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793 results for sep
All-new look at SimCity Creator in Gaming
EA has released some more screenshots from its latest entry into the Sim game series, SimCity Creator.

The game retains the basic gameplay ofthe original SimCity titles, but presents itself in a manner akin tothe MySims game released last year.

Fans worried that the gamewill be dumbed down should take a look at the screens. Whilst there area few concessions (we've never seen our Sims panic that they've hadenough broccoli before, for example) overall it appears to retain thebasic formula present in other SimCity games.

SimCity Creator is due for release on September 19, 2008.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:06 pm
30 Most Anticipated Games of E3 in Gaming
30. Rise of the Argonauts (PS3, X360, PS3)
Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Liquid Entertainment
Est. Release Date: Sep 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Anaction RPG that promises to be way more action than RPG, Rise of theArgonauts has a winning mythological premise and lots of little designtouches that keep the game looking fresh. Take the Argo—the ship oflegend will act as a seafaring headquarters from which your recruitedArgonauts will provide support. There is also a “deed” system that willincrease Jason’s abilities via the acquisition of Xbox LiveAchievement-like trophies. So it’s bursting with interesting ideas, andit’s all running on the reliable Unreal Engine 3—this could be thesleeper hit of the year.

29. High School Musical 3: Senior Year Dance (PC, Wii, PS2, NDS, X360)
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Developer: TBA
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Considerthis your representative sample of licensed games that promise to sellgangbusters regardless of quality or media reaction. And High SchoolMusical 3 is likely to be the biggest game of its breed this year: themovie of the same name is the first time this children’s blockbusterfranchise will see a theatrical release, meaning the marketing for theproperty is likely to be even more inescapable than usual. Beyond theusual niceties of rhythm games—coop and competitive modes, mechanicsspecific to each system’s control scheme—it will have the songs fromHigh School Musical movies past and present. That last one is almostcertainly the only feature the game needs to add another million insales to the franchise’s life-to-date count.

28. Borderlands (PC, X360, PS3)
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Gearbox Software
Est. Release Date: 2009
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Capabledeveloper Gearbox has never swung for the fences with quite as muchgusto as with Borderlands. The fact that the game is original IP isn’teven the half of it—it also promises a procedural item creation systemthat will provide this sci-fi first-person shooter over half a millionweapons. If that’s not enough, Borderlands also shares some ambitionswith big-budget role playing games: the world will be expansive,character growth and classes comes standard, and missions and sidequests will populate the landscape. Borderlands has all the earmarks ofa breakout hit, and its scope should easily take the breath away fromboth shooter and science fiction fans.

27. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (X360, PS3)
Publisher: Midway
Developer: Midway
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Goingon the title alone, Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe feels a decade late,like it should have been slugging it out with Marvel Vs Capcom for thequarters of 90s teenagers. But it’s actually a better idea,commercially, in 2008—now the game can ride the tide of successfulcomic book film blockbusters. It can pull from the years of soliddesign work and franchise reputation rebuilding that culminated inMortal Kombat: Armageddon. And with an anticipated ESRB rating of T forTeen, there’re no retail hurdles to keep the adolescent maledemographic from eating this up with a spoon.

26. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky (PC)
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: GSC Game World
Est. Release Date: Aug 29, 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Shadow of Chernobyl was hardly the biggest first-person shooter of 2007in the west. But it posted platinum-level sales in Eastern Europe,where its freeform gameplay and mythos steeped in Russia’s uniquescience fiction struck a strong chord. With little similar competitionin the region, its sequel Clear Sky should do well for itself therealso. Which isn’t to say the rest of the world shouldn’t (or won’t)give it a go as well—Clear Sky will add a tactical, squad-based turfwar to the already eccentric proceedings, and should be just as curiousand interesting a beast as its predecessor.

25. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS3, X360, Wii, PS2, PSP, NDS)
Publisher: LucasArts
Developer: LucasArts
Est. Release Date: Sep 2008
Officially Announced for E3: No, but it might as well be

TheForce Unleashed could well be the biggest project to bear the Star Warsfranchise name since Episode III ended the franchise’s non-animatedtheatrical run. Every Star Wars fan has been curious about the periodright before the Original Trilogy when Darth Vader had his run of thegalaxy; Force Unleashed promises to capture this period from theperspective of the Dark Side, using exciting new technologies torealistically render bot the AI and the Force itself. If the persistentrumors are true, this could well be the last project completely builtby LucasArts’ internal studio—but in that case, it will be one heck ofa send-off that a lot of Star Wars fans will experience.

24. Beyond Good and Evil 2 (PS3, X360)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier (likely)
Est. Release Date: TBA
Officially Announced for E3: No

Allthat’s known about Beyond Good and Evil 2 is that it’s currently beingworked on by Ubisoft premier designer Michel Ancel. But in this case,that’s more than enough—Ancel’s resume does include perennial hitRayman and (naturally) the first Beyond Good and Evil, after all. Andthe first Beyond Good and Evil is particularly beloved. The smallaudience that played it has been talking about it ever since, praisingits varied gameplay and realistic, strong female protagonist Jade. Sothe sequel is exciting, and though its commercial success is by nomeans assured it’s possible that maybe the adult gaming audience isfinally ready for this franchise.

23. Lock’s Quest (NDS)
Publisher: THQ
Developer: 5th Cell
Est. Release Date: Fall 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

2007’sbiggest surprise sales blockbuster was a little DS game called Drawn toLife, built by a little mobile developer called 5th Cell. That gamegave the independent studio a reputation for creating innovations withstrong market appeal, and it could cement that reputation with Lock’sQuest, a curious RTS/Action/RPG/minigame hybrid with cute graphics,quick thrills and a world that can be completely remodeled by theplayer. In other words, it has a lot of elements that appeal across awide variety of gaming demographics, as well as a lot of ambition. Ifthis one lives up to its potential, it would be great to see it succeed.

