Sony Responds To Microsoft’s Invite For Cross Platform Play

Which console do you play on? The choice is impacted by a lot of things, from being able to play those exclusive releases to the unique hardware options one console features. One of the biggest factors for consoles is often the ability to play with others, with groups of friends often getting the same console in order to play together. Microsoft wants to enable cross-platform play and recently invited others to join them in the plan, an invite Sony has now responded to.

Sony’s statement includes that they have been “supporting cross-platform play between PC on several software titles starting with Final Fantasy 11 on PS2 and PC [since] back in 2002”. The statement goes on to say that they “would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross platform play”.

Given that Sony and Microsoft are responsible for the leading consoles when it comes to online multiplayer it could be interesting to see the two gaming networks merge together to create a united gaming network, enabling people from every console to play games together with nothing but their skills separating them.

With friends who own one or both of the consoles, I think that creating a uniform platform for cross-console play could only put more focus on the hardware that people use and the skills they hone to play their games.

Xbox To Receive The Division Content 30 Days Early

When it comes to choosing where to play your game the fight is never-ending. From the Console Wars to the PC master race, people have preferences based on everything from initial cost to the games that are available. With consoles like the Xbox One looking to give you the ability to play those old games, people are often looking to find not only how to play those new games but to do so without having to buy their favourites all over again. One of the biggest debates when it comes to games is exclusive content, or even delaying content on certain platforms, something that Ubisoft are looking to do with Tom Clancy’s the Division.

After being praised for its PC settings and for not being just another PC port, Ubisoft is desperate for PC gamers to like them as release after release they seem to only end up with bad press and annoyed customers. The cherry atop these comments was made that claimed PC gamers were just “pirates”, a phrase used to describe people who obtain illegal copies of games without paying for them. This was found to be particularly insulting given Ubisoft’s lack of support and regard for their PC releases (often considered poor ports).

Now it would seem they are looking to insult gamers once more, this time on for people using the PS4, as Tom Clancy’s The Division is to release content 30 days early to Xbox One players. This isn’t the first time that games have done this, with many games releasing content just for a certain platform but sometimes just delaying its release for other platforms.

In the video below, which seems like a giant sales pitch for the Xbox One more than the game at times, it explains that the Xbox One will receive content earlier than “Sony will see it”. Not explaining if this delay also applies to PC gamers, people are often held back by their choices but delaying content seems to be a favourite for companies, which only seems to annoy players. Why does one group get content before another for anything other than a paycheck for the companies?

https://youtu.be/aN0-hartAJc

What do you think? Are you annoyed by companies getting content early or exclusively? Tell us your thoughts about this below and if this will even impact in which platform you’ll be getting the game for.

Unmaned Jets to be Backed by “Arsenal Planes”

Technology changes, every day it shifts and moves. A major area for technological advancement is the military. Companies and governments pay billions to advance technology in everything from bulletproof walls to injectable sponges. One of the areas for advancement is drones or unmanned aircraft. The problem is that these craft need to not only be smarter but also built for stealth, something strapping a few weapons to them doesn’t help with. The proposed solution, back up the stealthy ones with the big guns mounted to an ‘arsenal plane’.

Traditional unmanned planes can only equip a few weapons, the problem being that they just become too big and end up drawing too much attention on radar. The solution proposed by the Defence Department budget, is that they would instead have an arsenal plane behind the stealth jet.

Described as “a flying launch for all sorts of different conventional payloads. In practice, the arsenal plane will function as a very large airborne magazine, networked to 5th-generation aircraft that act as forward sensor and targeting nodes”. While not a new idea the concept of a small jet being the precursor to a giant multi-purpose airstrike is certainly a frightful one.

With the reuse of old craft to save on costs, the issue of strapping a lot of explosives to an outdated model surely raises some heath and safety questions.

EA Claims “We’re on a Journey to Regain The Trust of PC Gamers”

EA’s reputation in the gaming community is appalling and often perceived as a development studio obsessed by profits at the expense of making compelling games. Furthermore, the disappointment surrounding Star Wars: Battlefront, eventual demise of Maxis and a host of other failures hasn’t helped matters. Similarly, the advent of pre-order bonuses, DLC, microtransactions and anti-consumer measures all appear to be introduced by EA at some point. While other developers have engaged in similar activities, EA popularized it which makes consumers very suspicious of anything they produce. Despite ruining Maxis, one of the most iconic PC studios ever devised, EA appears to be trying to regain the trust of the PC gaming audience.

