Items tagged with Video Games

The latest data from research firm NPD Group is a little misleading in that you'd think the games industry is in a tailspin, even though it's not quite as bad as it seems. To wit, retail sales of new game hardware, software, and accessories in the U.S. plummeted 25 percent, NPD Group reports, noting that this is the 11th consecutive month the industry has declined. Pretty bleak, right? One thing to keep in mind is that NPD Group only tracks physical goods; it completely ignores digital downloads, which not only dominates the PC, but is growing in popularity on consoles as well. Used games and rentals are also ignored, in case you're wondering. Console sales were hit particularly hard, dropping... Read more...
If you're a Star Wars fan (and who isn't?), Rovio believes it has the Angry Birds title you've been looking for all along. It's Angry Birds Star Wars, and it's now available on iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, Mac, PC, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. That covers just about every major platform, save for Linux on the desktop (feel free to "Wine" about it). "It’s a banner day for us," said Peter Vesterbacka, CMO of Rovio Entertainment. "This is our best Angry Birds game yet, and we’re excited for our fans to finally meet Luke, Leia, and the rest of the gang! But it’s more than just a game launch: we think fans are going to just love the new animated trailer and the Angry Birds... Read more...
It was just a few short months ago when Linus Torvalds ripped into NVIDIA for its perceived sub-par support of the Linux operating system. During a talk at Finland's Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship, Torvalds referred to NVIDIA as "the single worst company we've ever dealt with" before flipping NVIDIA the bird on camera. Despite the outburst, NVIDIA hasn't forgotten about the Linux community. Just the opposite. The GPU maker this week announced new GeForce R310 drivers that supposedly "double the performance and dramatically reduce game loading times for those gaming on the Linux operating system." If true, that's one heck of an olive branch. "With this release, NVIDIA has managed to increase... Read more...
Another print publication bites the dust. This time it's PlayStation: The Official Magazine that's closing its doors, ending what had been a 15-year run with the upcoming Holiday issue. Though print media has struggled to find relevance in an increasingly digital world, the move is still a little surprising when you consider that "PlayStation" is an iconic console brand, and consoles have never been more popular than they are right now. There hasn't been an official announcement (that we're aware of), though Game Informer claims to have confirmed the magazine's cancellation with publisher Future US. Earlier this year, Future US announced that Nintendo Power would also cease publication in December,... Read more...
It turns out Grand Theft Auto V won't be shipping in time for the holiday shopping season, that's the bad news. And the good news? You don't need to scratch the title off of your wish list, because come November 5, 2012, it will be available to pre-order "everywhere" (which likely translates to GameStop and on Rockstar Games' website). Grand Theft Auto V will launch worldwide in Spring of next year for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Rockstar Games announced. That's great news if you're a console gamer, but what about PC players? "Hey guys, glad to see so much enthusiasm about the release announcement. For those asking about the PC platform, we're currently focused on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions... Read more...
Valve is getting into the Halloween spirit by serving up some monster savings on spooky titles through its Steam portal. Select scary and creepy titles have been marked down with big discounts as part of Steam's Halloween Sale, which features titles like The Walking Dead, Bioshock, Left 4 Dead 2, and many others at up to 75 percent off. In fact, a good number of titles are 75 percent off, and there's a mix of games to choose from. Everything from Prototype (marked down 75 percent to $4.99) and Prototype 2 (down 50 percent to $14.99), to Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime (down 75 percent to $2.49) to Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack (down 50 percent, to $3.99). There are 80 titles in Steam's... Read more...
Despite the positive spin Microsoft tried to put on its latest financial report, it was a tough quarter for the Redmond outfit, which saw profits dip 22 percent. The cold hard truth is that the PC market is in a slump, and as computer sales stagnate, so too does Microsoft's business model, which is largely focused on software designed for PCs. As a bit of a silver lining to it all, Xbox 360 shipments crossed a new milestone. Since debuting in November 2005, Microsoft has shipped and sold over 70 million Xbox 360 consoles, making it the eighth best selling console of all time. It sits just behind the PlayStation Portable (PSP) at 74 million units sold, and ahead of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) at 64... Read more...
