If you are a fan of BioShock then this is right up your alley. After a couple of years wait BioSock 2 is coming closer to its release. The developers of BioShock and BioShock 2 are the remnants of Looking Glass Studios. LGS was the master mind behind the games System Shock and System Shock 2 (are you seeing a trend here?)
As with the move from System Shock to System Shock 2 BioShock 2 takes place years after the event. Unlike System Shock 2 you are returned to the scene of the original event; the City of Rapture. You take on the character of the first Big Daddy.
This time due to your status as a very powerful Big Daddy you have access to the outside of the city. This was not possible before and adds a new level to the scope of game play. The same role-playing like style exists in BioShock 2 that was pioneered in System Shock 2 is present in the new BioShock. This system has been copied by many other games including Lucas Arts and even id Software in their latest release Wolfenstein.
2K Games has improved this system by allowing you to arm multiple "Plasmids" at once. You can place one in each hand and even combine them into something unique. This adds to your power and death dealing ability.
But all is not beer and pizza as a Big Daddy. Although you are much faster than you were as a Big Daddy in the first game, 2K games have created a character to oppose you that is just as powerful and what's more, much faster than you are. This is the Big Sister.
As the Sea of Dreams takes place 10 years later 2k Games has gone to great lengths to make sure the environment matches what you would expect from the dead city. The illumination is flickering and dim. Everything appears dank and dirty. This all adds to the horror based theme that came across so well in BioShock.
This is one game that I know we are looking forward to very much. 2K games says it should be out sometime in 2010
The rumors about Microsoft dropping the price on the Xbox 360 Elite have come true. But the secondary rumor about the Xbox 360 Pro going the way of the Dinosaur also seems to fallen through a lttle.
According to Microsoft the new pricing will put the Elite at $299.99 a full $100 cheaper than before while the Pro will drop down to $249.99. These will continue to be sold until current supply is gone and then they will be no more.
The pricing puts the Xbox 360 Elite in line with Sony's new PS3 Slim. But according to MS that was not the plan. MS says that they had the price reduction in mind for the holiday season. They have also removed the HDMI cable from the packaging saying that their research indicates most people do not use them.
I am not sure about these claims from MS. They might be thinking of the Holiday Season but I have a feeling they are thinking about how well the Xbox will do against the PS3 Slim and Wii. As for the HDMI cable considering that HD content is now available from Xbox Live and more and more people are using HDMI on their home entertainment systems it does not seem to fit the current state of the market.
Another thing that is odd is the decision not to put in BluRay or a Browser. MS says this is because people can get HD content from Xbox Live but it seems to me that many people might see a BLuRay Player as a bonus. This was many people's reasons for getting the PS3 when it came out. It was the least expensive BluRay player and they got a console to boot.
As for the Browser, well MS says it would be awful. Of course Twitter and Facebook are ok just not the full internet. In the entire situation around the price drop is confusing, I get the feeling that MS is not being completely honest.
Here is some news that we all have been waiting for. The crew over at DICE has been hard at work on the Frostbite Engine. This is the engine that is used in the Battlefield games. The current version supports up to DX10 and can be run on the XboX 360, PC, and PS3. The new version will have support for DX10.1 and DX11.
The main feature they are interested in is the highly parallel workings of the engine. It is capable of running two to eight threads. This is perfect for the i7 and represents a real multi-core advancement over past games.
The actual port of the game was not that difficult as it reportedly only took three hours to complete. You can now add Battlefield to the list of coming DX11 games. This shows a much faster adoption than DX10 did when it was at the same place. Of course there are not as many differences between DX10 and 11 as there were between DX9 and 10.
In all it makes the outlook for DX11 games and hardware for the coming year.
Now this has to hurt. According to multiple sources on the Internet Sony is not making any money at all on the new PS3 Slim.
The story goes like this; Sony says they are losing money on the hardware for the PS3 and PS3 Slim. This means they are not making a profit off of that single device. However they say that this loss is balanced out by profit from other areas.
The other areas are peripherals and software. What is funny is that they compared the way things are with the PS3 to the Xbox and Wii (Funny I thought the Wii and Xbox were actually making money). So in the end while Sony eats a few bucks on each PS3 Slim they make up for it by overcharging you for everything else. Which come to think on it is the way that many businesses work.
