Video game hijacks entertainment industry


The popular Grand Theft Auto video game series has earned more than Avatar and Titanic- the two highest-grossing films of all time- combined.

A new title will soon top the list of most profitable entertainment franchises, and it never earned a single dollar at the box office. Grand Theft Auto, the immensely popular video game series, has already earned more than Avatar and Titanic– the two highest-grossing films of all time- combined.

Only the Harry Potter franchise, which grossed $7.7 billion, has earned more than the game that recently released its fifth installment in a series whose earnings already total more than $5.45 billion, according to Newsweek.

As the Potter series reached its conclusion in print and on screen, Grand Theft Auto will soon exceed the boy wizard series earnings. The controversial crime video game, in which players must steal cars and evade police, earned $800 million on the first day of its mid-September “GTA5” release alone. By day three it had already reached $1 billion in sales.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board assigned the game a “Mature” rating for “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol.”

The New York-based company that owns the franchise, Take-Two Interactive, reported in November of 2012 that its first four installments of the game combined to sell 125 million copies. This year’s game has sold 17,250,000 copies in its first month on the market, grossing $1.54 billion.

Avatar, by comparison, earned a total of $2.8 billion worldwide, while Titanic raked in $2.2 billion. The third-most profitable movie ever, The Avengers, made $1.5 billion. Earnings for the entire Lord of the Rings series totaled $2.9 billion.

Grand Theft Auto V was released five years after its predecessor, and game stores opened their doors for a midnight release to fans eagerly awaiting the latest installment. Take Two’s stock took a hit last winter when its subsidiary, Rockstar Games, announced the game’s original release date would be delayed, but the anticipation seems to have helped GTA’s unprecedented sales.

 

[source]

Advertisements

How Sony plans to win the next gen console war with the PlayStation 4


Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House with the Playstation 4
Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House with the Playstation 4

If you still dismiss video games as the sole preserve of kids, geeks and freaks then prepare to think again. A fortnight ago Rockstar Games bagged the biggest entertainment launch ever when their ultra-violent open world adventure Grand Theft Auto V grossed over $1billion during its first three days on sale.

And next month Sony and Microsoft will contest what promises to be an equally bloody – and lucrative – battle for your living room, with the near simultaneous UK launch of their new next gen games consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Essentially custom-built high-end PCs in a box, both promise graphics and experiences exponentially advanced from anything possible on current consoles. And yet almost since their first reveals earlier this year, perceived wisdom has pegged the PS4 as the gamers’ choice.

Sony used their New York unveiling in February to explain how many of the world’s best games developers helped design the PS4’s architecture. Conversely Microsoft used their May showcase in Seattle to talk up the Xbox One’s capability to control your satellite TV signal.

Inevitably, the truth isn’t quite so clear cut. The Xbox One will still play amazing games, and the PS4 is an all-singing, all-dancing entertainment system custom-built for 21st century lifestyles. As well as offering streaming media services and social network integration on your TV, Sony’s box of tricks will also integrate fully with your tablet or smartphone via the multi-platform PS App.

As Andrew House, the British-born CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, explained when I interviewed him at the company’s Tokyo headquarters in September: “The direct translation of the Japanese word for ‘console’ is ‘dedicated game device’, and that definition is now no longer viable. These are multi-functional devices that offer a wide range of network services that give players and consumers opportunities outside of games.”

Less than 24 hours earlier, House had delivered an important keynote address – in impressively fluent Japanese – at the 2013 Tokyo Games Show, during which he expressed his expectation to sell 5 million PlayStation 4 units within the first fiscal year. To put that into perspective, the PlayStation 3 sold around 3.5 million in the same timeframe.

Sony infamously had their fingers if not burnt, then certainly singed in the previous generation when Microsoft not only beat them to market by almost a year with the Xbox 360, but also offered a cheaper product which, despite having inferior hardware specs, was far better suited to the then emerging genre of online gaming.

It took Sony almost seven years to claw back Microsoft’s launch lead, with reports suggesting the PS3 only overtook its rival’s total sales figures in May this year (both consoles have shifted just shy of 80 million units each). Naturally, House insists those lessons have been learned.

“We have confidence in our ability to make [the PS4] an instant success,” he assures me the following day, citing the console’s competitive price point – at £349.99, it’s almost £80 cheaper than the Xbox One – and developer support as key differentiators in the imminent hardware war.

“On the original PlayStation it was, ‘arcade game quality… in the home!’ Remember that? And it was great! Come PlayStation 2, I think most people would agree it was open world gaming that opened up this sense of freedom that people had never had before. On PlayStation 3, one would probably point to online multiplayer as being the dominant genre.

