Monday, March 15, 2010

My favorite robots

From pequeñajo, I love the robots. One of my sleep has always been to do one to me - and as I said to Puck in RetroMadrid, some day hoped to fulfill it - but at the moment I have to be content with those that I have seen in the movies, the television and the video games … that are not small, precisely. Of course, a few molan more than others, and I have tried to do a list of those who, for the motive that is, have come to my personal Olympus. Do you want to know which are? Since there we go!



For me, the most charismatic and recognizable of all, and perhaps one of the clearest mental images that we have many when we think about a robot. Also, and since we have seen in the movies, R2-D2 it can do of everything, from flying, up to hackear the Star of the Death. It is a crack!

Bender Doblador Rodríguez

Bender and Homer

Of course, which would win in a dialectical war against any other robot, and undoubtedly, which more hates the human beings … although his best friend is one of them. Now when I think it, it is the most modern of all

Johnny 5

Although now it could seem a little ridiculous, it stopped the lads of the eighties with the open mouth. With a few special feelings, and more human than many of us, it served like model for many later robots, as for example …


Yes, those of Pixar have not been precisely originals on having designed Wall-E, but they have been able to print a really special charisma. I hope the second half of the peli had the same delight as the first one …

Optimus Prime

And from the teeny-weeny one we happen to the really big one, which above is capable of transforming in truck. My mother, is that Optimus Prime has everything … a pity that the cagaran with the movies

The Giant of Iron

We continue with other overgrown, come also of the space. Unfortunately, to this poor person they treated worse enough to him, but he could demonstrate to us that behind all this metallic, secret layer a few feelings that should us make spend shame of us ourselves …


Of a sanctimonious one, we happen to a human beings killer. Of course, in “Terminator 2” it gained many other points when it was rescheduled to save a John Connor in full age of the turkey. See you, baby!


In spite of the name, it is not exactly a robot, but this is my list and I do what gives me the desire: What is it possible to say about the protagonist of one of my favorite movies of all the times?


Cylon Number 6

Although the cylons of the old woman “Battlestar Gallactica“ are robots of the old school, in the new series they have much more style. And if one of the models has the form of Tricia Helfer, I believe that there is not much any more that to speak …

Plow him

Plow Norimaki

I have stopped by the end one of the craziest personages that I have never seen, that almost rubs the perfection if we bear in mind that it is a robot. Also, it was a forced reference if we bear in mind the article about a few days ago

What are your favorite robots? Leave your list in the comments!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The new face of the Focoblog

The new face of the Focoblog

Yesterday a long period was a day of celebration, exhilaration and delight of the personnel, since the Focoblog woke up of his lethargy, later of being in standby. For it, we were simmering his new appearance, with the ideas of John Tones, the art of Manuel Bartual, and the experience of the one that writes to you this, so that everything should go out forward in a best possible way.

After erasing the tons of spam who had slipped in during this time, informing the Wordpress mesenteries, and creating a topic that was condensing the Tones activity in the network, everything was ready for the reinauguration, with a post at a height of the circumstances. At first I was sticking with the plugin WP-Super-Cache, which gave something of war on having changed the codification of the database, but now it seems that everything works as it stems.

The truth is that I have spent it to myself brilliantly giving form to the new topic in the above mentioned weeks, and to work - virtually - elbow with elbow along with Tones and Bartual, it has been an unforgettable experience. I hope that you should like the result, and do not hesitate to say to me somewhere here the problems that you should have, and the progress that occur to you. That you enjoy it!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Video games music in format chip

Chip Music

Often we remember the video games retro tenderly for the abstractions that were doing in his design, and the fact is that the machines that were executing them had serious limitations in graphic questions, especially on having compared them with those of this generation. Nevertheless, the sound was usually even more basic than one saw on screen …: is there anything more repetitive than the foreigners of “Space Invaders“ moving for the screen? Fortunately, as it was advancing the technology, the discreet circuits that were joining initially to express basic sounds, they were passing to chips dedicated, that were managing to make us enjoy melodies that still remain in our heads.

The emulation has managed to recover this music, and at present we can listen to them without need to play the original qualifications. With the help of certain breeding animals and plugins, and a few formats that recreate the information that was coming to these sound chips - or that are straight a part of the code of the games - we can have a finished music library retro in less than it occupies an album in MP3. Next, I am going to give a revision to some of the most well-known systems, although if you look in the network, you can find information about less popular others.

Computers Atari 8 bits

Atari 800 XL

These computers created by the team led by Jay Miner, were using the chip multifunctionality POKEY to reproduce relatively complex sounds for the epoch, although it was quite simple if we compare it with other chips that came soon.

We can find hundreds of topics in format SAP in the Atari SAP Music Archive, and also we can use the searcher that they have created in Exotic.

Commodore 64

Commodore 64

This computer, which was on sale in 1982, was one of the first ones in having a sound chip in conditions. SID-Sound Interface Device, alias of the MOS Technology 6581 - was one of the best chips of the market for enough years, and the Commodore 64 they made to emphasize his particular sound to between other machines of the epoch.

Integrated East was created in five months by a team directed by Robert Yannes - that the company Ensoniq would found years later - and it had three channels with four different waveforms, several filters, … and many secrets for discovering, like the fourth virtual channel that it was allowing to reproduce samples of voice. Composers of the size of Ron Hubbard, Chris Hülsbeck, or Martin Galway made use of this chip to create melodies that still resound between the fans of these machines.

The principal format to reproduce music in this chip, as it could not be otherwise, is SID, and in High Voltage SID COLLECTION we have a file that overcomes at present 37.000 melodies …: almost not at all!

ZX Spectrum

ZX Spectrum

The first models of this computer were expressing a few whistles that were of everything less agreeable, but with the arrival of the model of 128K, was added the sound chip AY-3-8910 of General Instrument, who was allowing to do more curlicues … although not so many people like SID. Nevertheless, the people as Fruit Pastilles or Dave Rodgers - for putting a pair of examples - could create some unforgettable topics with this chip.

The melodies in format MOAN can be in Project MOAN, and on the page of Sergey Bulba.

Amstrad CPC

Amstrad CPC

This British computer was using the same sound chip as the Spectrum, and generally the musicians were taking advantage in the games that were going out in both platforms. We can find music in the webs indicated previously, and also in this compilation that Megachur threw last year.