It's a little bit ironic that Zynga is having a tough time adjusting to mobile. Or perhaps it's fitting. Like Facebook, the social platform that was so pivotal in fueling its success, Zynga hasn't been doing so hot as a publicly trade company. Just a few days ago, Zynga warned that it expects to post a net loss of between $90 million and $105 million for its third quarter ended September 30, 2012. The company also lowered its full year outlook to reflect preliminary third quarter results and to reflect the "challenging" times. "The third quarter of 2012 continued to be challenging and, while many of our games performed to plan, as a whole we did not execute to our satisfaction," said Mark Pincus,... Read more...
It's official, folks -- I will not be running for President or any other political office. I don't have a grand desire to enter a life of politics anyhow, but if I did, my past (and present) would come back to haunt me. You see, I'm a thief and a damn good pickpocket. Probably one of the best in all of Tamriel. I've killed, maimed, and even had stints as a terrorist, planting bombs in dusty desert locales and holding office workers hostage. I've eaten mushrooms that made me feel twice as tall, and have run over prostitutes with stolen cars...more than once. Yes, I'm a gamer, and I do all kinds of unscrupulous things in alternate realities. Colleen Lachowicz, a Democratic candidate for state Senate... Read more...
Talk about ending the work week on a high note. Microsoft and 343 Industries today posted the first episode of the Halo 4 live-action webseries designed to introduce the Halo franchise to people new or otherwise unfamiliar with the game. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is a 20-minute clip, which we've embedded below, available in Full HD 1080p on YouTube. "Set against the backdrop of a UNSC military academy, a group of highborn cadets are training to be the next generation of soldiers in the UNSC’s ongoing war with insurrectionists in the outer colonial planets," Microsoft explains on its Halo website. "Among these cadets, Thomas Lasky struggles with his doubts about this war, and with the burden... Read more...
Rovio may have learned how to wield the Force. According to the company's Angry Birds Tumblr page, a Star Wars tie-in to the highly popular game is in the works and will be unveiled on Monday in Times Square, New York. Whether that entails a new game remains to be seen, but whatever it is, it appears those PO'd birds are going with the Dark Side. "Welcome to the Angry Birds Tumblr page. Over the next few weeks we’ll have behind-the-scenes content, animations, comics, and much, much more. But what will this all be about exactly?! Here’s a clue…," Rovio teases on the page. Underneath the picture, Rovio writes: "Times Square, New York, October 8th, 10am EST. HINT: Head to Toys... Read more...
Rovio's wildly successful Angry Birds franchise needs no introduction. But Bad Piggies? That one needs some explaining. Looking to, um, piggyback on the success of Angry Birds, Bad Piggies is what Rovio hopes will be the company's next mega hit. While the main characters look familiar, don't expect the same type of game play. Your job in the Bad Piggies spinoff is to "create the ultimate flying machine and steer [the pigs] safely to their destination." The maps and 60 levels are different, the game play mechanics are different, and the objective is decidedly different. There's no slingshot, but what you will find are a bunch of pieces and parts that you must assemble in order to get the pigs... Read more...
Assuming no more delays, you don't have long to wait until Ubisoft releases Far Cry 3 to PC, which is slated to ship December 4 in North America and November 29 in Europe. That gives you plenty of time to spruce up your system and make sure it meets the minimum or recommended hardware requirements that Ubisoft revealed today. You don't need a million-dollar system to run Far Cry 3, just a modest setup. Minimum Specs: Processor: 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 or 3GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ or better RAM: 4GB Videocard: 512MB DirectX 9.0-compliant with Shader Model 4.0 or higher Recommended Specs: Processor: Intel Core i3 530 or AMD Phenom II X2 565 or better RAM: 6GB Videocard: 1024MB DirectX... Read more...
Game designer Richard Browne has come out swinging in favor of the rumored antipiracy features in the next-gen PlayStation Orbis and Xbox Durango. "The real cost of used games is the damage that is being wrought on the creativity and variety of games available to the consumer," Browne writes. "The real cost of used games is the death of single player gaming." Browne's comments echo those of influential programmer and Raspberry Pi developer David Braben, who wrote last month that "pre-owned has really killed core games... It's killing single player games in particular, because they will get pre-owned, and it means your day one sales are it, making them super high risk. I mean, the idea of a game... Read more...
