Wednesday, July 20, 2011

PSN Hack The Great Experience... WTF

“We're back online, everything's live again around the world, and the amazing thing through all of this is that the customers have all come back, and network performance is better than ever, sales are better than ever,” he said during the MobileBeat conference. “We've been very, very pleasantly surprised by the experience.”
“It's been a great experience,” he affirmed, prompting his interviewer, VentureBeat executive editor Dylan Tweney, to repeat the words in a surprised questioning tone “A great experience?”
“A great experience,” Schaaff confirmed again before trying to elaborate. “I would not like to do it again. One time was enough. Great learning experience.”
So what did Sony learn from that scandal that affected the privacy and financial security of 1.3 million users? “I think for people running network businesses, it's not just about improving your security, because I've never talked to a security expert who said, 'As long you do the following three things you'll be fine, because hackers won't get you'… the question is how do you build your life so you're able to cope with those things.”
So... Sony had a great learning experience by ignoring Security 101 basics just to find out that if you store large amounts of valuable data in an improperly secured network, then piss off hackers by removing otherOS and taking hardware enthusiasts to court, hackers would attack you and steal that data?
I wonder what would happen if one was to stick a metal fork into a high voltage socket? Perhaps finding out the answer would be “a great learning experience” for Sony.
As far as we know, most of the blame for the scandal goes to Sony’s lacking security measures which were well below the acceptable industry standards.
How many god damn times did he say experience, and good experience, and how was having  the PSN network down for several months a good thing. All those developers that relay on Online gaming were completely scewed out of their sales.  

EA buys PopCap For 750 Million USD WOW That's Alot of Zombies

EA will pay approximately $650 million in cash and $100 million in shares of EA common stock to be issued to certain stockholders of PopCap.
“EA and PopCap are a compelling combination,” said EA CEO John Riccitiello. “PopCap’s great studio talent and powerful IP add to EA’s momentum and accelerate our drive towards a $1 billion digital business. EA’s global studio and publishing network will help PopCap rapidly expand their business to more digital devices, more countries, and more channels.”
PopCap catalogue includes several of the most successful casual titles such as Zuma, Bejeweled and Plants Vs. Zombies. Around 150 million PopCap games are currently installed and played worldwide on platforms such as Facebook, RenRen, Google, iPhone, iPad and Android.

Carmack: Mobile Devices will destroy the console scene soon.

John Carmack expressed his opinion of mobile devices and how they are becoming more powerful than the current generation of consoles.  Devices like the android and iPhone have all happened within the development cycle of Rage id software’s latest project. 
Carmack said that “it’s amazing to think that when we started Rage, iOS didn’t exist. There was no iPhone, all of that happened just in the space of one project development timeline. And that’s a little scary when you think about it, because major landscapes change could be happening underneath our feet as we work on these large scale projects.” In addition to all this Carmack has noticed that colleges and friends have become iPad and mobile gamers and have spent fewer and fewer hours on their consoles.
Though Carmack believes that mobile devices will replace consoles in the near future he also believes that iPad and iPhone games are “a different experience… a diversion rather than a destination.” In my opinion Carmack is a genius but I would have to disagree with him as mobile devices only act as a distraction while we traverse through life’s hardships. Consoles and the PC will never be replaced because there will always be that gamer that can’t get his fix from a mobile device. StarCraft 2, CS, TF2, WoW, Eve Online, and Minecraft  these games will most certainly not come to mobile devices and the games that mimic the features of these games are nothing more than half baked versions that don’t give you the same feeling and satisfaction that you would otherwise get from the Consoles or PC. 