Now Mr. Smith you know you need that under body coating and service plan for your car…
If you are not out a Quakeconn and need something to take care of your DX11 fix then the following video from PCPerspective should do quite nicely.
The demo shows of Dirt-2 complete with D11 engine and running on ATi Radeon DX11 hardware. The effects are very impressive as the trailer shows actual in-game footage.
DX11 will debut with Windows 7 in October, this is when we should see DX11 cards from ATi and possibly the first reviews of nVidia DX11 parts. Availability of these should be around the holiday shopping season if the information we have is correct.
Enjoy the video but you might want to turn your speakers down as the volume is lound.
This morning K-Mart let the proverbial cat out of the bag on the Sony PS3 Slim. This is the same console that Sony has been denying for the better part of a year. Well K-Mart messed up by putting this up on their website for $299.99. The launch date was set for the 24th of August.
At the same time Sony was preparing for a news conference at Noon Eastern Time in the US. Many knew that they would hear word of the PS3 Slim from the horse's mouth.
Well Sony did officially announce the PS3 Slim and for the listed $299 but the launch date is a little off. Sony says that it will be ready in early September. The new PS3 will have a larger HDD at 120GB but will feature pretty much the same hardware otherwise.
Sony also announced that it will knock off $100 from the current PS3 system bringing it down $299.99 for an 80GB full sized version. Why you would want to do that I am not sure as in a couple of weeks you can have the newer version with a larger HDD for the same price.
So what is the price of Advertising in Gaming? If you are a player of WipeOut HD then it means slow load times, poor performance and host of other problems. Of course to me it means much more.
When I purchase a game I pay for gaming content, this comes in the form of graphics, AI, sound, immersive game play and storyline. I will happily shell out as much as $60 for a good game. This is in addition to any upgrades to hardware I might need to make sure I can play the game properly. What I do not want is to have to deal with advertising in my game.
I despise the presence of ads in games as much as I hate FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) both have no place in gaming and technology in general. Both are the last ditch efforts of the desperate.
Placing Ads in games will no doubt inspire more pirated versions of the games as they can selectively remove those ads like some games get their cut scenes removed. If fully pirated copies are not the outcome then surely tools to block these ads in the games will. So in the end the consumer and the gamer loose out by putting ads in our games.
Screenshot courtesy of Planet Half Life
Well it looks like Rage from id Software will be primarily aimed at the console market. This is in line with what John Carmack said back in 2008.
This is an interesting departure from id's normal work. Usually id titles hit the PC and then are later ported to the console if there is a big demand for it (like Doom). So why the shift to the console? Well if I were a betting man I would say that is the popularity of the newer consoles combined with online access they all now have. I would also add that porting from console to PC is usually easier than PC to console.
id has said that there will be a PC version with a little better graphics but that it will be split onto two DVDs for the install. However, since it is being designed for the console first it will be like many console ports and have controls that will feel awkward and clumsy on the PC unless you use a console style controller.
If you are into the Xbox 360 then there is some potentially good news for you.
The blunder made by Steve Balmer in announcing that Natal would come to the Xbox in 2010 could be correct and not a mistake.
The evidence that points towards this is Aptina being hit up for a few 1.3 MegaPixel cameras (of the type that would be used by Natal). This could put the "Natal Xbox" in the stores in time for the holiday shopping season in 2010.
There is no confirmation on this from Microsoft, but then again they need to clear out their existing inventory and honestly they would not confirm it now anyway. It is way too soon and could give the competition time to counter the move.
Fans of Resident Evil will be happy to find that the Fifth installment in the Zombie killing game is due out for PC on September 18th in Europe.
Now this all by itself is pretty cool but there is further news that it the PC version of the game will support GeForce 3D Vision.
So for the lucky few of you that have a 120Hz LCD monitor and the 3D Vision glasses you will get to dive into the brain hungry, blood thirsty realm of zombie destruction in full 3D.
Now all we need is something to slash you with gore and a scent emitting device and you will feel like you are really there.
In a recent interview Bill Gates indicated that project Natal would not be a technology limited to the Xbox 360. It seems that Natal could be developed for Windows too.
