May 30, 2013

So what's all this about a new Halo game called Bootcamp?

The Korean Game Rating Board's website spilled some beans about a new Halo game -apparently this page refers to a recently reviewed game called 'Bootcamp'. The internetz have been abuzz with this news all day trying to translate the page correctly and apparently this is the best folks have come up with:

"A TPS game based on 'Halo' universe where player complete various types of missions."

It's been suggested that Halo Bootcamp will be for the PC platform. Given the fuss, Microsoft was obliged to answer a question from a journalist, and surprisingly they they gave an honest answer of sorts:

What’s Bootcamp? It is not related to our Xbox One efforts, or the Reclaimer Saga, but rather a project we’re very enthusiastic about and will have more to say about in the near future.”

It will be very interesting to see what is coming - interesting that it's been through a review board prior to even being announced?

May 23, 2013

Good guy gamer AlanDaleW apologises for running over a player!

sorry I ran over you xbox

In start contrast to this apology forced by the player's mother, here's good guy gamer AlanDaleW saying sorry for accidentally running someone over with a warthog during some Halo multiplayer. Bless.

Why can't there be more awesome stuff like this happening on XBL? I applaud this player's gaming spirit!

The Law Of The Jungle - Destiny's first official trailer has been released


The Law Of The Jungle - Destiny's first official trailer has been released:

"As a Guardian of the City sets out on an epic, action-packed adventure to reclaim our Solar System, he recalls the moment when he was first taught the most important lesson of all -- The Law of the Jungle."


Directed by an upcoming directer called Jon Faverau and featuring a dude who sells chicken, here's a taste of what Destiny will offer. Guns, aliens, bigger aliens and guns. Lots of guns.


May 22, 2013

Thanks to Xbox One we now know why EA 'REALLY' dropped its online pass programme



Last week it was reported that EA was doing away with its stupid online pass programme. And everyone went "yay! That nasty evil corporation (that makes FANTASTIC video games) has finally come to its senses". Kinda.

EA was quoted as saying: “Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn’t respond to the format”

“We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward.”

Which all sounded like some corporate bullshit. And now that the Xbox reveal has happened, that bullshit is confirmed.

You see there is now no need for EA to have such a system as the Xbox One is going to do it for them with it’s registration of games to specific XBL accounts requirement.

This way the spread of second hand games is somewhat muted as EA will continue to be able to get people to pay for their games at retail rather than by way of the second hand market as punters will be engineered down that path by the Xbox One.

Rather nice timing for EA to get their announcement out a week or two before the Xbox One reveal  to get build some respect / lurve from the gaming community wasn't it? 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not really complaining about the new Xbox One system to connect software to an XBL account. After all, that disk that you buy with the latest Call of Duty on it is all you own, you actually are licensing the COD software for use, you never actually own that. 

DLC is tied to an Xbox account and no one really complains about that - this new approach by Xbox to games is simply the same principle. 

This is really just an example of technology catching up to the needs of the software vendors to help them extract better 'economic rents' for their very large investments'. 

But how much does it annoy you?


May 21, 2013

Does Xbox One require an “always on” Internet connection?

Xbox One controller

Update: Here's how the Xbox needs to connect to the Internet daily


Xbox answers a question that has plagued the internet in recent months:

Q: Does Xbox One require an “always on” Internet connection?

A: No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. We’re designing Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.

-

A wise decision from Xbox considering the backlash to the rumours. It will need to be plugged into the Kinect always however.

Reveal Q and A about Xbox One - including Kinect questions

Q:    Does Xbox One require an “always on” Internet connection?

A:    No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. We’re designing Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.

Q:    How do consumers benefit by being connected to the cloud?A:    The cloud makes every experience better and more accessible.  Because Xbox One is powered by the cloud:

  • Your games have more power available to create new gameplay, persistent worlds, and deeper experiences.
  • Your system and games can update automatically, so you shouldn’t have to wait for downloads or updates.
  • Your games and entertainment are stored and saved in the cloud, so you can access them anytime, from any Xbox One.* 
  • Start a game, movie, or TV show on one console and finish exactly where you left off on another.
  • You can play multiplayer games with your friends, stream movies or TV shows right away, and enjoy the community and social features of Xbox Live.
  • Xbox One can recognize you, log you in and tailor your home screen just for you.