The computers based on this standard also were using the integrated popular one of General Instrument del Spectrum and the Amstrad CPC. Nevertheless, the fans have extracted of the sleeve a slightly different format: the KSS, which also gives support other additional chips, like the SCC of Konami.

We have music for MSX in this file, in this other, and in the Zophar web.

Atari ST

Atari 520 ST

Although this computer was quite popular between the musicians of the epoch - and between current any - this did not owed to his sonorous capacities, but to his interface built-in MIDI of series. In fact, there lodges in his interior a clone of the AY-3-8910 made by Yamaha.

We can find music in format MOAN in SC68, and also in the Melcom file.



This computer advanced really for his epoch, since the chip Paula was stopping in nappies to what there was on the market, with his four channels stereo of 8 bits, and the possibility of reading straight of memory to leave to the CPU other heavier tasks. Thanks to the possibilities of this one integrated, and of the versatility of the trackers-secuenciadores of music with samples - the Friend's games were standing out especially for his sound.

There are many music formats-MOD, AHX, HVL, … - and some of them need a finished emulation of the Motorola 68000, doing that the reproduction has a quite intensive load in general. We can find multitude of topics in UnExotica, Friend Music Preservation, and also in the Malcom file. If we want something more comfortable, in AmigaMusic they have many of these ready topics in MP3, although the grace of the matter gets lost.



The world of the music in PC is so changed like his history: it started so basic as a Spectrum, and at present it has available the hardware most advanced for the professionals of this matter. The music formats for the games this system are almost innumerable, and there are even proper some of only one title.

We can find old topics in the Malcom file, and in Ad Lib Music Archive, although the best thing is to help us with Google to find the music of our favorite games.

Consoles Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo Entertainment System

The sound hardware of this console was quite limited, but that Super Mario Bros did not prevent geniuses as Koji Kondo or Hirokazu Tanaka from creating unforgettable melodies in qualifications like “.“, “The Legend of Zelda” or “Metroid“. On the other hand, although some games had chips additional to improve the sound, Famicom Disk System was incorporating certain characteristics that were doing that the Japanese versions on disc were sounding much better that the western ones in cartridge.

The format NSF allows to reproduce the music of this system of Nintendo, and we can find musical topics in enough places, as in the file of kingshriek, in Slick Productions, in Zophar, or in the web of Halley's Comet Software.

Master's degree System (and Game Gear)

Master's degree System

8 SEGA bits were using an integrated similar one to the AY-3-9810 of the computers of the epoch, talking each other in this case of the Texas Instruments SN76489. In case of the Master's degree Japanese System, some games were using also the Yamaha YM2413, which was allowing synthesis FM and, therefore, a better sound quality.

The formats VGM and KSS allow to reproduce the music of these consoles, and we can find these files in Zophar, in SMS Power!, and in the web of Halley's Comet Software, which will not be the last time that appears somewhere here

PC Engine / Turbografx


Although many people associate this console with NEC, the true thing is that it was Hudson Soft the one that developed the whole technology. With an architecture on horseback between the 8 and 16 bits, the PC Engine had the hardware of sound integrated to the CPU, but that was not meaning a decrease in this sense, since it was offering 6 independent channels with a quite acceptable quality. In fact, there is not any more that to listen to this one comparative between the domestic versions of “Street Fighter II“ to realize it.

THE format HES emulates the sound of this system, and we can find files of this type in the file of Kaminarimon, in Zophar, in the page of kingshriek, and in the omnipresent web of Halley's Comet Software.

Gentle Drive

Gentle Drive

Many people remember the sound of this console like a cicada, but the true thing is that composers as Yuzo Koshiro or Masato Nakamura could make use of enough good the potential that was offering the tandem of the Yamaha YM2612, and the Texas Instruments SN76489, governed in turn by the popular one Z80.

Although we have enough topics in Zophar, the definitive file is in Project 2612, which is provided at present with topics of more than six hundred games.

Super Nintendo

Super Nintendo

In general, it usually emphasize the big quality of the sound of this console, and it is not for less, since Ken Kutaragi - yes, the PlayStation "father" - designed a hardware of quite powerful audio for the system of 16 bits of Nintendo. It was composed by a co-processor similar to the used one by the NES, an independent memory from 64KB to store samples and melodies, and a DSP that was generating sound stereo of 16 bits with eight independent channels.

Although there are several places with music in SPC, the reference is SNES Music, with a collection that covers a big part of the games thrown for this system … that they were not small precisely



From this console a curious phenomenon takes place, since the support was allowing audio tracks of high quality, but many developers prefieron to exploit the audio chip to produce melodies to the “old custom“. SEGA used of an integrated powerful one of Yamaha that helped with a Motorola 68000, was capable of offering a big sound channels quantity with a comparable quality to the one that could offer a CD. Only it is necessary to listen to the topics of “Panzer Dragoon Saga” or “Radiant Silvergun“ to realize that the composers had at his disposal a small digital band inside this console.

We can unload music in format SSF in the kingshriek file, or in the web of Halley's Comet Software.



The first Sony console did not remain behind in sonorous quality, although less of sound was offering any channels that the SEGA system. Curiously, few qualifications of this console have the music in audio tracks, and most of the companies chose to include the music in compressed formats, but also others similar were used to the MIDI to store the melodies of some games.

Neil Cortlett designed the specification PSF to be able to reproduce this type of formats - really also it is used by light modifications for Saturn, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, and other consoles - and thanks to this development, we can unload multitude of topics from places like Zophar, the file of Thunder Zone, or the already mythical web of Halley's Comet Software.

Nintendo 64

Nintendo 64

This console does not have an architecture to the use, since the CPU and the graphic co-processor take charge also of the sound tasks, providing the programmer up to 64 sound channels of 16 bits. The theory is good, but in practice they were turning out to be limited by the support in cartridge, what was translated in samples of low quality, and a few melodies that in general were turning pale with those who could be listened in Saturn and PlayStation. Nevertheless, composers like Koji Kondo, Kazumi Totaka or Hajime Wakai, could extract profit of the possibilities of this system of Nintendo.

There are several topics repositories in USF, like Zophar, Oddigy Titanium, or Halley's Comet Software.



