Remember Milo and Kate, the infamous tech demo from the original Kinect announcement? You can be sure that everyone who worked at Lionhead under Peter Molyneux does. Over at Polygon, Matt Leone has a fascinating in-depth article about the long development history and DNA of the project. It turns out that Milo has roots in a failed project called Dmitri that began all the way back in 2001. Milo is still a sore subject at Lionhead, so a lot of the quotes are off the record, but the article is definitely still worth a read if you’re interested in some of the behind-the-scenes goings on at a game developer.
Molyneux definitely has a long, strange history in game development; in the early years, before Lionhead and Microsoft, it seemed like he could do no wrong. I never played Black and White or any of his early games like Populous, but I remember people raving about them at the time. At Lionhead, Molyneux became known for games like Fable, which over-promised and under-delivered but still sold well enough to produce sequels. That tendency towards over-promising weird, ambitious gameplay mechanics eventually became the inspiration for parody. However, I do think there is something admirable in Molyneux’s desire to find new ways to approach games; I just get the impression that never meshed very well with the business concerns of a large corporation like Microsoft or with the realities of the modern-day console development cycle.
Have any of you ever played Molyneux’s early work? Are you looking forward to whatever crazy idea he comes up with next? Let us know in the comments!
It’s the first week of December, so we’re bringing a brand new edition of the GamerSushi Show, back in our shorter and more frequent format. If we can keep rolling with this, you should see one of these bad boys each and every week.
In this edition, we cover a whole slew of topics, including a brief look back at 2010, and a look forward at the titles we’re going to be playing in an effort to close the year out strong. We also tackle the release of Epic Mickey, one of the Wii’s new flagship titles, and discuss the game’s virtues and a couple of its shortcomings, including third person video game cameras and why it seems so hard for developers to get it right. After that we tackle a new game from Nick (which Anthony dominates) and then take a look at Game Informer’s list of 30 Characters that Defined a Decade.
So, as you can see, just because things are shorter does not mean we don’t have anything to talk about. Once again, please go rate this cast on iTunes and subscribe with the handy links to the right. Enjoy! Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 12: Characters and Cameras
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Well fellow gamers, it’s now officially December, so that means that all around the land, people are jumping into holiday mode. It’s kind of funny actually, that once November passes everyone runs around like crazy all the way until Christmas-ish time, and then everything gets calm again. At least that’s the way it is around here.
As we’ve been discussing, winter and holiday season naturally means one thing for all of us and our interests: games, and lots of them. Over the years, I know that all of us have received a bountiful harvest of great gaming goodness, and we’ve played games until we couldn’t stand them any longer. Traditionally for me, December is the time that I play more games than any other.
I’m setting all of this up to give you some sweet gaming questions, naturally. As always with our getting-to-know-you type games, feel free to answer with as much or as little as you like. Answer to the best of your ability. Go! Continue reading Gaming Pop Quiz: Winter Edition
We all knew that Microsoft had deep pockets, but I would have never pegged them as the kind to go hog wild with their limitless font of cash. Apparently I was wrong in that assumption, because the software giant has pledged half a billion dollars to promote Kinect, the controller-free peripheral launching November 4 for the Xbox 360.
According to the New York Post, Microsoft began planning the multifaceted launch of Kinect almost 18 months ago with the help of Stephen Spielberg. With such a large amount of money dedicated to getting Kinect on everyone’s minds, we can expect to see the little black sensor pop everywhere from soda cans and magazines to the TV shows Glee and Dancing with the Stars. All this is going towards getting Kinect in the minds of parents for the upcoming holiday season, where it will be squaring off against the Wii and Sony’s newly launched Move controller.
If you thought the ad campaigns for Halo 3 or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 got annoying leading up to launch, just wait until you can’t round a corner without seeing Kinect. To be fair, we’re not really the target audience for the sensor, but I’m sure there will be some “core” gamers out there picking it up.
I think this makes it more than clear that Microsoft is in love with the technology behind Kinect, and they’re really throwing the whole Xbox division behind it. Now, I don’t consider technically consider myself a Microsoft fanboy, but I’m kind of worried what the possible failure of Kinect will do to the console. While I think that Microsoft can take the hit overall, we may see the end of the Xbox if this doesn’t work. Half a billion is a lot of money, even if it is just a drop in the bucket for Microsoft.
