Panasonic Introduces “The Jungle” Handheld Gaming System

Panasonic is getting back into gaming (remember the 3DO?) with a handheld system called “The Jungle“. Specs on the system have yet to be revealed, but the idea behind The Jungle is novel — software will focus on massively multiplayer experiences. Whether that’s enough to differentiate it from Nintendo’s and Sony’s offerings is another question.

When you have a moment, check out the official videos of The Jungle and let me know what you think. Will the market support a third handheld system (consider the mobile phone gaming is getting huge too)? Or will The Jungle end up next to the N-Gage and Gizmondo in the graveyard of failed portable gaming systems?

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Zack Snyder to Direct Superman Reboot, General Zod Rumored

The Superman reboot already got my attention with Natalie Portman being rumored to play Lois Lane, but the news of Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) directing the film and (especially) the movie including General Zod really has me psyched. Here’s the latest from Heat Vision Blog:

Zack Snyder has been chosen to direct the new Superman movie, which Christopher Nolan is producing for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. Negotiations began earlier today.

Nolan, who revived Batman, teamed up with David Goyer for a new a way to revive the last son of Krypton. Despite grossing $200 million domestically, the last movie, 2006’s Superman Returns, was considered a disappointment and a hoped-for franchise launch never flew off.

Goyer is writing the script, which is rumoured to have, like Superman Returns, a Richard Donner Superman connection. In the movie’s case, it’s a villain connection: General Zod.

“Come Son of Jor-El! Kneel before Zod!!!” Whether it’s Terence Stamp’s excellent portrayal in Superman II or the Zod in the comic books, I love this character. I hope the rumor pans out. As for Snyder, I have mixed feelings on him. I thought that 300 was a fun and dumb movie. I’m a huge Watchmen fan and while I imagine making a movie based on one of the most complex graphics novels in history is a supreme challenge, I thought that his Watchmen movie was only half good.

What are you thoughts on Snyder directing the film and the possible inclusion of Zod?

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Today’s Poll: Emma Stone’s MJ vs. Natalie Portman’s Lois

It’s the battle of the superhero-love-interest hotties! In the red corner is Natalie Portman. A Harvard graduate that’s best known (by geeks) from the Star Wars movies, Portman is rumored to be playing Lois Lane in the Superman reboot. In the blue corner is Emma Stone, who made millions of moviegoers crack up in Superbad and The House Bunny. The word on the street is that Stone has been offered the Mary Jane Watson role in the Spider-Man reboot.

Who will be the better love interest?!? Vote and discuss (please)!!!

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Nintendo’s Mario Used in Negative Political Campaign

New York republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino has been using imagery of Nintendo’s iconic Mario character in a negative ad campaign against democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo. Is nothing sacred?!?

I am seriously embarrassed for my home state. I’m disgusted that Paladino is using a beloved videogame character in such a classless way. I hope that Nintendo sues him. (To be honest, I think Paladino is a total dick and I disagree with many of his policies.)

What do you think of the negative Mario ads? Do they make you feel dirty? Or is that just me?

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Emma Stone Offered Mary Jane Watson Role in Spider-Man Movie

According to Deadline, Emma Stone is Sony’s choice to play Spider-Man’s love interest, Mary Jane Watson. I love this girl. She’s spunky, cute, and funny. One of my friends thinks I’m nuts on this, but I think her voice is totally sexy.

Superhero movies are getting some total hotties! First Natalie Portman as Lois Lane opposite Superman and now this! Hmmm, methinks I should have a poll. In the meantime, let me know what you think of Stone as MJ.

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T-Mobile Unveils New MyTouch with HSPA+

T-Mobila USA has revealed the new myTouch, which features an HSPA+ radio for 4G-like speeds, a front-facing camera for video chat, and Google Android 2.2 (FroYo). Here are a bunch of goodies from the press release:

Designed by HTC exclusively for T-Mobile, the new myTouch features a brilliant 3.8-inch WVGA touch-screen display with virtual keyboard and Swype for easy text input.The thin and sleek device also comes with a blazing fast second-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz MSM8255 processor optimized for speed and graphic performance, a 5-megapixel camera, a preinstalled 8 GB microSD memory card, and an integrated media player that brings together favorite music, video and internet radio under one set of controls.

My initial thoughts on the phone are kind of meh. I love that it has the second-gen Qualcomm chip and a front-facing camera, but I don’t like the plastic look of the myTouch and I really don’t like the Espress version of HTC Sense found on recent myTouch models. I rather have the G2’s metal body and 800MHz processor running vanilla-ish Android.

Then again, I wasn’t really impressed with the G2 when it was first announced. Much to my surprise it has become one of my favorite Android phones of the year. There’s a chance that the myTouch will change my mind when it’s released (though I doubt it). If you want early notification from T-Mo on the upcoming myTouch then sign up here.

