Fresh Off The Block


May
29
2018

Real Life Cheat Code for Unlimited Money? (Star Citizen $27k Ship Unlock Pack Released)

Do you love money, but not all that annoying work that comes with it? Well why not take Cloud Imperium Games' approach, with Guinness World Records listing the sum of US$39,680,576 in 2014 as the highest amount ever raised for a game (2014 also being the first of many release dates promised), fast forwarding to 2018 they now have US$186,783,531, but still no game, nor signs of a release date.

Star Citizen has been compared to No Man's Sky during the early days of their campaigns and rightly so, both were space exploration simulators that promised massive scopes and then delivered huge delays, however No Man's Sky has actually come out, with an approach more similar to Canon Films, No Man's Sky raised money for a pitch, developed aesthetically pleasing promotions and then released a sub par product to the disappointment of everyone involved (unfortunately lacking the Canon Films unintended charm), since the release the game has been worked on and re-released on consoles, with each new version being closer to the original promise, what a stupid move, Hello Games (makers of No Man's Sky), didn't know what they had, and the clever people over at Cloud Imperium Games' have picked up the slack, draining money from eager fans, wanting to believe their perfect game will come to them.

Another, somewhat closer comparison to be made is between Star Citizen and Frontier Developments' Elite Dangerous, Kickstarted 6 months or so before Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous promised a massive open world, space simulation, but they made one serious mistake, they hired people with a vague understanding of how to make games, so when the promised time came, they had a playable game and their hands were tied, they would have to release the game and say goodbye to the crowdfunding revenue stream, they fought valiantly with some DLC releases, but alas they fell into the same pitfall, with both major DLC updates providing more actual gameplay instead of just the hope that Star Citizen provides.

But the main difference between these three is that, Star Citizen isn't a game, it's an idea, it's hope, it's a religion, you donate money for the idea of something greater than yourself, helping them build and grow, putting your trust with a higher power (developer Chris Roberts, or should it be Christ Roberts?), without the expectations of a personal gain, in favor of the spiritual gain you receive from knowing you've helped these fine people achieve something, not something you can use, but something.

But how can you continue to help these people fund their sweet lives doing nothing but crowdfunding and making hollow promises, sorry that was a type, I meant helping them create the future of space simulation and the most glorious game of all time, well you can buy plots of land in the virtual world for the mere pittance of US$100, but that's not really enough, you can dig deeper, for only the cost of a reasonable car (US$27,000) you can purchase all the DLC for the game that doesn't exist, why not jump over there and take a look now? Oh wait, you will need to donate US$1000 for the privilege to view this amazing deal, or you could send a message to CIG's staff and they might be nice enough to give you a free look at how much money you could have the chance to give them.

[/EndSarcasm]

Technically Motivated gives thanks to TGB_SirhcAndAr0n for this informative and entertaining article, provided to us as a cross-posting with Sanitarium.FM.

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    Previous Articles


    May
    17
    2018

    Microsoft developing a new controller for the less able gamer: Meet the Xbox Adaptive Controller

    As a blog that has always aimed to make technology understandable to the masses, we at Technically Motivated champion any attempt by a major corporation to create technology that caters for the less able user. So when we heard that Microsoft have unveiled an Xbox One controller designed with the differently-abled in mind, we naturally had to take a look.

    A picture of the XBox Adaptive Controller

    Image courtesy Microsoft
    (click to enlarge)

    Officially named the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Microsoft’s latest creation – which will actually support both XBox and Windows PCs – is billed as ‘the most flexible adaptive controller made by a major gaming company’. As Microsoft tells it, When a customised controller from non-profit veterans’ organisation Warfighter Engaged caught the eye of a Microsoft engineer back in 2014, Microsoft decided to create its own disability-friendly controller for the following year’s Hackathon, which is where this project began. Refinements followed a year later; but it was the release of the Copilot function – which allows two Xbox One controllers to be treated as a single controller – that led Microsoft to declare their new controller concept ready for launch.

    In fact, Copilot is actually the key to how this new controller becomes adaptable for a wide range of disabilities. Designed to be used on a desktop surface, the Xbox Adaptive Controller features all number of ports to allow additional controllers, headsets, switches and other assistive devices to expand on its base capabilities, allowing a user to create a custom gaming solution whereby a user can combine many different controls into a workable solution for their own body. The ports are labelled such that the user doesn’t need to turn or pick up the device to see what goes where; and each controller can function as one or more physical buttons according to the user’s needs. The Adaptive Controller itself sports two giant buttons, mapped to the A and B of a standard Xbox controller and with enough spacing to allow a hand to rest in between; along with a D-Pad and other smaller control buttons to the left side.

    Microsoft have explained the full story behind the controller on their Story Labs, which also gives further details about the upcoming product. The Xbox Adaptive Controller will launch later this year, and will retail for $100 in the US, which is likely to translate to around £100 in the UK after the inclusion of VAT.

    Jan
    31
    2018

    Rumour: Is Microsoft Planning to purchase Electronic Arts?

    Following rumours earlier today that Microsoft is said to have an interest in acquiring several gaming-related businesses, Polygon has asserted that a “Reliable source close to Microsoft” believes that the Xbox One platform-holder is actually genuinely considering one such acquisition.

    Earlier today, Twitter was awash in rumours suggesting Microsoft, perhaps fuelled by the fact that the Xbox One has found itself lacking in console exclusives, was potentially considering making purchase offers to three companies: Valve, PUBG Corp (the people behind Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds), and Electronic Arts – commonly known as EA. Polygon’s sources believe that the EA rumour is indeed true – that Microsoft is definitely in serious thought about the move, with the other two suggestions also being “whispered”.

    Although Xbox One owners can anticipate exclusive releases this year in the form of Sea of Thieves (currently in a closed beta phase), Crackdown 3 and State of Decay 2, this small amount of confirmed titles pales in comparison to major rival Sony’s Playstation 4 line-up, which alongside a remake of Shadow of the Colossus, currently also lists exclusive such as Days Gone, Death Stranding, Detroit: Become Human, God of War, Spider-man and The Last of Us Part II. An acquisition of EA would bring many important franchises to the XBox One – although many of the bigger franchises, such as FIFA, Battlefield and the upcoming Anthem, are currently cross-console and Microsoft is likely to cause uproar were they to change the status quo.

    The lack of exclusive content for the XBox One, however, is very likely to be weighing on Microsoft’s mind. Sony’s Playstation 4 has so far dominated this generation of console sales, with over 73 million sold to date; Microsoft, meanwhile, is believed to have only shifted around half this number of XBox Ones although the company refuses to disclose actual sales figures.

    Further fuelling the rumours is Phil Spencer’s apparent appetite for an acquisition. Spencer, who was promoted to Executive Vice-President of Gaming late last year, is on record as having stated the following in an interview with Bloomberg:

    “Our ability to go create content has to be one of our strengths. We haven’t always invested at the same level. We’ve gone through ups and downs in the investment.”

    So what do you think? Do you think a potential acquisition offer is on the cards? Let us know in the comments!

    This article first appeared on Sanitarium.FM

    Jan
    30
    2018

    Mixer to get tip jar, direct game purchasing features

    Alongside claims that the service now attracts 10m users per month, Microsoft has announced a number of familiar-sounding features it plans to introduce to Mixer – its streaming service and rival to Twitch.

    In order to allow videogame streamers to monetise their channels, Microsoft has announced plans to add direct tipping, so that viewers can donate to their favourite streamers as they watch directly through Mixer, without the need of external services.

    For streamers who are playing games that are available through the Microsoft Store (for Windows 10 or XBox One), viewers will soon also be able to quickly buy a digital download of the game, or any DLC being played, with Microsoft planning to introduce new “Direct purchase” options.

    While Microsoft is no doubt playing catch-up with Twitch, the service is quickly gaining popularity – helped, no doubt, by Microsoft baking support for the platform into both Windows 10 and XBox One (where it can be found directly on the console’s Dashboard). Even though the upcoming new additions may strike as copycatting, making it easier for viewers to both start playing games they like and donate to their favourite streamers may prove to be an important move in growing that audience even further.

    This article first appeared on Sanitarium.FM.

    Sep
    27
    2017

    Atari reveal first information about Ataribox’s specs

    The Atari Logo and registered trademark

    The Atari Logo

    Atari raised a number of eyebrows earlier this year when it suddenly announced it was getting back into the hardware game and working on a brand new console, called the Steambox. Teaser trailers, a preview of the console's planned appearance, and a statement from the company – emphasising that they were "taking things slowly" and revealing information gradually to ensure they get everything right – soon followed; but it's fair to say that we still don't know much about exactly WHAT the Ataribox is… that is, until today.

    In a newsletter to subscribers, Atari has finally let loose some information on exactly what the Ataribox is planned to be. The console will be based on PC hardware and offer "a full PC experience for the TV, bringing you streaming, applications, social, browsing, music, and more", as well as the games. The system will run a customised, lightweight Linux distribution "with a customized, easy-to-use user interface", not unlike a Steambox.

    Atari explained the decision to use Linux with the following statement:

    Most TV devices have closed systems and content stores. Linux lets us be more open; you can access & customise the OS, & you can access games you've bought from other content platforms (if compatible with the OS and HW).

    On the topic of games, Atari have confirmed that the console will come preloaded both with classic Atari titles, and with current-generation titles "from a range of studios". The company hopes to reveal information on the titles in the coming weeks.

    Atari's announcement also put heavy emphasis on the company's desire to have the Atari community "be part of this launch. We want you to have early access, grab special editions (& pricing) and to have you as active partners in the rollout of Ataribox." To this extent, the company has announced that the console will undergo an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, planned to launch "very soon". Atari claim that the Ataribox is currently planned to retail for an expected price range of $249-$299, depending on "specific editions and memory configurations". Fans fawning over the previously-announced Atari 2600-homaging wood-based design will also be pleased to hear that this edition of the console will be made with "real wood".

    The Ataribox is planned to ship in late Spring 2018. We'll have more news as it gets revealed.

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2017
    Acknowledgements: Atari Logo and some quoted text (C) Atari
    Some Rights Reserved
    Jun
    26
    2017

    Nintendo confirm SNES-flavoured sequel to Nintendo Classic Mini line

    Nintendo made waves last year when, near the holiday season, it released the NES Classic Mini – a miniaturised facsimile of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, with 30 classic games built-in. Though the console was only available for a few months – with most selling out – before being discontinued by Nintendo as a "limited edition product", even before its discontinuation, rumours were swirling about a potential sequel based on the NES's successor console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – often shortened to "Super NES" or just "SNES".

    Well fans, the wait is over. Nintendo has confirmed the rumours, announcing that a SNES-flavoured sequel IS indeed in production and will be hitting European and American Nintendo fans very soon!

    Official banner showing off the European Super Nintendo Entertainment System, courtesy Nintendo UK.

    Like the NES Classic Mini, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a miniaturised replica of the Super NES console, seemingly with the localised styling for its region. For us Europeans, that means the sleek and svelte curved chassis embellished on its top-right corner with the four-colour Super NES emblem; Americans will receive the blocky, squarish design with purple buttons that was released in that region. It's not yet clear if the controllers – of which two will be included in every pack – will follow suit. Also included in the package will be a HDMI cable, allowing the classic games to be enjoyed in Full HD for the first time; and a USB cable for power. Annoyingly, the European package will NOT include an AC Adaptor in the box, meaning that if you don't have a powered USB port on your TV, you will need to pay extra for an adaptor to plug it into the mains.

    The less sleek, but still attractive US Edition of the SNES Classic Mini, alongside its controllers (courtesy Nintendo of America)

    But what about the games? While the SNES Classic Mini will feature a smaller software library to its predecessor – containing just 21 games compared to the NES Mini's 30, the titles on offer still give a diverse range of single- and multi-player games comprising many of the original console's favourite titles. All but one of these titles will be available straight off the bat, and all of the titles will be based on their original 60Hz American releases – even in the European edition. For example, Contra III: The Alien Wars, which was remade in Europe as Super Probotector: Alien Rebels, will go back to the original US version for both region's consoles. Star Fox (originally released as Starwing in Europe) and Final Fantasy III (which is actually Final Fantasy VI in the original Japanese numbering scheme, as the actual 3-5 were not released in US originally) also keep their US names.

