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Blizzard discusses Diablo III hotfixes, secutity, announces that the real-money auction house has been postponed
Blizzard community manager 'Nethaera' has posted on the official Diablo III forums, talking about some of the problems and concerns from the Diablo III community, and how the company plan to handle some of the post-launch issues so that players can continue slaying demons and more in Diablo III.
Blizzard have applied various hotfixes to Diablo III since the launch of the game that address gameplay issues, as well as tweaks to improve service stability, and performed occasionally server maintenance when necessary to ensure that in the long-term, players have the best gameplay experience possible. But, the fixes won't stop there, Nethaera has said that sometime next week we should expect a game update in the form of a patch that will address client issues, as well as additional bug fixes.
One of the big shockers from this post is the delay of the real-money auction house. It was previous delayed from May 22 to May 29, but has now been delayed beyond this date. Blizzard want to ensure that everyone has the "smoothest experience possible when the real-money auction house launches", citing that they need more time to iron out the existing general stability and gameplay issues before a feature like that goes live. Blizzard haven't given a date for this yet.
Bungie's next game is an MMO style sci-fi FPS 'Destiny', arrives next year on the Xbox 360 and next-gen Xbox 720
Ah, Bungie. Fresh from the Halo titles, their next game 'Destiny' is, er, destined, to launch next year initially on the Xbox 360, and the next-gen Xbox, according to the developer's contract with new publisher, Activision. The contract was made public as part of the lawsuit between Activision and Call of Duty creators, Jason West and Vince Zampella.
The contract unveils that Bungie are signed to make up to four "sci-fantasy, action shooter games" in the Destiny universe, every other year from autumn 2013 to 2019. Bungie won't stop there, they will also make four downloadable expansions packs codenamed Comet every other year from autumn 2014 up to 2020.
The document does reveal some very interesting information about, not only do we know how many Destiny titles are coming, but it states the next Xbox as "Xbox 720". This should be considered unofficial confirmation of Microsoft's next-generation console, and if I had to predict, it should be here next year. Destiny will be sold in shops, be boosted with DLC, subscriptions, and micro-transactions. Activision and Bungie are considering a PlayStation 3 port for 2014.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick had some interesting comments during his speech on the company's fourth quarter earnings call yesterday, where he said that transitions to new a hardware cycle can create challenges for some publishers and opportunities for others. Zelnick expects to fall into the opportunity category.
Zelnick also said that those with strong technology, strong owned intellectual property and top talent thrive in a new console cycle, and he believes that is what Take-Two is made up of, but not many of its competitors, he says "we expect to be at the front of the line". Now, let's talk numbers, this was an earnings call after all.
The company saw a net revenue of $148.1 million this quarter, compared to $182.3 million to the same time last year, a drop of close to $34 million. For the entire year, Take-Two's net loss was $108.8 million, when compared to 2011, where they made a profit of $48 million. Zelnick says:
While our financial results were disappointing, the decisions we made position Take-Two for growth and profitability both this year and over the long-term.
RumorTT: Nintendo Wii U supports DirectX 11, runs Unreal Engine 4, and runs Assassin's Creed at 1080p at 60fps
If a post on an Italian message board is to be believed, a developer from Ubisoft Milan has posted a bunch of Wii U-related information that almost sounds too good to be true. The poster says that the price will be between $350-$450, and that it will launch on November 23. But that's not even the best bit.
The Wii U, according to the post, supports DirectX 11, and is already running Unreal Engine 4, sports 2GB of RAM, and has an AMD Radeon HD 6770 GPU. It can run Assassin's Creed at 1080p at 60fps, compared to just 720p on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The report also states that Crytek, EA, and Valve are all working on the Wii U, and that Valve are working on a digital distribution platform and Portal ports for the Wii U. The full list of details:
- Wii U supports DirectX 11 and is already running Unreal Engine 4
- Wii U will support to touch-screen controllers
- The console has 2GB or RAM, 560MB dedicated to the OS
- The launch date will be 23 November
- Launch price hasn't been decided but will be between $350 - $450
- Rayman Legends, The Avengers, Assassin's Creed 3, Just Dance 4 are all on Ubisoft's Wii U schedule, with Killer Freaks from Outer Space set to arrive weeks after launch.
- There are currently multiple versions of the console with developers
- Graphics are powered by t
Diablo III has been selling incredibly well. Sales numbers for the first week, let alone the first day, have been absolutely unbelievable. I'm sure part of that is due to the fact it has taken Blizzard so long to release this sequel. The other contributing factor would be the absolute quality of the game as seen in the demo.
