jasoncart writes "Traditionally, gaming's calendar year of expos, conventions, and trade shows doesn't generally kick off in earnest until March's fanfare arrival of the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, which thus opens the floodgates for a host of industry platform events. However, before July's new-fangled E3 Media and Business Summit (the now scaled back, renamed, and invitation-only E3 of legend) shifts into view alongside August's Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), September's Tokyo Game Show (TGS), and the newly announced and ESA-endorsed Entertainment for All Expo in October (previously known as the Gamepro Expo), it falls to January's annual Consumer Electronics Show to whet our collective appetites-at least where related hardware is concerned."
AP - The frenzy that surrounded November's launch of the PlayStation 3 the ridiculous lines, the sporadic violence, the online price gouging looks even crazier in retrospect.
Matt Barton writes "I thought Slashdotters might be interested in my History of Computer Role-Playing Games Part I article on Armchair Arcade. It starts with the birth of the CRPG on mainframes and ends in 1983. I start by discussing tabletop D&D and number games like Strat-O-Matic, move into mainframe classics like dnd and Rogue, and then cover the first CRPGs for home computers. I wrote this article for CRPG fans who want to learn more about venerable old classics like Akalabeth, Temple of Apshai, Ultima, Wizardry, Tunnels of Doom, Dungeons of Daggorath, and Telengard. Please share your own stories!"
PC World is running a great retrospective on videogame consoles, looking all the way back to Atari's pong. The best part is, they're doing it via television ads for the systems. The article features highly entertaining blipverts for Pong, the Fairchild, the VCS, the 2600, the Intellivision, the Odyssey, Vectrex, Colecovision, the Atari 5200, and many, many more. From the article: "Gamers were tiring of PONG consoles, and Fairchild Instrument and Camera's Channel F console offered a fresh new alternative. It featured programmable 'videocarts' containing ROM chips and code, as opposed to the dedicated circuits that the Magnavox Odyssey's plug-in cards used. The cartridge concept emerged as an industry standard, and is still used in handheld gaming devices today."
NewsFactor - Just in time for the last holiday-shopping push, Microsoft has extended the Xbox 360's warranty from 90 days to one year, providing its fan base with the same warranty length available with consoles from rivals Sony and Nintendo.
1up reports the good news that we're finally going to be seeing some of those great Virtual console games here in the U.S.. You know, the ones the Japanese have been enjoying since launch? Christmas day should see the release of Super Mario Bros, Toejam & Earl, R-Type (Turbografx 16), Street Figher II: The World Warrior, and Super Castlevania. The scintillating Baseball and Urban Champion will be making an appearance on New Year's Day. These last two dubious additions will put the Virtual Console lineup at 33 games.
Gamasutra reports that Microsoft has extended the warranty on the Xbox 360, giving consumers one year from their date of purchase to receive essentially free repairs. This is being done to put the U.S. and Canada in line with the warranty offered in other parts of the globe, and is retroactive. From the article: "... [C]onsumers who may have already paid for an out-of-warranty Xbox 360 repair within one year of purchase will be eligible for reimbursement of their console repair charges. Microsoft notes that those who have already paid for such repair charges within their first year of ownership can expect reimbursement checks for the amount of their console repair in approximately 10 weeks. The company adds that reimbursements will be automatically distributed, so customers do not need to contact Microsoft directly."
PC Magazine - We check out Game On! -- the exhaustive video-game retrospective on display at London's Science Museum. Highlights included playable consoles from the last 20 years, classic games, and more!
MarchingAnts writes "The Gaming Generation: Once A Gamer, Always A Gamer has interviews with Gabe from Penny Arcade, best-selling science-fiction author John Scalzi, veteran games journalist and founder of gamerdad.com Andrew Bub, futurologist Dr. Michael Zey, and sociologist Dr. Steve Jones commenting on the phenomena of how video gamers are coping with balancing their hobby with marriages, careers, and how video games might affect families in the future. 'Mike Krahulik, better known to his legions of fans as Gabe, one-half of the team behind the gaming webcomic Penny Arcade, says that time is biggest challenge in blending gaming and parenthood. "You just don't have as much time for gaming," he says, "when you're getting up every 30 minutes to change diapers and get thrown up"'"
Via Joystiq, an article at GamePro asking is Live Arcade worth it? One year after its launch, the service has been transformed by lots of retro classics, some brand new games, and the addition of the (now working) movie and television download service. What parts are good, what parts are bad, and ultimately, is it worth it? From the article: "Many of XBLA's original games draw their inspirations from classic video games, and the poster child for XBLA originals is Bizarre Creations' Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. Released with the launch of Xbox 360, Geometry Wars showed a skeptical world just how cool original yet classically styled downloadable games could be. It plays like a crazed combination of all-time classics Asteroids and Robotron: 2084, with your lone, triangular spaceship pitted against literally endless hordes of nasty geometric shapes. The level of onscreen carnage is legendary; never has a game had more spectacular or over-the-top particle effects, showing that even simple games can be flashy."