According to industry website MCV, Origin’s senior marketing director, Peter O’Reilly proclaimed:

“We are on a journey to regain the trust of the PC gamer,”

“Over the last couple of years we have focused on ensuring a great play experience from launch and bringing players a better experience on Origin with programs like the Great Game Guarantee, On the House, and now Origin Access.”

“We’re excited about the progress we’ve made, but are always pushing ourselves to innovate on behalf of players.”

While many decisions from EA have been absolutely atrocious, I have to commend them for the Origin refund policy. Arguably, this encouraged Valve to offer a similar service on the Steam platform, although their decision might have been more to do with European legislation. EA Access is also an interesting initiative and could provide good value-for-money. However, the majority of consumers judge EA on the basis of game releases, microtransactions and other business decisions.

The Origin platform is still disliked, because it’s not Steam, and forces users to install two clients. Even if Origin was the best system out there, it still wouldn’t help EA because their core games prioritize profit over gameplay. Don’t get me wrong, publishers exist to make money, but that shouldn’t happen by looking at a short-term gain, and ruining a number of historic studios.

SteamOS Update Lets You Play With Xbox One Elite Controller And More

Some like PC, some like Console. People choose different platforms for different reasons, but the creators behind the ever popular PC gaming platform Steam came up with an idea to bridge the gap. Enter Steam machines, a combination of PC and Console, which meant that you could play games like you were on a console but you could upgrade it like a PC. So why not grab your controllers and play on the latest SteamOS version.

Steam OS is based on the popular operating system Linux. One of the main selling points behind Linux is that it is open source. Open source is when software is freely available in both the finished product and the code that builds it up. This means that you are able to see how it works and add functionality as you wish.

The latest update, 2.60, for SteamOS features not only security patches and updates to the Linux system as a whole but options for an extra controller. The Xbox One Elite controller features a variety of buttons, including some hidden underneath, where your hands naturally rest while holding a controller. If you feel up for giving the controller a spin on SteamOS you now can but sadly only if its wired.

If this wasn’t enough why not check out its new Bluetooth support. Being able to connect a range of devices through Bluetooth you could soon be playing with Playstation 4 controllers and headsets without a wire in sight!

While updates will help the platform, SteamOS recently took a hit when it was revealed that it played games worse than Windows 10 did. We might see that changing soon and with updates coming out more and more it might be worth retesting that comparison soon.

EA Offers Game Subscription Service for PC

In recent years, digital platforms have become the go to for PC gamers. With services like Steam allowing quick easy access to an entire range of products, while also purchase security and more recently the ability to add custom content to games. What could be next for digital platforms? EA, the creators behind Origin, think they may have the answer in a new subscription service.

While available for over a year to console owners, Origin Access is now available to PC gamers. The benefits behind Origin Access include the ability to access the Vault. While this Vault won’t protect you from a nuclear fallout, it does provide you with a collection of games that will be free to play as long as you are an Origin Access subscriber. Currently only containing 15 games, EA state that their plan is for”more games are added over time”.

With a generation of crowd-funded games and indie studio releases, there has been a reduction in the number of demo’s that are available to people who just wish to try before they buy. Origin Access contains the feature “Play First Trials”, a selection of games that will be released by EA that you can play before they are even released, and if you purchase the game at a later date all your work is still there.

Giving you a 10% discount on top of any other discounts, people who frequently buy through Origin or like EA’s extensive catalogue may want to check out the Access scheme. With groups like EA and Amazon offering discount and early access schemes through subscriptions, could you soon see the same option come to Steam?

Rise of the Tomb Raider PC Release Date Announced

The Tomb Raider series is one of those classic gaming franchises which has a huge consumer following, titles ranging from the early days of both The Sega Saturn and also the PS1 all the way through to the latest incarnation of the series “Rise of the Tomb Raider on the Xbox One next-gen console. Talking of the aforementioned “Rise” title, new details have been announced for this version of the game for the PC Platform.

So, what are the details? Rise of the Tomb Raider will be officially released on PC on January 28th 2016 and has been announced by Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics. The game will support 4K resolution and will be able to provide players with a stunning experience.

Rise of The Tomb raider will also be available through both physical and also online retailers which include Steam etc. There will also be various editions of the game and this will include a standard edition that will be priced at $59.99 dollars (£40.91), a Digital Deluxe Edition that will feature the game and its DLC pass for $89.99 dollars (£61.37) and a collector’s edition.

