Google Nexus One To Hit All 4 Major US Carriers

You heard it right folks Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T have all announced that they will be releasing the Google/HTC Android Flagship phone; The Nexus One. This is big news not only for Google, but for the Android platform itself. Many claimed that Android, although gaining substantial market shares, was only a flash in the pan and would be short lived. Many critics claimed that Android was becoming fragmented by lack of updates, and by lack of supporting carriers. Now we can claim that one more of the barriers facing the Android Platform has been removed.

AT&T recently released the Moto Backflip, their first Android based phone, featuring Android 1.5. Soon after they announced that they would be releasing the proclaimed “iPhone Killer,” the Nexus One, to their line of phones. This comes to big news to many. Most can’t help but wonder what Apple is thinking with this bold move when Steve Jobbs himself claimed that Android was dedicated to destroying the iPhone during a closed doors meeting.

With the Nexus coming to all four major carriers (something the iPhone noticeable lacked) it is only proper to wonder how it will not only affect the iPhone sales, but also the spread of Android devices as a whole throughout the cellular market.

For all you Android users out there keep your eyes on this topic, for it has great weight in the community.

We can expect a universal price of $199 USD between all carriers, the same price of the low-end iPhone 3GS.

The Fig Take: PSP Minis

I thought I’d start a little segment of the Blazebyte blog called the Fig Take. I’ll post one every couple of days on my opinions on the gaming world, on missed opportunities and gained potential, on success and on failure. No, it won’t be fact based, mostly opinionated, but that’s where you can come in and debate matter into your own hands. All in all, this is a post every couple of days about a topic that you guys can agree or not on.

For my first topic, I am going to pick on PSP Minis.

Has Sony struck gold?
Sony has struck a caved-in gold mine.

Sony made a good move latching onto Apple’s success of the App Store. They promoted bite-size  games for the PSP and it has been a partial success so far.

I say partial, because while the sales are good, the quality control and pricing is way off the chart. It’s one step forward and two steps back, further alienating the PSP fanbase. Only one company has made Minis which have received over an average score for games, and that is Halfbrick. This company has it all right. The pricing is great for what you get, and the games are of quality and are tested.

Everything else is utter crap. Seriously though, most of the things run under the bar of Moovlin PC, a game which I have pretty much developed solely. These developers do not pay for bug testers or get feedback often and release alot of half-assed games onto the Playstation Minis section. On top of that, these games which are utter crap end up being priced for more than some of Halfbrick’s games, which are actually good.

There is only one thing to blame. Developers are running out of funds and not profiting enough because of this. It’s because they  need to put their games through ESRB. While developing costs can be as low as 20$ for a game, getting ESRB to rate your game (as it is required) can cost developers 2000$. Since the PSP Platform has been steadily declining in popularity in recent months, they cannot afford to use the “sell cheap, make cheap profit” technique. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s where a developer sells a game for under the value it is really worth in hope that people give it rave reviews for the amount of content you get for such a low price.

This is nearly impossible for the developers to do because the market for Minis is not established. The best thing to do would be for Sony to take off the requirement for ESRB ratings and let the developers rate them themselves. Sony can make them sign a form which ensures Sony to sue them if the game rating is not correct. Apple has done something similar to that and the ESRB free games on the iPhone are a success.

The Highest Rated Minis game up to date, receiving a 9.0 from IGN.

Second of all, these games need quality control. I’ve seen developers who just start with the PSP. No offense to any aspiring creator, but it’s much easier to start with the Flash platform and gain support. Flash is amazing for these kinds of tiny games, and sites like Newgrounds.com can offer you feedback. The more feedback you get from people, the more of a true developer you become. Without feedback, you never become a better developer.

Moovlin PC is an example of this. I’ll show you what feedback has done for me.

yay? wait....

And after a year of hard work and feedback from people…

WOAH HO HO!

It’s not that hard.

And that’s the Fig take for March 29th, 2010. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Final Fantasy IX to be available on the PlayStation Store very soon!

