Wii TV from the BBC

bbc wiiNintendo’s Wii isn’t the target of many complaints.  It’s fun.  It’s accessible.  It’s playable.  What the Wii isn’t, and it doesn’t claim to be, is a high performance gaming beast.   It’s not about horsepower and bleeding edge graphics rendering.  The Wii’s creative interface and controllers put playability first and at that, it succeeds.  That doesn’t mean the Wii doesn’t aim to be more, just the opposite, it continues to chase large ambitions.

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Beyond Gaming: Wii Warfare, Cancer Research and More

wii warWhen you talk about video game consoles the first topics are usually the quality of play and the graphics; it’s the fun factor not the technology.  But beneath the surface of shiny plastic cases and glowing LED’s, these remain powerful devices with impressive technical credentials.  The consoles can do a lot more than gaming and their innovations are carrying into entirely unrelated sectors.

•••Wii Warfare•••
Nintendo’s motion activated controller has proven to be a huge hit with consumers.  The simple, but effective interface, has completely changed the nature of video game play.  It’s expanding audiences, increasing accessibility and just simply: fun.   It’s also turning out to be a lot more powerful.

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Paramount Gets their Game On

paramount gamingIt’s game on for Paramount.  The movie studio has plans to jump into gaming and has formed a division within their interactive department to fund the development (and publication) of gaming titles, according to Variety.

The game studio, about which information remains slight, will be largely run by Matt Candler who previously worked at Grind Games and Activision.  His title will be VP of Interactive Development.

Sandi Isaacs, Paramount’s VP of interactive and mobile content told Variety that the studio will look to invest in all types of games from casual and mobile on up to possible console games.

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EA vs. Take Two: Behind the Posturing, Inside the Deal

hostile EA TTWO“The offer is inadequate and not in the best interests of the shareholders.”

That was the tagline when Take Two initially responded to EA’s public tender offer to acquire the company.  Wednesday, the sentiment echoed anew from the boardroom and two brokerages when Take Two formerly rejected the offer.

Supporting the decision legally, the company filed a heavy load of documents with the SEC stating their case, along with supporting (albeit disclaimer laden) fairness opinion letters from Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers.

It took some time to digest all the paper and put together this detailed review Click to Read More

New EA CFO Official

staff changesWith an ongoing hostile takeover, when the news flashed that Electronic Arts was jettisoning existing CFO Warren Jenson, it was clear that even with no successor named, one was ready and a few dotted “I’s” and crossed “T’s” from being announced.  Now it’s official.

Thursday, EA officially filled the void with the appointment of Eric Brown.  Brown was currently employed as the CFO at McAfee but will leave the post to join EA on April 14th.

The position will reunite him with prior colleague and current CEO John Riccitiello.  (Prior to joining McAfee, Brown was president and CFO of Microstrategy.  Before that, between 1998 and 2000 he was COO and CFO of EA’s Redwood Shores Gaming Studio.)

Per securities law, a copy of Brown’s Offer Letter has been attached to an 8K filed with the SEC.  For his service, he will receive a base salary of Click to Read More

Jury Pool: Gibson vs Guitar Hero et all, You Decide

guitar hero suitThe last time I had jury duty, I spent several hours waiting as prosecutors and defense attorneys horse-traded their way to a plea agreement behind closed doors.  Before being dismissed, the judge on the case addressed us to say thank you for our service.  Your time wasn’t wasted, she told us.  Even though we weren’t impaneled, we served a valuable role as leverage.  Our presence, and the ability to carry the case to trial it represented, was the point. 

That same kind of brinkmanship seems to be at play in an increasingly nasty patent battle being waged by Gibson Guitars at all things Guitar Gaming related.  The question is: are the lawsuits aimed at Guitar Hero and Rock Band threat enough to force a settlement, or are the patent issues so inapplicable in the eyes of the defendants that they’ll let the courts make the call.    

In court anything is possible. But having read the files and studied up on patent law, this doesn’t look like a case on the settlement path.  Readers can be their own Jury on this one.  Here are the details: Click to Read More

Management Shakeups: Surprise CFO Change at EA and Shift at CBS Mobile

staff changesThe dinner table may be set at Electronic Arts but the guest list seems to be changing.  After naming former Ticketmaster CEO John Pleasants as COO last week, today the company announced the surprise departure of Chief Financial Officer Warren Jenson.   For now, a replacement isn’t officially being named but that news is expected to come relatively soon.

In the interim, under a transition agreement (available here), Jenson has signed to remain on board through September. Click to Read More

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