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Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel

Game developer Dong Nguyen, the man behind Flappy Bird, has revealed the name and look of his next game. “Swing Copters” is the new time-waster's moniker and the gameplay, as recorded by toucharcade, looks an awful lot like Flappy Bird turned 90 degrees to the left. The one new element looks to be swinging hammers that mean the …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
Oculus Rift VR system prototype

Oculus sucked by Zuck? 'I'm over it' – Minecraft supremo Notch

The man behind Minecraft says he is warming to the virtual-reality headsets made by Facebook-owned Oculus – and backing off a threat to never port his world-building game to the Rift hardware. Markus "Notch" Persson tweeted that he was "over" the devouring of Oculus by Mark Zuckerberg's web advertising giant. And about now I'm …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Aug 2014
California Games

Wetsuits, sunshine, bikini babes and a competitive streak: Epyx California Games

Antique Code Show California Games from Epyx cooked up a successful franchise with its winning combination of sunshine, grazed shins, wetsuits and bikini babes. Indeed, its well-considered play mechanics, delivered with multiplayer action and some slightly twisted humour, soon cemented its cult classic status in history. Video from 2004 looking …
Giles Hill, 14 Aug 2014
Xbox in 3D

XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

Microsoft has announced that its XBOX One will soon gain the power to play media stored on USB devices and gadgets compatible with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard. Redmond isn't saying just when this will come about, offering only the promise that “A new app will be available soon”. USB support will be …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2014
3D graphics

What's next for OpenGL for the desktop, mobile devices, and the web?

Siggraph 2014 Graphics standards body the Khronos Group has called on industry players to help draft the next generation of the OpenGL spec, a major rewrite that's expected to help unify the OpenGL development model for desktop PCs, mobile devices, and the web. "Fast-paced work on detailed proposals and designs are already underway, and any …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014
Farmville on the iPhone

Farmville maker Zynga delays new games after losing 57 MILLION users

Zynga has slashed its financial forecast for this year and delayed the launch of several new titles after reporting weaker-than-expected second quarter results. The company, best known for its FarmVille game on Facebook, has lost 57 million monthly active users since the same quarter last year, dropping to 130 million from 187 …
android tongue

Multiple user accounts coming to Android phones 'n' slabs

It looks like user accounts are coming to Android. This thread in the Android developer preview mailing list includes a post in which a user asks (with spelling and punctuation anomalies) for something like this: Tablets are able to have multiple accounts for multiple users, allowing the users to install an app only for …
Microsoft's digital TV tuner for European XBOX One

Digital dongle transforms European XBOXen into tellies

Microsoft has announced that European XBOX One owners will soon be able to acquire a digital TV tuner for their games consoles. The ₤24.99 or €29.99 device is pretty simple. Plug one end into a TV antenna. Plug the other into the XBOX. If you don't know which end belongs where, it won't take you long to figure it out. Once you …
US soldiers fire a Javelin missile. Credit: US Army

Google pulls Gaza games from Play store

Google has removed the games Bomb Gaza and Gaza Assault: Code Red from its Play app store. The games tasked players with destroying Hamas combatants and rockets without killing civilians, and have been criticised as glorifying violence. Unlike Apple, which pre-approves all games on iTunes, Google does not have a rigorous …
Simon Rockman, 5 Aug 2014

BANGKOK-BLOCKED: Thailand's dictators 'ban dictator sim Tropico 5'

Thailand's censorious military junta has banned Tropico 5, a game in which players assume the role of a censorious dictatorial ruler. That's according to a report by the Associated Press: the game's Thai distributor told the news wire that the nation's Culture Ministry blocked the city-building title from sale on Monday. …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Aug 2014

What the FLOCK? Addictive 'Flappy Bird' is back – and it's coming for your family

Pic Infuriating yet stupidly popular crapp Flappy Bird has officially returned, it appears – and it's now a multi-player game called Flappy Birds Family. It's available for free for Amazon's set-top box, the Android-based Fire TV. According to its app store listing, the software was built by Dotgears Studio, aka Flappy Bird creator …
Naughty Dog - The Last of Us Remastered