This kind of news is just begging for your comments, so let us know what you think! Can half a billion guarantee a good showing for Kinect this holiday? Will a possible failure spell doom for future versions of the Xbox?
Source: New York Post
It’s funny how things can change in just a few years. Microsoft, once the PC gaming giant, has now taken a back seat in that race, preferring instead to dump its collective resources into the console game. While it is making a good amount of head-way there, the giant company is rightly getting a bit of flack for “abandoning” the PC. Microsoft recognizes that it needs to give a bit more attention to the platform that launched its gaming business, and there are a few initiatives underway to make that happen.
Microsoft Game Studios’ General Manager Dave Luehmann recently had a little chat with MCV where he outlined the plan for the PC resurgence. He spoke pretty candidly on Microsoft’s stance in the industry, while at the same time being less than humble about the company’s position as a former forerunner:
“There’s been a fair bit of criticism aimed at Microsoft that we were spending a lot of our focus on console, and we need to be putting resources behind PC as well. Other companies should look to Microsoft for leadership, but I’m not sure they do. It is our job to lead the way on PC. And in some ways we are doing that and in other ways we are not. So we need to step up. We are putting some real investment and big IPs behind the Windows platform. We’ve spoken of the first three, Fable III, Age of Empires Online and Microsoft Flight. However we are not going to stop there.”
One thing is for sure, Mr. Luehmann knows how to talk a big talk. While X-Box LIVE has done some revolutionary things in regards to party connectivity and nickle-and-diming the customer, Games for Windows LIVE continues to languish as XBL’s neglected cousin. For those of us who play our games on the PC, GFWL is sort of a black-sheep compared to other, more user friendly services such as Steam or Impulse. While it’s nice that Microsoft recognizes the importance of PC gaming, it still remains to be seen as to whether or not they’ll actually do as they promise. What do you guys think of MS’s stance? Should they reassert themselves in the PC gaming scene, or is this just an empty boast? With the X-Box doing fairly well and Kinect on the way, should we even expect for Microsoft to bother with their former territory? Let us know!
One of the most legendary games of all time was Steel Battalion for the Xbox, mainly due to it’s incredibly complex controller, pictured here. 40 buttons and 2 control sticks were needed to play this game and few did, though likely because of the $200.00 price tag. Well, as we have seen, one of the main themes of this new generation of consoles has been streamlining and Capcom just set the bar as the newly announced Steel Battalion will have no buttons.
That’s right, as revealed at the Tokyo Game Show and reported by 1UP.com’s Frank Cifaldi, the sequel to the giant mech game will be a Kinect exclusive. How such a thing is even possible is beyond me, but color me intrigued. Other than Child of Eden, this is the first “hardcore” game revealed for Kinect, so perhaps they aren’t leaving their core demographic behind with their shiny new peripheral.
Did anyone out there play Steel Battalion? Would you be interested in buying a Kinect for this? Or will it just be another rail-shooter? Your keyboard has more than 40 buttons…use them now!
We are about a month away from the launch of Sony’s Playstation Move and in November, Microsoft will release Kinect. The two devices, rather than being similar, are actually quite different and seem to cater to two different mindsets of gamers out there.
Personally, I’m not looking seriously at buying either one of them, but if I had to choose, I think Move has that hardcore edge I would be looking for. Plus, I like buttons and I’m lazy.That being said, I think Kinect will outsell Move by a wide margin. The money of Microsoft and the allure of something so high tech will trap the casual game market more so than the precision that Move seems to offer.
So my question is…
Microsoft’s full-body motion controller Kinect, formally known as Natal, may enable mute players to have better options for communicating with their friends over X-Box LIVE. While the interface previously allowed users to utilize the chat pad to talk to their party over LIVE, this is a fairly clumsy and inconvenient way of chatting. This is set to change with Kinect, which apparently recognizes American Sign Language and can relay the signing to the party.
