(Source: zikkir.com) Yoshiyuki Tomino, creator of Japan’s most popular sci-fi giant robot franchise, Mobile Suit Gundam, used his keynote speech at Japan’s Gamasutra-attended CEDEC game conference to provoke game developers — and try to make them reconsider the future of gaming.

“I think that video games are evil,” says Tomino. “[Gaming] is not a type of activity that provides any support to our daily lives, and all these consoles are just consuming electricity! Let’s say we have about three billion people on this planet wasting their time, bringing no productivity at all. Add 10 billion more people, and what would happen to our planet? Video games are assisting the death of our planet!”

(Source: CNET) Heads up, Nvidia. Intel demonstrated its Larrabee graphics chip for the first time Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum.

Larrabee will be Intel’s first discrete, or standalone, graphics processor in about 10 years and is expected to compete with graphics chips from Nvidia and AMD’s ATI unit. The demo used an early “stepping,” or version, of Larrabee, which is expected to come out commercially sometime next year.

Larrabee will be targeted initially at the gaming market. The demonstration was based on the game Enemy Territory: Quake Wars from Splash Damage

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[Editor's Note: There is raw video here of them actually busting into the house and the ensuing Wii game action]

(Source: TampaBayOnline) With guns drawn and flashlights cutting through darkened rooms, Polk County undercover drug investigators stormed the home of convicted drug dealer Michael Difalco near Lakeland in March.

As investigators searched the home for drugs, some drug task force members found other ways to occupy their time. Within 20 minutes of entering Difalco’s house, some of the investigators found a Wii video bowling game and began bowling frame after frame.

While some detectives hauled out evidence such as flat screen televisions and shotguns, others threw strikes, gutter balls and worked on picking up spares.

A Polk County sheriff’s detective cataloging evidence repeatedly put down her work and picked up a Wii remote to bowl. When she hit two strikes in a row, she raised her arms above her head, jumping and kicking.

While a female detective lifted a nearby couch looking for evidence, another sheriff’s detective focused on pin action.

Sometimes mods go to such lengths that words like ‘homebrewed’ and ‘DIY’ no longer do them justice. Presenting the Nintendo SNES Portable. Not the first, and probably not the last of its kind, this bad boy mobilizes Nintendo’s venerable console with a few buttons from a PSOne controller and a ridiculously detailed skinning job — yes, even the packaging gets a makeover. The sheer nostalgic overload at the sight of it must be worth something to Nintendo, no? There’s not a person, with both a heart and a history of gaming, that can glance at that bulky unwieldy-looking thing and not break into a wistful smile. Really, we dare you. More snaps after the break.

Electronic Arts has released the Wolfenstein RPG for the iPhone and iPod touch — the game isavailable on the App Store for $4.99 right now. It’s based in the world of Wolfenstein, but it’s not your normal first-person shooter. Instead, it’s actually a mobile turn-based RPG, adapted from an older cellphone platform for Apple’s handheld. Considering its origins, the game looks pretty good, and it’s got a silly sense of humor as well — you can read books to gain abilities and power-ups, or play a chicken-kicking minigame. Reviews are pretty excellent on iTunes, so if you’re looking for something a little different to play as a role-playing game, it might be worth a look.

Even more anticipated than this game is the Doom RPG, with the same type of gameplay, but set in id software’s Doom universe (notable, among other things, for its BFG weapon). Odds are that if this game does well, the Doom RPG (and maybe even Orcs and Elves, originally seen on the DS) probably won’t be far behind.

(Source: TheEscapist) Think the Wii Balance Board was silly? Nintendo’s patented Wii Horseback Riding Saddle gives it a run for its money.

Siliconera has unearthed a patent filed by Nintendo for – get this – an inflatable “horse” saddle peripheral for the Wii. The device (essentially, half of one of those exercise balls) would have a pocket for the Wii Remote, and the player would hold the Nunchuck to simulate holding the reins of their mighty steed.

What could they ever do with this? Well, according to the patent:

“For example, the Wii main unit can display the back of a horse’s head and background of a trail, a field, a battlefield or other environment the virtual horse is being ridden through (see Figure 1A). The image may change in response to detected motion of the user.”

Boy, that really sounds thrilling, huh? But wait a moment! We’ve just been thinking about horses (and ponies) but we may have failed to see the true potential of this thing. Not only will you be able to use the controller to simulate riding a horse … but you can use it to simulate riding other animals as well?

The patent lists some of the possibilities – normal animals such as “bulls, camels, elephants, burros, dolphins, whales,” mythological creatures like “dragons, griffons, unicorns, giant eagles,” or even things that aren’t animals at all – “hang gliders or other aircraft, a magic carpet, a motorcycle, a jet-ski, a land or sea exploration vehicles.”

Giddy-yap, Epona.

(Source: AppleInsider) Just recently considered the king of handheld gaming, Nintendo is now sending an alert that it could be trouble over its next fiscal year as Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch might cut into its sales.

Known equally for its DS handheld and its Wii console, the company said on Thursday that it anticipates its first profit decline in four years not only because of a rough economy playing havoc with game sales but also due to harsher competition in the portable arena stemming directly from Apple devices.

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(Source: TUAW) Booyah is a company I’ve had my eye on for a while — they’re a couple of veterans from Blizzard Entertainment (makers of the popular Diablo and World of Warcraft games, two of my favorites) who have been teasing a big-time iPhone app. Just today, they’ve finally showed their cards, and have released Booyah Society, a 3D, interactive, social network-connected “achievement system for life.” If that sounds like an idea that’s pretty floaty, you probably heard it right.

(Source: TUAW) Two big gaming companies have made stark moves towards some major iPhone development in the future. Electronic Arts has made what seems to be the strongest move: they’ve put together a division in the company specifically for making iPhone games, and not just any games. Specifically, the kind that cost 99 cents

8lb Gorilla is the name of the group they’ve put together in-house, and apparently it’s a bunch of young developers given the task of putting together quick and cheap games about once a month that can sell for 99 cents, keep customers happy, and still bring in a profit for EA. The first title out of the group is a game called Zombies and Me, which appears to be an action game where you blow up zombies with explosives. Who wouldn’t pay 99 cents for that one, right?

Namco is also making moves toward the platform, though not that specific (or risky, though EA’s gambit could pay off big if the young devs turn out a hit). They’ve created an “Apple Games” division within their company, designed to make games specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch, and presumably for any other platforms that Apple decides to release games on. We hear the Mac is pretty popular — does “Apple Games” include those other computers they make? Yet another Pac Man remake is the first title from them, but hopefully more original releases are coming.

Very interesting to see major companies start setting aside resources specifically to target the App Store’s unique market. Mac gamers have been fighting for years to get devs to pay attentionto their platform, and now it looks like Apple’s handheld devices, along with the relatively easy money of the App Store, have finally done it.

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