Coming to a console near you: Destiny beta and The Last of Us Remastered

Game Theory During my time with the Destiny beta I’ve veered from game to game in a bid to nail down exactly what it is that Destiny reminds me of most. Activision Destiny Beta Character classes: suits you At first that game was Halo and no prizes for guessing why. Not only is Destiny built by Halo’s creator, Bungie, but with its sci-fi …
Mike Plant, 31 Jul 2014
Wii U

Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle

Nintendo is reeling after it posted a $96m loss on the quarter to June 30. The Mario maker said that the quarter, its first of the fiscal year, brought total sales of 74.69bn Yen ($726m), down 8.4 per cent over last year's quarter, and a net income loss of 9.92bn Yen ($96m) compared to a 8.62bn profit last year. That eyebrow- …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jul 2014
PlayStation Network

Sony tries to make PlayStation Network hack row go away with $15m in cash and games

Sony has offered a $15m settlement to gamers after its PlayStation Network (PSN) was comprehensively pwned, but it refuses to admit that it was at fault. In April 2011 the Japanese giant was forced to shut down PSN after hackers got into its system and pillaged user accounts for information. While credit card information was …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jul 2014
Nvidia Shield Tablet

Shields up! Nvidia crams Tegra K1 into gaming slab to rival your PS3

Nvidia is touting a new 8-inch, Tegra K1-powered Android tablet as a gaming gadget for hardcore players. The graphics biz said its Shield slab was designed to offer punters high-end games performance on the move, with support for Android games and streaming PC titles when connected to desktops with Nvidia's GameStream tech. …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2014

Games industry set for $5 BILLION haircut, warn beancounters

The computer games industry is set to see its revenues slip from $46.5bn this year to $41bn by 2019, a new study from Juniper Research has claimed. That's about a 12 per cent drop over the next five years. A new market forecast probing the PC and console games market also predicted that consoles will lose market share, with 50 …
Jasper Hamill, 22 Jul 2014

Microsoft's Black Thursday: XBox Live goes down as XBox Studio canned

Microsoft's Xbox Live gaming service fell offline this afternoon, San Francisco time, and remained down for at least a couple of hours. The US giant reported that access to its Xbox Live Core Services and TV, Music and Video services were "limited". "We understand that some of our members are running into issues when attempting …
Jack Clark, 17 Jul 2014

Ex-despot Noriega sues: How dare Call of Duty make me look like, like...

Brutal former Central American dictator Manuel Noriega is mimicking a Hollywood starlet by launching legal proceedings against a computer games designer for using his likeness in a popular franchise. Noriega is suing Activision for "blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain" of his image in …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Jul 2014

Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0

Dungeons & Dragons is BAAAACK – and it's brought a freemium business model with it. The venerable game was re-released yesterday, with a new Starter Pack reaching retailers and offering a rulebook for players, an “adventure book” for dungeon masters plus a handful of dice to get things going. The $19.99 kit is not, however, …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2014
Atari Games: Gauntlet

Running the Gauntlet: Atari's classic ... now and then

Antique Code Show Rumours of a new version of the Atari classic Gauntlet at E3 took me straight back to the arcade circa 1985. I remember being dwarfed as a preteen by the fearsome presence of Gauntlet’s massive cabinet. It dominated the arcade and the rest of the machines in the room with its huge screen and impressive multicoloured keypad. …
Lucy Orr, 16 Jul 2014

'We screwed up' sighs Sony bigwig after gaming portals collapse in DNS cock-up riddle

A couple of Sony's websites disappeared from the internet on Tuesday, leading some angry console fiddlers to accuse the Japanese giant of forgetting to pay its domain name bills. The websites www.soe.com and www.SonyOnline.net serve as portals to Sony Online Entertainment's gaming world, allowing players to take part in games …
Jasper Hamill, 16 Jul 2014
HP SlateBook 14

Reg hardware hunter spots HP SlateBook 14 Android in the wild

Pics July isn’t over yet and so it follows, neither is, er, marketing Christmas*. This time Currys/PC World was playing host to this summer PR tech fest that showcases products that’ll be in stores leading up to festive season. Push aside the wrapping paper and ribbons and with any luck you’ll spot an early outing of a product or …
Bob Dormon, 14 Jul 2014
Angry Birds pig

Apple rats on Google to FTC: You thought WE were in-app-ropriate?

