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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
Sony's new PlayStation 4

Sony's PlayStation 4 pwns Xbox in the United States

Sony has claimed an early victory in the next generation console wars after saying it had sold twice as many consoles in the US during January than its arch-rival Microsoft. However, Redmond hit back with the claim that it managed to shift more games than Sony over the same period. This just in: PS4 the #1 selling game console …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Feb 2014

Flappy Bird becomes massively multiplayer PHOENIX

This week's technology topic everyone knows something about, Flappy Bird, has risen like a Phoenix in a new, massively multiplayer version. Flapmmo.com has resurrected the game and also included multiplayer features that let you see not only your own Flappy Bird but also dozens of other players' efforts to navigate a badly-drawn …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Feb 2014
Lego Minecraft

Minecraft developer kills Kickstarted Minecraft movie

Gaming rock star Notch, the man behind the childhood-devouring mega-smash Minecraft, has pulled the plug on a fan movie based on the game. The film, titled “Birth of Man” was to be crowdfunded. A Kickstarter begging page started off well enough, gathering a little over ten per cent of its $US600,000 goal. But things went …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Feb 2014

Gamers in a flap as Vietnamese dev pulls Flappy Bird

The Vietnamese developer of hugely popular smartphone game Flappy Bird hit the self-destruct button on the title over the weekend after complaining that it had ruined his life. In a message that has now been retweeted over 135,000 times, Hanoi-based Dong Nguyen wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday: “I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Feb 2014
Earthworm Jim

Android console on the way? Amazon slurps gamehaus Double Helix

Amazon has bought a video games studio called Double Helix, fuelling rumours that it will soon release its own branded console. The High Street Herod has already done its bit to hobble the book and record shop sectors. Now it may have its sights on putting the boot into former console kings Nintendo, or even trying to nibble …
Jasper Hamill, 6 Feb 2014
DayZ survivor game

The revival of survival – the gaming genre that refuses to die

Game Theory In these times of austerity it seems ironic that my free time is being taken up with trying to survive death by hunger and cold. Next I'll be nicked for dumpster diving behind Iceland. I am, of course, in the grips of day 48 of Don't Starve, a perfect gem in the rash of survival games popping up on Steam. Early Access on Steam …
Lucy Orr, 4 Feb 2014

Elite Systems pulls ZX Spectrum games after deluge of 'unpaid royalties' complaints

The owner of Elite Systems Ltd finally broke his silence on Saturday after a number of British game developers for the 1980s 8-bit ZX Spectrum home computer claimed that Steve Wilcox had failed to pay royalties owed to them. As The Register reported on Friday, Wilcox, 44, raised more than £60,000, via a Kickstarter campaign, to …
Kelly Fiveash, 3 Feb 2014
Eve Online mega-battle

EVE Online erects mashed-up memorial to biggest space fight in history

A single missed micropayment sparked off an epic interstellar battle on EVE Online that was so costly the developers have decided to erect a permanent monument to the conflict. EVE Online battle The Titanomachy monument (click to enlarge) CCP Games, the Icelandic firm behind the massively multiplayer online role-playing …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2014
Candy Crush Saga

Devs: We'll bury Candy Crush King under HEAPS of candy apps

Independent game-makers are hoping to inundate Apple's App Store with "candy" games in a demonstration against Candy Crush Saga-maker King for its trademark of the word CANDY. In a rather pointed protest, the developers have launched a game jam to try to get as many app-makers as possible to come up with games using candy, with …
Sinclair ZX Spectrum bluetooth keyboard with Manic Miner Art

ZX Spectrum game devs allege Elite Systems Ltd didn't pay their royalties

A number of British developers who coded games in the 1980s for the 8-bit ZX Spectrum home computer have been complaining about Elite Systems Ltd, alleging it had not made royalty payments due to them. The Lichfield, England-based outfit is run by Steve Wilcox, who describes himself as a producer for the firm, which - according …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 Jan 2014
Don't Starve

HARD ONES: Three new PC games that are BLOODY DIFFICULT

Game Theory Who said modern games are getting easier? Though it’s true that a great many titles pamper us with self-healing armour, paint-by-numbers mission design and handily placed ammo, there are still developers out there who remember the good old days. That was a time when coming into contact with any pixel of a foe – even a big toe – …
Mike Plant, 30 Jan 2014
A detail of the Breaking Bad lab

Google helps out utterly underexposed Lego brand with Chrome toy

Obscure Danish toymaker Lego and advertising kingpin Google have together created a block-building distraction for Chrome browser users. The Build With Chrome plugin lets fans to construct and share their creations online, and uses WebGL to render the board and a simulation of fully functional Lego bricks in hardware-accelerated …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jan 2014
Speedball

Globe grabbin,’ sphere slammin’, orb-tossin’, pill poppin’... Speedball

Antique Code Show When the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST together ruled the home computing scene, video games were a long way from the million dollar money-spinners they have become. Getting public and media attention for a game wasn’t easy, but one of the more effective techniques employed by game designers was to create titles that took ‘ …
Giles Hill, 27 Jan 2014
from http://www.linux.org.ru

Valve showers Debian Linux devs with FREE Steam games

Games vendor Valve has offered a surprise present to the Debian Linux community, in the form of subscriptions that give Debian project members free, unlimited access to all Valve game titles – past, present, and future – forever. According to a message posted to a Debian mailing list on Thursday, the offer is open to all Debian …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jan 2014
Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush dev stuffs EU 'candy' trademark down gob

Updated The company behind the wildly successful Candy Crush Saga mobile games franchise already has its mitts on the European trademark for the word "candy" and is now awaiting approval for its application for the same thing in the US. "We have trademarked the word 'CANDY' in the EU, as our IP is constantly being infringed and we have …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jan 2014
Ouya

We see ya, Ouya, you tasty Android games console gear

Review The Powers That Be at El Reg originally asked me to take a shufty at the Ouya gaming box when it first launched in the middle of 2013. I demurred. It seemed obvious to me at the time that the success or failure of this Kickstarter poster child would depend entirely on the enthusiasm with which game makers and the wider developer …
Alun Taylor, 22 Jan 2014
Xbox One and chum

Wow, gamers on YouTube really love the Xbox One. It's like they were paid to say that (Hint: they are)

Updated Microsoft has admitted it promised to slip hard coin to gamers who upload favorable reviews of its Xbox One console to YouTube. So-called "influencers" who talk up the new gear via the Machinima channel are promised $3 per 1,000 views of their footage, up to a maximum of 1,250,000 global views or $3,750. The offer was revealed …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jan 2014

Players, insert coin: PlayStation 4, Xbox One top up AMD's coffers

AMD's provision of processors for Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 consoles appear to have worked its magic on the chip maker's bottom line. The company's revenue for its fourth quarter of 2013 came in just above analysts' estimates, and significantly above its earnings for the same quarter in its previous fiscal …
Rik Myslewski, 21 Jan 2014
Wii U

Ninten-DOH! Japanese giant slashes Wii U sales forecasts by 70%

It was once the king of consoles, but the formerly mighty Nintendo has been forced to admit that sales of its flagship Wii U are likely to flop. The Japanese firm has issued a grim profit warning in which it slashed its global Wii U sales forecast for 2014 by almost 70 per cent. Nintendo now expects to shift just 2.8 million …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Jan 2014

Valve gives Oculus Rift a whirl with SteamVR mode

Valve is trialing support for the Oculus Rift in its Steam platform. The company told developers that a new mode in the Steam Client Beta tool will allow for the addition of support for the virtual reality headsets. Dubbed SteamVR, the navigation mode will allow users to run the Steam interface with their dev kit Oculus Rift …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2014
Walking Dead

ASSAULT CORSE: Eager Walking Dead heads get a second series

Game Theory Ah, the post-Christmas lull. The time of year to take time to reflect on the year just gone and plan for the one ahead. Traditionally, January is also a quiet month for the games industry, and this year’s new releases are similarly sparse. Thank the god of apps then, that nowadays games come thick and fast down our internet …
Mike Plant, 14 Jan 2014
Troll in cross hairs

Nintendo: We didn't just slay Wii Fit 'troll', we've now gobbled its patents

"Patent troll" InterActive (IA) Labs not only tried to sue Nintendo and lost: it's now had its patent portfolio bought by the gaming giant in a sheriff's sale. The fun began in 2010, when Maryland-based US peripheral maker IA filed suit alleging that Nintendo infringed its fitness gadget and exercise sensor patents by …
SimCity

Remember when SimCity ABSOLUTELY HAD to be online? Not any more – fancy that!

Gamers will soon be able to play Maxis's SimCity offline – despite the company's earlier insistence that the game absolutely had to be connected to the internet to work. The turnaround was announced by Maxis studio manager Patrick Buechner in a blogpost on Sunday. He said Update 10 for the latest installment of the long-running …
Jack Clark, 13 Jan 2014
Virtual Valerie

Twitter: It's JUST LIKE Elder Scrolls (no it's not)

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Life is a game. This is what I learnt from the swishy-haired man on the TV in the early hours over Christmas. Society has become so saturated with computer gaming conventions that everyday existence is played out across social media apps like so many levels of Pong. Charlie Brooker, for it was he, was delivering the closing …
Alistair Dabbs, 10 Jan 2014
Steam engine

No sign of Half-Life 3 but how about FOURTEEN Steam Machine makers?

CES 2014 Valve has used the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to reveal more than a dozen hardware partners that have signed on to build gaming consoles based on its SteamOS gaming platform. The companies that will market the first generation of Steam Machines include Alienware, Alternate, CyberPowerPC, Digital Storm, …