Apple’s unveiling of the new iPad overshadowed plenty of big news on Wednesday, and Epic Games’s unveiling of a brand new Unreal Engine 3 feature reel is something we couldn’t let slip through the cracks. The popular lab took to the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday to show off the latest features of its Unreal Engine 3, the latest version of Epic’s popular platform. Shown in the reel is a small sampling of what developers can accomplish with the latest version of Unreal Engine, and the engine supports game development across Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Game samples for each of the aforementioned platforms are shown off in Epic’s video, which follows below. More →
Nintendo on Tuesday announced that it has sold 4.5 million 3DS units in the handset’s first year of U.S. availability. Sales thus far have outpaced Nintendo’s original DS, which sold 2.3 million units in the U.S. during its first 12 months. Since launching last March, the 3DS has reached over 100 titles with over 9 million games sold, accounting for over $1.2 billion in total sales. “Nintendo 3DS closes its first year with a lengthy list of accomplishments but we’re still just scratching the surface,” said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. “With a massive lineup of first- and third-party games and more on the way, a budding library of entertainment options and an engaged and growing installed base, Nintendo 3DS has an incredibly bright future. We’re just getting started but this platform is built for the long haul.” Read on for Nintendo’s press release. More →
One of the most beloved video games in history has been refreshed in a new mashup that gaming fans of all shapes and sizes need to download immediately. The title is “Mari0″ and simply stated, it’s Super Mario Brothers meets Portal. Game developer Maurice Guegan is the man behind Mari0, and he built the title from the ground up. It features a start to finish recreation of Nintendo’s original Super Mario Brothers game, adds a portal gun that shoots portals through which Mario can travel as in the popular PC game “Portal,” and mixes in a 4-player cooperative mode along with several additional features. The result is an addictive game that does a better job adding a new twist to an old classic than anything we’ve seen in recent history. Mari0 is free and open source, and it is available immediately for Windows, OS X and Linux PCs. A trailer video follows below, as does a link to a download that will ensure your Monday is completely unproductive. More →
Last month, Capcom announced that the sixth installment of the company’s Resident Evil series would launch for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 20th, with a PC version coming soon after. Details surrounding the game were few and far between, however Capcom previously announced that Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield would join forces in a world where bioterrorist attacks have turned everyone into a zombie. According to Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Capcom has now confirmed that the undead will be able to run and use firearms, and they are not infected with the T-virus but something else entirely. To survive the hordes of next-generation zombies, characters will have the ability to run and shoot simultaneously, quick-turn, roll, dive, take cover and use melee combat. Executive producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi confirmed in the publication that number six is not a return to the franchise’s roots, instead taking the best elements of the fourth and fifth installments and adding more horror. The video trailer for Resident Evil 6 follows below. More →
Angry Birds for Facebook has launched one day ahead of schedule according to NewsCore. The wildly popular game has been in development for more than a year and was supposed to make its debut Tuesday. Instead, the hotly anticipated title launched late on Monday. The Facebook variant features the same game play as the original mobile app along with added social components, new power-ups and exclusive new levels. The game itself is free to play, with a 20-use power up costing $1. Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 500 million times and is reportedly played by 130 million individuals on a daily basis. More →
Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox will use controllers that have “an HD screen surrounded by the traditional 360 buttons and sticks,” according to Xbox World Magazine. The magazine claims Microsoft’s tablet-like controller will have shape closer to Sony’s PS Vita than Wii U’s “bulky unit”. The next Xbox “will be a matte-black media hub with a mission to bring games to life in your living room with augmented reality, directional sound, and a four-player, finger-tracking Kinect.” The new controller will apparently also be used as a remote control when watching TV, a browser for the Internet or for extra buttons while playing a game. Earlier rumors suggest that the next generation console may be six times more powerful than the current Xbox, however it is not expected to launch this year. The publication speculates that the console could be priced over $600. “Microsoft are playing it safe with the CPU and GPU but running wild with the functions that will change how you play, but it won’t be cheap,” the site claimed.