Apple turned in Google to the Federal Trade Commission for the same in-app purchase issues for which the iPhone-maker itself had been criticised, according to a report in Politico. Earlier this year, the FTC started cracking down on iPhone and iPad apps that allowed kids to spend their parents’ hard-earned dosh without their …
Destiny

Prepare yourself for PlayStation pr0n: Sony shows off PS 4 beta-fest

Pics It has been out in Japan since November, but Sony’s PlayStation TV is due in the UK this autumn and Sony was waving around a few of its game streaming boxes in London last week. The Japanese firm also presented a range of forthcoming games – most still in beta – along with that unicorn of gaming, a white PS4. Sony PlayStation 4 …
Bob Dormon, 8 Jul 2014
Valiant Hearts

Battle ready: Valiant Hearts and Company of Heroes: Western Front

Game Theory Later this month we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Europe's plunge into the deadly turmoil of World War I. Valiant Hearts War stories The role of dogs in the Great War was varied – sniffing out explosives and lugging equipment are just two of their tasks that spring to mind – but I can presume they played a much …
Lucy Orr, 8 Jul 2014

Girl gamers sexism row: Top e-sports federation finds reverse gear

The International E-Sports Federation (IESF), an organisation that promotes computer games as sport and organises tournaments around the world, has decided it will no longer operate separate contests for men and women. Instead, the outfit has abolished its male division in favour of an “Open for All” division and a “Female” …
Grand Theft Auto Lindsay Lohan lookalike

Lindsay Lohan sues Grand Theft Auto V makers for 'using her image'

Actress Lindsay Lohan is suing game devs Rockstar and Take-Two for allegedly copying her into their Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV) game. Grand Theft Auto Lindsay Lohan lookalike Lohan claims that the character of the rather vapid actress "Lacey Jonas" in the game amounts to using her likeness without permission and has accused …
Angry Birds Valentines

Hate phone games that make you buy in-app gumble? Congrats, you're a niche player

The mobile games sector will swell in value by more than a third over the next two years, a new report from Juniper Research has claimed. According to its figure, the sector will be worth a mammoth $28.9 billion, up almost 38 percent on the $20.9bn it is apparently worth now. The report, titled Mobile & Handheld Games: Discover …
Jasper Hamill, 18 Jun 2014
Microsoft Kinect

Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

Xbox One users are complaining that Microsoft's newest ad for the console is randomly activating their systems. The advertisement in question features television star Aaron Paul navigating the console via voice commands. The Breaking Bad star speaks praise of the console while enjoying a game of Titanfall and a bit of television …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jun 2014
Elite: Dangerous

Live Chat: Elite brains David Braben OBE answers YOUR Qs

Live Chat On 17 June at 2:30pm BST, legendary gaming dev David Braben – who just this weekend was made an OBE for the work he has done for Blighty's video game and computer industries – answered your questions on Elite, the Raspberry Pi and how software development has changed. Youtube Video Braben is famous as the co-author of Elite, …
Simon Rockman, 13 Jun 2014
Sunset Overdrive

Waiting gamer slams no-show show: E3 – was that it?

Game Theory Bloodborne, No Man's Sky, Evolve, Rainbox Six: Siege, D4, Alien: Isolation, Sunset Overdrive, Witcher 3 and Inside. Call me a hipster, but this short list is made up of the scant few games that I was genuinely excited from this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gamerfest better known as E3. Youtube Video My overwhelming …
Mike Plant, 13 Jun 2014
Assassin's Creed: Revelations

Women are too expensive to draw and code – Ubisoft

Ubisoft's creative director Alex Amancio has stirred up another row over sexism in the gaming industry by saying the studio's new game, Assassin's Creed Unity, doesn't feature any female characters because it would have been too much of an effort to create them. Amancio's opinion emerged in this video interview posted by gaming …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jun 2014
Alienware Steam Machine

