ScattershotsShawn Drotar

Posted on July 20th, 2009 in Gaming, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, News, Opinion, Wii by Shawn Drotar

Musing for a Monday afternoon:

  • Harmonix, the developer of Rock Band, has created the Rock Band Network, set to enter a public beta very soon. For $99 a year, musicians with rights and access to their own master tracks can license and use Harmonix’s authoring software to encode their songs for Rock Band themselves, opening up a world of possibilities for indie bands and potentially, any musician, anywhere. This just-announced initiative could be a game-changer, not only for Rock Band, but for the entire music industry. Keep on eye on this one.
  • EA Sports is partnering with Major League Gaming to operate its EA Sports Challenge competition across most of its forthcoming lineup, with both live and online tournaments available. The Challenge, which will start in late August, will also be sponsored by Sony, which will provide $170,000 worth of cash and prizes. That means that the Challenge events will be using the PlayStation 3 exclusively, so if you’re an Xbox 360 gamer, you’d better get used to a smaller controller if you intend to compete. “For nearly a decade, the EA Sports Challenge Series has represented what our brand is all about - competition and a passion for sports,” said Steven Chiang, senior vice president, EA Sports. “In partnering with MLG and Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., we’re going to offer our consumers the chance at competition like they’ve never had before, at the highest levels of gaming, and with all the bragging rights on the line.” If you’re interested, the full press release can be found here.
  • If you’d like a sneak peek at the Xbox’s new Dashboard before it arrives this fall, sign up for Microsoft’s preview program and you may be selected to download the update months earlier. Xbox’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb has the details here. If you’d like an idea of how it might work, click here - and be afraid.
  • This weekend, Wii Sports Resort will arrive in stores. A true sequel to Wii Sports - easily the most popular and arguably still the best game available on the system - the release drives home how little the Wii has grown since its inception. Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo breaks down how and why in a terrific article here.

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