You can discover what your friends are playing, watching and listening to if they choose to share.
These are just a few examples of how customers benefit from our platform being connected to the Internet. It brings the future of TV and games to our consumers—and it’s designed for today and the decade ahead.

* Subject to content geographical restrictions.

Q:    When will Xbox One launch and in what markets?A:    Xbox One will launch in markets around the world later this year. We’ll have more to share later.

Q:    Can I use my current gamertag on Xbox One and will my Gamerscore and Achievements transfer?A:    Yes. Your current Xbox Live Gamertag will stay with you on Xbox One if you choose to keep it, and your hard-earned Gamerscore and Achievements will indeed carry over from Xbox 360.

Q:    Will Xbox One be backward compatible with my existing games?A:    Xbox One hardware is not compatible with Xbox 360 games. We designed Xbox One to play an entirely new generation of games—games that are architected to take full advantage of state-of-the-art processors and the infinite power of the cloud. We care very much about the investment you have made in Xbox 360 and will continue to support it with a pipeline of new games and new apps well into the future.

Q:    Will Xbox One allow players to trade in, purchase and play pre-owned games? A:    We are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We’ll have more details to share later.

Q:    Will my current Xbox Live Gold membership work with Xbox One or will I have to buy a new one?A:    You do not need to buy a new Xbox Live Gold membership. Your current membership will work on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Q:   Why require Kinect with every Xbox One?A:    The all new Kinect is now an essential and integrated part of the platform.  By having it as a consistent part of every Xbox One, game and entertainment creators can build experiences that assume the availability of voice, gesture and natural sensing, leading to unrivaled ease of use, premium experiences and interactivity for you.

Q:    Do I need to have a specific cable or satellite TV provider to watch live TV on Xbox?A:    Our goal is to enable live TV through Xbox One in every way that it is delivered throughout the world, whether that’s television service providers, over the air or over the Internet, or HDMI-in via a set top box (as is the case with many providers in the US). The delivery of TV is complex and we are working through the many technologies and policies around the world to make live TV available where Xbox One is available.

Q:    Xbox One is a more powerful product compared to Xbox 360, but does it also use more power?A:    No. By providing multiple power states in Xbox One, we’ve balanced energy efficiency with functionality. We’ve taken a completely different approach to how Xbox One consumes power. It only uses the power it needs at that particular moment for the task at hand.

Will Destiny be on Xbox One?

Yes, Destiny will be available for the new Xbox One Console.

Bungie confirmed it via twitter following the Xbox reveal:





One surprises there really, but it's nice too know for certain.


Halo to have a TV series produced by Steven Speilberg


In news sure to please Halo fans Steven Spielberg has signed on to produce a live-action TV series of the best-selling video game Halo. This no doubt follows due to the excellent success of the shorts ‘Forward Unto Dawn’ that were used to promote Halo 4.

Microsoft revealed its plans for a Halo series at the global launch of the new Xbox One console, which is set to replace the XBox 360 in spring. The series produced by Spielberg and 343 Studios will be exclusively available for XBox Live which is great as it means fans won’t need to buy the latest Halo game to enjoy the series.

Spielberg said:

"The Halo universe is an amazing opportunity to be at that intersection where technology and myth-making meet to produce something truly groundbreaking”.

Let’s hope Speilberg can pull of something amazing as Peter Jackson intended.

Xbox: there can only be ONE


Here's the details of the new Xbox, known as 'One'. I shall be calling mine Neo in honour of the Highlander or something...

Here's what TVNZ repeated on the announcement. A Halo TV series produced by Steven Speilberg sounds pretty cool:

Microsoft has given the world a first look at its new Xbox One, announcing that its first gaming console in eight years will come with exclusive video and software content, including a Halo series produced by Steven Spielberg.

The Xbox One, which will be available later this year at a price yet to be announced, will also be the first platform to release the next installment in Activision Blizzard's blockbuster shooter franchise, Call of Duty.

Microsoft hopes its third-generation console will attract video game fans who are increasingly sampling games on mobile devices, while also becoming a hub for living room entertainment.

The console took four years to develop and will launch worldwide "later this year", games unit chief Don Mattrick told reporters at an event at the software company's campus near Seattle, without providing details on timing or pricing.

The device's launch came after months of intense speculation on industry blogs about what new features it might sport.

The new device interacts with a television, responds to voice and gesture commands, and includes Skype video calling, 15 exclusive game titles and original programming content.

