Lately, I've been doing lots of reading and have been trying to work my head around some ontological questions as they apply to videogames and virtual worlds.
As if you didn't have enough pr0n on your hard drive already--I just read today that Playboy is considering building a new massive online player game based on their famous adult entertainment franchise.
In a surprise move, Nintendo announced that the official price of the Wii in the US will be $249.99, which is actually $50 or more than many were predicting. "There is one price, one configuration and one color -- the same white Nintendo uses in its Nintendo DS." It is also expected to ship November 19th worldwide.
This will no doubt be dissapointing to some (to put it mildly), as the low end Microsoft Xbox 360 is priced at $299.99 and may drop a bit lower by November (the low end PS3 is expected to be $399.99). We'll see as events unfold and do a more complete value comparison once all three systems are actually released, but Nintendo superficially at least is not really offering superior value over the competition with what the Wii comes with and what a second controller set and games cost.
"The Wiimote has a MSRP of $39.99 and the nunchuk has an MSRP of $19.99 -- they are sold separately."
"Wii points [similar to Microsoft points] will be used to purchase Virtual Console titles. 100 Wii Points equals a dollar, NES titles cost 500 points ($5), SNES titles 800 points ($8) and Nintendo 64 titles cost 1000 points ($10)."
"Citing a series of quotes from developers supporting the Wii, Fils-Aime points out that 30 titles will be available in the launch-window, with about half of them available on day one. They will, as reported, retail for $49.99 (ten bucks less than [most third party] Xbox 360 titles)."
PC Magazine, reporting on news from the Internationale Funkausstellung, a consumer electronics show in Berlin, revealed that Philips will show off the Entertaible, a digital board-gaming surface, on Friday.
We've of course recently seen over the past several years the rise of virtual physical games, if you want to call them that, mostly in "arcades" (if even those can be called that anymore). Essentially these games take real world concepts like shuffleboard or bowling, and use partial physical items, like paddles or pucks, that are utilized on a flat, virtual surface, and interact with an impact sensor at the end of the table to make something happen on the video screen, preferably accurately reflecting what would happen if it were an all physical setup. There's also been quite a bit of controversy in the pinball world, where these virtual machines take the form factor of traditional pinball machines, but do the majority of their work via a video screen. This allows for infinitely configurable tables, but is it still really pinball, or more akin to what we play on our computers and videogame systems? In any case, the revolution, if you want to call it that, has been well under way.