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Blizzard has announced its plans for non-subscription-based options for its time-sucking game World of Warcraft, something the company is calling "WoW Tokens".
The way WoW Tokens work is that they can be purchased with real money, with players able to sell these Tokens within the World of Warcraft auction house. Other WoW players can then purchase these WoW Tokens from the auction house with their in-game gold, where they will have 30 days of game time attached to them.
Blizzard has developed a special formula to determine the price of these WoW Tokens in the store, where the developer will "take into account supply and demand for Tokens as well as other elements of the World of Warcraft economy in each region" reports Polygon. The Tokens are not resellable, because they are set at a gold price, so once you've purchased it from the auction house, the WoW Token is soulbound to your character, and must be redeemed by you, and you only.
We knew it was coming, but now it has been confirmed: Rock Band 4 is coming to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year. Harmonix has also said it teamed up with hardware manufacturer Mad Catz for the accessories side of things.
This is great news, as the developer has said that Rock Band 4 will be backwards compatible with every single Rock Band guitar and drum et you have collected, all the way back to 2007. If you don't want to use your old instruments, the developer will be offering up some new instruments of course. But it's not just the instruments that will be backwards compatible, as all of the previous DLC will be carried over (platform dependant) which is great to see.
The backwards compatibility for both the hardware and DLC could be because Harmonix is no longer being published by EA, where Harmonix has partnered up with Mad Catz to manufacturer the new hardware, as well as distribute the new boxed game. Better yet, Rock Band 4 won't be superseded by another Rock Band game anytime soon, as Harmonix will be updating Rock Band 4 with new songs, modes and other community-driven content.
Rock Band 4 hits the Xbox One and PS4 toward the end of 2015.
[U][/U]Elite: Dangerous will be available for both the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 after all, but only after Xbox One Elite: Dangerous exclusivity expires. The title is already available for PC gamers, and will expand to Mac in the future.
Frontier Developments chose to initially make Elite: Dangerous available for the Xbox One, which has greatly trailed PS4 shipments, because of the studio's relationship with Microsoft:
"We've had a long relationship with Microsoft," said David Braben, founder of Frontier Developments, in a statement published by GameSpot. "The Xbox audience has been very good to us. We've sold quite a few Xbox games with Microsoft. We also had a launch title for Xbox One, so our tools and technology has been battle-hardened on Xbox One already."
GDC 2015 - While the world thought that Bethesda would show off Fallout 4 at the Game Developers Conference, we didn't see it. Instead, they have just unveiled Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, with the first gameplay trailer available below.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is an "all-new standable prequel" to Wolfenstein: The New Order, and will be made available digitally on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC on May 5, for just $19.99. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has players taking their hero BJ Blazkowicz "back to the year 1946 in an adventure that spans eight chapters and two interconnected stories (released together) that will lead into the events you know and love from The New Order".
GDC 2015 - NVIDIA has just unveiled its next generation GeForce GTX Titan X at Epic Games' GDC 2015 event, just under two weeks ahead of its own GTC 2015 conference.
The new GeForce GTX Titan X features a huge 12GB framebuffer, which is a great jump on the 6GB offered by the current GTX Titan Black Edition. We don't know much about the new GeForce GTX Titan X other than its 12GB framebuffer, and that it sports a huge 8 billion transistors. We will be at NVIDIA's GTC 2015 where we will be all over this beautiful new card.
GDC 2015 - Valve has just announced Steam Link, something that will be released later this year and will "extend your Steam experience to any room in the house". Steam Link will work with your PC, Mac, Steam Machines and even Linux-powered systems. It will stream content from Steam to the Steam Link device, with the only requirement is that they're on the same network.
Valve's new Steam Link will be capable of 1080p at 60Hz "with low latency", and will be made later this year in November for $49.99. The company also took the opportunity to announce its new Steam Controller, which will also be available in November.
Steam Link is "designed to take advantage of the PC horsepower you already have in your home, with In-Home Streaming" while the hardware includes three USB ports, and HDMI out. All you have to do is hook it up to your TV through HDMI, into your network, with Steam Link doing the rest of the work to detect any and all computers in your house running Steam.
GDC 2015 - Valve has announced Source 2, the graphics engine that will most likely power Half-Life 3, if it ever arrives. The new Source engine has been teased for a while now, we it appeared in some DOTA 2 code a while back.
The new Source 2 engine, according to Valve's Jay Stelly: "With Source 2 our focus is increasing creator productivity. Given how important user generated content is becoming, Source 2 is designed not just for the professional developer, but enabling gamers themselves to participate in the creation and development of their favourite games".
Just like Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5, Valve's new Source 2 is also "free to content developers". Valve tease: "This combined with recent announcements from Epic and Unity will help continue the PC's dominance as the premiere content authoring platform".
Sony wants to cash in on the rising number of free-to-play game titles for the PlayStation 4 game console, with officials saying there has been continued growth of free-to-play.
"We're really looking at this as a significant part of our digital business," said Sara Thomson, senior account executive of the free-to-play business at Sony, during GDC. "I think that it's going to be a really big chunk of our revenues in the next few years; 3-5 years. And it's already growing at amazing rates that are really quite surprising."
The gaming market has changed and more free-to-play games helped cause a shift among game studios and console makers - with great long-term potential of free-to-play games on consoles, according to Sony.
Epic Games has moved away from its subscription model for Unreal Engine that it unveiled last year, where it has just announced that it is providing its graphics engine to developers for free. Yes, for nothing.
There is a slight catch, with Tim Sweeney explaining: "You can download the engine and use it for everything from game development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, film and animation. When you ship a game or application, you pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter. It's a simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed".
This provides Epic Games with the great chance of helping the community grow, getting more and more developers to use Unreal Engine. Sweeney continues: "The past year has been a whirlwind for everyone at Epic Games. Our community has grown tremendously. The quality and variety of creative work being done has been breathtaking. When we asked people to submit their projects to be shown this year at GDC, we had the challenge of picking just 8 from over 100 finalists that were all good enough to show".
HTC's chairwoman, Cher Wang, has the Internet in a frenzy right now by teasing that the company is working with Valve on something to do in the Half-Life franchise.
Wang said that HTC was "cooperating with Half-Life" but didn't elaborate on whether this was Half-Life 3, or another Half-Life game set in the VR world for its just-announced Vive headset that it partnered up with Valve on. Valve's own employees were reportedly "surprised by Ms Wang's comments as they were not working on a Half-Life game for the new helmet at the moment" reports the BBC.
I've said in various OpEd's that for VR to go mainstream the software is the most important part, and that a "killer app" is required. I've even said that Half-Life 3 would be that killer app, but are we really on the Eve of the announcement of Half-Life 3? Someone pinch me.