Australian retailers begin preparation for R18+ classification for games

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Oct 23, 2012 1:29 AM CDT

We're nearly here, folks! The Classification Board has started working with Australian retailers to get them ready to introduce the new R18+ classification in January 2013.

The Board are working with retailers, getting training programs into place, making sure that staff are prepared for the changes to happen in January. In an update from the iGEA, CEO Ron Curry has said that JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Dick Smiths Electronics, Big W, Ebay Australia, Kmart and Target have already had meetings with the Classification Board and had discussions about the new signage that will be placed around the retailers' stores when the R18+ rating is live.

There is one big retailer that hasn't had discussions yet, and that's EB Games. EB have a future date set up for discussions of similar issues. Video Game Assessors are also set to take part in new training through information sessions provided by the Classification Branch in Sydney and Melbourne.

Continue reading: Australian retailers begin preparation for R18+ classification for games (full post)

What happens when a Kickstarter campaign fails?

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | Oct 22, 2012 6:47 PM CDT

Kickstarter is the new trend in crowdsourcing funding for all sorts of projects. Often times, the people behind the Kickstarter campaign will offer rewards in exchange for pledges. But what happens when the creator of a Kickstarter campaign doesn't come through with what was promised as the end result?

Well, that's something that we're all about to find out. Haunts: The Manse Macabre was a game that got funding through Kickstarter. They reached the original funding goal and surpassed it by $3,500. Now, however, the project creator has announced that the game has no developers or programmers to finish it out due to lack of funding.

It seems as though they ended up finding a lot of bugs. "The game as it stands has all the systems in place, but there are a lot of bugs," Rick Dakan, Mob Rules founder, writes in a Kickstarter update. "I am still determined to get the game out, but I no longer have any way of knowing when and how that will happen."

Continue reading: What happens when a Kickstarter campaign fails? (full post)

MOGA Android bluetooth controller available now for $50

Daniel Perez | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Oct 22, 2012 4:16 PM CDT

Playing games on iOS and Android have been as common as checking your Facebook or Twitter as nearly everyone with a smartphone and some spare time have played at least one game on their device. For those who take their gaming a little more serious, on-screen controls aren't ideal, especially when it comes to first-person shooters like Gameloft's N.O.V.A. series. PowerA's MOGA will finally give gamers the control they want when they game on their mobile device, and best of all, it's available right now.

The MOGA Mobile Gaming System is compatible with only Android devices right now running Android 2.3 and above and will house your Android device of choice within the top bracket, which may be a familiar angle for you Nintendo DS & 3DS owners.

The MOGA uses bluetooth to connect to your Android device, features dual-analog sticks, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons and a start and select button. It also already has some serious developer support as big-name game developers like Gameloft, SEGA, Atari and Namco Bandai have already updated games like N.O.V.A. 3, Sonic CD and Dungeon Hunter 3. The MOGA Pivot app will allow users of the controller to find games that have been optimized in one easy location.

Continue reading: MOGA Android bluetooth controller available now for $50 (full post)

Hero Academy to receive Shaolin team, Challenge Collection in November update

Daniel Perez | Gaming | Oct 22, 2012 2:52 PM CDT

Robot Entertainment's hit free-to-play iOS game, Hero Academy, has been receiving regular updates ever since it was released earlier this year. When it was first released, only the Council and Dark Elves, but within months, we had The Tribe, Dwarves and Team Fortress 2. You would think that would be good enough for Robot Entertainment, but today, they announced a new team will be making its way to the Hero Academy stage next month.

The new team that will be released this November is called the Shaolin team and they will focus more on combinations as the more you attack with individual Shaolin units, the higher the amount of damage your team will inflict on the opposing team. Not only that, but the Shaolin team's heroes can reduce the strength of the opposing team, which makes them quite the serious team to go up against.

As is customary when new teams are introduced, a new map inspired by the Shaolin team will be put into rotation once the update goes live next month as well as new avatars and Shaolin team-specific challenges.

Continue reading: Hero Academy to receive Shaolin team, Challenge Collection in November update (full post)

AMD unveils "Never Settle" release of drivers, welcome to Catalyst 12.11

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Oct 22, 2012 7:29 AM CDT

AMD aren't taking the graphics war sitting on their hands, with the release of their Catalyst 12.11 driver set which the company are calling the "Never Settle" driver, and rightly so by the looks of things.

These new drivers carry support for the AMD Radeon 7000 series of GPUs, with specific GPUs in mind based on the Graphics CoreNext architecture, such as HD 7750, HD 7770 GHz Ed., HD 7850, HD 7870 GHz Ed., HD 7950, HD 7950 BE, HD 7970, HD 7970 GHz Ed., and HD 7990; and mobile Radeon HD 7700M series, HD 7800M series, and HD 7900M series.

