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In a move that will likely upset numerous Star Wars fans, Disney has entered into an exclusive, multi-year deal with Elextronic Arts. The deal provides EA exclusive rights to develop future Star Wars games based upon the franchise Disney acquired from LucasFilms for over $4 billion.
According to EA's Frank Gibeau, all of EA's future games will be "entirely original." They will feature new stories and gameplay, though they may occasionally borrow from the films Disney is working on. DICE, Visceral, and BioWare will be the game developers behind these new games.
Gibeau said that all future Star Wars games would be based upon the Frostbtie 3 engine, which will be powering Battlefield 4. Disney has retained the rights to publish titles in the "mobile, social, tablet, and online game categories."
If you still want to trade-in your aging PlayStation 2 game console, now would be the time to do it. Ahead of the PlayStation 4 launch, GameStop has confirmed that they will stop accepting PlayStation 2 games, accessories, or consoles for trade-in. The hard deadline is June 1, so you better get all your old gaming equipment to GameStop soon.
We can confirm that as of June 1st we will no longer be accepting the PS2 console or its related product for trades. We know that the 12 year old system is a popular one and for many gamers, GameStop is the only place to find a great selection of its games. We will still offer a wide selection of the PS2 hardware, accessories and games in many of our stores and online for several months, based on remaining stock from trades.
We are very excited about the upcoming PS4 and are making room in our stores for it and other new platforms expected this fall.
PlayStation 2 sales will end, according to the spokesperson's statement, several months after June 1. I imagine they'll keep selling PlayStation 2 equipment up until they are completely depleted of stock.
Sony is expected to release the PlayStation 4 in time for the holiday season, most likely delivering the product to market sometime in November. GameStop wants to be clear of its older PlayStation 2 gear in order to make room for the new games and accessories that will launch alongside the PlayStation 4.
The Sims is a pretty popular game and EA has just announced that it will be getting another installment. The Sims 4 will be released sometime in 2014 on both Windows and Mac computers. Details regarding the new game are rather scarce, though now that it has been announced, we should start to hear more.
We do know that EA is planning to go back to the series' "roots." There is also word that The Sims 4 will feature an extensive offline single-player experience, likely due to some of the backlash from the recently released SimCity. If you'll recall, SimCity launched with always-on DRM and suffered many launch issues.
EA and Maxis teased that the Sims' eyes would play a big roll in The Sims 4. They released the above image along with an FAQ entry that says, "They say that the eyes are the window into the soul. Let's just say that these eyes are a window into the future of The Sims 4."
There has been more controversy and drama created over Microsoft's next-gen Xbox console featuring Always-On DRM. We have even seen one employee resign after he went on a ranting tirade on Twitter about the subject. Such a touchy topic has led to a lot of bad publicity for the Redmond, Washington based giant, and today we are finally hearing some official words on the topic from Microsoft.
In an internal Microsoft e-mail sent to all full-time employees working on the next-gen Xbox, the company has seemingly began shooting down the idea of always-on DRM for certain aspects of the system.
"Durango is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet. There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game."
Valve have just made Left 4 Dead 2 available to Linux users, in beta form. The first-person zombie shooter is now available under the Ubuntu OS, if you'd like to go ahead and try it out.
Early reports pegged the earlier versions of the game running at single-digit frame rates, which is obviously not good enough. There's now a fully functional beta client available on Steam.
Someone has a little too much time on their hands, but has made something unbelievable cool - a disc changer for the Xbox 360 made from Lego. Yes, Lego. The Changer uses 3 x NXT's and is controlled through Bluetooth.
The Changer is made from 3 NXT's, 7 NXT servos, an RC motor, a light sensor, two color sensors and around 3000 parts. The claws of The Changer are operated with a pneumatic system with the disc selected by the user sending The Changer a message between 1 and 32 as The Changer holds 32 discs. The average change time for discs sits at around 42 seconds.
Ouya have pushed out 'Project Update #25' and included inside is an update on the shipping status of their Android-powered console. For the week just gone, they have "successfully eclipsed 50 percent of units shipped and remain ahead of schedule to complete all shipments by the end of May".
Because they are this far in the game now, Ouya have completed their first production run, with all of their tools operating as needed to get all of the Ouya units to consumers. Other events this week for Ouya include the Limited Edition consoles rolling off the production line. International shipments have been slowed down because of an issue with the power adapter, which was caught early enough to be rectified before units began shipping.
The Limited Edition Ouya consoles should begin shipping in the coming days, meaning I should get mine in the next couple of weeks!
We're counting down the days until Microsoft's reveal of the next-generation Xbox, but there are going to be a slew of rumors and talk between now and then. The latest piece is from Windows SuperSite reporter, Paul Thurrott.
Thurrott said last week that a subsidized next-gen Xbox would be priced at $299 and carry a $10 monthly fee - this is incorrect. Thurrott has taken to Twitter to say that his source suggests the cheaper console would feature a $15 per month fee. The Verge reporter Tom Warren, corroborated the rumor, tweeting "yup" and noted that the subscription "includes family" as well.
Microsoft will hopefully reveal all about the Xbox at their E3 meeting. The Windows maker has officially sent out invites for their Xbox E3 2013 media briefing that will occur on June 10. For those who don't know, E3 2013 runs from June 11 to June 13, so this meeting will take place the day before the show opens.
Due to this invite being sent out, we're not sure just how much Microsoft will unveil at the May 21 event. It's possible that this June 10 meida briefing will be used to get the console into the hands of members of the media, or it could be a time when more details regarding the Xbox are unveiled.
We'll be sure to report on all of the news from the event. Stay tuned to TweakTown for all of the latest Xbox news.
Nintendo has issued a statement regarding the story we ran yesterday about the Wii U being hacked so possibly pirated games could be played. According to Nintendo, they haven't seen any unauthorized applications running on a Wii U while in Wii U mode.
Nintendo is aware that a hacking group claims to have compromised Wii U security. However, we have no reports of illegal Wii U games nor unauthorized applications playable on the system while in Wii U mode. Nintendo continuously monitors all threats to its products' security and will use technology and will take the necessary legal steps to prevent the facilitation of piracy.
Not to be outdone, the makers of the Wiikey have posted a response to Nintendo's statement on their site. The response consists of four cryptic lines of what appears to be hexadecimal code:
57 55 50 2D 50 2D 41 52 50 50 2D 30 30 2D 31 30
31 45 55 52 2D 32 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
It's likely that Nintendo will be able to block the Wii U hack through a software update, though it's possible that they won't be able to. If they do, it's always possible the hackers could reverse-engineer the the firmware again and re-enable the hack.