1.31.2010

Halo: Reach Won't Use Project Natal Controls




Bungie sets the record straight.


January 30, 2010 - Microsoft's biggest gaming title of 2010 won't be taking advantage of its new motion camera this coming fall. Bungie Studios denied rumors through its weekly update saying Halo: Reach is being developed with traditional controls and will not incorporate Project Natal.

"Halo: Reach is NOT a Natal title and is being developed expressly with the traditional Xbox 360 controller in mind," Bungie said.

Speculation began to fly last June when Bungie president Harold Ryan told the New York Times the title could be enabled to use Project Natal, though the studio had yet to clarify until now.

Microsoft recently stated Project Natal will cater towards both the hardcore and casual gaming markets, though the only major title confirmed for 2010 to use Natal is Fable III. Other exclusive titles, such as Crackdown 2 and Alan Wake, appear to only be using the standard controller input.

The company also confirmed that over 70 percent of publishers are developing Natal-based titles, including Electronic Arts, Activision, Capcom, Bethesda, and Square Enix.

Project Natal is set for release this coming Holiday.

MovieMiguel.com


Nokia, Nintendo, Netflix and E-Ink respond to the iPad





We're sure just about every company on the map has an opinion on Apple's new device, but a few big wigs have taken time out of their busy schedules to weigh in on the device. These are their stories.
  • Nokia's Mark Squires, Head of Social Media, was mainly confused by Apple's statement that it's the biggest mobile device manufacturer, surpassing Nokia in combined revenue on media players, phones and laptops. Mark argues that the accepted definition for "mobile devices" excludes laptops, and goes on to mention the undisputed fact that Nokia's still number one when it comes to number of devices sold.
  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, meanwhile, says that mobile devices aren't a priority for his company yet. They're fighting the good fight of the large screen, and once they feel comfortable in their various efforts there, then they'll move on to small screens. Netflix hasn't done or submitted an iPhone application, but Hastings did mention that he was optimistic that if Netflix did get into the game, the app would be approved for the App Store, and that it would run on both the iPhone and iPad.
  • Satura Iwata, president and CEO of Nintendo, took a much more directly critical approach to the device, calling it a "bigger iPod Touch," and that Apple delivered "no surprises." In the same interview he expressed skepticism as to the value of bringing a high definition Wii on the market, as well as expressing doubts about 3D glasses-based gaming. Iwata is clearly a tough man to please.
  • Perhaps most threatened by the iPad is Russ Wilcox, CEO of E-Ink. He says dedicated e-readers will outsell iPads due to "simple economics," and that the iPad is "great entertainment device," but it's "not the world's best reading device." His criticisms, mostly in juxtaposition to Kindle-style devices, abound, including price, weight, backlight and so on. He's right on the money about the shortfalls of a straightforward comparison, but we wonder if consumers will feel the same?
Nothing too salacious, unfortunately, and most of the points raised are pretty spot-on -- though we do wish Reed Hastings would rethink his priorities just a smidgen and get Netflix onto mobile devices sooner than later. We're needy like that.


MovieMiguel.com


1.30.2010

Xbox 360 2010 Preview




From Project Natal to Halo Reach and beyond, we chart the year ahead.

January 29, 2010 - This year will be the most significant in the history of Microsoft's Xbox brand. The company has promised a must-have game in every single month, capping it off towards the end with a brand new Halo game. That should be enough to get anybody excited, and yet somehow videogames aren't even what everyone is talking about. That's because Microsoft is set to release its controller-free gaming experience called Project Natal this holiday season.


Think about that for a moment. In a year where we have games like Mass Effect 2, Final Fantasy XIII, Alan Wake, Crackdown 2, BioShock 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction, and Fable III, the most talked about thing is a peripheral that doesn't even have an official name yet. Who could have predicted that one? Right now the details for the 3D camera are fairly scarce, but you can expect all of that to change this summer at the Electronic Entertainment Expo when Microsoft puts it on center stage. New games will be announced for Natal at that time and, before you know it, we'll be playing them just a few months later.

