Most Recent: PS2

Insert Quarter: A Profile of the Video Game Archivists at the Library of Congress

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Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

With more than 6,000 titles, the Library of Congress is home to one of the largest video game archives in the world. But the curation and management of the collection is in the hands of just four part-time employees. BuzzFeed’s Joseph Bernstein reached out to these four men to learn how the Library of Congress is attempting to preserve America’s gaming heritage and how much more still needs to be done:

No, the work of game copyrighting and archiving at our country’s signal institution for cultural preservation is not done by a dedicated full-time staff. Instead, it’s the passion project of a handful of archivists who want to be the new standard-bearers in the preservation of video games. Indeed, the state of video game collection at the Library is something of an expression of the liminal state of video games in American popular culture writ large. The Library recognizes the cultural importance of video games, but only devotes four people part-time to their archiving; Game companies insist that their products are the medium of the future, but don’t trust archives with their source code; Collectors sell their troves on Craigslist and eBay rather than considering donation.

Even to get to this point, though, has been a journey in and of itself.

You can read the rest of the article at BuzzFeed.

Posted in 3DS, DS, Mobile, News, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

Insert Quarter: The History of Music Games

insertquarter-header

Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Almost 50 years ago, Paul and Art Garfunkel asked, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” in their hit song, “Mrs. Robinson.” DiMaggio would later tell Simon that he hadn’t gone anywhere, even though his playing days were long behind him. Likewise, today’s gamers have probably asked themselves, what happened to all the music games? The conventional wisdom says that they just don’t sell anymore, but who can turn down an invitation to rock out with your plastic guitar out?

IGN’s Chris Reed dug in to the history of the music from its humble roots (1996’s PaRappa the Rapper) all the way through the Guitar Here/Rock Band rivalry and into the future of the genre:

Music/rhythm games have run a surprisingly dynamic path through gaming history. Some genres drift into popularity and gradually fade out as technology and popular taste change. You might not even realize it’s happened until one day you look around and wonder, for instance, where all the 3D platformers went. Music games, on the other hand, moseyed along under the radar for the better part of a decade before taking off like a shot, attaining meteoric success before drying up nearly all at once.

You can read the rest of the article at IGN.

Posted in DS, News, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

PlayStation Now open beta is available… Now

Sony has officially launched the PlayStation Now open beta, so if you’re interested in streaming PS3 games to your PS4 via a very expensive rental system, now is the time.

PlayStation Now currently offers over 100 PS3 games to rent through the PS4 interface. In the weeks ahead, the app’s availability will expand to include the PS3, Vita, PlayStation TV, and select Sony Bravia televisions released this year. According to the PlayStation Blog, the consolemaker eventually plans to offer PS1, PS2, and PS4 games through the streaming rental service as well.

But how does it all work? Sony has said that games will be available for rental periods of four hours, seven days, 30 days, and 90 days. As you can see in the video above, most 4-hour rentals are priced at $3-$5. Longer rentals will cost more moeny and Darksiders is shown as $15 for 90 days (which is actually a terrible deal considering you can buy it from Amazon for under $14). As a way to provide value, most rentals include any add-on content that was released post-launch. Trophy support and online play (even against players who own the real game) is also included with each rental.

As this is an open beta, Sony plans to listen to fan feedback and make changes in response to that feedback. First on the list is some kind of subscription plan, though details about what it will include and how much it will cost will be revealed “soon,”

Posted in News, PS2, PS3, PS4, Vita |



Nordic Games wins big at THQ auction: Darksiders, Red Faction, MX vs ATV, more

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An unlikely winner has emerged from the THQ sweepstakes: Nordic Games. The small publisher, located in Austria, bid $4.9 million to obtain the majority of THQ’a remaining properties including Darksiders, Red Faction, MX vs ATV, Destroy all Humans!, Summoner, Titan Quest, Frontlines, Juiced, Full Spectrum Warrior, and over 150 other titles. A full list of Nordic’s acquisitions will be unveiled soon, probably sometime after the purchase hearing current set for May 13.

