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Thread: News and Notes: Video Game Edition

  1. #101
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    Peter Molyneux quits Microsoft
    gamespot.com

    Molyneux leaving Lionhead and Microsoft as work concludes on Fable: The Journey, moving to independent venture 22 Cans.

    Celebrated game designer Peter Molyneux is to leave Lionhead Studios and Microsoft, quitting the Fable developer and his creative director role at Microsoft Game Studios' European division to work with a new, independent outfit. In a tweet, Molyneux writes, "I have left the lovely amazing Microsoft and Lionhead. Now for something really amazing, scary and brave a new company called 22 Cans."

    The Twitter announcement came shortly after a statement to Kotaku, in which he announced his intentions, saying, "It is with mixed emotions that I made the decision to leave Microsoft and Lionhead Studios, the company that I co-founded in 1997, at the conclusion of development of Fable: The Journey."

    Molyneux, creator of Dungeon Keeper and Populous, as well as the Xbox-exclusive role-playing game franchise Fable, co-founded Lionhead in 1997. He set up the studio after leaving Bullfrog, which he had founded 10 years earlier and sold to Electronic Arts in 1995. Lionhead produced the god game Black & White under his direction, as well as the first Fable game, before being acquired by Microsoft in 2006.

    After being appointed creative director of Microsoft Game Studios in Europe in 2009, Molyneux oversaw Microsoft-owned British developers Rare and Lionhead. In his creative director role, Molyneux was also a notable spokesman for Microsoft's Kinect system, memorably presenting Milo, a Kinect-based tech demo in the form of an interactive virtual boy, at 2009's Electronic Entertainment Expo.

    Details on who will take up Molyneux's duties at Microsoft and the nature of his new outfit, 22 Cans, are yet to surface. A placeholder page at 22cans.com shares the vague recruitment message, "A great team with a great idea leads to a great success."

  2. #102
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    After Five Crummy Games, Marvel Wants No More of Sega
    Kotaku.com

    "No current plans" is politespeak for "this ballgame is over." And that was the reply given by Marvel's senior executive responsible for video games production, when asked what the future holds for the publishing label and Sega.

    "There are no current plans for additional Marvel games to be published by Sega," T.Q. Jefferson told The Hollywood Reporter. Sega was behind the last two Iron Man games (Metacritic 42), Thor (39) Incredible Hulk (55), and Captain America (rebounding to a 60).

    "The biggest afflictions affecting movie-licensed games is the amount of development time and a strict adherence to retelling the story of the film in the form of a game," Jefferson said. That's probably why Marvel is looking more to Facebook and free-to-play MMOs to adapt its video games. Oh, and, Activision, too.
    Activision hasn't been doing much better with the Marvel license lately.
    X-Men: Destiny - Xbox 360 avg 47 (metacritic)
    Spider-Man: Edge of Time - Xbox 360 avg 57 (metacritic)

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Rick View Post
    Spider-Man: Edge of Time - Xbox 360 avg 57 (metacritic)
    This one really pisses me off. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was an awesome game (76 on metacritic) - unfortunately, all Activision saw was the dollar signs, and forced Beenox (the developer) to make a sequel in less than a year - and it showed. Edge of Time was terrible. I fucking hate Activision and their yearly releases - they've destroyed so many franchises this generation through over saturation.

  4. #104
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    Ubisoft wants to offer more value, not more DRM
    gamesindustry.biz

    Ubisoft VP of Digital Chris Early is looking to add more services to its titles, so pirated games have less value

    Ubisoft wants to add more value to its PC titles, so that it no longer needs to add its controversial 'always-on' DRM. Ubisoft vice president of digital Chris Early told Eurogamer that the company hopes to add more companion services like mobile and social hooks to keep users from pirating PC games.

    "The question is, with enough on-going content development, content release, engagement at the community level, can we create that kind of MMO value system? I think we can. As the rest of the game industry continues to evolve, the more you hear more about cloud gaming, the more you hear about companion gaming, the less a pirated game should work in all of that environment. So, therefore the value of that pirated content becomes less," said Early.

    "Will some people still pirate? Yeah, they will. Will the person who really wants that broad experience pirate? We hope not."

    Some consumers have categorized Ubisoft's DRM practices as hostile, but the company is still working on finding the right balance between protecting itself and punishing legitimate users.

    "Is it fair for someone to enjoy our content without us receiving some value for that? I think at the core of that is, no," said Early. "Otherwise, other than works of charity, there would be few games made. The balance, however, is, how do we do anything about that and not harm the person who is giving us value for that?"

    "As we continue to keep our player at the center, we want to find ways that don't inconvenience that player who is paying for it," he said. "We've had a variety of degrees of success as we wind our way down that path. Our plan, our hope is we stay on the less intrusive, less cumbersome side of that path as we go on."

    "That's been the delicate balance that the industry has walked over time. It continues to be one that we grapple with as an industry. How do we create content and receive good value for that, and at the same time, not inconvenience the player who has given us value there? I don't know that there is a perfect answer today."
    I personally like what Ubisoft is going for. I don't like that "reportedly" you have to play Diablo III online. I understand for the cash transactions, but not for the whole game.
    Last edited by The Rick; March 25th, 2012 at 2:07 PM.

  5. #105
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    US bill wants cigarette-style warning labels on violent games.
    gamesindustry.biz

    The Violence in Video Games Labeling Act wants to protect your children from violent video games

    Virginia Representative Frank Wolf and California Representative Joe Baca have co-sponsored bill H.R. 4202, also called the Violence in Video Games Labeling Act. The bill aims to put health warnings on violent video games, not unlike the current warnings on all tobacco products. The label, which would accompany any game rated "E" for Everyone and above, would say: "'WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.''

    "The video game industry has a responsibility to parents, families and to consumers - to inform them of the potentially damaging content that is often found in their products," Baca told The Hill. "They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility."

    "Just as we warn smokers of the health consequences of tobacco, we should warn parents - and children - about the growing scientific evidence demonstrating a relationship between violent video games and violent behavior. As a parent and grandparent, I think it is important people know everything they can about the extremely violent nature of some of these games," added Wolf.

    Of course, this warning would come alongside the warnings that already exist on all video games, as rated by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Entertainment Software Association (ESA) senior vice president for communications and industry affairs Rich Taylor lashed out at the assumptions made by the bill.

    "Representative Baca's facially unconstitutional bill - which has been introduced to no avail in each of six successive Congressional sessions, beginning in 2002 - needlessly concerns parents with flawed research and junk science," Taylor told Gamasutra.

    "Numerous medical experts, research authorities, and courts across the country, including the United States Supreme Court, exhaustively reviewed the research Representative Baca uses to base his bill and found it lacking and unpersuasive. Independent scientific researchers found no causal connection between video games and real life violence."

    This isn't the first time Baca has tried to pass this bill. The original version of the Act was sponsored in 2009, but ultimately went nowhere in the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

    The U.S. Supreme Court already struck down one law attempting to ban the sales of violent video games to minors. The ESA was reimbursed for its legal fees in that battle by the state of California.
    Video games already have the most progressive ratings(in the US anyway). The front of the game has the ratings at the bottom corner. On the back of every piece of software it lists the content. Example

    The problem isn't the ratings, or lack there of. The problem is the lack of public knowledge of the ratings. Instead of a bill asking for more warnings, educate the public. TV ads, print ads, etc...

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    Xbox Live sees entertainment category surpass online gaming
    gamesindustry link



    **************************
    Gaming was the biggest UK entertainment retail sector in 2011
    gamingindustry link


  7. #107
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    Wii U 'not up to the same level' as PS3, Xbox 360 - Developers
    gamespot link



    ******************************

    PS4 due before next Xbox - Report
    gamespot link



    ***********************

  8. #108
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    Wow... those reports about the Wii U don't sound very good.

  9. #109
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    There's so many conflicting reports about Wii U it's hard to know what to believe.

    Vigil have stated that the Wii U version of Darksiders 2 will be the definitive version, as it will be the only one to display in 1080p with a 60fps frame rate, and will also utilise the touchscreen.
    Others are saying that it's not up to speed with 360 & PS3.

    One thing is for certain, regardless of how powerful the machine is, there will always be some developers who refuse to release games for Nintendo because they don't think they will be able to sell on a Nintendo console.


    I also read an article about how development costs for Xbox 720 & PS4 are set to double. Considering how many companies have already died this generation due to rising costs and lower sales, I think Nintendo may be the only company with any sense at all. But time will tell.
    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...elopment-costs

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    I really think the console makers are going to have to rein in their massive hunger for graphical power if they don't want to end up with a seriously homogenous gaming industry. The more and more elaborate and expensive making games becomes, and the more companies that go bust, the less risks will be taken. We'll just end up with a constant stream of CoD sequels. On the other hand, I think they want a seriously homogenous gaming industry. It will basically guarantee a few main players steady profits, drip feeding shareholders for another couple of generations at least, and since when did large corporations give a crap about the future of even their own industry? As long as they're making a packet in the next quarter, it's not important.

    Fortunately indy games and apps have the ability to gain worldwide distribution with the click of a button now, so it would seem that the playing field is leveling to an extent, but I'm not looking forward to a future where I have a choice between the same three franchises in 2160P HD on a 'real' console or a throw-away, blocky wee puzzle game on my phone. Where's the next Civilization or Sim City going to come from if your choices are spend 100 million dollars on pretty graphics or try to get it all done in your bedroom?

    I really hope Nintendo do well this gen and gain much more third party support.

  11. #111
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    I really (well aside from Nintendo) don't see the need for some massive update to the consoles. Games on PS3 and 360 look astounding and developers are starting to get really good with the systems.

    What I've seen of Wii U and the PS4 look so bizarre to me that I really have limited interest. Lack of backplay may well be a deal breaker for me on each console and the rumored limitations on used games really turns me off.

  12. #112
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    I'm going to sticky this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by GOLDBERG'S BEST FRIEND
    When you have the ability to have a beautiful women literally choking on your penis while you pull the shit out of her hair and push down on her head as hard as you want to, it helps you realize what a class fucking act you really are.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan The Man
    And obviously that's all in the societal you, not the Mitch-al (Mitchell?) you.

  13. #113
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    Good and Bad press for EA

    First the GOOD (in my opinion any way)

    EA defends itself against thousands of anti-gay letters
    gamesindustry link


    *************************************

    And the BAD

    EA responds to "worst company" label from Consumerist
    gamesindustry link


  14. #114
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    Grand Theft Auto video game in Victoria and Albert Museum Exhibition

    The Grand Theft Auto video game series has been selected for inclusion in a new show at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

    The “British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age” exhibition is a “celebration of UK contributions to the world of art and design in the post-war era”, and covers the period from London’s 1948 ‘Austerity Olympics’ to the present day.

    The series’ inclusion is not the first time video games have appeared in a major museum. The National Media Museum in Bradford keep an archive of major video game releases, and America’s Smithsonian Museum in Washington is currently running ‘The Art of Video Games’.

    Grand Theft Auto was originally created as an open world game for PC and Sony PlayStation by Edinburgh based DMA Design in 1997. However, the series breakthrough came with Grand Theft Auto III for PlayStation 2 which garnered critical acclaim for its rich and detailed setting Liberty City. GTA III arguably popularised the open-world template, and Rockstar have continued to build on this legacy with subsequent Grand Theft Auto games, and titles such as Old West adventure Red Dead Redemption. The last game in the series, Grand Theft Auto IV, was the fastest selling game in the UK at the time of its release and the series as a whole has sold over 114 million copies worldwide.

    In a statement, developers Rockstar said “We're honoured to announce that the Grand Theft Auto series has been selected for inclusion in the Victoria and Albert Museum's exhibition - Representing each Grand Theft Auto title in the franchise and showcasing the innovation of living metropolises and open world gameplay, the exhibit features a commemorative video chronicling the history of the Grand Theft Auto series”.

