Gaming news summary for October 18, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Starbreeze is criticized for introducing microtransactions to Payday 2, Yakuza 5 takes almost three years to reach the United States, the South Korean eSports leagues are rocked by match-fixing arrests, and Nintendo prepares third-party developers for its next-generation of game console.
Gaming news summary for May 10, 2015
The Game Replay is a twice-weekly look back at the wider world of gaming from the last few days. In today's post, the next Assassin's Creed title is revealed ahead of an official announcement, a Hearthstone player spends $3,400 on new cards, and Bungie's second expansion for Destiny is still on track for release.
New device aimed for July release at less than $100
Retro game supporter Hyperkin has announced its latest version of the the multi-cartridge Retron system -- the Retron 5. The RetroN 5 will have five cartridge slots allowing users to play original NES, SNES, Genesis, Famicom, Game Boy Advance, Super Famicom, Mega Drive, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy cartridges. The chipset used in the new device eliminates region locks and increases compatibility, as well as plays both PAL and NTSC cartridges.
Notebook lids inspired by Sega console history
Game producer Sega has started to sell limited edition branded notebooks. The range of four notebooks, sold in partnership with Japanese retailer Enterbrain, have lid designs that resemble consoles from the company's history, namely the Sega Saturn, the Dreamcast, and the Mega Drive, as well as a fourth that matches the blue in Sega's logo.
Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega All-Stars come to Mac
Mac games publisher Feral Interactive announced today that the company is bringing Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sega Superstars Tennis to the Mac for this summer. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is a racing game, wherein popular Sega characters make their way across a variety of tracks inspired by the worlds of classic Sega games. In Sega Superstars Tennis, classic Sega characters battle it out in doubles and singles tennis matches, with a variety of power-ups and gameplay options. The game also contains mini-games inspired by Sega titles such as House of the Dead and Space Harrier.
Next-generation Xbox to carry Durango codename
Microsoft is internally referring to the third-generation Xbox console as Durango, Kotaku claimed to have learned from multiple sources near the project. If true, this means any future news and rumors will center around this name, though the finalized name on the console and packaging will differ and isn't yet known. Durango is the name of one of Mexico's 31 states, which follows the theme started by Natal, Microsoft's codename for Kinect and a city in Brazil.
PS Vita runs Genesis mutiple layers deep
Attempts to get unofficial PS Vita code running took their next step this weekend after video proof emerged of Sony's system running Sega Genesis games. Picodrive, the offshoot of a competition for a classic console emulator on the PSP, can run games like the Sonic series on the Vita using the official PSP emulator and the Half Byte Loader. It doesn't yet run perfectly and is plagued by stuttering sound, although video performance is very smooth.
Xbox hits 10 years old and gets bonuses
Microsoft kicked off the tenth anniversary of the Xbox with a celebration page and bonuses. Everyone gets access to a free avatar prop for Xbox Live that provides a gift box that opens to reveal fireworks. Some downloadable games will also be on sale as part of the anniversary.
GameStop takes tablet pilot program live
GameStop's mobile plans became real Friday after the company started up a tablet test program to sell tablets online and in stores. Android tablets like Acer's Iconia Tab A100, ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer, and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available in 200 of its stores. Each will have both access to Kongregate's Arcade app store as well as seven free games, including EA's mobile versions of Dead Space and Madden as well as Sega's Sonic CD.
Blue 2012 Olympics Wii bundle for Europe revealed
To commemorate the hosting of the 2012 Olympics in London, Nintendo will release a special edition Wii gaming bundle. Paired with the Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games game, the blue Wii comes with a blue Wii Remote Plus, a blue Nunchuk, and a sticker sheet. The Wii is the lower-cost Family Edition and doesn't have Wi-Fi or Gamecube support, however.
Software Restore Solutions claims Apple copying
Software Restore Solutions late Wednesday sued Apple (below) over claims Mac OS X copied its technology. According to the complaint, "at least" the Disk Utility feature in every version of Mac OS X from the 2001 original through to Snow Leopard copies one claim in a workgroup network manager patent from 1998. Apple supposedly knows the automated repair features could infringe on the patent but has shown "deliberate indifference" towards the consequences.
Sega Pass hack, 1.29 million customers affected
Sega has issued a statement confirming that hackers stole the personal data of 1.29 million users. The statement follows a hack that forced it to takedown its Sega Pass online service. Among the data stolen were the e-mail addresses of customers as well as their birth dates. However, passwords and credit card numbers were not in the clear and were consequently unaffected.
Sega Pass next in wave of game related hacks
Sega on Friday in a warning to gamers said that its Sega Pass online service had been hacked. It took down the service after discovering that the database had been compromised. Those at PlayStation Lifestyle and elsewhere had been told that e-mail addresses and encrypted passwords had been compromised.
Next Wii U prototype inbound for devs in July
The next version the Wii U prototype hardware will be in the hands of developers by July. According to Eurogamer, when the new model arrives, much more will be known about the power of the hardware and its online capabilities. Sega Europe MD of development Gary Dunn has said that with the current developer model, “It’s still a little early” to speculate on the potential for the console.
Owner teaches tricks, shapes toy's personality
Activision announced that it has partnered with Sega Toys to develop Wappy Dog, a robotic toy puppy that "learns" from interactions with its owner. Wappy has touch sensors and responds to commands entered using the Nintendo DS. How the player interacts with the toy affects the toy's responses - what the company calls its "personality and happiness" - as well as how quickly new tricks are unlocked.
