Tuesday, September 18, 2007

World Cyber Games 2007 USA Finals

The World Cyber Games USA finals for this year ended on Sunday, and it was definitely one with its share of upsets. Thankfully this year I was able to watch a live stream on Epileptic Gaming's website since many of the hosts were working there casting the matches. I was excited to see Dead or Alive 4 players Master and Vanessa since I followed both of them closely during the first season of the CGS. Master, unfortunately lost and in his place Perfect Legend and Black Mamba will be representing Team USA. Surprisingly the epic Counter Strike 1.6 team NY3D were not present this year; even though they have been the defending national champs for two years now. Representing Team USA this year for CS 1.6 is team Emazing Gaming. Ch0mper, arguably one of the best Project Gotham Racing 3 players in the world will represent USA once more. Ch0mper is coming off a successful first season in the CGS with the Chicago Chimera. Earlier in the summer, Ch0mper and his teammate JasonX went undefeated in regular and post-season play, helping the Chimera to win the CGS Region 1 title and also receive the MVP. Team USA has much on its shoulders this year with the WCG Grand Finals being held in Seattle this year. Last year Team Korea swept the Starcraft event and led the world in total medals with two golds, one silver, and one bronze. Last year Team USA won only one gold medal with Ch0mper winning PGR3. This year USA plans to give the world their best with a new CS 1.6 team, 2 new DOA4 champs, two dominating players in the new Command and Conquer 3 ,and Ch0mper returning to defend his world title. The Grand Finals are going to be held October 3-7 with at least 70 countries in attendance.
For the full Team USA roster check out the World Cyber Games USA website and for videos of the USA finals check out GGL Wire

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Nintendo Not Going The Easy Way Out

With the launch of the Wii we heave seen a radical shift in the marketing strategy of Nintendo. Nintendo is leading the charge into the world of casual gaming with games such as Wii Sports and Brain Age for the DS. Nintendo's recent success can be attributed to many non-gamers buying the Wii or DS for its casual, family friendly titles. But what is Nintendo's strategy now that the Wii has overtaken the Xbox 360 in sales? Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has stated that key to attracting new audiences is to surprise people with new gaming ideas.

I can tell you that Nintendo surprised us all with the announcement of the Wii Balance Board, but is that the way to go? Microsoft is broadening is market with new engaging titles such as Bioshock and Mass Effect while continuing to build on the success of the Call of Duty franchise and who can forget the launch of Halo 3 in under two weeks. Iwata has said that Nintendo could "do the easy" by making good games and sequels like they did for years up untill the Nintendo64. Nintendo has opted insted to go make new peripherals that probably won't be used for any other game than the one bundled with it. Does anybody remember the Donkey Kong Bongo Drums?
Although I can't blame Nintendo for following the strategy that has brought it back to the top of the video game market, one can only ask how long will the Wii's success last.
Click here for Iwata's interview

No more World Series of Video Games

The World Series of Video Games has been cancelled!! The World Series of Video Games ,one of many professional gaming circuits, has been cancelled by its parent company Games Media Properties. In a press release Games Media Properites states "The continuing challenges of securing adequate revenues to sustain the production of the WSVG's large scale events and television programming." The WSVG was in the process of securing television time for its events in Los Angeles, London, and Sweeden. The WSVG televised its summer event in Dallas earlier this year on CBS, but it was met with mixed reviews. With one of the key esports circuits now gone we can expect more coverage of other events such as The Championship Gaming Series, which has just announced the $500,000 team prize for the winning team at their world championship this upcoming November. Click here for the source article

The opening post and a little about GameStop

As we approach the holiday season GameStop has seen it appropriate to redesign their store layouts. With the growing popularity of casual games and rhythm games such as Guitar Hero, the higher ups at GameStop have decided to add sections for rhythm games and games licensed to children. When asked by the NY Times, Daniel A. DeMatteo, COO of GameStop replied "Honestly, we are having to retool the way we think of things in our stores in terms of merchandising, layout and also customer service because it is no longer only the hardcore gamer walking in who knows exactly what he wants." Although many of the hardcore see this as a continuing shift of focus to the growing casual audience, I belive this will help gamers in the end. By placing all the games meant for children in one section, it will help parents who are looking for titles for their kids, and you won't find titles such as Viva Pinata next to Gears of War. Although nothing is a substitute for good parenting, this is showing that the people marketing and selling the games are taking the initative in keeping mature titles out of the hands of children. Although I don't believe that this will make a significant impact, I can hope that when I'm shopping for Mass Effect and Call of Duty 4 I won't be bothered by the snotnosed brats looking for Viva Pinata Party Anmals, or the upcoming Scene It game. Click Here for the full article.