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Videogames Beat DVDs... Except, Not Really

The gaming and tech press are all aflutter with the news that videogames beat DVDs... except they don't, at least, not in all the areas that matter.The data that lead to the "games beats movies" conclusion, much like the one-day comparisons of game blockbusters like Halo 3 to the one-day takes of top films like Dark Knight, are revenue, rather than unit sales figures.

Blame Canada

CNet strikes again. These guys are awful, although in the interest of accuracy, they're only rehashing a story from the Wall Street Journal, which is itself a few days late in reporting Microsoft's advice to Obama, which was to ditch the BlackBerry and go with an NSA-approved Windows Mobile device. The reason? BlackBerry data passes through RIM's NOC in Canada.

On Zunes And Squirting DRM

My understanding is that most of the restrictive Zune DRM has to do with the WiFi "squirt" feature. (Obviously this crippled what could have been the Zune's killer feature.) But iPods have no wifi at all; it seems silly to argue that iTunes DRM is less restrictive because it does not prevent you from doing things you couldn't do anyway.

Slashdot is linking another "Zune is dead story". The above is a comment on that thread.

Full disclosure: I've been primarily a user of Apple computers since the early 1990s, have owned several iPods, and currently own a MacBook and an iPhone. I do own an Xbox 360 but I've never owned a Zune.

The thrust behind the story is that, for whatever reason, the Zune has not made major inroads, and in these troubled times, MS might as well focus on what works reasonably well and what makes money, and that is Office, Windows, and the 360, and not the Zune.

Of course, why the Zune has not done particularly well is a favorite topic of conversation, as is the difference between the DRM schemes used by Zune and the Zune store compared to the iPod and the iTunes store.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and Palm

This CNET article suggests MS switch its acquisition focus from Yahoo, to compete in the online ad game against Google, to Palm, to compete in the handheld space against Apple.

This is problematic at best.

Valve: Pirates Are Underserved Customers

This remark from Valve's Jason Holtman is the analysis of game piracy that I've been waiting to hear someone utter for years: the idea that copyright infringement needs to be analyzed from economic rather than purely legal or moral standpoints.

This Just In: Judge Calls Halo "Delusional Environment"

Normally I avoid even commenting on the intersections between violent real-world crime and fantasy videogame violence. There's really little point. There's not much more than can be said on the matter than what is already out there. However, the remarks of Judge James Burge following his conviction of Daniel Petric are simply so ridiculous that I can't let them pass. From story coverage at, of all places, a PS3 website:

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from David and Salta!

Killing Console Multiplayer?

HBO and the HBO forum have both provided links to an editorial by "William Usher" at Cinema Blend about how Halo is killing console gaming. So now that this specious attempt to nab page hits has worked, there can be little further damage that I can do except to examine the author's premise and see if it holds any merit.

Sounds Like Halo Noir

When the rumors about "Halo Blue" and an ODST-focused Halo game first appeared, I began to think that from an intellectual perspective this might be a good game for Bungie, or someone, to make.Part of Halo's appeal, as well as one of its weaknesses, I think, is the special status of the Master Chief as a near-invincible, supercompetent soldier. Ultimately the only challenge the game offers him is near-insurmountable odds. An ODST game could be different, putting you in the shoes of a more vulnerable character with less ambitious goals.

Keeping It Clean, Frame By Frame

So the teaser that Bungie wanted to tease us with this past E3 is now out for download on Bungie.net in the usual flavors of QuickTime and Windows Media. Luke Smith's post on Bungie.net calls this a "CG-teaser" and the front page refers to it as being for "one of our current projects".My general impression is that this teaser is for a campaign expansion to Halo 3 that takes place sometime between the departure of Regret's ship from the Mombasa area and the Master Chief's return to Earth at the start of Halo 3.

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