New data shows just how popular the game-streaming service Twitch has become.
Twitch, which was recently purchased by Amazon for a nearly a billion dollars, is posting viewer numbers that rival ratings for some of the biggest cable networks in the world. A recent New York Times article shows the explosive growth of Twitch, and compares it to peak-hour viewership for cable networks like CNN, E!, MSNBC, TruTV, and MTV. In recent months Twitch's peak viewership has hovered around 700,000 concurrent viewers. This is better than CNN (495,000), E! (565,000), and is starting to compete with MTV (773,000). The story also shows that Twitch viewership has more than doubled in the space of only two years.
[Source: New York Times via Joystiq]
Our TakeWell, Amazon didn't spend $970 million dollars for nothing. The breakout success of Twitch is unlike anything we've seen. It's an Internet success story that's quickly becoming on par with sites like eBay and YouTube, which are now a part of everyday life for millions worldwide. It will be interesting to see if the Amazon deal affects this growth, but for now Twitch looks like a juggernaut that will be hard to stop.
Exacto Games' Minecraft-inspired shooter is coming to console for the first time.
Guncraft is just what the name suggests: a Minecraft-style sandbox title with shooter gameplay. It's been popular on PC and is now being released for Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade. The 360 version is a deluxe edition of sorts; it includes all previous PC DLC, some new maps, 2-player splitscreen, and other new content. It will be released sometime later this year.
Our TakeGiven the amazing popularity that Minecraft has had on Xbox 360, this seems like a good decision for Exacto, and gives Xbox 360 owners a rare upcoming exclusive to be excited about.
Nintendo's upcoming Wii multiplayer shooter Splatoon is a rarity for the company: a new IP. However, it was almost a Mario game.
In an interview with Edge magazine, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto revealed, "There were heated debates over who the main player character should be. Whether it should be Mario, or a squid. When we talked about the possibility of it being Mario, of course we could think of the advantages: anybody would be willing to touch it as soon as we announced that we had the new Mario game. But at the same time, we had some worries. If it were Mario, we wouldn't be able to create any new IP."
Obviously, the company opted to make Splatoon its own franchise. So far, it looks like it could be a pretty fun alternative to more serious shooters on the market. Watch the trailer below.
[Source: Edge via NintendoLife]
(Please visit the site to view this media)
Our Take:Nintendo made the right decision. While it's possible that the Mario name would have made it a more marketable game, the company needs to expand its scope beyond the usual suspects. Also the gameplay doesn't really seem like it belongs in a Mario game (although there is a slight parallel to Mario Sunshine).
VR is on the horizon, while gesture-based gaming is yesterday's fad. But that doesn't mean that VR and motion-based gaming can't combine forces. Leap Motion – creators of the self-named device that lets you play PC titles with your hands – has launched a mount and a new software update for the Leap Motion that lets you use it and the Oculus Rift together.
The Oculus Rift isn't out to the public apart from the dev kits, but Leap Motion has its controller up and running with the headset, and it even can keep track of your hands before they enter your field of view.
Check out the trailer below for a quick demonstration of what's possible or go to the Leap Motion site.
For more on the Leap Motion controller, check out Ben and Kyle's test run of the regular Leap Motion controller.
[Source: Leap Motion]
Our TakeThe fidelity at which Leap Motion appears to have blended the two technologies is impressive, but it seems just as silly making gestures in mid-air whether you're immersed in the VR world or starring at a laptop screen.
Microsoft says that it has begun sending out the new Xbox One update in advance of its September debut.
The update features a new media app that lets you play content off of a USB device, and which supports a variety of file formats (with DLNA support and MKV support due later in the year).
It also allows you to designate a party leader, boot the Xbox One straight to TV, enables new features for SmartGlass, and more.
For more on the update, check out the new video for the update featuring Microsoft's Larry Hryb.
Our TakeNice mix of usability stuff as well as intriguing new features like those for SmartGlass.
BBC DJ Rob da Bank is once again manning the Horizon Festival soundtrack for Forza Horizon 2. Microsoft has released the game's full soundtrack, which features almost 150 songs spread over seven radio stations.
The game's plethora of songs is almost double that of the first Forza Horizon, but you won't be able to access them all immediately. You'll start out with three radio stations – Horizon Pulse, Horizon Bass Arena, and Horizon XS (a new station for the FH 2) – with the rest unlocked as you progress.
Apart from electronic music (including new tracks from Bass Drum of Death and Roots Manuva), the game also features a station devoted to classical music – Radio Levante.
Click here for the game's full track list.
