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Multiplayer, Globe with Halo 2 Lobby

A research paper from Electronic Entertainment Design and Research has been released that suggests that games with online support can be crucial to a game’s retail success. Not surprisingly, another way to boost sales is to create a quality game (defined as those with a 90+ score on Metacritic), with these well-reviewed titles outselling the average release well above 5-to-1.

While making good games typically means making good money, naturally, it is a bit surprising to see the report indicate that sales can be doubled by dropping in an online mode. With online games selling twice the number copies that offline titles do, it’s curious to note that over half of games released don’t offer even basic online support.

Click to continue reading Games With Online Multiplayer Sell More

Read More | Ars Technica

Gallery: Games With Online Multiplayer Sell More


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Viva Piñata cover art

Here is some sad news for fans of one of the Xbox 360‘s best and most criminally underplayed games, Viva PiñataRare has officially confirmed that the game will see no downloadable content whatsoever.  Following the announcement of a DS version of Viva Piñata, many fans had hoped that this news would presage the release of new piñatas, items, and features (specifically the ability for players to visit each other’s gardens), but apparently it wasn’t to be.  A Rare developer cruelly crushed our dreams in response to a fan’s request, saying, “We aren’t doing any downloadable content for Viva Piñata because we are much too busy doing something else.”

Take special note of the italics.  Do they imply the development of a proper 360 sequel?  Only the ninjas that have been dispatched to Rare’s headquarters can know for sure.

Read More | Rare

Gallery: No Downloadable Content for Viva Piñata


Gears of War's Marcus FenixThe Hidden Fronts map pack for the popular title , originally offered for 800 Microsoft Points several months back over some protestations from gamers and Epic themselves, is now available for free as promised.

Hidden Fronts includes four new multiplayer maps, Bullet Marsh, Garden, Process and Subway. For those looking to stretch a bit more life out of their Xbox Live multiplayer experience until hits, this may be the way to do it.

Gallery: Gears of War For-Pay Map Pack Available Free Today


Gauntlet Title ScreenStarting on midnight Sunday four titles will be getting a brief 50% price cut. Small Arms and Zuma Deluxe, normally 800 Microsoft Points, are getting reduced to 400 and coin-op classics Dig Dug and Gauntlet are going down from 400 to 200.

The price reduction will last through Monday.

has had price reductions and these kind of limited-time sales before, but usually they have been reserved for game-specific . This is the first time they’ve extended price fluctuations to full XBLA titles, although the announcement does vaguely hint that this may be a semi-regular occurrence.

Read More | Major Nelson's Blog

Gallery: Select Xbox Live Arcade Titles Get Price Reductions


PlayStation Store
The has some new content, possibly due to the flood of owners hitting the service looking for their download. Among the other new items are Turbo HD Remix for $9.99 (comparable with the download of the same game made available last week) and online add-on for $9.99 or the whole game and add-on for $29.99.

Sony is also putting up some new demos for NASCAR 08, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008 and All-Pro Football 2K8 plus additional videos and trailers. Warhawk is available from the PlayStation Store for $39.99 or as a retail box which includes a bluetooth headset for $59.99.

Read More | PlayStation Blog

Gallery: PlayStation Store Gets an Update Including Super Puzzle Fighter II


Super Street Fighter Puzzle HD Remix.This week on comes the anticipated and graphically enhanced arcade cult classic Super Street Fighter Puzzle HD Remix. In addition to upping the graphical fidelity on the game, has also rebalanced the game with the new X’ mode, although the original version will also be available. The game will cost 800 Microsoft Points.

On ‘s this week seems to be sequel week, with the Contra sequel Super C (previously available on XBox Live Arcade) for 500 Wii Points, the SNES role-playing classic Breath of Fire II for 800 Wii Points and the Sega Genesis version of Ghouls n’ Ghosts, the follow-up to Ghosts n’ Goblins for another 800 Wii Points.

Gallery: Console Downloads: Super Street Fighter Puzzle HD Remix


skate.

After postponing the demo for their upcoming skateboarding game —originally scheduled for August 15—publisher has settled on Tuesday, August 21st as a new release date. One of the anticipated features of the game that was to be available on the demo is the video capture and upload capabilities. It was reportedly technical problems with this functionality that delayed the demo’s release in the first place, but EA believes they have hammered out the issues. This allows players to make video clips of their game play and upload them to share with other players online.

Skate is challenging the long-running and popular skateboard series and is scheduled for release on September 12.

Read More | IGN

Gallery: EA’s Skate Demo Rescheduled


Guitar Hero II + My Chemical Romance

II for the is getting some additional downloadable content this week in the form of a three-song pack, this time from a single band: My Chemical Romance. The included songs are “Famous Last Words,” “Teenagers” and “This is How I Disappear,” which will be available for 500 Microsoft Points.

Single-band packs seem to make more sense than the grab bag of the first couple DLC options, but the price point hasn’t changed from the oft-maligned $6.25 level.

Read More | Major Nelson's Blog

Gallery: New Guitar Hero II DLC: My Chemical Romance Pack


Warhawk in Action

Dylan Jobe from the team has posted a lengthy FAQ on the PlayStation blog where he clarifies, among other details, how the player-hosted matches will work. Essentially, the system tests the host’s connection speed and makes a determination based on that about how many players the game will support, 8, 16, 24 or 32. From the FAQ:

[W]e… do a really quick series of bandwidth tests to determine how many players you will be able to handle. We spent quite a bit of time looking at the bandwidth requirements to make sure that the games that you host are not out of your league with regard to the bandwidth needed. We got a lot of comments during the BETA about players that were hosting 24 or 32 player games when they didn’t have the bandwidth to do so. This resulted in pretty crappy game experiences sometimes. Our updated bandwidth requirements should resolve a lot of this and we’ll be monitoring it and changing them if we need to… If you’re at school (college dorm or something) on a network you’ll probably be hosting up to 32 players, but the net is what the net is and you all know how it can change like the weather. If you have a really bad connection, then you will be hosting eight or 16 players.

He also talks about how there will be no way to run the retail version without the disc in tray, the fact that there will be clan support and that there is split-screen play but you can only have one headset active at a time on a given console, plus a lot more.

Read More | PlayStation Blog

Gallery: Detailed Warhawk FAQ Available


Blast Factor PlayStation Network

The $4.99 expansion for the PlayStation Network’s Blast Factor has been released today, alongside several free demos and trailers. It’s nothing too exciting, but if you’ve been contemplating picking up a copy of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 or The Darkness, you’ll want to give the demos a shot before you drop your hard-earned money.

  • Blast Factor: Advanced Research expansion ($4.99)
  • Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 demo (free)
  • The Darkness demo (free)
  • Michael Clayton movie trailer (free)
  • Get Smart movie trailer (free)
  • The Game Plan movie trailer (free)

Gallery: PlayStation Network Content 8/2: Demos, Trailers, And Blast Factor Expansion


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