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Xbox Live Arcade: Screwing the Little Guy

50°
316w ago - What was once billed as a tool to uplift indie developers has become just another method of trampling the little guy. What happened to XBLA?

What began as a passive experiment with some old arcade classics on the original Xbox has been reborn as one of the gaming industry's premier marketplaces. It seems like such a long time ago when the Xbox Live Arcade re-launched with the Xbox 360. In fact, it's been a little over two and a half years ago since the original Geometry Wars graced our hard drives. So much has changed since then.

Digital distribution on the 360 was hailed as a savior for the small time developers–a method of cutting the tether between big budgets and big ideas. Small projects or risky artistic games that had no chance of making it to retail (a market dominated by photo-realistic sequels and promotional tie-ins) could be made available to the public for cheap via download.

In this way, small teams could produce games within their means and have a cheap means to get their games to the public without having to go through the system of retail publishers which take a massive chunk of the profits for their services (marketing, distribution, manufacturing, and so on) and have a history of turning down even the most sure fire of hits (such as Sierra's Ghostbusters...Activision, what...
 

Xbox Live participates in youth voting drive

50°
317w ago - Americans will soon be able to use Xbox Live to register to vote in the November presidential elections.

Microsoft has signed a partnership with activist group Rock The Vote to boost interest in the upcoming election among young people. As part of the tie-up Xbox Live members will also be able to take part in polls to gauge their voting intentions.

A forum on Xbox Live will also be used to gather opinions from gamers that will be shared with candidates.

"To realize our goal of registering two million young Americans by this fall, we need to go where young Americans are," said Heather Smith, executive director of Rock the Vote, in a statement. "There's no doubt in our minds that many are on Xbox 360 and Xbox Live."

Microsoft said that the Rock The Vote campaign to use Xbox Live would begin on 25 August.

In the past Rock The Vote has also worked with MySpace to encourage bands that promote their music via the social networking site to get fans to register to vote.

Through the partnership with Rock The Vote, Microsoft is also planning to have a presence at the Republican and Democrat party conventions to educate politicians about it and its members views.

Some aspects of Xbox Live are free but for a monthly fee members can take on other...
 

EA release their NHL 09 demo on PSN, hits XBox Live next month

50°
317w ago - PlayStation 3 owners get a bit of a treat today. Along with the release of NHL 2k9's demo, EA Sports has just announced that it's NHL 09 demo is live on the PlayStation Network with the 360 version to follow shortly next month.

Enjoy, as the hockey pre-season/season is close to getting under way!

PRESS RELEASE: NHL 09 DEMO AVAILABLE NOW ON PLAYSTATION NETWORK - COMING TO XBOX LIVE EARLY SEPTEMBER

Lace Up Your Skates and Be A Pro!

August 21, 2008 - Need your hockey fix? Experience the critically acclaimed EA SPORTS™ NHL franchise in a whole new way with the NHL 09™ demo that is now available on the PLAYSTATION Network™- Xbox LIVE™ demo to follow in early September. Re-live the excitement of last season's Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings by stepping into the skates of a top NHL star in the new Be A Pro mode. With a dynamic new camera that puts the focus on your player, Be A Pro is a whole new way to play the greatest game on ice.

The new Be A Pro career mode will put you in the skates of an up and coming superstar. Start in the AHL and work your way up to the NHL, with the ultimate goal of becoming an NHL legend. The new Performance Tracker will rate your play in over 60 categories so you will know exactly what...
 

Resistance 2 Private BETA is Now Live!

200°
319w ago - The Resistance 2 private BETA is now live. In a surprise move, Insomniac Games sent out invites via electronic mail to a very limited number of PlayStation 3 owners today.

Enter their site (linked above) by putting in your date of birth and enter your PSN ID into the "BETA Info" section. You may get lucky and find out that you're approved early to start the Private BETA now. If you're in, you can go ahead and download the BETA client from the PlayStation Store now.

Otherwise keep checking back. You can get a guaranteed spot into the Public BETA next month by subscribing to a year's subscription to QORE, or by pre-ordering the game. Pre-order bonus codes will be given out at a later date.

And a fun fact: If you've got a friend playing the R2 Private BETA, they'll show up on your friends list as playing "Girl With a Stick," an old Insomniac Games project that was canned before they moved on to Ratchet & Clank.
 

Will LittleBigPlanet humilate the Xbox Live system?

100°
319w ago - Chris Stead of Gameplayer has tried to evaluate whether LittleBigPlanet has the ability to literally piss all over Xbox Live and it seems as if he thinks it certainly has the potential to do so.

Stead believes the game will challenge MS's views on user generated content and is the first wave of an onslaught of user-driven experience. He concludes "Indeed, if LittleBigPlanet fulfils its potential, appealing to mainstream and gamer alike, then it could very well force Microsoft's hand by humiliating the revered Xbox Live system."

To quote: As it stands, LittleBigPlanet is set to embarrass Xbox Live and really challenge Microsoft's views on user-generated content. The game has a tremendous amount of hype and having played it for hours now, that hype is certainly warranted.

It'll be a trendsetter for sure, and a host of LittleBigPlanet clones will surely appear down the track, all of which will seemingly need to head to the PS3. And LittleBigPlanet is just the first wave in an onslaught of user-driven experiences, including such big hitters as Guitar Hero: World Tour and Spore.

Indeed, if LittleBigPlanet fulfils its potential, appealing to mainstream and gamer alike, then it could very well force Microsoft's hand by humiliating the revered Xbox Live system.
 
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