You have to hand it to Respawn and EA. Instead of price gouging dedicated Titanfall fans for every single new piece of content, the developer and publisher have balanced paid expansions with free additions. The latest example of the latter is the inclusion of a new mode called Pilot Skirmish in the sixth content update.
Pilot Skirmish removes Titans from the equation, challenging players to showcase their parkour and shooting skills as pilots in eight on eight matches. With no A.I. fodder to clutter the battlefield, you know every character you see on the screen is a threat.
The sixth game update also makes the popular Marked for Death mode, which Respawn originally planned to rotate out of the collection, a permanent fixture in the game.
To read about the other changes being made to Titanfall, read the full update on the official site. Look for the update to launch in the near future.
Our TakeConsidering EA pledged to drive digital revenue over the $1 billion mark next year, it's nice to see Respawn be sensible about which additions to charge for and which to offer as free upgrades. Keeping the full player pool involved instead of fragmenting the market via microtransactions should keep these player lobbies healthy and make it easier to find matches.
At PAX Prime Sony announced a slew of indie titles coming to the PlayStation 4, Vita, and even the PlayStation TV. Some of the new games are exclusives while others are making their debut on Sony platforms, but all the way around they show the company's continued commitment to indie games.
Salt and Sanctuary (Ska Studios) - PlayStation 4/Vita (2015)
The team behind The Dishwasher franchise and Charlie Murder are bringing this side-scrolling action/RPG title exclusively to the PS4 and Vita next year. The game has a host of weapons and shields, and your loadout not only affects combat, but your ability to tackle the game's platforming.
Alone With You (Benjamin Rivers) - PlayStation 4/Vita (2015)
Home developer Benjamin Rivers returns with an adventure that casts the player as the last colonist for a terraforming project gone wrong. You'll have an A.I. companion that you must work with to "recreate" key dead members of the colony in order to repair the last, damaged escape pod. How you interact with the A.I. and colonists will change how the game ends up.
Desert Ashes (Luc Bernard) - PlayStation Vita/PlayStation TV (Fall)
Desert Ashes is a turn-based, free-to-play strategy title that will allow online multiplayer as well as local multiplayer with PlayStation TV. The game boasts a timer system for online play that you can set so you're not waiting forever for the other player to take their turn. Your army is customizable, and the environments in the game will change with the game's time of day.
Nidhogg (Messhof) - PlayStation Vita (2014)
This game has been out on PC for a while and it's coming to the PlayStation 4, and today it's been announced for the Vita. The handheld version comes out simultaneously with the PS4 version (its exact release date hasn't been announced yet), and you can play PS4 players in cross-platform multiplayer matches. Nidhogg's gameplay is simple-yet-deep fencing where the first player to advance past their opponent and side-scroll to the goal line wins. There's a 3 to 8-player tournament mode, online ad-hoc play, and even the choice for two players to compete simultaneously on a single Vita system.
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer (Playdek) - PlayStation Vita (TBA)
Players in this deck-building title start out by making the best hands they can with the same 10 cards. Cards are taken from a center deck as well as won in the course of play as you use special abilities, runes, and more. Ascension also features solo play, global tournaments, and the developer says it has five expansions all ready to go. Ascension is also a real-life card game, and you can read more about it here.
Dust: An Elysian Tail (Humble Hearts) - PlayStation 4 (TBA)
Dust came out for the Xbox 360 a few years ago, and now it's hitting the PS4 with 1080p and 60 frames per second in tow. Humble Hearts says it's coming "soon," but hasn't given an exact release date. For more on Dust: An Elysian Tail, check out Joe's original review.
Metal Slug 3 (SNK) - PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita (Winter)
SNK hasn't divulged a lot of details about these versions of the game for Sony's platform, but it says that they will feature various online features, so perhaps cross-platform play is in the works.
[Source: Official PlayStation Blog]
Ubisoft has delayed the release of Assassin's Creed Unity a few weeks into the month of November.
The game was scheduled to come out October 28, but will now appear on November 11 on all of its platforms (PS4, Xbox One, and PC).
Assassin's Creed Rogue for the old-gen platforms comes out on the same day.
For more on the games from our cover story hub, click on the banner below.
Our Take:We wonder what kind of effect, if any, there will be in having both Rogue and Unity on the same release day. Which do you think will sell more copies?
Microsoft has announced the September edition of its Games With Gold program, featuring some titles you're going to want to get.
Xbox Live Gold members can grab Super Time Force as a free download (it's replacing Strike Suit Zero), and on 360 they can get Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine (through September 15) and Halo: Reach (through September 30).
Our Take:All solid games. Don't miss out!
Community activity was light this week but with the
annual Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime kicking off tomorrow, expect a flurry of
activity from many of the bloggers wanting to share their thoughts with all of
the gaming goodness sure to be revealed from the show floor.
