Ever Wondered What’s In Google’s Data Centres?

Google is known for a lot of things but the company was built on data, the storage and searching of information from all over the internet. Typically these things are locked behind closed doors but Google wants to show it all through an eight-minute video tour showing you everything you need to see in Google’s Data Centres.

First off you need security clearance, as even for Google employees the sites are normally locked down. After a small interview regarding all the different bits and systems that help ensure a 24-7 service of their systems. Stepping into the actual data centre requires more than just a pass as you need to get through a circle door locked by an iris scanner as part of the dual authentication.

Through the entire video, you can see how large a data centre is with it giving you just a small glimpse of the building. In an interview with Virginia, one of the people responsible for the network it’s revealed that a single building can support up to 75,000 machines while transmitting over a petabit of data per second.

They even go into detail about how data and drives are removed from the system. First, the drives are wiped only to then be placed in what is essentially a wood chipper designed just for hard drives.

Take the tour in the video below and see for yourself just how big a company Google is and how many steps it takes to protect both companies and customers data. Be warned though the video is a bit of an advert for Google’s cloud platform so it may be a little cheesy at times.

Microsoft Wants to Know If You’ll Sell Back Your Digital Games

With the internet as fast as it is, and people gaining access to bigger and bigger storage options at cheaper prices, it comes as no surprise that people prefer the method of digital delivery for games. Being able to click a button and play a new release only minutes afterwards removes the need to travel to a store, collect a copy (if there is even one in the store) and then return home and wait for it to install. The problem being is returning or selling the copy, something Microsoft is keen to know about for your digital games.

The problem with digital games is that because they have nothing to physically return, companies are often hesitant to offer refunds or returns. Steam, one of the world’s leading digital distribution software’s, only recently updated its terms and conditions to offer returns on a wider scale than the previously accepted “paid and unplayed” model.

As part of their customer survey, Microsoft has recently been asking their users would they sell back their digital games for store credit?

In the question, they give (as an example) that the “sold back” games would give you 10% of their paid value as store credit. Meaning that £50 game would nab you £5 store credit to spend on your next game. Many would argue that 10% is barely anything of the original price while others would argue that it’s better than the games currently filling up your collections collecting digital dust.

What do you think? Would you take the offer and trade in some old games if you were offered 10% store credit?

More Hints Regarding Bioshock Collection on PS4 and Xbox One

We all have those games which you just feel like picking up every now and again to see how you can play it differently, or just to immerse yourself in their world again. One of those games series if the Bioshock series for many. A few months we reported on the fact that a “Bioshock Collection” could be coming to Xbox One and Playstation 4, it would now seem that more information is coming forward with a Brazillian rating board listing a similar title.

With the title of “BIOSHOCK: THE COLLECTION”, the games are listed for release on PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the latest generation of consoles in the form of a Playstation 4 and Xbox One release. With re-releases being the rage these days, bundling together games, their DLC’s and more often than not a graphics update, we could soon see you playing the games in a whole new light.

With games like Gears of War getting HD remakes  amongst a slew of gameplay features, is it really that surprising that 2K games are looking at one of their more famous franchises to kick some life into their company following 2K Australia closure.

Would you buy (or even re-buy) the Bioshock games? If you did what platform would you choose? Personally, I love the games but unless it featured something that the previous games didn’t, I would just replay the originals for their amazing storylines.

Xenia Shows Promise for the Xbox Emulator Market

Xenia is an Xbox 360 device emulator. It has been in development since January 10th 2013 with 2956 commits of code to the popular open source code sharing website – Github. The developers have been very busy for the past two years creating this beast of an emulator, however, it is still in early days of development.

Recently they have been able to get Halo Reach to start on the emulator and managed to load into the game menu, but the game runs into an error when trying to select a game mode, which you can see the video below.

Things look promising for the project, they are trying to make a start on multi-platform, but won’t be able to run on Mac until Apple starts to support Vulkan. For now, you need to have Windows 8.1 with python 2.7 and Visual Studio 2015 installed to run it.

They have also been able to get Frogger 2 to run in the emulator:

The project is created by Ben Vanik, a developer from Seattle who works as an engineer for google, also he has worked for Microsoft in the past. He states on his blog how the emulator works.

“At the highest level the emulator needs to be able to take the original PowerPC instructions and run them on the host processor. These instructions come in the form of a giant assembled binary instruction stream loaded into memory – there is no concept of ‘functions’ or ‘types’ and no flow control information. Somehow, they must be quickly translated into a form the host processor can understand, either one at a time or in batches”

Pretty complex stuff,  he also has to extract the XEX file from games and then reverse engineer the code to try to make it work on the Xenia emulator.

EKWB Launch Pre-Filled Graphics Blocks for Predator AIO

The mighty impressed EKWB Predator AIO is a revolution in terms of water cooling, offering you all the ease of an AIO, with all the thrills of custom loop cooling. Aside from looking gorgeous, the cooler can be quickly modified to add additional cooling components to the loop, such as a GPU block.

