Wii Sports, the game that defined the Wii, is now coming to Wii U in an unorthodox fashion.
Nintendo revealed these details today during one of its regular Nintendo Direct events.
Wii Sports Club is essentially Wii Sports HD, but downloading Wii Sports Club won’t cost you a thing. Instead, the individual sports will run you $9.99, with tennis and bowling launching on November 7. Boxing, baseball, and golf will be coming down the line.
Interestingly, there’s also the option to “rent” an all access pass for a single day for $1.99, and a set of free trials become available once you’ve purchased one of the games. The games will also include MotionPlus support, which wasn’t part of the original game, and online mutiplayer.
That seems quite pricey for what was once pack-in software, and it’s not shocking the first two games rolling out from this collection are the most popular slices from the original Wii Sports.
There are some interesting wrinkles to Wii Fit U, as well. Anyone with a Balance Board accessory can unlock the Wii Fit U software for free for a month starting on November 1. With the purchase of a Fit Meter pedometer for $19.99, you’ll continue to gain access to the software indefinitely. Anyone without a Balance Board can purchase the bundle separately for $90 on December 13, and a full-priced digital version of Wii Fit U will finally show up on February 1.
You can watch the entire Nintendo Direct below:
Just in time for Steam’s 10th anniversary, Valve has announced a program with potentially huge ramifications down the digital road: family sharing.
The basic idea is that it’ll soon be possible to authorize your library to be shared with up to 10 other people. You cannot just share a single game but the whole library. Let’s say you authorize your brother. If your brother wants to play Papers, Please through your shared account but you’re down for some Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 at the same time, he’s kicked off and told he has to purchase Papers, Please on his own account. If you’re not playing, though, he can keep going.
This takes some obvious idea off the table pretty quickly. You cannot purchase one copy of a co-op game and play through it with a friend.
The big question: does this require people to be playing on the same PC? The above example makes that seem obvious, but strangers things have happened. The FAQ for family sharing mentions that it’s possible to authorize “up to 10 devices at a given time,” which would suggest one PC could act as a host library for 10 other computers. I’ve asked Valve for clarification on this, since it has the broadest ramifications for this.
It’s also currently unclear how this would impact Steam’s offline mode, or if developers would have the option of opting-out of participation.
As it stands, Valve is already saying not every game can be a part of this. Games that require “third-party key, account, or subscription in order to play cannot be shared between accounts.”
You will, however, be able to access downloadable content already purchased for a game.
The idea of sharing your digital games became a topic of conversation earlier this year, as Microsoft flirted with the idea for Xbox One. As a result of its massive turnaround on DRM policies, however, these potentially progressive and interesting ideas were kicked down the road.
Family sharing will enter into beta next week, with 1,000 users on Steam gaining access.
More information is available on Valve's official page, which also includes a detailed FAQ.
Is it time to finally invest in 1Password? Maybe so. Ubisoft has revealed new details about a recent website exploit that exposed its account database, including “user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords.”
“We recently found that one of our Web sites was exploited to gain unauthorized access to some of our online systems,” said the company in a statement on its forums. “We instantly took steps to close off this access, to begin a thorough investigation with relevant authorities, internal and external security experts, and to start restoring the integrity of any compromised systems.”
Encrypted passwords means the passwords themselves were not exposed in their pure form, but if a particular password isn’t very strong, it wouldn’t take much trouble for it to be deciphered.
Ubisoft said payment information was not exposed, so your debit and credit card should be safe.
If your Uplay password is one shared among other web services, it’s time to change all of those, too.
UPDATE: The used games stuff only gets weirder and weirder. Xbox exec Phil Harrison told Eurogamer there's a fee associated with used games, while Xbox Support is saying the exact opposite on Twitter. On the other hand, Kotaku also talked to Harrison, who said Microsoft is working out an online trade system that's yet to be announced, and games will be playable on all user accounts on an individual system. According to Harrison, you will have to pay a fee if you borrow a game disc from a friend, a fee that, at least for new games, will be the same cost your friend probably paid.
As more details on Microsoft’s newly announced Xbox One filter out, we'll bring you the ones that matter.
The company tossed up a FAQ up to address some pressing questions.
I’ve highlighted the most important answers below, which address the rumors about Xbox One being an “always on” console, the transferring of gamerscore and achievements, backwards compatibility, and if used games are a thing anymore. There aren’t great answers to the first and last questions, unfortunately, but that’s where we’re at right now.
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: 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.
We also know Xbox Live will now support up to 1,000 friends, a far cry from the current service's 100-person limit.
Additionally, Engadget reports the machine will come with a 500GB hard drive that is non-replaceable, but the USB 3.0 slots can be used for external storage.
In case you didn't hear, while biking home on Thursday, I hit a rather large pothole at full speed, flipped off my bike, and broke my collarbone on my left shoulder. I shouldn't be out of the office for too long, but I'm definitely going to be knocked out of commission for a few days, thanks to minor surgery. If I had a copy of my x-ray, I'd post it. I should remember to do that when I'm at the doctor again.
