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PC gamers are definitely getting looked after when it comes to United Front Games' title Sleeping Dogs. The developer is working with Square Enix's London Studios, and are looking to make the PC version of the game something special indeed.
A new post on the official Sleeping Dogs' website shows that a bunch of PC-specific features will bring the Hong Kong island to life. If you've got the horsepower, there's optimizations for the latest AMD and NVIDIA-based GPUs that'll impress. Sleeping Dogs will ship with a high-resolution texture pack, "bringing eye-watering detail and crisp clear rendering to everything from city skyscrapers to crumbling ancient temples."
The developers have added another layer of depth at higher resolutions, using increased small object detail which renders items from a much greater distance with an "incredible sense of scale and detail". In-game shadows have also received some lovin', where they'll have support for high-resolution shadow textures, high quality shadow filters and support for Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO).
According to a Microsoft job advertisement, it has revealed that the next-generation Xbox will support Skype. Xbox maker, Microsoft, are looking for a "UI Designer & Prototyper - Xbox", to work at the company's UK-based Skype division on projects that are related to the "next-gen Xbox". The job ad also says:
The team you'll join is responsible for Skype in the living room (broadly the home), across various devices but with a focus on the large screen and the next generation of Xbox.
The job ad also states that the successful candidate would be "working with the Xbox team directly in Redmond, USA. (both current Xbox and next gen)". Well, is that enough proof of the next-gen Xbox? Or will Microsoft also deny this, and claim it never happened and was taken out of context? Are you surprised that the next-gen Xbox will support Skype? I'm not. The company acquired them, and the next-gen Xbox is going to need to throw everything including the kitchen sink into the next-gen Xbox if it wants to survive in the market when it hits.
It looks as though Xbox Live could soon be doing away with Microsoft Points, even as Microsoft claims the change is just a glitch. On Wednesday, some Avatar items showed up on Xbox Live with real, local currency price tags instead of Microsoft Points. Later that day, the prices reverted back to the traditional Microsoft Points.
Was it a slip? Signs point to yes and this is a good thing. The idea behind virtual currency is that it gets consumers to spend more money than they otherwise would. Hence a change to real currency would be much appreciated by many as users would no longer need to do the conversion to figure out just how much they are spending.
Microsoft told GamesIndustry yesterday:
Yesterday, a few avatar items appeared with an option to purchase with local currency, instead of Microsoft Points. The display error doesn't signal a change in payment options, but rather an error in how the offers were configured in our services which resulted in an inconsistent experience. It is in the process of being resolved.
Rumors showed up in the beginning of 2012 that Microsoft was considering ending Microsoft Points by the end of 2012. As we near the end of 2012, this "glitch" pops up. While they aren't definitely connected, the timing is suspect. Virtual currencies will remain for a bit longer as they still make companies extra money, however, more and more are leaving them behind.
I'm sure most of you have seen our extensive Ouya coverage, especially of the Kickstarter aspect. If not, you can check out all of it here. Now that you're back, let's continue. Since the Ouya Kickstarter campaign has ended, the folks behind the console have put up an official website at Ouya.tv where the console is now offered for pre-order.
During the Kickstarter campaign, backers who put up $99 or more are going to receive an Ouya console and controller sometime in March 2013. For those who missed it, the pre-order on Ouya's website is offered up at $109, including shipping, and will be delivered a month later, scheduled to be April 2013.
Other than the $10 increase and month delay, there will be no differences. Both groups will have access to the same games and content library. Pre-orders with varying amounts of controllers can be placed on Ouya's official website. This console could turn the console world upside down. Only time will tell if it ends up being the start of something new.
Ouya's journey on Kickstarter comes to an end, they finish with $8.5 million and over 63,000 backers
Ouya's journey on Kickstarter has come to an end, and what a journey it has been. The Kickstarter-funded, Android-powered home gaming console raised its required $950,000 goal in 24 hours, and since then has reached limits that the creator didn't even realise.
We've posted a few times about Ouya, as it is a great story of gamers all across the world coming in and pledging their money toward a device that isn't even available yet. There were multiple models to choose from, with some Kickstarter-exclusive models that are sure to get people bragging once they receive them. The $225 (or more) pledge was a Kickstarter-exclusive, where you received an Ouya console, with two controllers, each with your username ETCHED into it. Yes, how cool is that. I managed to get in on one of those, and I'm incredibly excited as there are only 2,500 of them making their way out to people.
