Friday, January 27, 2006

Gaming News

Time for another round of video game news. Here we go:
  • E3 Cracking Down on Booth Babes?

    The Entertainment Software Association, those fine folks responsible for putting together the E3 expo every year, recently sent word that it will be putting harsher penalties in place for exhibitors who violate the event's long standing but often ignored dress code.

    According to the ESA, "Material, including live models, conduct that is sexually explicit and/or sexually provocative, including but not limited to nudity, partial nudity and bathing suit bottoms, are prohibited on the Show floor, all common areas, and at any access points to the Show." Exhibitors in violation of this will be given one verbal warning, followed by a fine of $5000 to be paid on-site and a refusal to allow the models back on the floor until they comply with the dress code.

    Only time will tell if attendees will continue to see as much eye candy on the E3 floor as they do on the screens, or if this announcement actually marks the beginning of the end of the booth babe era.

  • Nintendo to Re"DS"ign the DS

    Nintendo, the reigning king of the handheld market, officially unveiled the latest plan continue its dominance … the DS Lite.  Without much fanfare, the company's Japanese website announced a slimmer, trimmer version of its best-selling DS hardware is scheduled to hit store shelves on March 2nd of this year. The redesigned version of the DS hardware is about 43 percent smaller and 21 percent lighter than the current model. Aside from compact size, the biggest change in the DS Lite is the addition of a brightness control for the system's dual screens. So, how much will this Weight Watchers inspired system set back gamers? Right now, the price for the new system is set at 16,800 yen or about $145 US … slightly higher that the price of the current plus sized model.

  • Siren Lures in a Movie Deal

    Despite mixed results at the box office, Hollywood still can't seem to get enough of the video game industry. According to an article on Variety earlier this week, Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures has picked up the motion picture rights to Sony's creepy survival horror game, Siren. Although there's currently no director or cast attached to the project, the Variety piece does credit writer Michael Gordon with putting together the screenplay. Gordon does have some experience at adapting other properties to the big screen. His previous writing credits include the upcoming Warner Bros., 300, which based on the Frank Miller graphic novel.

    Early details of the movie's plot center on an American medical student searching for her missing sister in Japan. Eventually, she finds her way to the village of Hanuda, where supernatural forces have taken over. Principal filming is expected to begin on Siren later this year.

  • Phantom Lapboard Comes Up With Some Real Cash

    File this under the "They're Still Around?" category. It's been three years since Infinium Labs first announced its plans to get into the gaming industry with the Phantom video game console. And while the console itself seems no closer to being released, the company has announced plans to release the system's uniquely designed wireless keyboard and mouse combo to PC gamers. Of course, it takes money to release a new product. And money is something that Infinium Labs has been struggling with in recent months. Now comes the announcement that private equity firm Golden Gate Investors is coming to the rescue to the tune of $5 million. With the new funding, Infinium hopes to be able to move forward with its plans to release the Phantom Lapboard later this year.

  • Sony "Zips" Up SOCOM Developer

    Hot on the heels of its acquisition of Killzone developer, Guerrila Games, Sony has announced that it has also snatched up Zipper Interactive, the studio responsible for its top selling SOCOM franchise. As a part of the deal, Zipper will become a part of Sony's ever-growing SCE Worldwide studio. The day to day operations of Zipper will be handled by the current management and execs from SCE Worldwide's Foster City studio. Financial details of the purchase haven't been released, but it’s a safe bet that Sony paid a pretty penny for the studio responsible for one of the company's biggest selling franchises.

More interesting developments on the job front as well. If you're interested in news tidbits like these, expect to see and hear much more in the near future. I hate having to be clandestine here, but there are a couple of projects about to start which will guarantee that you'll be seeing a lot more of my name around the video game and comic industries shortly. Got your curiousity piqued yet? Then keep tuning in here and see where things are going.

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