Period Reviewed: August
18 – August 24, 2014Number of User
Blogs: 44Number of User
Bloggers: 24Number of User
Blogs Herded: 9
In Store For Clementine?Fearing for the fate of the
unlikeliest survivor of the zombie apocalypse, MightyMagikarp wonders what
might happen to Clementine in the final episode of The Walking Dead Season Two.
Fantasy XIII: The Good And BadFinal Fantasy seems to be one
of those titles you either love or hate but Timothy Repasky explains why there
are things about the games that make him feel both emotions for the series.
Potential: Child LinkThomas Stensland dives deep
into the historical archives of The Legend of Zelda world to explore the events
of the past while speculating about other story narratives worth discovering.
Best Tutorial I Ever PlayedDespite a very minor spoiler
for Bioshock Infinite, former Game Informer intern Cameron Koch details the
best video game tutorial he's had to use in order to learn how to play the
New Genre Is Born: Shared WorldA couple of new games with
release dates on the horizon are boasting of open worlds shared among multiple
players. IzzyOtaku wondering if we're witnessing the birth of a new
10 Local 4-Player GamesWho doesn't enjoy a game with
some good old fashion "couch co-op"? With titles spanning a variety of
platforms, pestulio07 reminds us of some of the best games that feature a local
Top 10 3DS Games So FarIf you ask widdowson91, the
Nintendo 3DS is one of the best gaming devices on the market today. Check out
his top ten list of the best games that have been released for this proven
Former Skeptic's (Honest) Tips For Getting Into Dark SoulsAnthony D'Elia admits he
didn't think he would ever play a Dark Souls game, but the summer
video game release drought not only convinced him to try it but to share the
experience with you all.
Top 10 Favorite (Female) Samurai Warriors CharactersIn preparation for the
upcoming release of Samurai Warriors 4, Enuo shares a list of his favorite
samurai warrior women, with hints of a follow-up blog to highlight his favorite male samurai warriors.
3 ReviewJosh Kowbel's review of Sacred
3 doesn't award the game a great score, but his explanation sounds fair and
impartial. If you're considering purchasing this game, you might be interested
in what he has to say.
Look Back at Batman Arkham Origin: Blackgate ReviewIzzyOtaku cautions his review
of Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate may contain spoilers, but since this
mobile game released nearly a year ago, you might not be worried about what it
Don't forget to send your feedback, recommendations, and
community events in to my personal Game Informer account located here to
ensure this feature continues to provide the content you're eager to read.
Your friendly neighborhood blogging community (08/18/14
– 08/24/14):Alex Excelsior!;
Anthony D'Elia; Cameron Koch; cerpintaxman; DrJoeystein; Enuo; happydude633;
IzzyOtaku (3); Jon Gregory; Josh Kowbel; Khobor0045 (2); Mailros;
MightyMagikarp (3); pestulio07; Psykologic; rebekah (2); StonedMagician; The
Destroyer (6); Thomas Stensland (2); Timothy Repasky; TonberryKing128;
Uesugi-dono (2); widdowson91; and yours truly...Saint.
Video Game Quote of the Week From Twitter:"Fellow video game enthusiasts, we need to be
better human beings." @ThomClancy
Update: Microsoft has announced that Destiny on Xbox One is available for pre-load.
The game comes out on September 9.
Polygon has published a screenshot that seems to indicate that Bungie's next-gen shooter will be available for pre-loading when you purchase it digitally.
The site has published a screenshot from Xbox.com, which states that you will be able to pre-load Destiny in advance of its presumed September 9 release date. You can see the screenshot on Polygon's story.
It has previously been confirmed that the PlayStation 4 version of Destiny will be available for pre-loading.
We've reached out to Destiny publisher Activision for an official comment.
Our TakeGiven that it's already been confirmed for pre-loading on PlayStation 4, I tend to believe this report. It's definitely something gamers want, and this big title would be a great boost to the service.
EVE Online developer CCP Games has shut down its studio in San Francisco, and two executives have left the company.
Gamasutra reports that CCP's revenues for the first six months of this fiscal year were down slightly from the same time last year, but earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation were down to $4.5 million from $8.3 million over the previous year's period.
CFO Joe Gallo and CMO Dave Reid have left CCP.
Earlier this year, CCP Games canceled World of Darkness and there were layoffs at the company's Atlanta studio.
Our Take:Reid in particular was involved in the marketing for World of Darkness, so while it's unfortunate the he's leaving the company, hopefully the fallout from the game's cancelation is somewhat contained.
Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire will get limited-edition steel cases in the UK.