No More X-men or Batman for PSP

I hope you don’t like reading comics on the PSP, because the Sony is going to discontinue its digital comic book service.  This announcement was made aware to the public July 09th when they announced their latest Digital Comic patch.
Sony has not made it clear as to why they are discontinuing the service. But they did state and I quote “the Digital Comics Team will continue to work on bringing the comic service to other Sony devices.” With this being said we can expect to see the 4000+ comics available on the PSP, come to the PS3, PS Vita and maybe in the not so far future PS4.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rockstar Would Never Work With LA Noire Dev Studio Again

After publishing LA Noire for them and witnessing their senior management’s mishaps, Rockstar decided not to do any more business with Team Bondi.

Despite the game’s critical and financial success, tens of LA Noire development team members complained publicly about their oppressive work environment and about not being properly attributed in the game’s credits.
Rockstar’s decision was confirmed by an internal email from a top level Team Bondi employee.
“I've heard a lot about Rockstar's disdain for Team Bondi, and it has been made quite clear that they will not publish Team Bondi's next game,” the internal email reads.
“Team Bondi are trying to find another publisher for their next title, but the relationship with Rockstar has been badly damaged - Brendan [Team Bondi co-founder] treats L.A. Noire like a success due to his vision but I think Rockstar are the ones who saved the project. They continued to sink money into LA Noire, and their marketing was fantastic. Without their continued support, Team Bondi would have gone under several years ago.”
In 2005 Team Bondi announced that they signed an exclusive PS3 publishing deal with Sony, but it was replaced in 2006 with the current publishing deal with Rockstar. The game was originally scheduled for release in 2009, but the release date kept shifting until it was released in May 2011.
“Rockstar also made a huge contribution to the development,”the email continued. “Their producers were increasingly influential over the last two years of the game's development, and overruled many of the insane decisions made by Team Bondi management.”
“At a lower level, Rockstar also pitched in with programmers, animators, artists, QA, etc. Part of the conflict between Team Bondi and Rockstar was due to Rockstar's frustration with Team Bondi's direction, and eventually Team Bondi's management in turn resented Rockstar for taking lots of creative control.”
“It's also worth pointing out that Rockstar used to be very keen on making Team Bondi something like 'Rockstar Sydney' - the more they worked with Team Bondi management, the more they came to understand that this was a terrible idea.”

Taiwanese Report Claims PlayStation 4 Production Starts This Year

DigiTimes, a daily newspaper for semiconductor, electronics, computer and communications industries in Taiwan, claimed that PlayStation 4 production will begin by the end of this year.

DigiTimes’ claims contradict Sony’s public stance that the PlayStation 3 is still midway through its lifecycle and that they won’t consider succeeding it for quite some time.
The full Digitimes report reads as follows:
“Sony will have Taiwan-based partners begin production of PlayStation 4 (PS4) featuring body movement-based control like Kinect at the end of 2011 for launch in 2012, according to Taiwan-based component makers.”
“Foxconn and Pegatron Technology, assemblers of PS3, will undertake assembly of PS4 as well, the sources pointed out. The planned shipment volume of PS4 in 2012 is at least 20 million units, the sources indicated.”

Wii U Will Have Open Multiplayer Network System

According to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, the company’s upcoming Wii U will offer “a much more flexible system” for online gameplay where publishers and developers are free to choose the network solution they prefer.

“So instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders, we’re going to welcome that,” he told Forbes. “We're going to welcome that from the best and the brightest of the third party publishers.”
This means that it would be possible for Wii U players to play with their PC counterparts if the game developer wishes so. Valve is already eyeing Wii U to host some of its upcoming titles, and if this happens it is likely that they would use their Steam platform for multiplayer.
Reggie refused to elaborate on the subject, saying that it would be better if further details were “to come from the publishers than to come from us.”

U.S. Navy Tricked Into Buying 59000 Chinese Counterfeit Microchips

In 2010 the U.S. Navy bought 59,000 microchips for use in a wide range of its military equipment, varying from missile defense systems to gadgets that tell friend from foe. Those chips turned out to be Chinese counterfeits.

