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It hasn't even been a year since the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, yet the company is already moving the game to free-to-play status. Announced today, the game will become free-to-play up to level 50 using 8 different character classes this fall. Of course, this free-to-play will include some restrictions.
"Players want flexibility and choice," says Matthew Bromberg of BioWare Austin in a press release, "The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic universe."
"Since launch, we've been listening to feedback from our fans and adding new content and refining The Old Republic at a breakneck pace. We believe we are in a position to help improve the service even more, not only by continuing to add new content, but also by expanding the game to many more Star Wars fans, increasing the populations on worlds and the vibrancy of the community," says executive producer Jeff Hickman.
However, this game hasn't gone free-to-play out of the kindness of the developers. Instead, the game has gone free-to-play out of necessity. In February, 1.7 million people were playing the game. In May, however, that number dropped down to 1.3 million. This is most likely the real reason the game is going free-to-play.
Square Enix has announced its support for the upcoming Ouya Android gaming console. They plan to have the iPad and and DS version of Final Fantasy III available on the console at its launch. The Ouya device is still running through its Kickstarter campaign and has already raised about $6 million, 6 times its original funding target.
This campaign is one of Kickstarter's most successful campaigns ever. Thanks to the funding campaign, over companies and developers have started expressing their interest in the platform. OnLive, a system similar to NVIDIA's Grid gaming technology, will be supported natively on the console.
A few days ago, the design for the controller was released by the developers. What can be seen in the picture above is the sleek design which looks oddly similar to an Xbox 360 controller. Note the placement of the two thumbsticks, DPad, 4 buttons, and glowing center button. This should make it easier to transition from the 360 to the Ouya.
The specifications of the Xbox 720 development kit leak out and provide us with a look at what to expect from the Xbox 720 when it finally launches, likely next year. DaE, his pseudonym, tried to sell a "Durango" developer kit for a massive $10,000 on the Assembler Games forum over the weekend. His account was quickly banned and the post removed.
But that didn't stop us from scrounging some details, first. The kit reportedly ran an eight-core Intel CPU, an Nvidia graphics card, and 8GB of RAM. Not to shabby, and likely to match many of the gaming computers running around when it comes out. The RAM is expected to be half of this amount, however, as developers usually receive a system with higher specs.
A Microsoft Visual Studio screenshot suggests that the CPU used is of the x86 variety and that it supports AVX. This indicates a move away from custom hardware that caused Microsoft so many red rings of death. The details are of course unconfirmed, but other sites have confirmed with people working on games for the 720 that they are correct.
Supposedly game developers have had the development kit since February, something that shows Microsoft is well into its development cycle. This should mean that the Xbox 720 will see a 2013 release, as long as everything continues to go according to plan.
Fan remake of GTA III is nearly here, Grand Theft Auto III: Rage Classic, built on the GTA IV engine
The original Grand Theft Auto III is set to be released on the PSN store tomorrow, which is part of the PlayStation 2 Classics series. One of the seriously huge letdowns is that its being released without much change at all, so no HD support or trophy system. The game will sell for $10.
But, there's a fan remake on its way in the form of Grand Theft Auto III: Rage Classic. The Rage Classic version of the game is built from the RAGE engine that powered GTA IV, where the cars will reportedly drive better, and the on-foot combat is said to be world's better than the semi-mess GTA III was.
Rage Classic is built by the same people who bought you Vice City Rage, and San Andreas Rage with a forum thread for the project started last July, but doesn't have a release date for the first beta. If you'd like to read more on it, check out the 80-page thread for more details.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 PC system requirements released, won't need to sell a liver to play the game
BT Games have sneakily posted the PC system requirements for the upcoming Treyarch-made Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. The system requirements are very modest meaning the game should run on even older systems:
- Processor: Celeron E1200 Dual-Core 1.6GHzor (Intel CPU) / Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 3600+ (AMD CPU)
- Graphics Card (NVIDIA): GeForce GT 120AMD GPU: Radeon HD 4550
- Memory: 2GB
- OS: Windows XP 32bit (or later)
- Direct X: DX9HDD
- Space: 10GB
Can you wait for COD: Black Ops 2? I don't think people will be buying it for the graphics, but the amount of production money that this games budget would be, could afford Activision to spend some money on a new graphics engine, don't you think?