On the subject of the collector’s edition, below is an image to illustrate this, it will feature a Digital Deluxe version and a 12-inch Lara Croft statue, replicas of Lara’s journal and jade necklace and a steel case. It will be priced at $149.99 dollars (£102.28) and It will be also available at Square Enix’s online store, and yes I understand the irony of an image stating January 29th.

Other information includes the notion that it will be fully compatible with Windows 10 and the US edition has also been given an “M” rating, this means that the game might include elements such as intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language. The minimum specs which have been confirmed by Square Enix for the PC version are as follows,

Rise of the Tomb Raider PC Minimum Specifications:

  • OS: Windows 7 64bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 or AMD equivalent
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 650 2 GB or AMD HD7770 2 GB
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • HD Space: 25 GB
  • DirectX: DirectX 11
  • Input: Mouse + Keyboard

Image courtesy of gearnuke

Scoutee Measures Pitch Speed Using Your Smartphone

Slovenia-based Scoutee, not sure I can remember the last innovation which came courtesy of a team from Slovenia, has launched a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign for a smart radar that can measure the speed of a baseball pitch while also having the ability to transfer the data to a smartphone via Bluetooth. This tool would enable baseball coaches and also players the ability to track their games and training sessions.

Instead of relying on a speed gun to measure the quickness of a particular pitch, Scoutee radar utilizes Doppler technology and also claims to support accuracy within ±1 mph. The accompanied App for iOS and Android platforms allows coaches to make quick notes regarding each tracked pitch. A secondary feature is the ability to record data which relates to the speed of said pitch, this graphic is then overlaid onto video within a smartphone as a kind of augmented reality.

Scoutee radar is about the size of a soap bar and can be held by hand as well as hung on a fence or put on a tripod. Its rechargeable battery lasts up to six hours of continuous measurement within a 130 feet (some 40 meters) range. As of writing the Kickstarter funding page stands at $10,783 and has 33 days to go.

This is noteworthy for aficionados of Baseball and it certainly has the potential to track data which could then be analysed for a wide range of performance purposes. Scoutee is also offering the first 100 backers a reduction in price of $129 (£82.96) for the device which is down from £299 (£192.29) The Release date is expected to be around April 2016 and shipping will be available anywhere in the world.

Thank you kickstarter for providing us with this information.

 

 

Firefox On iOS? There’s A Catch With That!

Mozilla Firefox have deployed new ways of attracting a bigger share of the browser-based market, now, users of iPhones and iPads who would like an alternative to their current mobile browsers might have found one, as Mozilla is going to begin rolling out the first public preview version of the popular and well-recognised browser for iOS. Sounds good, slight problem with that, you may need your passport.

Mozilla is aiming to garner public opinion and feedback in order to develop the software for the Apple platform, ready to immediately test drive the software? Good, I take it you do reside in New Zealand. Yep, Firefox in their blog post have stated that “we will be collecting feedback in one country, before we extend availability to get feedback in a few more countries prior to a full public launch” Did Mozilla throw a dart to determine which country would receive the preview first?

So, what features will the good folks in New Zealand have available to them? The preview release features include,

  • Intelligent Search – Which provides suggested search results and the choice of search providers
  • Firefox accounts – take your Firefox browser history, passwords and tabs from your desktop to your iOS devices.
  • Tabs – Visual Tabs, an intuitive way to keep track of your open tabs

If you’re a Kiwi and would like Firefox on iOS, then by all means test the first preview, if you’re not a Kiwi but would like to try the software, you will have to wait until Mozilla throws another dart to decide the next country to be rewarded with the version.

Thank you mozilla blog for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of wmpoweruser

Russia Looking Into Blocking Facebook Over Gay Emoji

Russia has been trying to push a lot of western companies out of the country for some time now. After it closed access to Google and Intel back in 2014, the country is now looking to block the world’s most popular social media platform, namely Facebook.

Russian Facebook users have been told to stop using the platform numerous times up until now, throwing a lot of accusations. However, with the addition of gay emojis, the government now believes it has actual proof to build a case that will block the social media for good.

Russian senator, Mikhail Marchenko, called an investigation to check if the emojis in question are violating the Russian anti-gay laws. This is quite interesting, since Twitter and even Apple’s own emoji keyboard come with gay emojis.

