Pokémon's Music Master: The Man Behind The Catchiest Songs

about X hours ago from
Pokémon's Music Master: The Man Behind The Catchiest Songs

Coinciding with the release of the soundtrack for Pokémon Black and White 2 on iTunes, we recently had the opportunity to speak with Pokémon series composer and director Junichi Masuda about his history with the franchise. We've spoken with him in the past when he answered our burning questions about the series, and in our in-depth interview after the release of Pokemon X/Y, but were excited to burrow in and discuss his impressive work composing the music of the Pokémon series for almost 20 years.

Which pieces of music from before your time with Pokémon would you like to point out for fans? Do you have a favorite track from the earlier Game Freak days?

Outside of Pokémon, it would probably be some of the tracks from Pulseman. Also, Yoshi's Egg (called "Yoshi" in the U.S.) had some tracks I liked. Specifically in the opening, the icons dance in tune with the music that's playing. That's something I really wanted to do and programmed on my own and added to the game without really clearing it with anyone else.

Pokémon's Music Master: The Man Behind The Catchiest Songs

about X hours ago from
Pokémon's Music Master: The Man Behind The Catchiest Songs

Coinciding with the release of the soundtrack for Pokémon Black and White 2 on iTunes, we recently had the opportunity to speak with Pokémon series composer and director Junichi Masuda about his history with the franchise. We've spoken with him in the past when he answered our burning questions about the series, and in our in-depth interview after the release of Pokemon X/Y, but were excited to burrow in and discuss his impressive work composing the music of the Pokémon series for almost 20 years.

Which pieces of music from before your time with Pokémon would you like to point out for fans? Do you have a favorite track from the earlier Game Freak days?

Outside of Pokémon, it would probably be some of the tracks from Pulseman. Also, Yoshi's Egg (called "Yoshi" in the U.S.) had some tracks I liked. Specifically in the opening, the icons dance in tune with the music that's playing. That's something I really wanted to do and programmed on my own and added to the game without really clearing it with anyone else.

Analysis - Breaking Down The Kinect-Free Xbox One

about X hours ago from
Analysis - Breaking Down The Kinect-Free Xbox One

Since Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One on May 21, 2013, the company has been haunted by decisions and comments about the console’s direction. Today, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer and his team announced three major changes that should shrug off the specter of the past in favor of striding into the future.

Today, Microsoft announced that customers will have the option to purchase an Xbox One without Kinect, marking a huge shift in the company's messaging. "Xbox One is Kinect. They are not separate systems," Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison said. Today, that statement was undone, and the first systems without a Kinect will be on sale June 9. 

Spencer tells us that the this decision was about giving consumers choice, and that the execution is possible because of a decision made in 2013. “When we made the decision last summer that you could run with Kinect unplugged, that was a fundamental decision for the program,” he says. “There was a different leadership team in place, but that discussion led us to think about a console where Kinect was not required to be plugged in at all times. You can roll back to that decision and it enables what we’re announcing this morning.”

Analysis - Breaking Down The Kinect-Free Xbox One

about X hours ago from
Analysis - Breaking Down The Kinect-Free Xbox One

Since Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One on May 21, 2013, the company has been haunted by decisions and comments about the console’s direction. Today, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer and his team announced three major changes that should shrug off the specter of the past in favor of striding into the future.

Today, Microsoft announced that customers will have the option to purchase an Xbox One without Kinect, marking a huge shift in the company's messaging. "Xbox One is Kinect. They are not separate systems," Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison said. Today, that statement was undone, and the first systems without a Kinect will be on sale June 9. 

Spencer tells us that the this decision was about giving consumers choice, and that the execution is possible because of a decision made in 2013. “When we made the decision last summer that you could run with Kinect unplugged, that was a fundamental decision for the program,” he says. “There was a different leadership team in place, but that discussion led us to think about a console where Kinect was not required to be plugged in at all times. You can roll back to that decision and it enables what we’re announcing this morning.”

Opinion: Microsoft, Kinect, And The Wisdom of Flip-Flopping

about X hours ago from
Opinion: Microsoft, Kinect, And The Wisdom of Flip-Flopping

Following the recent announcement that Microsoft will be selling a $399 version of the Xbox One that doesn't include the Kinect, many are citing this as another example of Microsoft "flip-flopping," as it did when it dropped the Xbox One's always-on DRM features. They're absolutely right – but Microsoft should be praised for this decision, not criticized.

