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SEGA's Total War: Attila will launch on February 17, 2015 for Microsoft Windows PCs and Mac OS X, according to SEGA and Creative Assembly. The game will be available in both physical and digital formats. The game title is a follow-up to Total War: Rome II, which was released in 2013.
Gamers who pre-order will be able to receive a DLC for free - and the North America Special Edition will be bundled with the Attila The Hun Biography. The book has archaeological photographs, illustrated maps and additional artwork.
Fidelity Investments is getting creative in its efforts to woo millennials into greater interest of the financial stock market, launching StockCity. The software uses a 3D mapping tool and feels similar to SimCity, providing virtual structures that analyze 90-day trade volume and market caps of selected stocks. StockCity also is available for the Oculus Rift, blending virtual reality with data visualization, providing a unique method to view your personal stock portfolio.
"Fidelity's target one with a bullet is the boomers," said Bill Doyle, Forrester Research VP, in a statement. "But if they don't pay attention to the next generation - which has a decidedly different feel, with a strong bias to digital touch points - they run the risk of being iced out by some upstart. They expect their best experience to come from software, as opposed to coming from a human being."
In just a week's time, the biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament kicks off, with DreamHack Open: Winter seeing two teams disqualified already. Three professional CS:GO players have also been issued in-game bans for cheating, which has lead to some heated headlines before the tournament.
The first player to receive the slam of the ban hammer was banned from ESEA, which is a third-party matchmaking client for CS:GO, with this player alleging that as much as 40% of the pro CS:GO scene hacks. The three pro CS:GO gamers that were issued in-game bans for cheating are Simon "smn" Beck, Gordon "Sf" Giry and Hovik "KQLY" Tovmassian. Sf and KQLY were banned on Valve Anti-Cheat, or VAC.
DreamHack is a gigantic Swedish gaming event, which is also referred to as the "World's Largest LAN Party", with a $250,000 prize pool for CS:GO alone.
When the PS4 exclusive 'Driveclub' launched, it was met with a slew of issues, and post-launch updates and fixes. But for those who want to know why there wasn't any additional in-house testing before it launched, the Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) President and CEO, Shawn Layden, has some nice words to say.
Layden explained the issues, saying that games like Driveclub, and their online communities, cannot be tested thoroughly before launching the game itself. He continued: "In the development cycle, we try to do all things. In the development cycle, we try to test against every possibility. We have a [Quality Assurance] team, we have a QA plan. You do a beta test, you scope against that. But now, in a connected world, you can't effectively test in your house or in your beta group what it means to have 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 users hit your service. And the guys [at the studio] are struggling with that. It's throwing up things they had not anticipated".
Evolution Studios, the developer behind the open-world driving game has continued its path toward a fully-baked game, even offering free DLC and extending Season Passes.
Blood Sport: The Ultimate in Immersive Gaming had its account suspended on Kickstarter, raising just $3,390 of the requested $250,000. The console game controller would have been used as a blood collection unit that drew blood any time a gamer was wounded while playing a video game.
The system would have requested each gamer to provide height, weight, and details of pre-existing medical conditions before the session began.
The project has been active on Kickstarter since November 18, and Kickstarter has a policy not to discuss why certain projects are suspended. Blood Sport has remained media silent, not responding to media requests from multiple outlets.
It didn't take long before Sony pulled a new ad from its European YouTube channel due to an onslaught of criticism for the sexist ad. The ad featured a sexy female doctor that was mentioning masturbation innuendo, but it turned out it was related to playing the handheld PlayStation Vita gaming console.
Regardless of what people think of the ad, it wasn't overly funny or entertaining - and with some YouTube commenters upset - Sony decided to just pull the plug on the 50-second video.
What do you think of the ad?
The cloud is growing in popularity, and is having a major impact on the current state of the gaming market. A combination of cloud gaming capable devices, hardware makers jumping into market, and increasing network performance will push the market to new levels in 2015, according to the Strategy Analytics tech research group.
For example, NVIDIA Grid Game Streaming Service and PlayStation Now will end the year with almost 30 million devices, and that number is expected to increase 500 percent up to 150 million consumers by the end of 2015.
"2014 is proving to be a watershed moment with major players putting their credibility and brand names on the line to make cloud gaming work," said Michael Goodman, Strategy Analytics' Director of Digital Media Strategies. "While broadband speeds and consumer acceptance of subscription models have come a long away, access to content remains an issue for all services. The major video game publishers have so far successfully managed an incremental transition from physical to digital media, but cloud gaming offers publishers a new revenue stream."
Rockstar Games was able to resolve problems that some Grand Theft Auto V players on the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 game consoles reported at the start of the weekend. Despite posting a workaround, it appeared most gamers simply waited until Rockstar Games was able to fix the problem for them.
The Xbox One GTA V Title Update 1.03 was released on Saturday afternoon, and was focused just on improving server stability.
The Xbox One and PS4 have proven to be popular among gamers, but certain game studios appear to be having trouble releasing video games that don't need immediate improvements. GTA V was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 17, and released for the PS4 and Xbox One on November 18 - a PC version will be released on January 27.
Retailer GameStop wouldn't mind seeing the aging Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles receive a price cut, as gamers largely choose the next-generation Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. Analysts believe both manufacturers should slash prices on both platforms, but nothing has been promised.
However, even with no price cuts imminent, GameStop doesn't believe Xbox 360 and PS3 hardware and software sales to simply drop completely off a cliff.
"We think it would be excellent and definitely would increase the sell-through rate on the old-generation consoles," said Tony Bartel, GameStop President. "We definitely think that would help. Year to date in the US, Xbox 360 and PS3 software and hardware are down 57.8 percent on a dollar basis. That's clearly significantly more than we anticipated at the beginning of the year."
Dell is now shipping its Alienware Alpha all-in-one console PC gaming unit, promoted as a Steam machine to consumers in time for Christmas. The entry-level Alpha machine has an Intel Core i3-4130T dual-core CPU, 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4GB DDR3 RAM and 500GB HDD, with all models created so they can be easily upgraded.
The Alienware Alpha is available now and starts at $549, with $699, $799, and $899 models also available. The units ship with Alpha UI, but can boot directly to Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Steam Big Picture.
"We've been working hard this past year to break the mold and develop a system that finally brings hundreds of Steam games, including some really fun indie titles, to TVs," said Frank Azor, Alienware GM. "The team and I are excited to finally deliver our vision for big screen gaming and give our fans a console that delivers true next-gen performance with the flexibility to choose how, what and where they want to play."