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May 21, 2013 - 12:21 PM - by dascrow

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Cloud Gaming Could Make Consoles Obsolete

Sep 16, 2014 - 7:28 AM - by HoggFace
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There have been a lot of talks about the cloud and what it will do for gaming. Microsoft keeps talking about using the cloud for things such as AI calculations to help offload processing needed from the console. One thing that Microsoft has been experimenting with is streaming, and playing, xbox games right in your browser without the need for a console.

This idea of using the internet to stream inputs back to a main hub and then stream the images back to a screen has been used with a service called OnLive. OnLive has given people the ability to run graphically intense games on lower end computers and laptops. The cloud gaming solution has been slow to build up since there has been no major advertising not to mention issues such as input lag that OnLive has been trying to lessen for years.

If Microsoft can get into the cloud gaming scene and really start to push it to Windows computers as a built in feature, casual gamers may skip out on an expensive console all together. Despite input lag, games are completely playable through cloud and OnLive has shown that. On the other hand, games that need precise timing will suffer due to the input lag even if it’s milliseconds.

The goal of course is to come up with a way that you can get the console experience through a streaming service. It’s very possible that in the future we come to a point that internet has a ping that is less than the refresh rate of a TV. If we assume that this does eventually happen, will there be any point to owning a console when you can just buy the game digitally and play it right away? The other cool thing about OnLive was that upon buying the game there is no download or install time, the game just starts right away. If you buy a game currently on the PS4 or Xbox One, you need to download anywhere between 20 to 40 gigabytes of data for the game to function and that’s not counting any patches that need to be installed.

It looks obvious that the companies would like to do a lot of sales through the cloud, after all most companies lose money initially on a launch of a console. The profitability for eliminating the console and still selling the game as a digital product must look very enticing to both Sony and Microsoft. Microsoft is rumored to be testing this same cloud technology to stream games in browsers and Sony purchased Gaikai to stream games to the PS4. Sony could easily make their games available through a browser and sell to people who don’t have PS4 systems if they wanted to.

Do I think there is a future in cloud gaming? Absolutely, however this future wouldn’t be a reality for a long long time. For starters the internet has a long way to go to support such an idea. Most people in the world do not have the required internet to support HD Gameplay streaming, not to mention the data caps that some providers still impose would be completely shattered after a few days of streaming. When the internet is to a point that 20MBPS down and 10MBPS up is commonplace with a low low ping, cloud gaming will struggle to become the main way to game.

All in all, cloud based gaming is a good... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 51 Views

Microsoft Shows Off New Limited Edition COD: Advanced Warfare Xbox One

Sep 15, 2014 - 3:01 PM - by Maura

Microsoft has posted a video on Xbox Wire showing off the limited edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Xbox One console.

Writing about the new console, which has a 1TB hard drive, the Xbox Wire says that that the limited edition Xbox One is “emblazoned with Sentinel Task Force iconography inspired directly from the game.”

The Xbox Wire also showcases a new video that reveals the process of designing the special edition console. They really have taken painstaking care with the details to make this something really worth having, even going so far as to design the wireless controller to resemble an artefact from the future battlegrounds featured in COD: Advanced Warfare.

Xbox Wire says that the version of the game that is packaged with the Limited Edition Bundle is also very special, offering early access to the game and double XP on November 3, when the bundle is due out, with two in-game weapons thrown in for good measure.

Also included in the bumper bundle is the Digital Edition Personalization Pack, a Limited Edition in-game exoskeleton and the Advance Arsenal, featuring a bullet brass exoskeleton and the EM1 Quantum directed energy custom weapon.

Xbox Wire
Introducing the Xbox One Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle - IGN
  1 Reply | 118 Views

Microsoft to Acquire Minecraft Creator Mojang for $2.5 Billion

Sep 15, 2014 - 12:45 PM - by dgstorm

The big tech news of the day is that Microsoft has announced their plans to acquire Mojang, the software developer of the massive hit Minecraft. The folks in Redmond will pay a cool $2.5 Billion dollars to get their hands on the company and all IP associated with it, although Markus “Notch” Persson, Carl Manneh, and Jakbok Porser, (the three founders of Mojang) will be leaving the company.

Here's a quote with more of the details,

Minecraft is the top paid-for app both on Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iOS and Google Inc's (GOOGL.O) Android systems and helped Mojang, which employs just 40 people, bring in 2.05 billion crowns ($287 million) in revenue in 2013, giving it an 896 million crown ($126 million) operating profit for the year.

Director of website Gamesbrief Nicholas Lovell described Minecraft as a hugely successful product which has "captured the imagination of pretty much everybody under the age of 15", saying the game could help Microsoft broaden its appeal.

While the Mojang team will join Microsoft studios behind global franchises such as "Halo" and "Fable", its three co-founders, who have been chased by the likes of Napster co-founder and early Facebook Inc (FB.O) investor Sean Parker, will be leaving to start new projects.
This is a very big move fro Microsoft, and displays their commitment to gamers as they build out their portfolio of hit titles and work toward the future. There is no word yet on what future projects are planned by Mojang after Microsoft takes over.

Markus Persson, co-founder of Mojang had some interesting things to say regarding the sale and his departure. Here's another quote with more info,

News of the Microsoft deal surprised some Minecraft players who know Persson, or "Notch" as he is commonly known, more for his anti-big business stance. But he explained the reasons behind the deal in a blog shortly after the deal was announced.

"As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I'll probably abandon it immediately," Persson said in the blog posted on his Twitter feed.

