Eight news stories 17.4


  • John Riccittielo says we have the movie industry worried, in an interview for the Financial Times. He says: “Our industry is passing through a phase where I believe the greatest games will be viewed by almost everybody as being as important as Best Picture at the Academy Awards.” To me he is stating the obvious and is doing so to educate an audience that may not realise what is happening in the real world. Gaming will grow to be bigger than movies and TV combined, this is why the companies behind the movie industry are now investing so much in the games industry.
  • Tesco, the huge British general retailer, is launching a digital download service catchily called Tesco Digital. “Tesco Digital will launch next month, offering 3.3m songs with plans to add TV shows and computer games.” There is going to be a lot more of this to come as major companies try to claim a stake in the carve up of the digital downloads market. Anyone who isn’t in is going to lose out big time as digital distribution becomes the main way we receive our entertainment. Cardboard and plastic distribution is a dinosaur.
  • BBC iPlayer coming to a “broad range of devices.” Already on the Wii, they mention the PS3, so presumably the Xbox 360 must be on the cards. This looks like a guerrilla campaign by the BBC to bring the internet to a grinding halt and so force people back to watching broadcast TV.
  • Tanya Byron compares games to heroin and cocaine on BBC television. You can complain to the BBC here http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/make_complaint_step1.shtml  many already have. Add your voice to the common sense we need.
  • Sony are doing market research in to why so many PSP owners hack their machines. The answer is simple, if you can steal all your content for free, with no danger of being caught, then why bother paying for it? This is why most publishers don’t develop for it and when they do they don’t invest too much into making a game. Sony need to tighten up a lot on their next generation PSP or it will all happen again.
  • Sony say Microsoft are right. Downloadable content will take over from cardboard and plastic distribution. Makes blu ray look like a waste of time then.
  • Mario Kart Wii won’t work on a chipped Wii. This is excellent, turning these thieves’ consoles into useless bricks. Nintendo take this very seriously, it is a pity about the DS but I am sure that it’s successor will be a lot more secure.
  • Analyst expects GTA IV sales in the USA to be 60/40 in favour of Microsoft Xbox 360. As this will be a massive system seller we are talking about a huge potential blow to Sony here. Winning this battle could decide who wins this HD console war.

And finally a bit of humour. The console war is over.


  1. wrt the iPlayer on Xbox. Do you really think MS will put a Flashplayer on their XBox? I don’t think we will ever see that as Adobe is becomin a bigger and bigger competiton.

    Take MS heart warming stab at opening up XNA and compare it to the wealth of Flash games already available.

  2. “Mario Kart Wii won’t work on a chipped Wii. This is excellent, turning these thieves’ consoles into useless bricks.”

    I resent being called a thief for wanting to play global retail games, legally purchased, on an annoyingly region-locked piece of hardware.

  3. #2 JC. It was not aimed at you. Sure there are a minority of users who want to un region lock their machines. But the very vast majority of people who chip consoles do it to get their games cheaper.
    Thus not paying for the work that has gone into making them. Hence they are thieves.

  4. Ah the piracy is theft argument again, despite the fact the law disagrees.

    Why don’t you call them murderers if you want to be needlessly hyperbolic, it’d be more effective, maybe try terrorists.

  5. I see we’re back to piracy again. When will the industry really look at itself?.

    BTW, piracy or not, this:

    “A Nintendo insider said: blablah […] “Chip it and you brick it, as we say around the office. There is only one real Wii experience– and it doesn’t come chipped!”

    This sounds utterly stupid, even for a press release. It’s even worse than the publimentary than CNN did for Wii Fit a couple of days ago.

  6. That’s a link to a campaign group, it’s hardly going to be unbiased. It’s about as accurate as linking to Jack Thompson for an opinion on GTA.

    It’s not theft under the law, it’s not even a criminal act, it’s a civil matter. It REALLY doesn’t help any arguments about it to use massive, inaccurate hyperbole because that clouds any valid points you have to make, just as when the government calls everything “terrorism”

  7. #8 rdkt42
    Thanks for that, very interesting.

    As a matter of note when I was involved most game piracy prosecutions in the UK were done on trademark offences, not copyright. We actually changed the introductions to our games to make these prosecutions easier.

  8. Heh, acually my Wii isn’t chipped – I use Freeloader. I guess I was being needlessly confrontational there, haha.

    Though I agree piracy is hurting the industry, I wonder how the figures stack up against our loss of revenue due to to 2nd hand games…. just curious…

  9. Staying out of the piracy argument, I did intend to complain about the program but only watched half of it before, Bruce, complaint registered. Ridiculous scaremongering through 95% of the entire show. Useless biased comments with no facts all the way through. Bah.

  10. Bruce, I enjoy your posts, but I must say that your attempts to position the Xbox 360 favorably against the PS3 are becoming more strained over time. For example, both Sony and Microsoft have predicted and supported the growth of downloadable content for at least a decade. Having a bundled Blu Ray player is simply a compelling feature that allows gamers to actually enjoy their console now until the several years pass when broadband access will be widespread and powerful enough to make large downloads practical. In the meantime, consumers have clearly demonstrated that they consider the Blu Ray player a compelling advantage of the PS3 over the 360.

    And GTA IV sales in the U.S. will “decide” the HD console war? Something tells me that prediction will be as valid as the one that said that Halo 3 sales would decide the console wars. I would think that a 60/40 split in the U.S. would be quite favorable for the PS3 because it would be a greater game/console ratio for the PS3 in the U.S. Plus, doesn’t international sales count in this competition?

    Look, I am a 360 owner, and I enjoy my console. But to pretend that Sony has not made impressive strides over the last several months with the PS3 makes no sense to me. In fact, as a 360 owner, I am a bit upset that Microsoft seems to have been so lethargic lately as Sony has announced one interesting new service after the other. Microsoft has certainly gained ground this generation, but my sense is that the PS3 will continue to close the gap quickly.

  11. Evan- I’ve been waiting for GTA4 before buying a next-gen console to go alongside my Wii. There’s a huge difference between things like having a network like Xbox Live (that some of my friends are already on) and announcing services that nobody is actually using yet.

    Maybe I’ll get a PS3 next year, when the price has come down and better software is out there, but in the here and now, as someone who wants to play games and maybe stream video and music from my PC, I can’t really see the advantage from spending the extra money on the PS3.

    And sure, blu-ray sounds nice enough, but I’ve simply got no need for one- or to spend more money than I already do on DVDs. (Especially if I want to use it as a Linux media machine, and then find that all that wonderful HD technology that I’ve paid for isn’t actually available for me to use.)

    Blu Ray might have “beaten” HDDVD, but I seem to recall a similar format war when I bought my minidisc, before MP3 turned out to be the real next-generation format of choice…

  12. Scott — Your reasoning sounds fine to me. I think there are plenty of good reasons why a person would choose a Wii or a PS3 or an Xbox 360 (or a PC). What still perplexes me about the gaming industry is how few people there are who seem to be able to provide reasonable pros/cons of the various console choices. You expect bias with fanboys, but it is also incredibly prevalent among industry pundits and experts as well. Maybe, I just have too analytical a mindset, but I still find such slanted viewpoints confusing — I wish I understood what motivates such perspectives.

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