Archives For Gaming

Not exactly new, although still in beta, I wanted to mention 1 vs 100 on Xbox Live. It’s a console port of the trivia television show, which I’ve never seen but is similar to say a Who Wants to be a Millionaire with audience participation. As I commented on NewTeeVee a few weeks back, 1 vs 100 has me pretty excited – it represents the first true interactive television experience as far as I’m concerned, given the reach of the Xbox Live network and mainstream appeal of a trivia gameshow. Why watch a Jeopardy when I can participate directly?

Gameplay is pretty straightforward. There’s “The One” (player on the podium), the “mob” of 100 who compete against The One, and the “crowd” which is usually the rest of us. Multiple choice trivia questions are presented, points are tallied. Real prizes are up for grabs for The One or members of the mob (depending how the match plays out), although so far I’ve only seen Xbox video game downloads and Microsoft Points. The show is hosted by two human hosts, one is live (Chris Cashman) and the other (Jen Taylor, aka “Cortana”) may not be. We participants are represented by our personal avatars and we can chat within our quartet, although I’ve never donned the mic for this game.


I’m not sure if 1 vs 100 offers Achievements – figured my round-spanning 15 correct answers streak would be good for something. But no dice. And I wish could change my answer to recover from those occasional itchy trigger finger moments (point bonuses for quicker responses). As an occasional trivia buff, I also wish MS had partnered with the NTN or licensed You Don’t Know Jack – as fun as 1 vs 100 currently is, it could feature deeper, more diverse gameplay and with more bite.

At the moment, 1 vs 100 is free to Xbox Live Gold members and augmented by commercial advertisements – mainly Sprint (Go Pre!). Hopefully, with enough participants Microsoft will find the advertisers to simultaneously keep it free, bump the prizes, and expand the winner pool once officially released.

(The video I shot above isn’t a true representation of the game: “Extended Play” isn’t hosted live and doesn’t actually feature The One. But, it should be enough to get an idea of how this works.)

Click to enlarge:

Managing Your GameFly Queue

Dave Zatz —  July 24, 2009


Davis Freeberg fired off a tweet yesterday lamenting Gamefly’s shipment of the 17th title in his game queue. I’ve been a member, on and off, of Gamefly, the Netflix-esque video game service, for many years. And before you learn to manage your GameQ, you need to manage your expectations. (Davis knows this – he too has had a love/hate relationship with these guys.)

Repeat after me: GameFly is not Netflix. In fact, GameFly makes you appreciate Netflix’s amazingly efficient and organized operation that much more. You won’t get a GameFly disc the same week you send one back. Many of the titles you want will be listed as having ‘low availability’. (Hacking Netflix commentary suggests this could be due to folks hanging on to games longer than flicks. But, in the end, the reason is irrelevant to me as a customer.) And good luck trying to quit with games still in your possession.

So here’s how I manage my GameQ. I leave it empty. Until I add the one game I really want next. It often means I’ll wait an additional week or two before something ships, but this ensures I get exactly what I want to play now (and I use the word now very loosely). Although, my strategy essentially morphs GameFly’s two-disc plan ($22.95/mo) into a one-disc plan while sitting around awaiting that next game.

It’s not ideal, but I still usually find GameFly’s mail-order service more economical than buying games (given my short attention span) and less frustrating than dealing with Blockbuster’s brick & mortar outposts. Until a gaming kiosk lands in my neighborhood.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  June 4, 2009

A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our other blogs:


Sony E3 2009 Press Conference Summary
The press conference and list of PS3 exclusives shown were better than expected. I’d put it on par with the Microsoft press conference. I was impressed with Sony’s marrying of a motion controller with high-end graphics. Though, as with Microsoft’s Natal, they are still only in the prototype stage.

