An anonymous reader writes "BBC News claims that a feature in Borderlands 2 that can only be activated in modded XBox 360s has a bug that can cause characters to be permanently deleted when they die- even if they weren't the ones who activated the feature. 'The hidden option within the game, known as "badass" or "hardcore", is turned off by default but can be enabled by those that have modified or hacked their console. [..] When a player with an unmodded console joins a Borderlands 2 multiplayer game in which there is a character running in badass mode it too gets kicked into that mode. [..] Gamers who play alongside people who have modded their console "contract" the bug which deletes their character if they die during play.'"
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antdude writes "Pumpktris is a fully playable version of Tetris built into a pumpkin, with 128 Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) for the display and the stem serving as a game controller."
dartttt writes "In a presentation at Ubuntu Developer Summit currently going on in Denmark, Drew Bliss from Valve said that Linux is more viable than Windows 8 for gaming. Windows 8 ships with its own app store and it is not an open platform anymore and Linux has everything they need: good OpenGL, pulseaudio, OpenAL and input support."
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has released their much anticipated SmartGlass application for Android, allowing the Linux-based mobile OS to act as an input device for their Xbox 360 game console. While the app has its share of annoying problems, it does offer a glimpse into a possible future where consumer electronics are no longer crippled by the artificial barriers of manufacturer or operating system."
SternisheFan points out an article at Wired arguing that game consoles and the business model that sustained them are now "obsolete." Quoting: "Years from now, 225 million devices will almost certainly be seen as the point at which the console business peaked. Gamers are going elsewhere for their fix. The console’s time at the top of the heap is drawing to an end, and these machines won’t survive without radical change. ... Consoles used to do everything best, but those strengths are now being wiped away. Unlike PC games, which may require finicky custom settings, consoles 'just work,' fans have long pointed out. Well, so does the iPad. Consoles are cheaper than PCs? Not when you factor in the growing disparity in game prices. Consoles have all the good content? Well, if you want Nintendo- or Sony-exclusive games, you’ll need to buy their hardware. But for many gamers, Angry Birds is becoming more attractive than Mario.
another random user writes with news that Microsoft has sorted out the Windows Store guidelines such that games rated 'Mature' in the U.S. will be allowed. An earlier version of the guidelines took cues from the European PEGI rating system, which lumps pornographic content into the same rating as mainstream games that involve violence. In the U.S., they're split up into Adult (for porn) and Mature (for things like Skyrim, Call of Duty, and Assassin's Creed). Gamers and developers were worried that a large number of very popular games were going to be disallowed on the Windows Store. Microsoft hopes to have the situation fixed by December — not ideal, since Windows 8 is now out, but better than nothing.
another random user tips news that Nintendo will be selling its upcoming Wii U console at a loss in the hopes that spurring earlier adoption will work out for the company in the long run. This differs from the Wii, which made money from the start, but it's a similar strategy to those used with the Xbox 360 and PS3, which both lost money for their companies at release. "The Japanese firm's president revealed the news after the firm cut its profit forecast. It marks a change in the company's business strategy. The decision to abandon the prospect of immediate profits in order to maximize later earnings is part of a growing trend in the tech world. Nintendo might have altered course to take advantage of the fact that neither Microsoft nor Sony have announced their next-generation consoles yet. Its pursuit of the more casual gamer means it has also had to take account of the keenly priced tablet market which attracts a similar consumer."
jones_supa writes "The SDL developers Ryan Gordon and Sam Lantinga have proposed a window manager change to work out the full-screen X11 window mess, primarily for games. The proposal is to come up with a _NET_WM_STATE_FULLSCREEN_EXCLUSIVE window manager hint that works out the shortcomings of the full-screen hint used currently by most games, _NET_WM_STATE_FULLSCREEN. Ryan and Sam have already worked out an initial patch for SDL but they haven't tried hooking it to any window manager yet. Those interested in the details, information is available from this mailing list message. One of the key changes is that software would make the request to the window manager to change the resolution, rather than tapping RandR or XVidMode directly. Martin Gräßlin of KDE was rather wary about the patch and said that games changing the resolution just tend to mess up the desktop." Seems like a reasonable idea, given a bit of time to mature as a spec. In KDE's case, a separate daemon from the window manager handles resolution changes so going through the WM would add complexity, and the plasma shell still has no way to realize that it shouldn't reflow the desktop widgets. Setting window properties seems like a sensible IPC method for communicating intent though (without making yet another aspect of the X desktop reliant upon the not-very-network-transparent dbus): "hey, I need to resize, but just for me so don't reshuffle the desktop and docks."