    Games available from the start:

    • Contra III: The Alien Wars
    • Donkey Kong Country
    • EarthBound
    • Final Fantasy III
    • F-ZERO
    • Kirby Super Star
    • Kirby's Dream Course
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
    • Mega Man X
    • SECRET of MANA
    • Star Fox
    • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
    • Super Castlevania IV
    • Super Ghouls'n Ghosts
    • Super Mario Kart
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
    • Super Mario World
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
    • Super Metroid
    • Super Punch-Out!!

    While all the games listed above are available out of the box, Nintendo has also tucked in one final tasty treat. By playing one level of Star Fox, a twenty-first, exclusive game will be unlocked: Star Fox 2! This sequel to the original Star Fox, also originally intended for the SNES, was cancelled just prior to its original launch in all regions, and although it has since been leaked and made available illegally online as a ROM, the game has never been officially released by Nintendo – until now!

    The SNES Classic Edition will hit both Europe and America on September 29, 2017 with a suggested retail price of $79.99 in America; while Nintendo UK has it listed at £69.99 at time of writing. Other European prices are still to be confirmed.

    Jun
    06
    2017

    Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX

    The official logo for the Pokémon franchise internationally

    As is customary for Nintendo, overnight fans of Pokémon were surprised by the sudden announcement of a Pokémon Direct scheduled for 3pm British time today, with the promise of news of “future entries in the franchise”. Lasting just 8 minutes, the Pokémon Direct was a short and sweet affair, making three major announcements without going into detail about any of them – but here’s a summary of what we DID see.

    Pokkén Tournament DX

    As many people likely expected, Nintendo is bringing a Pokémon game to the Switch, although it’s not a main series RPG as many had hoped. Following in the footsteps of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, another of the most popular games on the Wii U, Pokkén Tournament, is coming to the Switch in an upgraded form. Pokkén Tournament DX will be bringing the popular Tekken-inspired Pokémon beat-em-up to the Switch on September 22, 2017, augmenting the original 14-Pokémon cast (and two additional alternative forms) with additional characters such as Darkrai, Scizor, Empoleon, Croagunk, and Decidueye. Three-on-three team battles are also being introduced to the DX release, alongside online ranked matches and friend-only group fights.

    Gold and Silver on Virtual Console

    On the same day, Nintendo will also be re-releasing the second generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Gold and Silver, to the 3DS Virtual Console. The last Pokémon games before the modern GBA and DS era, Gold and Silver allowed players to traverse both Kanto and Johto on their hunt to catch all 251 Pokémon across both regions and beat the 16 gyms. Famously remade for the DS as HeartGold and SoulSilver with many enhancements, the original games will now be re-introduced to the modern generation as eShop exclusives on September 22, 2017; and like the Red, Blue and Yellow Virtual Console releases, will also support Pokémon Bank, allowing you to import your Pokémon into Sun and Moon to bring them to the latest Generation. Check out the announcement trailer below:

    Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" /> Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" />

    Unlike the original games, there is no word yet as to whether transfers between the Red/Blue/Yellow VC releases and that of Gold and Silver will be possible – but we wouldn’t put it past Nintendo to have thought of this too, so watch this space for updates.

    Ultra Sun and Moon

    Perhaps the biggest announcement of all though is the reveal of the next main series titles. On November 17, 2017 Nintendo will release to Pokémon fans worldwide Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, promising new monsters not found in the original releases and a different story, along with new features that, according to the video, “will allow you to enjoy your adventure even more, making this truly an ‘ultra’ title”. Details were scarce, with only ten seconds of footage shown, but there is a strong suggestion that the new titles will be a sequel/upgrade to the current generation Sun and Moon games, in a similar fashion to how Pokémon Black and White were later followed up by Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 (commonly referred to by fans as Black 2 and White 2).

    No doubt by now you’ll be wanting to watch these other announcements yourself as well, so enjoy the official announcement trailer below; and don’t forget to check back here for all your latest Pokémon and other gaming news!

    Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" /> Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" />
    Jan
    30
    2017

    Pac-Man Creator and Founder of Namco passes away

    It was announced earlier today that the creator of Pac-Man and founder of Namco (now Namco Bandai Games Incorporated), Masaya Nakamura, has died at the ripe old age of 91. A major pioneer of early video games, without whom many Arcade stalwarts would not exist and who even companies like Nintendo owe a debt to, his life saw him go from humble beginnings to one of the most successful video game legacies in history.

    I ask everyone to join me in paying their respects. You can post your messages of tribute in the comments below, or on the Forum Thread I have created for the purpose.

    Nov
    08
    2016

    Is Pokémon GO About To Expand Its Pokédex?

    Pokémon GO has proven popular with nostalgic Android and iPhone users worldwide, and Niantic has shown a strong willingness to maintain that popularity with special events, daily rewards and other updates – but for many players, one thing has held back the game's fun. With the game's Pokédex currently limited only to Pokémon from the original crop of 151 First-Generation species (and no Legendaries or Ditto), many Players have already exhausted all there is to catch. However, there's evidence this is finally about to change.

    Data miners from The Silph Road, looking at the most recent v0.45.0 release of Pokémon GO on Android, claim to have found references to the names of all 100 Pokémon from the franchise's Second Generation – from Chikorita to Celebi. However, while the Pokémon may be referenced, the game currently lacks models for the additional 100 Pokémon or any data for their movesets, suggesting that a full Johto-flavoured update is still a while away.

    There may be one Pokémon coming in even sooner though: Ditto. The only non-legendary from the first 151 not available in-game, Ditto has so far been held back from Pokémon GO due its single attack, Transform. After all, coding a Pokémon that can transform into other Pokémon is a tough job. However, v0.45.0 introduces new code for the move, complete with its own in-battle animation, suggesting that Niantic may be planning to introduce Ditto's special move – and possibly Ditto itself – very soon. If so, it would mark the first new move since the game's release.

    Would the introduction of Johto-era Pokémon to Pokémon GO excite you? And what about Ditto? Sound off in our comments!

    Apr
    27
    2016

    Nintendo announce planned launch date, Zelda game for NX

    Over a year since it was first teased, we still don’t know what it looks like, plays like, or even what its final name will be – and Nintendo don’t plan to spill the beans until later this year. But now, thanks to a Tweet by Nintendo of America (based on information discreetly hidden in Nintendo of Japan’s annual financial report), we DO finally have one piece of concrete information about the upcoming Nintendo “NX” console – it’s launch date:

    March 2017. Just under a year away from the date of this article’s publication. For Nintendo, however, the launch likely can’t come soon enough. The Wii U has failed to resonate with players, with the GamePad being seen as a gimmick and games such as Splatoon and Bayonetta not doing enough to pull people on side; and the console’s lack of power compared to the XBox One and PS4 has seen its third-party support dwindle into near-nothingness. That Nintendo has taken a hit for the console’s failure was apparent in the annual fiscal report, revealing that Nintendo as a whole made 45.3 billion yen less in the last 12 months than the previous financial year, though this still equates to 504.5 billion yen or roughly £3.116 billion British Pounds.

    Importantly, however, Nintendo’s operating income came in at 32.8 billion yen last year, an increase of 8 billion yen. The company predicts that its move towards smartphones, combined with the launch of the NX, will pay off in the next year and aim to hit 45 billion yen in operating income by the end of the 2016/17 financial year.

    Of course, Nintendo may also have another ace in the sleeve to get people back on-side – a dynamite launch title. Nintendo also announced today, in a separate announcement to the fans, that the long-awaited Zelda Wii U title has once again been delayed to 2017, for “further quality testing”; and that the game will now launch simultaneously for both the Wii U and the NX – meaning that a new Zelda title may well be a launch title for the next console as well as a swansong for the current generation, paralleling the launch of Twilight Princess for Wii and GameCube ten years ago. 2017 may well be an interesting year for Nintendo fans.

    This article first appeared on Sanitarium.FM

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