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2014-02-25
  The Xbox One version of Titanfall will require "up to" 40GB of hard drive space to install, Microsoft and Electronic Arts announced today. The news comes from the fine print of the Titanfall Xbox One bundle announcement, which notes the file size for the first time. Titanfall's install size is close to that of other major shooters like Battlefield 4 (33GB) and Call of Duty: Ghosts (39GB). Titanfall also requires Xbox Live Gold, as it is a multiplayer-only shooter. The Xbox One Titanfall bundle includes a one-month Xbox Live Gold card; after that, you'll need to pay $10/month or $60/year to continue playing. Developed by a team of former Call of Duty designers, including Infinity Ward cofounder Vince Zampella, Titanfall launches March 11 for Xbox One and PC. An Xbox 360 version--developed externally at Bluepoint Games--will launch two weeks later on March 25. For more on Titanfall, be sure to check out our feature, The Next Big Game: Titanfall, which includes exclusives interviews, previews, and videos for the game. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-25
The Xbox One is getting a price drop effective immediately in the UK, going from £430 to £400. But the rest of the world is getting a freebie as well--while supplies last, you'll be able to pick up an Xbox One bundle with a free Titanfall download code when the game launches on March 11. That deal encompasses the UK price drop as well, offering an even deeper discount on the Xbox One's price for lucky Brits who've held off on buying a console. While Microsoft has said that the price cut doesn't mean their system is struggling, what does all this really mean for the Xbox's biggest potential market: the US? GameSpot's editors discuss. Edward Makuch (GameSpot News Editor): Let's not read too far into today's announcement. If you believe Microsoft (and I do), the battle they face against Sony in the console space is a long-haul effort. We're only months into a cycle that stands to potentially span a decade. Microsoft knew it had the more expensive console going into last holiday. The $100 premium over the PlayStation 4 is nothing new and it's not something Microsoft is wary of because, in Microsoft's words, they have the "better system." And so, the fact that the UK price cut is not coming to North America tells me Microsoft remains confident in its ability to sell the Xbox One at $500. The UK price cut appears to be a one-off promotion aimed at capitalizing on the launch of Titanfall next month rather than a desperate move to gain ground against Sony. The PS4 is off to a hot start, for sure, but Sony's initial success does not necessarily mean Microsoft's demise. It's up to Microsoft to prove to consumers that the Xbox One is worth $100 more than the PS4. I don't think they've done it sufficiently yet, but with a string of highly anticipated exclusives and ambitious digital initiatives in the pipeline, I'm optimistic about Microsoft's long-term plans. Thomas Mc Shea (GameSpot Editor): Microsoft isn't stupid. Despite how much I and many others prefer solo adventuring, a large part of a console's success is determined by how well it can foster a community of competitive players. Grab hold of those who enjoy firing guns at their friends and enemies, and you've secured system loyalty for years down the line. That's why Microsoft shelled out money to keep Titanfall from appearing on any console bearing the Sony brand, and that's why you're seeing them make such a bold pricing move just three months after the console debuted. Do not overlook just how important Titanfall is for Microsoft. If they can lure those who have pushed Gears of War, Halo, Call of Duty, and Battlefield toward the top of the retail charts for the past decade, then Microsoft has established the Xbox One as the definitive console for multiplayer conquests. Once you get a taste of that mech-on-mech action, you're going to tell your friends, and soon one purchase becomes too many to count. And, yes, this doesn't preclude people from buying a PlayStation 4 as well, but if Microsoft can convince people that Xbox One is the place for competition, then people will flock toward every upcoming shooter on the Xbox One because that's where all of their friends let out their day's stresses. Microsoft is betting a lot on Titanfall. We'll soon see if their gamble was worth the cost. Randolph Ramsay (GameSpot Managing Editor): There are really only two things we can safely glean from today's price drop announcement. One, the Xbox One hasn't shipped enough units in the UK. And two, the console is selling well enough in the US to not warrant a similar drop (just a free copy of Titanfall). So despite all the sound and fury about next-gen console sales numbers in recent weeks, it seems Microsoft isn't feeling that freaked out about the gap between PS4 and Xbox One sales, at least in the US. That means a price drop isn't likely for US gamers any time soon. Sorry everyone--you'll have to stick with that $500 price tag for now. The UK price drop isn't necessarily a harbinger of doom for Microsoft's new console, either. Sure, it's not a great look to cut the price of your much-hyped system barely three months after release, but Microsoft is looking at this console generation as a marathon, and not a sprint (as was the previous generation). The PS3 was famously behind the Xbox 360 in sales for much of the last console cycle, only to make up ground and eventually overtake the 360 in