Today is the second day in Steam's Autumn Sale, which games like Monkey Island Special Edition Bundle, Red Orchestra 2, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum, Fallout: New Vegas, Rift and more on special. Let's start with Monkey Island SE Bundle, 66-percent off from $14.99 to $5.09.
Red Orchestra 2 is 50-percent off down from $39.99 to an impressive $19.99, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum with 66-percent off, down from $29.99 to $10.19, Fallout: New Vegas has an impressive 75-percent off marking it down from $39.99 to just $9.99.
There are a few other games on special, Rift has 75-percent off bringing it down from $29.99 to $7.49 and lastly, L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition which only launched last week has an amazing 50-percent off taking its original price of $89.99 to $44.99!
Is this the change we're seeing in console development? They do a sloppy job on the PC version, sales are bad and they just blame piracy? Surely a stable-minded developer wouldn't think that way, well, think again. Ghost Recon Online is set to be a free-to-play game, and is a 'response' to piracy and an alternative to the restrictive DRM that has plagued previous Ubisoft games.
Ghost Recon Online producer, Sebastien Arnoult has said:
We are giving away most of the content for free because there's no barrier to entry. To the users that are traditionally playing the game by getting it through Pirate Bay, we said, 'Okay, go ahead guys. This is what you're asking for. We've listened to you - we're giving you this experience. It's easy to download, there's no DRM that will pollute your experience.'
We're adapting the offer to the PC market. I don't like to compare PC and Xbox boxed products because they have a model on that platform that is clearly meant to be €60's worth of super-Hollywood content. On PC, we're adapting our model to the demand.
Before id Software sold themselves [and their souls] to consoles, id Tech 4 engine was great. It powered Doom 3, and by 2007 it went on to become the most successful project by id Software to date. It also powered other games such as Quake 4, Prey, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Wolfenstein and Brink.
John Carmack has now confirmed that the source code for Doom 3 is now available, only after some delays due to legal issues. Those legal issues arise from the use of "Carmack's Reverse" algoritm which has to do with a method of rendering shadow volumes using a stencil buffer.
Steam have started their Autumn Sale which will run until the end of the weekend, with today's sale including Portal 2, Men of War: Vietnam, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Duke Nukem Forever, Test Drive Unlimited 2 and many, many more.
As for savings, how's this for some great pricing? Portal 2 is 66-percent off, $29.99 down to $10.19, COD: Black Ops has 50-percent off, $89.99 down to $44.99, Duke Nukem Forever includes 66-percent off, down from $49.99 to $16.99 and TDU2 has an amazing 75-percent off, from $19.99 to just $4.99.
Mass Effect 2 has 75-percent off, from $19.99 down to $4.99 and the Sam and Max Complete Pack also has 75-percent off, slashing the original $49.99 price down to $12.49. More sales are obviously on, and I'll continue to post some of the stand-out games for you. Black Friday sales are here already, it seems!
Big Fish sells subscriptions of its games on the iPad, offers dozens of titles for just $6.99 a month
Apple have just allowed a video-game company to offer their titles on a subscription for the iPad, something they've only thus far allowed magazine and newspaper publishers. Big Fish Games, a Seattle-based publisher, won approval from Apple to become the first to offer access to dozens of titles for $6.99 per month.
Until today, games have only been made available as a one-time purchase, requiring users to download individual applications. Apple introduced their subscription feature earlier this year, where the founder of Big Fish, Paul Thelen, seeing an opportunity to offer an "all-you-can-eat" service. This is great as it allows players to go into one game, then into another, without having to download separate games.
Game-subscription services have not had a perfect track record, but mix the popularity of the iPad, with easy payment methods provided by Apple's App Store, makes this a much better step in the right direction. Thelen says:
This is the first time that the technology has matched the business model.
Well, it feels like this is a game of tug-of-war, one day we hear rumors of a next-generation Xbox coming out in 2012, then a day flips past and it is not coming. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities says that the Xbox 720 won't launch next year and probably won't even see the light of day in 2013, either.
