Posts Tagged ‘gamers’
And it isn’t just about games.
The release of a new generation of video game consoles has traditionally meant the promise of new, previously impossible kinds of video games. The jump from 16- to 32- and 64-bit consoles made possible three-dimensional game worlds. The next generation made possible the expansion of these worlds to impressive scale and the furnishing of these worlds with outrageous amounts of detail (think about the difference between Mario 64 and Grand Theft Auto 3). And though the last jump, to the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, took some time, it ultimately enabled the painting of these worlds with staggeringly lifelike texture and cinematic quality (think about the difference between GTA 3 and GTA 4, or the Mass Effect series).
Now that the announcement of Microsoft’s new system, the Xbox One, has come and gone, we know the contours of the next generation, the first in eight years. The new machines from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony are wildly different, but they are all ostensibly game systems, and this may very well be the last time these three companies release new systems within a year of one another. In other words, this may be the last console generation, as such. And for the first time in their thirty-year history, game consoles are no longer about presenting new kinds of games to consumers.
That was most obvious on Tuesday, when Microsoft revealed its new consumer electronics device, and I hesitate to call the thing a game console, any more than I'd call a tricked-out PC a game console. It is an impressive device that does a lot of interesting things, and it looks like it belongs on a sideboard, and it is certainly a much more versatile and ambitious device than Sony's PlayStation 4. But, the very first thing that Microsoft decided to show about the Xbox One, their lead, the thing they were most proud of about their “game console”, was the fact that you can verbally order it to watch television. The second thing, I believe, was that you can use your hands to make the display smaller. The third had to do with Skype.
Microsoft announced at the event that they had eight exclusive games in development for their new black rectangle, and that these would be announced in three weeks at E3, the gaming trade show in Los Angeles. Todd Holmdahl, a corporate vice president of hardware at Microsoft, told me on Tuesday that it was important to take the two events in aggregate, that there was simply so much information about the Xbox One to disseminate that it would have muddied the message to announce both the system and the games. That’s a fair point, but also: what?. If you take the hundreds of journalists on hand for a game console announcement on an hour-long tour of the anechoic chambers and test labs in which the gesture-control sensor in your new device was honed, you're sending a message. If the most interactive game-thing that you demonstrate to the press is the new rumble strip in the triggers of your controller, you're sending a message. If the biggest news about actual games in your introductory press conference relates to the number of servers that can offload graphics processing to the cloud, you're sending a message.
The message is: The most important thing, the first thing, the defining thing about the Xbox One is the platform, not the games. Console manufacturers have always bragged about their new hardware, but always in the context of what it meant for games. This is new.
I want to be clear: this is not by definition good or bad, as some have written. But it is a change, and it does have obvious implications for the culture of console gaming. Of the half-dozen games Microsoft teased, three were FIFA (the best selling game in the world), Call of Duty (the best selling game in America) and Madden (the second best selling game in America). Millions of people play these games, and for Microsoft they represent a real, compelling route into the homes of the people who play them and the people who live with the people who play them. Indie games, prestige games, creative games, frankly, don't. In ten years, the percentage of games today for mainstream game consoles that were weird, or idiosyncratic, or not “IP” may seem well and truly strange. We may very well expect to control our televisions with gesture and have cable-cum-game boxes that can suggest programs or games to us based on our mood, deduced through our facial expressions and heart rate. But the place for novel kinds of games on a piece of technology that takes as its aim the American mainstream seems small indeed.
He gave us a way to talk about games.
In life, Roger Ebert’s relationship with the world of gaming was famously ambivalent. Starting around 2005, Ebert began his half-decade-long public insistence that video games could never achieve the status of art, per se. The response of the gaming world was complex: combative, sarcastic, dismissive, indignant, reflective, self-conscious, grudgingly appreciative. Before the conversation itself became tedious (and before Ebert basically recanted), the film critic's provocation inspired thousands and thousands of words, nearly as many emotions, and an original thought or two as well.
