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18 December 2012
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Korean StarCraft II players Kim "Heart" Min Hyuk and Yang "Alicia" Joon Sik are expected to both sign contracts for 2013 with new team Axiom Gaming, sources have told GameSpot.
The move comes on the heels of Complexitys release of Heart earlier today, one month prior to his contract ending. The additions of Alicia and Heart would bring the Axiom roster to five, one player short of the necessary six players to join the GomTV Global StarCraft II Team League, which has been an expressed goal for the team.
It is rumored that Axiom may work out a deal with Acer to allow MMA to play as the teams sixth player for GSTL. Axiom owners Genna Bain and John Totalbiscuit Bain have confirmed they will be purchasing a team house in Korea for the players, with Genna Bain heading to Korea on January 10.
Heart currently lives with Axiom players Choi "CranK" Jae Won, Jun "Miya" Jong Bum, and Kim "Ryung" Dong Won, along with team Acers Mun "MMA" Seong Won, and is said to have a strong bond with fellow roommates. Alicia, a former teammate of Crank, Ryung, Miya, and MMA on Team Slayers, has been teamless since the team
Microsoft has offered a glimpse into what the future of gaming may look like. The company's Research team has detailed on its website a visual IllumiRoom system that combines the virtual and physical worlds using a Kinect camera.
As shown in the video below (which does not use any special effects), the system can alter the appearance of a room, trigger apparent motion, and extend a field of view, all in the name of enabling new gameplay experiences.
IllumiRoom uses the features and geometry of a room, captured by Kinect, to alter the projected visuals in real-time. A custom pre-process arrangement is not necessary.
The technology is currently in a proof-of-concept stage, and it is not clear if Microsoft plans to incorporate the technology into the Xbox 360 or its
Bethesda may soon have news to share for Fallout fans. Voice actor Erik Todd Dellums, who performed the role of Three Dog in
"To all my #Fallout3 and #ThreeDog fans: There may be more of the Dog coming! Fingers crossed!," Dellums wrote, noting he was given permission to make the announcement.
Bethesda has not announced any new Fallout games, and a company representative was not immediately available to comment.
A rumor from August 2012 suggested
The most recent Fallout title was 2010's
The home console and game-specific portable markets are here to stay. That's according to Sony CEO Kaz Hirai, who told The Verge in a new interview from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show that Sony is keen to continue investing in both markets, despite what the
"I think that based on the consumer feedback that we've been getting, there is certainly a very large segment of the video game market that is interested in playing immersive games on a game-specific device, as opposed to playing casual games on smartphones," Hirai said of the PlayStation Vita. "There is certainly a market for that as well, but again, there's that market where the physical buttons and the controls are very important for that intuitive and intricate gameplay control."
Of the home console business, Hirai was similarly enthusiastic. "Between that and also the home-based consoles as well, those aren't going to go away anytime soon," he said.
The PS Vita has sold
According to the statistics published on the Kickstarter website, 2.2 million contributors pledged $320 million on over 18,000 different projects in 2012. Video games won the biggest share in donations, receiving $83 million. Within the gaming realm, which encompasses all platforms including mobile, 561,000 backers contributed $83 million to 2,796 submitted projects, though only 911 managed to reach the set target of donations--around a 30 percent success rate.
The game gleaning the most contributions was Tim Schafer's upcoming
Launched in 2009, the Kickstarter platform exists to fund independent creative projects via public donations. While the platform is used to finance ventures in various categories, including music, film, art and theatre, last years biggest category was games, attracting the largest amount in donations, and music, which had the most projects funded.
Southington, Conn. community leaders announced today that they have canceled
"We succeeded in our program. Our mission was to create strong awareness in Southington for parents and families and citizens and children. And we accomplished that," spokesperson Dick Fortunato said. "Our other objective was to promote discussion of violent video games and media with children and with the families at the home. And we've accomplished that in spades. So we deemed it became unnecessary to have the physical return on Saturday of violent games. Also because it would create an unnecessary amount of logistical details for us."
Announced last week, the event would have seen volunteers assemble at the Southington Drive-In on January 12 to accept any video games, CDs, or DVDs parents or children wished to get rid of. These games would have been destroyed, and each family would have received a gift certificate to a local restaurant, the Lake Compounce amusement park, or a bowling alley.
The idea was conceived just weeks after the December 14 schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Conn, which left 20 children and six adults dead. Southington is a 35-minute drive from Newtown.
