We just came out of E3, a solid week of video game related news from the front line of the console wars. Between Nintento’s various systems, Microsoft’s Xboxes and Sony’s Playstations, there’s more than enough video games out there for everyone, but is there any room left in the market for one more, ahem, player? Well one old name in the video game business certainly hopes there is. Once upon a time, if you wanted to play video games at home, you had only the one choice in the matter, but in today’s environment of choice, are gamers still going to want an Atari? (more…)
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any stranger in Hollywood, the folks over at Atari have decided that they want to bring two classic video games to the big screen. But these games will not be the story-driven franchises that we’ve seen make the big time over the last decade or so. Nope. The games in question are in fact lacking in any story whatsoever. So which games are they talking about, you ask? The bug-murdering Centipedeand the roll-and-click explosion game Missile Command. (more…)
01-27-16 • VideogamesPosted by Konstantine Paradias
Since its inception in 1972, Atari has become the ur-videogame titan, the first developer to cause a vidya-related international incident and the driving force behind the infamous video game crash of the 80’s. Their titles became the driving force that shaped gaming as we know it today, but let’s face it: they didn’t exactly age all that well. Which is why the legendary developer has recently gone ahead to announce that they are bringing back their classics in one tight bundle and revamped, just for the PC.
In what maybe the perfect sythesis of director and material, it seems that Steven Spielberg has claimed the right to make the film version of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, a novel that Hollywood’s been very eager to adapt since even before it was published. The book takes place in a virtual reality environment where various “players” search out the one Easter egg that will let them take control of said world. So why is Spielberg the perfect man for the job? The book includes several mentions of the master’s work and references to his 70s/80s heyday with hits like theIndiana Jones trilogy, E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, andThe Goonies. (more…)
As a fan of documentaries, I am very much looking forward to this one. As I’m sure you all heard by now, director Zak Penn and the film crew for Atari: Game Over, proved earlier this year that the urban legend was right, and that all the unpurchased cartridges were buried in a New Mexico landfill. But of course, that’s just part of the story. Later this year, fans and curiosity seekers will relive the journey of the nascent days of video gaming, where the sky was the limit, programmers were rock stars, and a video game based on the most popular movie of all time nearly killed a billion dollar business while it was still in its crib. (more…)
Documentary filmmaker Zak Penn, best known as a writer on Avengers and X-Men 2, discovered what has essentially become the gamer nerd’s answer to the Lost City of Atlantis yesterday: Millions of discarded Atari 2600E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial cartridges were unearthed from a mass grave in New Mexico–along with, presumably, the tortured souls of thousands of frustrated old school gamers (more…)
Transformers franchise producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura seems quite excited about his work on the upcoming film adaptation of the classic Atari game Asteroids:
“It’s not a disaster movie, yeah, if we’re successful at getting it made. It’s much more of a space opera. It’s like a great sci-fi movie if we get it done right. It is not at all what people think it is. People think, ‘Oh, the asteroid’s gonna hit the earth,’ and I have no interest in doing that. That’s been done exceedingly well before. No, this takes place in an asteroid belt, the whole movie.”
Okay….that’s all well and good. It still doesn’t quite explain WHY anyone would want a movie about a four decade old arcade game with no plot. The last time a big budget sci-fi flick was made out of a classic game with no story or characters, we got the baffling, pointless train wreck that was Battleship.
While Bonaventura is adamant that Asteroids won’t be an Armageddon-esque disaster flick (Roland Emmerich was considered as director), his previous work makes it hard to believe this won’t descend to mindless popcorn movie SFX orgy levels….listen to him gush about his love for the title:
“It just seems like that’s big. Like, what? Asteroids? That’s big. What’s going on up there? When I look at that project, that’s what I think about it, is I think about the scale of it and I think about the possibility of it.”
These just don’t strike me as the sentiments of a producer interested in a story-driven science fiction epic.
Then again, the truly awesome David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight, Man Of Steel, Dark City) is one of several writers working on the screenplay, so maybe Asteroids will end up surprising everyone…It’d help to know who’s directing, but that has yet to be announced.
With reports that Sony will debut the PS4 in three weeks and with a possible holiday release on the table, the next generation has begun. Soon, Microsoft will follow with their Xbox 360 follow-up and Nintendo will sit there, their latest system not even a year old, their gamble foolish from the start.
A few years ago, when the Wii pioneered motion gaming — making it a must have system for casual gamers, families, and a lot of people who had never before owned a console before — it seemed like they could do no wrong.
Back then, the mobile gaming market wasn’t dominated by smartphones and tablets. Back then, Sony and Microsoft got caught on their heels, fighting a war over half the available market.
Then, back then ended. Android and Apple seized the mobile market and Sony and Microsoft eventually lowered their prices, marketed their systems as home entertainment hubs that could do things that the Wii could not, and then they entered the motion gaming market as well, with the Move and the Kinect, robbing Nintendo of the one thing that made them unique.
What makes them unique now? Their lack of foresight, and their pending irrelevancy.
