ScattershotsShawn Drotar

Posted on June 25th, 2007 in Gaming, News, Opinion, Wii, PSP by Shawn Drotar

Musings for a Monday morning:

  • Nicole Kidman has become the face of Nintendo in Europe after signing on to promote their Brain Training series. While I expect many gamers to scoff at this decision, the fact remains that it’s a good one, and it illustrates the changing dynamics regarding gaming in the mainstream marketplace. Kidman is high-profile and retains a lot of appeal, and in most people’s minds, she doesn’t fit the “gamer profile”. Granted, she’s not pitching Gears of War here, but any time games are viewed as a viable and acceptable means of entertainment for the average Joe (or Jane, in this case), it’s a good thing. The pleasant, casual setting of the ad shown here appeals to a different segment of the gaming population in an attempt to widen Brain Training’s market in specific, and Nintendo in general. It’s simple, smart and savvy marketing - but what else would you expect from Nintendo, a company that continues to show that it has few equals when it comes to building mind-share?
  • The PSP’s 3.50 firmware enabled more than it appeared. Shacknews received confirmation from Sony that the latest update unleashed the total processor power of the portable unit, allowing developers to use the full 333 MHz speed of the system. Previously limited to 266 MHz, most games run at 222 MHz, meaning that the PSP, in essence, just received a 33% speed boost. The trade-off is assumed to be decreased battery life, but if the system’s games improve to take advantage of the newfound power, here’s guessing that gamers will find a way to live with that.
  • GameSpot announced a new scoring system for its reviews, doing away with tenth-of-a-point intervals and instead allowing only half-point ones aided by “badges” which call particular attention to the strengths and weaknesses of any particular title. As someone who’s railed against ludicrous and entirely subjective point-scores for years, this is a step in the right direction. Scores with limited distinction tend to serve only as crutches for the mindless ramblings of “fanboys”, and while scores in general discourage people to read the reviews themselves (where the actual, useful information is), they’re a necessary evil. GameSpot’s decision looks like a sensible compromise, and they should be commended for trying something different.

One Response to 'Scattershots'

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  1. on July 27th, 2007 at 6:56 am

    Erin…

    mumba matumba!…

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