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Q&A: Pandemic Studios on The EA Acquisition

385w ago - To discuss the future of Pandemic Studios under EA management following this afternoon's announcement of its acquisition, Gamasutra spoke to the developer's management team, including co-founder and president Josh Resnick, co-founder and CEO Andrew Goldman, and chief production officer Greg Borrud.

This conversation touches on the future of Pandemic's development style, its integration with EA and its expectations for the future of the development studio and its IP:

How were you consulted on this acquisition before it went through?

Josh Resnick: Consulted...? We were actually driving it through, with our partners at BioWare and at VGH and at Elevation. When we sat down and had our first conversation with John about his vision for how it would come together and what it would mean for both companies, it was a very much a collaborative discussion at that point between all the stakeholders in the company.

Do you feel that your way of running the studio might change? Are you worried about changes under EA management? Or are you expecting things to continue as they were?

Greg Borrud: No, absolutely. We kind of pride ourselves on our independence for the last couple years, and we definitely want that to continue. And by all signs, that will continue as we move forward.

160GB Playstation 3 model coming?!

386w ago - Thanks to one of our reliable insiders, [-JuNka-], we have news that Sony is planning to introduce a beefed up 160GB Playstation 3 console. The following post was left by a member on the Pro Evolution Soccer forums:

From inside Sony Computer Entertainment International's Japan offices I present to you leaked information on the new 160gb Playstation 3 model that will be appearing in the near future

Sony PlayStation 3 Code: CECHG06 (SPECIFICATION)

* 160gb 2.5 SATA 5400rpm HDD
* CELL Broadband Engine (65nm process) @ 3.2ghz
* PPU x1, SPE x8
* RSX GPU (65nm process) @ 550mhz
* Blu-Ray Optical Disc Drive @ 2x
* Memory Card Reader- Memory Stick Duo, Compact Flash, Secure
* Digital
* 6x USB 2.0 ports
* 2x HDMI 1.3 ports
* 3x Gigabit ethernet ports
* DUALSHOCK 3 controller

"At the moment the unit is only confirmed for release in Japan. A date has not been fully specified but is expected after November"

If this is indeed true, then hallelujah Sony!

Random Rant (Two of Two): The Music Industry and Artists

387w ago - From Seija's Blog on PS3News Forums

Here's post two of two. This time I'm ranting about the music industry and artists and how stupid some of the songs can be.

I wanted to talk about how pathetic the music industry is now. When I say pathetic, I mean there are really (in my opinion) bad songs out now. Like seriously, when there's a rapper on the radio going "AY BAY BAY, BAY BAY BAY," you know there's something wrong. I'm sure there are some people who like this song, but (no offense or anything), there's no real meaning or FEELING in the song.

Nvidia Readies New “Ultimate” Technology for Gamers

387w ago - Nvidia Corp. not only plans to refresh its lineup of performance graphics accelerators this year, but also intends to introduce its 3-way SLI multi-GPU technology aiming extreme performance enthusiasts. But will the new triple SLI technology truly become a high-performance solution, or will share the destiny of Nvidia quad SLI?

According to a slide published by Expreview web-site, which is presumably from Nvidia Corp.'s roadmap, 3-way SLI is Nvidia's new "ultimate gaming platform", which will offer ultimate performance in three-dimensional games. ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, also plans to offer 3-way CrossFire multi-GPU technology, however, one of the graphics processing units (CPUs) in such configuration will be able to compute physics effects in case the game supports this capability.

Initially Nvidia plans to enable triple SLI support for the top-of-the-range GeForce 8800 GTX and Ultra graphics cards, however, eventually it may support 3-way configurations of other GPUs as well. Systems with three graphics cores will be powered by Nvidia nForce 680i as well as nForce 780i platforms with the former supporting PCI Express 1.1/1.0a, whereas the latter featuring PCI Express 2.0 along with a special "BR04" switch for more efficient multi-GPU operation.


NPD: US game industry could hit $18B in '07

389w ago - Yesterday, the NPD Group reported that nearly 1 billion dollars of game software, hardware, and accessories were sold in the US in August. Year to date, combined US non-PC sales for 2007 totaled $8.02 billion, up $2.42 billion from $5.6 billion during the same period in 2006. The year's first eight months saw consumers in the 50 states buy $3.1 billion in hardware, $3.8 billion in software, and $1.1 billion in accessories.

The August NPD report beat analysts' expectations, and made many optimistic about the forthcoming holiday season. No one is more upbeat than NPD's own Anita Frazier, who believes that despite several high-profile delays such as Grand Theft Auto IV, 2007 will still be one for the record books.

"The industry is up by nearly 50 percent," she told GameSpot. "The back part of the year would have to fall apart to not have a record-breaking year. I think we'll end in the range of $16 to $18 billion in the US."

Frazier also weighed in on several ongoing trends and forthcoming releases. She predicts no real relief from the ongoing shortage of Wii consoles until next year. "Very simply, demand is still meeting or exceeding supply," she said. "I think we'll see this situation continue through the holidays, and we may see some balancing starting February 2008."

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