Gaming News - Page 1802
Often times job postings give us a view into the future plans of a company. The latest example of this is one of Microsoft's job postings which is pointing towards Skype integration into the upcoming Xbox 720. According to the posting, Microsoft is looking for a London-based Lead Program Manager to bring voice and video services to the Xbox 720.
The posting says: "Skype is working on powering real-time voice and video communications on the Xbox. Xbox is a fundamental lynchpin of Skype's living-room strategy, and we are focused on enabling amazing new in-game and in-console voice and video experiences for the next generation of Xbox. This is a crucial initiative for Xbox, and it is time-critical given the hardware lead times involved."
It's not exactly clear what the Skype integration would entail, but it seems like Microsoft feels this is a pretty big deal for the upcoming Xbox 720. The rumored release date is sometime in 2013, so they have some time to get it right. It could allow others to see user's Kinect motions or to share a celebration after a rough Call of Duty match.
Sony wants to show you ads while you're playing on the PlayStation. Or at least that's what a new patent indicates. A sharp-eyed person who goes by the handle onQ13 on NeoGAF spotted the patent on Thursday. The patent is titled "Advertisement Scheme for use with interactive content" and appears to stop the game in order to show an advertisement.
In-game advertising isn't a new idea. Many games feature ads in the environment where one would expect them to be. Common locations for these in-game ads are on vending machines or billboards. Never before, however, has a game actually been stopped in order to show an ad. Nintendo does nag users about taking a break every now and again.
Now, advertising is fine when it is paying for things like broadcast TV, but if a user shells out $60 for a game like Call of Duty, I imagine that user is going to be a bit upset. Additionally, if this is used during multiplayer settings, every user would need to be shown the ad at the same time or the game will be broken beyond repair.
Microsoft and Sony aren't saying much about the release dates for their next-gen consoles. Microsoft has let us know not to expect it at E3 this year, but that is about all they are saying. But thanks to the Activision lawsuit, some confidential agreements have been unsealed and given some possible launch time frames.
A little history behind this lawsuit: former Activision developers sued Activision saying they were owed royalties and bonus checks due to the massive success of the Call of Duty series. Activision countered the claims saying that the developers had breached the contract and thus not due any funds from Call of Duty.
The documents unsealed show a high-profile deal between Activision and Bungie, the developers behind Halo. The deal calls for four games to be developed and released starting in fall of 2013. Dudley, of the Seattle Times, has interpreted this information in an interesting way. The theory is somewhat likely. Here is what he said:
Blizzard discusses Diablo III hotfixes, secutity, announces that the real-money auction house has been postponed
Blizzard community manager 'Nethaera' has posted on the official Diablo III forums, talking about some of the problems and concerns from the Diablo III community, and how the company plan to handle some of the post-launch issues so that players can continue slaying demons and more in Diablo III.
Blizzard have applied various hotfixes to Diablo III since the launch of the game that address gameplay issues, as well as tweaks to improve service stability, and performed occasionally server maintenance when necessary to ensure that in the long-term, players have the best gameplay experience possible. But, the fixes won't stop there, Nethaera has said that sometime next week we should expect a game update in the form of a patch that will address client issues, as well as additional bug fixes.
One of the big shockers from this post is the delay of the real-money auction house. It was previous delayed from May 22 to May 29, but has now been delayed beyond this date. Blizzard want to ensure that everyone has the "smoothest experience possible when the real-money auction house launches", citing that they need more time to iron out the existing general stability and gameplay issues before a feature like that goes live. Blizzard haven't given a date for this yet.
Bungie's next game is an MMO style sci-fi FPS 'Destiny', arrives next year on the Xbox 360 and next-gen Xbox 720
Ah, Bungie. Fresh from the Halo titles, their next game 'Destiny' is, er, destined, to launch next year initially on the Xbox 360, and the next-gen Xbox, according to the developer's contract with new publisher, Activision. The contract was made public as part of the lawsuit between Activision and Call of Duty creators, Jason West and Vince Zampella.
The contract unveils that Bungie are signed to make up to four "sci-fantasy, action shooter games" in the Destiny universe, every other year from autumn 2013 to 2019. Bungie won't stop there, they will also make four downloadable expansions packs codenamed Comet every other year from autumn 2014 up to 2020.
