Now appearing in 3D

Chris Nuttall at the FT wrote an interesting piece the other day, looking at a number of 3D technologies that are being shown at this year’s CES.

Further indication that 2009 is set to be the year of 3D comes via Contagious today –  Pepsi and DreamWorks have collaborated on a 3D advert, to be aired during the infamous SuperBowl ad-breaks.

They’re distributing 125million free 3D spectacles so the yanks can enjoy the ad, which in a nod to collaborative money- saving will also feature a trailer for a new DreamWorks movie.

James Cameron has been talking about 3D movies as a solution to attract audiences to flagging cinemas for seemingly years now, though early trials left audiences feeling nauseous, I believe.  Last year I was lucky enough to attend a screening of U2 in 3D at the Imax.  The 3D experience was effective, stunning, awe-inspring; however, I’m yet to be convinced that it is anything other than novelty.  I can’t help but think that the ‘awe-inspring’ effect distances a cinema audience – as the artifice of the movie is heightened – rather than fully immersing the spectator within the action and emotion of the movie.

Hopefully I’ll be proved wrong.  It would seem that 3D TV for the home and mobile is gaining pace (Chris includes an interesting stat in his article following Quixel research into consumer demand for 3D), and the allure of 3D gaming should be obvious to even the most devout non-gamers.

It certainly will be interesting to see how the 3D story evolves this year.

*digs out retro red and green specs*

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How Sony escaped a product recall disaster

Product recall is a costly decision. By publicly admitting that something is at fault could potentially damage a company’s reputation, devalue the consumer’s trusts in the products, and it’s financially costly to handle. 

 

With this in mind, full credit should be given to Sony for delicately handling the global recall of their latest video game release, LittleBigPlanet, following concerns that it may offend some Muslims. In doing so, it has regained the trusts from of current Sony followers, but also caught the attention of new audiences. 

 

LittleBigPlanet wasn’t something I was familiar with but Sackboy (the main character) started showing up on numerous national and trade publications, including Financial Times and The Guardian starting strings of conversation.  Now, I’m looking at the gaming site and wondering if I might want a copy when it’s launched. 

                                                                                                                          

The creators, Media Molecule, were alerted to the problem when a Muslim gamer was trialling a beta version of the game.  He pointed out that two phrases from the background music track were from Islam’s most holy text and, by mixing this with music, could cause offense. 

 

A software patch was developed to remove the music but following further discussion with Sony, the company has “decided to do a global recall to ensure that there was no possible way anyone may be offended by the music in the game”.

 

As Darren Waters from BBC has suggested, this is “a blow to Sony on the eve of what was expected to be a triumphant release of LittleBigPlanet.”

 

On the flip side, this has also brought the company and the game into the limelight and potentially a wider mix of audience.  It’s perfect timing for Christmas too, with its re-release planned for 3 November in the UK and 29 October in the US.

 

This incident demonstrates that brands have to be careful in how they manage their reputations with the public.  Sony and Media Molecule ‘listened’ to its gamers and took on board the suggestion of developing a software patch to remove the offending source. They then made a public announcement on how it plans to rectify the issue and acted swiftly to minimise the damage. 

 

However, this raises an interesting question on if and how a product should be recalled.  Back in June 2007, Sony offended the Church of England after setting scenes in a violent video game inside Manchester Cathedral.  So why wasn’t that withdrawn?

  

Disclaimer: Edelman’s consumer arm, JCPR, represented Sony Playstation in the UK between 1998 and 2006.

Walking the plank

pugwash

Not a good week for UK pirates #1. 

OiNK has been pulled down and its owner,  24 yr old Ian Ellis charged by UK and Dutch police.

Ian’s argument from the Telegraph:

The website is very different from how the police are making it out to be. There is no music sold on the site – I am doing nothing wrong.

When I set up the site I didn’t think I was doing anything illegal and I still don’t. There are 180,000 users and there has been an outcry about what has happened to me.

People who download music also buy CDs as well. A lot of people download music on the internet to get a taste of it and then later buy the CD.

But I don’t sell music to people, I just direct them to it. If somebody wants to illegally download music they are going to do it whether my site is there or not.

If this goes to court it is going to set a huge precedent. It will change the internet as we know it.

As far as I am aware no-one in Britain has ever been taken to court for running a website like mine. My site is no different to something like Google.

If Google directed someone to a site they can illegally download music they are doing the same as what I have been accused of. I am not making any Oink users break the law. people don’t pay to use the site.

The other side, from Jeremy Banks, the head of the antipiracy unit at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which helped police with their investigation (CNet)

OiNK was central to the illegal distribution of prerelease music online. This was not a case of friends sharing music for pleasure. This was a worldwide network that got hold of music they did not own the rights to and posted it online.

The most damning evidence surrounds the availability of over 60 albums on the OiNK site weeks before the CD’s were officially released by the record labels.

Read the rest of this entry »

RetroDERT: Top 10 Amiga Games of All Time

shadowofthebeast1.jpg 

Gaze whistfully in to the past, reminisce about the days before the interweb – it was a simpler time when judgement was reserved for how long it took a game to load and how tough the end of level boss was. Your mate completed Double Dragon and became a playground God; you were mocked for choosing anyone other than Haggar in Final Fight. You told everyone your brother had completed Turrican but no-one believed you and you became pariah

Wired has announced its ‘Top 10 Amiga Games of All Time’. Childhood memories aside, it’s really interesting to see just how influential these titles were in shaping the history of gaming – both PC and console. Within this list you really can see the genesis for number of the most famous, popular and successful titles of modern times.  

Syndicate was a seminal title in the world of strategy-action games while Cannon Fodder’s tragi-comedy brutality and top-down gameplay paved the way for the first generation Grandtheft Auto titles

Truly addictive games; I’d go so far as to say these are still eminently playable now, standing along amongst the ultra-rich graphics and complexities of current MMORPG titles.

Old skool.