With both PlayStation 3 models dropping $50 in price, now may be the right time to pull the trigger on the Sony console. While it may not have had the best launch in the history of video games, we think the PS3 has ripened into an entertainment and media hub well worth your hard-earned cash. Believe it or not, the PS3 is now less than half of what the 60GB version cost back in November of 2006.
The PR flacks for Craction, a new online football game, deserve a little credit for getting one point of their rollout publicity campaign correct: it's more or less impossible to have a fully functional life while aggressively competing in an online fantasy-football league.
Dedicated fantasy-football participants--the type of people who spend hours neglecting their jobs and families to pore over player stat sheets looking for the best punter--often sacrifice their maturity and dignity in an obsessive pursuit of a statistically perfect virtual NFL football team.
Craction looks to offer football competition without "all the fantasy-sports commitment." The game launched online this month, but Scott Schmidt developed it in 2000 when he was a business student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
"I wanted to stay connected with my friends who were spread out at colleges across the country," Schmidt said during Craction's debut. "NFL football was something we could all relate to, but I knew I'd have trouble getting people to commit to fantasy football because it requires so much time. So I just invented a better game." … Read more
An older version of a controversial Android app called "Dog Wars" has been modified to include a Trojan horse that takes actions without the device owner knowing it, according to security firm Symantec.
The app sends a text message to everyone in the contact list that says, "I take pleasure in hurting small animals, just thought you should know that," and signs United States-based devices up for a text alert service operated by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Irfan Asrar wrote in a post on the Symantec blog.
"We have no reason to believe that PETA had anything to do with this app, and that it is most likely the work of someone attempting to associate the app with PETA," he writes.
A PETA representative provided this statement when asked for comment: "We don't know who created this version of the app, but we think it is ingenious. When someone creates a game that glorifies animal abuse, you can bet that people will come up with clever, smart ways to take action against it." … Read more
While we recently learned that the successor to the Sony PSP wouldn't reach American soil until 2012, Sony has just announced a few of the social applications the PlayStation Vita will have access to via a free download from the PlayStation Store.
In addition to playing titles like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Wipeout 2048, the PS Vita will be able to interact with popular social services like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Skype.
The Vita will release in two models: a $250 Wi-Fi only version and a $300 3G-capable iteration. We're not sure yet if the Vita will support Skype over a 3G connection, but we'd be surprised if the 3G Vita's GPS capabilities were not taken advantage of by the Foursquare app.… Read more
The month of price drops continues. We first saw the Nintendo 3DS get discounted by 32 percent, and now $50 is dropping off the 160GB and 320GB versions of the PlayStation 3.
The 160GB model will go from $299 to $249 and the 320GB will drop from $349 to just $299. The news comes on the precipice of what's lining up to be quite an impressive and busy holiday gaming season.
With the new PS3 pricing, Sony is making the console-buying decision a little tougher for gamers in the second half of 2011. Now the difference in price between all three systems is just $100, with the Wii going for $150 (Mario Kart bundle) and the Xbox 360 starting at $200 (4GB standalone), going up to $300 (Kinect/4GB or 250GB standalone) and $400 (Kinect/250GB).
The new PS3 pricing goes into effect right now.… Read more
Patent documents filed by Nintendo suggest magnets could play an important part in its upcoming Wii U tablet-like touch-screen controller. A schematic diagram shows an integrated magnetic sensor (magnetometer) and flash memory on top of other standard components such as a gyroscope and accelerometer.
While a magnetometer is commonly used in smartphones for digital compasses, it could also support camera-free motion detection and other applications. The extra storage, on the other hand, could come in handy for running mini games on the controller's LCD screen.
Nothing is concrete at the moment, though the patent application (PDF) shows that Nintendo is apparently thinking out of the box for its upcoming Wii U console, a successor to the Wii, whose sales have been in decline. Besides the console itself, the upcoming platform--due in 2012--sports a new controller interface, which is where this technology could end up.
I sense something, a presence in coin collecting I have not felt since...OK, please forgive my horrifically altered Darth Vader quote.
The New Zealand Mint has unleashed an epic coin collection for "Star Wars" fans perhaps worthy of the Empire itself. In all, 48 coins featuring characters from the classic sci-fi movie series will be available to purchase this November as legal tender of Niue Island. The tiny country resides 1,500 miles northeast off the coast of New Zealand.
There are two pure-silver full-color sets of $2 coins, including a $391.62 (plus shipping) Darth Vader and Millennium Falcon collection in a limited mintage of 7,500.… Read more
A former Microsoft gaming bigwig is convinced that the growth of mobile gaming won't eliminate the demand for game consoles.
In an interview with IndustryGamers published yesterday, former Microsoft Game Studios Vice President Shane Kim said he "would never" say mobile titles could kill game consoles such as the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Kim believes that the gaming market is expanding, leaving room for titles dedicated to both game consoles and mobile devices.
Given Kim's history at Microsoft, some might believe that he has a vested interested in supporting consoles in their fight against mobile platforms. But it's worth noting that since leaving Microsoft, Kim joined the board of Zipline Games--a mobile-game development house.
"So will there be some impact on console gaming?" Kim asked in his interview with IndustryGamers. "I think it would be hard to say that there isn't any impact, but I would never say that it's going to go away completely. I think that the big console game manufacturers, they've all got plans for the next console generation. I think that they're all shooting to make sure that those next versions, whatever they look like, are going to be things that are going to be compelling for the kinds of gamers, especially hard-core gamers, who really enjoy that style of gaming."… Read more
Microsoft's glossy-black Xbox 360 has been discontinued in favor of a matte finish, the company has confirmed.
"We are actively transitioning all our Xbox 360 S consoles to a matte finish," Larry Hryb, Microsoft's director of programming for Xbox Live, wrote on his blog Friday.
Microsoft unveiled the Xbox 360 S last year at the E3 gaming expo. The company currently sells the glossy 250GB version for $299. The 4GB model, which retails for $199.99, already boasts a black matte finish that, Hryb says, the 250GB offering will also get.
Opinions vary over the value of a glossy device. Some like the sleek look, while others can't stand its tendency to show fingerprints and smudges. Prior to the launch of the Xbox 360 S, Microsoft offered white and black matte finishes on its console.
Related stories: CNET's review of the Xbox 360 Slim Xbox 360 Slim unveiled, available this week; $299 Game sales hit lowest point since October 2006
By transitioning to a matte finish, Microsoft is following a move Sony has already made. That company's first-generation PlayStation 3 featured a glossy finish that attracted fingerprints. However, the company's slim-line version, which it launched a couple of years ago, dropped the glossy finish to avoid that problem.… Read more
For those who can count very well, there is something vaguely infuriating about doing business with (or even living with) people who can't count past three.
Math, to some, seems so simple, so obvious, that looking at those who struggle with it turns the mathophile into a cruel beast.
Yet new research from Johns Hopkins University suggests that one's abilities at math might entirely be handed down by one's forefathers.