In-flight Movie... or Not.

This past Saturday I made my very long departure with my family to venture off to the marvelous land of Hawaii!On our third flight of the day which took us from LAX to Kona, Hawaii, they began to show the recently released movie, Jane Eyre. Having no interest to watch, I neglected the screen. Hours later once the movie had ended and the featured NBC sitcoms had passed, I glanced up to the monitor for no apparent reason and saw a logo that forced me to plug in my headphones immediately into the seat.

 Out of all the programs, especially since it was provided by NBC, I was shocked to see this little baby pop-up. It featured a three minute report on the events that happened this year at E3 hosted by X-Play's Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb. The report included footage of the Wii U, Sony Vita, comments on Uncharted 3 (mainly about its notable storyline/writing) and to throw Microsoft into the mix, a brief mention of Gears of War 3.

Considering this was space for NBC programs, I was surprised to see this little feature included and I'm glad I caught it! Hopefully they'll continue to feature bits of gaming shows (or whats left of them) from G4 that will promote the gaming industry.

Yours truly,


From film strips to pixels

With any major movie release also comes a handy promotional deal for a video game. Even movies as bad as Cat in the Hat get one.

The coolest thing about these games is they give you an inside look before the movie even comes out. A majority of the time the game is released before the movie is. This also as an effective promotional technique for the movie because:

1. Unlike many games, they actually run advertisements for them on television. (Attracts children)
2. The games are often cheaper than the standard video game. (Mom approved)
3. They are widly available. (Mom acessable)
4. Usually have a ESRB rating of 'E' or 'T' (Mom approved)

For some movies, these games can actually turn out to be a success. By being able to target younger audiences, the family is more likely to go see the movie. Also, the games themselves can be successful in design and gameplay. Lego Indiana Jones, most of the Star Wars games, the Harry Potter games and many more provide a hands on experience that you can't get by just watching the movie.

If you haven't played any of these types of games before, I'd suggest you check them out. Most of the games have the same story line of the movie with extra side quests, puzzles, or missions, which add to the experience. They're also great games to go out and rent and finish with a friend because most of them feature a co-op option.

One series that has never failed to please is the Lego game series. From Batman to Pirates of the Caribbean, they have plenty of humor and multiplayer action that is fun for anyone. They're easy games for anyone to pick up and are available for mulitple platforms.

Personally, my favorite were the Harry Potter games. I had them for the Xbox and the PC. It was a marvelous experience to be able to play as my favorite wizards and to explore his world beyond text on a page or images from a movie. What's your favorite?

Yours truely,


Threats and Benefits

The industry that brought you Jelly Car, Words with Friends, and Angry Birds is striking agitation in the hearts of big shots like Nintendo's CEO, Satoru Iwata.

                               Kim White/Nintendo of America, via Associated Press
Satoru Iwata speaks at the Game Developers Conference in San Fransico.

The reason Nintendo is the only company who has made a fuss is because they are being threatened the most by the all-in-one smartphones that can be bought at a cheaper price with even cheaper games. The audience that is often attracted by Nintendo's handheld games can be easily lured away by the games these new smartphones have to offer. Here is a list of a few games that are very similar (or exactly the same game), but for a cheaper price.

Although these games are substancially less expensive, they don't provide the same quality as the DS games, which is the main point Iwata is trying to get across to consumers. The DS versions of the games often have better developed story lines and more game play. Despite these advantages, causual game players are less likely to purchase a DS due to the price difference.

Competitors Microsoft and Sony are taking the opposite approach when it comes to the smartphone craze. Microsoft has developed apps for Windows 7 phones that allow users to access xboxlive. Not only can they check their XboxLive accounts and view their achievements but they can also play exclusive games on their phones with others that can boost their gamer score. Currently, Windows 7 phones are available for major service providers including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. By making this available on a wide varaiety of phones, consumers who own an xbox will probably be more active on Xbox live.

Sony took the most direct attack on the smartphone beast. Catering directly to their fans, Sony has created a phone that completes the smartphone experience while still utilizing their handheld systems. The Sony Xperia Play, released this past April, has all the basic phone capabilities, android apps, and complete PSP controls. Sliding the top layer of the phone up reveals the buttons and analogue touch joystick. (To find out more about this phone, click here.)

Overall, I believe Microsoft has the best approach. Its subtle, yet at the same time more widely available to consumers. Sony's Xperia play is just flat out cool. I personally wouldn't purchase it, but it is unique and I am sure it'll please some of its fans. Nintendo does have a problem on their hands but those who are truly dedicated to its products and games, will keep their handhelds on the map. 

Yours truly,
Havok Rose