In death, Roger Ebert's relationship with the world of gaming was anything but ambivalent:
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Fresh from putting smiles on the faces of tabletop gaming geeks all over, with yesterday ’ s news that it would be assisting to bring Dungeons & Dragons to iOS gadgets later this year, mobile game publisher Playdek has actually closed a$ 3.8 million Collection A moneying round. The round was led by Qualcomm Incorporated, by means of its venture financial investment arm, Qualcomm Ventures, with IDG Ventures and ff Endeavor Capital additionally taking part. Existing investors Deep Fork Capital, Greycroft Partners, Jarl Mohn and unnamed angel investors also joined in. The company had formerly raised$ 1.56 million in financing from its seed and Angel rounds — taking its overall financing post-Series A to$ 5.36 million. Playdek statedthe new financing will enable it to expand its digital pastime games portfolio with brand-newlaunches, including its honest app, Agricola, based upon the approach board game of the same name. Flagship existing titles from Playdek include its Ascension collection. The company ’ s other huge plan for the funding is to build a pastime gamer neighborhood and online platform
for players to satisfy and socialize, due to launch later this year. It stated this platform will “ provide the services that hobby gamers value ” — so probably things like leaderboards placing players by rating and online forums to talk about the merits of various games approaches. In a press statement, Joel Goodman, CEO, said it would have to do with “ providing gamers that’around the table’sensation in the digital realm “.
The platform will likewise offer events and tournaments. Discussing the funding in a statement, Phil Sanderson, Managing Director, IDG Ventures stated:”The market classification is poised for development, and Playdek has actually shown that it is the expert when it pertains to bringing this devoted audience what they want in mobile gameplay.”“ Playdek provides players exactly what they want — convincing online games based upon the franchises they know and enjoy. Playdek allows individuals to check out these worlds and tales in an engaging brand-new means,”added John Frankel, ff Endeavor Capital, additionally in a statement.”We enjoy the group, the approach
, and what they have done to date; we anticipate terrific things from them in the future. ”
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Fresh from putting smiles on the faces of tabletop gaming geeks everywhere, with yesterday’s news that it would be helping to bring Dungeons & Dragons to iOS devices later this year, mobile game publisher Playdek has closed a $ 3.8 million Series A funding round.
The round was led by Qualcomm Incorporated, via its venture investment arm, Qualcomm Ventures, with IDG Ventures and ff Venture Capital also participating. Existing investors Deep Fork Capital, Greycroft Partners, Jarl Mohn and unnamed angel investors also joined in. The company had previously raised $ 1.56 million in funding from its seed and Angel rounds — taking its total funding post-Series A to $ 5.36 million.
Playdek said the new funding will allow it to expand its digital hobby games portfolio with new launches, including its forthcoming app, Agricola, based on the strategy board game of the same name. Flagship existing titles from Playdek include its Ascension series.
The company’s other big plan for the funding is to build a hobby gamer community and online platform for players to meet and hang out, due to launch later this year. It said this platform will “provide the services that hobby gamers value” — so presumably stuff like leaderboards ranking players by score and forums to discuss the merits of different gaming strategies. In a press statement, Joel Goodman, CEO, said it would be about “giving gamers that ‘around the table’ feeling in the digital realm”. The platform will also offer events and tournaments.
Commenting on the funding in a statement, Phil Sanderson, Managing Director, IDG Ventures said: “The market category is poised for growth, and Playdek has proven that it is the expert when it comes to bringing this dedicated audience what they want in mobile gameplay.”
“Playdek gives gamers what they want — compelling online games based on the franchises they know and love. Playdek allows people to explore these worlds and stories in a compelling new way,” added John Frankel, ff Venture Capital, also in a statement. “We love the team, the strategy, and what they have done to date; we expect great things from them in the future.”
MakerBot and OUYA revealed a collaboration today that will enable gamers to print their own OUYA game console cases at home. The collaboration will see OUYA develop 3D design declare Thingiverse.com, MakerBot ’ s 3D printing design repository, which are designed to be utilized with the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop computer 3D printer.
The OUYA Game Console Enclosure design developed by MakerBot enables OUYA console owners to print their own case, which includes a cover and a spring-loaded button for real estate the hardware. They can additionally be printed on the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D printer for those who desire to make use of ABS instead of PLA to print their designs.
It ’ s a move that brings an advanced level of customization to the OUYA, which is already based upon an open-sourced development kit, which, while it restricts designers in some means, permits a large range of versatility. The addition of house 3D-printable hardware aspects produces yet more personalization options, and could possibly produce extra possibilities for game developers to develop case mod tie-ins for their titles.
MakerBot states on its internet site for the OUYA console kit design that it can be opened with an individual ’ s own 3D printing software to make adjustments and added customizations, so we might see much even more than the standard Yves Behar-sourced cube with a rounded edge at the bottom.
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The team behind the OUYA Android game console clearly paid a lot of attention to its looks — they nabbed Yves Behar to design the thing, after all — but not every component has passed muster with the masses. Thankfully, after hearing some discontent from early backers and developers, OUYA has taken some crucial feedback about the console’s controller seriously and has decided to make some changes.
