Bad news folks. Portal 2, the sequel to the mind-bendingly awesome Portal, has been delayed to April 18, 2011. This will undoubtedly upset the fans of the original innovative puzzle game that edged out many high-budget blockbusters to win over 30 game of the year awards. But then, this is Valve we are talking about. Did any of you actually expect them to deliver this on time? Heck, the two months delay is a pretty small deal when compared with some of Valve’s previous schedule slippages. Here’s Valve’s tongue-in-cheek press release:
Valve today announced that Portal 2â€” the sequel to the ground-breaking title that won over 30 game of the year awards, despite missing its original ship dateâ€”will now be available the week of April 18th, 2011. This two month slip not only marks the shortest delay in Valve’s proud tradition of delays, it represents the approaching convergence of Valve Time and Real Time. Though this convergence spells doom for humanity, it will not affect the new Portal 2 release date.
Valve might not be known for delivering games on time, but they are definitely known for their quality. Let’s hope that Portal 2 will truly live up to Valve’s reputation.
In the conference the release date was announced as May 17th 2011, and the contents of the Collector’s and Premium editions of the game, as well as some preorder details. One of these preorder details was that the game could be purchased from their sister project: GOG.com, the premiere DRM-free digital distribution service.
Although the preorder page at GOG is as of now showing a 404, the tentative details that emerged from their post are that it would feature a 10% discount as well as a free download of any one of the premiere RPGs in GOG’s catalog. The preorder will also entail instant access to some bonus contents of the game.
Also, it seems like you do not have to pay upfront for the preorder how that would work out is still in the dark because of the missing page.
For me, this is the sweetest deal imaginable and I’d jump as soon as I could. Hopefully the missing page will be reinstated soon!
Update: They have taken down the announcement page as well. Stay tuned for further updates!
The next installation of the popular Call of Duty game will be released on November 9, 2010. Call of Duty: Black Ops is now available for pre-order on Amazon and other sites.
Call of Duty: Black Ops is the seventh installment of the series and is based on live fire conflicts of the Cold War era. The popular First Person Shooter (FPS) game is highly anticipated and is a following up to the 2009 highest selling game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
The game is set in South East Asia and boasts of urban air and ground combat warfare and snow combat in Soviet region. It also includes jungle combat in some stages. The game adds a new arsenal of weapons and vehicles tied to the Cold War era.
If you have been waiting to get your hands on the game, you can start out by pre-ordering it. The game price ranges from $29.99 for the Nintendo DS to $59.99 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. Go ahead and pre-order Call of Duty: Black OPS.
If you are curious to see what the game is all about, watch the Call of Duty: Black Ops video trailer below. (contains mature content not suitable for children)
When it comes to distributing content through online stores, Microsoft’s track record has been less than impressive, to put things politely. They fumbled with the Windows Marketplace and ultimately shut it down. Games for Windows has been a similar sorry tale. While others like Steam, Direct2Drive and Impulse Valve signed on hundreds of developers, Microsoft restricted itself to just a few dozen titles. Microsoft’s only saving grace has been the Zune Store and the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Now, Microsoft has announced that it will relaunch the Games for Windows Marketplace on November 15. The revamped online store will sport a redesigned interface and feature 100 high quality titles at launch. Customers will be able to purchase games using either credit/debit cards or their Microsoft points (from existing Xbox Live accounts). Purchased titles can be downloaded using the web browser, 3rd party download managers or Microsoft’s download manager. Thankfully, Microsoft has decided against forcing customers to go through cumbersome mechanisms involving the Windows Live desktop client.
With Games for Windows Marketplace, we set out to create a digital store built for PC gamers end-to-end,said Kevin Unangst, senior global director, PC and Mobile Gaming, at Microsoft. And by integrating with our existing Xbox LIVE and Windows Live services, we’ve made it easier than ever for millions of gamers to see for themselves how easy buying PC games can be.
Titles that will be available at launch include Fable: The Lost Chapters, Grand Theft Auto III, Dead Rising 2, Lost Planet 2, Flight Simulator, Gears of War and Halo. Microsoft has also promised to launch new titles every week. One of the biggest draws of the Xbox store, ‘Deal of the Week’ that offers high quality titles at a deep discount, will also be available.
Remember Frets on Fire the open source Guitar Hero clone? Also, remember InstantAction? The embeddable gaming client? Well, put those two together, and you have Instant Jam! The embeddable and totally awesome rhythm game that lets you play to music from your own library.
Yes, you read that right from your own library. That is epicly awesome, thank you InstantJam.
