Two of the year's biggest games are going head to head this holiday season, both seeking the crown as best military first-person shooter. Unless you've cut yourself off from all forms of media consumption, I'm of course talking about Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3.… Read more
At 11 a.m. Pacific Time, 2 p.m. Eastern today, for the first time ever, FEMA will activate the Emergency Alert System nationwide. Everyone watching television or listening to the radio will get the familiar alert tone on their show, and will have to sit through the "this is only a test" message for 30 seconds. Update: The broadcast test was apparently not a success.
And everyone on the Web will have no idea that the EAS is being tested.
The broadcast-based Emergency Alert System is "decades old," FEMA's Rachel Racusen told me, and … Read more
An update is on the way to repair serious shortcomings with the iOS version of Madden 12, EA Sports says.
Earlier this week, we reported that reviews in the iTunes store were brutal for the iPod, iPad, and iPhone versions of the massively popular National Football League game. Our hands-on play only verified the problems.
Initially, our attempts to get an explanation from EA were met with silence. But, according to EA Mobile representative Michelle Jacob, the Madden 12 iOS team gathered its details together and wanted to update fans with the latest news.
"The Madden development team closely monitors customer feedback in the App Store and is focusing on these concerns," Jacob told CNET yesterday. "We are currently working on an update that is due out shortly and will address the following..." … Read more
Ever wished you could win money--big money--for playing video games?
While that dream may never come true for most of us, there is a chance for anyone with an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 to become a gaming god. Virgin Gaming, EA, and DICE are teaming up to host a Battlefield 3 Worldwide Conquest tournament with $1.6 million in cash and prizes on the line.
Potential fraggers must be 18 years or older to register for the online tourney, which begins in 2012 and which Virgin is calling the "largest online console game tournament ever." Unfortunately, the contest is not available for PC gamers, who make up a huge portion of the fan base for the series. In some aspects, I can see why Virgin Gaming may want to avoid integrating PC gamers, as cheating has soured FPS games for many years on the platform.
Nonetheless, Virgin's official response to PC gamers being excluded was rather disappointing. "Our technology is only set up to integrate with console games at this phase in our life. We're still new and trying to create a unique service that resolves a lot of the challenges in the competitive gaming space today," a Virgin rep said. "We have much love for gamers on all platforms, and as we grow we'll try to bring everyone under the tent." … Read more
But it looks like something went terribly wrong with the iOS versions for Apple's iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad.
A visit to the iTunes Store reveals a series of frustrated reviews from Madden 12 buyers calling for refunds. Words like "horrible," "awful, "junk," "dreadful," "disappointed," "poor," and "sluggish" crop up.
According to those consumer evaluations, the game crashes and multiple bugs make the electronic recreation of the National Football League practically "unplayable." The $6.99 iPhone version garnered 74 1-star vs. 42 5-star ratings. The $9.99 iPad version had more unhappy customers, with 50 1-star vs. 15 5-star ratings.
I couldn't take online complaints as gospel truth, so I downloaded the game for both iPhone 4 and iPad 2 and took some time to replay the Super Bowl on both platforms. I can't tell you if the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers won my video game rematches because I wasn't able to complete either game. … Read more
An open beta for Battlefield 3 arrives on September 29 for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.
The beta of the highly anticipated FPS will be available to play until October 10, giving gamers more than a week of intense multiplayer combat that utilizes all-new maps, weapons, jets, and an updated graphics engine. Those who preordered the PC digital download of Battlefield 3 (through Origin), or purchased the limited/Tier 1 edition of Medal of Honor will enjoy even earlier access to the BF3 beta on September 27.
Downloading the free beta will be simple. You'll just need to access the PlayStation Network store, Xbox 360 marketplace, or Origin on PC. You must use Origin to download the beta on PC.
To keep things fair, stats accumulated during the beta will not transition over when the game goes live, but you will be able to keep the name you used when registering. EA/DICE noted that the open beta is limited to residents of North America, South America, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
Are you going to play the BF3 open beta? Here's a cool scene from the BF3 single-player mission Operation Guillotine, a joint operation to capture key members of the PLR leadership:… Read more
It's pretty remarkable that year after year, the EA Sports NHL series finds ways to innovate and take the franchise to new levels of ice hockey realism. Even though this year the game runs totally unopposed by any other hockey game, NHL 12 makes improvements across the board, both in gameplay and modes.
Plenty of noticeable tweaks have been implemented into NHL 12's gameplay, which add to the title's overall sense of NHL realism. Goalies are now live within the context of the game, meaning they can be bumped and interfered with. Overall CPU player positioning has drastically been improved, which all but eliminates unnecessary off-sides calls due to out of position computer-controlled players. Wingers and defensemen skate logical tracks up and down the ice and are usually in the right spot to anticipate a rebound or one-time pass.
In addition, there are handfuls of aesthetic tweaks to the game. Nets can come off their moorings, players can get checked into team benches, and the full-contact physics engine has been retooled to react appropriately to players of all different strengths and sizes. Player face re-creations also seem more accurate this year.
NHL 12 also marks a significant tweaking to the overall physics of the puck in game. No longer does the puck seem to unnaturally hover like in years past. Instead it now rolls on end, pops in and out of the net organically, and overall has a much more realistic presence. Fans familiar with the franchise will also notice that game speed has been increased just a bit from NHL 11.… Read more
Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET News for Tuesday, August 30.
Apple wants its prototype 3G MacBook back. A North Carolina man has it now, after he bought it off Craigslist. CNET's Josh Lowensohn writes: "Beneath the notebook's metal frame was a slot for a SIM card and on the lid was an external antenna, suggesting Apple was testing built-in cellular networking in its notebook computers right around the time the first iPhones were hitting store shelves."
The highly anticipated Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG still lacks a release date, but Bioware isn't shying away from showing off some end-game content.
As a bit of background for the uninitiated, gamers can group together in SW:TOR and tackle challenges called "operations," which are similar to raids or instances found in World of Warcraft. These types of areas are critical to those who have reached the maximum level possible by offering intensive teamwork experiences and the chance to acquire high-powered items. Dallas Dickinson, Bioware's director of production, previews one of those operations, Eternity Vault, in a 10-minute video released a few days ago. … Read more
Electronic Arts is having unprecedented success on Facebook, thanks to the Sims.
According to The Sims Social Facebook page, the game now has more than 22 million monthly active users. In a tweet today, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that by reaching that milestone, the game is now "EA's most successful Facebook game."
Reaching the top wasn't all that difficult. EA has a host of Facebook games, but none can match the popularity of The Sims Social. Madden NFL Superstars, for example, has less than 600,000 monthly active users. Monopoly Millionaires has a little less than 3 million monthly active users, while Restaurant City 4.7 million monthly active users.
The Sims Social, which launched on Facebook earlier this year, allows users to create their own Sims and basically live their lives for them. In a press release announcing the game in June, EA said the title lets users "engage with every aspect of their Sims social lives from the intense emotion of a first kiss to the flawless execution of a hilarious prank."
Although The Sims Social is becoming quite popular, it has a long way to go to catch up to Facebook favorites FarmVille and CityVille. FarmVille currently has more than 34 million monthly active users, while CityVille has nearly 76 million monthly active users.… Read more