It's going to be an expensive year for the hardcore gamer that owns an Xbox 360, but that's about the only negative thing you can say about the outlook for Microsoft's console. The games are rolling in. The hardware finally has a decent failure rate. Xbox Live just keeps getting better. And soon we'll be able to play games and more without even holding a controller.

Now, the good stuff. The Xbox 360 games we're most looking forward to in the months to come. From shooters to RPGs and everything in between, Microsoft's system is looking hot in 2010.








What it Is: Imagine waking one day to find out that a book you don't remember writing is coming to life. And no, this isn't a happy book that involves you winning the lottery. This is a horror story and it stars you and your wife. Evil has taken over the Pacific Northwest town of Bright Falls and the only way to stay safe is to stay in the light. Unfortunately, night has a way of creeping in and that's where things start getting dangerous. Everything from your average citizen up to giant logging machinery can at any time become an enemy in this psychological thriller.

Why It's Hot: Remedy made a name for itself with the Max Payne franchise, but it has been hard at work on Alan Wake for over five years. We haven't seen much of it during that prolonged development cycle, but everything we have seen looks downright stunning. Taking inspiration from The X-Files, Twin Peaks, and many other thrillers, Remedy has put together a game that oozes atmosphere and tension. The wait has been a long one, but everything we've seen so far makes it feel like it was worth it.
- Erik Brudvig








What it Is: B Company returns in EA's second offering of the newly revitalized Battlefield world. Combing through dense jungles, war-torn villages and ice-capped mountaintops, players will take to the field in the industry's biggest vehicular warfare title to date. All new multiplayer modes debut, bringing back not only the gold rush mode from the original Bad Company, but also a more traditional take on Battlefield warfare.

Why It's Hot: As a huge fan of tactical military games, Bad Company is a highly anticipated shooter for yours truly. Mixing in deeper destruction, refined controls (that proved to be all the rage during my time with the pre-release build) and a huge scale of warfare, Bad Company is looking to be on the right track. The first game was a good starting point, EA's revitalization of 1943 was a gigantic success on XBLA, and Bad Company 2 is setting itself up to be a must-play FPS this year. Plus, blowing crap up is fun.
- Steve Butts








What it Is: The underwater world of Rapture was the setting for one of the best modern games. Then things changed. The sequel was announced, but no longer was Irrational Games handling development. Instead, BioShock 2 was handed to newly formed 2K Marin, which included a few staff members that had traveled over from Boston, where Irrational is based. The new game takes place roughly 10 years after the original and follows along with a new story. You play as a Big Daddy this time and come across a range of new weapons, abilities, and enemies. Now you can have weapons and plasmids at the ready simultaneously, allowing you to dish out punishment more rapidly, and more effectively combat some of the deadlier foes walking around.

Why It's Hot: There are a few specific things I think work better in the sequel, particularly the research and the way Little Sisters are dealt with. Instead of simply snapping photos, now the camera has a basic video function. Start the camera before you start attacking and it'll record the conflict and grade you based on performance, a system that lets you research without slowing down the action. The Little Sister mechanic has also been changed. Since you're playing as a Big Daddy, you get the option to adopt the girls and walk around with them as they harvest Adam from corpses, adding a new dimension to one of the more peculiar and twisted relationships in videogames. Even with a number of improvements, will Rapture still be as interesting a place the second time through?
- Charles Onyett





What it Is: Think God of War meets Castlevania -- that's interesting enough to pay attention to, but Lords of Shadow also happens to be headed up by none other than Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear Solid fame. The footage that we've seen looks pretty intense, and any classic franchise that is helmed by the director of a second major franchise is going to get second and third looks, especially when it's this pairing.