22. Puzzle Quest: Galactrix (PC, X360, NDS)
Publisher: D3 Publisher of America
Developer: Infinite Interactive
Est. Release Date: Fall 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Lastyear’s Puzzle Quest combined the most addictive parts of the casual“match three” puzzle game with the most addictive parts of RPGcharacter development, a powerful cocktail that murdered productivityand sold in huge numbers. There’s no reason this follow-up shouldn’tcontinue in that trend—it’s still a match three puzzle game (this timemore Collapse than Bejeweled), it still has those all-important RPGelements, and it’s being built by the same studio. The only differences(besides the science fiction setting) all look like improvements.There’s an element of strategy gaming. Players can enhance not justtheir character, but also their spacecraft. Downloadable content willabound. It all sounds like a game that players will itch to play afterthe first hit.

21. Crysis: Warhead (PC)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Crysis
Est. Release Date: Fall 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Allegedlythe last PC exclusive from the bastion of PC gaming high technology,Crytek’s side story to 2007’s Crysis looks every bit as graphicallydazzling as its predecessor. It also promises to be a moremarket-friendly title (a tall order considering Crysis’ million-sellingstatus); Warhead provides a less strategic, more bombastic run-and-gunaffair compared to the original Crysis. And with a year of hardwareadvancements in between Crysis and Crysis: Warhead, that more widelyappealing design will find that a lot more people have the rigs toactually run it well. And who knows? If Warhead does manage to findthat perfect balance, perhaps Crytek will stick to their PC-exclusivestomping grounds for a while longer.

20. Tomb Raider Underworld (Wii, PS2, PS3, X360, PC, NDS)
Publisher: Eidos
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

It’sbeen a few years since Crystal Dynamics took the Tomb Raider franchiseand reinvigorated it with Legend. But it’s really with Underworld thatthe series’ previous mistakes have been taken to heart. Rather thanrest the game on its laurels again, Underworld is a creation that lookstoward with the new; the game engine is all new, the way the worldinteracts with Lara is more realistic, combat now has melee and willflow fluidly into the puzzle mechanics. And if that wasn’t enough toguarantee sales, Lara has a motorcycle now too.

19. Sonic Unleashed (Wii, PS2, PS3, X360)
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: No

Thesedays it feels like SEGA promises the moon with every Sonic title, tothe point where it’s hard to fall for it anymore. Take Sonic Unleashed;it’s promise of a revamped, re-invented Sonic echoes the promises SEGAmade before this generation’s first Sonic the Hedgehog hit the Xbox 360with a sad plop. And yet, franchise sales have never followed the samecurve as the blue blur’s review scores. This is mostly because ofSonic’s strong appeal to the child market, but on some level thegraying Genesis owner wants to believe what we’re told, that this nextSonic really will reclaim the glory days. Anyway, Sonic Unleashed. It’srunning on a new engine and has some 2D environments. It’ll sell, andas for the rest of it? Here’s hoping.

18. MadWorld (Wii)
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Platinum Games
Est. Release Date: 2009
Officially Announced for E3: No

PlatinumGames, formerly Seeds, formerly Clover Studios, isn’t known for makingcommercial hits. No, that team is known more for making instant,beloved classics. Okami certainly, but Viewtiful Joe is in there aswell, and the only people who remember God Hand these days love it toabsolute death. MadWorld, a blood-soaked black and white Wii exclusive,feels like a return to the playful, experimentation that made this teamfamous. Will it sell? Well, it’s nice to think that just maybe, thistime, the market has caught up to what Platinum is doing.

17. Animal Crossing Wii (Wii)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Est. Release Date: TBA
Officially Announced for E3: No

Asof this writing, Animal Crossing Wii still exists as a hopeful glimmerin the eye of the gaming public. Nintendo hasn’t said anything at allabout it yet, though almost all speculation says that it exists andwill be announced soon—and if that’s the case, E3 is as good a place toshowcase it as any. It’s a completely believable theory. Nintendo’sChristmas lineup is currently a complete mystery, and Animal Crossing,already a surprise hit on GameCube and DS, is such a good fit for thecasual Wii-loving audience it’s startling it’s not on the systemalready.

16. Left 4 Dead (PC, X360)
Publisher: Valve Software
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Valvedoesn’t release duds, and it doesn’t buy teams that can’t deliver. Sothe fact that it purchased Turtle Rock Studios and have put a greatdeal of PR muscle behind Left 4 Dead speaks volumes as to how good thisgame could be. The game has a completely innovative, yet highly marketfriendly hook in its “four survivors must cooperate to survive thezombie horde” premise, though players of a less polite persuasion canalso take up the role of a super-powered zombie. This could very wellbe the next major online phenomenon, like Team Fortress 2 before it.

15. Resistance 2 (PS3)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Insomniac Games
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Thefirst Resistance was the big win for the PlayStation 3 at launch, butResistance 2 looks set to spin that good first impression into anempire. Resistance 2 pushes the game out of London to the morerelatable (in the US, anyway) environs of the United States. A goodmove, but not as good as the massive 60-man multiplayer that the gamepromises. That’s fantastic scale for an online console game; add onsome more focused, objective-oriented teamplay and Resistance 2 is agood contender for gamer’s next networked obsession.

14. Killzone 2 (PS3)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Guerilla Games
Est. Release Date: 2009
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Threeyears on and Killzone 2 is still trying to shake off its disastrous“showing” at E3 2005. Admittedly the team at Guerilla has done a finejob of actually approaching the target in that first badly marketed“target render,” with more recent previews showing the game asappropriately attractive and bombastic for its high position in Sony’sportfolio. But it still needs a big floor to show off, and it needs aman to say “in-game graphics” about one thousand times in front of somehuge HD Killzone if it wants to really nail the market. E3 historicallyhas had some very big floors.

