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January 2010

BBC Interested In Producing Doctor Who Video Game Among Other Properties

Doctor Who I've been hoping for a video game based on the modernized Doctor Who franchise for years, and now it seems that the BBC is finally ready to do something about it.  MCV reports that the media empire wants to bring its library of properties to all corners of the gaming world.  Here's some of the article:

Via its commercial arm BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster is courting both publishers and developers to turn Doctor Who, Top Gear, In The Night Garden and many, many more into games for all audiences.  No stone will go unturned: the BBC wants to see its brands on iPhone and Facebook as much as it wants to see them on DS and Wii.

“We are open to conversations with anybody in games about all kinds of business models to see how we can extract more value,” said Neil Ross Russell, MD of children’s and licensing.  “Outside of Disney we have the most well-known line-up of children’s characters around the world.”

Yeah, they have tons of great characters!  There's The Doctor, the Daleks, The Master, Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, the Cybermen...  There's plenty on which to base a fleet of games!  But seriously, granted that my BBC experience is basically centered around Doctor Who and Torchwood on BBC America, do they really have that many franchises that could be adapted to decent games?  I have the sinking feeling that the company is looking more at a Top Gear iPhone app than a big budget Sony PlayStation 3 title featuring adventures in the TARDIS.  The BBC will go where the money is for these sorts of things, particularly now that the casual market has expanded so much.  Why else would the company get back into the gaming business after departing in 2005?  The twenty-first century is when everything changes, and the BBC has got to be ready.

(via Kotaku)

Capcom Anticipates Next ________ Vs Capcom Title

Nintendo vs Capcom The ink is still drying on the upcoming Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars for Nintendo's Wii, but that hasn't stopped the company behind it from planning the next entry in its popular [Company] Vs Capcom series.  Apparently, if Tatsunoko sells well, we could see an announcement for the next Vs iteration later this year.  Extortion or marketing?  Sometimes it's all the same.  Here's the news from Kombo:

"I would love to do more versus series, more types of games like Marvel Vs. Capcom 2," [producer Ryota Niitsuma] said. "There are all of these possibilities working with other companies, seeing what we could do with them. There are so many game companies I'd love to work with.  We get requests from fans to mix our characters with other video game characters all of the time," he added, noting that such requests often drive the games' development.

"Based on those requests we might be able to do something with our characters and another company's characters for a future game," Niitsuma said. "Keep your eyes open and your ears open for some kind of news in the future.  If sales are really good (for
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars) then you can see an announcement within this year," he concluded.

The possibilities for the next company to offer up their franchise characters for a beating go on and on, but I can think of three that I'd like to see most.  Sega vs Capcom would finally determine which azure character would win in a fight: Mega Man the blue bomber versus the blue blur, Sonic the Hedgehog.  Dante of Devil May Cry fame would have an interesting tag-team pairing with Sega's new heroine, Bayonetta.  Then there's Konami vs Capcom in which a Castlevania Belmont and Bionic Commando's Nathan Spencer square off, whip against bionic arm.  Besides, who wouldn't like to see the Maverick Hunters put down a rampaging Metal Gear unit?  Finally, there's Nintendo vs Capcom which would make up for Mega Man's exclusion from Super Smash Bros. Brawl.  There are far too many enticing character pairings to include here, so I'll leave further speculation and wish-listing to you. 

Premium Uncharted 2 DLC On The Way

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

UPDATE: Clarification from Naughty Dog about this news is now available.  Some of the initial report was inaccurate, it seems.  Either that, or somebody leaked something they shouldn't have.  Your call.