Why It's Hot: Hideo Kojima working on a Castlevania game? What's likely to be a good 3D Castlevania game? That's pretty much all I needed to hear. Of course, I don't simply want it to be God of War with a different art direction and Dracula; I'd love to see a 3D Castlevania game that has an interesting story, great presentation and combat that involves a number of new and unique twists. For my money, Kojima is one of the few that might be able to pull this off well, so I'm pretty excited about it.
- Chris Roper








What it Is: Remember when you bought that game Crackdown because it came with the Halo 3 beta only to find out that it was great? Yeah, that game is getting a sequel. The huge Pacific City has gone into disarray in your absence and it's now up to you and a few friends to restore order in this massive, open-world cooperative action game. Add in some adversarial multiplayer, super-hero skills, and even a helicopter or two and you've got all of the toys you could ever want.

Why It's Hot: Crackdown was a bit of a sleeper hit, but there is no way this sequel can hope to fly under the radar. The most intriguing part of this sequel is that it is being made under new management. A splinter group of developers from RealTime Worlds (the makers of the original Crackdown) left to form their own group, called Ruffian Games, to continue work on the franchise. Though there are plenty of Crackdown veterans working on the next installment, it will be interesting to see how it turns out. From what we've seen so far, the guys at Ruffian definitely know what made Crackdown a hit in the first place: freedom, action, awesome skill orbs to collect, and plenty of big explosions.
- Erik Brudvig








What it Is: Welcome to Fortune City. A bustling metropolis not too far removed from modern day Vegas, this epicenter of activity has a new attraction standing (or shuffling) at center stage: Zombies. Taking the role of Chuck – forget Frank. Frank… isn't here. – players run rampaging through the streets of Fortune City to rid the world of the infected in this comedic survival horror game. The franchise is seeing a new lead character, an all new dev team under Capcom's wing, and a whole lot of over-the-top action. You'll have to wait until later this year to get it, but Dead Rising 2 is a no-brainer for everybody's wishlist.

Why It's Hot: Why is it hot? Is that really a question? Uh… the game is about chopping up zombies, running through Vegas (er… "Fortune City") with create-your-own weapons and modded motorcycles that look like they're pulled out of some freakish Harley Davidson-sponsored Death Race 2000. Yes, I'm anticipating this game. Hell I'm anticipating a real zombie apocalypse. Plus, after three days in Vegas you're about ready to kill everything in sight as it is, am I right? Just bring on the American Gladiators Altraspheres and let's do the damn thing already.
- Mark Bozon








What it Is: In the latest Fable, eventually you'll be king of the land of Albion. First, though, you'll need to prove your worth. The game will read your save, if you've still got it, from Fable II, and when you begin you'll be playing as the son or daughter of the hero from Fable II. It sounds like in the opening sections of the game you'll need to play the role of a politician, campaigning to the population and making promises of what you'll do when you climb up to the throne. This will still be an action game, though, so don't worry about your character getting all lazy and obese from sitting on the throne and downing beer and oversized chicken legs.

Why It's Hot: In a role-playing game, it's always interesting to see how your actions can affect the world around you. After all, more so than simply manipulating statistics and picking from amongst a selection of hats to put on your head, you're supposed to step into a role. Are you a benevolent leader? A ruthless power monger? Or are you moody and unpredictable, tossing coins to the poor on one day and tossing cats off the roof the next? It sounds like the types of decisions you make in Fable III will go a long way to affecting the overall game world since you'll actually be ruling the population and people tend to notice when things aren't going so well. We're all hoping for another winner from Lionhead.
- Charles Onyett








What it Is: The next Halo game from Bungie sounds like it could actually be the most interesting. In Halo: Reach, you're part of a squad of Spartans battling the Covenant on the planet Reach. If you're familiar with Halo fiction at all, you'll know this means bad things are going to happen. Events on Reach didn't exactly go so well for the forces of humanity, which then leads into the events of the first Halo game. With an all-new single-player mode and as-of-yet unannounced multiplayer features, this could be a Halo experience with a different kind of feel and combat on a gigantic scale.

