I'm sure some of you pulled out your Lightsabers for the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta weekend just gone, and I've been hearing nothing but great things about it, but now we have some news on just how successful it was. Bioware had invited practically everyone to play in their MMORPG, so that they could stress-test their servers to see how they went with hundreds of thousands online at once.
Most servers had queues on them all weekend, with a few of them with queues of over 1000 gamers waiting to get in. Other beta testers and Twitter posts indicated even higher numbers on the queue, so you would think that it would be a limited server issue, right?
The last day of the Steam Autumn Sale is upon us, and we have again, some great savings on popular games. First up we have Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 discounted to the tune of 50-percent taking its original pricing of $89.99 to $44.99.
Thief: Dark Shadows receives 75-percent off, taking its $19.99 price to $4.99, Demolition Inc. receives 75-percent off also, bringing its $9.99 price to just $2.49. Red Faction: Armageddon includes 66-percent off reducing its price from $49.99 to $16.99, one of my most favorite games ever, Dead Space 2 receives 75-percent off, bringing its $69.99 pricing down to just $17.49.
There are a few games left in this sale, such as Driver: San Francisco with 50-percent off, down from $49.99 to $24.99 and Fable III with 50-percent off also, down from $49.99 to $24.99.
The sale has another 17 hours left.
Sony could possibly introduce a firmware update to the Vita that would allow PS3 games to be played over Wi-Fi
Sony could reportedly release a firmware update to the next-generation portable of theirs, PlayStation Vita, that would allow the streaming of all PS3 games over a Wi-Fi connection possible.
Eurogamer claims that streamed games could be outputted on Vita's screen at 480p and developers will be able to work to that resolution so their games are Vita compatible to make the most out of the smaller display.
Vita is due in February, with Sony unveiling some more details on the launch earlier this week. Such as a full line-up and some details of its social-networking capabilities whilst revealing the next stage of its augmented reality gaming push.
Yesterday we reported that Ghost Recon: Future Soldier won't be coming to PC because "95-percent of PC gamers would pirate it." Think I'm joking? Check the article out. Today, we have news that I Am Alive won't see the light of day on PC, with the game's creative director Stanislas Mettra telling IncGamers the news in an interview.
The game will hit Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network sometime next year, but the PC version is doubtful as piracy makes profitably uncertain. Mettra is also aware that PC gamers have been quite vocal regarding the lack of official statement regarding a PC release. Mettra says:
We've heard loud and clear that PC gamers are bitching about there being no version for them. But are these people just making noise just because there's no version or because it's a game they actually want to play? Would they buy it if we made it?
For a while now, casual games on mobiles have been thought of the death knell of console games. But, according to a survey run by 3DS Buzz, mobile games aren't hurting console games at all. 3DS Buzz conducted a survey to find out who owns the latest handheld gaming consoles would disagree with the idea that it is dying out.
3DS Buzz wanted to ask those who had been DS gamers, but they had turned their backs on the latest gaming system. They found out nearly 300 people who had bought a DS but not a 3DS so 3DS Buzz asked them why they didn't buy the new 3D portable system. 3DS Buzz provided 16 options on the survey, which allowed participants to pick as many reasons why they hadn't made the purchase they wanted.
Steam's Autumn Sales are in their third day and today bring some fan-favorites to the special rack. First up, we have Deus Ex: Human Revolution with 50-percent off, down from $69.99 to $34.99, Flight Control HD with 75-percent off, from $4.99 to just a paltry $1.24.
Serious Sam HD - Gold Edition has a crazy 90-percent off reducing its once $39.99 pricing down to just $3.99, Zombie-shooting FPS Dead Island receives 50-percent off, reducing its $49.99 price to just 24.99. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena receives 75-percent off reducing its $19.99 pricing down to $4.99.
That's not all, though. Grand Theft Auto IV drops 75-percent from $29.99 to $7.49, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic receives 50-percent off reducing its price from $9.99 to just $4.99.
Deal of the Day: Sony PlayStation 3 Bundle with LittleBigPlanet 2 Special Edition and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One for $199.99 with FREE Shipping!
Our Deal of the Day today is the Amazon - Sony PlayStation 3 Bundle with LittleBigPlanet 2 Special Edition and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One for $199.99 with FREE Shipping!.
Offer: Get one while you can. Includes a PlayStation 3 160GB console, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, and LittleBigPlanet 2.
It's EA's turn for some Black Friday/Thanksgiving sales. With 50-percent off over 200 games, on all platforms, inclusive of new releases. Battlefield 3 is available for just $29.99! Black Friday sales from EA also include 10-percent already reduced Collection Packs of the hottest EA SPORTS, The Sims and racing games.
$30 is discounted from Need for Speed: The Run, and there's plenty of other specials being run. The deals run until 25th of November, so if you want to get in on the Black Friday EA sales, get in now!