global units shipped. Microsoft is playing the long game, and the UK news from overnight is just one move in a very, very long and complicated game of chess. Justin Haywald (GameSpot Senior News Editor): Microsoft still doesn't know what they're doing. While the price drop is great for the UK, it seems like the company is ignorant of the fact that every other country that's not the UK can read the same news and now knows they're not getting the same deal. Add in the fact that current purchasers get a free copy of Titanfall, and it just feels like Microsoft is insulting everyone who ordered an Xbox One early. At least when Nintendo dropped the price on their 3DS, they had the foresight to give their audience a selection of free exclusive games. In the end, I think this will do more harm than good for the Xbox One. If you're in the market for a system and you don't get a console with Titanfall, why wouldn't you wait for the next price drop/reduced price bundle? And there's no chance that the rest of us will get Titanfall for free, since Microsoft would be giving up on their sizable pre-order crowd. It seems they haven't really learned anything from last year's E3 missteps. Those are our opinions, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments below! Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-25
With the upcoming release of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls and patch 2.0.1, Blizzard is aiming both to introduce a ton of great new content to Diablo III, and to significantly improve the game's existing content and gameplay systems. As lead designer Kevin Martens told me at a recent preview event, everything they're introducing shares one thing in common, "expanding replayability and sanding off the rough edges of the randomness of the game." In outlining for me the ways in which Blizzard hopes to do this, he started off by focusing on the content of Reaper of Souls. "Reaper of Souls is cool for us because--and this is always true for expansions--we can take everything we've learned from the main launch of the game, we've had 15 million people play it and we've seen crazy things happen, and we can build on that base. We're not stopped by tools and technology anymore; it's more about doubling down on what made it fun. So at the high level, we've got three major things: we've got our new class, we've got act five, the continuation of the story, and we have Adventure mode." The Crusader As he demoed the crusader for me, Martens shed some light on Blizzard's philosophy when approaching class design, and on what the studio specifically hopes the new class will offer players. "Tactically, his role is a midrange melee character, to make him stand out from the existing barbarian and monk classes. We've given him midrange holy abilities. We always ask ourselves, this is true for anything at Blizzard that we do, 'What's the fantasy?' When a player plays this, what are we trying to engage in them? In this case, it was a war machine made human. If we took a modern battle tank and turned it into a medieval warrior, how would that work? An important part of that is that the armor is part of the weaponry. His shield is a core part of many of his abilities." To demonstrate this, he performed the blessed shield attack, which had the crusader hurling his shield at surrounding enemies. Random city environments Moving on from the new class of Reaper of Souls to the expansion's environments, Martens said, "Something we wanted to do but were unable to do in Diablo III was making the city as a randomized environment. We've made Westmarch into a super-random zone that still feels like a real city, which goes to the point of replayability over all. All the zones in act five are randomized, both inside and out, and that's unlike the zones in Diablo III, where the exterior zones had set exteriors and the big pieces of content that switched out within them. At the same time, we didn't want people feeling like they had to play the same story over and over again, and while you still can do that, that's where Adventure mode comes in." "The metaphor I tend to use is cars. Everyone gets to drive a Lamborghini. It may not be the top-level Lamborghini, you might have to play a long time to find that one, but everybody gets to try out the wacky, crazy, powerful stuff. Guaranteed." Adventure mode For Martens, Adventure mode is about making the existing content as enjoyable and rewarding to players as possible. "We have all these random systems, we have all these pieces of content, and we wanted to find a way for a varied experience to be the best way to play. It's already the most fun way to play, but people tend to go where the power is, they tend to go where the items are. We wanted to make sure that the best way to get gear was also the most varied way to play." Senior level designer Larra Paolilli took over to explain Blizzard's intentions with Adventure mode in more detail. Describing the mode as Diablo III's go-anywhere, slay-anything sandbox mode, Paolilli called up the world map from which you access the mode's content. "You're free to play however you want, by yourself or with friends, and you can kind of design how you want to play and the amount of time you want to play. So you can just go and farm if you want to play that way, but if you want to play for 15, 20 minutes or so, you can do bounties." These were indicated by exclamation points in specific locations on the map. "Those are randomized content from throughout the entire game, and