In the last SEGA console it was predominating over the music in format stream - some day I have to write on this type of formats - but also games exist with music secuenciada. This time, the programmers could make use of the powerful hardware of Yamaha that SEGA included in the architecture, which was even more powerful than the CPU of Game Boy Advance.

We can lower several DSF sets in the kingshriek file, and in the web of Halley's Comet Software.

PlayStation 2

PlayStation 2

Although the DVD did that more and more programmers were making use of music produced in professional studies, some of them made use of the kindness of the hardware of PlayStation 2 - that were not small precisely - to offer us small masterpieces. If we bear in mind that Nobuo Uematsu is an expert in this matter, I believe that it is already quite above mentioned.

Although small repositories exist along the web, we can lower most of the music in format PSF2 from Zophar.

Portable Game Boy

Game Boy

The Nintendo kidling did not have big services in any technical paragraph, and the sound was not an exception. Nevertheless, these limitations did that the composers were centring on offering sticky melodies using few sound channels of the console, a fashion that is still current nowadays … and if not, that should wonder it Cucumber and company

We can unload hundreds of topics in GBS in Zophar, in file of Kingshriek, and in the finished web of Halley's Comet Software.

Game Boy Advance

Game Boy Advance

The architecture of this one portable is quite curious, since it does not have a chip of dedicated sound. The handling of the audio is done by software, and is "feeding" to two converters GIVES - of digitalis to analogical - to produce sound stereo.

The format GSF emulates this functioning, and allows to reproduce the melodies of the games, although generally they listen to something “subdued“. We can lower these files in Central GSF, and in Halley's Comet Software.

Nintendo DS

Nintendo DS

This Nintendo console dedicates a processor to the sound works - in fact one just as that of Game Boy Advance, but working to the speed double - and that in practice of it is translated in a better quality, which even Virtual Surround allows in some qualifications.

The music of this console is emulated by the format 2SF, that it is possible to find in Zophar, and in Halley's Comet Software.



In the arcades we can think of everything, from chips that they were used in computers and consoles mentioned previously, up to others more peculiar that were used in qualifications produced by small companies. Also, we take proprietary technologies as QSound that desmarcaban of other more modest solutions … although all of them generally were remaining eclipsed inside the chaos that supposes a lounge arcade.

If we want to recover the sounds of these machines, the best thing is to use straight the code of the games, and the breeding animals created for R. Belmont and Elsemi, who make use of the roms of the MAME to recreate the original melodies.

Breeding animals

Breeding animal

The formats indicated previously would be quite useless without the appropriate software. Although there exist programs dedicated to reproducing some of them - like Festalon, or the finished Audio Overload - personally I prefer to use a good breeding animal and the necessary plugins in every case.

My favorite is Foobar2000, that it consumes very little memory, and it is quite flexible. If we install the complements foo_dumb, foo_gep, foo_psf, foo_sid, and some of those who exist in this FTP, we will be able to reproduce without problems most of the formats on that I have commented in this article.

I recommend to the Winamp fans to install ChipAmp, a set of plugins compiled by the team of OverClocked Remix - yes, the same ones from which I have stolen the image of the head - that covers the needs of any fan to “music chip“.

Finally, a "kidling" left to you compilation that I have raised to Dropbox, which includes the finished sound-track of “End Fantasy VII“, some topics of games like “Panzer Dragoon Saga“, “Dead or Alive 2” and “Shenmue“, and a selection of my favorite melodies of Super Nintendo, Gentle Drive, and other systems. In whole, several hours of music in less of 40MB

Out of Print Archive: Liberating ancient video games magazines

Some time ago it was reviewing some magazine of video games that was scanned and was putting itself at the disposal of the public, but the discovery of Out of Print Archive deserves that he shares it with all of you with a separate entry.

At the moment they center on the English language publications, but it is a great pleasure to revise magazines as They Piss on Machines Sega, Computer and Video Games, or on the Official SEGA Saturn Magazine, and to see how one was speaking on the video games innovations when this of Internet was in nappies. Also, they have had the detail of creating a section with special coverages of some qualifications and events, in which the beginnings of Super Nintendo can be seen, or the recreational piece of news that Amusement Expo of 1996 presented before himself in the AOU.

What seems laudable to me is that a project of this type is completely an open sea, in contrast to some initiative that there tries to create a “select group” of the people with the scanned material. Now the question is: will it continue a lot of time in line?

The PR of the companies speak on the video games blogs

The opinion about the PR about the blogs of video games

After seeing the polemic that arose on having published the article in which it was giving my opinion about the state of the Spanish blogosfera of video games, I thought that the following step was to ask to the Public relations (PR) of the companies about his opinion on this matter. For it, I prepared a small common interview for all, and got in touch with them to see if they could answer it. Although any of them could not do it for norms of the company, others yes that cheered up to give his point of view, and although many answers are “of commitment”, I believe that an interesting debate is opened …

Mónica García, PR Manager of Activision


For you: is there a lot of difference between a blog and a web of video games, or only there matter the quality of the contents and the public that they have?

One of the beginning of the area of press of Activision, is of offering our help to all kinds of means (online, printed matter, television, radio …). We try to come to all kinds of publics, and the best way of doing it is to work straight with the different hardware of communication that, fortunately, offers the market of the video games.

Is not it risked to support a blog who can think negatively about your products, or it is fulfilled that thing about that “the bad publicity does not exist”? On the other hand: is it possible that the above mentioned support limits the freedom of expression in this way?

The idea from which we depart when we initiate a work relation with mass communication media is that of the respect and the mutual collaboration; we have no had problems with anybody, everything opposite, and I hope that we should keep on being supported in this work line.

As for another question, surely not, we offer support whenever it is in our hand. For example, the fact that a way does not value as we would like one of our qualifications, it does not imply that we are not going to send to him new copies to analyze.

Do you believe that the opinion spilled in a blog has so many influence in a user like the one that has a way more traditional?

Undoubtedly, the blogs are turning into big modality on the market of the video games; something logical if we think about the profile of age of our users (big fans of the social networks and other services of the Web 2.0), and about the immediateness that demands a market as ours.

Without adhering only the blogs: do you believe that real journalism is done on video games in our country, or in general it predominates over the fashion of publishing news and analysis without reflecting in what there is around?

