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Can you believe it, the Xbox 360 launched over seven years ago now, but how are the sales on the console doing now? Well, we're looking at over 76 million Xbox 360 consoles sold, and around 24 million Kinects sensing consumers' arms and legs on the daily.
Xbox Live has a very tidy 46 million subscribers, where Microsoft says that this number is a 15% increase year-over-year, with both free and Gold subscribers included in this number.
I think we'll see this pass 100 million before 2015, but it will slow down a little when the next-gen Xbox is launched later this year.
Crytek, the developer behind Crysis are no stranger to wanting to push free-to-play (F2P) titles, but it looks like we should expect the entire company to shift over to F2P titles in the next 3-5 years. Company CEO, Cevat Yerli told VentureBeat last week:
We decided five or six years ago that we want to marry the quality of triple-A games with the business model of free-to-play, and out of that position, Gface and Warface were born. And at that time, we decided some other games, in some of our other studios, would head in this direction.
At the moment, F2P titles aren't anything to really write home about - sure, there are some great ones - but they don't compete with the likes of the big AAA games. Crytek on the other hand, is willing to throw big money at F2P titles, with production budgets of between $10 million and $30 million in order to help them actually compete on the AAA playing field.
With the expected launch of the PlayStation 4 just around the corner, we've turned our attention to finding out what titles will be launching with the console. If some hints and evidence is enough to go on, we should have at least some of the games that will be launching when the PlayStation 4 debuts.
For instance, several of Sony's gaming partners are starting to schedule press conferences shortly after the expected release of the PlayStation 4. This indicates that we could see launch titles from the developers behind LittleBigPlanet, MotorStorm, and Killzone.
On Media Molecule's website, a new "?" page has popped up. Killzone 2 launched alongside of the PS3 in 2005 and now Video Gamer is claiming that Killzone 4 will launch alongside the PS4. MotorStorm RC's director Paul Rustchnsky is counting down the days to Sony's event on Twitter.
Other titles are sure to debut next to the PlayStation 4. What would you like to see day one?
If you've been hankering to play Minecraft on your Raspberry Pi, you now have that option available. While others might question why you're playing Minecraft on a Pi, most geeks will understand the benefit. The Minecraft: Pi Edition allows players to modify the game's code at the base level.
You can pick up the Minecraft version from Minescraft's dedicated Pi website. It's a stripped down version of the iOS and Android apps so that it can run on the lowly Pi hardware, though the team has said that they will be adding more features at a later date.
To get Minescraft: Pi Edition running, you'll need to be running Raspbian "wheezy" with XWindows. Minescraft's dedicated site has installation instructions for those who want to try it out.
The CEO of OUYA, Julie Uhrman, has promised that game approvals will be a simple and quick process. It'll be similar to the approval process that mobile apps go through when submitted to the Apple App Store and others. It'll get a quick check for infringement, malware, or other violations and will be approved if none are found.
It's similar to mobile: they'll submit their games, and we'll review for intellectual property infringement, and malware, and excessive pornography. But ultimately it's a quick review and you're in the storefront in one capacity or another.
Developers are already to be able to upload games to the store even though the review process hasn't been finalized. She expects reviews to begin by the end of this month as the ability to review games is still being built. They'll need to get this finished up quickly as the first consoles are scheduled to launch in March and they won't do much good without games to play.
If you missed out on the first beta test EA and Maxis offered up for SimCity, you're no longer out of luck. After taking into consideration the bugs and feedback they received, they have announced that they are hosting a second closed beta to test the servers. The second beta will run from Saturday February 16 6AM PST to Sunday February 17 6AM PST.
Users can submit an application on the SimCity website in hopes of being chosen for the beta. Registration for the second beta closes as of February 11 at 6AM PST. Along with the announcement of the second beta, EA has released a second trailer for the game, possibly in hopes of encouraging more users to sign up to try it out.
Hopefully all of the bugs will be worked out of the server before the launch in March. If not, we could have a repeat of the Diablo III fiasco that prevented some people from playing.
EA's Origin game management software (a competitor against Valve's Steam) features some of the biggest titles in PC gaming and up until now, it has been limited to Windows PC users only. That all changed today as EA officially announced Origin for Mac (Alpha).
In a release this morning, Origin said "With Origin for Mac we'll be able to offer the same Origin experience and features that define our PC app - cloud storage, auto-patching, friends list, and more". While the alpha testing is open to the public, don't expect to download Battlefield 3 just yet. The game store is blocked until the official launch.
You may notice that the Origin Store tab is not yet live in this alpha trial; rest assured, the store will be live-with a great catalog of EA and partner titles-when we formally release the client. Additionally, we're not yet able to provide the same one-click streaming live to Twitch in Origin for Mac (we'll be adding this as soon as possible).
Nintendo has brought Google's Street View to the Wii U after a bit of a delay. Users in Japan can now download the application from the Nintendo eShop for free, though it isn't available in other markets yet. The Street View app was originally supposed to come to the Wii U in January and be free to download until March.
Due to Nintendo's delay in providing the app, the app will be available for free from the eShop until May. The App is tailored to make use of the GamePad, though it supports the television as well. When viewing Street View imagery on the GamePad, users can look around by moving the GamePad. While looking at imagery on the GamePad, the television displays the user's location on a map.
Nintendo has not said how much the app will cost once the free time period passes, though you might as well download it while it is available for free. Nintendo has also not specified when the app will be coming to other markets such as the United States.
Fans of the Assassin's Creed series of games produced by Ubisoft will be happy to hear that the company has confirmed that another game is coming. If comments made by the CEO during Ubisoft's quarterly financial results conference call are to be believed, the game could be coming as early as the end of this year.
The Assassin's Creed line of games has followed numerous incarnations of the hero in different time periods. The new game will continue the trend of featuring a new hero and a new setting. The new game will be released during the 2014 fiscal year. Due to Ubisoft's calendar, this could be as early as the end of this year.
The timing is right in line with the expected launches of the next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony. It's likely this game will be designed with those consoles in mind.
A Japanese site is reporting that the PlayStation 4 will launch at a price of around 40,000 Yen. In US dollars, that works out to be roughly $428. This price is quite a bit lower than what the PlayStation 3 launched at and should help the PlayStation 4 gain traction in console market.
The PlayStation 4 is widely expected to be announced February 20 at an event hosted by Sony. The Xbox 720 is expected to launch at or before E3 at a similar price point to the one being quoted for the PlayStation 4. Part of the reason the Xbox 360 was so successful is the price was quite a bit lower than the PlayStation 3 for a long time.
If this price works out to be accurate, the next-gen console wars are going to be very interesting.