each time you come in, they'll be different. So where they are within the act, and what they are, will be different each time." Bounties can involve killing bosses, clearing out dungeons, or completing other goals, and they reward you with experience, gold, and rift keystone fragments. Collect five of those and you can access a rift. Rifts, Paolilli explained, "are multilevel dungeons that take a mix of tilesets, lighting and monsters and put them together in a combination you haven't seen before. So each floor can be something different. And they all culminate in a unique boss fight. And these are the best way to get loot." Ah yes, loot Patch 2.0.1 introduces a significant overhaul to Diablo III's loot system, an overhaul which Blizzard refers to as Loot 2.0. Explaining what this overhaul would bring to the game, Martens said, "First and foremost is the smart drop system, which is that items have a high-percentage chance of rolling stats that are good for the character that finds them. So if you're a witch doctor and you find a great witch doctor dagger and because of the random number generator, you get a bunch of strength on it that you totally don't need, what a waste. OK, well, first we've made it so that it's much more likely to be intelligence or armor or vitality or something that you're going to want. We also have class-specific affixes, a bunch of new ones." He highlighted a specific piece of gear that carried with it a 14 percent increase to damage done by the witch doctor's fetish army. Martens hopes that by increasing the quality and variety of drops for classes, Blizzard can also increase the variety of ways in which people play Diablo III. Previously, he said that players tended to pick certain abilities and stick with them for the duration. One aim of the new loot system is to encourage players to try new things. Using the witch doctor as an example, he said, "If you don't use fetish army and you start to get improvements to the damage, you might want to try it out. Maybe not with 14 percent, but you find two or three items that have plus fetish army damage and you kinda can't resist." Correcting past mistakes Martens also talked about how Loot 2.0 is designed to fix what many saw as a flaw in the loot system. "Legendaries were always supposed to be the best items in the game. Mathematically, we did not make that the case. You could get a yellow item that was more powerful even though the legendary had a cool power, and that became a difficult choice that wasn't as fun as we wanted it to be. " Now, he says, "The best items in the game have gotten a lot better." Martens is confident that the new system will lead to a better experience for everyone. "We're being way more generous with our drops. So we're actually dropping fewer items overall, you don't have to go back to town and clear your bags as often. But between the smart drop system and the generosity on our set and legendary items just being exponentially higher, you're much more likely to get awesome items. The metaphor I tend to use is cars. Everyone gets to drive a Lamborghini. It may not be the top-level Lamborghini, you might have to play a long time to find that one, but everybody gets to try out the wacky, crazy, powerful stuff. Guaranteed." Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-25
  Official Rules NO PURCHASE OR WIRELESS DEVICE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. YOU HAVE NOT YET WON. MUST BE A LEGAL RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AT LEAST 18 OR AGE OF MAJORITY, WHICHEVER IS OLDER IN STATE OF RESIDENCE, AT DATE OF ENTRY INTO SWEEPSTAKES. SWEEPSTAKES IS VOID IN PUERTO RICO, ALL US TERRITORIES AND WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. MSG AND DATA RATES MAY APPLY. Sponsor, Administrator & Prize Provider: CBS Interactive Inc. ("CBSI"), 1401 W. Cypress Creek Road, Suite 200, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 Sweepstakes Entities: CBSI THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS NOT SPONSORED, ENDORSED OR ADMINISTERED BY MESSAGE AND DATA RATES MAY APPLY TO PARTICIPATE. See Section 4 for 1. Acceptance of Rules. 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For Official Rules send a self- addressed stamped envelope to the above address marked "Official Rules: The Lobby Launch Gaming Console Giveaway" for receipt by February 28, 2014. The full name of the Prize Winners may be posted and the Official Rules will be posted on http://www.gamespot.com/community Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-25
Sometimes, Thief makes you feel...well, like a thief. The stars align, you've gathered some courage, and you swoop in to snatch a patrolling guard's coin purse unseen, and then swipe a goblet from under his nose. You sneak away, grin, and silently congratulate yourself for your unquestionable skill. Emphasis on the "silently" part, of course; any good thief knows it's best not to trumpet your accomplishments. Other times, the illusion is shattered. You hide in the shadows while watching an alerted guard walk continuously in place against a pillar, or staring as he pirouettes with several of his comrades. You trigger loading screens so frequently you could be forgiven for thinking you weren't exploring an entire city as much as you were crisscrossing a series of walk-in closets. And so you growl your disapproval without caring who might hear you. You are no longer a thief; you're just playing one in a clumsy video game. This house of ill-repute believes in providing