But now the question becomes, what happens next? What does Nordic Games, best known for publishing the Painkiller series, plan to do with all of these properties? According to Lars Wingefors, Nordic’s CEO, the company plans to embark on an in-depth analysis of each property and will eventually move forward with sequels to many of them.

“First and foremost we are very happy about this deal which also turns over a new leaf for the entire Nordic Games Group. In the long term, we either want to cooperate with the original creators or best possible developers in order to work on sequels or additional content for these titles,” Wingefors said.

To that end, Nordic Games has set up a special section in their official forums to solicit fan feedback on how to proceed with their new toys.

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360 |

Jamie Fristrom’s Swingin’ Career, From Spider-Man to Energy Hook: An Interview

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Jamie Fristrom is a name that you might not be familiar with, but you’ve certainly experienced his work. In 1996, Fristrom became part of the original team at Treyarch and had a hand in many of their earliest hits. But his biggest claim to fame is the creation of the webslinging engine found in Spider-Man 2 (and used in nearly every Spider-Man game since). In that dark period between GoldenEye 007 and Batman: Arkham Asylum, Fristrom’s work on Spider-Man 2 proved that licensed games could still be fun.

After his days at Treyarch ended, he went the indie route and created the acclaimed XBLA game Schizoid and founded his own one-man-studio, Happion Labs. His first game under the Happion Labs banner will be Energy Hook, a game that attempts to recapture the fun we all found in aimlessly webslinging around Manhattan.

Fristrom is readying a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the game, which will likely launch in a few weeks. In the meantime, I had a chance to talk to him about his career so far and where he plans to take it with Energy Hook. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS2, Top Story, Xbox 360 | Tagged

PlayStation 2 manufacturing ceases worldwide

ps2systemIt’s official: Sony has ceased the manufacture of new PlayStation 2 consoles for all territories. After 12 years, over 150 million consoles sold, and 10,828 games released (counting re-releases and international versions), the PS2 has earned a well-deserved place among the greatest game systems of all time.

The PlayStation 2 dominated the sixth generation of consoles, ultimately selling more than twice as many systems as the GameCube, Xbox, and Dreamcast combined. The console’s reach will surely extend far into the future, as dozens of PS2 games are regularly featured on lists of the best games of all time including Grand Theft Auto III, God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

According to the latest industry rumors, Sony plans to announce the PlayStation 4 at this year’s E3 Expo. But for now, let’s remember the PlayStation 2’s amazing run. It’s likely the last time a console will dominate its competition like the PS2 did ever again.

[Source: The Guardian]

Posted in News, PS2 |



Sony discontinues PS2 shipments in Japan

ps2systemWhat a run! After 12 years, nine months, and 25 days, Sony has announced that new shipments of the PlayStation 2 console in Japan have been discontinued. A similar announcement will probably be made for the European and American markets soon.

During the course of the system’s life, over 155 million PS2s were sold, making it the most successful video game console of all time.

It’s unlikely that any new games are still in development for the system, so this October’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 will probably go down in history as the last PS2 game ever.

[Source: Famitsu]

Posted in News, PS2 |

Just Stop! Consoles Are NOT Headed For a Crash

When the Internet decides to collectively believe something that’s just not true, we have to cry out… Just Stop! This is what’s making a Warp Zoned editor rip his computer from the wall in frustration today…

Over the last few weeks, you’ve probably seen more than a few articles bemoaning the financial health of the retail games sector. Analysts and journalists have been carrying on about how this is the end of the line. That even with a generational jump looming, the gaming community has abandoned disc-based games for their iGadgets and their free-to-play Facebook counterparts.

No! Just Stop! YOU. ARE. WRONG. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, Opinions, PS2, PS3, PSP, Top Story, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 |