When people say things like “this is the future of gaming” it is generally framed with rhetoric. When the Kinect was released, you heard that a lot – and it was true, just in a limited way. The Kinect was the future of gaming in the sense that it used technology that wasn’t possible a few years earlier, so it was a technological jump. Still, the Kinect is viewed by most as just another peripheral, not something that redefines gaming on a larger scale. The same cannot be said for some of the things being discussed at the first Neurogaming Conference held this week in San Francisco.If you look up the word “neurogaming” in the Oxford English dictionary, you won’t find an entry. “Braggadocious” managed to sneak in there somehow, but “neurogaming” is simply too new a word to have entered the lexicon – but it is one that is going to resonate for years. Unlike the term “gesture control” that describes the … [Read more...] about The future of gaming is all in your head. Literally.
The headline making, Google Android-based video game console Ouya is due out before the end of 2013 but it won’t be alone in the market. Just in time for the Consumer Electronics Show, a number of new consoles have been announced. Ouya won’t just be competing with Nintendo Wii U, Microsoft’s next Xbox, and Sony’s next-generation PlayStation but other Android-based consoles as well. Chief among them: GameStick.The social and casual game platform maker PlayJam opened a Kickstarter campaign on Wednesday looking to raise $100,000 to fund the development of GameStick. PlayJam describes GameStick as “the most affordable, open, and portable TV games console ever created.”The proposed Android game console is little more than a controller and a small dongle roughly the size of a USB flash drive that plugs into a television’s HDMI port. (The prototype controller and console are pictured above. The company claims that around 200 existing Android games … [Read more...] about Smart TV game company takes on Ouya with tiny Android console GameStick
When Apple introduced the iPhone, it shook up the cell phone business but it also changed the way people play video games. About a quarter of the 100,000 applications that you can download to the iPhone are games, ranging from the simple “Doodle Jump” to a version of “Grand Theft Auto.”Now, with the looming launch of a tablet-style computer — already nicknamed the “iPhone on steroids,” with a bigger screen that might have a place in the living room — Apple could pose an even tougher challenge to established players in the video game business.That assumes, however, that potential buyers aren’t scared off by a price that might be more than the cost of a Wii, a PlayStation 3 and an Xbox 360 combined. Apple isn’t commenting on its unveiling Wednesday.Apple’s iPhone and the similar iPod Touch brought a new look to games because they have an accelerometer inside that lets people control the action by turning or tilting the … [Read more...] about Apple iSlate to Shake-Up Video Game Industry?
According to a new report from the market researching NPD Group, physical video game sales during February 2012 amounted to just over one billion dollars, but that’s a sharp drop from $1.33 billion during February 2011. Down 24 percent during the month, sales of physical discs amounted to approximately $485 million. However, NPD analyst Anita Frazier estimates that consumers spent between $550 to $600 million on digital distributed video games on services like Valve’s Steam and Electronic Arts Origin, subscriptions to MMORPG games, rentals from Gamefly and Redbox, mobile games on the iPhone, virtual items such as in-game currency and used games. While Microsoft continued a 14-month streak with the top selling video game console in North America, hardware sales fell by 18 percent compared to the previous year even with the launch of the new PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system. According to Microsoft, the company … [Read more...] about NPD: Video game sales plummet by 20 percent during February
Angry Birds has made the leap from mobile to the Nintendo 3DS and Wii, but Nintendo believes it may be the exception rather than the rule. Speaking about the recent announcement that Angry Birds would be hitting the company’s new handheld, NOA President Reginald Fils-Aime didn’t mince words, arguing that many mobile games are overpriced and are a threat to the video game industry as a whole, reports CVG.“I catually think that one of the biggest risks today in our gaming industry are these inexpensive games that are disposable from a consumer standpoint,” said Fils-Aime, who is known to speak his mind.“Angry Birds is a great experience but that is one compared to thousands of other pieces of content that for one and two dollars actually create a mentality for the consumer that a piece of gaming content should only be two dollars,” said Fils-Aime. “I think that some of these games are overpriced for one or two dollars…The fact of the matter … [Read more...] about Nintendo: mobile games are bad for the industry, except Angry Birds
