News Snatch: More Eyepet, Less GamesWipe

ns1The World is danger of exploding due to an overload of cuteness as Sony London have revealed in an interview that multiple Eyepets are on the way. One Eyepet is cute, but imagine having two of the furry critters rolling about on your bed and chasing each other across the duvet! Over to Sony London Art Director, Nicolas Doucet

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“One thing we’re thinking about adding fairly quickly is the ability to have multiple EyePets onscreen at the same time,”  he said, adding “We’re also talking a lot to manufacturers of toys and other things. [The game] will also work using the new motion controller for the PS3.”

That explains the delay until spring in the U.S., Eyepet will be a Swordaxis launch title. A bunch of new screens for Eyepet have also arrived showing Eyepet fishing, looking around an aquarium, running on a treadmill and curling himself up in to a ball so you can play skittles with him.

Nicolas also reveals the ‘The Eigth Day’ and ‘The Getaway’, two games that were thought to have been cancelled so the teams could work on Eyepet, are very much like a Norwegian Blue Parrot – resting rather than deceased.

“I would not say they have been abandoned, just put to one side. Much work had been done. The studio just wanted to focus on its strengths, EyeToy and SingStar. Given the potential of EyePet, priorities have been changed, but the other projects aren’t dead yet.”

 

ns2Did you enjoy Charlie Brookers ‘Gameswipe’? Yes? Tough, you will not be seeing it again. Despite gaining 300,000 viewers, a figure higher than Brookers usual programs BBC4 ‘Screenwipe’ and ‘Newswipe’, the beeb have decided not to make any further programs on video games.

“We were delighted with the response to Gameswipe,” a spokesperson from the commissioning team said, “Games are unlikely to be a regular feature of BBC Four but we’ll almost certainly return to the subject at some point.”

At some point? At some point?!?! Gaming is the most popular form of entertainment in the UK and BBC 4 cannot even be bothered to cover it? Gameswipe should be prime time on BBC, more people play games than watch Eastenders. One off drama ‘Being Human’ had such good feedback the beeb made it in to a full series so perhaps we can persuade them to do the same with Gameswipe, start writing those emails now.

 

ns3The future comes in two flavours – Will Smith running about in a grimy ruined city in “I Am Legend” or Will Smith running about in a gleaming shiny city in “I, Robot”. The latter version has taken a step closer with the announcement your PS3 could soon be controlling your entire house. amBX is a new technology that allows for lighting, sound and fans to be controlled by your console to give you a ‘sensory experience’ when playing games. For example when Drake is trekking through a blizzard, amBX would pumel you with white light and cold air. In an interview amBX CEO Neil MacDonald said,

“We’re thinking about cinema, we’re thinking about movies, we’re thinking about music and TV – and we’re thinking ultimately about home automation, when every house has LED lighting.”

I bet Will Smith is very excited.

 

ns9Did you go and buy FIFA 10 for £25 at Tesco the other day? If so the games industry hates you. MCV is reporting publishers and retailers think “Discounting is ‘unnecessary and worrying’”. It also reveals the Bethesda CEO would prefer if the UK government set a minimum pricing level for games. Other gaming bigwigs had their say with Peter Stone, head of Konami telling MCV,

“It appears that FIFA has been used as a spearhead in a fresh market-share battle between the supermarkets, and this can only lead to similar retaliation with other key titles. It is our understanding that retail sets these prices, and they are unnecessary and worrying.”

A “head buyer at a top UK national entertainment retail chain” (how many national entertainment chains are left..er. one, HMV) tells them

“The relentless discounting policies of the supermarkets have done so much to devalue products that were once considered highly aspirational, including DVDs and CDs.”

Wait. What? DVD’s were ‘highly aspirational’? Perhaps they were in the first few years of launch but they did not become ‘less aspirational’ due to supermarkets selling them, the technology became common place and therefore a larger market. It sounds to me that HMV want to keep prices up, what a surprise.

 

ns4Sony don’t like Microsoft. Google doesn’t like Microsoft. Guess who are new BFFs? OK, perhaps not new BFFs but they are working together. Sony recently started using Google Chrome as the default web browser on all Viao laptops and hidden away on the BusinessWeek website is one line of text that is very interesting. According to Kenji Hall,  BusinessWeeks technology correspondant from Tokyo,

‘The company says it also may let Google and others create applications for its PlayStation 3 game console.’

Quite what Google could bring to the PS3 I’m not sure – Google Earth would work well I guess, maybe some version of GMail specifically for the PS3. What would be really exciting if Google could bring some of the “widgets” you can use to customize your Google start page to the PS3.

 

ns5The most obvious thing since King Obvious of Obvious land did something really, really obvious, is going to happen. The success of Beatles Rockband has sparked the interest of the accountants of Irish do-gooders U2 and they have announced they would like a game based on their songs. U2 bassist Adam Clayton discussed the idea with USA Today,

“We definitely would like to be in there, but we felt some of the compromises weren’t what we wanted. What The Beatles have done, where the animation is much more representative of them, is what we’re interested in, rather than the one-size-fits-all animation. We didn’t want to be caricatured.”
 
This means Activision have rejcted my proposal for a game where you would use a guitar to smack Bono on the head as hard as possible whilst shouting “Why dont you give some of your billions to African Orphans instead?” 

 

ns6In other Pop/Gaming crossover news, Beyonce wants you to put down that pie and shake your booty with her. According to site Spicezee, Beyonce said,

“I’d like to get involved in video games, since I really love Wii Fit. I think it would be a great idea to incorporate choreography, because, for me, my workout is way more fun when it involves dancing, as opposed to running on a boring treadmill. So I would love to do some kind of fitness game but incorporate dance and performance into it. I think a lot of women would enjoy that.”

If anybody else think’s that sounds like a good idea then put your hands up, Woo-oh ooh, oh oh ooh oh oh,  ooh oh oh oh, Woo-oh ooh, oh oh ooh oh oh,  ooh oh oh oh.

 

ns8Everyone’s favourite Gaming industry psychic Michael Pachter has delivered his verdict on the forthcoming holiday season hardware sales. The all knowing Guru (pictured left) spoketh these words to us mere mortals,

 “We believe that the recent round of price cuts may benefit the PS3 the most in coming months, given that unit sales last year were only 1.5 million for the September – December 2008 period. The Xbox 360 has outsold the PS3 for the past 13 months, likely due to a higher perceived value proposition (the Xbox 360 “core” model was priced $100 lower than the PS3). We think that the PS3 will outsell the Xbox 360 in September, and may continue to do so for the rest of the year.”

Anybody else think Pachter gets paid to state the bleedin’ obvious? The PS3 is going to outsell the Xbox in September – did the reports of a 999% sales increase after the PS3 Slim launch give you that idea? What other words of wisdom do you have for us, oh great one?

 “Microsoft will cut price only if it begins to lose significant market share to Sony,”

 Cheers for that, Mike.

 
ns7And Finally..’Do you drum it, strum it or stroke it?’ is the rather suggestive headline over on the beeb website relating to a new ‘super instrument’ the Eigenharp. It has a keyboard, two strip controllers and a breath pipe and can make a wide spectrum of sounds as wel as play drum loops. And what’s this got to do with us? Over to developer John Lambert,

“Our decision to make the software for the instrument run on a separate computer will pay off – we are already looking at porting the software perhaps into the PlayStation or Wii.”

Motion Controlled Sc-Fi Bassoon – coming soon to PS3.

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