An anonymous reader writes "During the latest presidential debate, Xbox 360 owners were being polled live, as the debate was progressing, on a number of different questions, and asked to answer 'Yes,' 'No,' or 'Don't Know' using their gamepad. Out of these questions, one particular question produced a surprising result: Xbox 360 owners were asked 'Do you support more use of drone aircraft to attack suspected terrorists?' 20% answered this question with 'No'. 8% answered 'Don't know.' And a whopping 72% answered the question 'Yes.' This raises an interesting question in and of itself: Is the average Xbox 360 player at all aware that drone strikes in countries like Pakistan cause a serious number of civilian deaths on a regular basis? Or do Xbox 360 gamers live in a parallel, game-inspired universe, where a real world 'Drone Strike' is something seriously cool, just like it is cool to use it in popular games like Call of Duty? In other words, does playing simulated war games like COD on a game console on a daily basis, and enjoying these games, cause gamers to become blinkered to the at times seriously dire real world consequences of using military tactics like drone strikes for real?"
J. Dzhugashvili writes "Nvidia 'The Way It's Meant To Be Played' splash screens are all over major PC games. AMD's developer relations program used to be a much lower-profile affair, but that's changed recently. New and upcoming games like Sleeping Dogs, Dishonored, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Far Cry 3, BioShock Infinite, and the Tomb Raider reboot are all part of AMD's Gaming Evolved program. As it turns out, that's because AMD's new executive team is more keen on gaming than their predecessors, and they've poured more money into the initiative. The result: closer relationships between AMD and game developers/publishers, better support for Radeon-specific features in new titles, and juicy game bundle offers."
New submitter spacenet writes "Valve has quietly released an update to the beta version of its popular online FPS Team Fortress 2. Among the modified files are some Linux-related files including a hardware driver compatibility list, optimal graphics settings, and a shell script launcher (previously only for OS X, now with a case for Linux as well). Valve has not updated their TF2 beta changelog, but has acknowledged the update in a forum post."
An anonymous reader writes "PS3 security has been compromised again. The holy grail of the PS3 security encryption keys — LV0 keys — have been found and leaked into the wild. For the homebrew community, this means deeper access into the PS3: the possibility of custom (or modified) firmware up to the most recent version, the possibility of bypassing PS3 hypervisor for installing GNU/Linux with full hardware access, dual firmware booting, homebrew advanced recovery (on the molds of Bootmii on Wii), and more. It might lead to more rampant piracy too, because the LV0 keys could facilitate the discovering of the newer games' encryption keys, ones that require newer firmware."
madsdyd writes "I am a long-time user of Linux (since 1997) and have not been using Windows since 1998. All PCs at home (mine, wife's, kids') run Linux. I work professionally as a software developer with Linux, but the Windows installs at my workplace are quite limited, so my current/working knowledge of Windows is almost nil. At home we have all been happy with this arrangement, and the kids have been using their Nintendos, PS2/3's and mobile phones up until now. However, my oldest kid (12) now wants to play World of Warcraft and League of Legends with his friends. I have spent more hours than I like to admit getting this to work with Wine, with limited success — seems to always fail at the last moment. I considered an Apple machine, but they seem to be quite expensive. So, I am going to bite the bullet, and install Windows 7 on a spare Lenovo T400 laptop, which I estimate will be able to run both Windows 7 and the games in question." Read on for more about the questions this raises, for someone who wants to ensure that a game-focused machine stays secure.