Bing have started the weekend's festivities by making Xbox LIVE Gold this Holiday weekend free. All you need to do is sign into Xbox LIVE from Thursday November 24 through to Sunday November 27 and you'll receive free access to movies, sports, music, online multiplayer gaming and more with Xbox LIVE Gold.
If you've cracked out the festive booze and plan on having a belly full of delicious food, you can throw up the Netflix app and check out some movies, or you could start up the ESPN app and hit up some sports channels.
After the 27th, you might be too used to it and sign up for some Gold access, surely that's not what Microsoft are after, though? It's good to see some free love from Microsoft, but what of those who already have Gold? Microsoft should add three free days onto your account, that's what I would do if it were my decision. But I'm cool like that, ya know.
This is something that would make quite a lot of sense, and actually be quite good for customers and gamers alike. Industry sources are pointing toward two new Xbox consoles being launched sometime in 2013, which should give Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) plenty of time to get their 28nm manufacturing process working like a charm.
Microsoft is said to be working on an entry-level system as well as a true next-generation hardcore gaming console. Multiple price points aren't anything new for Microsoft, as that's what they do with the 360 with multiple packages. Different hard drive sizes, limited edition bundles, game and accessory bundles.
Today is the second day in Steam's Autumn Sale, which games like Monkey Island Special Edition Bundle, Red Orchestra 2, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum, Fallout: New Vegas, Rift and more on special. Let's start with Monkey Island SE Bundle, 66-percent off from $14.99 to $5.09.
Red Orchestra 2 is 50-percent off down from $39.99 to an impressive $19.99, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum with 66-percent off, down from $29.99 to $10.19, Fallout: New Vegas has an impressive 75-percent off marking it down from $39.99 to just $9.99.
There are a few other games on special, Rift has 75-percent off bringing it down from $29.99 to $7.49 and lastly, L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition which only launched last week has an amazing 50-percent off taking its original price of $89.99 to $44.99!
Is this the change we're seeing in console development? They do a sloppy job on the PC version, sales are bad and they just blame piracy? Surely a stable-minded developer wouldn't think that way, well, think again. Ghost Recon Online is set to be a free-to-play game, and is a 'response' to piracy and an alternative to the restrictive DRM that has plagued previous Ubisoft games.
Ghost Recon Online producer, Sebastien Arnoult has said:
We are giving away most of the content for free because there's no barrier to entry. To the users that are traditionally playing the game by getting it through Pirate Bay, we said, 'Okay, go ahead guys. This is what you're asking for. We've listened to you - we're giving you this experience. It's easy to download, there's no DRM that will pollute your experience.'
We're adapting the offer to the PC market. I don't like to compare PC and Xbox boxed products because they have a model on that platform that is clearly meant to be €60's worth of super-Hollywood content. On PC, we're adapting our model to the demand.
Before id Software sold themselves [and their souls] to consoles, id Tech 4 engine was great. It powered Doom 3, and by 2007 it went on to become the most successful project by id Software to date. It also powered other games such as Quake 4, Prey, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Wolfenstein and Brink.
John Carmack has now confirmed that the source code for Doom 3 is now available, only after some delays due to legal issues. Those legal issues arise from the use of "Carmack's Reverse" algoritm which has to do with a method of rendering shadow volumes using a stencil buffer.
Steam have started their Autumn Sale which will run until the end of the weekend, with today's sale including Portal 2, Men of War: Vietnam, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Duke Nukem Forever, Test Drive Unlimited 2 and many, many more.
As for savings, how's this for some great pricing? Portal 2 is 66-percent off, $29.99 down to $10.19, COD: Black Ops has 50-percent off, $89.99 down to $44.99, Duke Nukem Forever includes 66-percent off, down from $49.99 to $16.99 and TDU2 has an amazing 75-percent off, from $19.99 to just $4.99.
Mass Effect 2 has 75-percent off, from $19.99 down to $4.99 and the Sam and Max Complete Pack also has 75-percent off, slashing the original $49.99 price down to $12.49. More sales are obviously on, and I'll continue to post some of the stand-out games for you. Black Friday sales are here already, it seems!
Big Fish sells subscriptions of its games on the iPad, offers dozens of titles for just $6.99 a month
Apple have just allowed a video-game company to offer their titles on a subscription for the iPad, something they've only thus far allowed magazine and newspaper publishers. Big Fish Games, a Seattle-based publisher, won approval from Apple to become the first to offer access to dozens of titles for $6.99 per month.
Until today, games have only been made available as a one-time purchase, requiring users to download individual applications. Apple introduced their subscription feature earlier this year, where the founder of Big Fish, Paul Thelen, seeing an opportunity to offer an "all-you-can-eat" service. This is great as it allows players to go into one game, then into another, without having to download separate games.
