Gamescom lands on gamers’ map

Two days ago, Sony finally announced it would cut the price for its flagship
PlayStation 3, reacting to slumping sales which have lagged
behind those of Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

But industry experts, who had long expected such a move,
were more surprised about the location Sony chose for its
announcement than about the decision itself.

“The fact that Sony decided to announce the PS3 price cut at
Gamescom shows the importance they attach to it. This has been
one of the most important decisions they’ve made in the
segment,” said Ed Barton, analyst at London-based media research
company Screen Digest.

“We (Europe) have lived in the shadows of the United States
(E3) and Tokyo (Game Show) for years, but this is changing.”

Gamescom, which moved this year from the eastern German city of Leipzig to Cologne in the west, is Europe’s largest video game trade show, expected
to attract more than 200,000 visitors, and the third big
industry event behind E3 in Los Angeles and the Games Show in

Halo and Grand Theft Auto don’t create real-life killers-prof

A California university professor on Friday said her research confirms what gamers and game makers have long maintained: violent video games don’t lead to a more violent society.

The debate has raged for years on whether virtual murder leads to real-life death, with many claiming the realistic graphics and awards for virtual killing in games like Halo and Grand Theft Auto create teenage blood lust.

University of Southern California sociologist Karen Sternheimer said statistics don’t support that argument, since video game sales have shot up as violence has fallen.

E3: James Cameron stingy with “Avatar” details

To say the film “Avatar” is eagerly awaited would be an understatement. The 3D film is 4 years in the making — twice as long as it took for director James Cameron to make the blockbuster “Titanic.” It is due to hit the screen in December, but fans who call some of his other works (“Aliens” and “Terminator 2″) sterling works of art (guilty, as charged) are itching to see a glimpse of the film. What better way to do that than at E3, the video game conference in Los Angeles this week, since there is a sister video game also in the works, right?

Wrong. Cameron gave a very (very very) detailed description of the (mildly complicated ) flick, which all seemed to set the table for a butt-kicking clip, a must-see trailer. But none was forthcoming. Not even a clip of the game, which is developed by Ubisoft.

Strange behavior at a show — E3, the annual Video Game conference — whose every briefing, bar none, includes some kind of glossy video of cinematic or real-game action.

from Shop Talk:

Want that hot new video game? Make a reservation

indianaShoppers eager to secure a copy of the hottest new video game can soon walk into a Target store and pay $1 to reserve a copy ahead of its release.

Starting April 19, Target is launching a "reservation program" for what it expects will be the best selling video games.

That means shoppers can purchase a $1 reservation card in the electronics department of its stores.