Microsoft have shown off its goal for its next-generation gaming platform, the video below is dated from May 2010 so it's quite a bit old now but it shows the direction Microsoft have in mind for their ever-growing gaming platforms. The video shows off some concepts and principals of what the WGX (Windows Gaming Experience) team hopes to achieve. We see a blend of Windows, Xbox and mobile platforms being merged into one.
The video shows off some Kinect action and gives a bit of hugging action toward PC too, remember Microsoft being quoted as "doubling down" on PC gaming. The companies WGX team which is comprised of all gaming-related attempts between Microsoft platforms has been quite hard at work, obviously. Let's hope that this work goes toward something new and exciting.
Battlefield 3 gameplay trailer: Good Effect on Target shows off insane graphics and environmental destruction
Another two minutes of in-game footage from the single player campaign of Battlefield 3 has hit the tubes of the internet. The footage shows a squad of US Marines on a rooftop moving from cover to cover trying to escape rounds being fired from a Sniper on a building opposite them.
The footage shows off the prone movement (yay!) and the extreme attention to detail the graphics provide to the realism of the Battlefield 3 world. The destruction is once again shown off with a soldier (from the players point-of-view) firing a rocket into the building, eliminating the sniper. I'm more pumped for this game than anything else in 2011.
An hour ago, Sony announced they were joining the relief effort in Japan through a direct contribution interface within their PlayStation Network.
PSN users can find the donation page under "Aid Japan", listed under New Releases on the PlayStation Store. For your donation in the amount of $2, $5, $10, $25, or $50, Sony is offering a free PlayStation 3 Theme (around $3 value). All of the donations go directly to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund via the American Red Cross.
With a multitude of ways to get involved, there is no reason you shouldn't take advantage of at least one of them.
Full text of the blog post is below:
It's been over a week since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, inflicting serious loss of life and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. The Japanese people, together with support and compassion from the global community, are beginning what will be a long recovery process.
Sony Computer Entertainment's headquarters are located in Tokyo, and so we've heard firsthand of the disaster's impact from our colleagues and friends. As we here in America watch the tragic events that continue to unfold, you might be left thinking, "Is there any way I can help?"
Sony Group is aiding the recovery through financial contributions and donations of radios, batteries and other equipment that can be used in the relief efforts...
Electronic Arts announced yesterday that they would be pitching in to the relief effort in a very big way. '
All of our compassion goes out to the people of Japan during this incredibly challenging time, and EA is mobilizing to support people living through this incredibly devastating situation.
EA claims they have modified in-game transactions allow users to connect directly to fundraising and contribution efforts for Japan. Though they weren't specific on which games, the post mentioned Battlefield Heroes, Playfish, Pogo, The Sims, Ultima Online and Fifa Ultimate Team as games that were developing fundraising solutions.
This seems to imply that players making in-game transactions will, instead of paying EA, will contribute to the Japan relief effort, and still net their virtual good. In exchange for contributing directly to Japan, EA will double the value of whatever item/good/benefit the player purchase and match the donation (up to $50k) to the American Red Cross.
Deal of the Day: Xbox 360 Console 4GB w/ Kinect Bundle - $299.99 Shipped Free! Includes Dance Central FREE!
Our Deal of the Day today is the Amazon - Xbox 360 Console 4GB w/ Kinect Bundle - $299.99 Shipped Free! Includes Dance Central FREE!.
Offer: What an awesome deal here! You get:
- Xbox 360 4GB S Console
- Kinect Sensor
- Kinect Adventures Game
- Xbox 360 Black Wireless Controller
- FREE Dance Central Game ($48 value)
Crysis 2, the mega-visual FPS, is the first of the two installments to be released on consoles. A lot of people said Crysis 2 would never stack up to the PC versions, and that the PS3 version was underwhelming, but I had a hands-on look at Crysis 2 during the GDC in San Francisco, and didn't have a single complaint about the visuals, especially not the Passive 3D engine. A new multiplayer demo is now available on the PlayStation Network, so if you are one of the 41 million people that owns a PS3, you really can't miss out on this.