13. Fable 2 (X360)
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Lionhead Studios
Est. Release Date: Oct 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Alot on Fable 2 is already known, and most of it is interesting on avariety of levels. There’s the in-game dog, a character ofunconditional love that will act as the player’s anchor to the game’sworld. There’s the Pub Games, a series of Xbox Live Arcade titles thatwill act as both encapsulated products and previews for the bigrelease. Then there’s the gay marriage, pregnant adventuring, and allmanner of family matters to deal with in the game as well. It’s a gamethat promises to push boundaries and break some of the medium’s moreridiculous unnecessary taboos. Considering the success of the originalGable, it’s likely many people will choose to experience this moveforward—surely a good thing.

12. Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (PC, X360)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Los Angeles
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

RedAlert’s Cold War gone hot is one of the most beloved scenarios is allof strategy gaming, and the franchise’s long seven year absence makesthis game even more exciting and desirable. And by adding thepseudo-Japanese Empire of the Rising Sun faction the festivities geteven more campy and strange, complete with towering mecha, psychicschoolgirls and parachuting bears. So it’s got a lot of hooks for boththe longtime fan and sugar-crazed newcomer alike.

11. Far Cry 2 (PC, X360, PS3)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: No

FarCry 2 has found a unique gaming setting in the jungles, savannahs andtowns of Africa, and it plans on giving the player a lot of thatsetting – 50 square kilometers, to be precise. Plenty of new gameplayelements will make themselves known as the player crosses that expanse:some wounds have to be treated with field medicine (ie. fishing abullet out with a knife) and brush fires can be started, only to bewhipped up realistically by wind. Far Cry 2 is an underutilized brandmoving to an underutilized setting while adding multiple newinnovations, making it an extremely strong contender in the hardcoreshooter market.
10. Prince of Persia (X360, PS3)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: No

Princeof Persia: The Sands of Time was one of the last generation’s definingmoments, so it would have been easy for Ubisoft to just build astandard sequel on the successes of its previous trilogy. The fact thatthis is not the case, that the series is instead being rebooted with anincredible hand-painted aesthetic and open world, show a strongdedication to making the Prince one of the most lasting and importantfranchises in gaming (though the big budget movie helps on that scoreas well). While previous PoP titles did sell well, after theblockbuster success of Assassin’s Creed, the timing is perfect for thePrince to really make it big.

9. Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Est. Release Date: TBD
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Sinceclosing the door on the last console genre, Square Enix has relied onhandheld games and Wii side stories alone. If the publisher’s lastfiscal statement said anything, it was that’s no way for a company tolive—so while Square Enix has some other interesting console games inthe pipe, it needs to bring its megaton franchise back into the publiceye. It’s not surprising that Final Fantasy XIII will show up in someform at E3—and regardless of what form it takes or what the game lookslike now, it could certainly steal the show if it tried.

8. Street Fighter IV (PC, X360, PS3)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom/Dimps
Est. Release Date: 2009
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Atworst, this is a surprise come back of one of gaming’s most iconicfranchises. At best, this could be the surprise come back of agenre—certainly if anything could revive a flagging fighting gamefield, a new numbered entry in its greatest series would be the thingto do it. Perhaps the best sign that this game knows what it will taketo succeed is its reverence to Street Fighter II—all of the charactersfrom that game will return, and the gameplay mirrors the measured paceof that early entry. Considering versions of SFII still sell in strongnumbers, it’s easy to see how this strategy could succeed on the market.

7. Rock Band 2 (X360, PS3, PS2, Wii)
Publisher: MTV Games
Developer: Harmonix
Est. Release Date: Sep 2008 (X360 timed exclusive, with other versions to follow)
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Nomatter what other companies say, the fast-paced game of catch-up thathas gripped the music genre says one thing louder: the four-piece RockBand is the standard for the field. And while little is known about itat this point, what is known proves that Harmonix hasn’t lost the plotwith Rock Band 2. Sticking to its “platform” guns, the game will befully backwards compatible—with old DLC, with old instruments, theworks. And while user-created content is not a go this time, there arecertainly things about the game yet to be announced—you don’t want tomiss this one at the show.

6. LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Media Molecule
Est. Release Date: Oct 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Despiteseemingly constant delays, LittleBigPlanet remains one of the mostunique products in Sony’s first-party arsenal. The idea of a game thatlives and dies by the content created by its users has been triedbefore in first-person shooters, but LittleBigPlanet, with its lovelytextured graphics and universal, non-violent charm wants to be muchmore—the YouTube of games perhaps, or the Legos of the 21st century. Ofall the games that could bring PlayStation 3 to the mass market, thisremains the best hope.

5. Halo Wars (X360)
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Ensemble Studios/Bungie
Est. Release Date: Oct 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

HaloWars is more than just the next title from Microsoft to have the Haloname. It’s also more than the first Halo project not spearheaded byBungie. Halo Wars wants to be a revolution in real-time strategy, aconsole exclusive built from the ground up for a console controller—inother words, Halo Wars wants to do for real-time strategy what Halo didfor first-person shooters. If it succeeds, it could crack wide open thenascent console RTS market as gamers try it based on the franchisealone. It’s been reported that the game will be playable by the mediaat E3, so the show should give a much better idea as to how itssucceeding.

4. Spore (PC, Mac)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Maxis
Est. Release Date: Sep 7, 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

It’scertainly something that even after the seemingly endless amount ofwords typed about Spore, even though it’s appeared in publications asnon-game centric as The New Yorker, even though the wait for the gamehas been years long and interminable, almost everyone who knows aboutit is still excited at its promise. And after the success of therecently released Creature Creator, that excitement is still mounting.Will Wright’s SimEverything could very well the next big thing, tossingaside silly ideas like “demographics” and just appealing to everyoneeverywhere. In other words, the next Sims.