    British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age runs until 12 August.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolog...xhibition.html

    Same story in the Independent:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...n-7619076.html

  15. #115
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    Good on EA for telling homophobes where to stick it. And to be honest, I appreciate their response to being voted the worst company in America as well. Forbes got it right, EA might be greedy bastards and they might be leading the gaming industry down a pretty nasty road, but introducing things like online passes and daft DRM is nothing compared to wrecking the economy of the Western world and turfing people out of their homes whether they have a mortgage with you or not. What's wrong with people?

    I cannot help but wonder what Victoria and Albert would think about Grand Theft Auto being part of an exhibit at their museum. That's a pretty amazing achievement for any game series, let alone one so prone to controversy. It's great that Scotland managed to produce such a worldwide success and that Rockstar is still largely based there. It always did please me to see the Forth Rail Bridge in San Andreas.

  16. #116
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    Rockstar North employee CV gives Grand Theft Auto V an October launch window [update: CV pulled]
    by Ben Gilbert on Apr 8th 2012 12:45PM
    joystiq link



    Like several major games in the franchise, Grand Theft Auto V is being developed by Rockstar's Edinburgh, Scotland-based Rockstar North studio. Character animator Alex O'Dwyer is an employee at Rockstar North, according to both his LinkedIn page and his CV, and he seems to think that Grand Theft Auto V will launch this October.

    As seen in the image above, O'Dwyer's CV puts GTA V's launch window firmly in the holiday season – not exactly a bizarre concept considering Rockstar's history of launching GTA titles during the holidays (with the exception of Grand Theft Auto IV, that is). It would also put sufficient time between Rockstar's May launch of Max Payne 3, but would totally buck the trend of Rockstar releasing more than one title in any given year. It's worth noting that Rockstar's parent company, Take-Two Interactive, may not be keen on launching GTA V in the same month as BioShock Infinite.

    Regardless, we've reached out to Rockstar and O'Dwyer for comment, but, well ... it's Easter. Hopefully we'll hear something soon. For now, we're putting this squarely in the "rumor" column.

    Update: Mr. O'Dwyer's CV was pulled down. We still haven't heard from Rockstar, nor have we heard from Mr. O'Dwyer regarding the date.
    This is Huge news for the fall gaming line up. I really didn't expect to see this until next year like most, but now my hopes are up. I don't know why either. Bioshock Infinite is coming out, and if I have to choose at that time my head might explode... then I will pick up GTA.

    Rockstar shouldn't say a word either way until E3. Now if they wanted Max Payne 3 to sell a shit load they should pack an "online beta" invite for GTA 5 in there.

  17. #117
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    October? I am highly suspicious of that. We haven't seen a hint of gameplay yet, and October is only a few months away. Maybe October was an early internal estimate at Rockstar but I'd be very surprised if it turns out to be the currently planned shipping timeframe. Pleasantly surprised, of course.

  18. #118
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    I'd buy October. We hadn't even heard that they were making an Assassin's Creed 3 until, what, a month ago? And that's coming out in October.

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    If they've been working on this for four years, or however long it has been since IV came out, then October doesn't sound unrealistic. No one knows though, do we? I'd guess that the game was well along the road to completion before the trailer we saw last year was completed.

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    Yeah, come to think of it, you guys could well be right. It would be pretty great to see it by then as well.

  21. #121
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    Xbox Live to be "further monetized" - report
    gamesindustry link
    By James Brightman Mon 16 Apr 2012

    Microsoft employee CV reveals intent to wring more money out of subscribers

    Microsoft is already doing quite well for itself with the popular Xbox Live service, charging $59.99 per annual subscription as of November 2010. Now it appears that a plan is in place to "further monetize" subscribers, according to group product planner Praveen Rutnam.

    Rutnam's LinkedIn page notes that he's already "developed [a] strategy to further monetize Xbox LIVE subscriber base that will be implemented for holiday 2012." That's a rather vague statement, and it could be tied to the rumored removal of the Microsoft Points system, but it could easily involve other features to incentivize users to pay more (similar to PlayStation Plus on PSN).

    RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian commented to GamesIndustry International, "It could be added non-game content; a move to increase the subscriber base; a new user interface with easier access to the 'buy buttons'; perhaps a loyalty program, lots of options."

    "In general, we should all assume that Microsoft is always looking for ways to improve monetization of users, as is a any self-respecting Internet company."

    We've requested comment from Microsoft on the matter but have yet to receive a response. Update: A Microsoft spokesperson provided us with this statement: "We are always thinking of ways to improve our platform and its offerings. Beyond that we have no comment."
    I'm actually surprised they haven't already implemented some of these items.

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    Bethesda’s Lawyers Threaten Guy Giving Away Free Fallout Posters
    kotaku link
    By Luke Plunkett Apr 17, 2012

    Late last year, artist Erling Løken Andersen thought it would be a nice idea to set up a website for his Fallout fan art. It was lovely art, coming in the form of posters, and in a nice touch, Andersen even uploaded incredibly high-resolution (and vector!) versions so people could print out their own copies.

    Enter DLA Piper, a law firm representing publishers Bethesda, who own the rights to (most of) the Fallout universe. They sent a two-page letter threatening Andersen for having distributed the art, despite the fact he was not charging for it, and that Bethesda does not itself offer such images for sale.

    So Andersen sent a very polite, very considered letter back, outlining his case and why DLA Piper's points of contention don't apply to a guy giving away art on the internet. You can read both letters at the link below. The lawyers are yet to respond.

    I'm sure DLA Piper are just working off a brief, and this has nothing to do with Bethesda specifically targeting the guy, but still, when you hire a firm to conduct business in your name, it's your name that gets dragged into this kind of petty bullshit.

    link to other letters

  23. #123
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    I'd assume that the XBox Live thing they're talking about is some sort of PSN+-style service. That's proven a very good way for Sony to get more money out of me.

  24. #124
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    New Bethesda game:


  25. #125
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    I generally just shrug my shoulders whenever I see yet another pre-rendered trailer, because I don't see how that's supposed to make me anticipate a game. However, the world looks pretty interesting, and I did a little digging to find this article:

    http://www.gamesradar.com/dishonored...l-of-violence/

    In short, the game is said to alter the unfolding story based on how you play and to allow for a lot of creativity when dealing with enemies. I hope it pans out that way. I enjoyed experimenting with different strategies in Skyrim during the Dark Brotherhood quests but opportunities to do anything other than shoot/stab in the back are there though unfortunately rare.

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurogamer
    Bethesda will unveil its heavily rumoured Elder Scrolls MMO in May, according to a new report.
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...-in-may-report

    I hate MMOs so it's highly unlikely I'll bother, but there's the chance it could really be something special and quite a radical experience. They have been working on it for six years, apparently. I just hope work on this was not a factor in Skyrim having such huge teething issues. Can you imagine Skyrim or all of Tamriel as a huge online persistent world, though?

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    two nice bits of news from Nintendo

    Kirby Anthology Coming This Year for Wii, Says Nintendo
    kotaku link

    Not much more than a brief tease; as part of today's "Nintendo Direct" news event in Japan, the company said "a special Wii disc featuring all your favorite Kirby games," will be released this year, the character's 20th anniversary.

    New Super Mario Bros. 2 Hits 3DSes This August
    kotaku link

    A new side-scrolling Super Mario Bros. game called New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be released for the Nintendo 3DS this August, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced today in Japan.

    The game is a follow-up to the Nintendo DS mega-hit New Super Mario Bros. as well as New Super Mario Bros. Wii, both of which were old-school sidescrollers.

    The big sequel was revealed during a Japanese video presentation hosted by the Nintendo president. Shortly after the announcement, Nintendo's American twitter feed also ran the news that the game is coming this August, implying it's set for release in North America this summer as well.

    The first images shown of the game suggest that New Super Mario Bros. 2 will include the fan-favorite Power Leaf Tanooki Suit power-up from Super Mario Bros. 3. Unlike the racoon-tail Tanooki Suit in last year's Super Mario 3D Land, this throwback power-up will enable players who activate it to make their Raccoon Tail Mario fly.

    According to Nintendo's Facebook page, "This all-new, side-scrolling adventure features Mario, Luigi and all your fave characters from the Mario series." Naturally!
    Last edited by The Rick; April 21st, 2012 at 3:12 PM.

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    Xbox violates Motorola Mobility patents says Judge
    gamesindustry link

    By James Brightman Tue 24 Apr 2012 2:58pm GMT

    Motorola aims to block imports of the Xbox into the US

    Microsoft could see imports of its Xbox console blocked in the US if Motorola Mobility gets its way. David Shaw, a judge for the US International Trade Commission, ruled that Microsoft was violating four of five Motorola Mobility patents.

    A separate judge, however, found that Motorola Mobility infringed just one of seven Microsoft patents.

    Judge Shaw's findings are still subject to review by the six-member commission, which has the power to ban imports that infringe US patents, Bloomberg noted. Microsoft may be forced into settlement talks with Motorola to avoid any such ban.

    Motorola Mobility actually filed suit against Microsoft in response to Microsoft lodging complaints against Motorola over patent-infringement claims involving Motorola Mobility phones that run on Google's Android operating system.

    "Microsoft continues to infringe Motorola Mobility's patent portfolio, and we remain confident in our position," said Becki Leonard, a spokeswoman for Motorola Mobility. "This case was filed in response to Microsoft's litigate-first patent attack strategy, and we look forward to the full commission's ruling in August."

    For its part, Microsoft stands firm that it will be vindicated once the commission finishes its investigation (expected around August 23). "Today's recommendation by the administrative law judge is the first step in the process leading to the commission's final ruling," Microsoft said in a statement. "We remain confident the commission will ultimately rule in Microsoft's favor in this case and that Motorola will be held to its promise to make its standard-essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms."

    Two of the patents in question are related to an industry standard for video decoding, another two are for Wi-Fi technology and a fifth patent deals with communication between the Xbox and accessories.

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    German Court Orders Microsoft To Stop Selling Xbox 360s
    kotaku link
    By Jason Schreier May 2, 2012 1:30 PM

    Achtung! A Mannheim court ruled today that Microsoft can no longer sell its Xbox 360 and Windows 7 operating systems in Germany. According to the German judge, this is because Microsoft infringed upon a Motorola patent while using certain video compression software.

    But! A U.S. court has granted Microsoft a preliminary injunction while it appeals this decision, so Motorola can't enforce the German court order just yet. Xbox 360s will still be sold in Germany. For now. Let the Patent Wars begin.

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    Dark Souls sells 1.19 million
    May 8, 2012 9:30AM PDT By Brendan Sinclair
    gamespot link

    Namco Bandai confirms action-RPG its best-selling title as publisher posts most profitable full-year results in four years; Ace Combat: Assault Horizon also tops 1 million sold.

    Dark Souls pushed Namco Bandai to its strongest fiscal year since 2008, the publisher revealed today in its financial results for the year ended March 31. From Software's action role-playing game was the company's top game of the year, selling 1.19 million copies in North America and Europe (Namco Bandai did not handle the game's Japanese release).

    Beyond Dark Souls, Namco Bandai's most successful launch of the year was Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, which sold 1.07 million copies. The reboot of the dogfighting series did substantially better than its console predecessor, 2007's Xbox 360-exclusive Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, which sold 700,000 copies worldwide. Namco Bandai's other top sellers this year included the Japanese-only launches of One Piece: Pirate Warriors (940,000 sold) and Tales of Xillia (770,000 sold). Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi was next in line with 700,000 sold, while Soulcalibur V managed to move 690,000 copies.

    For the full year, Namco Bandai posted revenues of ¥454.2 billion ($5.7 billion), up 15 percent and its best sales total since the fiscal year ended in March of 2008. The company's net profits were also up, with a ¥19.3 billion ($241.8 million) haul that was also Namco Bandai's best performance of the last four years, and 10 times the previous year's net profits.

    The just underway fiscal year is expected to prove slightly more challenging for the publisher, as Namco Bandai has forecast sales and profits will both suffer single-digit percentage drops for the year ending March 31, 2013. The publisher's announced lineup of titles for the year includes Dark Souls for the PC, the international release of One Piece: Pirate Warriors, the sci-fi first-person shooter Inversion, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and Dragon Ball Z for Kinect.

