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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Apple reportedly working on a video game controller for iOS devices

By on April 2, 2012 at 2:40 PM.

Apple reportedly working on a video game controller for iOS devices

The mobile gaming space is shifting from the dominant casual titles such as Angry Birds to hardcore games such as Shadowgun and Grand Theft Auto III. As smartphones and tablets become more powerful, games are becoming more complex as well. Unfortunately, both device categories have a major flaw where gaming is concerned: touch controls. Using a touchscreen and accelerometer is extremely limited, and in many cases frustrating as well. A number of third-party accessories look to solve the problem, but now it looks like Apple may be working on an OEM option. During its iPad review, AnandTech briefly mentioned that Apple is working on a physical gaming controller for iOS devices. “I know of an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to market, but whether or not it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen,” the site said. “As smartphones and tablets come close to equalling the performance of current game consoles, I feel like the controller problem must be addressed.” While no other details are given, previous Apple patents have suggested the Cupertino-based company is taking gaming very seriously. More →

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Next PlayStation code-named Orbis, reportedly won’t play PS3 or used games

By on March 28, 2012 at 5:25 PM.

Next PlayStation code-named Orbis, reportedly won’t play PS3 or used games

The next generation PlayStation has reportedly been code-named “Orbis,” and it will feature an anti-used game system and offer no backward compatibility with PlayStation 3 games, Kotaku reported on Wednesday. According to multiple unnamed sources, Orbis will have some kind of measure built into the console that will prevent it from playing used games. Users will be able to buy new games for the system on Blu-ray disc or as a PlayStation Network download, and if a user chooses to buy a disc, it will supposedly be locked to a single PSN account. Users will reportedly be required to log into Sony’s network to play games, with no offline mode available. Read on for more. More →

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Xbox Live update delivers Comcast’s VOD service, HBO Go and MLB.TV

By on March 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM.

Xbox Live update delivers Comcast’s VOD service, HBO Go and MLB.TV

Microsoft has begun to roll out an update for its Xbox Live service that includes new on-demand content from Comcast, along with apps from HBO and MLB, GigaOM reported on Monday. The launch these services will give users the ability to search through a wide range of content directly from their game console. In October, Microsoft announced a number of new content partners that would deliver movies, television shows and other content to its popular Xbox 360 game console. The system had already received updates that included apps from Verizon, Epix, Vevo, Vudu and YouTube. The launch of HBO Go comes as little surprise. In February, the company’s co-president Eric Kessler told reporters that the Xbox HBO Go app would go live on April 1st, in time for the season premiere of “Game of Thrones.” Microsoft fans noted that the company always releases updates on Tuesdays, however, and it was unlikely for HBO to roll out an update the day of the premiere to avoid download complications. More →

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ARM-based Xbox ‘lite’ coming in 2013, Xbox 360 successor later, insider claims

By on March 22, 2012 at 11:15 AM.

ARM-based Xbox ‘lite’ coming in 2013, Xbox 360 successor later, insider claims

Microsoft had intended to unveil its next-generation Xbox console during the annual E3 conference this year according to a BGR source, but it now looks as though that won’t happen — the company has gone on record in stating, “we can confirm that there will be no talk of new Xbox hardware at E3 or anytime soon.” According to “MS Nerd,” an insider with a good track record of leaking unannounced information regarding Microsoft’s plans, the Redmond-based company is currently working on not one but two Xbox consoles that will launch in the coming years. Read on for more. More →

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Angry Birds Space now available for $0.99 [video]

By on March 22, 2012 at 8:40 AM.

Angry Birds Space now available for $0.99 [video]

Rovio on Thursday released Angry Birds Space for iOS and Android devices, as well as OS X and Windows PCs. In the fourth major Birds release, users will get to fling birds on zero-gravity planets while utilizing new gameplay features such as slow-motion and lightspeed destruction. “This is Rovio at its finest, and we are more than excited to bring Angry Birds Space to all our fans worldwide,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio. “This launch marks a huge step for us as a company, and our whole team and partners have really pulled together to bring out a fantastic array of exciting products and experiences. We hope that our fans will find all things Angry Birds Space as delightful as the Rovio family does.” Angry Birds Space is available for $0.99 in the App Store on the iPhone and iPod touch, and Angry Birds Space HD is available for $2.99 on the iPad. The Mac version is available for $4.99 in the Mac App Store. The game is available for Android devices for free with advertisements in the Google Play marketplace, with an ad-free versions available for $0.99 and an HD version for Android tablets available for $2.99 in the Amazon Appstore. Read on for a video and Rovio’s press release. More →

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Rockstar Games and OnLive release ‘L.A. Noire’ for Android tablets

By on March 21, 2012 at 5:50 PM.

Rockstar Games and OnLive release ‘L.A. Noire’ for Android tablets

OnLive on Monday announced that it has added a redesigned version of Rockstar Games’s award-winning “L.A. Noire” to its cloud-based video game streaming service. The two companies teamed up to optimize the game for touch and gesture interfaces on Android tablets, making L.A. Noire the first AAA console-class title to be designed specifically for touch controls. The OnLive gaming app can be found in the Google Play app catalog for compatible smartphones and tablets, and L.A. Noire is priced at $5.99. Read on for OnLive’s press release. More →

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Zynga buys ‘Draw Something’ creator OMGPOP

By on March 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM.

Zynga buys ‘Draw Something’ creator OMGPOP

Zynga on Wednesday announced that it has acquired app developer OMGPOP for $180 million, plus another $30 million in employee-retention payments, AllThingsD reported. The company confirmed the acquisition during a conference call on Wednesday afternoon, however it did not disclose the terms of the deal. Even though the OMGPOP’s app is only six weeks old, the turn based Pictionary-style game “Draw Something” has already become the most popular Facebook Connect game, beating out Zynga’s own Words With Friends. OMGPOP’s app is also the No.1 free app and No.1 paid app on both the iOS App Store and the Google Play marketplace for Android. The addictive drawing game boasts 35 million registered users, 10 million active daily users and almost 1 billion ad impressions per day. More →

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Blizzard ‘looking into’ bringing World of Warcraft to iOS

By on March 20, 2012 at 9:00 PM.

Blizzard ‘looking into’ bringing World of Warcraft to iOS

The world’s most subscribed-to MMORPG may be coming soon to a mobile device near you. World of Warcraft’s senior producer John Lagrave sat down with Eurogamer to discuss the future of the ever-changing gaming industry. “Maybe we’ll stumble on the great way to put WOW on the phone – maybe we won’t, but we’re certainly looking into it,” Lagrave said. “We won’t do it until we think it’s decent. But it’s interesting and the world is evolving towards [the iPhone]. It would be foolish for any game developer to not be looking at that.” Having a large game such as WoW ported to a touch-based mobile device wouldn’t come without its fair share of problems. As Gameloft’s Order & Chaos has shown, however, MMORPGs are definitely doable on portable devices. Blizzard’s only WoW app for the time being is called Mobile Armory, and it only allows users to view a character’s armor and manage auctions. “What we’ve done with WOW on mobile devices is very simplistic: view the armory, you check your auctions,” Lagrave said. “When we have an epiphany, everyone will know. But for now, no epiphany!” More →

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