Adding insult to injury, in addition to being cheap knockoffs that could malfunction anytime, the chips also contained backdoors that would allow anyone with access to the code to disable the chips.
The counterfeit chips were discovered by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA), who is working now on righting this problem.
The problem of foreign chips has been rising since 2005 as foreign chip foundries started creating chips that rival – and surpass – those of the U.S.’s and American weapons makers didn’t want to limit themselves to American technology only.
News sourced from Megagames.
Related topics located here

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Valve Accidently Makes Source SDK Free

Fortunately for the modding community, Valve decided to run a long with a little mistake which led to the full Source Software Development Kit (SDK) being available for free.

The Source SDK was originally available with the purchase of any Source-based game (such as Half-Life 2 and pOrtal). One of those games is Team Fortress 2 which moved over to the free-to-play-micro transactions-supported model recently.
During that transition, Valve didn’t notice that the Source SDK is available with the game and so they didn’t remove it from the bundle and it became free for all.
Valve decided not to spoil the fortunate accident. “We are in the process of getting it all done. It's a bit messy because we have multiple versions of the SDK, and there are some dependencies we need to shake out,” Team Fortress 2 developer Robin Walker wrote in an email. “But yes, the gist of it is that we're just going to go ahead and make the Source SDK freely available.”

Pitchford: Blade Runner Game Would Have Been The End Of Gearbox

Speaking to the Official PlayStation Magazine, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford revealed that the company put together a list of dream intellectual properties in 2008, and that they managed to get them all except Blade Runner which they deemed unprofitable.

“Blade Runner was on [the list],”he said. “We had it too and we were like, 'No, we can't.' That game would've cost like $40m to make and sold about 600,000 units - and that would have been the end of us.”
“There's no rational business model that would have allowed that to make sense. If we'd made it with a business model that did work, it would not have been the Blade Runner game we all would have wanted.”
Gearbox has already released Duke Nukem Forever to a great financial success despite being disappointing to fans and critics alike. The company has also announced Sega sequel Samba de Amigo and movie tie-in Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Bing Gordon: Online Gamers Need To Generate USD 3 Per Hour

Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers argued that online gamers need to generate $3 of in-game items per hours in order to feel rewarded and entertained.

The firm’s expert Bing Gordon explained that players of online games such as Zynga’s FarmVille need to generate in-game gifts, items and coins in order to sustain the illusion of achievement and progression. Gordon argued that $3 is the sweet spot required to maintain that illusion without making the game too easy.
Bing Gordon received the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' (AIAS) Lifetime Achievement Award in January 2011.

You Can’t Delete Your SaveGame In Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D

For no apparent reason, the ability to delete old save games and start a fresh new game was removed from Capcom’s Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D.

No reason was given by Capcom for the decision, which leaves amble room for speculations that it was done to reduce the appeal of second hand copies of the game.
A lot of developers and publishers are increasingly employing different tactics to decrease second hand game sales. The most popular of those tactics might be the one time codes that are tied to the game’s serial number and can be redeemed once to enable some of the game’s content. The content unlocked by one time codes can usually be unlocked by paying a 10 fee, but there is no way to start a new game in Mercenaries 3D after the first one.
It is worth noting that Mercenaries 3D is an arcade-style shooting game with no campaign, so replaying levels is not a big deal but you won’t be able to reset the unlocks, scores and achievements.
Capcom responded to the allegations by claiming that not being able to start a fresh new game has no effect on the game’s second hand sale value.
“The game's value at second-hand in the UK is not affected by whether or not the game can have its data reset,” it said.“Customers in the UK will not experience a reduced second-hand value should they wish to trade in their purchase.”

Wii U Controller Aims To Attract Hardcore Gamers

Despite its unconventional shape, the new Wii U controller was actually designed to resemble traditional gamepads, hoping to attract core gamers back to Nintendo’s consoles.