The explosion mediática suffered recently in the sector leads us to finding all kinds of publications and, precisely this immediateness about which he was speaking to you previously, does that often the news that are published is not correct. We invite to any type of way to contact with us before any doubt about the qualifications of Activision; it is advisable, principally when some rumors are gathered from foreign means, to confirm the information before his publication.

Are you still any video games blog? If the answer is affirmative: what are your favorites?, and in the opposite case: why?

As responsible for press for Activision big part of my work resides in the direct dealing with the means, without distinctions between the same ones.

Manuel Moreno, Marketing Manager of FX Interactivates

FX Interactivate

For you: is there a lot of difference between a blog and a web of video games, or only there matter the quality of the contents and the public that they have?

In FX we have always treated about the same form to all the web pages that have asked us for collaboration, they were already blogs of fans or webs of top mass media. I believe that with this I answer to your question

And although the hearing is important, for me it is fundamental that the content that is generated is treated seriously. Trufados did not support the superficial articles with set phrases as “it does not contribute anything new to the genre” written by editors who have not dedicated any more than one pair of hours to the game. And on the other hand, I ask …: Is it that perhaps every game has to reinvent the wheel to be provided with the approval of the editor of shift?
It turns out to be chilling to me to observe how someone whose major merit has been to write in a magazine online, allows himself the luxury of treating with an incredible scorn the work of a group of professionals that, with major or minor wise move, but with a titanic effort they have sweated bleeds to do a commercial game. And I say "titanically", because any game that goes out to the market, for incredible that it him seems to some, has been the result of a heap of working time.

And I cheer all the skeptics up that they leave the pen and start being employed at a development study

Is not it risked to support a blog who can think negatively about your products, or it is fulfilled that thing about that “the bad publicity does not exist”? On the other hand: is it possible that the above mentioned support limits the freedom of expression in this way?

We do not have any problem in which the blogs think with freedom. And if, in any case, the criticism is well based and reasoned, it does not have why to be a villain. I put you in example with “Imperivm Civitas“. Although in Italy it works very well, in Spain the fans prefer the first deliveries of the saga, more centred on the classic RTS that in the style city builder. And we have realized because in some blogs, and their own forums are criticized that we continue for the way of “Civitas“, and do not change third towards the RTS. This type of criticism in the long run might make us gain enclosed money …

On the other hand, in FX we have done presentations and events dedicated definitely to the blogs with qualifications like “Jack Keane“, who was commented in more than 70 blogs, or “Worldshift“, a magnificent RTS that has not worked in sales as we were waiting, but it was provided with good criticism in the blogosfera. And although the risk that they criticize you is there, if you have done a good work and the game has quality, does not have why “frog“ goes out for you.

In relation to your second question, although there happen cases of contents influenced by the marks, I believe that the author of the blog who respects his own work will not allow to be influenced. If his pretension is to be provided with the respect of his hearing, he has not left other one.

Do you believe that the opinion spilled in a blog has so many influence in a user like the one that has a way more traditional?

That depends on the blog and on the way with which they are compared. But yes, sometimes a blog can determine more even that a traditional way as he could be Meristation or Micromania, for putting two examples of way of role and online.

And this is good because it helps to open the debate, he avoids informative monopolies and especially, teaches us that the absolute truth does not exist and that in fact for every player there is a different "truth" from the others.

Without adhering only the blogs: do you believe that real journalism is done on video games in our country, or in general it predominates over the fashion of publishing news and analysis without reflecting in what there is around?

Except few exceptions, in Spain there are still no specializing journalists who could generate quality contents and, at the same time, they could live of it. Namely the journalist's video games profession still does not exist just as it is on sports, culture, economy, etc.

This is sad and it should not be like that, but a few years are still missing until this happens.

In fact, nowadays it are blogs that by his content and style can be considered to be more "professionals" than specializing mass media. The passion and the professionalism with which some blogs create his contents confirms sometimes with the tone "funcionarial" that has settled in specializing means of relevancy, which only do an effort for those games that the editor-in-chief or the collaborators consider to be his personal "totem poles".

This also begins to happen between the blogs network that they devote themselves to write on video games and the industry. The difference between some and others is that the blogs do not live of it, but the video games webs yes try to make the living with this work.

Are you still any video games blog? If the answer is affirmative: what are your favorites?, and in the opposite case: why?

I continue several across RSS almost every day. If I want to know about the actuality I follow some in particular (AnaitGames, VidaExtra, Akihabara Blues, PixeBlog de Pedja) because normally his contents cover most of the excellent information that offers me a video games web. And when for what I look is more contained by them of opinion I go to others (GamesAjare, The blog of Manu, Dandel, a little of Anait, a little of Akihabara, …).

Borja de Altolaguirre, PR and Product Coordinator of Konami

For you: is there a lot of difference between a blog and a web of video games, or only there matter the quality of the contents and the public that they have?

The difference is the one that they contribute themselves, although generally also it usually look for the side of the traffic and the resources. Fortunately, nowadays thanks to 2.0, most of the blogs can gain access to technologies of management of contents and audio-visual hardware that a few years ago were unthinkable. To today, the only thing that separates a blog of a portal his followers' mass is and as well Indian, his publishing quality.

Is not it risked to support a blog who can think negatively about your products, or it is fulfilled that thing about that “the bad publicity does not exist”? On the other hand: is it possible that the above mentioned support limits the freedom of expression in this way?

The censoring is an actuality topic these days, it is no any more that to see the whole circus mediático that has been organized concerning Google and his position opposite to China. In the moment in which any person can buy a game, register a domain, install Wordpress and start writing, it is absurd that we try to veto this access to the opinion and the freedom of the press. Although it us could sting, we always try to offer all the means and resources so that, if it is the opinion – it is the one that is - it is based, it relies on with all the necessary arguments to express a good criterion.

Do you believe that the opinion spilled in a blog has so many influence in a user like the one that has a way more traditional?

Absolutely. Big part of the wealth of a blog is in the comments that there contribute his readership and the community that it generates. With Twitter, for example, we see like this theory it is completely real, and it has been translated in a real revolution of the genre of opinion, although now it will have the traditional means to move card.

