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Sony To Acquire Cloud Gaming Company Gaikai for $380 Million 72

Sony announced today that they've entered into an agreement to acquire Gaikai, Dave Perry's cloud gaming company, for $380 million. Sony said they will use the company to "establish a new cloud service" which will provide a "broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices." The Digital Foundry blog discusses what this means for the gaming industry: "What the deal represents is acceptance from a major console platform holder that gaming is fast approaching its own Netflix or iPod moment — the point where convenience and accessibility to content becomes more important than the inevitable hit to fidelity demanded by the underlying technology. ... The quality of the experience comes down to two specific factors: image integrity and control response. The former is going to require significant increases in bandwidth, because the current 5mbps level needs to rise to 10-15mbps to really solve the artifacting issues that are present in the first-gen cloud systems as they stand right now. But in a world where top-end UK internet connections have leapt from 2mbps to 100mbps in less than a decade, this is only a matter of time."

Quake 3 Source Code Review 107

An anonymous reader writes "id Software has a history of releasing the source code for their older games under the GPL. Coder Fabien Sanglard has been taking it upon himself to go through each of these releases, analyze the source code, and post a detailed write-up about it. He's now completed a review of the Quake 3 source code, diving into the details of idTech3. It's an interesting read — he says he was impressed in particular by the 'virtual machines system and the associated toolchain that altogether account for 30% of the code released. Under this perspective idTech3 is a mini operating system providing system calls to three processes.'"

The 'Everyone Gets the Source Code, Donations Get You Binaries' Software Model 341

TroysBucket writes "One developer who is trying to fund his development work via donations has taken on an 'Everyone gets the source code, donations get you binaries' business model, where he provides installers and binaries directly only to donating users. Quoting: 'A very central goal of everything I am doing, right now, is to show a concrete [and highly documented] way that other developers can fund their own FOSS work. With that in mind One major mistake I made, right off the bat, was that I provided very little direct benefit to people who donate (no “perks”).' Has anyone seen this work well before with other projects?"
Role Playing (Games)

Guild Wars 2 Release Date Announced 128

New submitter Woldry writes "After five years in development, Guild Wars 2 has been given a launch date: August 28, 2012. ArenaNet's aim is to provide 'a living, breathing online world that challenges convention, that's designed for fun instead of grind.' There's a beta weekend planned for July 20-22 for those who have pre-purchased the game (and for those who have gotten legitimate beta keys in advance)." Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a good write-up of some hands-on time during one of the earlier beta weekends, saying, 'Time after time, Guild Wars 2 impressed me with just how carefully no, how smartly everything has been thought out. Those things that annoy us in other games are simply banished here.'

Atari Turns 40 Today 162

harrymcc writes "On June 27, 1972, a startup called Atari filed its papers of incorporation. A few months later, it released its first game, Pong. The rest is video game history. I celebrated the anniversary over at by chatting with the company's indomitable founder, Nolan Bushnell. From the article: 'Like everyone else who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, I played them all: Pong, Breakout, Asteroids, Centipede, Millipede, Battlezone, Pole Position, Crystal Castles and my eternal favorite, Tempest. The first computer I bought with my own money was an Atari 400. So when I chatted with Bushnell this week to mark Atari’s 40th anniversary, I felt like I was talking with a man who helped invent my childhood.'" I spent my fair share of time playing Warlords with friends on my 2600.

Robot Hand Beats You At Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% of the Time 225

wasimkadak writes "This robot hand will play a game of rock, paper, scissors with you. Sounds like fun, right? Not so much, because this particular robot wins every. Single. Time. It only takes a single millisecond for the robot to recognize what shape your hand is in, and just a few more for it to make the shape that beats you, but it all happens so fast that it's more or less impossible to tell that the robot is waiting until you commit yourself before it makes its move, allowing it to win 100% of the time."

Nintendo's Big-Screen 3DS XL Meets Lukewarm Reception 192

MojoKid writes "Nintendo took the wraps off its new, super-sized 3DS XL handheld on Friday, but reactions have been anything but enthusiastic. The new DS offers a larger set of screens (4.88 inches top / 4.18" bottom), better battery life, and will ship with a copy of New Super Marios 2 but it's launching into a very different market than what the original DS XL faced in 2009. The 3DS XL's battery improvements aren't just icing on the cake — they're seen as remedying a critical problem with the current handheld. It also won't support the second circle pad added by the Circle Pad Pro, which implies Nintendo is ready to kill that peripheral altogether. The other major problem is that a larger screen isn't really what the 3DS needed in order to be more successful."

