An app so good it hardlocked my console the first time I opened it
Twitch.tv and Microsoft surprised us all today, announcing the launch of a Twitch.tv app immediately available on Xbox 360. Unfortunately, it's currently exclusive to Xbox Gold subscribers and also limited to only the top 300 streams on Twitch. No, the app doesn't let you stream your Xbox games, it's just for watching. Beyond all that stuff though, this could be cool, right?
In addition to the announcement, Twitch.tv also dropped one hell of an epic joke on us too:
"Best of all, the Twitch App for Xbox 360 is Kinect-enabled, allowing you to control the entire experience with voice or motion controls. It’s oddly satisfying to tell your Xbox to play StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, or any other obviously non-Xbox title, and have it load up the channel. Truly, this is a brave new world."
Wait, wait. I'm being told that Twitch did not mean for that to come off of a joke. My bad.
I'm sitting in front of my Xbox 360 right now and can report the download comes in at about 126.21 MB, which seems a little severe for something I can run from a browser with no overhead. Yes, I know it's more complicated than that. I'm still a little torn up we have to have an app to watch Twitch streams on a console that's basically connected to the internet all the time anyway.
Here's a little live commentary. Okay, I've downloaded the app from the Xbox 360 apps menu. I'm launching the app, which opens up a big purple screen that melts my eyes a little bit. Everything working smoothly so far. Alright, here's a list of the top channels right now. Let's check out the Dota 2 West Qualifier as I'm watching that on my PC, so I can compare lag. Okay, it's opening and yes, okay my console has hard-locked. Not joking here; apparently there are some bugs to work out.
Download the Twitch.tv app on your Xbox 360 right now -- if you've got an Xbox Live Gold subscription, that is. Maybe I should just buy an OUYA?
PAYDAY 2 transitions from digital-only to full retail, coming out on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 this August
Sometimes full retails games turn into digital-only, but it's a rare to near unheard of occurrence that a game goes from digital-only to retail release. Overkill Software have jumped that shark with PAYDAY 2 according to an announcement by publisher 505 Games. Rather than sticking with XBLA and PSN releases, PAYDAY 2 will hit be hitting store shelves for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC this August.
PAYDAY 2's Game Director David Goldfarb attributes the shift to, "just too many great ideas." 505 Head of Global Brand Tim Woodley gives a bit better perspective on the matter:
"It's an incredible position to be in, having a game that just keeps growing and getting better all the time. We wanted to do everything we could to make a game that truly fits the vision of the team at Overkill but most importantly delivers an exciting, rewarding experience for the player - be they a long-time fan or new to the series."
For those unaware, PAYDAY 2 is a cooperative FPS, similar to Left 4 Dead, but with police officers and SWAT teams instead of zombies and a whole lot more bank robbing. I'm curious to hear whether PAYDAY 2 has actually broadened the scope of their game or if the shift to retail is actually just a result of the game's outstanding success -- over 700,000 copies sold last I heard.
Expect more news on PAYDAY 2 as we approach E3, most likely. The game will be release (via retail and digitally) in August for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
RIFT announces it's going free-to-play starting June 12, cash shop to offer boosts, customization and gear
Creative Director adamant FTP model includes "No tricks; no traps"
And so another once proud MMO has fallen from grace. Trion Worlds announced today that their reasonably popular MMO Rift would be shifting to a free-to-play model starting June 12. According to Creative Director Bill Fisher Rift's free-to-play model will feature, "No tricks; no traps." All content -- quests, chronicles, continents, dungeons, raids, levels -- are available for free. Rift's story will offer a variety of standard FTP MMO fare like boosts, customizations and... err, gear.
Rift's woes appeared to begin after the release of last year's expansion Storm Legion in November. Since then the game's much lauded updates and content patches have slowed to a crawl (perhaps due to the free-to-play conversion), the game's loud-spoken anti-free-to-play Executive Producer Scott Hartsman left in February, and now we're going free-to-play with purchasable gear.