EKWB have now launched their Predator ready GPU blocks, which come pre-filled, making them ready to plug and play. You just fit it to your graphics card, hook up the quick-disconnect couplings and you’re good to go.

The Predator-enabled GPU block comes bundled with an EK-AF Angled 90° G1/4″ fittings, two EK-ACF Fitting 10/16mm – Nickel fittings, one quick-disconnect coupling, EK-Tube ZMT Matte Black tubing, and clear coolant, which comes fully assembled, making this seriously high-end pro cooling hardware as beginner friendly as possible.

The new AIO coolers and the GPU blocks are certainly (no pun intended) cool, but they’re obviously not going to be cheap. The pre-filled EK-FC980 for example, is $149.99 and another $29.99 for the interconnect tubing. This is on top of the $199 for the EK-Predator 240 or the $239 for the larger 360mm model. Even then, it’s Intel only until early 2016 when we expect to see an AMD version being launched.

GTA Online Updates Wont Be Available On Xbox 360 Or PS3

Grand Theft Auto is a long-standing series of games, all the way from the original top-down versions to the latest generations the game has seen success after success, but sadly everything must come to an end and the next ending seems to be the updates for GTA Online on Xbox 360 and PS3.

The announcement comes before next week’s update which will include features such as spontaneous open world events, available to anyone in the server. The reason given is a simple one, they believe they have reached the limit at which the technology on the last generation systems can handle. While not a surprise, and it has previously been mentioned as an option by Rockstar, they have also mentioned that they will continue server support for the game, meaning that you can still play GTA online on your PS3 and Xbox 360, but you will be unable to enjoy the latest fixes or features in single player.

In a previous statement on their newswire, they stated:

“As we mentioned previously, we always knew there might be a point where we would reach the technical capacity of what the older generation of consoles can handle as each downloadable update requires additional memory both for assets and for additional scripting.  We have continued to optimize the entire game over time in order to squeeze as much memory as we possibly could out of the last-generation hardware and at some point, continuing to add content for those systems could cause the risk of instability to the game overall.”

It’s had a good run, and for a game released two years ago to still be receiving updates is impressive. Do you enjoy GTA Online on 360 or PS3? If so are you thinking of changing to the latest console or the PC version of the game anytime soon?

Thank you Kotaku  and Rockstar games for the information.

Image courtesy of Gamestop.

 

Xbox One Now Supports Borderlands

There are many games which claim to be “game of the year” or even claim to be unique. Borderlands is one that can claim both these titles with ease. With Gearbox’s popular first person shooter game built for the previous generation only PC gamers have been able to enjoy the series in its entirety without switching consoles. Come November that is set to change with the introduction of backwards compatibility to the Xbox One.

Borderlands has officially been announced as joining the roster of games that people can enjoy and play in November when 360 games will become playable on the Xbox  One.

Not only does the core game gain support but also the DLC’s that include such great areas as The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, The Underdome Riot led by Mad Moxxi and even the Claptrap Robot Revolution. The game will support Xbox live, so be it on 360 or Xbox One, you and your friends can get back to freeing Pandora. Alongside the Xbox One playable version you will also be able to carry over your achievements and your save game files, meaning that bit you were stuck waiting for your friend to log in for, can now be completed with friends from all over the world.

I don’t know about you, but more Borderlands can never be bad news, I am currently dusting off my copy of Borderlands 2 and will see you all on Pandora.

Thank you Xbox news for the information.

Image courtesy of Steam and Gearbox.

EK Water Blocks Enter the AIO Market like a Predator

EK Water Blocks is mostly known for their do-it-yourself parts for liquid cooling enthusiasts, but that isn’t enough for the company. They have set out “to shake up the liquid cooling market” with their newly presented Predator AIO CPU coolers.

EK has taken their top performing and market proven components from the existing enthusiast product line and assembled them together into one compact pre-filled solution. The result is the EK Predator 240 and 360 coolers that promise performance without compromise in a compact form factor, yet expandable, out-of-the-box liquid cooling solution. Being a AIO solution, the EK Predator is pre-filled and pre-assembled and comes with the EK-Vardar high static pressure fans with PWM controls to provide a minimal noise footprint, and noise is a common issue for existing AIO users.

The EK Predator uses the industry standard G1/4 threaded ports and 10/16 mm Zero Maintenance rubber tubing (EK-ZMT) and it is therefore fully expandable with all custom loop gear available on the market. The Predator 360 also features an integrated Quick Disconnects (QDC), a special connector that allows quick and tool-less expansion of the system without the need to drain the unit. This could for example allow you to add a prefilled QDC-enabled GPU water block, something that EK Water Blocks will release too.