There's no news whether these will make it over here, which is a shame because pre-ordering them over there will also get you a figure keychain of Primal Groudon for Omega Ruby and Primal Kyogre for Alpha Sapphire.
For more on the remakes, take a look at Kyle's analysis of the latest trailer.
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire come out for the 3DS on November 21.
Diablo III has come a long was since its release in early 2013. The game has been completely revamped to remove the auction houses, received a new loot system, and now, has even more end-game content.
Patch 2.1.0 is now live for the PC version of the game (those of you playing the new Ultimate Evil Edition on console have your own goodies, but this patch may yet be headed your way). The update adds a new seasonal mode with its own legendary loot that will eventually get ported over to your regular stash.
In order to participate in a season, you’ll need to create a brand-new hero (or heroes, if you’re ambitious). This pool of champions is separate from your others and cannot access their stash or gold.
In this mode, there are unique item drops that are exclusive to season heroes until the current period closes. After that, your heroes are moved to the main pool, your items can be traded with other members of your stable, and your stash will be delivered via in-game messaging. There are unique achievements for each season, and leaderboards will track your progress against that of other players.
Additionally, Blizzard has added new legendary gems that can be upgraded by completing an adventure-mode rift under the specified time limit. If you don’t happen to beat the required time, you’ll still be able to use the spirit that appears to increase the level of your greater rift keystone (for harder enemies and bigger rewards).
You can download the patch now. For more on Loot 2.0, one of the biggest changes that came in advance of the Reaper of Souls expansion, check out our previous coverage.
Our TakeWhen Diablo III was first released, many called it a failure for its forced online connections, auction houses, and weak end-game. Blizzard has completely rebuilt the experience, and in the process rescued one of its most important franchises. I’ve played the game on PC and consoles and continue to be sucked back in.
After recent attacks took down the PlayStation Network over the weekend, Sony postponed scheduled maintenance on the service. Today, the company will complete its upgrades, with minimal interruptions.
Sony expects to begin the operation at 9:40 a.m. Pacific / 12:40 p.m. Eastern and complete it by 4:50 p.m. Pacific / 7:50 p.m. Eastern. Provided you have signed in any time since August 23, you will be able to play games online and use streaming media apps like Netflix.
Unfortunately, The PlayStation Store, PlayStation Home, and account management services will be offline during this time. If you’ve got any games to download, now would be a good time to get those processes started.
Confirming our assumptions, the Bandai Namco Pokémon fighting game will definitely feature more than just fighting type Pokémon.
Guys, Don't worry about that.
It's not only Fighting-type
RT@Joshawott Will Pokkén Tournament's cast be limited to Fighting-type Pokémon or
— Katsuhiro Harada (@Harada_TEKKEN) August 27, 2014
Guys, Don't worry about that.
It's not only Fighting-type
RT@Joshawott Will Pokkén Tournament's cast be limited to Fighting-type Pokémon or
The confirmation comes from Katsuhiro Harada, who works extensively on fighting games for Bandai Namco and has been for two decades. Responding to fan inquiry, Harada said it won't just be fighting type Pokémon in Pokkén – which isn't yet confirmed for release outside of Japanese arcades.
[Source: @Harada_TEKKEN, via NeoGAF]
Our TakeTo be clear, Snorlax is in no way confirmed to be a fighter. I chose his picture as a form of wishful thinking. I hope he's a fighter, and I hope he just sort of gingerly rolls back and forth as his only attack.
BioShock's port to iOS was announced earlier this month, and now we know when we will be able to play it.
The game will be $14.99 and should be showing up in iTunes tonight. The iOS version of the game will offer controller support, but you will also be able to play the game using the touchscreen. If your iPhone is earlier than a 5 or if your iPad is earlier than a 4, the game will not be compatible, unfortunately.
Our TakeShooters typically don't translate well to touch screens, but I like the idea of a mobile version of BioShock. I wouldn't mind seeing a similar port to Vita, or even 3DS if 2K thought it could be done well.
Thanks to classic shooters like Doom II, many gamers have a fondness for the explosive stopping power of the double-barreled shotgun. Here's a brief history of this iconic gaming weapon.
I'm not a big gun guy, but I love the reloading action of the double-barreled shotgun. Here's a brief look at the guns video game history.
Lindsay Lohan is suing Take-Two and Rockstar Games over a character in Grand Theft Auto V that she claims is based on her. Today, Rockstar took a shot at the actress in a released court document.
Lohan claims that the character Lacey Jonas in Grand Theft Auto V (pictured above) was based on her, and that Rockstar and Take-Two attempted to capitalize on her celebrity to boost sales of the game. The Jonas character, a starlet actress besieged by the press, does share some superficial traits with Lohan. However, the character was based on the likeness of model Shelby Welinder.
