Amazon goes shopping

August 26th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

twitch 300x300 Amazon goes have bought live-streaming gaming network Twitch and they’ve paid $970 million for it too.

In cash.

They’d been in a bidding war with Google for Twitch, which allows gamers to broadcast live streams from PCs, XBox and PS4 consoles of themselves playing video games.

Twitch, who we banged on about here, also run gaming events and redistributes content from Joystiq, Gamespot, and Destructoid, Manvsgame and more.

Twitch also has 55 million visitors, which might have something to do with the keen interest from both companies.

This is seen as another step in Amazon’s strategy to big up their entertainment services, and video games are a big old market where cash literally grows on trees (especially in the online game ‘Cash Trees’ where you play a tax-dodging entity having to hoover up as much cash off trees or something).

But what has Jeff Bezos to say, hmmm?

“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon, and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month.”

Tens of millions. Bet his pants tightened at that.

Help save Earth from cybercrime!

August 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

GCHQ Help save Earth from cybercrime!Fancy yourself as some kind of cyber-crim thwarter? Well, you’re in luck.

The British intelligence agency GCHQ, have launched an online game to test whether you’d be any good at stopping a fictional attack.

GCHQ are hoping to find some masterminds among the gameplayers, and then use them, USE THEM FOR THEIR MINDS.

And it’s not a piece of puff, winners of previous missions have gone on to work at the agency.

In the game, called ‘Assignment: Astute Explorer’, users must protect a fictitious aerospace technology company threatened by imminent attack from imaginary cyber terrorists called The Flag Day Associates. There’s even YouTube threats and all sorts. Fancy that!

The story goes that fictitious company Ebell are concerned about the threat of an imminent attack and have asked GCHQ operatives (the public playing the game) to assess the scale of the threat. Sounds like fun.

If you fancy your chances at, you know, one day possibly saving the world, head here.

Playstation ruining gamers bank holiday

August 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

playstation network 300x216 Playstation ruining gamers bank holidayPlaystation is having a scheduled maintenance. On Bank Holiday Monday.

“THE BASTARDS!”, some of you cry.

The Playstation Network will be off at 5.40pm and won’t be back until 0.50am Tuesday.

PlayStation users will be unable to access the PlayStation Store, PSN account management and Network account registration.

Entertainment services and online gameplay will also be unavailable, and you won’t be able to sign into PSN via the PlayStation website.

So, you know. Go outside. Visit friends.

Finally put those shelves up.

Flappy Birds chap reveals Swing Copters

August 20th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Flappy Bird lovers unite, for the creator has announced a new game which will entertain you in a way that is so frustrating that you might chew your own hands off!

The brilliantly named Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen has come up with a new time-wasting bit of addictive nonsense in the form of Swing Copters.

swing copters 500x292 Flappy Birds chap reveals Swing Copters

The scrolling game demands its players to tap to make a character, handily wearing a propeller hat, fly from side to side, while avoiding troublesome platforms and hammers.

It’s out on August 21st as a free download, and there’ll be the option for players to pay 69p via an in-app thing which lays off the adverts.

Poor old Dong got it right in the neck when he took Flappy Birds down in February, after he was a bit concerned at how huge it had become.

Online critics gave heavy shade, and even – you big people – death threats were being thrown at him. He did however remain unkilled long enough to launch Flappy Birds Family on Amazon’s set-top box thing.

So anyway. Put down those weapons and rejoice again!

Apps: We’re just not as bothered as we were

August 19th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

apps 300x199 Apps: Were just not as bothered as we werePeople are not as arsed as they once were with smartphone apps, according to some new research.

A report by Deloitte shows that the average amount of apps downloaded per user per month is on the wane and declined a fair bit over the last year.

Almost a third of smartphoners in the UK do not download any apps in an average month, which is up from one-in-five last year.

Users tend to be more savvy and have a set amount a favourite apps sorted within the first few months of getting a new phone.

But it’s not a full-on sign of the collapse of the app market, as Deloitte reckon that more smartphone users over the age of 50 aren’t that bothered in adding additional stuff.

Paul Lee, whose job title ‘Head of research for technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte’ is a bit longwinded, said, “The new adopters of smartphones use them mostly for text messaging. When you look at who uses IM services like WhatsApp and WeChat, it tends to be younger age groups and it declines very steeply with age.”