The dimensions of the main radiator unit on the Predator 240, with integrated pump and reservoir, are: 295mm x 133mm x 68mm. This should be small enough to fit into most modern computer cases. The Predator 360 is a bigger beast as it measures 415mm x 133mm x 68mm. EKWB will provide a list of compatible cases before launch.

Speaking of launch, the EK-Predator 240 will launch on September 23rd and will come with a $199 USD/€199 EUR MSRP. The EK-Predator 360 will follow and be released on October 19th and cost you $239 USD/€239 EUR. Both units will only be available for Intel CPU sockets, but AMD versions are planned for a release in sometime during 2016.

Technical Highlights

  • Hovercore is a revolutionary design of radiator dampeners that prevents a transfer of pump vibrations further down the unit and into the chassis, thus resulting in vibration free and silent operation.
  • Supremacy MX CPU water block, a top performer in the Enthusiast segment, is specifically designed for Intel CPUs and offers great hydraulic and thermal performance. Carefully machined copper base is made from purest copper available and is further polished to absolute mirror finish. This alone greatly improves the cooling performance of the block.
  • CoolStream PE radiator – 240mm or 360mm, has full Copper core being superior to aluminum alternatives in terms of heat dissipation. In conjunction with EK-Vardar fans, the result is increased performance across entire fan operational range thus delivering results both at low and high airflow operation.
  • Vardar fans – two on Predator 240 and three on Predator 360 – are high static pressure fans developed in-house specifically for liquid cooling systems. With low noise profile and PWM technology built in, you can always control the RPM and keep the fans silent while maintaining excellent cooling performance.
  • DDC pump is a powerful 6W liquid cooling pump providing 2-3x higher flow rate compared to other AIOs on the market. It’s also PWM controlled allowing for automatic pump speed regulation depending on your CPU temperature. Full performance on demand or whisper quiet operation in idle mode!
  • Integrated Fan splitter hub reduces cable clutter and keeps the unit aesthetically clean. Predator pump and fans plug into the unit itself with only one PWM cable going into CPU Fan socket while a single SATA Molex cable powers the complete unit.

Xbox One Gets 360 Backward Compatibility

When the latest generation of consoles were released a lot were upset, with only the Wii U offering compatibility with its older sibling the Wii. With the Xbox One not letting you play all those old games you had for the last consoles on them, this may change though as it looks like that will shortly change for the Xbox One.

Revealed at the Microsoft E3 press conference, Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Xbox Chief stated that their goal was to “deliver the largest games catalog ever on Xbox and Xbox compatibility allows us to do that just”.

The reveal also came with details on how it will work in regards to your old games and for game creators and publishers. On the Xbox store titles will begin appearing that were once only available on the 360, but if your one for purchasing disks they will continue to work. After placing your disk into the console, you’ll be prompted to download the game (Xbox One variation) and can start playing the second it’s finished.

This also works well for developers with it being a simple, “we accept”, clause. No effort required on the developer’s side they just have to accept and sign off that their games can play on the Xbox One. This includes with the Xbox One features such as broadcasting and streaming, and you can even still playing multiplayer with your friends playing it on the Xbox 360.

Xbox Preview members will even get a set of titles out today, with everyone else getting access over the holidays. They’ve stated this new compatibility will come at no extra cost, except maybe the price of having to grab an extra hard drive or two for all your games you have to (re)download onto your Xbox.

Thank you PCWorld for the information.

Image courtesy of Gameranx.

The Moto 360 Is Now $165 on Google Store

The Moto 360 has just dropped to $165 on Google’s store, it is the lowest that the watch has been so far. The next version of the watch is in the works so Motorola is most likely clearing stock in anticipation of the new model.

The Moto 360 is one of the best Android Wear smartwatches that you can currently get, and is certainly one of the most striking designs with it being one of the few with a circular face. The Moto 360 has a very nice inductive charging cradle, making charging super simple. The watch also has a built-in pedometer and heart rate monitor that works very well with Google Fit. From my own experience with the Moto 360 I found that the integration with Google Maps was great and would be very useful to someone who is biking or driving with the app on their phone. Alternatively if the Google Store runs out the watch has dropped to $179.99 at Best Buy as well as Amazon. Is this new price drop enough to get you to jump on it or will you be waiting for the new version of the watch to come out?

Thank you  Engadget for providing us with this information

Xbox 360 Emulation Just Made a Huge Advancement!

Emulation of Xbox games was near impossible, although many attempts have come close to something that almost works, nothing has really been playable. The Xbox 360 has suffered a similar fate, with its odd hardware setup proving complex to emulate over the years; until now.

Xbox 360 Emulator “Xenia” has been in development for some time, but it’s just taken a huge leap forward in terms of usability in what could be the opening of the flood gates for improving the software, bringing more games into its compatibility list.

Ben Vanik, creator of Xenia, has released a new video of the emulator running A-Train HX at a steady 60fps, albeit with a few of the graphical shaders missing, hence the extensive glitches.  This demonstration isn’t about the graphics though, it’s about getting the CPU/GPU core emulation right and so far, it looks like Ben is making some very impressing progress.