The easy way out of this would be to put off Worth Reading until next week, but I'd already collected a huge dump of links to share with you guys. Rather than scrap everything I'd been gathering this week, Worth Reading is going to ditch being a fancy set of links and, instead, actually be a huge dump of links.
Ah, Nintendo Direct. You never quite know what you're going to get with these things. Today, at least, proved to be one of the more interesting slates of announcements delivered by Satoru Iwata, as he brought out a couple of new games, as well as at least one major HD remake, for the Wii U.
Let's just get that big one right out of the way now. Yes, there is a Zelda game headed to the Wii U this fall. Namely, it's the GameCube Zelda game, the criminally underrated Wind Waker, remade in HD for Nintendo's new console. The remake, which includes fully remastered visuals and GamePad support, will release for the console this fall.
Mention was briefly made of a new Zelda game as well, but series producer Eiji Aonuma had no significant details to share at this time. So we likely won't be seeing this new entry in the series at E3 this year. However, we should be seeing several other new entries in familiar franchises at the show, including a new Mario game from the Mario Galaxy team, a new Mario Kart title, a new game from the Wii Party team, and...
...a new Yoshi game! Yes, Mario's perpetually put-upon dinosaur friend will get his first new starring console adventure since 1998's Yoshi's Story. This new Yoshi game is currently in development, and being headed up by Takashi Tezuka, alongside the team behind Kirby's Epic Yarn. Yes, Yarn Yoshi is a thing. Squeal.
Lastly on the game front, Nintendo also unveiled one of the...odder combinations for an RPG mash-up one could possibly dream up. Intelligent Systems' Fire Emblem series will be crossing over with Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei series for a game currently just titled Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem. So that's weird.
Oh, and for those holding out hope for some Virtual Console business on the Wii U, you won't have to wait too much longer. Nintendo announced that the VC store would be launching with the system's spring update, and would include a "selection" of NES and SNES games, with Game Boy Advance joining the fray as well later on. Pricing is expected to be the same as on the Wii.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes of the more immediately interesting Nintendo Direct recaps we've had to do in quite a while. Look at Nintendo, doing things like a company with games to show. Ain't it just delightful?
ZODIAC MOTHER*CRAG*ER DRINKS KESSLER AND IS BANNED FOR LIFE FROM THE GIANT BOMB COMMUNITY FOR NINE HUNDRED COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED OWNAGE. HE LEAVES BITCHES MEWLING IN HIS WAKE AND IF YOU DONT BELIEVE THAT SHIT THEN CHECK THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW
ZODIAC IS A FORMER RESIDENT OF DETROIT BUT THESE DAYS HE ROLLS DOLO FROM CITY TO CITY LIKE A *CRAG*ING DERELICT IN HIS LINCOLN. SO WHEN YOU SEE THAT BLACK BATTLESHIP ROAMING THE STREETS WITH AXEL F BLASTING OUT THE *CRAG*ING WINDOWS YOULL KNOW THAT THE ZODIAC HAS COME TO YOUR TOWN. KNEEL
IN THE MEANTIME PAY HOMAGE AT TWITTER.COM/ZODIAC_MF
THIS COMPILATION IS NINETY-FIVE PERCENT BULLSHIT AND IT ACTS LIKE THE HD VERSIONS THAT WERE ON XBOX LIVE LIKE SEVEN *CRAG*ING YEARS AGO NEVER EXISTED BUT IT FEATURES THE GAME OF KINGS JOUST AND IT IS NOW THE ONLY WAY TO ACQUIRE THAT ALLTIME CLASSIC ON XBOX 360. CAN YOU DROP THY OSTRICHS BALLS IN THY OPPONENTS FACE BEFORE HE DOES THE SAME TO THEE? NOPE. YOU PROBABLY CANT
