Speaking at SXSW this weekend, Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer said that Xbox’s Games with Gold program (it's free monthly game giveaway for Xbox 360 - and eventually Xbox One) is "fundamentally different" than "other programs" (we assume he is referring the PlayStation Plus for PS3 and PS4) because it allows members to keep the games regardless of whether they continue to pay for a subscription or not.
The head of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) has lashed out at one of the key journalists publishing stories about the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. While not mentioning him by name, Rogers basically calls The Guardian's Glen Greenwald a thief, implying that he is committing some sort of crime and is selling the documents leaked by Edward Snowden. You may recall that Greenwald was one of the first journalists to break the story about Edward Snowden and his cache of NSA-related documents and materials..
If you think it's cute to disconnect from Killer Instinct on Xbox Live when you are playing an online match, then you may not be happy to hear that game developer Double Helix wants to put you in jail. Not "you" in the literal sense, but your account.
The next update to Killer Instinct on Xbox One will institute a jail system for players who frequently disconnect in the middle of online matches. Here's how the whole system will work, according to Double Helix:
A rare Nintendo World Championship cartridge (only 116 of them exist in the world) recently sold in a high profile eBay auction, but it turns out that the seller was punk'd when the buyer said he didn't have the $99,902 - the winning bid - to pay for it. The rules on eBay are very buyer-friendly, so someone can drive up a bid on something and then simply say "oops" or "I made a mistake." Meanwhile, a seller who finds themselves in such a situation has little to no recourse to do anything and the item cannot be relisted for another 30 days.
While we have no way to confirm it, one of our readers claims that a man whose game recently launched on Kongregate (owned by GameStop) has been arrested by the Iranian government and jailed. The game he was supposedly jailed for is "Kill Dictators," and as the title suggest, players are charged with killing various leaders inside and outside Iran including Bashar, Erdogan, Amhadi Nejad, Khameni, Nasrallah, and Putin.
Update: EA COO Peter Moore took to Twitter to say that one should not trust anonymous sources:
" Don’t trust 'anonymous sources.' Nintendo's a great partner. They never have been, and never will be, ‘dead’ to EA..."
The author of the CVG story, Rob Crossely, had a brief exchange with Moore, noting that the "anonymous source" was an "EA one."
Earlier this week Alienware said that its Steam Machines - custom PCs that sport Valve's steam OS, hardware to support it, and a nifty Steam Controller - were not upgradeable and that it would use a release schedule similar to the iPad to get new hardware out there. Today the company is saying that there was a bit of a miscommunication in its original message.
What the company meant to say, apparently, is that you CAN upgrade the Alienware-branded Steam Machine, but it won't be an easy thing to do.
Trademarking a single common word is never a good idea, but that hasn't stopped King.com from attempting to secure a trademark for the word "candy." The company, which makes the ridiculously popular social and mobile game Candy Crush Saga, has filed a patent application for "Candy" with the USPTO. The application, which was filed for last year, was approved on January 15. Companies who oppose this filing have a 30 day window to file a complaint.
In an interview published on Sunday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron revealed that his children are banned from video games and technology. Noting that he worries about the effects of technology on his young children, the Prime Minister says that his children are banned from playing video games, using mobile phones and tablets. He also is apparently no longer a fan of Miley Cyrus because he doesn't want his children to know what "twerking is." On that we can probably agree...
A documentary about the ill effects of online game addiction in South Korea made its debut this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival. According to the festival's official website (as reported on by GameSpot), the documentary explores South Korea's online gaming culture as it follows the story of a couple whose three-month-old daughter died of malnutrition while they were allegedly playing the massively multiplayer online game, Prius Online.
When president Barack Obama purchased a copy of Just Dance 3 in December 2011, he was doing more than just buying a game for his daughters - he was emphasizing the fact the game franchise is universal, according to Ubisoft managing director Xavier Poix. Speaking to IGN about the franchise, Poix reminisced about the best endorsement of a game a company can get - one from a fairly popular sitting U.S. president.
Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten tells Engadget that he isn't too overly concerned about two of the biggest things coming out of CES last week: Oculus VR's latest prototype ("Crystal Cove") and Valve's Steam Machines. In an interview with the publication, Whitten said that he's excited about both initiatives and that their entry into gaming can only bring good things to the industry.
According to details found in the Steam Database brought to light in this NeoGAF thread, the new patch that rolled out for Fallout 3 looks to have removed Game For Windows LIVE features from the game. According to the thread, variables with names like ShowCDKeyOnLaunch and LegacyKeyRegistryLocation have been removed, which is a good indication that the Microsoft gaming service is no longer supported by the game.
Earlier this week we reported that Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finland-based antivirus provider F-Secure, had publicly canceled a talk (entitled, "Governments as Malware Authors") at the upcoming RSA Conference USA 2014 in protest of news that the RSA received $10 million to make an NSA-favored random number generator the default setting in its BSAFE crypto tool.
According to IBM's newly released "Digital Analytics Benchmark Report," purchases made from iOS devices accounted for about 23 percent of the online shopping done on Christmas Day in the U.S. The report tracked millions of transactions from approximately 800 U.S. retail websites. Around 4.6 percent of purchases were made on Android devices.
While tablets seem to be popular with very young children, some pediatricians and other health experts are expressing concerns that these devices may be interfering with early childhood development and may even lead to some children developing attention problems. Of course, the research on all of this is still mostly incomplete because the iPad and other popular devices have not been out long enough to determine what the long-term effects of usage among children really are.
Back in June of this year we reported on the plight of 19-year-old Texan Justin Carter, who was arrested back in March for making a terrorist threat online. The incident happened in February of this year. Justin Carter was either playing League of Legends or engaging in a forum conversation when another player wrote a comment calling him insane.
The governor of Rhode Island said that he isn't surprised that many of the 38 Studios assets remained unsold after an online auction earlier this month failed to find a buyer. At a press conference today Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee told the press that Schilling's flagship MMO game "Project Copernicus," was a "a lot of junk."
Florida-based political group The National Liberty Foundation is catching some heat this morning for posting anti-immigration propaganda from Bioshock Infinite, a game that puts such forms of thinking under a microscope by focusing on an isolated society, its leader and the movement that wants to keep "America pure." The group describes itself as a conservative coalition made up of citizens that identify themselves as part of the Tea Party movement.
The CEO of a major Chinese corporation has hinted that the Xbox One will be available in China next year. Luo Jiangchun, CEO of online video service Funshion, said during a marketing and advertising strategy meeting last week that the Xbox One would be available in China in 2014, according to Chinese tech site Sohu IT (as uncovered by this Kotaku report).
Rakuten, owner of the UK-based games retailer Play.com, claims that Nintendo’s Wii U has seen a 75 percent sales spike in October. The company predicts that Wii U and iPad will be more popular than Xbox One and PS4 amongst children during the holiday season. The company also cites a Twitter analysis that comes to the conclusion that its Wii U and iPad range are "the most talked about presents for children this Christmas."
A 19-year-old man who thought he was buying an Xbox One on eBay instead was shocked to learn that he had purchased a photo of an Xbox One instead. 19-year-old United Kingdom resident Peter Clatworthy paid £450 +£8 shipping (around $750) for a piece of paper, according to the Nottingham Post.
An interesting report in the LA Business Journal (citing a Bloomberg report) says that Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick allegedly threatened to quit as Activision Blizzard’s top executive if the board didn't accept his buyout plan to re-secure Vivendi’s stake in the company. This little morsel of information - which Activision Blizzard has not publicly commented on as of this writing - comes from claims in a shareholder lawsuit over the deal.