ZXZZZZX5 300x195 Facebook buy Oculus and makes all the nerds cryRemember virtual reality? It was the most 1992 thing on Earth aside from Global Hypercolor t-shirts and 2 Unlimited.

Well anyway, it’s become a big enough thing for Facebook to splash out $2 billion on, as the company today acquired Oculus VR, the Oculus Rift headset hitmakers.

It is thought that Facebook will broaden Oculus’ reach and move towards areas of communication and media.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said: ”Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow. Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”

The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock, and will close in the second quarter of 2014.

Oculus Rift is set to be released later in the year, and will probably get its skates on after news today of Sony developing a VR headset to work with PlayStation 4.

Looks like internet hippies will be crying into their laps about all this, as a lot of them were excited about Oculus, but hate Facebook. The future eh?

flappy bird Flappy Bird might be coming back, which is dreadful newsFlappy Bird is, if we’re being honest, one of the worst games ever made which has gone overground. It is one-dimensional, irritating, sounds rubbish and makes annoying gits screengrab their vague improvements every two seconds and flood your social media feeds with their latest achievements.

Basically, the kind of people who loudly crow about Flappy Bird should be kicked in the arse for eternity and generally made an example of.

When developer Dong Nyguyan said he was axing it, everyone went crazy before the din died down and everyone got a breather from weirdo Flappy Bird enthusiasts.

However, Nyguyan has hinted that he might be ready to bring it back. It seems that the media attention that once worried him might be something he enjoyed after all.

After saying that the game that had “ruined his simple life,” Dong did a bafflingly large interview with Rolling Stone magazine and admitted that he’s thinking about Flappy Bird’s return. ”I’m considering it,” he told the magazine, noting that any comeback would come with a “warning [to] take a break!”

Seems Nyguyen has more games to promote too. He’s got a cowboy shoot ‘em up, a vertical flying game dubbed Kitty Jetpack and an “action chess game” called Checkonaught set for release. And they’ll all feature cutesy 8bit graphics and profound frustration, no doubt.

Just what we all needed.

Xbox One penalises you for swearing into Kinect

March 11th, 2014 6 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Imagine, if you will, you’re an adult. You’ve bought a nextgen console with your wages and some games and, in your own home, you decided to let off some steam.

This being a video game, chances are, you’re going to get frustrated. And when you get irritated with a game, you might swear to yourself.

Well, if you play NBA 2k14 on the Xbox One and swear to yourself while Kinect is running, you’ll find that you’ll be penalised in the game with a technical foul. Seriously. A game you’ve bought and play in your own home, using language that you’re at liberty to use, will see your gameplay hindered. Outrageous!

Have a look at the video of the incident. And, of course: WARNING! NSFW SALTY LANGUAGE!

Nintendo shutting down online capabilities

February 27th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Nintendo Nintendo shutting down online capabilitiesNintendo are going to spend most of this year running around and trying to fix everything after a dreadful 2013.

One thing they’ll be doing, is getting rid of the online features for some of the Wii and DS. This will happen on May 20th 2014.

There’ll still be online stores, but from summer, you won’t be able to play online, there’ll be no leaderboards or matchmaking. It’ll all be shut down.

Nintendo said in a statement: ”As of May 20th, 2014, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service will be discontinued and it will no longer be possible to use online features of Nintendo DS/DSi and Wii software such as online play, matchmaking and leaderboards. The Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop will not be affected however, and will continue to be accessible after May 20th.”

So if you’re still using a Wii and like playing Mario Kart online, or like the Pokemon series on your DS, you’ll have to start enjoying them offline.

Wii U’s will probably be selling for £2.60 by the time May comes around, so you shouldn’t worry too much. If not, you’ll still be able to use your last-gen consoles for going on the Internet Channel, Nintendo DS Browser, Nintendo DSi Browser, Nintendo DSi Shop, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play, Wii Shop Channel, and YouTube.

Xbox One goes cheap, not because no-one wants it

February 26th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

xbox one square Xbox One goes cheap, not because no one wants itThe Xbox One is getting beat down by the PlayStation 4 in terms of sales, which has seen many shouting about what a  failure the Microsoft console is. The fact that the next-gen console is getting a price cut hasn’t helped to squash those calls.

The good news is that there are cheap(er) Xbox One consoles knocking about, so no-one should care too much. However, a price drop 3 months after the debut of the Xbox One is of remark, despite pretty decent sales.