TAKE GRAND THEFT AUTO ADD SOME AWESOME CHINESE DUDES AND REPLACE THE WACK GUNPLAY WITH TOTAL *CRAG*ING HAND-TO-HAND BRUTALITY AND OWNAGE AND YOU GOT SLEEPING DOGS. I MEAN YEAH IT AINT REVOLUTIONARY OR ANYTHING BUT ITS STILL A BLAST AND I CAN NOT STRESS IT ENOUGH: IT IS IMMENSELY SATISFYING TO BEAT THE HOLY GODDAMN *CRAG*ING SHIT OUT OF PEOPLE IN THIS GAME. ITS LIKE BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM IF BATMAN BEAT *CRAG*ERS TO DEATH WITH WHATEVERS HANDY LIKE HE SHOULD. ATTENTION VOLITION: STEAL THIS SHIT
YEAH THIS GAME CAME OUT IN 2006 SO ITS KINDA *CRAG*ED UP IM LISTING IT AS ONE OF MY FAVORITE GAMES OF 2012 BUT THERES A COUPLE OF POINTS TO CONSIDER HERE: NUMBER ONE I DO WHATEVER THE *CRAG* I WANT AND NUMBER TWO IF YOU HAVENT PLAYED IT ITS NEW TO YOU MOTHER*CRAG*ER. BESIDES GIANT BOMB WAS STILL SWIMMING AROUND IN JEFF GERSTMANNS BALLSACK WHEN DEFCON CAME OUT SO IT AINT LIKE I COULDVE NAMED IT BACK THEN EVEN IF I HAD PLAYED IT. POINT IS THIS GAME IS SHEER *CRAG*ING APOCALYPTIC OWNAGE NOT TO MENTION A MASTERPIECE IN MOOD AND HORROR AND WORLDWIDE DESTRUCTION AND IT CAN BE HAD FOR A PITTANCE IN 2012. AND THAT SHITS BETTER THAN NEW. SO FOR ANYBODY LIKE ME WHO FOUND THE COLD WAR TO BE A HUGETIME DISAPPOINTMENT WITH A LOT OF BUILDUP AND NO PAYOFF THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO SEE THE NUCLEAR ARMAGEDDON WE WERE PROMISED INSTEAD OF A LOT OF ANTICLIMACTIC PERESTROIKA HORSESHIT
WELL GODDAMN THIS SHIT WOULD BE BEST IN SHOW AT THE FLAGRANT BUSH AWARDS BUT I NEVER GOT AROUND TO FINISHING IT SO ITS ONLY NUMBER SEVEN HERE. BUT MAN I GOTTA SAY WHEN THIS GAME CAME OUT FLASHING MORE BEAVER THAN A 1982 HUSTLER I FIGURED THOSE *CRAG*ING MUMMIES AT THE NEWS NETWORKS WOULD BE FANNING THEMSELVES FOR WEEKS AND WHIPPING ALL THE OLD *CRAG*S UP INTO A *CRAG*ING RAGE. BUT NOBODY REALLY CARED AND I THOUGHT TO MYSELF DAMN BETWEEN THAT AND THE SUPREME COURT RULING AGAINST ASSHOLE IN ASSHOLE V. ENTERTAINMENT MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION MAYBE WEVE FINALLY TURNED A *CRAG*ING CORNER AS A CULTURE HERE. THEN SOME MODCUT DIPSHIT SHOT UP A GRADE SCHOOL AND NEXT THING YOU KNOW CNN IS REPORTING THAT STARCRAFT TOLD HIM TO DO IT AND CONGRESSBITCHES ARE TALKING ABOUT VIDEOGAME HEARINGS AGAIN. ONE STEP FORWARD TWO STEPS THE *CRAG* BACK
IM SURE THE HITMAN STORYLINE IS FASCINATING AND ALL BUT ILL BE HONEST WITH YOU NO MATTER HOW FAR I GET INTO THE GAME I KEEP GOING BACK TO THAT SECOND LEVEL WHERE OUR MAN 47 WHACKS SOME JUMPED UP PUNK WHO CALLS HIMSELF THE KING OF CHINATOWN DESPITE THE FACT THAT HES JUST A LOWRENT MOTHER*CRAG*ER IN A NINETY DOLLAR SUIT WHO DOESNT EVEN FIGURE INTO THE PLOT IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER. AND LET ME TELL YOU THIS PIECE OF SHIT HAS DIED A THOUSAND DEATHS AT MY HANDS: IVE SHOT HIM IVE BLOWN HIM UP IVE POISONED HIM IVE DUMPED HIS STUPID ASS DOWN A MANHOLE IVE CRUSHED HIM WITH SOME LIKE PALLETS OR SOME *CRAG*ING SHIT HELL I EVEN BLUDGEONED HIM TO DEATH WITH A *CRAG*ING BOTTLE IN FRONT OF AN ARMY OF COPS LIKE DO SOMETHING. BUT MY PERSONAL FAVORITE WAS FOLLOWING HIM INTO AN ALLEY AND FILLETING HIS *CRAG*ING ASS WITH A SUSHI KNIFE BEFORE TOSSING HIM IN A *CRAG*ING DUMPSTER AND SAUNTERING AWAY LIKE I JUST WON SIX BUCKS AT KENO. AND I DID IT ALL DRESSED LIKE A COMPLETE *CRAG*ING ASSHOLE
I *CRAG*ED UP A SHARK
AS ANY DUMBASS CAN PLAINLY SEE I FIND THAT GAMES WHERE YOU STALK MOTHER*CRAG*ERS AND MURDER THEM ALL UNAWARES ARE ALWAYS ACES. THIS ONES NO EXCEPTION BUT THERES EVEN MORE SHIT TO RECOMMEND IT INCLUDING AN AWESOME MAGIC SYSTEM AND A FRESH SETTING AND HITGIRL AND CERSEI LANNISTER. AND THAT MASK *CRAG*ING OWNS. BUT WHILE THERES A LOT OF WAYS TO APPROACH THIS GAME AND THE DESIGNERS TRIED TO INCORPORATE A COST TO OWNAGE LETS FACE *CRAG*ING THE FACTS HERE THERES ONLY ONE WAY TO PLAY: HIGH CHAOS LIKE A MOTHER*CRAG*ER. I FIGURE *CRAG* IT THEY STARTED IT
