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This morning I stumbled across a new game that combines a trendy electronic beat with touch typing. The game was created by Minecraft developer Notch, and while I am unsure when it was released, it has killed the past 30 minutes of my life.
As you can see, I was able to hit 156 after many attempts that ended in the low 30s. In my defense, I am typing with a partial fingertip on my right hand, and I may or may not have had the sun in my eyes. In any event, give it a try and post your best score below in the comments.
Steam has just opened its doors to subscription-based games, with the first game on the subscription side of things called Darkfall Unholy Wars. Darkfall Unholy Wars is a PvP focused MMO from Aventurine.
Now that Valve has allowed subscription-based games through their digital distribution service, Steam, the recurring payments to these games can be done within Steam itself. Valve have also promised that "additional subscription-based games will follow".
We still have very little concrete information about the upcoming Xbox 720 that Microsoft will officially unveil on May 21. We do know that Sony is pushing the sharing of in-game video aspect with the PlayStation 4 and we doubt that Microsoft will miss out on the opportunity presented by this feature.
According to Polygon's sources, Microsoft's version will be a bit different. The Xbox 720 will feature DVR-like recording, allowing users to rewind and watch or share highlights. This feature will be able to be turned off or set to occur when certain triggers occur, such as a headshot or Achievement.
If Microsoft does tie this DVR feature into the Achievements system, it could be really cool. It would also mark one of the largest overhauls of the Achievement system, which currently does very little. These captured videos would then, of course, be able to be shared on sites such as YouTube.
Like all things, until an official confirmation is made, take this with a grain of salt.
Nintendo of America announced via Twitter that the Wii U Virtual Console is now live on the eShop. The Virtual Console, for the uninitiated, allows Nintendo consoles to play classic games. In this instance, the Wii U will be getting access NES and SNES games, with Game Boy Advance and N64 games coming at a later date.
Users will have to re-download previously purchased Virtual Console titles, with an associated charge between $1.00 and $1.50. This should help Wii U sales, at least somewhat, as it widens the game library available to the console, which has been a point of contention and something Nintendo has blamed for weak sales.
Nintendo has released an update for its Wii U gaming console. This update, claims Nintendo, brings with it better performance, decreased boot times, and decreased load times. The Wii U, while an innovative console, has failed to sell in quantities that Nintendo would be happy with.
Nintendo has published the following list of changes:
- The time required to start the Wii U console, launch built-in applications, exit software and return to the main menu, jump between applications, and jump between software and Miiverse has been reduced.
- While the Wii U logo is being displayed during the system startup, users can directly transition to the Wii Menu by holding down the B Button on the Wii U GamePad.
- Users can install games and applications from the Nintendo eShop in the background while other software is being used.
- When powering off during a download, Wii U will go into a standby mode, then power off when all downloads and installations are complete.
- Users can transfer and copy data between two USB storage devices in Data Management. This allows users the opportunity to upgrade or replace a current USB storage device that is connected to the Wii U Console.
- Users can control the priority of their downloads when downloading multiple items at once.
- Improved account selection when powering on the system now displays Nintendo Network IDs to clearly distinguish accounts.
This morning Sony has released a new video that shows off its DualShock 4 controller. Sony mentions that they worked tirelessly with developers to create a next-generation controller that is truly the best it can be.
While the DualShock 4 may look similar to its predecessor in form, the whole controller has been fine-tuned with improvements made to the analog sticks, the sensitivity of the triggers, as well as a new light bar on the front of the controller that tells the PS4 your position in the room and adjusts your split screen, relevant to your location.
A new touch pad has been added to the controller, as well. Sony says that this was a major request from game developers and features multi-touch sensitivity and is comfortable to use with your thumbs or fingertips. Additionally a speaker has been added to the controller that is said to bring forth a new dynamic of sound to gameplay.
Rounding things out is a new "Share" button that when pressed instantly allows the user to capture a screenshot of an epic kill, or even begin recording video of the gameplay.
Rockstar have just teased us by announcing that there are no less than three new trailers to Grand Theft Auto V coming next week, the new look at GTA V is set to arrive in the form of three character trailers.
The tease was simple, which said "Michael. Franklin. Trevor. Trailer 4.30". GTA V's characters are all said to have their own unique identity, story and skills, it would make sense to introduce them separately. The new trailers should hopefully be accompanied by some nice new footage of the open-world game.
PlayStation 4's lead architect, Mark Cerny, says that the PlayStation 4 launch will feature the strongest set of launch games in PlayStation 4. In an interview with Gamasutra, Cerny talks about the PlayStation 4 and how it is so easy to code for thanks to its unified architecture.
The biggest thing is we didn't want the hardware to be a puzzle that programmers would be needing to solve in order to make quality titles. There was huge performance [in the PS3], but in order to unlock that performance, you really needed to study it and learn unique ways of using the hardware.
Most importantly, Cerny says, "The launch lineup for PlayStation 4 -- though I unfortunately can't give the title count -- is going to be stronger than any prior PlayStation hardware." Gamasutra has the full interview at source #1.
Paul Thurrott, a known Microsoft fanboy, has released information he claims is accurate for the upcoming Xbox 720. Most will remember that Thurrott was the first to announce that Microsoft changed the launch date for the next Xbox from April 24 to May 21. Interestingly enough, Microsoft unveiled the May 21 event on April 24.
Thurrott expects (claims?) that the Xbox 720 will be released sometime in November with two pricing versions. For $499, you get the console flat-out. Or, you can buy the console for $299 with a $10/month two-year Xbox LIVE Gold contract. The $299 version ultimately ends up costing $539.
Thurrott also says that the May 21 event is just a teaser and that the full unveiling will occur at E3 in early June 2013. You can read all of his claims on the WindowsITPro site.
If any company has had a rough past 12 months, it has to be EA. Sales expectations were not met on big name titles such as Crysis 3, APB, and Kingdom of Amalur: The Reckoning. To top that off, several of EA's major releases such as SimCity have been plagued with issues since launch.
This morning there are several reports that EA will be closing its Partners asset as a direct result of the recent shortfalls. EA Partners is the publishing force of EA that worked with external developers like Valve to produce games like The Orange Box and Portal 2's retail versions.
Basically the idea behind EA Partners was to allow smaller developers to leverage EA's skill and experience to help promote titles without the need of an expensive dedicated in-house team. News of this pending closure comes hot on the heels of EA shutting down its Montreal Studio.
No official word has been released from EA at this point, but we are hoping to hear something soon.