Check out the official GitHub for more details.

Xbox One and 360 Get Free Titanfall DLC

If you have and Xbox One or 360 and Titanfall, then you might be happy to hear that the new DLC for the title is currently free on Microsoft’s console. The DLC includes three separate map packs: the IMC Rising, Frontier’s Edge and Expedition packs.

Respawn Entertainment, Titanfalls developer, might have made the DLCs free on the store due to the fact that today is the title’s one year anniversary, having it released on March 11 last year. Users can download the packs separately or get the Season Pass through the Xbox Games Store at $0.00, though the Season Pass is reported to be free only for the Xbox One console.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

AMD’s Next Generation Only Brings One new Chip

We’ve seen rumours about the AMD Radeon R9 300 series for quite some time now. and with the release dates getting closer each day, more and more of these rumours are compiled into more reliable information.

The 390 and 380 series are confirmed for a Q2 2015 release, but the other release times are more or less speculations based on history and leaks, but they seem very likely.

One of the almost sad things bout this is the use of GCN 1.1 (Graphic Core Next) in the 380 and 380x and it shows us that we’ll only really get one new chip in this generation – the Fiji used in the 390 and 390x cards.

Where the R9 380 series will be a rebranded R9 290, the 370 will be a rebrand of the current R9 285 – but when we say rebrand it just means that they will use the same chip architecture. Clock speeds and other aspects might have been tuned and optimised.

So, the wait is almost over for those who want to get their hands on AMD’s next gen cards with HBM memory.

Thanks to 3Dcenter for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of MyDrivers

The Simpsons Are Coming to Minecraft on Xbox

Microsoft announced today that everybody’s favourite yellow family is coming to Minecraft. From late February the whole Simpsons family will be available alongside 19 other characters from the animated series as part of a downloadable skin pack.

“We have an active community of more than 14 million die-hard Minecraft fans on Xbox Live enjoying the wide range of downloadable content on Xbox, and they have been clamoring for us to bring Simpsons characters to the game,” – Xbox’s Phil Spencer.

The $1.99 pack will be available for Xbox One and Xbox 360 in pretty much in the same way Doctor Who characters were back in October. This new deal and that previous one with the BBC, appears to be part of Microsoft’s efforts to get the most out of its $2.5 Billion purchase of Minecraft developer Mojang.

Source: The Verge

 

360-Degree Video Support Coming to YouTube ‘Soon’

YouTube supports a whole host of video formats, from Standard Definition, to 720p, 1080p, 3D and now of course 4k. But Google’s ever popular video streaming website doesn’t want to stop there – 360-degree video is coming soon.

YouTube says that they are “working to support 360-degree videos in the coming weeks.” 360 videos have started appearing all over the Internet, thanks to products like the full HD Giroptic 360cam being made available to consumers. YouTube however has seemingly lagged behind in offering support for this new technology, but that will be a thing of the past very soon.

That camera in particular is of note, as they say their camera will be one of the first to be supported by YouTube, no doubt helping the popularity of the product grow. The manufacturer hopes that its camera will be utilised in many of the ways the popular GoPro cameras have, producing a ton of viral videos.

Source: The Next Web

Thrustmaster Ferrari GT Cockpit 458 Steeling Wheel Review

Introduction


Gaming is a hobby and like most other hobbies, you can choose your own level of participation; do you just want to casually play games from time to time with a regular controller, or do you want to invest time and money in creating a really cool and more involving setup? Of course this can be an endless obsession; new computers, screens, seats, peripherals and more and while I’d love to go into creating a full setup, today I’ll be taking a look at the new Thrustmaster Ferrari GT Cockpit 458 Steeling Wheel, which promises a minimal fuss solution to improving the racing/driving sim aspects of your gaming setup.

There are lots of great racing wheels on the market and it can be hard to define which one would be best suited to your needs and budget. The new model I have here today isn’t cheap at £169.99, but it’s still actually rather affordable for a premium wheel; I think it’s safe to say that this is a mid-budget product. At this level of investment, you’re going to be expecting something of quality, and the first part of that comes from the official Ferrari licence that Thrustmaster currently hold. The 458 Italia Edition steering wheel is modelled on, you guessed it, the real Ferrari 458 Italia steering wheel.

The wheel is very well equipped and features all of the basics you need to get you started for use on both PC and Xbox 360. One of the more unique and interesting aspects of this wheel is that it features an adjustable steering column which is fixed to the pedals, making this a one-piece unit with a heavy-duty carry handle; it can even be folded flat and stored out of the way, such as under a bed or in a cupboard.