THIS IS BASICALLY LIEUTENANT GORMAN THE VIDEOGAME BECAUSE IT WILL LEAVE YOU SHIVERING LIKE A SHELLSHOCKED BITCH WATCHING HALF YOUR *CRAG*ING SQUAD DIE MISERABLE *CRAG*ED UP DEATHS BECAUSE YOU SUCK AT PLANNING SHIT. I NEVER WOULDVE GUESSED THAT TURNBASED GAMEPLAY COULD BE SO INTENSE BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT: IRONMAN MODE IS NO *CRAG*ING JOKE. FOR REAL YOU GOTTA HAVE BALLS LIKE BILLY SQUIER TO PLAY THAT SHIT FOR ANY EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. BUT NO MATTER HOW YOU PLAY MAKE SURE YOU NAME YOUR SOLDIERS BEFORE MARCHING THEM INTO BULLSHIT ALIEN HELL. LET THEM GET THEIR COCKS KNOCKED IN THE DIRT WITH SOME *CRAG*ING DIGNITY
EVERYBODYS ALREADY TORQUING THE SNORKEL OVER THIS ONE SO ILL KEEP IT SHORT: TEAM KENNY. CHARACTER OF THE *CRAG*ING YEAR
GAME OF THE *CRAG*ING YEAR WITHOUT QUESTION. NONSTOP ENTERTAINMENT AND OWNAGE BY THE POUND WITH HUGELY MEMORABLE CHARACTERS BRINGING LAUGHS TO SPARE. I MEAN HOLY SHIT IMAGINE THAT: A VIDEOGAME THATS FUNNIER THAN YOUR AVERAGE *CRAG*ING SALLY FORTH STRIP. AND THATS JUST ICING ON THE CAKE BECAUSE THIS IS A TOTAL *CRAG*ING MASTERPIECE IN ALMOST EVERY REGARD. MORE THAN THAT CHECK OUT CLASS ACT GEARBOX SUPPORTING THIS SHIT WITH THE KILLER DLC AND THE REGULAR FREE BONUS ITEMS AND EVEN THROWING IN A MOVING TRIBUTE TO A FAN. THAT MY MOTHER*CRAG*ERS IS HOW YOU TREAT YOUR CUSTOMERS. BUT ALL THAT RESPECTABLE SHIT ASIDE THE RAW *CRAG*ING FUN FACTOR ON THIS THING IS THROUGH THE ROOF. HELL THERES AN ENTIRE QUEST DEVOTED SOME *CRAG*ING IMBECILE ASKING YOU TO SHOOT HIM IN THE FACE. I WAS LIKE HEY HAVE IT YOUR WAY MOTHER*CRAG*ER. AND THE MULTIPLAYER HERE IS THE BEST COOP YOURE GONNA FIND. FOUR PLAYERS AGAINST THE BNK3R ON WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD IS PRACTICALLY A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE. I SAY WITH EVERY *CRAG*ING CONFIDENCE THAT ONLY BEATOFFS DONT LIKE THIS GAME. AND WHILE IM ANOINTING THIS SHIT IT ID LIKE TO MAKE SPECIAL NOTE TO TINY TINA: AWESOME CHARACTER BENT ON TORTURE AND REVENGE AND BLOWING *CRAG*ERS UP BUT THE REAL STORY THERE IS ASHLY BURCH WHO DOES HER VOICE. YEAH I MEAN THAT CHICA MIGHT BE OLD NEWS TO ALL YOU GAMERCHICK FETISH HAVING CHIPHEAD MOTHER*CRAG*ERS GUNZERKING INTO A KLEENEX EVERY TIME SOME Z-LIST SNIZZ PRETENDS TO LIKE VIDEOGAMES BUT I DONT FOLLOW INTERNET BULLSHIT SO SHE WAS A *CRAG*ING REVELATION OVER HERE. *CRAG* YOUTUBE PUT THAT LITTLE HOTNESS ON REAL TELEVISION. OR MY LAP
THIS GAME SHOULDVE BEEN HOT SHIT IN A GOLDEN BOWL BUT THEY *CRAG*ED IT ALL UP. SO I SAY *CRAG* IT. *CRAG* ITS BULLSHIT NICKELANDDIMEASS TEXT ONLY FETCHQUESTS AND *CRAG* IT FOR COCKTEASING US WITH AN ELCOR WORLD MISSION. *CRAG* THAT PHONYASS MEANINGLESS *CRAG*ING WAR ASSET MECHANIC AND *CRAG* THE DLC THAT I HAVENT SPENT A *CRAG*ING DIME ON LET ALONE A MINUTE OF THIS AWESOME LIFE. MOTHER*CRAG* THE MONEYGRUBBING *CRAG*ING MULTIPLAYER AND *CRAG* THE WAY YOU CANT HOLSTER YOUR *CRAG*ING GUN AND REALLY *CRAG* THAT WACK *CRAG*ING TACKED ON RIPOFF AT FREE BULLSHITASS FOUR SCENE TWO *CRAG*ING GIGABYTE ENDING THAT THEY RELEASED THREE MONTHS AFTER I STOPPED GIVING A *CRAG*ING SHIT. *CRAG* MASS EFFECT 3 FOR *CRAG*ING THE DOG IN THE ELEVENTH HOUR. HELL *CRAG* MASS EFFECT 4 WHATEVER THE *CRAG* THATS GONNA BE. AND *CRAG* THOSE STROKERS CALLING THEMSELVES BIOWARE THESE DAYS. THEY TOOK A MEGAFRANCHISE IN ITS PRIME AND THEY PUT A BULLET IN ITS TEMPLE. UN*CRAG*INGPRECEDENTED. *CRAG* IT AND *CRAG* THEM. THEY BROKE MY *CRAG*ING HEART
While this year's E3 wasn't necessarily the most memorable of shows, a few moments still stand out in my mind. One such image is that of BioWare's Dr. Ray Muzyka solemnly walking out onto EA's press conference stage to, as I put it then, "plead for the life of Star Wars: The Old Republic." He looked almost as tired as EA CEO John Riccitiello (who looked as if he'd aged a decade since E3 2011), and less than thrilled with what he was there to say. The Old Republic would be going free to play for the first 15 levels, we learned from Dr. Ray. I said at the time that when next year's E3 rolled around, EA would bring him back out to finish the job, making the game free-to-play outright. I was only half joking.