Nintendo E3 2009 Press Conference Summary
Nintendo’s focus was, once again, on audience diversity – bringing gaming to everyone. Little of interest to hard core gamers. The third party exclusives and their one new ‘hardcore’ game were the only games that were somewhat interesting. Enough to purchase a Wii? Not even close.

The Future of the Remote Control
Motorola announced a new rechargeable IPTV remote control complete with “find” feature, USB port, and digital clock.  Now there’s word that Motorola is tinkering further with the gadget to add Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony.

Resources for the Broadcast DTV Transition
Most people are aware that the broadcast digital TV transition is scheduled to take place in nine days. However, being aware and doing something to make sure all your TVs still work after June 12th are two different things. Here’s a list of what you (and your neighbors, friends, and relatives) should know, as well as links to further resources.

Google Makes Move into eBooks
Google showed their intentions to begin a program enabling book publishers to sell eBook versions of their books directly to eBook readers through google at the annual BookExpo convention this past weekend. More eBooks available in more places should help eBooks hit the mainstream and lower eBook reader prices.


TechCrunch covered the Best Video Twitter worm yesterday, but seems to have missed the equally insidious opt-in Spymaster game. Unlike Facebook silliness, once authorized, Spymaster is much more in the face of your followers – freely tweeting game updates. Not only will you end up spamming your followers, your @mentions queue will fill up with Spymaster-related tweets.


Spymaster may be for some folks, but it’s not for me. I prefer my games played with a joystick and on the plasma. And while I’m occasionally indulgent with an off-topic Twitter post, I respect my followers too much to partake.

So shortly after realizing Spymaster’s gameplay implications, I set about delinking them from my Twitter account. Spymaster’s FAQ doesn’t make it clear how to sever ties, a direct message to @playspymaster went unanswered, and a query on TechCrunch garnered no responses.


The good news is that I’ve found the simple solution and Twitter OAuth appears to work as billed. Instead of giving up our credentials, as we have in the past with third-party apps, Spymaster and Twitter are linked via OAuth (with your authorization). Once you’ve established an OAuth relationship, a new settings tab appears on Twitter itemizing these services. To assassinate Spymaster from your Twitter account, visit the Twitter website and:

  • Click Settings
  • Click Connections tab
  • Click Revoke Access

Click to enlarge:

Continue Reading…

A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our friends at Last100:


Microsoft and Netflix bring streaming to Windows Media Center sans Extender support
Through a formal partnership, users of the Vista edition of Microsoft Media Center (not XP) can now access almost all of Netflix’s online features via the software’s TV-friendly “10-foot” User Interface.

Universal and Warner sue Internet TV startup Zattoo
Universal Studios and Warner Brothers are suing Zattoo for the way in which it streams German television channels ARD and ZDF, taking issue with Zattoo inserting an advertisement everytime a user switches channel.

Napster tries again, unlimited streaming and five downloads for $5 per-month

Napster is touting the combination of unlimited streaming of its 7 million strong music library in combination with 5 DRM-free downloads per month, all for a monthly subscription of just five dollars.

Sony considering PSP game rental and music download services
Sony may finally be getting serious about its download service for the PlayStation Portable (PSP), with the company considering a subscription-based game rental offering and a la carte music downloads akin to the iTunes Store.

A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our friends at Last100:


Flip Mino HD “point and shoot” camcorder review
One of the selling points of the Mino HD is that software is included on the camera itself to enable basic editing and upload to various online destinations. Called FlipShare, the application runs of both Macs and Windows, and offers the ability to trim clips, add music and titles, and upload to YouTube or MySpace, export for other destinations, including DVD, and capture a still shot.

New PlayStation Portable betting on Sony PSP App Store?

If reports are to be believed, a new version of Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP) will ditch the handheld games console’s UMD disc drive in favor of 8GB ot 16GB of internal storage. Games would then need to be purchased as downloads rather than housed on physical media.