In Konami for example, we support a constant relation throughout the whole year with the fans of “Pro Evolution Soccer” across threads in our own blogs and fansites. Sometimes we ask them to refill surveys, which send to us his suggestions on some certain topic, but we like entering more “his territory”, and seeing how they debate and think without any limitation. This has many other advantages that to mount an official feedback forum on the game, and it has a much more important influence than any of them could never go so far as to imagine.

Without adhering only the blogs: do you believe that real journalism is done on video games in our country, or in general it predominates over the fashion of publishing news and analysis without reflecting in what there is around?

Never generalizing is good, and in our country we have a very good level in the traditional specializing press and blogosfera, already excelling itself those years in which some sectors of the press general practitioner was flogging to the sector of indiscriminate form. The success and maintenance of the means of reference owes to his success like communicators, and that's why they are there. It is necessary to be sorry very much about the losses that have taken place in the last months with the closing of several specializing publications of role, but on the other hand also we have seen as there was coming to Spain an exemption as important as Eurogamer, or like groups of communication as important as CORNER, Publishing Unit or Vocento have bet very loudly for entering this segment of the journalism.

Are you still any video games blog? If the answer is affirmative: what are your favorites?, and in the opposite case: why?

To speak about my personal preferences would be slightly political, but the truth is that when it is a question of reading “for the work” I do it across the feeds of Google Reader. There are so many information sources, that with this I save a lot of time opening and closing windows. Out of Spain I read every day, Gamasutra; and the blogs of MTV Multiplayer and GameLife de Wired

Lidia Pitzalis, Responsible for press of Microsoft


For you: is there a lot of difference between a blog and a web of video games, or only there matter the quality of the contents and the public that they have?

Every mass communication media have his style and – inside this fundamental difference - the only thing that seems important to us there is the quality and the rigor of his contents, which are not missing to the truth, which the sources verify, and which count excellent histories.

Is not it risked to support a blog who can think negatively about your products, or it is fulfilled that thing about that “the bad publicity does not exist”? On the other hand: is it possible that the above mentioned support limits the freedom of expression in this way?

If in spite of "supporting" you refer to investing in advertizing campaigns, we are always ruled by concepts of measured hearing officially and affinity to the target, which they can give themselves so much in blogs or in “more conventional” means, inside a professionalism context.

Nevertheless, at support level as for mailing of news and samples to analyze, we do it with the excellent means, and many of these are Blogs. We believe that if someone “thinks negatively” and of respectful and argued form, it is in his right, any time it remains clear that it is a question of a personal opinion. Different would be the case of disrespect and professionalism, which undoubtedly might affect the fluency of the relation that we support with the most numerous means.

I have been observing with interest numerous initiatives that in the USA are taking place about the blogs, and of his need to be ruled by a code deontológico and of professionalism. This is the only excellent key. If a "bloguero" is characterized for offering us his personal opinion, it is vital that this one does not attempt to the truth, and that the sources investigate before judging. I like that the "blogueros" meet and exchange opinions and learning, also in our country. I hope that they should agree to create and respect a few behavior codes, to the thread of what has happening in the USA, and have big curiosity to see who will lead these initiatives.

Do you believe that the opinion spilled in a blog has so many influence in a user like the one that has a way more traditional?

We are living through a very interesting moment of evolution of the means, thanks to the participation and interaction that allows us the networks network and personally it looks like to me a big luck to be attending and to taking part in this change.

Since I have repeated, the only element that influences me is the seriousness of the way, independently from the “typology of supports” to the one that belongs.

Many blogs are governed by persons with big knowledge in a very concrete sector. To know the “personal opinion” of an expert seems to me of big interest, and according to the context and the information that we look, can bring us more than the reportage of a journalist that probably he does not know in depth the numerous topics that he analyzes every day.

Without adhering only the blogs: do you believe that real journalism is done on video games in our country, or in general it predominates over the fashion of publishing news and analysis without reflecting in what there is around?

There is nothing that seems less interesting to me than to read news or post that traces a press release. It seems to me to fail to the promise done to the readership to analyze and to reflect on any attempt of “publicity“, and to leak it under the prism if it is or is not a news worth being few.

With this premise, I throw in major absence reflection in general. And I do not refer to extensive and often boring articles that do not reach port very much, but to this depth of analysis that can be plain, while deep, that excites me.

Are you still any video games blog? If the answer is affirmative: what are your favorites?, and in the opposite case: why?

One of my heroes was a big Italian sports journalist who never yielded to the temptation of revealing his favorite team, not to discriminate to the rest. I will imitate his wise example

José Arcas, PR of specializing press of Nintendo


For you: is there a lot of difference between a blog and a web of video games, or only there matter the quality of the contents and the public that they have?

As you comment, as important as a good number of followers is that they offer a different way of speaking about the same and the quality of what they write.

Is not it risked to support a blog who can think negatively about your products, or it is fulfilled that thing about that “the bad publicity does not exist”? On the other hand: is it possible that the above mentioned support limits the freedom of expression in this way?

We believe that the quality of the product depends only and exclusively of the quality of the product. Although it turns out to be very obvious, if the game is really good, they will speak well, and if it is bad, will speak badly.

Do you believe that the opinion spilled in a blog has so many influence in a user like the one that has a way more traditional?

All the means, of role or Internet, add up, and obviously, an opinion of a blogger that demonstrates knowledge and independence can have the same weight as that of an informative way to the use.

Without adhering only the blogs: do you believe that real journalism is done on video games in our country, or in general it predominates over the fashion of publishing news and analysis without reflecting in what there is around?

We are a relatively young industry, therefore it is evident that the journalism on the video games also it is. It does not a lot of time, only alarmist was speaking to himself in newspapers or television of the video games from a point of view. The fact that now more people dedicate time to the video games it is evident in all the aspects.

Are you still any video games blog? If the answer is affirmative: what are your favorites?, and in the opposite case: why?

For my work I continue all the mass media that they should speak about video games, of course, blogs included. Of those that more I read it is a Universe Nintendo.

Diana Radetski, PR Manager of SEGA


For you: is there a lot of difference between a blog and a web of video games, or only there matter the quality of the contents and the public that they have?