Guinness World Records recently polled 13,519 gamers in search of the greatest video game ending of all time. When the dust cleared, a winner was revealed — Call of Duty: Black Ops. The popular first-person shooter was released last year and went on to become one of the best-selling video game of all time. Second place went to the popular Xbox-exclusive Halo: Reach, the 13-year old The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time came in third, and God of War and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 rounded out the top five. “Everyone has an opinion on how to end a game whether it’s an epic boss fight, a clever plot twist or a 90-minute movie,” Guinness World Records gaming editor Gaz Deaves said. “This list recognizes some of the greatest endings and hopefully will get gamers talking about what are their favorites and why.” Read on for the full list. More →
Sales of video game hardware and software in the United States plummeted last month according to new data from market research firm The NPD Group. The firm’s January figures suggest that sales of video game hardware fell 38% to $199.5 million, down from $324 million in January 2011. Video game software sales slid 38% as well in January, falling to $355.9 million, and sales of accessories in the U.S. dropped 18% year-on-year to $195.2 million. Total industry sales were down 34% to $750.6 million. “January retail performance experienced steep declines with a lack of software launches, and poor Hardware and Accessory performance partly related to bad comps from Kinect-related success in Jan’11,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “Outside of new physical retail sales, we estimate that the consumer spend on other ways 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 $350 – $400 million in sales.” Callahan noted that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the best-selling console for the sixth consecutive month in January, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was the top-selling software title. A complete list of NPD’s top-10 games for the month follows below. More →
Owners of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch can now enjoy a remake of the first-ever PC game, co-written by Bill Gates himself, which came pre-installed on several IBM computers in 1981. First released late last month, XVision’s DONKEY.BAS is a terrific recreation of the PC game by the same name. Players control a race car as it advances up the screen. Donkeys repeatedly come into view, and the simple goal is to switch lanes before colliding with any curious creatures. “We did this game as a tribute to the original,” XVision founder Johnny Ixe told BGR, noting that the firm added a number of new features to the game in order to distinguish it from the original. The spirit of the game remains, however, and gamers looking for a bit of nostalgia would be hard-pressed to find a better blast from the past. DONKEY.BAS is available now in the App Store for $0.99. More →
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple on Thursday that reveals a 3D eye-tracking-based interface that could be used for gaming, digital photography and videography in future iOS and iMac devices, reports PatentlyApple. The new features could work in conjunction with Apple’s current 3D head tracking and ambient light technologies. The solution would utilize a variety of sensors such as an accelerometer and compass in combination with eye-tracking technology to alter the perspective of 3D graphics displayed on an iPhone. The result would be a 3D experience that constantly adjusts to the user’s position and a device’s position, creating a unique experience far more advanced and precise than current solutions. The patent application was originally filed in the third quarter of 2010 and it is unclear if Apple is currently experimenting with the technology.
An Oklahoma lawmaker has proposed levying a new tax on violent video games. Oklahoma Democrat Will Fourkiller has suggested the tax be applied to all games that receive an ESRB rating, which is intended for adults only. In addition, Fourkiller thinks T-Rated games should also have a tax added to the cost of the games, since some include “simulated gambling.” But a tax on all T-Rated games would be too broad, Ars Technica points out, as there are also titles that are rated T for “cartoon violence, crude humor and suggestive themes.” Read on for more. More →
Apple has hired a former marketing executive from Microsoft to help promote the App Store and iTunes in Europe, MCV reports. Robin Burrowes, former head of Xbox LIVE marketing in the EMEA region for Microsoft, joined Apple in January according to his LinkedIn profile. His formal duties at Apple remain unclear — Burrowes’s profile only states that his role involves “App Store Marketing” — but the executive’s background suggests gaming will be a strong focus. Apple has hired a number of executives with experience in the gaming market recently, including Nintendo’s former head of public relations Robert Saunders and former Activision, EA and Xbox PR head Nick Grange. The video game industry finds itself among a number of businesses that have been disrupted by Apple’s iOS lineup, and the company’s recent hires suggest that Apple intends to continue pushing the gaming capabilities of its mobile device lineup. More →
Microsoft will reportedly not launch the highly anticipated follow-up to the Xbox 360 this year. Cedrick Delma, Microsoft’s marketing director in France, recently told Le Point that he was “certain” the Redmond-based company would not release a new Xbox this year. Gamers shouldn’t give up all hope on at least getting a glimpse at Microsoft’s next-generation console this year, though. BGR exclusively reported last June that Microsoft has plans to unveil its Xbox 360 successor during this year’s E3 gaming show in Los Angeles. A few Microsoft patents recently suggested that the “Xbox 720″ might double as a set-top box complete with DVR functionality, and a rumor last week also suggested that the new console will be six times more powerful than the Xbox 360. More →