3. Gears of War 2 (X360)
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Est. Release Date: Nov 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Gearsof War 2 is a lot of things. To the gamer, it is epic, the sequel tothe game that dominated man hours spent on Xbox Live for most of 2007.To developers, it’s the new baseline, as every new Epic game has cometo represent the state of the art for the now industry standard UnrealEngine 3. In both regards Gears of War 2 looks great. A fewimprovements to the constantly evolving engine have already been shown,and most gamers agree that new mechanics like martyrdom and the “meatshield” look like fantastic fun. Gears of War is already one of thisgeneration’s emblematic franchises, so it will be great to see how thesequel goes about cementing that status.

2. Resident Evil 5 (X360, PS3)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Est. Release Date: 2009
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

RE5is not even close to a retail release, and yet it’s already one of themost interesting topics in the industry. It brings with it the highlyrespected pedigree of Resident Evil 4, hands-down one of the best gamesof the last generation, and will probably sell strongly to the audiencethat loved, or even heard about, that game. Yet it’s also mired incontroversy over some concerns regarding racism. So it’s a projectthat’s walking many tightropes of expectation, and there’s potentialfor huge success or massive failure here. As a result this E3 could bethe most important public showing for RE5 until its release—it shouldbe fascinating.

1. Fallout 3 (PC, X360, PS3)
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Est. Release Date: Oct 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Fallout3 shows great evolutionary leaps every time it’s displayed for publicviewing, with recent revelations—the childhood simulating charactercreator, the 500 endings—being particularly fascinating. Now that it’scoming precariously close to its announced release date, this E3 shouldrepresent the game’s biggest showing yet. If there are any surprisesleft in the title to announce, expect them to get announced at somepoint during the week. But even if there aren’t, Fallout 3 has alreadyproven itself to be a sprawling, ambitious project that anyone in thegaming audience would wait to spend more time with.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:55 am
10 years ago in gaming: From Wikipedia in Gaming

Notable Released:
Wikipedia Index:

1997 in video gaming1999 in video gaming
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:44 am
Spore Creature Creator tops US charts - have you got it? in Gaming
The NPD Group has released US PC software sales datafor the week ending June 21, with EA's Spore Creature Creator comingout on top.
Maxis reported that one millionSpore creatures were created and shared during the stand-aloneprogram's first week of availability. The full Spore game will bereleased in September.
Sales of Spore Creature Creator werestrong enough to place the game at number six on the All Categorieslist - the only game to appear alongside business, education andutility software.
The Top Ten best-selling PC games in the US for the week ending June 21 were:

  • 1      Spore Creature Creator (EA)
  • 2 The Sims 2 Double Deluxe (EA)
  • 3 Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (Eidos)
  • 4 World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Expansion Pack (Vivendi>
  • 5 World Of Warcraft (Vivendi)
  • 6 World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest (Vivendi)
  • 7 The Sims 2 FreeTime Expansion Pack (EA)
  • 8 The Sims 2 Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff Expansion Pack     (EA)
  • 9      Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare     (Activision)
  • 10 Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (LucasArts)

The Spore Creature Creator was software that allowed players to create their own creatures with a standalone version of the Creature Editor from Spore; the software was one of the first aspects of the game to receive focused development, and had undergone ten rewrites since the start of development. It was rated E by the ESRB in early March 2008, indicating that the editor would be released separately well before the game's release as a utility program. Electronic Arts told MTV Asia that "EA Screen will provide visitors a chance to interact with EA's game producers hailing from the studios, and unveil the hugely anticipated SPORE Creature Creator demo version to gamers for the first time in Asia." Electronic Arts VP Mark Buechner stated on the Spore Facebook page that the editor would be released in June or July 2008, saying, "We are looking at releasing it two to three months before the launch of the full game."

The SimCity Box artwork showed a blurb stating that the creature editor would be included with it. IGN revealed that the Spore Creature Creator utility will be available in two different versions on June 18, 2008. There was a paid version (for $9.95) and a free demo that was downloadable from and included for free, bundled with The SimCity Box. The free version of the editor only contained 25% of the available creature parts that were found within the full version.

The utility included a test environment for players to see their creatures go through animations and allow the player to import other user-created creatures through the Sporepedia at The utility included screen capture and video tools as well, including YouTube functionality.

The editor also gave the user the ability to create animated avatars,and output in RSS and embeddable HTML code to facilitate easy incorporation into such sites as MySpace and Facebook.

Shortly after its introduction, the Creature Creator was used to create creatures with oversized genitalia, either stand-alone or engaged in coitus (a phenomenon quickly dubbed 'sporn'). EA responded with e-mails sent to those who made pornographic machinima from its demo, and has flagged certain on-line accounts for "TOS violations". Furthermore, YouTube has pulled several such videos for violations of its own TOS.

By June 24, 2008, users had already created over one million creatures.

It has been noted by those using the Spore Creature Creator, that while the Social and Attack categories can reach a max score of 20 with enough parts on the creature, the Abilities category does not achieve a max in the Creature Creator. This has led to speculation from it being the brain levels to advanced sensory abilities to telekinesis.

Electronic Arts confirmed that Spore will be receiving post-release expansion packs. No other information is available as to what sort of content the packs will feature, but EA has hinted it will be similar to The Sims expansions.

In the news
Spore Creature Creator free in the UK

A Wii spinoff of the game has been mentioned by Will Wright several times, such as in his October 26, 2007 interview with the Guardian.Buechner confirmed it, revealing that plans for a Wii version were underway, and that the game would be built from the ground up and would take advantage of the Wii Remote, stating, "We're not porting it over. You know, we're still so early in design and prototyping that I don't know where we're going to end up, so I don't want to lead you down one path. But suffice to say that it's being developed with the Wii controls and technology in mind."The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Spore are still under consideration.