    It is nice to see Dark Souls do this well. Amidst all the shooters and high profile titles (Skyrim, Batman, ect) they were able to pull in some nice numbers. Going multi-platform had to have helped dramatically. Sony said that this was a huge mistake not renewing their exclusivity, their right. They are dumb asses.

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    BioShock Infinite moved into 2013 for "tweaks and improvements"
    By James Brightman Wed 09 May 2012 1:55pm GMT
    gamesindustry link





    BioShock Infinite delay leaves October open for GTA V
    By Mike Williams Wed 09 May 2012 8:11pm GMT
    gamesindustry link


  32. #132
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    It's almost a relief that Bioshock is moving back to take the pressure off both them and me. The rush to release in October is ridiculous.

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    38 Studios opts to pay loan, not employees [Updated]
    By Ben Strauss Thu 17 May 2012 9:22pm GMT
    gamesindustry link

    Curt Schilling's studio fires temps and contract employees to cover $1.125 million payment

    The state of Rhode Island is facing a terrible setback after disappointing sales from 38 Studios and Kingdoms of Amalur. The company, which got started from a massive $75 million loan from the Rhode Island Economic Development Center, is facing a major debt crisis after missing a $1.125 million payment. It is now being reported that the company will opt to pay that loan, rather than play employees.

    Current employees at the studio were unable to comment on the matter, but things looked quite grim outside the studio, reports local news WPRI. The studio counts 379 full time employees, with over 288 of them working in Rhode Island.

    While paying off the debt might stave off some problems for 38 Studios, the employees and those surrounding the loan deal are being affected. 38 Studios has fired all temp employees, as well as all those on contract. The executive director for the state's Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Keith Stokes, has also resigned his position. Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has not named a replacement yet.

    38 Studios, founded in 2006 by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Shilling, has received $49.8 million of a $75 million loan from the state. It looks as though taxpayers in Rhode Island will more than likely have to front the bill should the studio go under.

    Things might not be lost, as Rhode Island is also helping to pay for the next game from the studio. The supposed MMO titled "Project Copernicus" is currently in development, though nothing about the game has come to light, including release schedule.

    UPDATE: It is being reported that the check, hand delivered to the EDC by 38 Studios, has been returned. The company's chief financial officer has confirmed that there is not enough to cover the $1.125 million owed at this time.

  34. #134
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    Microsoft's Steve Ballmer named America's worst CEO by Forbes
    gamesindustry link
    By Ben Strauss Wed 16 May 2012 5:15pm GMT

    Microsoft head beats out Wal-Mart, Sears, GE and Cisco for top slot in "CEOs who should have been fired long ago"

    Steve Ballmer is the #1 ranked CEO who "should have been fired long ago," beating out competition from companies such as GE and Wal-Mart, argues Forbes in a rather scathing article posted this week. Ballmer is credited with not only helping to cripple Microsoft, but other companies that rely on the technology and expertise that has come out of the tech giant for decades.

    "Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today," says Forbes contributor Adam Hartung. "Not only has he singlehandedly steered Microsoft out of some of the fastest growing and most lucrative tech markets (mobile music, handsets and tablets) but in the process he has sacrificed the growth and profits of not only his company but 'ecosystem' companies such as Dell, Hewlett Packard and even Nokia."

    "The reach of his bad leadership has extended far beyond Microsoft when it comes to destroying shareholder value - and jobs."

    Ballmer's leadership, argues Forbes, has drastically pushed back the value of the company, which used to enjoy $60/share trading. Today's number hovers in the low $30s, recovering from a low point of the mid-$20s in 2002. Much of the argument stems from the belief that Microsoft has simply forgotten that the market is changing, and has decided to simply stay in the PC game, rather than work to lead the tablet and mobile markets.

    "So today Microsoft, after dumping Zune, dumping its tablet, dumping Windows CE and other mobile products, is still the same company Mr. Ballmer took control over a decade ago," argues Hartung. "Microsoft is PC company, nothing more, as demand for PCs shifts to mobile. Years late to market, he has bet the company on Windows 8 - as well as the future of Dell, HP, Nokia and others."

    "An insane bet for any CEO - and one that would have been avoided entirely had the Microsoft Board replaced Mr. Ballmer years ago with a CEO that understands the fast pace of technology shifts and would have kept Microsoft current with market trends."

    What the Forbes author left out is how successful the Xbox and Xbox Live business has become. While Ballmer didn't lead the Xbox charge directly, the growth of the Interactive Entertainment Business happened on his watch.
    Maybe somebody at Forbes magazine owns a PS3.

  35. #135
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    Diablo III's awesome solo campaign:


  36. #136
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    Working fine for me. I got to level 14. I'd play more but I have work tomorrow.

    The Demon Hunter (ranged/trap) class is pretty fun.

  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    Working fine for me. I got to level 14. I'd play more but I have work tomorrow.

    The Demon Hunter (ranged/trap) class is pretty fun.
    Yeah, I had no issues with it last night. The little fixes for the 3007 error like "join general chat before starting game" has meant I haven't been booted off at all, apart from when the servers went down for maintenance. It's kind of almost in peak for us in Oz which sucks but I had work today so the 10pm schedule last night was probably a good thing.

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimario View Post
    Yeah, I had no issues with it last night. The little fixes for the 3007 error like "join general chat before starting game" has meant I haven't been booted off at all, apart from when the servers went down for maintenance. It's kind of almost in peak for us in Oz which sucks but I had work today so the 10pm schedule last night was probably a good thing.
    What's your Battletag thing and what class are you using? I probably won't get to play again til Sunday though.

  39. #139
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    I can't even run it on my laptop and I'm not upgrading it just for Diablo III.

    Not for a graphical upgrade (I'm so glad it doesn't look like the horrible beta shit, though). But it's Diablo II with a new skin, yeah? Same exact game, essentially. It's not like the jump Diablo II made from Diablo, which was really just a graphical change with a much bigger world and inventory system.

    If I could run it I'd pick it up, but it's not a priority for me like D2 was ages ago when I was in high school and my friends and I were like, "Holy shit!"

    If they do make it into a console version, I might pick it up provided it works well.

    But it looks like the same shit again.

    KEEP IN MIND, if my laptop supported its minimum requirements, I'd have already poured hours and hours into it.

    But I just can't spend cash in order to spend MORE cash to play a game that I'm unfortunately not as interested in as I really wished I were.

  40. #140
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    Well, the skill system is vastly different now. And most of the characters are too.

    IGN has a video detailing what's changed, http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/05/...ew-in-progress

    It's the 2nd one on that page.

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    And unfortunately that's just where PC games are these days, yeah? Myself being an example.

    I always preferred PC versions over consoles, but there's just too much investment making sure you can actually run it.

    I was dying for Starcraft 2, but I can't run it. And I just can't justify the cost of either getting a new PC or upgrading my current one just so I can play a game when my computer serves every other purpose perfectly and I already have consoles to sate my already (sadly) diminished gaming appetite.

    I remember getting Age of Empires III and not being able to run it on my PC. So I got it to run on my Mac. Couldn't play it there, either.

    Still haven't played a second of it. And even though it was apparently a bust of some sorts, I wish I could have figured out a TRUSH strategy just to infuriate my friends when I played against them the first time.

  42. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    What's your Battletag thing and what class are you using? I probably won't get to play again til Sunday though.
    Grimario#1983

    Started with a DH for 30 minutes but about to boot up a Wiz, I think. No idea, really.

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judas Iscariot View Post
    but there's just too much investment making sure you can actually run it.
    Oh fuff. Once you get everything set up, you can go on and on about how PC gaming is far superior for a multitude of reasons and be a complete and utter dickwad of a snob. And that, my comrade, is priceless.

  44. #144
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    If you're gaming on a laptop, it can be pretty tricky to keep up because upgrades are a nightmare if not impossible, and often their video cards are somewhat crippled from the get-go unless you get a machine specifically for gaming, but a decent desktop can keep you current for a good four or five years, close to the lifespan of a console. If you are particularly competitive and really care about squeezing every last frame out of a game, it's always going to be expensive and require the latest video card every 12-18 months, but I am running Skyrim at ultra settings on a 4 year old machine that I did not even need to update until I got a mediocre 1GB graphics card last year for about £80. Even then, the 256MB card that the machine came with would have run Skyrim on medium and ran Bioshock on high.

    It still sucks that most gaming companies don't seem to give a crap about people on machines older than a year, though. I was pleasantly surprised at how scalable Skyrim really is, Bethesda did a good job there, but by and large developers cram so many polygons on screen and do such little optimization that it can really become a treadmill trying to keep up with the graphics. To me, PC games are worth it because of the customisation options (I would probably have despised Skyrim eventually if I didn't have the hope of mods), but also because I'm willing to compromise and I'm not trying to compete in Call of Duty or something. Unfortunately, some developers are not willing to compromise at all, and you end up with situations where a game simply won't run because it doesn't detect the right video card, even if the current video card would probably be able to handle it with a reasonable if slightly sluggish performance.

    In short, it does suck that PC gaming requires investment now and then just to be 'allowed' to play new games, but that investment does not have to be enormous in the grand scheme of things, and respectable performance can be achieved with fairly mediocre kit. You don't need to spend £1000 on some crazy AlienWare gaming rig with liquid coolant.

  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vice View Post
    Oh fuff. Once you get everything set up, you can go on and on about how PC gaming is far superior for a multitude of reasons and be a complete and utter dickwad of a snob. And that, my comrade, is priceless.
    I see what you did there.

    I do think it is better but having said that if my friends weren't also PC gamers I probably would be playing console like the rest of you.

  46. #146
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    Japan formalises 'complete gacha' ban
    gamesindustry link
    By Dan Pearson Fri 18 May 2012 8:05am GMT

    Randomised item mechanic made illegal by Consumer Affairs Agency

    Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency has formalised the ban on 'complete gacha' mechanics in video games - a move foreseen by several major social developers in the territory.

    Complete gacha is an extension of the gacha mechanic, in which random items are produced, itself an evolution of the capsule toy machines common in Japan. Complete gacha requires players to accrue specific random items in this manner in order to obtain other, rare items.

    This mechanic is often paired with micro-transaction costs for each random item and was deemed to be unfair. From July 1, any company selling a game utilising the mechanic will be subject to penalties, reports Andriasang.

    This shouldn't cause a problem to the territory's major developers, who largely abandoned the system after the ministry first hinted at the ban just over a week ago.

  47. #147
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    Microsoft Reveals New Stats for the Xbox 360
    67 million Xbox 360s and counting...
    IGN link
    by Anthony Gallegos May 30, 2012



    Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer for its Interactive Entertainment Division, recently wrote in the company's official blog about the many successes of the Xbox 360. Mehdi is particularly excited about the future potential of the console, discussing how, "in the last year, the Xbox has transcended from a gaming console to a broad entertainment device inclusive of movies, TV, music and sports." He goes on to discuss how much time people spend with their 360, pointing out how Xbox Live subscribers spend 84 hours per month with the system on average. For comparison, Mehdi asserts, "the average American watches a little more than 150 hours of TV in the same period."

    Medhi believes this has resulted in Microsoft's ability to "defy gravity" in the console life cycle. "Sales for Xbox 360 in year five were greater than in year four, sales in year six were greater than in year five, and sales in year seven were greater than in year six," said Medhi. All of these sales have culminated in $56 billion in revenue and 67 million consoles sold since 2005 (compare that to Sony's 63.9 million), and Microsoft attributes the continuing success to the 19 million Kinects sold and that they have 47% of the console marketshare.

    Microsoft's philosophy with the Xbox is that "entertainment has become a multi-screen experience," and while Medhi wouldn't reveal what we can expect at next week's E3, he did say the company has, "a few surprises to share!"

  48. #148
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    PlayStation 4 due in 2013 - Report
    gamespot link
    By Eddie Makuch May 30, 2012 1:11PM PDT

    Sources say Sony to ship new console next year, company flirted with idea of download-only system, but decided against it over bandwidth concerns.

