Sunday, July 15, 2012

Call of Duty ELITE July premium content drops announced

Call of Duty ELITE July premium content drops announced  
Another month, another premium drop (DLC) for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 drops. This month, folks will be getting three multiplayer maps and a Special Ops mission. The three maps will be Decommision – a graveyard of rotting ocean liners, an oil rig with sniper perches in Offshore, and Terminal – a fan favorite from Modern Warfare 2, which takes place in a Russian airport. The Special Ops mission will be called Vertigo which pits you against helicopters and enemies from a rooftop vantage point on the Oasis hotel.

As usual, Xbox 360 ELITE Premium members will receive the content first (July 17th) and non-ELITE Premium members on the Xbox 360 second. PlayStation 3 users will have to wait much longer before they get to try out the new maps. However for those of you who can't wait to play Terminal, it will be released to all COD:MW3 players free on Wednesday, July 18th.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn live action trailer released

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn live action trailer released

Anticipation continues to build this morning for the next installment in the Halo series: Halo 4. We already saw the Halo 4 limited edition Xbox 360 be revealed this morning, and now a new live action trailer has been released at Comic Con. [video in the full post]

The trailer is called Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and is part of a series of live action webisodes that will help shed some light on the background of Halo 4. The series takes place before the Covenant invasion and follows a group of young UNSC recruits trying to become elite soldiers to fight in the different wars Earth is participating in. The group is led by Thomas Lansky, whose leadership is put to test when the base is attacked by the Covenant. Master Chief helps them get out of the base and you'll also learn more about his past with the series. Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think and if you're excited for Halo 4′s release on November 6th.

Nintendo 3DS sales reach 5 million in US

Nintendo 3DS sales reach 5 million in US

Nintendo has reached a milestone today announcing that it has sold 5 million 3DS handsets since its debut in March of 2011. They've also announced milestone sale figures for some games including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D(1 million), Super Mario 3D land(2.1 million) and Mario Kart 7(1.75 million).

Nintendo also mentioned that they held a 75 percent market share for portable hardware for the second month in a row now. They also sold nearly 400,000 units in Japan. In the month of June, Nintendo sold 150,000 3DS units, 150,000 DS family units and around 95,000 Wii consoles.

Triple-screen gaming setups put under the microscope, deemed an attainable luxury

Triple-screen gaming setups put under the microscope, deemed an attainable luxury
Can't help salivating over gaming setups with three screens? The Tech Report knows your hunger, and aims to satiate your cravings with a detailed look at the triple-display efforts of Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 680 OC and ASUS' Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II Top. The high-end GPUs ran Battlefield 3, Arkham City, Rage and a few other games through the wringer — competing on temperature, game performance, noise level and more — outputting each title in a glorious extra-wide resolution, with a few quirks on the side. The Tech Report emerged from the gauntlet reluctant to relinquish its additional displays, extolling the trial as the first “next-generation gaming experience” they've had in a while. What's this mean for you? The author sums it up nicely: “In a few short years, surround gaming has gone from being somewhat of an exotic luxury to something far more attainable.” If snagging a multi-panel gaming setup is your goal, venture on to the source below where an unabridged, 11-page breakdown awaits.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blizzard denies banning Diablo 3 gamers playing on Linux

Blizzard denies banning Diablo 3 gamers playing on Linux

On May 15, 2012, Blizzard launched Diablo 3 for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. The highly-anticipated action-RPG had a rocky start, but Blizzard has seemingly ironed out a good deal of the bugs that cropped up at launch. Now almost two months later, Blizzard is focused on balancing and other technical issues while swinging the banhammer on proven and potential cheaters.

The current drama surrounding Blizzard's latest release stems around talk that the company is banning gamers who are playing on the Linux platform. Officially, Linux isn't supported as specified — the game was developed for Windows and Mac OS X. But Linux gamers are running Diablo 3 using the third-party software WINE which is technically classified as “Unapproved Third Party Software” in Blizzard's eyes. This supposedly shouldn't be a problem.

