News Around the Watercooler
February 21, 2009
News Around the Watercooler, keeping you informed of all things gaming.
In America the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that the anti-video game legislation, passed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, is unconstitutional. The California law restricted the sales of violent video games to anyone under the age of 18.
“This is a win for California’s citizens,” said Michael Gallagher, head of the Entertainment Software Association. Bo Andersen, head of the Entertainment Merchant Association, was similarly pleased:
“The ruling vindicates what we have said since the bill that came became this law was introduced: ratings education, retailer ratings enforcement, and control of game play by parents are the appropriate responses to concerns about video game content.”
PC users may have noticed that Street Fighter IV, although scheduled for release on the 20th, has had it’s PC Version delayed. Capcom has decided that as a strategy against game piracy, they’d delay the PC version of the game until May 15th. Unfortunately this hasn’t really helped as many torrent sites are reported to of had Street Fighter IV available even before the original release date. Hopefully the hype about Street Fighter IV will last until the mid-May release, otherwise Capcom may not see the sales they were originally expecting.
Tuesday saw the release of Grand Theft Auto IV : The Lost and Damned, and for Australian Xbox 360 owners, it resulted in them seeing a lot more then previously. It seemed that with the latest updates included in the content, the censoring of the Australian version of the MA15+ game was suddenly all gone. Blood and gore galore as well as some provocative scenes. However it wasn’t just the Australian version that had been altered. Now all the European versions of the game were all censored. On Friday however, Rockstar released a patch to rectify the apparent mix-up which had resulted in the regional censorship rules being swapped. Sorry for those enjoying an uncensored version of GTA IV, back to before now.
Microsoft has managed to blunder laying off 1,400 people as an accounting error has caused overpayment in severance pay. Although it is unclear how many people were recipients of theextra cash, Microsoft has sent them a letter stating their requirement to repay the money that was given as a result of the error. Microsoft has kept quiet about it, calling it a “private matter between the company and the affected people”. Sources have said the letter sent out to ex-employees of Microsoft made mention of monetary punishment if the money wasn’t paid back, in the form of a tax impact. This comes after Microsoft had stated that it will be laying off 5,000 employees within the next 18 months.
If you’re a Nintendo DS owner than this week is the week for you. Scheduled for release in the next 7 days is AMF Bowling Pinbusters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer:Sacrifice and Ducati Moto; all for Nintendo’s hand held console. Also for Nintendo, Dead Rising – Chop Till you Drop and Pikmin are being released for the Wii.
If you read the Watercooler last week you would have seen that Midway’s Vin Diesel action game, Wheelman, was possibly being delayed. Well on Wednesday Midway and Ubisoft announced their partnering to ensure that Wheelman gets published. Ubisoft is handling distribution in most major Western Nations while Midway handles the rest.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Midway to bring Wheelman to stores worldwide” said Tony Kev, seniour VP of sales and marketing at Ubisoft.
The game is to be released in Australia on March 27th.