In official court documents made public today, Rockstar says that the suit was "filed for publicity purposes" and term it "frivolous." Rockstar and Take-Two want Lohan to pay the company's legal fees.
[Source: Associated Press]
Our TakeWhile I can see some resemblance between Lohan and the character in the game, it could have easily been based on any number of hard-partying young actresses. Our news editor Mike Futter did a great analysis about the legal precedents in the case, which lead us to believe that it will be a hard case for Lohan to win.
Are your head-to-head games not saving in your Madden NFL 15 connected franchise mode? You're not alone. After reports surfaced of this worrisome bug, EA Sports has responded to confirm it's aware of the issue and is troubleshooting the fix.
"We're aware that some users’ wins/losses aren’t being recorded for online CFM H2H games and are working to fix it as soon as possible, said Madden senior game designer Josh Looman via Twitter. "We’ll provide you with updates as soon as we have them. Thanks for your patience."
While head-to-head results aren't saving, we haven't experienced any problems playing against the CPU. You may want to confine your play experiences to these match-ups or explore other modes until the issue is resolved.
Our TakeFor the sake of the many fans currently on their Maddenoliday, we hope the fix comes soon. If the problem ends up being server side, it could be a quick turnaround. However, if the issue's origin is within some part of the base game, fans may have to wait for a patch to be issued. That could stretch the wait for a fix significantly. Given the fire EA faced with the myriad Battlefield 4 online problems, we're guessing EA would prefer to avoid that long of a timeline.
The League of Legends Tribunal system has already existed as a tool to weed out toxic and offensive players, but new functionality will test the ability to target one of the major gripes in any given MOBA game – Intentional feeding.
Offenders will be given a 14-day or permanent ban, making this a punishing tool to take on those players that choose to join games, possibly complain about feeding or feed themselves, and then make the game a miserable slog to the surrender mark as they intentionally die over and over again.
You can check out some behavior that might be flagged as intentional feeding here (even though it was quite unintentional!), and read more about the updated systems here.
Our TakeMOBAS are notorious for negative team interactions causing strife, and as systems to punish offenders get more advanced it’s a good thing for the large communities these free-to-play titles attract. Care will have to be given to prevent the system from punishing new players who may feed unintentionally.
With Peter Capaldi as the twelfth Doctor Who, the long-running British sci-fi series has never been hotter in the U.S., recently setting a new high ratings mark for BBC America. Now, the good Doctor is coming to the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft.
Microsoft has announced that a new Doctor Who character pack for Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition will be on sale starting in September. It will include the new Doctor as well as five other past Doctors - and the infamous Daleks.
The character pack will sell for $2.99.
Our TakeI'm sadly ignorant of Doctor Who; perhaps this is the time to start watching the show. In any case, I'm sure the new character pack will prove to be popular among fans.
Good Old Games has made its name selling back catalog titles from the golden age of PC gaming. Now, the company is expanding into cinema with a slew of documentaries aimed at the gaming audience.
The company hopes to eventually expand to more mainstream Hollywood fare, but is intent on selling its movies free of DRM - a sticking point with some major studios, according to to its North American head Guillaume Rambourg.
For now, there are 21 documentaries available for purchase at $5.99 each and, as mentioned, without DRM. The films are clearly centered around video games and the cultures that surround and intersect with them. Some of the available titles include Indie Game: The Movie Special Edition, Once Upon Atari, Playing Columbine, and Minecraft: The Story of Mojang - Deluxe Edition.
Our TakeIt's a move that makes sense for Good Old Games; if you already have an audience and a built in infrastructure for selling digital content, why not expand your reach with entertainment? Valve and Steam are also making similar inroads. It will be interesting to see if any of these services can make a dent in an already crowded market for on-demand movies.
Update: Microsoft has just officially announced that Kinect 2.0 for the Xbox One will indeed be available by itself in October.
The unit goes on sale on October 7 for $149.99, and comes with the downloadable Harmonix title Dance Central Spotlight.
Microsoft has said that it plans to sell the Kinect by itself this fall, and a new report claims this will happen in October.
Website WP Central says that the peripheral will go on sale "on or around" October 16 for $149 in the U.S. first.
In July, a listing appeared on the Microsoft online store for a standalone Kinect 2.0 for PC for $199, but Microsoft has not announced when the peripheral will be sold separately for the Xbox One.
Earlier this year the company started selling the Xbox One without the Kinect starting at $399.
We've contacted Microsoft for a comment on the matter.
[Source: WP Central via CVG]