Don't we all just hate the mouse? It is too convenient and easy to use. Wouldn't it be great if we could eliminate it and use Natal instead? I jest, of course, because the mouse is going nowhere, and Natal would be badass on the computer. Even ubergeek Bill Gates thinks so. So much so, in fact, that the Natal team is also developing ways incorporate the hardware into the Windows environment.
Bill Gates claims that Natal is not just a game controller,
The Governator has been all over the place with his political positions. He supports alternative fuel, but only the stuff the oil companies could sell easily. Now he is ok with games, so long as they are a) not violent or b) he is in them. I am, of course, talking about the California law that was to outlaw violent videogames. That law, of course, was found unconstitutional for many reasons, one of which being its First Amendment implications.
The law has made it all the way to the US Supreme Court, and while still waiting to hear the ruling, it has given videogame experts a chance to weigh in on the legality of it. Today's example is Robert Corn-Revere, a First Amendment Attorney. He says:
This is the week for big developers to take over the small marketplaces. First EA starts a mobile development studio and now this. Australian Indie game publishers are claiming that Microsoft has started giving more and more of its 35 XBLA game slots to major developers.
WAToday claims that the requirements Microsoft has placed on its acceptance of XBLA games favor big publishers, "with independent games rejected for being too similar to an existing title on the service, yet major publishers were able to flood it with retro remakes."
EA has had a lot of success making iPod Touch-platform games as of late, so it should come as no surprise that they have decided to create a new studio dedicated to nothing but mobile games, called 8lb Gorilla. The goal of the studio is to publish at least one mobile game every month. The first game under their umbrella is Zombies and Me which has already been released.
Though this might be good for EA, or anyone who owns stock in the company, it is not good for the kids writing the 99cent games in their bedrooms, as EA has now put themselves in direct competition. It certainly has the possibility of being the next Walmart, driving the small business out of the marketplace completely. Expect some unhappy blog posts in the coming months.
The Chinese government has put an end to a very controversial program at a clinic where "video game addicts" are subjected to electroshock "therapy." China Daily said it best with this synopsis of the situation, saying:
We announced most of Midway was purchased by Warner Brothers and that the rest had to find buyers quickly or be shut down. This week was the deadline for the first studio, Newcastle, is gone. CEO Matt Booty showed up to deliver the news, but it seems that wouldn't really soften the blow.
The loss of parts of Midway is not a surprise as there were no interested buyers, but it is a disappointment for those of us who have been gaming for a long time. San Diego is still on the table, and if it can find a buyer in the next 50 days or so, they will be fine, but it seems they have the same fate just several weeks later.