With Nintendo releasing their next-generation console next year in the form of the Wii U, it must be making Sony and Microsoft shake in their boots. Their consoles are getting old, cannot handle AAA titles in 1080p and are beginning to age, fast. With the underdog (in terms of hardware) coming out with a next-gen solution, it seems Sony are already looking at the PS4 for a possible 2012 release.
Taiwanese component makers have told DigiTimes that Sony are prepping a new home console for a 2012 release, which will feature body-movement controls ala Microsoft's Kinect. Unexpected? Well, yes... after the time, sweat, tears and money into their Move technology, it's a strange move indeed. The report states that both Foxconn and Pegatron Technology will assemble the PS4 for Sony, as they did with the PS3.
The latest game to get thrown onto torrent sites [way] ahead of release is Gears of War 3. Not due until September 20 (!) and considered by many as the biggest Xbox 360-exclusive title of the year, a leak this early of a game this big is very surprising. The build is near-final and a poster on the website NeoGAF says that it includes the full single-player campaign and all of the multiplayer options and adds "Buggy as hell, but it seems like it's all there."
Of course, Epic are doing damage control and are trying to contain the leak and go after those who are responsible, claiming they are working with their security teams and law enforcement to address the situation. Epic have said that the leak does not represent the final experience players will have with the real thing.
The leak whilst bad, can also be good for Epic. First, it's not the final build so it does not represent retail quality, secondly it's only playable on the Xbox 360. Gameplay videos have made their way to YouTube and other streaming video sites, so fans of Gears of War 3, start looking for some gameplay footage!
Jaap is a 66 year old Grandpa who still cranks online gaming and since his retirement at 59 years of age has gotten himself into the world of online FPS gaming in the form of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the PS3. His YouTube video has seen what Borat would call "great success" with half a million views in the first week alone! His wife thinks he spends a little too much time playing games whilst his two sons are actually part of the BF:BC2 squad he is part of and are proud of him.
When Jaap retired at 59 he first stated playing Call of Duty and has now evolved up to BC2 on the PS3. His normal day consists of 2-3 hours of gaming and since the video has gone viral he spends most of his day playing games because of all the supportive attention he has received.
Steam are running yet another sale, this time it's dubbed the Steam Summer Camp Sale. Featuring big savings on both Featured Packs and Publisher Catalogs, the sales run from today until July 10th. Today's deals include Oblivion with 66-percent off, down to $6.80 USD, The Witcher 2 with 33-percent off down to $50.24 USD, Medal of Honor down 66-percent to $23.79 USD and Test Drive Unlimited 2 with 50-percent off at a nice $9.99 USD.
Every day will bring new sales so be sure to open not only your wallet, but your heart.
Sony is currently hyping the return of virtual reality devices for gaming during an interview the upcoming b.tween 3D event, claiming that virtual reality could be the future of 3D content. Sony's Mike Hocking says "Another thing that's coming back which I'm very excited is the notion of virtual reality. You can see that we can now get back to where we really wanted to get with virtual reality in the 80's."
We've now got the power to do it, we've got the screen resolution to do it, we've got the processing power to update fast enough so we can have very immersive experiences on head-mounted displays in gaming in the not too distant future. Being in a virtual world where I can see my virtual hands or a virtual gun with all the things we can do in the gaming world is going to be absolutely amazing.
I'm looking forward to seeing how this pans out!
As promised Crytek have released the "DX11 Ultra Upgrade" patch for Crysis 2 and also the high-resolution texture pack is now available. The update intros DX11 as well as graphical improvements to not only the DX11 version of the game, but the stock DX9 version. There are three packs available, patch 1.9 enables DX11 support but there will be separate downloads on top of patch 1.9 in the form of "DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade," DX11 Tessellation Pack," and "High Res Textures."
The DX11 patches will obviously give higher-fidelity visuals, but the patch also includes graphical and performance improvements under DX9. After the patch 1.9 is installed, DX9 users will gain real-time local reflections and contacts shadows. DX11-based gamers will gain hardware tessellation, parallax occlusion mapping along with various shadow, water, particle, depth of field and motion blur enhancements.
Huge news! Valve have just announced that Team Fortress 2 is now a free to play game, permanently. The game will solely be supported by in-game item purchases only. Team Fortress 2 was in the middle of a "free week", and has now become amazingly, absolutely, free!
Valve's Robin Walker said "We've been toying with the idea of making Team Fortress free-to-play ever since the Mann-conomy update, the data we got back from that update leads up to believe that TF2 would be more successful as a completely free product."
