iMac Touch: Newest Thing From Apple?

Apple has patented an idea that combines functions of a desktop computer with touchscreen interface. Images in the patent show a monitor on a swivel base that can be rotated and used as a touch screen.

“Imagine having an iMac on your desktop one minute and a gigantic iPad the next,” writes Jack Purcher. “Imagine playing iGames on this dream machine – Wow! Imagine reading a double-page book on this – Unbelievable! Apple takes the mystery out of how OS X could finally co-exist with iOS on a Mac and you’ve got to see this one to believe it.”

While some might be excited by the the possibilities of an iMac with iPad capabilities, there’s no guarantee this product will ever come to market.

Source: Patently Apple

Microsoft Contemplating Windows Phone 7 To Console Gaming

Microsoft has said they are working on phone-to-console gaming for Windows Phone 7. They are also looking into the potential of cross platform play between the PC and phone “using the Xbox Live infrastructure.”

“So initially we’re turn by turn-based,” the rep said, referring to the phone-to-phone multiplayer capabilities on day one. “We are working on real-time phone-to-console, likely initially through Wi-Fi — again, operator networks are sensitive to that. That’s not on day one; day one will be turn-by-turn as well as companion-type gaming where you play a level on the phone and it may unlock a level or a weapon or some special achievement on the console game. But, uh yeah — absolutely working on phone-to-console real-time. That is something we’re working on and expect to have in the near future.”

Source: Joystiq

Digital Chocolate Puts Hit Out On Zynga Over Mafia Wars

Digital Chocolate is suing social game maker Zynga. The casual gaming company led by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins contends they have the rights to the Mafia Wars name, not Zynga.

We are surprised and disappointed by Digital Chocolate s lawsuit, said Zynga in a statement. The timing of the action appears to be opportunistic, and we plan to defend ourselves vigorously.

Mafia Wars is one of the largest Facebook titles, claiming over 27.8 million monthly active users on the social network.

Source: VentureBeat  {link no longer active}

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.

 

Young Men Have Positive Outlook On Lives – Study

Giant Realm released the results of the Giant Realm GuyPulse Series, a quarterly report. Examining the habits of over 850 men between the ages of 18-34, the study showed that generation Y is pleased with their lives and careers despite diminished job prospects.

“Young men are a resilient group, optimistic and fairly positive of their current state,” said James Green, President of Giant Realm. “They have good jobs, they re motivated, they’re social, they re spending money and they influence their family and friends. The fact that young men see themselves as being in a good place is good news for advertisers who target this important group to promote the products guys love.”

Nearly 60 percent of men ages 18-34 are asked by friends and family about video game recommendations and over 75 percent say they are asked for movie recommendations. Young men are a particularly good source for movie info, since roughly 25 percent definitely see movies during opening weekend for what they most want to see and 40 percent say they might go.

Toshiba Reportedly Working On Glasses-Free 3D TV

Reports from the Yomiuri Shimbun say that Toshiba will launch the first 3D TVs that work without 3D glasses later in 2010. Three models of this television will release before Christmas.

The television apparently works by emitting rays of light from various angles so viewers can see stereoscopic 3D images without the need for glasses “People can enjoy images in three dimensions from various positions and suffer less stress,” reads the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Source: Breitbart.com {link no longer active}