The above leads us to believe that Russia might have something personal against the social media platform, but the saddest part is that the government has high chances of succeeding. The country’s Federal Service For Supervision of Communication, Information Technology and Mass Media closed over 10,000 up to date, so blocking Facebook will just be another addition to the latter websites. But how comfortable are you with this decision? Should a few emojis be enough to get a website banned?

Thank you Tech Radar for providing us with this information

Twitter Hope To Increase Users With Their New Homepage

Twitter has been cooking up a new homepage for its social media platform and it is now ready to launch. The social media platform plans to roll out their new homepage today, but what is the ultimate goal here?

From the looks of it, Twitter plans to get more people to join its platform. When you previously navigated to Twitter.com, the page would only display categories, but this is now going to change with the latest homepage. Twitter wants to draw more people in by showing a bit of what’s going on in and how the social media interaction is on the platform.

The new and improved homepage will display actual tweets by targeting and displaying ‘high value tweets’, something that Twitter hopes will get newcomers’ attention. In my opinion, Twitter was a bit of a mystery at first and it didn’t expose what you would expect from the platform. This made me a bit skeptical and I haven’t joined the platform until recently.

So, in a sense, Twitter’s Interim CEO Jack Dorsey has a good idea with the homepage. In addition to that, his ‘question everything’ perspective aims to get more out of user expectations and opinions in order to make the necessary changes and additions to expand Twitter even further. But until then, how do you find the new homepage? Is it something you were looking forward to?

Thank you Buzzfeed for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of TheNextWeb

Here’s Why We Won’t See DirectX 12 in Action This Year

Thinking of upgrading your graphics card for the new Windows 10 and DirectX 12? Well, I think you should wait a bit longer. While everyone is hyped to see what devs can do with the latest DirectX version, we are forgetting the most important thing, which is the platform.

What this means is that DirectX 12 is locked to Windows 10 exclusively, which limits the platform and titles released for it. I mean sure, I am a PC gamer myself, but don’t expect everyone to switch to a PC or Xbox One just because there’s a new version of DirectX rolling out. Statistics also proved that most gamers are happy with their PlayStation 4 right now, so devs don’t really have a reason to switch their development and focus on DirectX 12, at least not until next year.

Also, another thing to take into account is that most people haven’t even upgraded to DirectX 12 compatible hardware, meaning that it will take some time until we see a lot of consumers ready for DirectX 12 games. But let’s see why it will take time to switch from the current version of DirectX to the new one, because I know most of you are wondering why it will take this long and maybe even argue that DirectX 11 was adopted faster.

When taking a look at DirectX 11, the main reason it was adopted so fast by consumers as well as developers is the next-gen platforms and native development tools. DirectX 11 got released in the same year as the Xbox One and PS4, while we also had Epic and other developers release Unreal Engine 4 with native DirectX 11 support. This meant that the tools and hardware have been out there for everyone, from big to small, to use and explore the new tech.

In contrast, DirectX 12 currently looks like the old DirectX 10. We see a new thing added, but there’s hardly enough support for it both for development as well as hardware to run it. This is why DirectX 10 failed to deliver such a hype in the gaming industry and why developers focused more on DirectX 9 back in the day. However, we won’t see the same fate bestowed on DirectX 12 as we saw for DirectX 10, but we will see the same slow movement towards the new tech.

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information

Ubisoft Financial Reports Shows What Platform Takes Centre Stage When It Comes to Gaming

This year’s Q1 financial report coming from Ubisoft reveals what platform gamers are more interested in. If you thought that the battle was between Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, you are bound to be amazed. The report shows that the company sold twice as many PS4 games compared to Xbox One titles, having Microsoft’s console plunge down even below PC sales figures. In other words, PS4 games account for 27% of software sales, PC for 23% and Xbox One for just 11%.

The results also show how PC gaming has risen 14% compared to last year’s financial report, showing that the PC has been getting a lot more attention and is moving close to surpassing even the PS4 next year. In contrast, the Xbox One sales fell down 14% compared to last year, showing that gamers are more likely to drop Microsoft’s console in favour of Sony or the PC. Even Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U saw an extremely slow sales figure, coming in with only 3%. However, the figure was expected to be low, since Ubisoft did not release any new Wii U title.

But enough about reports and statistics. What do you think? Are you a PS4 gamer or more inclined to switch to Sony’s console, or are you happy with the PC or other platforms? Let us know in the comments below.

