Company does away with $800 base cost
Unity has announced that its mobile game development tools are now free to use for smaller developers. The Unity platform is popular amongst iOS and Android developers, but its creator previously charged $800 to publish a game to the App Store or Google Play. Under the new rules, that barrier has been lifted.
Both 15.6 and 17.3-inch laptops use new AMD Richland A10 processor
Computer manufacturer MSI Computer Corp, products and solutions, unveils the new and refreshed GX70 and GX60, the world’s first AMD Richland A10-5750M powered gaming laptops. The new processor also increases battery life and CPU performance in both the 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch models.
Instant switching between apps, Kinect system, cloud services
Microsoft has revealed its latest iteration of its Xbox game console at a media event. The Xbox One, codenamed Durango during its development, is billed as an all-in-one system for the living room, with a greater focus on allowing users to watch live television and other media, along with heavier Kinect integration, Skype calling, and gaming improvements.
A New Generation Revealed
Microsoft is set to begin its Xbox event in Redmond, Washington. "A New Generation Revealed" is the theme for the gathering, suggesting the company will finally show its next-generation gaming console. Check out our live page at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern, for images and updates from the event.
cocoon now sold for 13-inch rMBP
SwitchEasy is now offering a a version of its cocoon laptop case designed for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. Built form a polycarbonate material, the cocoon is offered in four different colors, black, white, grey and yellow, and features a textured finish for improved grip. The case provides protection to the entire exterior of the laptop and comes with four rubber feet to keep the laptop from sliding around on a desk. The cocoon can be purchased through SwitchEasy's online store for $50.
Blurry video reveals black base color, prominent edges in design
Sony has teased its upcoming game console, via a video uploaded to YouTube. The clip, which alternates between close-up shots and one zooming into what could be presumed to be the impending PlayStation 4, is released the day before Microsoft is due to reveal its future plans for its own replacement for the Xbox 360.
Nintendo will try to drum up interest with in-store demos
Struggling to drum up consumer interest in its faltering Wii U console, Japanese game maker Nintendo will show off forthcoming games in Best Buy stores while this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo is going on. Nintendo revealed the partnership between the game company and the electronics retailer last week, tipping some of the games that will be shown off in Best Buy stores.
Mobile users spending tree times as much as portable console users
A report by market analysts App Annie and IDC continue to show that mobile devices such as the iPhone or the Nexus 7 control a clear majority of mobile gaming interest and dollars spent on purchases, with portable handhelds fading rapidly. The first quarter of 2013 saw another milestone achieved for the Android platform, with it seeing more downloads and consumer spending on games than iOS for the first time.
Moshi now selling Lightning cables
Moshi has released its new line of Lightning cables for Apple's latest iOS devices. Encased in aluminum, the 3.2 foot cables are fully certified for use with the iPhone 5, iPod touch (5th gen), iPod nano (7th gen), iPad (4th gen) and iPad mini. Moshi's USB Cable with Lightning is sold online in two color variants, black and white, for $20.
Android game controller streams from PC to flip-up touchscreen
Nvidia has opened up pre-orders for its handheld gaming device, three days earlier than anticipated. Orders for the Nvidia Shield have commenced through the Nvidia website, with retail partners Newegg, Gamestop, and Canada Computer also accepting pre-orders from customers wanting the Tegra 4-powered Android game system.
Google+ Hangouts to gain SMS integration, outbound calls, Google Voice
The new Google+ Hangouts app will soon have SMS integration, though this is likely to be only within Android. The Next Web notes that the permissions list for the app includes listings for reading and sending SMS messages from within the app, something which would bring Hangouts in line with Apple's iMessage app. A message by Google employee Dori Storibeck confirmed that SMS integration is on the way, along with outbound calls and Google Voice features.
Electronic Arts to discontinue Online Pass policy for new titles
If a report at VentureBeat is accurate, Electronic Arts has decided to rid itself of the reviled online pass. According to the report, the EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg confirmed the cancellation of the program, saying “Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass, none of our new EA titles will include that feature." Viewed as a countermeasure to used game sales, the pass included in the purchase of new games allowed game play on the company's servers across Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network. Used purchasers, or customers borrowing a game, must purchase a pass if they wish to play online, with access costing approximately $10.
Beta in progress, users can sign up for future invitation
Digital game marketplace Steam has added a new feature -- in-game Steam Trading Cards. Steam Trading Cards are virtual cards earned by playing games on Steam. Sets of cards can be turned into game badges and tradable Steam community items, including discounts on titles or downloadable content, profile graphics, and custom game-related emoticons.
Google Maps API, multiplayer tools, Google+ sign-on added to Android
Google has revealed some of the new tools available to developers on Android at its Google I/O event. A number of new APIs have been introduced, along with the rumored APIs for multiplayer gaming, and new tools for developers to create the apps themselves, including a new Android Studio tool, and help in the creation of international versions of apps.