You can now get your hands on an Xbox One for £399, which should improve sales and, with some big releases due to drop soon, things are clearly not going badly for Microsoft’s console.

Either way, Microsoft officials have had to talk about the cut in cost and have said that they’re not at all desperate to shift some units.

Microsoft’s UK marketing director Harvey Eagle said: “No, I don’t think so. For us this is about giving UK gamers the best value that we can. We think that that starts with the announcement of this new price point, at 399. It continues with the inclusion of the hottest game of this new generation, in Titanfall, which is now included in the box at no additional cost.”

“And I would also say that this has been our most successful Xbox launch ever in the UK. I think that we can already see that both platforms are commercially successful, that’s great for the industry, but we’re only a few months into a generation that is going to last for many years to come.”

Seems that Microsoft know the PS4 is doing better right now, but this is a long game as there won’t be a new console out for some time, now could well be a good time to buy the new Xbox.

flappy bird Flappy Bird: Not only a dreadful game, but the cause of death threats too!Are you aware of Flappy Bird? If not, it is one of the most irritating games ever made. A free download, the app saw you pressing the screen to make a bird flap. Unswerving dickheads posted their scores online, every single time they played it. Thrilled they’d mastered it, people would coo about how they’d completed it.

Unfathomably, it went huge, overnight.

The inventor of the game – Dong Nguyen – couldn’t be doing with all this, so took it down from the various app shops. And that’s when the trouble really started.

Nguyen couldn’t cope with the volume of complaints and comments, and pulling it from the stores only means more heat. Some people are so inexplicably angry, that you’d think Nguyen had denied everyone basic human rights rather than stopped access to a dreadful game which required you to relentlessly poke at your screen while shouting a lot.

One Twitter user spat: ”YOU BEST NOT BE DELETING FLAPPY BIRD BECAUSE I WILL MURDER YOU IF U DO.”

Another said: “If you delete flappy bird I will literally kill myself. It’s my drug and I am so addicted!! PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS TO MEEE PLEASEE.”

The death threats and suicide chatter is huge surrounding this game, despite the fact that, if you’ve already downloaded the bloody thing, it won’t vanish from your phone – it just means people who haven’t got it yet won’t be able to get to it. And there’s already clones of it knocking about.

Nguyen wrote on Twitter late last week: “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore. It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore.”

Game to launch pre-owned stores

February 6th, 2014 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

game logo Game to launch pre owned storesIt has been a tough year or so for Game, but they’ve come back and are making the best of a bad situation which has seen many companies fold.

Back from the brink, the gaming vendor has announced plans to really corner the pre-owned games market.

They’re looking to refit a small number of their existing shops under a new name called Gametronics.

Initially, these stores will crop up in places that already have more than one Game store. These outlets won’t just stock previously owned games, but will also sell other forms of technology, such as phones, tablets or consoles.

It looks like Game are going after the market currently bossed by CEX.

In the Gametronics shops, you’ll be able to trade-in games and gadgets in exchange for credit that you’ll be able to use in Game stores. Could be handy if you want to palm off your PS3 if you’ve got your eye on a PS4. You can assume you’ll be able to trade things in for straight cash also.

Time to pull your old console games out of the box and blow in the slots because there’s a new console which can play all your old games! The Super Retro Trio is the all-in-one system that lets you play your old SNES, NES and Mega Drive cartridges.

It will be out in North America in March and will cost you around $70, which is a bit of steal really.

super trio 500x320 Super Retro Trio lets you play SNES, NES and Mega Drive all under one roof

What is nice about this system is that you’ll be able to play all your old games on your telly. Simulators online or on your phone are all well and good, but it isn’t nearly as fun as playing them while sat on the couch stuff your face with Wotsits.

You can also get a thing called a Super Retro Adapter, which lets you play Game Boy Advance cartridges too. You can also play Japanese and American import games as well, thanks to a switch on the front of the console which enables you to go from NTSC to PAL.

Can’t wait to get stuck into European Club Soccer (complete with ‘Three Shredded Wheat’ cheat).

Nintendo to revive itself by making you healthy

January 31st, 2014 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Nintendo have been losing money and seen their stocks falling, so it looked for all the world like they were going to sell Mario off to other platforms so stay relevant.

However, it seems that they’ve got a plan. Whether it is a good one or not, we’ll just have to wait and see. Nintendo are going to focus on making themselves vital to those who want to get healthy at home.