He believes that Microsoft might launch an updated version of the Xbox 360 instead. He said:
Those [2012 launch] rumors are silly. Microsoft is still selling a ton of Xbox 360s, and they won't replace the existing one until sales begin to slow. I think the rumors are based upon leaks about modifying the current Xbox 360 to allow it to operate Windows 8.
The PC version of Battlefield 3 received its patch last night, weighing in at roughly 450MB. The patch has a huge change log/fix list, which fixes a bunch of issues people were experiencing, also while balance and gameplay adjustments have been made.
My triple-monitor, SLI system is still having issues. Even thought the patch includes "fixed multiple problems when using multiple monitors (Eyefinity/Surround)", this is my beef with DICE. There are countless people across Battlelog, and various other forums who are experiencing severe issues with multiple monitors. Did DICE not consult NVIDIA or AMD with this game? Did NVIDIA and AMD not test it on their setups? Did no-one at DICE, NVIDIA, or AMD, during testing, think to try it out on multi-monitor setups? Triple 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 30-inch setups would take me less than a few days of tinkering around. Yet, with all those teams and power, DICE couldn't do it?
This is why I'm so strongly opposed to consoles, and the development going to consoles for AAA titles. NVIDIA and AMD have all these new technologies like Eyefinity, Vision Surround, 3D Vision Surround, yet half the games either don't work on them, or have huge amounts of issues like BF3 does.
[I do apologise for the whinge, but hey, it kind of acts as a warning to the community about triple-monitor setups and Battlefield 3, something other sites aren't covering - if you want to discuss it with me, hit my e-mail up for a chat.]
Nintendo are set to swing into the holiday season with two new Nintendo 3DS bundles on November 24. Both bundles will retail for $199, and feature either Super Mario 3D Land or The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Nintendo have said in a statement:
The first bundle includes the just-launched Super Mario 3D Land game and a Flame Red Nintendo 3DS system. The second bundle includes The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D game and a special 25th anniversary limited-edition Cosmo Black Nintendo 3DS system marked with the Hyrule emblem and gold-colored embellishments.
Microsoft really wants to see what startups can do with their motion-based Kinect camera. Selling 8 million in 60 days wasn't enough, and Microsoft sees the future of gaming (and technology) as a huge part of Kinect. Microsoft is now preparing to help teach developers around the US what it takes to make the Kinect work for products on the Xbox or Windows PCs.
Microsoft is choosing ten different developer firms and individuals to come to Seattle for three months to learn the Kinect system inside-out. The ten people or startups will participate in what Microsoft call the "Kinect Accelerator program" and will work out of the Kinect Accelerator office.
Rockstar have just released the first details of the Max Payne 3 Special Edition which will be made available on all three platforms including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The Special Edition is available for pre-order starting immediately and only available until January 15th, 2012 while supplies last.
Max Payne 3 Special Edition will cost $99.99 and features digital multi-player character and weapon packs not found anywhere else. The Special Edition of Max Payne 3 includes:
A copy of Max Payne 3.
10" tall Collectible Max Payne Statue created in a collaboration between TriForce and Rockstar Games.
Series of game-inspired Original Still Life Art Prints that depict some of Max Payne's inner demons and vices.
Copper and brass-plated iron, bullet-shaped Bullet Keychain featuring a screw-off back.
Classic Multiplayer Character Pack of eight playable multiplayer characters for Max Payne 3 Multiplayer, including fan favorites from the original Max Payne and Max Payne 2 like Max Payne from Max Payne 2, Mona Sax and Vladimir Lem.
Disorderly Conduct Multiplayer Weapons Pack for Max Payne 3 Multiplayer that includes the Hammerhead Auto Shotgun, G9 Grenade Launcher and Molotov cocktail.
Max Payne 3 Official Soundtrack featuring the game's instrumental score.