Discussion around violent games, and other forms of media, has taken off since the deadly shooting last month. Earlier today, New Jersey governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) said on national television that
Additionally, National Rifle Association vice president Wayne LaPierre said at a press conference last month that violent video games like Bulletstorm and Mortal Kombat were
Earlier in December, West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller
What's more, US Vice President Joe Biden will
En Masse Entertainment's massively multiplayer online role-playing game Tera is going free-to-play next month when it re-launches at Tera: Rising. The new version of the game will not require a subscription fee and new players will not face any content restrictions or a level cap.
Though Tera: Rising will be available to play for free, players can use real-world money to purchase various items on an a la carte basis from the in-game marketplace.
Past and current Tera subscribers will be awarded permanent "founder" status, which carries numerous exclusive privileges. Those who pay $15 per month for "Elite" status will be granted extra dungeon rewards, 10 bonus quests per day, a daily delivery of items and boosts, an elite mount, in-game store discounts, and waived brokerage registration taxes.
A detailed breakdown of Free-versus-Founder-versus-Elite status benefits can be found at the official Tera website.
To coincide with the free-to-play business model switch for Tera, new in-game content will be made available. This includes a wave-based dungeon called the Crucible of Flame and a PvP battleground map called Champions' Skyring that "introduces a new way for players to test their skills against each other."
Tera is the latest MMO to drop its subscription fee, following
Zumba Fitness publisher Majesco Entertainment has enacted a round of major staff layoffs at its Brockhampton, United Kingdom branch, GamesIndustry International reports. No official word has come from the publisher yet and inquiries to the company have not been returned.
This news follows the reported closure of Majesco's social game studio in Foxboro, Massachusetts last week. That studio reportedly employed around 13 developers, though Majesco has yet to confirm this studio closure.
Earlier this week, Majesco announced a new partnership with Disney Interactive that will see the company developing a game based on cartoon Phineas and Ferb. The project is due out in August 2013 for retail consoles and gaming portables like smartphones and tablets.
Majesco will report its fiscal fourth quarter and full year earnings Monday, January 14 where more information regarding recent developments may be discussed.
Reducing gun violence in the United States will take a comprehensive effort that includes parents discussing violent video games with their children. Speaking to CBS This Morning today, Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie said he forbids violent games from entering his household.
"We've got to talk about violence in these video games," Christie said. "I have four kids at home; I don't allow Call of Duty or these other [violent] games in. We have to start talking about that as parents."
Talking about gun control is not enough, Christie added. He said the subject of mental illness, which carries a stigma in the US, must also be discussed in the wake of last month's deadly elementary school shooting in Newton, Conn.
"You look at what happened in Connecticut; that young man was obviously mentally ill," Christie said. "He needed to be getting treatment, and I think there's such a stigma about mental illness and mental illness treatment in our country because we don't talk about it. It's an illness just like anything else."
In addition to addressing violent games and mental illness, Christie said if gun violence in the US is to be reduced, substance abuse and its link to violence must be put under the microscope. The governor pointed out that a woman in Camden, NJ decapitated her infant child and then killed herself when she was high on crack.
"So talk about all of it," Christie said. "I think we need to do things in all four of those categories."
Violent video games have been the subject of much discussion following the schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut last month that left 20 children and six adults dead. NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre
West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller also entered the discussion when he
Additionally, US Vice President Joe Biden will
Biden will also meet with representatives from the NRA, victims' groups, hunting groups, and gun owners to discuss possible policy changes to reduce gun violence, including proposed legislation to ban assault rifles.
MLB 2K13 will be on store shelves March 5 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, 2K Sports announced today. The game's existence had been in question, as 2K Sports parent publisher Take-Two Interactive's deal with Major League Baseball was reportedly due to expire at the end of 2012.
According to today's announcement, Take-Two has reached a new agreement with Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Terms of this deal were not disclosed.
Wed like to thank our league partners for their support in helping us reach an agreement to bring back MLB 2K, said 2K Sports vice president of marketing Jason Argent in a statement.
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price was chosen as the cover athlete for MLB 2K13. Price was the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner, posting a 20-5 record and a league-topping 2.56 ERA.
Also returning for MLB 2K13 is the Perfect Game Challenge, which carries a $1 million cash prize. This year, a new contest format will be introduced with "exciting ways to win." These were not detailed, though 2K Sports said additional details on the contest will be announced later. The Perfect Game Challenge is not open to those in Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, North Dakota, or Vermont.
MLB 2K13 is in development at Novato, California-based Visual Concepts.