"I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can't be responsible for something this big," he said. "It's not about the money. It's about my sanity."
Perrson is technically a 71% owner of the company, which means he will soon be a billionaire. Perhaps it won't be too hard to keep his sanity as he can now afford as much therapy as he wants.
... [Read More]
  1 Reply | 204 Views

The Walking Dead Seasons One and Two Coming to Xbox One

Sep 12, 2014 - 2:14 PM - by Maura

MCVUK reports that Telltale Games has announced on its Twitter page today that Season One and Two of The Walking Dead will be appearing on Xbox One and PS4 for the very first time in October.

According to MCVUK, the games will be available in both digital and retail versions, with two separate retail versions available (pictured), one being Season One, complete with the 400 Days DLC, and the other being Season Two, which has only just finished.

Released episodically, The Walking Dead has had more than 33 million episodes sold, and has earned more than 90 Game of the Year Awards from the likes of Metacritic, USA Today, Wired, Spike, and Polygon. It has also received two BAFTA Video Games Awards for Best Story and Best Mobile Game.

The Walking Dead series is set in the world of Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic book series in the wake of an undead invasion, with Series One revolving around the story of convicted murderer Lee Everett, and Series Two focusing on Clementine, a young girl who is orphaned at the start of the undead apocalypse.

Telltale Games has yet to announce how the next gen versions of the two series have been upgraded, or what exclusive next-gen-only features we can expect to be included, but hopefully more will be revealed in the next few weeks.

Source: The Walking Dead hits PS4 and Xbox One in October | Games industry news | MCV, Telltale Games
  1 Reply | 190 Views

Grand Theft Auto V Release Date Announced and New Trailer Released

Sep 12, 2014 - 1:44 PM - by Maura

Rockstar Games has today released a new trailer to celebration the announcement that Grand Theft Auto V will be coming to Xbox One and PS4 on Novemeber 18 2014.

Rockstar says that the next-gen version of the game will feature some major visual and technical upgrades, as well as increased draw distances and higher resolution. Here are some of the improvements you can expect to find in the game, courtesy of Rockstar:
- New activities;
- New weapons;
- New vehicles;
- Additional wildlife;
- Denser traffic;
- New foliage system;
- Enhanced damage and weather effects, and much more.
Radio selections in the game have also been enhanced, with over 100 new songs and new DJ mixes from returning DJs across the 17 in-game radio stations.

Everyone that pre-orders the game will receive $1,000,000 in-game cash to spend, and there are also goodies available for those who have previously played the game on Xbox 360 or PS3, including rare versions of classic vehicles from the entire Grand Theft Auto series of games, including the Dukes, Dodo Seaplane, and a faster, more mobile Blimp. Upgraders will also get new activities such as wildlife photography, new shooting range challenges, and new weapons.

As far as Grand Theft Auto Online is concerned, the online player count has been increased to up to 30 players. Xbox 360 and PS3 players will also be able to transfer their current Grand Theft Auto Online characters and progression to either Xbox One, PS4 or PC.

Source: Rockstar Games
  8 Replies | 390 Views

Microsoft Dishes Out Details on Forza Horizon 2 and Reveals New Trailer

Sep 11, 2014 - 3:04 PM - by dgstorm

There's a new trailer for Forza Horizon 2, (which you can check out above), but that's not all. Microsoft also dished out more details regarding the game. Here's a quote with the details,

As a way of saying “thank you” to all the passionate fans who have continued to be a part of the Forza experience over the years, Turn 10 Studios today announced that fans will be eligible to receive several Forza Horizon 2 cars through Forza Rewards, the loyalty program where players can earn in-game content just for playing Forza games.

Whether they’re an experienced Forza Faithful or a first time driver, all Forza players have a chance to add up to five in-game cars to their Forza Horizon 2 garage the first time they log in to the game. These five in-game (not DLC) cars include the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe, the 2013 Viper GTS, the 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, the 2014 Local Motors Rally Fighter, and the 2013 McLaren P1.

Players start earning Forza Rewards practically the moment they start playing a Forza game. Whether it’s new cars to add to their garage, or a stack of in-game credits for players to spend how they like, each month Forza fans will always receive something new.

Starting from Forza Motorsport 2 on the Xbox 360, through Forza Motorsport 5 and now Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One, players automatically earn points by doing specific things in a game. In Forza Motorsport 5, for example, players earn points based on the number of cars they own, the number of miles they’ve driven in the game, and so on.

The more points players earn, the higher their Rewards Tier Level will be. Your Rewards Tier Level determines what awards are available to players at the start of each month. The higher the Rewards Tier Level, the bigger the reward they’ll receive each month.

Earning free in-game content each month is great but it’s just the start of the story. The first time players log in to Forza Horizon 2, they’ll earn a special one-time gift via Forza Rewards. This gift-car reward will depend on their current Forza Rewards Tier Level, and they’ll have to be at least Tier 2 to earn a reward.

Here’s how the rewards break down by Rewards Tier Level:

Tier Level 2 – 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
Tier Level 3 – 2013 Viper GTS
Tier Level 4 – 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4
Tier Level 5 – 2014 Local Motors Rally Fighter
Tier Level 6 – 2013 McLaren P1

Once you have logged in to the game, you will receive a special message in Forza Horizon 2 and be able to add these awesome cars to your Forza Horizon 2 garage. Note that these Tier Rewards are cumulative. For example, if you are Rewards Tier Level 3 the first time you log in to Horizon 2, you will earn both the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe and the 2013 Viper GTS. If you have maxed out your Rewards Tier Level at Tier 6, you will receive all five of the bonus cars.

With just a few
... [Read More]
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