New PS3 Model Confirmed for Japan

June 20, 2011 -

Confirming rumors from earlier this month, Sony has opened an official page for the new CECH-3000B model PlayStation 3. The new hardware will begin shipping sometime later this month in Japan.

The official page confirms details from a retail advertisement that was leaked to the public earlier this month. The new model will be available in Charcoal Black, will feature lower power consumption at 200 watts, will weigh around 2.6kg, and will include a 320 gigabyte hard drive. It will be priced at ¥34,980, the same price point for other PS3 models on the market in the region. Accessories include the usual - a Dual Shock 3 controller, power cable, AV cable and USB cable.

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Nintendo Stocks See Second Day of Decline on Wii U News

June 9, 2011 -

Nintendo has suffered its second substantial drop in its stock price just days after its E3 press conference where it announced the Wii U console and controller. On Wednesday the company saw a 5.7 drop in its stock price and today it dipped an additional 5.2 percent (as of this writing). The consecutive declines for the Japanese console maker came after the company announced its new console, but the exact cause is up for interpretation, according to one Japanese financial analyst.

According to Mitsushige Akino, a chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management, the decline has more to do with a perceived shift in the broader videogame universe.

"The product itself is not bad–market expectations had been far too high," Akino told the Wall Street Journal. "..it is also a reflection of structural issues caused by a transformation within the market."

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Cosplay Calendar Proceeds Go to Japan Disaster Relief

May 31, 2011 -

If you’re jonesing to help out with disaster relief in Japan but haven’t yet found the right incentive, maybe a calendar chockfull of cosplayers dressing up as their favorite anime and videogame characters will be just the thing you’re looking for.

Well, it just so happens that Cosplay for a Cause is selling such a calendar, tapping into fans’ love of costuming to raise money to assist in Japan’s disaster relief aid after a tsunami smacked the country around back in March.

“This calendar is full of high quality, never before seen photos, specifically done for this project. Each month will also come with a small illustration done by one of the 4 professional comic book artists involved in the project.

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Nintendo: Thick as a Brick on 3DS TOS

May 27, 2011 -

As a way to send Nintendo a "message" about the 3DS' Terms of Service (TOS), anti-DRM group Free Software Foundation urged the community to order the company a cardboard brick. The group put out the call for action on May 9, asking the community to send Nintendo a brick for a brick - referring to the 3DS TOS which gives the company the power to "brick" (permanently disable) the system. The goal set was 200 and today the group announced that it has surpassed that goal.

"The Nintendo 3DS is Defective by Design and your Terms of Service are dubious, devious, and defective for the following reasons," the website's opening remarks to the community read.

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Japanese PSN Reboot in May Still Planned, Says Sony

May 26, 2011 -

Citing a news story in Japanese publication Mainichi Digital, the fine folks at Adriasang report that Sony still plans on relaunching the PlayStation Network and other associated services in the month of May - even as the clock runs out on the month. With the last day of May coming up fast next Tuesday it is still a possibility but a fleeting one.

During its earnings briefing yesterday Sony of Japan said that they have not yet given up on a relaunch in May. Mainichi Digital reports that Sony officials said of the Japanese service, "We have not given up on a May restart."

Nikkei reported last week that Sony was planning to relaunch by the end of the month, but the company has been struggling to deliver information on security requested by the Japanese government and credit card companies.

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Play For Japan Charity Album Details

May 25, 2011 -

The Play for Japan charity has announced the tracks that will be on its benefit album set for release in June on iTunes. The charity is being put together to benefit victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunamis earlier this year. Proceeds from the album will go towards helping those providing relief efforts in the region: the Japanese Red Cross.

The album will feature art by Yoshitaka Amano and music from various game composers including Akira Yamaoka, Chance Thomas, Inon Zur, Tommy Tallarico and more. A full list of tracks (provided by Shacknews) can be found below:

 

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Report: Credit Card Companies Holding Up PSN in Japan

May 23, 2011 -

While there was mention that the Japanese government was holding up the relaunch of PlayStation Network in the country, credit card companies are also in the mix, along with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). According to a new report from Asahi Shimbun daily (by way of Andriasang), both parties have specific demands of Sony before they will let the company get back to business in its home country.

