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The Xbox 360's Gamerscore has been around for such a long time, it has really lost its bragging rights - until now. Microsoft's Xbox Live Rewards program is now offering gamers special perks if they have higher Gamerscores.
The rewards are then split into three categories, Contender, Champion and Legend. The first category, Contender, rewards gamers with a Gamerscore of 3,000 to 9,999 with a "special gift" during their birthday month - this gift is valued at $0.25 and would most likely be an Avatar item.
Champion level is higher, with Gamerscores between 10,000 and 24,999 and these Champion's will receive a special gift, as well as a 1% rebate on Xbox Live Marketplace purchases every month. Finally, Gamerscores exceeding 25,000 and higher get access to Legend status, which includes everything the Champion levels get, but an increased rebate: 2% versus 1%.
Computer, Android. Android, Computer. Now that you two have met, maybe we can move on to bigger and better things, such as allowing Android's games to play on the computer. Well, that's exactly what AMD has done with the help of BlueStacks. The two have worked together to produce AMD AppZone Player, which will enable hundreds of thousands of Android apps to be used on AMD PCs.
The new app is a really cool program that uses BlueStack's "award-winning LayerCake Technology" to bridge Android and x86 application ecosystems. I'm pretty confident that the AppZone Player features an Android emulator, though I can't be 100 percent confident. If you want to check it out, the apps, and player, are available on AMD's AppZone website.
Rosen Sharma, CEO of BlueStacks said "As the engine behind the AMD AppZone Player, we are providing a potent combination of award-winning software optimized for AMD's industry-leading hardware. Consumers can now enjoy their favourite mobile apps on the larger, more immersive screen of their PC"
Mr Sharma added, "This helps AMD leapfrog Intel by making Windows 8 more attractive on their tablets and PCs. We've worked closely together to optimize the performance of the apps for AMD's unique 'graphics and computing on one chip' setup. The result is awesome - mobile apps run beautifully on their machines."
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I don't finish many games, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the Dead Space series, and the third outing in Isaac Clarke's work is nearly here - with the game shipping February 2013. Visceral Games, the developers behind the game, have teased us with a 17-minute video of Dead Space 3.
The video is narrated by Dead Space 3's Creative Director and Senior Audio Artist and give an insight into how some of the game is made, and how the audio immerses the player in the environment. The core gameplay doesn't seem to have changed all that much - which is a good thing, as Dead Space, and its sequel, were both great games.
Dead Space 3 drops in February 2013 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. I might add that the series is quite awesome on a triple-monitor setup - and works pretty much flawlessly.
Check this out! Call of Duty and the studio behind Black Ops 2 has released the official Zombies reveal trailer:
I'm going to go out on a limb and take a stab at the structure of the game. Not only does this Zombies mode look really cool, it appears that players will move from map to map, or location to location via an old bus. During the trip they appear to have to fight off the zombies. I have a feeling players will be required to beat each stage on their way through the game mode.
If it works out to be something like above, it will be a change from the seemingly endless waves on a single map that Black Ops featured. That's one of the few things I didn't like about Black Ops' Zombies, you had to stay on the same map for so long. If they do this stage method, I think it could be really cool.
Watch the video and let us know what you think the Zombies mode is going to be like in the new Black Ops 2 based upon what you see in the video.
Readers interested in the upcoming WiiU gaming platform will be excited to hear that there will be some 23 games ready for launch day, which happens to be November 18 in the United States. During the announcement, Nintendo played somewhat coy with the hard details about the launch plans, only giving us a date and price.
Otherwise, they said that 51 games would be coming out during the launch window, a window which extended all the way until March 2013. Thankfully, things have been cleared up a bit and readers will be happy to hear that 23 games are available on launch day. Three of those games are Nintendo-published titles, and the 20 others will be from major publishers.
Players can look forward to New Super Mario Bros. U, NintendoLand, and Sing Party from Nintendo. Activision is will be providing Skylanders Giants, Wipeout 3, Transformers Prime, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Ubisoft is coming out with Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013, ESPN Sports Connection, Just Dance 4, Rabbids Land, Assassin's Creed III, and ZombiU, a game that proved popular at E3.