Here's what Bill Fisher has to say on the sale of gear in-game:
"We will also have gear for sale. Our guidelines for gear on the store are generally as follows: The best gear in the game must be earned and high-level items on the store must also be available to be earned in-game."
I'm an old-fashioned MMO player that was a big fan of Rift and Scott Hartsman's attitude toward the free-to-play business model. To me, a lot of Rift's soul left with him and the near-constant release of content updates. This move to free-to-play, and moreso the sale of gear, is just... depressing. I'd always wished Rift would be able to exist as a niche experience with a dedicated fanbase like what Everquest became. Instead, they're deconstructing the experience in a search for that dolla dolla bill y'all.
Make sure to check out Massively's full interview with Bill Fisher, as Justin Olivetti does a great job of putting him through the paces to get to the heart of the story. Of course, none of Bill's responses are particularly revelatory or surprising, but it's good to hear these questions are still being asked.
Rift goes free-to-play on June 12 and if there's one thing I can say without doubt, it's that you should try it if you haven't already.
Aw yeah, Gogoat got to keep his name, because he.. well, he goes
Nintendo of America is on top of their game with regards to Pokemon X and Y. This weekend CoroCoro magazine revealed four new Pokemon, the new games' region name and details on character customization this weekend. On the ball, Nintendo's now announced the localized English versions of the region and Pokemon names. Welcome us to Kalos region, Pokemon fans.
At the heart of the Kalo region is the central city of Lumiose City, a "metropolis featuring a tower" which we can likely assume is that shown in the trailer below. Also shown in the trailer below is the quartet of newly revealed Pokemon. Their names have been localized, so Eliketeru is now Helioptile, Yayakoma is now Fletchling, Yancham is now Pancham, and Gogoat is... Gogoat! I guess goats that go translates well between languages. Here are some official descriptions from Nintendo.
- The cowardly Pokémon Helioptile, a Normal- and Electric-type Pokémon, can generate enough electricity through sunbathing to power machinery. But wise Trainers won’t be deterred by Helioptile’s lack of bravery. It knows Parabolic Charge, a brand-new move where Helioptile attacks everything around it. Helioptile's HP is restored by half the damage taken by those hit.
Fletchling, a Normal- and Flying-type Pokémon, sings with a beautiful chirp that is sure to delight any Trainer. Although it is known to be very friendly, Fletchling will suddenly unleash relentless attacks once it’s in battle. For example, when it uses its Fire-type move Flame Charge in battle, in addition to doing damage, Fletchling’s Speed increases every time.
With a leaf always in its mouth and an intimidating glare that is rarely effective, Fighting-type Pokémon Pancham shows its playful side when it lets out a little smile when its head is pat. Pancham can learn a brand-new move, Parting Shot, which not only lowers an opponent’s Attack and Special Attack, but also allows Pancham to switch out for another Pokémon in a Trainer’s party during battle.
Pokémon X and Pokémon Y introduce a new method of transportation—riding the brand-new Pokémon, Gogoat. This large Grass-type Pokémon is a reliable way to travel certain parts of Lumiose City. In battle, it can use Horn Leech to recover HP equal to half the damage dealt by this move.
For the cartographers among us, we've got a full map of the Kalos region below in the gallery. We've also got box art for the game, which I think is actually quite spectacular. There's an imageof the new fancy Pokedex, Lumiose City concept art, and also a variety of shots of each new Pokemon.
Pokemon X and Y are planned for release in October later this year exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. As always, check out the already heated discussion about today's newly announced Pokemon X and Y details in our community.
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The ROCCAT Hiro is a premium gaming mouse pad boasting many premium features (and pricing).
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This is one good-lookin' game, for sure
Metro: Last Light is just hours away from its long-awaited release, and we're sure a good share of PC gamers out there are eager put their rig to the test. Why not? Metro 2033 set some high standards after Crysis, becoming one of the games you'd have to experience on PC. Fortunately, Metro: Last Light lives up to this reputation.