According to the report, METI and credit card companies are demanding that Sony detail the protections it has put in place for credit card users. In Japan credit card companies are held liable for things such as fraud, so it makes sense that they demand extra security measures from Sony. In the United States the company has an insurance policy in place to provide protection from such problems.

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Report: PSN Japan Back Online This Month

May 23, 2011 -

Adriasang is reporting that the PlayStation Network will be back online sometime later this month in Japan. The government had asked the company to provide more assurances that it had better security on its service. PSN users outside of Japan have had access to some of the services since last week.

Delays in Japan were brought on by requests from the government and some credit card companies who wanted more information from Sony. Credit card companies are being hard on Sony because they would be held accountable in the event of card misuse. In America, Sony has insurance to cover that kind of damage.

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Play for Japan Raises $120,000 Through Charity Auctions

May 19, 2011 -

Play For Japan has managed to raise an impressive $120,000 for Japanese relief efforts since its inception. The charity was put together to support the victims of earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan. A large portion of the country was affected, with nearly 15,000 deaths attributed to the March natural disaster that put the country in turmoil.

Developers, publishers and fans donated game-related merchandise to charity auctions to raise funds for relief organizations such as the Red Cross. The large amount of cash raised to date is a good indicator that the auctions are a great success for the group.

Currently the group is auctioning a variety of God of War-related items. You can check those items out and bid on them here.

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Sony Services on Hold in Japan

May 16, 2011 -

While the PlayStation Network has launched in North America, Europe and other regions, the relaunch of Sony’s services in Japan has been held up by regulators in Japan. According to a Dow Jones report, the PSN will not be relaunched in Japan until Sony provides assurances to the government that it has added additional security to its network services.

"We met with Sony on May 6 and 13, and basically we want two things from them," said Kazushige Nobutani, director of the Media and Content Industry department at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

"The first is preventative measures. As of May 13, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference," he said, although he refused to provide exact details of the measures for security reasons.

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Sony Japan: Services Fully Restarted By May 31

May 9, 2011 -

Sony Japan says that its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services may not come back online until the end of May. Speaking to http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-09/sony-s-playstation-qriocity-ser... ">Bloomberg by phone, spokesman Shigenori Yoshida told the publication on Sunday that the services would remain offline and that the company is uncertain as to when they will be back online. Sony shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity April 20 because of security breach initiated by unknown hackers.

Yoshida added that the company is testing and adopting improved security measures and that the service would "restart the services fully by May 31."

Of course "fully" means fully operational with all services intact. Sony has said in the past that it would restart some of the services sooner than later.

We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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Play for Japan Raises $100,000 for Relief Efforts

May 3, 2011 -

Gamers have shown that they care about Japan and its people by raising $100,000 in less than one month for Play For Japan (PFJ). Organizers of the global campaign designed to raise funds for the victims of the recent tragedies in Japan, announced today that the campaign has raised over $100,000 in less than one month of its launch on March 16.

"When we launched Play For Japan we knew the support from our peers would be there," said the Play For Japan committee. "We are blown away with how quickly individuals and corporations contributed, and to the degree in which they did. It’s impossible to express our gratitude enough. What we hope now is that the awareness continues. With any tragedy like this, the hardest thing is to sustain support once the event is out of the news. It will take a lot of hard work and possibly a decade to rebuild the country."

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World of Warcraft Cenarion Hatchling Emerges for Japan Relief Efforts

May 2, 2011 -

Blizzard Entertainment has released a new World of Warcraft companion to the pet store, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to relief efforts for Japan. World of Warcraft players that purchase the new pet can take comfort in the fact that they are getting a new in-game friend and that all the money they paid for it goes to help Japan with its ongoing relief efforts. The Cenarion Hatchling costs $10 USD.