There will be an iTunes-style "Spore Store" built into the game, allowing players to purchase external Spore licensed merchandise, such as t-shirts, posters, and future Spore expansion packs.There are also plans for the creation of a type of Spore collectible card game based on the Sporepedia cards of the creatures, buildings, vehicles, and planets that have been created by the players.There are also indications of plans for the creation of customized creature figurines; some of those who designed their own creatures at E3 2006 later received 3D printed models of the creatures they created. The Spore Store also allows people to put their creatures on such items as T-shirts, mugs and stickers.

The Spore team is working on a partnership with a comic creation software company to offer comic book versions of your own Spore story. Comic books with stylized pictures of various creatures, some whose creation has been shown in various presentations, can be seen on the walls of the Spore team's office.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:13 am
WWDC 08: Developer Demos Roundup in Apple
11:02 a.m.: Forstall's back. He thanks all the developers whodemonstrated their applications. He mentions one feature request fromdevelopers: instant-messaging developers want to deliver notificationseven when the application isn't running. This is the background-runningissue that arrived after the March event. Forstall says backgroundprocesses are bad for a number of reasons, such as battery life andperformance. He uses the opportunity to ding Windows Mobile's taskmanager for handling background processes the way desktop Windows does,to widespread laughter and applause.
11:00 a.m.: Forstall promises that Digital LegendsEntertainment is the last demo for this morning. These guys built agame in two weeks, and Xavier Carrillo Costa shows off his game. Theirgame is called Krull, and it's another caveman adventure gamewhere you battle enemies, swing across rope bridges, and solveproblems. They expect to have the game ready by September.
10:57 a.m.: Mimvista has another medical application thatbuilds on their niche, medical imaging software. Mark Cain isrepresenting Mimvista, and he says developing one of their types ofapplications before the iPhone wasn't going to work. The idea is toconnect doctors with their workstations, so they can evaluate medicalimaging from the golf course. The application, like Modality's, canshow extremely detailed pictures of the human system, as well as movingimages. "The iPhone has created a new direction for our company."

MLB on the iPhone
(Credit: James Martin/CNET
10:53 a.m.: Modality is the next company that Apple isshowing off. These folks, represented by Dr. S Mark Williams, havedeveloped an application that helps medical students ditch their flashcards and use an iPhone to view anatomical images of the body that arevery detailed, down to the arteries and veins, and can quiz students onthe various parts of the heart, for example. Within weeks of the AppStore launching, they will have about a dozen applications availablefor various health-care needs.
10:50 a.m.: is getting in on the action, so we canwatch the tortured season of the New York Mets on our iPhones. JeremySchoenherr shows off At-Bat, as we check out the Royals-Yankees game.You can see who's at bat, who's pitching, the count, and the score: Mussina'soff to a decent start this morning. You can get real-time videohighlights of the Yankees turning a double play. They aren't really"real-time" since the highlights arrive after the fact, but still.
10:48 a.m.: It's a parade of developers. An app called Bandwas made by a solo developer named Mark Terry, whereas all the otherapps so far have been corporate-developed. Band lets you create musicon the iPhone, with a touch-screen piano, and the demo guy cranks out apassable version of John Lennon's "Imagine." There are also drums and a12-bar blues creation app, which lays down a bass line while you playguitar over the track, and a bass guitar, which is used to play theslinky bass line from Pink Floyd's "Money." There's other stuff, buttime is limited. Terry says Band will appear on the App Store in a fewweeks' time.

Developer shows off music application on the iPhone.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET
10:45 a.m.: More applications! Brian Greenstone of Pangea Software comes up to show off two games they ported from Mac OS X to the iPhone, Enigmo, a 3D puzzle game, is very CPU intensive, says Greenstone, and it doesn't miss a beat in the demo. Cromag Rally,which is apparently a caveman racing game, is the other game shown off.Driving looks hard, but he is racing on snow, and people fromCalifornia don't know how to drive in the snow. Both games will cost$9.99.
10:41 a.m.: Our good friends at the Associated Press alsohave an application to show off. Benjamin Mosse of the AP is showingoff their application, which is essentially a reader-style applicationthat focuses on local news. This is another location-aware applicationthat sends you local news based on where you are. You can customize thefeeds for your favorite sports teams, and browse AP photos and video.Those stores can be shared via text or e-mail, and civilians can uploadtheir own stories and pictures to the AP from the iPhone, andcontinuing with the trend, it will be free.
10:39 a.m.: TypePad is next up, for the mobile bloggers inthe audience. Michael Sippey of TypePad shows off what they've puttogether, with a simple interface that lets you create a post, take aphoto, or add a photo. You can take photos with the iPhone's camera andadd them to a post, as well as add photos from your library on youriPhone. This will be yet another free application.

eBay application on iPhone.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET
10:36 a.m.: Looptis the third company to demo, and they're talking about alocation-based application. Again, no distinction is made whether thisis an application using GPS or the current location-based service onthe iPhone. Loopt blends your social networks with the Mapsapplication, so you can see where your friends are. You can also go totheir journal to see what they've been doing today, what picturesthey've added, and so on. This app will also be free.
10:33 a.m.: eBay is the next developer to show off anapplication, and Ken Sun of eBay comes onstage to show off Auctions onthe iPhone. The iPhone is already the primary mobile device used oneBay's Web site, he says. The app has a basic front door with optionsto track auctions you've bid on, see whether you've been outbid, and toplace new bids. You can also pick up the photos from the auctionlistings, and blow them up to full screen. eBay is making this appavailable for free.
10:30 a.m.: This demo is showing off the capabilities of theaccelerometer, where the iPhone can be tilted back and forth toaccelerate or brake. The tester gets a nice hand from the audience forhurling Baby Monkey through the goal. Super Monkey Ball will be available at the launch of the App Store for $9.99.
10:29 a.m.: Forstall is bringing third-party developersonstage to talk about their application, and Sega revisits the stage.They demoed a game called Super Monkey Ball in March, andthey've refined it. Ethan Einhorn of Sega comes up onstage to talkabout the app. The initial game had four stages developed in two weeks,now they've got 110 stages, with all four classic monkeys.

