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Project M

From Microsoft's Denial To A Fan Service Blowout - News Roundup 17th January 2011

Jonathan Lester
Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Games news, Gaming Console, Microsoft, Nintendo, Project M, Super Mario, Super Mario Galaxy 2.5, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Xbox 360

Ballmer: "Xbox Isn’t A Gaming Console"


Many gamers view the Xbox 360 as the dedicated gaming platform of choice, but Microsoft Overlord Steve Ballmer is keen to shatter this hardcore image in 2011. More specifically, they'll be targeting families and "15 year old girls" as an important target audience over the coming months. In an interview with USA today, Ballmer declared that it "isn't a gaming console" any more.

Xbox isn’t a gaming console. Xbox is a family entertainment center. It’s a place to socialize. It’s a place to watch TV. We have Hulu coming. It’s the only system where you are the controller. Your voice, your gestures, your body.

Ballmer went on to state that Kinect opens up the 360 to the family audience, which in our book, is ultimately a good thing. What's more, apparently this year's offering of titles will also attempt to hook the elusive female teen audience.

You go to your average 15-year-old boy, and he will say, ‘I’ll take an Xbox.’ I want that average 15-year-old girl as excited about the Kinect, and we haven’t done as good a job drawing in that broader set of demographics.

We all deserve good games- regardless of age or gender. However, with a perilously small list of more traditional exclusives slated for 2011, many gamers would be forgiven for worrying whether Microsoft are ignoring their original- and more profitable- fanbase. Only time will tell. [USA Today]

We have mixed feelings about Steve Ballmer at the best of times, but we're not quite sure what to make of this one. Has the Xbox 360 truly evolved beyond just a gaming console? Or is Microsoft losing its focus on their main demographic? Is being a "gaming console" really such a bad thing? Have your say in the comments!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Takes 25 Hours To Complete

As Deus Ex superfans to a man, we all genuinely can't wait for Human Revolution to hit the shelves. One of the key concerns for series veterans is whether the experience will last long enough and provide enough scope for non-linear gameplay to rival the classic original; and producer David Anfossi has confirmed that the will take over a day to complete.

Speaking to PC Gamer, Anfossi confirmed that the entire game takes 25 hours end-to-end; with even professional games testers unable to complete it after six days of standard working hours. He also reassured fans that they'd be impressed with the depth and replayability on offer.

April can't come fast enough. Employers, expect a fair few sick days! [I'm on to you, Jon -Ed] [PC Gamer via CVG]

Super Mario Fan Project Overload: Project M & Galaxy 2.5

Today brings us news of two exciting Mario fan projects in the works. While we're not going to link you to the projects themselves, we're rather excited about the potential that they're promising to bring to the table. We can't endorse them, but we can bring them to your attention.

First up is Super Mario 2.5: a fan-built selection of new levels designed to push players to their limits. An entire game's worth of content is planned, though naturally it's legally still a major grey area at the moment. [GoNintendo]

Secondly, Project M is a custom-made fan project that's designed to bring more depth and tactics to the Super Smash Bros experience. New moves, dodges and counters will serve to massively punch up the combat in terms of speed and skill; bringing it in line with more recent fighting games. Their manifesto seeks to create "flowing, organic movement, where the player has a great degree of control over his character," and it's looking mighty fine indeed. [GoNintendo]

There's an overwhelming possibility that Nintendo will eventually kill both projects stone dead- as they have a history of squashing even the most innocent fan creations. Maybe... just maybe... they should hire this lot instead? God knows that they need to punch up their annual first party output.