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The Games with Gold offer that Microsoft announced last week during its E3 press conference has been detailed. Microsoft will offer up a new free game each 1st and 16th of every month. The first game is now available for free for Xbox Live Gold members and is Fable 3. It will be available until the end of June.
Future free games have not been further detailed beyond Microsoft's announcement that Assassin's Creed 2 and Halo 3 will be part of the Games with Gold offer. We'll try to announce each free game as they are available.
The games are a free download from Xbox Live, which means you'll need a large hard drive to store them all on. This program is likely in response to Sony's Instant Game Collection program that is part of PlayStation Plus. Whether it will help boost Microsoft's Xbox Live uptake remains to be seen.
One of the games at the top of my most-wanted list is definitely DICE's Battlefield 4, and that game has just impressed me much more with their new Spectator Mode. The official Battlefield YouTube channel saw the release of a new video yesterday with EA DICE producer Daniel Matros walking us through Battlefield 4's Spectator Mode.
BF4's Spectator Mode allows players to watch the game being played, in a very easy fashion. You can view it from the usual first-person view, or even go into third-person mode where the camera floats behind the player's back. You can pull up the scoreboard and simply click on a player, where it will go straight to that player's first-person view. There are also "free cams" within the game, which are pinned around the map and not locked to a particular player.
The slow-mo diving, pain killer-taking Max Payne 3 has arrived on the Apple Mac OS X platform today. Until now, it was only available on PC and the consoles, but now it is available for all your Mac lovers out there!
You can grab it from the Mac App Store, or for Steam - for just $40. Not all Mac's will be capable of playing it, and I'm sure I'll have issues on my late-2010 MacBook Air - but I have it on PC, so I won't be buying it for my Mac. You can check if your Mac is up to scratch on Rockstar's Mac specifications page.
Google has created another web-based game playable directly in Google Chrome. Cube Slam allows you to play a 3D version of Pong against your friend. You attempt to send the cube through your opponent's screen. The real fun starts when you play against a friend with a webcam.
If the players have webcams, their pictures will be displayed on the the game board, bringing them into the game. It makes the screen smashing all the more fun as it makes you feel like you are actually slamming through their screen. Google's use of the players' webcams is interesting and something that could theoretically be added to other games.
Other companies could make use of technology Intel is developing to isolate just the player's head, which could then be placed on the in-game character. Check out Google's Cube Slam and let us know what you think. Make sure to be using Chrome when visiting the link.
Electronic Arts has reaffirmed that the Online Pass DRM scheme will not be making a comeback, even after Microsoft's Xbox One DRM reversal. Most players despised EA's Online Pass because it required them to buy a code to get online access. Of course, if you bought the game new, it came with one free pass.
EA's John Reseburg confirmed that the program's removal was in response to player feedback, not because they knew of the Xbox One's original DRM features. EA's assurance is a good thing as many felt third-party game studios might enable their own DRM on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as both manufacturers allow third-party DRM.
Luckily, it looks as though this won't be the case.
EA Sports' next-generation titles running under their Ignite engine won't work on Nintendo's Wii U, or most mid-range PC's. EA Sports' executive vice president, Andrew Wilson, said that most PC's out right now won't be powerful enough to run it.
This isn't because current PC's are too slow, it's that most (not all) consumers' PC's won't be powerful enough to run the Ignite-powered games. Wilson told Polygon: "Even though there were some PCs on the marketplace that could run that engine, the lion's share of PCs on the marketplace could not. And the majority of the gamer base that was playing the game on PC did not have a PC spec that would work with that."
Wilson has said that the Ignite engine has been built for the next-generation PS4 and Xbox One, and not the open hardware of the average PC. Wilson has said that with a few changes to Ignite, it should be working on the PC. Considering the PS4 and Xbox One feature AMD Radeon HD 7000 series GPU's, I don't understand why this is the case - EA, what are you playing at?
There's some news floating around that Valve could soon offering game sharing through Steam according to the latest Steam Beta. A NeoGAF forum member has unveiled three lines of code that suggest Valve will offer this game sharing feature through Steam in the future.
This would allow a Steam gamer to loan their game to a friend, which would be an awesome feature to add to Steam. The code lists two UI messages to the owner and the borrower of the game, which appear to imply that only one person can play the game at one time, which is fine by me - the ability to loan games through Steam is something unique, and very cool of Valve. More details:
"SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_OwnerText" "Just so you know, your games are currently in use by %borrower%. Playing now will send %borrower% a notice that it's time to quit."
"SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_BorrowerText" "This shared game is currently unavailable. Please try again later or buy this game for your own library."
ExtremeTech has taken it a step further by stating that Valve will make an official announcement in the coming weeks or months, something we here at TweakTown we'll be waiting for with excitement.
So, Valve Time have gone elbows deep into project management and bug tracking software, Jira, finding evidence of multiple internal projects at Valve. This includes Half-Life 3, Left 4 Dead 3 and Source 2, as well as many other games.
Valve left a metaphorical window open to Jira, which allowed people to access Valve's internal tickets, but were quick to shut it down of course - Valve Time, were able to turn on Bullet Time, and save some of this information for us to all get lady boners over. There's evidence for Half-Life 3 which includes a mailing list of 42 people, but Valve have given the HL3 project around 300 people to get down and dirty with.
Left 4 Dead 3 is mentioned, which suggests a third outing in the Left 4 Dead franchise is in development. The next nugget is Source 2. We know this is in development, and I've theorised that Valve will unveil Source 2 on their Steam Box, along with Half-Life 3, Left 4 Dead 3 and other games. Check out Valve Time's post for more information.
Game sharing has become quite the hot topic lately with both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 having thoughts on how to do it and still turn a profit. As always, the true innovation begins in the PC gaming world. Steam is apparently looking into a process that would allow you to share your purchased PC games.
In the latest Steam beta release, a short section of code has been spotted that discusses a "Shared Game Library" which appears to allow other steam users to use your games. However, you are only allowed to share the game with one other user and that person can only play the game when you are not playing it.
What happens if I want to play my game but my friend is playing it? Well that is quite simple, if you attempt to load a game which is being played by another user, Steam will send them a message letting them know that you want to play and since you are the owner they should stop and let you play. Below I have pasted the short snippet of code that has led to all the speculation.
- "SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicense_Title" "Shared game library"
- "SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_OwnerText" "Just so you know, your games are currently in use by %borrower%. Playing now will send %borrower% a notice that it's time to quit."
- "SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_BorrowerText" "This shared game is currently unavailable. Please try again later or buy this game for your own library."
The Last of Us is doing well, selling over one million copies in its first week to be the biggest launch of the year
Naughty Dog's new IP, The Last of Us, is doing very well in its first week on sale. The game has sold 1.3 million copies in the first week of its release, making it the biggest launch of the year. BioShock Infinite sold 1.16 million units across two platforms - the PS3 and Xbox 360.
This means The Last of Us has sold over 200,000 more copies and considering it's a PS3 exclusive - that is some good business for Sony. The Last of Us has sold around 500,000 copies in the US, which represents a near 50% increase over the 338,000 pre-orders. In the UK, the game is selling well, with around 120,000 units shifted so far.