Well, my dear wife: I have now found what I want for Christmas. One of these, please. Fan of Battlefield 3? Want some 360-degree, almost real life FPS simulation? Well, on Monday the 24th of October, watch The Gadget Show at 8PM on Channel 5.
This is a [truly] unique FPS simulator in which it turns gaming to near reality as you move, aim, fire and get shot within a 360-degree immersive environment. The team used a pre-release copy of Battlefield 3 and poached a team of top technology experts from across Europe to built a true one-of-a-kind simulator.
While Australians have generally been jealous of the expos around the world such as E3 in the US and GamesCom in Europe, we now have had our taste of a Games Expo in the form of EB Game Expo 2011. Gaming is a huge deal these days, with the industry worth a crazy $74 billion, with the industry generating more incoming that Hollywood does making movies - if that's not big enough, I don't know what is!
13,000 tickets were sold to EB Games Expo 2011, this was even before the event had started! The only way to get in after that was to line up at the door and see if you could try your luck there. Tickets were available to Australian gamers months before the event itself, with general admission tickets purchased online setting you back $29.95. VIP experience tickets were available (limited to 400 per session) at $99.95. The VIP tickets gave you access to the "VIP-only" lines to try out games.
Which FPS was more popular? Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3? Well, if you guessed MW3, you were wrong. Activision's queue, while long (wrapping around their huge stand) was just no match for EA Games' queue for Battlefield 3. Another huge line was seen, which was for, of course, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Well... this is just mind-blowing. Gamers Gate is offering the entire Grand Theft Auto series for just £8.74. This includes, GTA 1, GTA 2, GTA III, GTA: Vice City, GTA: San Andreas, GTA IV, and GTA Episodes From Liberty City. Keep in mind that GTAs 1 and 2 are already free, but that is still an absolutely incredible deal. Gamers Gate's website has it usually listed as £34.95, where its 75-percent off down to £8.74.
Gamers Gate's website also offers the game to be gifted, so if you want a cheap Christmas present for a friend or family member, a bit (well, a lot) of GTA action can be had for a very low price. The offer lasts for another 6 days and 2 hours, so if you want to get in, I suggest you get in quick. This price is an absolute steal!
DICE's very, very highly anticipated FPS, Battlefield 3, has been leaked to various torrent sites, over a week from the official launch. The PC version sits at just under 10GB in size, at 9.96GB, and its single-player portion of the game is fully playable. The only thing that would make sense on how its leaked, is if a retailer got their mits on a copy, and leaked it. But then the next question is, why did the retailer break the street release date?
Usually we see leaks of the console versions, so this does mark one of the first times a triple-A PC title has been leaked before release. Of course, it means the multiplayer side of the game can't be accessed, as this requires a valid Origin account. With the game not yet released, this won't happen. But it will effect sales on PC for sure, and will definitely get those frowns turned upside down over at DICE.
Our Download of the Day today is Xfire 1.140 Build 44598.
Xfire is a free tool that automatically keeps track of when and where gamers are playing PC games online and lets their friends join them easily. It works regardless of game type, server browser, or gaming service that a player is using.
Xfire combines instant messaging, a server browser, peer-to-peer file downloads, in-game messaging, screenshot and video capture and one of the most active gaming communities in the world into a small, simple package. Best of all, it's free!
The latest version includes the following changes:
Changes in Version 1.140 Build 44598
- Improved client support for both DirectX 10 and 11
Zynga have been central to Facebook's plan to take over the world by getting people obsessed about their great casual games. But now, Zynga has new plans. Zynga are planning a new gaming portal dubbed "Zynga Direct" which will host the usual Zynga games without having to go to Facebook. Even through this mammoth effort, the games will still use Facebook Connect for the multiplayer type games, allowing you to play on either Direct or Facebook without issues.
At the same time, Zynga has announced the casual medieval-themed MMO called CastleVille. They've also announced Zynga Bingo (what!), Dream Zoo, Hidden Chronicles and Mafia Wars II. Zynga just won't stop the casual gaming thing, but why would they? They produce some great games, have hundreds of millions of gamers and now are looking to branch out. Gaming is a'changin' people, we have to get used to it.
I for one, will definitely check out CastleVille, but I'll have to stop myself from being addicted to it like CityVille. Those games suck too much of my spare time away and with a near 7-month old bub at home, I can't do it anymore!
Sony's motion-based gaming accessory for the PlayStation 3, Move, has shipped more than 8.3 million units worldwide. Gabe Ahn, developer support engineer for Sony Computer Entertainment America has said that software wise, there have been more than 7 million Move-based games shipped in North America alone. By the end of 2011, there will be more than 80 games available, and Ahn also said that SCEA expects continued growth through the remainder of the year.
He thanks third-party publishers and name-checked EA, Activision, Capcom, Konami, as well as upcoming titles like BioShock Infinite and Ninja Gaiden 3 as examples of continued support for the Move controller. Ahn also stressed the diversity of games available for Move, from hardcore shooters such as Killzone 3 and MAG to more casual games like EyePet. Ahn also showed off a clip on "the future of gaming", which featured a Move player with a head-mounted display turning his world into an augmented reality version of Resistance.
