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Almost a Third of Americans Will Buy Video Games as Gifts this Holiday

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346w ago - Video games are a hot item. This holiday shopping season in particular, around 30 percent of adults in the U.S. will buy video games as gifts, according to the ESA.

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has provided us with some recent data from a purchasing poll conducted by KRC Research. The survey, which looked at "a nationally representative sample" of 1,013 adults during November, found that computer and video games have become an increasingly popular gift item in the U.S.

In particular, 27 million American adults (or 30 percent) are estimated to give a video game as a gift this holiday. The ESA noted that this is a nine million increase since the last study conducted in back in 2005.

In addition, more than a third of adults (34 percent) is planning on playing a computer or video game with friends or family during the holidays. Not surprisingly, this figure jumps to 70 percent among younger adults (ages 18 to 24). Furthermore, 77 percent of adults with children under the age of 12 at home said that they will check ESRB ratings before making gift purchases.

While playing with family is important, among adults age 18 to 34, 56 percent also said that they are likely to play games with other people during the holidays. Once again, among...
 

Fall Dashboard Update Kills My 8th Xbox 360… Yes, 8th

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346w ago - I swear to God, I'm so fed up with broken Xbox 360's. This is my damn 8th console to die. MY DAMN 8TH!!!!!!! Quality Assurance my ass. This is ridiculous. This is piss poor product development and testing.

Like I've said before, I haven't had any other systems die on me. Ever. The Xbox 360 is the only system ever to break. And now I've gone through 8 of them. Tonight, after grabbing the new Fall Dashboard Update, it started making weird noises and froze up in Guitar Hero 3. When I turned it off and back on... guess what? Yep. Red Ring of Death. Good times people. Good times.

It's not like I treat it like crap. It's babied. My Xbox 360 has it's own shelf in the entertainment center, with full ventilation from the front and rear. The power brick also sits on the shelf fully ventilated. The console is never moved when playing (in fact, it's only moved a tiny bit once a week to dust). The console is kept perfectly clean, as are my other systems. I haven't had any problems with my PS3 (save long install times) or my Wii. Never had problems with my PS2, Xbox, or Gamecube before that.

I really hope someone from Microsoft reads this. This is unacceptable. Once my Best Buy replacement plan is up, I'm done. Having 8 consoles fail on me in a little over 2 years is ludicrous. I'm...
 

Survey: 60% of Adults for Government Regulation of Game Sales

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346w ago - A study by Hill & Knowlton of over a thousand respondents showed that a majority think the government should regulate mature content itself, and even 44% of gamers surveyed approved such regulation.

Hill & Knowlton today revealed the results of a survey of 1,147 American adults between September 17 - 19, 2007. Their study showed that 60% of respondents believe that the government should regulate the sale of violent or mature content video games and 51% agree that the government should regulate mature content itself. The survey also showed that 54% of those queried that live with children believe that violent or mature content will affect a child's behavior.

"Next generation consoles combined with a near-Hollywood experience translates into increased scrutiny for a $7.4 billion industry that seeks to outpace movies and music as the number one choice for entertainment," said Joe Paluska, Director, Hill & Knowlton's Worldwide Technology Practice. "We're seeing an interesting shift in economic growth and societal influence across gaming, movies and music. While the gaming industry is forecast to grow faster than the motion picture and recording industries, gaming still under-punches its cultural influence except when it comes to mature content."

The study also showed that a slim majority of gamers...
 

Special Report: Crossing borders, part two

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346w ago - The final part of a two-part in-depth report--how other countries are feeling the 'games drain' from Canada's policies, and how they are fighting back.

Considering the significant benefits to companies making games in Canada, many have set up a studio or base there. EA, Ubisoft, Koei, Capcom, and most recently, Eidos, have all opened a Canadian studio.

Capcom International president Midori Yuasa admits that the R&D tax credits were one of the primary reasons for choosing the Greater Toronto Area for its new development studio outside of Japan. The company opened its Canadian arm in June 2006, and is currently working on mobile games, with plans to expand onto other platforms. Yuasa said, "Toronto gives us access to a seemingly endless supply of young, talented, entertainment-savvy people, thanks to its colleges and universities. Ontario also offers relatively low business costs, exceptional R&D tax credits that you can't find anywhere else in the world, and helpful economic development people to facilitate all aspects of a business start-up."

Koei Canada set up shop in central Toronto in 2001, expanded in 2005, and plans to expand even further. Koei Canada's senior vice president, Hidenori Taniguichi, says the company chose the location because costs are reasonable, and because, "The fact...
 

Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising "New shot looks too good to be true"

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346w ago - A new screenshot from Codemasters' Operation Flashpoint 2 has hit the web but is it true of the final quality? Probably not, but it looks the part.

Is that really in-game? Join us in creating a dandruff storm by passing mince pies over the image.

Plus, it looks like a kid's scribbled on bits of it. What the hell?

Anyway, with the original Operation Flashpoint military sim proving a massive hit and genuinely breaking new ground, we've high hopes for the sequel.

"We really thought the fans would like fighting elves and dwarves with machine guns", Codemasters has said of Op Flashpoint 2. Luckily, we think that was a joke.
 
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