iPod Nano Sans Click Wheel Rumored

It is strongly believed that Apple will unveil a new iPod Touch with a forward-facing camera for FaceTime during a September press conference. However, analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. thinks a new iPod Nano design could be in the cards as well.

It is thought that this new iPod Nano would include many of the same hardware elements of the iPhone 4, such as a faster processor, retina display and FaceTime video conferencing. Interestingly, it could be that this iPod Nano will ship without the traditional click wheel.

Source: SFGate {link no longer active}

Sony Wants PS3 Successes To Surpass PS2

The PS3 has sold around 38 million units worldwide not bad, but not really on pace with the PS2, which has sold over 146 million units in ten years. SCE CEO Kaz Hirai acknowledges that the PS2 set the bar high, though he’s optimistic it can be reached by 2016.

“The high point, looking back at our console business, has been PS2,” said SCE CEO Kaz Hirai. “For PS3, that is one level of success we d like to emulate and hopefully surpass at the end of the ten-year lifecycle.”

“The PS3 has built up some momentum over the past year and Hirai wants to continue that. He’s restructured the Tokyo HQ to divide up the home console, portable and accessory responsibilities in order to better concentrate on the international market. If it s right for Japan it s probably not right for the rest of the world,” he said.

Source: MCV

Pokemon: Black And White Fastest Pre-Ordered Game In DS History

Pokemon: Black and White hasn’t released in Japan yet, but the game is already a success. That’s because over one million people have pre-ordered the game, which is the fastest ever for a DS game.

The last main release in the series, Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl, sold three million copies within its first two days on sale in Japan. Pokemon: Black and White, meanwhile, is set to have 1.5 million pre-orders by the time it releases in September.

Google Game Advocate Departs

Mark DeLoura was brought on as the developer advocate for Google back in April. However, he has revealed that he is leaving his position after a few short months; despite this, he feels upbeat about his position.

“This past Monday, I left Google,” wrote DeLoura. “There are a lot of very interesting things going on at Google right now, and I enjoyed working with many of the people there, but it was not the perfect fit for me. I’m looking forward to my next adventure.”

He’s still very excited about future technologies that Google will be working on. DeLoura cited Native Client and Chrome Web Store as things in particular to look out for.

“For game developers, I’m looking forward to the day where we see more games running in the cloud, like Farmville and World of Warcraft do now, and it is easy for developers to create clients on multiple platforms so I can bring my game with me no matter where I am. As game developers we ve talked about the idea of making multiple-platform game access simpler for a long time trans-platform play where the experiences may be different, as opposed to cross-platform play where the experiences are the same and it should be easier for developers to create clients for web, mobile and desktop without needing to write them in completely different languages or using vastly different SDKs,” DeLoura described. “The increasing use of web services can abstract away a lot of the need for platform-specific SDK features, but there s still a lot of work to do all around. Games aren’t getting cheaper to make, that’s for sure, and it s important that technically complex features are still easily available to independent developers working alone.”

“Game engines and middleware are only getting better and better, and make increasing sense to use to bridge all these gaps. But the costs can be difficult to bear for indies, and there are also the different market systems, social graphs, and platform tech requirements to deal with it s clear there are still a lot of problems for the game industry to solve to make things easier for small developers. Which is good, because we all don t like being bored,” he joked.

Source: Satori.org

Futurama Comes To Comic Con

A clip was plucked from the revived Futurama and shown at Comic Con, which depicted and parodied a future version of (what else ) Comic Con. Comedy Central has now released the clip (which is from the coming episode) where the disembodied heads of Matt Groening and David X. Cohen preview Futurella at Comic Con.


Futurama Thursdays 10pm / 9c
Preview – Futurella at Comic-Con
Futurama New Episodes Big Lake A New Comedy from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay

Feature: Kane & Lynch 2: Making Ugly Marketing Look Good

Few games could be called ugly and have it be a compliment, but with Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days that may well be the case. Designed to show bad men in unfortunate circumstances, its violence is not for the weak hearted. The marketing campaign was built around this, as Karen Conroe North American Launch consultant for Eidos, illustrated to us during an interview.

[a]list: Was it purposeful to present the teaser trailers for Kane & Lynch 2 as stock footage?

Karen: Those were released late last year, and they were some of the first looks at what the game content would have. They were very short and they were designed to get people talking about it. It really did look like a cut from a security camera footage. Those were the first two pieces that were released, and then the debut trailer released in December. They weren’t marked with any branding for the game in order to work up the early buzz.

[a]list: Were the trailers affected by the aesthetic design of the game, or was it the other way around?

Karen: It’s really to emulate that YouTube video look; it’s like someone is photographing the video. That was the intent of the development team to present it like a hand-captured video and it’s front in center in the marketing campaign to have it presented the way.

That was absolutely a reflection of the look and feel of the game and it was an extension of the creative vision. That was one of the guiding principles for the ad campaign – the look of the trailers were designed to preserve the frenetic pace of the game and the unique style of the art direction.

[a]list: Was it seen as important to emphasize the personalities of Kane and Lynch in the ads?

Karen: In terms of focusing on the personalities, the key message is getting that anti-hero look. And they’re really not heroes; they’re regular guys and they make mistakes and bad decisions. They have no chemistry together, and it’s the opposite of even buddy cop/crime films, turning that stereotype on its head.