Team Bondi's 1940's themed crime thriller is making it's way to PC in the fall. The PC version is being developed by Rockstar Leeds and as of yet, does not have a concrete release date. Details on the game are out though, the PC version will feature customization such as keyboard remapping and gamepad functionality. It will also sport 3D compatibility, as well as increased fidelity and graphical enhancements versus the console variants.
I've played 30 or so minutes of the game and absolutely loved it, but now that I know it's coming out on PC with 3D support (!), I think I will wait and grab myself a copy via Steam. I'll keep you all posted on news of the PC release of L.A. Noire.
Gabe Newell spoke to Joystiq at the 2011 Games for Change Festival and gave some thoughts on the upcoming next-gen Nintendo console. Gabe said that the Wii U console "sort of fits better into the scalability in terms of graphics performance and CPU performance". He added that the advantages can help 'fit it' into Valve's own model for development scalability. I'm guessing this has something to do with the newly-released Intel Sandy Bridge-based tech, which is surprisingly powerful and when coded right (especially for a company like Valve) can help increase the minimum specs enormously.
What Gabe meant exactly is not known, but it looks like he would like to start (or has started?) developing a game for the Wii U. Will it be a new game, or a port of a current game we don't know. It could even be an exclusive for the Wii U. Nintendo's goals of winning the hearts of game developers is paying off, there's not many bigger than the Gabenator himself!
Duke Nukem Forever has so far received pretty 'meh' reviews, in this day and age people like to try before they buy and now with a demo of Duke Nukem Forever available, it gives you the choice to play it and make up your own mind. The demo is available to anyone with a Steam account and available right now! Go get some!
Just in time to make Crysis 2 relevant again, the DX11 patch is coming June 27. MyCrysis reveals that both the DX11-enabling 1.9 patch will also include the "High Res Texture packages" and will be available on Monday, June 27. The patch includes hardware tessellation support, which DX11 players will have to download. In order to see these spruced up textures, users will require 1GB of VRAM and a 64-bit OS.
The official change log is looking good;
Added Contact Shadows
Added DX11 benchmark level
Added DX11 support for Crysis 2 (the following features only work when downloading the optional DX11 package here):
id Software have their plate full right now, Rage is around the corner, Doom 4 begins work when Rage is finished and now the fresh off the press news of a Quake reboot is filling the dreams of PC-based FPS fans the world over. Eurogamer state there are "strong factions" inside id Software that are pushing for a return to the "bizarre, mixed up Cthulhu-ish Quake 1 world and rebooting in that direction."
We think that would be a more interesting direction than doing more Strogg stuff after Quake 4. . . . But we could do something pretty grand like that, that still tweaks the memory right in all of those ways, but is actually cohesive and plays with all of the strengths of the level we're at right now.
Battlefield 3 until now has been shown off on PC only and so far has looked absolutely incredible. Last night Jimmy Fallon debuted the first console footage of Battlefield 3 on the Playstation 3. Personally, I'm torn. Whilst it looks good for a console game, it looks god darn awful when compared to the PC version. But, as a PC-based gamer, this is actually great news as it shows DICE's commitment to PC gamers and it shows that having a PC is going to make this game absolutely mind blowing.
See what I mean? It's impressive for a console but you can clearly see the frame rate is lower, much more motion blur is seen and the general slow movement of the sticks on the PS3 controller are holding back flick aiming. But, for a console it does look very, very impressive! Everyone should be excited about this game!
DICE are rushing toward the finishing line with Battlefield 3 and to reiterate that it's heavily PC-focused, we have an interview from GameReactor from the Battlefield 3 Blog below. GameReactor talk to Lars Gustavsson, lead designer on Battlefield 3 and one of the original creators of the Battlefield series. In the interview, Lars mentions how important it is to release a polished game that'll stand the test of time like BF2 has, seven years.
He mentions that DICE are in it for the long run and is quoted saying:
We won't rest until it's utterly polished. You really need to get it solid so that, like Battlefield 2, it's being played 7 years after release. This summer we will play, play, play, be polishing and iterating - it's what makes it rock solid.
This is music to my ears!
John Carmack, the id Software god himself has revealed that once RAGE is completed, the core tech team behind it will focus their entire energies on Doom 4. Whilst Doom 4's single player is said to have a single player frame rate limit of 30fps, this is to allow "30 demons crawling all over" to keep the frame rate steady. Multiplayer however, gets bumped up to 60fps which should be a standard in multiplayer gaming in my opinion.