This Week’s Videogame Releases

There are lots of great games hitting shelves this week! In the immortal words of Michael Buffer (or Triple H), “Are you ready?!?” Enslaved has been getting great buzz from the enthusiast press. I really liked this game at E3 2010 and can’t wait to jump into it. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow just might be the first great modern Castlevania game. Although I hate the use of Michael Jordan as a cover athlete (go Pistons!), NBA 2K11 looks pretty hot. I’m not going to play it, but I sure as hell want to watch other people give Def Jam Rapstar a go. Last, but not least, is Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, which is one of my personal favorites of 2010.

Any of you picking up new games this week?

Coffee Talk #222: Cliffy B…the Movie?!?

Lots of my friends are going nuts over The Social Network — you know, that movie about Facebook and its brilliant-but-devious co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. It’s kind of nuts that a relatively new and geeky phenomenon spawned a movie that brought together Aaron Sorkin, David Fincher, and Justin Timberlake. It’s also very cool. The next logical step, of course, is a movie about a videogame company. In the year 2015 I want to see:

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Bryan Danielson busting out cattle mutilation last night, the Yankees blowing home-field advantage, or Shia LeBeouf vs. Frankie Muniz, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Lots of my friends are going nuts over The Social Network — you know, that movie about Facebook and its brilliant-but-devious co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. It’s kind of nuts that a relatively new and geeky phenomenon spawned a movie that brought together Aaron Sorkin, David Fincher, and Justin Timberlake. It’s also very cool. The next logical step, of course, is a movie about a videogame company. In the year 2015 I want to see:

Watching the Gears Go Round: The Cliff Bleszinski Story

I love Cliff. I think he’s a fun and fascinating man that would be a great subject for a motion picture. I also have lots of old (and possibly naughty) stories to sell the movie’s scriptwriters, which might be the only way I’ll ever make money in Los Angeles.

Seriously though, now that a Facebook movie is out, I want a frickin’ videogame-company movie! Today’s game is a two-parter. What publisher or developer would you want to see on the big screen? How about a specific game designer or publishing executive? Oh hell, let’s make this a three-parter! I’ll send out a special prize to the person that makes the most creative movie title starring Bobby Kotick!!!

Wonder Woman Lassoing Her Way to Television

Wonder Woman is heading to television sets around the world thanks to Ally McBeal’s David E. Kelley. Yeah, the most majestic heroine in DC Comics is getting a television show by the guy that used to make a show about some anorexic, goofy-ass lawyer. Here’s the word from E!:

Wonder Woman is back in the news, and this time she’s getting — the Ally McBeal treatment?! Ally creator David E. Kelley is the latest Hollywood bigwig to take a stab at resurrecting the Wonder Woman franchise. But unlike those who’ve ventured into the abyss before him (we’re looking at you, Joss Whedon), Kelley has secured a deal with Warner Bros. to bring the princess to the small screen.

I realize that some people still think of Wonder Woman as Lynda Carter or that chick in Super Friends that did nothing but fly around with Aquaman in an invisible jet, but I appreciate her role as one of the three pillars of the DC Universe. I love the “preach peace, practice violence” contradiction of her character. I think it’s great that the entire DCU has a crush on her, but she’s also matronly, an ambassador, a diplomat, and warrior. I haven’t watched Kelley’s other shows, but I’m absolutely terrified of him making a Wonder Woman show.

What do you think of this news? Do you have any casting ideas for Wonder Woman?

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Benchmark Brawl: T-Mobile G2 vs. Samsung Fascinate

To give you an idea of the kind of power the T-Mobile G2 (HTC) has, I ran a few benchmarks and used the Samsung Fascinate for comparison. A lot of people judged the G2 before it came out, looking down on its 800MHz processor. I guess those people didn’t realize that the G2 uses a newer version of the Snapdragon system-on-a-chip (MSM7230) that features a newer GPU (Adreno 205). (It’s also made with a lower die process for better power efficiency.) This article is mainly for the idiots that littered the Internet with phrases like, “Oh noes!!! Only 800MHz?!? That’s teh suxxorz!!!”

To be clear, comparing the G2’s numbers to the Fascinate’s isn’t completely fair since the former uses Android 2.2 and the latter uses Android 2.1. I wanted to use a Fascinate since it, along with its Galaxy S brethren, sports the most potent CPU/GPU combo currently on the market. I used Greene Computing’s Linpack and Aurora Softworks’ Quadrant benchmark tests. Each test was run five times and the scores were averaged. Here are the results.

Linpack

  • T-Mobile G2: 33.267
  • Samsung Fascinate: 8.009

Quadrant

  • T-Mobile: G2: 1,668
  • Samsung Fascinate: 880

Again, those results are kind of apples and oranges since the phones use different Android versions. That said, the G2 was beating the crap out of the HTC Nexus One — with Android 2.2 — on those same tests. That phone uses a 1GHz Snapdragon QSD8250 with an Adreno 200 GPU. I suppose there are some morons that rather have that version of Snapdragon since 1GHz is higher than 800MHz. *bang head*