The new Never Settle drivers sport performance improvements of up to 15% in most of the latest games including Battlefield 3, DiRT Showdown, Sleeping Dogs, Medal of Honor: Warfighter and much more. AMD is now able to claim the performance lead for all of their top-end products, with the HD 7970 GHz Edition seeing a 20% performance gain over NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680.

Continue reading: AMD unveils "Never Settle" release of drivers, welcome to Catalyst 12.11 (full post)

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, plans to become 100% powered by renewable, low-carbon forms of energy

Anthony Garreffa | Current Affairs | Oct 22, 2012 5:26 AM CDT

Saudi Arabia, currently the world's biggest oil producer, has some very interesting plans - they want to be 100% powered by renewable and low-carbon forms of energy. This process would most likely take decades, but just the hint of it is quite powerful, and interesting.

You're probably thinking 'what does this have to do with tech?', but what is the one thing tech uses above all else? Energy. If the world turned from oil, to renewable sources to somewhere over 50-75% in the next decade, we would be looking at not only an entirely new world of technology, but an entire new way of living.

The news comes from Prince Tuki Al Faisal Al Saud, who is the founder of the King Faisal Foundation, where he told the Global Economic Symposium in Brazil that he hoped the kingdom could one day be powered entirely from low-carbon energy within his lifetime. At 67 years old, this would be much sooner, rather than later.

Continue reading: Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, plans to become 100% powered by renewable, low-carbon forms of energy (full post)

BioShock Infinite's latest trailer "Beast of America", will only make you want to play it that much more

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Oct 21, 2012 11:29 PM CDT

I'm an old school PC gamer, and enjoyed the days of Quake, Total Annihilation and System Shock 2. BioShock is a spiritual kind of successor, and was a great game - not as good as SS2, but for today's Call of Duty clones, it was great.

BioShock 2 felt like a let down, but BioShock Infinite... well, it's shaping up to look quite delicious indeed. The latest trailer for the Irrational Games-made first-person shooter is here, and shows off some great in-game footage.

There's a bunch of swinging in the air with your Sky-Hook, rescuing your lady friend, and a show of that huge city in the sky, Columbia. BioShock Infinite is set to hit the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on February 26, 2013.

Continue reading: BioShock Infinite's latest trailer "Beast of America", will only make you want to play it that much more (full post)

HTC DLX to arrive on Verizon, sports 5-inch 1080p display

Well, HTC is about to get a whole lot more awesome with the release of their "DLX" smartphone, which is headed to Verizon. We heard about this last week as the J Butterfly which is headed to the Japanese market.

HTC's DLX is the company's 5-inch smartphone, which sports a 1080p display. Along with its awesome high-res display, we're pleasured to see Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 1.5GB of RAM, 1.5GB of internal storage, a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, and 2,500mAh battery.

Software wise, something else great to see is that the DLX will come with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box. The above specs are according to the smartphone's spec sheet, but the pictures from today's report point to 2GB of RAM, which could spice things up just a bit. DLX is also 4G LTE-capable, and should be on Verizon in the near future.

Continue reading: HTC DLX to arrive on Verizon, sports 5-inch 1080p display (full post)

Mass Effect 4 won't involve Shepard, "the trilogy is over"

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Oct 20, 2012 11:47 PM CDT

BioWare Montreal producer, Fabrice Condominas, sat down for a chat with VG247 where he discussed that the studio feels Commander Shepard has had his time to shine in Mass Effect, and that it's now time for another character to take the lead in Mass Effect 4. He says:

There is one thing we are absolutely sure of - there will be no more Shepard, and the trilogy is over.

In a response to a question of what features the fourth outing in the Mass Effect world would include, Condominas replied with:

Continue reading: Mass Effect 4 won't involve Shepard, "the trilogy is over" (full post)

Rockstar wants your help with Grand Theft Auto V multiplayer

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Oct 20, 2012 12:54 AM CDT

Rockstar wants your help with their upcoming sure-to-sell-millions, Grand Theft Auto V. GTA V is set to use the new Crews which popped its head up with Max Payne 3. Crews are groups of Rockstar Social Club members who form persistent teams and compete online together.

Rockstar doesn't consider Crews a finished product, and they want your help with it. Rockstar have said:

Whether it's suggestions for competitive in-game Crew features in Multiplayer, new ways to manage and recruit, ideas for enhancing Social Club Crew pages and leaderboards, things you did and didn't like about Crews in Max Payne 3, or any thoughts at all related to Crews really that you'd like to share - we're all ears. We'd especially love to hear from current Crew members and leaders so that we can continue making our unique approach to persistent team based Multiplayer as fun as it can be in GTAV.

Continue reading: Rockstar wants your help with Grand Theft Auto V multiplayer (full post)