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    April 3, 2015
    Bringing The Game Boy Into The Touch Screen World

    It started out as something between an April Fool’s joke and a product interest test, but like a lot of April Fool’s jokes these days, it soon became a real thing.  Or, at least, the company behind it is trying to make it a thing.  Hyperkin, a gaming peripherals company, floated out the above product design for an iPhone-friendly device to bring new life to old Nintendo Game Boy games.  Turns out, everyone loved the idea, and now Hyperkin is going to bring the Smart Boy iPhone case to life, or at least try to.

    Now, I’m sure Nintendo can shut this down at any time, since it requires using actual Game Boy carts to power the gaming portion of the device, but I kind of hope they don’t.  I have a bunch of old first-generation Game Boy games, and I’d love to play them again now that my original Game Boy has kind of given up the ghost.  I know there are a lot of ways to play old games, both legal, illegal, and quasi-legal, but I would really love to see something revive the old video game market, and to turn a touchscreen phone into a legitimate, button-mashing game rather than something with mediocre touchscreen buttons.

    Still, as cool of an idea as it is, I get the feeling that Apple and Nintendo won’t be so keen on letting this happen.  Apple is notoriously tight with their approvals, and Nintendo is launching a line of touchscreen phone games in the near future, so they might not want to compete with themselves.  Then again, maybe all three parties can come together and really make us all happy.

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    March 18, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: The Legend

    Via Reddit.

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    March 6, 2015
    Rock Band Is Coming Back!

    Everything old is new again.  Sometimes, you can successfully bring something into modern times simply by just… making a new version of it.  See also Rock Band, the music-play-along rhythm game that took the world by storm back in 2007.  It was more than just guitars, but drums and microphones and keyboards and all sorts of other peripherals.  Eventually, it was too much, and the market collapsed, but some 2000 songs were produced for Rock Band, and that heavy back catalog will be showing up again.  Rock Band is coming back with Rock Band 4 for PS4 and Xbox One.

    “We are very excited to bring the band back together … to deliver the next installment of the legendary Rock Band franchise to a new generation of consoles,” said a statement from Mad Catz CEO Darren Richardson.  ”Harmonix understands music gaming better than anyone else, and we are confident that the unrivaled music selection and next-generation features will prove incredibly enticing to passionate gamers and music fans alike.”

    Harmonix will be working on the game, and Mad Catz will be rolling out the peripherals.  According to Harmonix, you’ll even get to keep the songs you already own and use them with your updated version of Rock Band.  Unfortunately, it looks like you’ll have to get new instruments, but if you used them as much as I have used mine over the years, you’ll probably need new drums and a new guitar.  I have to say, I missed these games, and I’ll be glad to see them come back.

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    September 12, 2014
    Fun Friday: Maisie Williams And The NES

    The Fine Brothers are Internet famous for their great series of “React To” videos.  Basically, they get a group of people, be they elders, teens, kids, or YouTube celebrities, and get them to respond to various things.  Of the most interest, at least to me, are when kids and teens react to things that are familiar to me.  In this case, the very video game system I grew up on, the Nintendo Entertainment System.  In this case, there’s a special guest with the usual teenagers, Game of Thrones sensation Maisie Williams, AKA Arya Stark!  Check it out below.

    YouTube Preview Image

    Like the kids in the video, I will go to my grave believing that blowing air into the cart of a Nintendo game would make it work.  I actually still have dozens of Nintendo games, I just wish I had a working game system.  The original kind, too, not the top-loader that was much less likely to break.  Give me the big square box or nothing!

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    August 13, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Groot Is Cute

    Via Imgur.

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    August 7, 2014
    Mario Kart Upgrades To Mercedes-Benzes

    These days, video games are all about the downloadable content.  Games typically ship in a pretty finished format, just perhaps not finished enough for some customers.  So to encourage gamers to download extra content, you can’t just… say, slap a new costume on a character, you need to do something big.  Perhaps teaming with a major car manufacturer to enhance your gokart-driving game?  Mercedes is teaming with Nintendo to bring Benzes to Mario Kart.