Palm Pre could go on sale 24 hours before next gen iPhone unveiled
The latest rumored release date for Palm’s comeback device, the Palm Pre, is June 7th, one day before Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). If true, this would be an audacious move from the handset maker, and one that, at first glance, carries a lot of risk.

Samsung’s first Google phone: Android 1.5, OLED screen, thinner than iPhone
At last there’s some real competition among phones running Google’s Android OS, with Samsung announcing its first “Gphone”, the unimaginatively named i7500, which should see a European release in June (no word yet on U.S. availability).


This is an updated version of the earlier ‘Best Video Game Podcast’ post I made on April 18, 2008. I have listened to, and abandoned, many video game-related podcasts during that time. Those listed below, ordered by preference, have survived the culling and, with one exception, are recommended without hesitation. At the bottom I list the deadpool – formerly good podcasts that are now deceased or reincarnated.

1. Listen Up – formerly The 1Up Yours Podcast:

listen up podcast iconListen Up is the successor to the 1Up Yours Podcast. Oddly, the name was changed after was purchased by UGO Networks in January 2009, but the format and content is largely the same. It ‘airs’ Friday evenings. The show is still hosted by Host Garnett Lee, but most of the former cast (who still make guest appearances) have moved on to other things: Luke Smith – now with the Bungie podcast; Bryan Intihar -now with Insomniac Games; Dan ‘Shoe’ Hsu – now on permanent vacation; John Davison now at what they play; and Shane Bettenhausen, now Director of Business Development at Ignition Entertainment. Despite the constant cast changes, Garnet continues to provide an interesting set of revolving guests that consistently provide an entertaining and informative podcast week-in and week-out. My original 1Up Yours criticism still remains – the show is often too long and the interesting content (ie: the news) is usually held back to the the end. Not quite as good as it was when the old cast was there, but still the best video game podcast out there.

2. CO-OP – formerly The 1Up Show (video) Podcast:

co-op podcast iconThe CO-OP podcast (pictured above), continues on where the cancelled The 1Up Show left off. It shares the same cast and terrific production crew. It’s still my favorite video podcast. It provides a comprehensive set of visual video game previews and reviews. It also features interviews with industry luminaries and provides trade show coverage. If you want to watch a video game before purchase, this  is the best place to do it. This video podcast comes in small and large sizes (3x the size) suitable for viewing on the iPhone/iTouch and AppleTV respectively.

3. Bungie Studios Podcast:

Bungie Podcast logo When Luke Smith abandoned the 1Up Yours podcast to become Bungie’s pool boy, a Bungie podcast became inevitable. This ‘insider’ podcast was launched just prior to Halo 3’s launch in September 2007. While the podcast’s frequency is irregular (sometimes months go by between episodes), it is almost always interesting. The podcast features ‘behind the scenes’ discussions with everyone at Bungie from level designers, graphic artists to Marty O’Donnell (music). Even for non-Halo fans, this is a very interesting podcast given its unique ‘insider’ perspective.

Read the rest of this entry at The Daleisphere »

A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our friends at Last100:


Netflix prepping PlayStation 3 and Wii support suggests job ad
Proof that Netflix is serious about widening support beyond the XBox 360 emerged after a recent job advertisement on was spotted seeking a lead engineer responsible for the company’s “gaming platforms” – plural.

Nokia’s DLNA goodness – N85 to PS3 streaming
I decided to put the N85’s DLNA support to the test by attempting to stream music, photos and videos stored on the phone to a PlayStation 3. And, perhaps surprisingly, it was all pretty straight forward.

It’s alive! TechCrunch’s Internet tablet still has a pulse

The resistive touch screen has been ditched for a more finger-friendly capacitive one, as has the Via chip, being replaced by Intel’s Atom. Other than that, much remains the same, albeit in a more refined design.

7digtal powers MP3 downloads on AOL’s Winamp
7digital has announced a partnership with AOL to integrate its music download store with AOL’s popular Windows-based music player Winamp, following similar deals with Spotify and Songbird.