We've just finished testing and reviewing Alienware's flagship 17-inch gaming laptop, the Area-51 m17x. We'll just come right out and say the m17x is about as powerful as a laptop gets, at least if it's as tricked-out as our $6,000-plus review unit was. How powerful? How about around 120 frames per second in Unreal Tournament III at a 1,920x1,200 resolution?
Sure there are more modest Area-51 m17x builds available for as little as $1,999, but at that level, you might as well save up your pennies for a few more years, or … Read more
Pew Internet & American Life Project has found nearly all American teens--97 percent--ages 12-17 play computer, Web, console, or mobile games. Teens are also playing these games with relative frequency and duration. Nearly one-third (31 percent) of teen gamers play games every day, and another one in five (21 percent) play games three to five days a week.
In a surprise twist, the study has found that video games are actually beneficial to teens. The full report (PDF) shows that gaming and community helps kids become more civic minded, encourages interest in charity and politics, and increases socialization.
Forget differences in race, income or ethnicity--virtually all American teens play video games.
That's the verdict of a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project that renders the digital divide almost nonexistent when it comes to video games, including computer, console and mobile games.
In one of the first nationally representative studies of its kind, Pew's research also asked whether teens are being spoiled for community engagement and politics with video game play, something educators have feared as gaming's popularity has skyrocketed. The short answer: not anymore than they already were.
"Young people … Read more
One of the key components in the Playstation 3 won't be in the Playstation 4 if Sony plays its cards right. And which component is that?
Its Blu-ray drive.
I know Sony zealots will probably scoff at the very thought of Blu-ray not being included in the Playstation 4 because of their belief that so much of Sony's future is tied to Blu-ray, but I'm not willing to sip the Kool-Aid.
To me, Blu-ray is the LaserDisc of its time. It's not nearly as useful as the DVD that it's trying to supplant, and the future is coming on so quickly that it may not have the time to cement itself in the industry before HD downloads become the next big thing in the space.
To make matters worse, I simply don't see how we can categorically say that Blu-ray was such a major part of Sony's success this year with the Playstation 3. Let's be honest--is the average mainstream user who isn't tech-savvy at all, really buying a Playstation 3 to watch the same movies they have on DVD already?
But the fact that the Playstation 4 won't feature Blu-ray goes far beyond the fact that it's not as coveted in the Playstation 3 as some want to believe. In reality, it's more likely that the Playstation 4 won't have Blu-ray than you may think.… Read more
It's the M&A deal of the century: FluffFriends got bought!
The virtual-pet application built on Facebook's platform, which once permitted me to display a penguin named Bill Gates on my profile and invite friends to give him a nice hug, has officially been acquired by the Social Gaming Network. A price was not disclosed.
FluffFriends makes money through a virtual currency that translates to real cash, with which members purchase items to spruce up their pets. A release from the Social Gaming Network said that since January, the game makes an average of 192 percent more … Read more
Update 12:27 p.m.: This story has been modified to reflect comment from LucasArts about interest in the game, as evidenced by pre-sales and number of sales at retail.
SAN FRANCISCO--George Lucas was the "surprise" special guest at the official launch party Monday night here for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the new video game that marks the latest chapter in the epic story line. And despite his only making a two-minute speech, most on hand were excited at the rare opportunity to see him.
Indeed, Lucas doesn't venture into public very often, so for many of the people who had come to line up to buy the new game when it went on-sale at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, his appearance and quick talk were a treat.
The event took place Monday evening at a Best Buy outlet in this city's Mission district, an odd choice of venues for the launch of what many have been calling one of the biggest video games of the year.
On the other hand, the place was packed, something that one store employee said was a very unusual occurrence. So, all in all, the energy generated may have been worth it for Lucas and his crew.
The new game, known by many simply as The Force Unleashed, is the first Star Wars game to be considered by Lucas an actual chapter in the overall story line that begins with the three prequel films--The Phantom Menace; Attack of the Clones; and Revenge of the Sith--continues with this summer's animated film, The Clone Wars and then, of course, concludes with the original three films, Star Wars; The Empire Strikes Back; and Return of the Jedi.
In the new game, the main character, played by actor Sam Witwer, is an apprentice of Darth Vader, and the story line centers on that apprentice's path to redemption. … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--In four hours, the latest--and maybe greatest--Star Wars game, The Force Unleashed, will go on sale.
No one knows if the game will be a best-seller, but if you judged by the energy at the Best Buy in this city's Mission District on Monday night, where the game's official launch event is being held, it's got a bright future.
There is a special guest scheduled to speak in about 15 minutes, and by now, it's no secret that it will be George Lucas himself.
For now, however, fans of the game--and hired hands--are milling around … Read more
How we define our individual identities and the forms of social participation that we pursue to shape these identities drive our engagement. Whether it's software or gaming, we shape the world around us.
The video game industry is a hotly contested space that's currently being dominated by three major companies: Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. And although companies like Sega and others have tried to solidify their brands in the console space, they've failed in the face of those three giants.
But just because the past is littered with companies that have failed miserably at trying to capture a place in the world of hardware, does that mean that no company ever will do it again? Microsoft is a late entrant into the space and Sony came on the scene in a big way when columns were being written about the same basic premise: companies can't break into the console war.
Sorry, but I just don't buy the logic.
That said, I don't think any company can break into the console space. In fact, I would say that only one company can do it. Not because it has worked in the video game business for such a long time or that it's uniquely positioned to break in. No, the real reason why I believe this company could make a splash in the video game business (and why it possibly will) is because it commands the kind of hype and respect that no other company in the space does.
If you ask me, Apple could (and should) release a video game console. And not just because it'll be a success, but because it's the only company that could make a dent in the market.… Read more