Why it's Hot: Well, it's a Halo game made by Bungie. That pretty much guarantees it'll be an entertaining game experience with tight and responsive controls, an excellent soundtrack, and robust multiplayer features. Bungie says it has made a lot of tweaks to the visual presentation of the game, which should help make this the prettiest Halo yet. Co-operative play through the single-player portion could also be really cool since it looks as though each Spartan is built as a specific class (heavy weapons guy, sniper guy) instead of each being a super powered, all-purpose soldier. Best Halo yet? I certainly hope so.
- Charles Onyett







What it Is: After releasing the enormous post-apocalyptic RPG Fallout 3 in 2008, developer Bethesda Softworks is taking a breather from the franchise. But that doesn't mean your 2010 will be Fallout free. Bethesda has passed the torch to Obsidian Entertainment for Fallout: New Vegas, an entirely new installment in the Fallout saga. Both companies have been tight-lipped about the details, but we know it won't be a continuation of Fallout 3. Expect new characters, a new setting and a standalone storyline. Obsidian is no stranger to sequels. They're the development house responsible for both Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and Neverwinter Nights 2, both quality RPGs.

Why It's Hot: It's more Fallout. Expect most of the things you loved about Bethesda's effort to return in New Vegas. Bethesda and Obsidian would be crazy to move away from V.A.T.S., S.P.E.C.I.A.L. and all those other kooky acronyms we grew to love so well in Fallout 3. We're looking forward to seeing the new world Obsidian builds inside Bethesda's re-imagined Fallout universe. Five-dollar all-you-can-eat giant rat buffet, here we come!
- Ryan Geddes








What it Is: Final Fantasy XIII is the long-awaited, current-gen entry to Square Enix's legendary franchise. Starring the stoic heroine Lightning and a band of strong-willed rebels, Final Fantasy XIII looks to bring back the Japanese role-playing game in a big way, after games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age brought Western RPGs to the gaming forefront. Besides the emotional narrative that the Final Fantasy games are known for, Final Fantasy XIII will feature a complex battle system and several character customization mechanics that will allow players to develop each of their characters in a very individual way.

Why It's Hot: I was originally concerned about Final Fantasy XIII, as the game seemed much more linear than I would have liked. After a recent preview event, however, I came to see just how much effort was put into polishing the game. Although players are only able to control one character at a time during battle, there seems to be more than enough to do in order to customize that battle to suit the player's tastes. This includes developing classes for each character, building up particular skills and modifying weapons and armor. If Final Fantasy XIII's story can live up to the hype, this could be one of the finest JRPGs we've seen during this generation of consoles.
- Ryan Clements








What it Is: We all remember the racing circuit part of the first Mafia, right? Such an incredible game with great writing, a powerful story and characters, stylish third-person gunplay, unmatched atmosphere and thematic cohesion, stunning visuals (at the time), and then you got to that damn racing circuit and it all came crumbling down. Then you got past it and it was like a clear sunrise after a hurricane. With the sequel, it's February in 1945 in Empire City, and you'll follow along with a decade in the life of mobster Vito. Like before, Mafia II will be an open world game mixed in with story-focused missions that mix third-person combat with driving sequences.

Why it's Hot: Open world third-person action games aren't as rare as they once were, which means Mafia II's got more competition to outclass if it really wants to stand out from the crowd. Anyone who played the original, like myself, is greatly looking forward to 2K Czech's game, as I'm hoping for the same mix of strong characterization, a well-presented story, and excellent attention to detail as it relates to the time period in which the game is set. The way the characters are clothed, the design and sound of the vehicles on the street, the soundtrack, and the overall feel of the world will hopefully contribute to making this an entertaining experience that's matched by a sense of authenticity most games don't even bother to try for. We'll see.
- Charles Onyett








What it Is: The Max Payne franchise, at least when you're talking about the games, is about two things: being incredibly angry and killing an insane amount of enemies with a preposterous amount of bullets. To do that, Max can dive and roll all around the dark, dilapidated environments in which he frequently find himself. Using his slow-motion 'bullet-time' ability, wiping out multiple foes with stylistic sweeps of high-velocity projectiles. All the while pieces of the environment are splintering and shattering amidst the chaos, and you're having a great time at the controls. Remedy isn't handling the third game in the franchise, but Rockstar Vancouver is hard at work on what we all hope is another action epic.