If you haven't heard about Dishonored, then check out a few of our posts regarding the game from Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks. The latest trailer of the game shows off some more choose-your-own path gameplay.
The trailer above called "Daring Escapes" shows off just three ways you can take a problem on, with the first jumping out of the situation, the second knocking all the guards out, and the third, some neat possession abilities.
The possession ability definitely looks cool, as does the short range teleportation. The one thing that bugs me are the very lacklustre graphics, and that awful field of view (FOV). Definitely looks and feels console, even though the developer has promised the goods on the PC version.
The Steam Hardware and Software survey uses the Steam client to find out what sort of hardware and software is used among the gamers using Steam. The survey brings with it an interesting, and somewhat predictable, view of the gaming PC landscape. The short version of the results is that NVIDIA and Intel dominate the market share.
Let's start with CPUs. Unsurprisingly, Intel dominates the gaming landscape as far as CPUs are concerned. Intel has 72% of the PCs that participated in the hardware survey. Just about half of Steam gamers have a dual-core CPU and 7.5% have a single core. Fewer than 4% have more than four cores and 38% are running quads.
On the GPU front, NVIDIA commands 47% of the surveyed computers. 36% of users are running an AMD Radeon GPU and 11% of users are stuck running Intel's integrated graphics processor. The NVIDIA GTX 560 is the most popular GPU of the DX11 generation and commands 10% of the computers surveyed. The GTX 460 is the next highest at just under 6%. The 5770, the most popular Radeon, is sitting at just under 5%.
Angry Birds is already everywhere, on your phones, tablets, in vending machines as prizes, and more. But, now they've just ventured somewhere new, on Samsung Smart TVs.
Any Samsung Smart TV owner can download the game, with it being a first for TVs without the need of a separate box or device. Samsung revealed earlier this month that they were bringing Angry Birds to its Smart TV platform, which sport both gesture and voice control.
Samsung's 2012 LED 7500 and up, as well as their Plasma 8000 models are eligible for the game. The confirmation of the news came from Samsung Brazil, who hinted on their Twitter account that these irate ornithoids have indeed gotten Smart on us, where they said "Hello, TV. Farewell, evil pigs".
With EA stock trading at a 52-week low, EA CEO John Riccitiello said during an interview with CNBC that the fundamental problem is not with the company itself, but with investors understanding the business.
Julia Boorstin sat down with the CEO for an exclusive interview at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference, where the Riccitiello said that he's currently in the process of shifting EA from being about packaged goods to digital revenue. We reported just over two weeks ago that EA saying it's "inevitable" that they'll become a 100-percent digital company.
Riccitiello said during the interview that the industry's focus on NPD's packaged game sales numbers is misguided, and overlooks the massive growth EA have been seeing in digital revenue. EA have had a number of social and mobile gaming acquisitions, with the company saying it had found success on the Facebook social games platform, as well as Apple's game store.
To be brutally honest, I didn't even know about Robotoki, until I received Project Update (#4) from Ouya, the Kickstarter-funded console. The e-mail that hit my inbox explained that the team had received their first exclusive game.
The game, Human Element, is from Robotoki, whose president of game development, Robert Bowling, is ex-Activision. You know, the good, old Call of Duty days. His Twitter account @fourtwozero hinted that he had some news, and this news is that Ouya gamers will get the very first access to his new game Human Element. Human Element is a post-zombie-apocalyptic game. Robotoki is the first studio to commit to building a game exclusively for Ouya: an episodic prequel that will set the stage for his eventual release of Human Element in 2015.