The Xbox One will chiefly compete with Nintendo's new Wii U and Sony's forthcoming PlayStation 4 for a bigger slice of the $US65 billion-a-year computer game market.

The world's largest software company also sees the Xbox One as a broader strategic piece in the battle with Apple,  Google and others to control consumer entertainment in the age of tablets and smartphones.Console gaming still takes the lion's share of a growing gaming market - about 42% of the world market, according to Microsoft. But playing games on smartphones and tablets, or as an offshoot to online social networks, is gaining ground fast.

To that end, Microsoft presented the new box as more than just a video game console.

Acclaimed movie maker Steven Spielberg will be executive-producing a television series based on Microsoft's blockbuster sci-fi game Halo for the Xbox One, the company said.

The new console will offer exclusive National Football League content and eight new game franchises, executives said.

Activision Blizzard will launch Call of Duty: Ghosts later in 2013, first for the Xbox.

The device will have 8 gigabytes of memory, with an updated controller and new-generation Kinect sensor that communicates a user's voice and gesture commands to the console. The technology is built on the Xbox operating system and the kernel of Windows software to handle Internet-based content.

Moreover, the device will let users store entertainment content, including movies, games and music, on cloud servers, the company said.

Despite its strong brand and 'cool' factor, the Xbox itself is not a key financial factor for the world's largest software maker. Its Entertainment & Devices unit is set to break $US10 billion in sales for the first time this year, but that's half the sales of its Windows unit, and a lot less profitable, averaging less than 15% margin compared to 60% or higher for Windows or Office.

The company has more than 46 million members who subscribe to its online gaming and digital entertainment service Xbox Live, but that's still a fraction of the people who pay for its software.

May 20, 2013

Tank beats everything!

fallen tank destiny

Did you ever play Halo 3? There's a great scene where you get to drive a tank for the first time. After taking down a some hunters, some vehicles and then finally a Covenant dropship, the soldier that's snagged a ride on your tank exclaims that "tank beats everything!" It's a classic Halo moment.

And so now that Bungie is making Destiny, I'm pleased to see there will be tanks in it the game. Here's a picture of the Fallen's tank. Gosh, I really do hope players in Destiny will have a chance to man this monster and drive around, beating everything.



May 18, 2013

I believe this is a female character from Destiny

The Mail Sack from Bungie posted this render - seems to be a female character that you'll be able to customise. She's a Titan.

female destiny titan

May 16, 2013

How a Mass Effect movie might translate from video game to silver screen


Drew Karpyshyn is a name some Mass Effect fans may recognise as one of the key writers of the first games in the Mass Effect series - he was interviewed by Kotaku and here's some of his thoughts about how the Mass Effect games and story would translate into a movie. The main thrust of his views are that to make a movie, compromises will have to be made and no-one will be happy.

Here's some key bits from Drew:

“But I think one of the things that also has to happen is you have to compress things down,” he continued. I don’t think you can do justice to the characters even if it’s just, say, Mass Effect 1, which had the smallest cast of characters. You have Shepard, and then you have six squadmates. You had Joker. You have Anderson. You have Saren. Maybe a Sovereign sort of hiding there a little bit. Already that’s 10 very significant characters.

“What you have to do, and I know fans don’t want to hear this, but you have to remove some of those characters. I think you just have to realize we can’t tell everything that’s in the game in a two-hour movie. Some of them are just going to be cameos, like in Ocean’s 11, ‘Oh, that guy was in there. I don’t even remember his name, but he’s the bomb guy.” It’s going to be a muddled mess if you don’t do that.
Ashley: Would you want her gone?
“If you say, ‘We want this relationship between Shepard and Liara because it parallels humanity’s relationship with the various alien species,’ then you don’t even use certain characters at that point. Now Ashley’s gone. Then people are going to go, ‘Oh, Ashley’s gone. What the heck?’ If you want to focus again, maybe you want to have the relationship, like, ‘We really like this Garrus character and how he ties in and his views on humanity and Shepard. Well, then, maybe Tali’s extraneous.’ There’s different things you have to pull out depending on the direction you want to take it in.”

Ok, if some of the cast members may never make onto the silver screen Normandy, what absolutely needs to be in a Mass Effect screenplay? “As far as what I think they really need to leave in, for me, [Mass Effect is] really about this idea that humanity is the newcomer and trying to prove themselves to the other races or trying to find their place,” Karpyshyn said. “It’s a great set-up, especially if they want to go forward and base the second movie on the second game, which brings up Cerberus. They’re sort of the epitome of the conflict that arises as humanity tries to carve out their place in the universe and are sort of the polar opposite of Shepard.”


