ESPN To Bring Sports To Xbox Live?

According to The New York Times, ESPN has met with Microsoft, and the two companies have held in-depth talks about bringing ESPN programming to Xbox Live.

 Here's how the NY Times' unnamed, inside sources described the potential service:

"For a per-subscriber fee, ESPN could provide live streams of sporting events, similar to the ones available through ESPN 360, a service that is available from some high-speed Internet providers. Microsoft could also create some interactive games in association with ESPN."

No agreement has been announced, so there's no time-frame for when/if this will happen, but let's talk about it anyway. While I definitely think streaming of games themselves would be awesome, I could completely do without the rest of ESPN's programming -- I don't need to hear ex-jocks desperately trying to be entertaining as they talk about the game that I just saw. But if ESPN streams, say, NFL games, I'm on board.

This is all part of Microsoft's effort to make the Xbox into an entertainment portal as opposed to a game system. We see it now on our dashboard (Last.fm, Facebook, Netflix, etc.), how do you think it's going? Do you use your 360 as an entertainment device? Personally, I notice more and more of my Xbox friends are "playing" Netflix everyday.

Source: The New York Times

Tags: Sports, Xbox 360

Vancouver 2010 is the tie-in game for this year's Olympics. It's pretty fun, I have to say. It's out now for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 systems.

Take a few seconds and enjoy the trailer embedded below for freezing cold action and sporty adventure!

Vancouver 2010 Launch Trailer »

The Bet! Tiger Woods

Electronic Arts and golfer Tiger Woods have a long, lucrative history, but Tiger's recent extra-marital adventures have caused some of the athlete's other sponsors to drop him from endorsement deals. A recent survey sent by EA indicates the company is at least considering gamers' opinions of Tiger's sponsorship.

While the official EA line remains "We're sticking by Tiger," the survey asks:

 EA SPORTS made a Tiger Woods video game. Has the controversy made your impressions of EA SPORTS more or less favorable, or has it had no impact?


Has the controversy made you more or less likely to buy a Tiger Woods related video game in the future?

Whether EA will drop Tig is a mildly compelling story, but it's of particular interest to me and Patrick "Scoop" Klepek. I think EA is going to drop Tiger before the next game, and Patrick thinks not. We have made a bet, the terms of which are as follows:

If EA drops the "Tiger Woods" name from their next "full" PGA golf game (Tiger Woods 11), Patrick has to play through all of Rogue Warrior, on the PS3. If the company retains the Tiger name, I have to play it. We even shook hands on the deal (see photo above.)

My theory is that there is still a proverbial shoe to drop in the Woods scandal -- maybe a video. Maybe a love child -- and this Tiger revelation will totally destroy Woods' viability as a game sponsor. Everyone else at G4 thinks I'm nuts, but I shall be vindicated!

What do you think? Is EA going to keep Woods around for PGA 11? Or is Patrick going to "Go Rogue?"

Source: Kotaku

It's Official: NBA Jam Is Coming To The Wii

ESPN let the cat out of the bag last week, but now it's official: Electronic Arts announced this morning that a new version of NBA Jam is headed to the Nintendo Wii.

EA promises to revive the franchise with "vintage NBA Jam gameplay, and all-new features that deliver a fresh new take on the game. Featuring the sights and sounds that fans of the franchise will instantly recognize, EA Sports NBA Jam mixes the old school with the new, to deliver a one-of-a-kind sports presentation on the Wii."

Along with the classic gameplay you probably remember, the new version of Jam will feature "true-to-life body types," updated physics, and "visible player emotion." It's a Wii exclusive and it's scheduled for release in 2010.

So, on a scale of one to 100, how excited are you for this game? I'm hovering around a 66. I have many fond memories of the original (Boom shaka-laka!), but on the other hand, it's for the Wii only! Couldn't we get a 360 version?

Electronic Arts Sticking By Tiger Woods, Which Is Good News (For Me)

I do not have to play Rogue Warrior, readers, but Stephen Johnson does!

As I predicted, Electronic Arts still values what Tiger Woods can bring to their golf game, despite his personal controversies and other advertisers pulling out en masse. EA Sports head Peter Moore announced on his corporate blog this morning EA will continue to work with Tiger Woods on future games, starting with the upcoming Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online, currently in private beta.

"Our relationship with Tiger has always been rooted in golf," said Moore. "We didn’t form a relationship with him so that he could act as an arm’s length endorser. Far from it. We chose to partner with Tiger in 1997 because we saw him as the world’s best, most talented and exciting golfer. We struck that partnership with the assumption that he would remain near or at the top of his sport for years to come."