New payment system to work on Xbox Live, Windows Store, Windows Phone Store
Microsoft may be scrapping its Points virtual currency in favor of local currency pricing, according to a report. The rumor, which has surfaced a few times in the past, is now bolstered with new claims that the new system would work across platforms, with Microsoft preparing to reveal it at the E3 game show later this year.
May carry over some Battlefield 4 technology
Games publisher EA is planning to bring the Frostbite engine to iOS and Android, according to the company's website. "One of our most exciting current projects is called Frostbite Go, a mobile division empowering EA game developers with Frostbite’s proven excellent workflows and features to bring true Frostbite experiences to all major mobile platforms," the site's History page reads. Switching over to the This is Frostbite page, EA mentions "diverse targets from XBOX360 and PlayStation 4 to iOS and Android."
Gaming framework for Android could appear at Google I/O
Google may be revealing an entire gaming framework to developers at Google I/O next week, based on newly-released data. The Google Play Services component for Android includes support for various game-related features in a new update, including synchronizing saved games and various multiplayer components seen in a previous leak.
GOG offering 10 additional Mac games
Following its "Massive Mac Games Drop" at the end of April, GOG.com has further expanded its Mac game catalog with 10 new titles. The new batch of games offers titles from various genres, and includes Slipstream 5000, Guilty Gear X2: Reload, Syndicate Wars, Strike Commander, Evil Genius, Rise of the Triad: Dark War, Guilty Gear Isuka, Blake Stone: Planet Strike, Darklands, and Litil Divil. Prices range from $6 up to $15 depending on the title, and every game has been tested to work on Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later.
Nvidia, Occam Partners, Shasta Ventures provide Ouya funding
The makers of Ouya, the Android-based game console, has received extra funding from investors ahead of its launch. The additional outside investment has now allowed Ouya to set the date of the official public launch as June 25, allowing more time for it to manufacture consoles before shipping units to retailers.
Rhapsody adds 'liner notes,' technical info to music files
Music service Rhapsody has implemented a new "liner notes" feature, implementing the RIAA's "Give Fans the Credit" plan for including detailed production information with each digital song, including songwriters, background performers, producers and engineers involved in the production. The rollout, scheduled to take place over the next few months, would allow fans to search for music in new ways, such as tracking songs a specific producer was involved in, or for example finding out which songs featured a specific group of sidemen. The service has already started curating collections of tunes grouped by notable names of either producers, engineers or composers.
Google Drive simplifies sharing from desktop
Google has expanded the functionality of its Google Drive desktop app to simplify the process of sharing documents. Thanks to the most recent update, Google Drive files can now be shared with others directly from a Mac or PC's file system by right clicking on the file. The update is currently being rolled out to all users and may not show up immediately.
Sales of PS2 gear to continue for 'several months'
Years after it discontinued sales of similarly-aged Nintendo Gamecube and original Microsoft Xbox hardware and games, retailer Gamestop has announced that June 1 marks the end of trade-ins of PlayStation 2 games, accessories, and the console itself. Used and new game sales will continue in all locations, inventory depending, with existing stock expected to last for "several months" after the June 1 cutoff.
Fate of existing titles uncertain, Disney retains limited social gaming rights
The Walt Disney Company and developer Electronic Arts on Monday announced a new multi-year exclusive licensing agreement to develop and publish globally new games based on Star Wars characters and storylines for the "core gamer audience." Under the agreement, EA will develop and publish new Star Wars titles, spanning all platforms and the most popular game genres, while Disney will retain certain rights to develop new titles within the mobile, social, tablet and online game categories.
Hiring hints at gaming future for Android
Google may be branching out into making games, after hiring a games industry veteran. Noah Falstein, designer of a number of games over his 23-year career, has been picked up by the search giant and given the title "Chief Game Designer," suggesting that the company could be producing its own games, introducing gaming concepts to its products, or even building its own gaming platform on Android.
Sony highlights the thought processes behind the DualShock 4
Sony is continuing to whet gamer appetites for the impending launch of its PlayStation 4. However, rather than tease the yet to be revealed console, the Japanese gaming giant has returned its attention to the only hardware reveal of its PlayStation Meeting 2013 pseudo-launch of the PlayStation 4. In the video embedded below, Sony’s design team talk about how they worked with developers to revise and improve on the design of the DualShock 3 in making the DualShock 4.
Pangea software makes entire catalog available for free between April 25 and 26
Pangea Software announced today that for 24 hours its entire library of its iOS games are completely free on the iOS App Store, starting the afternoon of April 25 until the morning of April 26. The free games include: Monkey Bongo, Billy Frontier, Jive Turkey Shoot, Cro-Mag Rally, Warheads, Enigmo, Enigmo 2, Enigmo Deluxe, Nucleus, Air Wings, new release Air Wings Intergalactic, Nanosaur 2, Bugdom 2, Otto Matic, Quarters!!, and Antimatter. These games normally sell between $1 and $4.