The console’s HD capabilities were also meant to attract the same audience, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed.
The – not so surprising – revelation was made during an investors briefing in Japan where Iwata admitted that a lot of hardcore gamers were turned off by the WiiMote.
During the same investors briefing Iwata bragged that he was told by third party Japanese developers that they couldn’t replicate Wii U’s Zelda HD demo visual effects on current gen consoles. The demo was put together in “a relatively short amount of time,” Iwata boasted.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Molyneux: We Didn’t Have Time To Make Fable III Great

As usual before each new game by Peter Molyneux, it is that time of the year when he admits that last year’s masterpiece was actually rubbish and promises to fix all its flaws – in addition to world hunger – in upcoming games.

“I thought the idea of leveling outside the GUI, but leveling in the environment and the world was actually quite a good one, but I'm not sure...,” he said in his latest interview.

“The real dream of that leveling process was that, as you went through each gate, there would be these tough choices for the player. Which chest should I open? This one or that one? The feeling that you're going through the game at your own pace, but having to make these tough choices, was never actually realized.”
Molyneux then explained that the development studio’s inner process was to blame for preventing him from achieving his artistic vision. “The process,” he explained. “The way that we designed, and the way that we crafted -- meant that the game came together very late. That is one of the things that we're changing; that is just such an old school way of working.”
The late blooming of the game’s design left the team with little time to balance and refine it, and “that meant that what could have been a great mechanic turned out to be a good idea.”
“I don't think that good ideas are a reason to do something; I think it has to feed into the overall experience to be a great idea. I liked the idea of not pressing the pause key and going to some abstracted GUI; I think that worked reasonably well,”Molyneux pondered before admitting that they “didn't have the time to craft that into what that dream was.”
But this is all going to change from now on. “It's because of those things that, now, when we approach development, it's very different, because we want to know precisely how long the experience we're crafting is up front, rather than waiting to the end, so that we have a clear idea how each of these mechanics is used, how they're meted out, how they're exploited, and how they're really used to amplify the whole drama of what that is.”

NPD: Digital Gamers Buy More Games Than Core Gamers

NPD group’s latest report revealed that “digital gamers” are more inclined to buy new games than “core gamers”.

The report defines “digital gamers” as those who play games on a variety of devices primarily via digital distribution, while core gamers are defined as those who buy their console games on physical media.
According to the report, digital gamers buy 5.9 games on average every three months, compared to core gamers who buy 5.4 games on average over the same period. However, core gamers still take the lead in the number of hours played per week as they clock an average of 18 hours per week, compared to digital gamers’ 16 hours.
“The name of the game in 2011 seems to be choice,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. “Gamers are increasingly branching out to methods of play other than those that the industry has traditionally expected them to use. Fueled by the growth of smartphones and new tablet devices, mobile gaming continues to accelerate, and what a game is and what it means to be a gamer is evolving, reflecting the rapid nature of change within the industry.”

Monday, June 27, 2011

Star Wars Galaxies To Wither Away In December

Electronic Arts announced that Star Wars Galaxies – the first Star Wars MMO – will go offline permanently in December, just around the time The Old Republic launches.

SOE president John Smedley revealed that the company’s contract with LucasArts was set to expire in 2012 anyway, but both parties agreed to the December 2011 termination day as it “feels like it's the right time for the game to end.”
Smedley stressed that subscriber numbers “have stayed pretty steady for a long time now,” and the decision to end the game was not caused by a decline in subscriptions. He also stressed that no jobs would be lost in the process as all staff will be transferred to “an undisclosed new project in Austin.”

In the meanwhile, a series of “galaxy-ending in-game events” will take place until the final blowout take place in December. More information on those events is available on the official announcement page.

Developer Ridicules Take-Two’s USD40 Mobile Games Plan

Appy Entertainment brand director Paul O'Connor refuted Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick’s claims that mobile games could be sold for $40 like console games if they offered similar experience.

