Sony has rolled out their latest firmware update, supposedly adding trophy notification options and improving overall system stability. However sadly this doesn't seem to be the case as many users on the PlayStation Community forums are reporting issues after updating their PlayStation 3, with some consoles going completely unresponsive.
Sony has yet to address the firmware issues caused by the latest firmware update but for now we strongly recommend not updating your PlayStation 3 in hopes that the issue is fixed shortly.
Update: Sony has responded by pulling the update while they investigate further into the issues from the new firmware. We'll have more as it comes to hand.
The Oculus Rift team announced yesterday that they have just closed on $16 million in Series A venture capital to allow them to continue development on their virtual reality headset
We were fortunate enough to be able to pick investors who we thought would be a great fit. They really believe in our vision for the future of VR. These are people who have taken companies from startup to mass market many times, entrepreneurs who have a ton of meaningful experience building hardware and software consumer technology.
As I mentioned before, the funding opens up all sorts of doors for Oculus. It helps us hire the best and brightest minds in VR from around the world. It lets us experiment and prototype with more cutting-edge tech. And it allows us to build a badass, consumer VR gaming platform, the likes of which the world has never seen.
After sourcing almost $2.5 million in their Kickstarter and selling many thousands of units to eager developers, the VC funding will no doubt really help the Oculus team along their way to building the first truly usable consumer-ready virtual reality device.
We've had a Rift dev kit in our office for a couple of weeks now and have just been tinkering with it - we'll have more coverage soon, but even after a brief play it looks like it has the potential to really shake up the video gaming landscape. The fact that venture capital is now being plunged into it is a good sign that they think it has explosive growth potential as a device, so we're really looking forward to seeing what comes out of this.
Screen Australia has today announced that the Australian government will be pledging $6 million over the next three years to 10 different independent game studios, amid recent reports showing the decline in the local gaming industry for revenue and employment.
Over the recent years international publishers have vacated the Australian gaming industry in favour of territories offering greater incentives and lower business costs. This has resulted in the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting employments levels falling from 1431 to 581 people between 2011 and 2012, a staggering near 60 percent drop.
“Given that game development is the fastest growing sector of the worldwide audiovisual market from a consumer perspective, Australian developers should share in the $80 billion global market,” Screen Australia’s Chief Operating Officer Fiona Cameron said today.
The $6 million government funding will go to the following 10 Australian indie studios:
Defiant Development (QLD)
ODD Games (SA)
Soap Creative (NSW)
Tantalus Media (VIC)
Tin Man Games (VIC)
Torus Games (VIC)
Uppercut Games (NSW/ACT)
The Voxel Agents (VIC)
Wicked Witch Software (VIC)
Cameron also revealed that those who have gained the $6 million funding are a mix of small to large companies, and will be able to utilise the funding to create "an expansion in the workforce, allowing smaller developers to gain critical mass and larger developers to shift from a reliance on work for hire to developing original projects." You can read more on each of the studios at Screen Australia's official website.
Taking to their Capcom Unity forums, Capcom USA senior vice president Christian Svensson has revealed (thanks VG247) that their Panta Rhei demo Deep Down, showcased earlier this year at the PlayStation 4 event in February, has "nothing to do with Dragon's Dogma."
After several theories suggesting that the tech demo was somehow linked to the Dragon's Dogma franchise, Svensson ensured that both Deep Down and Dead Rising 3 have nothing to do with Dragon's Dogma. Svensson also added that "no new DD product has been announced so there's nothing I can comment on there."
Since its reveal earlier this year, no new information has been given as to what exactly Deep Down is based on, or whether it is a possible sequel to any of their titles. If you missed out on the tech demo you can check it out below for a glimpse at what Capcom may just be bringing to the next-gen platforms.
Promoting the PlayStation 4, Sony has been showing off video recordings of stage demos presented at their E3 2013 booth, offering a look at gameplay footage that has previously only been seen by show attendees. The latest addition to their official youtube channel is Square Enix's much anticipated Thief, in development at Eidos Montreal.
Eidos Montreal Producer Stephane Roy walks through the stage demo, which runs about 10 minutes, showcasing a stealthy castle level, and an assortment of Garrett's thieving abilities and game mechanics, followed by an extensive Q&A with a PlayStation rep.
Watch the full video below.
