Friday, October 20, 2006

Madden on Nintendo Wii: Groundbreaking?

The upcoming Madden football for Nintendo's Wii system looks like it could be groundbreaking.

Players will have more control over players than ever thanks to Nintendo's new two-piece control unit. You can use a jumping motion with your hands to jump, or a stiff-arm motion to stiff arm. It's the first big leap in videogame innovation in some time, or appears to be. I can't wait to test it.

For now, check out the
demo video on You Tube



-- Disney has a new series of DVDs, "Disney DVD Game World" that are essentially video games that play on any standard DVD player. These family friendly games combine elements of classic board games and immesive 3D video games and are each tied to Disney characters and worlds.

The first two titles in the series will be "Disney Princess Edition" and "Disney Dogs Edition." In "Princess," gamers compete to be crowned as the new Disney Princess. In "Dogs," you go after a blue ribbon challenge.

Both games have all new animation and allow players to interact with Disney characters in games, activities and trivia questions.

DISH Network offers two-way high-speed internet
EchoStar, parent company of DISH Network, has introduced a new high-speed internet service delivered via satellite. DISH customers can bundle the high-speed internet service with their current DISH subscriptions.

The new high-speed internet is provided by WildBlue and is a two-way satellite service. EchoStar promises packages with up to 30 times faster speed than dial up.

It won't rival cable internet for speed, or the highest tiers of DSL, but the new venture offers choice, especially for those who haven't had it before.

"Our customers living in rural communities have endured the slower speeds of dial-up simply because they haven't had choices when it comes to high-speed Internet service providers," said Jim DeFranco, executive vice president at EchoStar. "Now have access to affordable broadband Internet via satellite with speeds comparable to DSL or cable modem - without the need for an additional phone line."

Consumers can sign up for service through authorized DISH Network retailers. Packages start at $49.95 per month and include multiple email addresses, web hosting space, and 24/7 DISH Network technical support. A separate satellite dish is required to receive the high-speed Internet service; however an additional phone line is not necessary.

EA: Big on PlayStation 3

Electronic Arts has more than 30 games in development for the PS3. At launch next month, EA will deliver Madden NFL 07, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 07 and Need for Speed Carbon. EA will release eight to ten games more games by late March, including Fight Night and Def Jam: ICON.

”This is only the beginning," said Paul Lee, president of EA Studios. "In the months and years to come, developers will take greater advantage of the PlayStation 3’s cell processors and blu-ray storage capacity to create games of stunning depth and texture.”

CPCC To Host Innovation Conference

Central Piedmont Community College is hosting the Consortium for Innovation on Friday, October 20. Founded in 1992, the Consortium is an initiative of ten community colleges in the Netherlands which tries to improve vocational education by simulating experiments and benchmarking with other community colleges internationally.

While in Charlotte, the group will visit CPCC on Friday and attend the League for Innovation’s 22nd annual Conference on Information Technology (CIT), which will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center October 22-25. The CIT conference explores model programs, programs and services and allows educators in community colleges across the country the opportunity to share ideas and keep abreast of the latest in information technology.

Former Duke star Redick cover boy for new college hoops game

J.J. Redick is the featured cover athlete for 2K Sports' new College Hoops 2K7. The game will feature a new Chant Creator, an enhanced Coach Mode, and what the company calls an "even more realistic college game atmosphere."

The Chant Creator, allows the gamer to control the excitement of the crowd by constructing custom chants to play during key moments of play. Gamers are given a multitude of options to customize in-game chants, including drum percussions, letters, words, mascots, states/regions, and more.

In addition, over 200 fight songs have been added to further enhance the overall college atmosphere in College Hoops 2K7, as well as more than 50 new default crowd chants and new cheerleader routines, mascot dancing and new gyms. With Chant Creator, countless combinations can be created to give each team’s fans a distinct sound, immersing gamers even deeper into the emotional atmosphere of College Hoops 2K7.

The coach mode allows you to move up and down the sidelines as your favorite coach, call plays and make subs. 2K7 is the only college hoop title to include likenesses of actual college coaches including UNC's Roy Williams and Villanova's Jay Wright.

By leveraging the PS3's SIXAXIS wireless controller, players on Tony Hawk Elite will be able to balance and steer skaters through every rail grind, manual, revert, ollie and combo, as well as control slow motion nail the trick moves as they compete to be a part of Tony Hawk’s elite project 8 team.

Ubisoft has launched the new Rayman Raving Rabbids website. Fans of this new Rayman episode will find themselves immersed in the crazy world of the Raving Rabbids, discover unforeseen situations, play exclusive mini-games and much more.

-- Is videogaming an art? Manifesto Games will host an online panel discussion on the topic next week at at the channel #gamesandart. It begins Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 9 p.m.

Expected to be the first in a series of IRC panel discussions Manifesto Games plans to offer, participants are by invitation, but the discussion and subsequent Q&A session is free and available to anyone with access to a computer and an internet connection. While all panelists in this upcoming discussion are in some way involved with games, they represent a range of skills and viewpoints and topics to be discussed will include:

• How is art defined in a technological society?
• Are games art and why or why not?
• Should game designers and developers aspire to art or is entertainment enough?
• If games are art, what should the aspirations of the field be?
• How does the growth of technology effect games as an art form?

-- OPPO Digital, Inc. ( has released a 20-inch LCD TV/DVD combo, which it claims is "perfect for every gamer’s perfect multimedia center." The enhanced-definition (not hi-def) unit is $599.00.

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