Handheld PS2 console built by modder, up for sale
A Modretro forum member and skilled modder, techknott, has just posted a home-built PlayStation 2 console up for sale. The device uses an add-on screen made for the PSone by Sony, along with the original backlight. There are USB connections and a headphone jack, as well as integrated speakers; it lacks built-in batteries, however.
Ben Heck converts Sega CDX to a handheld
Gadget builder and do-it-yourself crafter Ben Heckendorn has now created a portable Sega CDX console from the 1990s in the latest episode of the Ben Heck Show. The CD-based home gaming console was ripped apart for its guts and those were then installed into a newly fabricated case. Heck used an OLED screen and built a controller into the case as well.
Also adds custom street treatment to Megadrive
French artist oskunk93 has painted two Sega Dreamcast consoles with wild custom art. The photos have been posted on his Flickr photostream and will interest fans of console modding as well as those of Sega’s sadly ill-fated Dreamcast console. In particular, fans of Dreamcast classic gaming titles Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio will appreciate oskunk93’s treatments which inject new life into Sega’s defunct gaming icon.
Four games to date, including multiplayer
Sega Japan has returned to console gaming, although not in a way anyone might have imagined, with its new Toylet. Bring an entirely new paradigm of gaming interaction, a pressure sensor is located in inside a the hull of public urinals which measures the pressure of a stream of urine aimed at the sensor. Located above the urinal is a color display loaded with minigames that are controlled by the user.
RetroN 3 contains NES, SNES, Genesis consoles
Hyperkin is offering a unique RetroN 3 gaming console that is effectively three legacy game consoles in one. It has three cartridge slots and three pairs of controller inputs for the original mass-market gaming console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), its replacement the Super NES and its competitor, the Sega Genesis. Hyperkin also includes two proprietary wireless controllers that are compatible with each gaming system's titles.
Sega leaks PS3 motion control date
Sega has inadvertently left an SCEA meeting document (since pulled) on its server that appears to confirm major details of Sony's future PlayStation 3 plans. The notes appear to put the PS3 motion controller on store shelves in Japan for March, narrowing down the official spring launch window to the very early part of the season. Sony also expects to sell between four to five million of the peripheral and is helping game developers like Sega adapt their titles to support it; a 2012 London Olympics game and a Virtua Tennis port or sequel are labeled as candidates.
iPhone game developer ngmoco has appointed former SEGA president and COO Simon Jeffery to serve as the chief publishing officer of the Plus+ Publishing group. The gaming industry veteran also brings experience from LucasArts, Virgin Interactive and Electronic Arts. At SEGA, Jeffery helped the company shift from a hardware manufacturer to a software developer.
Sega Vision not a DS rival
Late last week, rumors started appearing, touting a new portable gaming device is being brought out by Sega, following up its Genesis portable gaming system from the ’90s. The device, to be called the Vision, would compete with the likes of Nintendo’s DS and Sony’s PSP, many believed. But another Friday report dispelled the misconceptions, by getting confirmation from Sega USA itself that, while the device is indeed real and coming to market in 2009, it will not aim to compete with the DS or PSP. Instead, the Vision is an MP4 video player capable of entertaining users with basic Java games like ones users can find on cellphones.
60m iPhone App Downloads
Over 60 million iPhone and iPod touch apps have been downloaded in the one month since the iPhone 2.0 firmware has been available, Apple chief Steve Jobs tells the Wall Street Journal. The electronics company co-founder in a rare interview reveals that while most App Store downloads are free, paid apps in the first month have averaged about $1 million in sales per day for a total of $30 million for the first month. Maintaining the current rate would generate approximately $360 million, though Jobs estimates that this is likely to increase over time and is unprecedented compared to his experience with Macs.
iPhone Monkey Ball hack
A group of hackers say they have cracked Apple's close Fairplay DRM on Sega's Super Monkey Balll for iPhone. A posting on Haklabs points to a download link for the pirated game. A number of users who commented on the site say they were succesfully able to run Super Monkey Ball on a jailbroken version 2.0 iPhone using SSH. Other users, however, said they couldn't get the game to work and questioned whether the hack was legitimate.
Sega on iPhone hardware
The hardware in the iPhone is about as powerful as the now-defunct Dreamcast console, according to Sega of America president Simon Jeffrey. The comparison comes from an interview at this week's E3 gaming expo, and refers to Sega's last official hardware, released in 1998. While outdated in terms of living room consoles, most other phones are relegated to performance closer to Sony's original PlayStation, or even earlier machines like the Super Nintendo.
Sonic the Hedgehog on iPod
Game giant Sega has released a new port of its classic game Sonic the Hedgehog, now formatted for iPods (iTunes link). The platformer is iconic to Sega, much as Super Mario Bros. represents Nintendo; the game was originally released in 1991 for the Sega Genesis, and has spawned numerous sequels which continue to this day. Players control Sonic as he races through loops, jumps and other obstacles at high speeds, collecting rings and smashing enemies on his way to fight Dr. Robotnik.
Sega mind-controlled toys
While Nintendo's Wii continues to soar off game store shelves with its intuitive motion-sensitive controls, Sega Toys and NeuroSky look to do one better and are teaming up to produce mind-controlled toys, using wearable bio-sensors to monitor brainwaves, courtesy of the latter company. NeuroSky says that this is Sega's latest venture in "taking play to the next level", and that with the ThinkGear bio-sensor, it will achieve just that. Unfortunately, neither company commented on what upcoming ideas to which they are applying the technology.