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9:00 PM on 01.27.2014

Doom was inspired by Tom Cruise's The Color of Money?

I love reading about the development history of games especially some of the medium's classics. Doom is one such classic, the seminal first-person shooter turned 20 years old in 2013. Creators John Romero and Tom Hall have re...

Alasdair Duncan


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1:25 PM on 12.17.2013

Smithsonian adds Flower and Halo 2600 to its collection

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has added another two videogames to its ever- expanding collection: thatgamecompany's Flower and Halo 2600, developed by Ed Fries. Whilst Flower had already been showcased at the 2012's Art...

Alasdair Duncan

5:00 PM on 12.01.2013

You should watch Videogames Changed the World

Following on from 2009's Gameswipe special, acerbic critic and former PC Zone writer Charlie Brooker has delivered another excellent videogames program this time on Channel 4. How Videogames Changed the World is a two-hour sp...

Alasdair Duncan

7:00 PM on 08.17.2013

Pokemon retrospective hints at new game

Pokemon X/Y is almost upon us, and Nintendo is brimming with joy over their pending release, with new cartoons and other promotional tidings flowing from every orifice. Case in point, a new retrospective video that takes us ...

Jonathan Holmes

4:00 PM on 08.12.2013

Play Game & Watch and other LCD games in your browser

Hey, 80s babies! Have fond memories of portable gaming in the days before Game Boy? Did your parents ever buy you those Tiger electronic handhelds for $10 a pop to shut you up on those long drives? Or were you born just a lit...

Tony Ponce



A little refresher on the fall of the Dreamcast photo
A little refresher on the fall of the Dreamcast
by Tony Ponce

As a young 'un, my only experience with the SEGA Dreamcast was with Sonic Adventure at a Target demo station. I was very much an outsider, admiring the machine as it appeared in magazines and on television. I finally picked up a unit three years back, though I shamefully admit that I haven't spent much time playing it.

Others have fonder experiences than I, and these are the people who continue to wonder why the Dreamcast's life was cut short after only two years on the market. SEGA department manager Tadashi Takezaki recently spoke to Famitsu magazine on the subject. The interview, translated by Polygon, touches upon why SEGA simply couldn't afford to support a console anymore.

According to Takezaki, who was in charge of marketing the Dreamcast, the machine was designed to address the glaring issues of the Saturn. It was extremely developer-friendly, it had a more attractive color scheme, and it was targeted towards a mass audience as opposed to just hardcore SEGA fans. Unfortunately, the launch of the PlayStation 2 in March 2000 forced SEGA to rapidly discount its hardware -- Sony had the distinct advantage of having helped found the DVD format and being able to use internally developed tech to design a console around that, whereas SEGA purchased all its equipment from outside companies.

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5:00 PM on 08.07.2013

Nintendo reveals combined sales of ALL hardware, software

Nintendo's latest fiscal report is not all that hot. But the general annual report does a much better job of putting a positive spin on the company's present and future. The first dozen or so pages of the report are incredibl...

Tony Ponce

6:30 PM on 08.06.2013

Peek into the development of Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI on the Super Nintendo marked a grand change in direction and tone for the series. The shift wasn't as noticeable out West, which didn't receive the second, third, and fifth games and thus didn't have much of ...

Tony Ponce



How a sneaky UK studio wound up making Star Fox photo
How a sneaky UK studio wound up making Star Fox
by Tony Ponce

As much as we see Nintendo as a very insular company these days, it was much more so way back during the NES and SNES eras. If you tried to challenge Nintendo's power, you were met with intense scorn at the very least or litigation at the very worst. That's why the story of small British studio Argonaut Software is so bizarre -- Argonaut broke the copyright protection on Game Boy and was rewarded with a three-game Nintendo-publishing contract.

This past week, Eurogamer posted a write-up about Argonaut's time with Nintendo and the fruits of the team's labor. The first thing Argonaut's technical wizards did was develop a 3D prototype for the NES called "NESglider," a spiritual successor to an Argonaut Amiga / Atari ST game, Starglider. They then ported the demo to SNES and promised the Kyoto higher-ups that they could improve the 3D effect more than ten-fold if they designed a radical new 3D microprocessor. The microprocessor became known as the Super FX chip, and the first game to use it was none other than Star Fox -- renamed Starwing in Europe to avoid a trademark dispute with the German company StarVox.

