Natal to substitute TV remotes?

Could this be happening soon?

Marc Whitten talked about the future possibilities of Natal technology referring to a symbiosis between different media saying:

“I don’t believe we are currently in the golden age of the television or the golden age of the game console or the golden age of the internet; frankly, five years from now I don’t know that you’ll be able to tell the difference between those worlds.”

This would most certainly be very far off although the idea isn’t all that farfetched. Almost all futuristic movies and games make a kind of visual computer reference where all is controlled via movement and, seeing what Natal can do, maybe he is right.


Call of Duty franchise sells 55 million units

Thats a whole lot of games! congratulations to Infinity Ward and Treyarch. 3 billion dollars worldwide.

Price wars

What is wrong with the euro zone?

Even better… What is wrong with the videogame prices in the euro zone?

For as long as the Euro has been going on, videogame users in the Euro zone have had to pay considerably more than those in the UK or in the US. Is there any explanation for this? The Explanation is based on the exchange rates that existed when the Euro was first born practically 10 years ago.

For example: if you have intention of buying Assassin’s Creed 2 in Spain, the cost ascends to 69.95 Euros; for the same game in the U.S. 64.95 U.S. dollars (43.50 Euros); in the UK you find it for 49.99 pounds (55 Euros aprox.).

We are talking of differences that range from 15 to 25 Euros. And that is because we are talking of recommended prices because if we go searching for offers the difference gets far greater. Discounts for games in the Euro zone reduce to 5 to 10 (if lucky) Euros maximum and some games remain with the release date price for over 2 or 3 years; in the UK there are many offers depending on the company and the game’s success but they generally lower down 6 months after release date; the same can be applied for the US.

Bionic Commando for example will cost in Spain currently (checking offers) around 55 or 60 Euros. In for example this game is found under 10 UK pounds.

Many users in the Euro zone which are aware of this situation ask themselves why this big difference and, logically, search in the UK and US markets rather than their own. With the existing salaries 70 Euros a game means one game  a month and, as a gamer, a game that lasts me within 5 to 20 hours (being very lucky) is highly disappointing and, above all, why buy one if you can probably find 2 for the same price?

On top of all this the industry wants to destroy the second hand market cause “it affects game sales”. Even more, microsoft has the guts to come with the games on demand service charging me over 20 Euros more in the case of Perfect Dark Zero for a digital copy!Are we going crazy?

I believe that the industry would highly profit from lower prices. It would increase the number of sales of videogames, decrease the effect of the second hand market, decrease piracy losses and keep the gamers happy. The best of examples is probably FX interactive in Spain which distributes PC games and release a game for 19.99 Euros the first day. Guess what… FX games in Spain without marketing or hype of any sort always are between the 10 most sold games of the moment. Piracy is big, but ask anyone and most will always prefer to pay for an original if the price is fair.

Last week in there was a post which talked of prices going down for next year. I just hope they remember to count us all in!

Pandemic studios closed

Pandemic studios main staff have been set for a new studio named EALA as the former studio has been definitely closed. EA’s results this year haven’t met expectations and among many difficult decisions they closed the studio responsible of Battlefront and Mercenaries among many.

Although delivering great games such as the before mentioned Star Wars: Battlefront series the quality of the games of late had dropped. Mercenaries 2 was a succesful game from a sales point of view though it carried many bugging problems of all sort; with The Lord of the Rings: Conquest they made the worst adaptation of the films since EA bought the licence.

Doubt has been created over this about Pandemic’s last game due for december The Saboteur but it seems that this black and white second world war sandbox will see itself in the market as expected.

EALA will commence to work on a sequel to “Mercenaries 2” titled for now “Mercs Inc.” as soon as “The Saboteur” is out. Senior VP Nick Earl said:

“We are very excited to announce a new instalment in the popular Mercenaries series because it demonstrates our continued commitment to Pandemic’s rich catalogue of intellectual properties,”