Thank you arstechnica for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Sys@dmin Tutorials

Twitter Prepares to Launch Human-Curated News Service

Twitter is a massive social network, implying that its primary use to help people connect and chat to one another but over the past few years it has become clear that a lot of users don’t actually interact with other people on the platform. Sounds crazy right! There is actually a reason behind this.

Most twitter users use the platform as a source of information. They never actually post anything or DM anyone, but follow other people and use trending topics / hashtags to find out what is going on in the world.

These passive users are arguably less valuable to Twitter than active users because tweets, retweets, favorites and other actions help Twitter generate advertising revenue. However, that may be about to change.

Twitter has revealed details of a new initiative called Project Lightning, which aims to provide a better way of curating and aggregating tweets and content for users in one place, so that they can follow live events.

The twitter app on iPhone and Android will soon gain another button in the center of the home row that will take users to another section of the app that will show events taking place that people are tweeting about. This could be things such as the world cup or the Oscars or ongoing events such as the Nepal earthquake.

It sounds like the developers at twitter are making the best out of their users and I can see me using the new feature rather a lot.

Thank you to Telegraph for providing us with this information.

Facebook Messenger Gets its First Game

Facebook seems to be thinking of allowing games on its Messenger platform in the near future. The first one spotted on the platform is said to be Doodle Draw Game and although it’s nothing fancy, it still is the first one to pave the way for developers eyeing the platform’s potential for game development.

Doodle Draw is not the first third-party app that can be found on Facebook’s Messenger platform. The company allowed other developers to add apps that allow users to share GIFs and sound effects in the past, but the game addition really opened the market for the platform.

This is not necessarily good news for everyone and Facebook should tread carefully here too. We all are familiar with how game developers tend to spread the word and promote their games with inviting spams and automatic wall posts for achievements or other in-game activities. I don’t think users will enjoy the same marketing strategy on their Messenger too.

Still, this marks the beginning of a whole new market to both Facebook and other game developers out there. Although Facebook is not currently taking anything out of what developers earn from their apps on Facebook Messenger, they may be able to start making a small fortune in the future out of it. Let’s just hope people will still be using their platform and not run away from all the pesky marketing ads.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Skype for Web Rolls out in New Beta Version for US and UK Users

Have you ever been to an internet café or wanted to Skype a friend or family member from a shared computer? It is really frustrating when you try to use it and you see they don’t have Skype installed, isn’t it? Well, Skype just made things simple for you.

Whether you have a Mac or Windows PC, or even a (compatible) mobile phone with internet access, you can now head on over to Skype for Web. I did mention compatible previously because I tried to sign into the web platform on my Windows Phone handset, to which I was redirected to a page telling me that my device is still not compatible with the web service.

Even so, you can grab any laptop or PC and sign in to view your conversations and get access to IM. On some platforms, the service even provides calls and video calls, though the feature may still be a bit buggy. But hey, that’s why you have “beta” in the service’s name, isn’t it?

Still, Skype really did a good job on providing a way to sign onto its service with just a web browser and even get the full Skype experience on some compatible hardware. You can head on over to Skype’s website to try it out. Also, let us know what you think about Skype’s new initiative!

We May Not See a PC Release for Rock Band 4 and Here’s Why

We saw Rock Band 4 being announced for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 earlier this year, but how about the PC? We haven’t received any official announcements for the latter platform, up until now that is. Harmonix just announced that the latest Rock Band title will not have a PC release due to piracy concerns.

The developer is not actually concerned with the game’s piracy itself, but more with the songs in the title itself. They state that there are many concerns regarding the platform’s security and it looks like bands are sceptical with releasing the game on the PC as well. They are afraid that their songs may eventually end up being stripped out of the game and uploaded to torrent websites, thus they are more comfortable on going with the closed nature of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 platforms.his does not mean we won’t see Rock Band 4 on PC. Harmonix stated that songs may come with a DRM platform and prevent songs from being ripped out of the title.

However, this does not mean we won’t see Rock Band 4 on PC. Harmonix stated that songs may come with a DRM platform and prevent songs from being ripped out of the title. However, they will not make the move to release it on PC due to the low demand on the platform. They say that if a lot of fans want it on the PC, they may consider making a PC version in the future. Until then, we just have to look forward for the console version.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information

Grand Theft Auto V Sales Went Through The Roof

All this Grand Theft Auto V hype was bound to bring something like this sooner or later, so the recent sales figures won’t be a surprise to anyone. But before revealing them, let’s have a look at the sales technique used for the recent title and the Grand Theft Auto IV title.

