Articles of Interest

EA will begin distributing via Steam, despite having its own digital game delivery platform (EA Store).

The RIAA has abandoned its policy of suing individual users for sharing copyrighted songs and instead will “work with Internet service providers to cut abusers’ access if they ignore repeated warnings.” Overdue but welcome.

NYTimes examines Tap Tap, which is becoming the Guitar Hero and Rock Band of the iPhone. Not because Tap Tap is particularly imaginative or even particularly good, but because the developer of this music game platform has quickly and effectively leveraged its first mover advantage on the iPhone. Can Tap Tap still be displaced? Sure. The quickest method: find a way to let me download the tracks from my existing Rock Band games onto an iPhone version of Rock Band and I’ll switch in a heartbeat and never look back. Obviously, I’ll have to pay something for the privilege (flat fees? ongoing subs? something else?)

Towards the end of the holiday period, Activision discounted its’ blockbuster, Call of Duty: World at War to $49. A symbol of both the effects of the recession and too much competition… it will be interesting to see what happens with prices over the next three months.

Via Raph, news that in the third quarter of ‘08 laptop shipments exceeded that of desktops for the first time ever. And he asks a good question: what does a true AAA game designed for a netbook look like?

Also via Raph, one of the most clever games I’ve ever played. It only takes a couple minutes — check it out.

Seth Godin writes, “Organizations staffed with sports fans or true believers worry me, because they often use their passion as an excuse for poor performance.” We’re certainly an industry populated by true believers… so how about it? Have you seen evidence of this inside or outside your organization? I believe that I have.

Useful reminder: the Wii may be the best-selling next gen console, but which console accounts for the greatest share of gaming minutes? The PS2, at 30%. The Xbox 360 is next, at 18%. The Wii clocks in at 13.5%. Not an indictment of the Wii, but yet another reminder that if you’re a third party, other platforms may represent better investments. And that the PS2 is still a force to be reckoned with.

There’s more to life than games:

Yet another great XKCD comic. I don’t know about you, but the personal time I spent messing with computers had a far greater impact on my career than anything I learned in high school…

And yet another funny post by Scott Adams’ (more funny if you’re a dog lover.)

I’m probably one of the only people on earth who can claim their sister is a professional puppeteer (and a darn good one at that.) She recently made a new website with photos of her work.

2 responses to “Articles of Interest

  1. “Useful reminder: the Wii may be the best-selling next gen console, but which console accounts for the greatest share of gaming minutes? The PS2, at 30%. The Xbox 360 is next, at 18%. The Wii clocks in at 13.5%. Not an indictment of the Wii, but yet another reminder that if you’re a third party, other platforms may represent better investments. And that the PS2 is still a force to be reckoned with.”

    Maybe, but a lot of that has to do with the proliferation of PS2 games and the fact that it’s been out for 9 years. If you look here: http://vgchartz.com/ayearly.php?year=2008&boxartz=2

    You’ll see the Xbox 360 has sold only 7% less games in 1/3 of the time. As time goes on, I think you’ll see the 360 come out on top as the console of choice in terms of gaming minutes.

  2. >true believers

    OMG, there’s so much of this in tech, and in games in particular, it’s ridiculous. I think we’ve both seen some of that (and been guilty of it too!)

    >gaming minutes

    Granted, PS2 has momentum, but WTF does ‘gaming minutes’ mean, and does it matter?

    If trying to measure “winning” in the business sense, it’s about revenue (with proxies in the form of attach rate & installed base, but they are really trying to surmise revenue for platform owner & publishers).

    If trying to measure “end user favorites” or such, then I’d posit that quality matters more than quantity. That one hour playing Wii sports with my kid is a hundred times more enjoyable, memorable and valuable than 50 hours playing God of War or some other PS2 hit. The former I’ll remember in 20 years, the latter… I doubt it.

    If ‘gaming minutes’ mattered, and if they’d cast a wider net, I’d venture that Solitaire or Freecell still wins, hands-down.

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