Cake smashes at kids birthday parties look so awesome. My daughter turns one in March next year and we're going to have one. I'm so excited. Why didn't Sony do this with the 5-year anniversary of the PS3? A giant PS3 cake and have various devs and management smash it up. I need to work for their PR department, ha. This week is definitely the week of anniversaries and birthdays! First up we had the Xbox's 10-year anniversary, and Intel's 40-year anniversary of their first microprocessor, the Intel 4004. Today, Sony stands on the podium with the PlayStation 3 turning five today.
Five years since the PlayStation 3 launch. I still remember the pre-launch buzz, dual-HDMI, 1080p, this, that. Then it launched and people were selling PS3 consoles on eBay for ridiculous prices, or selling just the empty box and getting suckers to purchase it in the craze of the launch.
Up until now, I've been living out Max Payne 3 in my head. The last game, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne was released nearly 10 years ago, in 2003. As a console-created-then-ported-to-PC game, I'm not expecting that much. But, this new video is definitely getting me excited.
The only problem is that they've tweaked the aiming system, Max Payne 3 has been made to 'create an accurate, responsive and realistic third-person shooter as possible', Max Payne 3 targeting and shooting mechanics have been finely tuned. They've combined the precision of a first-person shooter, with a connection to the character that is normally given to the third-person shooter. The video goes into great detail of what Rockstar have achieved, and Max Payne 3 is coming along very nicely.
As the man talking in the video says that, you can see Max aiming between two enemies, in a straight line, left to right. It just feels simple, console-y and not frantic like the original Max Payne games were. But sweet baby jesus does it look good! Graphics, animation, body movement, it's all good! I don't want to spoil too much, but check it out!
Below, is an eight-minute clip of Syndicate of continuous co-op footage. The footage looks good, but there's not much to show of the coordination between the four players. Action looks a little "samey", and it looks like Syndicate blends Call of Duty, Brink, Deus Ex (by its style) and Battlefield all into one.
The environments do look cool, the effects do, too. The game is set to drop in February 2012 and it looks as thought we'll be teased in the form of videos and the such between now and then. We should be able to find out more as each video hits, but for now this is the only thing available this week.
Creator of games such as Sim City and The Sims, is working on experimental foray into what he calls "personal gaming", in the form of Hivemind. Wright describes the game, or more specifically, the engines and algorithm that power Hivemind will learn and track events in your life and morph the game experience accordingly:
Rather than craft a game like FarmVille for players to learn and play, we learn about you and your routines and incorporate that into a form of game play.
Wright compares Hivemind to FarmVille, but it seems there'll be more transparency as to exactly what info the players share with Hivemind. The game is described as living primarily in the mobile space, which will include elements where you'll require help from your friends, like most social-based games.
I know, I know. I've posted a few rumors on the next-gen Xbox a few times now, but it seems there's just more news on it lately and especially today. Today's rumor is a bit more specific, though. Ubisoft Montreal are reportedly hard at work on 'target boxes' based on the intended specifications of the next-generation Xbox from Microsoft.
Delivery of the first iteration of genuine devkits, running custom hardware, are expected to reach studios before Christmas, which is pointing to a finalized console arriving in late 2012. Ubisoft's teams are reportedly working on PCs containing off-the-shelf components provided by Microsoft, and several other major developers such as EA are also in possession of these target boxes.
AMD is rumored to be providing Microsoft with the GPU goodness inside of the new consoles (and their target boxes).
While most people are engrossed in Battlefield 3, Back to Karkand is being worked on and is nearly here. There's some new gameplay videos that show off two of the new maps, Strike at Karkand and Gulf of Oman. Both videos are from PlayStation 3 footage.
The footage looks great, but is so absolutely painful to watch on console, but its good to just see footage no matter what. Some new weapons, vehicles and better destruction are shown off in the two videos. I just really hope that destruction is patched into Battlefield 3 itself.
I personally haven't gotten into Minecraft myself, but I know of it and know of how insanely popular the game is. Notch, head of Mojang Specifications studio that developed Minecraft, have announced via Twitter that Minecraft has gone gold.
Public betas have been around for over twelve months now, with four million copies of the game sold already. The final version of Minecraft won't be officially released until the Minecon conference on Friday, but the current version is reportedly pretty close. Mojang have a variety of clients available, Windows, OS X and Linus. An iOS version is said to be in the works, but not ready yet. Where Android-based users can download Minecraft from the Android Market.
Another console game, port, rape of series has happened in front of our eyes. From Electronic Arts' and Black Box, we have Need for Speed: The Run. NFS: The Run is powered by Battlefield 3's gorgeous, pant-swellingly beautiful, make-you-call-out-mom-in-your-dreams amazing graphics engine, Frostbite 2.0.