    The PlayStation 4 will hit store shelves next year, sources have told the Wall Street Journal. The unnamed tipsters said Sony is aiming to hit this date, but did not elaborate further. A Sony representative declined to comment for GameSpot.

    On top of outing a release window for the PS4, the paper's sources explained Sony considered making it download-only, but ultimately decided against it. According to the report, Sony's flirtation with such a system came to a hault mainly because of concerns regarding the prevalence and reliability of Internet connections around the world.

    A user in a region with a relatively slow Internet connection would face lengthy download times, and this turned Sony off to the idea, the source said. A Sony representative told GameSpot, "This is rumor and we do not comment on rumor."

    If Sony had moved forward with a digital-only home console, it would have followed the company's PSP Go in ditching boxed games. That system shipped in 2009, and during one week in February 2011, was outsold by its PSP predecessor 1,000-to-1 in Japan.

    The site also reports that Microsoft's next Xbox will boast an optical disc drive, as was suggested earlier this year when rumor had the new console sporting a Blu-ray drive. The source told the paper that Microsoft also harbored concerns regarding access to reliable Internet connections when devising plans for its upcoming console.

    For more on speculation concerning the PS4 and next Xbox, check out GameSpot's rumor roundup feature.

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    Nintendo Unveils Hardcore Wii U Controller
    kotaku link
    By Luke Plunkett Jun 3, 2012 6:05 PM



    The point of the Wii U is that it has a fancy, touch-screen controller. That may not be suitable for all titles, though. Especially ones being ported from other consoles. For that, much like the Wii, the Wii U will have a Pro Controller, one that you could say resembles the pads of one of Nintendo's competitors.

    Also of note: check out those sticks. Or, more pointedly, check out the circular housing they're sitting in. From the N64 to the Wii, Nintendo has preferred to keep things octagonal as far as its joystick movement extremities went. It was handy for some games, but for others, a giant pain.

    That's a thing of the past, as both the Wii U Gamepad and this Pro Controller both have a circular housing, which should allow for a more precise range of movement.
    __________________________________________________ ____

    The Wii U GamePad Is Different. Here’s How.
    kotaku link
    By Brian Ashcraft Jun 3, 2012 6:11 PM



    Today in a pre-recorded statement from Nintendo's Kyoto headquarters, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata introduced Nintendo's new home console the Wii U and how the Wii U GamePad, the controller's official name, is different.

    First, Iwata revealed that Wii U GamePad's name harkens back to the Nintendo Entertainment System's controller, the NES gamepad.

    Regarding the changes, Iwata stated that the buttons were moved to make the controller more comfortable. The controller's handgrips were also changed to make the controller easier to hold.

    The sliders are now thumbsticks that can be pushed down, and the controller has a NFC reader/writer than can read cards or figures when they are placed on it.

    The Wii U can also be a TV remote controller with a new TV Remote Control button. Unlike the Wii, which can only turn the Wii on or off, the Wii U Gamepad can turn off the console and then turn itself into a TV remote controller.

    Last month, an image surfaced of a tweaked Wii U GamePad that showed off the redesigned analog thumbsticks. That image did not show the labeled TV Remote, but it did show the button. Nintendo showed that feature for the first time today.

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    Activision Might be For Sale
    Kotaku link
    By Luke Plunkett Jun 7, 2012 7:06 PM

    According to a report on BLoomberg, media giant Vivendi - which owns Activision Blizzard - is going to meet soon to decide whether to offload the publishing powerhouse.

    With a market value of around $13 billion, Vivendi's top brass will mull whether to sell the company, sell part of the company or simply leave things as they are.

    The move would have nothing to do with Activision's performance; it would be because Vivendi's boss wants to "unlock value from assets he has said are at a discount because of the holding structure at Vivendi"

    Anyone got a few spare bucks lying around? Let's get a Kickstarter going, see if we can't buy this puppy and make some changes.

  51. #151
    Noli Timere Messorem The_Mike's Avatar
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    Good to see a more regular gaming pad is an option for the Wii U, but I really am getting tired of how bitty all these consoles are. Seems like having to buy five different controllers is starting to become the norm.

  52. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Mike View Post
    Good to see a more regular gaming pad is an option for the Wii U, but I really am getting tired of how bitty all these consoles are. Seems like having to buy five different controllers is starting to become the norm.
    I like the pad, but I wish it was packed in. It would allow developers to concentrate on making games for the WiiU, and not worry about integrating the touch pad. The next COD, GTA, and sports games can easily be ported over(theoretically) for the time being. Thus this could then be a powerful selling point for the WiiU. Buy our new machine, play all the games you love from Nintendo, and now play the games that weren't possible on the Wii.

  53. #153
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    Xbox team looks "obsessively" at Sony says Molyneux
    gamesindustry link
    By James Brightman Tue 12 Jun 2012 2:17pm GMT


    The former Microsoft exec and Lionhead boss is also "shocked" by Microsoft's lack of attention to Windows gaming

    In business, it's only natural to look across the board at the competition. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all keep a close eye on one another to see how respective strategies and product lines are evolving. According to ex-Lionhead leader Peter Molyneux, the Microsoft camp actually looks at Sony "obsessively."

    In a wide-ranging interview with Molyneux last week at E3, GamesIndustry International prefaced a general question about Sony with our own comment that Molyneux and people in even higher offices at Microsoft must be constantly looking at Sony. Molyneux quickly noted, "Yes, very much so. Obsessively so."

    Overall, Molyneux believes Sony's own first-party studio system could be its savior, but he's not sure the company's corporate troubles will enable them to flourish.

    "Sony has always had a very strong first person line-up, which I think is incredibly smart. They've got good developers. They've got some very talented developers. The way I always feel with Sony is that if they double down on those first party developers, give them the headroom to be inventive and be creative, especially when it comes it any next generation platform, then they could pull lots of rabbits out of the hat," he remarked.

    "What I worry about, with their corporate pressure and the pressure on costs, I worry about the ability to do that. More and more - and this is a personal thing - I just don't know where they're going in hardware terms. They had the Move, but it wasn't as early as the Wii and it wasn't as innovational as Kinect. They seem to be third in line in that race. I have expected, every single press conference for the last year, Sony to bring out this magic rabbit out from a huge hat and say, 'Aha, world. You really don't realize what's going on.' And I do worry about them."

    Sizing up Microsoft's E3 showing, Molyneux commented, "I thought it was a very smart move on their behalf to focus on demos. And actually, I thought EA's line, 'You're going to see ten great demos from ten great developers,' you could have said the same for Microsoft. I felt there wasn't nearly as much Kinect stuff as previous years, which was a little bit of a surprise and a shock to me."

    He continued, "I like the SmartGlass thing that they were talking about but I didn't completely understand it. I'd like to have seen more examples of it. It sounded like it was a big thing, because here's Microsoft supporting Apple. It really didn't get a lot of play for that. I like the Nike Fitness product. I thought [the conference] was good. It was, as usual, super hyper-professional. They finished on the second. But what did it tell us about them structurally in the next two, three years? I don't think it said anything about it. I think - in fact, it almost painted a stone wall in my mind. It was like they were holding their breath and waiting for something else"

    Molyneux sees all the console makers as struggling to deal with the reality that they're no longer the only game in town in 2012.

    "It's going to be an interesting problem for all the console manufacturers I think. It's because so much computer entertainment, is spreading and diversifying over so many different platforms. They no longer have the luxury of keeping us all funneled into these consoles. A whole lot of manufacturers in the industry have been in a luxurious position for so long, where they could restrict the entertainment content to the masses. They did a very good job of squeezing the PC out and making this just about three formats and now it feels like it's sand dripping through their fingers. It's escaping from them," he observed.

    Speaking of the PC, Molyneux was also surprised by Microsoft's continued lack of attention to the PC format for gamers.

    "I would hope the next generation would bring about a new wave of innovation. If we don't do that in consoles, then you will find that those people that want innovation will start retreating to other formats. Look at the PC. It's incredible to me how there's been a resurgence in PC gaming. There's a lot more innovation now... I think that's the other thing about the Microsoft press conference. It's always shocked me about how little Microsoft cared about the Windows platform. There was hardly a single talk about Windows 8 at all. You would've thought, with a billion installed machines, there would be at least some play. And the whole metro interface is much more gamified, but there was no talk about it at all," Molyneux said.

    Ultimately, with so many platforms available to developers aside from consoles, it can be confusing for game developers, but the new landscape also creates many opportunities.

    "This is exactly why I left Microsoft," Molyneux, who recently formed 22 Cans, remarked. "I think as a creative person, as someone who loves creativity and loves embracing ideas, this seemed like the perfect time to set up another company and find enough people that believed in one focused idea, crazy though that idea might be, that embraces all this new technology rather than try to ignore it. And the only way I found that I was able to do that was in a start up because there are so many political things that have to go on in existing games development, whether they're supporting retail or supporting some format that's out there. I think only a little start-up can totally embrace that newness and the excitement that's going on."

    And as a bonus it's certainly liberating for someone as outspoken as Peter Molyneux. He related to us how it's been a breath of fresh air to be able to talk without restrictions.

    "It is very, very difficult when you're a developer owned by a publisher because when you're talking it's not just your voice. It's the voice of your team, which is 200 persons strong; it's the voice of the whole of Microsoft," he said, reflecting on Lionhead. "And that has to be measured, and so at one point, at Microsoft, totally understandably, there would be one journalist in the room and three or four PR people just writing everything down. Now there's nobody. That took me a bit of while to get used to. You almost expect someone to pop up and look in the room and say, 'Well, you can't say that.'"

    It does have its downside though: "Freedom is a dangerous drug to take. It is very dangerous because [PR] did two things. They stopped me from saying the wrong corporate thing, but they also stopped me from making a fool of myself. It's very easy to do that now. Very, very easy."

  54. #154
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    Multi-touch Wii U screen would be 'unwieldy' - Nintendo
    gamespot link
    By Brendan Sinclair June 12, 2012 8:26AM PDT

    Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime explains the thinking behind limiting the GamePad's touch screen to a single input, promises revised Friend Code system.

    The Wii U GamePad touch screen is only sensitive to a single input at a time, and Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime is saying that limitation was more than just a cost-cutting measure.

    Speaking with Kotaku, Fils-Aime explained that Nintendo determined "single-touch was a more appropriate option" given the GamePad's other buttons. While Fils-Aime acknowledged that the price of a multi-touch display played a part in the decision making, he added that there was a consideration to the gaming experience as well.

    "Certainly there's a cost to it. Again, we envision this as a controller that you're putting in your hands and you're doing a two-screen experience," he said. "The concept of putting it in your lap to do multi-touch for us just feels unwieldy."

    In addition to addressing the GamePad's single-touch screen, Fils-Aime also promised the Wii U will incorporate improvements to Nintendo's existing Friend Code system from the Wii. There will still be friends, and gamers will have a separate level of interaction available for those people on their friends lists, but Fils-Aime promised the process of confirming someone as a friend will be "a lot simpler" than it is with the Wii.

  55. #155
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    Australia formally passes mature game rating
    gamesindustry link
    By Ben Strauss Mon 18 Jun 2012 5:28pm GMT

    With R18+ designation, Australian gamers are finally able to play games with fewer restrictions on censorship

    Gamers on the smallest continent in the world have finally made headway in the fight for freedom of expression in video games. Australian Federal Parliament has approved a rating of R18+ for gaming, which will allow games that have long been banned in the country to be sold at retail. The new rating will come into effect at the start of 2013.

    "These are important reforms over 10 years in the making," said Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare to News.com.au. The reform was a bipartisan effort, one that has been contested heavily since 2009 with an open debate offered by the government."

    "The R18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material. The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law."

    Before the R18+ label, the law effectively meant that games deemed unsuitable for those under the age of 18 were outright banned for sale in the country. Australia's rating system only went as high as to allow games meant for a 15+ rating, nominal to a T rating with the American-based ESRB and a 16 rating for the European-based PEGI system.

    "The passage of this bill will no doubt be welcomed by adult gamers all across Australia," added shadow attorney-general George Brandis. "The industry has been waiting for this change for some time."