Final Fantasy 9
Final Fantasy 9

As you might already know, 2 of the 3 Final Fantasy main titles from the Playstation 1 Era (VII and VIII) are already available on the Playstation Store. People have been requesting the final title be released for digital download, and I think we have a confirmation!

http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http://twitter.com/SQEX_MEMBERS_JP/status/11079794253&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhggNSkosPxW2RRYxEiwAP1Y0gqUwg

Roughly translated from Japanese, the above tweet show that FF9 will be available “roughly next week”. You can chuckle at the translation errors as you wish.

Personally, I am stoked for this. I have already played the entire Final Fantasy VII (59 hours) all the way through and am 45 hours through Final Fantasy VIII, on Disc 3. I haven’t played Final Fantasy IX, but it is the highest rated Final Fantasy game of all time, receiving a Metacritic Score of 94.

New Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Co-Op Footage

This year has a pretty small lineup for true big name PSP games. Kingdom Hearts, Modnation Racers and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops are some of the few. Out of all of them though, Peace Walker has been recieved the best. So I ask you, sit back, relax, and watch some killer Co-Op footage of MGS: Peace Walker on PSP.

watch?v=u4h4u3iGOik

This game is exclusive to PSP and features 2-4 player Ad-Hoc. It will also support Ad-Hoc party so you can play other people from around the world if you have an ethernet connection through your Playstation 3.

Moovlin PC Release Date Announced

On Jun 18th, 2010…

The world will witness the one of the biggest flash projects in the history of the web – Moovlin PC.

With a crew of over 10, including 2 artists, 5 voice actors, 1 background designer and 3 testers…

Click here to view the countdown!

A game which not only will change the way you play flash games, but set new standards in production values for all flash games to follow. With over 15 minutes of fully animated cutscenes, over 1,000 artistic resources, 30 levels, 4 multiplayer modes, 20 achievments and more…

The only boundary of this game is how much you will let it take over yor life.

Fenix Developers Preview

Hey guys,
I would like to take this moment to let everyone know Fenix is not dead.
I worked on Fenix last week and managed to work on a new build (29), devs might remember it as beta 9.
I fixed some bugs, added some more features, worked on a spreadsheet, fixed multitasking and such.
The video below demonstrates how Fenix works/looks like, it still has some glitches, but try not to mention them.

As a lot of people requested, I changed it’s GUI back to the old one, hope you guys like it. Please comment.

Yes Man

HP Slate, iPad killer?

This is how the HP Slate looks like.
This is how the HP Slate looks like.

Well it looks a lot smaller than the iPad which looks quite huge to me. The HP Slate runs a custom Windows 7 version which makes it capable of running all your favorite PC apps (well, don’t expect to play games like Crysis and such). Let’s take a look at it’s features.

The iPad has the most storage, cheap 3G, the time-tested iPhone OS and its mountain of apps, and a serious amount of Apple marketing juice behind it. But it’s also famously lacking features common to the other tablets, such as webcam and multitasking (only first party apps like music and email can multitask).

Comparing iPad – HP Slate (VS)
OS: Windows 7 VS iPhone OS
Browser: Whichever you want VS Safari
Adobe Flash: Yes VS No
Multitasking: Yes VS No
Camera: Yes VS No
Processor: Intel Atom 1.86Ghz VS 1Ghz ARM
Storage: 32-64GB VS Same, but doesn’t really matter anyway
Wireless: WiFi, Bluetooth VS Same, however the new iPad comes with 3G

See yourself, demonstration (YouTube)

What do you think about the HP Slate? Is it really an iPad killer?

Valve confirms Steam for Mac, debuts in April

Steam For Mac
Steam For Mac

Eager gamers have no doubt already seen the teasers, but Valve has now finally confirmed that its Steam game distribution service and Source engine will at long last be headed to the Mac. According to Valve, the company’s current line-up of games (including the Half-Life and Left 4 Dead series) will be available to Mac users in April, while Portal 2 will represent the company’s first simultaneous release for PC and Mac later this year. Better still, Steamworks for Mac also boasts a new feature called “Steam Play,” which will let you buy a game once and, for instance, start playing it on a PC at work and then pick up where you left off on your Mac at home (we’ll give you a moment to let that sink in). Game publishers will have to enable that feature themselves, but Valve says it expects most to take advantage of it.