This criticism of "flip-flopping" seems to come largely from the language of America's (in my opinion) poisonous political discourse. To many, there's nothing worse than a flip-flopper who twists in the wind, changing his or her position to match the whims of popular opinion. There's a certain logic to this; we want our politicians to have a core, deeply held set of values and beliefs. However, there must also be room for rationality. If the facts continue to defy your previously held beliefs, you've got to change what you believe. I'm sure my Minnesota Vikings and their (now former) coach Leslie Frazier thought the team was built to win a Super Bowl. The team's 5-10-1 record says otherwise, and Mr. Frazier soon found himself out of a job.

Opinion: Microsoft, Kinect, And The Wisdom of Flip-Flopping

about X hours ago from
Opinion: Microsoft, Kinect, And The Wisdom of Flip-Flopping

Following the recent announcement that Microsoft will be selling a $399 version of the Xbox One that doesn't include the Kinect, many are citing this as another example of Microsoft "flip-flopping," as it did when it dropped the Xbox One's always-on DRM features. They're absolutely right – but Microsoft should be praised for this decision, not criticized.

This criticism of "flip-flopping" seems to come largely from the language of America's (in my opinion) poisonous political discourse. To many, there's nothing worse than a flip-flopper who twists in the wind, changing his or her position to match the whims of popular opinion. There's a certain logic to this; we want our politicians to have a core, deeply held set of values and beliefs. However, there must also be room for rationality. If the facts continue to defy your previously held beliefs, you've got to change what you believe. I'm sure my Minnesota Vikings and their (now former) coach Leslie Frazier thought the team was built to win a Super Bowl. The team's 5-10-1 record says otherwise, and Mr. Frazier soon found himself out of a job.

How To Win At Hearthstone (By A Football Player Who Never Won Anything)

about X hours ago from
How To Win At Hearthstone (By A Football Player Who Never Won Anything)

So you’ve picked up Blizzard’s latest new addiction, Hearthstone. Maybe you’re a World of Warcraft survivor, sucked back into the maw of the beast; maybe your friends told you about this nifty card game in between long pauses as they planned whether or not they should use the Coin to seize initiative with a two drop; heck, maybe you just hit random buttons on your iPad and suddenly the icon was sitting in your apps page. However you came to Hearthstone, odds are good you’re now finding yourself thinking about it quite a bit.

Odds are also good that you could use a little help with deck construction to try and make it out of the 20-16 rank area before your face settles into a permanent rictus of anger. I’m not judging, I’ve been there. It’s a horrible place.

How To Win At Hearthstone (By A Football Player Who Never Won Anything)

about X hours ago from
How To Win At Hearthstone (By A Football Player Who Never Won Anything)

So you’ve picked up Blizzard’s latest new addiction, Hearthstone. Maybe you’re a World of Warcraft survivor, sucked back into the maw of the beast; maybe your friends told you about this nifty card game in between long pauses as they planned whether or not they should use the Coin to seize initiative with a two drop; heck, maybe you just hit random buttons on your iPad and suddenly the icon was sitting in your apps page. However you came to Hearthstone, odds are good you’re now finding yourself thinking about it quite a bit.

Odds are also good that you could use a little help with deck construction to try and make it out of the 20-16 rank area before your face settles into a permanent rictus of anger. I’m not judging, I’ve been there. It’s a horrible place.

See More Of Sunset Overdrive's Frenzied Gameplay In Action

about X hours ago from
See More Of Sunset Overdrive's Frenzied Gameplay In Action

Sunset Overdrive’s bright, busy world looks great in action, and you can check out gameplay yourself in this video discussing our hands-on time with the game. Traversal, Insomniac’s wacky weapons, and demented mutants are all on display in this chat between Kyle Hilliard and myself.

Check out the video below for a chat where we discuss how Sunset Overdrive plays, the arsenal of crazy weapons, and more.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

See More Of Sunset Overdrive's Frenzied Gameplay In Action

about X hours ago from
See More Of Sunset Overdrive's Frenzied Gameplay In Action

Sunset Overdrive’s bright, busy world looks great in action, and you can check out gameplay yourself in this video discussing our hands-on time with the game. Traversal, Insomniac’s wacky weapons, and demented mutants are all on display in this chat between Kyle Hilliard and myself.

Check out the video below for a chat where we discuss how Sunset Overdrive plays, the arsenal of crazy weapons, and more.

(Please visit the site to view this media)