Long ago, in a living room far, far away, games like Donkey Kong Jr., Frogger, Laser Blast, Joust, Pac-Man, Q-bert, Centipede, Burgertime, and Dig Dug ruled our every waking moment. Pixilated characters beeped their way across our TV screens as we challenged our friends and families to a match on our Atari 2600, Atari 7800 ProSystem, Magnavox Odyssey, ColecoVision, and Astrocade game console systems.
Xbox Entertainment Studios has teamed with a documentary production team for a series of film-length documentaries that will air exclusively on the Xbox One and Xbox 360.
The production company, Lightbox, is helmed by two-time Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn ("Searching for Sugar Man" and "Man on Wire"), and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX's "30 Days" and PBS' "American High").
According to the Chinns, the film series will revolve around "the extraordinary events and characters that have given rise to the Digital Age." … Read more
According to the paper, some of those possible targets have included Unity Technologies, a San Francisco-based gaming platform developer; Green Throttle Games, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based company that makes game controllers and software that connects mobile devices to televisions; Israeli mobile search engine Everything.me; Israeli video-chat app maker Rounds; and location-sharing app Glympse of Seattle, Wash.
It's not clear from the report whether Samsung is still looking at any of the companies aside from Glympse. In … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Weekend movie review: "I am Street Fighter," a documentary for the franchise's 25th anniversary.
- Weekend visit to the privacy store at the New Museum.
- Sony unveils PlayStation Vita TV.
- The next video-game movie lurches to life in the form of New Line's "Rampage."
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Crave has compiled a list of some of the most ridiculously opulent smartphones and tablets from around the world -- and surprisingly, they do a lot less than a cheap Android phone. Plus, a plush toy and app combo that turns your phone all cuddly. And a warp-speed look at Windows updates from Windows 1 to Windows 8. … Read more
There's a special place 200 miles south of where I live. It's a place of legend, an ancient burial ground. Supposedly, a stretch of land near Alamogordo, N.M., is the final resting place for one of the most infamous disasters in gaming history: the Atari E.T. game.
According to a New York Times report from 1983, Atari dumped 14 truckloads of unsold game cartridges and other detritus into a landfill. "Guards kept reporters and spectators away from the area yesterday as workers poured concrete over the dumped merchandise," it reads.
The E.T. game earned its status as one of gaming's biggest bombs by pretty much stinking up the entire video game industry at the time. Critics and gamers alike hated the plot, the way it looked, and just about everything else about it. That's why Atari got stuck with several million unsold copies.… Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Film crew to dig up Atari landfill site, maybe score 3.5 million copies of E.T.
- The opposite of standing desks: the computer workstation for the person with everything.
- Unlocking The Truth is the most brutal sixth grade metal band ever.
- Hatebeak: a death metal band fronted by a parrot.
With a 1976 release, Atari's Breakout was right at the frontier of video game history -- and, it would seem, Apple's. The task of designing a prototype board with as few chips as possible fell to Steve Jobs, with an extra $100 for every chip less, and Jobs delegated it to his pal Steve Wozniak, who completed the board with just 42 chips in only four days.
Jobs, the sneaky cur, kept the bonus to himself, paying Wozniak a pittance. Atari couldn't even use the board, and ended up going with a different design that had about 100 chips.
Anyway, as interesting as all that is, you want to play Breakout on Google Image search, right? Head on over to Google and do an image search for "Atari Breakout" (or just click the hyperlink). … Read more
The next time you mash buttons on a video game controller, keep in mind that there's more than half a century of innovation behind the venerable input device.
To remind you of this fact, Pop Chart Lab's eye-catching poster, titled "The Evolution of Video Game Controllers," sheds light on the incredible technological progression of controller hardware. You'll probably never again see more joysticks, knobs, and buttons in one place -- well, unless you're hanging around CNET producer Stephen Beacham's retro video game console patch bay.… Read more