Includes DLC, other extra content
Firaxis, 2K Games, and Feral Interactive have launched a promised Mac port of XCOM: Enemy Unknown in the form of the Elite Edition. The download includes the content of the main game plus a soundtrack, desktop wallpapers, and three DLC add-ons: the Slingshot Pack, the Elite Soldier Pack, and the Second Wave update. The two packs allow for more soldier customization, and add more council missions and the Shaojie Zhang soldier. Second Wave adds a collection of gameplay modifiers.
Reddit, official forums flooded with continuing and new problem
Following the SimCity server debacle in early March, publisher Electronic Arts and developer Maxis promised to fix many of the problems with the troubled Game with a 2.0 patch. The patch was released earlier this week by the pair, and was met with complaints that not only did it not fix many issues, but made some aspects of gameplay worse, netting an overall worse gameplay experience.
Next Microsoft game console expected to be revealed
Invitations sent to media for a product reveal at Microsoft's Xbox campus suggest that the company is close to unveiling its new game console. The invitation, headed with the Xbox logo, alluding to "A new generation revealed" and using the hashtag #XboxReveal, strongly hints that the event will show off the much-rumored successor to the Xbox 360.
New 8.2 teraflop GPU supports six displays, SLI
Origin PC has announced the launch of the new AMD Radeon HD 7990 dual GPU graphics card for its line of enthusiast hardware. Powered by AMD’s Graphics Core Next Architecture, the AMD Radeon HD 7990 features an astounding 8.6 billion transistors, 4,096 stream processors, 6GB DDR5 memory and up to 8.2 teraflops of computing power.
Total count of OS X compatible games climbs to 134
Digital games distributor Good Old Games has added 22 Mac OS X games to their 500+ game catalog. With this, which the company calls a "Massive Mac Games Drop," the total number of OSX games on the service has climbed to 134, after having made games for the Mac available since the middle of October.
Google Street View covers 50 countries, pushes large update
Google has added Street View coverage to areas of Hungary and Lesotho. Users of Google Maps can now explore the countries in Europe and Africa, making the total count of countries covered by Street View now 50. A Google blog claimed it as the largest single update of Street View imagery, which includes updates for nearly 350,000 miles of roads across 14 countries.
Dashboard app allows for Kinect motion controls, voice recognition
A new Microsoft Xbox Live app, scheduled to launch on April 23, will allow users of the gaming and media service to order Pizza Hut products directly from the Xbox 360 console. The new app gives customers access to the restaurant's entire menu, and features full Kinect integration in addition to voice recognition, or regular game controller use.
Google Glass companion app includes 'Eye Gestures' functions
Google may allow for users of Glass to use their eyes to control the headset. A user by the name of fodawim on Reddit found eye options hidden in the code of the companion app for Android, specifically functions for winking. Of the five, two related to wink calibration, two turned the function on and off, and one last seems to allow a wink to trigger a photo from its 5-megapixel camera. Other eye-related controls have yet to be found, though the company has patented a number of different control systems that could potentially be used with Glass.
Entire new G-series of peripherals now OS X compatible
As part of Logitech's rebranding initiative for its gaming products, the company has revealed that the Logitech Gaming Software (LGS) has been updated to support Max OS X for the entire G-line of gaming peripherals. The new versions allow gamers to "enjoy the same great personalization and customized control our PC customers have come to reply on" according to the official Logitech blog.
Bluetooth device pairs with free app to pinpoint flaws in swing technique
Mobile sports performance evaluation developers Mobiplex has announced the availability of the SwingTIP ProView App, the next generation of software that complements its wireless motion sensor for golf swing improvement. ProView plus the SwingTIP device provides mobile golf swing analysis and training with new auto-video capture and 3D power and plane analysis features, as well as enhanced 3D swing analysis, training and club head impact metrics.
Files found within Google Glass app include multiplayer features
Google may be creating its own gaming platform, according to a report. The MyGlass companion app for Google Glass was found to contain a folder labeled "games" that held a number of files relating to various game-related functionality, something that the search giant could allow developers to implement for all apps downloadable through play, not just for Glass.
Wii Shop still running, move designed to push consumers to Wii U
Despite the console still being available, Nintendo has announced it will shut down the larger part of the Wii's online abilities on June 28. Channels being discontinued are the Nintendo Channel, the News Channel, the Forecast Channel, the Everybody Votes Channel, and the Mii Contest Channel. Also being lost are data exchange, and in-game messaging on most games.
