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Rumors flying wild around the internet have been saying that Microsoft would possibly be releasing the Xbox 720/Next at E3 2012. However, Microsoft spokesperson David Dennis has publicly stated that Microsoft won't discuss new Xbox hardware at this year's show. This led 2 people with knowledge of the subject to speculate an E3 2013 launch. Besides, why would Microsoft want to launch their next-gen console this year when they can continue to sell the 360?
As everyone knows, a console isn't profitable for the first few years. As it stands now, a best-guess estimate puts Microsoft banking around $115 from each and every $300 Xbox sold. Giving up profit such as that would not be in the software giant's best interest. The only pressure Microsoft is feeling for a release is from gamers. No other manufacturer is ready to release a new console. Additionally, the new Kinect motion sensor is breading a whole new line of games, and profit, for them.
Microsoft's entertainment division, which includes the Xbox, posted a 45 percent sales gain to $8.91 billion in the fiscal year that ended in June. The Xbox 360 outsold Nintendo Co.'s Wii and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 in 2011, and also sold better than any other TV-connected devices, including DVD players and home-theater systems, Dennis said.
Blizzard has announced that Diablo III will be released on May 15th. This is the 3rd chapter in Blizzard's critically acclaimed game. Starting May 15th, Diablo III will be at retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. It will also be available as a digital download in the above mentioned regions, as well as Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil via Blizzard's Battle.net website.
Available for Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 and Macintosh, Diablo III will come with a suggested price of $59.99 USD for both the retail DVD-ROM version and the digital version. A special alabaster-white Collector's Edition, sold exclusively in retail stores at a suggested retail price of $99.99 USD, will include the full game on DVD-ROM, a behind-the-scenes Blu-ray/DVD two-disc set, the Diablo III soundtrack CD, a 208-page Art of Diablo III book, and a 4 GB USB soulstone (including full versions of Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction) and corresponding Diablo skull base, as well as exclusive in-game content for Diablo III, World of Warcraft, and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
VentureBeat has asked EA's game chief, Patrick Soderlund, whether they would consider switching to a subscription-based delivery system for future titles, with Soderlund replying:
I think it's fair to say that we're looking at that. Like all other companies, we're looking at how we can maximise our investment in this and get the most out of our investment and get more people playing this product. That may take us to different places, but we're not really talking about where that is yet.
Soderlund didn't give an indication as to what form a subscription-based model would take on, but considering Call of Duty introduced their Elite service that offers paid subscribers regular DLC drops months ahead of normal users, its not that far out of the question. Soderlund also added that EA sees Battlefield 3 as a full-time on-going service for its customers. He's quoted:
We look at it as a 24/7 service. We have people in Stockholm and North America and other parts of the world that are on this every single hour of every single day. 365 days a year. We have an operations team at DICE to look at telemetry data. How are people playing the game, how can we improve the experience? Are they having problems? Are servers down? Are they up? All that stuff.
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Footage was shown to attendees of GDC 2012 for MechWarrior Online, and it looks as beautiful as ever. Most things that made the original PC-exclusive game so good, like heat management, system/limb damage, and the way that different types of weapons behave, are all intact.
The game is looking incredible (well, as a fan of MechWarrior, of course I think that), but it just does. The game will be pretty hectic in multiplayer, and should prove for some insane matches online. Being a PC-exclusive, free-to-play game is going to help it, a lot.
If you don't already know, MechWarrior Online features the graphics powerhouse engine that is CryENGINE 3 and hits in Summer 2012. Until then, you better get your trigger fingers ready, because I'll be on the battlefield waiting for you and your Mech. Bring. It. On.
Final Fantasy fan? Android device owner? RPG fan? Well, even if you are all of those things, you'll still need to live in Japan to get the Japan-only app store for Android, where Square Enix have released Final Fantasy III. Japanese exclusivity means you cannot get this game anywhere else.
The game is selling for 1,400 "points" through Square Enix's pricing system, which works out to around $17.87. There's no word on whether the developer will release the game to other regions, but in the mean time, you can play the game right now if you're in Japan.
Based somewhere else and want to play it? Only your tears will keep you warm at night. Weird for Square Enix to release it in Japan only, when we live in an open market these days with Android Markets and App Stores all over the world. Sigh.
We reported about the upcoming themed downloadable expansions for Battlefield 3 just last week, and now we're seeing some footage from the first one to be released, 'Close Quarters'. The video below shows some absolutely frantic in-your-face action, which should please fans of indoor combat, more along the lines of Call of Duty.
It's a far cry from the original Battlefield titles where it was mainly outdoor combat, but would please the fans of Call of Duty. Close Quarters seems to have some pretty amazing destructibility built into its environments, which should make for some amazing combat. But I'm two minds about it, personally. On one hand, I love what Battlefield 3 has done for the series, pushing it in a new direction, but at the same time, it feels like its not the same Battlefield I experienced when Battlefield 1942 first came out.
Close Quarters is released in June, with the above video showing off Ziba Tower. One thing I think should be banned from this map is the use of rocket launchers, I can see the rocket spam now... it will be insane.
RumorTT: Polyphony Digital team spotted taking shots of Mount Panorama for the new Gran Turismo game
The two guys pictured below weer spotted doing leg and truck-powered laps of Bathurst's Mount Panorama, where they've taken photos of one of Australia's most recognised race tracks. That's not all, because audio from intrepid's souls phone camera definitely points toward the raceway being featured in the next instalment of the Gran Turismo series.
The clip is below, and you can hear the guys talking about it, with a subtitled version available, too. There's also a thread on the GTPlanet forums, where people are convinced that one of the Polyphony Digital guys says "GT6". Of course, this isn't 100-percent irrefutable evidence, but it does have more credit than just a shot of two guys posing for a photo.
Unless this is a DLC pack for Gran Turismo 5, that is. The other question is, if this is for GT6, would it arrive on the PS3 or the PS4? Polyphony Digital do take their time releasing games, so I would be willing to put some money on this game hitting the PlayStation 4.
The team behind Crysis, Crytek, have just released a new video showing off some next-generation CryENGINE 3 graphics. If that's not enough "cry's" in one sentence, then sit back and relax with the nearly 4 minutes of the updated graphics engine below.
Impressed? I am. It looks gorgeous. But, we'll never see those graphics. Right now, I'm putting my foot down and declaring we will never see those graphics, in all that detail, smoothly, in any game from Crytek (or anyone who licenses that engine) for a very long time. Why? First up, we never see tech demo graphics make it to the final game, it's just too much. Secondly, how much detail can be inserted into a pillar, or water... look at that water for example. It looks absolutely beautiful.
That's the problem, there is so much wasted computational power used for something that will never see the light of day. Even if it did, all that water is, is scenery. It's not an actual useful item within the game, it's background graphics. Unless it plays some pivotal role within the next CryENGINE 3-based game, it means nothing to me.
Heavy Rain, to me, was great. It had its problems (frame rate, and the whole "Jaaasssooonnnn" bit) but it was a completely different game to the usual genres out there. The mastermind behind the game, David Cage, and his company, Quantic Dream are back again, and want your socks blown off, again.
Enter Kara. Kara was shown off during GDC, where it was again a PlayStation 3-exclusive, and just a technology demo that was showcasing the company's new game engine. Cage says:
Kara was made a year ago, so the technology has evolved a lot since then," the Quantic Dream head told CVG at GDC. We've worked a lot on the cinematography, we've worked a lot on lens flares, on diffraction and how the light plays on the optic... We're playing with all these things, so I think that the next games - whatever they are - are going to look much better than Kara.