Gaming News - Page 1776
Diablo 3, online only, real money auctions, woot!
Blizzard have released some drips of information for their upcoming keyboard/mouse-thrashing RPG, Diablo 3. First off, Diablo 3 will be online-only, Blizzard believe that a high number of users have access to permanent internet connections anyway, and even though piracy was a concern it was not "a deciding factor" in making the decision. Blizzard instead claim that internet connectivity will be necessary due to a cache of Battle.net features that complement the game.
Things like persistent character saving server-side and the possibility of opting in/out of co-op play, persistent friends list, party system and matchmaking, the game's achievement system, and an auction house system that will allow real world currency to purchase items. Blizzard is not planning on selling any items directly through the auction house, instead, they'll let players list items for which they will charge a fixed fee.
The point of this is, real money auctions will be allowed along with in-game gold and normal item trade. Players will be allowed to rock up at the auction house at any time, with instant transactions of nearly everything, inclusive of characters themselves. Finally, Diablo 3 will not include support for bots or mods which Blizzard say is for a "variety of gameplay and security reasons."
Continue reading: Diablo 3, online only, real money auctions, woot! (full post)
Battlefield 3 to be scaled down to consoles, dreams do come true!
This is something I have covered in my editorials, forums and Facebook, that games should be created and developed on the much more powerful PC platform and scaled down to consoles that are no way near as fast. Instead of being developed on ageing hardware and then ported across to PC where they don't scale up in graphics or use DX11 properly, or multi-GPU setups properly, etc.
DICE have come out and said that the biggest difference between the PC and console versions are shown in the multiplayer side of things, down from 64 players on PC to just 24 on consoles. DICE studio head, Patrick Bach says:
The biggest difference between the PC and console version of Battlefield 3 is that we have 64 players on PC and 24 players maximum on console. The rest is more or less the same: we use the same engine, the same technology, the same animation system, the same lighting system. Our aim is to give the player the exact same experience and not try to dumb down the console version. If you want the same quality of game, I would say it's really, really hard. We tried to get more players in [to the console version] but then you need to scale down all the graphics, scale down all the destructibility, and sometimes you need to scale down all the map sizes. Everything is a compromise on: where do you cut?
Continue reading: Battlefield 3 to be scaled down to consoles, dreams do come true! (full post)
Battlefield 3 not coming to Steam? Say it ain't so!
A report from a meeting between GameStop and financial research firm Baird is suggesting that (sob) Battlefield 3 will not be making its way to Steam. According to Develop, the key quote from the report that comes directly from the GameStop executives is "the upcoming EA title Battlefield 3 will be sold as a download through GameStop, but not through Steam."
This is on top of the news from a little while ago now that EA published a list of retailers for Battlefield 3 in which Steam was missing. Other digital download sites such as Gamersgate, Direct2Drive and EA's own Origin were on the list. Another GameStop executive also told Develop that Battlefield 3 will be coming to digital retailers other than GameStop. This look as though Steam is just being ignored.
Remember, Crysis 2 was removed from Steam which was apparently due to a hissy fit over a DLC exclusivity agreement with Direct2Drive. EA also announced just recently that Mass Effect 3 will get its own Origin-exclusive pre-order bonuses as well as Star War: The Old Republic only being available through EA's Origin.
Continue reading: Battlefield 3 not coming to Steam? Say it ain't so! (full post)
EA acquires PopCap games for a cool $750 million
After numerous rumors and hearsay, EA have announced an agreement to acquire PopCap Games. The transaction is expected to close next month subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The deal includes EA pay approximately $650 million in cash and $100 million in shares of EA common stock to be issued to certain stockholders of PopCap.
PopCap employees roughly 400 people and makes casual digital games for mobile phones, tablets, PCs and social networking sites. Their games include smash-hit titles such as Plants Vs. Zombies, Bejeweled and Zuma. PopCap Games is a Seattle-based company which has more than 150 million games installed and played worldwide on a range of platforms: the Web, PC, Mac, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Zeebo, Cell Phones, PDAs, iPod Classic, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android.
Last year, PopCap made over $100 million in revenue. EA CEO John Riccitiello said in a statement:
Continue reading: EA acquires PopCap games for a cool $750 million (full post)
Windows 8 to be compatible with Xbox 360 games?
I was going to post this yesterday but the sources for this news were not what I would deem trustworthy. The news has popped up again that Microsoft might be including Xbox 360 compatibility in Windows 8. This would mean that anyone who purchases Windows 8 (and has a minimum requirement in hardware) should be capable of running Xbox 360 games! This is obviously a very, very bold move by Microsoft and if true, could really shake up the entire gaming industry.
As you can see from the above picture, in the Windows 8 source code is a line with "XBOX360_SYSTEM_CRASH", gee, I wonder what that could be for. If you look at the source (Engadget) and its comments, most people don't understand why this would be beneficial. Well, let's look at it this way. Microsoft have 400 million Windows 7 licenses out in the wild, 50 million plus Xbox 360 users and hundreds of millions of other customers who may not yet be on either platform.