only the most opulent kind of services. Such is the turbulent nature of Thief, a clunky, intriguing, slapdash, atmospheric stealth game that leashes you to its inconsistencies and gives you no choice but to submit to its whims. The resulting suffocation is at the very least an appropriate circumstance given the heavy aura of The City. This is indeed not just any city, but "The City," and while you play as Garrett, the master thief who starred in the previous Thief games, The City is the game's central character. It's an imposing and claustrophobic community, perpetually cloaked in darkness, from which gothic clock towers and grand cathedrals rise. As you navigate its narrow streets and scramble onto rooftops, you pass vagrants huddled around fires for warmth, and overhear couples express their fear of the sickness that has wafted into their city. This is a place where the rich plunder and the poor seek refuge, so it's no wonder that a populist named Orion has come forth to champion the meek who suffer under the baron's rule. This sickness--chillingly called "the gloom"--does not distinguish between the wealthy and the destitute, and Thief occasionally dabbles in the class warfare themes that naturally result from this scenario. Unfortunately, the socioeconomic conflict is relegated to window-dressing status in favor of the mystical occurrences that drive the game's second half. I guess that lasik surgery didn't go according to plan. That's a shame, because Thief's main story ultimately goes nowhere. The game kicks off with an introductory chapter that shows Garrett's protégé, Erin, inadvertently falling to her doom at the hands of a cult in the midst of a magical ritual. As you push closer to the truth over the game's eight story chapters, the narrative loses all focus, the mystical mumbo jumbo takes over, and you're left with no real sense of closure. It doesn't help that the final, irritating, wrongheaded boss fight transitions into a final cutscene that offers no emotional payoff. Thief is about where, and not about what. As you pursue side missions and main story objectives, you crouch and skim through the shadows, letting The City swallow you, and avoiding the eyes of the city watch. Everywhere you go, you see trinkets on barrels, coins on banisters, and locked boxes likely to contain wondrous jewels within. The objects you snatch are immediately converted to currency, and there's something deliciously nefarious about grabbing everything you can that isn't nailed down. When you first take a hairbrush from a nightstand or a ring lying on the pavement next to a corpse, you sense that this is an item of real value, both financial and emotional. Eventually, the very act of stealing becomes second nature, and in that sense, Thief does an excellent job of immersing you in Garrett's selfish indifference. He steals from the rich, from the dead, and from the downtrodden to give to...himself. The minimap can come in handy, but the game keeps it turned off by default. In fact, the game removes it each time you load a new area. As you navigate its narrow streets and scramble onto rooftops, you pass vagrants huddled around fires for warmth, and overhear couples express their fear of the sickness that has wafted into their city. Taking in the sights of The City is rewarding; moving around in it is not. The first time I emerged from the clock tower that serves as Garrett's home base, I looked upon the industrial tableau and imagined all of the adventure waiting for me there. Exploratory freedom, however, is not Thief's style. Sure, you do find hidey-holes to investigate, and missions often feature carefully structured architecture that provides you multiple routes of infiltration. But going about your business in the hub world has you hitting one loading screen after another when you transition into a new area, often without warning. You might simply sneak into an abode when you force a window open--or you might have to endure a loading screen first. Squeezing between some fallen lumber might reveal a hidden nook, or it might initiate--you guessed it--a loading screen. Thief is frustratingly segmented in unintuitive ways, and it keeps The City from being fun to navigate. Even the limited wall-climbing afforded by your new claw gadget can't free the game from its self-imposed claustrophobia. Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. The goal, of course, is to navigate The City as quietly as you can; if you're busted, you're not much of a thief. Many of the stealth mechanics have a great feel to them, starting with the quick dash known as the swoop. Swooping may not be part of the series' legacy, but there's no doubting its appeal: you rush forward a few feet with a gratifying "whoosh," gliding over broken glass that would raise a nearby guard's suspicions if you trod upon it, or quickly snuffing out a candle so you can slink away in protective darkness. Pressing against cover and peeking from behind isn't a typical Thief series mechanic (and unlike in Thief: Deadly Shadows, you don't flatten your back against walls), but has a nice tactile quality to it. This is due in no small part to how you see Garrett's hands grasp the sides of the crate you're hiding behind, so that the peeking move feels more like a human motion and less like an unnatural tilt. Actually putting these moves to good use reveals Thief's oft-ridiculous AI flaws. Unrealistic enemy behavior is hardly new to the series, or to stealth games in general, but given how seriously Thief