Even though the game is powered by that amazing engine, the game is locked to 30fps. What? Am I joking? No. The Run is locked to just 30fps. Now, this may work for other titles, but for a game capable of oh-so-much more on the PC, it's still locked. Locked frame rates on consoles can work, but what if you've just dumped your hard earned cash on a new X79-based system with Quad SLI GeForce GTX 580's?
Wow. It was 10 years ago today that Microsoft unleashed the Xbox onto the gaming world. 100,000 units were shipped to retailers in the first week after its launch, and 1.5 million were sold before the end of 2001. This made the Xbox the best-selling video game console launch on record, and quite the achievement [unlocked?] for Microsoft. The picture below shows Edward Glucksman, where Bill Gates hands over the very first Xbox video game system to him.
10 years later, Microsoft have quite the collection of additions to the Xbox brand such as the current Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and Kinect for 360. Xbox LIVE boasts 35 million members worldwide who spend 2.1 billion hours per month on the service. Kinect for 360 set a Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling consumer electronic device, selling 8 million in just 60 days.
I still personally remember the original Xbox, Halo looked stunning. Absolutely stunning. Project Gotham Racing saw me pouring unlimited amounts of hours into it. Since then, Microsoft seem to have concentrated more on their Xbox products than PC, which is disappointing for PC owners, but great for console gamers. Let's hope we don't have to wait 3 - 4 more years for another Xbox, launch one next year, Microsoft. We all need the push for games.
We've had some truly amazing games over the last few months, and Skyrim is definitely one of the creme of the crop. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has sold over 3.4 million copies at retail in its first 2 days on sale. Keep in mind that this is without the inclusion of digital sales (Steam, etc).
This is an increase of over 600-percent on top of what Oblivion sold, with an opening of just 490,000 copies. Skyrim is set to outsell Oblivion in mere weeks. 59-percent of units sold were on the Xbox 360 (over 2 million copies) and 27-percent were on the PS3. The PC? Just 14-percent, again, without digital sales included.
In the developmental stages, DICE had intentions of making Battlefield 3 a contendor in the e-Sports community. What happened? Origin and Battlelog happened, that's what. Battlelog is good, it allows you to support clans through "Platoons", which organizes squads, but its far from perfect.
There could be a future where Battlelog allows you to schedule events, formally and publicly challenge other platoons to a match or tournament, which would show up on the Battlefeed. If DICE introduced the Battlerecorder, that would be another huge tick in the e-Sports book of awesomeness. Spectator mode would also be a huge addition, allowing people to sit in on a live match being played.
Sony are starting their gift-giving season right now with the introduction of a brand new PlayStation move bundle that includes two Move games, Sports Champions and Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest.
This bundle is set to hit retailers nationwide next week and contains everything you need to have a fun game night, the PlayStation Move motion controller, PlayStation Eye camera, and a copy of the greatest-selling PlayStation Move title Sports Champion and Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest for $99.99 MSRP!
Medieval Moves is a game specifically designed for PlayStation Move, where you use your PS Move motion controller to sword fight, shoot arrows, and fling throwing stars at your enemies. It also offers support for full stereoscopic 3D.
While we can get mixed up in the David vs Goliath battle that is Call of Duty vs Battlefield, we can forget another amazing open-world RPG launched from Bethesda. No, wait, no we can't. Skyrim has been getting its fair share of press too, and while it might be able to boast of nearly half a billion in first-day sales, it can boast with its near-perfect reviews.
It looks like its gotten 90-percent or higher in every review, without me over-exaggerating. I'll let a few quotes from some reviews convince you:
The sheer size of the adventure, both in terms of its environment and in the amount of activities available to the player, is mind-blowing.
It's one thing when a game offers dozens of hours of gameplay; it's quite another when that gameplay is good enough you'll want to live in its world for that long.
Modern Warfare 3 breaks one-day entertainment sales records, developers beg customers for better Metacritic ratings
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has done it again, it has become to biggest entertainment launch of all time, smashing the previous record set by... Call of Duty: Black Ops last year. MW3 took in over $400 million in revenue in just 24 hours, selling 6.5 million copies of the game across 3 platforms in the US and UK.
Black Ops pulled in $360 million on its opening day last year, with Modern Warfare 2 raking in $310 million in the first 24 hours. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotickt says:
We believe the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories. Other than Call of Duty, there has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records three years in a row. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for 'Star Wars' and 'Lord of the Rings,' two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time.
