The Fryer, Vol. 16
Konami announces new line of barely interactive "LetsRelax" games
Following last week's announcement of walking simulator Let's Walk It Out, Konami this week has announced an entire series of "LetsRelax" titles that the company says will "blur the line between recreation and relaxation."
"The deafening fan reaction to Let's Walk It Out showed us that today's gamers are tired of games that require strategic thinking or exciting, fast-paced action," said Konami Vice President of Marketing Shirley MacAdams. "The LetsRelax line will let tired gamers enjoy their favorite pastime without the need to pay careful attention or even be wholly conscious."
Konami's LetsRelax series will keep you mesmerized for hours.
The three LetsRelax games announced today, all designed exclusively for Nintendo's Wii console, will make use of new peripherals and attachments for what MacAdams called "totally unique gameplay experiences." In Let's Twiddle Our Thumbs, for instance, specially designed gloves will let the Remote and Nunchuk detect the speed and angle of what MacAdams called "everyone's favorite thumb-circling exercise." Let's Watch Grass Grow will make use of a specially designed digital camera to make sure the players eyes are open and focused on the screen , as well as a head-mounted Remote holder that ensures the player is actually watching the screen as "photo-realistic grass grows in real time!" Finally, Let's Fidget, the most action-oriented of the first set of LetsRelax games, uses an advanced, one-size-fits-all bodysuit and Remote harness to measure the "involuntary movements that come with sitting in one position too long."
All three games will come with detailed stat-tracking calendar displays to help players make sure they're getting the recommended amount of relaxation every day, MacAdams said. The games will also use a trophy system and Internet leaderboards (via WiiConnect24) to ensure that players "keep coming back for more relaxation!" MacAdams said.
MacAdams said that the LetsRelax line was about reaching out to new gamers and expanding the market for games. "For too long, our industry has been held back by pushing our product only at people that enjoy playing games," MacAdams said. "With LetsRelax, we're targeting the much wider market of people who enjoy sitting in one place and mindlessly killing time, which we think has much more growth potential."
Konami plans an aggressive marketing campaign for the LetsRelax line when it come out this holiday season, including promotional materials at massage parlors, barbers, nail salons and "other places people sit and stare for long periods," MacAdams said.
UFC president challenges all EA Sports employees to a fight
The feud between UFC president Dana White and EA Sports came to a head today with White challenging every member of the EA Sports team to "prove their worth in the octagon."
"These people, they don't respect the sport of Mixed Martial Arts," White said in an exclusive interview with the Fryer. "They think they can jerk around the UFC and disrespect our sport with a substandard product all while sitting in their fancy offices behind their fancy computer screens. When they step in the ring with me, I'll show them what our sport is really all about."
"Unless they're chicken," White added.
White said he wouldn't put any preconditions or limits on the format for the bouts against EA Sports' hundreds of employees. "They can try me one-on-one, they can all come at me at once, they can do it in waves... hell, they can even have blunt weapons if they want. It doesn't matter... unless they show the UFC the due respect and deference it deserves, I will make them cry like little girls when they step in that ring."
EA's Peter Moore doesn't seem concerned by the challenge of UFC's top dog, Dana White.
In a post on his EA blog, Peter Moore responded to the challenge with his usual passive-aggressive brand of diplomacy. "While we here at EA Sports respect Mr. White and his challenge, our employees are much too busy working on our great franchises to spend time in a bloody deathmatch," Moore wrote. "We suggest Mr. White take out some of his aggression with one of our great EA Sports products, such as the nonstop action of NCAA Football 10 or a relaxing round of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, now with support for the new WiiMotionPlus accessory."
White's challenge is not the first time an entire game publishing division has been threatened with physical harm by a potential franchisee. In 1992, former Heavyweight Champion Leon Spinks challenged every employee at Acclaim to a three-round boxing match when they decided to go with George Foreman as the title star for George Foreman's KO Boxing.
Sony, Microsoft preparing answers to Wii Vitality Sensor
Since Nintendo's surprise announcement of the Wii Vitality Sensor at E3 2009, the industry has been buzzing about the potentially revolutionary uses for the first-of-its-kind personal energy measurement device on a console. After months of investigation, The Fryer can reveal that this buzz has reached the inner halls of Microsoft and Sony, both of which are working on similar "energy sensor" devices for their respective consoles.
A very early prototype of the Exist electricity sensor. It was since scrapped as "too invasive," in favor of a half trashcan design.
The projects, which were both discussed on condition of strict anonymity with company insiders, have been in a state of accelerated development since the Nintendo announcement that shook the industry to its core in early June. Microsoft's version, dubbed Project Exist (pronounced "eggs-east"), will measure the constantly shifting electric charge coming from your body using a small, semi-cylindrical tube that resembles "a small trash can cut in half" according to one company insider. Players will be able to use the wireless Exist unit not just to sense their own electrical fields, but those of everyday objects around them, according to the insider. "Like, maybe your houseplants have a stronger energy, which could correspond to a stronger monster in a Pokémon game or something," he said.
In contrast to Exist, Sony's energy sensing project, currently referred to by R&D sources as the "Sony Life Sensor," is a small, metallic attachment for the PS3 controller that measures what one researcher called "your center of being." While our sources were relatively vague on how the sensor actually worked, one researcher said that, with practice, the device could bring players "to a state of consciousness closer to oneness with the central life force of the universe."
Neither company was willing to confirm or comment on these new devices on the record, but one source at Microsoft admitted their company wasn't taking any chances this time around. "Frankly, we're not really sure why anyone would want a device like this," the source said, "but we said the same thing about the Nintendo DS, then the Wii Remote, then the Balance Board, and those things are selling like hotcakes. This time we figured, 'Better safe than sorry.' "
If you think any of The Fryer is real videogame news, you are incorrect. Kyle Orland made it all up.