Today is Team Fortress 2's "Manniversary" and to celebrate, Valve have released the Steam Workshop. What is the Steam Workshop you ask? Well, dear reader, it is an improved submission hub for community-created content that makes it much easier to upload entries, check on their status and get feedback from Valve. On top of all of this whiz-bang stuff, the Team Fortress community will be able to look at, comment on, and rate all item submissions in a single place.
Valve haven't stopped there, though. The in-game Mann Co. Store has of course turned one today, and in just 365 days, item-creators have made more than $2,000,000 in profit from their creations. Crazy, right! Valve, in celebration of this, are releasing the massive Manniversary Update and Sale! There is just so much included in this, as a Team Fortress 2 fan, you owe it to yourself to check it out!
It includes new features, items and improvements. Almost everything is on sale between now and Monday, October 17th, so get on over and check it out. Also, any store purchase automatically upgrades a Free account to a Premium account, winner, winner, chicken dinner!
Square Enix has shown off their next-generation game engine at a press conference held in Tokyo, where they've said their goal is to build what they call 'quality live action' graphics. The screenshots below show off what they've achieved, with Square Enix trying to get as close as absolute true fidelity thanks to DirectX 11 and their new engine, Luminous.
Square Enix displayed some of the source material pictures and side-by-side pictures with in-game shots. Luminous has allows engineers to build navigable spaces rendered in real-time, as shown in the video I have placed below. The tech is not available to studios outside of the Square Enix network, and for good reason. The Japan-based publisher wants to push this tech and scale it across small casual games right up to triple-A titles.
In a great move by SEGA, they have just announced they are bringing the great racing game, Daytona USA back. Daytona USB will receive a staggered North America and European release with it hitting North America on October 26 and Europe on Xbox Live, and on October 25 in North America on PSN. European PS3 gamers will have to wait until "late November" for the game, unfortunately.
Even though its a new release, Daytona USA will retain most of its original form, including untouched graphics and soundtrack. Added features include Leaderboards and online support. Daytona USA will be going for 800 MSP or $9.99 USD. A list of features for Daytona USA is belowwwww*:
-Relive your glory days of racing to the sounds of the original Daytona USA soundtrack, also available in Karaoke Mode
-Support for the Logitech GT Driving Force steering wheel controller on PS3, and all Xbox 360-supported steering wheel controllers
-Arcade Mode, race the clock in Survival and Time Trial Modes with up to eight players in online multiplayer to place on the worldwide leaderboard
Gabe Newell, founder of Valve, believes that Apple may be in the middle of preparations of launching a games console in the near future, he explained to The Seattle Times. Gabe gave some of his thoughts on the subject, with quotes like:
Our business is growing very rapidly both on the content side and on the service platform side so in that sense, business has never been better. The challenges we see looking forward are very rapidly evolving model for how value is created for customers.
He also says there are "dark clouds forming", where he raised concerns of the closed-garden approach with platforms such as Apple's iOS. Gabe says "On the platform side, it's sort of ominous that the world seems to be moving away from open platforms." Platform providers that used to use their role to enable developers "instead view themselves as more rent guys who are essentially driving their partner margins to zero," he said.
Yesterday I reported that the new Xbox LIVE Dashboard would drop on November 25th, but if you are one of those people who like to live on the bleeding edge then you can sign up for the Xbox LIVE Public Preview Program. Microsoft have announced an open call for all Xbox LIVE members to register to participate in the preview program to help them test the system.
They say that this is an important program as Microsoft are continually striving to ensure the reliability of a service that reaches tens of millions globally. They can't do this without you, the users. Once the program starts, an update will be pushed to your Xbox 360 console that will contain the new features, including:
New design for integrated Kinect and controller navigation
New Beacons to play online with friends
Deeper Facebook integration
New Cloud Storage for Game Saves and Xbox LIVE Profile
One of my fondest memories as a young gamer were the old adventure games, Little Big Adventure was a large part of that. Good Old Games has secured the French adventure platform game and now it is able to be played on most modern PCs. The only problem is that the game is $6 which is a bit rough for an older game. Good Old Games also state that the sequel to LBA is "coming soon". I think I might just pick this up and give it a bash again!
You can grab it, here.
Microsoft have plans to launch the new Xbox 360 dashboard on November 25th which is based on "Lakeview", a modified version of Microsoft's Silverlight development framework. Included is support for Kinect's voice recognition and gesture control. The new dashboard will also show off applications based on Silverlight and H.264 encoded video delivery using Apple's HTTP live Streaming.
Microsoft seems to be targeting a Black Friday release of the Xbox Live update, which would add the new video apps an features such as Bing universal search. This could bolster sales for Xbox over the holidays as well as helping Xbox Live members enjoy cool new features to play with over Thanksgiving, thanks to Microsoft, giving them new toys. Pun intended. The Lakeview code is still being worked on, as Microsoft are pushing out weekly updates to the application framework.
