Skyrim & Kinect Voice Command Will Bring The Masses

There is no doubt that Skyrim is a hit title by Bethesda. There is no doubt that Kinect is a beast. Here’s the rub for both. Skyrim is so hardcore of an RPG that you need an install base of active gamer’s to get it. Kinect is so casual that Microsoft is losing the faith of their hardcore game base to care. Bethesda was smart enough to realize they need each other. Microsoft needs to now care that voice command will legitimize the Kinect before it’s too late. Skyrim x Kinect will bring the masses in a new way. 

Tomorrow’s Skyrim Kinect voice command update is significant. The game could skate alone by just adding the voice component alone. The element honestly is naturally in how it brings a new dynamic to an RPG game. This may sound crazy, but Skyrim is now a better game. One of the reasons I say this is because without changing the game fundamentally, Skyrim is now the casual game that Microsoft has wanted to make for it’s Kinect audience. Where it differs from all the other Kinect titles is that it’s depth is actually engrossing enough to the point that gamer’s who have a Kinect will play the game longer. Listen if like me you know people who have a Kinect. They will tell you how much they love it, but don’t play it often. That juxtaposition, and in some respects oxymoron does not help Kinect be a difference maker for a casual audience that Microsoft is mining. In fact the success of the Xbox 360 may perhaps be blinding Microsoft to how serious they need to take Kinect has a momentum push into the next generation. Now that most PS3 players don’t take the Move serious. Microsoft with Kinect can show us why they will be more than formiddable next generation. The fact that most gamer’s are not that eager for it to get here. Skyrim gives you reason to get really excited about owning both an Xbox 360 and Kinect if you are a gamer who’s been sitting on the fence. Look Star Wars as a franchise had no benefit from having a Kinect game using it’s license. Most gamer’s only asked why and wtf?

Skyrim is already an amazing game. Bethesda does not benefit from having to add anything extra. Yet, the publisher values their product, and you can see their are determined to make it better. By offering a way to get more gamer’s involved they push the RPG genre forward, and legitimize the future of the genre with Kinect. I would not be surprised that the word of mouth alone will be something phenomenal. At the same time for gamer’s who have already been fans this is a new experience in a way that will be refreshing. Voice command is giving players a much more diverse interaction which is utterly cool. Bethesda is also teasing us with more info tomorrow. In the mean time inbetween time here is where you can download the PDF Voice commands for Skyrim.

Lollipop Chainsaw: The Ecentricity of James Gunn x Suda 51

Since launching his Grasshopper-Kadokawa studio, Suda 51 has not let us down with his pure individual ideal of imprinting his identity, and those of his ilk onto his games. Lollipop Chainsaw is his latest title. Although not much different in concept from most Zombie killing games. It his Suda 51’s take and collaboration with writer James Gunn on the Warner Bros. game that interests us. Lollipop Chainsaw which  launches on June 15 in the UK for PS3 and 360 is taking a unique approach on the zombie action gameplay we have seen over the years.  We could put our spin on it, but the above video let’s you know just how far these creative minds working together are trying to go with their vision. Quite intriguing, and eye opening.

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Bonus Round: New Android Consoles: Threat or Annoyance?

Another great conversation was had by the folks over at Gametrailers Bonus Round. I usually don’t post their content, but when it’s good, and I believe our audience will be served by it’s content. Then heck yeah we post. In this particular feature the guys talk about the new Android consoles, along with what Valve is doing with Steam, and how this affects both Sony and Microsoft’s future consoles. You can reference an article we did about the emergence of Open Source Gaming here.

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Gears of War: Judgment ‘The Guts of Gears’

Today Epic Games, and People Can Fly  released a new trailer for Gears of War: Judgement titled ‘The Guts of Gears’. Showcasing no-holds barred action, the game both in single player, and multi-player gives us an idea just how much is packed into this title. “the video offers a sneak peek at the wealth of exciting new campaign features, including the dynamic Smart Spawn System, new weapons, dynamic defense scenarios, Declassified Missions, new player rewards, and more.” States Epic Games. Epic Games is also offering coupons/codes redeemable for those interested in playing the original Gears of War. Surprisingly according to Epic Games research even with the success of the first title, many people still have not played the game. Now they get to play the prequel, and then the original aka sequel. Here’s video of the trailer.

