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Microsoft Comments on the Next Xbox!

200°
328w ago - Could Xbox 720 be completely digital? During a conversation with Shane Kim, the new Corporate Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Microsoft offered very general commentary on the next Xbox console.

When asked if his new role includes looking at how Microsoft is going to transition into the next console, Kim said:

"How [do] you think about next generation? What is that next generation going to encompass? How are you even going to define that? All of that is part of the equation. What kind of geographic expansion do we need to see? Is the world more of an online world than a hardware-oriented world? I think there are some really fascinating opportunities in front of us."

While the statement offers no details, it does suggest that Microsoft is at least exploring the idea of launching a digital system rather than a traditional expensive piece of hardware.

We're likely several years from the next Xbox, so enjoy this brief statement. It may be the last we get for a while.
 

Square Enix Kicks Faces: No E3 Demo At All

200°
328w ago - Oh, another day and another hour. This time we debunk a rumor. The latest one that just smashed through the window of hopes is the teary eyed rumor that there will be a demo for Final Fantasy XIII to display engine goodies for the highly anticipated RPG that PS3 people are fond of and 360 people are drooling to have.

Well, stop hoping and praying. Not answered in other words. Here's what Square Enix's NA PR has to say:

"We have no plans whatsoever to intro a playable demo or any demo at E3 on the FFXIII project."

Okay okay. Hold back the gushing tears of agony. So there won't be any playable demo this year at E3. Does it really surprise anyone? But one thing is for sure, you can all still keep hoping that some form of FFXIII will show up at E3.
 

EA and Crytek announce Crysis Warhead, Parallel story to Crysis

50°
329w ago - EA and Crytek today announced Crysis Warhead, the Parallel story to Crysis. Shipping exclusively for the PC this fall, Crysis Warhead is the first title to be developed at Crytek's Budapest studio, and is built on a new, enhanced and optimized version of Crytek's CryENGINE 2 technology.

Cevat Yerli, CEO and President of Crytek. "That being said, one of the key principles of our studio is to always raise the bar. With Warhead, we are focusing on refining our storytelling and game performance, while also delivering more of the visually stunning graphics and immersive, free-roaming gameplay everyone loved in Crysis."

"The best result of a partnership that we can ask for in the EA Partners program is when a world class independent studio like Crytek chooses to continue to work with us," said David DeMartini, Vice President and Global General Manager, EA Partners.

"Crysis was an amazing game and is going to be a blockbuster franchise. We could not be more excited to be working with Crytek to launch another hit with Crysis Warhead this year."

In Crysis Warhead, players will don the Nanosuit of Sergeant Sykes, also known as 'Psycho', one of the most memorable characters from Crysis. More brash and aggressive than his Delta Force squadmate Nomad, players...
 

Death of the DVD Media Format is dated!

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329w ago - The film industry is underestimating the threat that digital downloads pose to its traditional revenue streams from sales of physical media such as DVD and Blu-ray movie discs, claims the founder of download service iLoaded.

The issue is in the news this week, following reports of the imminent UK launch of movie downloads via Apple's iTunes store and the continuing and increasing growth of user-friendly, legal movie download services from companies such as LoveFilm and iLoaded.

"The DVD is only 10 years old and yet the doom merchants are predicting it could join the likes of VHS tapes," reads a report in today's Media Guardian, adding, "even DVD industry insiders admit the format may eventually die out.

The report continues: "Yet they argue that the collectability of box sets, the convenience of re-watchable discs and the relatively slow growth of downloads mean there is still plenty of life left in the little silver discs."

DVD box-sets and gifts

British Video Association (BVA) boss Lavinia Carey, still claims that consumers prefer to own physical copies. And to give them as gifts.

"Particularly," Carey insists, "for TV shows, people love the boxed sets; they love to have the collection and they love to be able to watch it when they want."
 

The Lies We Tell: BioShock's Exclusivity

50°
329w ago - The cat is now out of the bag, people finally knows that BioShock is coming to PS3, after it was 'confirmed' not to.

Well, I worked on the PS3 version, I was even lead programmer for the PS3 SKU at one point, but then there were a lot of lead programmers that worked on the PS3 version, but that's a sordid tale for another post. Today's post is about one of the lies of the games industry, the exclusivity deal.

Nowadays, almost all high profile games from 3rd party publishers are planned from the beginning to be multi-platform and simultaneous release. The extra cost of developing for multiple platforms can easily be recouped since both PS3 and 360 has a big enough installbase. The simultaneous release makes the most of the marketing money by spending it on one big campaign rather than two smaller ones months apart.

Remember Sony claiming that most developers are creating the PS3 version first? That is not because PS3 is more popular, or easier to code, it is purely because from a technical point PS3 is harder to create good code for. Once you've created a good code base for PS3, it is easy to turn that into a well running 360 version.

So how did BioShock's 'exclusive' come about and why PS3 version a year later? Well, you've got to follow the money, which leads us to Microsoft.
 
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