In a move which should help bring Nintendo back to profitability, they are looking to start selling some WiiU and 3DS games as digital downloads. Their implementation of this differs from other console manufactures in that they are going to distribute the digital download codes via retailers so that they still get their share.
This will give shoppers the choice when at retailers to choose whether they want a digital copy or a physical copy. This move also helps Nintendo combat the used game market, which could result in an increase of games sold. This is one of the company's first steps into the digital distribution. Previously, they had sold only smaller games for download through WiiWare, DISiWare and the 3DS eShop.
The first title offered for digital download will be New Super Mario Brothers 2 for the 3DS. This should be released sometime in August. The brain-training game Onitore, part of the Brain Age series, is also set to be available digitally. The WiiU will use a similar, if not the same, system when the console launches later this year.
Valve are set to release a free Portal 2 DLC pack dubbed "Perpetual Testing Initiative" for PC and Mac which is due to hit on May 8. Valve have said you'll be able to "easily create, share, and play Portal 2 puzzles" with the new DLC.
The new level creator will let you publish maps directly to Steam. Yes! Other players from there, will be able to browse, vote, and download user-created maps to play in their own versions of the game.
There's not much more on this until May 8, but you can sure it will be featured as our Download of the Day.
Battlefield 3 DLC is nearly upon us in the form of 'Close Quarters', which moves the combat from outside, to inside, to give us more Call of Duty-style gameplay. Destruction plays a key part in it, and the destruction does look just as delicious, if not more so, when it's done inside.
EA and DICE recently held a European and US media event, where they teased four maps including Close Quarters, dubbed Donya Fortress. The new gameplay trailer (above) shows off a bunch of HD Destruction, as well as the new game mode Conquest Domination.
Conquest Domination is a mash-up of the tactical Conquest mode and the instant action gameplay in Close Quarters, which delivers it in droves with its tight level design and frantic close quarters combat.
Diablo III, sequel to Diablo II, has been in development for a long time now. Often when players are made to wait, their expectations grow larger and larger as time passes by. Often times it is hard to please the users who have waited in anticipation for the game to release. 300,000 simultaneous users logged into the game over the weekend to give it a test run.
While we don't know if everyone liked the game, from what I've heard from people who played it is that they loved it. Blizzard hasn't said how many total users logged in over the weekend beta, however, Blizzard community manager Bashiok said on Twitter that Blizzard's servers saw 300,000 simultaneous players.
The number could have been higher if Blizzard hadn't run into some problems over the weekend. But, then again, wasn't that the point of hosting this? Many beta players reported issues logging in. This could be due to the fact that Diablo III requires a constant internet connection to play the game. This is a sticking point between Blizzard and its audience. Hopefully Blizzard can work these problems out before the May 15 launch.
Crysis 3 will differ from Crysis 2 in that it won't be a console-port running on the PC. Rather it will be a PC-port running on consoles, including some of the graphical features that are available in DX11. The programmers at Crytek don't want the experience to differ between the PC version and the console versions of the game.
"We want to make sure as much as is humanly possible can translate from a DX11 variant into a DX9 variant, that will work almost as good on an Xbox console to whatever extent we can, because we don't want the experience to be different between the platforms," Rasmus Højengaard, director of creative development at Crytek, told Eurogamer.
"It is very, very difficult, but it is possible. It just requires a lot of effort. Some of the stuff these guys are making work on consoles now is absolutely amazing. It's render features that shouldn't theoretically work on consoles, but they've managed to construct code that can emulate a similar thing from a...hack and slash sounds wrong, but they don't have the same streamlined pipeline you would have with a DX11 structure, but they can get to a similar result just by experimenting and using tips and tricks."
Valve are successful because they don't run their company in a traditional sense, in more ways than one. Valve attract the best talent from across the world, and this talent produces some of the best product in the form of Steam, games and more.
A PDF of Valve's Handbook for New Employees has made its way onto the Internet, and you can take a read at just how awesome it is to work at the company. A traditional job would have you go in, take a job title, a desk and start your job. You work a normal 9-5, Mon-Fri, at your desk, with someone higher than you telling you what to do, and not do.
This can work well, if everyone is treated equally, but we all know this doesn't generally work. Valve's way is that they give you a desk, on wheels, so that if you're not liking the department, or area where you start, and you feel you'd be more efficient in another area, you can move freely. You're not stuck into a single "X" position. You're just 'working at Valve'.