Ouya received over $200,000 in the last couple of hours of funding, as well as over 1,000 more backers. Ouya finished its Kickstarter funding with $8,579,673, and 63,264 backers at the time of writing. This number is slowly increasing with the few remaining pledges.
Thanks to three Ubisoft game listings on Amazon.ca, we have pictures of three different WiiU games and they all share a common design at the top of the box. It's not clear if this will be the standard across all WiiU games, or just those produced by Ubisoft. One thing is clear, however, and that is that they want to make sure WiiU games are not confused with Wii games.
The white and grey bar that was present on the top of Wii games has been ditched in favor of a different design. On the top of the WiiU games, as you can see in the picture above, is a blue and yellow U shape. The U shape makes sense since the new console is the WiiU and its appearance is quite a bit different from the grey bar.
The three listings--Assassin's Creed 3, Just Dance 4, and Avengers: Battle for Earth--can be viewed to see the box designs. Just click the name to see the game. At this time, the listings are only visible at Amazon.ca.
Zombie apocalypse game, Day Z, if you haven't heard about it, is a mod for ArmA II, and has been quite successful. It's talked about quite often, and started out as just as play around mod by Dean Hall. But, his mod for ArmA II has just passed one million players, after only being available in April of this year.
The mod hasn't even reached beta status yet, and has been announced its going to be featured in its own standalone game. The announcement of the game was made on the official Day Z Tumblr this morning, with Bohemia Interactive, who is the studio behind ArmA II handling development. Hall will serve as project lead. Hall has some words on the standalone release:
Development and updates of the mod will continue in parallel with the development of the game, so anyone who is playing the mod now will be able to continue to do so. The project will follow the Minecraft development model; fast iterations with the community alpha available for a heavily discounted price.
Day Z fan? Excited? My nephew plays this quite a lot, and I watched him play it the last time he was at my place to stay. It looks great, but very time consuming. It's great to see mods like these getting the attention they deserve.
Ouya has had an absolutely incredible run on Kickstarter, where they met their goal of $950,000 in 24 hours. But the Android-based gaming console's funding on Kickstarter is coming to and end, in 24 hours.
Since it started on Kickstarter, Ouya has reached into depths I'm sure even the creators didn't imagine. Tech sites across the world have embraced it, tech giants, software giants and more have all opened their arms to the open-source, Android-based home gaming console. It has passed $7.6 million in funding, and with 24 hours to go, it should bump a little over $8 million from people across the world.
I wanted to make this news post to show that the power of people can really do things that other companies can't. You don't see Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo reaching out to the public in this fashion, ever. This is purely for the people, by the people, the way the people want it. Ouya have an amazing 55,000-plus people who have pledged for the console, which is a significant number in itself. This means that before release, manufacturing, advertising, word of mouth and everything in between inception, and on-the-shelf purchase, they have 55,000 people ready to buy one right now.
The official Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 multiplayer reveal trailer has been posted on YouTube and I've actually lost some of my excitement. Take a look for yourself and then we can discuss further:
While the video is pretty cool, it looks a lot like the Modern Warfare series in terms of the guns, attachments, and helicopter drone. I'm not the biggest fan of the MW series, so I'm actually kind of disappointed by this. However, it probably won't stop me from pre-ordering and buying the game.
If you pre-order now, you get the bonus Nuketown 2025 map. The game releases on November 13 of this year meaning we're just about 3 months away from getting it in hand. I know I'll be spending my Christmas break playing, up until I head to CES, that is.
Brian Hall, Microsoft's Windows Live GM spoke with The Verge over the weekend, talking about the new Outlook.com, and was interviewed on the site's podcast, where he referred to "the new Xbox". Hall mentioned the next Xbox in a list of products that Microsoft have planned to unveil around the time of Windows 8's release:
We just decided it was time to do something new and bring the best from each of those and put them together and release it right in time for the new wave of products that we could have coming out with Windows 8, with the new version of Office, with the new Windows Phone and the new Xbox.
Microsoft were quick to release a statement denying that Hall was referring to the next-generation Xbox, but was actually referring to the "new Xbox" and meant their latest update for the current console, according to Forbes. According to me, it's a big "haha, yeah right, MS", but we know they don't want to talk about the new Xbox and cannabalize their sales so close to the holiday period. It's better to announce it closer to the launch itself.