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Midway resets for 2008

50°
347w ago - Stumbling Chicago-based video game developer plans next-generation titles and Hollywood tie-ins in an effort to revive its business after years of lackluster performance

It's been another rough year for video game developer Midway Games, which stumbled into the holiday shopping season with delayed releases and lowered revenue forecasts. But Hollywood and a fresh sign of interest from its largest shareholder may help the Chicago-based gamemaker put 2007 behind it.

Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone owns a nearly 90 percent stake in Midway. The company hasn't posted an annual profit since 1999, and it had to cut third-quarter and full-year revenue forecasts in October because of shipping delays.

Yet, in spite of Midway's lackluster financial performance, Redstone expressed confidence in the company's ability to recover. The board of directors named his daughter, Shari Redstone, chairwoman. She was previously vice chair and is vice chair of Viacom and CBS.

Her election puts a higher-profile executive at the helm of the board and also appears to indicate that a feud with her father is dissipating, at least publicly. Over the summer, the Los Angeles Times reported Shari Redstone was displeased with her father's decision to buy Midway stock through National Amusements, the movie-theater...
 

Week in Video-Game News

50°
347w ago - WORST OF 2007:

I got to play a lot of great games in 2007. But you can't eat filet mignon every night; sometimes all you're offered is broccoli. At least its' good for you, though – while the games on this list have no nutritional value whatsoever.

1. "Manhunt 2": Rockstar Games' strategy – offend the watchdogs, reap the publicity, then sell a substandard product – reached its nadir with this ugly, unplayable mess. It begins with a lunatic flinging human waste at you; after about an hour, you'll want to fling "Manhunt 2."

2. "Vampire Rain": You're part of an elite commando squad hunting vampires, but your high-tech weapons don't actually do any damage. Try to escape, and you're likely to run into an invisible wall. Why not just avoid the whole fiasco in the first place?

3. "Deal or No Deal": It couldn't be simpler. You pick one of 26 briefcases and gamble on whether it contains a lot of money. But the DS "Deal or No Deal" doesn't even get the gameplay right, and is even more sluggishly paced than the TV show. For $30, no deal.

4. "Lair": Sony lavished a lot of attention on this PlayStation 3 title, and it sure looks great. And who wouldn't want to fly a dragon? But with awkward, imprecise controls and lackluster, repetitive missions, "Lair" crashed and burned.
 

Scientists: Silicon processors are restricting computer games

50°
347w ago - Are current silicon chips holding back videogame evolution?

According to a scientific project being conducted by electronics experts at Glasgow University and the US Semiconductor Research Corporation, current silicon-based computer chips have reached the pinnacle of their speed and performance and are now holding back games creators.

More pointedly, the team of assembled international specialists are busy working on fresh technological advances that will enable boundary-pushing computer and videogame developers to create true next-generation gaming experiences boasting more realism and complexity than ever before.

The £1.2 million GBP ($2.3 million USD) super-chip project, which is presently supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, could well see game producers given access to such groundbreaking possibilities to further their popular craft by as early as 2011.

"A lot of computer games still feel very unrealistic and flat," outlined Professor Iain Thayne, the project's lead researcher, in a Yorkshire Post report. "What gamers want is [for videogame producers] to develop games that make you feel as though you are part of the synthesised world."

Professor Thayne went on to say that the current silicon chip technology installed in personal...
 

New Kingdom Hearts compilation scans

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347w ago - Three new scans of the Kingdom Hearts trio from this week's Famitsu issue have surfaced. These scans confirm all the rumors that were flying around the past few weeks:

KH 358/2 Days
Screenshots from Wonderland, Agrabah, Olympus Coliseum and Twilight Town. All these locations are now confirmed.

KH Birth by Sleep
Screenshots of Ven, Cinderella and Maleficent. Terra's command gauge will have a Fatal Mode which he can use to eliminate enemies with powerful moves. The multiplayer concept is gone. According to the scans Terra is a powerful warrior, and Ven has excellent agility.

View KH: 358/2 Days scan HERE

View KH: Birth by Sleep scan HERE

View KH: Coded scan HERE
 

Wipeout HD: 1080p, 60fps and jaw-droppingly gorgeous

500°
347w ago - Did you hear that thud? That's the sound of our jaws accelerating to the floor, smashing into a million tiny pieces. New images of Wipeout HD have surfaced at PlayFrance, and they look absolutely stunning.

What makes this more impressive is that all of these images will be running in full 1080p HD resolution, and at a silky smooth 60fps. That's almost unheard of in this generation of games. Imagine how exhilarating it will be to race these stunning tracks with Wipeout's trademark sense of speed.

The French interview also reveals a few other interesting tidbits. Development of the game started less than a year ago, with a team of only six people. The team has grown to about 30 people now, with 3 of them having worked on the original PS1 Wipeout so many years ago. Although the game is just an HD version of the PSP games, the reworked textures and graphics will make it feel like a completely different experience. Also, expect licensed music from Kraftwerk, Mason, DJ Fresh and Stanton Warriors to return -- this time in glorious 5.1 surround sound. We can't wait for more.

More screenshots can be seen here!
 
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