The UpStream

Wait Longer, We Must

posted Saturday Jan 16, 2010 by Josh Henry

Wait Longer, We Must

Looks like the American people aren't the only ones feeling the pain of our current recession or at least that's what the people of Electronic Arts are saying. Once again it seems EA Games is anticipating a less than ideal year. An EA spokesperson said,

Revised fiscal year 2010 expectations are primarily the result of weakness for EA and the overall packaged goods sector in Europe in December and a product mix shift to lower margin distribution products in the December quarter, primarily in North America.

After the announcement, EA's CEO John Riccitiello mentioned several big titles that EA is releasing this quarter like Army of Two: The 40th Day, Mass Effect 2, Dante's Inferno, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight trying to see the light at the end of this tunnel. On a lighter note, EA's digital sales were above expectations but not enough to offset lowered packaged-goods sales. The thing that caught my attention was that Riccitiello was also quoted saying "our major new MMO," presumably BioWare Austin's Star Wars: The Old Republic slated to release in Spring 2011.

The Economy Strikes Back

posted Saturday Jan 16, 2010 by Josh Henry

The Economy Strikes Back

Another week and yet another disappointment. It looks like Ubisoft is once again delaying Splinter Cell Conviction from February 23 to April 2010. No reason has been given as to why the game was delayed but I have a theory. Ubisoft is probably looking to start off their fiscal year with a bang and Splinter Cell is just the franchise to do it. After all, for the fiscal year 2010-2011 Ubisoft has revised its sales target to €860 million (roughly $1.25 billion) down from an estimated €1,040 million. Due to the less than ideal retail performances of James Cameron's Avatar: The Game and a few unspecified "non-casual" Wii titles along with weak back catalog sales could also be to blame. Needless to say, we hope that this will be the last delay for Mr. Sam Fisher but we will just have to wait and see as the new fiscal year begins March 31.

What is your theory on the delay? Let us know in the comments below.

NBA Jam Returns

posted Saturday Jan 16, 2010 by Josh Henry

NBA Jam Returns

You may remember a basketball arcade game developed by Midway back in 1993 called NBA Jam. I remember the days when I would go to the arcade, pick out my favorite NBA player and endlessly dunk flaming basketballs one after the other until I ran out of tokens. Well, if you had a similiar childhood and are the owner of a Wii, I have some great news for you!

EA Sports just recently announced that NBA Jam will be relaunched on the Wii console this year! EA didn't release tons of information as to the specific details of the game, however, they did assure us that there will be "new game modes, characters and gameplay depth," while simultaneously "re-defining the visuals for a sports game yet again." The most surprising part of this is that it will be brought to us by EA Canada. One bit of information that I am hoping EA will announce is that the original creator of the series, Mark Turmell, will be collaborating with EA on the game. It shouldn't be that difficult to accomplish, seeing that Turmell is currently at EA Tiburon located in Orlando, Florida.

Nothing has come forward yet as to whether or not game will be released on the Xbox 360, or PS3 but in case it isn't then consumers have yet another reason to hop on the Wii Train before it leaves the station. Looks like Canadians are useful for something afterall, eh?

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's More News About Project Natal!

posted Saturday Jan 16, 2010 by Josh Henry

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's More News About Project Natal!

Recently, at the Consumer Electronics Show, one of Microsoft's "three big points" was the announcement that Project Natal would be available this holiday season. In a recent interview, Robbie Bach, President of Entertainment and Devices, mentioned how 70-80% of publishers around the world are already working on games for Natal. He also stated that Microsoft would be making a few Natal-based games to "show the way" but would mostly be working on the hardware for the Xbox 360. This allows for third-party developers to come up with more innovations utilizing Project Natal. Bach also said:

What's Up With Mass Effect 3?

posted Saturday Jan 16, 2010 by Josh Henry

What's Up With <i>Mass Effect 3</i>?

As we all know, BioWare's highly anticipated sequel, Mass Effect 2, hits Xbox 360 in a couple weeks on January 26th. Another known fact about the franchise is that it is actually going to be a trilogy. As expected, Mass Effect 2 was mentioned during the Microsoft presentation at CES 2010 in Las Vegas last week. The question that was on all of our minds was not about Mass Effect 2 but actually Mass Effect 3. Unfortunately, not much info was given about this future title by Casey Hudson, BioWare Project Manager but he did give us a few hints about the final piece of the Mass Effect series puzzle.

Hudson confirmed that Mass Effect 3 is already being worked on, as they are getting the story together as well as aiming to release the game before the next gen system cycle hits. Hudson also said that this was the goal of the franchise right from the get-go, stating that:

Clever JavaScript Flashes the iPhone

posted Saturday Jan 16, 2010 by Jon Wurm

Clever JavaScript Flashes the iPhone

iPhone users, in this article you are presented with a ray of hope that one day your "internet" phone might be bestowed with the ability to use flash and of course it won't be brought to you by Apple. Tobias Schneider has created a JavaScript hack called Gordon that will allow iPhone users to view flash (.swf) files inside a nifty little runtime (software that allows code to be run inside it) that in tern works with the Safari browser. Since the runtime uses Safari and is not an app it isn't subject to the arbitrary Apple approval process which is good or you would never get to use it. There are some problems however. This hack takes up a lot of the CPU and doesn't technically allow the iPhone to run Flash. This means that you would have to apply the hack to every instance of flash on a website.

Gordon is an open source project so I urge those interested to check it out and help bring some much needed flash deprivation relief to iPhone users who want to use the other 80% of the internet. Don't forget to check out Gordon in action using your Safari and Safari Mobile browsers.

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