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Grand Theft Auto IV

Teen jailed for ARMED ROBBERY says he and pals had been inspired by Grand Theft Auto

An Australian gamer will be jailed for two years for armed robbery after using the novel defence that he and his friends had been trying to re-enact the game Grand Theft Auto while drunk. He pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge. Kristian Allan Coulter Scott was one of three men who held up a service station last year …
Xbox One

After 13 year console ban Xbox One set for official launch in China

Microsoft has confirmed that its Xbox One games console will be officially launching in China. The company said that it will be formally releasing its console in September in what Microsoft is touting as a "first of its kind" console release for the Chinese market. The launch will be co-sponsored by BesTV New Media, who already …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Apr 2014
Streetfighter 2: Chun Li kicks things off

Why two-player games > online gaming: See your pal's shock as you bag a last-second victory

Game Theory The petulant slap of a velvet glove across a rival’s cheek – the centuries-old prelude to a duel to the death between gentlemen. To the victor, the promise of a wrong righted and, quite possibly, the hand of a buxom beauty. For the defeated, nothing but dishonour, or else the cold embrace of the grave. Kubrick classic: Barry …
Mike Plant, 29 Apr 2014
Screenshot of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600

Lost treasure of Atari REVEALED

Yes, Atari really did bury lots of cartridges for a dud game titled E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in a New Mexico landfill, according to film-makers who broke out the heavy digging equipment late last week. A recap for the uninitiated: In 1983, as The New York Times reported, Atari secured the rights to turn E.T. the Extra- …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2014
Denmark Minecraft map

Minecraft players can now download Denmark – all of it – in 1:1 scale

Players of the popular sandbox world Minecraft have a new landscape to roam over, as the Danish government put a representation of the entire country in 1:1 scale online for download. Denmark Minecraft map The Nyhavn district of Copenhagen in Minecraft mode "All of Denmark is now a virtual world in the ratio 1:1 inside the …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2014
Nintendo Game Boy screen

Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!

On April 21st, 1989, Nintendo introduced a handheld system which would go on to become the best selling games system of the 20th century. The original Game Boy made its debut in Japan on that day, and for the next decade the chunky off-white handheld would become an essential accessory to a generation of gamers. Many of us who …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Apr 2014

WTF happened to Pac-Man?

Antique Code Show During the finale of this season’s King of the Nerds, one of the nerd challenges was to complete the first level of Pac-Man in a set time. I was delighted to see they were playing the original arcade version, albeit on an iPad. Pac-Man: original and best? Pac-Man: original and best? Pac-Man is 34 years old this year. With the …
Lucy Orr, 21 Apr 2014

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime

Quick review Hearthstone is a game that I've been a bit obsessed with lately. Hearthstone is a free game from Blizzard for PC and iPad. Free to play to be specific, but there is definitely no requirement to actually pay money – I'll get into why later. Using World of Warcraft themes and art style, it's an online turn-based card game. No, …
Adam Fowler, 17 Apr 2014

AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'

AMD has unveiled a massively powerful, water-cooled graphics card that it says "manhandles today's and tomorrow's games in maximum settings at 4K resolution." AMD R9 295X2 graphics card with cooling system Two fans and a closed-loop cooling system keep the AMD Radeon R9 295X2 from melting down "The AMD Radeon R9 295X2 …
Rik Myslewski, 8 Apr 2014
Half Life

Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

Forget hyper-realistic blood and pointless mayhem: if you want to turn a nice person into a blood-gore-veins-in-the-teeth killer, give them a video game with unplayable controls. That's the hypothesis put forward by researchers from the University of Rochester (US) and University of Oxford (UK), who, intrigued by the phenomenon …

Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades

Monday was a busy day for the gaming guys and gals at Nvidia, with the release of a new beta DirectX 11 driver, version 2.0 of the multi-talented GeForce Experience gaming enhancer, and an update to the company's Shield mobile gaming device that includes Android 4.4.2, aka KitKat. "Our new 337.50 Beta driver enhances the …
Rik Myslewski, 8 Apr 2014
Amazon Fire TV and controller

Amazon stuffs games into Fire TV box: Soz, rivals... WE don't need to make cash on hardware