Thief is due in 2014 on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
CPU and GPU manufacturer AMD has revealed that upcoming current and next-gen title Battlefield 4 will be seeing performance optimisations for their hardware, thanks to their components also found in the next-gen PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
"It makes sense that game developers would focus on AMD hardware with AMD hardware being the backbone of the next console generation. At this time, though, our relationship with DICE and EA is exclusively focused on Battlefield 4 and its performance optimizations for AMD CPUs, GPUs and APUs," AMD representatives said.
In a statement to IGN, developer DICE has revealed that while initially rumours suggested that an exclusive partnership had been extended to all DICE titles, both EA and AMD have denied such an exclusivity. AMD has revealed that while optimisations for their hardware will be found in the PC version of Battlefield 4, "the AMD Gaming Evolved program undertakes no efforts to prevent our competition from optimizing for games before their release."
“DICE has a partnership with AMD specifically for Battlefield 4 on PC to showcase and optimize the game for AMD hardware," an EA spokesperson said. "This does not exclude DICE from working with other partners to ensure players have a great experience across a wide set of PCs for all their titles.”
Battlefield 4 will be available for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 end of October and early November, with next-gen consoles dependant on their launch.
After almost three years since being announced, Sony Online Entertainment has officially revealed that the upcoming sandbox sequel to the Norrathian franchise will be titled EverQuest Next.
Taking to his Twitter account, Dave Georgeson has revealed the official title which many were led to believe was simply a temporary name, as told last year at SOE Live.
Originally revealed in 2010 at SOE's Fan Faire event in Las Vegas, development on EverQuest Next has been kept quiet as the team works to re-invent what many believe was the first "true" MMO experience for the larger market. According to Massively the title has been rebooted more than once through the development cycle, however rumours are floating around that we may see something later this year.
Digital games distributor GOG.com has launched their annual Summer Sale promotion, kicking things off by offering up Runic Games' original action RPG Torchlight completely free. Reiterating their feelings towards pervasive copy protection, in light of the recent Xbox One hysteria, the sale is being called #noDRM "for gamers who don't want to be treated like criminals", reminding consumers that all games on the service are freely copyable once downloaded.
In the last few months, there has been a lot of outcry from gamers over DRM and how it is changing our favorite form of entertainment. If it keeps growing, it may well take a large part of the fun out of gaming. As anti-DRM crusaders, we're very glad to see that the issue of restrictive digital rights management has become an item of public debate, and we want to make sure that our #NoDRM stance is clear. None of the games in our sale have DRM, and none of our games ever will.
More than 500 games are expected to go on sale over the next 17 days, with 150 of those being slashed up to 85% off in daily deals from now until July 5th 2013.
Today's daily bundles include all of GOG's D&D titles, with such greats as Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2, Planescape: Torment and others; and 90% off as well on Alan Wake and Alan Wake's American Nightmare.
Treyarch and Activision have today unveiled the newest DLC pack to grace the war-torn Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 lands, this time offering four new multiplayer maps plus some more zombie action. Alongside the new maps is also the return of a re-imagined multiplayer classic, an all-new epic Zombies chapter and a brand-new bonus Zombies weapon – the Ray Gun Mark II.
Get your first look at "Vengeance," the third DLC Map Pack available for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Vengeance includes four new Multiplayer maps: Cove, Detour, Rush, and Uplink, a reimagining of the classic map Summit. Also included is the brand new Zombies adventure Buried, which features the new bonus Zombies weapon, the Ray Gun Mark II.
Each of the four maps - Cove, Detour, Rush and Uplink - will offer new, exotic and diverse multiplayer maps set around the globe for players to destroy their opponents on.
As usual, the Vengeance DLC will be available first to Xbox users on July 2 for 1200 Microsoft Points, and to other platforms at a future date. Check out the trailer below for a glimpse at what to expect in each of the new maps and the new zombie chapter.
Nintendo has revealed that their very first free-to-play title will be based on Steel Diver, the 3DS submarine sim. Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed the news via IGN where he revealed that the new free-to-play title isn't just a 3DS port, instead gaining new features including multiplayer.
"There is something we’re doing with the Steel Diver idea that I think is going to open things up with that game... It’s going to be very fun. We’re exploring from a perspective of where we can take that from a multiplayer standpoint - it's going to have this four-player battle mode that I think is going to be very interesting," Miyamoto told me.