  • Metal structure is fully adjustable in length and height, to adapt to all gamers (adults/children) and any type of seating (sofa/chair/armchair)
  • Foldable with carrying handle for quick and easy storage
  • Wide, weighted base (total weight of more than 10 kg) for optimal stability
  • Streamlined “Musetto” body in the style of the Ferrari 458 Scuderia Black
  • WHEEL: 7/10 exact replica of the wheel on the Ferrari F458
  • Ultra-precise wheel, featuring 16-bit precision (more than 65,000 values on the wheel’s steering)
  • Sequential Up & Down paddle shifters crafted of metal, for Ferrari GT-style driving
  • Manettino® dial: lets you change settings directly while driving in the game
  • XXL realistic wheel: 28 cm in diameter!
  • Grips with rubber texture for optimal comfort
  • Headset connector lets you chat online (headset not included)
  • 2 metal pedals built directly into the cockpit, for total stability
  • Metal pedals with long range of travel, inspired by the shape of the pedals on the Ferrari car
  • Brake pedal with progressive resistance
  • G.V.S. technology– High-precision
  • Exclusive “G.V.S. (Global Vibration System)” technology: allows for vibrations in games to be felt throughout the entire cockpit – including the wheel, steering column and pedal set

The packaging is huge, but this is a pretty big unit overall so that was to be expected. The carry handle hangs through the side of the box, allowing you to move it around a little easier; although it’s still not easy to carry around due to its overall weight.

Everything is nicely packaged in the interior, with protective foam, boxes and plastic around the important components to help keep them safe and scratch free during transit.

In the box you’ll find a couple of setup guides and a small collection of high quality screws and an Allen Key; these are needed to attach the wheel to the steering column.

Pinball FX2 Arrival On Xbox One Upsets Xbox 360 Owners

Following its update to run on the Playstation 4 platform, Zen Studios – the designers behind Pinball FX2 have announced the arrival date for the Xbox One, although they have upset a number of players who use an Xbox 360.

Unlike the Playstation platform, Xbox One owners will not be able to import ANY of the tables that they have purchased and downloaded for their 360 consoles. In a response to the disappointing news, Zen Studios have made a statement saying that the lack of an option to import DLC content was not an option that was made available to them and we presume this is down to the way the two systems work. On the other hand though, Playstation users are able to port their content from one generation to another with DLC working on both the PS3 and 4 as well as the Vita.

In a statement about the lack of cross-platform compatibility, community manager ‘BarbieBobomb’ said:

“We know this is very important to fans of the Xbox 360 version, but we are very sorry to say that this was not an option made available to us on Xbox One. We always do our best to take advantage of any platform’s features whenever possible, and if a feature like cross-platform entitlement is an option for us, we will make it an option for our players. Unfortunately in this case, it was not.”

Whilst the lack of DLC will upset a number of users, hopefully the stunning graphics will make up the dismay with 60fps, 1080p gaming on offer as well as updated achievement goals and the option to play in tournaments across the globe. Lastly the game is going to be free to download, but whatever way you look at it all, the lack of a DLC import option is likely to turn a few heads away.

Source: Eurogamer

First Titanfall DLC Confirmed & New Updates Inbound

Gamers can rejoice this week as Respawn has finally given confirmation of the new Titanfall DLC, which is now known to be heading to the block buster online shooter next month.

Titanfall developer Respawn confirmed at PAX East and on their Twitter shortly afterwards that gamers can expect to see the DLC, which is called Expedition, some time in May. The DLC will be the first additional release for the title, but the developer has told us to expect a wave of updates as well, so expect some tweaks and performance improvements very soon.

Three new maps; Swampland, Runoff and Wargames are to introduced in the Expedition DLC, while the new updates are suggested to include “Burn Cards” and “hashtag” matchmaking filters, as well as a new 2 vs 2 Last Titan Standing game mode and limited time “riffs”, which are similar to L4D mutations.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Kataku.

Bad News For Halo Fans, Halo 5 Rumored To Be Postponed Until November 2015

Some bad news is going to hit Halo fans this year, especially those who ordered the Xbox One to be able to play the latest Halo 5 title. According to a reputable poster on the NeoGaf forum, Microsoft isn’t preparing to release a true sequel in the Halo franchise until November of 2015.

Microsoft is said to bring some Halo goodies in the meantime though. There reportedly should be plenty of other Halo goodies to hold fans over until then. Within the span of a year, the source claims we will see five Halo games: Halo 2 Anniversary Edition for Xbox One on November 11, 2014, Halo 3 port for Xbox One, Halo 4 port for Xbox One and the aforementioned Halo 5.

Halo 2 Anniversary Edition is also said to ship with 1080p support and beta access to Halo 5. 60FPS support, however, is listed as “iffy” at this stage, however. It’ll arrive in two different versions: a “Collector’s Edition” and a “War Collection.” Some more rumors also include two live action video series during the same time span.

The thread also includes several other non-Halo tidbits. In no particular order, the poster claims Forza Horizon, Quantum Break and Sunset Overdrive will ship later this year, Fable Legends will arrive next summer and Crackdown 3 will arrive sometime in 2016.