Why It's Hot: Max Payne has, for me, been one of the best examples of an action game done right. It was brimming with personality, embraced and toyed with its genre's clich├ęs, and served as an entirely unmistakable experience. No title since the first two games has managed to strike the same kind of balance of story, character, and unrelenting action entertainment. With the third game, Rockstar's changing things around a little, and to me that's great since I don't want to play something that's exactly the same. Max Payne is now older, presumably even more bitter, and the dark, rainy streets of the first few games has been scrapped entirely for the bright and sunny setting of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Will it be able to recapture the mood of the first games? Not much of the game has been shown so far, but I think Rockstar knows exactly how to deliver an experience like this.
- Charles Onyett








What it Is: EA reboots its Medal of Honor franchise with the first ever M-rated shooter in the series. Very little is known about the game thus far, outside of the fact that it's coming later in the year, and it's going to be a big change from the standard MOH design. The series is said to introduce a new central character, taking the role of a Tier 1 Operator. Taking on black ops missions, apparently centered around real-world terror threats including possible Taliban storylines, players will get an up-close look at real world battle through the eyes of actual soldiers.

Why It's Hot: The Medal of Honor series has always pushed realism at the forefront. While EA is obviously trying to capitalize on the success of the Modern Warfare boom, Medal of Honor has always been about a true-to-life experience that often centers around real soldiers and war stories. If this is the case once again, players will have the closest took into modern war ever experienced in a videogame, and that alone is pretty intense. Oh, and hopefully EA brings back the latest analog crouch system, as it blows every other first person cover controls out of the water.
- Mark Bozon







What it Is: Peter Molyneux, the creative director for Microsoft Games Studios Europe, described Milo and Kate as a "super tamagotchi." That's a simple way to describe a not-so-simple game. Milo was one of the stars of last year's E3 press conference as Molyneux showed how Project Natal will create new experiences on Xbox 360. Milo was shown talking with the player and reacting to motions, even going so far as to recognize the color of a player's shirt. If you've ever wanted a true digital friend, this might be as close as you're going to get.

Why It's Hot: Everything with Project Natal, Microsoft's controller-free 3D camera peripheral, is hot right now. We don't know a whole lot about Milo and Kate aside from what was shown at E3 last year, but we do know that it has the potential to be a game changer. This sort of game has been tried before, with relative success, in games like the Dreamcast's Seaman. The limiting factors have always been weak AI and technology. With Lionhead on board using Project Natal, this could truly be a breakout experience.
-Erik Brudvig









What it Is: A new action title from id Software, Rage is a post-apocalyptic first-person shooter that includes racing sequences, vehicular combat and RPG elements. Set after a giant asteroid crashes into Earth, players attempt to explore this devastated world, discover what happened to the rest of humanity, and survive the lawless threats that roam the land. In an open-ended but directed story, players will be able to pick their path through mutants, raiders and other hazards that want to destroy everything in front of them.

Why It's Hot: At first glance, the premise of Rage sounds like Fallout 3: a post-apocalyptic adventure where you emerge from underground bunkers to search for survivors. However, Rage includes Mad Max styled vehicular sequences, along with Running Man-influenced gameshow fights against hordes of mutants. Shootouts aren't typical either, as you can use turrets for fire support, or drive RC cars packed with explosives into enemies. With an adventure set in the American Southwest and cobbled together weaponry, Rage should stand out from other disaster action games.
- Jeff Haynes








What it Is: One of the things that's never been done very well before is the videogame Western. Rockstar is hoping to change all that with Red Dead Redemption, and action game set in an open world. Of course many associate Rockstar with its Grand Theft Auto franchise, and while many similar elements are at play in this world, it's looking like a unique kind of experience. You play as John Marston, a former outlaw whose past has caught back up to him. So he sets out on horseback to shoot and gamble and steal as he deals with death and carves his own path on both sides of the law and the Mexican-American border. With a giant world, plenty of towns and interesting NPCs to interact with, loads of content and some beautiful visuals, Red Dead Redemption could very well wind up being a bullseye.