    The cars come in three different flavors, from modern to antique, spanning Mercedes’ long history of awesome-looking rides.  There’s the modern GLA, the 50′s era 300 Sl Roadster, and the awesome 1930′s Silver Arrow.  The extra karts come free of charge starting August 27th to users of the eStore.  There are other new features coming to celebrate the game’s 22nd anniversary and, as a fun addition, the original version of the game is available on the  WiiU as a digital download.

    That’s the kind of fun stuff digital downloads should be used for; not fixing broken games, just adding to existing, awesome games.  And this, gang, is awesome.

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    May 13, 2014
    Microsoft To Dis-Kinect

    One of the biggest problems with the Xbox One is the sheer price of the machine.  Yes, it’s got a lot of features packed into it, but that skill set has a lot to do with the price of the device, raised by the increased cost of the built-in Microsoft Kinect.  It’s got a lot of cool features, but not everyone is interested in making use of the Kinect to play games or dance or power the Xbox with gestures and words.  Some folks just want to play video games, and Microsoft is going to make that happen.  Microsoft is readying a version of the Xbox One without Kinect.

    “Your feedback matters to us and it shapes the products and services we build,” said Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

    The price will also drop on the Xbox, lowering the price to $399.  The premier system with the Kinect will still retail for $499.  For some folks, that $100 difference will make the decision between the PS4 and Xbox One that much easier.  And if you want to add the Kinect at a later date, I’m sure you still can.

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    April 26, 2014
    Legendary “ET” Game Dump Discovered

    For the last 30 years, there’s been an apocryphal story floating around the video game community concerning a game so bad it nearly killed the nascent home video game industry.  Back in 1982, Atari was the only game in town, quite literally, and if you wanted to play video games, you got yourself an Atari, hooked it up to your television, and plugged in a cartridge like Asteroids, Galaga, or Missile Command.  You’d think combining the biggest video game system around with the biggest movie that year, Stephen Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, would be a great idea, right?  Wrong.  Not only was E.T. the worst video game of all time, it was also a financial disaster and nearly ruined Atari.

    In response, Atari is rumored to have buried millions of video game cartridges in the desert town of Alamagordo, New Mexico, in a landfill there.  The scope and location of the dig have never been truly known until now.  Searchers have uncovered a treasure trove of abandoned Atari games in a landfill, confirming a 30-year-old rumor as truth.  Both the search and the dig were recorded as part of an upcoming documentary to debut on Xbox Live, so soon you’ll be able to watch the story for yourself.

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    November 22, 2013
    Xbox One Sells A Million Units In 24 Hours

    It took a day, but the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are now officially neck and neck in sales, at least here in North America.  In its first 24 hours on sale, the Xbox One sold a million units, matching the PS4 debut that seemed like only yesterday.  Indeed, both units sold their allotment on opening day, and now the race to saturate the market begins in earnest.

    “We are humbled and grateful for the excitement of Xbox fans around the world.  Seeing thousands of excited fans lined up to get their Xbox One and their love for gaming was truly a special moment for everyone on the Xbox team.  We are working hard to create more Xbox One consoles and look forward to fulfilling holiday gift wishes this season,” said Yusef Mehdi, Xbox’s Vice President of Marketing and Strategy.

    Selling fast out of the gate is awesome, and it looks great to see that huge sales number in print, especially on the first time out of the gate.  However, it remains to be seen if the Xbox One and PS4 can continue selling at such a torrid pace.  There’s still no clear winner in the console war yet, and there may not be a winner for the next ten years, depending on the life of this generation of consoles.  Still, it’s better to start fast and fade away than to not start at all.

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    November 20, 2013
    Wordless Wednesday: Essential Facts For Next-Gen Gamers

    Image:  KestrelPi

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