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Steinberg: Blu-ray Games to be the Biggest Games in the Industry

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314w ago - SCEA product marketing VP Scott Steinberg has said that Sony's "future-proofing" of the PS3 and its plans of a "roadmap" of firmware updates that will add functionality to the machine will make sure the console fulfills a 10-year lifecycle.

Steinberg believes Blu-ray gives the PS3 a significant competitive advantage. "Blu-ray is bigger, and Blu-ray games are going to be the biggest games in the industry" he said.

To quote: Sony would rather update a platform than introduce a new hardware iteration, Steinberg says. "We do not have a planned obsolescence strategy," he says, pointing pointing to the PSP as another example.

"Whether it's Skype or some other peripherals, it's not just a dumb terminal that lies secluded and isn't enhanced with all the recent technologies and opportunities."

Unsurprisingly, he also sees the Blu-ray Disc format as a significant competitive advantage. "Blu-ray is bigger, and Blu-ray games are going to be the biggest games in the industry," he says.

"I think that feeds into [gamers'] choices as well. ...I think there are a lot of great 'a-ha's that consumers are going to find with music, and the movie store. ...You buy it for a gaming machine, but it delivers on a value proposition."
 

Intel wants Larrabee in Next Generation of Game Consoles

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314w ago - Computer chip giant Intel has told Develop that it hopes to convince console manufacturers that its Larrabee chip will be an ideal processor for their next generation of games hardware.

The Larrabee chip is a many-core processor that is primarily targeted at the graphics space but can also be used for other computing functions. It's Intel's latest cutting edge chip and has been in the works for some time.

Early engineering versions of the chip are expected to arrive later this year, while consumer products using the hardware will be available by 2010.

And speaking to us in an exclusive interview, Aaron Coday, manager of the EMEA visual computing group, said that Intel had been in the meantime working closely with a variety of games industry partners to work out what kind of next-generation GPU developers want - and that console manufacturers are next.

"We've been working with a lot of game developers. All of the input and design of Larrabee comes with the involvement of various software firms in the industry. It's very much driven by feedback from the industry, telling us the type of things they would like to do, and how can they do them," explained Coday.

"It's definitely something we would want to discuss with the console vendors, and hope...
 

Game Informer Unveils Batman: Arkham Asylum

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314w ago - It appears Electronic Arts isn't the only company with eyes fixed on the fabled Batman franchise. Publisher Eidos of Tomb Raider fame, which hold rights to make games based on the DC comic book series, has announced Batman: Arkham Asylum.

According to the latest issue of Game Informer, which has an exclusive cover story on the title, development duties are being handled by UK-based Rocksteady Games, most recently responsible for the 2006 first-person shooter Urban Chaos: Riot Response.

Furthermore, the Unreal Engine 3 powered Arkham Asylum is said to sport a "dark and gritty" visual style in line with BioShock, coupled with a story co-written by author Paul Dini.

This completely original title explores Gotham City's darkest location, the infamous Arkham Asylum. But as a routine prison transfer goes wrong, the Joker sets his demented plan into action and Batman comes face to face with an army of his worst enemies.

Scheduled for a 2009 release across multiple platforms (namely PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC), expect a media blast complete with screenshots when Eidos formally announces Batman: Arkham Asylum in the coming weeks.
 

Parents horrified at violent game launch on "family friendly" Wii

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314w ago - A new computer game tipped to be the most violent ever is being released exclusively on the so-called 'family friendly' Wii console.

Nintendo will dramatically transform Wii's image with the release of ultra violent video game MadWorld which "revolves around the themes of brutality and exhilaration", according to its creators.

Players in the 'hack and slash' game, which is due for a UK release in early 2009, can impale enemies on road signs, rip out hearts and execute them with weapons including chainsaws and daggers.

The decision to release a violent game on a console which has based its reputation on family fun has shocked anti-violence pressure groups.

The game has not yet been given an age rating. Mediawatch-UK, Britains longest running pressure group campaigning for decency in TV, films and games, said MadWorld will 'spoil' the Wii.

John Beyer, director of Mediawatch-uk, said: This game sounds very unsavoury. I hope the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will view this with concern and decide it should not be granted a classification.

Without that it cannot be marketed in Britain. What the rest of world does is up to them. We need to ensure that modern and civilized values take priority rather than killing and maiming people.
 

Former SCEE boss: Only 3 in 10 Games earn back Dev Budgets

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314w ago - Former Sony boss Chris Deering has put up word that right now just 3 out of 10 games earn back their development budgets.

In addition to this he expects a greater inflex of game companies outside the video game industry to move into the market.

To quote: The gaming industry is still high on its rampant success even in the face of declining economies.

Even so, Deering warned that "traditional revenue sources will not be sufficient to fund games development" as the market continues to grow, and studios need to explore new business models in order to support themselves.

He claims that as of now, only 3 in 10 games earn back their development budgets, and soon companies outside the video game industry will be moving in on its markets.
 
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