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Microsoft admits it was "definitely a challenge" to get the Xbox One message across early on

Written By Kom Limpulnam on Minggu, 13 April 2014 | 23.01

Today during a PAX East panel called Console Launches: A Post Mortem, Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb acknowledged that it was a real challenge getting the Xbox One message across last summer when the console was originally announced.

The Xbox One was "very complex to explain" to consumers, Hryb said. He went on to explain that when you're marketing a product, whether it's an Xbox One or a phone or even a stapler, you need to be very clear to the customer about why they need the product in question.

For the Xbox One, "It was definitely a challenge" in getting that message across, Hryb said. Presumably, Microsoft thinks it has improved its Xbox One messaging to date, but Hryb did not say one way or the other.

During Microsoft's original Xbox One announcement in May 2013, the company focused heavily on the device's entertainment functionality, leading some to think games had been forgotten. Of course this was not true, and Microsoft announced new core games at E3 a month later like Halo for Xbox One and Sunset Overdrive, among others.

Also during the panel tonight, Hryb took a shot at Sony's claim that it will ship 100 games in 2014. "Saying something and shipping something can be two different things," Hryb said.

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PAX East 2014
Xbox One
Microsoft

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From Crash Bandicoot to The Last of Us, new book to celebrate The Art of Naughty Dog

The Last of Us and Uncharted developer Naughty Dog will release an art book to celebrate its 30th anniversary, according to a post on the PlayStation Blog.

The developer is teaming up with Dark Horse Comics to release The Art of Naughty Dog, which will be available later this year. It will track the entire history of Naughty Dog and feature hand-picked and never before released artwork from the developer's past, present, and future. One chapter will also be dedicated to some of the art fans of Naughty Dog games have created over the years.

Andrew Gavin and Jason Rubin founded JAM (Jason and Andy Magic) Software in 1984. After finding publishing support five years later, the developer incorporated as Naughty Dog. Since then, it has sold over 70 million games globally.

According to the PlayStation Blog, Naughty Dog will also have "other celebratory merchandise" available in the next few months.

Last week, Naughty Dog revealed it's bringing The Last of Us: Remastered to the PlayStation 4 this summer.

Filed under:
Crash Bandicoot
Uncharted Trilogy Edition
The Last of Us
Naughty Dog

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High Strangeness: Bridging RPG Eras - PAX East 2014 Dev Commentary

If Titanfall had virtual reality support you might barf everywhere

American Chopper star on why his wild World of Warcraft mash-up makes sense

Cards Against Humanity starts Pwnmeal Oatmeal joke at PAX

How Warlords of Draenor is planning to get you back into Warcraft

Titanfall's first DLC is called Expedition, 2v2 Last Titan Standing mode on the way

Orcs Must Die! Unchained will be free when it's released, but you can start playing the Alpha now for $150

Civilization series reaches 21 million units shipped to date -- How many have you bought?

2K announces new Sid Meier's Civilization game: Beyond Earth, channels Alpha Centauri

The Legacy of Kain Lives on in Nosgoth

Don't live near Boston, Seattle, or Melbourne? There's a new PAX and it will be held in San Antonio

Harmonix: Rock Band 4 is not in development

How a Subtle Tweak to Evolve's Monster Sent Ripples Throughout the Game

PC space sim Star Citizen's dogfighting mode looks epic even in pre-alpha

Check out this footage of Diablo 3 for PS4 running in 1080p/60fps

How Will the 30 New Cards in The Curse of Naxxramas affect Hearthstone?

Castle Crashers dev working on an Xbox One game -- Check out the bizarre concept art here

Blizzard discusses the challenges of bringing Hearthstone to Android

PC MMO WildStar from former Blizzard devs goes gold, launches in full June 3

Environmental Horror in The Evil Within

Hearthstone single-player adventure Curse of Naxxramas announced, and you can play without spending a penny

Harmonix has "grand plans" to revive Rock Band potentially for Xbox One, PS4

Civilization, XCOM studio Firaxis to announce new game at PAX East

Mass Effect's Commander Shepard turns 140 on Friday -- Bake some cupcakes, BioWare says

Is EA's MOBA Dawngate a worthy competitor to League of Legends? You can play it today and decide for yourself

Going to PAX East? BioWare to discuss Dragon Age, Mass Effect at the event

Going to PAX East? Here's what Microsoft has in store for you

GameSpot at PAX East 2014

For the first time in PAX East history, Nintendo won't attend

Diablo III for PS4, Warlords of Draenor, Hearthstone for mobile and more from Blizzard at PAX East