Whilst most people are enjoying Battlefield 3, there are some issues. Usually I hate issues on big AAA titles, but I forgive DICE for this. Battlefield 3 really pushes most boundaries of games these days, scale, graphics, audio, detail, etc. It's hard to release a game that looks this good, on consoles too, without some bugs.
But, DICE are preparing a major PC patch full of tweaks and improvements. A post on the EA blog explains it a bit more:
So what's in the PC patch? You'll see improved polish, stability, weapons balancing, squad control functionality, user interface enhancements, and several feature enhancements that address feedback the community has provided to date - plus we're removing the so called "negative mouse acceleration" that some of you have experienced.
I've been playing Battlefield 3 a few hours here and there and I just love it. It's an amazing achievement from DICE and the new DLC pack Back to Karkand is set to kick some serious ass. A new gameplay trailer is out and it looks like it's been done on PC this time.
In the video above, Strike at Karkand is shown off, with the streets recognizable from the fan-favorite Battlefield 2. If you pre-ordered Battlefield 3, you'll get Back to Karkand for free, if not, it will set you back $15. Back to Karkand DLC includes four maps, Gulf of Oman, Sharqi Peninsula, Strike at Karkand and my personal favorite, Wake Island. New weapons, vehicles and special assignments are also featured.
Nintendo has a grand PR stunt for the launch of Mario Kart 7 which launches on December 4 on the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming console; real-life replicas of the classic Mario Kart and Luigi Bumble V Kart. Yes, real-life replicas!
The replicas were built by West Coast Customs, who are known for their awesome work on the MTV series "Pimp My Ride." Mario's shiny red go-kart comes complete with its glider attachment for flying. Luigi's go-kart includes a cool rear propeller that's used for underwater navigation. In the below picture is Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America:
The karts will sit on display at the LA Auto Show, November 18-27 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. But, there's a really good thing coming from Gamespot here. A competition for the chance to take one of these bad-ass looking go-karts home! The competition is through GameStop's PowerUp Rewards program, where a PowerUp member must make a purchase or trade in a game at GameStop in the month of December.
Minecraft has enjoyed 4 million sales on PC, but it will be on iOS and more specifically, the iTunes Store in a matter of hours. The game is called Minecraft Pocket Edition and is virtually the same game that was released to the Sony Xperia Play and Android Market earlier this year.
The game will work on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, costing $9.99. The PC version includes multiple modes, alternate dimensions, craftable items, non-player characters, and a pretty good multiplayer side, where the Pocket Edition is pretty bland. You can explore the randomly-generated world, build with unlimited supplies of 36 kinds of blocks, as well as multiplayer over a local network.
Minecraft Pocket Edition should receive the same thing the PC version receives, constant updates with new features always being added. Time will tell what we get exactly, but this should be exciting news for iOS-based Minecraft fans.
Modern Warfare 3 makes $775 million in five days, sets new five-day record for an entertainment product like a boss
Well... Activision has just come out and announced that the latest Call of Duty entry, Modern Warfare 3 has set a new five-day record for an entertainment product by grossing more than $775 million. This achievement breaks previous records set by the last COD titles, which took in $650 and $550 million over their first five days.
Considering that even the biggest Hollywood movies don't even come close to achieving a $300 million five-day record, MW3 walks into the room, shoots all of those Hollywood movies dead, grabs a cigar out of their bleeding carcass, sits down, throws its legs up on the table and smokes that cigar, like, a, boss. Battlefield 3 may be the 'better game', but Modern Warfare 3 has shown that it still cements itself into history, yet again.
Good Old Games (GOG) have been a great pillar in the PC community for offering those old games we used to absolutely love and adore, and selling them at a decent price with a no-fuss, DRM-free digital platform which is also set to get that much better.
GOG managing director Guillaume Rambourg revealed at the CD Projekt Red Investor's Day conference in Poland today that their business plans for 2012 and 2013 were to include the addition of not-so-dated games. GOG's goal is to become the number two digital game dealer. Did you notice EA's Origin wasn't even thought of there?
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).