The whole is said to be in addition to rumors of a white Xbox One and a cheaper Xbox One minus the Blu-ray drive that was reported yesterday. Though, the rumors should be taken with a grain of salt for the moment.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Spot

UK All-Format Gaming Charts – Week Ending 28 December 2013

Another week and another busy week for the UK all-format gaming charts. One things is for certain this month, next-gen consoles are off to a rock solid start and while many will be debating who the winner is, truth is Sony and Microsoft are both winning in their own respects and it’s a promising start for the games industry as we enter 2014.  The new consoles have helped along game sales too and with 11 of the top twenty games being available on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 in one respect or another, and three of them being exclusively next-gen (Knack, Forza 5 & Dead Rising 3) its clear that software sales are doing well.

Still amazed this week to see that Aliens: Colonial Marines is back in the charts, it returned to 20th place last week and is still there this week, seriously, who is buying this game? Collect-em-all family fun is still going strong with Disney Infinity and Skylanders: Swap Force and will keep up all heavily indebted to publishers for at least another few months with a steady release of new characters.

Lego Marvel has dropped down to 7th place to make way for both Grand Theft Auto V and Need For Speed: Rivals, but beyond that we see that the big four, Battlefield, Assassin’s Creed IV, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Fifa 14 remain in the same spots as the previous week, showing some clear Christmas favourites for the holiday season.

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 FIFA 14 EA SPORTS 1
2 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION 2
3 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 3
4 BATTLEFIELD 4 EA GAMES 4
5 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 6
6 NEED FOR SPEED: RIVALS EA GAMES 8
7 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 5
8 JUST DANCE 2014 UBISOFT 7
9 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 10
10 GRAN TURISMO 6 SONY COMPUTER ENT. 11
11 BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 12
12 WWE 2K14 2K SPORTS 14
13 FORZA MOTORSPORT 5 MICROSOFT 15
14 KILLZONE: SHADOW FALL SONY COMPUTER ENT. 9
15 SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE SKYLANDERS 13
16 KNACK SONY COMPUTER ENT. 18
17 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2014 SEGA 18
18 DISNEY INFINITY DISNEY INFINITY 16
19 DEAD RISING 3 MICROSOFT 18
20 ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES SEGA 20

What games did you pick up this Christmas, been hitting the chart toppers or bargain hunting in this months massive Steam sale?

Batman: Arkham Origins – “Hunter, Hunted” Mode Available Today

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today released the all-new “Hunter, Hunted” multiplayer mode available for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, which players can access by jumping into the Batman: Arkham Origins online multiplayer mode.

The “Hunter, Hunted” multiplayer mode brings the excitement of “Last Man Standing” to Batman: Arkham Origins. The new 3v3v1 mode pits three Bane thugs, three Joker thugs, and Batman against each other to be the last team standing. With no respawns, the new “Hunter, Hunted” mode takes Batman: Arkham Origins multiplayer to a whole new level of intensity with heightened tension, risk, and rewards. Whether you’ve been playing multiplayer since release or are just starting out now, this is a great time to have a go and unlock a few extra items.

It’s certainly an interesting take on the usual death match scenario and it will be interesting to see how well balanced the game type will feel. Any game mode that gives us all another excuse to go play this game is good in my book, so what are you waiting for, go kick some butt!

Thank you Arkham Origins for providing us with this information.

Image Courtesy of Arkham Origins.

Xbox One Launch Kicks Off The Battle Against Sony’s Playstation 4

The wait is over and the time has now come for eager fans around the world to collect their Xbox One and immerse themselves in the next generation of console gaming from Microsoft. New Zealand was one of the first countries to have the console available at midnight of the 22nd November, and even hours before hand, fans were queuing up outside Shed 10 on the Waterfront in Auckland, New Zealand ready to pick up their pre-orders.

A little closer to home for us here at eTeknix, the UK also saw their launch at midnight last where over 300 game shops and more than 100 Tesco’s supermarkets stayed open late into the night for sales and pre-order collections to be made. Whilst the PS4 is not yet here in the UK until the 29th of November, Over in the US Sony’s launch of the Playstation 4 is now a week behind us and so the battle over there has started to see who will be crowned victorious as the must have games console this Christmas.

Whilst the Xbox One is going to cost you around £80 more than the PS4, it seems that this has not put any fans off as Microsoft see record numbers of pre-orders being made, beating that of the Xbox 360 a number of years ago. The two consoles, as we have seen, do pack somewhat similar specifications to each other – although there has been word that Sony may just have the upper hand on graphics as reports come in that Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts has a better game play in terms of resolution. Whilst this may be a major selling factor to a small number of people, the challenge really is going to be based on who has the most loyal fans on their side, however this is not as plain sailing as you may think. Since the launch of the Xbox 360 and Sony’s PS3, there has been a dramatic shift in the games market as we see many avid gamers moving away from the console platform and over to the PC gaming side of things. This has been mainly down to the massive improvement in graphics performance that we have seen from both NVIDIA and AMD in the last 2-3 years.

