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    March 17, 2015
    Nintendo Is Heading To Mobile Games

    Nintendo is one of the world’s leading handheld gaming companies, and they have been for most of my life.  The GameBoy revolutionized things, and even as other competition has arrived, Nintendo has kept up great work in the mobile gaming world without bending to the times.  Now, they’re looking for some outside help when it comes to turning your smartphone into a Nintenphone.  Nintendo and DeNA Mobile are combining forces to design some specialized smartphone games.

    “Nintendo has decided to utilize smart devices aggressively,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. “Now that smart devices have grown to become the window for so many people to personally connect with society, it would be a waste not to use these devices.  We are challenging ourselves to redefine what ‘Nintendo platforms’ mean.”

    The best thing about this news?  It won’t be simple ports of classic Nintendo titles; it’s going to be all new mobile games designed by DeNA and Nintendo to work on today’s phones.  No clunky controller schemes or awkward buttons; smartphone games designed specifically for smartphones.  Pretty amazing, and one of the most exciting things about the whole announcement.  If anyone can make touch work, it’s Nintendo.

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    March 4, 2015
    Microsoft Adds Cross-Buying For Xbox One And Windows 10

    If you buy a video game, you want to play it as much as possible, right?  Of course.  No other way to beat said game than to play it, and unfortunately you have to choose a way to do it.  Xbox One or your actual computer?  One’s a whole lot easier, the other can be a much better gaming experience.  Ease, or quality?  Well, thanks to a new program from Microsoft, you no longer have to choose.  Microsoft has announced the Windows Universal App Platform, which means if you buy a game for your Xbox One, you’ll get it on Windows 10.

    Of course, it won’t be universal.  The choice to participate in the cross-buy program will be left to the developers, not Windows.  So if your favorite game chooses not to participate in the program, then you should complain to them, not Windows.  But there’s other good news.  You can now use Xbox One controller with Windows games, as well as play cross-platform with users on PCs able to play against folks on Xbox Live.  So yeah, that’ll be fun.

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    February 4, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Channel F

    Via Fast Company

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    February 2, 2015
    Sony Sells Online Gaming Arm

    One of the most venerable names in online gaming is Sony.  Oddly enough, Sony’s the company behind one of the most enduring online games ever:  Everquest.  It’s been an enduring cash cow for Sony, but eventually all cows go dry.  Or, in this case, all cows get sold.  Sony has sold Sony Online Entertainment.  Now, Sony’s online games are no longer Sony’s; the new owner of SOE is an investment firm called Columbus Nova, who has renamed the game studio Daybreak Game Company.  Apparently, the only changes the company plans to make are positive ones.

    “This name embodies who we are as an organization, and is a nod to the passion and dedication of our employees and players.  It is also representative of our vision to approach each new day as an opportunity to move gaming forward,” reads a post.  ”It will be business as usual and all SOE games will continue on their current path of development and operation.  In fact, we expect to have even more resources available to us as a result of this acquisition.”

    So,  not only will Sony’s properties continue to function without change, the company plans on expanding its reach.  That’s right, the former SOE is now going to also be developing games for Microsoft’s XBox One console!

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    January 28, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Retro Return

    Via BBC

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    October 10, 2014
    Tracking Trends: Words With Friends

    It’s been five amazing years for Words With Friends, Zynga’s flagship word game and one of the best approximations of Scrabble you can get your hands on these days.  I’m a big fan of the game (and feel free to start a game with me) and while I’m not the best WWF player, I’m very enthusiastic and have anywhere from 5 to 10 games going at any one time.  I must not be alone, because Zynga has released a lot of fun facts about just how much people love their word game.

    There have been 58 billion words played in the game, with players running up 1.2 trillion points.  In the 7.7 million games played, 217 billion letters have been used.  Amazingly, there are 5,478 words that have only been used once (though I’m sure that’s going to chance now that people know the words are out there).  The most popular words are qi, it, he, re, and jo.

    Now, if  you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go.  I’ve got several games waiting on me, and I’m itching to try out my new letters.

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    April 16, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: The Eternal NES

    Image via 1nflatable-hammers.

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    March 27, 2014
    My Dream Tablet Game

    I’m enjoying my Kindle Fire even now, and aside from reading and watching videos on it, the thing I use it for most is gaming.  I played a bunch of The Simpsons: Tapped Out until the file ate my game and destroyed my little yellow community of friends.  I play some Injustice: Gods Among Us, the DC fighting game featuring all your favorite Batman villains.  I’ve even played some Sonic The Hedgehog courtesy of a free app I got off the Amazon store.  That’s all well and good, but I have a dream game that I would love to play on my tablet:  Diablo II

    I miss having a computer on which to play Diablo II, and I worry that it wouldn’t play nicely with my laptop considering it’s not meant to run on Windows 7.  I have enough trouble with Fallout III, to the point where I don’t even bother to really play it anymore because it is so non-cooperative even in compatibility mode.  However, I’m pretty sure you could get Diablo or some other roguelike onto a tablet with no problem aside from finger cramps from obsessive tapping.

    What say you?  What classic video game of your youth would you love to have on your tablet or smartphone for those boring moments when you’re stuck waiting in line and the idea of starting yet another game of Words With Friends is enough to make you want to break down sobbing?

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    March 19, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: The New Xbox 3600

    Image via Destructoid

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    March 11, 2014
    Titanfall Needs 48GB Of PC Drive Space

    I’m not the biggest PC gamer, but I’m used to games needing 2 or 3 GB of space to install and execute themselves properly.  I mean, that’s not a huge deal anymore, considering the smallest hard drives out there are still a good 60 to 90 GB.  However, there’s a limit to just how much people are willing to devote to a game, and when it comes to the new fighting robot game Titanfall, the limit might have been reached.  As it turns out, Titanfall needs a staggering 48GB of hard drive space depending on your settings.  However, it’s not the graphics or the size of the game itself that’s causing the problems:  it’s the tunes, man.

    “When you download the game or the disc itself, it’s a lot smaller than that.  So… it’s almost all audio… On a higher PC it wouldn’t be an issue.  On a medium or moderate PC, it wouldn’t be an issue, it’s that on a two-core [machine] with where our min spec is, we couldn’t dedicate those resources to audio,” said Respawn head engineer Richard Baker.

    As it turns out, to get the game to play best on low-spec systems, it needs to install a lot of uncompressed music files, and those files add up in a hurry.  Of course, why they needed uncompressed audio files when more compressed or a lossless file format might work out a little better is curious, but I’m not a game designer and I’m sure there’s a very logical reason for needing a huge chunk of hard drive space for sounds.

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