Yesterday, Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen denied previous reports claiming that EA was not making games for Nintendo’s new consoles anymore. According to Jorgensen, the company has plenty of titles in development for Nintendo’s system – he just isn’t saying what they are. “We are building titles for the Nintendo console, but not anywhere near as many as we are for PS or Xbox,” Jorgensen said in answer to a question at the Stifel Nicolaus 2013 Internet, Media, and Communications Conference in New York, which was then reported by Polygon.EA has already confirmed that the upcoming FIFA 14 and Madden 25 will not be released on Wii U, however, and Jorgensen provided no hints as to what games EA has in store for the Nintendo console.“I think what the consumer will find is a lot more powerful gameplay with the new boxes that are coming out, and a lot of excitement, but it’ll remain to be … [Read more...] about EA claims Wii U games are in development, but won’t say what they are
The next time you think to blame a game’s engine for its woes, hold up. There’s more to the story. Imagine a jigsaw puzzle. Now, imagine that same puzzle with each piece made by a different person, from a different substance, with different tools. Some pieces are whittled from wood, others gnawed from human bone, and some socket together like Lego. It’s a weird puzzle, but somehow — it works.That’s game development in a nutshell.Even the simplest games on the market likely harnessed the creative output of a few thousand individuals, each one with their own weird piece of the puzzle. Fitting it all together requires a lot of specialized tools, and none is quite so contentious as the humble and oft-maligned game engine. Steam communities and comment boards are filled with complaints about Unity and other game engines like Unreal, Frostbite, and id Tech. Such critics often claim certain engines have a “look” which spoils the gameplay experience, … [Read more...] about Can you blame a bad game on a shoddy engine? Developers say, no way!
Over the past few years, we have seen various attempts to teach an artificial intelligence how to play a video game. Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Computing published a paper outlining a method of teaching AI how to learn a game engine.In previous projects, the AI has only been instructed on how to excel at a particular game. This study goes one step further, aiming to instill a deeper understanding of the mechanics at play, rather than just the fastest route to success.The researchers decided to use Super Mario Bros. for the study, describing it in the paper as a “classic platformer.” The same game was at the core of previous researchers performed by the study’s authors, which developed an AI that was capable of creating new stages in the vein of those seen in the original.For the purposes of this research, the AI was not given access to the game’s code, which would make it very easy for it to … [Read more...] about AI re-creates ‘Super Mario Bros.’ game engine by watching gameplay footage
Seven years ago, American McGee saw the future of the game industry. The future he saw was in China, so he packed up and moved to Shanghai to found Spicy Horse Games. McGee, the CEO of his company which most recently developed Alice: Madness Returns for Electronic Arts, was at the Game Developers Conference (GDC 2012) to show off three new games and discuss what he sees as the future of gaming, and why China is becoming the center of the gaming world.The developer is one of many creatives to make the leap to mobile gaming. In this exclusive interview McGee talks about his latest games, what free-to-play titles mean to the industry, and why the future of gaming begins in China. You’ve been in Shanghai now for a while. Can you talk about how you’ve seen things evolve over there? It’s seven years that I’ve been there. It’s been an incredible journey just to be witness to this revolution across every single facet of … [Read more...] about Exclusive Interview: American McGee has seen the future of gaming, and it begins in China
Continuing the consolidation trend that is sweeping the video game software development industry, Activision announced Wednesday that it acquired Bizarre Creations, the independent UK-based game developer behind such titles as "Project Gotham Racing" and "Geometry Wars."The purchase gives Activision an in to the US$1.4 billion racing genre market and enables Bizarre to expand its development opportunities to include riskier ventures."The perfect solution for us is to join the ranks of Activision, alongside their other talented studios," the company said. "It's a pretty incredible chance for Bizarre to improve ourselves and make the most of all the fantastic new opportunities this opens up. Also, given the excellent support Activision offers this can mean only one thing: better games."The acquisition is just the latest for Activision, which picked up "Guitar Hero" design firm RedOctane in 2006 and opened the door to the music genre. Neither company disclosed financial terms of the … [Read more...] about Activision Targets Racing Game Market With Bizarre Acquisition