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Buy Before You Try: Why Videogame Demos Refuse to Evolve

50°
300w ago - With the recent news that Killzone 2's demo would be an exclusive bonus when one preordered the full game through Gamestop, there has been much talk about the wisdom of such a move, and whether or not it's the correct way to use a demo.

We're seeing demos being used more and more as incentives and treats in lieu of real bonuses and giveaways, which not only ensures that customers don't really get anything cool and worthwhile for their money, but seems to completely negate the point of a demo.

The first videogame "demos" came about in the early nineties, with the rise of something called "shareware." Shareware games acted pretty much like the demos we know of today, although they tended to be a little more substantial and could be upgraded to full versions, making them technically different to what demos would become.

For instance, the shareware version of id Software's Doom was the entire first chapter of the game. It was pretty common practice at the time.

Shareware games were basically free, although there was often a minimal fee just for the distribution and packaging. Rows of absurdly cheap floppy discs were a common sight back in "them days," and they also found their ways into the boxes of full games by the same publisher, or flogged off for a quid by some arsehole car...
 

PS3 Hate Boils Over, Fanboy 'Journalists' Embarrass the Industry

550°
301w ago - The recent trend, which apparently began with a new rash of [Register or Login to view links], has assaulted the Internet and we're already feeling the negative effects.

You know, when narrow-minded 'journalists' make certain inane proclamations in an ill-advised attempt to present their opinion as fact, everyone suffers. Now, they're actually trying to prove a point with completely irrelevant statistics!

Here's a concept that everyone needs to comprehend and accept. The Xbox 360 launched one year before the PlayStation 3. It has a larger user base. Depending on the source you use, Sony has sold between 18 and 20 million PS3s and Microsoft has sold between 26 and 28 million 360s.

Now, we won't bother to show the obvious closing of the gap in the past two years; we'd rather stick to the point: when there are 8-10 million more of one particular console out there, the sales numbers for the corresponding software will reflect that gap.

Therefore, this isn't anything like comparing the software sales between systems with equal user bases, and that instantly alters the numbers. This is fact #1. Here's fact #2: evidently, the only argument the Xbox loyalists have left revolves around sales numbers. And they're desperately trying to cling to it like...
 

Atari Speaks on Second-Hand Video Game Sales and the Industry

200°
307w ago - Various video game publishers have spoke out recently to either condone or criticize second-hand video game sales for eating into their profits.

Atari president Phil Harrison isn't worried though, as he says their future strategy is to make games that people will want to keep hold of stating: "it's no coincidence that the most valuable games, the one's that have the most lifetime as a game experience, are the one's that don't get resold, that don't get traded.

The games that have the embedded community, the embedded commerce, the extended, expandable experiences, are the one's that you would never want to trade, the one's you want to keep hold of. And that's perfectly in line with our future strategy so we're not that concerned about it," he said.

To quote: Speaking at the Atari Live event in London yesterday, the publisher said that to avoid games being sold on by consumers, the industry needs to offer more online features, whether adding extra content, social functions or financial services.

"Second hand game sales represent consumer choice and desire," said David Gardner, CEO of Atari.

"Obviously, it has economically been extremely painful for the...
 

PlayStation 2 is Dead According to UK Gaming Industry Leaders

550°
310w ago - Today MCV (linked above) has published a number of quotes from UK industry leaders who all reach the same conclusion - the PS2 is standing on its last legs and is effectively dead.

The MD of MasterSonic noted that the PS2 market has been virtually killed overnight, while a major international publisher noted this will be the last Christmas for the PS2 and the company won't support it next year.

To quote: MD of Mastertonic Andy Payne - whose Blast label has enjoyed impressive sales during the PS2's twilight years - believes the system is on its last legs, thanks to limited space on the High Street.

He told MCV: "The PS2 market has been virtually killed overnight. There's been no real run-off like with the PSOne, and that's because retail just does not have the space."

Do you still have a PlayStation 2, and if so do you still play it? Feel free to comment below!
 

The Games Industry Needs More Respect

500°
311w 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...
 
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