PAX addresses inclusivity with addition of "Diversity Lounges"

PAX East 2014 sold out

Three-day PAX East 2014 badges sold out

High Strangeness: Bridging RPG Eras - PAX East 2014 Dev Commentary

Dawngate: Reshaping the MOBA - PAX East 2014 Dev Commentary

Apocalyptic Cats Confirmed

The New Hotness of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Wolfenstein: The New Order - PAX East Hands-On Impressions

Hearthstone on Ipad Demonstration

The Evil Within Has An Environment Built to Scare

The Goliath has Evolved!

Diablo III on PS4 - Details and Improvements

Orcs Must Die! Unchained - Announcement Trailer

PAX East 2014: Demolish The Developers and The Lobby Trailer


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Play XCOM creator’s new game prototype for free in your browser

You can now play a prototype for the turn-based RPG veteran game designer Julian Gollop is currently trying to fund on Kickstarter, Chaos Reborn, for free and in your browser.

Just head over to this URL, create a username and password (no email or other information required), and you can start playing against other people. You can also check the prototype Game Play Guide for instructions on installing a downloadable version of the game.

Gollop, who's best known for creating the XCOM series, is looking to update his 1985 strategy game Chaos: The Battle of Wizards. Chaos Reborn will carry on with the original's theme of a group of wizards being forced to fight to the death in an arena. It will feature its own single-player campaign, with a co-op option, along with competitive multiplayer for between two and six players.

At the time of writing, Gollop managed to raise $150,607 from 3,703 backers. In order for Chaos Reborn to be fully funded, he needs to reach a goal of $180,000 by April 17.


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Square Enix Collective opens for submissions, approves “post-human RPG” World War Machine

Written By Kom Limpulnam on Minggu, 06 April 2014 | 23.01

After a successful pilot phase, Square Enix announced that its crowdfunding program, Collective, is now fully open for developers to submit original ideas.

Collective allows creators to post ideas and have gamers vote whether those concepts should become a reality or not. If the idea is approved after 28 days through the feedback platform, Square Enix will help developers prepare a pitch for crowdfunding through Indiegogo.

The first approved project, Tuque Games' "post-human RPG" World War Machine, will begin a crowdfunding campaign via a Collective and Indiegogo page near the end of April.

Crackdown 2 studio Ruffian Games' Game of Glens was one of the first three projects in the Collective pilot phase. Right now, 60 percent of users say they would not back it through crowdfunding.

"The pilot phase went really well, we learned so much during the test month and the teams we worked with; Tuque Games, Kitfox Games and Ruffian Games, have given great and useful feedback," project lead for Collective Phil Elliott said. "Now it's over to you as we open up the platform on an ongoing basis, and see what sort of ideas come in, from developers all around the world and what gamers think of those ideas."

When Square Enix first announced the program it said that creators could have the chance to work with older Eidos IP from the company's back catalog. It now says that the option for teams to use properties like Gex, Fear Effect, and Anachronox will be added at a later date when the details are worked out.

Filed under:
Square Enix
PC

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R.B.I. Baseball 14 appears on Xbox Marketplace with April 9 release date

R.B.I. Baseball 14 will release on Xbox Live Arcade on April 9, according to the product description posted to Xbox.com.

The game's official Twitter account stated that it has not made any official announcements on the release date yet, but that it will very soon.

R.B.I. Baseball 14 brings the series back after a 20-year absence. R.B.I. Baseball 95 was the last entry in the series, which launched in 1994 for the Sega 32X.

Major League Baseball (MLB) is developing R.B.I. Baseball 14 in-house, tasking its own Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) unit to create the game. MLBAM's other duties include managing the official MLB website and websites for the league's 30 teams.

It says that the game will have modern graphics but stay true to the franchise's roots with a classic two-button control style. R.B.I. Baseball 14 will feature all 30 MLB teams and 480 active players with characteristics based on MLB's statistical database. MLB also said you can play through a game in 20 minutes and choose between Exhibition, Season, and Postseason modes.

R.B.I. Baseball 14 is set to release on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and mobile devices.

Filed under:
R.B.I. Baseball 14
Xbox 360
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 3
iPhone/iPod

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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor begins Alpha testing

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor has moved into the Alpha phase of testing, inviting employees, friends, and family to play a very limited version of the expansion, Blizzard has announced.