First and most importantly, the Grand Theft Auto brand has been around for enough time to get players’ appreciation. Therefore, you mix something that players know, add some extra features and improve the graphics and you got yourself something to sell.

Secondly, the developer seems to have taken a unique platform approach. I mean GTA IV and GTA V were released on consoles first and then re-released on the PC one year later, so the hype won’t go away, but rather increase again a year later.

Given the above, we know that GTA V sales figures for PS3 and Xbox 360 brought over a billion in revenue, having the PS4 an Xbox One bring a sizeable amount too. Once the PC version launched, it sold about a million copies in just the first day.

Taking all that into account, can you guess the total number of copies sold? No? Well, let me tell you then. Grand Theft Auto V sold more than 52 million copies to date and I think the number will increase in the following months.

What this means is that Grand Theft Auto V is now the 4th best-selling title of all time, just below Wii Sports, Tetris and Minecraft. Pretty cool, eh?

Thank you GearNuke for providing us with this information

Facebook Wants to Bring Free Internet to Europe

Free internet is something that everyone wants nowadays, and for good reason too. Where do you go when you want to read the latest news, speak to friends or check your email account? This is why Facebook plans to bring free internet to Europe soon.

Zuckerberg was present in a Q&A recently and divulged its plans to connect countries with limited access to the Internet. He stated that there are a lot of people who are still not connected to the internet today and he wants to change all that.

“Yes, we want to bring Internet.org [everywhere] where there are people who need to be connected. We’re starting off by prioritizing the countries with the most unconnected people and by working with network operators and governments who are most excited about working with Internet.org to get everyone online in their countries.”

The company also launched a feature that provides basic mobile internet in countries such as Kenya, India, Tanzania and Columbia. Though it won’t bring Google Fiber to your doorstep, it still provides some way to stay connected with the changing times.

Zuckerberg seems to have disclosed some other information regarding his company’s future plans with the latest Facebook Messenger payment feature and that Oculus is going to go well beyond the boundaries of gaming.

“Our mission [is] to give people the power to experience anything,” he wrote. “Even if you don’t have the ability to travel somewhere, or to be with someone in person, or even if something is physically impossible to build in our analog world, the goal is to help build a medium that will give you the ability to do all of these things you might not otherwise be able to do.”

Facebook has quite a lot planned for the future, from connecting everyone and bringing them together with free internet and its social media platform, to digging into future technologies such as Oculus and attempting to exploit it to its full potential. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thank you Tech Radar for providing us with this information

Grand Theft Auto 5 PC Users Faced with Login Problems over the Weekend

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 5 has just hit the PC platform and it already had its fair share of problems. Users with ‘unique’ usernames have been extremely disappointed when attempting to install or play the GTA 5 title over the weekend, having been greeted with the “Rockstar update service is unavailable (code 1)” message.

By ‘unique’ usernames, we mean to say that users with characters outside the alphanumeric table are facing the issue described above. Now let’s stop and think about that for a second… really? I mean how in the world did you not see this coming? Going on a simple forum or scrolling through your list of Steam/Uplay/Origin/Windows/etc usernames reveals the “0b\/|0u$”. People have been creative with their usernames for ages now.

Rockstar Support provided some information on their website, which reads as following:

“We have identified an issue where players with Windows usernames that include characters not found in the table at the bottom of this page will likely run into difficulties when attempting to download, install, or play GTAV. We are currently working on a fix for this issue.”

The company’s support has even stated to have had temporary alternative for the issue, but it involves creating a fresh account. While this gave you access to the game, you wouldn’t have had any previous achievements, friends or stats as on your regular account. Even so, who would want to play on a temporary account and lose everything when they have to switch back to their old one?

A full list of supported characters, according to Rockstar, read as following: “A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i J j K k L l M m N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9”

This is now in the past though, since Polygon reported that connection issues are now resolved. However, Rockstar now seems to be investigating some possible progression losses, saves, items and characters that occurred along with the connection problems. Have you had any problems playing the game? Did you lose any progress or items? Let us know!

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Updates for Grand Theft Auto 5 Coming to PC and Consoles at the Same Time

Grand Theft Auto 5 will finally hit the PC platform soon (after an eternity of waiting), having it be delayed several times due to the amount of work required to port the title. Since the release date is getting closer, Rockstar has disclosed how it will handle the PC version in relation to the console counterpart.

