Saturday, November 12, 2005

News, news, everywhere ...

... and no time to stop and think. Okay, so I brutally paraphrased the old saying, but only because that's the sentiment of the moment. Things are bonkers this week. Why? Stay tuned to find out. But first, let's hit the news from the industry. Ready? Here we go:
  • 2K Games Deciphers The Da Vinci Code
    2K Games, a division of Take Two Interactive, announced today that it has signed an exclusive worldwide deal with Sony Pictures to publish and distribute video games based on Sony's upcoming big screen adaptation of The Da Vinci Code. The games are currently in production at the development studio, The Collective.

  • BioWare and Pandemic Join Creative Forces
    There's a new powerhouse in the gaming industry today as the announcement came down that development houses BioWare and Pandemic Studios have merged as part of a financial deal with private equity firm Elevation Partners. The deal, valued at more than $300 million, will make the new studio one of the largest and best-funded video-game development studios in the world.

  • ESA Wins Against Michigan Law
    The Entertainment Software Association announced yesterday that U.S. District Court Judge George Steeh has granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the implementation of Michigan's Public Act 107, a law designed to make it a criminal offense to sell or rent violent video games to anyone under the age of 17. Under the proposed law, originally set to go into effect on Dec. 1, anyone who knowing sells or rents an "ultra-violent explicit video game harmful to minors" could face fines of $5,000-$40,000 and up to 93 days in prison.

  • Mega Man Set To Blast Onto PSP
    Capcom jumped onto the remake bandwagon a couple of months ago when it announced that it was bringing the first Resident Evil game to DS owners in the form of Resident Evil: Deadly Silence. Now Capcom is giving PSP owners a chance to relive some classic memories with the upcoming release of two "new" Mega Man titles, Mega Man Powered Up and Mega Man Maverick Hunter X.

So, now that we've got that out of the way, I guess it's time to update you guys on everything going on with me.

First off, expect some interesting news, photots, and remote posts starting next Sunday. It's official. I'm heading out to cover the Xbox 360 Zero Hour event out in the Mohave. Yeah, I do know the exact location, and no I can't say where just yet. Anyway, the event is a 29-hour party, starting at 7:00p PST on the 20th and ends at 12:01a on the 22nd ... right when the Xbox 360 goes on sale officially around the country.

Also in the world of Dave, I've got a lot more work coming down the pipe. For starters, the Electric Playground website has finally gotten fixed up, making it possible to post articles again. Things have been slow going over there as of late, and my involvement as a result had dropped quite a bit. However, now that the technical issues have been fixed up, my goal is to turn the site around. I've already talked with "TV's Vince Lucas" (sorry Vic ... that one's for Ray), Rob, and the other guys at the EP crew, and as soon as the new permissions are set, I'll be handling a lot of the editorial and posting responsibilities for the site. That means more reviews, more previews, and even a return to the days of full feature articles on the site (oooo ... ahhhh).

So what else is going on? Well, I've been in talks with Dave over at Play Magazine about doing some new stuff for the magazine. If everything comes together, it's not going to be the usual freelance fare either. Until things get set up, I can't say too much, but suffice to say it's one of those things that's been keeping me busy.

Earlier this week, I found a surprise in my normal mix of mail. The folks at Gizmondo sent me one of their new Gizmondo handheld devices. The system has been out in the UK for a few months, and only recently hit US shores in 14 select cities. The full scale release is coming in January. The Gizmondo is a Swiss Army knife of techincal gadgetry. It's a movie player, music player, digital camera, SMS and MMS messenger, GPRS browser (similar to web-capable cell phones), and GPS. There are also plans to include Email capabilites shortly. Oh yeah ... did I mention it plays games too? Look for a full review of the hardware on the EP site soon. I will say though that I've been surprised at how much I actually like the device. You just have to look at it with an open mind, and not immediately compare it to other gaming devices.

There's a lot more going on, but it'll have to wait for a later update.

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