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Archive for the ‘Mac’ Category

StarCraft II Launch Date Announced

starcraft II

Here’s a quick post…

The sequel to the 1998 smash-hit StarCraft has been beta tested and approved by gamers everywhere. And finally Blizzard has announced the date when the final product will be released in stores. That anticipated day is July 27th.

The day is pretty much a world-wide release, so if you’re one of the millions of readers living in Macau, than have no fear, you’ll be playing StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty on your computer on 7/27.

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OnLive Launches this June 17th, Three Games Confirmed

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It’s official, the videogame streaming service OnLive will debut on June 17 in the US, which is also the last day of E3. Their will be a monthly subscription of $14.95 and other fees like renting or owning a game will be extra.

According to COO Mike McGarvey, who talked to MCV, the membership price “provides access to an ever-increasing library of high-end, new release game content and a host of exclusive community feature such as Brag Clips and massive spectating.” He also noted that “individual titles will be available for purchase or rental on an a la carte basis. Specific game pricing, including rentals,purchases and loyalty programs, will be announced prior to the consumer launch event at E3. We’ll also be announcing additional loyalty and discount programs for consumers in the coming months.”

When the service launches, it will only be available for both the PC and Mac; however, the home Micro Console — which allows games to played on any TV — is scheduled before years end. “For the initial rollout of the consumer service, we are focusing on delivering high-performance games to PCs and Macs and we will be making an announcement regarding our plans for the MicroConsole rollout later on in the year,” said McGarvey.

Three titles have been confirmed when OnLive launches on the internet, which are Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, along with THQ’s Metro 2033. Although, expect more to be announced soon — maybe even tonight when OnLive has a keynote during GDC.

It’s been known for awhile that Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros and THQ have all jumped on the OnLive bandwagon. However, up until this point the biggest publisher in the world — Activision — has yet to be sold on the streaming service concept.

After the jump, read about what I think is the biggest hurdle for OnLive. (more…)

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Gamer Spends $330,000 on a Virtual Item

Joker burning money

I love videogames, I love them to death. But honestly, I could never spend what I considered an insane amount of money on a object that is not real. But apparently there are people out there, that are willing to shell out huge sums of money to pixelated objects. Don’t believe me? Well, just take “Buzz Eric Lightyear” for example. The guy plays a free MMORPG game called Entropia Universe, where players are supposed to colonize a untamed planet named Calypso. While the game is free to download, the title uses its own currency called Project Entropia Dollars, or PED for short.

One way people get PEDs is by actually using their own money, and one $1 USD equals to $10 PED. While you might think the title sounds like a snore, and you believe there is no way the developer, MindArk, makes any kind of cash off the title — you would be wrong. So far, according to them, the turnover has been $3.6 Billion PEDs, or $360 Million USD — aka real money.

Because there is a lot of cash being made off the MMO, some players have to be spending a crap-load, which brings me back to this “Buzz Eric Lightyear” guy. According to reports, he recently just dropped $330,000 of real money to purchase his own virtual space station, that orbits Planet Calypso.

Now before you make fun of him, which I already have and I’m sure you will too, make sure you understand that his newly acquired space station will actually be a virtual business, and he’ll even make real money in the end. Apparently, anyone can hang out in this station and while they are there, they can hunt and shop. Since”Lightyear” owns the business, he has the ability to set the tax rates of everything, which in the end turns into REAL cash in his REAL pocket.

Everyone says you should make money off of something you enjoy, so I guess you could say he just took the phrase to the extreme.

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Battlestar’s Tricia Helfer in StarCraft II

helferYes Please

It was announced during a panel at BlizzCon that super hot Canadian-born actress Tricia Helfer, will be playing antagonist Sarah Kerrigan in StarCraft II. Helfer’s best work would obviously be her role in BattleStar Galactica, where she played the tempting Number Six Cylon.

This won’t be the first time Helfer will lend her voice in a videogame. Not too long ago, she was confirmed to be acting in the new Bungie title Halo: ODST. And she even starred in a couple other game titles which were: Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars and 2008′s Spider-Man: Web of Shadows.

With all that said, Tricia Helfer said she is still considers herself as “videogame virgin,” during the panel. Oddly enough, 73% of those attending BlizzCon are a different kind of virgin.

