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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."
Three years ago, Mirror's Edge arrived and created a new way of seeing the gaming world through parkour. EA have recently announced a sequel was currently being worked on. But according to CVG, the Official PlayStation Magazine now has a scoop that should start creating buzz for the new Mirror's Edge title:
OPM is now reporting on insider whispers which add more credence to the idea of Faith hop, skip and jumping onto Battlefield 3's stunning engine.
"The Frostbite 2 engine will pave the way for Mirror's Edge to make a free-running return," says the mag, much to our delight.
Frostbite 2 is responsible for the gorgeous graphics you've seen in Battlefield 3 demos and alpha videos. I truly look forward to see what DICE can pull off with Frostbite 2 and Mirror's Edge!
In obvious efforts to significantly increase sales counts on its 3DS handheld gaming console before Vita steps on its turf, Nintendo has issued out a press release today that indicates quite the price drop coming to the U.S. and several other regions. They will be shaving $80 off the cost of the 3DS, taking it down from $249 to $169 as of the 12th of August.
If you're one of the 830,000 odd people in the U.S. who've already paid out for the 3DS and feeling somewhat bitter about the above, at least there's a little sweetener in it for you guys too. As long as you've logged into the eShop at least once before the price cut, Nintendo will allow you to grab 10 free NES virtual console games from September 1st, as well as 10 more Game Boy Advance virtual console games, these of which are games Nintendo isn't planning to release to the general public before the end of this year.
Eidos Montreal have unveiled the greatest news I've read in a while, that Deus Ex: Human Revolution has gone gold and will be released on August 23. Yes, it's actually coming out - it's not another delay or problem with the game, it is finished, complete, golden. Here's a quote if you don't believe me:
We couldn't be more excited that Deus Ex: Human Revolution has gone gold and will soon be in the hands of expectant gamers," said Eidos-Montreal's general manager Stephane D'Astous. "As the first release for Eidos-Montreal, it's impossible to express how extremely proud we are of the final product and all of the hard work that went into its creation.
There has been a rumor of the Beta of Diablo 3 for release this summer, reportedly it'll hit in time for Blizzcon 2011 or the upcoming Blizzard press tour. Blizzard has been keeping quiet and not contributing to the community speculation and rumors, until now. Of course a little icon may be jumping the gun a bit, but this is Diablo 3 we're talking about. People have noticed Diablo 3 beta icons on both the EU and US portals of Battle.net.
Should we get excited? I think we should.
This is something I have covered in my editorials, forums and Facebook, that games should be created and developed on the much more powerful PC platform and scaled down to consoles that are no way near as fast. Instead of being developed on ageing hardware and then ported across to PC where they don't scale up in graphics or use DX11 properly, or multi-GPU setups properly, etc.
DICE have come out and said that the biggest difference between the PC and console versions are shown in the multiplayer side of things, down from 64 players on PC to just 24 on consoles. DICE studio head, Patrick Bach says:
The biggest difference between the PC and console version of Battlefield 3 is that we have 64 players on PC and 24 players maximum on console. The rest is more or less the same: we use the same engine, the same technology, the same animation system, the same lighting system. Our aim is to give the player the exact same experience and not try to dumb down the console version. If you want the same quality of game, I would say it's really, really hard. We tried to get more players in [to the console version] but then you need to scale down all the graphics, scale down all the destructibility, and sometimes you need to scale down all the map sizes. Everything is a compromise on: where do you cut?
Announced on MajorNelson's blog, the new remote for the Xbox 360 will be available in November at a cost of $19.99. Also announced is a Bluetooth-based gaming headset which will set you back $59 and in the below video, Major Nelson himself shows it off. The Headset will also be available in November. The new media remote features a redesigned look and is no longer white, featuring a black design with stylish buttons, it kind of looks like the Boxee Box remote actually.
Futuremark has an awesome deal lined up for its zero gravity FPS game, Shattered Horizon, shaving a massive 75% off the normal cost for the next day, making it just $4.99.
Their generosity comes after NASA wrapped up its 30 year space program last week when the Shuttle landed for the final time.
According to industry analyst firm Cowen & Company, Battlefield 3's pre-order numbers are "roughly comparable" with the pre-order numbers on Call of Duty: Black Ops. The results of these pre-order numbers is that the firm has now decided to increase its first year sales estimate from eight to 11 million.
Black Ops sold around 20 million copies in its first nine months on sale. Battlefield 3 may be keeping up with Black Ops, but can it compete with Modern Warfare 3? From a game point of view, yes. From a sales point of view, I think no. I think the Modern Warfare series has become a shadow of its former self.
The Federal and State Governments have reached an in-principle agreement to provide an R18+ rating for video games. There was a meeting in Adelaide (oh my hometime, yay) and the proposal has been debated by various attorney-generals. The New Sales Wales Attorney-General abstained from the proposal. South Australia had previously said it would scrap its current MA15+ rating, meaning that all violent video games will be restricted to adults.
Federal Justice Minister, Brendan O'Connor welcomed the in-principle agreement by saying it is a:
Big step forward in the long running debate on classification. The introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games will provide better advice to parents and help prevent children and teenagers from accessing unsuitable material. Once introduced, the new classification will also afford adults the opportunity to view material designed for adults. It is a credit to all jurisdictions that the meeting has now been able to achieve agreement over what is a complex matter in classification policy.