Thankfully, EA spared Dr. Ray the trip this time, and opted to simply send out a press release. Yes, it's true. The Old Republic is headed toward an outright free to play model, starting this fall. Yup, this fall.
The free to play model for The Old Republic does include a few restrictions. Technically, the game is free-to-play up to level 50, with real money costs applied to new content and advanced player features. A subscription option will remain for those who want to play free of any restrictions on content.
In addition to the new financial model, EA also announced that the game's initial price would be dropped to $14.99 starting this August.
With subscribers dropping out, it only made sense for EA to go this way. Free to play is obviously no death knell, as many different games have employed the model with success. It's more that many had wondered aloud during The Old Republic's development if it might be the last gasp of the subscription-model MMO. Obviously World of Warcraft won't be changing its business model any time soon, but can you honestly imagine anyone developing a new MMO with a subscription model in this climate? I can't foresee it. Then again, I also thought EA would wait until 2013 to make this move, so perhaps my predicting skills aren't so hot.
Well that didn't take long. Actually, maybe it's taking too long, depending on which side of the announcement you look at. After a brief open beta and a full-scale rollout in Japan last week, Sega has announced that its free-to-play action-RPG, Phantasy Star Online 2, will be coming to North America and Europe in 2013. That's the part that might be taking a bit too long.
In case you haven't seen any of the video we've been running, it's been relatively easy to get into the Japanese version of the game, despite the language barrier. In fact, it's starting to seem like foreigners are absolutely flooding Sega's servers, as the agreed-upon servers and lobbies where English-speakers congregate seem to be getting absolutely packed. This has led to a bit of server maintenance as Sega attempts to rejigger the ship and block system a bit to take some of the rush off. Of course, it's not just English speakers that are filling up the game. The first five ships (servers, or "shards" if you want to be a jerk about it) aren't accepting any new character creation, though that's said to be a temporary restriction. Generally speaking, the game's servers have been holding up pretty well under the load.
It'll be interesting to see how Sega handles the English-language version of the game. Will North American players have access to the Japanese servers? Or will they be split off? If they're split, will that lead to a situation where new content debuts first on the Japanese servers and then eventually trickles over to the English servers? The PSO franchise has sort of a spotty past when it comes to bringing all of its Japanese content over to the other servers, after all. Will the slightly-higher-than-they-should-be prices of items and character creation passes see any adjustments when they leave Japan? Will I be able to continue to use the RAcast that I've already put 40 hours into, or is he stuck on the Japanese servers forever? That's the sort of stuff I'm left wondering about, but these are questions Sega probably won't be prepared to answer until it gets a little bit closer to launch.
It's also worth noting that Sega's announcement only covers the PC version of the game. Some form of the game is also scheduled to appear on Vita, iPhone, and Android.
This man would like to take you to space.
Notch hinted not too long ago that his next game would be set in space, an idea that undoubtedly sent minds racing as to what kinds of crazy crap the Minecraft creator might come up with when working within the boundless stretches of the universe at large. Still, I doubt anything was expecting anything quite this specifically bonkers.
0x10c is the name of Notch's next game, a space-faring "hard science fiction" game that puts players in the role of one of many human astronauts from an alternate universe where the space race never ended. As the back story here goes... you know what? Let's just use Notch's own words.
In 1988, a brand new deep sleep cell was released, compatible with all popular 16 bit computers. Unfortunately, it used big endian, whereas the DCPU-16 specifications called for little endian. This led to a severe bug in the included drivers, causing a requested sleep of 0x0000 0000 0000 0001 years to last for 0x0001 0000 0000 0000 years.
It's now the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD, and the first lost people are starting to wake up to a universe on the brink of extinction, with all remote galaxies forever lost to red shift, star formation long since ended, and massive black holes dominating the galaxy.
Get all that? I hope so, because I don't think I'm smart enough to dissect it any further.
Players will control a ship that works via a generator with a fixed wattage. Certain technologies will require a bigger drain on your ship's generator than others. Notch cites the example of a cloaking device, which would require so much power that you'd have to shut down most computer systems and dim the lights just to make it work correctly.
