New Zealand may be known as the home of "Lord of the Rings," but you may not know that it's also the unofficial birthplace of "Avatar."
You see, Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop in Wellington is behind the special effects of films such as "Heavenly Creatures" and "Prince Caspian." But more famously, it has produced the effects in both the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "Avatar." In fact, the company was working up until July to finish work on the Extended Edition of the "Avatar" Blu-ray version. … Read more
Call of Duty is one of the top multiplayer video games on the market. And Activision won't jeopardize that success by putting it behind a pay wall.
"Are we going to be charging for multiplayer? The answer is no," Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said to IndustryGamers in a recent interview. "The experience you have out of the box, connecting with the online community to play Call of Duty is absolutely integral to the experience, and we'll never charge for that."
Hirshberg's comments came after Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter told IndustryGamers earlier this … Read more
When Microsoft's hot new Kinect motion-sensitive controller was released earlier this month, Phil Torrone and Limor Fried saw an opportunity to subvert what was being presented as a closed system.
Torrone and Fried, the principals behind the open-source hardware firm Adafruit Industries, love almost any kind of culture hacking, and in the Kinect, they recognized a system that presented users far more utility than Microsoft was offering.
Not wasting the chance to raise a bit of a stir, Adafruit said it would pony up $1,000 to the first person who could come up with an open-source driver for … Read more
It won't be long before the PlayStation 3 is accommodating a slew of 3D titles, a Sony executive has reportedly told gaming publication Develop Online.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Studio Director Mick Hocking told Develop Online recently that Sony is currently "applying 3D to more than 20 internal games." He went on to say that third-party studios are also seeing value in creating 3D titles for the PlayStation 3.
"Overall we have more than 50 titles currently being converted into 3D, and this number if growing fast," Hocking reportedly told Develop in the interview. "… Read more
If your kids are begging for tech, the iPad might just top their holiday wish-list.
According to Nielsen, which conducted a survey in October to see which tech products American kids want through the beginning of next year, Apple's tablet sat at the top of a 17-item list, with 31 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 12 saying they want to get their hands on the device.
A computer and Apple's iPod Touch tied for second, with 29 percent of children saying they wanted those products. Nintendo's DS took the fourth spot with 25 … Read more
More good news for Silverlight it seems, as based on two new job postings on Microsoft's site (1, 2), the company is looking to hire additional Silverlight engineers, as well as bring the technology to more of its devices--including the Xbox.
Blog TechTrends discovered and reposted the positions earlier today, before Microsoft removed the reference to the Xbox, which was referred to as "Silverlight on the Xbox as part of the next wave." The posting has since been changed to refer to "various devices we plan to enable over the coming years."
As a $99 set-top box, OnLive's MicroConsole offers an intriguing low-cost alternative to traditional living room game consoles, which can cost two to three times as much. We've just gotten our hands on a final hardware unit and tested it with a variety of games and controllers.
If you're not familiar with the OnLive streaming game service, it's essentially cloud-based PC gaming. The original PC client allows nearly any laptop or desktop to play high-end PC games by offloading the CPU- and GPU-intensive tasks of actually running the game software to a remote render farm, then beaming the gameplay back to you as a streaming video.
The PC-based version worked surprisingly well, so expectations are high for this standalone TV-friendly box. Ditching the computer altogether, the MicroConsole acts as a dongle and media streamer, connecting to your TV via HDMI (or component video) and to the Internet via an Ethernet cable (Wi-Fi is still wonky on the PC client, so we don't expect to see it on the MicroConsole anytime soon).
The setup is simple enough: if you have an existing account you can log directly into it, and one of the nice unintended consequences of cloud-based gaming is that your saved games and library travel with you wherever you log in. The interface is identical to the PC client, and includes a marketplace for buying games (you're actually buying a license to play the game on OnLive's servers), a list of your purchased games, and an arena view, which lets you drop in and watch other players' live game streams (this can be turned off in the privacy settings). … Read more
And just like that, the Xbox 360 is five years old.
Five years ago yesterday I was one of about 2,000 people who spent 30 very cold hours inside a giant hangar in the Southern California desert celebrating the launch of this brand new video game console. The so-called "Zero Hour" event was the start of something that has helped change the industry forever.
It's hard to believe that five years has gone by so fast, but sure enough, the Xbox 360 has officially reached the age at which previous generations of video game consoles would be retired in favor of the next round. But the new Xbox was the first to hit the playing field of what quickly became known as the "next-gen" consoles: the Xbox, Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii, the latter two of which would be released in November 2006.
Amazingly, on that frigid Nov. 21, 2005, Sony's flagship console was still the PlayStation 2, and no one had yet even heard the name "Wii."
Along the way, the Xbox 360 has become a major part of Microsoft's stable of products, and has helped spawn (or enhance) some of the biggest and most important exclusive titles and accessories in video game history: the Halo, Gears of War, and Fable franchises, among many others; the Kinect motion-sensitive controller; and of course, the massively popular Xbox Live service.
But the Xbox has also had issues, most notably the infamous Red Ring of Death failures, and the resulting $1 billion warranty program Microsoft instituted to handle the resulting thousands of dead Xboxes. Many gamers also scoffed at its original behemoth power supply. … Read more
Motorola's ongoing legal disagreements with Microsoft thickened this morning, with Motorola's mobility unit filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission over Microsoft's use of patents in its Xbox game console.
While the complaint is currently pending, it could go on to become an investigation by the ITC.
A Microsoft representative said the company is currently reviewing Motorola's filing, and that "we remain confident in our position, and will continue to move forward with the complaints we initiated against Motorola in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and … Read more
Nintendo has announced more bundles for its DSi line of portable gaming devices.
Starting on Black Friday, Nintendo will be selling both green and orange DSi bundles to customers for $149.99. According to the company, the bundles will be offered while supplies last, and will include a copy of Mario Party DS.
Earlier this month, Nintendo started selling a "Mario-red" Wii bundle for $200. That offer includes a red Wii, the Wii Remote Plus, Wii Sports, and a red nunchuk. It also includes a copy of Super Mario Bros. Wii. A DSi XL bundle that's also … Read more