My money is on a Mass Effect film never happening....

Cliffy B mangles the english language, most Play Station users didn't get it.....


Cliff Bleszinski was musing on the future of the Playstation and came up with this beauty:

"I don’t know if we’ll ever see the same level of success that the PlayStation 2 saw, which is one of the number-one-selling consoles of all time."

I know Cliffy B runs at a different er gear from the rest of us but I'm pretty sure in the real world, there can only be one number one selling console of all time.... We all get what he was meaning but it was a pretty funny statement to make. 

Cliff actually has a lot of great things to say about the gaming industry so check out his blog. It's fairly clear his years of producing Gears of War has put him in a rare position of someone in the gaming universe actually knowing what they are talking about...

If you want to know what I mean, have a read of Your momma is so fat she got stuck in the Halo

May 15, 2013

Wolfenstein: The New Order coming late 2013, new screenshots released

new order wolfenstein

Game developer Bethesda has confirmed Wolfenstein: The New Order.  The game is due to ship on the PlayStation 4, Xbox 720, PC, and PS3 and Xbox 360 in the fourth quarter of 2013.


 The game is a re-imagining of the original Wolfenstein games, this time with big giant robots. And those robots look awesome in these screen shots.


A fairly un-inspiring trailer for Wolfenstein: The New Order can be found below. Jimi Hendrix, really?



May 13, 2013

Your momma is so fat she got stuck in the Halo

Cliffy B muses on this article about the levels of co-operation that are required in the game Monaco after a dude called Ryan posted his own musings in response. Here’s Ryan’s best thought:

"Multiplayer modes are excellent, computer AI blows in comparison. Nothing beats a game where you can legitimately outsmart someone as opposed to finding the non human “quirk” to defeat an AI. Yet, in this arena, you’re subjected to playing with absolute cretin’s who not only are total tremendous douchebro’s, but thrive off out douching each other at a rational person’s expense."

Cliffy B then mused that Xbox’s anonymity over the head sets is ‘one of its biggest limiting factors’ and I think he should know as his Gears of War franchise helped contribute to this problem, gosh knows Halo did too. I stopped using a headset years ago because of it.

Cliff didn’t offer any solutions other than to share an amusing anecdote about what happens when the lights go out in a cafeteria (which is basically what XBL is consistently light).

I’ve a solution. Xbox Live users should be able to select an option where they can play persons who are only 30 years plus age (and where those accounts have been in use for a couple of years with no issues).

I posit such a population would be free of griefers, racists, red necks, ignorant 14 year old Australian boys and otherwise un-suitable players.

Thoughts?




What makes the Prometheans of Halo 4 tick? The heart of Voltron apparently...

promethan-knight-halo-purple-hue

What makes the Prometheans of Halo 4 tick? Postmortem found out when he attended the 2013 Game Developers Conference.

Here's a snippet from his really interest post on HBO:

"Warner stated that the Prometheans were initially heavily inspired by Voltron fromVoltron: Defender of the Universe, the T-1000 from Terminator 2, the titular creature from The Thing, and Cranium Rats from Planescape. What the team was particularly attracted to was the modular behavior of all of these examples, how together they create one dynamic, while when separated they form an entirely different one. 

From an early point, they had 6 characters, based on a chess analogy of a King, Queen, Rook, Knight, Bishop, and Pawn. For the sake of scheduling and focus, they ultimately stripped this down to just the three that made it into the game, but Warner said that the other three may come back at some point. The Pawns became the Crawlers, and the Bishop eventually became the Watcher."

Perhaps we may see some Kings and Queens in Halo 5?

Here's some footage Postmortem took at GDC which features some working protoype Promethean knights in action. 



May 11, 2013

Who are the Fallen? What are their classes?