EA has graced us with another Crysis trailer. This one is much longer than the teaser that was released last week and has actual gameplay included in it. We also learn some more of the backstory with this trailer and get to see that the graphics are as incredible as one would expect from the Crysis series.
As previously reported, the game will take place in New York City just like Crysis 2 did. However, this time the city has been covered by a Nanodome created by the now-corrupt Cell Corporation. Because of this Nanodome, the city will feature 7 unique districts which are called the Seven Wonders. Each will provide a different, treacherous environment.
Watch the video above and start to get excited like I am. I love the first Crysis game, so I'm excited to see it, at least somewhat, return to the jungle. Prophet will have an updated Nanosuit, composite bow, and alien tech to help him in his quest. The game will be released sometime in 2013 and be available on PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.
Batman: Arkham City has not only been popular with shipping numbers, but it now has confirmed DLC. Warner Bros. have confirmed that the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC will add more than two hours of completely new gameplay to the campaign.
Also included on the disc are all five previously released DLC packs. Warner also added that anyone who already owns the game can download the Harley Quinn's Revenge Pack which will be available to all international markets starting on April 30 from the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace.
Warner Bros. also confirmed a Game of the Year Edition of Batman: Arkham City, which will sport:
- The DLC included on disc includes the Catwoman Pack, Nightwing Bundle Pack, Robin Bundle Pack, Challenge Map Pack and Arkham City Skins Pack.
- Maps: Wayne Manor, Main Hall, Freight Train, Black Mask, The Joker's Carnival, Iceberg Long, and Batcave.
- Playable Characters: Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing.
- Skins: 1970s Batsuit, Year One Batman, The Dark Knight Returns, Earth One Batman, Batman Beyond Batman, Animated Batman, Sinestro Corps Batman, Long Hallowe'en Catwoman, Animated Catwoman, Animated Robin, Red Robin and Animated Nightwing.
The GOTY Edition hits on the 7th of September for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in the UK, over three months after the US has it made available to them.
Player Affinity is reporting that a group of users from 4chan have sent an e-mail to Valve boss himself, Gabe Newell, which was very NSFW, but Good Guy Gabe still responded, with quite the tease:
I don't suppose it would ease your wrath if I told you we're announcing all your favorite things at E3 2012?
Some people over at Reddit then sent Gabe an e-mail asking him to elaborate, where he responded:
I can see how the wording caused some confusion there. Yes, we are announcing something with a three in it.
So, if this is all real, and not a troll, we can expect many games with a '3' in it from Valve. Left 4 Dead 3, Team Fortress 3, Portal 3, Half-Life 3, Half-Life 2: Episode 3, just to name a few. Now, let's break it down. Portal 2 only came out this time last year, Team Fortress 2 is now free-to-play and doesn't really require a sequel right now (but it could), Left 4 Dead 2 is still receiving DLC lovin', and Half-Life is really the only game I can see being announced.
Anything else is a tease.
We all know Max Payne 3 is nearly here, but what are the PC specifications for it? How high does it scale? Rockstar have unleashed some more information on the painkiller-addicted, slow-mo-flyin' Max Payne 3. Max Payne 3's PC System Specifications:
Windows 7 32/64 Service Pack 1, Windows Vista 32/64 Service Pack 2, Windows XP 32/64 Service Pack 3
Intel Dual Core 2.4 GHZ - i7 3930K 6 Core x 3.06 GHZ / AMD Dual Core 2.6 GHZ - FX8150 8 Core x 3.6 GHZ
2GB - 16GB
NVIDIA® 8600 GT 512MB VRAM - NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 680 2GB VRAM / Radeon HD 3400 512MB VRAM - Radeon HD 7970 3GB VRAM
Not long until we're all bullet dodging and going into slow mo in the upcoming Max Payne 3, and after various design and technology videos, teasers, screenshots and more, we have the official TV commercial to show you, below.
The TV commercial had its world premiere during the Lakers/Spurs game on ESPN two nights ago, and it will begin airing internationally over the next week or so. One thing I did have a chuckle at was that they threw in "from the makers of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption", like Max Payne 1 & 2 never happened.
