Mad Catz paid $300K, forfeited millions in initial Guitar Hero deal

Guitar Hero logo.It’s easy to think of Guitar Hero as a mint, a source of nearly endless money for everyone involved that’s just now starting to dry up. That’s not exactly the case.

Darren Richardson, the president and CEO of peripheral manufacturer Mad Catz, told Kotaku today that his company paid $300,000 so it could back out of the original contract due to an ongoing lawsuit with Konami.

“Guitar Hero was a game that we were actually involved with early on and pulled out because of a lawsuit with Konami,” Richardson said. “We were doing the Xbox SKU and that’s why there was only a Playstation 2 launch. That’s why. We were in there and we pulled out as a result of (the lawsuit) and (Red Octane and Harmonix) went forward and it turned out to be a success, a huge success.”

Somehow Richardson has a sense of humor about the whole thing. “Everyone else made hundreds of millions and we paid money to not be a part of it,” he said. “It was brilliant. I come up with these strokes of genius from time to time. That was my best.”

If only sarcasm could turn back time.

Source: Kotaku


Razer going after the console market

RZR_XboxControllerView7_WhtBrgIt was only a matter of time, really. PC peripheral manufacturer Razer has decided to enter the console market, starting with the Xbox 360. The company has preliminary approval from Microsoft to release a 360 controller and headset.

The controller, called the Onza, will run $50 for the wired version, supposedly for a lag-free game experience (what wireless tech are you guys using again?), no word on a wireless version. It looks almost exactly like the Microsoft controller, except that the start and back buttons have been moved. Oh, there are also some pretty lights. Razer also boasts a new Hyperesponse technology, which means I dunno, it starts firing before you see your enemies?

The headset will be wireless, featuring a 5.1 virtual surround system and the ability to chain-gang base stations for private team conversations. It’s like party chat! The headset also has some noise-canceling features, so you can really tune out that nagging girlfriend. The headset will run $130. Read more at Razer’s official press site.


Nyko Wand+ lets you ditch the Wii MotionPlus dongle

Nyko Wand+.Last year at CES, Nyko introduced the Wand, a Wiimote replacement with a feature called Trans-Port that allows the use of extra accessories with sound and vibration support. It’s a little gimmicky, but it also came out cheaper than a Wiimote if I remember correctly.

This year Nyko added to the line with the Wand+, a model of the Wand that adds, you guessed it, a Wii MotionPlus. Now, it’s not really a Wii MotionPlus since that would involve some patent infringement and whatnot, but it does support full 1:1 motion control, so you can use it with any WMP-enabled game. The unit looks to be about the same size as the original Wiimote, sans the MotionPlus dongle, so you save a little cupboard space along with the cash. Yes, the Wand+ is cheaper than a Wiimote/WMP bundle at just $40.


Get a baby core hound when you buy a Blizzard Authenticator

Ancient Core Hound.Blizzard, and by extension Activision, will do just about anything to get your money, including tempting you with little animated puppy versions of a familiar best friend, the core hound. Blizzard is offering up an in-game pet for those players willing to pay the extra $6.50 or so to get the Blizzard Authenticator for World of Warcraft accounts.

If you don’t know, the Blizzard Authenticator is an added layer of security for your WoW account. You can get it at the Blizzard Store, but the company also gives them away during Blizzcon. Personally, I never needed one. Maybe I was lucky, maybe I just paid enough attention to my computer that it wasn’t an issue, but over two years of playing, I never had an issue with hackers. Just the same, $6.50 for a cute little core hound isn’t so bad, particularly if it adds extra security to the account into which you’ve invested far too much time.


Microsoft denies impulse buy rumors for Natal

Project Natal announcement.Launch rumors for Project Natal are a dime a dozen, and according to Xbox UK boss Neil Thompson, the latest batch are bunk, too. This last round of rumors said the periph was due out November of 2010, would release with 14 compatible titles, at a price that could be as low as $50. Right.

As Chris Lewis, Xbox’s head of Europe puts things, “Now you know better than to listen to that stuff! We will announce in good time.” Message received, Mr. Lewis. I can’t imagine how Microsoft could possibly get Natal down to the $50 range, or why they would. The install base for the 360 is big enough that people would pay much more for this kind of experience. Think about the Rock Band sets that regularly go for $200. With a bundled game or two, you can bet Natal will at least break a hundred.

As long as he had the world’s ear, Lewis was glad to keep the hype train rollin’. “I’m not going to be specific about what they might be,” he said. “I will say however we’re committed to ensure those experiences are unique, compelling and very exciting right from the outset. That has to happen and that will happen.” Don’t worry you little heads over a release date – just know that when we get one, you’ll be rushing to mark your calendars.

Source: Eurogamer


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