Sales on the first day totaled 3.5 million copies. That yields about $210 million in revenue. That number doesn't include the 1.2 million players who received Diablo III as part of signing up for World of Warcraft for a year. In total, an incredible 4.7 million users purchased the game within the first 24 hours it was available.
By the end of the first week, Diablo III had sold 6.3 million copies yielding a rough revenue of $378 million. Wow. With incredible uptake numbers such as those, its clear why Blizzard's servers have been getting hammered and giving players trouble logging in.
There are some screenshots of the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops II that have just hit the Internet, where they show off some crazy Los Angeles destruction. In the screenshot below, you can see two drones going nuts and firing all sorts of missiles down onto L.A.
The second screenshot, below, shows off a soldier and his gun, as well as some drones in the background. The first screenshot actually doesn't look too bad, but it looks like it's running a very, very high-res, with some crazy amounts of anti-aliasing applied.
The second screenshot shows off the detail of the human characters, which doesn't look too bad. If this has filled in your COD: Black Ops II fix, then I've done my job. Are you looking forward to this? Or do you feel it's 'yet another COD title'?
Reports are coming into Eurogamer from multiple sources that Diablo III accounts are being compromised. Once compromised, items and gold are being removed. Even Eurogamer writer Christian Donlan found his account victim to the hackers. Control was handed over to "Anna" as the picture below shows.
Blizzard is working quickly to resolve player complaints by rolling accounts back so that they get all of their items back. Unfortunately, during this process, players can lose levels and progress. It's an unfortunate side-effect, but probably not as bad as the loss of the items. These hacking reports coincide with reports of the EU Diablo 3 servers going offline Sunday.
On Sunday, the servers were down for about 4 hours. Some are speculating that the servers were taken offline due to an SQL injection attack, but these speculations are completely unconfirmed. Blizzard offers an account Authenticator, but it seems as though people who were using it were also victims of the hacks. Blizzard will need to resolve this before they can release the real-money auction houses. Blizzard has yet to respond to these reports.
Elgato, a video conversion hardware maker has announced the Game Capture HD. Game Capture HD can capture game footage from game consoles, and records it to PC and Macs. The device is not too big either, about the size of a deck of cards.
It requires no additional power, and connects to a game console thorough USB 2.0. Game Capture HD connects to the Xbox 360 through HDMI, and through the AV input of the PlayStation 3. It can capture 480i, 576p, 720p, and 1080i, and encodes video on-the-fly in H.264.
Game Capture HD comes with software for both Windows and Mac that allows you to timeshift, edit, and share videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or e-mail. The unit requires a Mac running OS X 10.7 or later with a 2GHz dual-core Intel-based processor, and on the PC side of things, Windows 7 with at least a dual-core processor. The Game Capture HD will be available starting June 1, at $200.
Rockstar released the Max Payne 3 requirements a month ago now, and we were teased with a 35GB install requirement. Well, it looks like the game will ship on four DVDs according to the game's Indian distributor, E-Xpress Interactive. Four DVDs seems excessive, so does a 35GB install.
I'm looking forward to seeing the game running on a high-specced PC, to see if that 35GB is worth it. Four DVDs is just ridiculous, and this is why I love digital distribution. But what about those who don't have the Internet speed, or download cap, to suck down 35GB of data?
Is this the future of gaming? With the recently announced Unreal Engine 4 and it's jaw-dropping screenshots, we are definitely looking at a huge expansion in how much data comes with a game because of textures, sounds, and everything in between. We're going to need some seriously powerful compression methods in the near future. Whatever happens, Max Payne 3 will be a day-one purchase for me. What about you?
Here we are, folks. The beginning of next-gen gaming, hopefully. Epic have taken the curtains down from the first screenshots of the upcoming Unreal Engine 4, and boy do they look freakin' insane. Epic have also spoke of their "responsibility" to make sure next-gen consoles from both Microsoft and Sony can support the kind of eye candy that UE4 can push out.
Epic ran the Unreal Engine 4 demo on a PC, cough, with a single NVIDIA Kepler-based GEFORCE GTX 680. Epic design director Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski has said:
There is a huge responsibility on the shoulders of our engine team and our studio to drag this industry into the next generation. It is up to Epic ... to motivate Sony and Microsoft not to phone in what these next consoles are going to be. It needs to be a quantum leap. They need to damn near render Avatar in real time, because I want it and gamers want it--even if they don't know they want it.
We will get to see the engine in action at E3 in a couple of weeks time, with our own Trace Hagan attending in-person.