High bills generated by children using freemium games under scrutiny
A United Kingdom government department has launched an investigation into in-app purchases aimed at children. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is attempting to find out if the methods used by developers to encourage children into performing the purchases are "misleading, commercially aggressive, or otherwise unfair."
Former coders claim long-time Mac developer closing its doors
(Updated with correction of Dominic Feira's employment status)Ambrosia Software, a long-time maker of Mac software stretching back to System 7, is not going out of business -- at least according to its founder and president, Andrew Welch. He took to Twitter to dispel accusations that the company was closing up shop, following tweets to that effect from former coders who announced on Wednesday they had been let go. The company, currently best known for its screen capture tool Snapz Pro X and ringtone maker iToner, confirmed the layoffs but said the company is not folding.
One purchase for both platforms, each is native
Electronic Arts, which has been embroiled in controversy over its botched launch of SimCity for Windows and was recently named "Worst Company in America" for the second year running, has confirmed that the Mac version of the latest instalment will launch on June 11. The Mac version is a native app, rewritten for OpenGL so that players get the best possible experience on the Mac. The news will be welcomed by Mac owners who already bought the PC copy, as they can get the Mac version free on EA's online portal Origin.
Kickstarter headset simple to disassemble, replace parts
The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is reportedly easy to fix, after a recent teardown. The score of 9 out of 10 from iFixit, though preliminary due to being a beta product designed for developers and not an item designed for end-users, with the speedy 10-minute teardown and relatively simple construction marred by cables kept together by tape and two "annoying" foam adhesive pads holding the LCD screen in place.
Always-on console rumor claimed true by Microsoft analyst
Microsoft will reveal its follow-up to the Xbox 360 on May 21st, according to multiple reports. The console, codenamed Durango, is apparently scheduled to launch in "early November" and in theory has a high $500 price-point, though this could be lowered to $300 when combined with a subscription similar to that of the $99 subsidized Xbox 360 Kinect bundle.
Alternative operating system saves purchasers around $100
Dell's Alienware venue for premium gaming PC's has revealed that it is making Ubuntu available on a line of compact desktop units. Alienware X51 customers can select from either Windows of Ubuntu when purchasing a new machine. Systems pre-loaded with Ubuntu Linux retail for about $100 less than a Windows counterpart.
Borderlands 2 update adds Game Center integration
Aspyr has released a new update for the Mac App Store version of Borderlands 2. In the latest release, players can access leaderboards, achievements, and multiplayer co-op through Apple's Game Center. Five additional content packs including the games fifth playable character, The Mechromancer, has also been made available as in-game purchases. To celebrate the launch, Aspyr is also offering a limited time 50 percent discount bringing the game's cost down to $30.
Asus GTX670 DirectCU Mini graphics card measures 6.7-inches long
Asus has revealed a shortened graphics card designed to work in small form factor PCs. The GeForce GTX670 DirectCU Mini measures 17 centimeters (6.7-inches) long, much shorter than the reference GTX 670 at 24.13cm (9.5-inches), yet is still clocked at 928MHz and houses 2GB of GDDR5 RAM despite its small size. It uses the Asus DirectCU cooling system with vapor chamber and cooling fan, and also uses Direct Power technology to bridge power delivery components and the GPU for a cleaner supply of power. Asus has yet to reveal a release date or price for the pint-sized graphics card.
LucasArts IP to be farmed out, two newest titles cancelled mid-development
[Update: Raven releases source code for its Star Wars titles] Following its acquisition of Lucasfilm, Disney has shuttered the venerable video game-producing arm of the company, LucasArts. Formerly known as LucasFilm Games, the dissolution of the company will throw approximately 150 people out of work. Rather than develop titles itself, the company is moving to a licensing model with no internal development taking place, and existing titles -- including Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 being cancelled.
Sonic Racing for Mac to release tomorrow
Feral Interactive has announced that Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing will be released in the Mac App Store on April 4. Starring classing characters from Sonic the Hedgehog and other SEGA favorites, the racing game allows players to race across tracks inspired by SEGA's most popular game worlds. Full support will be included for Apple's Game Center, allowing up to four players to compete online. Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing will retail for $25 and is the first Sonic game to to be published on the Mac, with the second, SEGA Superstars Tennis, to follow this year.
Division merger, management reshuffle part of company streamlining
Sony is merging its Computer Entertainment units in Japan and Asia into a single division for the region, in an effort to streamline the business. The creation of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia comes after low quarterly results in February showed Sony's gaming division losing 15.1-percent on sales year-on-year, and an overall net loss of $124 million.
Live gameplay footage to be broadcast over YouTube
Google has created a set of APIs for sending video content from games to YouTube. The new APIs will make it easier for game developers to offer players the option of uploading gameplay recordings to the site, as well as being able to broadcast gameplay footage live as the game is played on a console.