At 9 a.m. this morning the good people of PAX East allowed members of the media to wander the exhibition halls without being interrupted by all those pesky fans. Not surprisingly, we in the media look like – and often act like – said fans. There were just less of us to get in the way.
For some reason Eastbayri.com was drawn to a screen running Tempest on an Xbox 360. Tempest is an Atari arcade game from 1981 that used vector graphics to produce impressive 3D visuals and intense shooting. It's a beloved title from the early days and it has received fine treatment in Microsoft's new Game Room feature on Xbox Live Arcade. The Game Room, which launched this week, gives players the ability to assemble their own video arcade with customized themes and props. The games, so far, are from Atari, Intellivision and Konami, among others. It's a cool idea and is priced reasonably - games will cost around $4 and you can play against friends. The problem with most of these games is that our nostalgia for them is usually tempered by the fact that they're not that much fun to play anymore.