But on the Diablo 3 forums, Linux users are claiming that Blizzard has banned them from the game because they're using said software — the same Linux non-emulator that Blizzard customers are using to play StarCraft 2 on their Linux boxes. These Diablo 3 players swear they haven't been cheating (no bots, no exploits, etc), and was able to play Diablo 3 on their Linux boxes up until last week.

So what's the deal? Blizzard says nope, there's no Linux-related banning going on here (despite using an unsupported platform). However there's speculation that it's a bug in Warden's detection. For the uninitiated, Warden is the company's anti-cheating tool integrated in its games. While Diablo 3 is running, Warden scans the user's PC for specific software and sends the info back to Blizzard. It's possible that Warden may suddenly be reporting WINE as a cheat tool, causing the bans.

But Blizzard reports that it's banning users because they're cheating. “We've extensively tested for false positive situations, including replicating system setups for those who have posted claiming they were banned unfairly,” stated community manager Bashiok. “We've not found any situations that could produce a false positive, have found that the circumstances for which they were banned were clear and accurate, and we are extremely confident in our findings. Playing the game on Linux, although not officially supported, will not get you banned - cheating will.”

Case closed? Probably not. This isn't the first time Linux has fallen under Blizzard's Banhammer. Back in 2006, the company publicly unbanned a number of World of Warcraft Linux-based players that were banned for running the MMORPG client using Cedega. Could it be possible that the recent Diablo 3 patch is causing an issue with Warden detecting WINE correctly?

Blizzard chimed in further and told Forbes that there have been no bans outside of cheating arena. In a statement provided to the publication, Blizzard said:

“Playing the game on Linux (although not officially supported) and/or using Wine will not result in being banned, but cheating will," a company spokesperson told me. "We've extensively tested various scenarios related to this situation, including replicating system setups for those who have posted claiming they were banned unfairly, and have not found any situations where players were banned solely for using Linux or Wine.” This statement is somewhat similar to a posted response by Bashiok, Blizzard's community manager in charge.

While the controversy between some players and Blizzard remains, the statement provides a solid foundation for those who may have experienced unjustified bans. An inquiry with game support should help resolve such issues.

It doesn't seem possible that all these WINE users are cheaters too. To make matters worse, these gamers can't even play in offline mode. Does Blizzard have the right to scan your computer? Honestly, Warden sounds like spyware.

EA/Funcom's The Secret World MMORPG is now live

EA/Funcom's The Secret World MMORPG is now live

While we haven't really covered this MMORPG in the past, the premise is actually refreshing, breaking away from the typical full-blown fantasy or sci-fi setting. The Secret World instead is based on a modern-day world where “magic, myths, conspiracies and dark horrors” are a reality. It's now available on the PC for $49.99 USD, and costs $14.99 USD per month to play.

“The Secret World is the first MMO set in a real, modern-day world where every conspiracy theory, fable and urban legend is true,” reads the MMORPG's description. “The power to rule the world is fought over by three secret societies – the Illuminati, Templars and Dragon – that pull the strings of governments, corporations and CEOs.”

In the game, players will travel across the globe, visiting familiar locations like New York, London, Egypt and Transylvania, fighting the evil that has infiltrated myths and folklore for centuries. Enemies include Dracula, werewolves and even the Bogeyman himself. Honestly, this MMORPG almost sounds like a mixture of The X-Files and Supernatural — maybe aliens and Lucifer will be in expansion packs?

“We are proud and very excited to launch The Secret World with Funcom,” said Sinjin Bain, Vice President, EA Partners. “This is truly a unique offering in the MMO genre, and we're confident players are going to love exploring familiar locations in a real, contemporary world as they uncover the game's many secrets and wonderful story.”

Player characters won't level up, and they won't have specific classes, but instead will develop based on skills. This gives the player complete freedom to be whoever they want to be, and however they want to play. Characters will also be highly customizable including clothing, and “thousands” of weapons and supernatural powers.

“Community reception for The Secret World has exceeded our expectations and exceeded all Funcom's previous records with over 1.5 million beta sign ups,” said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. “This launch represents years of hard work here at Funcom and we are thrilled to share this unique immersive experience with players around the world.”

