donniebaseball23 writes "Xbox 360 just came off a record November, with more than 1.7 million units sold in the U.S., but behind closed doors Microsoft is planning its next move for the successor to the popular console. Plenty of Xbox 720 rumors have surfaced in recent months, but veteran games journalist Chris Morris has filtered through them to provide a realistic take on what Microsoft should and shouldn't do with Xbox 360's successor. In particular, he notes that Microsoft should adopt the Blu-ray format from Sony. 'A DVD drive as a medium for storing larger and larger games is outdated – and it steps on the toes of a system that bills itself as the high definition leader,' Morris writes. 'Microsoft resisted the move to Blu-ray this generation without any ill effects. It even survived picking the losing side in the format battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD, but it can't rely on the DVD to take it into the next generation.'"
Physicser writes "The latest Humble Indie Bundle has gone live, consisting of Super Meat Boy, Shank, Jamestown, Bit.Trip Runner, and NightSky. Also, if you beat the average price, you receive Cave Story+ and Gratuitous Space Battles. As always, the games are DRM-free, and this is the initial Linux release for all seven. I'm also curious to see what will be added later on, as has been the tradition of the Humble Bundles."
An anonymous reader writes "You may recall that in early 2010, Sony decided to roll out an update that would remove the ability for PlayStation 3 owners to install a different operating system on the console, citing security concerns as the reason. Geeks and Linux enthusiasts were outraged at the move, particular since the "Other OS" functionality had been advertised as a feature of the PS3. A class-action lawsuit was soon brought against Sony. Many of the initial claims were thrown out, and now, a federal judge in California has granted Sony's motion to dismissed the lawsuit, saying, 'As a matter of providing customer satisfaction and building loyalty, it may have been questionable. As a legal matter, however, plaintiffs have failed to allege facts or articulate a theory on which Sony may be held liable.' Here's the full text of the order (PDF)."
Multiple readers sent word that Bastion, an action RPG from indie developer Supergiant Games originally made for Xbox Live Arcade, has shown up in the Chrome Web Store. The purpose of the move is to showcase the browser's Native Client technology. From the article: "Ian Ellison-Taylor, Google's director of product management for the open Web platform, said that Native Client, also called NaCl, can currently improve browser performance by 1 to 10 times. 'What would it be like if we could run native code inside the browser,' he asked the crowd, and he enumerated two goals for the Native Client project. He said Google wants to bring native applications to the Web for performance and security reasons, and it wants to enrich the Web ecosystem by bringing popular, long-in-use programming languages to the Web."
New submitter sandeepabhat tips news that Android Market recently saw its 10 billionth app download, reaching the milestone less than a year after the App Store accomplished the same feat. New downloads through Android Market are proceeding at a rate of roughly 1 billion per month. Google has now created an infographic to break down the information further. Games outpace any other type of app, accounting for more than a quarter of all downloads. The top five countries in downloads-per-capita are South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.S., and Singapore.
RobinEggs writes "Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator and producer of the Zelda and Mario franchises among other works, is stepping down at Nintendo. After personally managing Nintendo's blockbuster franchises for ~20 years, Miyamoto said today: 'What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself. Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers. Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small.'" Update: 12/08 21:35 GMT by T : Note that Nintendo is careful to say that this is not retirement, even if Miyamoto's role at Nintendo changes.
Ron2K writes in with a story about a Red Cross committee that is debating if people playing war video games should be subject to the same humanitarian laws as people in a real war. Seriously. "With 62 billion kills in Call of Duty: Black Ops alone, a committee of the Red Cross is debating whether the International Humanitarian Law is applicable to online gamers, and if they are violating it. From the committee's site: 'While the Movement works vigorously to promote international humanitarian law worldwide, there is also an audience of approximately 600 million gamers who may be virtually violating International Humanitarian Law. Exactly how video games influence individuals is a hotly debated topic, but for the first time, Movement partners discussed our role and responsibility to take action against violations of this law in video games.' While it's questionable if gamers themselves can be prosecuted for not obeying the Geneva convention, the Red Cross committee's actions seem to be aimed more at game developers — as first person shooters become more realistic, do game developers have an obligation to include humanitarian elements?"
An anonymous reader writes "From McGill's news site: 'Thousands of video game players have helped significantly advance our understanding of the genetic basis of diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer over the past year. They are the users of a web-based video game developed by Dr. Jérôme Waldispuhl of the McGill School of Computer Science and collaborator Mathieu Blanchette. Phylo is designed to allow casual game players to contribute to scientific research by arranging multiple sequences of coloured blocks that represent human DNA. By looking at the similarities and differences between these DNA sequences, scientists are able to gain new insight into a variety of genetically-based diseases.'" Hopefully Phylo will be as successful as Foldit.
itwbennett writes "Sony's new handheld gaming system, the Playstation Vita, launches in Japan in two weeks, and the latest report from Andriasang has some interesting details, including Sony's decision to go with proprietary memory cards. Sony says this is both for security reasons and to ensure a consistent experience for all users, but that 'doesn't explain why they're charging such enormous sums for these cards,' says blogger Peter Smith. 'The caveat here is that we haven't seen official pricing for the cards, but game retailer Gamestop lists them at $120 (!!) for a 32 GB card, $70 for a 16GB, $45 for 8 GB and $30 for a 4 GB.'"
zacharye writes "Microsoft sold nearly one million Xbox 360s last week alone, but we're nearing the end of the road for video game consoles according to one industry visionary. Richard Garriott, known for having created the fantasy role-playing franchise Ultima, says converged devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets will soon render dedicated game consoles obsolete: '... the power that you can carry with you in a portable is really swamping what we've thought of as a console.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Cognitive scientists at Simon Fraser University and UCSD are beginning to use StarCraft 2 replays to study the development of expertise and the cognitive mechanisms of multitasking. Unlike similar expertise studies in chess that consider roughly a dozen players, these studies include thousands of players of all skill levels — providing an unprecedented amount of data on how players move from 'chumps to champions.'"