PlayStation Blog interviewed Nathan Camarillo, the Executive Producer of Crysis 2, who shared many insights on the upcoming game. As I had written before, one of the greatest things about Crysis 2 is the lack of 3D gimmickry in the game design, as Camarillo clearly states in the interview:
(Video and Full text of the Interview in the Full Story)
Much like the article we posted yesterday about Capcom, SEGA is donating to the Red Cross all of its proceeds from its Sonic iOS titles and the Football Manager Handheld game starting yesterday and continuing all throughout the week.
Like the Street Fighter IV iOS download, SEGA is reducing their prices for the following games, all available on the App Store. The prices and links are below:
Sonic the Hedgehog 1 - 1.99
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - 2.99
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - 3.99
Sonic Spinball - 0.99
Football Manager Handheld - 9.99
The reccent and tragic events of the 8.9 Japanese Earthquake hit very close to home for revered gaming giant Capcom. Though they have offices in bth Tokyo and Osaka, Capcom reported today that their employees are "safe and well", and that they very much appreciated all of the kind wishes and support in the aftermath of Japan's largest earthquake on record:
Thank you to everyone who has sent inquiries and wished us well during this crisis. We want to reiterate that all of our employees in the Osaka and Toyko regions are safe and well, and we thank everyone for their support.In response to recent events, Capcom will immediately donate 100 million yen to help victims of the earthquake and communities recover from this tragedy. For one week from today, March 15, Street Fighter IV on iPhone will be available for 99cents/115yen, and all sales of the title during this period will be donated to support earthquake relief activities. Capcom will also suspend operations or shorten operating hours as necessary at amusement arcades and other business sites that are located in areas served by Tohoku Electric Power and Tokyo Electric Power. In addition, Capcom will refrain from holding special events. Again, thanks to everyone who has supported Japan during this difficult time, and please help to spread the news about relief efforts.
You hear that people? Download Street Fighter IV RIGHT NOW
Zynga has joined tsunami relief efforts by giving gamers the option to donate through in-game donations through virtual goods in their Zynga games such as FrontierVille, FarmVille and CityVille.
In 36 hours, Zynga gamers have donated more than $1 million toward relief efforts. Zynga chose to partner with Save the Children to raise money for its Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children Emergency Fund. Zynga representatives said that the campaign was created in less than 24 hours and is the largest charitable campaign in company history.
Five years ago this week, what would be the very successful Social Media site Twitter blossomed into existence. March 21, 2006 saw the world's first tweet.
You only get one!
To commemorate Twitter's fifth birthday (5 years in this social media ecosystem is an eternity), Twitter posted a plethora of interesting stats regarding then and now:
3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.
1 week. The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets.
50 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, one year ago.
140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month.
177 million. Tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
456. Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time).
6,939. Current TPS record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year's Day.
572,000. Number of new accounts created on March 12, 2011.
460,000. Average number of new accounts per day over the last month.
182%. Increase in number of mobile users over the past year.
8. 29. 130. 350. 400. Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2008, Jan 2009, Jan 2010, Jan 2011 and today.
This morning, Hasbro (King of Toys) and Jagex, creators of RuneScape, announced a strategic development agreement on releasing a Transformers massivley-multiplayer-online-game.
CEO of Jagex Games Studio Mark Gerhard said in a press release,
"TRANSFORMERS is one of the most iconic brands in the world and we are delighted to team up with Hasbro in order to bring our shared vision to reality. There is a huge appetite for an online TRANSFORMERS game and we will utilize every bit of our development and publishing expertise to deliver a dynamic and action-packed game that TRANSFORMERS fans will find irresistible."
Damn straight you will, Mark. The backlash from a shitty Transformers game is going to be a lot worse than the backlash for a shitty Transformers Film.
Get excited though- the game debuts sometime in 2012 (hopefully before the world ends).
I am absolutely riddled with DINOBOT fever. Here's hoping.
