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Blizzard have yet another game that gamers will pour hours into, where during the Penny Arcade Expo, Blizzard announced a free-to-play, collectible card game based on the Warcraft franchise. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will see players select one of nine characters as they take turns summoning characters, casting spells and using weapons in a one-versus-one online game.
The company have said that they love collectible card games and have been playing them since their Silicon & Synapse days, adding that creating a digital card game like Hearthstone felt natural, so they constructed a small team of 15 developers to smash out the title. They were reportedly given more creative freedom to experiment, but it looks like it could pay off.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will be made available for PC and Mac users, with an iPad version arriving at a later date. You can try to apply for beta access through your Battle.net account.
My Facebook feed has been set ablaze of the last few days due to the first expansion to StarCraft 2, Heart of the Swarm, being released. Blizzard have now announced that they sold 1.1 million copies of the game in just 48 hours.
The 1.1 million copies are from combined physical and digital copies, but Blizzard hasn't said how it split in terms of sales. Blizzard launched StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm on my birthday, I mean March 12, and saw their launch date event broadcast online with an additional 1.1 million viewers, with the concurrent viewers sitting at around 125,000.
Just about 10 years ago Final Fantasy X and X-2 were beginning development, and a man by the name of Yoshinori Kitase was brought on to serve in the roll of producer for the now legendary games. This morning on the official PlayStation blog, Kitase announced that both games would be getting a North America refresh in HD.
On the blog, Kitase posted:
Around 10 years ago, I was given the privilege of taking on the role of Producer on FINAL FANTASY X and FINAL FANTASY X-2. Just in time for PAX East, I am excited to announce that FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster will be coming to North America this year for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita... I invite you all to once again join Tidus and Yuna as they combat the colossal menace known as "Sin" to bring about lasting peace to the world of Spira - all in gorgeous HD!
Archos announced today that it has launched its long awaited Gamepad in the US after more than a month of delays. The Android Jelly Bean powered gaming tablet is capable of running most games in the Google Play store and features controls off to each side.
The Gamepad houses a 1.6GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, but has just 1GB of RAM. Like most of the cheaper Android tables on the market, graphics crunching is handled by a quad-core Mali 400MP GPU. Internal storage is decent at 8GB with a micro SD card slot that can provide up to 64GB of additional storage.
A 1.2MP front facing camera along with a 2MP rear handle all your imaging needs, while the 1024x600 screen serves up all that Android gaming goodness. Coming in at 0.3-inches thick, the $179 Gamepad will appeal to some who just enjoy casual gaming, but do not expect it to perform on the level that something like Razer's Edge does.
Battlefield 4 is set to be unveiled next week, but DICE have released another teaser video 'Prepare 4 Battle: Sea'. This video shows off some undeniable evidence that some form of water vehicles will be in the game, hopefully submarines.
As you can see, it's a very quick tease, but enough to get gamers salivating for the next installment in the Battlefield series. What do you think it'll end up being? A submarine? I hope so. Hopefully we get some big changes with Battlefield 4, as the foundation that its predecessor left it is quite stable right now.redecessor left it is quite stable right now.
NVIDIA have announced the first ever GeForce eSports World of Tanks Open Tournament, with gamers competing to win NVIDIA GPUs and a shot at the $100,000 total prize pool. Pre-registration is now open, with team and player registration opening up its doors on March 28 for two weeks. Head of Community and Wargaming in North America, Kevin Van Ness, has said:
World of Tanks really strikes a chord with players looking for that ultimate competitive gaming experience, thanks to its team-based gameplay and strategic action. We're looking forward to combining our world-class community with the world-class expertise of NVIDIA for this exciting event.
Five regions are open to enter the World of Tanks tournament, China, APAC, the Americas, Russia and Europe. The five regional finalists will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Grand Finals, which will be announced at a later date. All tournament matches are seven-person teams playing the best of three game matches.
There should be at least four weeks of group play, with the top players from each group moving onto the double-elimination championship brackets.
Everyone's favorite $99 console might be getting streaming video content, at least if the CEO's hint proves accurate. At a keynote at South By Southwest, CEO Julie Uhrman hinted that the Ouya console would be able to function as a set-top box, meaning that we should expect streaming video.
The PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii have all successfully integrated online video streaming service apps and these have helped the consoles extend their lifespan. Uhrman noted that she "feels pretty confident" that Ouya will feature streaming content via native apps from some of the larger players.
This will probably be a fairly easy task as the console will be running Android. Hulu and Netflix already have streaming video apps available for Android. Uhrman added that if it isn't available directly at launch, it should be available shortly after. "We're talking to everyone."
We're willing to bet that more than a few of our readers have participated in a video game beta test before despite the fact that they are sometimes hard to get into. Up until now, you usually had to rely on being selected to participate in those beta programs, but Valve is looking to change that.
Steam has just released a new service called Early Access that makes participating in beta test easier. Instead of filling out form after form, and email after email, Valve's solution is to let game developers simply charge users to be part of the beta. Developers can chose to offer the beta for free through the service or charge users full price for the game, which rolls over to your steam library when officially launched.
As of this posting, the Early Access program has 12 titles including some heavy hitters like: Arma 3 Aplha, Kerbal Space Program and Star Forge Alpha. It is still up in the air if gamers are willing to buy a game at full price months before release just to get access to the beta program, but something tells me that it will be a success.
Our first look at the Battlefield 4 website is here, which doesn't show much at all unfortunately. What it does tell us is that we can 'unlock the Battlefield 4 art' by having more fans log-in, the team at DICE will reveal 'more,' what exactly we'll see - is anyone's guess.
The website says to come back on March 27, which is when we'll see our first look at gameplay. This is what I'm excited for, hopefully it's not pre-rendered or scripted, and some actual, in-game footage. We can only dream.
Fresh from the rumor mill, we have some new next-generation Xbox news. The latest rumors include some screenshots of a purported Xbox Development Kit (XDK) for the next-gen console from Microsoft.
The leaked documentation, if true, would see the next-gen Xbox feature a large HDD, large enough to "hold a large number of games". All next-gen Xbox games are said to be installable to the drive, and "play from the optical drive will not be supported." It seems as though installation of games will be a requirement, with games not capable of being played off the disc at all. This might be a nice change from Microsoft, being able to install the games to the Xbox and take the disc out - not requiring it again until you re-install it.
What about piracy? Well, Microsoft are reportedly developing an anti-used games system, requiring activation codes for 50GB capacity Blu-ray discs. This would definitely shoot holes in piracy for the next-gen Xbox, but how Microsoft play this out will be very, very important.