“The excitement for me is: what’s going to be next? I firmly believe there’s just so much creativity out there among game developers right now that there will be something fantastic. The joy is almost the anticipation of not knowing exactly what it’s going to be, but knowing that that potential is there.”

We’ll get our first inkling when the PS4 is released in the UK on November 29th.

What”s in the box?

The PlayStation 4 has been designed to comply with five guiding principles: Simple, Immediate, Social, Integrated and Personalised. Here’s how they will shape your next gen experience:

Hardware

The PS4 itself is at once sleek, simple and stylish, with sharp angular lines to offset its natural boxiness. “I’m especially proud of the look and feel of the hardware design itself,” says House. One of my strongest requests was that it very much carries the PlayStation DNA. There is something of an homage to the PlayStation 2, and that was deliberate on our part.”

Games

With over 20 games available on day one, House is confident the PS4 boasts the strongest launch line-up of any Sony console ever. Titles range from multi-platform blockbusters including FIFA 14, Call of Duty Ghosts and Battlefield 4 to exclusives like racer Driveclub, shooter Killzone: Shadow Fall and family platformer Knack. Shuhei Yoshida, the President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, also told me that that the company had invested heavily in attracting indie developers who will provide a steady stream of high quality games throughout the launch period.

Peripherals

Sony’s motion sensing camera uses facial recognition to customise the PS4’s dashboard to individual users although, unlike Microsoft, they’re not bundling their motion sensing camera with every console. The newly redesigned DualShock 4 controller has an inbuilt speaker and a unique touchpad that mimics the touchscreen interfaces of smartphones. “The controller was the result of one of the most exhausting rounds of user testing and redesign that I’ve ever experienced,” says House, “and I’ve been at Sony for over 20 years.”

Social

In a move deliberately designed to break down barriers for more mainstream gamers, users can now use real names and social media profiles to interact with friends and access services rather than the gamertags of old. The new user interface makes playing with and even watching other gamers a doddle, and the new controller also boasts a Share button to instantly upload in-game video footage to Facebook at the press of a button.

Connectivity

The recently announced PlayStation App will allow users to interact with their console from a anywhere in the world. You can buy and install games from the PS Store, use your mobile device as a second screen or controller, arrange multiplayer sessions and even send voice messages from your phones to the PS4. “This is in essence a console fully designed with that consumer lifestyle in mind,” explained House.

Streaming

Due to the redesigned hardware, your old PS3 games won’t work on the PS4. However, Sony purchased streaming pioneers Gaikai in order to create a cloud service that will allow you to browse and instantly play games both old and new in the same way you watch movies on Netflix. It’s due to launch in the States next year. PlayStation Vita owners will also be able to stream PS4 games instantly to their handheld console via a home wi-fi network.

 

[source]

I Sold Too Many Copies of GTA V To Parents Who Didn’t Give a Damn


newageoftruth

1

Dear Parents… We need to talk. There is something that has been eating at me for awhile, and I have had enough.P

I have been working in video game retail for almost 10 years now. I love my job. Some of my best memories begin with loving, bewildered parents walking into our store, naïve to the gaming world but eager to learn. I would find myself talking to them about platform choices, game franchises, and getting started online. I’d then enlighten them with my own gaming experiences with my kids. This approach got them interested in what their children were doing and encouraged them to play the games alongside their kids.P

There is no better feeling than a happy parent returning to my store, pleased with my previous advice, and wanting more product.P

So, when a new MarioLittleBigPlanetPokémon, or any kid-friendly game comes out…

View original post 650 more words

GTA V actors reject accusations of encouraging violence


Parents should take more control and stop being hypocritical, say stars.

GTA V actors reject accusations of encouraging violence

GTA’s main voice actors have rallied around to defend the game from accusations that it encourages violent behaviour in children, calling the criticisms “hypocritical” and a “misconception”.

Ned Luke voices middle aged career criminal Michael in the blockbuster, and believes that he does anything but glamourise his violent lifestyle.

“Anyone who has any conception at all about the games and hasn’t played them should go play the games before they open their mouths,” Luke told PC Advisor.

“The biggest misconception is that it glamorizes violence. It really doesn’t. If you look at my character, Michael, he’s rich, but he’s a miserable man. Even in the commercials you see that. This is a guy who’s struggling with his life’s decisions.

