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  • January 31st, 2012

    by Published on February 1st, 2012 22:32
    1. Categories:
    2. PSP News,
    3. PS3 News
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    Sony has announced on its European forums that maintenance time has been scheduled for the PlayStation Network this Thursday, February 2, from 2PM GMT until 8AM Friday morning. If the maintenance carries over to the US (and it usually does), it'll start at 6AM PST Thursday until midnight PST, or 9AM to 3AM for those of you on the East Coast.

    Fortunately, the outage doesn't seem to include gameplay -- Sony says that it will only affect the PS Store, Customer Account Management and Registration services. PlayStation Home, however, will be offline the entire time. So ... that doesn't sound so bad! Just pour yourself a cup of tea, grab something good to read and wrap yourself in a warm blanket, and the outage will be over before you know it.

    by Published on February 1st, 2012 22:23
    1. Categories:
    2. Nintendo 3DS News
    Article Preview

    With a new month comes a new selection of downloadable games for which you can exchange your Club Nintendo Coins. The new lineup is half as varied as those of previous months, offering only one DSiWare download and one Wii Virtual Console game.

    For 150 Coins each, you can choose Art Academy: First Semester for DSiWare (but only available on 3DS through this offer) or Mario Party 2 for Wii. If you get that one, use the money you saved by buying it with Club Nintendo money to buy some extra controllers, either for friends or to replace the ones ruined byMario Party.

    For fans of physical, tangible goods, there's also this new 3DS card case. It holds 18 games and includes four "double-sided card covers." And it looks really nice.

    by Published on February 1st, 2012 22:11
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News
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    You can't deny one of Microsoft's main goals with its revamped 360 dashboard update was to enhance the box's entertainment attributes, and now the Redmond crowd has flipped the live switch on two more vid-focused apps. Crackle and CinemaNow are joining the likes of Vudu and UFC as part of the latest additions to the Xbox app locker. Both apps are available now for those of us in the States, and while CinemaNow won't be heading elsewhere, Sony's Crackle is hitting three other markets: Australia, Canada and United Kingdom. There's no more info on when -- or if -- both apps will make way into more countries, but Microsoft did say that it'll "continue to enhance and expand" its Xbox Live offerings. We know you're eager to check out some Godzilla collections, so power on that console, head to the apps section and let the crackles set you free.

    by Published on February 1st, 2012 22:06
    1. Categories:
    2. Nintendo 3DS News

    3DS owners can now access free Wi-Fi at over 5,000 hotspots across Europe thanks to a deal with free-hotspot.com.
    Providing the correct settings are in place, the handhelds will automatically connect when within range of a compatible hotspot.
    free-hotspot.com has partnerships with companies such as McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Subway, Ibis Hotels and Etap Hotels.
    “With such an extensive European-wide Wi-Fi access network, partnering with free-hotspot.com made absolute sense,” Nintendo’s MD of European marketing and PR Laurent Fischer stated.
    “The access points are largely located in popular restaurants and hotels – places where Nintendo 3DS owners are likely to want, and to unwind in. We also urge all Nintendo 3DS owners to also take advantage of the latest System Update which has brought an array of new features and enhancements, including 3D video capture.”

    by Published on February 1st, 2012 22:04
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News

    Electronic Arts has revealed that its digital games service Origin generated $100 million in the 2011 calendar year, from more than 9.3 million consumers.
    Releasing its third quarter financial results, the company also said that MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic has more than 1.7 million active subscribers since launching in December, with 2 million units sold.
    The company managed to trim its losses for the quarter down from $322 million in 2010 to $205 million. Net sales were $1.061 billion, compared to $1.053 billion the previous year.
    Battlefield 3 and FIFA 12 have both sold more than 10 million units, while Madden NFL 12 has sold almost 5 million units life-to-date. The publisher claims it is number one in the Western markets with a 20 per cent share of Europe and 17 per cent share of North America.
    "We are pleased to report a strong holiday quarter driven by Battlefield 3, FIFA 12 and a strong showing by our digital games and services," offered CEO John Riccitiello. "Star Wars: The Old Republic is developing a committed community of players with more than 1.7 million active subscribers and growing."
    PopCap, which joined the company in August, has grown sales by 30 per cent on a twelve-month basis and the EA Nucleus registration system has more than 168 million consumers on its database.
    "We recorded our highest operating cash flow in 31 quarters and grew segment share in both Europe and North America," said Eric Brown, CFO.
    "Third quarter non-GAAP digital revenue grew 79 per cent year-over year, and we achieved our goal of generating over $1 billion in non-GAAP digital revenue on a trailing-twelve-month basis."
    EA said that revenues for the fourth quarter are expected to be between $925 million and $975 million.

    by Published on February 1st, 2012 20:58
    1. Categories:
    2. Nintendo 3DS News