Thought the iPad 2 lines/delays were a travesty? Quit whining, you knew it was going to happen anyway. Instead, imagine for a moment that you had pre-ordered one of the most acclaimed fighting game's amazing sequel back in January and had still not received it by mid-to-late February? Wouldn't you expect that benevolent game-making enterprise to give you something for your troubles?
Despite initial shipping issues back in February, Capcom has been very generous in its apologies (check out the 3rd entry down in that last link), according to recent Capcom blog post:
We've been working on this for a while now and some of you may have thought we'd forgotten about you.
We've put together something we hope will help make up for the delayed delivery of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. A free copy of the really tasty Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Signature Series Strategy Guide by BradyGames! It's 400 pages of full color MvC3 goodness.
We're still working out the logistics but look for more information coming to the email address you used to place your order.
SXSW just had its first game dev competition, offering a $50,000 Grand Prize (It's no Seumas McNally, but still nothing to sneeze at) sponsored by the online and independent gaming development community, indiePub, who is in turn sponsored by Zoo Entertainment Inc.
Feel free to check out the press release below, but you might want to know that ALL OF THE WINNING GAMES ARE PLAYABLE at indiepub.com
Cincinnati, Ohio - Online independent gaming community indiePub, sponsored by video game publisher Zoo Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZOOG), today announced the winners of South By Southwest's (SXSW) first ever video game development competition, the Independent Propeller Awards, held during SXSW ScreenBurn Arcade, the gaming portion of SXSW Interactive.
Selected from 150 submissions, the Grand Prize winner received a $50,000 cash prize, as well as the opportunity for a publishing deal with indiePub, in cooperation with Zoo Publishing. In addition, subcategory winners were offered a supplemental $25,000 prize in the categories of Best Art, Best Audio, Best Design and Technical Excellence, and both the Intel AppUpSM developer program and Unity Technologies sponsored awards recognizing innovation and development.
From a March 10th press release, Nintendo announced that they would be mounting a cross-country major city Nintendo 3DS promotional campaign in which "Pods" would be showcased in metropolitan areas around the United States (and Canada). Living in one of those major cities, I moseyed over to San Francisco's Pier 39 to check out what was going on.
The Pod has 8 play-testing spots with different games at each one. The games at the SF location included AR Games, Face Raiders, Street Fighter IV, Madden, Pilotwings, Steel Diver, and the much anticipated Nintendogs + cats. The latter is a Tamigotchi-style virtual pet raising game, in which you can pet your pets with a cursor, feed them, take pictures of them, post them to various social netoworks and even hold in the palm of your hand (thanks to an AR Card). Nintendo is also providing a Mii-maker kiosk adjoining the Pod, where you can make a Mii based on a couple default settings and an intuitive process that adds features based on a self-photograph. As you could post this to Facebook or send this to up to 3 email addresses, many people were enjoying this feature, including Mii. I mean, me.
Most popular game to demo was a three-way tie between Face Raiders, AR Games and Nintendogs + Cats. All of these games have AR elements or are entirely AR based, so this bodes very well for Portable AR experiences in the near future.
Want an iPad 2?! OMG of course you do!! You could wait for it to ship 2-3 weeks after you wait for a few hours in the absurd Apple Store line(s)- or there's another option! Improve the social media metrics of TechCrunch and you, too, can have a 1 in ~4000 chance to win an iPad 2. It's genius, and impressively formulaic. Get ahold of massively-desired Tech, and offer it at the low, low price of nothing, minus a one-click social media endorsement. Or, I don't know, 2-3 of them.
Just "like" their Facebook Fan Page, Tweet something about an iPad 2 with the #techcrunch hashtag, and if you're feeling especially saucy (Crunchy?), comment on the story. Hopefully something ironically insipid that insults yourself, your dignity, or is self-deprecatingly face-saving, like, "I never do this but" or "I hate social media but".
C'mon, le monde.
Either way- with over 3k tweets and counting, it's already a successful campaign (Lasts until March 12th 7:30 PM EST).