    That change will put all media under a unified set of criteria to be rated and judged, giving gamers a proper shot at enjoying such titles as Left 4 Dead 2, Manhunt, The Witcher 2 and Syndicate, among other well-known titles.

  56. #156
    Maximum Effort. Bert's Avatar
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    http://wiiudaily.com/2012/06/nintend...n-wii-u-eshop/

    The source, working at a European developer who previously informed on Wii U Achievements (a report which was later confirmed by Nintendo), said that Nintendo is taking digital downloads seriously this time. He said Nintendo wants to offer all retail games — first and third party titles– available as downloadable titles on the console via the Wii U eShop.
    “They’re offering insane incentives for publishers to sell retail games as downloads on the console. You’d be stupid not to take advantage of it and go retail box-only”, he said, adding “The new platform is perfect for indie devs, it’s a whole different ball game than WiiWare. They’ve learned a lot from that mess”.
    “It’s just a much bigger revenue cut that you’d get selling it on any other platform at the moment, plus promotions on the online store. If they [Nintendo] pull it off and it gains traction, it’ll press the other guys [Microsoft and Sony] to give more of the revenue to the publishers. It’s very good for us who make games”.

  57. #157
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    http://www.gamespot.com/news/tony-ha...uly-18-6383245

    Tony Hawk will ride again next month. Xbox Live director of programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb today announced prices and release dates for 2012's Summer of Arcade promotion, which will kick off on July 18 with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD for 1,200 MS points ($15).

    Developed by Robomodo (Tony Hawk Ride, Tony Hawk Shred), Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD will be the first Tony Hawk title distributed exclusively through digital channels. It will contain levels from the first two Tony Hawk titles, retouched and running on a new game engine. Its soundtrack includes a mix of songs from past games, like "Superman" by Goldfinger, as well as tunes new to the franchise, like "Teenage Blood" by Apex Manor and "Please Ask for Help" by Telekinesis.

    I think I'll be getting this unless the reviews are terrible. I loved the first two games and this one is supposed to have 5 multiplayer modes and leaderboards.
    Last edited by blackening; June 20th, 2012 at 2:03 PM.

  58. #158
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    I'm worried that the guys developing it aren't the original guys.

  59. #159
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    Valve Gives Away Portal 2 for Free to Teachers with ‘Steam for Schools’
    kotaku link
    By Evan Narcisse Jun 20, 2012 11:45 AM

    If you've played games like Team Fortress 2 or the Portal titles, you know that Valve loves making players learn. The company's already got a foothold in bringing their games into the educational space and that commitment's going to get bigger.

    Today, at the Games for Change conference, Valve's Leslie Redd and Yasser Malaika announced that they'll be giving away their hit game Portal 2 for free, via the new Steam for Schools initiative. After signing up for a beta, educators will be able to get the popular sequel, the recently launched Perpetual Testing Initiative level maker and sample levels. Students making levels won't be able to share levels outside of a physical classroom, though. For more info, head over to learnwithportals.com

  60. #160
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    Hey Nintendo had said that they weren't working on a new iteration of the 3DS at E3. That was probably because they were already done with it.



    Nintendo Announces a New, Bigger 3DS. Meet the 3DS XL.
    kotaku link
    By Brian Ashcraft Jun 21, 2012 11:43 PM

    The screen is 90 percent bigger, with larger bottom and top screens. It's called the Nintendo 3DS LL in Japan and the Nintendo 3DS XL in the West.

    The top screen measures at 4.88 inches and is 90 percent bigger, while the bottom screen is 4.18 inches and is also 90 percent bigger.

    For the 3DS LL, the battery will last 3.5 to 6.5 hours while playing 3DS games (as compared to 3 to 5 hours with the 3DS). The battery will last 6 to 10 hours for DS games (as compared to 5 to 8 hours for the 3DS).

    To cut costs, Nintendo is selling the AC adapter as a stand alone in Japan, but the 3DS XL will work with current 3DS plugs. (Note: in North America, Nintendo is releasing the 3DS XL with the AC adapter.)

    The 3DS XL will come in three colors (White, Red x Black, Silver x Black) and be out in Japan on July 28 for ¥18,900. The 3DS XL will be out in Europe on July 28. In North America, it will be released on August 19 for US$199.99 in Black, Black x Blue, and Black x Red.

  61. #161
    Sempiternae! Olympus's Avatar
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    For the love of all things... why didn't they build in the circle pad pro????

  62. #162
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    New Bellator MMA game .. doesn't look amazing.. doesn't look terrible.. its only gonna be $15 on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcarde .. comes out July 4th. I'll probably check it out for that price.

  63. #163
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    I think it looks terrible. It just seems like one of those games that should have never been made. The only possible way it could eclipse UFC 3 is with its online components.

    The slam KO was kind of cool though. And it sounds like each fighter will kind of have a "finishing move." Right now, it looks like it's stuck right in the middle of arcade and simulation though. When you try to please both crowds, you usually fail all the way around. That MMA Supremacy game had potential, but its controls and input delay were horrendous.

  64. #164
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    Need for Speed under Criterion's control now
    gamesindustry link
    By Mike Williams Fri 22 Jun 2012 11:44pm GMT

    The Burnout developer will be overseeing the franchise from now on
    Criterion Games

    Need for Speed: Most Wanted developer Criterion will be in charge of the entire franchise with the release of its latest title. Criterion vice president Alex Ward told GameInformer that the studio is ready to take the reins.

    "Going forward now, with Most Wanted and what we'll do in the future [will have], shall we say, a strong Criterion involvement," Ward said. "I'm personally involved in how the cars drive, how the game will play out, how connected they are, and what the features are."

    Criterion jumped on the series with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit in 2010, while the series primary developer, EA Black Box, handled last year's Need for Speed: The Run. Need for Speed: Most Wanted is being developed by Criterion again, with a release scheduled for October 30, 2012. When asked if EA's decision to make the series annual was watering down the franchise, he contended that Criterion's stamp would bring NFS into focus.

    "Maybe it's been that way in the past, but that's changed this year with what we're doing… Our stamp's going to be in everything you see in Need for Speed and Burnout going forward in the future. It's not going to be spread anymore across different companies. Different studios have had a crack at it - it's definitely a Criterion gig now," he explained.

    Currently, the Need for Speed brand covers different game types, including the simulation-based Shift, the online World, the story-based The Run, and Criterion's police-based titles. Ward admits the studio "[thinks] about [Burnout] all the time", but there's no concrete plans for another. Burnout Paradise fans will have to find solace in the open-world Need for Speed: Most Wanted.


    I have mixed feelings about this. I so badly want another true Burnout title. Paradise is one of if not my favorite racer of all time, but they did such a good job with Hot Pursuit. I will be keeping an eye on the NFS: Most Wanted this holiday season.

  65. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympus View Post
    For the love of all things... why didn't they build in the circle pad pro????
    Apparently it has to do with the way the Circle Pad Pro communicates with the original 3DS, and the signals that the CPP games need to recognise to trigger actions. From what I've read, it's a IR signal - and if the extra circle pad was built into the hardware, games designed for the CPP would not recognise the input of the new Circle Pad.

    Terrible planning by Nintendo.

  66. #166
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    That makes sense, but it doesn't make it any more logical. With all the failures of the Vita so far, the second thumb stick is truly tremendous. I'm still happy I bought one.

  67. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.I (uh oh) View Post
    Apparently it has to do with the way the Circle Pad Pro communicates with the original 3DS, and the signals that the CPP games need to recognise to trigger actions. From what I've read, it's a IR signal - and if the extra circle pad was built into the hardware, games designed for the CPP would not recognise the input of the new Circle Pad.

    Terrible planning by Nintendo.
    Nintendo could have waited another year before releasing the XL anyway. They usually release the new versions when sales start dipping severely. Sales are on the upswing for the most part. They are beating all consoles combined in Japan currently. UK hit 1 mil just a month or so ago, and US sales have started rising. I don't know who is planning Nintendo's strategies these last few years, but they need to be taken out of the position. They have had misstep after misstep. The Wii having almost no worth while titles to purchase. The launch of the 3DS. Every previewed 3DS game getting pushed back to the following year. The WiiU confusion. They need to get their shit together and quick.

  68. #168
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    Hirai exits role as Sony Computer Entertainment chairman
    gamesindusty link
    By Rachel Weber Wed 27 Jun 2012 9:16am GMT

    Hirai exits role as Sony Computer Entertainment chairman

    But will stay on the board in a part time role

    Kazuo Hirai has retired from his role as representative director and chairman on the Sony Computer Entertainment board.

    Hirai became CEO and president of the Sony Corporation on April 1. He will still serve on the SCE board in a part time role.

    Howard Stringer, chairman of the Sony Corporation, also retired from his part time role on the board.

    The president of SCE Japan, Hiroshi Kawano was among the new executives appointed to the board.

  69. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Rick View Post
    Nintendo could have waited another year before releasing the XL anyway. They usually release the new versions when sales start dipping severely. Sales are on the upswing for the most part. They are beating all consoles combined in Japan currently. UK hit 1 mil just a month or so ago, and US sales have started rising. I don't know who is planning Nintendo's strategies these last few years, but they need to be taken out of the position. They have had misstep after misstep. The Wii having almost no worth while titles to purchase. The launch of the 3DS. Every previewed 3DS game getting pushed back to the following year. The WiiU confusion. They need to get their shit together and quick.
    Speaking on my own part, I had little interest in the 3DS (or any handheld), but I'm likely to pick up the XL. Never had a DS and they're releasing a new New Super Mario Bros for it about the time the XL comes out. Especially with confusion over the Wii U, it makes me more likely to look to something else for my Mario and, when Wii U somehow doesn't suck, they'll get my money then too.

  70. #170
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    Wii U online service won't come with a fee
    gamesindustry link
    By James Brightman Fri 29 Jun 2012 5:10pm GMT

    Satoru Iwata said Nintendo evaluated Xbox Live-like subscription but decided against it
    Nintendo

    Nintendo held its annual shareholder's meeting this week, and one of the topics raised in the discussion was how Nintendo would approach its online network for Wii U and 3DS. Nintendo is aware that it needs to do more to bolster its online offerings, which is why Nintendo of America just hired a senior vp of network business, but the company feels that charging online users is the wrong approach.

    According to a translation (by Andriasang) of comments made at the meeting, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata noted that Nintendo did think about the idea of a paid online service similar to Microsoft's popular Xbox Live but ultimately the company decided it would limit the number of online users Nintendo would attract.

    Keeping the online service open and free, and "by having everyone use the Miiverse together, word of mouth will more easily spread. This will lead to greater hardware and software sales," reads the translation.

    Wii U launches this holiday season, and Nintendo has high hopes for much better third-party support than the company saw with Wii. In fact, Iwata mentioned that "Nintendo started sharing information with third parties at about the same time as its internal teams" and "Nintendo also holds seminars and dispatches employees to other companies."

    A solid online offering and robust third-party support could go a long way towards making Wii U a success. The key piece of information the industry is waiting on, however, is how much Wii U will retail for. That will be a critical factor for Nintendo's success.

  71. #171
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    Recent FCC Filing May Reveal Super Slim PS3
    ign link
    by IGN Staff July 5, 2012

    Recent FCC Filing May Reveal Super Slim PS3
    Is Sony to announce a new, super-slim PS3 model at Gamescom?

    Documents submitted to the Federal Communications Commission may have revealed a new PS3 model.

    The FCC documents, filed by Sony and picked up by Japanese website PocketNews, appear to reveal a new model filed as the CECH-4001x. Considering the current model of the PS3 is the 3000 series this intuitively points to the rumoured 4000 series.

    In a series of pictures, documents appear to show the CECH-4001x along with the 3000 series and the original PS3, making it apparent that this iteration of the PS3 (if that's what it is) will be even slimmer than the current PS3 Slim.

    Eurogamer reckons that Sony is poised to announce a new PS3 model at Gamescom this year. Given that the PS3 Slim was also announced at Gamescom, that wouldn't be unprecedented.