Showing tilt control on Sega games.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET
10:26 a.m.: The application finds your friends within acertain radius, but Forstall says nothing about whether the applicationwas designed for the current iPhone, which uses a Wi-Fi/cell tower typeof location-aware application, or the new iPhone, which is expected tohave GPS. Forstall reads off a few quotes from corporate developerpartners like Disney--once again--and Fox Interactive.
10:23 a.m.: His mock application is going to merge thecontacts databases and location-aware services. He's taking us throughthe actual development experience, dragging and dropping icons thatrepresent things like the iPhone's search bar around the developmentenvironment. Once the application is done, the developer can test itright on a Mac for bugs or to make different aesthetic choices, such aswhether to put things in the toolbar or within the regular fields.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:09 pm
Industry is safe from Jack Thompson for 10 years... in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
The Florida Bar has called for infamous anti-games lawyer Jack Thompson to be disbarred and prohibited from applying to practice law for the next ten years.

Judge Dava Tunis noted that therecommendations will be included in the official report to the FloridaSupreme Court, due by September 2.

Thompson walked out of thecourtroom after hearing the news, but not before filing a 4,500-wordformal objection. In our minds, he did it by screaming "OBJECTION!" andsticking his finger out at Tunis.

Thompson claimed that Tunis'sfirst state loyalty oath was forged and the next two did not conform tothe state regulations. Because of this, he's pushing for Tunis to beremoved.

"I have fashioned a legal millstone that I willplace around your neck and the neck of The Bar," he wrote. "Don't blameme, Referee Tunis, when you feel the water rising."

Senator Obama and Senator Clinton have also warned people of the danger of the Grand Theft Auto series, according to Thompson.

"Because I took on this cop-killing, woman-bashing video game, thePresidential race is now addressing the issue and this particular videogame."

Strange, as we've been following the election and we've never seen Grand Theft Auto specifically discussed.

You can read his full objection here on Kotaku.
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:33 pm
Low metascores could result in lower pay for developers in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
It's an age-old warning: "beware of the fine print." MTV Multiplayer's Stephen Totilo is reporting thatit's not rare for publishers to withhold certain levels of payment fromdevelopers if their games don't score at a certain level on sites likeCNET-owned Metacritic.

According to Totilo, one developer (who requested anonymity) told himof how his company was refused royalties for the game it developedbecause, thanks to a stipulation in the contract with the publisher,the title's Metacritic score was too low. This rankled the developer,as the game sold over a million copies.  

Totilo then pinged a number of individuals throughout the industry,including Dennis Dyack of Silicon Knights and Ted Price of InsomniacGames, for their opinions on contracts like these. Generally, he foundthat such deals are not very popular amongst developers, but they'realso not terribly uncommon. According to Vivendi producer Pete Wanat:"I think the stuff is far more active in the sense of: 'We're going towork with you' vs. 'We're not going to work with you' — as opposed to'We’re going to work with you and, based on what kind of game it is,you'll get a bonus."
Of course, this isn't the first time such a practice has been reportedon: back in May 2004, Warner Bros' gaming division instituted a policythat would penalize developers who made games that had a metascore ofless than 70/100.  There was a fair amount of criticism that floated around the web at the time, mainly because the site's scoring system isn't an exact science. The business model is still in action, but as of September last year, Warner Bros. said it was too early to tell if the plan was an effective practice.
Do publishers want high scores, or high sales? The two things can have almost nothing to do with each other. Take games like Enter The Matrix:sales were in the millions, scores were in the toilet. This happensagain and again in the industry, and it seems odd. In most cases, itseems like publishers just want to make the most money, but when itcomes to giving someone else cash, they want to make sure the more elusive high scores are also there.
Yeah, I think I can reason out why these policies are in place.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:28 am
First SimCity Wii and also DS details and screenshots in Gaming
EA has lifted the lid on the latestgame in the long-running SimCity franchise: SimCity Creator for Wii andDS, out here on September 19 (and Sept 22 in US).

"SimCityCreator is an open-ended, highly creative game with a sense of humourthat allows players to utilise the distinctive gameplay aspects of theWii and Nintendo DS to create, enjoy and destroy epic cities,"describes EA.

So, pretty much like previous SimCity gamesthen, only in keeping with the mainstream appeal of Nintendo's latesthardware, EA promises this to be "the most accessible and light-heartedgame from the SimCity franchise," designed for "families and players ofall ages".

The Wii game will pack 13 cities with themes from USand Asian locales, with the option to take a helicopter or plane for aflight over your city creation before the series-iconic disastersdestroy it all.

The DS game takes on a historical theme,allowing you to build a city in ancient times, and evolve it throughthe middle ages, modern times and up to the present day.

Posted by Editorial Team Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:58 pm
Jack Thompson 'misconduct' in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
The judge presiding over a misconduct caseagainst lawyer and fervent anti-videogame campaigner, Jack Thompson,yesterday delivered a report which supports a guilty verdict on 27 ofthe 31 charges brought against him. From Arts Technica:

These are not small offenses, as Judge Tunis recommendeda guilty verdict for, among other things, "knowingly making a falsestatement of material fact or law to a tribunal," "using means thathave no purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a thirdperson," "engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, ormisrepresentation," and "making statements that the lawyer knows to befalse or with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity concerningto the qualifications or integrity of a judge.

