Microsoft is hosting its XNA Gamefest conference in Seattle, and first news is coming in. Prepare yourself, it's big. First
of all, starting with today, all Games for Windows - LIVE multiplayer
services are completely free. Achievements, TruSkill matchaking,
cross-platform play with Xbox 360 (on cross-platform games, such as Champions Online)
- all of the features that went with GfW – LIVE Gold service became
free. This is a logical move, since users of PC platform pay for
operating system, while owners of Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles get their
operating system for free (well not exactly free, but it’s integrated
into the price).
After a very rocky start, Sony is now much more optimistic about the
sales potential of its game console: Sony hopes the PS3 will outsell
the PS2 eventually.
Most of E3 was pretty ho hum, but D-BOX, a small company from
Quebec, showed us what can only be described as "rocking chairs on
stereoids". D-BOX is not the first company to offer interactive racing
or flying seats, but products we tested offered quite a compelling
Legendary software publisher, Apogee, is coming back from the grave
with a vengeance. Apogee owns or co-owns a lot of heroes from the 1980s
and 1990s and the company now looks to develop new versions or remakes
of titles from the dawn of gaming and the first one will be Duke Nukem
Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Dark Knight set several new box office
records during its opening weekend: The latest Batman movie had the
biggest opening day, the biggest opening weekend and drove overall
Hollywood box office weekend sales of the top 12 titles above a quarter of a
billion dollars for the first time.
While World of Warcraft is the biggest MMORPG on the market, many
players are a bit tired of the traditional hack and slash grind.
Furthermore, life at level 70 can be a bit boring at times – sure you
can get money and gear, but there really isn't that much difference
between having 5000 gold or 100,000 gold, especially when you already
own everything else. Now Blizzard Entertainment has announced the
addition of achievements to the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King
As part of its "video everywhere" strategy, Sony plans to marry
Internet-equipped Bravia HDTVs with Amazon's new video-on-demand
service to fight off increasing pressure from set-top box vendors. It
is another try to convince consumers of the benefits of video-on-demand
(VoD). No matter how you look at it, VoD looks like a matter of time
and the days of your local video store may be counted. Even the
recently more and more visible video kiosks may be sailing into an
After listening for years that games are mostly played by teens,
Entertainment Software Association came forward today and released
their annual booklet of facts. The booklet titled "Essential Facts
About the Computer and Video Game Industry in 2008" is 14 mind-numbing
pages filled with facts about the US video game industry – and some of
those facts are definite eye-openers.
2K is bringing back a serious blast from the
past, Colonization from 1994. Under the name Civilization IV:
Colonization, the game will use the Civilization IV Gamebryo engine
which means low hardware demands and a lot of strategic thinking. The
game features several nations to colonize and manage, but the basic
premise remains the same: pick your race, territory and begin to create
PC and Xbox 360 gamers have typically stayed on
their respective platforms, but an upcoming MMO game from Take-Two
Interactive promises to change all that. he future of entertainment
lies in crossover titles that join gaming platforms together. If there
was any doubt, take a look at latest title from developers of
well-known City of Heroes/City of Villains MMO series.
Opinion – Earlier this week, Microsoft and Netflix announced that movie
streaming will be coming to the Xbox 360. This could be a big deal. But
if you are really interested in watching Netflix content on your Xbox,
you don’t have to wait and you don’t have to pay twice. If you have an
Xbox 360 and a Windows Vista PC, you have everything you need to stream
Netflix movies already.
World of Warcraft players now have some extra tools to help
them put down their virtual crack pipes. Yesterday, an update to WoW
added time displays and alarms that warn players when they have
exceeded their allotted playing time. Unfortunately, or fortunately
for truly addicted players, the alarms have no real consequences
because they are a simple ‘DING’ sound and some optional text.
The game console market is getting more interesting: Following
Microsoft’s time-limited price cut of the Xbox 360 Premium, Sony has
announced an upgrade of its 40 GB console to 80 GB, which could be
interpreted as a permanent price cut of the flagship 80 GB Playstation
3, despite the loss of PS2 compatibility. The decision between an Xbox
360 and a PS3 is now much less a question of cost, but a question of
how much the Xbox’ entertainment features or the PS3’s Blu-ray drive
are worth to you.
Nintendo literally rocked the house at their E3
press conference with music, games and even some stuffy business apps
for the DS handheld. In what has become a typical E3 scene, Nintendo
President Satoru Iwata and legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto
were treated as the demigods of the gaming industry by the audience at
the Kodak Theater in Hollywood California. The pair, along with
Nintendo of America’s President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime, slammed home
the message that Nintendo, the Wii and the DS aren’t fads and they
certainly have the marketing numbers to prove it.
We have our doubts about Microsoft’s Xbox 360 strategy, which, in our
opinion, lacks focus. But we cannot deny that the company has just made
a brilliant move. Top-level Xbox Live subscribers, who are also Netflix
subscribers, will be able to stream Netflix content through the console
with no additional cost. Well, at least sort of. Could the Xbox 360
become what the Windows Media Center PC should have been? Absolutely.
Microsoft says its Xbox 360 will eventually outsell both the
PlayStation 3 globally. Speaking at its Xbox press conference at the
E3 gaming conference, Microsoft’s senior vice president of
entertainment, Don Mattrick, said the Xbox 360 hardware was in
“fantastic shape”. He touted the consoles impressive installed base in
the United States and made an interesting prediction.