The on-board computer you'll be using is "a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU" that you can use to control all your ship's functions. Notch plans to release full specs for the computer soon.
As for actual gameplay, Notch promises everything from lots of engineering and advanced economy systems to full-on combat against AI and rival player ships. You can see the full breadth of what Notch has thus far announced at the official 0x10c website. Similar to Minecraft, Notch plans to release an early version of the game publicly in order to have players help shape the ultimate direction of the final product.
Hey guys, in case you missed our little live announcement, I've embedded it below. Naturally, we had a minor technical issue at the beginning, so skip the first four or five minutes to get to the show!
Pretty crazy, right? This is going to be the thing that allows us to make Giant Bomb bigger and crazier than it's ever been before, and I hope you all stick around with us. Just like Ryan's been saying, it won't be boring. OK, right now we're heading over to GameSpot offices for the first time since 2007. Be sure to check back at 4PM PDT, when we'll be addressing my termination. Finally! The story can be told!
We'll also have a full update on what all this means for premium members very shortly.
(And hey, check out Tested for information about their crazy news!)
Rumors have been kicking around for the last few days about the possibility of Valve taking its currently computer-only Steam service to consoles--specifically, a console of their own. The original report, which came via tech site The Verge, cited various anonymous sources as it spun out the possibility of Valve contracting an outside hardware maker to essentially make a Steam set-top box for home televisions. The device would be less a traditional console than a way for Steam users to browse the Steam service and play their purchased games on the television, should they feel so inclined.There really aren't any good images to attach to this, so here's Gabe Newell's bitchin' beard again.
Well, forget about any of that, because apparently it's all lies. Sort of.
Speaking to Kotaku's Stephen Totillo at GDC, Valve's longtime mouthpiece Doug Lombardi put the kibosh on the notion of Valve getting into the console business any time in the foreseeable future, explaining that yes, Valve has been contracting some new hardware from partners, but solely for the purposes of testing the upcoming Steam Big Picture Mode UI system, a new interface designed to let players more easily hook their PCs up to their televisions and play their various Steam games.
"All of that is stuff that we're working on, but it's a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware," he said.
Most of the console-centric news seemed focused especially on controller patents and various things related to biometrics, something that Valve has said before that it likes to use when playtesting certain games. Lombardi confirmed that these are all things Valve has worked on in various capacities, including in conjunction with the upcoming Big Picture UI, but that it has nothing to do with a new console that's coming down the pipes from the company.
Of course, ever the talented PR man, Lombardi didn't shut the door on the company ever developing something like what was reported in the Verge story. When asked by Totillo if maybe someday, long beyond this GDC or this year's E3 or whatever other near-future landmarks one might use to announce a new console, Valve maybe, just maybe, might actually decide to produce retail hardware, Lombardi simply replied, "I think that's accurate."
Guys? I'm actually a little confused on this one. Is this a happy ending or a sad ending? I suppose if nothing else, it is an ending, and perhaps that's enough.
Perhaps you're already aware of recent grousing among those sensitive toward the use of women's ludicrously over-sized breasts to promote various video game entertainments in regards to a recent SoulCalibur V advertisement which featured an almost comically brazen close-up of series regular Ivy's gigantic boobs. For those unaware of the just-mentioned advertisement and subsequent outrage, here is the ad in question.
Assuming you are now appropriately outraged because of boobs, I now direct your attention to the other ad publisher Namco Bandai recently posted (then quickly removed) from the game's Facebook page. Perhaps as a direct follow-up to the outcry from those who saw the objectification of the female form as crass and lazy, the publisher then posted the below nightmare fueling image of other series regular Voldo, AKA the weird S&M bendy guy with the knives and the hypnotically transfixing codpiece.
Apparently the translation of the text across Voldo's discolored, fetid-looking stomach reads "curious?" How's that for a Monday morning boner groaner?
In direct response to Namco Bandai's Voldo ad, I simply say "touche." While I do think the blatant Ivy boob-leering in the original ad wasn't in particularly great taste, I can certainly appreciate a company that can look a controversy directly in the eye and thrust out its spiky, disquieting man-crotch as a response.
In direct response to the sure-to-happen influx of comments complaining that this is "not news," I'd like to point out that it's early January and nothing of value is really happening right now. Also, having just returned from vacation, I was just so anxious to get back to writing for you guys that I just up and grabbed for the first heaving man-crotch that crossed my desk. Yes, I know how that sounds, and no, I don't plan to correct it.
Seriously, I missed you guys.
(Thanks to PlayStation: The Official Magazine's Anne Lewis for sending this my way. May your trauma be swiftly forgotten.)
I’m intimately familiar with consumers dealing with Microsoft customer service in order to recover their Xbox Live accounts and, all too often, money taken from them in tandem with the account.
There are few stories as upsetting as what happened to Susan from Texas, who started off 2012 with several hundred dollars--$366.06, to be exact--stolen from her via her Xbox Live account.
She's recounted the situation on her Tumblr the last few days.
Her struggles to make things right have gained the rightful ire of the Internet, and reflect the worst parts of the stories I’ve filed here at Giant Bomb (here, here, here) about the exploitation of Xbox Live users.