I guess because they were never featured during the current-generation console life cycle, they didn't really happen. Not long until we can play this game! I'm actually quite excited and I haven't played games this entire year apart from 5 minutes of the Diablo III Beta two nights ago.
Valve are continuing their efforts on the free-to-play gaming front, with a new plan to release their sure fire hit, DOTA 2, as a free-to-play title. Good Guy Gabe has come out and said that Valve are not applying a wholly conventional freemium model for DOTA 2.
Usually, freemium games are made available to everyone and then later the company monetises it by selling optional in-game items, Team Fortress 2 has done this for example. In an interview with Seven Day Cooldown, Newell said that DOTA 2 would be "free-to-play [but] it'll have some twists". He continues:
The issue that we're struggling with quite a bit is something I've kind of talked about before, which is how do you properly value people's contributions to a community?
Remember how Blizzard accidentally posted that Diablo III demo up on Battle.net? Well, it's because they were working on putting it up for today. In order to stress test the Diablo III servers in advance of the May 15 launch, Blizzard has opened up the Diablo III demo from now until 12:01 PM PDT (3:01 PM EDT) today until 10 AM PDT (1 PM EDT) Monday.
You can start downloading the client ahead of the start time by going here and logging in with your Battle.net account. The file is 44MB, so with decent internet, it shouldn't take long at all to download. Everyone except players in Korea can try this open beta. Korean players will get the demo sometime next week, along with Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The demo, according to Blizzard, will let you "log in, team up with friends, and play each of the five heroic classes to level 13 as you fight to save the world from the impending demonic invasion." If you're having trouble waiting until Noon PST, feel free to watch the latest trailer, posted above, to pass the time.
For all of you Crysis fans out there like me, we have a treat today. The official Crysis 3 trailer has been put on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. The graphics look incredible, as the series is known for, and the game play doesn't look half bad either. The video is only 19 seconds long, so it won't take but a minute of your time to watch.
At the end of the video is a teaser, I'll assume, for another video that will come out of April 24 with actual game play footage rather than just these teaser trailer. I'm liking what I see so far, but I'm afraid my computer will need an upgrade to play it. How about you? Can your computer run Crysis 3?
This is some exciting news for all of you Dirt, F1, and Grid fans. Codemasters, the game studio behind the aforementioned games, has announced that they will be ditching the action genre in order to better serve and focus on the racing genre which is where their heritage is. This announcement comes on the heels of the difficult Operation Flashpoint: Red River and Bodycount launches.
The new racing games will be published under the company's new publishing label, Codemasters Racing. The first game of the new label will be Dirt Showdown which is set to release on May 25. "We have kept our reputation for delivering best-in-class racing games," said communications chief Rich Eddy. "And best-in-class racing games is now our razor focus going forward."
"In racing, we are No.2 in Europe and that's not good enough. We want to take racing games across multiple platforms and genres. So that players can play anytime, anywhere and on any device," he added. "Racing is our DNA, it is our heritage, it is our specialisation and it is our absolute focus going forward."
This "specialisation" will come in the form of a new online hub that was announced along side of this. The hub will unite players of F1, Dirt, and Grid online so that they can take part in additional in-game events and even win extra content. The hub is called Racenet and will provide users with a Driver Profile that will work across all future Codemasters racing titles.
Oh how I love when companies screw up. It really makes my job so much easier. Today's company to screw up? Well, that would be Blizzard. They accidentally posted the Diablo 3 Starter Edition for download via people's battle.net accounts. The Starter Edition is basically a demo, similar to World of Warcraft's demo.
A lucky few managed to download the game before Blizzard took battle.net down for maintenance at 8:45am EST. Obviously the 'maintenance' is removing the game that shouldn't have been posted. The lucky few have reported being able to play through part of the single player campaign without any need for a CD key.
Diablo 3 has been in development for over 10 years, so when Blizzard announced the May 15, 2012 release date, many gamers rejoiced. This slip-up by Blizzard confirms that there is indeed a Diablo 3 which should further make gamers happy. I imagine one of the lucky few who snagged the game will end up putting it on a torrent site.
It turns out that all of the rumors saying that Prey 2 has been canceled have been greatly exaggerated. While it's true that it may not make it to shelves this year like originally planned, Bethesda revealed today that they are in fact still working diligently on the game to make it top quality before releasing it.
