Gamers have to deal with a lot these days. We have highly hyped games that turn out to be crap,
in-game advertising taking over and now the government arresting people for altering their own property.
Matthew Crippen, a 27-year-old student, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for modding his game system so that he could play pirated games. He is currently awaiting trial and, if found guilty, faces a decade in federal prison.
We have talked a lot about in-game advertising here at The UpStream. We have talked about it on
the show many times. There was even an article a few weeks back about Microsoft bringing Silverlight to the 360 specifically for dynamic advertising. That being said, here comes some more.
WipEout HD, one of the most popular and impressive games on the PlayStation Network, will be getting in-game advertising provided by Double Fusion. They claim the ads will match the futuristic style of the game, and only appear during load screens, but we will see.
If you're not already concerned or offended, here is a quote from the CEO of Double Fusion:
We know you like playing videogames, and we know you like to gamble. How do we know this? We watch you through your mother's basement window. Since we know so much about you, I feel obliged to tell you that your two passions are coming together via a new site called
BringIt. The site bills itself as "online video game tournaments & challenges" but we know what it is about.
For a long time Google and Apple have had an interesting relationship. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google has sat on the Apple board of directors. Not that it is unusual for executives to do this when two companies want things from one another, but this must have been a strained relationship for a long time.
Both make web browsers (Safari/Chrome), phone platforms (iPhone/Android), operating systems (MacOS/Chrome OS), music players (iPod/Android) and several other overlaps. At this point, I would imagine Steve Jobs probably doesn't let Eric Schmidt stay for much of the board meetings, because other than hardware, the two companies are now adversaries.
That being said, this week Apple announced that Eric is leaving the board. They said in the press release:
Somewhere out in BFE Utah someone apparently got really bored (can't imagine why) and came up with a really great idea. A Best Buy store is conducting a market test in order to compete with video game retailers like Gamestop and Game Crazy. The new policy set in place lets customers purchase new games for the used game prices at competitors stores. Currently, the test is limited to one store and they do not know if this will become a nationwide policy.
If this policy is a hit what will it mean for other video game retailers? What will it mean to you, the consumer?
Nintendo has been a puzzling company for a number of years. When the Big 3 announced their new consoles, everyone expected the Wii to be the end of Nintendo, and instead it has been the leader. They announced Wii Fit, and people thought a balance board could have little potential, and even today they are nearly impossible to find. They joined the online gaming revolution several years late, yet still managed to make it seem revolutionary. Now, they are bucking the trend two more ways: digital distribution and hospital technology.
Let's start with their new hardware: the Wii Vitality Sensor. Here is a piece of hardware that cost them a lot of money to develop, and I cannot come up with 2 uses for it. At least with the balance board i saw skateboarding and snowboarding. When asked for comment, Nintendo demigod Shigeru Miyamoto said: