Archive for the 'News' Category

13
Nov
09

Xbox console ban is ‘permanent’

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Thousands of Xbox 360 owners who have been cut off from Microsoft’s Xbox Live service will have to buy a new console if they want to play online again.

Microsoft told BBC News that banned machines will be permanently barred and “unable to connect to Xbox Live”.

A message displayed on affected consoles said there was “no recourse for terms of use violations”.

Microsoft has barred as many as 1m gamers from Xbox live for modifying their consoles to play pirated games.

“Users of banned Xbox consoles can recover their profile to another, unmodified Xbox 360 console to resume their Live service,” the firm told BBC News.

“The banned console will be unable to connect to Xbox Live.”

However, modified consoles will still work offline.

‘No recourse’

Microsoft said barring gamers was part of an ongoing drive to curb piracy.

But a statement from them suggests this latest wave was timed to prevent people from playing pirated versions of the widely-anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

We believe that even one modified console on the system is one too many
Microsoft

“We can assure you that if an Xbox Live member follows the Xbox Live terms of use, purchased a retail copy of Modern Warfare 2 and played the game on an unmodified Xbox 360, no action will be taken,” the firm said.

Microsoft said that it had banned a “small percentage” of the 20 million Xbox Live users worldwide.

Many gamers modify their consoles by installing new chips or software that allows them to run unofficial – but not always illegal – programs and games.

Some BBC News website readers claimed that they had “modded” their consoles to allow them to make back-ups of games that they had already bought.

“Discs are very fragile things and some users like to have their games backed up,” said Donald Glass of Aberdeen.

“After all you will have paid £40 for a new disc. It is my opinion that once you buy a disc you should be allowed to do whatever you want with the media as long as you do not break copyright laws.”

Microsoft has not said how it was able to determine which gamers to disconnect.

“We do not reveal specifics, but can say that all consoles have been verified to have violated the terms of use,” the firm said in a statement.

It said that gamers who had been barred were using their modified consoles to “play illegally pirated games”.

“We believe that even one modified console on the system is one too many”.

Industry figures suggest that piracy may cost the video game industry as much as £750m a year.

Reports have speculated that new “mods” could soon be on the market that allow gamers to get round the blocks.

03
Nov
09

Prince of Persia 2010 reveal

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Ubisoft has failed to deny that a new Prince of Persia game will be revealed early next year, as recently claimed by the team behind the upcoming movie adaptation.

 

Speaking during a trailer preview event at Bruckheimer Studios (via Neoseeker), the movie team claimed that Ubisoft will be announcing a new Prince of Persia game in spring 2010, “but it’s not their place to give out any details”.

So we asked a Ubisoft rep if the team’s claims were true, to which we were issued a swift “no comment”.

The movie is due out in North America on May 28, so the supposed new game announcement would happen very shortly – or around – then.

We quizzed Ubisoft Monteal president, Yannis Mallat on his plans for the launch of the film last month, and he told us: “I can’t comment actually, at the moment (laughs).”

26
Oct
09

Elder Scrolls Novel

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Author Greg Keyes is better known to me by his Star Wars Expanded Universe contributions, but as the writer on The Elder Scrolls: Infernal City, he’s been promoted to “potential Bethesda informant.”

A book blurb on the Waterstone’s retail site reads “A novel that takes places forty-five years after the Oblivion Crisis, which is the story of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion game and the expansion pack Shivering Isles. It partly bridges the gap for the next game, which is set 200 years after the Oblivion crisis.”

So, assuming “the next game” in Oblivion continuity isn’t a ZeniMax Online massively multiplayer online game, this might be a hint at an Elder Scrolls V. Although, to hear Bethesda’s Pete Hines tell it, that’s the natural conclusion anybody could draw from how well The Elder Scrolls IV sold.

Well spotted, Silver!

P.S. Yes, I read The Age of Unreason series. When I was a kid. So Keyes’ Star Wars work is how I think of him and I consider it a compliment.

21
Oct
09

James Cameron’s Avatar Game Coming this December

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James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game is an upcoming video game adaptation of James Cameron’s film of the same name. The title is being developed by Ubisoft. It was announced by Ubisoft that it will be using the same technology as the film to be displayed in 3D.

The videogame is set on Pandora, an alien planet featured in the motion picture. The game includes the Na’vi, Pandora’s indigenous people and discover other life forms.

On July 24 2007, it was announced that Ubisoft would be developing Avatar: The Game in conjunction with director James Cameron as he films Avatar. According to director James Cameron, “For the movie ‘Avatar’ we are creating a world rich in character, detail, conflict and cultural depth. It has the raw material for a game that the more demanding gamers of today will want to get their hands on – one that is rich in visuals and ideas, and challenging in play. I told the Ubisoft team I wanted them to be free to do their very best work, and not think of this as a movie-based game. They responded with a fully realized presentation which captured the soul of the world and the characters, while promising to be a knockout game on its own terms. Their passion inspired my confidence that they are going to do something transcendental.” Continue reading ‘James Cameron’s Avatar Game Coming this December’

17
Oct
08

Need for Speed: Undercover Cop and Robbers Mode

EA has sent out an all points bulletin that Need for Speed Undercover will feature and new cooperative mode, Cops and Robbers. The mode supports two teams of four playing against each other. The criminals pick up a package they must get to their safe house while the cops try to thwart them at every turn.

Continue reading ‘Need for Speed: Undercover Cop and Robbers Mode’

16
Oct
08

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand ?

Rumblings around the internet are now indicating that 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is the latest game to get the axe as a result of Activision Blizzard’s purchase of Sierra. This was of course the sequel to the atrocious, yet successful 50 Cent: Bulletproof, which would have had ol’ Fiddy traveling to the Middle East for some hackneyed reason. The sequel actually looked like it was shaping up to be a very different affair from its predecessor, but Activision probably realized that the stench of the first game — which has been listed on numerous “Worst Games of All Time” lists — wouldn’t wash off easy. And still no word on the fate of the Ghostbusters game, which is probably the main project from Sierra that most people are curious about.

http://www.50bloodonthesand.com/us/

17
Sep
08

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Videogame and Movie Release

EA will be timing the shipping of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince videogame to coincide with the movie’s new summer 2009 release date. The movie’s original release date has been pushed from November 21 of this holiday season.

Like the other Harry Potter games, Half-Blood Prince videogame is based on the movie not the book. As both an expansion of the story and a reduction of events down to the more action oriented bits, it should give yet another perspective on the story of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Here’s a description of gameplay features from EA’s website.

In the game of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, players will return to Hogwarts to help Harry survive a fraught sixth year. They will also have a chance to engage in exciting wizard duels, mix and brew magical ingredients in Potions class and take to the air to lead the Gryffindor Quidditch team to victory. Players may even get sidetracked by Ron’s romantic entanglements as they journey towards a dramatic climax and discover the identity of the Half-Blood Prince.

Continue reading ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Videogame and Movie Release’