What ever happened to 360 faceplates?

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

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As stock in new Joystiq offshoot PlateTweetz (360 faceplates that can update your Twitter feed, of course) has continued to decline, we look to someone, anyone for answers. Turns out OXM has our backs, asking Microsoft global marketing director Albert Penello about that very topic.

"The idea wasn’t bad … people used to put faceplates on their cell phones. Rewind five years, faceplates were what everybody wanted to do," he said. "Turned out nobody bought it. So [we stopped] making them. We killed that one pretty quickly."

Well, thanks for telling us now, Albert. We suppose you’ll be explaining this to our stockholders?

Source: Joystiq

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Rumor: Mass Effect 3 to be revealed at the VGAs, will include multiplayer

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

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Joystiq has learned from a trusted source that BioWare’s enigmatic teaser from last month represents the first glimpse of Mass Effect 3. As many have guessed, the third installment looks to feature something brand new to the series: multiplayer. We’re currently unable to confirm that the multiplayer component will be part of the game’s unveiling at the upcoming Spike Video Game Awards.

The Spike VGAs will air this Saturday night, preceded by a good deal of internet speculation brought on by the above teaser image. As spotted by one of our commenters, Arth Vader, the gun above looks exactly like the M-29 Incisor Sniper Rifle from Mass Effect 2. BioWare has also blasted out curious QR codes via its Twitter feed, all of which indirectly reference things from the Mass Effect universe, including the Vostok system and the surface temperature of the planet Aequitas.

So, who’s ready for more Mass Effect? Do we even need to ask?

 

Source: Joystiq

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Crystal Dynamics on recreating Lara Croft

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

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Game Informer continues its coverage of the recently announced Tomb Raider reboot, this time offering up a discussion with Crystal Dynamics on the creation of the new Lara Croft. Global brand director Karl Stewart noted that the new Tomb Raider began as a continuation of Lara’s most recent adventure, Underworld. Eventually, however, the team chose to create an origin story in order to "reposition" Lara and make her relevant once again.

Art Director Brian Horton added that it’s important for today’s audience to "believe in their characters" and that Crystal Dynamics hopes that gamers "care for Lara at the end of the day." Expanding on this idea, the team approached the new design based on who Lara is as a person. "We wanted her be a blend of someone that has a level of vulnerability and inner strength," said Horton, adding that the focus of the redesign was to "understand who she was inside."

Furthermore, as Tomb Raider is an origin story, Lara will grow as a character as the tale is told, and players will be able to see actual changes. Stewart notes, for example, that Lara may be taken aback by enemies during her first encounters. However, as the game progresses, her performance and animations will change to reflect her growing stronger as a character. Read the full article for more on how Crystal Dynamics went about creating a new Lara, both inside and out.

 

Source: Joystiq

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November NPD: Best month ever for retail, Xbox

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

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November is traditionally a big, big month for games, thanks to the impending holidays and the temporary financial insanity bestowed upon Americans by the Black Friday Effect. This November may have been the biggest. The NPD reports that last month was the "best November on record in terms of new physical retail sales," ahead of November 2008 by around $30 million. Call of Duty: Black Ops had the biggest first month of any game ever, with 8.4 million copies.

And Microsoft (producer of the best-selling non-DS console) tells us that with 1.37 million consoles sold, November 2010 was not only the biggest November ever for Xbox, it was the biggest month ever. Thanks, Kinect! Thanks, new hardware! Handhelds were actually down vs. previous years, though the DS was still the top-selling console, with the Mario red DSi XL representing the majority of sales. Nintendo said that "over 1.5 million" DS systems were sold last month.

After the break, check out the top-selling games of the month. You already know what’s at number one, of course. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood follows at #2, with surprisingly strong showings for both Fable 3 and Donkey Kong Country Returns down the list.

Continue Reading………

 

Source: Joystiq

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Dance Central tops Kinect’s November software sales in US

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

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Dance Central, Harmonix’s full-body dance title for Kinect, cha-cha-chinged with sales in November. According to NPD, the game was #11 in overall sales for the month and the top-selling Kinect game as a SKU. Of course, by units, Kinect Adventures moved the most copies, as it was bundled with the peripheral, which sold over 2.5 million units globally in the month of November.

Although NPD generally no longer shares specific software sales, we were told by the company that Kinect Sports and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved were the second and third best-selling Kinect titles, respectively. For an audience stereotyped as lazy, gamers seem to have responded the most to three of the sweatiest Kinect games.

 

Source: Joystiq

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Correction: X-Men Arcade coming to PSN in North America on Dec. 14, XBLA on Dec. 15

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

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Konami representatives confirmed with Joystiq tonight that X-Men Arcade will be arriving in North America on PlayStation Network next week on December 14, while Xbox Live Arcade gets it the next day. We originally reported that the game had a two-month window of exclusivity on Xbox Live Arcade, per Konami reps speaking with Eurogamer. It appears that this report is not the case, at least for the game’s North American release — US-based Konami reps couldn’t confirm European release dates for X-Men Arcade as of publishing.

Furthermore, the game was given a December 26 North American launch date by Konami reps speaking to GameFocus in a recent video interview. Since the interview, however, the PSN launch date has been moved up and North Americans can get their co-op Magneto murdering in a full 12 days earlier. We’re just hoping that buying the game won’t be as maddeningly difficult as nailing down a solid release date from its publisher.

 

Source: Joystiq

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Dead Space Aftermath coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on January 25th

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

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EA has announced a release date for the upcoming Dead Space Aftermath animated movie. The film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 24 in Europe, and January 25 in the US. MSRP is $34.99, but some outlets (including Amazon at the moment) are selling it for even cheaper than that already. The film will also come bundled in a double pack with 2008’s animated tie-in, Dead Space Downfall.

The film will supposedly serve as a prequel to Dead Space 2, about a group sent by the Government to the Aegis VII disaster from the first animated film, in order to "test" the "effects" of Marker shards. Sounds like a recipe for "trouble" (and some gory scares).

Between this release next month and the demo later on this month, the Dead Spacefranchise is about to get a whole lot livelier.

    Source: Joystiq

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