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There are many rumors surrounding the Xbox 720 and nothing can really be confirmed until Microsoft decides to spill the beans. Microsoft has been significantly tight-lipped about the next-gen Xbox, though rumors have tried to fill in the gaps, grasping at the smallest piece of information to try and figure out what will happen.
The latest rumor to join the crowd is that Microsoft is planning to equip the Xbox 720 with a Blu-ray drive, but limit the device so that it can only be used for games and not media playback. An interesting choice, considering the PlayStation 3 enjoyed numerous sales because of its ability to play Blu-ray discs.
On the otherhand, it makes sense for Microsoft to limit media playback, as they enjoy profits from streaming media content to the Xbox through their Xbox Live service. In the end, none of this rumor has been confirmed, but it's unlikely that Microsoft wouldn't use a Blu-ray drive as games continue to get bigger and bigger.
Moving to a new country? Take your Xbox Live achievements with you as Microsoft lets users migrate regions
Microsoft has officially announced that Xbox Live region migration is a go. This means that users moving to a new region of the world, say from the US to Europe, will be able to take their "gamerscore, unlocked achievements, any Microsoft Points already in your account and any remaining time on your Gold membership" with them.
Of course, when in the new region, some things will be different. For instance, payment methods, content, and select services may not be available in the region you have moved to, but this doesn't come as a surprise. When you move into that new region, your account then falls under the rules of that region.
It warms my heart to see that there are still developers out there who state they're looking after PC gamers, and then actually follow through with it. Crytek are notorious with Crysis 2 for slapping PC gamers in the face, but BioShock Infinite developer, Irrational Games, has PC gamers' backs with their latest first-person shooter.
Irrational Games' Technical Director, Christopher Kline, admitted that the precious BioShock titles didn't have great PC-specific features, which he cites is due to the studio not being able to spare the resources required to amp up the PC version, and not because they didn't want to please PC enthusiasts.
BioShock Infinite turns things around, and Kline says that the studio has a special team which is responsible for identifying and implementing features that are important for PC gamers, as this time around, they had the resources spare to apply them. DirectX 11 will be included, as will HD Ambient Occlusion and Diffusion Depth of Field, EyeFinity and Surround Vision support, as well as huge amounts of graphical options and support for Steam Cloud and Big Picture.
We had a rumor less than a couple of days ago regarding pricing on the next-generation of consoles, which would be just $400 at launch. Now we're hearing from Sony's Vice President of Home Entertainment that we could see the PlayStation 4 unveiled sooner, rather than later.
Hiroshi Sakamoto recently talked to Chilean website Emol that Sony are working hard on the next-generation PlayStation, and that they are focused on showing it off at E3 in June, or even earlier. If Sony did jump first, they would beat Microsoft to the punch with their next-generation console which is expected to be unveiled at E3 in June.
The PlayStation 4 being announced ahead of the next-gen Xbox won't do much, but it will certainly have press sites going crazy, and thus, readers wanting to know more. Sony unveiling the PlayStation 4 would work for them, but against them at the same time - as it would give Microsoft E3 all to themselves and their next-gen consoles.
NRA, an organization that stands for the Second Amendment, recently spoke out against violent video games, using them to explain recent school shootings. However, the NRA has released an iPhone game, which involves shooting targets, albeit non-human targets. The app also offers safety tips, such as "Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction."
The game comes with handguns and rifles, which players use to shoot at targets. Gamers can pay extra money to use an AK-47 or MK11 sniper rifle. The game itself is a free download from iTunes and is more about spreading safety information than anything, but the release timing is certainly not the best choice the NRA could have made.
I really have my fingers crossed for Gearbox Software's upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines. The sci-fi, first-person shooter set in the Aliens world is shaping up quite nicely, and now we have some PC system requirements to look over:
Minimum Specs: Operating System: Windows XP SP3. Processor: 2 GHz Intel Dual Core Processor. RAM: 2GB RAM (XP),2GB RAM (Vista). HD: 20GB free hard disk space. Optical Drive: DVD. Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible. Video Card:NVIDIA GeForce 8500/ATI Radeon HD 2600 (256 minimum).