Deep Silver already released the game's system requirements some time ago, and we put Last Light through its paces as well. Yes, we do have a full review on its way, but that's hit a bit of a snag, and we're currently awaiting a response on that front. In the meantime, however, check out our hardware assessment.
That voice you hear is our own Gabriel Vega, a fellow no doubt many of you are well acquainted with by now. Some things to keep in mind is that the AMD performance is a bit rough, and the game takes a bit of a dive at certain "critical" points.
Hardware performance review - YouTube
Gabe spent about 20 hours in Last Light, and warns of two available endings. Don't be a jerk, and you may just get the good one.
Still reports a net loss for previous fiscal year
Take-Two Interactive has released their financial report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, and the company's got a lot to be happy about. Take-Two reports a year-on-year rise in revenue and sits at $1,214 billion this fiscal year, compared to $825.8 million during the same period in 2012.
BioShock Infinite does deserve some credit, of course, having enjoyed "significantly" higher sales than any previous BioShock game. Infinite has shipped over 3.7 million units to date, and that's nothing to shake a stick at. Other games credited with Take-Two's successful performance include XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Borderlands 2, NBA 2K13, and older games such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption.
While they did report a net loss of $31.2 million over the last fiscal year, Take-Two expects between $1.75 to $1.85 billion in revenue for the current fiscal year, ending March 2014, through upcoming games like Grand Theft Auto V and WWE 2K14.
Digital software saw a 192% rise in year-over-year revenue as well.
What does "pointillist approach to narrative" actually mean?
SpryFox announced their new game today titled Road Not Taken, a roguelike puzzle game self described as a, "puzzle about life and loss." While no platforms have been announced, SpryFox has experience on iOS and Android devices and Road Not Taken looks like it would be wonderful on PC as well. Teased as, "an experiment with a more pointillist approach to narrative," there's certainly much more to Road Not Taken than meets the eye. SpryFox hopes to release Road Not Taken before the end of the year.
Perhaps you may recognize SpryFox from their list of charming games, like Leap Day, Triple Town and High Grounds. I think the short description provided on their homepage captures their inspiration perfectly:
"Well, it’s pretty simple. We want to make the world a happier place and we’re using games to do it. We want to help people connect with their old friends and make new ones. We want to give people more ways to express and challenge themselves. But mostly, we just want to give people more ways to have fun and enjoy their lives!"
A rather 180 degree turn for this happy studio to be working on a, "puzzle about life and loss," right?
Initially I was rather confused about what SpryFox implied by a "pointillist" approach to narrative. I wasn't sure how the Impressionist painting technique of the late 1800s would translate into game narrative. Could it be a pun referencing point and click games? Or how iOS and mobile games are played by pointing and touching the screen? Basically, I confused myself, so I asked SpryFox if they could clarify the concept for me:
@bluexyEach object, animation & bit of text is a bit of paint on canvas. Over dozens of playthroughs, a greater theme will be revealed.— Spry Fox (@spryfox) May 13, 2013
Clearly I'm overly obsessed with puns. I'm glad SpryFox was able to clear up the much more profound design behind Road Not Taken than I would have been able to properly convey. And, at the same time, force me to put Road Not Taken on my shortlist of very interesting upcoming projects.
Check out SpryFox's announcement post over on their homepage and look forward to more information on Road Not Taken soon. In the mean time here's the game's announcement trailer, depressingly leaving us with a, "Coming 2013," message at the end which only serves to perpetuate my impatience.
Physical retail environment was one tough case for poor Wright
Some pleasant news comes way of Capcom who finally confirms that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 5 is scheduled for North American and European release later this Fall. That wasn't the only part of the announcement that surprised longtime series fans, however; Capcom also revealed that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies will be made available exclusively as a digital download through the Nintendo eShop.