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Reminder: Game Unicon Starts Tomorrow

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To everyone that lives in or around the Massachusetts area, we just wanted to remind you that “the biggest video game convention in the history of New England” begins tomorrow. Game Unicon takes place at the Best Western Royal Plaza in Marlborough, MA and when doors open at 11:00 am on Friday, they won’t close until the last day of the convention which is on Sunday at 6:00 pm.

The convention will showcase some of the best gaming tournaments in the country and will have over $10,000 in cash prizes. Some of the games included in the playoffs are; Halo 3, Street Fighter IV, Super Smash Bros. (Brawl and Melee), Rock Band, Gears of War 2 and Madden 10. They are even going to have some classic titles for you to compete in, like a Tetris tournament and a Battletoads speedrun; where the faster player to beat the game wins.

Read more about what the convention has to offer after the jump. (more…)

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VideoGame Episode of Penn & Teller: BULLSHIT! to Air This Thursday

Not to long ago, we told you about one of the topics Penn & Teller will discuss on their show Penn & Teller: BULLSHIT! is if there is any harmful effect on children when they play videogames, particularly violent ones. If you are a subscriber to Showtime, make sure you tune in this Thursday because that is when the videogame episode will air.

The show will interview the infamous ex-lawyer Jack Thompson, and at one point says something really ridiculous. “Video games are the greatest threat to children since polio,” said Thompson during a preview we saw a few weeks ago.

Up top is a clip Showtime is providing of the videogame episode, but oddly enough it shows not Thompson, rather a not so well known activist against violent games named Chris Cooney. Cooney tries to act professional by having his own ‘Fire Triangle” for violent videogames. If you don’t know, a Fire Triangle is a simple way instructors teach firemen what a fire needs in order to survive. Mr. Cooney tries to use this same method to teach people how a violent game does indeed harm this young generation. Of course, Penn & Teller do what they do best, and make Cooney look well…dumb.

Check out the video up top and remember to at least DVR Penn & Teller: BULLSHIT! this Thursday at 10:00 PM on Showtime. I know I am.

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GameUniCon: “Largest Video Game Convention in New England” Announced

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Living on the west coast, I really have taken for granted the amount of conventions dedicated to videogames. This side of the country represents some of the biggest and well-known expos in the world like: E3, GDC and even PAX. These shows have thousands of attendees each year, and they seem to grow year-in and year-out. However, for me it wasn’t always easy to access a gaming show.

You see, I grew up in the Boston area, where the local government is trying to lure videogames publishers and expand to the Bay State. Just recently, Penny Arcade announced they will be extend their PAX show to two times a year and one of them will be on the east coast, and Boston is the lucky city to host the show. In a way you can say it was the first major confirmation that Boston is trying to be a focal point for the videogame industry.

While PAX is certainly a welcoming sign that New England could bank on a never-ending industry, the show won’t be the first to entice thousands of gamers to visit the Bay State.

A few years ago, the largest Ebay videogame seller opened an independent game store in Framingham, MA; a suburb just west of Boston. The store, called Game Universe, sells everything from retro gaming machines like the original Atari 2600 and goes all the way to this newest generation. While the concept alone is worth visiting, the store’s owners wanted to make sure their customers also had an incredible experience when they came to explored the outlet as well.

They decided to attach six 50″ plasma screens on the walls around the store and even added 5.1 surround sound to some of them. Each display was capable of playing anything, so if you wanted to experience E.T. on the Atari alone before your friends who were supposed to met you but are running late to play a little Gears of War — it could be done.

Word got around fast and customers started to come into the store just to play games. Management thought it would be a great idea to start-up tournaments, in hopes it would lure even more customers. The theory ended up being successful; the owners had to purchase another eight smaller screens because of the high demand of customers entering exclusively for LAN tournament play.

Over the course of three years, the store has earned some great creditability; they even saw players as far as California come to participate in their gaming tournament. They noticed that gaming tournaments were not just some fad and if done right, could actually be held inside a convention. That is exactly what they are planning as I write.

We have spent the last three years building our local reputation for running pro-level tournaments at Game Universe in Framingham, MA,” said James Jewett co-executive director. “We got to the point where we outgrew our venue so we decided take on a larger event.”

Game Universe has just recently revealed a gaming convention called GameUniCon and will take place at the 20,000 square foot Best Western Royal Plaza in Marlborough, MA. Get this, when the convention opens its doors on August 21st, they won’t close until three days later on the 23rd. That’s right, show organizers have confirmed it will be 24-hours long, and never close until the final day.

