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Microsoft are ditching the glossy outer shell on select Xbox 360 consoles for a black matte finish. Major Nelson broke the news, with a 250GB unit in glossy finish and a 4GB model featuring a matte black finish being the current models on the market. Microsoft from now on will not be continuing the manufacturing of the glossy 360, instead it'll use the new matte-finish system. There will still, however, be glossy-based 360s in the form of the limited edition Gears of War 3 console and Star Wars console.
The transition from glossy to matte has already started and the new consoles will be available in a few weeks. So if you want to get in with a glossy model, you'd better run to your nearest electronics store and get some of that gloss on, because soon they'll all be matte.
A new trailer for upcoming gravity-defying third person shooter, INVERSION has just come out which showcases its intensive "drop-in, drop-out" co-op multiplayer mode.
This game looks to be polishing up extremely well and is expected to make quite the impact on he third person shooter genre upon release; scheduled for February 7, 2012 on PS3 and 360 in the states, and February 10 in Europe.
Rochard is a PSN-exclusive side-scrolling platformer which features the ability to manipulate gravity through the use of the G-Lifer (a gravity device used to easily move weight objects around, ala Half Life 2) and is crucial to your success. Rochard is packed to the brim with puzzles, action, humor, great music, excellent level design as well as a story rich of twists. Rochard features 5 long chapters, a cartoonish visual style with humor and personality. Incredible items able to influence gravity and grab, swing and throw objects to solve puzzles or get rid of enemies.
Rochard also features a soundtrack by Markus "Captain" Kaarlonen from Poets of the Fall, mixing southern rock/blues and 80's inspired electronic music. Protagonist John Rochard is voice acted by Jon St John and finally, Rochard is powered by the Unity engine and the developers say that this is the most advanced use of the engine yet.
Like most, I hated Steam when it came out. But, it has turned into one of the best digital distribution methods on the market and I personally do not buy any games anywhere else. News has surfaced that EA will not be offering Battlefield 3 through Steam, but their own digital distribution service, Origin. EA's Seeson Mahathavorn said in a statement:
EA offers games, including Battlefield 3, to all major digital download sites. In doing so, our goal is to not only reach the widest possible global audience with our games, but also to provide ongoing customer support, patches and great new content. We are intent on providing Battlefield 3 players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play the game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with consumers.
For more on our policy to offer games to any major third party download service, please read here: http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/7372195.page
Continued in the full post.
Blizzard has changed their StarCraft 2 demo and morphed it into the StarCraft II: Starter Edition. The new demo has been revamped and removes the time restrictions that plagued the original demo which means you can play the same missions over and over again if you wish. Multiplayer is there in some form, with the new Starter Edition capable of using the StarCraft II AI and allows you to take on the Skynet-like AI in a quarter of the full games maps.
A detailed run down of what is included in the new Starter Edition:
The first four missions of the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty single-player campaign, including Mar Sara 1-3 and the choice to embark on Tychus's first mission or Dr. Hansen's first mission.
The first two Challenges: Tactical Command and Covert Ops.
Access to the Terran race in Custom Games and Single-Player vs. AI.
Access to the following custom maps (map selection may rotate over time):
Contrary to the assumption (and inevitable, uncontrollable excitement) made based on recent reports that Sony's next handheld gaming weapon, the PlayStation Vita would launch in Europe in October, it's somewhat disappointing to hear today that the chances of that are apparently slim to none.
Bloomberg has reported today that Kazuo Hirai, the exec. deputy president of Sony Corp. is making it clear that the Vita will not launch in the US or Europe until early next year, which means the only folks to get their hands on it in time for Christmas will be in Japan.
It seems a little odd if true, as the console has already passed through the FCC and Sony would be missing out on the booming festive trade by making this decision.
The PlayStation Vita, once eventually launched, will come in two variants - a WiFi-only model for $249 and a 3G equipped model at $299.
Gearbox Software has officially announced the development of the sequel to Borderlands. The sequel will be based on the rustic planet of Pandora (Avatar, anyone?) and will have players traversing uncharted lands to discover new "mysteries." As usual at the time of a new game announcement, details are very low but Gearbox are promising to deliver an "ambitiously crafted story" that unfolds alongside new characters, skills, environments, enemies, weapons and equipment.
Wow, I'm pretty sure that's also known as "stating the obvious." If Borderlands 2 follows its previous title, we can expect the same four-player, role-playing, FPS lootfest that the original game made oh-so much fun. Hopefully this time round, the PC version is at least worked on. The original Borderlands stank of console port, which was very disappointing to say the least.
Smartphones and tablets are edging ever-so-close to the now ageing consoles in terms of capabilities, with the future not looking bright for the old consoles. SoC (System on Chip) creators such as NVIDIA and Qualcomm have some very powerful technology coming out and Qualcomm has gone as far as saying that future SoCs will be capable of beating current-generation consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in terms of graphics and that we'll see a move from console and PC gaming to mobile-based gaming.
Their vision is to have a device such as a smartphone or tablet based on a high-end SoC, plug it into the wall or tether to a display (either wirelessly or through HDMI) and you've got a portable gaming console. Qualcomm is committed to delivering both the hardware and software support needed to bring developers to these platforms.
Sony have previously said their next-generation portable gaming machine, PlayStation Vita, will launch globally by the end of the year and have said more specifically, that'll it'll be in the fall. Blockbuster have jumped the gun, with IGN nabbing their flier which suggests the PS Vita will hit UK retail shelves on Friday, October 28, 2011. The advertisement suggests that both Vita models will arrive in Europe after two months. Will we see a US or Japan release at the same time? We don't know.
As we can see from the above image (if true), the Vita will be £$229.99 for the Wi-Fi only model, with the 3G & Wi-Fi Vita at £279.99. Pricing doesn't seem too bad considering Sony has promised a PlayStation 3-level experience, as the Vita sports a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor with a multi-core PowerVT SGX543MP4 graphics chip that is four times as fast as the PSP. The Vita will come with a 5-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 950x544, two micro-analog sticks to simulate the Dual Shock experience, front and rear-facing cameras, as well as a two-finger multitouch pad on the back of the Vita unit.
Sony is hoping that the front and rear touch screens will offer new three dimension-like motion gameplay experiences never before seem on any device through "touch, grab, trace, push and pull" finger motions. A Sixaxis equivalent with a gyroscope and accelerometer is also available to let players control games by moving and tilting the Vita itself.
Blizzard have released some drips of information for their upcoming keyboard/mouse-thrashing RPG, Diablo 3. First off, Diablo 3 will be online-only, Blizzard believe that a high number of users have access to permanent internet connections anyway, and even though piracy was a concern it was not "a deciding factor" in making the decision. Blizzard instead claim that internet connectivity will be necessary due to a cache of Battle.net features that complement the game.
Things like persistent character saving server-side and the possibility of opting in/out of co-op play, persistent friends list, party system and matchmaking, the game's achievement system, and an auction house system that will allow real world currency to purchase items. Blizzard is not planning on selling any items directly through the auction house, instead, they'll let players list items for which they will charge a fixed fee.
The point of this is, real money auctions will be allowed along with in-game gold and normal item trade. Players will be allowed to rock up at the auction house at any time, with instant transactions of nearly everything, inclusive of characters themselves. Finally, Diablo 3 will not include support for bots or mods which Blizzard say is for a "variety of gameplay and security reasons."