  72. #172
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  73. #173
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    Consumers can resell downloaded games, rules EU
    gamesindustry link
    By Rachel Weber Tue 03 Jul 2012 2:16pm GMT

    Consumers can resell downloaded games, rules EU
    "An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licences" says Court Of Justice

    The Court of Justice of the European Union has made a crucial judgement determining that publishers cannot oppose the resale of their previously bought and played downloadable games.

    The ruling even goes as far as to say the judgement stands even if the original buyer has signed a End User License Agreement, and will have major implications for distribution services like Valve's Steam and EA's Origin.

    The judgement, explained below in more detail, came about after a legal battle in the German courts between software reseller UsedSoft and developer Oracle.

    "The principle of exhaustion of the distribution right applies not only where the copyright holder markets copies of his software on a material medium (CD-ROM or DVD) but also where he distributes them by means of downloads from his website," said the official document.

    "Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy - tangible or intangible - and at the same time concludes, in return form payment of a fee, a licence agreement granting the customer the right to use that copy for an unlimited period, that rightholder sells the copy to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right. Such a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy."

  74. #174
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    Square Enix on Next-Gen and Why The Uncanny Valley Will "Always" Exist
    gamesindustry link
    By James Brightman Mon 09 Jul 2012 8:53pm GMT

    Square Enix on Next-Gen and Why The Uncanny Valley Will "Always" Exist

    Worldwide technology director Julien Merceron talks to us all about next-gen and Microsoft and Sony's "biggest mistake"

    "Next-gen" has been on the lips of just about everyone, as developers and publishers prepare for the inevitable next round of consoles. At E3, however, Microsoft and Sony were quite reticent to talk about any hardware beyond the current generation. Meanwhile, Epic was proudly displaying its Unreal Engine 4 next-gen technology and the folks at Square Enix unveiled "Agni's Philosophy," a beautiful demo leveraging the publisher's Luminous engine, which shows off just how good Final Fantasy might look on next-gen platforms.

    GamesIndustry International caught up with Square Enix's worldwide technology director, Julien Merceron, to talk about the Philosophy demo, the arrival of next-gen consoles and what that means for Square Enix and the industry at large, and why Merceron feels that no matter how good next-gen looks, the uncanny valley problem will always exist.
    Dig into the full Q&A below.



  75. #175
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    Microsoft among potential buyers for Activision Blizzard - Report
    gamespot link
    By Eddie Makuch July 11, 2012 6:21AM PDT


    Microsoft among potential buyers for Activision Blizzard - Report

    [UPDATE] Vivendi banking reps reportedly in talks with Halo publisher, Time Warner, Tencent, and others about purchase of Call of Duty, WOW studio; Wedbush analyst says "None of those make sense."

    Could Halo and Call of Duty one day be made under the same roof? Reuters reports that Vivendi has enlisted the help of a bank to speak with potential buyers for Activision Blizzard, and the list includes Microsoft, Time Warner, Tencent, and a group of private equity firms.

    "It's nothing official yet, but they've asked a bank to go and talk to possible buyers for Activision," a source close to Vivendi's board told the news agency.

    Vivendi presently owns a 60 percent stake in Activision Blizzard and stands to raise close to $10 billion by offloading the company, the sources said.

    While Microsoft has the capital to purchase Activision Blizzard, the source told Reuters the Seattle technology giant is currently focused on building its next-generation Xbox.

    "They probably don't want to distract themselves too much, but they are the ones who, if they want to stay in games, would think about owning some of these big franchises, not just providing the consoles," the source said.

    As for Tencent, earlier this month, Activision Blizzard announced a deal with the Chinese company to bring Call of Duty: Online to China as a free-to-play game. However, a banker speaking to Reuters believes Tencent taking full ownership of Activision Blizzard would be a "big step" because of the companies' varying business models.

    "[Activision Blizzard] have two big franchises, Call of Duty on the console side and World of WarCraft on the MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) side. And China is not a big market for console businesses; online games are much bigger for various reasons," said the unnamed banker.

    A Microsoft representative told GameSpot, “Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation.”

    Despite Activision Blizzard's success with the Call of Duty series and World of Warcraft, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter suggested in June that Vivendi might not have many suitors for the game maker.

    "The problem is there are no readily apparent buyers for Activision," Pachter said at the time. "The only option left to Vivendi is to lever up Activision's balance sheet and pay out all of its cash as a dividend, then spin the company off."

    [UPDATE] Pachter continues to hold this belief, telling GameSpot this morning that none of the above-mentioned companies are in a position to acquire Activision Blizzard.

    "None of those make sense," he said. "TenCent is the only one actively acquiring, and they make much smaller acquisitions. Time Warner has never spent more than $150 million on game investments. Microsoft would lose a lot of value if Call of Duty was Xbox only. None of these are buyers."

    It first came out that Vivendi was looking to offload Activision Blizzard in June, when a Bloomberg report stated Vivendi's board was planning to meet to discuss selling its majority stake in the game maker. Later that month, Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy was ousted for butting heads with the board regarding the firm's restructuring plans. And a new report suggested if a single buyer could not be found, the company would look to unload its shares on the open market.

  76. #176
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    Report: This is the New PlayStation 3 Model
    ign link
    by Colin Moriarty July 13, 2012

    A Brazilian website seems to have broken this one wide open.

    Anatel, or the Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications, serves much of the same purpose as the FCC here in America. And Brazilian website Tecnoblog seems to have uncovered something rather interesting in Anatel’s archives.

    The new PS3 model the website has found – which purportedly will come in 250 GB and 500 GB models as well as a rather strange 16 GB model – seems smaller and slimmer than the PlayStation 3 slim. News of this first broke just last week, when the FCC leaked documents that seemed to confirm that this new PS3 model was indeed about to be revealed.

    Here are the pictures. All credit for these go to Tecnoblog.




    We can't confirm that these pictures are real, but they certainly look to be. We've reached out to Sony for official comment and will update when we hear back.

  77. #177
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    Looking at that label on here, it looks like it's been faked into the picture. I zoomed in and think it has been. The console behind it is slightly askew but the label is completely pixel perfect straight on with the boundaries of the image, it also perhaps should have a little bit of shadow on it on the left hand side.

    Apart from that I think the shots look fairly real, although the choice for that sort of ridged top seems really strange. If they are all real then the decision not to put a USB slot in the back is ridiculous. Do they expect people with the Move to have a big wire coming out the front all the time and one free USB slot? There's this picture going about:

    Last edited by The Rogerer; July 14th, 2012 at 6:33 AM.

  78. #178
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    Holy Crap, Is There a Lot of Stuff in Street Fighter’s $150 Anniversary Edition—for PS3

    by Owen Good Jul 13, 2012 10:00 PM


    The Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector's Set releases on Sept. 18, and both its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions are a deluxe-o package featuring four full Street Fighter games and a slew of other goodies.

    The PlayStation 3 version, however, packs in four more games (all three Street Fighter Alpha games as PSOne Classics, plus Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max on the PSP —and the entire DLC catalog for Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition

    That's the PS3 version of the collector's edition only. Nothing was said about any extra goodies for 360 buyers. Both consoles still get Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition, Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (including all costume swaps) and Street Fighter X Tekken with all the swap costumes. That's in addition to an art book, Ryu belt, and comprehensive soundtrack.


  79. #179
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    I think they added in those PSOne Classics recently. I remember thinking before that this package wasn't that great, but with the addition of those, it makes it a little better.

  80. #180
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    Deadpool game in the works at Activision
    gamespot link
    By Brendan Sinclair July 14, 2012 10:16AM PDT


    [UPDATE]: High Moon Studios' Marvel project highlights comic publisher's Comic-Con panel; game due out in 2013.

    The Merc With A Mouth is getting his very own game, as Activision has put up the first teaser for its upcoming Deadpool title.

    The publisher has launched a countdown site at DeadpoolGame.com, with the timer set to expire this afternoon. As of press time the site contained little more than the timer, an image recalling Deadpool's distinctive mask, and various logos and legal text.

    One of the logos on the page is that of High Moon Studios, the developer behind Activision's Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron games. Prior to developing Transformers titles, High Moon Studios built 2008's The Bourne Conspiracy for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and 2005's original Xbox and PlayStation 2 title Darkwatch.

    The Deadpool project was teased in the Comic-Con 2012 programming guide, which promised High Moon Studios would be at a panel on Marvel-based games to make an announcement. That panel takes place this afternoon, starting a little more than an hour before the Deadpool countdown clock expires.

    [UPDATE]: The Deadpool game was indeed a focus of attention at the Comic-Con panel, with the mercenary interrupting the show with a bullhorn to talk about the game. A trailer for the game was played twice during the panel, and a 2013 release window was specified.

  81. #181
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    Faulty Fez patch to be re-released as is
    gamespot link
    By Laura Parker July 18, 2012 8:03PM PDT

    Faulty Fez patch to be re-released as is

    Developer Polytron says re-certifying the game would be too costly; it will re-release the same patch that was originally recalled by Microsoft due to bugs.

    Fez developer Polytron has announced that it will be re-releasing the same patch for its downloadable puzzle platformer that was initially recalled by Microsoft due to a bug that saw some players losing their saved games.

    According to Polytron, the developer is bringing back the same patch because Microsoft would charge "tens of thousands of dollars" to re-certify the game.

    "We're bringing the first Fez patch online," the developer said on its blog. "It’s the same patch. We're not going to patch the patch. Why not? Because Microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game. And because, as it turns out, the save-file delete bug only happens to less than a percent of players. As a small independent, paying so much money for patches makes NO SENSE AT ALL, especially when you consider the alternative. Had Fez been released on Steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us."

    The developer said that the patch is safe for the majority of players. According to Polytron, the patch fixes framerate issues, loading, skips, and death loops.

    "For 99 percent of people, it makes Fez a better game. To the less than 1 percent who are getting screwed, we sincerely apologise. We know this hurts you the most, because you’re the ones who put the most times into the game. And this breaks our hearts. We hope you don't think back on your time spent in Fez as a total waste."

    Polytron went on to say that the developer pays Microsoft money for the privilege of being on the Xbox Live platform, not the other way around.

    The Fez patch will now be back online, available for download.

  82. #182
    Maximum Effort. Bert's Avatar
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    So release it on Steam already, Phil. Or kill yourself.

  83. #183
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    http://www.computerandvideogames.com...ustin-trailer/

    THQ has announced the WWE '13 Austin 3:16 Collector's Edition

    Available exclusively on Xbox 360 and PS3 in the UK through GAME and GameStation "while stocks last", it's currently scheduled to offer the following items:

    Exclusive foil packaging featuring embossed Stone Cold Steve Austin skull
    Exclusive collectible art card personally autographed by Stone Cold Steve Austin
    Exclusive Stone Cold Steve Austin in-game attire: red skull t-shirt (circa 2001)
    Exclusive Stone Cold Steve Austin in-game ATV ring entrance
    "Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time" (DVD)
    Disc #4 in series (available to PlayStation 3 system and Xbox 360 customers)
    Copy of WWE '13 videogame
    Access to WWE Hall of Famer and WWE '13 global pre-order offer Mike Tyson playable character

    WWE '13 is also in development for Wii, with a scheduled UK release date of November 2.

    Mike Tyson will appear as a playable character in the game.

  84. #184
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    Nintendo records $220m loss as DS, Wii sales fall in Q1
    gamesindustry link
    By Matt Martin Wed 25 Jul 2012 7:43am GMT


    Nintendo records $220m loss as DS, Wii sales fall in Q1

    Update: 3DS sales up year-on-year, console no longer sold at below cost as of today

    Nintendo has recorded a net loss of ¥17.2 billion ($220.4m / £142m) for the first quarter ended June 30, an improvement on a loss of ¥25.5 billion for the same period last year.

    Net sales for the period were down from ¥93.9 billion last year to ¥84.8 billion ($1.08bn / £698m).

    During the three month period Nintendo sold 1.86 million 3DS units and 7.39 million software units. Although it noted sales of the 3DS console were up, the company was still making a loss on hardware during the period. "The profitability of the Nintendo 3DS hardware is improving, but the hardware has been in negative margin," said the company.