The supreme court is still to make a ruling on these charges - thatwon't take place until September. However, it seems Thompson hasexasperated the powers that be by submitting a series of bizarre filingsseemingly including a self-penned picture book designed to 'explain'his point of view to the court. Images apparently included, "swastikas,kangaroos in court, a reproduced dollar bill, cartoon squirrels, PaulSimon, Paul Newman, Ray Charles, a handprint with the word 'slap'written under it, Bar Governor Benedict P. Kuehne, a baby, Ed Bradley,Jack Nicholson, Justice Clarence Thomas, Julius Caesar, monkeys, ahouse of cards..." Sounds like an average night on the town with AmyWinehouse.
Naturally, the games community is revelling in this 'victory', butthe report is fanning the flames of publicity that Thompson soobviously feeds on. I'm now thinking he could actually be a disruptivecomic genius who's command of confrontational humour makes Andy kaufmanlook like Jimmy Cricket.
What do you think?
Posted by Editorial Team Tue May 27, 2008 6:11 pm
Samsung Announces New 256 GB SSD in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Uh oh, Samsung's just announced their first 256GB SSD.Not that you needed to know anything more than that to triggersalivation, but the MLC-flash SATA II drive has speeds of 200MBps readand 160MBps sequential write. Not like we'll be able to afford it oranything, but they'll be available come September, with a 1.8-inchversion due in Q4.

Posted by Editorial Team Tue May 27, 2008 6:04 pm
Virtual Worlds Expo dated for September 3-4 in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
Virtual Worlds Management has released details of this year's VirtualWorlds Expo, which will be taking place on September 3-4 at the LAConvention Center.
Registration is now open, with an early-bird price of USD 595available until July 25 and a standard online price of USD 795thereafter. Onsite registration has been priced at USD 995.
Christopher Sherman, the company's executive director, stated his confidence that the market was continuing to expand.

Virtual Worlds Expo is dedicated to helping businesses           harness the power of virtual worlds to engage with their customers,           partners and employees. Conference agenda will include consumer worlds, enterprise           worlds, investment and strategy, education uses of virtual worlds,           virtual law and visionary/future           development.  More details           will be announced shortly.

"We are seeing interest from a wide variety of markets,including financial services, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals andmore," he said. "Of course media and entertainment usage continues at afierce pace, but corporate use of virtual worlds is now kicking in."
Posted by Editorial Team Wed May 14, 2008 5:04 am
Crash, Spore and PoP compete against GTA media storm in Gaming
First up, Ubisoft has confirmedthat it's working on a new Prince of Persia title, due out on PS3, Xbox360 and PC this winter. The game will apparently boast a whole newgameplay twist and a new art style. Naturally, the Montreal studio willbe handling dev duties. A DS-exclusive PoP title is also on the cards.
Platform hero Crash Bandicoot is also set to make a return this year. Developer Radical Entertainment is promisinga 'free-romping' family adventure with new moves, co-op multiplayer andcomedy voice acting. Crash is apparently also now able to captureenemies and utilise them as his henchmen. It's sub-titled 'Mind OverMutant'.
Finally, EA and Maxis have unveiled plans to release the 'SporeCreature Creator' on June 17. This editing application lets playersbuild and personalise their own beasts for the full game, which isn'tcoming out until September. There will be a free demo version availablefrom the Spore website as well asa retail version with more customisation options. You'll be able topost videos of your unholy creations on YouTube, although to reallywork in this format they'll need to be singing badly, falling of askateboard or pretending to be a confused 15 year-old-girl with a,like, totally genuine video diary. Perhaps that'll all arrive onanother download.
So, which of those game announcements excites you most?
Posted by Editorial Team Tue May 06, 2008 6:53 am
Apple Store to go Virtual (non traditional retail site) in Apple
Apple Store To Go Virtual? That’s the theory of MacNN, at least, citing an Apple patent application published on the US government site last Thursday, somewhat obscurely entitled “Enhancing Online Shopping Atmosphere”.
The patent application’s stated goal is to create an online shoppingexperience that doesn’t feel “sterile and isolating” like a traditionalretail website, and includes a diagram depicting stick figures walkingaround in a retail store with an Electronics, Books, and Music section,underneath a sun– i.e., MacNN speculates, in a virtual world likeSecond Life. “[V]isitors are represented by avatars selected by thosevisitors,” the application notes, “rather than a more generic oruniform icon.”

So does this mean Steve Jobs is goingto show off his avatar in a virtual Apple store at the next big Macshow? Possibly, but even with my pronounced Second Life bias,I’m more than a touch skeptical. Companies file all kinds of patentsthat go unused, as a way of preemptively staking out territory.
What’s more, while the patent office published the application last week, it was actually filed in September 2006– at the height of Second Life over-hype, months after a May ‘06 BusinessWeek cover storyconvinced a crush of big companies that they had to set up a marketingpresence in SL like yesterday. (A wave that’s since ebbed to much more sensibly modest proportions.)
Still, when a Second Life user built an unofficial Apple Store last year, it generated tremendous buzz (as the 270K views of this YouTube video suggest.) MacNN notes that, Apple has experimented with virtual world-like sites before with eWorld.
Posted by Editorial Team Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:59 pm
PC gamers moving to consoles and gaming experiences? in Gaming
The traditional imageof the FPS player as a PC gamer with keyboard and mouse doesn'tnecessarily hold true any more, according to id Software's director ofbusiness development, Steve Nix, who told Eurogamer this week that hebelieves many hardcore PC FPS players are now getting their jollies onconsoles.
Chatting to us in London about the upcoming consoleversion of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Nix said that id is"absolutely" seeing a shift to consoles, even from formerly diehard PCgamers.
"I know that I have friends who are considered coregamers, who years ago were just keyboard and mouse guys - now, when agame ships on all platforms, they buy the console version, even thoughthe PC version is sitting there and they have a PC that would run itperfectly well. It's just their preference," he explained.
DesignerGreg Stone, who has been working on Quake Wars at Nerve Software,chipped in to agree. "For me, I'm exactly what he's describing - I'm aguy that used to play on PCs, and now I'm totally console. It's so muchmoney to keep up with the bleeding edge of technology on the PC, and itreally just is easier to take a console and say, well, this is goodenough. I think that's the way it is for me, and for a lot of people atthis point in time."
Eurogamer wrote:

However, Nix was keen to point out that he'sdescribing a limited trend - and that there's still plenty of space forthe PC in the games market, even if FPS games are certainly no longerentirely a PC-centric genre.
"There are plenty of people who arediehard mouse and keyboard guys that may never go to console, and alsoright now, if you have the highest of high-end PCs, you're generallygoing to get a better visual experience," Nix said. "There's no consoleout there that's as powerful as a God machine right now, with aQuad-Core and a GeForce 8800 - it's very hard for any console tocompete with that."
"So you still have PC players, and someplayers are just console guys, but have players moved over? Absolutely.We love PC gaming, and we continue to support PC gaming - but you can'tignore the market realities and the size of the console market thesedays."

