You take games too seriously.


Microsoft Responds to Sony, Congrats Obama

Microsoft Responds to Sony, Congrats Obama

The following press release was sent to us by a number of our readers, all alleging it appeared on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 page for only a few brief moments this morning before quickly disappearing. We cannot attest to its authenticity.


Xbox 360 Will Dominate in 2009

With a host of new and improved features available to players, Microsoft and its Xbox 360 video game console are set to take office as the best entertainment value of 2009.

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 20, 2009 — Just as Americans are welcoming a new President into office today, video game players are welcoming another leader into its rightful position: Xbox 360. With strong global sales and the leading online service for gamers, Xbox 360 continues to prove itself to be the top source of entertainment ever created. As the year progresses, a host of new and improved features for Xbox 360 will delight and amaze gamers across the world. “We can’t wait to provide Xbox 360 owners with even more reason to gloat about owing the world’s best video game console,” said Ron Patrick, senior Public Relations of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.

In order to keep players current with the latest hardware updates, Microsoft will expand upon its Console Upgrade Program for Xbox 360 owners. Xbox 360 owners will be notified that it is their turn to receive an upgrade when three red lights flash on the front of the console. At that point, console owners can place a phone call to 1-800-4-MY-XBOX and speak to a customer service representative who will happily assist with the process of sending their Xbox 360 into our Upgrade Center. “It’s just our way of saying thank-you to our loyal supporters,” said David Phillips, vice president of Xbox 360 Research and Development.

As an added bonus, Microsoft will be awarding all owners who upgrade with one free month of Xbox Live, the world’s most-used online gaming service.

The release continues after the jump…

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Filed under: Commentary, News

Prodigal Fun

Welcome back!

Oh, hello there.

After an atypically temperate summer, two new jobs, a typically brief fall, a trip abroad, a trip to the dungeon, a new president, a holiday game deluge, an (continuing) economic recession and a delicious turkey dinner, we’re back. Time to strap back on the training wheels.

I’ll allow Sam to catch you up on his whatnots, but in case you’re curious or simply have a lunch break to waste, here’s a brief run down of the whatnots all my own. In July, I took up shop with UGO.com as an associate editor, and, into August, produced a musical called Rewrites.  With fall came a one two combo of firsts in the form of Tokyo Game Show: my first videogame show and trip to Japan. And then there was November where I reviewed a few games, played a few games, ranted, raved, played a few more games and reviewed a few more games. I kept the reviews quite subjective, which is the trend de joeur, but also happens to irritate the occasional reader.

Now, I’m back for some personal blog action with Hardcasual. Who says you can’t learn to love again? Really, I promise we won’t leave. This won’t be like last time your ex came home for Christmas, you two fooled around for the weekend and she gave you her your new cell phone number with a few incorrect digits.

Sam and I’ve got a stack of holiday games to dig through, so hopefully you’ll let us bend your ear on some titles that have begun to wane on their four month two week bell curve. Have you heard of this Mirror’s Edge game? Oh, and I’m reviewing a DS title called Chrono Trigger. Never heard of it, but folks say it’s pretty good.

So, to all you folks that couldn’t bring yourself to delete our RSS feed, thank you. And to all you folks that were just too lazy to delete it, we’re back! Don’t delete us!

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Reporting Back from the NYTV Festival’s “Writing For Games and Comics” Panel

Good news, wannabe writers. In the words of Joshua Ortega, head writer of Gears of War 2 and the Gears of War comics, “it’s never been a better time to be a writer.” Ortega delivered the pronouncement at the New York Television Festival’s panel on writing for comics and videogames last week, amidst colleagues and trays of free Chipotle burritos (seriously). 

But, of course, there’s bad news, too, as Todd Fixman, head writer of Resistance 2 and Ratchet and Clank pointed out: it’s harder to get into writing for games than just about any other industry. Ortega, Fixman, and the third writer on the panel, Rich Bryant, the writer of the main campaign in Fable 2 all took roundabout ways into their positions. Their earlier work on spec screenplays, novels, and even Spin City got them the attention that brought the studios to their doors.

So why is it a good time to be a writer? Well, as Ortega said – the sheer amount of content out in the world today, and the ease with which it can be spread. While I’m sure we’ve all had thousands of YouTube success stories pounded into our heads, the assembled writers reminded us just how easy it was to start a blog, put up a clever YouTube, or make a comic book – things people are far more likely to read than your monospaced 140-page novella.

What they had to say about their projects, and the games they felt got writing right, continued after the jump.

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Filed under: Commentary, News, , , , ,

The Conversation Will Not Be Televised… Yet

sad tape player

Due to a few technical issues—computer has a cough—I am unable to post part two and part three of my interview with Leigh Alexander until this weekend.

I hate to leave you all empty handed, so here are a few links to help soothe the long wait.


Leigh Alexander’s “Microsoft: “Perception,” Not Us, is PC Gaming’s Big Problem” at Kotaku:

Microsoft’s duty (or lack there of) to the PC gamer.

N’Gai Croal announces Page 6, er… “Page 110” at LevelUp
Finally, gamers get a respectable celebrity column. Will it be a tabloid? Will there be juicy gossip? Or will it wind up like another Page 6?

David Jaffe on “Heartland” at The Escapist
“The player chases after the teenage son, beating him and dragging him down the stairs, and throwing him into the living room. The commanding officer orders the player to douse the family and the house with gasoline, and set it on fire. “It was meant to be, ‘Oh, my God, this is the worst thing in the world,'” says Jaffe.”

Filed under: Links, News, ,

HardCasual Dot Net: We’re Official!

You can now get your daily dose of HardCasual at HardCasual.net.

Of course, you can still find us at hardcasual.wordpress.com, but hardcasual.net sounds so bona fide!

Filed under: Links, News

The Death and Return of Copyright


Superman will finally return home.

The New York Times just confirmed that Jerome Seigel’s heirs will receive a share of the Superman copyright, making them co-propietors with Time Warner. In 1938, Mr. Seigel and co-creator Joe Shuster sold the Superman rights to Detective Comics for $130. Due to contractual issues and various circumstances, the court ruled his heirs are partially entitled to the character. It’s a complex issue, and well worth a read.

Sure, this isn’t gaming news, but it is proof that a fight well fought is a fight well earned. Congratulations to the Seigel & Shuster families.

What, you still want some videogames? Here, enjoy this trip down Superman lane after the jump…

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Filed under: News, , , , ,

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