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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.
The Verge is reporting that the new Microsoft Xbox, code-named Durango, will include speech recognition software. They attributed it to something similar to Apple's Siri.
The new software is said to support wake-on voice, natural language controls as well as speech to text functionality. Users will be able to walk into the room and say a command like "Xbox on", and the console will boot up.
Users will be able to pause video content and resume it with voice commands as well as being able to search and purchase games through the marketplace using nothing more than speech. It is also rumored that Redmond is investigating functionality that would allow a Kinect sensor to detect when an individual enters a room, and it would suggest appropriate content after the user queries the Xbox.
Gaming consoles tend to not update often, with some units seeing update cycles reach the once a decade mark. OUYA is seeking to break that trend, and has announced that there will be a new OUYA released every year.
At the DICE Annual Summit, OUYA CEO and Founder Julie Uhrman, announced that the company would be following an upgrade cycle similar to what smartphone manufacturers do. This means we will get a new OUYA console released every year. "There will be a new OUYA every year. There will be an OUYA 2 and an OUYA 3," Uhrman said in an interview with Engadget.
Upgrading the OUYA will be fairly easy for the company since the device is built around Android, and reference designs, hardware examples, and new devices are built every year anyway - unlike console companies who build propitiatory hardware and software that takes years of R&D.
I've been meaning to post this for a while now, but I believe we've seen the recent delay of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V so it can be released on next-gen consoles. Yes, that's what I think and I'm sticking with it. I talked about it happening all the way back in April of last year, where I said
I'd be impressed if Rockstar pushed it back and unleashed next-gen GTA upon us with next-gen consoles, and showed us a ported version for current-gen consoles. Now that, would be very, very cool.
I said this because Grand Theft Auto is one of the, if not the biggest franchise on consoles today. The franchise has grown out of control, and is so big that it is truly a system seller. Why release one of the biggest games ever on current-gen consoles if next-gen consoles are only months away? So you read it here, we think Rockstar and Take-Two are pushing back GTA V to release it on next-gen consoles.
What do you think? Would you buy a next-gen console to enjoy GTA V at 1080p @ 60 frames per second? I know I would. What makes this better, is consoles usually launch with no killer apps on day-one, we haven't seen that for a while since the original Halo days on the first Xbox.
J.J. Abrams already has his finger in a bunch of franchises, Mission Impossible, Star Wars, Star Trek and countless TV shows, but what about gaming? Well, Polygon have the scoop on the director and TV guru reportedly working with Valve, yes - that Valve.
The news comes from the 2013 DICE Summit, where Abrams announced with co-founder of Valve, Gabe Newell, that they two gods of media were in discussions together about making a video game together. Abrams said "there's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on". Newell adds "We're super excited about that and we also want to talk about making movies, either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie."
At the end of the on-stage talk, Newell said that the DICE lecture was just a public rehash of discussions behind closed doors with Abrams, where he added "what we are actually doing here, we are recapitulating a series of conversations going on."
RumorTT: New Xbox will require an always-on internet connection to prevent used games from being played
Gaming console companies have been trying to figure out how to curb the use of used games for decades now, and Microsoft may have just figured it out. Edge Magazine is reporting that the new Xbox set to release later this year will require an "always-on" internet connection.
Edge is claiming that second hand games most likely will not be playable as the new games will require an activation code similar to what is used on PC games today. They will be stored on 50GB Blu-ray disc and it is expected that the activation code will lock that disc to the owners Xbox.
If this new game activation system is true, then it will deal a devastating blow to the used game market and stores like Game Stop, whose major source of revenue is buying and selling used games.