Why It's Hot: When it comes to open worlds in video games, I like to play the bad guy. What'll be interesting to see is how the effects of saving a town versus slaughtering its residents will affect how the world reacts and treats your character afterward. Will I eventually be able to walk back through a town after I've eliminated its populace, or will I have to stay out in the barren plains, moving by night on horseback and hunting wild animals in the twilight while planning my next move? I can't wait to find out how this virtual world works.
- Charles Onyett








What it Is: In the fifth entry in the stealth-based series, Sam Fisher returns in a story that rewrites all previous ideas in the franchise. While investigating his daughter's death, Fisher discovers that his former agency, Third Echelon, has betrayed him. Abandoning their orders, he continues on his own mission, and discovers that he must defeat a terrorist plot that could kill millions of people. Players will use a new assortment of weapons and espionage skills to defeat their enemies in this dangerous new world.

Why It's Hot: Conviction introduces us to a grittier, darker Sam Fisher (think Jack Bauer from 24, just unshackled from his government handlers). Seeking to eliminate his enemies by any means necessary, Sam ditches the infrared goggles in favor of brutal interrogation methods and automatically targeting enemies. What's been shown so far is much faster paced than previous games in the series, and since Sam no longer cares about hiding bodies, you'll have a much deadlier special operative on your hands. Looks like the government messed with the wrong man.
- Jeff Haynes








What it Is: Very little is known about this sequel to 2008's "physics-demo-posing-as-a-game of the year". What is known for sure is that it will feature Starkiller, one or more lightsabers, probably a Rancor, and almost certainly several different iterations of the force. The rest is purely conjecture based on the teaser from December's VGAs which, funnily enough, featured Starkiller in an arena, fighting a massive tusked beast with two light sabers, next to a dead Rancor. Also he used Force Lightning.

Why It's Hot: The original was pretty underwhelming, but LucasArts has had almost a year and a half to learn from their mistakes, and to improve further on the bits they got right. I wish I could say more, but there is literally no information about this game. Therefore, I am going to make things up: Starkiller is really Luke's cousin. Starkiller kills a star at some point (possibly with two lightsabers). The Force Unleashed II is in fact just a remastered version of the original, but with more CG aliens in the background.
- Nick Kolan





What it Is: We expected that Street Fighter IV would make a big impact on the fighting game community when it launched last year, and we also expected that a sequel would be in the works soon afterwards. Lo and behold, Capcom revealed Super Street Fighter IV, an update to the immensely popular fighter. While the original Street Fighter IV rekindled the dying 2D fighting genre, Super Street Fighter IV looks to improve that formula with new characters, modes and more. Street Fighter veterans like Dee Jay and T. Hawk return to expand the already robust roster, making this game one of the most complete Street Fighter experiences to date.

Why It's Hot: Street Fighter IV was an awesome fighting game and a great reemergence of the Street Fighter legacy. Super Street Fighter IV will be just as good, if not better, thanks to the new characters and intriguing new modes. But perhaps the most exciting aspect of Super Street Fighter IV -- at least for the hardcore fans -- are the inevitable gameplay tweaks that come with each of Capcom's updates. This is great for the devoted tournament fighters that want the most balanced experience possible, and Super Street Fighter IV will be another step in the right direction. Besides, the car-bashing mini-game is back. How could you go wrong?
- Ryan Clements








What it Is: There has never been a grade-A Transformers game, despite the fact that the universe of the Autobots and Decepticons is ready-made for the videogame treatment. Hopefully, War for Cybertron does for Optimus Prime what Arkham Asylum did for Batman – finally provide the complicated hero with a videogame and storyline that befits the power of the mythology. Fan-favorite heroes and villains battle it out for control of the Transformers' home world in their own unique campaigns, set in the sunset years of the great Cybertron civil war. Developer High Moon describes it as a rollercoaster action game like Gears of War, so expect lots of firefights, big explosions, and even bigger bosses. Was that Omega Supreme we spied in the teaser?

