Historically, the Wii has benefited from a large amount of solid first-party titles like Super Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda. It's certainly refreshing to see third-party publishers getting into the mix this year with offerings like Dead Space Extraction and The Conduit.
Verizon Wireless said Friday that it will modify its cell phone exclusivity deals to ensure that smaller carriers get access to hot new phones more quickly.
In a letter dated July 17, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam told key members of Congress that Verizon Wireless, which is the largest wireless service provider in the country, would allow smaller wireless operators with fewer than 500,000 customers to offer phones it was offering exclusively to Verizon customers after six months. Some exclusivity deals that Verizon has had with handset makers have lasted years.
McAdam sent the letter after lawmakers on Capitol … Read more
We recently showcased a handful of Xbox 360 titles that will be available only on that console. Now it's time to take a look at what the PlayStation 3 has to offer in the coming months.
One of the biggest decisions when choosing a video game system has to be the exclusive games. Console manufacturers go to enormous lengths to tie up deals with developers and their publishers in order to claim one console's superiority over another.
Stay tuned for our PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii exclusives slideshows, both coming … Read more
The private beta is an art form. It can make a service seem exclusive and important, even if the site's creators are just trying to keep it from imploding from an influx of new users. While Web developers have long used this control system to do pre-launch bug mashing, certain sites have made it something memorable--even if the product ends up being a dud.
Gmail, circa 2004, is one of the best examples of a private beta done right. Google intentionally limited the number of people who could use the service, but built in an invite system that would let users give access to friends and family. What ensued were a number of trading sites where users could exchange favors or services in return for an invite. Google eventually opened the service up to everyone, but for a while the hottest ticket in town was a Gmail invite.
Here are some of our favorites from the past few years:
Google Wave Status: Still closed This is the Web beta everyone wants in to today. It's a cool new communications platform that melds e-mail, instant messaging, and collaborative editing. But here's the thing: as interesting as it is to experiment with (we're in it, nyah nyah), it's mostly useless since you can't really talk with anyone in the real world on Wave. Only selected developers and press are in it now, and users don't get invitations to give out to friends. And who wants to talk to us?
Google Voice Status: Still closed Here's a closed Google beta that is useful, though: Google Voice. This incredible service gives you a new phone number with nearly every useful telephone feature known to mankind: it screens your calls, it forwards calls to other phones, it dials out (indirectly, but still). It receives and sends text messages. Currently, only people who got on to the previous version of the product, Grand Central (which Google acquired) have access. That's a bummer for everyone else. It's fantastic. When it opens up (Google won't say when), get it.
Wolfram Alpha Status: Opened May 15, 2009 The not-a-Google-killer "knowledge engine" was hyped to absurd levels for months before it was shown. Then Wolfram founder Stephen Wolfram held a series of over-the-Web product demos to froth up the geeks even more. Finally, a few lucky souls got access. It opened up to the public a week later. In this case, we understand why the developers held off on opening it up. Wolfram Alpha is an extremely interesting service but it's picky about syntax. For most users, it still makes for a better gee-whiz demo than it does a day-to-day productivity tool.
Microsoft Bing Status: Opened June 1, 2009 If you can't buy 'em, build 'em. After the Yahoo negotiations fell apart, rumors started to circulate about a new Microsoft search initiative, code-named "Kumo." Could Microsoft finally get search right? Access to the private beta was doled out to a few journalists in late May, giving the company only a few days to do damage control before the scheduled public rollout in early June. Fortunately for Microsoft, the reception for Bing was welcoming, even if most writers started off skeptical.… Read more
I wrote earlier that "marketing with meaning" has the ability to "activate" customers. An effective way to activate customers is by activating the dormant social networks they inhabit (often without even knowing it). While social networking has visualized the so-called six degrees of separation, all business transactions have a social component and can be seen as expressions of the underlying social micro-universes, the "worlds within worlds," in which--shifting time and place--individuals travel and interact. As marketers face the daunting challenge of connecting with fragmented audiences that are increasingly split into billions of social atoms … Read more
Sony has been continually criticized for not having enough exclusive titles--and exclusive hits--for the PS3 to help drives sales of the console. That's not entirely true; the company has had some attractive exclusives, such as LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, and MotorStorm, but it's still paying the price for not hanging onto the Grand Theft Auto franchise--and failing to match Xbox 360's mega hits, Halo 3 and Gears of War 2 with anything as enticing (Resistance 2 was good, but it probably didn't move boxes).
Well, with Killzone 2, it now has a terrific first-person shooter that's getting rave reviews across the board--and you can't get it on the Xbox 360. Several gaming pubs have given it a perfect score (see Metacritic's roundup here) and our own review (via GameSpot) came in at 9.0. Just as importantly, mainstream newspapers like The New York Times have also given it the thumbs-up.
In Tuesday's Times, Seth Schiesel delivers a virtual love letter. "Perhaps the highest praise I can offer is that Killzone 2 is the first console shooter to make an old-school PC gamer like me wish it was available for 'my' system."
He also calls it the finest-looking shooter he's seen on a console. And more controversially, he adds, "Gears of War 2, the top shooter for Microsoft's competing Xbox 360, still looks good, but with Killzone 2, Sony is demonstrating that the superior silicon horsepower in the PlayStation 3 is opening a widening gap over the 360 when it comes to pure eye candy." … Read more
Filmmaker Michael Moore plans to premiere his latest documentary exclusively on the Internet for free, forgoing the traditional theatrical release.
Slacker Uprising , which documents Moore's 62-city tour through swing states during the 2004 U.S. presidential election to rally young voters, will be available for download for three weeks, beginning September 23. A DVD of the 97-minute film will be released on October 7 through Amazon.com and Netflix.
"This is being done entirely as a gift to my fans," Moore said in a statement Thursday. "The only return any of us are hoping for is … Read more
"Be the first to know whom Barack picks as his running mate," had been the campaign's promise. The only problem: Those who had signed up to be the … Read more
According to a report in the Hollywood Reporter by way of Reuters, Microsoft is talking to talent agencies and production studios in Hollywood in hopes of licensing some exclusive video content for the Zune. This isn't a first for Microsoft: the company has exclusive Internet-only shows on MSN Video through its MSN Originals program, and just last month the company announced a plan to offer original short movies through the Xbox Live service.
Are these rumors true? I have no idea. Will they help the Zune? Probably not. Exclusive video makes sense for a game console because it's … Read more