbox...
 

The Games Industry Needs More Respect

500°
306w ago - In the past 2-3 years the games industry has passed over the proverbial cusp that had prevented it from reaching mainstream appeal.

Games are being mentioned in the same breath as top tier films and books, being compared to art and various literature. It is set to take it's place as a prominent form of entertainment.

There are however a few things that are holding it back, small hurdles that need to be overcome. I shall now suggest three changes that the Games Industry as a whole should make to cement it's social acceptance and cultural relevance.

1 - Definitive media outlets

World news has the BBC, CNN and the New York Times. Film has Empire and IMDB, Music has Rolling Stone and NME. All of these are well established and respected sources for people outside of the subject they hold personal interest in. The games industry has Kotaku? Gamespot? Eurogamer? There isn't one site or even a few out there who I would personally dare send an outsider to the gaming world into.

I'm not saying these sites are bad, far from it. Each of those sites above, as well as others serve the 'inner' games industry perfectly. There is an abundant amount of rumor, speculation, news and community in each of these websites. They were born from the very communities that...
 

Red Alert 3 Enhanced on PlayStation 3 with 1080p and More!

200°
306w ago - The PlayStation 3 has not been forgotten with Red Alert 3. It looks like we will be getting an enhanced version of the game with 1080p support and they are making use of the extra storage of Blu-ray.

To quote: Red Alert 3 is now completed for Xbox 360 and PC. With these two projects out of the way, EA can now focus on a PS3 version, according to Videogamer.com.

"If you're a PS3 owner and you don't own a PC and you don't have an Xbox 360 you don't have to write on your Christmas or Hanukkah list that you want to have an Xbox," David Silvermann said.

"You can play Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, bide your time and you'll be very pleased. We're looking at doing some really cool things with the PS3 version. Since it is shipping later we're putting in a lot of cool content and really taking advantage of both the 1080p nature and the high-defness of Blu-Ray and also the fact that it can hold just so much more space."

It sounds like PS3 owners will get added content if they're truly taking advantage of Blu-ray. But let's hope that the devs at EA don't forget an oft-forgotten PS3 feature: the ability to plug in a mouse and keyboard.
 

New XBox Experience: What You Want to Know - More Avatars

50°
307w ago - So, you've made your avatar and now you're wondering what to do with it. When the New Xbox Experience launches on Nov. 19, four existing Xbox LIVE Arcade games will be updated to include Avatar functionality to make your gaming even more personal.

Join your friends and play UNO!, Bomberman Live, Hardwood Hearts and Hardwood Spades and watch your Avatar come to life with custom animations throughout game menus and lobbies. On top of that, a new Xbox LIVE Arcade title will also launch with fully playable in-game Avatars - the first title to ever launch with this feature on Xbox 360! (Stay tuned for more info about this game in the coming weeks).

In addition to Xbox LIVE Arcade, Scene It? Box Office Smash will also incorporate your Avatar into gameplay. The game released on Oct. 28 - it will get a title update on Nov. 19 that will allow you to use your new Avatar.





Want to learn more about Avatars? Check out Major Nelson's interview with Stacey Law and Scott Brodie from the team bringing them to you.

As always, keep your eyes peeled to this space to learn more about the NXE. There's just a couple of weeks to go!
 

More PlayStation 3's Sold Worldwide in Q2 than XBox 360

100°
307w ago - Total sales figures for both PS3 and XBox show that Microsoft's price cut was not enough to win the quarter.

Sony's recently revealed Q2 earnings report reveals that the PS3 has sold 2.43 million units worldwide during the three month period ending September 30th.

That's an improvement of over a million on its Q2 2007 sales figures and brings the number of PS3s around the world to a total of 16.84 million. Software sales for the console have also more than double from the same period last year to 21.1 million.

Microsoft recently reported that the 360 sold 2.2 million consoles worldwide during the Q2 FY period, just shy of PS3 sales despite a price cut which came into effect in early-mid September.

Q3 is going to be an interesting battleground, what with Sony being adamant about not cutting price. We're intrigued to see whether LittleBigPlanet and the PS3's other big exclusives (we'd love to see some real marketing for Valkyria Chronicles -- that game deserves to sell well) will push boxes this quarter despite the 360's price cut momentum. Only time will tell.
 
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