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Microsoft have plans to launch the new Xbox 360 dashboard on November 25th which is based on "Lakeview", a modified version of Microsoft's Silverlight development framework. Included is support for Kinect's voice recognition and gesture control. The new dashboard will also show off applications based on Silverlight and H.264 encoded video delivery using Apple's HTTP live Streaming.
Microsoft seems to be targeting a Black Friday release of the Xbox Live update, which would add the new video apps an features such as Bing universal search. This could bolster sales for Xbox over the holidays as well as helping Xbox Live members enjoy cool new features to play with over Thanksgiving, thanks to Microsoft, giving them new toys. Pun intended. The Lakeview code is still being worked on, as Microsoft are pushing out weekly updates to the application framework.
Little things aren't changing in the code, either. Sources say that Microsoft are making fundamental changes and subtractions in Lakeview's capabilities over the past few weeks, causing partners to update and re-test their apps with each and every new release. The goal here is to quickly mature the platform, with the end goal from MS to enable other third-party developers to use the Lakeview framework to build their own apps for the Xbox 360 console.
Interesting times ahead for Xbox 360 users!
The third and final Mass Effect game is nearly upon us, with BioWare today confirming that they will include four-player co-op gameplay in Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War. BioWare's Chris Priestly said in an official forum post "Players can choose from a variety of classes and races, form an elite Special Forces squad, and combine their weapons, powers and abilities to devastating effect as they fight together to liberate key territories from enemy control." The "entirely optional" Galaxy at War system will have players teaming up to on missions to impact Shepard's "Galactic Readiness" level, which will affect the final battle against the Reapers.
Priestly also stated that there has been a separate Montreal-based studio that has been opened to handle Galaxy at War's development and that players will be able to reach "the highest levels of success in the single player experience alone".
The first gameplay footage of Agent 47's new stealth-orientated game, Hitman: Absolution has hit the tubes and boy does it look good. First up we have a Gameplay Teaser, and below that we have 17 minutes of gameplay goodness. The 17 minutes of footage is quite great to watch, with 47 stealthing around like a boss taking people out in various ways. Like using an electrical cord, strangling, throwing someone down a hole in the ground to the storey below, and my favorite; grabbing someone from the storey above and throwing him from the ledge all the way down into that same hole.
Agent 47 is back and he seems to be really, really pissed off.
Yes! Leisure Suit Larry is making a return! Replay Games have just announced it has secured the rights to the Leisure Suit Larry franchise and are on course to re-releasing the original series as well as beginning work on all new adventures, beginning 2012, the year of LSL's 25th anniversary. Paul Trowe, Replay Games founder and CEO along with series creator Al Lowe, are teaming up to re-introduce gaming's favourite lovable loser, Larry.
The new agreements first project is a HD re-mastered version of the original (and my personal favorite), Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, on just a few platforms and by a few platforms, I mean virtually every single one. Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, XBLA, PSN, On-Live and Steam. Is that enough? If the re-make is successful, the team is going to re-release all of the games two-through-seven.
The remakes will sport upgraded visuals, sound and control, all while keeping the games' signature puzzles and sense of humor.
Last week we heard from Epic Games showing off the Unreal Engine 3 in Adobe Flash and this week we have rival game engine maker Crytek "investigating" support for Flash. Crytek's Carl Jones says:
It is an interesting approach we've been investigating as well. We're developing a unifying technology to create high quality social and gaming experiences on all platforms including browser, smartphones, tablets, etc.
It will be interesting to see how this develops, considering Apple don't support Flash on their iOS-based devices, throwing away hundreds of millions of potential customers. Considering Crytek is currently developing Warface, a free-to-play multiplayer shooter for the Korean and Asian markets, this might be a huge bit of news that turns into something quite interesting over time.
DICE has heard the call for a sequel to their Parkour FPS-adventure-crazy new genre game and says that "people are ready" for Mirror's Edge 2. DICE producer Patrick Liu says:
I think it's something that people are ready to get into again. We see that there's a huge fan following, it's almost like a cult! And we know what strengths we had, and what weaknesses we had in that game. If we were to release a new game, we'd know what to improve and how to reach a broader audience. So I definitely think there's a market there.
There's nothing concrete on whether the game is in development, or pre-production. But, DICE just talking about it is getting me and many others excited. Especially if its going to be powered by the gorgeous engine that powers Battlefield 3, Frostbite 2.
RAGE has had its first patch and with it brings many, many bug fixes and improvements. Because RAGE changes the graphics quality on-the-fly to maintain that silky smooth 60fps, there are some hiccups. This is part of what has been addressed in the patch and the list of issues fixed is quite long.
Here is a list of Patch Changes / Fixes:
- Implemented workaround for AMD driver crash right after intro cinematic
on Win 7 32-bit systems.
- Disabled UBOs because they are causing animation issues with AMD drivers.
- Don't allow swap-tear to be enabled on AMD while the extension is not
exposed because it may crash.
- Support for new video settings: "texture cache", "vsync" and
- Automatically adjust vt_maxPPF based on the number of available cores.
- Improved performance for SLI cards when GPU transcode is enabled.
- Fix for GPU Transcoding option being disabled after exiting gameplay.
- Added safe mode to restore video settings to default values.
- Allow g_fov to be changed from the RAGE launch options in Steam.
- Server now forwards text chat from clients to all other clients while
Take a look at the Steam page for more details.
Optus are the first Australian telco to step forward with pricing on the just announced Apple iPhone 4S, unveiling the pricing on Saturday. Gus over at Lifehacker has done all of the hard work sorting out the plan values and was great enough to provide a nice graph for you to look at if you'd like to click here.
Apple's own website has gone from "shipping from the 14th" to "1-2 weeks delivery" for those looking to do an outright purchase, which means either lining up for a carrier plan or buying it outright on the day of launch.
Pricing should get moved around when Telstra and Vodafone launch their pricing models.
Well, this was unexpected! But, great news for Battlefield 3 fans with Xbox 360's. Patrick Liu, Producer at DICE has revealed that there is a second disc that will come with Battlefield 3 on the Xbox 360 that will contain a high-res texture pack that can be installed. Liu goes on to say:
There's a voluntary install on the 360. I think Rage did it as well, where you can install content to stream higher res textures," he said. "We're pushing that technology to the limit, and compared to our competitors, I would argue that we're the best looking game.
This is some great news for Xbox 360 fans, I look forward to seeing the difference between stock install, high-res texture pack and PC versions now!
The head of GSC Game World, Sergey Grigorovich has confirmed in an interview that S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 will require an always-on internet connection for anti-piracy measures, it will stream "text information, code and quests" through the data stream. It's a weird thing to have for S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2, because then Grigorovich says in the same interview:
Protection from piracy? Part of the content will be located on the server and downloaded as the game progresses. Permanent internet access is required. Text information, code and quests will be loaded through that connection. Software piracy is an issue for us, we try to fight it, but within reason.
If people can not afford a licensed version, it is to our advantage if they download a pirated copy, and then want to buy a license. In Ukraine, there are different products that people love so much that they buy a license in principle. We want to create just such a product.