Cool Tech Reviews

Just Cool Tech

August 23, 2006

Xbox 360 version of Madden NFL 07 gets a passing grade

Microsoft and Electronics Arts launched Madden NFL 07 for the Xbox 360 with a lot of hoopla yesterday and Matt Slagle of the Associated Press delivers a review:

Football video game junkies have been anxiously waiting for this week’s release of “Madden NFL 07″ by Electronic Arts Inc. The annual release of this video game franchise has become an event in itself.

But is this year’s supposed latest and greatest any good? After all, spending $59.99 on a new E-rated Xbox 360 version of the game is asking a lot — especially if you were burned by last year’s crummy version, which lacked many of the key features found in the older consoles.

A lot of annoyances remain, and there’s plenty of room for more polish and refinement. But at least the only “next-gen” console on the market finally has a decent football game.

Hit the link for the details, but there are some evident graphics problems that are overshone by the controls:

These issues aside, anyone who’s played sports video games can tell you that the graphics don’t matter if the controls stink.

Fortunately, this is where “Madden 07″ shines.

The controls are probably going to be a bit overwhelming to newcomers, but they become incredibly precise with practice.

Much more by following the link. Not exactly an A+ grade, but at least a B.

Posted at 6:48 pm. Filed under Companies, EA, Microsoft, Video Games, Xbox 360

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November 16, 2005

Electronic Arts to launch game distribution service

Rick Aristotle Munarriz at The Motley Fool:

You knew this was coming. Electronic Arts announced Monday morning that it’s launching a digital distribution service that will deliver complete games, demos, and updates to wired PC gamers through the users’ online connections.

It’s a logical move for the world’s leading video game maker. In theory, delivering games to users with high-speed broadband access is a beautiful thing. Margins run wide, since there is no inventory to stock and no physical product to press, package, and distribute.

Sounds good to me, but I can think of a fly in the ointment.

The only roadblock would likely be angry retailers like GameStop, which clearly would have plenty at stake if gamers could cut out the middleman.

Yeah, that’s it.

Will they retaliate? Will retailers yield more shelf space and in-store promotions to EA’s rivals?

That’s unlikely. EA is just too powerful. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to short GameStop, either. The video game chains aren’t going away. For starters, video game consoles and accessories will never be delivered digitally. However, it bears pointing out that companies like GameStop derive higher margins on the sale of software titles than on the hardware side.

More by following the link. EA is starting slowly with an expansion pack for Battlefield 2, but with widespread broadband, digital delivery of games is bound to arrive for both PC games and consoles. Another example is the Xbox Live Marketplace which was just unveiled and will be selling “arcade games” and add-ons for regular games, if not yet the games themselves.

Posted at 9:44 pm. Filed under Companies, EA, Microsoft, PC Games, Video Games, Xbox 360

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October 14, 2005

Video Games Tank in September

Lisa Baertlein at Reuters:

U.S. retail sales of video games for consoles and portable game players in September declined a larger-than-expected 24 percent from a year earlier to $347 million ahead of the all-important holiday season, analysts said on Friday.

Citing figures from market researchers NPD Group, analysts said revenue from console games were roughly 25 percent lower than a year earlier at almost $277 million. Revenue from the sales of mobile games revenue was off almost 12 percent to a little over $70 million, reversing gains in recent months.

It’s like any other entertainment business. There will be rough times when nothing catches the public’s fancy, and then there will be a string of hits. Activision was actually up and EA was buffered by the popularity of Madden Football.

Posted at 5:08 pm. Filed under Activision, Companies, EA, Video Games

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