So what is so blatantly awesome about it, apart from it being a Guitar Hero clone lookalike that you can play on your own website? (As long as it supports iFrames, of course)
For starts, it marries social networking with half-decent gaming. (At least much better than Farmville or Mafia Wars). Secondly it allows you to use either your keyboard or a standard guitar controller. Also, it’s something like Grooveshark, with loads of songs being added daily for you to play.
Of course, it’s compatiblewith Facebook:-
Play along with your favorite songs from your own music library for free. Fully integrated with Facebook, Instant Jam combines the very best elements of rhythm gaming with social media: challenge friends, show off achievements, share in-game gifts and more.
Oh, you want to play it? Well, why didn’t you tell me? It’s right here!
Of course, it’s all PC Gaming, at the end of the day, right guys?
Facebook has an abnormally large amount of users playing games. Games such as Farmville or Mafia Wars. The annoyance factor of all these games on other peoples’ walls ranges from terrible to depressing. However, just how many of those daily Facebook loggers play games?
According to unofficial Facebook fan-site All Facebook, about 50% of Facebook log-ins are specifically for playing games, with over half of Facebook’s users playing these games.
However, out of these 250 million plus users, about 19% say that they are addictedto these games. A very loosely used term, I’m afraid for addiction, as a medical term, is really serious business. It’s exactly the kind of thing that is overused in the media while debasing video games as a whole. However, since it concerns Facebook, I do not mind it all that much.
Nevertheless, the other statistics are most interesting. 56 million people play such games daily which is most of the UK’s population. The average time per month spent playing games is around seven hours! That’s probably a little less than the amount of time I spend playing every week. Considering that Facebook is a social networking site, this is pretty big.
Well, everyone demands a catchy headline so don’t complain!
Lots of people play Farmville, constantly bombarding their friends and enemies with a trail of Farmville and Mafia Wars updates such as I just found a pink cow that can ride tricycles!and My pal here is gonna kill your pal there”, problem?. Apparently, they all value their privacy a lot. Turns out that the top ten Facebook apps, six of them from Zynga, transmit referral URLs to third parties. These referral URLs are tiny parts of the URLs that tell the landing page where the link was clicked. Rapleaf (ironically, since it is also involved as one of the third parties) has a pretty good and detailed blog post about this here.
This appears to be another example of an online company failing the American public with empty promises to respect individual privacy rights. Companies large and small need to learn to follow through on their privacy promises or risk having consumers decide that it is simply not worth it to use their services,” added Kassra Nassiri of Nassiri & Jung LLP, co-lead attorney for the lawsuit.
Now, Blizzard took it one step further by actually filing a lawsuit against the developers of the hack. Three hackers from the Los Angeles district were accused of copyright infringement:-
Just days after the release of Starcraft II, Defendants already had developed, marketed, and distributed to the public a variety of hacks and cheats designed to modify (and in fact destroy) the Starcraft II online game experience. In fact, on the very day that Starcraft II was released, representatives of the hacks Web site advised members of the public that our staff is already planning new releases for this game’
When users of the Hacks download, install, and use the Hacks, they copy StarCraft II copyrighted content into their computer’s RAM in excess of the scope of their limited license, as set forth in the EULA and ToU, and create derivative works of StarCraft II
Not only is Blizzard accusing them of infringement, it’s also demanding payment for damages caused. Ouch, hackers.
Valve’s digital distribution service Steam has always been at the forefront of video games and digital distribution. Their store stocks the best in AAA games as well as indie surprises with a a discount sale almost every week. In the eight years that it has been operational, Steam has seen phenomenal growth especially in recent times, due partly to the addition of Mac OSX as a platform for many games.
Said Gabe Newell, president of Valve:
Steam is on track to record the biggest year in its six year history. The year has marked major development advances to the platform with the introduction of support for Mac titles, the Steam Wallet and in-game item buying support, and more. We believe the growth in accounts, sales, and player numbers is completely tied to this work and we plan to continue to develop the platform to offer more marketing, sales, and design tools for developers and publishers of games and digital entertainment
To meet the demand of sales, which grew by about 200%, Steam upgraded its infrastructure thoroughly-
Steam sales during the trailing 12 months increased by more than 200%, putting it on track for a sixth straight year of realizing over 100% year-over-year growth in unit sales. To meet this demand, the Steam infrastructure has been increased and now has ability to run at 400Gps, enough bandwidth to ship a digitized version of the Oxford English Dictionary 92.6 times per second.