Live U2 Concert Coming To YouTube

U2 has teamed up with YouTube to stream a live feed from an upcoming concert, reports Reuters.  YouTube will stream this Sunday s sold-out show at the Rose Bowl in California, followed by two scheduled replays after the live feed ends.

Fans of the legendary Irish rock band are accustomed to sold-out shows and skyrocketing scalped ticket prices.  U2 says that fans often travel long distances to see the band, and now they re putting an effort in bringing the show to them.

Read more from Reuters {link no longer active}.

‘God Of War’ Dressed Up For PS3

The trailer for God of War Collection show off just what a feat Sony thinks it has pulled in re-mastering the PS2 games for PS3.  Once the introduction is out of the way, the trailer’s complete focus is on in-game visuals.  Sony even demonstrates some prescience in addressing specific areas that were visually impressive in standard definition but might not translate well to HD.  The footage shows plenty of particle effects, fast scrolling environments and the game’s infamously giant bosses to highlight how little they break down in visual fidelity.

If re-mastering all the PS2 classics was as feasible as God of War, and could be as much a feast on the eyes, Sony could ditch its backwards compatibility woes.

Watch it at GameTrailers {link no longer active}.

Windows 7 Launches Into ‘Family Guy’ Episode

Microsoft and Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane announced a sponsorship deal last week that involved commercial-free programming promoting Windows 7.  Ad Age {link no longer active} reported that the planned program is an old-fashioned variety show starring McFarlane and fellow Family Guy voice actors.

The first clip released is an animated Family Guy sketch featured at BrandFreak.  It s not exactly the subtle or satirical product placement you’d expect from McFarlane’s brand of humor.  BrandFreak’ s T.L. Stanley hopes it s not a sign of what viewers can expect throughout the show, which he thinks might have people questioning the effect of ads bleeding into content in general.

Watch it at BrandFreak.

Five Viral Triggers

Writing for iMedia Connection, Brandon Evans highlights five essential approaches when organizing word-of-mouth campaigns.  While Evans only implies it, campaigns that rely on pass-along have to compel people to volunteer time and effort to help spread word for what they recognize as a marketing effort.  His list of essentials all strike at this core requirement by following one or more of the following approaches: empower individuals and position them as influencers, deliver a meaningful message that inspires activism, provide really compelling content, allow ways to personalize content, or give away free stuff.

While the methods may seem straightforward, Evans presents examples where brands succeeded with creative approaches that fall within the guidelines.  He cites campaigns for each, ranging from word-of-mouth efforts for President Barrack Obama to Activision’s action game Prototype.

Read more at iMedia Connection.

NPD Shows A Flat September

Gamastura breaks down NPD’s release of September sales data for the game industry.  Microsoft and Bungie’s Halo3: ODST took the top spot for software sales with 1.5 million units, outselling number two Wii Sports Resort by more than three to one units.  Software sales overall saw a five percent increase to about $649 million.

Sony s price cut on PS3 paid dividends, with the system outselling its home console competitors and placing second to Nintendo DS.  For September, PS3 sold 491,800 units compared to 462,800 for Wii and 352,600 for 360.  All three home consoles lowered prices last month and saw a jump in sales compared to August, says NPD.

Overall industry sales for the year to-date are $10.36 billion, down 13 percent year over year.  NPD predicts a down year but hopes holiday sales will close the current gap between 2009 and 2008 performance.

Read more at Gamasutra {link no longer active}.

Analysts Predict Decline In Nintendo Profit

Analyst estimates say Nintendo may cut earnings forecast and see a decline in annual profit for the first time in six years, reports Bloomberg.  Analysts project an 11 percent decline in the company’s net income to $2.7 billion this year.  One analyst at Deutsche Bank predicts the company will cut its profit projection 30 percent due, citing sluggish sales overall, less revenue from Wii sales due to the price cut, and impact from a stronger yen.  Bloomberg cites NPD figures showing that PS3 outsold Wii in U.S. and Japan, with U.S. Wii sales falling 33 percent for September.  Nintendo is scheduled to report earnings on October 29.

Read more at Bloomberg {link no longer active}.

Microsoft Will Raise XBL Subscription Fee, Says Analyst

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter suggests that Microsoft could soon raise the price of Xbox Live membership, reports Gamasutra.  Pachter made his comments during an interview with GTTV .

Pachter believes a possible strategy at Microsoft is to hook increasing numbers of gamers on online multiplayer and eventually increase subscription fees for the service that delivers it.  He also sees the addition of features such as social media tools as eventual components of a tiered service, what he compares to cable TV’s basic versus premium packages.

Currently 360 owners pay $50 a month for XBL Gold service to access online multiplayer.  Pachter predicts that could double.  His comments counter what many believed would be Microsoft’s eventual move towards completely free XBL service to match what Sony has with PS Network.  Pachter even suggests publishers with popular multiplayer franchises may eventually charge fees of their own.

Read more at Gamastura {link no longer active}.

‘Rock Band’ Really Outplayed ‘Guitar Hero’, Says MTV

NPD figures show MTV Games The Beatles: Rock Band beat Activision’s Guitar Hero 5 in September sales units.  Speaking to Gamasutra, MTV Games general manager Scott Guthrie clarified just by how much their franchise beat Activision’s, underlining the growing competitiveness between the two music game brands.  According to Guthrie, their title outperformed Guitar Hero 5 two-to-one on revenue basis despite being released eight days later.  NPD figures show 360 versions of both titles in the top ten, with The Beatles: Rock Band at number 5 with 254,000 units and Guitar Hero 5 at number 9 with 210,800 units.  Accounting for unit sales on all platforms for the latest iterations, NPD says Rock Band outsold Guitar Hero by 20 percent.

The better revenue performance cited by MTV reflects more purchases of peripheral hardware with their game, which Gamasutra points out would mean more new adopters that had to buy Rock Band instruments.  Guthrie says the marketing plan for The Beatles title is two-pronged, with launch activity geared at hardcore and a more mainstream effort planned for a holiday push.  He also discusses MTV Games download strategy.

Read more at Gamasutra {link no longer active}.

UK Band Promotes Album Through Google Street

UK musicians The Editors are using Google Street View to promote their new album, reports Revolution magazine.  The band has a Google Maps widget on their site that launches a treasure hunt for tracks from the album and photos of the band.

The game flags destinations in and around London on the map.  Clicking on a flag brings up that location’s Google Street View, and players follow an on-screen radar to pinpoint hidden tracks and photos.  Revolution paints the effort as a sign that brands are starting to embrace the Google tool despite controversy for it being an invasion of privacy.

Read more at Revolution {link no longer active}.

Piracy Chases Game Maker Away From PSP

Q Games, developer of the PixelJunk games for Sony’s PS Network, says it is reconsidering its decision to port games to PSP due to piracy concerns.  Speaking to, Q Games founder Dylan Cuthbert says the company was shocked by forum chatter that openly discussed piracy of their first PSP port PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe.   Cuthbert believes that solutions such as serial numbers embedded in code would eventually be sidestepped by hackers.  He says the company is looking at how Monsters ultimately performs despite the piracy before making the decision to port any more titles.