Recommended Specs: Operating System: Windows XP SP3/Vista/Windows 7. Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel Quad Core Processor. RAM: 2GB RAM. HD: 20GB free hard disk space. Optical Drive: DVD. Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible. VideoCard: NVIDIA GeForce GTX560/ATI Radeon HD 5850 (512 minimum).
Other Requirements: Initial installation requires one-time internet connection for Steam authentication; software installations required (included with the game) include Steam Client, DirectX 9, Microsoft .NET 4 Framework, Visual C++ Redistributable 2005, Visual C++ Redistributable 2008, Visual C++ Redistributable 2010, and AMD CPU Drivers (XP Only/AMD Only).
The days of Total Annihilation ruled me, I played tens of hours per week and upgraded my system constantly to play it smoothly at a high resolution like 1600x1200 back in the CRT days. Well, the developer behind it, Gas Powered Games, are looking to release a new game and need your help to fund it. Gas Powered Games require $1.1 million in funding, which will wrap up on February 15.
Gas Powered Games' master and commander, Chris Taylor, is behind things again and below, you'll find the perfect explanation behind the game from their Kickstarter page:
Imagine a game where you control a single hero unit-the "Wildman" - in the middle of a raging battle between opposing forces in a specially designed War Zone. You engage the enemy and see your opponent switching tactics, forcing you to reconfigure your army to counter. You push the enemy back to their base before facing your opponent's champion. Over the course of this battle, you upgrade your armies with new technology, execute special abilities, construct defenses, change your army composition, and shape-shift into new forms that grant you new abilities. This is Wildman.
ReportTT: Prices for the Xbox 720, PlayStation 4 to be roughly $400 at launch, and use standard hardware
Colin Sebastian, an analyst for Baird Equity Research, has made a prediction that the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 will launch for a price of around $400. Along with a prediction of price, the company is also providing a prediction that the new consoles will use high-end computer hardware that is readily available from the likes of Intel and others.
This isn't the first time we've heard the second prediction. In fact, it's been a common occurrence for rumors to say that this is the case. There are several benefits to using standard PC hardware, the main of which is that programmers don't have to learn a new technology or architecture. It would also allow game developers to program only once for one architecture.
If standard components are used, it also leaves the door open to the possibility of upgrading the components at a later time. Sony and Microsoft should also be able to keep updating the console with refreshes that use Intel's, AMD's or NVIDIA's latest and greatest parts.
It's good to keep in mind that this is just a prediction and that there is no promise that anything this analyst is predicting will come true.
Leaked specifications on the next-generation Xbox are here thanks to a user on Chinese forum TGFC, this user 'BD' claims to be an ex-Ubisoft employee and has leaked specification on the upcoming next-gen console from Microsoft.
BD has claimed that the next-gen Xbox will sport an AMD 8-core processor, 8GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon HD 8000 Series GPU, Windows 8 kernel and a 640GB HDD. If these specs are true, we're looking at production specs and not a prototype - we're close enough to the unveiling which should be at this years' E3.
Microsoft are going to face some fierce competition this time round, and so will Sony and Nintendo. We have the smaller Ouya console, NVIDIA's recently announced Project Shield and the biggest competitor in my opinion - Valve's Steam Box.
CES 2013 - It looks like the early images of Valve's Steam box could have been fake or could have been one of Valve's partners leaking images of one of several "Steam box" designs. The Verge is reporting images of the actual device that is on display at Steams booth at the CES.
The company has stated that it came to the show specifically to meet with hardware partners, and has about 20 meetings lined up. Valve Representative Tom Giardino said in an interview.
It has been rumored that Valve will tap Linux for its own version of the Steam Box. The company says that any of its partners are open to introduce their own hardware and call it whatever they like - including the term "Steam Box" Valve CEO Gabe Newell told Kotaku in December, that he expects companies to start selling PCs designed for the living room in 2013.