Greetings humans, Monki here with your weekly swing around the world of video games.
The GDC (Game Developers Conference) was held this week out in California and believe it or not absolutely nothing important was announced...
That's the column folks, have yourselves a wonderful week, I'll see ya'll next time!
...did I say 'nothing'? My bad. I meant to say Sony FINALLY made a valid attempt at gaining some positive footing in this console war. It took damn near half a year, but Sony has finally shown something worth building positive buzz around. I'll delve more into that in a bit, but lemme get to some housekeeping first.
Have you submitted your art for the 8 Bit Contest yet? You've got until the middle of next week to submit your video game inspired art to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, this can be any form of art, painting, photography, music, quilt-making, I don't care. As long as it was inspired by video games, submit it. Oh, and it has to be YOUR original work too!! E-mail me if you have any questions!
Also, the South by Southwest Festival begins today (I'm writing this on Friday). Today brings the Interactive and Film festival portions of SXSW while the Music begins sometime in the middle of next week. Are you in town promoting a video game or video game based movie? Would you like to be featured in an article on Ain't It Cool News? If the answer to both of those questions is 'yes' then you should drop me a line and we can meet up somewhere and after you give me a few hundred dollars, we can talk shop! Or we can just talk, either way is fine I suppose. So, drop me a line, I'll be in town till next Thursday then I'm swinging off to another island in the Atlantic.
That's right, your trusty old simian Monki will be traveling back out to Bermuda for the Bermuda International Film Festival. That being said, I need a couple of recommendations for DS titles to pick up for the trip over the Atlantic. Anyone got any good ones?
We have so much time and so little to cover, here we go!
Press Releases of the Week!
I'm going to talk about the following release a little bit further down, but I figure I'd drop the "official" release before digging in and opening up some discussion. So, read on about "PlayStation Home."
TOKYO and SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 7, 2007 - Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) today announced the unveiling of a first-of-its-kind 3D online user community service for the PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) computer entertainment system. The service, known as "Home," will enable users to create their own avatar and explore a real-time virtual community, as if they are playing a detailed 3D game for PS3. The service will become available globally beginning in fall 2007.
Home will be demonstrated at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, California on March 7 as a key element of SCEI Worldwide Studios' President Phil Harrison's keynote presentation titled "Game 3.0: Developing and Creating for the 3rd Age of Videogames."
Home is a real-time online 3D, networked community available on the PLAYSTATION Network It allows PS3 users to interact, communicate, join online games, shop, share private content and even build and show off their own personal spaces to others in real time. Home will be available as a free download from the PLAYSTATION Store and will launch directly from XMB (XrossMediaBar) on PS3.
With an avatar uniquely customized according to each user's preference, users can explore the 3D community that is Home – a sleek, modern environment featuring spacious common areas; custom spaces dedicated to specific games; and personal apartments. Each user is assigned an apartment in Home where they can invite others to join them as they show off their own style in an area they can personalize themselves with furniture, art and other items – even a different view from their windows. They can also show their personal video, pictures and other digital media content found on their PS3 hard drives in their apartments. Very rich interactive communication with others is achieved through built in text, audio and video chat, along with sophisticated emotional animations for each character.
Sharing continues in the "Hall of Fame," where users can display new 3D trophies that will be unlocked through in-game achievements, as well as real time score rankings in PS3 games.
"This is a significant step forward in the area of user community services and emergent entertainment experiences," said Izumi Kawanishi, Corporate Executive and CTO Software, SCEI. "While the 3D graphics demonstrate the power of PS3 and the PLAYSTATION Network, the most impressive feature in Home is the variety of ways in which multiple consumers, as well as our third-party partners, can experience the next generation of communication by interacting and sharing among each other. I feel strongly that this unique blend of community, user-generated content, collaboration and commerce will expand the future of computer entertainment."
Home will go into a closed beta test this spring with a full launch targeted for later this year. By having a broad range of business partners participate in Home, along with an expansive catalog of upcoming game software titles for PS3, SCEI will continue to enhance the new world of entertainment and vigorously promote PS3 as the next generation computer entertainment platform.
Soooo much to discuss...must hold off until rant portion of column....keep reading...
Nintendo has created a good thing with the Mii Channel on the Nintendo Wii. It's almost as fun to create characters as it is to play the damn games. Nothing makes me happier than seeing Chuck Norris bowling next to me when I'm trying to break my personal best (249) in Wii Sports. Anyway, a new round of commercials is going to push this aspect of the Wii.
NINTENDO NEWS: NINTENDO PUTS MIIS ON PARADE
March 9, 2007
Nintendo's customizable Mii caricatures for the Wii video game system have taken the country by storm. Millions upon millions of these caricatures now populate Wii systems worldwide and compete in games like Wii Sports and Wii Play.
Early next week Nintendo of America is scheduled to roll out a new round of Wii commercials featuring these popular Mii caricatures. One commercial is set in a living room with a family, while the other takes place in a board room. Both commercials feature the "Wii would like to play" gentlemen from the original commercials and highlight the fun that people have customizing their own caricatures before using them in games.
Numerous Web sites have cropped up to showcase the many ways that Wii owners continue to express their creativity through the creation of new and interesting Miis. People have created Miis dedicated to their favorite fictional characters, historical figures, sports stars and musicians.
For more information about the Mii caricature phenomenon, please visit http://us.wii.com/channel_mii.jsp