In a note to investors today, Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz estimated United States sales for Far Cry 3 in December totaled 850,000 units. Creutz pointed out that as is normal for the month of December, Far Cry 3 was the only major release for the month.
Creutz also today offered a prediction for the NPD Group's December industry sales report, which will be released tomorrow. He expects overall sales to slide, with software sales diving 20 percent year-on-year and total packaged game sales dipping 21 percent.
Creutz said he expects the most precipitous year-over-year drop to come in the retail PC games category, which he said will fall 51 percent.
Though the present may look bleak, the future is bright, Creutz said. A rebound is expected over the next 12 months due to the expected launch of new consoles from Microsoft and Sony during the
Gamers should expect to see more advertisements on Xbox Live in the time ahead. Microsoft announced this week that its first wave of NUads (short for "natural user-interface ads"), which rolled out during fall 2012, have been highly successful and additional investment in this space is planned.
According to Microsoft, 37 percent of viewers engaged in some way with NUads when prompted with the option to vote. Out of this 37 percent, 71 percent actually voted in a poll. Additionally, 97 percent of those participants saw their vote included in a final tally of votes.
Microsoft general manager of Xbox Live entertainment and advertising Ross Honey claimed the company's NUads have "redefined the 30-second spot." He said that though traditional TV's 30-second spot has not changed much since the 1930s, NUads offer an unprecedented level of consumer engagement.
"These results show that NUads is a real breakthrough in TV advertising, and you can expect more investment from us when it comes to this new ad format and video advertising in general," Honey said in a statement.
Microsoft's NUads launched last year featuring ads from major companies like Subway and Toyota.
Windows 8 has crossed a new milestone. Windows chief marketing officer and chief financial officer Tami Reller has announced that Windows 8 has sold 60 million licenses to date. She broke the news during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show and Microsoft provided greater detail in a blog post to its website.
According to Microsoft, the 60 million Windows 8 license sales represents cumulative sales of upgrades and sales to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for new devices. Notably, the company said Windows 8 is seeing a "similar sales trajectory" to Windows 7.
Windows 8 launched in October 2012 and sold
Peripheral maker Razer just this week confirmed release plans for its
Valve CEO Gabe Newell has shed some light on Valve's own plans towards the much-anticipated Steam Box, confirming that the beloved publisher intends to make its own device, but that third-party vendors will also be invited to create their own Steam-capable hardware.
In an interview with The Verge, Newell confirmed
Newell also spoke of Valve's plans to create low-latency controllers with biometric input, and that Valve's eventual device--which has the current codename of "Bigfoot" inside Valve--will function as a home server that can broadcast to multiple displays.
"The Steam Box will also be a server," said Newell. "Any PC can serve multiple monitors, so over time, the next-generation (post-Kepler) you can have one GPU thats serving up eight simultaneous game calls. So you could have one PC and eight televisions and eight controllers and everybody getting great performance out of it. Were used to having one monitor, or two monitors - now were saying let's expand that a little bit."
Following on from
"So, Good are like these very low-cost streaming solutions that youre going to see that are using Miracast or [Nvidia's] Grid. I think were talking about in-home solutions where youve got low latency. 'Better' is to have a dedicated CPU and GPU and thats the one thats going to be controlled. Not because our goal is to control it; its been surprisingly difficult when we say to people 'dont put an optical media drive in there' and they put an optical media drive in there and youre like 'that makes it hotter, that makes it more expensive, and it makes the box bigger.' Go ahead. You can always sell the Best box, and those are just whatever those guys want to manufacture."
And Valve's position on all this, according to Newell? "Let's build a thing thats quiet and focuses on high performance and quiet and appropriate form factors."
The Sims 3 series will have new content this year. EA's Maxis label has announced additional expansions for the PC and Mac versions of the game, including
The Sims 3: University Life is expected to be available from March this year, and will allow players to enrol their Sims in university, attend classes, earn degrees and experience college lifestyle. In addition to new gameplay elements, players can also take their Sims through a new college town to explore new features.
The announcement also revealed a limited edition pack that is available for pre-order, which includes a party pack with additional in-game items.
The Sims 3: Island Paradise will allow players to take their Sims out on customisable houseboats and investigate uncharted islands, manage resorts, and explore the ocean. The expansion is slated for release in June this year.
In addition to the new games, EA has also revealed an untitled expansion pack that will grant Sims the ability to travel to the future, and a stuff pack featuring iconic movie themes and settings. Both untitled games are expected to be released this year.
The expansions and stuff packs will require The Sims 3 for PC/Mac to play. For more on the core game, check out GameSpot's review of The Sims 3.