One of the biggest changes Warlords of Draenor will make is quite technical, but it sounds like it will fundamentally improve the performance of the massively multiplayer online game. Since it launched, World of Warcraft has used a file format called Mo'PaQ (MPQ for short), which Blizzard said it had pushed far beyond its limits. When Warlords of Draenor launches, all World of Warcarft players will reinstall game files in order to switch over to a new format called CASC (Content Addressable Storage Container).

CASC, which Blizzard is already using for Heroes of the Storm's Technical Alpha test, improves real-world game performance, speeds up patching, allows Blizzard to hotfix problems that previously required patches, and much more.

If you want to dig into the other ways Warlords of Draenor will impact the game, Blizzard released lengthy patch notes for the Alpha that detail every little change and addition. Just some of the changes that are explained include Hit and Expertise removal, Garrisons, and level-100 talents and perks.

For more on Warlords of Draenor, check out our previous coverage.

Filed under:
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
PC
Blizzard Entertainment

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What We'd Like to See in the Next Legend of Zelda

An old man waits in a cave. He offers a sword for your troubles--a wish of good fortune on his lips--and then vanishes forevermore. Link must venture forth alone. The road ahead is filled with dangers, deadlier than anyone but a hero should face. Reptilian beasts lurk in swirling rivers, spindly-legged monsters leap among rocky outcrops, and nameless knights guard desolate paths. Hostility confronts your senses. There are no friends to offer guidance, only roaming creatures that rush toward you with unbridled aggression. Even the trees are against you. Maybe you should burn one; it may be the only way forward.

Questions dangle overhead in The Legend of Zelda, dancing outside of your periphery as you chase after the answers that lie hidden beyond. Those who are chosen to explore cryptic ruins must be brave enough to face whatever beasts reside there, and place faith in the deep-seated knowledge that allows progress through impassable passageways. For the three pieces of the triforce that mark a true hero are composed of not only power and courage, but wisdom as well. A man falls dead because his brain was much slower than his sword.

The Legend of Zelda confounded and amazed, and the series has consistently transformed as the years have flown by. Puzzles have become more concrete, and the dialogue more telling, as Link has matured from a precocious boy to a man worthy of his prodigious demands. Changes have manifested in bombastic ways that are impossible to ignore. Controls were stripped down to their very essence in Phantom Hourglass, only to require more patience and finesse than ever in Skyward Sword. Epona arrived in Ocarina of Time, giving Link his first view from atop a horse, and then disappeared without even a flap of her ears as we entered the floating warmth of the King of Red Lions in Wind Waker. Time even briefly halted. Majora's Mask imitated Groundhog Day for a glorious moment, and then the moon squashed that dream before we were ready to awake.

As the path stretches behind us, we can see the many forms The Legend of Zelda games have taken. What started as a conniving adventure has softened with age. Guidance was absent when Link first set forth on his journey, then became so blaring that mysteries yelled their secrets before you could scrounge for an answer. The circle was completed in A Link Between Worlds as Link once again found himself alone in a threatening world, but does that return to a less-forgiving past herald a new age for The Legend of Zelda? Or is it just one more branch along a path that has twisted and spiraled until we've become so disoriented that we no longer know which direction we're facing?

The road ahead is filled with dangers, deadlier than anyone but a hero should face.

The Legend of Zelda is more varied than it gets credit for. Aside from those three travesties on the CD-i, each of Link's many adventures has offered an enticement for those who have readily taken up the hero's mantle. Some of those rewards have been novelties whose impact was fleeting. Becoming a wolf in Twilight Princess created a stir for only so long, because those canine sections halted the breathless excitement of Link's human struggles. Other rewards were less obvious but more compelling. Mastering the unforgiving combat in The Adventure of Link required so much determination and so much dexterity that only the dedicated few could survive. But those who did triumph hold tightly to those memories.

Because the history of this timeless franchise has taken so many forms, predicting how Link's next journey will turn out is an exercise in madness. Will Nintendo once more rely on flashy features, previously unseen, to differentiate it from its many predecessors? Or will raw craftsmanship take center stage, as the creators unearth the core of what makes The Legend of Zelda tick? And should we voice our opinion loudly to steer Nintendo in one direction or the other? It's tempting to do so, given how much I relish the latter ideology and fear the former, yet I know that my ideas can never live up to the incomparable vision that Nintendo holds.

