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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Microsoft patent suggests eyewear integration for Xbox, Windows Phone

By on March 19, 2012 at 10:45 PM.

Microsoft patent suggests eyewear integration for Xbox, Windows Phone

A new Microsoft patent published recently by the United States Patent and Trademark Office revealed that the company is working on two types of headsets for its Xbox and Windows Phone platforms, PatentBolt reported on Monday. The first unit resembles an aviation-type helmet and is aimed at Xbox gamers, while the second looks like a pair of sunglasses for use with smartphones and other future devices. The software giant states that a compact display system can be integrated into goggles, a helmet or other eyewear, enabling the wearer to view images from a computer, media player or other electronic device. Since the human eye can’t focus on images less than a few centimeters away, however, Microsoft’s headsets will have the ability to virtually project an image.

More →

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Microsoft: No new Xbox hardware this year

By on March 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM.

Microsoft: No new Xbox hardware this year

Microsoft has confirmed that the successor to the Xbox 360 will not be announced at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo. “While we appreciate all the interest in our long-range plans for the future, we can confirm that there will be no talk of new Xbox hardware at E3 or anytime soon,” the company said in a statement to Kotaku on Thursday. “For us, 2012 is all about Xbox 360-and it’s the best year ever for Xbox 360. The console is coming off its biggest year ever-a year in which Xbox outsold all other consoles worldwide.” The next-generation Xbox is rumored to be six times more powerful than the current Xbox 360. It has been reported that the console will be equipped with a GPU based on ATI’s Radeon HD 6670 and should offer support for 3D technology, 1080p HD output, multiple displays and DirectX 11. It is also possible that Microsoft’s next-generation system may use online downloads and swappable solid state cards rather than a traditional disc drive. More →

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New Sonic game showcases Xbox, Windows Phone integration [video]

By on March 16, 2012 at 7:35 PM.

New Sonic game showcases Xbox, Windows Phone integration [video]

Microsoft first discussed its “three screens and a cloud” gaming strategy in 2009, describing a scenario that could carry a single video game across a TV screen, a PC and a smartphone. Now, nearly three years later, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II counts itself among the first games to showcase this exciting integration. Owners of an Xbox 360 and a Windows Phone will be able to start a game on one device, pause, and pick up on the other device exactly where they left off. “One of the cool things about it is that the Windows Mobile 7 [sic] and the Xbox are going to be able to work in tandem in ways that are completely new,” Digital Grand Manager for Sonic 4: Episode II Ken Balough told Official Xbox Magazine in an interview. “So when you pick up the Windows Mobile 7 and you’ll be able to play Sonic Episode II, save it, stop, boot up your Xbox 360 and pick up right where you left off. And that’s a really cool thing Microsoft has going between the devices and I’m a huge fan of it.” The video interview with Balough follows below, and the conversation pertaining to the Xbox and Windows Phone can be heard shortly after the 4-minute mark. More →

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Video game publishers need to embrace different pricing models to survive, Nexon CEO says

By on March 15, 2012 at 6:40 PM.

Video game publishers need to embrace different pricing models to survive, Nexon CEO says

Nexon, the free-to-play gaming developer behind the hit game MapleStory, sees the traditional publishing model fading away. As game consoles become more advanced, video game budgets continue to increase and publishers are forced to charge consumers more for each game. But the $60 price tag associated with today’s games will simply not survive, Nexon America CEO Daniel Kim told GamesIndustry International. “I think at some point the console makers have to make a decision about how closed or open they’re going to be to the different models that are going to be emerging,” Kim said. “Today it’s free-to-play, and I’m convinced that one is going to continue to flourish and expand into other genres and other categories, but there may be something else completely and entirely different that comes out that again changes the industry.” Read on for more. More →

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Diablo III announced for May 15th, pre-orders now available

By on March 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM.

Diablo III announced for May 15th, pre-orders now available

Blizzard on Thursday announced that its highly anticipated follow-up to the hit game Diablo II will be available on May 15th. Digital copies of Diablo III can be pre-ordered starting Thursday for $59.99. The game’s story picks up twenty years after its predecessor, and a new generation of heroes must now face the forces of evil. Players will be able to choose from a barbarian, a monk, a demon hunter, a witch doctor and a wizard. Blizzard’s fast-paced hack and slash action role-playing game will be available at retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. The digital version will be available in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Brazil as well, but gamers in Latin American countries and Russia will have to wait until June 7th. Read on for Blizzard’s press release. More →

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The iPad could be the future of gaming

By on March 13, 2012 at 4:30 PM.

The iPad could be the future of gaming

With Friday’s release of the new iPad, Epic Games president Mike Capps has offered a huge amount of praise for Apple’s new tablet in the context of video games. “Apple is definitely building their devices as if they care a lot about ‘triple-A’ games,” said Capps, in an interview with Reuters. Only the highest-quality games are considered “triple-A” titles, most of which cost tens of millions of dollars to produce and are usually found on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Capps is trying to push console manufacturers to release more powerful devices in the hopes that they won’t be left behind. Read on for more. More →

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Video game sales continue to slide in February, Xbox still top console

By on March 9, 2012 at 11:00 PM.

Video game sales continue to slide in February, Xbox still top console

The video game industry continued to struggle in the United States last month as sales slid yet again according to market research firm The NPD Group. After dropping 34% year-over-year to $750.6 million in January, total video game hardware, software and accessory sales in the U.S. dipped to $1.06 billion in February, down 20% from the same period in 2011. Hardware sales dropped 18% to $381.4 million, software sales declined 23% to $464.4 million and accessory sales were down 16% to $215.2 million. “Outside of new physical retail sales, we estimate that the consumer spend on other methods to acquire content including used games, full game and add-on content downloads, social network games, mobile games, rentals and subscriptions accounted for an additional $550 – $600 million in sales, which would bring total content spend across both retail and these other spend methods to $1.0B-$1.1B for February,” NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier said. “Our official quarterly estimate of the total Q1 2012 consumer spend in these areas will be released in our Q1 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report in June.” Frazier noted that Microsoft’s Xbox was the best-selling hardware platform in February for the seventh straight month. NPD’s list of the top-10 best-selling software titles in February follows below. More →

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Nielsen: 56% of U.S. households own a current video game console

By on March 9, 2012 at 10:15 PM.

Nielsen: 56% of U.S. households own a current video game console

Over the last year, the total time spent playing video games increased 7% and purchases of digital content and subscriptions rose 8% according to a study from Nielsen. Over half of all households, 56%, owned at least one current-generation gaming console as of January 2012, an increase from 50% in 2011. Mobile, handheld and tablet gaming continues to grow as well, with 66% of households with kids between 6 and 12 years old owning a Nintendo DS or Sony PSP, while also owning an iOS device. More adults ages 25 through 34 play games on Android devices than on iOS devices, but iOS gaming is evenly distributed across the various age groups covered by the study. As for next-generation game consoles, four out of five gamers who own current-generation systems are interested in a future console. More →

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