There is blogs and webs of all kinds, not for paying a domain there is going to be better one that other. In the quality and in the contents it is where the difference is evident. It are webs that seem more to a blog, and vice versa. The public also is different, the blogs do it generally more for hobby or for fondness, and offer his opinion to a public who usually has similar interests, and think about how with whom to share his tastes and opinions freely. In principle, a web supposes that it is a professional way, has to limit to being more a target and sometimes it does not offer the possibility so that the people could interact.

Is not it risked to support a blog who can think negatively about your products, or it is fulfilled that thing about that “the bad publicity does not exist”? On the other hand: is it possible that the above mentioned support limits the freedom of expression in this way?

Unlike what he believes, yes there is bad publicity. It is necessary to know what games you send to whom, and to have his tastes and public also in mind. For example, to send an infantile video game to a blog - or web - that there are more of video games hardcore, he has not greatly sense. They will not like, for very good that it is, because it is not done for a person with this age or tastes. Anyway, I believe that we risk equally independently of that if it is a blog or a web: who checks it can have a bad day, have no time to play it and to form this way a real opinion, or thousands of things that can influence this person.

With regard to what you comment of the freedom of expression, it does not have porqué.

Do you believe that the opinion spilled in a blog has so many influence in a user like the one that has a way more traditional?

There are some blogs that I believe that they are opinion leaders, and yes, they have so many influence as it can have a more traditional way.

Without adhering only the blogs: do you believe that real journalism is done on video games in our country, or in general it predominates over the fashion of publishing news and analysis without reflecting in what there is around?

I believe that there is a little of everything. But if we want that our sector is strong, and that it survives over the course of time, it is necessary to work so that it is as professional as possible: and I refer to that when I say that the people should take what does seriously - well that it is for hobby or for money - because since you dedicate time, better to be right in it. It is a sorrow when a way devotes itself only to cut and give what others say or what one orders them, it loses the whole intention. To be one between a heap, without proper voice …: why to have a blog or a web if you do not contribute anything of really yours?

Are you still any video games blog? If the answer is affirmative: what are your favorites?, and in the opposite case: why?

For my work I have to continue a little of everything, and look at some with more attention because they are much currados. I have my favorites, but I prefer not to say it, do not want that they lose his impartiality

Mónica Revilla, PR Manager of Sony Computer Entertainment Spain


For you: is there a lot of difference between a blog and a web of video games, or only there matter the quality of the contents and the public that they have?

Some years ago yes there was more difference. Now, every day the borders between webs and blogs they are diluted more, and the blogs are acquiring a major relevancy. In any case, already a web or a blog talks each other, what yes that we value is the content that there is published, his publishing quality and, of course, his veracity.

Is not it risked to support a blog who can think negatively about your products, or it is fulfilled that thing about that “the bad publicity does not exist”? On the other hand: is it possible that the above mentioned support limits the freedom of expression in this way?

If for supporting we understand to give product so that this one is analyzed by experts in the matter, we do not see where the risk is. Obviously, in the whole tax year; PlayStation throws to the market very good products, others only good, and others that it are not so much. To hope that they all should go out valued to the rise is a complicated challenge, for not saying impossibly. With regard to the maxim at that you aim of that “the bad publicity does not exist”, it is something relative. Nobody likes that they throw for ground a development in what time has been invested, illusion and money, but it is a risk that we cover all the companies, and sincerely I believe that if the criticism is constructive and argued, welcome they are because undoubtedly it is the best way of learning facing future throwings.

In the relative thing to limit the freedom of the way across advertizing investment, the PlayStation politics has never been this. We believe and defend firmly in the freedom of the press, and have clearly differentiated the departments of writing and publicity. In any case, it is a task of the proper way to defend his objectivity over advertizing investments.

Do you believe that the opinion spilled in a blog has so many influence in a user like the one that has a way more traditional?

Since it depends on the reader and his knowledge. A “chance gamer” will always pay more attention to a traditional way, and will allow to be guided by him, undoubtedly it is the easiest way. On the other hand, one “heavy user” yes that will look for opinions in another type of less traditional means, as there can be the spilled ones for blogers.

Without adhering only the blogs: do you believe that real journalism is done on video games in our country, or in general it predominates over the fashion of publishing news and analysis without reflecting in what there is around?

There is of everything, a few means make it better and others worse. There are very good and very serious means that do very good analyses, and there are others that limit themselves to cutting and giving a press release or translating what webs foreigners have already written. In any case, it is not possible to generalize, and I want to make yes clear that in Spain there are journalists specializing in frankly good video games.

Are you still any video games blog? If the answer is affirmative: what are your favorites?, and in the opposite case: why?

Obviously, for my work I have to continue them. With regard to my favorite? It will always be that that confirms the information before proceeding to his publication. My personal opinion is that there are too many rumors that are published lightly without thinking about the consequences, and this is not a journalism, as I understand it.


Although there is a clear interests conflict at the time of answering these questions, I believe that some interesting conclusions can be extracted. The first thing, the fact is that it seems clear that the border between the webs and the blogs every time is more diffuse, although there exists the vision of which in the latter type of means it predominates over the opinion of the editors over giving a more "neutral" version of the information, something with what I agree.

In this sense, it is necessary to stay with the idea on that they comment, of trying to give the best thing in our blogs every day, and to try to contribute our sand granite to give an alternative point of view. As well Diana says: why to have a blog or a web if you do not contribute anything of really yours?“.

On the other hand, many PR worry about the big quantity of rumors that are published, especially about the facility that give to verify the veracity of the same ones. Obviously, it turns out to be very tantalizing to publish as soon as possible information that should seem interesting to us, but often there is much bigger the damage that we do misinforming the reader, that the possible benefits for publishing news rather than “the competition”.

It seems curious to me that some of them coincide that to publish the releases of such press which is an error. Nevertheless, I believe that this topic opens another debate that well an article deserves in itself: What quantity of information of the one that is published every day is excellent? Really does a blog have to aspire to turn into a "newscaster"?

In any case, in these days I have read of everything - and they have accused me of many things - but I have realized a detail: for much that should speak to himself about this topic, everything is going to be still equal. The people who thinks that it is necessary to publish that filling is going to keep on doing it, because it is an easy route to have the updated blog. Also I realize well that the people take the criticism too much to breast, but this is something that, unfortunately, I have already verified in other ambiences of my life.