No physical retail release is currently planned for Ace Attorney 5 outside of Japan, a first for the series. Players already accustomed to downloading games from the eShop probably won't see the fire, but series fans who take pride in their physical collection of Ace Attorney games (or suffered from technical issues with Nintendo's online services in the past) are voicing disappointment in Capcom's discussions boards. Capcom USA Senior VP Christian Svensson addresses concerns:
"Historically it’s been tough to attract long term retail support for Ace Attorney titles. With the release of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies we wanted as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the game for as long as possible. With that in mind we have opted for a digital only release via the Nintendo 3DS eShop.
"I understand that this decision may upset fans who wanted to have a physical version of the title to add to their collection but we believe this direction is the best to take."
Svensson notes that eShop pricing details are forthcoming, and should reflect Capcom's strategy.
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E3 is only a few short weeks away, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility for trailers to start leaking. However, this PlayStation 4 E3 teaser trailer making the rounds is absolutely, 100% fake according to both Sony and anyone with eyeballs. Still, it's outstandingly well done and a ton of fun to think about -- that console concept isn't half bad. Let's make it clear though, it's fake.
The trailer started making the rounds this morning and Kotaku was quick to ask Sony about its legitimacy. According to an Sony America representative the teaser was neither produced nor released by the company. Considering the bluntly spoken response during a time when the most anyone usually gets is, "We don't comment on rumors or speculation," it's safe to say this rumor is dead.
Whoever made the video, however, might be on to some clever ideas that Sony should look into. The button symbols imprinted in people's retinas is very slick looking imagery. Could probably have some better gameplay footage though, as somehow they made next-gen Infamous look like last-gen garbage. I wouldn't mind that console design either, though perhaps with less eye-melting LED light.
Check out the PlayStation 4 fake teaser trailer below, and dream a dream about how dreamy the actual PlayStation 4 will be.
According to Polygon, Krillbite Studios will be releasing a public alpha version of their terrifying tale told through the eyes of a toddler, Among the Sleep, tomorrow. Launching at 2PM ET, the demo is meant to stir up some activity for the project as it meanders ino the final five days of its Kickstarter campaign. Setting at $180,000 of its $200,000 goal, it's a certainty the game will get funded, but a little extra never hurt, no?
If you've missed us talking about Among the Sleep before, here's the setup. You're a two year old child who awakens in the middle of night after being spooked. After beginning to roam the house, it becomes clear that something is very wrong. So begins a a horror adventure unlike any other. It would be completely reasonable to wear a diaper for multiple reasons.
Among the Sleep is expected to be released in December of 2013 and can be picked up with $20 donation to the Kickstarter campaign. Also, if you were wondering, the game is implementing Oculus Rift support for the game, which will be extended and optimized if the game reaches a $225,000 stretch goal. Make sure to check out the free public alpha released tomorrow to find out of Among the Sleep is for you.
- Call of Duty: Ghosts video compares graphical improvements between Modern Warfare 3 and Ghosts 
- No self-published indie titles on Xbox One, indie devs must find a publisher first 
- Xbox One lacks backwards compatibility, Microsoft will continue selling Xbox 360 games and console 
- Rhode Island set to sell Kingdoms of Amalur assets in order to try and recover part of $130 million debt 
- Remedy's Sam Lake apologizes to Alan Wake fans, launches Humble Bundle and Xbox LIVE sale 
- Company of Heroes 2 cinematic tells the story of war from a soldier's perspective, previews the campaign 
- Xbox One officially announced, here are the facts 
- Metro: Last Light DLC summer lineup brings serveral content packs, Season Pass also announced 
- Xbox One lacks backwards compatibility, Microsoft will continue selling Xbox 360 games and console 
- Several Pokemon revealed in latest CoroCoro Pokemon X and Y feature, also trainer customization 
- Pokemon X and Y welcomes us to Kalos, trailer showcases quartet of recently announced Pokemon 
- Xbox One officially announced, here are the facts 
- Next-gen Xbox officially set to be revealed on May 21, press invited to event on Microsoft's Redmond campus 
- Rockstar introduces three very different Grand Theft Auto V psychopaths in three very exciting trailers