The Death of an HTML5 Game Breeds an Open Source Project 147

colinneagle writes "German social gaming company Wooga has thrown in the towel on its HTML5 project after seeing little return on the increasing amount of effort put into its Magic Land Island game. Some early success convinced Wooga to devote additional resources to the game, which was launched in October of last year. However, 'As the project continued to progress, so did the industry. Whilst the benefits of an open platform future are clear for games developers, it became clear halfway through Magic Land Island's development cycle that the technology wasn't yet ready for mainstream exposure.' The announcement sheds some interesting light on HTML5, as Wooga hardly holds back on any of the details behind the game's failure. The biggest barriers to HTML5's entry to the mainstream include internet connectivity and limitations on sound. The consensus? The time for HTML5 will come; it's just not quite there yet. In the meantime, Wooga has made the game open source so other HTML5 developers can learn from it."

Valve Unveils Steam For Schools, Portal In the Classroom 83

tekgoblin writes "Well this is pretty awesome, Valve has made an entrance into the education sector. They plan to release a new version of Steam for education uses in schools. Valve will call this service Steam for Schools, an education version of the Steam client that allows administrators to limit what its users can access. The idea of Steam for Schools is to use the platform as a teaching aid. Valve has already put together a number of educational lesson plans for using Portal 2 and its level editor to teach math and physics."
The Courts

US District Court: Game Elements In Tetris Clone Infringe Tetris Co.'s Copyright 138

elegie writes "In the US, a District Court has ruled that the Tetris clone "Mino" infringes the Tetris Company's copyrights with regard to elements of the Tetris game design and gameplay. On one hand, a lawyer said that 'a puzzle game where a user manipulates blocks to form lines which disappear' would be noninfringing. At the same time, the Mino game's reuse of such Tetris elements as the dimensions of the playing field and the shape of the blocks constituted infringement. In addition, the Tetris game's artistic elements were not inseparably linked to the underlying mechanics and replicating an underlying idea and/or functionality (which would likely be uncopyrighted) would not justify copying visual expression from an existing game."

A Faster Jigsaw Solving Algorithm 104

mikejuk writes "Andrew Gallagher at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York has improved the standard approach to automated jigsaw solving by copying what humans do in finding groups of pieces that best match and working outwards from there. With a speed of 10,000 pieces per 24 hours, it can solve large puzzles. Not only that, but the type of jigsaw it solves is more difficult than the usual in that the pieces are square and can be placed in any orientation. It is so good it can even solve problems consisting of a number of mixed up pieces without being told how many or their dimensions. Of course, as well as having fun beating humans at another recreational pastime, the technique could be used to unscramble shredded documents, as per the recent DARPA challenge."

Unity 4 Adds Linux Support 150

dartttt writes "After more than 14,000 votes by Linux users and efforts by Brian Fargo, Unity has added Linux support to their popular 3D game engine. Starting with Unity 4.0, Linux will be supported as a publishing platform allowing Unity games to be played natively on Linux. Only standalone desktop games will be supported initially. From the article: 'Unity Technologies, maker of a widely used video-game engine, today announced that its fourth-generation product will introduce new animation technology and extend its support for Adobe Systems' Flash Player, Linux, and Microsoft's DirectX 11.'"

Australian Gamers Finally Get an R-18+ Category 69

Dexter Herbivore writes "A lot of Australian gamers are saying, 'finally' as legislation passed parliament to support the introduction of a R-18+ category for games. From the article: 'Jason Clare, the Minister for Home Affairs has just announced that R18+ for games is set to become a reality, after legislation successfully passing through the Federal Parliament, having just gone through the Senate without amendment.'"

Leaked Document Hints At Augmented Reality Glasses For Future Xbox 86

An anonymous reader writes "A 56-page leaked document details Microsoft's plans to build a Project Glass competitor. Kinect Glasses is marked as a 2014 project designed to connect to a future Xbox 720 console. The document also includes potential pricing for the next Xbox — $299 with a Kinect 2."

Rockstar Creates 'Cheaters Pool' For Game Hackers 228

itwbennett writes "Rockstar Games announced yesterday in a newswire post that the company has created a 'cheater's pool' (sort of like the populating of Australia with criminals) where players who have hacked the game to give themselves advantages will only be able to play against other cheaters. Although, Ars Technica points out that players may actually prefer the 'special' world."