Amazon moved last week to join Apple, Google and Roku as a player in the OTT Set Top space – releasing a box that gives it control of Over The Top TV experiences in the home. Its core aim is to be able to sell video that goes to a traditional TV, without lining the pockets of one of its rivals. What Amazon unveiled is called …
Faultline, 7 Apr 2014

Five-year-old discovers Xbox password bug, hacks dad's Live account

A five-year-old boy has found and exploited a password flaw in his Xbox to hack into his father's Xbox Live account. Still of Kristoffer playing on the Xbox Look out, Mitnick ... Kristoffer Von Hassel on his Xbox (Credit: ABC 10 / KGTV) The parents of Kristoffer Von Hassel, from Ocean Beach in San Diego, California, noticed …
Iain Thomson, 4 Apr 2014
TitanFall

Titanfall pits man against machine, Kiefer Sutherland Snakes into Metal Gear Solid V

Game Theory Long have I wondered why franchises such as Battlefield and Call of Duty bother to include a single player entrée aside the multiplayer main course. The solo campaign might provide action set pieces to demo at E3 and subsequently showcase on adverts, but if it was missing would anyone really care? Titanfall EA has decided to …
Mike Plant, 4 Apr 2014
Titanfall

Titanfall, shoot-'em-up gamers, cloudy contracts and cattle

Sysadmin blog A "servers are cattle, not pets", DevOps-style approach is the only feasible way for a small number of people to run modern cloud-scale data centres. Small teams running large server farms are necessary to grind down costs so as to keep up with the Amazon-fearing race to the bottom. But even when cloud computing works exactly as …
Trevor Pott, 1 Apr 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Nadella names his Xbox and Cloud OVERLORDS

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has made two important albeit expected appointments to his executive team. The big cheese announced on Monday that his company will remove the "interim" from Scott Guthrie's role as interim executive vice-president of cloud and enterprise. Phil Spencer, the boss of in-house games developer …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Mar 2014
Dizzy ZX Spectrum screenshot

Brit game devs WILL get tax relief for, er, EastEnders Game and Legend of Slough

Brussels has given its blessing to a Westminster scheme which will grant generous tax breaks to small video game production firms which pass a controversial "cultural test". The European Commission launched an enquiry into the government's tax plans last year because it didn't think the booming games industry really needed a …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Mar 2014

Molyneux: Working at Microsoft is 'like taking antidepressants'

Game Developers Conference Legendary game producer Peter Molyneux has claimed that working on Microsoft is like being dosed up on antidepressants. The Populous creator launched a bizarre attack on the corporate safety net offered to Microsoft workers – claiming that life at an indie developer is more creative. Molyneux freed himself from Redmond's grasp …
Jasper Hamill, 27 Mar 2014
Thief

Hey frumious Reg gamers: BANG-or-SNATCH? We look at Second Son and Thief

Game Theory This month we tackle to games at polar opposites of the ends of the subtlety spectrum. First up is Infamous: Second Son, a game that pitches a super-charged hero (or villain) into the midst of Seattle and begs him to explode things. Then there’s the shadowy stealth of Thief, as Garrett once more gets to grips with robbing from …
Mike Plant, 27 Mar 2014
Lego Minecraft

No Notch niche: Minecraft man in rift with Oculus after Facebook gobble

Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson has used the occasion of Mark Zuckerberg's acquisition of Oculus VR to unload on the boy wonder's Facebook – and bid farewell to the Rift virtual-reality headset team. Perhaps at least a little miffed that Zuck's personal shoppers arrived a few weeks into an investigation about whether a …

Calling all games developers to a Cloud Gaming Summit

Promo So what does the cloud mean for games developers? The Cloud Gaming Summit is an excellent place to find out. This two-day free conference takes place in London’s Whitechapel on 26 and 27 March and is organised by the trade group UKIE in association with Microsoft. Games developers are invited to sign up for one or both days. …
David Gordon, 21 Mar 2014

