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Valve are not a company afraid of change, they've dominated digital distribution in the past near-decade or so and now are expanding out into the lounge rooms of gamers worldwide. The announcement is not detail heavy, but it does give a few facts.
"Big picture" mode will provide "controller support and navigation designed for television interaction", it will also allow players to "enjoy Steam and their library of Steam games on more screens throughout the house." This probably means they've re-jigged the Steam interface to fit a large TV or projector setup and have it accessible via controller.
Remember Gran Turismo? Well, you won't after watching the below video. Shift 2: Unleashed has its eyes on the prize and judging by this video it looks like it's going to take the #1 position on the podium.
The trailer features some insane eye-candy, and even more insane levels of realism. You can see the depth the team as gone into to make Shift 2 Unleashed a near-realistic driving game. For those of you who don't own steering wheels, I'm pretty sure Logitech just saw me posting this news and have started production on some new steering wheels.
The trailer to Bethesda's latest Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim, has been released and boy does it look impressive. We finally get to see the game in action with it's brand-new, built from the ground up graphics engine.
Impressive, huh? The UI looks very slick with nothing to interfere with your fight for survival. It really increases the atmosphere (for me at least, and just in a video) as you're not constantly checking stats. The trailer shows off some impressive fighting (you versus a freakin' dragon!) and shows off some of the levels in which the graphics are fantastic.
Microsoft's Graeme Boyd has tweeted "Gears of War 3 will launch worldwide on September 20, 2011 (except Japan, which will be 22/9). More Gears stuff to come I think." This has been the sweet, sweet music to many Gears' fans worldwide.
The latest installment of Gears of War now has a release date, fans are free to celebrate. Although, Japan-based fans will have to wait an extra (surely to be) excruciating two days. Gears of War 3 continues the story of Marcus, Baird, Dom and others versus the Locust invasion. Expect major new additions to the game in the form of four-player campaign co-op, new multiplayer modes and dedicated mutliplayer servers.
The first in-game Battlefield 3 gameplay footage has hit the internet and has sent shockwaves through the gaming industry. It looks to totally redefine the Battlefield series and features a brand new engine in the form of Frostbite 2.0
The gameplay trailer shows upgraded graphics, character models, upgraded lighting and shadows and the ability to drag injured team mates to safety from the cover of fire, rockets or debris. The video also teases that anyone who pre-orders Battlefield 3 Limited Edition will get the "Back to Karkand" expansion pack for free.
It was rumored earlier this year but now it has been confirmed - Microsoft are releasing the Kinect for Windows SDK. Microsoft have said "It will be available this spring as a free download, and will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to key pieces of the Kinect system-such as the audio technology, system application programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor itself."
Commercial licensing details will arrive sometime after that. The blog also goes on to say "The possibilities are endless. Natural and intuitive technologies such as Kinect can be more than just a great platform for gaming and entertainment. They open up enormous opportunities across a wide variety of scenarios, including addressing societal issues in areas such as healthcare and education."
Crysis 2 and Killzone 3 have each been leaked out to the internet and now Bulletstorm has joined them. Elaborate marketing stunt or behind the scenes leaks? Are leaked games the new cheap marketing stunt? These AAA titles will still sell in the millions so a few leaks isn't going to hurt them, right?
EA has taken another hit with Bulletstorm making its way to torrent sites, with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions popping up online with only the former being confirmed to work. The PC version has not made its way out. 2011 has started with quite a few leaks, is it a coincidence? Or is it a different form of marketing? Instead of spending $30 million on an advertising campaign, maybe having 1 million people download your game is less of a hit? It gets the game into peoples hands and lets them brag about it to friends who might in turn not want to risk getting hit by the ban hammer for their consoles and rushing out to buy it?
Taipei Game Show 2011 - When I said in an earlier post that there was lots of cool technology at Taipei Game Show 2011, I meant it, but it was all being hogged by loads of lovely Taiwanese girls. That's not necessarily a bad thing, maybe just a reason for all the girlie videos today. Sorry ladies.
So, besides Sony having a kick ass Gran Turismo 5 five screen simulator at their booth, they were also actively promoting PlayStation Move - the gaming controller competitor to Microsoft's Xbox Kinect that actually requires a controller. Booth babe ladies were scattered on a stationary merry-go-round setup with loads of PS3's and the Move motion controller.
Sure, Move is far from new, but it's still kind of newish in Taiwan and the first I have really seen it in action for a considerable amount of time.
Taipei Game Show 2011 - Sony had a massive presence at the Taipei Game Show 2011 with it's large PlayStation booth going toe for toe right next to Microsoft and it's Kinect gaming stations.
One of the cool things Sony was showcasing was an awesome Gran Turismo 5 racing simulator setup with no less than five Bravia HDTVs, racing chair and Logitech gaming hardware. The setup was made that little bit sweeter with a Taiwanese booth babe girl that even knew how to drive.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to sit down and have a play, I think Sony wanted more attractive people than I sitting down and enjoying it. Nonetheless, a pretty cool setup by Sony who in my opinion had the best booth at TGS this year.
Sony's cracking down on the PS3 pirate world. In a statement released in the Playstation Blog today, Sony has stated that use of "circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 system terminated permanently."
With all of the back and forth between PS3 firmware patches and jailbreak features being constructed to foil the new security measures, Sony has made it clear that they're not fans of the act. Lockdown of PS3 devices from the Playstation Network is their way of trying to keep cheaters off of online servers and was the focus of the statement. Watch out wallhacker, Sony's coming for you.