At a meeting for investors and the media, CEO Satoru Iwata pointed toward Nintendo’s future, saying that the company plan to create a third platform to accompany the Wii U and 3DS.

“What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s [quality of life] in enjoyable ways,” said Iwata.

healthapproach 500x375 Nintendo to revive itself by making you healthy

Basically, while other platforms focus on video games which are designed to distract, Nintendo will go all out into their world of Wii Fit, Brain Age and the like.

“As those who are already suffering from illness can seek medical care, our new business domain would… enable people to monitor their health,” Iwata said. “However, what is generally good for health requires some kind of effort to be made by the individual, and… it is sometimes difficult to stay focused and engaged, and it is not uncommon to give up after a few days.”

“This is where our strength as an entertainment company to keep our consumers engaged and entertained comes into play,” he added.

Looks like Nintendo hope to sell devices to people who wouldn’t normally buy a console and more at the keep-fit DVD and self-help market. It’s a lucrative sector as well, so if Nintendo pull this off, they could be getting spikes of sales during the post-Christmas comedown every year.

PS Vita Slim coming to the UK, today!

January 30th, 2014 9 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Thanks to a balls-up from ShopTo, we know that the new slimline PS Vita will be available to pre-order from later today, after they let the cat out of the bag before Sony did.

With that, we now know that we can get our hands on a PS Vita-2000 in the UK this year… but what it is?

ps vita PS Vita Slim coming to the UK, today!

Well, firstly, it comes in pretty, pretty colours and is 20% thinner and 15% lighter than the original Vita. It’ll also have a new micro USB Type B port and 1GB of internal memory.

It also has an improved battery, which now lasts four-to-six hours longer and the new PS Vita will use an LCD display instead of the old OLED screen.

There may also be a release for the PS Vita TV device, which has flopped in Japan because everyone watches TV on their phones, tablets and, well, TV sets. However, the European market may be blessed with it as Sony tries to make some money on the whole venture.

At the time of writing, Sony hadn’t given out a release date so we’ll have to wait and see.

Nintendo still losing money thanks to Wii U

January 17th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

WiiU 300x168 Nintendo still losing money thanks to Wii UNintendo said today that sales of the Wii U had flopped, resulting in a third consecutive annual loss, meaning that Nintendo could well be on the same road as Sega.

Company president, Satoru Iwata, pledged to get Nintendo back in the black this year, but instead, found himself apologising to shareholders. He won’t be resigning though, instead saying: ”There will be no major management shake-up in the short term.”

One peculiar thing is that Nintendo’s most lucrative aspects have always been the Mario franchise and Zelda, both of which can only be played on Nintendo consoles. While the rest of gaming effectively shares games, Nintendo are looking desperately old-fashioned by keeping hold of their two star turns.

Before Sega stopped making consoles, they held onto to Sonic the Hedgehog games exclusively. However, when the Xbox and PlayStation franchises took over, they admitted defeat and Sonic is now playable on all systems. Could we see Mario and Zelda jumping platforms?

Nintendo, in this business year, is now looking at an operating loss of 35 billion yen. Quite the contrast from the forecast of 100 billion yen profit. Shares continue to fall also. Will Mario and Zelda soon be available on your iPad or PS4?

Game enjoyed Christmas, but is it their last?

January 16th, 2014 6 Comments By Mof Gimmers

game logo Game enjoyed Christmas, but is it their last?Game have had a bumper Christmas thanks to the long-awaited launch of the new next-gen consoles – the Xbox One and PS4 – from Microsoft and Sony. Game’s sales doubled over the festive period, which is good news after the company bounces back from administration.

Such is the transformation, the new owners are reportedly considering plans for a £300 million stock market flotation. Like-for-like sales went up 90%, online trading rose by 213%, which is more positive than the last headlines they made, when they had to make 2,100 people redundant and close almost half of their stores.

Game chief executive Martyn Gibbs thinks that improvements in training and service are responsible and that the stores are now a “hub for the gaming community”, thanks to an overhaul of the Game website and initiatives like the reward scheme and trade-in offers.

However, this all feels a little premature.

2013 was a good year for everyone in gaming. The release of FIFA14, GTA5 and the aforementioned new consoles meant that there was a lot of excitement around the industry. While there’ll still be people who want a new PlayStation or next-gen Xbox after the early-adopters spiked sales, that will soon die down.

