A few quick gaming nuggets today! Firstly we have the news of the long-awaited Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta beginning today. It was delayed for a little while there, but some good news for CS fans out there today!
The game is still aiming for an "early 2012" release, and it should be good to go then too if the beta has lifted off today. If any of our readers have gotten into the beta, please do let us know what you think by commenting below. Personally, I'm hesitant with CS:GO, I really expected a next-gen FPS, with the same feel of "freshness" that Counter-Strike first introduced all those years ago.
I wouldn't mind some real-time destruction, making for much more frantic shoot outs and battles. One can only wish.
During an interview with Industry Gamers, creator of Ultima, Richard Garriott had a few things to say about consoles. He thinks consoles will be extinct in the near future. Really...
With consoles multi-billion dollar, long-term investments for companies such as Sony and Microsoft, it is a bet. A big one. Longer development cycles are now the norm, with both companies touting a 10-year life cycle for this generation, and we're already up to seven years now.
Consoles are also now faced with super-tough competition from what seems all sides. Smartphones are more powerful than ever, tablets will receive quad-core chips within days thanks to NVIDIA's Tegra 3 and the first Tegra 3-powered tablet, ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Social gaming on PC is not helping with companies such as Zynga having over 100 million active users on games such as CityVille.
YES! Battlefield 3's first [and hopefully not last] expansion pack, Back to Karkand, has a release date of December 14. It comes out seven days earlier on the Sony PlayStation 3, with a release date of December 7.
Sony's Asian PlayStation Store lists Battlefield 3 Back to Karkand for December 7, 2011, which is how the news broke of the December 14 date. I don't mind waiting 7 more days, because I'm just so damn excited.
For now, enjoy yesterday's gameplay footage from one of the maps on Back to Karkand, Gulf of Oman.
Just days ago, 2K Marin had a Canberra, Australia-based arm to help with development. This studio is now working with former sister studio Irrational Games on BioShock Infinite. Irrational Studios boss Ken Levine said when asked for a comment:
We had a number of open positions on BioShock Infinite. When we found out our former sister studio 2K Australia was becoming available, we thought they would perfectly fill those roles. If every decision was this easy...
Then we have a history lesson, in 2007, Irrational Games was bought by Take-Two, just before the release of BioShock. Just before this, the studio was split apart and renamed 2K Boston and 2K Australia. Since this time, 2K Boston has become Irrational Games, but 2K Australia was skipped. 2K Australia helped 2K Marin on BioShock 2, after which 2K Australia became 2K Marin, but based in Australia. After this, they helped with the XCOM reboot.
Whatever you're doing right now, stop it. Give yourself exactly five minutes and fifty five seconds of freedom to watch the below video. ORM Entertainment have been working [hard] on a simulator called Titanic: Lost in the Darkness and by beard of Zeus does it look truly beautiful.
The simulator began as a mod for Crysis, but has been updated, refined and reiterated upon until eventually being moved to CryENGINE 3, where it has hit the big time by looking absolutely mouth-wateringly beautiful. Completely jaw dropping at every turn, it makes me want a game made in the Titanic world, with the 1920s era weapons.
Watch the video above, preferably in 1080p and have your sock off, because if you have them on, they'll get blown off anyway.
Skyrim has received a 1.2 patch for the PS3 version of the game, which fixes a whole heap of annoying issues and strange bugs. PC or Xbox 360 Skyrim gamer? You'll have to wait 48 hours for your patch.
