Next Generation Wii: Wii U will cost $300

Rumors speculate that the next generation Wii, called the Wii U will retail at $300. I think this is right on and Nintendo knows exactly what they are doing. Given the economy and the fact that these consoles are released every 4-5 years, they should not be costing us more than $300. I think Sony and Microsoft need to pay close attention to this. People are not going to pay $400+ dollars for their next consoles. I know I will not.

Here is a link to the article on IGN

Next generation consoles – xbox 720 and PS4

Looks like both Microsoft and Sony are planning to release new consoles in 2013, more than likely in Q3 or Q4 just before the holiday season. There are tons of rumors floating around right now about both of these consoles but considering we are more than a year away from their release its too early to start spreading more other than their release dates.

I do believe the current generation of consoles is nearing its life cycle as their tech specs are getting old. I am ready for the new versions and hope that this time around both Microsoft and Sony concentrate on two main things: 1) a system that wont break. We all know of the red ring of death from MS and Sony had their share of problems as well, including hacking. 2) Price. We do not want to pay $400 for a gaming machine. The Wii outsold everyone this generation and one of the big selling points was the $250 price tag. So don’t give us a blu-ray player if it’s going to add even $50 to a cost of the machine, blu-ray is out anyway, netflix/amazon/hulu apps are much more important.

Video games bad for children?

Wow, a motion at this conference to eliminate video games for children. Lets take a close look at the article from the Guardian and conference against video games. I have quoted the article and broken it out into pieces and then commented on the section. Overall, this article was poorly written and there is absolutely no research backing up any of the claims made…at least they didnt cite any research. My feeling is that these are the same people who wanted to ban Harry Potter.

Here is a link to the article

“Primary school teachers said the games were making their pupils far more aggressive and addicted to “fantasy worlds that separate them from reality”.”

This is what people said about TV and comic books when I was growing up. I was pretending to be a star wars character and they thought that meant I was going to turn out crazy. Little did they know I would end up being successful in the corporate world then move on to get a Ph.D. and become a college professor.

“Doctors found children who continually play computer games may be more likely to develop tendinitis – an inflammation between the muscles and bones – and suffer from seizures, teachers said.”

This is hilarious. If this was the best reason they could find why children shouldnt play video games their argument is pretty laughable. Also, they didnt even cite where this came from. What doctors? What study? More likely than who, children that just watched tv?

“Psychologists have expressed concerns that playing some games make children more aggressive.

The teachers fear that by spending hours alone playing the games, children could become anti-social and slow to develop speaking and listening skills. Many pupils arrive at school exhausted having played the games until the early hours of the morning, they said.”

Lets see, both of these statements are actually contradictory of the research on gaming and education. Did they look at whats really happening or just talk to a psychologist and teacher at the conference against gaming? And what games make children more aggressive? There are ratings on games. I would expect children to react differently to R rated movies than PG movies just as I would to a game rated M for Mature game. If we are talking about games rated M (17 year old+) then the conversation needs not to be about the games, rather about the parents letting their kids play these games.

“Alison Sherratt, a teacher at Riddlesden St Mary’s Church of England primary school in Keighley, West Yorkshire, said her four- and five-year-old pupils spend their breaks pretending to “throw themselves out of the window of the play car in slow motion” and act out blood “spurting from their bodies”.

“We all expect to see rough and tumble, but I have seen little ones acting out quite graphic scenes in the playground and there is a lot more hitting, hurting and thumping in the classroom for no particular reason.”

This is call ‘boys being boys’ In kindergarten me and my friends used to build guns out of Legos and pretend to shoot each other just like they star wars, gi joe, etc. Oddly enough all of us turned out pretty normal. I think in today’s classroom I would be expelled from school for no tolerance.

“Obesity, social exclusion, loneliness, physical fitness, sedentary solitary lives – these are all descriptions of children who are already hooked to games … Sadly there is a notable correlation between the children who admit to playing games and those who come to school really tired,” she said.

There is a correlation? Please show us the study. There is NO correlation this is someone making up fake information.

Overall, this article is pretty bad. I would love to speak the author or at least show them my take on it. I could actually show research that supports gaming in the classroom. We have a lot of research showing gaming can improve achievement (learning), social interaction, and increase student motivation. This article and conference from what I can tell did not speak about any positives, look at any research, and instead seemed more like a witch hunt. Maybe these teachers should focus more on teaching students to analyze, critique, and evaluate…or maybe they should learn to do that themselves?

Game designer salaries

Very interesting article on IGN today about game designer and developer salaries. The numbers come from Game Developer Magazine and are based in the US:

  • Art and Animation – $75,780 (up from $71,354)
  • Audio – $83,182 (up from $68,088)
  • Business – $102,160 (down from $106,452)
  • Game Design – $73,386 (up from $70,223)
  • Production – $85,687 (down from $88,544)
  • Programming – $92,962 (up from $85,733)
  • Quality Assurance – $47,910 (down from $49,009)

Minecraft coming to xbox 360!

Very exciting news. This is one game that has been making its way into classroom across the nation. I will be using this game in my Gaming and Simulation class next spring! It will be on xbox May 9th for $20. I do think that price is a little steep though.

Want to know what video games your kids are playing?

Microsoft’s xbox releases information each week about which video games are the most popular when playing in their online environment. I thought it was interesting to see what games are the most popular. You might notice some commonalities between all the games. Most are war or sports games. This tells us that players enjoy the action in those two genres. Now if we could just take the features from these games and put them into education games…..Here is the list:

LIVE Activity for week of February 27
Xbox 360 Top LIVE Titles (based on UU’s)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Battlefield 3
Halo: Reach
Modern Warfare 2
Gears of War 3
NBA 2K12
FIFA Street Demo
Mass Effect 3 Demo
Madden NFL 12
Forza Motorsport 4
Saints Row: The Third
Halo 3
Mass Effect 2
SSX Demo
NBA 2K11


Neilson’s Annual Survey of Video Game Use

Neilson’s latest report shows the latest trends in video game use. Here are some of the stats:

  • Over half of households (56 percent) own at least one current generation gaming console as of January 2012, up from 50 percent last year
  • There is increasing overlap and competition in the mobile / handheld / tablet gaming space: 66 percent of households with kids age 6-12 that own a Nintendo DS or Sony PSP also have an Apple iOS device
  • Android OS gaming peaks among adults 25-34 while iPhone gaming is distributed more evenly across age segments
  • Gamers increasingly play across multiple screens: 24 percent play on two or more of a console, a PC or a mobile / tablet device, up from 17 percent in 2009
  • 65 percent of consoles are located in the living room; Nintendo Wii leads (75 percent) but Kinect for Microsoft Xbox 360 is helping to shift that platform toward communal spaces

– survey conducted among a general population sample of n=3,000 in the United States, October 2011.


Real soldiers take on CoD and BF3

Here is what soldiers think of CoD/BF3. I do not think anyone thought any differently. Obviously no one would really run around in the open shooting

From the article:

Developers of games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 spend millions of dollars to ensure their games are as realistic as possible. Everything from the noise of guns firing to the war-torn environments are created with meticulous care. Military experts are brought on board to ensure that details look and feel as true to life as possible.

Everyone understands that shooting games are fantasies but how close is the experience to real-life combat situations? We asked three soldiers who have served their country in dangerous war-zones.

They explain that as much as they enjoy playing games, the real-life experiences are vastly different. And while games can be very good at portraying physical environments, they aren’t even close to recreating the emotional strain of combat. Also, while games focus on the individual, real soldiers are trained to focus on the team.

Rest of article here