The Cenarion Hatchling is the twin of the rare Hippogryph Hatchling pet players could randomly encounter in the first World of Warcraft Trading Card Game set, Heroes of Azeroth. Now he is available for your pleasure. For every Cenarion Hatchling purchased between now and July 31, Blizzard will donate 100 percent of the $10 USD "adoption fee" to the American Red Cross's Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief efforts.

For more information, check out this page.

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EA Raises $1 Million for Japan Relief Efforts

April 21, 2011 -

Electronic Arts announced that it has raised over $1 million dollars for Japan earthquake and tsunami aid. EA credits the success of the campaign through a combination of efforts among EA's internal studios, employees and gamers who worked hard to raise relief funds for the people impacted by the disasters. EA implemented giving programs through its titles, fan communities and social gaming platforms, all proceeds of which will be distributed via the Red Cross, Mercy Corps and AmeriCares.

EA SPORTS ran a donation program in FIFA 11 Ultimate Team where all proceeds collected in a 24 hour period on March 26 were donated to the Red Cross. Pogo.com and The Sims teamed up with the American Red Cross and encouraged their online audiences to support relief efforts by making donations to a co-branded microsite.

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Report: Sony May Shut Down in Summer to Save Power

April 18, 2011 -

According to a BBC report, Sony of Japan may shut down some of its facilities to conserve energy. The company is doing its part in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that wreaked havoc on Tohoku March 11. Japan has been suffering energy shortages since last month due mostly to damage to nuclear and thermal power stations, most notably at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Last week the Japanese government set energy conservation targets and asked manufacturers to reduce consumption. For Sony to accomplish its goal of shutting down in the summer, it plans to bring forward various national holidays so that its workers can have some time off. Given that summer is when demand for electricity is at its peak, this is probably the best course of action. Employees will make up the time later in the year when the shortages are expected to be resolved.

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Enterbrain: Quake Has Impact On Japanese Sales

April 18, 2011 -

According to data from Japanese research firm Enterbrain, the Japanese game industry has been hurt badly by the March 11 disaster. Enterbrain CEO Hirozaku Hamamura showed a slide at a Tokyo seminar last Friday (translated by Andriasang) detailing the loss. Hamamura explained that the bulk of lost sales were due to the numerous game delays because of the earthquake. He mentioned games such as Yakuza Of The End, Steel Diver and Dead Or Alive Dimensions. Japanese publication Sankei News estimate that 7.3 billion yen (88.56 million USD) has been lost by the video game industry in the weeks since natural disasters in Japan.

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2010's Top Selling Peripheral in Japan: Torne

April 11, 2011 -

Sony’s PlayStation 3 motion controller, Move, is outselling its Xbox 360 rival, Kinect, in Japan. More surprisingly, a peripheral that brings entertainment to everyday consumers sells more than both the Kinect and Move. Andriasang reports that by the end of 2010 Microsoft’s Kinect had sold 90,000 units in Japan, while Move had 170,000 in sales. Both were outsold by Torne, a DVR attachment device for PlayStation 3.

The device sold 784,000 units was named the year’s best-selling peripheral by Media Create. Naturally, Move’s success outside of Japan is not as grand. Last month Kinect was named the fastest-selling electronics device in history after 8 million units were sold in its first 60 days. That total has since passed the 10 millionth units sold mark. While some may balk at comparing either Kinect or Move to a device such as the Torne, it is a device that probably helped sell PS3's in Japan. That's something.

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We Love Japan Concert Raises £6K for Japanese Relief Efforts

April 11, 2011 -

On April 2 hmvlive, Manga Entertainment and Japan Underground presented a charity concert at the Relentless Garage in Highbury (England) to raise money for the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund, a charity which will help to rebuild schools and communities in the areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11.

The evening featured comedian Iain Lee (Absolute Radio, The 11 O’clock Show), along with music legend Adam Ant, Japanese popstars Suga Shikao and Rei fu as well as Capcom, Tecmo KOEI and Namco Bandai Games. The target was £5,000. The end tally raised for relief was £5,977.86 (roughly $9,797.70 USD). Helping reach this figure were several of the UK’s most promising Japanese musicians who are either Japanese (No Cars, Kuaigora), have members from Japan or with Japanese heritage (iMMa, March of the Playwrite), or just have a fascination with the country (Akira the Don).