So who is this group known as The Fallen that run amok in the world of Destiny? What are their classes and what do they do? And why are they so cool?


dreg-fallen-destiny
Dreg

THE FALLEN CLASS: DREG

These relentless thieves seem driven by desperation and rage. They are crafty, but they usually give up their cover with their clattering and hissing. Most seem outfitted with some kind of shock dagger and pistol, and as far as we can gather, they seem to only have two arms, while other Fallen have four.

vandal-picture-destiny
A Vandal from Destiny

THE FALLEN CLASS: VANDAL

The truths about the Fallen chain-of-command are still making themselves known, but Vandals appear to hold a higher ranking than the Dregs, and deadlier weapons, too. They often have long range capability, but, lucky for us, their weapons take time to charge.

fallen-captain-class-destiny
Oh Captain, my Captain
THE FALLEN CLASS: CAPTAIN

Fallen run in packs, led by an individual Captain. There is no denying a Captain's might; they are the fiercest of the Fallen. There is this sense of tattered nobility to them. You can see it in the way they carry themselves. They think they're better than us. They believe that Earth belongs to them.

I freaking love that this guy has two swords. That means he's twice as bad ass as anyone.

More Destiny pictures revealed

Some cool new art from Bungie that's all Destiny:

This one's file name was Plaza North


This one is simply awsome - a wreck of an old bomber or freight plane of some kind, it was named Delta North.

May 6, 2013

Legends are not remembered by the great deeds they perform, but by the bravery it took to achieve them.

city of ruins destiny artwork

 Above is some new concept art released by Bungie from Destiny. They tweeted it as below:

Here's a whole lot more Destiny drawings. There's some amazing stuff in there!

EA granted Star Wars game licence

1313 starwars

Following the sale of Luscas Film to Disney,  the internal Star Wars development studio LucasArts  suspended all announced projects including the keenly anticipated 'Star Wars 1313'.

EA has now been announced as been awarded an exclusive gaming license to produce Star Wars games. Here's a take from a statement by 

'Today, The Walt Disney Company has announced that they have chosen EA to create new Star Wars experiences for gamers worldwide.

The magic of Star Wars is interwoven into the worlds, characters, planets and amazing battles. It is a universe that lends itself perfectly to gaming. Our agreement unlocks a whole new future of Star Wars games that will span consoles, PCs, tablets, mobile and more.

While we don’t have any details to share today on specific titles, our development teams are already brimming with design ideas. The EA Studios that will develop these games are some of the most innovative and popular creative teams in the world, and include DICE and Visceral, in addition to the BioWare team, which is already developing for the Star Wars franchise.

These imaginative teams will make games that may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories. Powering it all will be the Frostbite 3 development engine – guaranteeing incredible graphic fidelity, environments and characters.'

The opportunity for other parties to pony up their own cash to make Star Wars related games creates a sweet window opportunity for better quality games than have been recently delivered by the studio.

Imagine if the Bioware team was able to do a Star Wars RPG that was as good as Mass Effect. That would be the ultimate game....

May 3, 2013

Sarah Palmer will be novelised in Initiation


Wired explains about a new Halo novelization of Sarah Palmer's back story:

Brian Reed, the comic writer who adapted the Halo: Fall of Reach novel into comic form in 2010 before joining 343 Industries to write the Halo 4 game, will write the books, with Marco Castiello (Star Wars: Purge) on art. Initiation is the origin story of Sarah Palmer, a character introduced in Halo 4. Although she appeared in the game as a commander of the Spartan forces, she was originally an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper; this series follows her career path.

“After Halo 4 and Spartan Ops, fans wanted to know more about the origins of the Spartan-IV program and Sarah Palmer in particular. So it’s great fun to be able to grant those wishes with a partner like Dark Horse,”

Aisha Tyler gives the haters something to suck on

Aisha doing Halo: Reach Promo work
You might have heard of Aisha Tyler - if you're of my generation you'll probably know her from her fairly popular role on Friends when she was caught in a love triangle between Joey and Ross. But that was so long ago, in this 'modern era' era one of her claims to fame is that she's a well known gaming personality - though it would seem some of the 'internet folk' (read: those people who love to make jokes about your mom) got a bit uppity when Ms Tyler was announced as E3 Ubisoft Press Conference 2012. 

It was apparently so bad she responded to with a verbal assault so awesomely vitriolic, mothers had to cover their babies ears each time they logged into facebook. 

But you know what? As I've typed this I've just realised that Policymic is just rehashing something that happened last year! But so what? her facebook rant was pretty amazing. It shows strength. And true grit.

And given the shit that Adria Richards recently received it's refreshing to know that out there some 'gamer girls' have the balls to make sure 'gamer lads' know this gaming universe is for everyone.