Microsoft DirectX 12 pushes gaming code closer to GPU bare metal

GDC Microsoft has unveiled DirectX 12, at the heart of which is the Direct3D API, which Redmond promises will enable "richer scenes, more objects, and full utilization of modern GPU hardware" – and which will run on "many" cards that gamers already own. "What makes Direct3D 12 better?" Microsoft's Matt Sandy asked in a blog post. …
Rik Myslewski, 20 Mar 2014

EA games web server was hosting PHISHING SITE – securobod

An Electronic Arts server was hacked and used to host a phishing site targeting Apple ID holders, according to internet security firm Netcraft. The site has since been pulled down and EA has told various news sites that it is "investigating" the report. Netcraft security expert Paul Mutton posted on the company's blog that the …

Crap flap-app flap chap yaps: Yes, FLAPPY BIRD is comin' back

The reluctant app mogul behind the viral hit Flappy Bird has given a clear "yes" to bringing the infuriating game back from the dead. In a tweet posted this week, developer Dong Nguyen said his game will be returning to Apple's App Store, albeit not right now. @painfullpacman Yes. But not soon. — Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) March …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Mar 2014

Virtual-reality Dev Kit 2 game goggles by Oculus – now with less vomit!

Virtual reality gaming-goggles maker Oculus has released a new model of its Rift headset for software developers. The company said its Dev Kit 2 unit does a better job of smoothly rendering scenes when the wearer's head is moving around, an improvement that's key to reducing the motion sickness suffered by some users of early …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Mar 2014
Marc Whitten

Ex-Xbox gros fromage joins wireless speaker whizzkids Sonos

Microsoft’s chief Xbox product officer Marc Whitten has joined streaming Wi-Fi speaker biz Sonos as its chief product officer. A note on Xbox Wire said: “The Xbox team is sad to share today that Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Xbox, will be leaving the team to become Chief Product Officer of Sonos.” Whitten joined …
Chris Mellor, 19 Mar 2014
Sony's Morpheus virtual reality headset

Virtual reality? Two can play THAT GAME, says Sony: New headset revealed for the PS4

Pics Sony has revealed Project Morpheus, its virtual-reality headset for the PlayStation 4. Project Morpheus was announced in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, and will offer a five-inch screen and resolution of 1920x1080 for each eye. Details are scanty for now, with Sony declining to offer dates when the device …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2014

OpenGL mobile graphics spec inches closer to desktop, laptop cousin

The Khronos Group has released the OpenGL ES 3.1 specification, bringing closer the day when handheld devices match mainstream desktops and laptops in graphics performance. "The OpenGL family of APIs including OpenGL ES, OpenGL and WebGL have proven themselves as the foundation for 3D graphics on mobile devices, PCs and the Web …
Rik Myslewski, 17 Mar 2014
Dark Souls II knighty knight

It's not just incredibly hard, it's really quite pretty: Dark Souls II

Game Theory I knew there was something eerily familiar about the dead-eyed shuffle of my enemies in Dark Souls II and now I realise they remind me of the huge cannibal giants of Attack on Titan. Shambling to my recurrent death, I am now convinced the less forgiving the game, the greater the elation, sense of achievement and immersion. Dark …
Lucy Orr, 14 Mar 2014

Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I am a very lucky man: Amazon is offering me a 20 per cent discount. The cynics among you might try to claim that everything at Amazon is offered at a 20 per cent discount because of its advantageous tax arrangements but that would be the result of confusion. My 20 per cent discount has nothing to do with VAT being 20 per cent …
Alistair Dabbs, 14 Mar 2014

Nvidia uncloaks GeForce 800M GPU series for gaming notebooks

Nvidia has completely revamped its notebook graphics line with a seven-GPU launch of the new GeForce 800M series, four bearing the GeForce GTX moniker and three sans GTX. Performance-improvement chart comparing Nvidia GeForce GTX 7xx series to GeForce GTX 8xx series The further down the ladder of oomph, the greater the …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Mar 2014
The original Tetris of 1984

Who DOESN'T want to play world's tallest game of Tetris – all 437ft of it

A bunch of academics hope to play the world's tallest game of Tetris next month – on the side of a Philadelphia high-rise. Drexel University computer science professor Frank Lee and his team will turn an array of LED panels on the outside of the 29-story Cira Centre into a display screen that'll be used to play the puzzle game …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Mar 2014