They grow up so fast, don't they? We're of course talking about all those Angry Birds and thieving pigs who collectively turn two years old today. That's right, it's been 24 months to the day since the masses fell in love with Rovio's instant classic, and this love affair has led to the destruction of countless pigs and structures, we don't even want to attempt to calculate the wasted man/woman hours and lost productivity that Angry Birds has claimed. To celebrate the occasion, Rovio is serving up 15 new birthday cake levels, new menus and graphics, and special birthday achievements. There's more. "As a birthday gift to our fans, all episodes are now unlocked!," Rovio announced in a blog post.... Read more...
It's been a busy week for Microsoft. The Redmond software giant rolled out its much anticipated Xbox Live Dashboard update with a brand new look and fancy new features like voice controlled navigation, and it also launched an iOS app as well as an app for Windows Phone 7 users. And to kick things off, Microsoft is letting all Xbox Live Silver members enjoy the benefits of a Gold membership free for the weekend. Obviously there's more than good will at play here. Sure, Microsoft's getting in the spirit of the gift giving season, but the real motivator is to give non-Gold members a glimpse of the new Dashboard and feature-set in hopes that they'll be tempted to pony up for an ongoing subscription.... Read more...
Microsoft's Xbox 360 had another record month in November and remained the top selling console for the fourth consecutive month with 1.7 million unit sales in the U.S. alone, according to data released by market research firm NPD Group. That's a 23 percent year-over-year jump, but perhaps more importantly, Microsoft was able to move almost twice as many Xbox 360 consoles in the U.S. in November than Sony's PlayStation 3, which notched 900,000 sales. After that, the most popular consoles in the month of November all belonged to Nintendo, who sold 860,000 Wii consoles, 795,000 3DS handheld consoles, and 350,000 DS units in the U.S. "This is the fourth consecutive month in which the Xbox 360 has... Read more...
The release date of the highly anticipated MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic has been made public. Bioware and LucasArts have confirmed the official release date for video game to be December 20 in North America and December 22 in Europe. The release date was revealed at the Eurogamer Expo in London. BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk confirmed the date, with Dr. Myzka saying "This is an incredible moment for everyone at BioWare and our partners at LucasArts who have dedicated their lives to build this extraordinary game. We appreciate the patience from the millions of fans who have been waiting for the game's release." The scheduled release puts Star Wars: The Old Republic... Read more...
The Diablo III closed public beta has begun. Earlier, Blizzard had opened the "Friends and Family" beta, but now, it is selecting players from those who opted in to the Diablo III beta via their Battle.net accounts. Note, that won't mean everyone will get a beta key. Some will, but many will not. In addition, Blizzard will be providing keys through beta promotions and giveaways. The closed public beta is so new, there aren't even any beta keys being auctioned on eBay ... yet. Truthfully, we fully expect there to be beta key auctions, soon. And there may be plenty of takers.  Based on what Blizzard says on its site, if you haven't received a beta key in your email (beware of phishesrs) or... Read more...
The right to free speech as defined in the First Amendment is not an absolute, but the US Supreme Court has historically exercised great caution when limiting its scope. Yesterday, the USSC rejected a California law that restricted the sale/rental of violent video games to minors. Prior to now, multiple states have passed similar laws, all of which have been struck down by various judicial courts. The USSC rejected the California law for multiple reasons. In the US, most of the restrictions to free speech are procedural. These are collectively referred to as the "time, place, and manner" restrictions. Local governments, for example, are allowed to require that large groups obtain a permit before... Read more...
Activision has added that Nov. 8 will include more than just the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It will also launch Call of Duty: Elite, a social-networking twist to a first-person player shooter's multiplayer component. There will be a free version of Call of Duty: Elite, and a premium (paid) version as well. It's unclear how much the paid version will cost. In addition, Activision will hold a public beta this summer for Elite using their last Call of Duty Release, Call of Duty: Black Ops. In a press release, Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing said, "The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer. That is more than the average Facebook user... Read more...
As promised, Microsoft has aired the first single-player campaign trailer for Gears of War 3. It aired, as expected, at the end of the Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United (won by Barcelona). This first full trailer opens by basically re-hashing the earlier released teaser trailer featuring protagonist Marcus Fenix and his father Adam. The new trailer goes on to show action between COG (Coalition of Ordered Governments) and Locust forces, as well as the new enemy variant, the Lambent (mutated members of the Locust). Special musical guest for the trailer is Black Sabbath performing "War Pigs." In addition to the new enemy, for the first time in the series, Gears of War... Read more...
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