John has been quoted saying:
As soon as Rage ships, the core tech team moves over to start making things happen on the Doom 4 project. There's me and the systems programmer types that have been on Rage for so long. We're going to move over to the Doom team and a lot of resources are going to migrate over there. The only thing I've really talked about on Doom 4, technology-wise, is that we did make the decision that...well, my biggest pride and joy about Rage is that I won the fight for 60 frames per second on there, but it involves significant trade-offs.
Nintendo's 3DS has finally topped the one million milestone in domestic sales. Getting to that one million mark was not easy, taking thirteen weeks to get there. Considering that the DS only took four weeks, the DS Lite and DSi both taking eight weeks, it's quite a long time.
Nintendo have admitted that the sales of the 3DS have been below their expectations with Satoru Iwata, president and CEO of Nintendo being quoted on April 26th financial results briefing:
Nintendo 3DS started very well but, on the other hand, did not perform as expected after the second week. The initial sales were healthy; however, the sales speed slowed down from the third week after its launch which is not what we had expected for the start-up transition. Of course, it is obvious that the great earthquake largely affected the sales, but I should not blame this situation just on the impact of the earthquake. There are other challenges that have shown up; therefore, we have revised our scenario for diffusion and are making efforts to get the popularity of Nintendo 3DS back on track for the upcoming summer season.
T-Mobile set up an actual, real-life Angry Birds set, powered by an Android phone where people can go up and use an Android-powered phone, play Angry Birds and directly in front of them is an actual set of Angry Birds. Fling your bird, out flies a massive bird against wood, stone and pigs! Amazing! There should be at least one of these in every city!
E3 2011 - Last week was surely Call of Duty week with the announcement of the paid service of Call of Duty Elite, but this week is a different week and E3 is the current flavor and Battlefield 3 is the beautiful, amazing topping. There's so much Battlefield 3 news I thought I'd dedicate an entire write up on it - sit back, relax and enjoy the mountain of information I'm about to expel. Battlefield 3 has been shown off at E3 to much applause, it is powered by a next-gen engine dubbed Frostbite 2, is centered and created on PC first and scaled down to consoles - a first for games of the last 5 - 6 years where we've seen development on consoles and a simple port with bells and whistles on for the PC.
All BF3 videos thus far have been gameplay videos on PC, not consoles - no console videos have been shown yet. Battlefield 3 will feature a change in classes, nothing huge but it's definitely a change from Bad Company 2. Remember, Battlefield 3 is a sequel to the PC-only Battlefield 2, it is not a sequel to the multi-platform Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
E3 2011 - Microsoft are calling all racing enthusiasts by releasing a new wireless gaming peripheral in the form of the Wireless Speed Wheel for the Xbox 360. The Wireless Speed Wheel launches in October and is a completely wireless controller, controlled intuitively with precise steering, standard controller buttons/triggers and haptic feedback with rumble. The device is compatible with all racing games right out of the box (with some limited functionality in games).
It will have a pricing of AUD$59.95 RRP and will ship to retailers worldwide beginning September 26, 2011. It includes trigger buttons for gas and break, with the rumble function providing immersion beyond current controllers. The new Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel balances the realism of a real wheel with the feel and ease-of-use of a controller for great user edge in game play.
E3 2011 - That title is rockin', if I may say so myself. Next order of business? Nintendo's next-gen console announcement! As the dust settles from various Microsoft and Sony announcements, sans-next-gen consoles (BOO), Nintendo walk out of the rubble, dust and glare with their next-gen console, previously codenamed "Project Cafe". Wii U. Nintendo's Wii U is their next-gen console ready to change things up.
Nintendo changed things up with their motion-based controllers with the Wii, but now they've kicked it up a notch, or twenty. Included is a tablet-based 6.2-inch touch screen controller which has the usual array of buttons inclusive of a d-pad, four face buttons, four shoulder triggers, a power button and a camera. The controller features two analog sliders at the top of the controller versus the traditional sticks. IGN reports after a hands-on that it is remarkably light for its side, given that it's quite large for a controller.
E3 2011 - Sony are on a roll today, Vita and now a brand new deal that consists of a 24-inch 3D HD display designed by Sony specifically for gaming. The monitor uses active shutter glasses to produce 3D. It includes one pair of glasses, a 6-foot HDMI cable and one of the major 3D games that is launching this year (pictured is Resistance 3). The package rounds off at a very nice $499 with additional glasses setting you back $70.
Theres also another bundle that includes Resistance 3 and the Sharpshooter Move accessory that is $150.