Why It's Hot: Hardcore Transformers fans – the kind that openly wept at the death of Optimus Prime in the original animated flick – were devastated by the fast and loose revisionism of the movies. War for Cybertron could undo the damage. The return of Generation One designs is also welcome, although expect to see the robots transformer into otherworldly vehicles. (Remember – they have not yet been to Earth to scan our car and trucks yet.) High Moon Studios also promises a dark, gritty storyline that drills into the Transformers mythos, such as the complex, Greek tragedy-esque relationship between Megatron and Starscream. How cool is that?
- Levi Buchanan





MovieMiguel.com


Netflix Complains to FCC About Potential Net Neutrality Loophole





Ars Technica reports that Netflix representatives visited the FCC to complain about a potential loophole in the FCC that could enable a broadband provider to charge more for Internet video or even degrade Netflix streaming:

"The fact that network operators control the delivery pipes and generate significant revenue from content that travels over those pipes provides both the means and motive for discriminating against new ventures that might threaten revenue sources of the network operators," Netflix warns. The filing worriedly mentions Comcast and Time Warner Cable's TV Everywhere ventures, in which cable subscribers will have access to content over the web, and the proposed merger of Comcast and NBC Universal.
Netflix is concerned about how the FCC interprets the managed services category, which could enable the discrimination.
Thanks to Josh for sending this in.


MovieMiguel.com


Redbox Seeking Library Locations





Inside Redbox reports that Redbox is partnering with libraries to offer movie rentals, and Redbox will share 3% of rental income with the library.
Another library director, Leslie Burger from the Princeton, New Jersey district, says that Redbox can afford to stock many more copies of popular movies than the library can, freeing up funds to obtain TV series and obscure foreign films. Said Burger:  “It allows us to spend that money on things that Redbox doesn’t stock. . .  It has been a great decision [and it's] really been a win-win for everybody.”

I was at my local library last weekend and the DVD section was as busy as the local Blockbuster used to be (it's closed now), so this seems like a very smart move for the new-release driven kiosk company.
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MovieMiguel.com


1.29.2010

Mortal Kombat Rebooted




Rumors suggest the franchise fatality wasn't fatal.

January 25, 2010 - If we had a quarter for every quarter we'd dropped into a Mortal Kombat arcade machine back in the day, we'd probably have broken even to the tune of hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. Thankfully, however, we only had to pony up about seven bucks to see the wonderfully campy and technically awful big-screen movie adaptation that was released in 1995. And we still think that somebody owes us our money back for the sequel.

Our friends over at Bloody-Disgusting are reporting that Warner Bros. is currently in talks with writer Oren Uziel to pen a reboot of the Mortal Kombat theatrical experience. Industry enthusiasts might remember Uziel's name from the 2009 Black List – a compendium of the year's best unproduced scripts – on which he was credited for a screenplay called Shimmer Lake.

We join our colleagues in praying that Warner Bros. gives us a full-on, big-budget, hard-R bloodbath complete with gory and eviscerating fatalities. Stay tuned to IGN Movies for more as the project develops.