“The ‘if in doubt download it’ attitude to consumer apps is clearly on the decline,” he points out.

xbox one square Dad called cops after sons Xbox extravaganceA dad shopped his own son after he blew nearly £3,000 on Xbox games.

Using the family business card, Daniel Holmes managed to make 77 payments to the Xbox Live network.

Naturally, dad Ian hit the roof, and called the police when he discovered the payments on his card statement.

Daniel  made 77 payments to Xbox live, which came to £2,400. With interest this totalled £2,800, North Devon Magistrates’ heard on Friday.

While Daniel had an investment in the family business, and had the card legitimately, once confronted by his dad about it, did not deny it, but admitted that he couldn’t pay it back.

Tim Hook, defending Daniel, said: “The defendant continued to use it, on each occasion buying Xbox games and carrying on a form of gambling which increased into a relatively substantial sum.”

His father asked him to repay it. He said he was extremely annoyed and “could hit him”".

He also realised that Daniel – then unemployed – would be unable to pay £200 a month. Hence a court case. Holmes Jnr, of Ilfracombe, Devon, was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay compensation of £2,097.88.

Don’t let your children use your credit cards. That’s the blindingly obvious lesson here.

Man sues Sony for their LIES

August 8th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

killzone shadow fall Man sues Sony for their LIESSony are being sued by one unhappy man.

Californian Douglas Ladore is taking Sony to court as he reckons they falsely advertised the native resolution of the multiplayer mode in Killzone Shadow Fall as 1080p

Mr Ladore boo-hoos that Sony is guilty of, “negligent misrepresentation, false advertisement, unfair competition and fraud in the inducement” for various claims from the company that a ‘native’ 1080p resolution was present in the game’s multiplayer.

Going on to shade them with “Unfortunately, Sony’s marketing and on-box representations turned out to be nothing more than fiction.”

Sony have always said that Killzone Shadow Fall runs at native 1080 and 60fps in both its single and multiplayer modes. However the game actually uses a thing called ‘temporal reprojection’ to achieve this 1080p image from a lower resolution render.

This ‘temporal reprojection’ lark tracks the position of pixels and manages to predict where they’ll be to form a higher-resolution new frame.

Obviously Ladore is having none of it, claiming how this is more a “technological shortcut” rather than an actual native to the game as he claims advertised.

There’s getting upset about something and then there’s going through the process of thinking “yes, I’m going to sue this company for their LIES” and then doing so.

Some people eh? They need to go outside and have a minute.

Anti-deathwatch: HMV

August 5th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

hmv 300x168 Anti deathwatch: HMVYou remember when HMV was all dead. Dead. DEAD?

Well not anymore they aren’t, they are quite literally back. Back. BACK.

Indeed, the entertainment retailer has been apparently winning shoppers from the supermarkets, according to entertainment industry data findings.

The retailer grew its share of CD, DVD and video game sales in the UK from 13.6% to 14.7p% in the 12 weeks to July 6, allowing HMV to reclaim second place in the market from Tesco.

These latest show that although HMV’s market share has fallen slightly year-on-year from 15.1% to 14.7%, which is primarily due to store closures, it grew quarter-on-quarter.

Which is all good karmically, seeing as it was the antics of the supermarkets that caused most of the collapse at HMV in the first place.

The remaining 125 HMV stores are now said to be very profitable, but also this could also be down to supermarkets not really giving much of a shit about CDs and DVDs like they used to, with most of them relying on guaranteed sellers such as Now compilations and Ed Sheeran rather than focusing less on Top Ten-oriented acts.

Amazon still remains the largest entertainment retailer in the UK though, with its market share growing from 20.2% to 21.8% during the 12-week period.

They might see even more success if they think about reducing the cost of albums though…

EA announce subscription service

July 30th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

ea electronic arts EA announce subscription serviceEA have announced that they’re launching a subscription service for the Xbox One, which basically means that, for a monthly fee, you’ll get access to some of Electronic Arts’ games for $4.99 a month. The service will be launching in Europe soon.

