Nintendo Takes Over Times Square

Eye catching beach on Military Island, Times Square

Eye catching beach on Military Island, Times Square

Nintendo spent a hot and humid New York City Thursday in the middle of Times Square, turning Military Island (that strip that resides smack in the middle of the square) into a beachgoers paradise to celebrate the release of Wii Sports Resort.

The sequel to the pack-in title that comes with every Nintendo Wii system was free to play for any tourist that came up, and gaggles of young girls showed up just to hang out with one of Gossip Girl‘s stars, Chace Crawford.

We’ve already received our copy of Wii Sports Resort and, if you had fun with the original, this one is even better.  Shame about it coming with only one Wii Motion Plus accessory, but our table tennis elbow is still developing rather nicely.

Also we have to note that, of all the Nintendo promotions in recent years, this one was fantastically executed, with just the right spot and right concept to engage with consumers and make the blogosphere rounds.

[More pictures at Joystiq]


VOD: One Man Rock Band

Today’s VOD comes to us from the depths of YouTube, where over 35,000 people have seen DarthGollumKong (quite possibly the greatest/worst username in history) take full advantage of all the instruments in Rock Band.

So that’s a guitar, bass guitar, drums and a microphone, all at the same time, by one person.  And if you re fearful he s all alone, DarthGollumKong comments:

Yeah, I’m a dork. And I do have friends. If you don’t believe me, I uploaded a video of my playing with friends with funny singing and stuff.

We believe you.

{video link no longer active}

Much Ado About HD

Much Ado About HD

Tell ’em you’re playing in HD and no one will get hurt

Eurogamer recently sat down with Epic Games’ Mark Rein to discuss, among other things, the future of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and the fact that a majority of gamers don’t seem to be taking advantage of this generation’s technical capabilities.

Instead of playing games in glorious 1080p, a lot of gamers are still stuck in the stone age of standard definition.  The humanity!

[Rein] My point is, of the systems that are out there now, the majority of them aren’t plugged into HDTVs. So there’s no way we’re ready for the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox Whatever.

The question he should ask is why HD and those gorgeous looking visuals largely unneeded by this generation’s market leader, Nintendo.

The Favorite Games Of Ted Price

The Favorite Games Of Ted Price

Ted Price (Insomniac Games) on his true gaming loves

IndustryGamers has kicked off a very innovative series of articles taking a look at the most favorite and influential games for a variety of industry folks, starting with Insomniac Games’ Ted Price.

Great idea for a series, peeling back the serious layer of business and getting to the hearts of some of today’s best known people.  IndustryGamers explains:

Whether you’re in development, publishing, marketing or another sector, you’re working in games because you have a passion for video games. So we thought it would be appropriate to ask some of the top names in gaming to tell us about their favorite games of all-time.

Glad The Legend of Zelda and Call of Duty 4 made the cut, although somebody tell me, where’s Shaq-Fu

[Full top ten at IndustryGamers]  {link no longer active}

Master Chief Goes Anime

Master Chief Goes Anime

You really thought Halo 3 wrapped up the franchise?

The Los Angeles Times is reporting a new division of Microsoft dubbed 343 Industries is tasked with all things that make up the Halo universe, including a new anime series that will hit DVD, Blu-Ray and Xbox Live in 2010.

And unlike previous video game/Hollywood “collaborations,” this one seems like an actual collaboration.  From the Los Angeles Times:

Microsoft gave the production companies largely free reign in how the shorts looked, but [343 Industries creative director Frank] O’Connor and others were heavily involved in developing the stories and making sure all the details were right.

“Depending on the studio, we did everything from writing the stories to feeding them with characters and scenarios they could explore,” he said.

Halo isn’t going the short films route alone, with Assassin’s Creed II: Lineage debuting later this year as three live action films that run ten to 15 minutes long.  Ubisoft has high hopes this will increase excitement for one of their big holiday titles, and we’re interested to see how many other publishers follow suit.

[Full Los Angeles Times article]


Watch Out, Hulu

Watch Out, Hulu

Behind the smiles, they’re looking for blood.

Seems like the Mouse House isn’t down with being a part of something like Hulu as much as making its very own service.  With their catalog, it’s hard to blame them.  From Variety:

Iger would not elaborate much more about the project other than to say that it would offer a “robust” experience for users. It’s believed to be conceived along the lines of a grown-up version of Disney’s successful kid social network/virtual world services Club Penguin and Pixie Hollow, which charge monthly subscription fees.

Club Penguin is already a huge positive impact on Disney’s Internet bottom line, and a service like this, if coupled with Pixar and Disney classics, could come into its own in a big way.