MovieMiguel.com


Microsoft to Re-Charge For Previously Owned "Game Room" Arcade Titles





Written Wednesday, January 27, 2010 by Dan Webb

When I wrote the piece on Xbox's upcoming Game Room at the turn of the month, one of the biggest questions in the comments was, "Do I have to re-buy all the arcade games for Game Room that I previously own for the Xbox Live Arcade?"
At the time of writing that was currently unknown, however, today we can report that Microsoft told Game Informer that they were planning on charging for those titles  you previously own.
"Why?" you say as you scream from the rooftops.
Simple (well to Microsoft it is), because the Xbox Live Arcade counterparts are "revamped" whereas the originals available on the Game Room will not be. So in other words, you're paying 240 Microsoft points (or 400 for access on both Windows and your 360) for the original, unchanged title.
Paying more for less then? *scratches head*
Seems a backwards way of doing it... and a cheap move as well (not cheap for you of course). I have a funny feeling that the service won't be as popular as they had once hoped.
Shame really.



MovieMiguel.com


New Modern Warfare 2 Patch Fixes XP Hack




Other explots and glitches will be removed.


January 29, 2010 - Looks like it may be safe to go back into the water.

Infinity Ward is issuing a new patch for Modern Warfare 2 soon that plans to fix a whole host of bugs and glitches.

The patch is currently only available for PlayStation 3 users in Europe. U.S. players will be able to download the update sometime later tonight.

Xbox 360 will have to wait a bit as the patch is currently working its way through certification at Microsoft.

Here's what the new patch will fix:


- Care Package, Emergency Airdrop, and Sentry Gun marker grenades sprint speed normalized.

- Fix for "infinite care package" exploit.

- Sentry Guns: Improved placement detection, preventing cases of Sentry Guns inside geometry.

- Model 1887: Bling using Akimbo and FMJ combination now has same range and damage as non-Bling Model 1887s.

- Improved player collision removing cases of getting into geometry and 'elevators'.

- Fixes to prevent various XP hacks.


MovieMiguel.com


Microsoft Sees Xbox 360 Sales Dip in Second Quarter





Company enjoys record revenue due to Windows 7.

January 28, 2010 - Microsoft announced the company saw record revenue of $19.02 billion for the second quarter ended Dec. 31 2009, a 14% increase from the same period of the prior year. Much of this result can be attributed to the launch of Windows 7, released on October 22, which sold 60 million licenses.

However, Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, which houses both Xbox 360 and Zune, saw a decrease in revenue to 2.9 billion, an 11 percent dip from the same period last year. Xbox 360 console units were down 13 percent to 5.2 million units sold for the quarter.

Microsoft continued to tout its high software attach rate, which is now at 8.8 games per console, and noted buyers have shifted away from Arcade units, and moved towards the Elite and Special Edition hardware bundles.

Xbox Live members are also on the rise, and currently sit at 23 million uses, though, the company did not mention how many were gold subscribers. That's a 35% increase year-over-year.

Microsoft announced during its CES conference earlier this month total Xbox 360 worldwide unit sales have reached 39 million consoles sold.

MovieMiguel.com


Dragon Age: Origins - Return to Ostagar Returns. Again





Written Friday, January 29, 2010 by Richard Walker

After unexpectedly turning up on the Xbox Live Marketplace, before being unceremoniously taken away again, the Dragon Age: Origins Return to Ostagar download is finally back on and available to purchase for 400MSP.
First you'll need to download an update patch, which BioWare has also released today.
So now you know, you can go and enjoy the add-on without fear of it disappearing without warning again. Go get!



MovieMiguel.com


AMD and Intel's six-core CPU plans revealed by mobo makers




You have to love DigiTimes and those loquacious sources it seems to keep finding. The latest word from the Taiwanese grapevine suggests that both Intel and AMD will be bringing out six-core CPUs to the consumer market by the middle of this year. We're using the term "consumer" rather loosely here as Intel's first Gulftown chip is expected to be priced north of $1,000. The Core i7-980X is slated for a March release, which just fits inside the Q1 window that earlier rumors had suggested. If you butter your bread on the AMD side, you'll have to wait a while longer as those 45nm Thuban chips -- herafter to be known as the Phenom II X6 1000T series -- won't be landing until at least May. The usual caution when dealing with anonymous sources is advisable, but this sounds like a roadmap with a high likelihood of being accurate.


MovieMiguel.com