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Microsoft is in the news today for at least half of the right reasons, where the Redmond-based software giant just acquired Nokia's Devices and Services Division. This news on the other hand, is all about its IllumiRoom technology.
It looks like the proof-of-concept technology won't be making it to the consumer market, as it has been deemed too expensive. The let down happened during Gamescom 2013, where Xbox One director of product planning Albert Penello said that he wouldn't expect gamers to see IllumiRoom. He said that it was awesome if you're in the lab and have Microsoft money to have it all setup, but this would cost thousands of dollars for the average consumer to set it up.
While it wouldn't sell in the millions, there would still be some high-end gamers that would kill for this technology. Kinect isn't really the expensive part either, it's mostly the investment that needs to be put into the projector setup. Boo.
Minecraft is huge, and now it's even bigger, where the game has become one of the best-selling PC games of all time. Minecraft has sold over 12 million copies on the PC, which is a gigantic milestone.
In the past 24 hours alone, over 14,000 people have purchased the game. With over 12 million copies sold on the PC, it has surpassed some of the best-selling PC games of all time, such as Half-Life (!), Battlefield 2 and StarCraft. At the rate it's going, it's going to slam right into Half-Life 2 and Diablo II in the near future.
The only games after a smash-hit like Half-Life 2 or Diablo are the Sims games, with The Sims and The Sims 2 becoming Minecraft's next target. Minecraft is most likely going to end up as the best-selling PC game, of all time.
Gearbox Software has quite the following now, with the smash-hit Borderlands franchise, but where are they going into the future? Well, in front of a crowd of PAX Prime 2013 attendees, Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford announced his company is working on two new original games for next-generation platforms.
There is no information behind that one sentence, but if you want to get into the betas of these upcoming titles, you can do so through a promotion for its upcoming Gearbox Community Day event. This is the developer's annual community event that will be streamed online through Twitch, with viewers who purchase the "digital bonus pack" will secure themselves a place in the future closed beta test.
The digital bonus pack also includes a high-definition stream of Gearbox Community Day 2013, Shift codes for Borderlands 2 and a free copy of Homeworld HD. Gearbox Community Day happens on September 14, with more information available at Gearbox's official site.
Sony announced during its PAX Prime 2013 panel a new division of the company dubbed Third-Party Production, which is a new division that will work on porting and localizing games for the PS4, PS3 and Vita.
The division was founded as a result of the Borderlands 2 port for the Vita, with former lead producer at LucasArts and executive producer on the now-defunct Star Wars 1313 coming on-board to run the operation. Most people will skip past this news, but this is a gigantic step for the Japanese giant. This means that we might see more games that don't come to US shores, released in the US and vica versa.
It also means that the portable gaming device, the PS Vita, will see more games released on it, which is definitely not a bad thing.
If you haven't heard of Tactical Intervention yet, you may have heard of the developer's other game that he co-developed: Counter-Strike. Ring any bells? Yeah, thought so. Well, Tactical Intervention has just smashed into open beta.
This means you can get into the game and start playing now, with the client found in the Steam store weighing in at 4.1GB. Tactical Intervention will be fully released on September 12, best of all, as a free-to-play title. Grabbing TI now will be beneficial in the way that you won't have to download the entire client once it hits the full version.
Publisher 1337 Games has also revealed that two new maps will appear in the final version of the game, the first "Monaco" and the second "Airport."
PAX PRIME 2013 - We got our first chance to take a look at the Omni Virtuix, a new virtual reality item designed to be used in conjunction with the Oculus Rift VR headset. Combining the two really takes you into the game and into another world. There are still a few bugs to be worked out, but the premise of the device is pretty awesome.
The system requires special shoes, or shoe attachments, a kinect sensor, sensors, and the Virtuix itself. Right now, your motion is just tracked as controller inputs, so you can theoretically map your walking to any key you want and type by walking. At $499, the system could be combined with the Oculus Rift and the entire VR set would set you back less than $1000. Could this get gamers into better shape?
We were all over EA's issues with the launch of the SimCity reboot, which was a huge issue for the publisher a few months ago, even pushing out its CEO John Riccitiello of the company over the borked launch.
The publisher has just launched SimCity on the Mac, but the EA forums have become flooded with complaints from gamers saying SimCity for Mac is unplayable. The biggest issue seems to be that SimCity can't launch into full-screen mode, with other users complaining that they can't even install the game on their MacBooks.
SimCity developer, Maxis, has had a spokesperson step forward to say that "there are a small number of players who have encountered issues with SimCity for Mac" and that they are working on fixing these issues up.
PAX PRIME 2013 - The computer hardware manufacturer MSI had an extremely cool racing chair at its PAX booth. This chair's display is powered by MSI hardware, which feeds a triple-monitor setup in front of a motion chair. It's pretty awesome and I would love to have it in my own house. Take a look for yourself:
While I doubt MSI is planning to go into mass production, this chair is quite awesome and shows what you could build with some money and time. If someone does go and make something like this, please send pictures or video to us, preferably with instructions on how you made it.
PAX PRIME 2013 - Sony brought back its Gran Turismo racing pods for the public at PAX Prime 2013. These cool racing pods feature a racing wheel, pedals, seat, and what appears to be a 42-inch TV as the display. The racing pod would be awesome to have at home for racing, though I'd hate to know the cost of one. Sony was a bit finicky about recording, so they required me to record the player in the foreground.
The game doesn't appear to be much different than what we saw at E3, though I'd imagine numerous under-the-hood tweaks have been made, boosting performance and balancing the gameplay. It looks like it will be a great racing game to launch the PlayStation 4 with.
One of the first games that really pushed me to upgrade back in the day was Under a Killing Moon. I didn't have a CD ROM drive at the time, and the game arrived on multiple CDs, something that cost close to AU$1000 back in the day.
If you remember back that far, Under a Killing Moon featured Tex Murphy, who is making a comeback thanks to Kickstarter. The game will be called Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure will hit PC and Mac in early 2014, from publisher Atlus. The title received around $600,000 in funding a year ago when it was known as Project Fedora.
Developer Big Finish Games is now stepping in with a big name publisher in order to help it "more fully" realize its vision for the game. I can't wait to see the game in action, FMV and all.