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Xbox NBA Street V3 BoxIn a move that’s sure to spark some debate, EA has announced that they will be shutting down a number of servers for their online-enabled games. Most of the games are EA Sports titles, which tend to be updated on a yearly basis anyway, but there are some surprises on the list including Need for Speed Underground 2, and NBA Street V3. At the end of the statement, EA subtly encourages its users to rush out and buy the most recent version of their games: “All of us at EA would like to thank you for your valued participation in our online gaming community and hope that your enthusiasm for these games extends to our current lineup and beyond.”

This is an understandable business decision for EA - most of these games aren’t selling many copies these days, and the amount of online play these servers see at this point is probably negligible. Still, it does call into question the current paradigm of online gaming for consoles. Is the online play carrot being dangled just long enough so that gamers continue to buy each new version? Will online play labels feature fine-print that states “for a limited time only” next time you buy from EA? Is there any hope for gamers who don’t want to purchase a new sequel every year?

With all three next-gen consoles featuring online play capabilities, it should be interesting to see which business models (if any) work for both the content producers and the gaming community.

The full list of shutdown servers can be found after the jump…

Click to continue reading EA Shuts Down Lots of Servers, Says “Buy Our Newer Games!”

Read More | EA.com

Gallery: EA Shuts Down Lots of Servers, Says “Buy Our Newer Games!”


From Russia With Love Movie PosterWith months to go until the rest of the next-gen consoles are released, and a relatively slow summer release schedule, I’ve found myself spending more time searching around on forums like Cheap Ass Gamer and going back to look at old reviews for game-buying ideas. Especially given the fact that most of this generation’s PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube games will still be playable on the PS3, 360, and Wii, respectively, there’s no reason to not go sorting through your local game store’s bargain bins for some of the great titles you may have missed. With that in mind, we’ll be hosting a new feature here on Playfeed, currently dubbed “Bargain Bin Gaming”, where we’ll look at whether any of those $19.99 and below titles are worth your hard-earned pocket change.

Here are the two main ground-rules I’m setting for the first issue, and we’ll see how this goes:

1) I will not pay more than $19.99 for any game I review. However, this does not have to be the “standard” MSRP for the game. Well-publicized sales, like Circuit City’s past 4th of July weekend inventory blowout, are perfectly acceptable ways to get gaming deals. If I find a mint copy of Final Fantasy X-2 for $1.00 at a yard sale though, that doesn’t count - I want you, our readers, to be able to pick up a game for the same price I do!
2) For the most part, I’ll try to pick more “questionable” titles that you might not notice otherwise. Chances are if you’re reading this site, you already know by now that RE4 for $19.99 on the Gamecube is a steal. But not everyone knows that Tak 3 might actually be a really good deal for $9.00. A lot of folks know about the “diamonds in the rough”. I want to help you pick out the rubies and sapphires as well.

So with those notes in mind, click below for our first review, which I hope you’ll enjoy - James Bond in From Russia With Love by EA for PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube.

Click to continue reading Bargain Bin Gaming #1: From Russia With Love for PS2, Xbox & Gamecube

Gallery: Bargain Bin Gaming #1: From Russia With Love for PS2, Xbox & Gamecube

Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts today reported their preliminary financial results for their first fiscal quarter. The period ended on June 30, 2006, and while gross profit for the quarter was up 14 percent to $245 million, the company still reported a net loss of $81 million. Net revenue was up in both North America and Europe, but down in Asia. In this quarter, EA saw increased revenue from 2006 FIFA World Cup, with the tournament raising the game’s profile. CEO Larry Probst believes EA is positioned well to take advantage of the holiday launches of both the Playstation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii, and the continued growth of the Nintendo DS. EA holds its position as the leading publisher for the Xbox 360, and Probst stated that EA is “on schedule with strong support for the launch of PlayStation 3 and we have increased our development efforts for the Nintendo DS and Wii.” EA’s fortunes are tied closely to the success of the various hardware platforms; their projections for the upcoming year are based on successful launches for both the Wii and the Playstation 3. The company still projects to lose money in the second quarter, which typically is not a strong driver of sales. For the full fiscal year, EA estimates earnings per share to range between net losses of $0.30 per share and break even. Given the risk involved with the Playstation 3 launch, EA’s goal of reaching break even during the fiscal year would seem to be optimistic.

Read More | Electronic Arts

Gallery: EA Reports Financial Results