Nintendo has yet to decide on how exactly the title will be monetised; Miyamoto revealed that the company is tossing up between memberships or micro-transactions for extra benefits, ensuring that a balance is kept between the free-to-play and paid users. The game has also been given a guarantee of seeing a retail release for those still uneasy about digital ordering.
Miyamoto also added that "It's something that we're hoping to be able to show relatively soon" so hopefully that means an appearance in any of their upcoming Nintendo Direct streams.
After a flurry of Pokemon activity this week at E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, The Pokemon Company International and Nintendo have announced new details for their upcoming duo launch of Pokemon X and Y for the 3DS.
Among the flurry of information is the reveal of the first Gym Leader players will encounter on their adventure, named Viola who resides in the city of Santalune.
A professional photographer who specializes in Pokémon photography, Viola presides over the Santalune City Gym, whose interior is constructed from threads like spiderwebs, strung together tightly above the darkness. Players will need to find a safe path through these threads, and will receive useful advice from Viola when they battle her.
Alongside the first Gym Leader, five new Pokemon were also showcased including the reveal of new Bug- and Flying-type Pokemon Vivillon as well as Flabebe, a Fairy-type Pokemon who "lives atop a flower that it chooses soon after it's born and will care for its entire life."
For more on these Pokemon, check out the full press release over here but also gaze your eyes down to the newest gameplay trailer. Pokemon X and Y will be available on 3DS this October.
In an E3 interview with Reddit Games, Microsoft Xbox Community rep Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has clarified another concern of the Xbox One's heightened Internet-authenticated DRM system, seeming to definitively confirm that access to purchased games would not be revoked as a result of a ban from the console's Xbox Live Internet services. (thanks VG247)
In the video interview, with the question being "If someone is banned, whether their fault of not, will they lose access to the games they purchase?", Hryb's exact words were "Absolutely not, you will always have access to the games you purchase. Absolutely not.".
Surprised by the interviewer's positive response to the answer, Hryb then commented "well, you had to expect that", seemingly oblivious to the enourmous level of concern and distrust in the platform's proposed licensing system and the numerous negative possibilities is presents for consumers. Only after the host further questions about a scenario of getting banned for griefing, does Hryb elaborate that "well, you're gonnagetaplaplaymultiplayer", which we can only presume translates to something along the lines of a player only getting banned from the game's multiplayer component in such an instance.
That Microsoft had not had the foresight to reassure interested consumers of this outcome earlier is just another of many missteps in its communication to the public about the new system, so it seems rather apt that it has only been confirmed in a very dismissive manner by a guy wearing a silly hat.
Over the course of the interview, Major Nelson is given a couple of opportunities to promote the benefits of the tightened DRM system, and the 'family sharing' feature, whereby a user can elect to share an assortment of purchased games with a select group of friends and family, is the single point made as a positive justification of the increased software security.
We've tried to make sense of the matter ourselves previously in this article, and a few weeks and press reveals later, the reasonable justifications for diminishing consumer rights to purchased games are still looking paper-thin.
Mad Max was a bit of a surprise to see out at E3 this year, and I'd be lying if I said I'd never wanted to play a game based in that universe -- it's ripe for the videogame picking, after all with everything the first two films gave us.
What thoroughly irked me during the presentation of the game by new developer, Avalanche Studios (it was originally being worked on by KMM's in-house, Sydney-based games studio), was that Max was voiced by an American. In fact, it was really uncomfortable to sit through given the studio talked passionately about treating cars and car-combat in the game with respect given the movie heritage and its impact on pop-culture.
I asked them after the presentation what the decision behind that was, and if they'd change it, but was met with "we wanted someone generic", and a bit of a shrug regarding any sort of reverence to the character in the same way they're giving vehicles.
So we've started a petition.
Max is an important part of Australian cinema and pop-culture history, even globally. The character's man-of-few words persona made (admittedly US-born) Mel Gibson's Australian accent a hugely memorable and significant factor of the films. All we're asking is that Avalanche look for an Australian voice-actor who can channel the stoic film icon, and treat the property with the respect it deserves. If you feel the same way, please check out our petition on Change.org and get as many people involved as possible.
For more on the game, check out our game page and stay tuned for impressions of what Avalanche is doing beyond ignoring the importance of Max, soon.