Included with the purchase of every copy of The Secret World is 30 days of access to the game, which players can naturally continue to play through subscribing at $14.99 USD per month. The MMORPG is available at retailers worldwide, and EA's online store Origin.

Here are the minimum system requirements:

OS: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7 SP1

CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent AMD CPU

RAM: 2 GB RAM for Window XP / 3 GB RAM for Windows Vista and Windows 7

ODD: 8x or better CD/DVD ROM drive required for physical disc installation only

HDD: At least 20 GB of free space

GPU: Nvidia 8600 GT / 512 VRAM or better

DirectX: DirectX 9.0c compatible

Input: Keyboard & mouse

Online: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection

Microsoft Acquires Xbox8 Domains, Sparks Another Saga Of Speculations!

Microsoft Acquires Xbox8 Domains, Sparks Another Saga Of Speculations!
Earlier reports have divulged interesting names for the Xbox 360 successor where a leaked document confirmed rumors that the next generation Xbox console will be called Xbox Durango.

Besides, Microsoft has also allegedly secured,,, and Furthermore, it is still in the process of acquiring,, and

Ever since the beginning of such rumors, we have also been luxuriously hearing that Xbox 720 will be the replacement for the current generation Xbox, Microsoft's recent interests in and many such domains that suffice to spark another saga or speculations before Microsoft publicly institutes the product.

Xbox 720 would sound a perfect name for an Xbox 360 successor as it doubles the metrics in the moniker suggesting the beingness of an improved and advanced device behind the name.

Seemingly, Microsoft is trying to harmonize the names of its various platforms to its contemporary trend which, considering the upcoming release of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 operating systems (both sporting rationally similar user interface design and functionality), it would make sense for Microsoft to label the next generation Xbox console as Xbox 8.

This is also supportive of the fact that Microsoft recent roll out of an Xbox 360 dashboard update brought the likes of Windows 8 Metro UI to the Xbox. Perhaps, another few updates and the Xbox 8 might be completely standardized to look and feel like Windows 8 OS.

The reports actually originated courtesy of a firm handling international domain disputes with the National Arbitration Forum so it might be well the only fact that it is just a domain-name grab by Microsoft and nothing more in an interest to preserve its brand name and integrity from potential mis(use) by parties other than Microsoft itself.

It could also be possible that Microsoft is preparing the table for what they have been secretly cooking in their ovens. Since there are no technical details at disposal other than understandable facts that Xbox 8 features much faster processor (rumored to be about 6 times faster than Xbox 360), enhanced gaming graphics and even better game titles, there is nothing much which can be said about future Xbox console.

We will keep you posted as more details surface. Stay tuned!

Upcoming PlayStation Vita firmware update brings PSOne support

Upcoming PlayStation Vita firmware update brings PSOne support  

While the PlayStation Vita has a nice selection of games to choose from, it is missing a lot of games that made the original PlayStation so popular in the first place. Well, if you're one of those people who refuse to let go of the past, you're in luck. It has been reported that an upcoming firmware update for the PlayStation Vita will let you enjoy the classic games of the original PlayStation – on Sony's latest portable console.

The Vita 1.80 firmware update is said to add the ability to play classic PSOne titles, with over 700 titles to choose from. No word on what games will be released at launch, but a lot of gamers are probably keeping their fingers crossed for Final Fantasy VII to arrive sooner than later.

In addition to the Vita update, a new update that's on the way for the PlayStation 3 is said to bring support for PlayStation 2 games – bringing back the backwards compatibility feature that was present in earlier versions of the console. The updates are slated to arrive in Japan this week – no word on when the rest of the world will have access to them, but let's hope it won't be too long.

New Sony PlayStation 3 model suggested in FCC filing

New Sony PlayStation 3 model suggested in FCC filing

Hawk-eyed FCC watchers over at PocketNews have spotted some curious paperwork for an unknown PS3 model called the "CECH-4001X." The current, existing slimline PS3 is the 3000 series, and it has its FCC label in a different location to that shown in the new filing, leading Eurogamer to suggest that this could be a "Super Slim" variant - which that site says has cropped up in separate rumors circulating before Gamescom next month. At this point, it's probably too much to hope that magic number "4" represents anything more significant.