“Price points aren't lower on iPhone because of five minute games - our latest game, Trucks & Skulls Nitro, clocks in at six hours-plus for $0.99, and our metrics indicate players return to Trucks several times a week, with average sessions longer than five minutes,” he said.
“Prices on iOS games are compressed to free or $1 because this platform is at the centre of the most competitive entertainment software market in history. Surviving here it requires a new kind of thinking that, frankly, most of the console industry has been unwilling (or unable) to achieve.”
“Display size is a consideration in game development, sure, but drawing a direct relationship between screen size and depth of play is like saying 'movies can only be robust and entertaining when viewed on an IMAX screen.' A larger screen can make an image more engaging but if your game isn't designed to take full advantage of this new, connected (and unique) touch-driven platform, then all a larger screen is going to do is amplify the shortcomings of your game.”

Job Listing Reveals Google’s Plan To Build A Gaming Division

Google job listing indicates that the company is building a gaming division.

The job description of the product manager, games describes it as “a rare opportunity to grow a brand-new business - Games at Google!”
“We are looking for a strategic, technical and game-loving Product Manager to drive Google's gaming strategy,” the job listing continues. “You will design strategies for game distribution and discovery, player identity, game mechanics, and more. In addition to designing a great user experience and building out key partnerships, you will be significantly influencing Google's social platform as you work directly with a critical set of early adopters, game developers. Interesting and impactful decisions involving social gaming, privacy, virality, business, and technical APIs await you and the strong, passionate team of gamers you will work with.”
From the job description we can deduce that Google is planning to build a social gaming platform, but it isn’t clear yet whether they plan to create their own games or follow Facebook’s model of relying on third party games.

Take-Two CEO: We Will Charge USD40 For Mobile Games

A lot of developers and publishers have voiced their concern that cheap mobile games might force down the prices of console games, but Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick seems to be the first one to expect mobile games price to rise to match that of console games.

When asked by Forbes if he’d charge $20, $30 or $40 ofr a tablet game, Zelnick answered: “I don't see why not.”
“Tablets are ubiquitous,” he added. “And tablets are a great game platform. And it's the right sized screen. And you use the tablet to have an engaging experience. So if all of that's true, I don't see why we wouldn't be able to sell a robust product for the same price point. The reason the price point is currently lower for an iPhone app is it is used for five minutes, and not for a hundred hours.”
“My take is that small screens will be used for a quick but interactive entertainment experience. Mid and large screens can be a robust and engaging entertainment experience. That's how my kids play games. When they're at home, they don't really play games on their desktops or tablets. They play games on the projection TV.”

Valve Is Likely To Support Wii U

Valve boss and cofounder Gabe Newell said that the improved CPU and GPU performance of the recently unveiled Wii U makes it a viable platform for the studio’s FPS games.

“Wii U seems to be a lot more powerful than the previous generation,” he said. “It sort of fits better into the scalability in terms of graphics performance and CPU performance, so I think it'll be a lot easier for us to fit it into our scalability model.”
Gabe’s comment resonates with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata’s earlier statement that Nintendo hopes that Wii U’s improved performance would attract First Person Shooter developers.
Gabe Newell refused to confirm that Valve is working on any Wii U game.
Note: To the best of our knowledge, credit for the toon accompanying this post goes to Steven Ford (CTTR Champion).

Cliff Bleszinski: If I Am Referred To As The Chainsaw Gun Guy I’ll Shoot Myself

Epic design director Cliff Bleszinski is the genius who designed Gears Of War’s signature chainsaw gun but if you run into him, don’t mention it.

“I can tell you now that if for the rest of my life I am only remembered for a f**king chainsaw gun, I will drink a bottle of whisky and put a gun in my mouth,” he told Digital Spy. “I am far from done with everything.”
“There is plenty of life left in Gears, but you also don't want to beat a dead horse, right? If there was another Gears game down the line, it would have to play around in another couple of spaces,” he added. “It could never just be, 'Hey, Marcus and Cole are back [and] there's more Locust!' Gears is amazing and I love it, absolutely adore it, but it will not be the final legacy of this studio.”
Gears of War 3 is scheduled for release exclusively on Xbox 360 on September 20 worldwide.