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PSP Beats 3DS in Japan Again

April 11, 2011 -

Another week, another defeat for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan. According to sales figures for the week of March 28 - April 3, the PSP sold the most with 57,379 units - up 6,900 units or 13.7 percent. The 3DS was down 15.3 percent compared to last week, followed by the PS3, Wii, DSi LL, and DS. Full charts, from Joystiq, below:

 

  1. PSP: 57,379 [UP] 6,900 (13.67%)
  2. 3DS: 42,979 [DOWN] 7,731 (15.25%)
  3. PS3: 27,453 [DOWN] 1,520 (5.25%)
  4. Wii: 10,249 [DOWN] 1,559 (13.20%)
  5. DSi LL: 9,706 [DOWN] 54 (0.55%)
  6. DSi: 9,566 [UP] 962 (11.18%)
  7. PS2: 1,996 [UP] 134 (7.20%)
  8. Xbox 360: 1,789 [DOWN] 174 (8.86%)
  9. PSP Go: 696 [UP] 80 (12.99%)
  10. DS Lite: 629 [DOWN] 101 (13.84%)

 

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PSP Outsells 3DS in Japan

April 7, 2011 -

Maybe it's just an anomaly, but Nintendo can't be happy that Sony’s hand-held is beating its new 3DS system in Japan for the week. According to data from Media Create and posted on Kotaku, combined sales of the PSP hand-helds reached 58,075 - an increase of 7,000 on the previous week. This compares to 42,979 for the 3DS, which experienced a drop of almost 8,000 over the last seven days.

Combined PSP sales from last week beat the 3DS by a small margin, but this week sales of the PSP-3000 managed to outpace the new portable.

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Special PS3 Theme Raises $1.3 Million for Japan

April 5, 2011 -

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced updated results of its campaign to bring relief to disaster victims in Japan through PlayStation Network. The initiative, the Great East Japan Earthquake relief effort on PlayStation Network, began in North America and Europe on March 19 and in Japan and Asia on March 24. Driving the campaign were special custom PS3 themes sold through the PlayStation Store. today that theme is available in 40 countries around the globe.

"We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake," said Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "While we continue to make every effort to help the recovery of the affected communities in the region, I would like to express our gratitude to every single PlayStation user across the world who made a contribution to the effort."

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Fight For Relief Raises $30K for Japan

April 4, 2011 -

Fight for Relief, a series of charity fighting game tournaments that took place on April 3, raised $30,879 for Japanese disaster relief. The battles were aired live via justin.tv and featured an online donation drive. Neogaf also did a great job of chronicling all the fights here. All proceeds raised from Fight for Relief went towards a fundraiser on GlobalGiving.org, a website dedicated to social change and helping victims of natural disasters.

If you missed Fight For Relief, but want to donate to GlobalGiving, check out globalgiving.org.

Source: Joystiq


Gamers Heart Japan Video

April 3, 2011 -

The global video game community came together to show its love and respect for Japan, and to raise awareness for relief efforts via a special project called "Gamers Heart Japan." The 60-minute special premiered today and offered interviews with veteran game industry journalists from all over the world as well as some of the top video game developers on the planet. Game journalists and game makers shared their thoughts on the Japanese video game development scene.

Gamers Heart Japan interviewees talked about the past, present and future of Japan and reminded viewers that the country needs every gamer around the world to donate whatever they can to help the country as it struggles with the worst natural disaster in the history if the world. Donations for The Red Cross in your area can be made through the GamersHeartJapan.com website.

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Silent Hill Composer Auctions Guitar for Japan

March 30, 2011 -

Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka is auctioning off the guitar he used to write all the music for the game on in a bid to raise money for Play for Japan. According to eBay auction information, "the soul of Silent Hill" resides in the guitar, and there is a good chance that the "guitar is haunted." As silly as that sounds, the guitar is certainly an item worth owning because it is a piece of gaming history.