The 1.2 notes are below:
Improved occasional performance issues resulting from long term play (PlayStation 3)
Fixed issue where textures would not properly upgrade when installed to drive (Xbox 360)
Fixed crash on startup when audio is set to sample rate other than 44100Hz (PC)
Fixed issue where projectiles did not properly fade away
Fixed occasional issue where a guest would arrive to the player's wedding dead
Dragon corpses now clean up properly
Fixed rare issue where dragons would not attack
Fixed rare NPC sleeping animation bug
Fixed rare issue with dead corpses being cleared up prematurely
Skeleton Key will now work properly if player has no lockpicks in their inventory
Fixed rare issue with renaming enchanted weapons and armor
Fixed rare issue with dragons not properly giving souls after death
ESC button can now be used to exit menus (PC)
Fixed occasional mouse sensitivity issues (PC)
General functionality fixes related to remapping buttons and controls (PC)
Microsoft's next-generation Kinect 2 is set to receive a hefty upgrade in specs, which will allow it to be so accurate, it could lip read. Yes, lip read. Kinect 2 will also offer improved motion sensing and voice recognition.
Eurogamer was told by a development source that Kinect 2 will be so powerful it will be enable games to lip read, detect when players are angry, and determine in which direction they are facing. Kinect 2 should also have the ability to track the pitch and volume of player voices and facial characteristics to measure different emotional states.
Current Kinect technology is held back by USB technology as it has to pass data through the ageing technology. Kinect launched in November 2010 with the depth sensor set to 30 frames per second and a 320x240 resolution limit. The USB interface is capable of roughly 35MB/sec but is artificially held back to use only 15/16MB/sec because multiple USB devices can be used at once on the Xbox 360.
See what I did with the news title there? For those of you who want to get your hands on Sony's NGP, PS Vita, you might want to save some of the Christmas money because they're set to be expensive.
Sony opted for a proprietary PS Vita memory card, as it's not an industry-standard SD card, or even Sony's own Memory Stick. Now pricing has arrived and it's quite... disappointing. GameStop has posted some retail pricing of four of the Vita memory cards, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and finally, 32GB, with prices of $29.99, $44.99, $69.99 and $119.99, respectively.
Really, Sony? You haven't been through enough over the last few years with your Memory Stick crap, and especially in the last few months with the various Sony PSN network hacks? I expected more.
Psst. Come over here. Yeah, over here. I have a secret - I'm secretly addicted to Battlefield 3. I don't play it often, but a few hours here and there and I'm on level 20. I don't want to thrash into it, I've had a few things happen lately that takes my time away from it. But, today brings a new gameplay video of Battlefield 3's expansion pack - Back to Karkand.
The map displayed is Gulf of Oman and features combat vehicles that you'll be able to control in the game. Three of the vehicles are from Battlefield 2 and those vehicles are: STOVL fighter jet, desert buggy (woo!), and one of the APC's.
Who would you guess out of the whole world, would have a one-of-a-kind Minecraft-themed "Top Notch" hat. Well, you'd be right if you guessed Minecraft creator himself, Markus "Notch" Persson, who was invited to play in Team Fortress 2's third Mixup event.
He played on RED, where he was teamed up with Valve's Jon Lippincott and Cobalt's Daniel Brynolf. They versed BLU which consisted of comprising film maker Freddy Wong, Valve's Robin Walker, and others. Notch took home the "Primeval Warrior" medal in one of the games, and Walker also presented him with the "Top Notch" hat.
The "Top Notch" hat is a cardboard box that resemble's Notch's avatar in the visual style of Minecraft. It's equippable by all classes, but because of its size, "it significantly clips with items that exist in the whole head, necklace, glasses, ears, face and beard equip regions". Right now, Notch is the only one who possesses the "Top Notch", with its description pretty cool also:
"Welcome to a secret society so exclusive it makes the Illuminati look like a Costco. How exclusive? You are the only member. This is the only item of its kind in all of existence. So don't craft it, Miney."
PC gamers have had a great week, with 95-percent of them accused of being pirates, and just bagging them out in general and blaming piracy for lack of sales. But Good Guy Game Newell has come through with a treasure map of where to find success in digital distribution [I hope you get the pun there, it was intended].
Gabe tackles the issues of claiming that lowering prices for games will make piracy go away, and he also takes on companies that seek to fight piracy by inconveniencing consumers. He says:
We think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy, piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24/7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country three months after the U.S. release and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable.
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.