Game-subscription services have not had a perfect track record, but mix the popularity of the iPad, with easy payment methods provided by Apple's App Store, makes this a much better step in the right direction. Thelen says:
This is the first time that the technology has matched the business model.
Well, it feels like this is a game of tug-of-war, one day we hear rumors of a next-generation Xbox coming out in 2012, then a day flips past and it is not coming. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities says that the Xbox 720 won't launch next year and probably won't even see the light of day in 2013, either.
He believes that Microsoft might launch an updated version of the Xbox 360 instead. He said:
Those [2012 launch] rumors are silly. Microsoft is still selling a ton of Xbox 360s, and they won't replace the existing one until sales begin to slow. I think the rumors are based upon leaks about modifying the current Xbox 360 to allow it to operate Windows 8.
The PC version of Battlefield 3 received its patch last night, weighing in at roughly 450MB. The patch has a huge change log/fix list, which fixes a bunch of issues people were experiencing, also while balance and gameplay adjustments have been made.
My triple-monitor, SLI system is still having issues. Even thought the patch includes "fixed multiple problems when using multiple monitors (Eyefinity/Surround)", this is my beef with DICE. There are countless people across Battlelog, and various other forums who are experiencing severe issues with multiple monitors. Did DICE not consult NVIDIA or AMD with this game? Did NVIDIA and AMD not test it on their setups? Did no-one at DICE, NVIDIA, or AMD, during testing, think to try it out on multi-monitor setups? Triple 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 30-inch setups would take me less than a few days of tinkering around. Yet, with all those teams and power, DICE couldn't do it?
This is why I'm so strongly opposed to consoles, and the development going to consoles for AAA titles. NVIDIA and AMD have all these new technologies like Eyefinity, Vision Surround, 3D Vision Surround, yet half the games either don't work on them, or have huge amounts of issues like BF3 does.
[I do apologise for the whinge, but hey, it kind of acts as a warning to the community about triple-monitor setups and Battlefield 3, something other sites aren't covering - if you want to discuss it with me, hit my e-mail up for a chat.]
Nintendo are set to swing into the holiday season with two new Nintendo 3DS bundles on November 24. Both bundles will retail for $199, and feature either Super Mario 3D Land or The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Nintendo have said in a statement:
The first bundle includes the just-launched Super Mario 3D Land game and a Flame Red Nintendo 3DS system. The second bundle includes The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D game and a special 25th anniversary limited-edition Cosmo Black Nintendo 3DS system marked with the Hyrule emblem and gold-colored embellishments.
Microsoft really wants to see what startups can do with their motion-based Kinect camera. Selling 8 million in 60 days wasn't enough, and Microsoft sees the future of gaming (and technology) as a huge part of Kinect. Microsoft is now preparing to help teach developers around the US what it takes to make the Kinect work for products on the Xbox or Windows PCs.
Microsoft is choosing ten different developer firms and individuals to come to Seattle for three months to learn the Kinect system inside-out. The ten people or startups will participate in what Microsoft call the "Kinect Accelerator program" and will work out of the Kinect Accelerator office.
Rockstar have just released the first details of the Max Payne 3 Special Edition which will be made available on all three platforms including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The Special Edition is available for pre-order starting immediately and only available until January 15th, 2012 while supplies last.
Max Payne 3 Special Edition will cost $99.99 and features digital multi-player character and weapon packs not found anywhere else. The Special Edition of Max Payne 3 includes:
A copy of Max Payne 3.
10" tall Collectible Max Payne Statue created in a collaboration between TriForce and Rockstar Games.
Series of game-inspired Original Still Life Art Prints that depict some of Max Payne's inner demons and vices.
Copper and brass-plated iron, bullet-shaped Bullet Keychain featuring a screw-off back.
Classic Multiplayer Character Pack of eight playable multiplayer characters for Max Payne 3 Multiplayer, including fan favorites from the original Max Payne and Max Payne 2 like Max Payne from Max Payne 2, Mona Sax and Vladimir Lem.
Disorderly Conduct Multiplayer Weapons Pack for Max Payne 3 Multiplayer that includes the Hammerhead Auto Shotgun, G9 Grenade Launcher and Molotov cocktail.
Max Payne 3 Official Soundtrack featuring the game's instrumental score.
Whilst most people are enjoying Battlefield 3, there are some issues. Usually I hate issues on big AAA titles, but I forgive DICE for this. Battlefield 3 really pushes most boundaries of games these days, scale, graphics, audio, detail, etc. It's hard to release a game that looks this good, on consoles too, without some bugs.
But, DICE are preparing a major PC patch full of tweaks and improvements. A post on the EA blog explains it a bit more:
So what's in the PC patch? You'll see improved polish, stability, weapons balancing, squad control functionality, user interface enhancements, and several feature enhancements that address feedback the community has provided to date - plus we're removing the so called "negative mouse acceleration" that some of you have experienced.