Wii U Has No Effect On PlayStation 4 Launch

One of the PlayStation 3’s key competitive advantages is its superiority to its rivals in terms of raw horse power. This has changed now with the announcement of Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U, but it seems that this doesn’t bother Sony at all – at least not enough to interrupt their plans for the future of the PlayStation 3 and its successor.

Speaking to Forbes, Sony's Jack Tretton said that the company has absolutely no intentions to respond to Wii U’s announcement by speeding up PlayStation 4 release. “PlayStation 3 is really just hitting its stride,” he said. “And technologically, I don't think it's possible to provide any advancement beyond what we have. What we've seen from the competition is trying to add features that already exist in PlayStation 3. We invested heavily in that, we rolled a very heavy rock up a steep hill, through the launch period. But now I think that all pays off, and we've got a long run way behind it. So, I wouldn't look for any discussion of a next generation PlayStation for quite some time.”
Needless to say, PlayStation 3 graphics superiority applies only when compared to its fellow consoles as they all lag considerably behind PC on that front. It is also interesting to note that Jack Tretton has repeated the “PlayStation 3 is hitting its stride” several times after he said it the first time 3 years ago in July 2008.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

EA Claims Valve Forced Them To Remove Crysis 2 From Steam

Crysis 2 disappeared silently from Steam, sparking speculations that Electronic Arts has decided to pull it off and make it exclusive to its newly launched digital distribution service, Origin.

EA’s latest title, Alice: Madness Returns, is also not available on steam although all other older titles are still there. This seems to confirm that EA plans to keep the downloadable versions of all new titles exclusive to its own Origin service, but both Alice and Crysis 2 are still available at other e-retailers such as Impulse and Direct2Drive.
EA issued a statement claiming that Crysis 2's removal from Steam“was not an EA decision or the result of any action by EA.”
“Steam has imposed a set of business terms for developers hoping to sell content on that service -- many of which are not imposed by other online game services,” EA explained.“Unfortunately, Crytek has an agreement with another download service which violates the new rules from Steam and resulted in its expulsion of Crysis 2 from Steam.”
In an unrelated interview, EA Games President Frank Gibeau explained that EA doesn’t plan to limit its digital games sales to Origin only. “I think long-term you'll see we believe in reach so we will have other digital retailers for our products because we want to reach as many audiences as possible,” he said. “But at the same time if we can use exclusive content or other ideas to help grow our audience then we're going to do that because we're growing a platform.”

id: Rage Is Steak And Other Shooter Are A McDonald’s Meal

Not afraid of being perceived as arrogant, id Software creative director Tim Willits claimed that comparing the studio’s upcoming FPS (First Person Shooter) “Rage” to other popular titles is like a fine steak to a McDonald’s meal.

“We invented deathmatch, but when we looked at Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein and now Rage, we didn't want to follow the same formula that we have done for the past 20 years,” he said. “So we wanted to make both the single player experience and the multiplayer experience of Rage stand on its own two feet, and be different from our other titles.”
Willits was then asked about the decision to shun competitive multiplayer in favor of story driven co-op in Rage and he admitted that“there's a massive appetite for that sort of thing [competitive multiplayer]; But it's like McDonalds. There's a McDonalds on every street corner, and I love McDonalds, but I don't want to eat McDonalds every day. Sometimes you need to have steak.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sony Boss: Kids WIll Nag Parents To Get PS Vita

Executives from both Nintendo and Sony have voiced their concern about the effect of cheaper mobile games on the future of dedicated gaming handhelds such as Nintendo’s 3DS and Sony’s upcoming PS Vita. Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton doesn’t believe that this threat is that prominent though.