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars came out last September on the PC, and we rather liked it - to the tune of eight out of ten.The console versions are being developed by Nerve (360) and ActivisionUnderground (PS3), and will be out in the coming months. You can readall about how they differ from the PC version - and why they mightactually be better?


You can't ignore the market realities and the size of the console market," says Nix

id Software's Steve Nix believes that a significant number of'hardcore' PC gamers are shifting over to home consoles to get theirkicks.
Speaking to our sister site,Nix said that id would continue to support the loyal PC gamer, but itcouldn't afford to ignore the size of the market for first-personshooters on console.
"I know that I have friends who are considered core gamers, whoyears ago were just keyboard and mouse guys - now, when a game ships onall platforms, they buy the console version, even though the PC versionis sitting there and they have a PC that would run it perfectly well.It's just their preference," explained Nix.
Greg Stone, designer for Nerve Software, the developer working onthe Xbox 360 version of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, agreed with Nix:"For me, I'm exactly what he's describing – I'm a guy that used to playon PCs, and now I'm totally console.
"It's so much money to keep up with the bleeding edge of technologyon the PC, and it really just is easier to take a console and say,well, this is good enough. I think that's the way it is for me, and fora lot of people at this point in time."
However, Nix was keen to point out that he's describing a limitedtrend - and that there's still plenty of space for the PC in the gamesmarket, even if FPS games are certainly no longer entirely a PC-centricgenre.
"There are plenty of people who are diehard mouse and keyboard guysthat may never go to console, and also right now, if you have thehighest of high-end PCs, you're generally going to get a better visualexperience," Nix said. "There's no console out there that's as powerfulas a God machine right now, with a Quad-Core and a GeForce 8800 - it'svery hard for any console to compete with that."
"So you still have PC players, and some players are just consoleguys, but have players moved over? Absolutely. We love PC gaming, andwe continue to support PC gaming - but you can't ignore the marketrealities and the size of the console market these days."
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:32 am
Ten years old: the world's first MP3 player in Entertainment, Film and Music, Mobile devices and media
The MP3 player is ten years old this month. The first commerciallyreleased personal music player capable of handling MP3 files was theMPMan F10, manufactured by Korea's Saehan Information Systems andlaunched in March 1998.
The F10 contained 32MB of Flash storage, enough for a handful ofsongs encoded at 128Kb/s. It measured 91 x 70 x 165.5mm. It connectedto an old-style parallel port on the host PC from which songs could becopied to the player. There was a tiny LCD on the front to give anindication as to what you were listening to.

Saehan's MPMan F10: held up to eight songs

The device made its debut at the CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany. Itwas a prototype, but Saehan must have garnered enough interest to putthe player into mass production, which it did in May 1998 before goingon sale in the US and Europe through importers in the summer.
In the US, local supplier Eiger Labs wanted $250 for the F10, thoughthe price fell to $200 the following year prompted by the release ofthe Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300, which was priced at $200.
The PMP300 - widely but wrongly held to be the world's firstcommercial MP3 player - also had 32MB of storage fed through a parallelport. But it boasted a larger display than the F10 and also featured aSmart Media slot to allow users to increase the gadget's storagecapacity.

Diamond Multimedia's Rio PMP300: sued, but famous

The Rio was released in September 1998, but by 8 October had becomethe subject of a lawsuit from the Recording Industry Ass. of America(RIAA), which claimed the player violated the 1992 US Home RecordingsAct. By that point, Rio had already teamed up with to offersongs from the website.
The RIAA asked for a sales ban, and got one on a temporary basis on16 October, only to have it withdrawn on 26 October. In December, Riocountersued the RIAA, claiming the organisations actions were anattempt to impede the growth of a market - digital music - which itdidn't control.
It was later ruled that Diamond had not infringed the Act because itwas not responsible for the actions of its customers. The RIAA appealedagainst the verdict, but lost there too: the Court judged that thePMP300 was not a recording device and so did not fall within theboundaries of the Act.
The RIAA and Diamond would eventually settle their differences inAugust 1999, but by then Rio was a household name, especially amonginternet users busily sharing MP3 music on the internet using newlycreated peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing software.

Eiger Labs' version of the 64MB MPMan F20

Thanks to its lesser known name, the F10 avoided such legalentanglements, but at the cost of all the free publicity its rivalgained through from the lawsuit. Saehan soon established MPMan as asub-division, and as such it later appeared among the roster of membersjoining the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), an cross-industryattempt to develop a universal digital rights management (DRM)technology.
SDMI ran out of steam in 2001, largely because of a highlypublicised cracking of its encryption technology, leaving the way openfor Microsoft's Windows Media DRM technology to fill the gap. And itmight have done if Apple's release of the iPod in the October of thatyear hadn't proved ultimately so successful.
In the interim, MPMan had continued developing and offering MP3players, but Apple's move to allow Windows PC owners to use the iPod,from April 2003, resulted in explosive growth. MPMan, Rio and otherpioneers couldn't keep up.
Posted by Editorial Team Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:30 am
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