According to recent post on the official OUYA blog, the console’s controller will no longer sport those flat, disc-like d-pads — they’ve been replaced by a more standard cross-shaped affair that should look familiar to anyone to who’s done so much as glance a console controller in the last 20 years. The controller’s dual analog sticks have undergone a bit of a makeover too, as they now feature a grippier finish for increased precision, and the small touchpad nestled in the center of the controller has had its sensitivity bumped up to boot. Throw in some slightly-shifted left and right triggers and a battery door that isn’t as much of a hassle to open, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a half-decent controller.
Sure, some of these may seem like minor tweaks, but any avid gamer could tell you about the importance of fit, finish, and feel when it comes to a device they’re going to be clutching for hours. And hey, by reacting to feedback early enough in the development process, OUYA (with any luck) doesn’t have to deal with the wide-scale blowback from an underwhelming controller the way Microsoft did with its original, roasted ham-sized Xbox controller. It’s heartening to see that OUYA’s community-first approach to this whole undertaking wasn’t just limited to its means of raising money — hopefully the final product will be just as thoughtful when it starts shipping to the rest of us later this year.
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There are keyboards, and then there are Mad Catz keyboards… and now, the company’s constructed a new pro peripheral to rest your wrists on — the S.T.R.I.K.E. 5. Just like the other mission control center we saw a few months ago, it features a modular design allowing various layouts, high-performance keys with customized backlighting, and 21 programmable macro buttons. The main difference here is the touchscreen component of the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 has been substituted for the “E.Y.E. OLED Command Module,” which is used for easy access to keyboard functions, quick-launch triggers, and can display respawn timers for coordinating those second-specific attacks. Cash-strapped pros will be pleased to hear the S.T.R.I.K.E. 5 is cheaper than its predecessor, and you can head to the source link to sacrifice $ 200 on a pre-order now. Mad Catz won’t tell us what alien race is supplying the keyboards, nor an exact shipping date — all we know is that they’re expected “very soon.”
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It’s no formula that mobile gaming is growing, however according to a brand-new report from the NPD group it now represents the biggest segement of gamers in the United States. Based on 8,488 studies, NPD approximates that mobile gamers represent 22 percent of the market, a nine percent jump from 2011. Last year “core” gamers held the leading spot with an estimated 23 percent of the marketplace. The report breaks down individuals who play games into 6 types– mobile, digital, core, light COMPUTER, avid COMPUTER, and household / kid gamers– and aside from the mobile portion, only one additional group saw a rise contrasted to 2011, with digital gamers seeing a slight 4 percent jump year-over-year. “We see an incredible influence from mobile games, especially on smartphones and …
Early last year, Valve mentioned it was dealing with something called Big Photo mode for Heavy steam, an alternative user interface with controller support created particularly for use on televisions. Asing stated by Gabe Newell, the circulation services’ couch-ready UI is practically upon us. “We should have both Linux and 10-foot betas out there rather rapidly,” he informed Geoff Keighley in the most recent episode of GTTV, noting that the user interface would certainly be available on both the existing version of Steam and the upcoming Linux version. Newell stated that Valve has actually been showing the user interface to hardware manufacturers, but ultimately feels that the community will certainly determine its fate. “I think consumers will certainly state ‘this is actually great,’ or they’ll say it’s another fascinating however not a valuable contribution, rather rapidly.” Check out the interview for yourself (and the full episode) after the break.
Games, SoftwareSteam to debut Huge Photo beta quickly, make lazy person of COMPUTER gamers initially appeared onEngadget on Sat, 18 Aug 2012 00:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for usage of feeds
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If you thought that Logitech was just going to let Razer’s Naga MMO mouse go unanswered, you’ve got another thing coming. The G600 MMO Gaming Mouse matches the Naga’s 12 side-mounted buttons and one-ups the rival across the aisle with a toggle that gives each key a second function — if you can’t bind it to a mouse button, odds are that it doesn’t belong there. Just in case the prospect of spending an evening programming a mouse isn’t all that enticing, the G600 has three profiles right from the start, two for online role-playing and one for when you’d rather play a Call of Duty shooter instead. Of course, the laser tracking and USB response times are fast enough to keep up when you pull aggro from monsters. Gamers willing to wait until July can drop $ 80 for a G600 in black or white, although we’d also set aside the costs of stepping outside every now and then.
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