Bethesda posted on its blog:
Development of Prey 2 has not been canceled but the game will not be released in 2012 as planned. The delay is due to the fact that game development has not progressed satisfactorily this past year, and the game does not currently meet our quality standards. Prey 2 has shown great promise and we regret disappointing our fans. We have made a substantial investment in game development to deliver the experience fans want. We are determined only to release the AAA game that fans rightfully expect, and are unwilling to compromise our quality standards to meet a release schedule.
While it saddens Prey players, which, let's make clear, I am not, it makes me extremely happy that the company behind it would postpone it in order to release a better game. It's a tough decision to make since they need to make money. They are a company after all. But, it's better than them canceling it altogether.
A few nuggets of Diablo III news have arrived, first up the beta servers for the game will shut down on May 1st. All stats and characters will be wiped in preparation for the full launch of Diablo III on May 15th. Second, some individuals have discovered that there will be a Starter Edition of Diablo III, that was accidentally made available for download through their battle.net accounts.
Blizzard noticed this quickly, and took battle.net down for "maintenance" at 8:45am EST. Some people were lucky enough to stealth away with the download, and have reportedly been able to play through part of the single-player campaign without the need of a product key. Lucky, lucky, lucky. Those who have been bashing around within the Starter Edition report that it is indeed Diablo III, but in a "limited form".
Most of the players say that the content found within the game is similar to the Diablo III beta. All of the classes are available to play, but the user interface prompts the user to upgrade to the full version of Diablo III in order to access certain features. Now that we have a confirmed Starter Edition of Diablo III, this is beginning to make sense. StarCraft II and World of Warcraft have enjoyed Starter Editions, which allowed players to play a limited part of the game for free.
If a tweet from Spike GTTV's host, Geoff Keighley is to believed, we should expect the first glimpse of footage from the upcoming Crysis 3 to feature on the show, tomorrow night. Yes, tomorrow as in around 24 hours from now.
Crysis 3 is expected to feature Crytek's CryENGINE 3, but we don't know the exact details of the engine the game itself uses, or whether it'll be ported from the console to PC (which is what I expect). We shouldn't expect any gameplay footage, that's just my opinion, but probably some pre-rendered footage.
There's not much else to add, as this news is quite short on info, but we should expect to see something from Crysis 3 tomorrow and you can be sure we'll post it up as soon as possible!
Our Mobile App of the Day is Cut the Rope: Experiments for Android.
Cut the ropes, deliver candy to Om Nom, collect stars, and unlock new levels.
The follow-up to the award-winning mobile game Cut the Rope has arrived for Android! ZeptoLab's Cut the Rope: Experiments features the familiar and loveable little monster Om Nom who is discovered by a mad (but not bad) scientist determined to study his candy-loving behavior through a series of experiments.
Cut the ropes, release candy into Om Nom's mouth, collect shiny gold stars, and unlock new levels.
Join millions of people around the globe and help the Professor and Om Nom get through these wacky experiments!
- 125 new experiments (levels) across 5 colorful new settings, with more to come!
- 5 level packs: Getting Started, Shooting the Candy, Sticky Steps, Rocket Science, and Bath Time
- New gameplay elements like rope guns, suction cups, rockets, and water!
- New characters
- New storyline featuring commentary from the Professor
- New social integration: find hidden evidence for the Professor's photo album to share on Facebook.
- Scoreloop achievements and leaderboards - compare your progress to other rope cutters around the world!
The debut trailer for Dishonored is out, and for those of you who haven't heard about it (like me until just now) it's a new first-person stealth action game from Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks. Dishonored casts you as a supernatural assassin driven by revenge. Sounds good, doesn't it?
Bethesda and Arkane Studios explain Dishonored as:
Dishonored casts you as a supernatural assassin driven by revenge. You are the once-trusted bodyguard of the beloved Empress. Framed for her murder, you become an infamous assassin, known only by the disturbing mask that has become your calling card. In a time of uncertainty, when the city is being besieged by plague and ruled by an oppressive government armed with strange technologies, dark forces conspire to bestow upon you abilities beyond those of any common man.
Dishonored features a creative, and flexible combat system where you can combine many supernatural abilities, as well as weapons and unusual gadgets to take our your foes. You can go after your enemies under the cover of darkness, or go head-on with weapons drawn. The outcome of each missions plays out based on the choices you make throughout the game.