We want to convey the desperation in their lives; Lynch has a girfriend now and has something to lose. Both of these guys, there anti heroes, but they’re losers! They have bad luck and they’re constantly at each other’s throats.

Would you trust these men

[a]list: Yeah in most co-op games like Gears of War, there might be some male jocularity, but it’s all in the name of camaraderie. Kane and Lynch aren’t like that…

Karen: They don’t like each other! They just happen to need each other. This is supposed to be for one more score. Lynch doesn’t like Kane, but he knows that only Kane can move this crime deal forward.

[a]list: The Kane & Lynch series is often described as being purposefully grimy. Did you look to bring out these harsh tones in the marketing of the game?

Karen: The team went to Shanghai and did extensive video capture to convey what the city looks like in the side streets and alleys. In some of the trailers, like for behind-the scenes clips, we really wanted to get at “what is real” but we didn’t want them to look like the traditional pieces in a nice set up with a TV commentator, so we went to Chinatown in LA to recreate the lights and sounds of the game and present things in a different way.

One of the great things about Shanghai, is it made it easy to emphasize the old and new. There’s the grimy old Shanghai and the shiny and neon new Shanghai. It’s about contrasting that, and I think Shanghai has a very clear contrast. And the basic footage they got… you can really see that in the look of the product.

The game takes on all the aspects of the anti-hero perspectives. It’s like the antithesis of Mafia II which is stunningly beautiful in presenting its pristine game world and K&L takes the opposite approach with its urban grittiness. That’s where the tagline “Real Ain’t Pretty” came from.

[a]list: It sounds like a unique project to work on, even among gaming.

Karen: You’ve got to love your ugly baby! I’ve enjoyed it. Because it isn’t like other products and it has a distinctive look that stands out.

[a]list: How did you all look to focus on the character emphasis switch from Kane to Lynch from the first to the second games?

Karen: That was by fan request, actually! So many people requested to play as Lynch, because he was so crazy! So that was really driven by fan request.

In a way, this chapter in the series was really driven by the changes in Lynch’s life. He has his job there with the crime syndicate, his girlfriend – it’s a springboard out of the events that ended last game. It really was a point to focus on Lynch, in the marketing.

[a]list: How did you look to emphasize the multiplayer modes? The popular scenario “Fragile Alliance” from the first game was one of the larger selling points.

Karen: Absolutely. It was popular the first time around and we wanted to push it out in Dog Days, so we released a bunch of trailers for the multiplayer modes, including an arcade mode that you can do by yourself so you have a chance to practice before you go online. We also did trailers to show how each of the modes work. Around the launch of the multiplayer demo, we had some pre-order spots that had to do with the multiplayer; we made a trailer for Gamestop to show their items and the same for Best Buy. We wanted to promote the multiplayer that way; it was a key priority.

[a]list: What were some of the unique challenges in working on Kane & Lynch 2 in particular?

Karen: One of the challenges we had was to make spots that are acceptable to a general viewing audience, and the ESRB has strict ratings for TV and for things without an Age Gate. We have a spot in LA Live, so we were challenged to make it happen. TV networks have their own creative, and they have their own guidelines as well. With any “M” rated title you have to think about how you’re going to present it, but the look of Kane & Lynch 2 is very intense so it really grabs viewers. And that’s our objective, but you have to meet everyone’s guidelines.

[a]list: We’ve heard about how there are strict parameters over what violence can and cannot be shown on television – forces some games to have clever editing.

Karen: In some ways that’s a plus!! You want people to feel compelled to see more. Sometimes you can’t show too much before people think you cross the line, but the nature of the product is not to dress it up, so it’s a balance.

[a]list: Karen, thanks.


EA Taking Medal Of Honor Criticism In Stride

The inclusion of the Taliban in the upcoming Medal of Honor has drawn criticism from some quarters. EA Games president Frank Gibeau indicates, however, that the company won’t bow to outside pressure on the issue.

“We respect the media s views, but at the same time [these reports] don’t compromise our creative vision and what we want to do. There’s a lot of furore around games that take creative risks like games that let you play terrorists in airports mowing down civilians,” said Gibeau, referring to Modern Warfare 2. “At EA we passionately believe games are an artform, and I don t know why films and books set in Afghanistan don t get flack, yet [games] do. Whether it s Red Badge Of Courage or The Hurt Locker, the media of its time can be a platform for the people who wish to tell their stories. Games are becoming that platform.”

“Games have been set in Afghanistan before. We anticipated this [controversy] when we decided on the concept of the game this is about being a special forces solider,” he added. “What’s really important for us is that we partnered with the U.S. military, and the Medal of Honor Society as well. We’ve gone out of our way to produce the best story for the game. That s always been a Medal of Honor concept we put you in the boots of a solider, whether it’s in the Pacific, Europe, Afghanistan; it s always been the story of the solider.”

The Medal Of Honor reboot is being co-developed by Swedish Studio DICE and Los Angeles-based Danger Close. Gibeau says the two groups are enthusiastic about the project and very proud of what they are creating, despite the flak. “The development teams care very much about what they re building, and of course a bit of criticism from the media causes some to get demoralised, but at the end of the day we’re proud of what we re doing. Bringing Medal of Honor back was no small feat.”

Source: Develop