It may not even compete with Hulu as much as you may initially think.  The subscription route is one Hulu has avoided, and if Disney focuses on its original IP but keeps its strategy open to platforms like Hulu, there could be room for another online video-on-demand player.

Still, if you’re a Hulu exec, you’re probably not sleeping too well tonight.

[Variety’s complete story]

AFK: Mini Space Cooper Invaders

AList shares AFK: Mini Space Cooper Invaders

Mmmm… delicious retro.

You’ve probably seen Portland artist Matt W. Moore’s illustrations in a number of places, including the most recent issue of Wired. Our AFK moment brings us his take on the Mini Cooper, a car already known to turn heads, but now known to go after our gamer hearts.

Click the source link to see how he incorporates Space Invaders in a similar style, and write to Mini to get these cars in production. You’ll regret the purchase days later, but still, it’s pretty cool.

[Other pic at mbf tod@y]  {link no longer public}


Remember The Best Job In The World?

Remember The Best Job In The World?

Someone needs to get that guy fired.

Hamilton Island in Queensland, Australia had a relatively small $1.7 million budget to try and promote their gorgeous neck of the woods, so they decided to have a job hunt.

In what was dubbed The Best Job In The World, Queensland would pay AUS$100,000 to someone to tour the beautiful island and blog, Twitter and video about their adventure.

Very quickly, media from around the world picked up the story, and over 34,000 video entries were created, with over seven million people visiting the site for more information.

Rohit Bhargava takes a detailed look at the campaign and the reasons why it worked so well.  A choice excerpt:

Make it believable. Many marketing groups would never make a claim if they can’t provide substantial evidence. How might Tourism Queensland prove that their job is the best in the world? They can’t. But it is believable because it is a beautiful place and fits what many people’s definition of a dream job might be.

Sometimes it’s as simple as saying you’re more fun than the other guys, and showing how you are more fun.  Look at how quickly Nintendo Wii has gained mass market acceptance.  It took Nintendo creating a compelling concept, but selling it like mad to the masses through outlets like The Today Show, Oprah and more.

[More reasons at Rohit’s blog]

Microsoft Earnings Not So Hot

Microsoft Earnings Not So Hot

Ballmer, grasping for a lifeline. Xbox may deliver it.

From Gamasutra:

Tech giant and Xbox creator Microsoft’s fourth quarter ended with revenue 17 percent down to $13.10 billion, and profits down 29 percent to $3.05 billion.

The company’s Entertainment and Devices Division, which contains its games business, as well as the Zune and other miscellaneous items, saw a 25 percent year-over-year fourth quarter revenue decrease to $1.19 billion.

But this primarily reflected shrinking Zune and Mediaroom revenue – Xbox 360 platform and PC game revenue decreased $110 million or 12 percent. The company shipped 1.2 million Xbox 360 consoles in the quarter, slightly down compared with 1.3 million Xbox 360 consoles during the same timeframe last year.

The biggest reasons given by Microsoft for the decline in Xbox business is a general decline in hardware sales, in addition to price drops implemented recently.

But hey, at least it’s not Windows.

[Full story at Gamasutra]

Twitter’s Unsung Spamme– Hero, We Mean Hero

Twitter's Unsung Spamme-- Hero, We Mean Hero

LOLQuiz, taking over Twitter one quiz at a time

Interesting article over at Fast Company about LOLQuiz and its twenty-seven year old founder and CEO, Dave Zohrob.

For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of seeing the quiz enticements created by LOLQuiz (similar to all those quizzes your Facebook friends can’t get enough of), the idea is simple.

Take a hot topic.  Write or take a quiz about said hot topic.  Rinse, repeat.

And for all of you who are trying desperately to reach the Twitterspheric heights of Zohrob, read on:

In just over a month, LOLquiz has amassed more than 300,000 users and scored at least 20 of Twitter’s top trending topics – all by letting people write, take, and tweet about five-question quizzes. Yet Zohrob has no advertising budget and works with just one business partner: Jim Young, founder of The success of LOLquiz, he says, is part luck, part tech, and an army of tweens.

“I was just experimenting,” says Zohrob, noting that he created the site after spotting the similarly popular quiz apps on Facebook. “I had no idea it would get this big.”

You had no idea it would get this big, huh?  I’m busting my ass here to get 45 followers to my company’s website, and you just happened to stumble upon 300,000 users?  You son of a —

Lesson?  Never underestimate the scaleability of a seemingly innocuous idea in the hands of a social network.

[Fast Company scoop] {link no longer active}