“The great thing about gamers is that they have tremendous influence over what they want to play,” he told The New York Times. “If their parents say I'm getting you an iPad and that's your device, but their friends are playing a dedicated console like a PSP, then the kids will find a way to get a PSP.”
But that doesn’t mean that Sony won’t make use of the lessons learned from mobile platforms. For example, we already know that the PS Vita will support 3G and will have access to an online PlayStation marketplace similar to the iPhone’s App Store.

Molyneux: Fable: The Journey May Be Lam But Not On Rails

Peter Molyneux’s E3 keynote depicted Fable: The Journey as on-rails game where players do nothing but flail their arms around to blast on screen enemies with hadouken-like magic spells. Luckily, it seems that the game won’t be that lame.

“I made a horrendous mistake on the press briefing demo by taking out the navigation, allowing players to move,” Molyneux said before explaining that it was his (wrong) decision to remove the player movement controls from the E3 demo.
“I'll just state on record now that Fable: The Journey is definitely not on rails,” he asserted.
Fable: The Journey is an adventure game where players can use hand gestures and body movements to perform magic spells to attack their enemies. The games is powered by Unreal Engine III.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Microsoft’s E3 Keynote Is Disappointing

E3 is supposed to be the place where publishers make all the exciting announcements for the following year, so you can understand our disappointment when the highlight of Microsoft’s E3 session turned out to be an Xbox 360 exclusive version of the hit PC indie game, MineCraft.

In addition to securing the exclusive rights to the console version of MineCraft, Microsoft also announced Halo 4 and a remastered version of the original Halo: Combat Evolved.
Halo 4 will be the start of a new Halo trilogy and it will be the first Halo title not developed by Bungie. The game, and its sequels, will be developed by the internal studio 343 Industries
It is worth noting that an Xperia Play version of MineCraft will be announced officially soon.
Will all respect to the creativity of MineCraft and to the enthusiasm of its fan base, it saddens us to see Microsoft excited about porting an indie game and milking a ten years old franchise for the seventh time.
MineCraft will be released for Xbox 360 this winter, and the remastered Halo game will be called Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and it will be released on November 15th to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Halo.

Microsoft Had Veto Power Over Nvidia’s Acquisition For 10 Years

Ten years documents that have been unearthed by InformationWeek revealed that Microsoft attains the right to match any offer for acquisition of 30% or more of Nvidia’s stock by third parties.

“Under the agreement, if an individual or corporation makes an offer to purchase shares equal to or greater than 30% of the outstanding shares of our common stock, Microsoft may have first and last rights of refusal to purchase the stock,” Nvidia said in an SEC filing which was reviewed by InformationWeek.
The agreement was signed in 2001, most likely as part of the deal where Microsoft licensed Nvidia’s chips for use in the Xbox 360. It is interesting to note that Nvidia lost the Xbox 360 GPU contract in 2003 to ATI, but it seems that this didn’t affect Microsoft’s veto power.
While Nvidia’s name is synonymous in our minds with graphics cards, we must not forget that the Nvidia’s ARM-based Tegra chips power a large percentage of smartphones available today, including most of Google’s Android based mobiles and tablets. Over the last two years several analysts inferred that Nvidia might be a target for acquisition by Apple since its Tegra chips are ideal for the iPad; needless to say today’s revelation means that Microsoft has the power to stop any deal of that kind.

Wii 2 Project Café Specs Leaked

This is still highly unconfirmed, but some websites have published the following list, claiming that it is the final hardware specs of Nintendo’s upcoming Wii successor which is still being developed under the codename “Project Café.”