While this is a fairly unprecedented use for Kinect, it is rather ingenious on Microsoft’s part to include this function. While we all take the ability to talk for granted, there are segments of the gaming population that aren’t so lucky. This could open LIVE to a whole new branch of gamers, so I for one applaud Microsoft for thinking of handicapped gamers in this instance.
Update: Well, I’m the first to admit that I’m not perfect, and it seems that I’ve got some backtracking to do on this one. In VG247’s original article, it mentioned that a patent that indicated Kinect’s ability to understand and relay American Sign Language. However wonderful a dream this may have been, it’s not the case in real life. Kinect will not recognize ASL at launch, and will probably never have the ability to do so. In order to reach the $150 retail price, Microsoft had to cut some features from Kinect to “dumb it down”, and ASL capability was on the chopping block. It’s a shame, because this would have been a really cool addition to the motion camera. Mea culpa. Read the whole story here: Kotaku
Source: VG247.com and Kotaku
Everyone is crapping all over Microsoft’s E3 press conference and though we mentioned some of this in our podcast, I thought it would help if we devoted a post to some of the concerns that gamers have about Microsoft’s foray into motion-controls.
Personally, I am amazed by the technology and the potential of Kinect. The voice recognition is very impressive and I think it can be utilized in better ways than simply telling your Xbox to pause a movie. Imagine navigation the Dashboard with it: “Xbox Marketplace” and bam! You’re browsing games or looking at your friends list. You can walk around the room and command your Xbox to start playing a disk without using a controller. I think that would be more useful than the admittedly cooler looking Minority Report-style interface. Sure that looks bad-ass, but using a controller is just faster and I am all about streamlining things. I’m not going to wave my arms around just because I want to look like something I saw in a movie. If I wanted to look like Tony Stark, I would shave my goatee like his and build and Iron Man Suit.
Continue reading Dis-Kinect
Well, E3 2010 has come and gone, and boy is there a lot to talk about. And talk we did. In this special E3 edition of the GamerSushi podcast, we tackle all three of the big console press conferences, the surprises (or lack thereof), motion control and even the ghosts of E3 past. This is probably our most fluid and lengthy podcast yet, and we easily could have gone on for another hour about all this stuff.
Hopefully you don’t hate it.
As you’ll hear me say in the beginning of the podcast, E3 is one of my most anticipated times of the year, so it’s hard for me to contain my enthusiasm for much of this session. Anyway, we hope you guys like it, and feel free to share your thoughts on our E3 themed discussions. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 4: E3 Phone Home
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As you’ll hear in our podcast that releases tonight/tomorrow, we have some pretty harsh words for the XBox Kinect. I was never too amped about the thing to begin with, but Monday’s press conference raised some concerns about the technology and the kinds of games that are going to be associated with it.
While I’ve been telling myself that I don’t want to judge it too harshly before it’s even available for regular mortals like you and I to try out for ourselves, it’s hard to watch things like Kinectimals and remain optimistic about the whole thing. People that have tried it out at E3 so far seem to be mostly positive, however, IGN posted a well thought article titled 5 Concerns about Kinect, which totally hit on some things that I had been thinking about since the press conference bomb.
As I said, they raise some good points, and the most disconcerting one is the assertion that some Kinect developers are saying that you can’t play Kinect while sitting on a couch. This has always been one of the big barriers for me and motion control. I’m not a lazy guy by any means, but when I sit down to play games, I like having a controller and hanging out on my couch. It seems that Kinect has problems recognizing a skeletal frame when it is sitting down. In fact, the IGN article actually said this earlier, but was later edited. According to VG247, a Microsoft rep says that this experience differs depending on the game. Once again, it’s far too early to tell this, but it’s definitely food for thought as the launch window rapidly approaches.
So what do you guys think? Fair or foul if you can only play Kinect while standing?
Update: IGN released a kind of retraction later, though the quote here is slightly different from the one given to VG247. Regardless, Kinect still didn’t work well with folks sitting down at E3, and signs point to this perhaps being a future issue with certain games, so this topic stands.
The Microsoft E3 2010 press extravaganza has come and gone. Naturally, we’ve got lots of great news, videos and demos to talk about.
Here are the highlights, after the jump!
Continue reading Microsoft E3 2010 Press Conference Highlights