He did not want to finish this article without mentioning that I try to be either a judge nor censor of anybody, it is not even my intention to despise the work of the others. I do not also think that this blog should be an example to be continued in many aspects, but what yes I believe, it is that it is always possible to improve. Is not it worth trying it?

Friday, March 12, 2010

The magic of the recreational lounges


I remember that when I was small, sometimes it me was going for a walk for the recreational ones of my quarter after playing with my Spectrum at home. To enter this place was like getting into a machine of the time, and to contemplate a shop window of what, with luck, it could have in my hearth in a future. And the fact is that to see juegazos like “Cadillac and Dinosaurs” or “R-Type“, or spectacular furniture like that of “OutRun“ or that of “After Burner“ - SEGA has always been a specialist in this aspect - it was slightly almost magic.

With the step of the years, and as more powerful systems were going out, this border was becoming narrower and narrower. For example, some games that went out in Gentle Drive as “Rolling Thunder 2” or “Chiki Chiki Boys” were practically traced to his namesakes arcade, and the same can be said about the conversions that went out in more powerful consoles as Saturn or Dreamcast, since in fact, some recreational badges were based on these domestic systems.

Perhaps, this was the beginning of the end of the arcades: the moment in which we could enjoy at qualifications of a similar quality. At first, the companies were betting for the most top hardware to attract the players, but as costs were getting cheaper, the only resource that was staying was to use peripheral complexes, but even this - guns, carpets of dance, musical instruments, … - have ended up by going out also on the domestic market.

Since to invest in more and more elaborated furniture was quite risky, little by little we have seen the slope of this business, up to such a point of which the last recreational ones base on components of a conventional PC. After seeing the recent news of which there was hackeado the badge Taito Type X2 - that gives life to games as “The King of Fighters XII“, or "Blaz Blue" - I felt how there had got lost few magic that the arcades had left. Do we will see one re-arising again from these machines, or only they have left Japan like last refuge?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The restrictions and the creativity in the video games

The restrictions and the creativity in the video games

Very much it has been discussed about the absence of originality in the video games - and even in the movies - that we suffer nowadays, but far from blaming the involved ones in the design and creation of the same ones, I believe that the biggest enemy of the creativity is the means plenty. Although there seems paradoxical, if you stop to think about the matter, he has enough sense. In the past, the technology was more accessible, and a very small team - enclosed only one presents herself - could be coordinated more easily to center on the design of the final product. The limitations of the machines were doing that the creative ones had to wind the brains to offer interesting game mechanics, and saw the challenge of doing a game with a different perspective, instead of centring on offering a resounding technical paragraph.

At present, the teams of design and development are enormous, since the tasks multiply: design of personages and stages, creation of graphic engines and of physical, conception of an appropriate artificial intelligence, composition of a sound-track deigns, and like that up to a length etc. Although there are one or several governing, it is really complicated to obtain a cohesion adapted in all the aspects of the product, and often it gives priority more to the fact of “extracting what is”, that to treat with caress the whole production, especially when some parts have created theirs foreign studies (kinematics, movements apprehension, …).

I am not going to deny that the possibilities that we have with the consoles and current computers do feasible games that it does a time they were unimaginable, but I believe that the technology is maturing too rapidly, and many development studies have seen overwhelmed before so much advance. That's why, it is no wonder that many rebels have decided to put brake to so much polygon and to so many complexity, and thanks to them we have productions indie that demonstrate that trying to include very much not always is synonymous of quality. I believe that a few limits are worth being put, and trying to give the best thing of one himself without need to offer a deifying audio-visual spectacle … but unfortunately, this is not usually what it sells.

The evolution of the cards of memory in consoles

Cards of Memory

The first video games were very simple and they had roots arcade, so the programmers were worrying about keeping the state of the game. Nevertheless, little by little there were appearing qualifications more complex that needed of this type of functionality, although initially they were resting on complexes passwords that they were very bothersome of noting down.

One of the achievements of “The Legend of Zelda“, was to introduce a battery in the cartridge to keep the game, an advance that little by little other qualifications were incorporating. Nevertheless, with the progressive disappearance of the cartridges, an alternative way became necessary to store this information, there being created in turn a "culture" of exchange of games between friends, which also came to Internet in the shape of webs that were compiling files to unblock all the secrets of the games.

In this article, I am going to give a revision to the different formats that have appeared during all these years, to see the evolution of the same ones, and of step showing some curious details on the most unknown cards of memory …

PC Engine

The games of this console usually used passwords to continue the games, but some of them were supporting the use of memory to keep games and the records of our games. Some consoles were incorporating this memory of series - basically the last models with CD unit - and for the previous ones there existed several accessories as Tennokoe Bank - that came to Occident as TurboBooster Plus - or Memory Base 128, which they were allowing to add this functionality to our console.

Basic Memory 128

Neo Geo

This SNK system was the first one in incorporating cards in strict sense of memory, with a capacity of storage of 2KB … at least the official, since the invention really was talking each other of a card standard PCMCIA - it was used in other professional teams of the epoch - and there were compatible others of more capacity.

Memory Card Neo Geo

The card could be used so much in the domestic system as in true recreational - whenever they had at sight the slot correspondent - and normally it was limiting itself to storing the phase in which we had remained. In other games as “Baseball Stars 2“, the finished information of the period was keeping even … the whole achievement in that epoch.

Gentle CD

In this SEGA system it was incorporating 8KB of internal memory so that the games could record his information. On the other hand, we could add additional capacity in the shape of cartridge of Gentle Drive with memory SRAM.

Gentle CD Backup RAM

Like handyman already does a time, TOTOTEK threw the Megacart, which in addition to we were allowed to play with games of other regions and with backups, was adding an enormous quantity of blocks Gentle to our system CD.


The following SEGA console CD inherited the philosophy of Gentle, although in this occasion the internal memory was multiplying for 4. The games quantity that we could store considerable age, but some games as “NiGHTS“ with his A-Life system, or “SEGA Rally” with his repetitions, practically they were occupying the whole available space. In these cases, there was becoming essential the use of cartridges of memory.

