Nightly News Roundup: 2011.04.21

Another day, another batch of Cafe rumors, FTC loves ESA for ESRB, and EA does its part to help Japan.

By Andy Hoover. Posted 04/21/2011 23:19 Comment on this     ShareThis

Nightly News Roundup

New Project Cafe Rumors

A week since the initial rumblings, the internet has not slowed down the speed at which the Project Cafe rumor mill is churning. This latest batch from IGN concerns more of the hardware specifications and, like always, remains unconfirmed so don’t etch anything into stone yet.

First up is an estimated price of $350 or $400. The new system will be built in Taiwan by a company called Foxconn and they will have the first units rolling out the door in October, making a late 2011 launch possible.

Previous rumors have bounced around about Cafe being anywhere from slightly weaker than Xbox 360 to noticeably more powerful than PS3, and today’s rumors might lend credence to the later. Cafe will allegedly feature a beefed up AMD R700 graphics processor which should be more powerful than PS3’s NVIDIA GPU. As for CPU, Cafe will have a proprietary triple core IBM processor. Altogether, these components will make the system more than capable of outputting full HD and 3D visuals.

One the outside, Cafe will supposedly be about as large as a Xbox 360 and draw aesthetic inspiration from the SNES. The system could potentially be branded “Stream”, a name that would be quite appropriate if the rumors regarding the console’s ability to stream gameplay to the controller’s built in touchscreen proves accurate.

Once again, none of this is confirmed.

Source: IGN

ESRB Rating System is the Best Enforced

In a study conducted by the Federal Trade Commission, the ESRB’s rating system for video games beat out ratings on movies, DVDs, music and every other entertainment ratings system to take the title as best enforced by retailers. Utilizing secret shoppers under the age of 17 trying to purchase M rated games, the FTC found that retailers enforced the ratings system 87% of the time.

Entertainment Software Association president Michael Gallagher used this study as an opportunity to proclaim the ESRB ratings to be the “Gold standard,” and went on to challenge those critical of the video game industry. “Those who would criticize the industry’s commitments are either ignorant of the facts or are actively pursuing a political agenda.”

As a former Gamestop employee I must admit this comes as no surprise to me, as the company enforces a strict zero tolerance policy for failing to enforce ESRB ratings system. Selling just one M rated game to someone under 17 is grounds for immediate firing.

Source: ESA

EA Donates more than $1 Million to Relief in Japan

The industry’s second largest publisher has rallied its considerable resources to make the sizable donation following last month’s devastating tsunami and earthquake that killed tens of thousands and left hundreds of thousands more displaced as entire towns were swept off the map.

Using its popular casual brands like Pogo, Sims, and Playfish, along with EA Sports FIFA 11, EA solicited donations for the Red Cross. Fans of the free to play Battlefield Heroes had the opportunity to purchase an in-game “Japan Outfit” for their character with all proceeds going to charity. Visceral Games and BioWare, the studios behind Dead Space and Mass Effect respectively, auctioned off special autographed and customized memorabilia to support the cause. Meanwhile, EA Partners, which works with developers around the world including Japan, jumped straight to the point with a cash donation. Also, EA’s Canadian offices worked with Kids Against Hunger to put together 100,000 meals for the thousands of displaced.

Altogether the donations totaled more than $1 million and were distributed between the Red Cross, Mercy Corps and AmeriCares for Japan.

Source: EA

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