takes itself, the silly AI becomes a distraction. A guard might get stuck running in place against a scaffold, or several guards will chase you into a corner, only to let you off scot-free because they can't navigate around each other. At times, it doesn't feel as though you are outwitting your foes as much as you are exploiting their inability to climb; sometimes you can just drop down from a ledge and your pursuer will give up simply because he can't see you or follow you. As you push closer to the truth over the game's eight story chapters, the narrative loses all focus, the mystical mumbo jumbo takes over, and you're left with no real sense of closure. There are some lovely touches, such as the way guards notice that a door has opened, and the ribald conversations they have with each other when they aren't alerted to your presence. But these details are hardly new to stealth games--or to other genres for that matter--and so their impact is significantly lessened given Thief's AI glitches and endlessly repeated ambient dialogue. In turn, the tension so important to successful stealthing is diminished. In the best sneaking games, making your way to your objective while maximizing your effectiveness feels like maneuvering through a giant deadly trap. Thief rarely captures the right sense of risk, however, which in turn reduces the sense of reward. There are all sorts of ways to make the game more (or less) difficult; if you're inclined to pooh-pooh Thief for not being hardcore enough for you, you can tailor the heads-up display to your liking, turning options on and off as you see fit. Yet making the game harder isn't a magic solution to the aberrant AI. The game is at its best when you minimize or fully remove the effects of its most obvious nod to modern game design: focus. Focus is a catchall mechanic that changes its effects based on context. If you're just wandering around, activating focus reveals interactive objects like loot to snatch and locks to pick. If you're in trouble and need to beat down a persistent guard, it slows down time and lets you target the guard for maximum damage. Focus is the kind of mechanic that gets old-school Thief series enthusiasts in a tizzy, though again, you can simply turn focus off if you don't like it. The problem with focus isn't that it makes the game too easy. The problem is that it does so by dulling the world around you rather than making you feel like a more effective, more knowledgeable thief. What valuables might be inside? A brooch? A coin? A trinket of no monetary value but with deep personal meaning to its owner? It's nice, for instance, that you can get the additional help when you're forced into melee combat against a sword-wielding guard. But it doesn't make the combat enjoyable or even unlock cool new fighting animations: you still just swing the blackjack with the aplomb of a three-year-old flailing a stick. Sometimes having the additional time to pick locks that focus affords you is welcome, but picking locks doesn't suddenly become more entertaining as a result--you just finish faster. You can upgrade these skills by spending some money or by stumbling across upgrade shards during your travels, but I quickly found that applying those upgrades never made me feel more agile or more effective--they just sapped the tension from missions. I soon relegated focus to a single use: illuminating interactive objects around me. My funds instead went toward tools like the socket wrench and wire cutters--tools that actually made me feel like a potent Thief by giving me access to new areas and allowing me to disarm deadly traps. In spite of focus's questionable value, some of the tricks Garrett holds up his tight-fitting sleeves are a blast to pull off, and a bow might be the most vital tool he carries. You can loose water arrows at flaming sconces to spread the darkness, attach rope arrows to prescribed grapple points and climb to new areas, and launch sawtooth arrows into pesky guards' skulls. The fire arrow is another standout, in no small part because of how you can use one to set alight a standing puddle of oil. Enemies standing in such an oil puddle are burned to a crisp, and you can only cackle at their fiery misfortune. This method of extermination is put to particularly good use in Thief's requisite asylum level (didn't we just do this in Deadly Shadows?), where you encounter blind subhuman foes that burn up real good. Anyone know the time? The asylum mission is one of Thief's better ones, in part because it heightens the ambient anxiety and dabbles in horror elements. However, this atmospheric terror is not matched by a sense of real danger; until the mission's later moments, there's little to be afraid of. My favorite mission, however, was an optional one in which you lead a drunkard through the level by clearing away the obstacles that inhibit his progress. It's a cheekily wicked process with a few dark laughs in store. Most side missions are quickly accomplished and forgotten, however, with the story missions providing most of the intrigue. While the iffy enemy behavior often tempers the fun, stumbling upon a previously unnoticed avenue of entry brings a nice feeling of accomplishment along with it. As Thief seesawed up and down, my enjoyment of it followed suit. Each time I thought I might fall in love, the game doused my passions with a new annoyance. There was the bug that had me swimming in place on top of some boards I'd leapt to. (Thank goodness for reloadable checkpoints!) There were the times I scratched my head wondering why I couldn't take cover behind one crate but could behind an identical one. (The rules of locomotion are never absolutely clear.) But then the love affair was rekindled the moment I pinched out a candle's flame and yanked a dowager's earrings from her lobes unnoticed. (Unrealistic, certainly, but joyful nonetheless.) Whether you are new to the series or cut your teeth on Thief's particular brand of stealth when it was still novel, I'd wager your feelings will waver as often as mine did. The Thief-franchise-inspired Dishonored waves the stealth flag far more confidently than this reboot does. Garrett is not yet on his way out, but he's been shown the door. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-24