Leif_Bloomquist writes "The Toronto PET Users Group (TPUG) is pleased to announce the World of Commodore 2011. TPUG would like to invite everyone to join us for a weekend of all things Commodore. There will be information about and displays of a variety of Commodore computers, demonstrations of new hardware and software projects using Commodore equipment, screenings of Commodore related videos, vendors selling the latest hardware and software available for Commodore computers as well as classic hardware, accessories, applications, games and much more."
First time accepted submitter treellama writes "Nearly 12 year since Bungie released the source code for Marathon 2, the Aleph One team is thrilled to release version 1.0 of the Aleph One game engine. Aleph One is a Free software, cross platform game engine that supports all three original Marathon games with enhancements such as OpenGL and Internet play; as well as numerous third party mods known as 'scenarios.' Easy to install full versions of Marathon, Marathon 2, and Marathon Infinity, now featuring high resolution graphics and modern widescreen HUD support, can be downloaded for free from the project website!"
alphadogg writes "Mobile telecom trade group CTIA and the Entertainment Software Rating Board will roll out a rating system for mobile applications similar to ratings on other electronic games, the groups announced Tuesday. Six mobile application storefronts will support the rating system and will roll out the ratings in the coming months, CTIA said. AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless are the founding members of the rating system." An opinion piece at Gamasutra points out that this initiative falls a bit flat without Apple or Google on board, since iOS and Android are so vital to the current mobile gaming industry. "In the long run, the ESRB/CTIA announcement could be another sign of shifting power in the gaming industry. Normally, the ESRB gets what it wants. But it has no leverage against Apple and Google."
MrSeb writes "Last weekend, over 12,000 LAN party goers turned up at DreamHack Winter 2011 in Jonkoping, Sweden with a PC under the arm, on their back, or packed carefully in the trunk of their car. Every single attendee is squeezed into just three massive halls — the largest holding 5,000 computers — or four days, only taking brief breaks to sleep or check out one of the many stages (including some of the largest e-sport tournaments of the year). Being the largest LAN party in the world, DreamHack's infrastructure is suitably monumental: it takes days to lay the thousands of cables, and at the heart of the network is tower of Cisco routers that interface with a 120Gbps internet connection provided by Telia."
redletterdave writes "Popular gaming magazine GamePro has shut down its U.S. operations after 22 years of publications by its parent company IDG. GamePro's website, which has been online for about 13 years, will be converted to a gaming channel and incorporated into PCWorld on Dec. 5. Sources within the magazine say GamePro's employees, including its executives, received phone calls this morning with the news. The news comes as a relative surprise, as GamePro experienced its highest traffic ever last week. The company also released its first quarterly magazine earlier this month after deciding monthly print issues were too costly to maintain."
SharkLaser writes "The latest Humble Bundle comes with four great indie games from Introversion. Included in the pack are Uplink, Darwinia, DEFCON and Multiwinia. Bonus games include Aquaria, Crayon Physics Deluxe and the recently added Dungeons of Dredmor. Introversion also showcases some of their prototypes, like Subversion City Generator which demonstrates procedural generation of complex city environments, and Voxel Tech Demo for showing destroyable environments using voxel technology. Hackers and open source programmers around the world should also celebrate — Introversion will release source code for their games Darwinia, Multiwinia, DEFCON, and most importantly, Uplink, the legendary hacking simulation that is one of a kind."
itwbennett writes "Eurogamer published a piece on a rumored Kinect 2 system that will most likely launch with the next iteration of the Xbox line, which might be sometime between late 2012 and 2014. Eurogamer says this new Kinect won't be hobbled by the limitations of the USB 2.0 port that the current Kinect uses; instead the hardware will be designed to give the new Kinect a faster pipeline to the system's internals. What this means, says blogger Peter Smith is that 'not only can Kinect 2 read finger movements (high on the wish-list for the current hardware) but it can read lips, too. I don't think they mean this in the sense that it can extrapolate what you're saying from your lip movements, but that it can tell who in a room is speaking by matching lip movement to audio input.'"
danaris writes "On Friday, Rule of Cool gaming released Legend, a d20-derived tabletop roleplaying game system designed to be easy to learn, easy to play, and just really fun. As the names suggest, they recognize that people in an RPG frequently want to be playing epic characters with cool abilities, so they provide that — while making sure all such characters are reasonably well balanced against characters and monsters of the same level. For a nice overview of the system, there's a review up on RPG.net by one of the playtesters, and another review by a moderator from Reddit's RPG section. The game is initially being distributed as a pay-what-you-want benefit to the Child's Play charity, with all proceeds (not just all profits) going to the charity."