The specs are well above those of the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, but they are not high enough to guarantee it’ll compete with Microsoft’s and Sony’s next generation of consoles in terms of raw power.
Custom AMD RV770 Chip “WOLF” @ 766Mhz on 32nm process
1398 Gflops
Custom IBM Power 6 Chip “FOX” on 32nm process
4 cores, each two way SMT-capable and clocked at 3.5 GHz
175.9 GFLOPS theoretical peak performance (single-precision)
87.6 GFLOPS theoretical peak performance (double-precision)
512 MB XDR2 DRAM main memory
+ 1024 GDDR5 video memory
+ 16 MB eDRAM
2.5-inch SATA hard drive with 250 GB / 320 GB capacity
Expanded storage via SD and SDHC card memory (up to 64 GB)
Custom Blu-ray Disc, up to 50 GB
Compatible with 7 cm Nintendo GameCube Game Disc and 12 cm Wii Optical Disc
Video output formats
Composite video: 480i, 576i (PAL)
S-Video: 480i, 576i (PAL)
RGB SCART: 480i, 576i (PAL)
Component (YPBPR): 480i, 576i (PAL), 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
D-Terminal: 480i (D1), 480p (D2), 720p (D4), 1080i (D3), 1080p (D5)
HDMI: 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Activision Announces Call Of Duty Elite

Activision announced a new online service called Call of Duty Elitewhich aims to help the game’s fans connect, compete and improve theirCall of Duty multiplayer experience.

Call of Duty Elite is developed from the ground up by Activision’s new Beachhead studio.
“The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer. That is more than the average Facebook user spends per day on Facebook. And yet, right now, there are very few tools to unite and super charge that social community,”said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “Whether it’s allowing you to connect with your friends, or people of a similar skill level, people who live in your city, people who share your favourite passions, join competitive clans or social groups, or upload, view and comment on the incredible mass of player-generated content, or watch and comment on exclusive created content, Call of Duty Elite will give people more ways to connect with fellow players than ever before. Elite will also allow players of every level to improve their game with an intuitive suite of tools, and compete in tournaments for both real and virtual prizes.”
Elite will offer two-way communication between the service and the game, so that the choices and decisions that players make in Elite through the mobile and web interfaces will affect their in-game experience.  The service will be fully integrated into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and will launch alongside the game on 8th November, 2011 .
Call of Duty Elite’s features and services engage the community in three key ways:
·         Connect: Call of Duty Elite gives players control over their multiplayer experience, transforming it into a true social network. Players can compete against friends, players of similar skill levels and players with similar interests, join groups, join clans, and play in organized tournaments. They can also track the performance, progress and activity of their entire network, both in the game itself, as well as through mobile and web interfaces.  Elite will be an "always on" way for players to connect with the Call of Duty community.
·         Compete: Call of Duty Elite establishes an exciting, competitive environment for multiplayer. Players will have available a constant stream of events and competitions, tiered to group them with those with similar abilities.  Both in-game and real-world prizes will be rewarded to all skill levels.
·         Improve:  Call of Duty Elite is like having a personal online coach. It provides players with a dynamic strategy guide that tracks their statistics and performances down to the most minute details.  It can show gamers how they stack up against their friends or others in the community. Tools and information are provided so players can learn and up their game.
Carrying forward to future Call of Duty games, Elite will chronicle a player’s gameplay history in a cohesive career record, keeping track of every kill, every game and progress.
Call of Duty Elite has been tailored for Call of Duty’s diverse base of players – hardcore gamers, casual weekend warriors and even beginners,” added Hirshberg.  “Over 7 million gamers play Call of Duty online each day logging hundreds of hours of multiplayer per player per year.  Of course, the out of the boxCall of Duty multiplayer experience that gamers have come to love and expect will continue as is.  However, for those players looking for more, Call of Duty Elite will supercharge their experience.”
Many key features of Call of Duty Elite will be available to Call of Dutyplayers free of charge, but a paid membership will include more. Activision has promised that all content offered through Elite will sell “for less than the cost of any comparable online entertainment service currently in the market.”
The service will be accessible on a number of platforms - via web browsers, mobile devices, through game consoles and within the game interface itself - so that players can connect with Call of Duty Elitewhenever and wherever they want.
Call of Duty Elite will launch this autumn with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. However, to test the scale of the service, Activision will hold a public beta this summer for Elite with Call of Duty®: Black Ops.