But if I can dream, I would love to see Nintendo turn its back on the rich legacy we all hold dear. Sacrilegious? Maybe. But sometimes you have to set fire to what you love. The Legend of Zelda now carries with it so much baggage that every iteration is smothered under features before it can even begin to take flight. We expect dungeons and puzzles, a narrative and characters. The weapons we've grown to love, the enemies we've cut to shreds, the heart containers we've sought out, and the music that has filled our ears have to return in every new version. They have to, right? We've defined The Legend of Zelda in such a way that innovation can only extend so far. But if we cut out all the bloat, only its beautiful essence would remain.

Imagine if The Legend of Zelda removed the strict puzzles that have become commonplace since A Link to the Past. Picture a plot that does no more than see you off without stopping your journey with long-winded exposition. What if your sword was your best friend as your inventory was unceremoniously emptied? Would the result still be The Legend of Zelda? Yes, it would, as long as it carried the mystery that has been the foundation upon which this enduring franchise has been built. So jut out your jaw when danger draws near and yell with glee when clever exploration leads you to an unimaginable discovery. The future is bright and clean. Link isn't beholden to the past, and we shouldn't be either.

Filed under:
The Legend of Zelda Wii U
Wii U
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
3DS

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Oculus VR employees got death threats after Facebook sale [UPDATE]

Written By Kom Limpulnam on Minggu, 30 Maret 2014 | 23.01

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey wrote on Reddit that Oculus VR employees have received death threats in the wake of the company's sale to Facebook.

"We expected a negative reaction from people in the short term, we did not expect to be getting so many death threats and harassing phone calls that extended to our families," Luckey said. "We know we will prove ourselves with actions and not words, but that kind of sh** is unwarranted, especially since it is impacting people who have nothing to do with Oculus."

The original story is below. We have updated this story's headline to reflect Luckey's comments, which were made today.

Following the surprise announcement Tuesday that Facebook had purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion, positive and negative comments flowed forth from social media. Oculus VR vice president Nate Mitchell said in a new interview with Game Informer that he expected to get some heat from its core fans over the deal, but said he was surprised by the outpouring of negativity from the community at large.

"We assumed that the reaction would be negative, especially from our core community," Mitchell said. "Beyond our core community, we expected it would be positive. I don't think we expected it to be so negative."

In the time that's passed, Mitchell said he's already starting to see the conversation on Twitter and Reddit "swinging back the opposite direction." He stressed that it's up to Oculus VR to educate people on why the deal makes sense and should be considered a good thing.

21-year-old Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey has been busy doing just that. Immediately following the announcement of the acquisition, he answered dozens of questions on Reddit about privacy concerns and what the deal means for the future of Oculus. For more on the Oculus VR/Facebook deal, check out editorials from GameSpot editors Tom McShea and Peter Brown.


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Oculus VR’s Carmack didn’t expect Facebook deal, but says Oculus had to partner with someone.

Creator of Doom and Chief Technology Officer at Oculus VR John Carmack didn't necessarily expect it to be Facebook, but said that Oculus had to partner with someone.

Carmack commented on a post to Anamanaguchi member Peter Berkman's blog, which criticized Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR. Berkman said he's worried about Facebook collecting data, creating an "information monopoly," and the notion that today "companies exist and operate only to be acquired."

In his response, Carmack said that there is a case for being an independent company like Valve and trying to build a new virtual reality ecosystem like Steam from the ground up. "This is probably what most of the passionate fans wanted to see," he said. "The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves. Valve deserves all their success for having the vision and perseverance to see it through to the current state."

VR, Carmack argues, won't be like that. "The experience is too obviously powerful, and it makes converts on contact," he said. "The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real questions were how deeply to partner, and with who."

He added that he didn't expect it to be this soon, that he didn't expect it to be Facebook, and that he could think of other, more obvious companies, but that he believes Facebook sees the "Big Picture."

"I wasn't personally involved in any of the negotiations," he said. "I spent an afternoon talking technology with Mark Zuckerberg, and the next week I find out that he bought Oculus."

In 2000, Carmack founded Armadillo Aerospace, a space tourism startup. On Twitter, Carmack also said that the Facebook deal probably means he'll give aerospace another shot, but not for several years. "I have divided my focus too much in the past," he said.

To catch up with the biggest news of the week, make sure you read everything you need to know about Facebook buying Oculus for $2 billion.

Filed under:
PC

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