With games console now offering much more than just a gaming experience, with social and entertainment media becoming more and more popular, the is certainly more than one reason to pick either console and as the Christmas rush comes into full swing, it is anybody’s guess at the moment as to who will be at the number one spot at the end of the year.

If you’ve just got an Xbox One or PS4 (or are waiting for the PS4 in the UK), let us know your thoughts on the new consoles in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Xbox Wire

Panono 360 Degree Camera Makes Taking Panoramic Photos Easy

Through Kickstarter and Indiegogo we seen endless numbers of projects that need funding and whilst some of them do seem to be a bit bizarre or too simple to create, there are a select number that stand out from the crowd. Panono is just one of the select that grab the attention of a number of people and they’re asking for your support to get the ball rolling.

Panono is a revolutionary panoramic camera that is able to take a full 360° photo when thrown up in the air – at the moment it is about to fall back down to earth. In side the compact ball, 36 tiny cameras with a total resolution of 72MP are paired with a sensitive accelerometer which calculates the speed at which the ball is going up and therefore when it will be stationary before it falls back down to earth. At the peak of its ascent, all 36 cameras simultaneously take an image and as soon as the camera is back in your hand, it can simply send the captured panoramic photo to your smartphone for viewing. After this the photo can be sent to the cloud, where it is stitched together and archived ready for sharing to your friends and family – giving you a photo that really captures the moment.

The innovative concept originally started out a couple of years ago when a prototype system known as the ‘Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera’ make a debut on YouTube instantly grabbing a large number of hits and followers. Moving towards today and after some tweaks and tunes have been applied, the 300g plastic ball is making it way through the fund-raising stages on Indiegogo, where the project team are asking for a total pledge of at least $900,000 to be made. At this current moment, the project as stirred the interest of around 400 people and with 51 days to go before the campaign ends, the project has raised nearly $200,000.

You can find more information on the project on their website here and if you’re willing to back the project, you can do so by heading over to their fund-raising campaign on Indiegogo here.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/c8xjXqC9m2A[/youtube]

Source and photo courtesy of The Independent

 

 

November 2013 Games Release Schedule (All Formats)

Next month is already shaping up to be one of the biggest months in gaming history, not only do we have the launch of two new consoles going head to head as we approach Christmas, but we also have all the games that come with it. Add to the the usual Christmas big hitters and the fact that current get consoles have never been so good in terms of releases. PC gaming is stronger than ever and even the WiiU and mobile platforms are doing really well. There may be fan boys among you, there may be members of the PC Master Race, but no matter what you choose, 2013 has been and continues to be a great year for gamers.

Just look at the list below, Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV, Call of Duty, Batman, XCOM, Fifa 14, Forza V, Ryse and more pack out the list for some serious gaming action across a great range of formats.

There are more games coming out next month that what is in this list, but we’ve cut out some junk, cleared out the cheap mobile gaming releases and focused on the things we think you’ll love. Either way, this next month is going to empty your wallet and if you’re saving for a next-gen console to play some of these on it’s certainly going to be an expensive end to the year.

Battlefield 4 X360 01/11/2013
WWE 2K14 PS3 – X360 01/11/2013
Angry Birds Star Wars 3DS – PS3 – Wii – X360 01/11/2013
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag PS3 – X360 01/11/2013
Power Rangers MEGAFORCE 3DS 01/11/2013
SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge DS 01/11/2013
Call of Duty: Ghosts PC – PS3 – PS4 – X360 05/11/2013
Zumba Fitness World Party Wii – WiiU – X360 05/11/2013
Batman: Arkham Origins WiiU 08/11/2013
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection PS3 – X360 08/11/2013
Assassin’s Creed Heritage Collection PS3 – X360 08/11/2013
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games WiiU 08/11/2013
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy 3DS 08/11/2013
DuckTales Remastered PS3 – X360 12/11/2013
XCOM: Enemy Within Mac – PC – PS3 – X360 12/11/2013
Blood Knights Mac – PC- X360 13/11/2013
Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior PC 14/11/2013
Deadfall Adventures PC – X360 15/11/2013
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 3DS – DS – PC – PS3 – WiiU – X360 15/11/2013
Transformers Ultimate Autobots Edition DS 15/11/2013
Transformers Ultimate Battle Edition DS – Wii 15/11/2013
X Rebirth PC 15/11/2013
AquaPazza PS3 19/11/2013
FIFA 14 XO 19/11/2013
SimCity Villes de demain PC 19/11/2013
The Amazing Spider-Man PSV 19/11/2013
Rugby League Live 2 World Cup Edition PS3 – X360 21/11/2013
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag PC – PS4 – WiiU – XO 22/11/2013
Need for Speed Rivals PC – PS3 – X360 22/11/2013
The Amazing Spider-Man Ultimate Edition PSV 22/11/2013
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 3DS 22/11/2013
Zumba Fitness World Party XO 22/11/2013
Zumba World Party Wii – WiiU – X360 22/11/2013
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition PC – PS3 – X360 29/11/2013
Super Mario 3D World WiiU 29/11/2013
Ben 10 Omniverse 2 3DS – PS3 – Wii – WiiU – X360 November
D4 XO November
Dead Rising 3 XO November
Forza Motorsport 5 XO November
Journey of a Roach MAC – PC November
Just Dance 2014 XO November
Kinect Sports Rivals XO November
LEGO Friends 3DS – DS November
Ryse: Son of Rome XO November
Saint Seiya Brave Soldiers PS3 November
Zoo Tycoon XO November