EA came under criticism earlier this year for including convicted rapist Mike Tyson on the cover of Fight Night Round 4. Moore defended that choice for Tyson's profound athletic career. In an interview with Eurogamer, Moore said he made that decision "because of the respect I have for Mike Tyson as a boxer." Similar reasons are being used for the decision to stick by Tiger Woods.

"By his [Tiger's] own admission, he’s made some mistakes off the course," continued Moore. "But regardless of what’s happening in his personal life, and regardless of his decision to take a personal leave from the sport, Tiger Woods is still one of the greatest athletes in history. At EA Sports, we make authentic sports simulations. When we say 'It’s in the Game,' it is not just a tag line but a statement about the quality and authenticity of the game experience. Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online is truly representative of that rallying cry, and a game that all of us at EA Sports are proud to be delivering this month to sports fans around the globe."

I'm just happy I don't have to play Rogue Warrior, but do you think EA made the right call?

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.


Electronic Arts Making Tiger Woods Statement Tomorrow -- Will They Keep Him?

Electronic Arts has told GameSpot they'll make an announcement tomorrow that's expected to confirm whether they will be one of the few companies to continue sponsoring disgraced golf athlete Tiger Woods. USA Today is speculating that EA will continue to brand its golf games with Tiger Woods.

This is very important. Why?

I have a vested interest in the outcome. No, I'm not an EA shareholder, but Stephen Johnson and I made a bet about Tiger Woods. Even though the guy has been publicly shamed day in and day out for the past few months (and rightfully so, it seems), I predicted EA would continue to stand by him, even if they start downplaying his involvement in the video game. Far fewer people would purchase a game without Tiger Woods on the cover, I've argued. Stephen, obviously, doesn't agree with me.

If EA decides to drop Tiger Woods, I have to complete the Mickey Rourke-starring Rogue Warrior from start to finish. A complete playthrough of Rogue Warrior is on the line, people.

As you can imagine, I'll be be paying very close attention to the EA Sports blog tomorrow.

Source: GameSpot/USA Today

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Electronic Arts Reportedly Preparing NBA Jam Reboot

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: EA has declined comment. "We do not comment on speculation or rumor," said a spokesperson.

ORIGINAL STORY: You might want to sit down for this one, readers. According to sources speaking to ESPN, Electronic Arts is currently prepping a reboot of the NBA Jam series, exclusively for Wii.

Oh, lord.

ESPN also claims EA is working with NBA Jam creator Mark Turmell to develop the updated version of the two-on-two coin-op classic. NBA Jam was a massive hit in arcades and both SNES and Genesis in the 90s. The series peaked and disappeared. Nothing has really replaced it since.

I've reached out to EA for comment and will update if the company comments on the rumor.

Currently, Andrew Pfister and myself are lobbying for the reboot to include the series' tradition of secret political figures characters. Can you imagine McCain/Palin vs. Obama/Biden matchups?

Oh, lord.

Source: ESPN

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Links Of TheFeed: Mario & Luigi's Bad Day

This week on the links, a complaint has been filed against Mario & Luigi for their reckless behavior as plumbers. Plus, we see if 2009 was a turning point for music games and examine the best movies of the year.

  • Our friends at FilmDrunk list their 10 favorite films of 2009, and make the case as to why you really should see Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.
  • Mario & Luigi are struggling to reconcile their lives in the mushroom kingdom with the real world. You have to see this CollegeHumor vid.
  • Uncoached has some pictures of the Spanish bull-leapers or "recortadores," which have to be seen to be believed.

WWE Superstar Ted DiBiase Talks Nintendo And SmackDown Vs. Raw 2010

Wrestling is perplexing. I live Los Angeles, a sin-ridden city of excess, home to all manner of alternative lifestyles, but there's nothing enjoyed by my hedonistic, no-boundaries friends and neighbors that's half as threatening to heterosexuality as professional wrestling. It combines over-the-top improvisational acting with greased-up musclemen grabbing each other, and yet people in God-fearing, middle America love the stuff. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but jeez, wrestling fans, do you have any idea how that looks to the rest of us?

Anyway, THQ has secured the rights to produce WWE-themed wrestling video games for the next eight years, so strap on your brightly-colored, knee-high boots and break out the Speedo and baby oil!

"This agreement ensures that WWE games will continue to be an important cornerstone of THQ's annual release schedule for the long term," Brian Farrell, THQ President and Chief Executive Officer screamed into a microphone from the center ring. "We look forward to working directly with WWE to expand their brand in the video game space through continued game play innovation and increased online delivery of WWE content."

Am I off-base about wrestling, here?

