Microsoft may be readying a subscription-based $99 Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle

By on May 2, 2012 at 2:25 PM.

Microsoft may be readying a subscription-based $99 Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle

Microsoft may announce a $99 Xbox 360, Kinect bundle

Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch a subsidized Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle with a monthly subscription option, according to The Verge. The software giant may offer its 4GB gaming console alongside its motion sensing input device for $99 with a two-year commitment, and an early termination fee will be included for contract breakers. Subscribers will then pay a monthly $15 fee that includes access to Xbox Live Gold, a two-year warranty and possibly additional streaming content as well. Microsoft will apparently position the package to compete against the Apple TV, Roku streaming box and PlayStation 3. The Verge reports that we could see an announcement as early as next week. More →

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Call of Duty: Black Ops II trailer released [video]

By on May 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II trailer released [video]

Call of Duty: Black Ops II announced

Activision on Tuesday announced the next entry in the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, a sequel to one of the most successful games of all time. Treyarch, the studio behind the original Black Ops title, is developing the sequel. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 propels players into a 21st Century Cold War, where technology has created a new generation of warfare. Activision chief Eric Hirshberg previously said, “The next Call of Duty will bring meaningful innovation to the series.” The game is available for pre-order now and is slated to be released on November 13th for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The official Call of Duty: Black Ops II trailer follows below. More →

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Angry Birds trip to space tops 50 million downloads

By on April 30, 2012 at 6:21 PM.

Angry Birds trip to space tops 50 million downloads

Angry Birds Space hits 50 million downloads

Rovio on Monday announced that the company’s latest Angry Birds installment, Angry Birds Space, has been downloaded a whopping 50 million times in 35 days, making it the fastest growing mobile game of all time. The company also teased that “something even bigger is on its way” and gamers should stay tuned. Angry Birds Space was released on March 22nd for iOS and Android devices, as well as OS X and Windows PCs. The fourth major Birds release delivered new and unique gameplay features alongside new and existing characters. The game was an instant hit and in less than three days was downloaded 10 million times. Fans have called the game the best Birds game since the original.  More →

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Crytek exec: It would be ‘absolutely awesome’ if next-gen consoles blocked used games

By on April 26, 2012 at 1:40 PM.

Crytek exec: It would be ‘absolutely awesome’ if next-gen consoles blocked used games

The rumor mill has gone back and forth a number of times regarding whether or not next-generation video game consoles from Microsoft and Sony will support used games. While GameStop CEO Paul Raines seems confident they will — GameStop’s business relies on the resale of used games — game developers clearly stand to benefit if consoles force their owners to purchase new copies of games rather than used copies. “From a business perspective that would be absolutely awesome,” Rasmus Højengaard, director of creative development at Crytek — the developer behind Crysis 3 and the CryENGINE gaming platform — told CVG in an interview. “It’s weird that [second-hand] is still allowed because it doesn’t work like that in any other software industries, so it would be great if they could somehow fix that issue as well.” Højengaard did not offer any insights on whether or not Microsoft and Sony actually plan to take measures to prevent console owners from playing used games. More →

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Crysis 3 gameplay trailer released [video]

By on April 25, 2012 at 2:25 PM.

Crysis 3 gameplay trailer released [video]

Electronic Arts and Crytek last week announced the highly anticipated next installment of the Crysis franchise, Crysis 3, alongside a 19-second teaser trailer. On Tuesday, the two companies issued the official gameplay trailer that showcases the game’s stunning graphics. The third installment of Crysis is set in 2047, and users control protagonist “Prophet” as he returns to New York only to discover that the city is covered by a giant Nanodome created by the evil Cell Corporation. This dangerous new world demands advanced weapons and tactics, such as a lethal composite bow, an enhanced Nanosuit and devastating alien technology that will turn Prophet into the deadliest hunter on the planet. The game, which is built using the latest CryENGINE technology, will be released in Spring 2013 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and is now available for pre-order. The full Crysis 3 gameplay trailer follows below. More →

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NVIDIA’s mobile GPUs to surpass Xbox 360 performance by 2014

By on April 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM.

NVIDIA’s mobile GPUs to surpass Xbox 360 performance by 2014

NVIDIA sees its mobile system-on-a-chip graphics solutions surpassing the performance of the Xbox 360 in the coming years. A new graph the company shared with AnandTech highlights the performance of Tegra chips in comparison to those found within PCs and gaming consoles. The solid lines are estimated performance, while the dotted lines are trends. NVIDIA estimates that at some point in 2013, mobile graphic performance will match the Xbox 360 and by 2014, mobile performance will surpass that of the Xbox 360. Of course processor performance is hardly the only piece of the puzzle when it comes to gaming, and Microsoft and Sony will each have new consoles on the market in 2014. More →

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Crysis 3 teaser shows off stunning graphics, brief gameplay [video]

By on April 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM.

Crysis 3 teaser shows off stunning graphics, brief gameplay [video]

Electronic Arts and Crytek announced the highly anticipated next installment of the Crysis franchise earlier this week, and the companies have now released the first Crysis 3 teaser that includes gameplay footage. Albeit brief, the teaser reel showcases a new weapon and stunning graphics that will definitely pique gamers’ interest. “Crysis 3 is a thrilling mix of sandbox gameplay, advanced combat and hi-tech human and alien weaponry that shooter fans will love,” Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli said in a statement. “Leveraging the latest CryENGINE technology, we’re able to deliver seven unique themes that offer stunning and visually loaded gameplay experiences. We cannot wait until people get their hands on the game.” The first full trailer for Crysis 3 will be released on April 24th, and Crysis 3 Hunter Edition is already available for pre-order ahead of its release in 2013. The full teaser video can be viewed below. More →

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Developer earns over $1,000 per day with a Windows Phone game

By on April 19, 2012 at 6:50 PM.