With Skyrim being released (and early for us Australians - available now at JB Hifi), we have news from Skyrim director Todd Howard that Skyrim's Radiant Quest System will procedurally generate a near infinite number of quests for players.
Howard says "the vibe of the game is that it's something that you can play forever." Skyrim's Radiant Quest System can randomly generate new tasks based on your progress within Skyrim. For example, an innkeeper might request that you hunt for bandits in a place you haven't found yet, or an aspiring alchemist could request that you collect 10 undiscovered flowers for his work. Howard claims that the options are endless.
World of Warcraft once commanded the ability to brag that it had 11 million users at its peak, but it has dropped considerably over the past three months alone by losing 800,000 subscribers. Over the past year, the MMORPG has lost a crazy 1.7 million subscribers.
WoW's seven-year anniversary is coming up, as well as Mists of Pandaria being announced, should spark some subscribers. Maybe pulling the older ones who have "retired" from World of Warcraft back into the loot and grind fest, or bring in some fresh blood. Maybe the releases of AAA titles such as Skyrim, Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 are pulling the faithful users away?
What about you? Have you quit? Are you still grinding away waiting for the next expansion pack to be released into the wild? Or have you left the green pastures of the MMORPG world for some FPS action?
My readers will know I'm a lover of FPS titles, and I used to be the biggest fanboy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. I loved it. I must have played hundreds and hundreds of hours of multiplayer and just never got sick of it. Today, my good friend Sean posts a link to a YouTube video on my Facebook wall titled "Infinity Ward recycles buildings on MW3 straight from COD4."
I wasn't surprised by the title, but thought I'd take a look. I thought it would just be a building that some eagle-eyed gamer has noticed... but no, it's a massive building, from my favourite COD4 map: Pipeline. The entire building is copy/pasted directly into the single-player campaign of Modern Warfare 3.
How ridiculous can this be? Is it laziness? Is this how Activision pumps out yearly releases of COD? Surely with hundreds of millions in production budgets across multiple studios with one of the biggest game-related companies in the world, could hire some extra peons to code up a map in a 1 - 2 year development cycle. Take a look for yourself, I think it's a joke, personally. Not a funny-ha-ha joke, but a slap-in-your-face, joke.
This is something that isn't surprising, but EA president Frank Gibeau has been talking about Battlefield 4. Twitter user Brandon Winfrey posted that during a keynote at the University of Southern California, where Gibeau reportedly said "There is going to be a Battlefield 4."
This is pretty obvious considering the success the Battlefield franchise has had, and just how amazing Battlefield 3 has been. When Gibeau was asked about the statement, a rep for EA told IGN the following:
Frank was speaking broadly about the Battlefield brand - a brand that EA is deeply passionate about and a fan community that EA is committed to.
L.A. Noire has enjoyed high praise on the console, but now its time for the PC to get some of that 40s-themed goodness. L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition has either launched, or will launch within the next day or so (depending on region) and includes a bunch of additions and highlights over the console counterpart.
L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition includes all previously released DLC for the console versions (including additional outfits, weapons, and cases such as "Nicholson Electroplating", "Reefer Madness", "Naked City", "Slip of the Tongue", "Consul's Car" and more) and makes them available to players from the start.
New for the PC version is, support for NVIDIA's 3D Vision, enhanced resolutions and graphical performance, keyboard mapping and gamepad support. You can grab it from the Steam Store.
One of the current "it really pisses me off" problems in Battlefield 3 is in regard to the tactical light you can spec up on your soldier. There have been many complaints about this and DICE have promised a change will be coming in Battlefield 3's next patch.
In order to show the problem to people, DICE's Alan Kertz has posted three screenshots on his Twitter account. In the first one, the game is shown with no tactical lighting as a point of reference. The second shot is with the current implementation of tactical lighting and the final shot is what players will see after the upcoming patch.
Ah, RumorTT time, and today we have some news of the next-generation [gaming] console from Microsoft. Why did I put [gaming] in and not the actual word? Well, it might not be a hardcore gaming console after all. The Xbox 720 as its most commonly referred to, is reportedly codenamed "Loop".
Loop is said to be much smaller than the Xbox 360, will reportedly cost less to produce in the hopes of achieving higher Kinect adoption according to Microsoft leak blogger MS Nerd. The next-generation Xbox is also said to be based on a modified version of the yet-to-be-announced Windows 9.
Yep! Windows 9! MS Nerd also said that:
It will use a Zune HD-like hardware platform-a 'main' processor with multiple dedicated assistive cores for graphics, AI, physics, sound, networking, encryption and sensors. It will be custom designed by Microsoft and two partners based on the ARM architecture.