After the jump, read more about this newly announced convention. (more…)

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Tim Sweeney Believes We Are 10-15 Years Away From Movie Like Graphics and Why He is Wrong

The biggest dream us gamers share, is one day playing a video game that features photo-realistic graphics. Since the dawn of the industry, gamers have guessed when we would see such a feat, and now one of the smartest guys in the business spoke about when he thinks we’ll actually experience it.

Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney, who is the mastermind behind the Unreal Engine, believes we are only about “10-15 years” away from visuals that will resemble real-life. He talked about his theory with gamasutra:



“We’re only about a factor of a thousand off from achieving all that in real-time without sacrifices. So we’ll certainly see that happen in our lifetimes; it’s just a result of Moore’s Law. Probably 10-15 years for that stuff, which isn’t far at all. Which is scary — we’ll be able to saturate our visual systems with realistic graphics at that point.”

However, before you start to celebrate and countdown the days when video games will start to look and act like real world, Sweeney believes A.I. is far off from achieving human like thoughts and actions.

“But there’s another problem in graphics that’s not as easily solvable. It’s anything that requires simulating human intelligence or behavior: animation, character movement, interaction with characters, and conversations with characters. They’re really cheesy in games now.”

While agree with him on the human behavior part , I don’t think video games are only 10-15 years away from photo-realism visuals. Obviously, the gap is starting to shrink a little between generations of systems.

Take the Xbox 360 for example, When it was first shown off to the public in 2005, many people were disappointed. While the graphics were certainly better than its original counterpart, the difference at the time was not astronomical.

When people first played the Dreamcast or PS2, jaws dropped — there was a huge distinction between those systems and the PSX and N64. There was even a greater difference in quality when the N64 came out, and people compared it to Nintendo’s previous system, the SNES.

What I’m getting at, is the technology gap between the successors of each system is diminishing. So in 2020, we could be theoretically be 2 full generations of systems ahead of where we are today. I believe the graphics we will be looking at the time, will be something similar to the films Monsters Inc or maybe even Finding Nemo, which would be awesome in my book. However, I just don’t believe it will resemble Wall*E, which even right now, doesn’t look photo-realistic.

So in the end, when Madden 2020 is released, I don’t think it’ll look like a real live NFL game. But it certainly won’t look bad either.

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Penny Arcade Reveals PAX 2009 Details

When E3 downsized its show from 60,000 attendees to 3,000 in 2007, the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) started to be more of a focal point for the gaming industry. In terms of how many gamers attend the show, it was about as large as the 2006 E3 show, with almost 60,000 people going. Even with the Electronic Entertainment Expo returning to its former glory, PAX is still expecting a successful and strong show in 2009.

The festival will begin on September 4th and run to the 6th. PAX has a number of big name publishers exhibiting the show floor including: Nintendo, Microsoft, Valve, Blizzard and Ubisoft. No word yet if show organizers expect to see more companies on board like, EA and Sony who are notably absent.

Not only are gamers going to be able try out the latest video game that has yet to arrive in stores during the expo, they are also going to be treated to a live concert. “Freezepop, Jonathan Coulton, MC Frontalot, Anamanaguchi and, new for this year, Paul and Storm and Metroid Metal” will be playing at this year’s event.

Remember, while E3 can only be attended by people in the gaming industry — everyone is eligible can come to PAX. So, if you are one of the many who can’t be involved at E3 in Los Angeles, PAX in Seattle, WA might be a great alternative.

After the jump, read the full press release. (more…)

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Video Games Live Announce Show During E3 in L.A.

No lie, Video Games Live was one of my favorite concerts I have ever been too. If you don’t know what it is, I’ll tell you. It’s a full Orchestra that preforms video game music and at the same time, includes videos of the games that they are preforming in front of you. I had the pleasure to see the show in 2007 during the GDC in San Francisco. Because it was going on during the conference, the show featured some legendary icons from the gaming industry. It was truly a remarkable event.

Now, Video Games Live has scheduled a gig at the same night E3 ends, on June 4th. The show will happen in Los Angeles at the Greek Theater and start at 8:00PM. Because it is happening during the biggest week of the year for video games, the show’s organizers plan on some special things to happen. So if you are going to be in the Los Angeles area, make sure you don’t miss it. Count me in!

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