Archives For Gaming


After I managed to shatter my Droid Eris on the sidewalk yesterday (totally an accident!), I walked into the local Verizon store with a list of requirements for my new phone upgrade. I wanted something not too bulky, with a physical keyboard, and decent battery life. Instead, I bought the HTC Thunderbolt.

The Thunderbolt gives me Froyo, which I’ve been coveting for a while, and I’ve grown attached to HTC’s Sense interface. Beyond that, I sacrificed most of my must-haves for the sheer sexiness of 4G. That, and the idea that the Thunderbolt is a newer platform that will continue to get supported – and hopefully upgraded – for a while.

I’ve only lived with the Thunderbolt for a few short hours thus far, but I already have a list of likes and dislikes. (You’ll see that many of the likes are a product of the antiquated platform I was on until yesterday.) Here’s the good and the bad. Continue Reading…

Sometime this summer, Roku intends to refresh their digital streamer hardware lineup… while simultaneously expanding the platform to support casual gaming. And their first partner is Rovio, a heavyweight in the space and creator of the immensely popular Angry Birds franchise. From the joint press release:

Roku will offer Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio video games; launch an Angry Birds video channel featuring Angry Birds animated shorts; and sell Angry Birds merchandise-all via the Roku Channel Store. The announcement today also marks Roku’s expansion of its successful Internet TV platform to include casual games.

Roku goes on to say they’re lining up additional gaming partners. Yet I wonder if anyone cares? For adults, I see casual gaming as a possibly nice-to-have enhancement (assuming Roku releases a quality remote control)… rather than a selling point that actually moves units. For example, it’s not clear to me that TiVo or Verizon have seen much success with similar television-based casual gaming initiatives. And while I loved Peggle on my iPhone, it just didn’t translate to the big screen via my Xbox 360. Perhaps there’s a market here for the younger crowd. Unless they all have iPhone Touches or pocketable Nintendo units. Continue Reading…


The GigaOm crew attended a FiOS TV briefing… where they received a demo of Verizon’s FlexView video-on-demand service running on a Roku streamer. I can’t say I’m surprised, as Verizon made their intentions to break free of the set-top box clear back at CES. In fact, they demo-ed live television on an iPad and Samsung Blu-ray player – telling me over 3 dozen consumer electronics devices were similarly hosting FiOS TV services in their labs.

Now if you look closely at the picture that the GigaOm crew snapped, you’ll notice what appears to be a Sony PS3 on the left. Interestingly, Verizon had an unidentified gaming console locked within a cabinet in Vegas also running FiOS. Throw in news of Fox and Disney content headed to a gaming console, via a television subscription partner, and I’d say mystery solved.

What excites GigaOm is the possibility of Verizon going over the top (OTT) with a nationwide on demand service. But that’s been done. What fires us up is television as an app. A path DirecTV looks to be similarly following with their RVU trials. And it’s all sorta like AllVid. But without the FCC’s intervention.

If you’re addicted to iPad games, you can’t do better than the deal Big Fish Games is running for Mother’s Day. Games that usually range $6.99-$9.99 are only $0.99 (on iPad or iPhone) through Sunday. Most of them are some variant of the Hidden Object/Puzzle and Adventure Quest genre – good for your own leisure time or for playing with the kids. My favorite by far is Drawn: The Painted Tower, but I enjoyed Puppet Show: Mystery of Joyville and several others as well. The only one I don’t recommend is Azada, which still seems to have some bugs that need working out. I picked up three more game downloads today, all for less than it would usually cost to buy one. Don’t miss it.

As the story goes, Sony voluntarily brought down the PlayStation Network last Wednesday in reaction to a security breach:

An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services.

Unfortunately, no one knows when the PSN will be up once again and Sony’s not saying. In fact, their most recent blog update doesn’t provide much hope of a timely resolution:

We are working around the clock to bring [the PSN] back online. Our efforts to resolve this matter involve re-building our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure.

Wow, rebuilding the network on the fly? I wouldn’t be surprised if PSN is down a few more days… Continue Reading…