Current owner of the Duke Nukem IP Gearbox Software has filed suit against Apogee Software and Interceptor Entertainment over the companies' intentions to release Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. Earlier this month, Interceptor Entertainment, the developer of the recent Rise of the Triad remake, and 3D Realms launched a teaser website for Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, a top-down action role-playing game for PC and PlayStation. The site was counting down to Feb. 25, but the countdown clock has since been obscured with a fake emergency broadcast signal. 3D Realms, whose logo appears on the website, exists today in name only, after being effectively closed in 2009. The studio's legal name is now Apogee Software. The suit, filed in Texas, shows that Gearbox is seeking damages for trademark and copyright infringement, which “stems from efforts to illegally exploit Gearbox’s intellectual property rights in the Duke Nukem video game franchise.” “You and 3DR are colluding with other, equally-unauthorized parties to develop a new video game based upon the Duke Nukem IP,” Gearbox’s lawyers said in a cease and desist letter to 3D Realms’ CEO Scott Miller. “No developer reveres Duke Nukem and its fans more than Gearbox; it’s why Gearbox committed so much to rescuing Duke back in 2010. As you well know: 3DR’s rights were reduced under the terms of that rescue, not expanded.” 3D Realms’ Scott Miller and George Broussard responded to the letter with a signed document that acknowledges Gearbox’s rights for the Duke Nukem IP. But unless we’re supposed to understand the emergency signal on the teaser website as a cancellation notice, it seems as if Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction is still going forward. Gearbox’s Steve Gibson told Polygon that the current lawsuit is simply a formality and that he's confident Gearbox will succeed. “We tried to avoid court,” he said. In 2010, the Borderlands developer announced it acquired the rights for the Duke Nukem IP. It helped see Duke Nukem Forever to the finish line after more than a decade in development, and announced plans to develop other games in the franchise. "Gearbox was the only home appropriate for the Duke Nukem brand," Broussard said at the time. "They are very talented and possess the perfect perspective and understanding of the brand. Their vision for its future direction is exciting and unbelievable. I personally cannot wait for fans to see their unique take on the franchise." In 2013, 3D Realms sued Gearbox alleging unpaid Duke Nukem Forever royalties, but then abandoned its claim, and apologized for what it called a “misunderstanding.” Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-24
  Sony Pictures is developing a movie based on Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation. Described as a "behind-the-scenes business thriller,” the book “chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry." The news comes via a press release published by Booktrade.info, announcing Atlantic Books acquired the rights from HarperCollins imprint It Books to publish Console Wars in the UK. But it also reveals that Sony Pictures and producer of The Social Network and Moneyball Scott Ruddin are developing it as a feature film. Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg (Knocked Up, Superbad), who also wrote the foreword to the book, are set to write the screenplay and direct, with author Blake Harris serving as executive producer. Harris will also co-direct a documentary on the same subject, which Rudin, Rogan, and Goldberg will produce. Back in 2012, Sony Pictures also registered a lot of domain names related to Console Wars. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-24
Developer Born Ready Games has announced Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut is headed to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in March for $20. First released in 2013 on PC, Strike Suit Zero is a space combat shooter that lets you pilot a ship that can stop on a dime and transform into a nimble mech with increased firepower. The Director's Cut restructures the campaign's story and dialogue to get you into the Strike Suit much earlier. The game also received a graphical overhaul, with upscaled ships, updated textures, and improved lighting. It will include the Heroes of the Fleet DLC, which adds five more missions, and both the Marauder and Raptor Strike Suits. Born Ready currently has no plans to create a console version of the game's standalone, wave-based challenge mode, Strike Suit Infinity. Born Ready Games said that the PC version of Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut will come to Steam and GOG later this spring. Players who own the original Strike Suit Zero will be offered a cheaper "œupgrade path" to the Director's Cut. Our review of Strike Suit Zero for the PC found it to be one of the most thrilling, inventive, and fascinating space combat sims in recent memory.   Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-24