    For the same period last year Nintendo sold 710,000 3DS units.

    Wii sales were 710,000 consoles (down from 1.56m last year) and 8.47 million software units, and DS consoles topped 540,000 units (down from 1.44m) and 2.45 million games.

    For the full fiscal year to next March Nintendo expects to sell 18.5 million 3DS consoles, 10.5 Wii consoles and 2.5 million DS units.

    As of June 30 2012, Nintendo has sold 19 million 3DS consoles and 52.81 million games for the system.

    The rest of the DS family has sold 152.05 million units and 908.79 million games, while the Wii has sold 96.56 million consoles and 826.93 million games.

    The Wii U, the latest console from Nintendo is still on track for launch before the end of the year.

    UPDATE: Nintendo has confirmed that as of July 25, 2012, the 3DS will no longer be sold below cost price.


  85. #185
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    Baldur’s Gate Is Back. New Characters, Dungeon Coming September 18
    kotaku link
    by Jason Schreier Jul 26, 2012 3:00 PM


    Baldur’s Gate Is Back. New Characters, Dungeon Coming September 18

    If you've been getting the urge to replay Baldur's Gate, you might want to wait til this fall.

    The classic role-playing game will see new life on September 18, when developer Beamdog releases Baldur's Gate: Extended Edition, an enhanced remake with new characters and a new adventure that the company says will take you six hours to play through.

    PC and Mac versions of the game will run you $20 unless you pre-order, in which case they'll be $18. They'll come with three new playable sidekicks: half-Orc Blackguard Dorn (whose head is pictured below), half-elf Wild Mage Neera, and human monk Rasaad. Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition will also feature a new dungeon called The Black Pits, set within the Underdark, that tasks you with fighting your way through fifteen levels of arena-style battles.

    The iPad version, which Beamdog is hoping to release around that same time in September, will cost $10. The interface for this version will be totally retooled so it's pleasant to play on your tablet. However, new characters Dorn and Neera will be sold separately as downloadable content for the iPad edition. Additional voice sets and portraits will also be DLC. The new Black Pits adventure is included with the game.

    Baldur's Gate: Extended Edition will also come to Android. Release TBA.

    This version of Baldur's Gate will also feature the classes, kits, and races that were available in Baldur's Gate II. It squashes a whole bunch of the original version's bugs and also offers cross-platform multiplayer among all versions.

    Here's how Beamdog describes The Black Pits:



    "Rouse yourselves, you lice-laden layabouts. Stand and salute your new master, Baeloth the Entertainer!"

    Across the realms, individuals of great power and prestige receive a scroll via magical means. Unfurling it, they discover that they have been selected as one of the very few to enjoy the finest forms of entertainment in all creation...

    Come one, come all! Baeloth the Entertainer cordially invites you to the greatest spectacle the realms have to offer - mortal pitted against mortal in a desperate bid to survive! Thrilling combat, scintillating magic, and the grim spectre of death lurk above this, the greatest of all shows! All this and more can be enjoyed within... THE BLACK PITS!

    Deep within the Underdark where few dare to tread, the mad drow Baeloth has used his extensive mastery of magic to force a duergar colony into creating an entertainment complex of his own design. He has invited guests from across the realms, from Maztica to Menzoberranzan, and they will readily attend - Baeloth is known to be an excellent showman.



    The Black Pits is one of the enhancements that make up Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition that allows you to create a full party and battle through fifteen hellish battles in a desperate bid to escape. Difficult challenges, unique battles, and a bizarre cast of characters await you within the Underdark!

    A stand-alone adventure set deep within the Underdark
    Fifteen levels of arena-style combat challenges
    Full control and customization of up to six party members
    Over 6 hours of additional gameplay

    The Black Pits are your new home... enjoy your stay while you can!


    And here's how Beamdog describes new character Dorn:



    "Do not annoy me with such simplistic notions of morality."

    Born in the Spine of the World, Dorn fled to Luskan with his human mother when a rival tribe annihilated his father's savage people. In that northern city, Dorn's ruthless strength soon won him a deadly reputation and the attentions of a band of mercenaries whose wickedness exceeded even Dorn's. Imprisoned for the crimes of the entire group, Dorn made a fiendish bargain granting him even greater power and the promise of revenge.

    A Blackguard of few words, Dorn is only too happy to ally himself with a child of Bhaal and cut a bloody swath across the Sword Coast with his black greatsword, as long as that path continues to lead him to the traitors he has sworn to destroy.



    Dorn is a half-orc Blackguard whose otherworldly patron grants him terrible powers in the form of his black sword and unholy spells. Add him to your Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition and inflict evil to the last corpse.

    Dorn adds the following Enhancments to Baldur's Gate:

    The Blackguard Dorn II-Khan, a new NPC to join your party
    Up to four hours of additional gameplay
    The Blackguard kit to create your own champion of evil

    Betrayed by his former companions, the half-orc Dorn Il-Khan lusts for revenge and glory in equal measure.


    Beamdog's Cam Tofer has promised that an enhanced edition of Baldur's Gate II is also en route. The team has also expressed interest in remaking or revisiting other Infinity Engine-based isometric RPGs like Planescape: Torment in the near future. And one day, maybe, they'll start working on a Baldur's Gate III. Maybe.

  86. #186
    Maximum Effort. Bert's Avatar
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    http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/07/...g-free-to-play
    Star Wars: The Old Republic will add a free-to-play option this Fall. Those who opt to play for free will have access to all the story content for all eight classes, and will be able to level a character all the way up to the current cap of 50. Some content will be restricted, though, and will only be attainable through paying a monthly subscription fee of $14.99 or using an upcoming in-game currency called "Cartel Coins" to make purchases (subscribers also get monthly allotments of Cartel Coins).

    Paid content is said to include new high level content, new features and unlimited access. While free players will be able to access all the story content, they'll have to pay to access new content, as well as get additional bank slots and get unlimited plays in PvP warzones. Players who only play for free will be able to jump in warzones weekly, but only a few times before they're locked out of the content and asked to pay. Subscribers will have unlimited access to warzones.

    EA cites "choice" as the reason for the switch, and BioWare GM Matt Bromberg said in an interview with IGN that the free-to-play decision is less about subscriber losses as much as it is the market
    TORtanic.

  87. #187
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    Temple Run has been downloaded 100m times
    gamesindustry link
    By James Brightman Thu 02 Aug 2012 3:58pm GMT


    Temple Run has been downloaded 100m times

    Imangi Studios celebrates the title's 1-year anniversary

    Temple Run was released one year ago today, and developer Imangi Studios couldn't be happier since the title recently hit the 100 million downloads mark. 68 million downloads have been on iOS with the other 32 million coming from Android devices.

    Imangi also noted that over 10 billion sessions of Temple Run have been played since August 2011, "equaling a combined time of 54,000 years spent playing the game," and judging by the number of downloads in the US, around 13 percent of the US population has downloaded Temple Run.

    "We never imagined that the game we were making and loved would be so well received around the world," said Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi Studios. "The last year has been incredible for us, and we are grateful to fans of the game. We hope to be able to provide them with more entertainment from the brand for years to come."

    Extending the brand has been a focus for the company. Imangi, with the help of licensing agency Dimensional Branding Group (DBG), announced several licensing partnerships in 2012 for Temple Run, including apparel with JEM Sportswear, digital comics with Ape Entertainment, card and board games with Spin Master, arcade machines with Coastal Amusements and sleepwear with Komar.

    Furthermore, just this past June, Imangi teamed with Disney Pixar to launch Temple Run: Brave, leveraging the computer animated movie. It quickly made it to the #1 slot in the App Store, and has been a top 10 App since its release.

    Celebrating the incredibly successful first year for Temple Run, Imangi is making all of its mobile titles released prior to Temple Run available for free "for a limited time."

  88. #188
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    Diablo III cannibalized WoW admits Blizzard
    gamesindustry link
    By James Brightman Thu 02 Aug 2012 10:11pm GMT


    Diablo III cannibalized WoW admits Blizzard

    Mike Morhaime admits players "took break" from WoW to play Diablo III

    One of the standout data points from Activision's earnings announcement today was that the company's subscription numbers for World of Warcraft have fallen by more than a million in just the last three months. WoW now stands at just 9.1 million subs, but that isn't making Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime nervous.

    Morhaime said on the investors call that it's actually quite normal with each WoW expansion pack for players to drop off. Moreover, this time around, before Blizzard launches the Mists of Pandaria expansion, Blizzard fans were pre-occupied with Diablo III, which Morhaime acknowledged had an impact on WoW as well.

    "Historically we have seen usage decline towards the end of an expansion cycle. We saw a similar drop in subscribers in the months before Cataclysm, followed by a substantial return of players around the Cataclysm launch. We're also seeing that a number of players took a break from WoW to play Diablo III," he said.

    As for Diablo III, while the game did put up record numbers, it also encountered a number of problems, which are well documented. Morhaime took the opportunity on the investors call to once again address concerns about the state of Diablo III.

    "While Diablo III was our 14th #1 seller, we did experience some challenges. Due to the unprecedented influx of players a number of service issues arose that we needed to work around the clock to address. The vast majority of these issues were ironed out within a couple weeks of launch. As I mentioned in a letter to players recently, we're not satisfied with just breaking launch records. We want people to play and enjoy Diablo III for a long time," he said.

    "We've already made a number of fixes and updates, including activation of the auction house... and the Diablo team has also been working on improvements to in-game rewards and having a player vs. player mode which we hope will enhance the value and longevity of the game."

  89. #189
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    Sony Posts $312 Million Loss, PlayStation Stagnant
    ign link
    By Colin Moriarty August 2, 2012


    Sony Posts $312 Million Loss, PlayStation Stagnant
    “The operating environment surrounding Sony in the first quarter continued to be difficult…”

    On the heels of Nintendo's $220 million quarterly loss, Sony released its consolidated financial results for its first fiscal quarter of the year, which ran from April 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012. Here is another version of the report.

    The major takeaway is that the company as a whole lost another $312 million to add on top of its epic stock fall, debt downgrade, and a gigantic quarterly loss last year. It’s worth noting that a loss of $312 million is significantly lower than the $2.03 billion loss from Q3 of 2011, indicating that the company is on the upswing even if it’s still in the red.

    The company notes that “the operating environment surrounding Sony in the first quarter continued to be difficult with the economy slowing in many areas of the world and the trend toward appreciation of the yen taking hold.” As Sony is also under a massive corporate restructure to streamline the company’s operations towards profitability, the company incurred “11.3 billion yen of restructuring charges included in the operating results,” inflating the loss. 11.3 billion yen is roughly equivalent to $14.5 million.

    “Uncertain foreign exchange rates and trends in the global economy” have caused Sony to “downwardly [revise]” its fiscal year forecast moving forward.

    Sony is a gigantic corporation, and the PlayStation brand is merely a segment of it (it’s the third biggest segment of the business by sales and operating revenue). But the PlayStation brand itself is also experiencing further financial difficulties. Sony notes that “Primarily due to the lowering of the annual unit sales forecast for portable hardware, sales are expected to be significantly lower than the May forecast… Sales are expected to be essentially flat and operating income is expected to decrease significantly year-on-year.”

    Jumping further into the numbers, one finds a year-over-year sales fall. “Sales decreased 14.5% year-on-year (a 10% decrease on a constant currency basis) to 118.0 billion yen ($1.493 billion). This decrease was primarily due to lower sales of hardware and software of the PSP (PlayStation Portable) and PlayStation 3, partially offset by the contribution of the PlayStation Vita introduced from December 2011.”

    Sony projects sales of PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 to amount to 16 million units globally during the entirety of its fiscal year. However, it has downgraded earlier estimates of 16 million PSPs and PlayStation Vitas sold during the fiscal year to 12 million. Its total software sales of 196.7 million units in 2011’s fiscal year is expected to be replicated in fiscal year 2012.

  90. #190
    Nintendoid T.I (uh oh)'s Avatar
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    Temple Run is amazing. I don't really like touch-only controls, but this just feels so right.