You thought it was dead – but Flappy Bird may return: Millions prepare to poke own eyes out

Dong Nguyen, creator of cult game Flappy Bird, has told Rolling Stone he's got three more games in the works. The magazine travelled to Vietnam to meet Nguyen, who tells the story of Flappy Bird's rise and how he found it hard to appreciate its success. Nguyen also told the magazine he's working on three new games. One is “an …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Mar 2014
Asus' P5E-VM HDMI - Crysis on X1900

Q. Can your Linux PC run Crysis? OK, it can. But will it run natively? A. Soon, very soon

Crytek is adding native Linux support to its powerful computer game engine. The company, best known for PC thumper Crysis and Xbox One launch title Ryse, announced the development on Tuesday. Gamers will be able to see CryENGINE running natively on GNU/Linux-powered systems at the upcoming Game Developer's Conference (GDC) in …
Jack Clark, 11 Mar 2014
South Park: Stick of Truth

'Mommy got me an UltraVibe Pleasure 2000 for Xmas!' South Park: Stick of Truth

Game Theory Over the last few seasons South Park has become a bit of a stinker – and, more often than not, licensed video game adaptations are pretty whiffy too. When I first heard rumblings of South Park: The Stick of Truth I was dubious whether it would be any good, despite assurances that the production was being overseen by the creators …
Lucy Orr, 7 Mar 2014
Elder Scrolls Online preview

Beta tasting: The Elder Scrolls Online preview

Game Theory Up until now, there had been only one MMO in my life, but now I think I might have to become polyamorous. The Elder Scrolls Online beta has had me up every night recently, bashing my way to level 10 so I can PvP in my nifty lava spike armour. During the course of just one week in which players were allowed to try it out, the …
Lucy Orr, 3 Mar 2014
Preview - World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Battling with Blizzard's new WoW expansion and Diablo revamp

Preview Kerrigan is hunting me down and the Zerg are swarming. Praise the Earth Mother – Chen materialises to rescue me with his Brewmaster skills and calm me down with a tankard of Thunderbrew. Am I hallucinating? No, I’m at the EU Blizzard HQ to talk to the development teams behind the new expansions for World of Warcraft: Warlords of …
Lucy Orr, 28 Feb 2014
Viking

Wurm turns! DDoSed online game universe offers €10,000 bounty for the hacker's head

Wurm Online, a popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has been taken offline in a troublesome distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack shortly after updating its software. Now the founders have put up a €10,000 ($13,743) reward for the conviction of those responsible. "Shortly after today's update …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2014

Flappy Bird crosses over into cryptocurrency, big data

The Flappy Bird phenomenon is showing little sign of hitting one last, fatal, pipe as the game has now spawned at least two Bitcoin clones and a big data analysis of gamers' performance. On the cryptocurrency front, Flappycoin Pool, and the still-to-launch Flappycoin.org are battling it out for supremacy, with the latter …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Feb 2014
twitchpokemon

HELL is other people ... Thousands play SAME Pokemon game on TV. Mayhem ensues

Live vid What happens if you take a beloved Gameboy game from the late 1990s and wire up the controls to a 75,000-strong chatroom that anyone can enter? The answer is progress, albeit of the achingly slow form. On Monday, netizens closed in on five straight days of collaboratively playing a modified version of Pokemon Red, lobbing …
Jack Clark, 17 Feb 2014
Nintendo Animal Crossing

Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

Game Theory We dedicated gamers are a plucky bunch, happy to scream from the rafters that graphics aren’t everything and that gameplay is king. Trouble is, you need only look to Nintendo’s current plight to see that 95 per cent of our fellow games players – those who fill server upon server with online Call of Duty and Battlefield sessions …
Mike Plant, 17 Feb 2014
Rayman Revolution

Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

Norwegian convicted mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik has threatened a hunger strike if prison authorities don't upgrade his video game system to a PlayStation 3, among other demands. "You've put me in hell," Breivik wrote to officials in November in a letter obtained by Agence France-Presse, "and I won't manage to survive …
Neil McAllister, 14 Feb 2014