Stories by Matt Peckham

  • Is Apple's iPhone OS 'Game Center' a Nintendo DS killer?

    Is the iPhone a legitimate gaming platform? Ask anyone who's ever fiddled with one for more than a few minutes anyone that isn't Nintendo, anyway). Ask anyone who understands, correctly, that video games are more than just Modern Warfare 2 and World of Warcraft.

  • Xbox 360 System Update Adds USB Storage, Gotchas

    Microsoft may be late adding USB storage support to the Xbox 360--Sony's PlayStation 3 supported it off the block--but it's finally live, for all you aspiring archivists. All you need to do is log into Xbox LIVE, pull down the latest update, and presto, you can dump data from your 360 to any external drive or memory key.

  • The great Nintendo DS school invasion

    Could Nintendo's Mario and Luigi be headed for blackboards and pop-top desks after decades battling bob-ombs, chain chomps, hammer bros, and koopa troopas? Mario creator and Nintendo R&D guru Shigeru Miyamoto certainly hopes so.

  • Ready for the Sony PlayStation Phone?

    Is Sony ready to rumble with Apple? The Wall Street Journal thinks so. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Journal says Sony Corp. has plans to release a smart phone capable of playing PlayStation games, that it's already in development, and that we'll see it later this year.

  • About Ubisoft, EA's "always online" PC games requirement

    Hostile, bullheaded, mercenary, uncreative, all words that spring to mind when considering Ubisoft and EA's new "always on" PC games policies for upcoming single-player games like Assassin's Creed 2, Silent Hunter 5, and Command & Conquer 4. In order to play any of the latter three, you must have an internet connection or the games won't load. Make that a continuous internet connection, meaning the internet (and presumably each game's respective authentication servers) must be accessible at all times, not just at launch. Unplug your Ethernet cable or disable your WLAN radio (or suffer through a server crash on EA or Ubisoft's part) and the games will simply cease to function.

  • Enter Nintendo's DSi XL versus Apple's iPad?

    Pretend for a moment that the Nintendo DSi was a third larger with bigger LCD screens and a blizzard of new apps, including one that let you read eBooks. Would you consider it an iPad contender?

  • Sony PlayStation on your Windows Phone 7?

    No one's jaw hit the floor when Microsoft demoed Xbox LIVE running on its new Windows Phone 7 platform earlier this week, but what about a similar connection to Sony's PlayStation Network?

  • 2K Games announces Civilization V for PC

    Funny story, I was musing about a Civilization sequel just yesterday while out for a run, and lo and behold, 2K Games says it's in development as I'm typing this. What's more--and I have to admit, somewhat unexpectedly--it's still being developed for PC.

  • Are Apple and Nintendo headed for mortal combat?

    Will the sequel to Nintendo's DS handheld video game system include a tilt sensor to one-up Apple's iPhone? Signs point to yes, says an inside source at a developer who claims he's laid hands on one of Nintendo's super-secret 'DS2' development kits, and that he's extremely impressed.

  • Mass Effect 2 SDTV text size a 'design choice'

    If you've been playing Mass Effect 2 on a standard definition TV, chances are you've been squinting to decipher the game's neon orange and green text. That's according to a 15-page thread on the game's official forums and noticed by Ars, anyway, claiming "the text is REALLY small" on even reasonably large SDTVs.

  • BioShock 2 impressions

    You might call BioShock 2 'BioShock with the top down'. You'll discover this early in the game, when its lid, sides, and bottom suddenly disengage and you're thrust beyond the safety of purpose-made geometry. In BioShock, Rapture was a nightmare metropolis beneath the sea, an abyssal macro-terrarium circumscribed by an ocean unwittingly intruded upon, but for all the rifting city's dribbling cracks and spitting leaks, the ocean never came to you.

  • Apple's iPad plays games, surprise!

    Call Apple's tablet the iPad, because that's what Steve Jobs does, and hey, it can play games! Thank goodness, right? Apple's iPhone didn't for years, and even Apple probably realizes what an embarrassing mistake that was.