Which titles will you be picking up this month, or will you be holding off until prices come down before picking some of them up? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

PS3 Overtakes Xbox 360 As Top Selling Console In The US

The battle between Microsoft and Sony over who’s console is better is one that has had the two rival companies wanting to find ways to prove their offering is better. In the US, one of the biggest console buying nations, The Xbox 360 has, for the last 32 months – that is nearly two and a half years – been the top-selling console month-on-month, however after one impressive run of being at the top of its game, the 360 has finally fallen to the feet of the PS3 as it takes top spot for the first time since 2011.

According to the console sales figures released by NPD, the release of Grand Theft Auto V, which itself broke sales records, may have been part of the reason why the PS3 became more popular in September as Sony bundled in the games with their specially branded consoles.

Sales of consoles are not the only part of the market to see improvements due to Rockstar’s latest game title, whilst the Xbox 360 is still [for this year] going to be the top-selling console ahead of the launch of the Xbox One and the PS4, sales of console accessories and other gaming related hardware have also shot up by 27% (Vs. Sept 2012) as the market can’t get enough of GTA V.

Seeing as the Xbox One and the PS4 are very close to hitting the shelves, only to be quickly snatched off as everyone rushed to get the latest consoles, the slate can be wiped clean and by the end of the year we will see who is the top manufacturer.

Xbox One or PS4? Which are you rooting for? Have you got a pre-order or waiting for launch prices to fall, let us know in the comments section below.

Source: GeekWire

New Downloadable Bonus Map for Call Of Duty Ghosts Pre-Orders

Call of Duty: Ghosts is due to hit retail on November 5th bringing with it an all-new pre-order incentive for the games multiplayer mode. Available exclusively at GAME in the UK and Gamestop in Ireland, fans that pre-order the game will receive the Free Fall downloadable bonus map that features the new dynamic map event mechanic, included with their copy of the game at launch. Free Fall ushers in the first details on how players will encounter the changing environments in the leading multiplayer experience on consoles.

As an example of just one of Call of Duty: Ghosts’ new dynamic map events, Free Fall drops players into a shattered skyscraper on the brink of collapse. Sideways staircases climb into the night sky, elevator shafts run along the ground, and what were once windows now form a terrifying glass floor, hundreds of feet above the city streets. Free Fall’s close-quarters combat and frenetic action are then thrown into overdrive as the ruined skyscraper continues to fall throughout the match. With every drop, the accompanying shockwaves cause further destruction, disrupting sightlines and constantly evolving paths and chokepoints as the map changes in real-time.

“Dynamic map events change the way players approach the game, and Free Fall does a great job illustrating this new mechanic,” said Mark Rubin, executive producer at Infinity Ward. “As the match progresses, the geometry of the world continues to change and players need to adjust on the fly or else. It’s a really fun new feature that adds layers of strategy and constantly evolving gameplay options for players. And this is just one of the many new approaches we’re putting into Ghosts’ multiplayer across the board. There’s so much more that we look forward to sharing in the weeks to come.”

Thank you CoD for providing us with this information.

Minecraft Xbox 360 Sales Top 7 Million Units And Still Climbing

Notch  can continue to laugh either with us or at us from atop of a giant pile of money, his low resolution, simplistic and completely addictive digital block basher has gone on to incredible success that is rarely seen in such a short space of time, especially for something that started out so small in the first place.

The new sales figure was confirmed by the developers at 4J studios, the team responsible for handling the conversion of the game ot the Xbox 360 platform. The team reached out to their twitter followers to share the news that Minecraft on Xbox 360 had passed a staggering 7 million units. Obviously that is an impressive number, even more impressive for something that started out as a digital download on a platform with around 52 million user install base. It was only back in March that Minecraft Xbox 360 hit the 6 million mark, around the same time that they were working on bringing the game to retail stores.

Of course all this is dwarfed by the fact that PC owners have scooped up 11 million copies of the game, there is an edition being made for the Xbox One and I doubt the developers are done riding the money train on this one just yet as the game gains in popularity and seems no where near slowing down just yet.

Thank you 4J for providing us with this information.