Argonaut later made Stunt Race FX and Star Fox 2 for Nintendo, although the latter wound up getting canceled despite being essentially finished. Key members from the Argonaut team actually became full-time Nintendo employees: Dylan Cuthbert, today the head of PixelJunk studio Q-Games; Giles Goddard, today the head of Steel Diver studio Vitei; and programmer Krister Wombell. Unfortunately, relations between the two companies ended after Argonaut pitched a 3D platformer starring Yoshi, upsetting Nintendo which had yet to allow an outside studio to use its own IP. So Argonaut retooled and published it through Fox Interactive as Croc: Legend of the Gobbos, the company's biggest game in terms of both sales and royalties.

I urge you to give the full article a read. I was especially surprised by Argonaut's idea for a virtual reality system that could have beat the pants off the Virtual Boy and then some!

Born slippy: the making of Star Fox [Eurogamer]

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10:00 PM on 06.06.2013

Capcom 30th anniversary encyclopedia coming October

Though I'm not too crazy about a lot of what Capcom has been doing lately -- boy, that's an understatement -- it nonetheless holds a special place in my heart as the first gaming company I truly admired. Games like Mega Man, ...

Tony Ponce

1:00 PM on 06.01.2013

Early Pokemon design documents reveal whips and weirdos

A lot of people assume that the Pokémon games are for kids because they tend to be popular with that demographic, but that's not necessarily the case. From the sounds of it, the first Pokémon was developed large...

Jonathan Holmes





4:15 PM on 05.02.2013

Famicom was red because Nintendo prez owned a red scarf

Of the myriad facets of game hardware design, the big honking truth behind a console's color scheme may not necessarily rank among the most fascinating of details. It's something that we don't give too much thought about, esp...

Tony Ponce

7:30 PM on 04.08.2013

Miyamoto explains why Luigi is green and more

GameSpot? Time? New York Times? And now Rolling Stone? Everyone wants a piece of Shigeru Miyamoto! If he's so willing to speak to anyone and everyone, why hasn't he spoken to us yet? We need to arrange a pow-wow as soon as po...

Tony Ponce



Ex-Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln had big brass balls photo
Ex-Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln had big brass balls
by Tony Ponce

The Nintendo of today is known for being quiet and humble, making conservative decisions, and doing its best not to intentionally piss potential third-party partners off. Most of the complaints directed at Nintendo's current state can partially be attributed to this behavior -- which isn't to say that it didn't work for the Wii and DS. This wasn't always the case, though. There was a time when Nintendo of America was the biggest, baddest shark of them all, and software developers and retailers were genuinely afraid of the House of Mario.

One of the key figures in establishing Nintendo as a Western powerhouse was Howard Lincoln, the lawyer turned Nintendo executive who was recently the focus of a lovely feature by Not Enough Shaders' Emily Rogers. He defended Nintendo against Universal's "Donkey Kong" lawsuit, became senior vice president of NoA in 1983, then served as chairman from 1994 until his departure in 2000. In his nearly two-decade tenure, he was responsible for some of the most influential decisions in Nintendo's third-party relationship history.

From bringing on both Rareware and Retro Studios as second parties to defending Nintendo during the videogame violence Senate hearings in the early 90s, Lincoln wasn't afraid to take risks. He also wasn't afraid to speak his mind -- some of his words regarding the competition were so brutal that you can still feel the scorch marks years later. Could his actions be part of the reason many third parties became wary of working with Nintendo later on? Possibly, but you can't deny that the man got results.

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Review: The History of Sonic The Hedgehog photo
Review: The History of Sonic The Hedgehog
by Tony Ponce

Despite the Sonic series' many missteps over the past decade, I remain a huge fan. I remember the first time I played Sonic The Hedgehog at my cousins' house into the wee hours of the night. I remember long school field trips and borrowing my friend's Game Gear to play the Blue Blur's latest handheld quest. I even remember designing zones of my own design on large sketch pads!

The History of Sonic The Hedgehog is a celebration of the SEGA mascot's two decades of speed-driven platforming. First released in 2012 by French videogame book publisher Pix'n Love, it was translated by Canadian comic and art studio UDON for English market distribution. For a long-time fan such as myself, securing a copy was a necessity.

Quite a few Sonic faithfuls were also eager to pick up the 300-page volume, as the first printing had one of the fastest sellouts in UDON history. And why shouldn't they? Featuring a chronicle of Sonic's *ahem* genesis, a list of all the games in the massive franchise, and bios for Sonic's motley crew of allies and enemies, The History of Sonic packs more punch than one of SEGA's old anti-Nintendo slam ads.

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8:00 AM on 02.18.2013

Sony continues the PlayStation retrospective with the PS3

Sony continues the countdown until the mysterious February 20th event with the "Evolution of PlayStation: PlayStation 3" video. If you're up for a bit of nostalgia, the video goes over the entire history of the console...

Chris Carter