The complete lot consists of a Yamaha APX-15FM acoustic electric guitar, a Line 6 FB4, and a Line 6 POD. Yamaoka supposedly bought the guitar right before he started working on the first Silent Hill game and has used it for every game in the series since then. He also supposedly used it in a live performance of the Silent Hill music at the Video Games Live concerts.

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Team Fortress 2 Hat Sales Raises $300K for Japan

March 30, 2011 -

According to the official Team Fortress 2 blog, over $300,000 in virtual hats have been sold - all to benefit relief efforts in Japan. The hats were introduced last week and proved a big hit among players. The three hats are the "Humanitarian's Hachimaki" ($7.99), the "Benefactor's Kanmuri" ($19.99) and the "Magnanimous Monarch" ($99.99). Valve did not reveal exactly how many hats were sold but $300,000 is a very big number by anyone's accounting. Here's the thank-you note from the TF2 blog:

"Wow. Seriously, people, WOW. We knew you had it in you, but we're still amazed you've raised over $300,000 so far.

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Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab Talk Ratings, Censorship

March 29, 2011 -

The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab is hosting a series of video talks that explores everything from ratings systems in Europe and North America to game censorship. The first in the series, available now, is called "Blood, Sex, and Politics in Video Games: How Censorship Is Done (or Not): "'Die!' Censoring Game Violence." Below is the tease from the GAMBIT Game Lab site:

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Gamers Heart Japan Gives Mad Love to Japan, Promotes Relief Efforts

March 24, 2011 -

The global video game community comes together in early April to show its love for Japan and to raise awareness for relief efforts via a special project called "Gamers Heart Japan." Gamers Heart Japan is a 60-minute special which will premiere on April 3 and will offer interviews with veteran game industry journalists from all over the world as well as some of the top video game developers on the planet. Game journalists and game makers participating will share their thoughts on the incredible work and talented creators from the Japanese videogame development scene and show how much love they have for the country that brought us some of the most iconic game characters and systems in history.

Chiptune Artists Raise Money for Japanese Disaster Relief

March 22, 2011 -

Chiptune artists True Chip Till Death and Matthew "Pixelh8" Applegate are doing their part to raise much-needed funds to support Japanese disaster relief efforts through a special project called "Chip In: Japan". Chip In: Japan brings together dozens of chiptune artists, who in turn are offering a compilation of chiptune tracks to anyone willing to donate some money to the American Red Cross.

The collection of chiptune artists have managed to gather around 90 songs for the compilation - with the promise of more to come - including tracks from Bear & Walrus, Leeni, Glomag, Crashfaster, Jellica, Wizwars, and others.

This is a good cause with an awesome reward for anyone willing to give just a little money to help their brothers and sisters in Japan. You can learn more about it here.

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Signed MGS 2 Auction to Benifit Red Cross Efforts in Japan

March 21, 2011 -

Fans of Metal Gear Solid and Kojima Productions will find the following special auction to help relief efforts in Japan very interesting. The eBay auction, Play for Japan: Metal Gear Solid 2 signed by Kojima offers the 2001 PlayStation 2 game in mint condition and signed by Kojima himself. The auction runs for another nine days and is currently hovering at around $100.

One-hundred percent of the sale of this signed copy of Metal Gear Solid 2 will go to support American Red Cross (a small deduction may apply). Here is the description from the auction:

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Car Town Drives For Facebook Red Cross Donations

March 21, 2011 -

Players of the Facebook game Car Town can help Japanese earthquake and Pacific tsunami relief efforts by buying virtual goods and upgrades for their cars. With 7.5 million players, there's obviously some potential to do some good. Car Town creator Cie Games promises to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of the virtual emergency vehicle to the American Red Cross and its Japan disaster relief efforts.

"Our hearts go out to the people of Japan," said Dennis Suggs, chief creative officer of Cie Games. "The Car Town Red Cross program is an easy way for Car Town players all over the world to contribute to the relief effort."

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MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
 

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