Remember last month's talk of paid downloadable content for the Sony PlayStation 3 smash hit Uncharted 2: Among Thieves?  It's on the way.  Joystiq has word of three DLC packs coming to the Sony PlayStation Network over the next few months, one of which is free and two that will cost you some unspecified amount of money.  Here's what's coming up for sale (and it's probably not what you're expecting) with release dates for Japan:

The first content pack will be free and in the Store on January 28 -- and it's kinda weird. It contains multiplayer character models of Resistance 2's Nathan Hale and a Chimera, InFamous' Cole (in both "good" and "evil" forms) and Zeke, and Killzone 2's Tomas Sevchenko and a Helghast soldier. The second DLC pack, dated February 25, adds two maps, one of which is based on the first Uncharted's "Ruins" area, and multiplayer models of the first game's Nate, Elena, Atoq Navarro, Eddy Raja, Roman Gabriel, and a mercenary. This pack won't be free, but no price has been specified. The third DLC pack, available April 15 and also premium, adds a new co-op multiplayer mode, along with four new maps and five new character skins.

Yes, it's crossover time!  Anyone hoping for a Sony take on Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. had better pay attention, because this is as close as we're going to get to seeing characters from the PlayStation family take shots at one another in an official capacity.  As for the paid content itself, I said I would be willing to pay a reasonable amount for new co-op multiplayer content, so I'm ready to put my money where my mouth is.  At least the new skins are not the bulk of the paid content (LittleBigPlanet, I'm looking at you).

Big Xbox 360 Sale On Today Only

Buy somethin' will ya!UPDATE: It's all over now. is holding one of their gaming-themed Gold Box / Lightning Deals sales today, this time with a focus on the Microsoft Xbox 360.  If you've already plowed through your holiday gifts then you may want to check out the limited time sales on titles such as Left 4 Dead 2 (PC version, too), Fallout 3, Dragon Age: Origins, Assassin's Creed II, Mass Effect, and more throughout the day.  Not a bad offering, honestly.  You spent last month buying gifts for family and friends.  Now it's time to get a little something for yourself.  Purchases made via the green link above help keep things at Press The Buttons, so your support is appreciated.  As they say in the Microsoft marketing department, Jump In!

Sheldon Cooper Wants His Stolen Games Back

The Big Bang Theory Only the lowest of the low in life would steal someone's video games, and sadly Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter of CBS's The Big Bang Theory fell prey to criminals who stole their collection of classic and current games during an apartment break-in on the most recent episode, "The Bozeman Reaction".  Watch this video clip as Sheldon lists the stolen goods when giving a report to a police officer. Can you rattle off your library that quickly on demand while under angry frustrated duress?

This Holiday Season, You Will Move

PlayStation motion controllerIf you're been resisting the Nintendo Wii's demand that you bring a little movement into your gaming habits, come this holiday season you will no longer have any say in the matter as Microsoft launches its Natal motion control camera add-on and, as we're finding out today, Sony launches its own motion control remote wand peripheral in fall 2010.  I have this terrible feeling creeping over me that the big fourth-quarter games for this year will set aside the traditional controller in favor or flailing around like there's no tomorrow.  Kotaku has a choice quote from the head of Sony Computer Entertainment, Kaz Hirai:

"We will continue to work to have a comprehensive portfolio of attractive and innovative games for the Motion Controller, not only from SCE Worldwide Studios but also from the third party developers and publishers, whom we have been working closely with. We look forward to soon unveiling the exciting software line-up that further expand and define the PS3 platform as the ultimate entertainment system for the home".

With both Sony and Microsoft prepping motion-related titles for the annual major shopping season, it seems to me that it doesn't matter whether or not the end result is enjoyable or successful.  Due to the pressure of the season, expect to see huge, major pushes from both companies and their suite of third-party developers and publishers.  The near-simultaneous releases of both brands of motion control will demand increased marketing and promotional costs from both sides, so even if you have no interest in buying into either technology, you won't be able to escape being bombarded with it.

Duludubi Star Seems Familiar Somehow

Duludubi StarThere's a new PC game in development in China called Duludubi Star that will turn the industry on its ear.  It's a 3D platformer set in space and built around spherical worlds in which a cute little character must run, jump and soar through the cosmos to collect sparkly doodads. has a brief blurb and a trailer of this amazing, assuredly original game in action.  Check it out and prepare to be amazed, as you've surely never seen anything like this.  Companies such as Nintendo, Namco, Taito, and Activision had better take notes, as they could learn a thing or two here.