“If you want to take something out the game, take out of it that here’s a guy who loves his family, who’s kind of lost. He’s trying to hold it together. He’s trying to become a good guy, but he can’t. He just has all these demons that he’s battling. It’s the struggle. Take that and look at how he loves his family even though he wants to kill them and that’s what it is. Look for the relationships. Look for the humor. Look for the irony and the satire in the game. That’s another big misconception. What, do they think we’re serious?

“GTA allows you to tap into everything that you can’t do in real life,” he continues. “In real life, you don’t get to go out and rampage and do all these bad things. Gangster movies have been huge forever – Godfather, Casino, Goodfellas, all the way back to Jimmy Cagney. People lose themselves in the bad boy. And there isn’t anybody badder than the dudes in GTA. That’s why they’re so popular. You get to actually go out and do all these horrible things.

“It’s not for the kids to go get. It’s for Mature audiences only. If kids get it, then that’s on their parents.”

Shawn Fonteno – voice actor for Franklin Clinton

“As an actor, I got to go out and do all these crazy things and then go back home to my wife and my son and go out in the back yard and throw a baseball around like a normal all-American dad. I think that’s what these games are. People who take them too seriously and go, ‘Oh, this is life.’ No, this isn’t life. This is imagination. It’s just fun. You definitely don’t want GTA raising your children. But it’s not a bad release from them, when you need to get away.”

Steven Ogg, the actor who plays sociopathic Canuck Trevor Phillips, says that detractors should compare GTA to other mediums before they pass judgement, arguing that nothing depicted in the game is any worse that what’s often shown on TV or in cinema, and that there are other, much bigger, contributors to social violence than video games.

“The hypocrisy drives me crazy, it just sets the wrong focus. Why not talk about gun control? Why not talk about parenting? Why not talk of lack of family values? There are so many other things to talk about. Look at what’s on TV. Breaking Bad had that episode where ******** got his face blown off. There’s a lot of intense stuff out there. Video games are just an easy scapegoat. My nephew plays this game. I asked my sister if she was worried because there’s some pretty nasty stuff in there and she said, ‘I know he’s not going to go to school tomorrow with a gun. He’s not like that.'”

Franklin’s voice actor, an ex-gang member called Shawn Fonteno, has a different perspective on the criticism, but one that comes from experience which most of the game’s opponents will never have.

“I know a few people that live that kind of (violent) lifestyle and when they play GTA they can relate to it,” Fonteno explained. “It has an impact to the point that they’re happy that they can just play it in the game and not have to relive it in real life. And that’s the big key thing with this, man. It’s just a video game. And people that have lived that life and have done them things, as I did, can just have fun with it in a game. You can leave it there and nobody’s getting hurt and you’re just having fun.

“People already have it in their mind that GTA is for kids because it’s a game. Then they hear about the violence and they’re instantly going to attack because it’s a game. Now, if it was a movie it would be a different story and these same people would be out there supporting it. GTA V is like a movie. Once they get the game in their hands, they’ll see. It says it big as day -Mature. It’s not for the kids to go get. It’s for Mature audiences only. If kids get it, then that’s on their parents.”

 

[source]

Is GTA V Crashing Old Xbox 360s?


GTA V

 A thread on the GTAForums site has reported problems with some Xbox 360 owners who’ve had Grand Theft Auto V freeze on them during Franklin’s first mission. The issue seems to be associated with Xbox 360s made or refurbished between 2006 and 2008.

“I’ve probably reinstalled the game about 10 times now,” wrote one user. “I’m thinking it might be my 20GB HDD? After I installed the game I probably [have] a couple hundred MB left. Could it possibly be a problem that I don’t have enough excess memory after the install?”

Another user wrote: “Same problem here. Xbox from 2006, original 20gb model, sent in for repairs in 2009 for RROD. bought a 250 gb hard drive for it, but otherwise it’s the same console I’ve had for years. I can’t play for more than 30 minutes without the game freezing on me, and I’ve tried every troubleshooting step I’ve seen here and on other websites.”

Rockstar reportedly responded to direct contact with some troubleshooting steps, but most said that they did not work. Some steps that did work for at least one user came from Xbox Live Support. Here they are:

1. Delete all GTAV game data.

2. Clear system cache three times.

3. Delete marketplace data from storage system items.

4. Unplug console for three minutes.

5. Install disc 1.

6. Power off, do not insert disc 2.

7. Restart.

8. Install disc 2.

9. Play.

Hopefully Rockstar will come up with an official statement and fix sooner than later.

Have you had freezing issues with GTA V?

 

Source