Gates also indicated that Natal would not be just for gaming, it could be developed for content consumption, collaboration etc.
It is a very cool thought to think of interacting with your system in this way. Given the fast introduction of 3D capable displays, movies and upcoming games it seems that this would indeed become a push for PC makers and Microsoft.
When I first heard about this I first saw that scene in Iron Man where Tony Stark is making his new Iron Suit. Right after I envisioned Majority Report. Still it seems that the future is looking pretty cool, not only for gaming but for system interaction as a whole.
There are rumblings that Sony is getting everything in place to try and go head to head with Apple in the online mobile content distribution arena.
With the announcement of the PSP-Go the UMD-less device Sony had made its intentions clear that it wanted to go with online content. However what we did not know was how they would serve this out. Would it be a restricted and controlled environment like Apple's App store? Would it be a sparse catalogue like the Palm apps store?
Well wonder no more, the word is out that Sony plans to court big time game and content developers by offering no content approval, and reduced prices (up to 80%) on development kits.
Now I like the idea of the cheaper dev kits but no content approval? That is just crazy. I can see it now..."Honest Mom and Dad, I do not know how Strippers in Heat the Game got on my PSP-GO"
In the never ending (or indeed releasing) saga of the Duke Nukem it looks like there is another player in the tragic comedy that surrounds this title.
According to documents released with the legal play going on between Take-Two and 3D Realms another Duke Title was in the offering called Duke Nukem Begins.
This additional title was not much more than a foot note saying it would be developed by a third party developer. Now it seems that this third party developer is none other than Gearbox.
Does this mean that we might see a new Duke Nukem title in the near future? Unfortunately in this Greek Tragedy that has surrounded the Nukem line I highly doubt it.
Duke Nukem Begins will probably be not much more than another title we can see the occasional screen shot from but no real game.
You know maybe we should start a new series of awards to honor people that just do not think...oh wait there is already one of those out. Well ok let's just make sure that this guy gets on the list for one.
According to WBIC in Indiana, an 18 Year Old was online playing World of Warcraft when he made a threat to blow up a commercial airliner. Now this is not something you bandy about in an online community that is monitored. You would not even say this out loud in a public place.
Well you can probably figure out what happened. A Moderator noticed the messages and contacted the authorities about them. The idio...Um I mean the person's IP was found, traced and the FBI showed up at his door.
He was interrogated and now may face federal charges.
His comment to the FBI…
He was testing a theory.
And the winner of this year's award goes to…
Bad News for BioShock2 fans. It looks like Take 2 Games is delaying the new installment of the popular game until early 2010. This pushes it back at least three months from its original release date.
The delay on this is due to a "development issue" but CEO Ben Feder was quick to say that the issue was not console specific and the decision to move the game back was also due to possible financial benefit from releasing the game outside the Christmas season.
The delay will also affect Mafia II, Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption.
There was no firm date given for the new launch but they should be out sometime between January and June in 2010.
I am not sure about any perceived benefit from waiting. After all it is during the Holiday Shopping season that the most is spent on games and consoles. After that you have the tax return season in the US and not much until back to school. Unfortunately Back to School usually involves PCs and traditionally has very little benefit to the gaming industry.
Ok this has to be the coolest accessory to ship with a game ever.
According to a YouTube video the new Game Modern Warfare 2 will have a Prestige Edition that will come complete with a working set of night vision goggles.
But that is not all, inside this awesome edition of what is going to be one of the best games to hit this year. You get the game, the ability to download the original game, a handy head for displaying your new NVGs, a book full of artwork that is only found on the limited editions and a steel box to keep your DVD in.
The Prestige Edition is available for both XboX 360 and PC. There is no word on pricing yet but you can bet that once they hit the streets they will go fast so on November 10th 2009 I would highly recommend you have cash in hand to grab one of these amazing kits.
If Command and Conquer is your thing you will be happy to know that the slip-up by EA was not a mistake.
It is now official that Command and Conquer 4 will be coming to an overpriced game shop soon. Ok it won't be until 2010 but it is still officially coming.
The new installment is the final chapter in the Tiberium Saga. We can only hope that this one will be up to the rest of the series.
GameSpot what appears to be some nice screen shots up on their site although it is too early to tell if they are actual game play or not.