Finishing out the top 23 are Scribblenauts Unlimited, Game Party Champions, and Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition from WBIE, and Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2.
For those readers who are interested in the upcoming Xbox Music service, we've got a bit more information for you. Images of the tiers and pricing have reportedly leaked out onto the web, and we have of course brought them here for your viewing pleasure. The service will allow music to be downloaded and synced across Xbox, Windows, and Windows Phone devices.
According to the images, users will be able to subscribe for either one month or twelve months for a price of $15 and $150, respectively. In the image, an option of a 14-day free trial is visible. Other sources are reporting that a free advertising-supported option will be available, similar in function to Spotify or Pandora.
The announcement is expected to come closer to Windows 8, which will come at the end of October. Microsoft has been dealing with record labels to make sure they have the legal right to stream and store the music in a digital locker accessible by various devices. It will be interesting to see how the ad-supported version functions.
Borderlands 2 has launched in North America, and will launch internationally on the 21st of September. Borderlands 2 is available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC and has the game take place in Pandora five years after the events of the first Borderlands.
Borderlands 2 pits up to four players against Handsome Jack and the Hyperion Corporation, with new characters, skill trees, environments, missions, enemies, weapons and equipment - enough to keep the most die-hard Borderlands fan happy. The same art style that was popular with the original Borderlands is also present in its sequel.
Gearbox Software and their publisher, 2K Games, have said that four additional campaigns will be released between the launch and June 2013. Borderlands 2 also features support for NVIDIA's PhysX technology, so be sure to check that out if you're running a GeForce GPU.
I used to be a huge fan of Pure Pwnage back in the day, when I used to for a little while, be a 'pro-gamer'. I watched every episode, bought the shirts, the hoodies, and talked about it amongst friends. Browsing through Reddit just now, I've noticed that the team behind Pure Pwnage are wanting to make a movie, and are asking for pledges for funding.
Pure Pwnage has enjoyed huge success, where they landed their own TV show, and was nominated for Best Comedy Series, Best Writing in a Comedy Series and Best Directing in a Comedy Series, but was not renewed. The web series ran from 2004-2008 until the TV show, but until now, the land of Pure Pwnage has been pretty dry. The team behind Pure Pwnage are looking for at least $75,000 to get the project off their ground, but have said that this is "less than half the budget we need to accomplish what we have in mind, but it's a great start".
In the last few years, the competitive gaming landscape has evolved, immensely. We now have Starcraft 2, League of Legends, DotA 2, and many live streaming services like Twitch.tv and own3d.tv. The team hope to visit Korea, where I'm guessing they would get in with some of the world's biggest professional gamers - which would be seriously awesome, to see Jeremy interact with these pro gamers.
Unity Technologies have struck a deal with Nintendo which will see the company's Unity Engine on their next-gen Wii U console. The companies have partnering up on a worldwide licensing agreement that will offer first- and third-party developers Pro level engine access to Unity's tools for Wii U development.
The partnership also includes the 1.2 million Unity licensees to the Wii U platform, which Unity Technologies' CEO David Helgason says is "extremely easy" to port to. Unity are calling their new found partnership with Nintendo an "excellent opportunity" to port existing Unity-based games from "thousands of studios currently developing mobile and social games".
We won't see any day-one Unity Engine-based games on the Wii U, as the Unity Engine's Wii U support won't go live until 2013.
I'm starting to get really excited for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 game. The developers of the game are trying to pique interest in the upcoming Zombies mode, as demonstrated by the trailer released yesterday (seen below). Today, they have released a new trailer that shows a bit more, but the details for the game mode have been kept pretty slim.
I'm a big fan of the Zombies game mode and it's said that it will use the online multiplayer engine and allow for up to 8 players to play co-op. The trailer released today doesn't show much more, but it definitely shows more than yesterday's:
It appears that players will be inside what I'm affectionately calling the death bus as zombies try to break in and zombify the players. I really can't wait to see what the Nuketown Zombies map looks like. What are your thoughts? Looking forward the game or a specific game mode or feature offering?