Saturn Data Backup

As I commented in the article that was enumerating some curiosities of this console, the cartridges made by third companies had a badge lightly thicker than the originals, what was doing that with the time the cartridges port was deformed lightly in case of using them. Also, they been not detected usually like an extra storage unit, becoming necessary the use of a special tool to spend the games between the cartridge and the internal memory.


If “PlayStation“ turned in synonymous of console, Sony "Memory Card" did the proper thing with the cards of memory. This company could see the market of this one peripheral and the social possibilities that it had, motivated for which the console was provided with two ports for cards.

PSOne Memory Card

The "bad" of these cards, the fact is that the size of every block was disproportionate, and his capacity was wasted enough. I put it between quotation marks because this was an advantage for the manufacturers, since if we had a considerable games collection, or were recording enough games in some RPG, we needed to have Memory Cards different. Of course, to buy one compatible with hundreds of blocks was almost a sucidio, since they were usually giving more problems than three red lights of the Xbox 360

Nintendo 64

The games of this console generally were keeping the game in the proper cartridge, but some of them had the option to export them to a Controller Pack to be able to share them with other friends, or even were offering the possibility of using this one peripheral to keep complex contents, like the information of a career of “Mario Kart 64“. In fact, the files of kept of some qualifications as “Wonder Project J2” was occupying one of these "cartuchitos" to the maximum, and was giving one with the game.

Controller Paks

Also there was Controller Packs of other manufacturers with more capacity, but as it is usually habitual, it was preferable to bet for the Nintendo originals.


SEGA introduced enough with his last console, and one of the innovations there were his cards of memory, known as Visual Memory. They were incorporating a child display, a loudspeaker, a crosspiece and four buttons, and in addition to saving games in his 128KB from memory, were showing animations in some qualifications, and even were allowing to unload minigames to spend the moment when we were far from the console. If it was small, two cards could get connected to exchange information without need to use a console, or even to compete in small qualifications multiplayer.


The big snag was that the batteries lasted a sigh, and then a peñazo was the whistle to that one was listening on having lit the console when the tarjetita had remained without batteries. In any case, it was a quite original idea, that then Sony dealt with copying with his PocketStation, an almost identical pot to Visual Memory, but slightly more powerful.

VMU Vs. PocketStation

PlayStation 2

This console used a few quite similar cards of memory in appearance to those of the previous system of the company, but that instead of having 128KB of memory, were coming even them 8MB. Also it could make use of the cards of PlayStation for the games of this console, but for the new ones those of major capacity were necessary, being also encriptadas with MagicGate, an invention that Sony of the sleeve extracted to charge royalties from the manufacturers of compatible cards.

Memory Cards de Sony

To change, we could find memoirs of third of major capacity, but bearing in mind that in the official one tens of games were fitting, the risk was not worth it.


In using optical support for his games, the first Nintendo console made use of a few quite pretty cards of memory, which were thrown in three sizes: the gray one of 128KB (59 blocks), another black woman of 2MB (251 blocks), and a last half note of 8MB with 1019 blocks … with his corresponding not official versions, skylight is.

Memory Cards de Gamecube

Some games as “Animal Crossing” were filling a card of the kidlings, and it was coming incluída in the proper game. In fact, that of this title was special, since it was including a small file that then was exchanged by a special object in our game.


The original console of Microsoft had built-in a hard disk of 8GB of series, what was allowing an enormous space to keep games. Nevertheless, and with the target to be able to do a backup of the same ones, or to share them with our friends, there was commercialized a card of memory of 8MB that was getting connected to the control as in Dreamcast.

Xbox Memory Unit

Nevertheless, some games of the console - especially the published ones by Tecmo - were signing the games so that they could only be used in a console, what was doing that the grace was getting lost of sharing games … although like the community hacker always managed to eliminate these limitations

Xbox 360

Microsoft chose to throw versions of his following console without hard disk, what became necessary to throw a card of bigger memory. Initially the model of 64MB existed, but later others were thrown of 128MB and 256MB to be able to use the new interface in the ancient consoles. In fact, during the transition phase free cards were offered to the users of the models Arcade of the console.

Xbox 360 Memory Unit

In the last reviews of this model, this memory has joined in the badge, having available between 256 and 512MB of memory flash to store games and games of Xbox Live.


At the end of the 90, there began becoming popular several types of cards of memory Flash - that was used in devices like digital cameras or breeding animals MP3, or PDAs - each of them created by different manufacturers like Sony, Sandisk, or Toshiba. That's why, it is no wonder that they began being used also in consoles.

In December, 1998, Nintendo published “Mario not Photopi“, a software for Nintendo 64 that was allowing to import cameras photos with cards SmartMedia (SMC), to edit them and later to print them on destined machines to that end that usually existed in shopping centers. This type of cards - whose maximum capacity was located in 128MB - was used later in the GP32, and at present it is almost impossible to find them new, although converters exist to be able to use the xD, which they keep on using in some camerawomen made by Olympus and Fujifilm.

Cards of memory flash

The successors of this one portable - GP2X and GP2X Wiz - changed the support to cards SD, which have turned nowadays practically into a storage standard. The latter console also supports SDHC, with capacities that come even them 32GB.

Nintendo also has chosen for this format in his consoles DSi and Wii. In case of the portable one, it serves to keep photos, music, and software unburdened of the shop online - since the games keep the state in the proper cards, as in the old times - and in the Wii it complements them 512MB of internal memory to keep games, channels and another type of information.

Sony, since it is obvious, has chosen its own format for PlayStation Portable. The first models make use of cards Memory Stick Pro Duo, while in the last PSP Go! Micro Memory Stick must be used … although them 16GB of memory flash interns are sufficient for the majority. In case of PlayStation 3, the first models were incorporating a cards reader into support for Memory Stick, SD/MMC and Compact Flash, but it was eliminated in later reviews of the console. Nevertheless, it is possible to transfer our files to any support USB, already be a hard disk, a pendrive, or an external reader of cards.


Since we see, every time standard has a tendency more towards supports to keep games, and the last consoles already usually bring the sufficient internal capacity - it is already by means of a hard disk, or with memory flash - not to have to make use of cards of memory. On the other hand, also it is necessary to bear in mind that it is very possible that in the next generation all this information is in “the cloud”, as it happens already in some Steam games …

To all this …: what is your card of favorite memory?