Windows Live - Beta 2006/04/06

Everyone who hasn’t checked this out, should. It’s “beta” in the conventional sense - not the Google sense where it’s kickass but will stay in beta for three years anyway - or the traditional microsoft sense where your mouse explodes or something. I signed up for the mail - but it looks like there’s at least a month wait - if they decide you’re eligible at all - on who knows what basis…

Nintendo Posting Profits 2006/04/06

If you were worried about Nintendo in this Sony/Microsoft dominated market, well you can relax… for awhile anyway, thanks to that gimmicky wonder that is Nintendo DS.

Slashdot | DS Design = Nintendo Profits

Personally, I don’t really care for the DS, but luckily for Nintendo, I’m in the minority it seems.

Next Generation - Analysis: The Rise and Fall of Franchises 2006/04/06

Slashdot also has a link to this, but I wanted to say a little more about Next Gen’s analysis:

They spend more time on their general theory of the evolution of games than they do on the death of any franchises. On the franchise predictions: sure movie franchises will sink once the movie’s have been on DVD for a year or so, and yes GTA and Tony Hawk are getting stale, this is obvious stuff…

On their general theory - I disagree with both of their premises - firstly that the evolution of gaming is a march towards realism - it has been since the “next generation” consoles - but wasn’t to start with (pac man and space invaders had nothing to do with realism) - and won’t be forever -

Graphics will progress to photo realism, surely, but then what? The market may snap up cinematic games with photo-realistic graphics just like they scarf blockbuster movies all summer - but surely developers can do more with this medium than choose-your-own-adventure movies.

On the progression to online - not all games are good online games. That doesn’t make them bad games. Gaming isn’t a sport (or shouldn’t only be) - it’s also an artform - and like a good novel, some forms of it will always be best enjoyed individually, or at least non-competitively.