2K and Firaxis Games have announced that their PC title XCOM: Enemy Unknown will be making its way to the iOS on June 20 and available through the iTunes store at $20.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown for iOS takes the complete XCOM experience of the console and PC version of the game and optimizes it for the touch interface of iOS devices. XCOM: Enemy Unknown for iOS is a universal app that includes GameCenter support and utilizes iCloud functionality so players can save games across their iOS devices.
Those looking to try out the multiplayer side of the popular series will find that it currently isn't available in the iOS title, but Firaxis has stated that "the popular head-to-head multiplayer mode in XCOM: Enemy Unknown will be added to iOS at a later date as a free update."
Complete list of supported iOS devices includes the iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad mini, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPod touch 5th Generation.
Hitman developer IO Interactive has revealed to Eurogamer that the studio is laying off half of its staff in response to cancellations across many of its titles outside of the Hitman series. The cuts come as IO shift their focus to the "future vision for the Hitman franchise."
Square Enix VP of corporate communications Chris Glover has revealed in a statement obtained by Eurogamer that the "studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise and is in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project." Internal adjustments to the company has resulted in "almost half of the employees currently at IO" being reduced, however Square Enix are trying to relocate as much staff as possible to other studios inside the publisher.
"For those affected, we are extremely grateful for the hard work which they have contributed, and where it's possible and appropriate to relocate staff to open positions at other studios within the group, we will try to do so. We are also reaching out to other companies for outplacement opportunities. We sincerely wish them well in their future careers."
AusGamers wishes those that have been affected by the layoffs at IO Interactive the best of luck in finding new employment soon.
New details have emerged for the upcoming stealth action title Thief 4 thanks to a recent closed door E3 showing. An Eido Montreal community manager has taken to the Thief forums to reveal his hands-on experience, detailing several new features making their way to the next-gen title.
Of the biggest change is confirmation that health and focus won’t auto-regenerate, pushing you towards a dependance on consumables. Thief will also include the ability to toggle pieces of the HUD, dogs will apparently be in the game and that the title will be "extremely atmospheric" according to the post. Other details include(list via VG247):
Lockpicking will change depending on whether or not you use focus. Garret will be able to steal anywhere in the gameworld.
The game will support both a mini-map and a full map.
You can finish a complete playthrough using only stealth. Guards line-of-sight will depend on where they’re facing, meaning if two guards are standing face-to-face to each other than their vision will be blocked behind the other.
Focus will play a key role in the game. For example using it while lockpicking will enable Garret to see the inside as opposed to just seeing outside.
Garret can use a climbing tool called the ‘claw’ to reach higher places which are otherwise inaccessible, and also save himself while falling down.
Those interested in how exactly stealth will work, Eidos Montreal’s community manager revealed that the game’s stealth is "partially shadow-based (and much more comprehensive than a simple binary system), and most of the vertical vantage points were cloaked in shadow."
Guards are also able to look up, making it more difficult to abuse the high vantage points. According to the post their vision cone is "actually really realistic and linked to their eyes. For example, if two guards are facing each other talking they cannot see what is behind the other because they are blocking each other's views."
The full Q&A can be found over here which reveals a number of interesting mechanics that will definitely be interesting to see in action. Thief will be available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime during 2014.
At E3, AusGamers sat in on an "Xbox One 101" session outlining some of the engineering feats the team at Redmond has been able to get out of the console and its cloud service.
During a Q&A at the end though, we asked just what their ambitious Cloud system would mean for the geographically and infrastructure-challenged, like Australia and New Zealand.
"Microsoft has data centres around the world, so Cloud Compute Services are not something that you should think about on a country-by-country basis," explained incubation and prototyping group manager, Jeff Henshaw. "We have deployed our data centres geographically so that they can service the load for categories of countries all around the world.
"So we have some of the best reach of any other company on the planet to be able to make sure that the Cloud Services that we offer are what we consider [to be] ubiquitous and will be available [to] all markets."
It still sounds a bit too good to be true, but the term "ubiquitous" does have us intrigued.
After their announcement earlier last week during Microsoft's E3 2013 press conference, Wargaming has unveiled Xbox 360 beta signups for their free-to-play title World of Tanks.
World of Tanks comes to Xbox 360 with the custom built version of the global online multiplayer phenomenon dedicated to tank warfare in the mid-20th century. Command some of history’s most powerful tanks and experience intense combat where the excitement of battle is enhanced by working together with your tank platoon to win the fight.