The biggest thing to remember, is Microsoft are set to launch a next-generation console, if they do so by holiday season 2012 it would be a huge coup for them. The way I see it is, they could market by holiday season this year, until the launch of Windows 8 that Xbox 360 games will be compatible. It'll drum up unimaginable business and amazing PR for them. Once it launches, they could announce the next-gen Xbox at E3 2012 and release in holiday season later that year.
Continue reading: Windows 8 to be compatible with Xbox 360 games? (full post)
PlayStation 4 to have Kinect-like controls? Possibly 2012 release?
With Nintendo releasing their next-generation console next year in the form of the Wii U, it must be making Sony and Microsoft shake in their boots. Their consoles are getting old, cannot handle AAA titles in 1080p and are beginning to age, fast. With the underdog (in terms of hardware) coming out with a next-gen solution, it seems Sony are already looking at the PS4 for a possible 2012 release.
Taiwanese component makers have told DigiTimes that Sony are prepping a new home console for a 2012 release, which will feature body-movement controls ala Microsoft's Kinect. Unexpected? Well, yes... after the time, sweat, tears and money into their Move technology, it's a strange move indeed. The report states that both Foxconn and Pegatron Technology will assemble the PS4 for Sony, as they did with the PS3.
Sources told DigiTimes that the PlayStation 4 will go into production at the end of the year for a 2012 launch, with rumors that Sony will pump out 20 million PS4 consoles for 2012. Launching in 2012 has its benefits and draw backs. Draw backs are the US economy, yes it's bad, but people are still buying tech. Apple haven't slowed in sales, they've grown. Release a great product and people will find the money to buy it.
Continue reading: PlayStation 4 to have Kinect-like controls? Possibly 2012 release? (full post)
Near-final Gears of War 3 leaked to torrent sites
The latest game to get thrown onto torrent sites [way] ahead of release is Gears of War 3. Not due until September 20 (!) and considered by many as the biggest Xbox 360-exclusive title of the year, a leak this early of a game this big is very surprising. The build is near-final and a poster on the website NeoGAF says that it includes the full single-player campaign and all of the multiplayer options and adds "Buggy as hell, but it seems like it's all there."
Of course, Epic are doing damage control and are trying to contain the leak and go after those who are responsible, claiming they are working with their security teams and law enforcement to address the situation. Epic have said that the leak does not represent the final experience players will have with the real thing.
The leak whilst bad, can also be good for Epic. First, it's not the final build so it does not represent retail quality, secondly it's only playable on the Xbox 360. Gameplay videos have made their way to YouTube and other streaming video sites, so fans of Gears of War 3, start looking for some gameplay footage!
Continue reading: Near-final Gears of War 3 leaked to torrent sites (full post)
66 year old Grandpa is world's oldest Battlefield Bad Company 2 player
Jaap is a 66 year old Grandpa who still cranks online gaming and since his retirement at 59 years of age has gotten himself into the world of online FPS gaming in the form of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the PS3. His YouTube video has seen what Borat would call "great success" with half a million views in the first week alone! His wife thinks he spends a little too much time playing games whilst his two sons are actually part of the BF:BC2 squad he is part of and are proud of him.
When Jaap retired at 59 he first stated playing Call of Duty and has now evolved up to BC2 on the PS3. His normal day consists of 2-3 hours of gaming and since the video has gone viral he spends most of his day playing games because of all the supportive attention he has received.
His online name is "Wacko Jacko" and this came about from his previous job as a journalist where he met Michael Jackson and several members of his family and to honor him, Jaap used the name "Wacko Jacko". Jaap has also received a great Father's Day present; Battlefield 3. He has a pre-order for it and can't wait to play it.
Continue reading: 66 year old Grandpa is world's oldest Battlefield Bad Company 2 player (full post)
Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade is out
As promised Crytek have released the "DX11 Ultra Upgrade" patch for Crysis 2 and also the high-resolution texture pack is now available. The update intros DX11 as well as graphical improvements to not only the DX11 version of the game, but the stock DX9 version. There are three packs available, patch 1.9 enables DX11 support but there will be separate downloads on top of patch 1.9 in the form of "DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade," DX11 Tessellation Pack," and "High Res Textures."
The DX11 patches will obviously give higher-fidelity visuals, but the patch also includes graphical and performance improvements under DX9. After the patch 1.9 is installed, DX9 users will gain real-time local reflections and contacts shadows. DX11-based gamers will gain hardware tessellation, parallax occlusion mapping along with various shadow, water, particle, depth of field and motion blur enhancements.
Patch 1.9 also includes over twelve gameplay tweaks as well as multiplayer bug fixes.
Continue reading: Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade is out (full post)
Crysis 2 DX11 patch coming June 27
Just in time to make Crysis 2 relevant again, the DX11 patch is coming June 27. MyCrysis reveals that both the DX11-enabling 1.9 patch will also include the "High Res Texture packages" and will be available on Monday, June 27. The patch includes hardware tessellation support, which DX11 players will have to download. In order to see these spruced up textures, users will require 1GB of VRAM and a 64-bit OS.
The official change log is looking good;
Added Contact Shadows
Continue reading: Crysis 2 DX11 patch coming June 27 (full post)