Developer earns over $1,000 per day with a Windows Phone game

While Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform may not be as big as Apple and Google’s offerings, it is still possible for app developers to find success on the emerging operating system. A year ago, FourBros Studio launched a free game called Taptitude on the Windows Phone Marketplace. The game, as of today, has earned the company over $100,000 in revenue and boasts more than 300,000 users, Business Insider reported on Thursday. Interestingly enough, the company’s revenue has spiked since the launch of Nokia’s Windows Phones. FourBros Studio uses Microsoft’s pubCenter, along with a service called AdDuplex, to sell advertisements on Taptitude, which is now making roughly $1,000 a day and averaging over 1 million daily impressions. The success of FourBros Studio could encourage more developers to join the Windows Phone platform, which has struggled to gain market share since launching more than a year ago. More →

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Microsoft announces Halo 4, coming this November

By on April 18, 2012 at 7:20 PM.

Microsoft announces Halo 4, coming this November

Microsoft on Wednesday announced the return of Master Chief and the Halo franchise with the release of “Halo 4″ on November 6th. The franchise was originally imagined as a trilogy, with the game’s third installment becoming the biggest consumer product launch of all time when it was released in 2007. Many questions were left unanswered, however, and fans of the series wanted more. The game is set four years after the events of Halo 3, as Master Chief returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens to destroy the entire universe. “We are beginning a new saga with ‘Halo 4′ and embarking on a journey that will encompass the next decade of ‘Halo’ games and experiences,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Millions of fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to step back into the boots of Master Chief, and, with ‘Halo 4′ leading the charge, we’re confident 2012 will be the most successful year in Xbox history.” Additional details surrounding the game will be announced on CONAN Wednesday night on TBS at 11:00 p.m. EST. Microsoft’s press release follows below. More →

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CryENGINE 3 gives us a glimpse at the future of gaming [video]

By on April 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM.

CryENGINE 3 gives us a glimpse at the future of gaming [video]

Devices like Apple’s iPad have shown the world that huge advances have been made in mobile gaming over the past few years. Featuring the Apple A5X processor with quad-core graphics, the third-generation iPad takes mobile video games to new heights on iOS devices, but technology blogs and the media tend to get a bit carried away in terms of comparisons between console gaming and mobile gaming. Gameplay itself paints an obvious picture, and the numbers do as well; Microsoft’s seven-year-old Xbox 360 console features floating-point performance of 240 Gflops and 500 million triangles while Apple’s brand new iPad is rated at a maximum of 7.2 Gflops and 35 million triangles. More →

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Microsoft reportedly plans to bring Kinect to Windows Phone 8

By on April 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM.

Microsoft reportedly plans to bring Kinect to Windows Phone 8

Microsoft’s motion- and voice-based Kinect controller for the Xbox 360 video game console and Windows PCs is coming to Windows Phone 8, VR-Zone reported this week. The software giant is currently working on integrating the Kinect Natural User Interface with its upcoming mobile platform refresh. Microsoft is reportedly dedicating a number of resources to the project and hoping to have it available by the first or second update to its Windos Phone 8 operating system. The biggest developmental challenge thus far has apparently been the lack of room for Kinect cameras on smartphones. “Kinect has three cameras, one of which his infrared. We can’t put an IR camera on a smartphone, and without it, NUI won’t work in dark,” VR-Zone’s unnamed source claimed. Microsoft is said to be integrating Kinect technology to further entice consumers to adopt the Windows Phone platform. More →

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Microsoft says Xbox hacking claims are ‘unlikely’

By on April 5, 2012 at 3:05 PM.

Microsoft says Xbox hacking claims are ‘unlikely’

A report emerged last week from a security researcher claiming Microsoft’s Xbox lacked important security features that might protect owners who sell used consoles from having personal information stolen. Ashley Podhradsky of Drexel University claimed to have purchased a used Xbox console and used readily available hacking tools to recover the prior owner’s credit card number and other personal information. “Microsoft does a great job of protecting their proprietary information, but they don’t do a great job of protecting the user’s data,” Podhradsky said at the time. More →

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Sony says PlayStation 4 will launch ahead of next Xbox, report claims

By on April 3, 2012 at 8:30 AM.

Sony says PlayStation 4 will launch ahead of next Xbox, report claims

Sony is aiming to launch its next-generation PlayStation video game console ahead of rival Microsoft, a recent report claims. Microsoft’s next Xbox console — which could be an ARM-based “Xbox lite” that will launch ahead of a true Xbox 360 successor that will be released some time later — is widely expected to hit store shelves for the holidays in 2013. According to an unnamed source speaking with VG247, Sony plans to launch its PlayStation 4 console before Microsoft’s next Xbox makes a splash. “Sony are completely in the belief that they have the jump on Microsoft this time,” the source reportedly said. The anonymous source continued, “Top line publishers already know about it. Developers working with publishers – like Ubisoft, for example – already know what’s going on. They’re already working on it.” Both Sony and Microsoft are expected to unveil their next-generation consoles during the annual E3 gaming conference next year. More →

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