    Nintendo TV is now available to view in 3D.
    The show (which is handled by Future Publishing’s Official Nintendo Magazine team) was first made available on Wii 18 months ago, and has been viewed over 1m times. The 3DS version first appeared before Christmas and its second episode goes live today (Friday, January 27th).
    Each free episode is available via the Nintendo eShop and lets users view 3D videos of the latest 3DS?games, behind-the-scenes footage, competitions, playing tips and 3D shorts.
    The second episode features Resident Evil, The Last Story, Pullblox and 3D Classics Kid Icarus.
    “We are always striving to bring fun and exciting new content to Nintendo 3DS users and Nintendo TV will do just that,” said Nintendo UK marketing manager James Honeywell.”
    Publisher of Future’s Nintendo products Lee Nutter added: “The new 3D video show really is the first of its kind.”

    by Published on February 1st, 2012 20:55
    1. Categories:
    2. DCEmu

    Stealth has hardly become a forgotten shade in the gaming spectrum, but it's hard to think of many new games that are dedicated to it. Instead of being the leading light, as it was at the heights of the Thief and Metal Gear series, today stealth is more frequently just an element - from a choice in Deus Ex: Human Revolution to a pastime in Skyrim.
    But what is stealth good for? Sneaky Bastards, a new blog dedicated to the form, lists why dedicated stealth games are great, from the way they encourage you to explore their environments to the way they get you to play with and understand their AI.
    "Sometimes 'intelligence' seems like the wrong word to describe the cognitive faculties of guards in stealth games. Hey, what's that over there? Hmm, must've been a skunk. Walking on its hind legs. Wearing night vision goggles. But this artificial stupidity is nonetheless part of a coherent system of perception and response that pits the player against the capabilities of his enemies in a way that is becoming ever rarer. The fact that we notice it at all is an indication of its importance."
    But while stealth is undeniably fun, is the choice that modern games give you to break out the hardware when you want to ultimately more rewarding?
    Relatedly, here's Hideo Kojima's design document for Metal Gear Solid 2.
    "Instead of proceeding on to MGS2, as one might expect, we are making MGS3. The question in peoples' minds, 'Why is it 3 and not 2?' will have a big impact."
    Also, the three IIIs would symbolise Manhattan's tallest skyscrapers, fitting for the game's setting, if not, apparently, Konami's marketing department.

    by Published on February 1st, 2012 20:53
    1. Categories:
    2. DCEmu

    Swedish non-profit technology organisation MuchDifferent has set a new world record for simultaneous online players, hosting 999 combatants in its browser based FPS Man Vs Machine.
    Planetside previously held the record, with 600 players. The Man Vs Machine session lasted two hours and saw players divided into the two titular teams. Watch the video below for a taste of what it's like to face a 500-strong opposition.
    In a blog post on MuchDifferent's site, CEO Christian Lönnholm admits that initial balancing was off, leading to the human team decimating their mechanical adversaries at first.
    "After the first half hour, the score was overwhelmingly in favor for Team Man," he writes. "We did some adjustments to the gameplay balancing but it was not until the end of the two hour session that Team Machine had turned the tides and now the roles were reversed and Team Man was not even able to leave the spawning area.
    "Getting a game balanced is hard and our guesswork proved to be quite off the mark. In the end, I think most people had an enjoyable experience of the sheer massiveness of it all and having the game run smoothly helped with that."
    Guiness World Records subsequently validated the attempt, and MuchDifferent is now in the process of refining the underlying tech for use in other online games.

    by Published on February 1st, 2012 20:50
    1. Categories:
    2. Playstation Vita News

    Sony has confirmed that pricing for Vita download codes will be around 10 per cent less than physical media versions of the same games, at least in the US and Japan.
    A US shopper noticed prices on a Best Buy pre-order machine in the US were slightly lower than he had been expecting, posting a shot of the prices to NeoGaf.
    When questioned on the matter, Sony representatives issued a statement to Shacknews confirming that download titles will indeed be cheaper than boxed products, although official pricing remains unconfirmed.
    "I can confirm that there will be a discount on the downloadable PS Vita titles from PSN," said the Sony spokesperson.
    "Exact details have not yet been revealed, but be on the lookout for an announcement in the very near future."
    It is not yet known whether Europe will be subject to a similar pricing model, but Sony has been contacted for confirmation on the issue.

    by Published on February 1st, 2012 20:45
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News

    Microsoft has released Kinect for Windows, featuring a new "near mode" that lets the gesture control tech be used as close as 40cm. The Kinect for Windows hardware will retail at $249 — well above the price of the version for Xbox 360 consoles. Microsoft defended the price difference, saying sales of games and Xbox Live subscriptions help subsidize the console version. The new version will support Windows 7 and the Windows 8 developer preview, as well as Windows Embedded 7 devices

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