“I think it’s fair to say that many people would look at Microsoft as a reliable company and absolutely trust them with their bank details,” she wrote. “What makes them any different than Blizzard or Sony? If this level of trust makes me a fool, than so be it, brand me as one. Just know that you are branding a hell of a lot of people with that marker than you probably know and we are not the ones to blame here.”
Susan had linked her Xbox Live to her bank via PayPal, and not a credit card. Traditionally, credit cards have greater protection for consumers in cases like this.
It’s unclear how someone came to access Susan’s account, as she claims to not be the victim of a traditional phishing scheme (which hinges upon tricking users into visiting familiar looking websites), but what happened after is familiar territory. The individual now in control of her account bought a “Family Gold Pack,” purchased an enormous number of Microsoft Points, transferred said points to new, unknown accounts, and sold these accounts elsewhere.
I’ve mentioned the selling of Xbox Live accounts in previous stories, but I’ll admit to not being aware of how common the practice might actually be, and I’m actively looking into the merits right now. Please contact me with your stories.
The reason Susan’s tale is more heartbreaking than most relates to her frustrating interactions with Microsoft customer service, which consistently gave her the runaround, pointing her in other directions, and putting the onus on her to ensure account was taken care of. I’ve heard this from countless other users.
Amazingly, Susan was even able to message the person who eventually purchased--and used--her account!
Microsoft director of policy and enforcement of Xbox Live, Stephen Toulouse, told me over email that his team became aware of Susan’s ordeal last night, and promptly locked her account and a refund should be en route.
I’ve been unable to verify personally with Susan whether the refund has been applied, but in her more recent update, she confirmed the account had been locked.
Toulouse said his team is aware of reselling sites.
“Both the buyer and the seller of accounts run the risk of a console ban from Xbox Live,” he added.
You can keep tabs on Susan’s ordeal through her Tumblr and Twitter accounts, and if you haven't been keeping up with my coverage of similar issues over the past couple of months, here are some links:
Few topics rankle the feathers of the video game enthusiast these days quite like that of pre-order bonus content. Whether it's lamenting the excising of content from a game for the sake of releasing it later as a bonus (or paid DLC), offering unlocks for content that's already on the disc, or tossing so many confusing, bizarre options out there that invariably, everyone is going to end up disappointed, there isn't an awful lot to like about pre-ordering games these days.
One of the more extreme examples of pre-ordering insanity comes from WB Games and developer Rocksteady's upcoming Batman sequel, Arkham City. We've heard over the last few weeks about a variety of different pre-order options coming our way, including everything from various Batman character skins, to Joker-oriented multiplayer maps and even the boy wonder himself. Robin, as a playable character. But between all these different pieces of content, as well as the various retailer exclusivity deals attached to them, figuring out where, how, and why to pre-order has apparently been something of a headache for would-be players.
We know this, because a moderator on the official Arkham City forums actually went to the trouble of creating a pre-ordering guide for anyone trying to figure out where to get the content they want. Yes, that's right: a guide to pre-ordering a game. I'm not completely certain if this is the last sign of the apocalypse before the Horsemen come down and start inflicting plague, pestilence and pre-order bonuses on the screaming, writhing masses, but it certainly looks like it.
The list is especially confusing because different regions have different retailers, and thus the exclusivity deals change depending on which portion of the planet you dwell within. Take a look at this list, and do your best not to go boss-eyed.
BATMAN 1970S SKIN
JOKER DLC MAP (CARNIVAL)
ANIMATED SERIES SKIN
BATMAN BEYOND SKIN
BATMAN YEAR ONE SKIN
BATMAN EARTH ONE SKIN
Congratulations. If you managed to get through all of that and make it to the other side unscathed, you get your baby brother back and David Bowie will sing you a nice ballad.
The worst part of all of this? It isn't even the complete list. Several territories and retailers aren't even finalized yet, meaning that more layers of obfuscation will be added to the process before we even get within punching distance of playing this game. We've reached out to WB Games for any info as to whether these pieces of content will become paid DLC in the foreseeable future or not, but as of yet have not received a response. I'll update this story if they get back to us.
(Thanks to whatisdelicious for sending this in!)
Whenever I have a conversation with someone about Atlus and the games the notoriously niche publisher puts out, the conversation always devolves into some permutation of, "Yeah, but how do they make money?" For as great as many of Atlus' titles are, the company almost exclusively deals in oddball Japanese role-playing nonsense that treads pretty far off the beaten (mostly beaten by Square Enix) path of games that American audiences acknowledge the existence of, let alone actively want to play.The elucidating cake in question.
After reading today's news that Catherine, the Q*Bert-meets-anime/mumblecore game Atlus mostly recently brought to American audiences, sold 200,000 units in its first week of retail. Now, to be fair, this information comes from Atlus' Twitter feed, and specifically from a picture of a cake. In celebration of the milestone, this cake had the sales numbers emblazoned in icing for all to see.
Unfortunately, as we all know, cakes are by far the most unreliable of all desert treats, known for providing consistently apocryphal information and constantly double-dealing for the pursuit of their own nefarious gains. Perhaps if this information had come on some manner of pie, or spelled out in chocolate chip cookies, then we could rely upon it. But a cake? They're like the Robert Ford of deserts.