It seems that the developer plans to work on all platforms at the same time, having them release updates for the PC and consoles simultaneously. At least this is what Lead Gameplay Designer, John Macpherson, stated in a conversation with GameSpot.

“We plan to deliver updates to PC and consoles simultaneously. There can be occasional variations in timing based on specifics from one console to another but PC will not be on a separate timetable to other platforms.”

Macpherson has also given some insights on why the PC version always arrives after it’s released on consoles, stating that the company wants “each version of the game to be the best it can possibly be”, thus taking a lot more work and time to get it to the Rockstar standards.

“It comes down to bandwidth. We want each version of the game to be the best it can possibly be, and that means having the core members of the original GTA 5 team working closely with the best PC developers from across all Rockstar studios.”

“The same crew that did great work on the PC versions of Max Payne 3, L.A. Noire and GTA 4, essentially. A large portion of the team that worked on GTA 5 for PS3 and Xbox 360 also worked on the PS4 and Xbox One versions and all of the GTA Online content, including Heists.”

“Since the new generation console versions and the PC version share similar architecture, the team also continued to work on the PC version. With each version adding features and requiring the focus of the same key people, that takes time.”

Rockstar will be releasing Grand Theft Auto 5 for PC on April 14th, having Macpherson eagerly awaiting for gamers to experience the company’s “ultimate version of an amazing game”. How excited are you for the title’s release?

Thank you Gamingbolt for providing us with this information

Seagate Collaborates With CERN Openlab To Develop Kinetic Storage Platform

The European Organization for Nuclear Reasearch, CERN, produces a massive amount of data to be analyzed, but also stored, a thing that’s becoming an increasing problem with the 2-3 petabytes of information it produces on a monthly basis. The Large Hadron Collider has generated over 100 petabytes of data to date, and all of it has to be kept safe and secure.

Seagate and CERN Openlab have now entered a 3-year partnership on the development of Seagate’s Kinetic Open Storage platform. The new platform restructures the traditional storage server architectures from the bottom up by connecting object-oriented applications directly to the storage device. This cuts out the many layers of hardware and software traditionally used and is something that is said to not only improve performance but also cut costs by 15-40%. It’s kind of a System in a Disk, to say it in the simplest of words.

“This is a thrilling opportunity for Seagate to collaborate with CERN to more efficiently operate one of the most extreme and demanding storage environments in the world,” said Scott Horn, vice president of marketing at Seagate. “We believe our partnership will not only deliver extensive benefits to CERN’s large-scale storage system, but also help us further enhance the Seagate Kinetic Open Storage platform by testing it in an unparalleled data creation environment.”

A second and future research project between Seagate and CERN is also planned where they will look at CERN’s EOS storage system to determine whether there are opportunities to enhance and improve the system.

Thanks to Seagate for providing us with this information

Microsoft Making It Easier for Devs to Program for Xbox One

OSome Studio’s Mathieu has recently made an interesting statement regarding development complexity for the Xbox One. Fremont, who has worked with OSome Studio in developing the console-based White Night title, said that the PlayStation 4 is a powerful console indeed, which is nothing new since all game devs prefer Sony’s platform more than Microsoft’s alternative.

However, he added that the Xbox One is easier to program for. Now here is where the controversy begins, since it was previously known that Microsoft’s console has been a nightmare for devs. While the PlayStation 4’s unified GDDR5 memory makes it easier for devs to take full advantage if its performance, The Xbox One comes with slower DDR3 memory combined with a small amount of ESRAM.

Taking full advantage of the ESRAM is known to be a true challenge and this is why developers will always choose the PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One anytime. But Microsoft may have made it easier for developers to tap into the ESRAM resource with updated Xbox One SDKs, which is great since we now can expect a lot of titles being released for Microsoft’s console without the hassle of building the game on the platform.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

Better Visuals and Modding Tools Promised in Latest Wasteland 2 Engine Update

Unity’s latest release, Unity 5, is nearly here and since more and more games are being developed with its Game Engine, a lot of developers will receive new and improved tools to tweak their games. The release promises more flexibility and power, as well as a more simplified process of developing games for a variety of platforms.

inXile Entertainment is one of the companies which are already keen on using Unity 5’s power and is currently planning on ways to upgrade its Wasteland 2 title. Chris Keenan, the project lead for Wasteland 2, posted what to expect in the near future from the title, having significant “visual improvements” and “better tools for modders” as a result of the new changes.