The document does reveal some very interesting information about, not only do we know how many Destiny titles are coming, but it states the next Xbox as "Xbox 720". This should be considered unofficial confirmation of Microsoft's next-generation console, and if I had to predict, it should be here next year. Destiny will be sold in shops, be boosted with DLC, subscriptions, and micro-transactions. Activision and Bungie are considering a PlayStation 3 port for 2014.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick had some interesting comments during his speech on the company's fourth quarter earnings call yesterday, where he said that transitions to new a hardware cycle can create challenges for some publishers and opportunities for others. Zelnick expects to fall into the opportunity category.
Zelnick also said that those with strong technology, strong owned intellectual property and top talent thrive in a new console cycle, and he believes that is what Take-Two is made up of, but not many of its competitors, he says "we expect to be at the front of the line". Now, let's talk numbers, this was an earnings call after all.
The company saw a net revenue of $148.1 million this quarter, compared to $182.3 million to the same time last year, a drop of close to $34 million. For the entire year, Take-Two's net loss was $108.8 million, when compared to 2011, where they made a profit of $48 million. Zelnick says:
RumorTT: Nintendo Wii U supports DirectX 11, runs Unreal Engine 4, and runs Assassin's Creed at 1080p at 60fps
If a post on an Italian message board is to be believed, a developer from Ubisoft Milan has posted a bunch of Wii U-related information that almost sounds too good to be true. The poster says that the price will be between $350-$450, and that it will launch on November 23. But that's not even the best bit.
The Wii U, according to the post, supports DirectX 11, and is already running Unreal Engine 4, sports 2GB of RAM, and has an AMD Radeon HD 6770 GPU. It can run Assassin's Creed at 1080p at 60fps, compared to just 720p on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The report also states that Crytek, EA, and Valve are all working on the Wii U, and that Valve are working on a digital distribution platform and Portal ports for the Wii U. The full list of details:
Diablo III has been selling incredibly well. Sales numbers for the first week, let alone the first day, have been absolutely unbelievable. I'm sure part of that is due to the fact it has taken Blizzard so long to release this sequel. The other contributing factor would be the absolute quality of the game as seen in the demo.
Sales on the first day totaled 3.5 million copies. That yields about $210 million in revenue. That number doesn't include the 1.2 million players who received Diablo III as part of signing up for World of Warcraft for a year. In total, an incredible 4.7 million users purchased the game within the first 24 hours it was available.
By the end of the first week, Diablo III had sold 6.3 million copies yielding a rough revenue of $378 million. Wow. With incredible uptake numbers such as those, its clear why Blizzard's servers have been getting hammered and giving players trouble logging in. Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment:
There are some screenshots of the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops II that have just hit the Internet, where they show off some crazy Los Angeles destruction. In the screenshot below, you can see two drones going nuts and firing all sorts of missiles down onto L.A.
The second screenshot, below, shows off a soldier and his gun, as well as some drones in the background. The first screenshot actually doesn't look too bad, but it looks like it's running a very, very high-res, with some crazy amounts of anti-aliasing applied.
The second screenshot shows off the detail of the human characters, which doesn't look too bad. If this has filled in your COD: Black Ops II fix, then I've done my job. Are you looking forward to this? Or do you feel it's 'yet another COD title'?
Here we are, folks. The beginning of next-gen gaming, hopefully. Epic have taken the curtains down from the first screenshots of the upcoming Unreal Engine 4, and boy do they look freakin' insane. Epic have also spoke of their "responsibility" to make sure next-gen consoles from both Microsoft and Sony can support the kind of eye candy that UE4 can push out.
Epic ran the Unreal Engine 4 demo on a PC, cough, with a single NVIDIA Kepler-based GEFORCE GTX 680. Epic design director Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski has said:
There is a huge responsibility on the shoulders of our engine team and our studio to drag this industry into the next generation. It is up to Epic ... to motivate Sony and Microsoft not to phone in what these next consoles are going to be. It needs to be a quantum leap. They need to damn near render Avatar in real time, because I want it and gamers want it--even if they don't know they want it.