Tristan Louis, an application development VP for HSBC, recently made public his economic analysis of the pertinent numbers available on Second Life’s website. For those of you who don’t know, Second Life is the highly controversial MMO 3D digital world in which paying subscribers interact in ways analagous to real life. The only things truly connecting it to reality are a) subscription fees for high-tier membership plans, and b) its in-game economy, which can be exchanged for real money. Like all real currencies, the exchange rate from “Linden Dollars,” as the currency is called, to USD fluxuates.
But back to Louis’ economic survey of Second Life. By dissecting the pecuniary affairs and the raw number of users who’ve subscribed since last August, Louis arrived at a conclusion that affords us a new perspective on Second Life:
On average, the number of logins over a 60 day period seems to be about 35 to 40 percent of the total population reported. The people who log in, however, seem to spend a fair amount of money ($50-60 a week) within the Second Life economy.
If accurate, this would mean that some 200,000-230,000 active Second Life users are on average currently spending more on their in-world experience than any existing online world by far. (For comparison, a World of Warcraft subscription is but $15 a month, and that’s money paid to the Blizzard/Vivendi, not user-to-user.)
To summarize Tristan Louis’ conclusions, Second Life is relatively sparse according to its amount of active users, but absolutely economically lively based on the average amount of cash trading an active user’s hands. Furthermore, even though Second Life doesn’t have an enormeous amount of active users, Louis predicts that that’s all going to change:
[I]t looks that, under the most conservative growth rate, we will see 3.5 million users registered and over 600,000 using the service by the end of April 2007. Under a liberal interpretation of the data, those numbers would shift to 9.6 million and just under 7 million. However, in the most likely case, it is probable that there will be 7.2 million users registered with 1.6 million logging in over the previous sixty days. Not too shabby.
“Not too shabby,” Tristan Louis concludes, but he also advises his readers “to go with the most conservative estimate because [his] data set is still relatively small. Even then, this type of growth mirrors some of the growth patterns we’ve seen in the early days of the commercial web and seem to support the contention that LindenLab is going to be a very strong player in the future.”
In response to Tristan Louis’ analysis of Second Life’s economic situation, Tateru Nino analyzed his analysis, ultimately judging that although many of the user-to-user transactions aren’t meaningful, there is still significant economic activity:
The way money moves in Second Life with tip jars and alternate accounts and refunds means that probably about half of the value given is double-counted. That would leave us with roughly 75% that we could count on, but let’s go the highly conservative route and say a mere 40% of that figure represents actual meaningful transactions, where there’s a net change in the distribution of funds that is in line with the stated figure. Averaging out Tristan’s weekly samples for December 2006, and then applying our own conservative 40% figure to it, we get a daily movement of L$ equal to $269,848 USD.
DigitalBattle has the word that the fan remake of the legendary N64 classic The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time in 2D has made progress. The news come from a thread at SomethingAwful forums, which states:
Daniel Barras, an old friend of mine, has announced that Release Candidate 1 of OoT2D will be released soon. He’s waiting on his laptop to be airmailed to him (and he probably needs to put a couple finishing touches on it).
The game is basically the 2D translation of Ocarina of Time for N64. It will include everything from the original game, and i BELEIVE he was intentionally coding in the glitches found in 1.0 gold cart, but i’m unsure if this will still be a feature. It will also include a special dungeon and 3 extra items (i think it’s armor, boots, and another sword. The only thing i can say for sure is the armor).
Regardless of whether this project to remake the classic Zelda game is real or not, the screens still look great. Check them the screenshots below:
Japanese PS3 owners recently discovered that Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, which was essentially a remade version of Tekken 5 with some new characters and modes, was available for download from the Playstation store at no cost. The big difference in this version of Tekken 5, of course, is that it is High-Def (HD), running in 1080p. There are many modes in this game, including arcade battle, ghost battle, versus battle, and a gallery for viewing and downloading images and movies. At 830 megabytes and about $17 in value, Japanese PS3 owners must feel the Sony love. Can’t wait for this one to come to the US!
Gran Turismo HD, a sim racing game made by Polyphony Digital, is a game to be reckoned with, for it sports a wide-range of vehicles, landscapes, and effects, and the long-anticipated High-Def (1080p) format. And come late December, Japanese PS3 owners will be able to download the GT:HD demo at no cost, while their American counter-parts still wait for its release. The demo will feature “10 cars and two layouts of a single track.” However, there is some bad news for fans eager for the full version of Gran Turismo: HD: “the full version of the game has been canceled, as the Polyphony Digital team is switching its focus to the next PS3 installment of the series, Gran Turismo 5.”
Sony’s PS3 controllers, also called Sixaxis, are wireless, but unfortunately do not feature removable battery packs, which makes them useless after the rechargeable batteries lose their efficiency, common after a finite number of charges.
A Sony spokesman has denied the rumor, saying “This is a purely speculative story and is largely untrue. The latest generation of Lithium Polymer batteries hardly suffer any memory effect at all, so it’ll be many years before there’s any degradation in terms of battery performance.”
Furthermore, Sony has the courage of its convictions, and is willing to replace any controllers, free of charge, when their battery dies.
When and if this happens, then of course we will be providing a service to exchange these items.
The Sixaxis controller will retail in stores for a modest price of $49.99 on the PS3 launch date: November 17th in the US.