Little things aren't changing in the code, either. Sources say that Microsoft are making fundamental changes and subtractions in Lakeview's capabilities over the past few weeks, causing partners to update and re-test their apps with each and every new release. The goal here is to quickly mature the platform, with the end goal from MS to enable other third-party developers to use the Lakeview framework to build their own apps for the Xbox 360 console.
Interesting times ahead for Xbox 360 users!
The third and final Mass Effect game is nearly upon us, with BioWare today confirming that they will include four-player co-op gameplay in Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War. BioWare's Chris Priestly said in an official forum post "Players can choose from a variety of classes and races, form an elite Special Forces squad, and combine their weapons, powers and abilities to devastating effect as they fight together to liberate key territories from enemy control." The "entirely optional" Galaxy at War system will have players teaming up to on missions to impact Shepard's "Galactic Readiness" level, which will affect the final battle against the Reapers.
Priestly also stated that there has been a separate Montreal-based studio that has been opened to handle Galaxy at War's development and that players will be able to reach "the highest levels of success in the single player experience alone".
The first gameplay footage of Agent 47's new stealth-orientated game, Hitman: Absolution has hit the tubes and boy does it look good. First up we have a Gameplay Teaser, and below that we have 17 minutes of gameplay goodness. The 17 minutes of footage is quite great to watch, with 47 stealthing around like a boss taking people out in various ways. Like using an electrical cord, strangling, throwing someone down a hole in the ground to the storey below, and my favorite; grabbing someone from the storey above and throwing him from the ledge all the way down into that same hole.
Agent 47 is back and he seems to be really, really pissed off.
Yes! Leisure Suit Larry is making a return! Replay Games have just announced it has secured the rights to the Leisure Suit Larry franchise and are on course to re-releasing the original series as well as beginning work on all new adventures, beginning 2012, the year of LSL's 25th anniversary. Paul Trowe, Replay Games founder and CEO along with series creator Al Lowe, are teaming up to re-introduce gaming's favourite lovable loser, Larry.
The new agreements first project is a HD re-mastered version of the original (and my personal favorite), Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, on just a few platforms and by a few platforms, I mean virtually every single one. Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, XBLA, PSN, On-Live and Steam. Is that enough? If the re-make is successful, the team is going to re-release all of the games two-through-seven.
The remakes will sport upgraded visuals, sound and control, all while keeping the games' signature puzzles and sense of humor.
Last week we heard from Epic Games showing off the Unreal Engine 3 in Adobe Flash and this week we have rival game engine maker Crytek "investigating" support for Flash. Crytek's Carl Jones says:
It is an interesting approach we've been investigating as well. We're developing a unifying technology to create high quality social and gaming experiences on all platforms including browser, smartphones, tablets, etc.
It will be interesting to see how this develops, considering Apple don't support Flash on their iOS-based devices, throwing away hundreds of millions of potential customers. Considering Crytek is currently developing Warface, a free-to-play multiplayer shooter for the Korean and Asian markets, this might be a huge bit of news that turns into something quite interesting over time.
DICE has heard the call for a sequel to their Parkour FPS-adventure-crazy new genre game and says that "people are ready" for Mirror's Edge 2. DICE producer Patrick Liu says:
I think it's something that people are ready to get into again. We see that there's a huge fan following, it's almost like a cult! And we know what strengths we had, and what weaknesses we had in that game. If we were to release a new game, we'd know what to improve and how to reach a broader audience. So I definitely think there's a market there.
There's nothing concrete on whether the game is in development, or pre-production. But, DICE just talking about it is getting me and many others excited. Especially if its going to be powered by the gorgeous engine that powers Battlefield 3, Frostbite 2.
RAGE has had its first patch and with it brings many, many bug fixes and improvements. Because RAGE changes the graphics quality on-the-fly to maintain that silky smooth 60fps, there are some hiccups. This is part of what has been addressed in the patch and the list of issues fixed is quite long.
Here is a list of Patch Changes / Fixes:
- Implemented workaround for AMD driver crash right after intro cinematic
on Win 7 32-bit systems.
- Disabled UBOs because they are causing animation issues with AMD drivers.
- Don't allow swap-tear to be enabled on AMD while the extension is not
exposed because it may crash.
- Support for new video settings: "texture cache", "vsync" and
- Automatically adjust vt_maxPPF based on the number of available cores.
- Improved performance for SLI cards when GPU transcode is enabled.
- Fix for GPU Transcoding option being disabled after exiting gameplay.
- Added safe mode to restore video settings to default values.
- Allow g_fov to be changed from the RAGE launch options in Steam.
- Server now forwards text chat from clients to all other clients while
Take a look at the Steam page for more details.
Optus are the first Australian telco to step forward with pricing on the just announced Apple iPhone 4S, unveiling the pricing on Saturday. Gus over at Lifehacker has done all of the hard work sorting out the plan values and was great enough to provide a nice graph for you to look at if you'd like to click here.
Apple's own website has gone from "shipping from the 14th" to "1-2 weeks delivery" for those looking to do an outright purchase, which means either lining up for a carrier plan or buying it outright on the day of launch.
Pricing should get moved around when Telstra and Vodafone launch their pricing models.