SquarePixel writes "The nostalgic games seller Good Old Games has added Mac OS X support to its platform and a catalog of games to go with it. 'During its much-ballyhooed news-a-thon, GOG drew back the curtain on a new version of its service tailored to Macs, which brings with it 50 games (eight of which you receive free just for signing up) and some rather tempting deals. Speaking of, there's this insane 32-game pay-what-you-want Interplay special leading the charge in celebration of GOG's fourth anniversary.'" Unfortunately, Linux support doesn't seem to be in the cards just yet. On a list of requested site features, Linux support has gotten quite a few votes, but a GOG employee said, "Linux is a great platform, and we love how much passion you guys are showing for it here on our wishlist. ... If we're able to bring GOG.com games to Linux--and we're constantly evaluating ways that we can do this--we want to make sure that we're doing it the GOG.com way: simple, easy, and it 'just works.' I'm not telling you guys to give up hope--we know how much you want this--but what I am saying is that this is harder to support than it might seem initially, and we're not ready to move to support Linux officially just yet."
Zothecula writes "Video game developers are always looking for new ways to give players a more immersive experience. But with several motion-controlled systems widely available and a viable virtual reality headset in the works, what else could be done to make games seem more realistic? Sony may have an unexpected answer with a recent patent that describes a controller that changes temperature between hot and cold to match in-game actions. With the controller giving 'temperature feedback,' the idea is that players would be able to more closely feel what their character feels, from getting hit with a fireball to traveling through a blizzard."
First time accepted submitter pseudorand writes "I have a 3 year old that I've so far kept away from TV and computers. I met a gamer who has a 1 year old that plays xbox (probably better than I do). I believe kids should experience the real world first, but computers will obviously be a basic job still for the foreseeable future and I'm afraid I'm letting my kid fall behind. I'd like to responsibly introduce my son to computers so he can start developing hard-eye coordination, typing skills and learning UI concepts. What's the best (Linux, of course) game to get a kid started with? Shoot-em-up's are obviously out, but I'm more concerned with something that will help him understand how to interact with a mouse, keyboard and screen and hold his attention rather than something 'educational' because there's plenty of (probably more effective) ways to teach math, reading, etc. that don't involve a computer. So far I've tried Tux Racer, which held his attention for 10 minutes or so. He doesn't quite get pressing multiple keys simultaneously yet."
another random user tips this quote from the BBC: "A wrist-worn sensor that creates 3D-models of the user's hand movements in real-time has been built by Microsoft. The Digits prototype is part of an effort to create a mobile device that would allow its owner to control a range of equipment using hand gestures. The firm said it could be used as a virtual TV control, a way to operate a smartphone while it is in the user's pocket, and to play video games. It is designed to be less cumbersome and uncomfortable than sensor gloves. However, some experts question whether consumers would want to wear such a device during their day-to-day activities." ACM has the research paper (PDF) describing this device and its use.
An anonymous reader writes "cHTeMeLe is a board game about writing HTML5 code. In cHTeMeLe, players endorse their favorite web browser (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, or IE) and then score points by correctly laying out HTML tags, while also trying to bug or crash their opponents' code. From the article: 'Despite cHTeMeLe's technical theme, its developers claim you don't need any web programming experience to play. The game takes web design standards and boils them down into game rules that even children can learn. To help less technical players keep everything straight, the tag cards use syntax highlighting that different parts of code have unique colors — just like an Integrated Developer Environment. No one is going to completely pick up HTML5 purely by playing cHTeMeLe, but it does have some educational value for understanding basic tags and how they fit together.'"
hypnosec writes "Entire cities in the World of Warcraft have been destroyed with no one spared, not even the NPCs. About 13:00 GMT, forums on WOW started getting the first comments from users regarding players and NPCs dying on the Ragnaros-EU realm in Orgrimmar. Users of the online game started reporting that Draenor had a similar sight to offer. Some of the other realms where this was reported include Tarren Mill, and Twisting Nether." Also at Joystiq, and (with more screenshots) at WCCF Tech, which reports that "it appears the damage is most severe in World of Warcraft European servers."