Seriously though, whatever you may have taken away from the experience of Catherine, it's always good to see games outside the mainstream norm of "shoot that guy" and "stab that dude" find success. Given the massive retail disappointments that were Child of Eden and Shadows of the Damned, this does at least give us some hope that Japanese weirdness can still succeed in America. Especially if there's marketing for it.
For the thousands of people far too embarrassed to admit they're still playing Duke Nukem Forever online, and the baker's dozen still clinging to Homefront's multiplayer suite as a mother cradles a sickly child not long for this world, there is great news: you're getting more multiplayer maps.In the absence of any "The Rock" map pack screenshots, here is a picture of Ed Harris.
THQ announced yesterday afternoon that Homefront would be receiving a new pack, rather obviously titled "The Rock." Yes, this is the inevitable Alcatraz DLC that most assumed would be coming since everyone discovered there was a level set in San Francisco. Anyone who has seen Michael Bay's identically-titled magnum opus knows that a game set in San Francisco without a sequence featuring people fighting it out on the city's abandoned island prison is simply incomplete. It's like setting a similarly apocalyptic game in New York and not featuring the Statue of Liberty in some state of disrepair or destruction as an all-too-obvious symbol of America's once prosperous status now in ruin. That's like Visual Metaphor 101, people.
The Rock map pack will feature two new maps, Alcatraz and Bridge (the latter likely a version of Homefront's final single player level, featuring the other distinct San Francisco landmark everyone always blows up, the Golden Gate Bridge), as well as two additions to the Team Deathmatch mode in older maps Overpass and Waterway. The pack will go for $5, and will initially debut July 28th (hey, that's tomorrow!) on Xbox Live exclusively, with PSN and PC releases to eventually follow.Guys. Guys. Guys...HATS!
Duke Nukem's new multiplayer DLC is coming a bit further down the road--thus far, all we have is a nebulous "fall" release date--but this offering does include a decent amount of content. In addition to four brand-new maps that parody other giants of the game industry (see if you can pick out what they're parodying in the descriptions below, as the subtlety of the comedy here was far too clever for my meager brain), Duke will also be getting a bunch of hats. Yes, hats. One of the maps, 2Forts1Bridge, features a bunch of hats, possibly as a method of parodying something in particular. Clearly, this makes up for the game's infantile sense of humor, dated mechanics, and mean-spiritedly misogynistic attitude. I know I'm swayed!
Here's 2K's full descriptions of the new maps, as well as the newly included "freeze tag mode."
Just a quick reminder that someone was paid to write those lines. Probably actual money, too.
During TNT, we had to enable the two-day temporary access to Mortal Kombat's multiplayer. With the PlayStation Store still down, if you didn't register your "Kombat Pass" prior to the great PSN crash of 2011, you're screwed.
Fortunately, Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios have heard your cries. The companies announced on Facebook that the Kombat Pass is being temporarily waived.
"Due to the recent PSN outage," reads the statement, at nearly celebratory likes, "Mortal Kombat for PS3 will now be playable online without need for the Kombat Pass. This is a temporary solution that will only be available while Playstation Store is unavailable. Once PlayStation Store is back up, users will be able to enter the Kombat Pass code included with Mortal Kombat or purchase a Kombat Pass for $9.99."
Sony's told developers the PlayStation Store should be back next week, so it's rather nice of everyone involved with Mortal Kombat to cut PlayStation players a break while Sony irons out the last kinks.
I'd also like to point out the incredible restraint it took to not drop random k's around this article.
Starhawk has been rumored for ages now, with several E3s having come and gone without nary a mention of its existence. No longer. Unlike Modern Warfare 3, Sony was able to officially announce their project, basically a sci-fi Warhawk, and being developed at LightBox Interactive for next year.
Unlike Warhawk, Starhawk is not a multiplayer-only experience, with Sony and LightBox promising a "full-fledged" single-player mode. At one point, Warhawk was going to have a campaign (remember the teaser?) but development stumbles found that on the wayside, in favor of emphasizing multiplayer.
Some of the original rumors about Starhawk suggested players would be quickly transitioning between land and space-based battles, but the press release points towards more grounded confrontations, while calling in reinforcements from a drop ship in the sky. The battle environment itself is dynamic, with the ability to drop buildings, vehicles and weapons in real-time. LightBox is calling this Build & Battle.
There are plenty of options, both offline and online, too. Up to 32 players can fight simultaneously, with up to four-player online and offline co-op, and even though most games have ditched the feature, Starhawk will include split-screen. As one of the few still using split-screen, thank you, LightBox.
I wonder when we might learn more about Starhawk? Oh yeah, that E3 thing.
In case you missed it, Nintendo representatives brought a train of pretty ladies to our office on Tuesday to make a show of the delivery of our very first Nintendo 3DS. It's the Cosmo Black version, to be specific. After failing to lock any of Nintendo's hired help in the dungeon that lurks in the back of our bar, we tore into the system to quickly look at its menus and features. You can relive the magic in this video...