    However, Temple Run really highlights the problem that I have with the Android Market (may apply to iTunes also - I don't use it, so I don't know). It really needs a demo system. Temple Run is a game that I would happily pay to play. However, I would not pay to play it sight unseen (or game unplayed as it were). As a free game, Temple Run relies on users purchasing in game content for real money for revenue. I think a more sustainable business model would be to offer free-limited time/level downloads (such as XBLA), then requiring a purchase. With over 100 million downloads, Imangi could have been absolutely rolling in the cash under this type of system.

  91. #191
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    Left 4 Dead 2 faster on Linux than Windows, says Valve
    gamespot link
    By Mark Walton August 3, 2012 4:22AM PDT



    Left 4 Dead 2 faster on Linux than Windows, says Valve
    Valve runs Left 4 Dead 2 at 315 frames per second on Linux; claims to have "improved graphic driver performance" under the OS.

    Valve's Source Engine, which powers games such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Portal 2, runs up to 20 percent faster under Linux and OpenGL than under Windows and DirectX/Direct 3D, says the famed Half-Life developer. According to a post on the official blog, Left 4 Dead 2 ran at 315 frames per second on the developer's Ubuntu Linux machine, versus 270 frames per second on a Windows PC with comparable power.

    The results are surprising, given Valve has put substantial effort into developing for Windows platforms over the past 10 years. It attributes the speed-up to the "underlying efficiency of the [Linux] kernel and OpenGL", as well as "a few additional microseconds overhead in Direct3D, which does not affect OpenGL on Windows".

    Most interesting for Linux users is Valve's claim to have "improved graphic driver performance" under the operating system by working directly with hardware manufacturers such as NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel--companies that have traditionally not gone out of their way to support the platform.

    At a recent presentation, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, called NVIDIA the "single worst company" that Linux developers have worked with. He concluded his speech by saying "Nvidia, f**k you", and presenting his middle finger to the camera.

    Valve's foray into Linux development follows comments from company head Gabe Newell, who recently told All Things D that Windows 8 "is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space", referring to the locked-down nature of the operating system. "Valve wouldn’t exist today without the PC, or Epic, or Zynga, or Google. They all wouldn’t have existed without the openness of the platform".

    Valve recently announced it was working on a version of Steam and Left 4 Dead 2 for Linux, though there's still no release date for either.

  92. #192
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    Hideo Kojima to present Metal Gear retrospective at Eurogamer Expo
    gamesindustry link
    By Matt Martin Tue 07 Aug 2012 9:57am GMT


    Hideo Kojima to present Metal Gear retrospective at Eurogamer Expo

    Publisher also showing PES 2013, Zone of the Enders and Castlevania

    Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has signed up to present a session at this year's Eurogamer Expo, taking place September 27-30.

    The acclaimed developer will present a look back at the series that made his name, with every Metal Gear game released featuring on the show floor, including the forthcoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

    Publisher Konami will also be bringing PES 2013, Zone of the Enders: HD Collection and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate to the expo.

    "We're amazingly pleased and humbled that Konami and Hideo Kojima have decided to celebrate Metal Gear's 25th anniversary at the Eurogamer Expo," said Eurogamer events director David Lilley.

    "Along with their biggest ever playable line-up, it's a stunning showing from one of the industry's greatest publishers."

    The Eurogamer Expo takes place at London's Earls Court, September 27-30, with space for 50,000 gamers across the four days. More info can be found at the official site.

  93. #193
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    New Xbox to Launch Within 18 Months, Says Microsoft Job Listing
    pcworld link
    By Jared Newman Aug 9, 2012

    New Xbox to Launch Within 18 Months, Says Microsoft Job Listing

    Microsoft's job listings have been a little leaky lately. First came news of next-generation Surface PCs, and now there's word of a new Xbox coming within a year and a half.

    "Over the next eighteen months Microsoft will release new versions of all of our most significant products including Windows (Client, Server, Phone and Azure), Office and Xbox," a Microsoft job listing said, before Microsoft deleted the post from its Careers Website.

    Earlier this week, Microsoft's Brian Hall also made mention of a "new Xbox" as part of a wave of upcoming product updates that also includes Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Microsoft PR tried to explain this away by saying that Hall was only talking about a software update for the Xbox 360.

    The job listing, however, was most likely referring to hardware. After all, Windows 8 and Office 15 will be available much earlier than 18 months from now. If there's any one major Microsoft product that's roughly 18 months away, it's a new Xbox device. (That'd be the 2013 holiday season or early 2014 at the latest.)

    Details about Microsoft's next Xbox are still hazy. Some reports have claimed that the console will have a Blu-ray player and will require a constant Internet connection to play games. Others have claimed that the next Xbox won't have disc drive at all, or that Microsoft will release both a full-sized console and a smaller set-top box to compete with Apple TV and Roku.

    In any case, an 18-month time frame for the next Xbox seems plausible, especially with Nintendo's Wii U due out later this year, and Sony rumored to be working on its next Playstation as well. Just don't expect Microsoft to say much about it as long as it's trying to sell Xbox 360s.

  94. #194
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    Report: EA in Talks to Sell to Private Equity Firms
    ign link
    by Luke Karmali August 16, 2012


    Report: EA in Talks to Sell to Private Equity Firms
    The publishing giant has apparently been approached by two firms, one of which already owns Bethesda.

    Publishing giant EA has apparently been approached by two private equity firms about a potential sale.

    Sources close to the New York Post have claimed that the company was approached by private equity firms KKR and Providence Equity Partners over the possibilty of a purchase, but emphasised that talks are at an early stage.

    One source said, "It's early days," but another added that EA has "made it known they'd do a deal at $20 a share." EA's stock has had a tumultuous ride so far this year, suffering a 37% drop. When trading closed yesterday shares were being sold at $13.09.

    It's a difficult economic time right now, and many videogame companies have experienced similar stock falls to EA thanks to increased interest in casual and social games. With a third of the company's value disappearing so far this year though, it's unsurprising that potential buyers are being sought.

    A possible reason for this is the current uncertainty regarding Star Wars: The Old Republic and its free-to-play future; the most expensive videogame ever made with a rumoured cost of around $200 million recently announced it was abandoning its subscription fee, less than a year after launching.

    But what does this mean for the average gamer? At the moment, nothing. This hasn't been confirmed and even the claims state that any deal is still a long way off. But what is interesting to consider is the fact that Providence Equity Partners is a major shareholder in Bethesda's parent company, Zenimax. As a result, it's certainly a story worth keeping an eye on.

  95. #195
    Nintendoid T.I (uh oh)'s Avatar
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    Dark Horse Books and Nintendo team up to bring you The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, containing an unparalleled collection of historical information on The Legend of Zelda franchise. This handsome hardcover contains never-before-seen concept art, the full history of Hyrule, the official chronology of the games, and much more! Starting with an insightful introduction by the legendary producer and video-game designer of Donkey Kong, Mario, and The Legend of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, this book is crammed full of information about the storied history of Link’s adventures from the creators themselves! As a bonus, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia includes an exclusive comic by the foremost creator of The Legend of Zelda manga — Akira Himekawa!


    KEY SELLING POINTS:


    • The Legend of Zelda franchise has sold 68 million copies since the release of the first game,
    with the original Legend of Zelda being the fourth best selling NES game of all time, and The
    Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time holding the record for the highest reviewed video game of all
    time.
    • Covers the full history of The Legend of Zelda franchise.
    • With an introduction by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto.
    • Includes the official timeline of The Legend of Zelda games, never-before-seen concept art, The
    Legend of Zelda manga, in-depth information on the making of the The Legend of Zelda
    franchise, and art by some of the most storied concept artists in video games.


    Diamond Book Distributors has listed Hyrule Historia as part of Dark Horse Comics’ January 2013 release schedule, priced at $34.99, with a specific date of January 29, 2013.


    Preorders open at Amazon now: http://www.amazon.com/The-Legend-Zel...storia+english
    Awesome. So glad this is being localised. Already pre-ordered

  96. #196
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    You better spoiler that. Otherwise this will be Atty

  97. #197
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    OnLive assets sold, service will not be interrupted
    gamespot link
    By Brendan Sinclair August 17, 2012


    OnLive assets sold, service will not be interrupted
    [UPDATE]: Streaming game company plans to continue current products, rehire "large" number of previous employees.

    [UPDATE]: An OnLive spokesperson confirmed to VentureBeat that the streaming gaming service's assets have been sold to another company. The spokesperson said users will experience no interruption of services or product roll-outs and the new company plans to hire "a large percentage" of its former employees. The original story follows below.

    Rumors of OnLive's demise may have been greatly exaggerated.

    When asked about reports that the company was shutting down entirely, a representative with the streaming game service told GameSpot, "We don't respond to rumors, but of course not." He went on to note that Vizio Co-Stars streaming media players with OnLive built in are just now rolling out to customers, and the company is in the middle of a three-week indie game giveaway promotion.

    Earlier today, Mashable carried unconfirmed reports that OnLive laid off its entire staff. However, the business was said to be transitioning to a new phase in which a number of the staff could potentially be rehired. The report suggested the new-look OnLive could be driven by intellectual property and its numerous patents on cloud-based gaming.

    Wasteland 2 developer and Inxile founder Brian Fargo posted on Twitter that he had received an email from an employee with the company saying that everyone had been laid off and it would be closed by the end of the day. He later tweeted that he had received a recall request on that same email.

  98. #198
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    Nintendo Addresses Criticism Directed at Mario Sequels
    ign link
    by Daniel Krupa August 20, 2012


    Nintendo Addresses Criticism Directed at Mario Sequels
    Iwata also clarifies the company's approach to DLC.


    Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has responded to recent criticism that the company is diluting the quality of its Mario titles by iterating too frequently on its most famous mascot.

    It will ration the number of side-scrolling 2D Mario titles.

    "We only create a New Super Mario Bros. title one [sic] per platform," said Iwata in an interview with Kotaku. "I think we'll probably go ahead and continue at that pace.

    "That being said, that's probably Miyamoto's choice, so I can't give you a 100 per cent guarantee that that's the pace we'll continue at."

    Super Mario 3D Land came out towards the end of last year and was the first Mario title to be released on 3DS, receiving great reviews. New Super Mario Bros. 2 came out last week to a more mixed response. And it isn't long before Nintendo releases New Super Mario Bros. U alongside its new console, Wii U (sometime later this year).

    Responding to concerns that the two games (New Super Mario Bros. 2 and U) might be too similar, and could suffer from being released just months apart, Iwata stated: "I believe the two titles are unique enough that I wouldn't say that I'm super-worried that people are going to be confused.

    Iwata also spoke about the company's approach to DLC. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the first Mario title to feature downloadable content. Iwata allayed any fears that it might be selling content stripped out of the game, saying: "Our goal is to create DLC in such a way that consumers do not feel that they have been cheated or deceived. Now I believe there are people out there, readers, who have are worried about that, and we just want to ensure them that we have that in mind and want them to know that that's not what we are planning on doing," he concluded.

  99. #199
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    Nintendo Power ceasing publication [Report]
    gamesindustry link
    By Mike Williams Tue 21 Aug 2012 10:01pm



    Nintendo Power ceasing publication

    Future Publishing decides to stop publishing the 24-year staple

    Sources have told Ars Technica that Future Publishing will stop publishing the long-running Nintendo Power magazine soon. The magazine has been published continuously since its launch in 1988, but Ars' source says Nintendo was unwilling to work with Future to keep the brand alive.

    Nintendo Power editors were informed on the impending close and are being transition to other Future Publishing properties according to the source. Nintendo Power senior editor Chriss Hoffman and writer Phil Theobald reportedly made tweets eluding to the end of the magazine, but those messages have since been removed.

    There has been no official confirmation of the closing of Nintendo Power from Future Publishing.

  100. #200
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    That's a crying shame. The world won't be the same place without Nintendo Power and it's been a while since I read a Gamepro (are they still about?) but I swear the other magazines used to hate Nintendo with a passion.

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