If you are willing to pay for a Spotify or Netflix subscription, is this any different? Or do you see this as an awful development in gaming?

You can either pay $4.99 per month, or an annual subscription of $29.99, say Gizmodo.

The service is called ‘EA Access’ and you’ll be able to choose games from ‘The Vault’. There’s four main games to pick from initially, notably, FIFA 14, Peggle 2, Madden NFL 25, and Battlefield 4.

On top of that, those signed-up with EA Access with get a 10% discount when purchasing any digital content from EA on the Xbox One. So that’s things like Battlefield 4 Premium and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Subscribers will also get access to new releases “up to five days before the release date.”

A beta version is being introduced to some Xbox One-havers this week, and there’s no word of a roll-out as yet. Either way, what do you make of this?

FIFA 15 to have ‘emotional intelligence’

July 21st, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Gamers are getting excited for EA Sports’ new trailers for the forthcoming FIFA 15.

Of course, people who don’t like the FIFA franchise can’t fathom why it stays so popular. The simple answer is NEW KITS. Such is the life of a football fan.

Naturally, there are gaming developments, most of which are too boring to relay here. However, there’s one new feature which is exciting – ‘emotional intelligence’.

Basically, FIFA 15 is going to put more focus on the players and fans emotions, so playing feels more like you’re at the ground or watching it on telly.

The video below shows commentators reacting to what the fans do, while players learn to encourage each other or, even better, learn to develop frustrations and hatred. Splendid.

FIFA 15 is scheduled for release across all formats in September, just in-time to make a Christmas No.1 bid.

PES 2015: Now with in-app purchases

July 3rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

pro evo PES 2015: Now with in app purchasesPES 2015, or Pro Evo if you prefer, has been announced for the PS4 and Xbox One, which is all very exciting for gaming football fans.

However, there’s going to be some moaning about it as the new version of the game’s Master League Online will have support in-app purchases. Of course, that’s not quite the correct terminology (micro-transactions would be better), but either way, once you buy the game, you will be asked for more money.

The Master League mode now ‘allows players and managers to be added using accumulated GP or via microtransactions within club dealings. Agents now used to meet player requirement criteria, while unhappy players can upset the balance of a side to detrimental effect. Extends to offline play’.

Basically, you can cough up your real money if you want instant access to players and the like. If you’ve got the disposable income, then this will be a treat. If your kid wants everything yesterday, then expect to be mithered.


There’s more developments too. There’ll be a new shooting system and passing options have been expanded. All in all, these make the ball move around more realistically.

Positioning plays a key role too, with the ability to dribble into space and beat your marker now improved. Sounds alright, eh? There’s a teaser video too, but alas, no gameplay.

You’ll have to wait for that. Unless of course, you want to make a microtransaction to Konami and they might give it to you earlier.

goat Goat Simulator: It is actually getting released in shopsFor a while now, Goat Simulator has been meme-ing away online, with gamers desperate to find out whether the game will be funny for 1 day or 1 minute. Then, it saw release and everyone gurgled away at it, with one of the most unlikely hits in gaming history.

If you’ve missed it, Goat Simulator started out as a joke and, like a lot of jokes, it all got out of hand. Now loads of people want to play.

Coffee Stain’s prototype is now getting a retail release, but sadly, only in North America. It’ll be available in shops next month.

Steam will no doubt be the main channel everyone uses to play the game, but the studio wanted to go ahead with a retail version, just for shits and giggles. “Steam has always been our primary source of income,” Armin Ibrisagic told Polygon, “so a retail version is nothing we planned or thought would bring us a lot of income, we were more motivated by the fact that a physical box with a goat’s face on it is pretty funny shit, so we decided to go for it.”

Ibrisagic also thinks that the retail version could reach new people. “I can just imagine a mom seeing it in a store and being like ‘Oh, Goat Simulator, that sounds like a fun game where you take care of farm animals, little Timmy will love this!’ and the next day when they’re having dinner, Timmy’s like ‘Mom, this food is penis shaped.’”

If you haven’t seen the game, have a look here. Basically, you get to be a goat that heatbutts everything in sight, can stick axes to its tongue and even wear a jetpack.

