Friday, March 17, 2006

More news at GameSpy

I've been keeping pretty busy over at GameSpy keeping the site updated on its news stories. Here's the latest:
  • Sony Breaks Its Silence on the PS3
    Less than twenty four hours after Japanese newspapers broke the news that the PS3 would miss its intended spring launch, Sony is making headlines again. This time though, it's not about what the upcoming console won't do, but rather promises about what it will.
    More ...

  • Sony Reveals Future PSP Plans
    Although most of today's spotlight seems to squarely on Sony's big announcements regarding the PS3 console, the company didn't forget to focus some attention on its portable console. In a press release put out today, Sony Computer Entertainment outlined some new plans for its popular handheld system.
    More ...

  • New 360 Tech Give MS Its 5,000th Patent
    'Patent No. 6,999,083' may not have some cool-sounding marketing name yet, but it's already generating some nice buzz for Microsoft. That patent marks the 5,000th granted to the company since it was founded back in 1975. It's the actual technology contained within the patent, though, that will be of particular interest to gamers.
    More ...

  • BioWare Expands in a Massive (Multiplayer) Way
    While the opening of a new BioWare studio isn't too surprising, the new studio's first project may be. According to the press release, BioWare Austin has already begun work on a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing game (MMORPG) title, a first for BioWare.
    More ...

  • 2K Games Announces New Dungeon Siege Titles
    Proving that even Uwe Boll can't kill a game franchise, Take-Two Interactive announced on Wednesday that it has picked up the publishing rights to Gas Powered Games' popular Dungeon Siege series. The first two titles to come from the new deal include an expansion pack for Dungeon Siege II on the PC, and a brand new Dungeon Siege entry for the PSP.
    More ...

  • Viva Piñata Takes a Swing at Gamers
    Microsoft Game Studios and 4Kids Entertainment announced on Wednesday that the two have officially partnered up to introduce the entertainment industry to the unique world of Viva Piñata. Originally created by Rare Ltd., Viva Piñata takes place on an island (conveniently called "Piñata Island") where the candy-filled party toys favored by sadistic children around the world actually come to life. As a result of this new deal, it won't be long before the general public becomes saturated with products featuring the unusual property.
    More ...
I've also been assigned the review of Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble for the PSP. As soon as I get the game in and get the review published, I'll post the link per usual.

Well, I WAS leaving ...

As I said earlier, I was set to leave and head to California for an meeting with the folks over at GameSpy about the News Editor position. As the song says, all my bags were packs and I was ready to go ... but occasionally, The Powers That Be decide that it would be funny to give you a swift kick in the ass. For this particular case, The Powers That Be recruited the "fine" folks at Delta to get a good laugh in.

Before I go into what happened and why, I need to rewind a bit for one piece of information. The Game Developers Conference is taking place next week in sunny San Jose ... as a result, most video game media outlets will be busy trying to get as much coverage as possible. This means that GameSpy was itching to get me out for the meeting before the end of the week. After all, if we couldn't it by then, GDC would throw everything off and I wouldn't be able to meet up with them until the week after. It may not seem like much, just an extra 7-10 days ... but it's a big deal. So, GameSpy went ahead and bought the plane ticket to fly me out this morning. Well, I'm NOT in Cali right now, so it's a safe bet that something went ... wrong.

I printed out my ticket, I was at the airport in plenty of time, and I was all set to go ... until the fateful moment that I hit the check-in kiosk. I scan in the ticket, and the screen pops up a message asking me to "Insert Credit Card Used To Purchase This Ticket". Apparently, Delta has a policy in place where if you buy a plane ticket with a credit card within five days of departure, you have to PRESENT the credit card at check-in. You see where this is going yet?

So, I'm trying to figure out HOW I'm going to make this work and get out to Cali today. The Delta rep at the desk offered me one solitary solution: She would cancel the ticket I had in hand, and then have me repurchase the SAME TICKET on my credit card for a higher price of $900. The higher price was because the ticket was technically a same day purchase. So, to clarify, Delta wanted me to CANCEL the lower priced ticket which had already been paid for so that they could sell me the SAME TICKET for a few hundred more. And all because *I* didn't have the credit card that the company paid for the ticket with. Yeah ... that wasn't happening.

I tried calling the Delta customer service number and didn't fare much better. By the time we actually got around to working out a new solution ... something involving me paying an extra $100 fee tacked on to the pre-paid ticket ... so much time had passed in the various misadventures of checking in that there was no way for me to get to an onsite service rep, get the ticket, get through security, and get on the plane. And so, the trip has to be rescheduled for the week after GDC.

So, your Public Service Announcement of the Day?

Delta sucks ...

As a side note ... I picked up Mega Man Powered Up on the PSP to give me something to do on the trip. If you own a PSP, you HAVE to get this game. So far, it's the best game I've seen on Sony's handheld ... though I haven't picked up Daxter just yet.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Leavin' on a jet plane

It's going to be a hectic time leading to the big Three Oh on April 1st (translation: yes, I turn 30 on April Fool's Day). I'm flying out to CA on Thursday to interview at GameSpy for a position as news editor. Then, the week after GDC (and just two days removed from my birthday), I fly BACK out to CA for a business meeting to discuss me taking on the role of Editorial Director at the new magazine spinning off from Play. And in between all of that, I'm supposed to talk with the producers at All Games about doing news for them, help Vic come up with some pieces to film for Electric Playground while they're at Wizard World LA, and write up about 30 scripts for some gaming segments. Oh, AND I'm trying to get MySpace to fix a problem witha new group I put together ... the damned thing won't post forum topics.

Like I said ... busy times ahead. Drop me a line though and, if nothing else, wish me luck. I'll need the extra moral support ... 'cause I'm lacking in morals myself (heh).

Monday, March 06, 2006

It's a new(s) start to the week

It's been a while, but it looks like (among my many other projects), I'm back to contributing news articles over at GameSpy. Here's my latest contributions:
  • E3 is Officially a "Sell-Out"
    "Word has come out today from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) that this year's E3 trade event has officially sold every inch of its more than 540,000 net square feet of exhibit space, covering all five halls at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Always considered to be the premiere event for the video game industry, this year's event will play host to more than 400 different exhibitors."

  • Family Guy Video Games Hitting Consoles This Fall
    "Take-Two Interactive and Twentieth Century Fox today announced an exclusive licensing agreement to produce a series of video games based on Fox's hit animated series Family Guy. The games will be released under Take-Two's 2K Games publishing label, working closely with series creator Seth McFarlane."

  • 2K Games Sheds Some Light On The Darkness
    "Comic book fans were sent for a loop late last year when Majesco announced that it had sold off all rights to two upcoming comic-based video game titles. Games based on Top Cow's supernatural hitman The Darkness and Marvel Comics' flaming motorcyclist Ghost Rider were both sold to an unnamed publisher to the tune of $8 million. Speculation as to the identity of the publisher officially ended on Friday when Take-Two announced that it will be bringing The Darkness to next-gen consoles sometime next winter."

As always, I'll post what information I can about the latest happenings here. Keep your eyes peeled for some big announcements too.