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Amazon Is The Savior Of Indie Game Developers

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Amazon via it’s tech blog post announced the creation of it’s digital store for games by indie developers.  Opening up a marketplace that will be more efficient, and focus on developers not just from a sales stand point, but exposure as well. Can  it work? Well with the world of marketplaces exploding, and indie game development all the rage. There are more  people playing via mobile, and PC these days that there is room for another player. Amazon just so happens to be one of the biggest online retailer. They have a great brand name, and are cut from an independent cloth that developers, and young publishers could embrace them with warmth.  Peter Heinrich in a blog post announcing the Amazon store said;  “Game development is an art, like any other. It can be personally rewarding, and like other forms of artistic expression, great games can come from anywhere. Powerhouse game studios don’t hold a monopoly on inventiveness or creativity, and some of the best games of all time were created on a shoestring by two or three people with a shared vision,”. In a conversation with Games Industry Biz, Tony Valcarcel of Amazon went a bit further in his assessment and perspective “We’ve been working really hard these past few months to make our process as easy as possible to get through. In fact, in the past, 3 months or so, we’ve been reaching out to everyone we can find to get more Indie Games on sale,”. How will the store evolve, and work in Amazon’s grand scheme to get into the gaming business is smart. They can work with both data, sales, and developers on a more intimate level without the need to pander to retail which in the case of consoles, and PC is starting to hinder how gamer’s consume, and ultimately play and participate in gaming. Executive hiring is another area of focus that Amazon is making a priority, and could be the best part of the endeavor. Setting the tone for how they will create a market place is going to require patience, and persistent effort. Amazon has been aggressive with its products like the Kindle, and having a game base to tap into from indie developers could be a huge coup. Later down the road consoles could be a viable option. In what form will that happen will be interesting.

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Q1 NPD U.S Sales Post published on http://www.thekingslayer.com/us-npd-3-5-billion-spent-on-games-in-q1/

US NPD: $3.5 billion spent on games in Q1

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Figures from Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report $1.37 billion spent on new physical console and PC software, $559 million on used and rental, and $1.59 billion on digital content. This category includes full-game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games, and social network games. Figures are part of the company’s retail tracking services, consumer spending estimations that come courtesy of publishing partners, specific data supplied by third party vendors, which is how NPD comes to it’s numbers.  ”Digital spending fully offset the declines in physical format spend in Q1’13,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “There is strong growth in full-game downloads and downloadable add-on content sales across consoles, PCs, and portables, up a combined 25 percent in the first quarter of this year.” Keeping in mind that the current generation has gone long in the tooth compared to other electronic areas which have seen several refreshes both in hardware and services. Q1 sales for  game content is for the January-March period.

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UBISOFT Unviels: Tom Clancy “The Division”

Ubisoft first impressed everyone last year at E3 with “Watch Dogs” which is a tech conspiracy/control based world where the gamer is in the middle of a story that gives him access to a connected world. Outside of that one game, we had no idea what else the developer had in store for the next generation. Till today that is. Ubisoft took the veil off of Tom Clancy “The Division”. The game looks amazing, and really shows us a world where you have to repair it. Not knowing what you are in for in a destroyed city of New York.

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The Amazing Final Fantasy XV Battle Gameplay


SquareEnix finally after years of anticipation chose this years E3 to deliver on showcasing Final Fantasy XV. Taking the less traditional action route the series has never really known for. The trailer was shown off during Sony‘s Playstation conference, but no one really had any idea of what the game play was all about. Well today we get actual battle gameplay from SquareEnix. Dramatic, and dynamic are words that come to mind. Where does the story, and all the action go? We will know soon. for now the gameplay trailer speaks volumes.final-fantasy-XV

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The Return Of Hotline Miami Part 2: The Wrong Number Teaser Trailer

 