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New Madden 10 Screens Released

According to Ripten, the recent title update to the PS3 version of Madden NFL 10 fixes up some minor problems with the game, but also something you probably don't want: More ads. Specifically, Madden now reminds you that Madden Arcade is available to download with a pop-up window... before every. single. snap. That means you'll see advertising for Madden Arcade at least 4 times with each possession (barring turnovers) which adds up to hundreds (thousands?) of ad impressions per day for hardcore Madden players.

Apparently, the 360 version works the same way, except with even more annoying ads for Microsoft's new Bing! search engine.

Eventually, the sheer volume of Madden commercials might break you down, and you might download the game, just to kill the constant in-game spam; but sorry. The ads reportedly continue, even after you download Madden Arcade. So, yeah, gamers, happy holidays.

Source: Ripten


Nugget From The Net: NFL Official Uses 360 Controller

Check out the photo above: That's not some older dude playing Madden 10, it's vice president of  NFL Officiating Mike Pereira on the NFL's official website explaining the decisions the review booth made in Sunday's game between the transcendent Philadelphia Eagles and the disgraced New York Giants. As you can see, Pereira is holding a a 360 controller in his hand, and using its many buttons to review "the tape."

Does this mean the NFL officials use 360 controllers when deciding on disputed calls during actual NFL games? Probably not. But it's pretty cool.

Check out the video here.


Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for the Wii Review

I hear golfing superstar Tiger Woods is having some problems with ladies lately. At last count, ten women of varying degrees of virtue and morals have publicly claimed that Woods has broken his marriage vows with them. There are text messages. There are voicemails. His wife reportedly attacked Tiger with a golf club. It's going to be a rough Christmas this year at the Woods' home. But for now, Tiger can wipe his tears away with piles of money from his lucrative endorsement deals. So far, only Pepsico has dropped Tiger, and they say it has nothing to do with the scandal... yeah, right.  Of course, around here we're more interested in video games -- Specifically, Tiger Woods PGA Tour series of golf games from Electronic Arts. How long will EA keep Tiger?

EA issued a statement last week saying:

"Our strong relationship with Tiger for more than a decade remains unchanged. We respect Tiger's privacy, we wish him a fast recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on the golf course."

But that was before the most recent infidelity accusations were leveled at the golfer. Although EA still stands by their statement, some think Electronic Arts will soon drop Tiger from the payroll. Here's how Michael K. Ozanian, National Editor at Forbes, put it:

"Sponsors like Gillette and Electronic Arts are going to drop Tiger Woods regardless of what they are saying now. Near term, Tiger is done as a corporate pitchman."

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I'm not sure why every game based on The Olympics has been terrible since 1987's Track and Field on the NES. The setting, events, history and background of The Games seems tailor-made for video game greatness -- what could be better than gathering some like-minded friends together in front of the LCD, watching The Olympics, and then playing your own version!? But every official Olympics game I've played has been ass... (Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics doesn't count -- that game was OK, but hardly a "real" Olympics title.)

As an eternal optimist, I want to believe that upcoming game Vancouver 2010 Adrenaline will be awesome. I really, truly do. It's even been getting some advance, preview love, so there's real hope. Either way, it comes out in 2010 for the PS3 and 360 and the trailer is below. (Dah. Dah. Da Da Da Dun Dun!)

Vancouver 2010 Adrenaline Trailer »

Ah, Thanksgiving football. Truly there is nothing greater! There are a lot of great games on today:

  • Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
  • Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys
  • New York Giants at Denver Broncos

Clearly, the only thing to do was use Madden NFL 2010 to determine which teams will emerge victorious today. Please do not use the results in any gambling or gambling related activities. Watch the video and go ahead and leave your predictions in the comments section.

(Go Giants!)


Madden NFL 10 Thanksgiving Day Football Predictions »


Tony Hawk: Ride Feet-On Preview

In a recent interview with GameSpot UK, professional skateboarder Tony Hawk revealed that the unique skateboard peripheral that comes with Tony Hawk: Ride may be used in a future Tony Hawk game or even other kinds of games.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's all systems go with trying to make at least a sequel for this," Hawk said. "I feel like we've only just really tapped what's possible with this technology."

Of course, Hawk isn't the end-all decision-maker when it comes to what games Activision is going to make, but, for the record, Hawk would love to see the board peripheral used for a snowboarding or a surfing game. According to the vert-master, snowboarding "would lend itself [to the board] a little bit easier [than other genres], and beyond that I'd love to do a surfing game. I always thought that Kelly Slater's [Pro Surfer] was an underrated title for the PlayStation 2."

Wait, what about hoverboards?

Read More »


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