If you haven't had the chance to play SpyParty yet, it's a combination of Metal Gear Solid and that one level that exists in every FPS where you only have a sniper rifle. But more classic.
The IGF Seumas McNally Grand Prize runner-up (Minecraft won) was one of the most popular indie destinations at GDC last week, with people lined up to get in on the action. The game itself has a nostalgic arcade feel, but the gameplay is wonderfully and psychologically complex. One player is a Sniper, one is a Spy, and the former has no idea who the latter is. The Spy can blend into an entire dinner party of characters, and must complete a host of secret missions while simultaneously avoiding detection. This is difficult, because the Sniper has been "briefed" (i.e. the instructions to the game) on all of the "tells" a Spy could possibly evince. The Spy has the advantage of being able to see the laser-sight of the Sniper, and thus know where he or she is looking at all times. Catch is: there's a time-limit, so one of you has to make a move at some point.
EA's Frank Gibeau has said some good things about the future of PC gaming, as strongly as saying that he sees the PC platform as possibly being the biggest market for EA over the coming years.
He said to Gamasutra that 'The use base is gigantic, PC retail may be a big problem, but PC downloads are awesome.' With the recent success we've seen with Steam, this comes as no surprise - it's just good to hear from someone in the market who isn't whinging about piracy on PC. EA has also said that Battlefield: Heroes is doing very, very well with 368, 241 new users every month on the PC alone and now have over 7 million registered users since launch. The free-to-play title shows that it can do very well in the PC world.
Microsoft's latest press-release is out and with it comes the news of 10 million Kinect sensors being sold and over 10 million Kinect games sold since launch. With the news Microsoft is now able to proudly hold their chest high as they've broken a Guinness World Record: Kinect for Xbox 360 is the Fastest Selling Consumer Electronics Device.
Guinness World Records officially named the Kinect for Xbox 360 the fastest selling consumer electronics device after the smashing success that Microsoft has seen with the Kinect. Personally? I'm waiting for some games to really take advantage of it... but, kudos, Microsoft.
Before I was distracted by the AR.Drone cage's techno music at GDC last week, I spent some time at the 3dvia booth. I must have been in the French section of GDC, as 3dvia is part of Dassault Systèmes.
I was initially attracted to their augmented reality promotional game demo on the outside of their booth. There was a French Cereal Box resting, unattended beneath an external-camera-equipped flatscreen. Recognizing the giant AR marker on the back of the box, I lifted it to the camera to see what I was going to get. As I had expected, an interactive augmented reality game materialized on the screen in front of me. What appeared to be a cereal mascot seemed to be trapped on the right side of the box, standing on top of a spring. A marble rolled back and forth idly at the top left as my hand moved the box slightly. Tilting the box either way moved the marble, so I experimented. The object was to collect a series of wispy white light orbs positioned throughout the plinko style drop down "maze", and upon collecting them the spring jettisoned the mascot sprite outside the box where it did a little dance and offered to let me Rejouer.
I find this one a bit strange, Microsoft are only hiring people now for work on the next-gen Xbox? Surely they'd have R&D constantly going before the Xbox 360 was even finished, but anyway, on with the news. Microsoft has reportedly begun recruiting hardware engineers to work on the next-gen console.
Microsoft have yet to have confirmed the news, but have advertised three job positions on LinkedIn with each position looking for people to work on designing new console architectures. The roles currently being advertised include Graphics Hardware Architect, Senior Architect and Performance Engineer for the Xbox Console Architecture Group and Senior Hardware Design Verification Engineer. Quite the mouthful.
Dragon Age II launched today in North America and BioWire has decided to surprise PC gamers with a download of a high-resolution texture patch which adds an option to enable higher detail replacements for most textures in the game.
Obviously a beefy PC would be required, but it's nice to have the PC version having something over the console releases. To take advantage of the high-resolution textures, you'll need to have a video card with at least 1GB of memory. BioWire has also noted that most of the benefits from the high-res textures will only be seen when running the game in DirectX 11 mode.