The success of “Hotline Miami” on PC came with much controversy around the games’ plot, and overall game play concept. Violent would be an understatement. The game which was/is an top down shooter type had story elements that reminded, and were inspired by the movie “Drive“. The game is set in a by gone 80′s era, where for all intents, and purposes much movie content was on the visceral end as opposed to being pushed by purpose. Hotline Miami in game for follows that philosophy, so think of any Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, or Sylvester Stallone in “Cobra”, and you pretty much get a handle on the action of the game. Your main character wakes up hazed, confused, but directed by information that is so compelling he must kill to accomplish his objectives. You have mobsters, secret organizations, mystery characters who wear masks like your self, overall there is much going on. The scattered, out of order nature of the quests make the gamer feel as if he/she is being lead. It’s in that very follow ingredient that becomes addictive to keeping a gamer playing until you reach a conclusion…Somewhat. Ultimately several story lines blend in the adventure to flesh out the game. What starts out as brain teaser quickly descends into an interesting game that hits all the buttons, but losses you altogether; ironically that is what makes the Hotline a gem. Confusing? Absolutely, making the game the only one to get away with it successfully. Released on PC with a Playstation 3, and PS Vita release soon, the developers Dennaton Games, a team composed of Jonatan Söderström and Dennis Wedin are now gracing gamer’s with a sequel. Take a look at the trailer. hotline-miami Hotline-Miami-0 hotline-miami-2-wrong-number Hotline-Miami-Vita

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Konami Wants To Know If You’d Like A Sequel To Metal Gear Rising?

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Konami is in the midst of evaluating a sequel to it’s off shoot game in the Metal Gear franchise “Rising”. This was a game they made in partnership with Platinum Games of of “Vanquish” fame. Rather than do make a decision in a vacuum, Konami has created a survey on their website encouraging fans of all things Metal Gear to give feedback. Judging from the survey questions they are looking for some really detailed information about what gamers liked and didn’t like. No it’s not decided if they will engage a sequel, (If they should is one of the questions by the way) but it’s becoming common place for developers/publishers to really pick the brains of gamers to become potential customers in the future. If you are a fan of all things Metal Gear, and thought “Rising” was good then you can head over to the Konami website to take the survey. We’ve also pasted it below so you can get an idea of what the survey is all about. 

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Microsoft is looking for Xbox One Community Managers

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Microsoft is hiring 2 positions for the Xbox One Community team. This allows you the chance to work with Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson aka Lary Hryb. Now this not only is for Xbox One, but all things Xbox related. You can jump at the chance to be on the ground floor of something that will be a pretty interesting ride over the course of this generation. You can be part of the conversation, and guide gamer’s.  Microsoft jobs listings.

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Nah Son…No Multiplayer For Wii U Batman Arkham Origins.

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The WiiU is still officially a next generation console despite all the ignoring most the gaming community is having with Nintendo’s new machine. It also does not help that developers are not also. Picking, and choosing how they want to develop for the console has been interesting to watch. Activision does not plan to abandon the Wii U, as well as others. At the same time we are not going to see robust effort. Take for instance Warner Bros. with the next  installment in the Batman Arkham saga “Batman: Arkham Origins”.batman_arkham_origins-8

 A Warner Bros. spokesperson told Eurogamer; “The team is focusing development efforts on platforms with the largest MP audience.” “MP will be available for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC,”  essentially this leaves both the Wii Uand fans out in the cold to suffer. Is it fair or right? I’m not sure. With the full game already coming, maybe it’s a support thing, and Wii U fans should be fine with any attention at all. The sad thing though is that we are not going to get innovation that could make the Wii U version an experience unlike the  other consoles due to it’s tablet.  It sure also does not help that the Wii U has only sold 160, 000 consoles globally. For such an ambitious console no one could have guessed this result. The Wii itself saw an impressive feat in selling over a 100 million consoles. As a whole; the Wii U has only sold about 3.61 million console units worldwide. Damn son. Publishers can’t be blamed if they don’t see the benefit in supporting multiplayer for a small user base when they can refine what they are doing on the Xbox 360 and PS3.  Batman: Arkham Origins, the third installment in the Batman: Arkham series, developed by Warner Bros. Montreal, will hit Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Wii U in the later part of the year.

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