Alienware says it WILL ship a Steam Machine in 2014 – running Windows

High-end gaming PC vendor Alienware says it will still put out a Steam Machine console this year, even if it can't ship it with Valve's vaunted mega-controller – and it won't arrive running SteamOS. The Dell division's console, now officially dubbed the Alienware Alpha, still looks very much like the design that was revealed in …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2014
Elder Scrolls online - Breton in Stormhaven

Fantastic fantasy four-way fling – and family-friendly fun

Game Theory I'm 300 pages into Brandon Sanderson's Words of Radiance from The Storm Light Archive and I have decided it’s the best fantasy book I've ever read. On Sunday nights I drag my eyes from the page to watch the fourth series of Game of Thrones – I’m all about fantasy at the moment, just call me Lucy Targaryen, Mother of Ferrets. …
Lucy Orr, 6 Jun 2014
Tetris on Game Boy

Happy Birthday Tetris: It's flipping 30

Antique Code Show Forget the oil, forget the gas – even forget the aggressive foreign policy. The commodity that granted Russia its modern day super-wealth is clearly Tetris, which clocks up its 30th birthday today. Youtube Video Poor old beardie Alexey Pajitnov – the title’s original designer and programmer – bashed out his first attempt on a …
Giles Hill, 6 Jun 2014
Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs: Eat, sleep, hack, repeat

Game Theory In preparation for tangling with Watch Dogs, I spent plenty of time revisiting the salty seadogs of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Presuming that one Ubisoft stealth-'em-up might have much in common with the other. Watch Dogs Oh, bollards to this In many ways, the fundamental Watch Dogs gameplay of infiltrate, kill and …
Mike Plant, 30 May 2014
Steam engine

Valve says no Steam Machines until 2015, fingers crossed

Video-game kingpin Valve has announced that its Steam Machine console hardware will likely be delayed by as much as a year, owing to ongoing development of the device's ambitious controller. In a blog post on Tuesday, Valve developer Eric Hope said that a private beta program using prototype versions of the wireless controller …
Neil McAllister, 29 May 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft's 'CEO of no' on Xbox: NO SALE

Microsoft’s new chief executive has told us what he’s not going to do - sell Bing or Xbox - but not what is he going to do. So far, all we’re hearing is a lot of "no". Speaking at a technology event in California, Nadella has been reported and quoted on Twitter to have ruled out the sale of both Xbox and Bing. On Xbox, Nadella …
Gavin Clarke, 28 May 2014

'I found the whole idea of an alien very exciting until it demanded all of my weed'

Quotw This was the week when eBay admitted it had suffered a ginormous breach exposing millions of users’ emails and passwords to hackers, along with personal information like names, dates of birth, phone numbers and physical addresses. Although passwords were apparently encrypted, the online tat bazaar told everyone to change their …
Xbox One

Microsoft to release epic Xbox One update in June

“Major Nelson”, aka Microsoft's director of programming for Xbox Live Larry Hryb, has let it be known that a June update to Microsoft's don't call it just agaming console will be able to access external storage. “Your Xbox One system will soon support up to two external hard drives at once,” Nelson/Hyrb has written. “Simply plug …
Simon Sharwood, 23 May 2014
Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein: The New Order ... BLAM-BLAM! That guard did Nazi that coming

Game Theory I doubt very much when Philip K. Dick wrote The Man in the High Castle that he imagined the very same subject matter could be dealt with in such a rip-roaring, gore splattering, dual-wielding romp. The victorious Nazis are no match for Wolfenstein's B.J. Blazkowicz. Wolfenstein: The New Order Wolfenstein: The New Order – a dual …
Lucy Orr, 22 May 2014

Valve's Steam streaming service lets you play games on the toilet

Games maker Valve has launched Steam In-Home Streaming, a new service that allows Steam subscribers to view and play games that are running on their primary PCs on devices located anywhere in their homes. "When you log into Steam on two computers on the same network, they automatically connect, allowing you to remotely install, …
Neil McAllister, 22 May 2014