A community manager for Oculus VR said that the company is going to suspend sales as it runs out of inventory due to a shortage of components used in the Oculus Rift developer kit.“Certain components used in the Oculus Rift developer kit are no longer being manufactured, meaning they are no longer available to us for production,” community manager Andres Hernandez said on the company’s sub-Reddit. “As a result, we don't have the necessary materials to produce additional kits. We still have some stock available, but we're quickly running out…As we sell out of inventory in each region we plan to suspend sales in that region until we are able to deliver new orders.”He said that Oculus VR is looking into alternate sources for the needed components, but that it doesn’t yet have a timeline for when additional units will be available.Though Hernandez couldn’t give an exact figure, he said that Oculus VR has shipped over 50,000 Oculus Rift developer kits.“We never expected to sell so many development kits and VR only made this much progress with the community's support and enthusiasm. Even though we never wanted to sell out, it's a good problem to have.”Yesterday we reported that Oculus VR has tradmarked RiftCon, a convention which aims to encourage virtual reality gaming. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-24
Just a few days before it releases Thief, developer Eidos Montreal has announced that the PC version of the game will not support AMD's "groundbreaking" Mantle graphics API. Mantle is AMD's alternative to Microsoft's DirectX, which aims to greatly improve graphical performance on compatible games and AMD Radeon graphics cards. Thief was going to be one of the first games to take advantage of it. "We're extremely proud of the work we've done with AMD to make the PC version of Thief a stand-out, definitive experience although we have a little more work to do to accommodate all of these new PC-specific features," Eidos Montreal said on its website. The company said it's working on a patch to support AMD's Mantle and TrueAudio, which improves audio with certain AMD Radeon GPUs. The patch is scheduled to release in March. If you own an AMD Radeon card that supports Mantle, you'll still be able to run Thief, just without the promised performance boost. "We're confident this patch will ensure the best and fastest Thief experience for AMD Radeon customers," Eidos Montreal said. "We're sorry we couldn't bring this to you sooner "“ although we will use this time to bring you the very best experience possible and will let you know when the patch is ready." Star Citizen, Sniper Elite 3, and Battlefield 4 are some of the few games that support Mantle. "It is a major change and improvement to how we are able to program and use modern GPUs in order to get the most out of them," DICE technical director Johan Andersson said. "Battlefield 4 on PC is already quite heavily optimized using DirectX 11 and DirectX 11.1, but with Mantle we are able to go even further: we've significantly reduced CPU cost in our rendering, efficiently parallelized it over multiple CPU cores and reduced overhead in many areas." The game's art technical director Jean-Normand Bucci previously said that Thief will look better on the PC than on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. He explained that while Thief for the new systems from Microsoft and Sony will deliver "much more" than what console gamers have come to expect, the PC version will go even further. You can read Thief's revised PC system requirements on Eidos Montreal's website.   Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-24
The challenge editor Crytek talked about adding to Ryse: Son of Rome has been canceled, Microsoft has confirmed. "After careful consideration, we have decided to cease development on Ryse: Son of Rome's challenge editor and focus on improving and expanding fans' experience with the game through both free content updates and purchased add-on packs," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Polygon. "We look forward to sharing more details soon." The challenge editor was supposed to allow players to easily create challenge levels for its Gladiator mode using Microsoft's SmartGlass app, and upload them, giving access to other players. Ryse: Son of Rome is on sale for $40 until Feb. 24, though some users aren't seeing the reduced price. An additional sale on the game's DLC will begin on Feb. 25. Microsoft and Crytek will also launch the Mars' Chosen Pack for Ryse: Son of Rome on Feb. 28. It will be available as part of the game's $20 season pass or as an individual download for $9 and includes new maps, a new character skin, and a new cooperative Survival Mode. For more information, check out GameSpot's Ryse: Son of Rome review.   Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-24