US Vice President Joe Biden is set to meet with video game industry leaders this week to discuss the link between violent video games and gun violence as part of a wider task force into gun control measures.
The task force, formed by President Barack Obama in response to last month's mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, is aimed at coming with solutions for curbing gun violence in the United States.
According to Reuters, the White House has confirmed that Biden will also meet with representatives from the National Rifle Association (NRA), victims' groups, hunting groups, and gun owners to discuss possible policy changes to reduce gun violence, including proposed legislation to ban assault rifles.
Biden will reportedly meet with representatives of both the entertainment and video game industries to specifically investigate the role of violent media--including films and video games--in mass shootings. The task force is also set to look at access to mental health and disability services, and meet with parent, teacher, and education groups.
Obama has ordered the task force to report back by the end of January, ahead of the annual State of the Union address.
An NRA spokesman confirmed to Reuters that the group's top lobbyist, James J Baker, will attend Biden's task force meeting on Thursday this week.
Last month, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre
West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller also entered the discussion when he
The line-up for this year's Evolution fighting game tournament (or Evo 2K13) has been announced.
According to a recent livestream on Wakeup SRK's Twitch channel featuring EVO lead organizer Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar, the games that will be on the tournament are Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Mortal Kombat (2011 version), Street Fighter X Tekken, The King of Fighters XIII, and Persona 4: Arena.
TTT 2 and Persona 4: Arena are the new titles, while the rest are returning from last year's tournament. Unlike last year's tournament, Street Fighter X Tekken will be a one-on-one tournament instead of teams of two.
In addition, an eighth game will be added and will be decided by the community via donation votes. The games on the player's choice voting poll are Capcom vs. SNK 2, Dead or Alive 5, Divekick, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core +R, Injustice, Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code, MLP: Fighting is Magic, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Skullgirls, Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The qualifier tournaments in North America, dubbed the Road to Evo 2013 tournaments, will be SoCal Regionals, NorCal Regionals, UFGT, and CEO. The seeding points system has also been changed for this year's tournament. According to Shoryuken.com, the top 16 players for each of the qualifier tournaments will get a seed point each. At the end of the season, the organizers at Evo 2k13 will manually assign seeds to all seeded players. The international Road to Evo events will be announced soon.
Evo 2k13 will be held at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on July 12 to 14.
Revolution for Black Ops II adds four new maps (Downhill, Hydro, Mirage, Grind) for the game's multiplayer component, as well as a new Zombies map called Die Rise. In addition, the content ushers in a new game mode called Turned, in which players can compete against one another as a zombie.
Lastly, the Revolution expansion for Black Ops II brings a bonus multiplayer weapon called the Peacekeeper, which features its own set of weapon challenges. The DLC will be made available for other platforms at a later date.
To see the Revolution content in action, check out the video below.
Konami and UnitedHealthcare today announced a joint initiative aimed at reducing childhood obesity through a new version of DanceDanceRevolution called the Classroom Edition.
The game and its associated hardware was developed by Performance Designed Products and allows up to 48 students to simultaneously participate in a dance session by using mat controllers. These mats are outfitted with a "smart card reader" that tracks an individual student's progress.
Teachers will receive information about students' health including number of steps taken during a particular song, body mass index, and caloric burn rate. A song list for the DDR Classroom Edition was not announced, and a Konami representative was not immediately available to comment.
DDR Classroom Edition has been launched in three schools already, including those in Longwood, Florida; Gainesville, Georgia; and Fresno, Texas. The game will also be folded into the "Activate for Kids" school wellness program, which is run by UnitedHealthcare and the United Health Foundation throughout Florida, Georgia, and Texas.
Today at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, peripheral maker Razer renamed its Windows 8 "
The base version, which will retail for $1000, runs on Windows 8 and includes a 10.1 inch touchscreen, an Intel Core i5 chip, a NVIDIA GT 640M GPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 64GB solid state drive. The $1,300 Pro model features a faster Core i7 chip, 8GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB SSD.
Both versions include a front-facing 2MP high-definition camera and will be available sometime during Q1 (January-March 2013).
Various peripherals for the Razer Edge will also be available upon launch later this year. Most relevant to gamers is the Gamepad controller, which is now an optional feature for the device. This add-on (pictured above) features two controllers with backlit action buttons and analog sticks. This peripheral will retail for $250.
Other peripherals available for the Razer Edge are a keyboard dock ($200), docking station ($100) , extended battery pack ($50), and a 65 watt power adapter ($50).