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Update: Rumors from the Video Game Front


"Another new Fight Night, another group of pretenders to the throne..."


A Question of Honor

Look, I know a 35 year old married guy with 1.4 kids and two dogs probably shouldn't play video games. I have too much stuff to do, I'm too old in general and too old particularly to remember the 20,000 button sequences required to keep pace with your average 12 year old.

It's not even a matter of real enjoyment for me. I happily pass on the vast majority of the garbage you see crowding shelves. In fact, I could probably write off my interest in the space as "investment research" and keep a almost straight face while doing it.

The problem is that releases like Frenchie gamemaker Ubisoft's "Brother in Arms" and Electronic Arts (ERTS... a rumored suitor of Ubisoft) "Fight Night 2" feel as though they target me in particular. "A chance to have the vicarious thrill of pounding Roy Jones Jr. followed by some shootin'? I'm SO there."

I've already gotten email challenges for Fight Night2. I've got uppity folks with rather shockingly impressive "real world" credentials from all over the country picking fights with me and the game isn't even on the shelves yet. My honor is being challenged. These pretenders must be stopped by someone and it might as well be me.

The releases also gives me the chance to offer an update on the platforms being developed and the leaders at this point in the changing game cycles.

So... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

With the acquisition game heating up in the space (rumors rumors everywhere... Microsoft (MSFT) for Electronic Arts, Sony (SNE) for ERTS, ERTS bidding for everyone else and Sumner Redstone openly working the slowest takeover EVER on Midway (MWY)) offers their periodic review of some of the most frequent names mentioned here.

Most noteworthy (though all notes therein should be taken with a grain of salt), the guys at Gamespot are citing "highly placed sources" reporting that Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp (NWS) is not interested in swallowing Eidos (EIDSY). The new buzz is that Eidos could be taken out by none other than rock stud Bono (via Elevation Partners where, I'm guessing, Bono isn't in charge of a lot of decision making).

Regarding the platform update and rumors, Cnet (CNET) has an overview of some of the developments expected to be revealed at May's huge Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Though nothing is set in stone, as it looks now Sony is determined to right their listing ship with a robust feature set, Microsoft will likely match them and Nintendo seems delayed, yet again (continuing a downward slide ongoing since the early 90's).

It's unclear the extent to which either Microsoft or Sony will attempt to use their machines as a "foothold in the digital livingroom" with DVR, television tuners and the like but all the machines could be expected to be ready to party with any high-speed net hook-up.

Loosely related Randoms...

For those who may be worried about the social implications of systemically de-sensitizing our children to horrific violence, I'd observe that there is always plenty of available evidence that teenagers hardly need a high-tech push before engaging in hideously stupid and dangerous activities.

Besides, with today's Supreme Court Ruling, there is now a firm cap to the level of punishment the kids will be subject to, should video games warp their fragile little minds. ("Just freak out before your 18th birthday, kid-o".)

With that, I'm off to get me some "Fight Night2" (er... do some in-store consumer research) before meting out some psychic punishment of my own to those who dare. It's a heavy burden, having all these kids looking to test themselves against me only to see their hopes and dreams crushed. I take no joy in it. It's more like the feeling I get when Meehan gets uppity: Better to have the beat down come from me than some total stranger.

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Position in Activision, Long U2 regardless of how hard they sell out

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