Microsoft woos amateur games developers

Saving TV advertising the TiVo way

Nintendo sorry for lackluster E3, hardcore 'misunderstanding'

Microsoft Games for Windows LIVE multiplayer features now free

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).

Sony gets more aggressive, sets 150 million unit target for PS3

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.

The best thing we saw at E3 – D-BOX’s rocking chair on steroids

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 experience.

Blast from the past: Apogee announces Duke Nukem trilogy

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 Trilogy.

Update: The Dark Knight shatters box office records

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.

Dark Knight tickets selling for $100+ on eBay and Craigslist

World of Warcraft adding achievements to woo bored players

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 Expansion.

Sony and Amazon team up to deliver video everywhere

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 uncertain future.

ESA reveals An Inconvenient Truth about the gaming industry

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.

PicoPC offers Windows XP embedded in home theater setting

2K bringing back 1994's Colonization

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 a nation.

PC and Xbox 360 players battle in new Take-Two MMO

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.

What Microsoft does not want you to know about Netflix streaming

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 update adds addiction curbing alarms

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.

Redmond, we have a problem: Sony just cut the price of the PS3

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 rocks the house at E3, touts console and handheld supremacy

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.

Netflix coming to your Xbox 360

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.