For those wanting to participate in the beta program you will need to have a Xbox Gold Membership according to the signup, which is also required for those actually wanting to play the full game when it becomes available.
If you are interested, roll your tank over to the signup page for a chance at getting in.
Dota 2's prolonged beta period is expected to come to an end soon, with Valve reportedly finally signalling a narrowing launch window for when the free-to-play title will open up and shed it's "invite only" training wheels.
PC Gamer reports comments from Valve's Erik Johnson confirming the game "will be formally released later this summer, prior to the International tournament in August.", with an email exchange with ValveTime corroborating that window.
The International 3 is the Valve-hosted eSports tournament taking place in Seattle from August 7 - 11 2013 with another massive prize pool up for grabs for Dota players.
Valve had previously suggested that Dota 2 would be released when it's character selection had reach parity with classic DotA, but as PC Gamer notes, they're still six or so short of that mark. However, with Abaddon and Legion Commander due to launch soon, that gap becomes rather trivial.
A new DLC pack will be making its way to Epic Games' third-person shooter title Gears of War: Judgement, bringing with it four new maps, a new single objective gametype, new armor and new weapon skins.
Breakthrough is a single-objective gametype that features two teams with very distinct roles: one team has possession of a flag that they must deliver to a set location; the opposing team has a purely defensive role and unlimited resources.
The attacking team must break through the enemy team’s defensive line and deliver the flag before their pool of lives run out.
Currently no pricing or specific date has been given, however players can expect the new DLC pack to hit digital shelves sometime during this month. We'll have more when it becomes available but for now check out each of the map flythroughs below for a good glimpse of what you can expect.
Another booth demo captured by the PlayStation crew from E3 2013 is Transistor, the upcoming second title from indie studio Supergiant games, developer of the well-received Bastion.
Running for around 18 minutes, like the other videos today from PlayStation, this one is a live recording of a presentation at the E3 expo, and features Supergiant's Greg Kasavin and Amir Rao walking the audience through an extensive section of Transistory gameplay. Check it out below.
Transistor is expected in 2014, and confirmed for Steam on PC, and PlayStation 4, with Mac and Linux offerings also in the pipeline.
in The days, ahead of E3, Square Enix unveiled a brand new IP, a new adventure thriller from Quantum Conundrum developer Airtight Games with a supernatural detective theme.
The flashy announcement trailer, although thematically tantalising, didn't offer too much of an idea of how the game would actually play, but this one certainly does. In the demo walkthrough below, recorded by PlayStation staff from the E3 2013 show floor, Airtight Games' Design Prodcuer Eric Studer narrates and describes 15 minutes of gameplay footage, explaining the advantages and limitations of using your ghosty detective powers to attempt to solve you're own violent murder.
Murdered: Soul Suspect is due in 2014 on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
The stage theatre at Sony's E3 2013 PlayStation booth was used to demo a wide array of upcoming games on the PlayStation platforms, and unlike most exhibitors that leave it up to attending press to relay such presentations back to the masses, Sony has been publishing video recordings of them.
One such presentation was for Blizzard's upcoming console-tailored version of Diablo 3, which is coming to both PlayStation and Xbox platforms later this year.
A 16 minute stage demo presented by Game Director Josh Mosqueira walks viewers through Diablo 3 on PS3, featuring many of the changes that have been implemented to make the game more suitable for the DualShock controller. Check it out below.
The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game are due on September 3rd, with a release date still undetermined for the PlayStation 4 release. No mention has so far been made of an Xbox One version of the game.
Nintendo has revealed that their upcoming brawler title Super Smash Bros. will not be featuring GamePad support, in an effort to keep the game balanced between the four player support.
Speaking with Polygon, director Masahiro Sakurai explained that "the idea with Smash Bros., you have four players come together, and it's a fair playing field." "The idea of having one person with this special controller and special features that are only available to the gamepad player flies in the face of that. Right now, we're not adding any additional [GamePad] functionality at all."
Sakurai also added that the choice for no GamePad support for Super Smash Bros. was due to the game "being a four-player game we want people to be on equal footing. That's our main philosophy when it comes to control features."
Super Smash Bros. will be available in 2014 on both Wii U and 3DS. Sadly cross-play support has been ruled out between the platforms.