Team Fortress 2 has gone free, and it's staying that way forever.
Valve, the game's developer, announced the news on its Web site yesterday. The company said that users can play as much of the game as they'd like for as long as they like at no charge.
Team Fortress 2 was first released in 2007. The game is an online action title, allowing users to form teams and take on other players. It is also one of the most critically acclaimed games ever released, earning a score of 92 out of 100 on CNET sister site … Read more
On June 23, 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog arrived in North America to jump-start sales of Sega's Genesis video game console. The blue blur would eventually become a major hit for Sega, inspiring 130 releases across multiple consoles and selling more than 70 million games worldwide.
Where did it all begin? Well, every company needs a mascot.
Two decades ago, the future was slightly dim for Sega. Nintendo's 8-bit NES console had gobbled up market share around the world, and Super Mario 3 took the market by storm. Sega desperately needed a fresh face to drive game sales for its 16-bit Sega Genesis console, which had hit the market years before the Super NES (also, the Genesis is more powerful than the SNES).
According to 1UP, Sega's president at the time, Hayao Nakayama, challenged the company to create a mascot that could rival Mario in popularity. He wanted to beat Nintendo. Sega's AM8 research and development team created several character designs, but a spiky hedgehog (code-named Mr. Needlemouse) became the frontrunner, eventually helping the company grow to achieve billions in sales. You can read more about how Sonic was created at 1UP.
Sonic's 20th anniversary is an enormous milestone for Sega, and on November 24 the company will fly a 48-feet tall, 60-feet long, and 26-feet wide helium balloon version of the character during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan. In 1993, the hedgehog was the first video game character ever to be featured in the highly popular parade, and it accidentally broke an off-duty policeman's shoulder. Perhaps Sonic thought he saw Dr. Robotnik. … Read more
Japanese geekdom was reportedly shocked of late to learn that the newest member of AKB48, an all-girl idol band with a rotating roster of fresh teen faces, isn't human.
According to her official profile, Aimi Eguchi is a 16-year-old from Saitama, north of Tokyo. Her looks might have earned her the prominent spot in confectioner Ezaki Glico's ad for Ice no Mi candy balls (see below)--if only she weren't a computer-generated composite.
Eguchi's appearance caused a stir among fanboys, and she even appeared in Japanese magazine Weekly Playboy. But their excitement soured when Glico confirmed she's fake, according to a Channel News Asia report.
Her face was fashioned from the features of six other band members, as you can see in this video.
I'm not a fan of AKB-47 or its 60-odd human members, and I was astounded to see grown men lining up to see them perform at a theater in Akihabara, Tokyo. Still, I have to give credit to Eguchi's creators for the verisimilitude of their work. … Read more
Sony believes the good times are back for its PlayStation Network service.
Speaking in an interview published yesterday with IndustryGamers, Sony Computer Entertainment America Senior Vice President Phil Rosenberg acknowledged that the company's PlayStation Network breach and subsequent outage were bad for business. But Rosenberg said he sees the incident as one issue in a long-running, mutually beneficial relationship between his company and gamers.
"We're hoping that [gamers are] going to recognize that this period has been a bump in the road in a really long relationship," Rosenberg said of his company's PlayStation Network issues. &… Read more
It started as a security breach on the PlayStation network and other Sony services that exposed the personal information of 100 million users. From there, it has mushroomed into broader, ongoing security troubles across the Sony empire that have spilled out into the wider world.
Sony: PSN difficulties a 'bump in the road' Sony Computer Entertainment America senior vice president Phil Rosenberg told IndustryGamers in an interview published yesterday that 90 percent of PlayStation Network users are back. (Posted in The Digital Home by Don Reisinger) June 23, 2011 7:34 AM PDT
PopCap Games, the company behind the hit titles Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies, is reportedly in the process of being acquired for more than $1 billion.
Multiple sources tell TechCrunch that the company is definitely in play. Just one problem--the sources don't know who the buyer is.
The blog reported that game giant Zynga took a look at PopCap, but suggested that with an estimated annual revenue range of $100 million to $150 million and a price of more than $1 billion, the premium might have been too high.
EA's name has also come up, though for a … Read more
HOLLYWOOD--To mark the opening of Pixar's animated "Cars 2," the Petersen Automotive Museum is showing off some rare and notable real-world vehicles in a special exhibit here.
"Cars 2" parks in theaters this weekend, pretty much guaranteeing that another fleet of Brinks trucks will pull up to Pixar when the movie likely makes another mint for the Oscar-machine animation studio.
Pixar and Disney are celebrating by buddying with Kodak, Goodyear, and other sponsors to build a temporary "Cars 2"-themed amusement park behind the historic El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, the movie's Los Angeles headquarters.
The El Capitan traditionally hosts Disney's biggest releases, and the theater often presents a live stage show before screening its animated features. Since you can't have cars thumping around the footlights, the "Cars 2" World Grand Prix Attraction will give families and car lovers a little extra mpg for their El Capitan ticket money.
The park sits on the grounds of Hollywood High School, immediately behind the movie palace. The attraction is open until the end of August.
While the kids are building Lego race cars or tooling around the park's pedal-power go-kart track, car-loving adults can steal away to the large, air-conditioned tent housing the Petersen Museum contributions. From the sublime to the ridiculous, visitors can enjoy an up-close look at elite period performance cars like the 140 mph 1968 Lamborghini Espada and perennial flops like the 1976 AMC Pacer.
See images from the special collection in our gallery.
Best Buy is launching its own cloud-based music service that will let customers store and stream music from the Internet to their PCs and mobile devices.
Dubbed simply Best Buy Music Cloud, the service is following in the footsteps of similar offerings from Amazon, Google, and Apple.
Customers can upload their tunes to the Music Cloud and then stream them to their smartphone or tablet. Best Buy is promising that you can store your favorite music offline to listen to when you're not connected. Your playlists come along for the ride, so that you see the same ones across … Read more
Those looking to get their hands on an Xbox 360 Kinect bundle might want to check out Amazon's Gold Box Deal of the Day.
For the rest of the day, customers can buy the Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Bundle on Amazon for $299.98. After doing so, Amazon will give these buyers a $100 "promotional credit" that can be used to buy other items sold and shipped by the online retailer.
The Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Bundle comes with Microsoft's console, as well as the company's Kinect motion-gaming peripheral. Owners will also find a copy … Read more
To get the visuals it was looking for in L.A. Noire, its new detective game, video game maker Rockstar Games used 3D motion-capture technology called MotionScan.
In this video, GameSpot's Dan Chiappini sits down with Oliver Bao from Depth Analysis, the company that makes MotionScan, to get a deeper look at how the technology was used--and where it can go from here.