Yes, it's the most blatant Super Mario Galaxy ripoff I've ever seen, but the "homages" don't stop there.  The dinosaur character seems to be the offspring of Spyro the Dragon and Bob the Bubble Bobble dinosaur, yet he speaks with Klonoa's voice.  As with the old Nintendo Entertainment System title Squashed, it looks like Duludubi Star is another game in which it's more fun to play "spot the source material" than to play the actual game itself.

Official Sega Genesis Emulator Coming To iPhone

Sega Genesis Ultimate CollectionSega has met with some success by releasing some of their biggest hits from the 16-bit era as standalone apps for the iPhone, but now the company is planning a bigger presence in the mobile market by releasing the Sega Genesis Ultimate Collection, a single app that will access it's own in-app store through which classic Genesis titles can be purchased for play in the Ultimate emulator.  There's additional information over at The Examiner:

The software giant has already released several emulator apps of their games, but now Sega has found a more efficient and economical way to release their games and keep them all within one application. The emulator app itself will be free, but the app will take advantage of Apple's new in-app purchasing system, so players can find and purchase all of Sega's classic games directly through the app. The emulator is scheduled to release in early February with one game, Space Harrier II, but from there, players can purchase whatever Sega Genesis games they desire from the app.

First up for the Ultimate Collection are Sonic the Hedgehog, Ecco the Dolphin, Shining Force, and Golden Axe ranging $2.99 to $5.99 each.  Those who do not already have some way of playing classic Sega titles could do well with this, while the rest of us have another way to buy Sonic the Hedgehog all over again.  I have to give Sega credit for effectively leveraging the power of their software catalog.  They clearly have a knack for it.

Passenger's Xbox 360 Allegedly Dismantled In The Name Of Airport Security

Microsoft Xbox 360 I've never understood the need to fly with a video game console packed in my luggage (isn't that what handheld systems are for?), but those who decide to lug their Microsoft Xbox 360 or other console through the friendly skies must first get the system past the unfriendly security agents working in the airport terminal.  The Consumerist has a tale of one unfortunate passenger who reached his destination via US Airways and discovered that his checked Xbox 360 had been dismantled by airport personnel.  Well, that's a new one.

Adam writes, "I was flying out of Logan Airport and I checked my XBOX 360 in my baggage. The agent assured me that there would be no problem with it. When I got home my I found that they had put a little ziploc bag on top of my things, and the bag was filled with tiny metal components that used to be in the XBOX. It's broken now and they're telling me tough luck. Any advice?"

I'm guessing poor Adam is in for a round of back-and-forth with the airline that will lead to nothing unless, of course, the Internet bands together to shame US Airways into taking action if action is truly warranted (the story is lacking in proof and we Internet folk are a skeptical lot).  While this isn't helpful advice for Adam now, I'd advise not taking big box consoles on flights in our current state of security theater.  I fret enough about getting my Nintendo DS through the security check as it is.  I can't imagine the stress of worrying about a console traveling alone in checked baggage for several hours worth of travel time.

Mini-Review: Mega Man X: Official Complete Works

Mega Man X: Official Complete WorksSince I was so impressed with UDON Entertainment's Mega Man: Official Complete Works art book, I had to go ahead and purchase the next volume in the series in which it is Mega Man X that enjoys some time in the spotlight.  Covering all eight main Mega Man X games (plus the Maverick Hunter X remake of the original Super NES game for the Sony PlayStation Portable), the two Game Boy Mega Man Xtreme titles, and the Command Mission RPG, this edition of Official Complete Works follows a similar template as the first book.  Unfortunately, the previous volume set the bar a little too high, as Mega Man X: Official Complete Works starts out by offering the same kind of fascinating content as its companion, but instead seems to grow bored with itself and go home before the party is supposed to be over.

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