See, when Sony and Microsoft had Nintendo beat, the House of Mario doubled down and brought a new system to market, even as it’s peers were writing off this generation and preparing to move into the future.
Will that system, the Wii U, be able to stand in against competition that will surely have them beat in every facet of the game? All signs point to no.
Companies die. It’s a sad thing because it means jobs and legacies vanish, but Atari just filed for bankruptcy, and Sega abandoned the console game years ago, fully aware that smaller companies cannot compete in the console wars against companies like Sony and now Microsoft — a lesson that Nintendo is now learning more fully.
Why am I so confident that the end is near for Nintendo, the home of NES and Gameboy, one of the industries’ forefathers?
I’m confident because they’re already beginning to erode, even before the next Sony and Microsoft system hit the market. From a report on Forbes.com:
Nintendo cut sales forecasts for all of its hardware and software today, most notably the Wii U. The company slashed shipping estimates on the Wii U from 5.5 million to 4, and software estimates from 24 million to 16.
The article goes on to say that, despite a profitable holiday season quarter, that Nintendo still suffered an annual loss last year. Again, this is in the last days of disco for an ending generation, and Nintendo couldn’t even live up to their own expectations with it’s new, shiny product (with current gen performance capabilities) that they are now locked into.
What about the DS and the 3DS? According to TGDaily:
The company also cut forecasts for its other consoles. 3DS sales are now likely to be 15 million by March – 14 percent fewer than predicted – with DS sales down eight percent on their forecast at 2.3 million.
Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m eager to dance on Nintendo’s grave. I grew up with an NES in my living room and adored the N64, but the past is the past and Nintendo’s corporate overlords have demonstrated a lack of vision and painful ineptitude when it comes to reading their own marketplace.
Who is the Wii U for anyway? As I said, motion gaming is now available on every system, so they have no edge there. What about hardcore gamers? Turns out they require top-line graphics and strong third party developer support — things that the Wii U doesn’t provide. Home entertainment fans? The Wii U doesn’t have a Blu Ray player. Budget conscious shoppers? You can buy a 500 gig PS3, with the Blu Ray player for the same price as a base model Wii U with only 8 gigs, and that doesn’t even count the cost of an extra tablet controller.
Is Nintendo pondering a price cut to try and gain a foothold? No, their doubling down on their failures once again.
Like I said, I don’t want Nintendo to fail, but they’re handheld products are equaled by other multi-functional products that are viewed as essential by most consumers, something that renders their products in-essential. Furthermore, they released an overpriced, under-performing, awkward to use console that doesn’t meet the demands of the average consumer, a consumer whose expectations are set to rise when Sony and Microsoft announce their new products, products that I imagine will one day host Mario and other Nintendo properties as the company stumbles down the same ravine that Sega did.
It didn’t have to be like this. The future was plowing toward the station and instead of waiting, Nintendo jumped too early and fell right onto the tracks.
They could have strived for innovation, they could have aimed for a niche, any niche, but instead, they relied on the strength of brand loyalty and the assumption that Wii owners would rejoice over backwards compatible peripherals, and everyone else would wait for the system to offer a healthy library of games.
Sadly though, the market doesn’t wait, and now Nintendo’s window has closed and they are a cautionary tale.
The trailers just keep pouring in, and E3 is less than a week away. With this plethora of trailers, we’ve once again compiled them all in our roundup. From sexy and improved Tomb Raider, down to fly mobsters with guns, we’ve got the anticipated and random trailers for games coming out soon. Now let’s get started!
Tomb Raider Trailer
Tomb Raider gets a new look and attitude that has all the boys wanting to come over to her yard, whether she has milkshakes or not. Square Enix’s reboot of the once invincible Lara Croft, now shows her as youth stepping out into the world only to face the cruelty of nature. After watching the trailer below, I can’t help but be astounded by the graphics and a part of me is more excited about this Lara Croft than the other one. The games release date is still unknown, but take a gander at the new Tomb Raider in this cinematic trailer.
Game Plot Synopsis:
Fresh from academy and in search of lost relics, a 21-year-old Lara Croft journeys to an island off the coast of Japan aboard the Endurance, a salvage vessel helmed by Captain Conrad Roth. Before anchoring at bay, the ship is cleaved in two by an unforeseen storm leaving Croft separated from any other survivors and washed ashore. She must endure physical and emotional torture in order to survive the island.
So last week a new downloadable Ghostbusters game was announced with just one screenshot (shown above) and we really didn’t say much of it because… well, I don’t know why (must have been possessed by Zuul). Anyway, this week, we get a trailer from the Wanako Studios (Assault Hero 1&2) developed Ghostbuster: Sanctum of Slime.
As shown in the trailer, it looks like we’ll be busting ghost in some sweet dual-stick shooter (a la Geometry Wars, Super Stardust) and some Ecto-3 action. All I can say is that I know that once again, busting will make me feel good again.
The game is set for a 2011 release and will be available for the Xbox Live Market Place, Playstation Network and PC. What do y’all think about the trailer? Does this spark any interest towards the game for you or you think it’ll just end up being crap?