covert.creations

xbox360

Game consoles are the new soft drink.

by on Feb.21, 2007, under consoles, nintendo, playstation, wii, xbox360

I made three images, summing up my thoughts on “now-gen”.


apple nintendo wii


Click below for a couple more…

(continue reading…)

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Microsoft Goes Indie!

by on Aug.15, 2006, under consoles, games programming, xbox360

xna.jpg

Gamasutra reports that Microsoft is getting into the independant game biz. As of August 30th, anyone with a Windows XP can download Microsoft’s XNA “Game Studio Express” and start making various games for the Xbox 360.

For an additional fee of US100$, indie developers will then be able to access the Xbox Live Arcade service, both to list their titles and to possibly download content for their game dev needs.

The engine itself will be a “XNA version” of GarageGames’ Torque engine, plus some upporting tools. This engine has been a popular choice among indie developers, although I’m somewhat ashamed to say I’ve never played anything from there.

Putting aside my typical cynicism of Microsoft, I have to admit this is cool. Yes, they have an agenda – to sell more Xboxes. Yes, they’d love to envelope indie development. Sure it’s to their advantage to reel in fresh programmers and designers to get them accustomed to using their products.

But there’s a plus side too :

  • it’s the first time anyone’s been able to create content for a major console without hacking into it.
  • Also by creating a “community of interest” surrounding indie gamedev, it elevates it, bringing it closer to the mainstream.
  • You have extensive Microsoft resources teaching you how to make games.

Not bad, for evil Microsoft.

I wonder what Greg thinks of this…

Links:

Microsoft XNA Dev Center
Coding4Fun

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Sound and fury…

by on Nov.16, 2005, under consoles, games industry, xbox360

360.jpg

The XBox360 launch lineup was announced recently, and I must say how fascinating it is to watch such big business in motion. Aside from an online hype machine unequalled since… um, never….it is surprisingly very hard to get excited. No really, have you seen the lineup for launch?

Amped 3 (2K Sports)
Call of Duty 2 (Activision)
Condemned: Criminal Origins (SEGA)
FIFA Soccer 06 Road to 2006 FIFA World Cup (Electronic Arts)
GUN (Activision)
Kameo: Elements of Power (Microsoft Game Studios)
Madden NFL 06 (Electronic Arts)
NBA 2K6 (2K Sports)
NBA LIVE 06 (Electronic Arts)
Need for Speed Most Wanted (Electronic Arts)
NHL 2K6 (2K Sports)
Perfect Dark Zero (Microsoft Game Studios)
Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (Ubisoft)
Project Gotham Racing 3 (Microsoft Game Studios)
Quake 4 (Activision)
Ridge Racer 6 (Namco)
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 06 (Electronic Arts)
Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland (Activision)

I hate to sound cynical or close-minded (no really, I do!), but shooters on consoles are laughable. Maybe X360 will change that (but somehow I doubt it). So we have three shooters for the 360 lineup. And the rest are EA sports (I think EA bought all the teams) and one “RPG-lite” (Kameo).

This is as big a play as it gets in consumerland. An estimated billion dollars in development and marketing. Microsoft wants you to use this for everything in home entertainment central, literally betting that perhaps one day they’ll be able to get you to rent MSOffice on the “Office XBox”. But I digress! So this is big business. And what do we get?

A bunch of EA Sports games.

Anyone out there yawning? where in hell is the Nextgen? We’ve seen all of this. Its interesting to think that in a somewhat lacklustre opening salvo, could Microsoft be hurting its own future? If its content that matters, and they are spending all of this money for a launch, then one would think they’d have titles galore. So what else? Is it chockfull of goodies that any mediaphile would love? Sure, yeah. But again – we’ve seen it allllll before.

Big business, indeed. Wake me up when we hit Nextgen, k?

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