Father’s Day Hints: The Anki Drive

June 12th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

anki 300x169 Fathers Day Hints: The Anki DriveIt’s father’s day at the weekend and rather than pass off some badly thought out rock compilation and a hastily bought Dairy Milk, why don’t you get your pops this?

Billed as a Scalextric for the 21st century, the Anki Drive allows you to control cars with your iPhone, and also throw weapons.

Using sensors and cameras, the cars are controlled by an app on the phones and are raced on a special playmat. Basically, it’s next level amazingness.

It’s now on sale in the UK for an unsnipular £180, and comes with two cars. If you want more cars, they cost £50 each. If the enterprise takes off – and look at it, of course it will – no doubt the price will come down.

Up to four players can race cars around the tracks, or players can go it alone and battle against the artificial intelligence, built into the cars. Brrr.

Here’s how it works: Within each car is a small camera that let them ‘see’ where they are going. This camera points straight down and looks through the track into the circuitry underneath. The track itself provides information for the car as to where it can drive. A 50 megahertz computer on each car monitors where it is on the track 500 times every second. This then feeds information to the motors in the two rear wheels so the car knows where to drive. Every two milliseconds they make an adjustment to the rear motors to stay on trajectory.

The track itself, about the size of a tabletop, can be rolled out onto any surface, and the matchbox-sized cars are then placed on the track and controlled by players using their chosen device.

Well, if anyone wants me to be their daddy, you know how to clinch the deal. GET TO IT.

Sony pull out the big guns at E3 2014

June 10th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

ps4 300x182 Sony pull out the big guns at E3 2014Sony were just showing off at their E3 showing, boasting about their commitment to indie titles, while muttering about some of the big things that are in the pipeline for their PlayStation 4 console.

So what’s going down for gamers?

Well, Sony confirmed that Grand Theft Auto V will join The Last of Us on the PS4 in versions that have fancier graphics. If you haven’t bought a PS4 yet, you’ll be allowed to transfer GTAV from your PS3. And, cheekily, they’ll allow you to transfer them from the Xbox 360 too.

Uncharted 4 will also be hitting the PS4 in 2015 too.

Surprisingly, Little Big Planet’s mascot, Sackboy, appeared on-stage to herald LittleBigPlanet 3, which will appear on the PS4. It’ll have loads of community and co-operative gameplay. There’ll also be some new characters and you’ll be able to play as them all. So you can be Sackboy, a dog named Oddsock, a bird called Swoop and the shape-shifting thingy called Toggle.

There’s also a neo-Victorian steampunk game in the works called The Order: 1886 (which is a PlayStation exclusive) where you get to run around as a part-zombie, part-werewolf monster. There’ll also be a game from Bungie (who made Halo) called Destiny which will launch alongside a white version of the PS4 (you have to assume that will be a limited edition affair).

Far Cry 4 showed its face in a long demo, as well as Battlefied: Hardline, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Batman: Arkham Knight and loads more.

One thing which has got everyone excited, is the gloriously violent and grisly new version of Mortal Kombat, where you can kick people and watch their bones break in slow motion. With that, of course, we’re more than happy to show you a video of the action. Warning – it might make the weaker of you want to do some sick in your mouth.

EA ready FIFA 15

June 9th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

FIFA football EA ready FIFA 15It feels like 10 minutes since FIFA 14 was released and we’re not sure enough teams have new kits out (99% of the reason why FIFA fans buy new versions of the game) to warrant such an early heralding, but EA are already getting everyone ready for FIFA 15.

The game will be released on Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. You’ll note that it won’t be available for PS2 because, frankly, that console is dead to Sony and EA.

And the game will be too big and fancy for a PS2 to handle.

A Vine-ish FIFA 15 trailer teaser has been published, which shows you… well… nothing. It’s an incredibly short video of a pretend Luis Suarez kicking a pretend ball. If you must, click here to see it. You’ll be disappointed. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

There is good news for people who play FIFA on their PC.

In a blog post on the EA Sports website, the company said: “We are proud to announce that our EA SPORTS IGNITE engine, powering all EA SPORTS titles on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, will now also run FIFA 15 on PC. The PC version will include all the same core features coming to the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game.”

That’s nice isn’t it? All this, uncynically in time for the World Cup which kicks off later this week in Brazil.