Eight news stories 17.1


  • PS3 production cost halved with the 40GB model. It is these reductions on the Microsoft Xbox 360 as well as on the Sony PS3 that will be essential for the price war between these two consoles this year. My guess is that Microsoft will cut most to compensate for the PS3s AAA system sellers that are due out this year.
  • The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is an idiot. Trying to blame knife crime on computer games is patently crass and inane. Far better to blame it on failed Government policies, because that is a far more likely cause. And who is in charge of the Government? Before the Americans reading this get too smug remember that Hilary Clinton is anti game.
  • Games bucks retail downturn trend over Christmas. This is important. It shows that video gaming will be less effected by the coming economic downturn than other consumer industries. Remember that Hollywood had some of it’s best times during the great recession. People give up their entertainment last.
  • PC Piracy rears it’s ugly head yet again. Piracy is the greatest threat to the video game industry and no platform and no publisher is immune. Just because it isn’t destroying your business today doesn’t mean that it won’t be tomorrow. If people can get something for free they will, it doesn’t matter if they go to church and/or are rich. It doesn’t even matter if they actually work in the game industry and depend on it for a living. They all still steal. Because what they are stealing isn’t physical they don’t even think of it as theft. This has destroyed the market for boxed PC games and it could just as easily destroy the market for Wii, DS, 360 or PS3 games.
  • Porn stars love video games. Of course they do, they are human beings who like to play now and again like all of us. This just looks like a pretext for Game Daily to post 15 photographs of porn stars. Presumably this shows that Time Warner (who own Game Daily) have a far broader view of video gaming than just Lego games.
  • Surfer Girl is a very indiscreet anonymous industry insider. She reveals all sorts of industry secrets in her blog. You would wonder where she gets so much inside information on so many companies. And obviously what she is revealing is causing much consternation among management. Very interesting stuff.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl is raising a big head of steam including 40/40 (very rare) from Famitsu. Looks like Nintendo have done it again with another polished AAA classic. Pity about the USA release delay, though.
  • Facebook grows as a gaming platform with SuperPoke on 684,000 active daily users and Scrabulous on 594,000. Non game applications still lead, though, with FunWall on nearly four million active daily users!! For mainstream publishers this must be worth using as a viral to support boxed product.