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Square Enix has shown off their next-generation game engine at a press conference held in Tokyo, where they've said their goal is to build what they call 'quality live action' graphics. The screenshots below show off what they've achieved, with Square Enix trying to get as close as absolute true fidelity thanks to DirectX 11 and their new engine, Luminous.
Square Enix displayed some of the source material pictures and side-by-side pictures with in-game shots. Luminous has allows engineers to build navigable spaces rendered in real-time, as shown in the video I have placed below. The tech is not available to studios outside of the Square Enix network, and for good reason. The Japan-based publisher wants to push this tech and scale it across small casual games right up to triple-A titles.
In a great move by SEGA, they have just announced they are bringing the great racing game, Daytona USA back. Daytona USB will receive a staggered North America and European release with it hitting North America on October 26 and Europe on Xbox Live, and on October 25 in North America on PSN. European PS3 gamers will have to wait until "late November" for the game, unfortunately.
Even though its a new release, Daytona USA will retain most of its original form, including untouched graphics and soundtrack. Added features include Leaderboards and online support. Daytona USA will be going for 800 MSP or $9.99 USD. A list of features for Daytona USA is belowwwww*:
-Relive your glory days of racing to the sounds of the original Daytona USA soundtrack, also available in Karaoke Mode
-Support for the Logitech GT Driving Force steering wheel controller on PS3, and all Xbox 360-supported steering wheel controllers
-Arcade Mode, race the clock in Survival and Time Trial Modes with up to eight players in online multiplayer to place on the worldwide leaderboard
Gabe Newell, founder of Valve, believes that Apple may be in the middle of preparations of launching a games console in the near future, he explained to The Seattle Times. Gabe gave some of his thoughts on the subject, with quotes like:
Our business is growing very rapidly both on the content side and on the service platform side so in that sense, business has never been better. The challenges we see looking forward are very rapidly evolving model for how value is created for customers.
He also says there are "dark clouds forming", where he raised concerns of the closed-garden approach with platforms such as Apple's iOS. Gabe says "On the platform side, it's sort of ominous that the world seems to be moving away from open platforms." Platform providers that used to use their role to enable developers "instead view themselves as more rent guys who are essentially driving their partner margins to zero," he said.
Yesterday I reported that the new Xbox LIVE Dashboard would drop on November 25th, but if you are one of those people who like to live on the bleeding edge then you can sign up for the Xbox LIVE Public Preview Program. Microsoft have announced an open call for all Xbox LIVE members to register to participate in the preview program to help them test the system.
They say that this is an important program as Microsoft are continually striving to ensure the reliability of a service that reaches tens of millions globally. They can't do this without you, the users. Once the program starts, an update will be pushed to your Xbox 360 console that will contain the new features, including:
New design for integrated Kinect and controller navigation
New Beacons to play online with friends
Deeper Facebook integration
New Cloud Storage for Game Saves and Xbox LIVE Profile
One of my fondest memories as a young gamer were the old adventure games, Little Big Adventure was a large part of that. Good Old Games has secured the French adventure platform game and now it is able to be played on most modern PCs. The only problem is that the game is $6 which is a bit rough for an older game. Good Old Games also state that the sequel to LBA is "coming soon". I think I might just pick this up and give it a bash again!
You can grab it, here.
Microsoft have plans to launch the new Xbox 360 dashboard on November 25th which is based on "Lakeview", a modified version of Microsoft's Silverlight development framework. Included is support for Kinect's voice recognition and gesture control. The new dashboard will also show off applications based on Silverlight and H.264 encoded video delivery using Apple's HTTP live Streaming.
Microsoft seems to be targeting a Black Friday release of the Xbox Live update, which would add the new video apps an features such as Bing universal search. This could bolster sales for Xbox over the holidays as well as helping Xbox Live members enjoy cool new features to play with over Thanksgiving, thanks to Microsoft, giving them new toys. Pun intended. The Lakeview code is still being worked on, as Microsoft are pushing out weekly updates to the application framework.
Little things aren't changing in the code, either. Sources say that Microsoft are making fundamental changes and subtractions in Lakeview's capabilities over the past few weeks, causing partners to update and re-test their apps with each and every new release. The goal here is to quickly mature the platform, with the end goal from MS to enable other third-party developers to use the Lakeview framework to build their own apps for the Xbox 360 console.
Interesting times ahead for Xbox 360 users!
The third and final Mass Effect game is nearly upon us, with BioWare today confirming that they will include four-player co-op gameplay in Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War. BioWare's Chris Priestly said in an official forum post "Players can choose from a variety of classes and races, form an elite Special Forces squad, and combine their weapons, powers and abilities to devastating effect as they fight together to liberate key territories from enemy control." The "entirely optional" Galaxy at War system will have players teaming up to on missions to impact Shepard's "Galactic Readiness" level, which will affect the final battle against the Reapers.
Priestly also stated that there has been a separate Montreal-based studio that has been opened to handle Galaxy at War's development and that players will be able to reach "the highest levels of success in the single player experience alone".
The first gameplay footage of Agent 47's new stealth-orientated game, Hitman: Absolution has hit the tubes and boy does it look good. First up we have a Gameplay Teaser, and below that we have 17 minutes of gameplay goodness. The 17 minutes of footage is quite great to watch, with 47 stealthing around like a boss taking people out in various ways. Like using an electrical cord, strangling, throwing someone down a hole in the ground to the storey below, and my favorite; grabbing someone from the storey above and throwing him from the ledge all the way down into that same hole.
Agent 47 is back and he seems to be really, really pissed off.
Yes! Leisure Suit Larry is making a return! Replay Games have just announced it has secured the rights to the Leisure Suit Larry franchise and are on course to re-releasing the original series as well as beginning work on all new adventures, beginning 2012, the year of LSL's 25th anniversary. Paul Trowe, Replay Games founder and CEO along with series creator Al Lowe, are teaming up to re-introduce gaming's favourite lovable loser, Larry.
The new agreements first project is a HD re-mastered version of the original (and my personal favorite), Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, on just a few platforms and by a few platforms, I mean virtually every single one. Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, XBLA, PSN, On-Live and Steam. Is that enough? If the re-make is successful, the team is going to re-release all of the games two-through-seven.
The remakes will sport upgraded visuals, sound and control, all while keeping the games' signature puzzles and sense of humor.
Last week we heard from Epic Games showing off the Unreal Engine 3 in Adobe Flash and this week we have rival game engine maker Crytek "investigating" support for Flash. Crytek's Carl Jones says:
It is an interesting approach we've been investigating as well. We're developing a unifying technology to create high quality social and gaming experiences on all platforms including browser, smartphones, tablets, etc.
It will be interesting to see how this develops, considering Apple don't support Flash on their iOS-based devices, throwing away hundreds of millions of potential customers. Considering Crytek is currently developing Warface, a free-to-play multiplayer shooter for the Korean and Asian markets, this might be a huge bit of news that turns into something quite interesting over time.