Rockstar announced today that it plans to launch a new website called "Social Club" that will allow users to connect and share content in an environment centered around the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV. Social Club will later be expanded to include communities for other Rockstar games, but the initial features will be things like a dynamic map that shows where all registered users are, online leaderboards, and a GTA IV hall of fame.
Sony has issued a statement warning Playstation 3 users that a "small percentage" of online accounts may have been compromised due to an attack on the database that allowed a hacker to change user passwords. Sony said it is directly contacting individual users who are believed to have been affected. According to the statement, immediate measures were taken to fix the vulnerability manipulated by the hacker.
The board of directors at Take Two Interactive has officially rejected the $2 billion takeover bid from Electronic Arts, saying it undervalued the company and is not the right time to consider such an acquisition. EA offered Take Two $26 per share earlier this month, offering a premium of more than 10% of the stock price at the time. That began a series of trepidations between the two companies.
Best Buy is apparently aiming for a quick transition to Blu-ray, as a
reader has informed us that select Best Buy stores have begun get rid
of their HD DVD movies with massive price cuts. Other Best Buy stores
apparently are not even trying to sell HD DVDs anymore and are sending
the movies back to publishers.
In an effort to turn around a declining music business, Sony-BMG is
currently in discussions to offer a flatrate-based music download
service. In an interview with a German newspaper, CEO Rolf
Schmidt-Holtz mentioned that such a service could debut this year for a
price between $9 and $12 per month.
In the end, it was not the adult film industry that decided the
high-definition format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD. However, this
segment faces appears to be taking a lead role in the promotion of high
definition as DVD sales are down dramatically and customers apparently
are shifting to Blu-ray quickly. The new format opens new opportunities
for large studios, but will bring massive challenges for smaller
companies in the business, Digital Playground co-founder Joone told TG
French video game company Ubisoft has bought all
intellectual property rights to the Tom Clancy name. Clancy was paid
an undisclosed lump sum and will also receive annual payments over the
next two years.
The Playstation 3 is likely to retain its reputation as the most popular playback platform for Blu-ray content as Sony announced that owners of the console will “soon” be able to upgrade to firmware version 2.20 which will add Blu-ray Disc Profile 2.0 support as well as improved interoperability with the Playstation Portable (PSP).
Steam content distribution platform just became THE
800-pound gorilla in the world of digital distribution. Valve just
announced that Epic Games signed with Steam, making this three out of
three for founders of FPS gaming.
A weekend spent in Hollywood can greatly help to learn about trends in
the Consumer Electronics industry. Of course, Blu-ray was one of the
main discussion topics and if you are currently frustrated about the
high prices for players and movies, you may see much lower price tags
The PS3 had one of its best months in February, selling over 280,000 units. That barely edges out the Xbox 360's sales numbers, but is only around half of the number of Wii units sold in the same time period. In February, NPD reports that the Wii was unsurprisingly the top console seller, reaching 432,000 units. The PS3's 280,800 units put it in the number two spot, with the Xbox 360 reaching 254,600 units.
During its quarterly conference, executives of 2K
announced BioShock 2 and finally answered rumors of its sequel to the
2007 mega-hit, BioShock. Three months ago, a new game development studio called 2K Marin opened
its doors, and it was rumored that they are working on a sequel to
BioShock. At the same time, the destiny of the 2K Boston/Australia team
was uncertain, since head of 2K Boston, Ken Levine was stating that he
is going to work on a sequel.
Earlier this year, Take Two Interactive rejected a buyout offer from Electronic Arts, and now a T2 stock owner is suing for not maximizing shareholders' equity. EA offered Take Two a substantial premium over the company's current market value to buy the video game publisher outright. However, Take Two said it was the wrong place and the wrong time to consider such an offer, and tried to keep negotiations secret.
Game Review - If you own a Wii, you need to run out and buy a copy of Super Smash Bros Brawl. It is one of the greatest Nintendo games of all time. When Super Smash Bros was released on the Nintendo 64, it was really the first of its kind - bring together a bunch of characters from different games in an environment none of them had even been in before. It was an intoxicating formula that only Nintendo has been able to perfect.
Interacting with avatars in a virtual world may soon
change dramatically: Researchers are trying to find ways to create
lifelike synthetic characters, which act just like humans and would
make it difficult for players to determine whether they are dealing
with a real or simulated person. Scientists from the Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute claim that have completed a critical first step,
injecting Eddie, a virtual character with the reasoning abilities of a
4-year old child into Second Life.
OCZ's Neural Impulse Actuator (NIA) could become one of the most
sought after computing peripherals this year. So far, the price of the
device was somewhat a mystery, with estimates ranging from £99.99 to
$299 – more than what you would currently would pay for Nintendo’s Wii
console (if you can get one). It turns out that OCZ will bring the NIA
for $159 to the U.S., TG Daily has learned.
Dozens of Gamestop stores in Ohio, Kentucky, and neighboring states
have canceled their midnight openings and local round one tournament
competitions for Super Smash Bros Brawl due to a nasty late-winter
storm. In Columbus, Ohio, every single GameStop location in a six- to
seven-county area decided to cancel the event after a total of over 20
inches of snow fell over the past two days, a new record. Many
locations were not even open for regular business hours today as the
city received its first blizzard warning in over 12 years.
While Microsoft as a company has played a major role in high
definition home media, it is not really concerned with how that will
play out in the Xbox 360 market. Aaron Greenberg, group
product manager for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, told TG Daily that although
HD DVD's demise is unfortunate, it does "not at all" affect the
console's position as an entertainment center.As we’ve long
stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360
continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most
exclusives and best selling games in the industry. Market data shows
that HD movie playback is not a primary purchase driver for consumers
buying video game consoles," said Greenberg.
Rockstar said today that it is aware of serious problems in the Xbox
360 game Bully: Scholarship Edition and that it is working "to resolve
these issues as quickly as possible." Players have recently
flocked to message boards and Rockstar customer support to complain
about the game randomly freezing and losing save data, as well as
rampant audio/video problems.
Valve has begun releasing statistics for its Steam service, which currently reaches more than 15 million subscribers and has grown into one of the major game distribution platforms. Other than you might expect, it isn’t the Bioshock & Co bunch that is dominating the Steam charts.