“…one task we’re working on right now is migrating the Wasteland 2 codebase from the Unity 4.5 engine to Unity 5, which will enable some new possibilities for us. A major benefit of moving to Unity 5 is that 5 will include many of the tools from Unity 4.x Pro. We relied on many of these tools during our development (like creating and building navigation meshes), and they will be available to modders without having to pay thousands of dollars for a Pro Unity license … Unity 5 offers physically based shading, which is already starting to look amazing in the scenes we’ve touched up.”

inXile stated that it has a few unique features planned as well, but it isn’t ready to reveal them. However, since modding and better visuals are the main topic, it’s hard to imagine the ‘unmentioned’ features being a disappointment.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information

Windows Phone Store Gets BBM Beta After Reaching 10,000 User Sign-Ups in 24 Hours

BlackBerry’s popular messaging app, BBM, is stated to have reached the 10,000 sign-up number for Microsoft’s Windows Phone Beta in about 24 hours. This means that Windows Phone users running on Windows Phone 8 or above operating systems are now able to download the app from the Windows Phone Store.

The company has stated that it will release the app in beta form at first, but this does not mean it will lack features present on other platforms, such as the iOS or Android. It is said that BBM Chat, BBM Groups, Find Friends, BBM Feeds and even Pin to Start are available in the Windows Phone app.

Due to its lack of funds, BlackBerry has extended its service to other platform in order to monetize its products. We have previously seen Microsoft do the same with its mobile version of Microsoft Office, having it released for both iOS and Android ahead of its own Windows Phone operating system.

Also, BlackBerry has stated that BBM users decide on which platform they would like to see the service. Since most demand was previously for iOS and Android, Windows Phone fell short and did not receive the app. However, its addition to the Windows Phone Store will also benefit both users and the company, having users talk on their preferred messaging app and BlackBerry making a lot of money out of it.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo

Reddit Launches its Live-Blogging Platform, Reddit Live

Reddit has officially launched its own live-blogging platform by the named of Reddit Live. The platform was previously in ‘open beta’ for a few months, having covered Twitch Plays Pokemon and the conflict in Ukraine up until now.

It is said that only Reddit employees were able to create live streams and authorize trusted users to contribute to them during its beta stage. However, now anyone can user Reddit Live and submit their own threads to a dedicated subreddit. Compared to normal Reddit posts, these Live posts are said to automatically update in your browser in real-time. The Reddit Live feeds are said to feature embedded support for tweets, which can eventually host images, YouTube videos and article links.

While Reddit is not a traditional publisher, the new addition could become the default platform for user-credited live blogs. The Reddit platform has proven to be an effective crowdsource of online information, but with some difficulties since April 2013 when the website received some harsh reactions to the Boston Marathon bombings. Reddit should be careful in future endeavors if it wants its latest Live platform to steer away from such incidents in the future.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of TheNextWeb

Freemium Apps Said to Generate 98% of Google Play’s Revenue in May

A study performed by App Annie is said to have revealed in a report that Google Play’s revenue in May was not made from paid applications. With over 1.5 million apps from the store platform, it appears that 98% of the revenue was generated from freemium applications.

The freemium applications, which are ‘free’ to download and play, but also provide ‘premium’ content which users can buy with real money, have proven to be the ‘gold mine’ for Google’s store platform. However, the reports also show that the majority of downloads from the store registered in May also indicated a decrease in freemium apps and an increase in free (no strings attached) applications.

App Annie apparently did not state the revenue spike from freemium apps in the given months, however downloads from previous months followed by content purchase later on might explain it since 90% of the revenue during the first quarter reportedly came from games.

The use of premium content inside games has been criticised for some time now, having gamers with more money be given an advantage over gamers who do not wish to invest in such applications. Nevertheless, data gathered by App Annie shows that while the jury decides whether or not freemium apps are unethical or not, the apps are currently deemed as commercially successful.

The study shows that the average application downloaded from Google Play earns roughly $1,150, while Apple’s App Store brings a figure of $4,000, followed by Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store bringing in only $625. Though there is a considerable gap between Apple and Google’s earnings, it is said that Google is quickly gaining some ground in markets from Asia, Russia, Mexico and Brazil.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Mashable