Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Videogames setting $ales records

Don't know someone who games?

You're in a serious minority.

Total videogame hardware sales were up in June to $398.6 million, according to the NPD Group, which tracks game statistics. That was better than 34 percent from the same period a year ago. Portable gaming hardware dipped six percent from 2006 to -- and let's all feel sorry for them together -- $130.6 million in sales in June.

All told, in 2007, the video game industry has had $2.3 billion in hardware sales – well ahead of the $1.37 billion sold last year.

I think the mainstream media is still behind the times when it comes to gaming. Men are playing. Women, in larger numbers of playing. The coveted 25-to-54 audience is playing. Hollywood gets it. Seems about every fifth movie these days is made from a game or has a game tie-in.

And as I look to the future, I think gaming is only going to get bigger.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The I-Phone killer? and Chris Paul covers 2K8 hoops

The iPhone is expensive and the plans to use it are even more expensive. And for those of you who don't want to pay what the (albeit very cool) iPhone costs, you may want to try Yahoo! Go 2.0

It's a free downloadable software service available for specific Internet-ready phones. Users can search the mobile web, share photos, utilize GPS maps, read breaking news, get weather and financial updates.

Check it out and please report back what you think.

-- Speaking of cellphones, I found a pretty cool and inexpensive toy you may want to pick up. The SideWinder Charger is a 2.5 ounce cellphone charger that actually allows a person to manually charge their mobile phone with a handcrank. The SideWinder retails for $24.95 ($29.95 CAD) and can be purchased online at www.istdesigns.com or in selected stores.

Chris Paul coverboy for NBA 2K8

Former Wake Forest All-American Chris Paul, a starting point guard for the New Orleans Hornets, will be on the cover of NBA 2K8.

“It’s a great honor,” Paul said. "I’m a big time video gamer and it’s a dream come true to be on the cover and represent the next NBA 2K game, NBA 2K8.”

NBA 2K8 will be available this fall for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

NASCAR '08 To Get Original Country/Rock Soundtrack

Electronic Arts will pack NASCAR '08, due out July 26, with a mix of country and rock on its soundtrack. Mulit-platinum country duos Brooks & Dunn and Big & Rich trade paint with hard rock’s Velvet Revolver and Airbourne to represent the fast and dangerous sounds of the total NASCAR experience.

“NASCAR 08 puts gamers behind the wheel with a soundtrack that puts the pedal to the floor,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Marketing at EA. “Today’s NASCAR has 75 million of the most brand-loyal fans in all of sports, and any music mix must be a real reflection of true NASCAR culture. It’s more than country. It’s bigger than rock. This soundtrack is 100% cars ‘n’ guitars adrenaline that will blow gamers’ doors off.”

News N Notes

-- This Wednesday, EA’s “Wing Commander Arena and Konami’s Super Contra debut on Xbox LIVE Arcade.

-- Kuma Games and Spike TV are developing a title based on Spike TV's new action-drama limited series The Kill Point. Beginning Sunday, July 22 with the premiere of the series, Kuma will release action-packed gameisodes that allow television viewers to jump into "The Kill Point's" bank robbery gone wrong plotline - playing as a police officer or bank robber in a high intensity hostage crisis. Kuma's gameisodes are now available for free download at www.SpikeTV.com

-- Sony has redesigned www.station.com, which will host more than twenty free games, a new look and improved functionality. The newly revamped site will host free trials of the majority of SOE’s MMOs; casual games such as PopCap’s Bejeweled 2, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune; and mobile games such as Q*Bert, Snoop Dogg Cruisin’, and the recently released God of War: Betrayal. I