  As Sony has previously announced, Gran Turismo 5 online services will be terminated on May 30, ending access to the Online Lobby, Seasonal Events, Museum, News, Community, Remote Race, Log in Bonus and Online Dealership features. Sony has also announced that all DLC for Gran Turismo 5 will be removed from the PlayStation store earlier, on April 30. If you purchase a Racing Car Pack, Course Pack and other DLC items, you'll be able to download and install them again if you acquire the free "Family Upgrade" item and follow the instructions outlined on Gran Turismo's website. However, after April 30, you will not be able to download and install the Paint Pack and Racing Gear Pack if you lose or delete Gran Turismo 5's save data. In addition, Gran Turismo TV, which gives players access to racing related video content, will no longer be available through Gran Turismo 5 starting March 14. "We would like to thank everyone for their passion in supporting Gran Turismo 5's online services, and we look forward to providing even better online services for Gran Turismo 6," Sony said. Gran Turismo 6 was released on PlayStation 3 in December 2013. GameSpot's review found it to be a fantastic simulation, but not the greatest game. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-24
Google has announced Project Tango, a new phone with highly customized hardware and software designed to allow it to track its motion in full 3D, in real-time, as you hold it. Project Lead at Google's Advance Technology and Projects (ATAP) group Johnny Chung Lee said the phone's sensors make a “quarter million 3D measurements every second,” updating its position and rotation, which is then used to create a 3D model of the environment it's in. Naturally, Google pointed out the gaming potential of the device in the video that introduced it to the world. “Imagine that you scan a small section of your living room and then are able to generate a little game world in it,” said one of the developers who collaborated on the project. “I don't know of any other controller or gaming device that can do that.” "Imagine playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character," Google ATAP said. "Imagine competing against a friend for control over physical space with your own miniature army." You can catch glimpses of Project Tango's augmented reality capability in the video. At the 0:47 mark, you can see a developer walking through an office, which through the device is rendered as a snowy forest. The phone uses a 4-megapixel camera, two "Computer Vision Processors,” integrated depth sensing, and a motion tracking camera. Lee said he's been working on Project Tango with universities, research labs, and industrial partners to harvest 10 years of research in robotics and computer vision in order to create the unique phone. "Our goal is to give mobile devices a human scale understanding of space and motion." He said Google will distribute development kits to software developers "in the coming months." Can you imagine playing games using this technology?   Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-23
Oculus VR, the company developing the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles, has filed a trademark for "RiftCon," a convention focused on virtual reality gaming. The United States Patent and Trademark Office website shows that the application was filed on Feb. 14. The page also describes the goods and services RiftCon will provide: "Organizing exhibitions for cultural, educational, or entertainment purposes; organizing exhibitions in the fields of interactive entertainment, virtual reality, consumer electronics and video game entertainment industries for cultural or educational purposes; entertainment services, namely, arranging and conducting of competitions to encourage use and development of interactive entertainment, virtual reality, consumer electronics, and video game entertainment software and hardware." Oculus VR has been showing off the Oculus Rift at conventions like CES and E3, and usually manages to impress anyone who puts it on. It recently announced its own publishing initiative and the Oculus Best Practices Guide (a collection of suggestions and basic guidelines for developing VR content), so it makes sense for the company to also have a convention to foster more development and community around the device. Earlier this month, EVE Online publisher CCP announced that it's partnering with Oculus VR to co-publish its Oculus Rift exclusive set in the EVE universe: Valkyrie.   Info from Gamespot.com
2014-02-23
Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall beta last week started with a limited number of players who were lucky enough to get in. On Saturday night, Feb. 15, Respawn opened the beta to all players on Xbox One and later all PC players as well. By the time the Titanfall beta ended on Feb. 19, around 2 million people played the game, Respawn's community manager Abbie Heppe told Polygon. Though it had a clear promotional benefit, Respawn engineer Jon Shiring said that the Titanfall beta was also an important test for Xbox Live compute, Microsoft's cloud computing technology. "Forza used it a little bit, but they weren't as reliant on it as we are,"he told Polygon. "The game is completely reliant on it. If it's down, nobody can play." Shiring said that while Respawn may still find more problems at launch, the beta helped them find 10 "real things"that they worked on and fixed. One result of the beta that Respawn probably didn't plan for is that it would lead to a leak about Titanfall. By looking into the beta files, savvy data miners managed to unearth the names of 14 potential maps that could feature in the full game. For more on Titanfall, check out GameSpot's new The Next Big Game feature, which has five days of coverage on the most anticipated games of the year.   Info from Gamespot.com


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