EA has also announced a rather nasty surprise for console fans, this one will be PC only.
Check out more here
The story of Command & Conquer 4 takes place after the events of the critically acclaimed Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars™. The year is 2062 and humanity is at the brink of extinction. With only six years left until the mysterious crystalline structure Tiberium renders the earth entirely uninhabitable, the two opposing factions - Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and the Brotherhood of Nod - inevitably find themselves in desperation for the same cause: to stop Tiberium from extinguishing mankind. The unthinkable becomes reality and Nod's enigmatic leader Kane takes off for GDI headquarters. What is Kane planning in the heart of his enemies' base? Command & Conquer 4 draws the epic conclusion to the beloved Tiberium universe, where fans will learn the fate of Earth, Nod, Tiberium, GDI and most importantly, Kane's motivations behind his decade-long plan.
Photo courtesy of GameSpot.com
Remember when we told you that Activision was considering dropping Sony if they did not lower some pricing? Well Sony has spoken up about the original comment and it is not a very nice comment either.
It seems that Howard Stringer (Sony CEO) feels that Robert Kotic (CEO of Activision Blizzard) "likes to make a lot of noise". Now I don't know about you but that does not sound like we are going to see a price cut and in the world of poker you just heard "I'll see your twenty and raise you fifty".
In fact when asked if Sony would consider price cuts Stringer said that is they did that they would "lose money on every PlayStation I make -- how's that for logic".
Now we wait to see who has what cards it could be that Activision is only holding a pair of twos looking to bluff, but on the other hand with some popular titles under their belt, coupled with growing XboX, Wii and PC game sales Activision could be holding aces over kings and Sony could be the ones bluffing.
More information here
It is a bad day for Microsoft, as rumors get to us that MS is adding Silverlight based ads to Xbox Live. This is not something to approach lightly as many Xbox 360 users are angry over this possible move by MS.
After all if you pay $50+ per year for access why would you need to have more ads thrust at you? This move raises the whole question of ads in gaming.
As it stands many companies want to stuff ads into your average game that you buy off the shelf (or download from a content provider). Doing this will earn the game developer (and the distributor) more money per unit but it will not drop the price of the game you buy one bit.
To me the idea of stuffing these ads in is just not right. I have to suffer through inane ads on my TV and Radio as well as ads all over the websites I go to, I do not want them in my games…
For Microsoft's part they are trying to say that the ads will enhance the gaming experience not take away from it.
Rumors have been flying around like crazy lately concerning the PS3 and it looks like Foxconn has confirmed at least one of them, maybe more.
Foxconn and Pegatron have landed a contract with Sony, each getting 50% of the orders on a new PS3. This would be the newer, slimmer redesign that many have been eagerly awaiting. Pictures of the slim PS3 were spotted and Sony swiftly sent a cease and desist notice to have them removed, adding some credibility to the spotting.
There have also been many rumors about a price drop and this could very well be where that is coming from. Not only would a redesigned PS3 be cheaper to produce, but to eliminate existing stock of the soon-to-be older PS3s, a price drop would help bring the slimmer PS3 to the maket sooner. Foxconn is supposed to be shipping the new PS3s sometime in July so that price drop could be just around the corner.
This leaves the rumor of Sony bringing back backwards compatibility to the PS3. This one will have to wait until later, perhaps officially from Sony. It might come with the new PS3s or as a firmware update down the road, or never at all.
According to Siliconica Sony filed for a patent on PS2 emulation for the PS3 Cell processor.
Now this is what is confusing, I had thought that Sony already had this some time ago (like when the PS3 came out). But it would seem that the patent was only filed back in December 2008 and only published about a week ago.
This new finding has added credibility to the rumors of a new PS3 coming soon, and now it would seem that it will have backwards compatibility.
Read more here
PlayStation 3s without PS2 backwards compatibility are missing the Emotion Engine, a chip Sony designed as the PS2's CPU. What if the PS3's cell processor could emulate the Emotion Engine? Theoretically, all PlayStation 3s would be able to play PS2 games even if a console didn't have the proper hardware. According to a recent patent filed by Sony Computer Entertainment in the US, Sony has the code and technology ready to do this.