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In an interview published today, Microsoft Games Studios’ general manager Dave Kuehmann commented on some criticism that PC gamers have been sending towards the gaming giant, pertaining to their commitment to develop games on the platform. According to Kuehmann, “It is our job to lead the way on PC” but admitted “we need to step up.”

To be fair, I probably should list the full quote. He said, “There’s been a fair bit of criticism aimed at Microsoft that we were spending a lot of our focus on console, and we need to be putting resources behind PC as well. Other companies should look to Microsoft for leadership, but I’m not sure they do. It is our job to lead the way on PC. And in some ways we are doing that and in other ways we are not. So we need to step up.” Read more… »

Today Microsoft announced (via Major Nelson) that it’s looking for some gamers to test out the beta version of it’s next big Xbox Live update.

What’s included in this update? For starters, there’s a new dashboard, an on demand ESPN service, an updated Netflix application that allows for searching, Zune music, and other various fixes. Read more… »

Today Microsoft announced, via Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb, that it will increase subscription prices for Xbox Live Gold. According to the announcement, these price hikes will go into effect November 1, 2010.

In the U.S., the prices will increase as follows:
1M Gold:  $7.99 -> 1M Gold:  $9.99
3M Gold:  $19.99 -> 3M Gold:  $24.99
12M Gold:  $49.99 -> 12M Gold:  $59.99

Jerry Holkins, Tycho of Penny Arcade fame, penned a comic (shown above) and an accompanying blog post in defense of THQ’s recent comments regarding purchasers of used games. The quick recap is that THQ doesn’t care if used game buyers are upset that purchasers of new titles are going to get a bunch of “free” stuff that a used game buyer is going to have to pay extra for, and Tycho doesn’t think it’s appropriate for these used game purchasers to get angry at THQ over it.

What bothers me about Tycho’s commentary is that he comes across as sounding more like a privileged industry insider rather than the civilian commentator everyone has come to love, and I don’t think he meant to be taken that way.

Apparently StarCraft is getting some love at the university level. According to Kotaku, the University of Florida is using the real time strategy game to teach its students resource management skills. Before any of you slackers get excited (me included), the class featuring SC is only open to students in the honors college who have some familiarity with the game.

Taught by Nate Poling, a Ph.D candidate at UF, the class description reads, “With society becoming increasingly technology-based and fast-paced, it is important for professionals to be highly proficient in skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, resource management, and adaptive decision making. These skills are fundamental in Starcraft and therefore make the game a highly effective environment for students to analyze and take action in complex situations.” Read more… »

According to a report from Gamer/Law, Take Two Interactive has lost a lawsuit against Name Administration Inc. (NA Media) over the rights to the URL

According to the report, the World Intellectual Property Organization legal board who was overseeing the case decided that Take Two had failed to prove that NA Media registered the URL is an attempt to “trade off the value and goodwill of [Take-Two's] Bioshock trademark by diverting users to third-party commercial websites for profit.” The legal board decided in favor of NA Media due to the fact that the company registered the URL in 2004, almost a year before Take Two registered BioShock as a trademark. Read more… »

Sony fans longing for a Mass Effect 2 fix that never came in January of 2010 can now rejoice.  While speaking at the EA press conference at GamesCom in Cologne, Germany, BioWare’s Ray Muzyka announced that the space epic would be seeing a PlayStation 3 release in January!

It’s worth noting that as of right now, there aren’t any plans to release the first Mass Effect on Sony’s consoles.  This might mean that Sony players are deprived of the choices you can make that carry over to Mass Effect 2, both big and small.  We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for Sony players.

If you live in or around New York City, you’ll definitely want to mark your calendar for October 20th, as the city will get to experience a one-of-a-kind event for those of us who love music and video games. CMJ Play, an event in the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival, will give attendees a deep look into the new landscape of the music business, which involves video games as much as (if not more than) it does MP3 players and digital downloads.

If you’re not a current New Yorker or have no idea what CMJ is, you’ll want to check out the full news post. This event sounds pretty damn amazing.


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iPhone Graduation Day
By: | August 16th, 2010

Prior to the purchase of my first iPhone, I did not take it seriously as a gaming platform at all. In fact, I actually recoiled at the idea conceptually. I’ve also never been one to subscribe to the hardcore gamer tendency of dismissing social games and so-called “casual games.” On the other hand, I couldn’t look at the iPhone and consider it in the same category as my Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, or PC. Those are all “platforms.” The iPhone, however, was “a phone with games you can play on it.”

My wife won her iPhone two years ago in a raffle, and fell in love. She’s a blogger and social media junkie, which is what she mostly used the phone for. When I discovered the existence of Mass Effect Galaxy, being a junkie of the franchise, I ordered the game up on her phone and gave it a whirl.

Over the past few weeks Irrational Games has been teasing gamers with a website asking, “What is project Icarus?” Well, yesterday the developer finally let us in on the secret.

Project Icarus turns out to be the code name for a new BioShock title. Dubbed BioShock Infinite, the new game seems to have nothing to do with Big Daddies, Little Sisters or even Rapture. According to an interview with series creator Ken Levine, “We felt like we said what we wanted to say about Rapture. Not about BioShock, not about the gameplay motifs, not about the narrative motifs. But we said what we wanted to say about Rapture, and that kind of space and the kind of combat you have there, and some of the kind of experiences you have there.”

Apparently, BioShock Infinite takes place in 1912 (making it a prequel?) in some sort of steampunk-ish floating city. Unfortunately that’s all we know. On the bright side, Irrational Games was good enough to release the gnarly trailer shown above. Read more… »

After Tim Schafer had confirmed that Brutal Legend 2 had been canceled in favor of working on four new indie games, the gaming community could only imagine what Schafer’s creative mind would bring us next.   The first indie game Schafer is working on will be Costume Quest, a so-dubbed adventure RPG due for an Xbox Live/PlayStation Network release in autumn.

Hit the jump for more information behind Tim Schafer’s latest. Read more… »

Today word got out, via USA Today, that several well known Hollywood actors will be lending their voices to help bring the world of Fallout: New Vegas alive.

Obviously Ron “War, War-never-changes” Perlman will be making his return to the series, filling in as the narrator. Besides Mr. Perlman, gamers can expect to hear Danny Trejo, Felicia Day, Wayne Newton, Matthew Perry, Michael Dorn and Zachary Levi in their post-apocalyptic journey. Read more… »