And with Sony and Microsoft making a move to push their own networks and selling channels, with games that comes as discs in boxes rapidly becoming a thing of the past, Game will soon end up resembling a Cex shop. While there’ll always be money in second-hand games, for Game to stay vibrant, they’re going to have to think of something big or else rely on new console releases and marquee games like GTA not taking quite so long between releases.

BW GamingClearout 300x225 DEAL KLAXON! Huge entertainment clear out instore at Tesco

Up to 75% off entertainment including gaming

Tesco is one of those supermarkets which you try to avoid through fear of bumping into THAT couple from up the road who always keep you talking for 3 hours whilst scrutinising your basket and judging your microwavable kebab. You’re an adult, you will eat what you want. Or so you keep telling yourself.

That kind of scenario is worth the risk for right now because Tesco are having a huge clear out in stores on some of their entertainment lines with some PS3/Xbox/Wii/WiiU games scanning at 25% of their original price.

Those avid deal hunters over at HotUKDeals have been sharing their haul and so far they’ve managed to bag games such as Deadpool 3, Pokemon Black/White, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3DS, New Super Mario Bro 2, Professor Layton & The Miracle Mask all for £3.75 each.  Other highlights include Lego City Undercover for WiiU £2.50, Zelda Skyward Sword £1.25 and Fifa 13 £3.75.

If you are heading to Tesco to hopefully bag some of these, get them to scan everything. From what we’ve seen over at HotUKDeals, anything with a big yellow stick is the price before the 75% reduction. However, loads of items such as Fifa 13 were on the shelf as £40 (pah!) but scanning at £3.75.

This isn’t just on gaming – the clearance extends to DVDs and blu-rays. Some folks have grabbed the Lord of the Rings Trilogy for £3.75 and Wreck it Ralph 3D for the same price. Madness!

So yeah, empty your boot and get on down to Tesco. Let us know what you manage to bag.

Playstation Buttons 300x187 Sony announce PlayStation Now and stocks tumble for second hand game vendorsSony have announced their new cloud service called PlayStation Now where classic games from PS1, PS2 and PS3 will be available on tablets, computers and Bravia TVs. There’ll be a global roll-out some time in summer and for gamers, this is very exciting indeed.

Sony’s Andrew House said at CES: “Playing your favourite PS3 game on your television will become a reality.” Of course, if you had a PS3 in the first place, playing its games on your TV is already a reality, but you get what he means. PS4 consoles and the PS Vita will also have access to the cloud.

It seems that you’ll be able to pay for individual titles or have an annual subscription where you get access to the entire catalogue. Sony haven’t announced any prices yet.

This echoes OnLive which kicked off in 2010, however, OnLive failed to land the huge titles, so it looks like Sony are out to kill the opposing services dead.

OnLive won’t be the only casualties. In America, retailer GameStop has seen their stock drop following the announcement. Trading was down nearly 9%. In the UK, it looks like GAME and shops like Cex could suffer too, as they trade in second-hand console games. Of course, you can’t download the peripherals, but as prices tend to be cheaper online rather than in stores, it looks like there’s tough times ahead for those in the gaming retail industry.

[c&vg]

Sony to kill many PS3 games by taking them offline

January 7th, 2014 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

playstation network 300x216 Sony to kill many PS3 games by taking them offlineSony are effectively killing a host of games by nuking their servers so gamers can’t play them online, and there’s some big names in there like Gran Turismo and the Resistance trilogy. They’re not mucking about either, with the servers being closed in a couple of months.

PS3 and PS Vita games will no longer be playable online with Gran Turismo 5 going down on May 20th and the online servers for Resistance: Fall of Man, Resistance 2 and Resistance 3 will be deactivated on March 28th.

In a few weeks, on January 28th, four other titles will be disabled – Pain, MAG, SOCOM: Special Forces and SOCOM: Confrontation – and in the case of MAG and Confrontation, they don’t have single player modes, which means you won’t be playing these at all.

Obviously, Sony are concentrating on PS4 games, but this is all worth bearing in mind if you’ve bought a cheap PS3 over Christmas and are thinking of stocking up on sale games while the retailers clear out of PS3 and PS Vita stock in a bid to clear the table for next-gen games.

Some of the games have single-player mode, so this won’t bother the casual gamer much, but still, worth making a note so you don’t waste your money on dead rubber.

There’s a full list of the games and support over at the Playstation website.