Speaking with the BBC, CEO Steve Ballmer plainly stated that Microsoft "will support [Kinect on PC] in a formal way in the right time."
But hey, who needs a bunch of lightning-quick geniuses creating the all-purpose interface of tomorrow when you can have a range of wonky games spanning three whole genres? With winners like Fighters Uncaged, the affectionately named “Spongebob game,” and EA Sports Get Fit With Mel B On The Biggest Loser While Getting Hit By A UFC Trainer, we think the question pretty much answers itself.
In this world where the ancient art of the PC-exclusive may as well be a dinosaur baking in the shadow of its very own meteor, it's always nice to see someone find massive success on our beloved platform. This time, though, it's more than just chest-thumping, because Amnesia: The Dark Descent developer Frictional Interactive thinks it's time for developers in general to reconsider their stance on PC game development.
“With these figures at hand, we must confess that it gives us new confidence for the PC,” the developer wrote on its official blog while announcing that Amnesia's nearly broken 200,000 in sales. “The sales that we have had (and are having) are more than enough to motivate developing a game with the PC as the main (and even only) platform.”
“Based on what we have seen, the online PC market is just getting bigger and bigger, and we are convinced we are far from the end of this growth. We think that other developers that consider making their game exclusive to a console might want to think again.”
The frighteningly talented horror developer made sure to add, however, that its level of success isn't quite the norm... yet. Frictional then continued: “The market does continue to grow though, and it might not be long before these kinds of numbers are considered perfectly normal.”
What's not perfectly normal, however, is how much you'll wet yourself while playing Amnesia. Seriously, it's that scary. If you've been feeling a little too courageous and capable lately, start up Amnesia, turn off the lights, and melt into a crying child. It's ok; we won't tell. As long as you promise to hold us the whole time.
Some of the first tablets built around Google's much anticipated Android "Honeycomb" platform will likely come from Motorola, Samsung, and HTC. Citing industry sources, DigiTimes says the search giant is giving priority to these three companies for cooperation to develop slates around the first version of Android intended specifically for tablet computing.
Honeycomb was built from the ground up for tablets, and from what we've seen, it definitely shows. Google posted a teaser video this week of Honeycomb in action, and while it's still Android, it's Android like you've never seen it before.
Being one of the first out the door with a Honeycomb tablet could prove a major advantage, and a major disadvantage for those left waiting in the wings. DigiTimes says Compal Electronics "tried in vain to cooperate with Google" on a Honeycomb tablet for 2010, but Google instead has given priority to handset makers.
Google posted a video promo of its upcoming Android 3.0 OS (Honeycomb) a little prematurely, and though the sultan of search tried pulling it offline, it's a futile effort trying to hide anything in cyberspace. The video is back up again, and it shows the next-generation OS in all its tablet-y goodness.
"Honeycomb is the next version of the Android platform, designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets," Google stated in a blog post. "We've spent a lot of time refining the user experience in Honeycomb, and we've developed a brand-new, truly virtual and holographic user interface. Many of Android's existing features will really shine on Honeycomb: refined multitasking, elegant notifications, access to over 100,000 apps on Android Market, home screen customization with a new 3D experience, and redesigned widgets that are richer and more interactive. We've also made some powerful upgrades to the Web browser, including tabbed browsing, form auto-fill, syncing with your Google Chrome bookmarks, and incognito mode for private browsing."
If you weren't all that impressed with Android as a tablet OS up to this point, you will be after sneaking a peak of this video. The Android DNA is evident, but it's been polished for tablets and finally looks primed to take on the iPad.
Check it out below and then hit the jump and tell us what you think!
On the software front, SanDisk used CES to announce it's now offering encryption and online backup features across its entire retail USB portfolio. This includes the company's SecureAccess software, which creates a password-protected folder or "vault" on the USB drive, and up to 2GB of storage in the cloud offered by Dmailer.
"Business travelers lose more than 12,000 laptops each week in U.S. airports, and more than half of those laptops contain confidential or sensitive information," said Kent Perry, director, product marketing, SanDisk. "Data security has become an absolute necessity, and SanDisk USB drives with SecureAccess software offer an easy to use vault protected by AES encryption."
SanDisk is also expanding its USB flash drive offerings with the introduction of the Ultra and Cruzer Edge. The Ultra serves up transfer speeds up to 15MB/s and comes in 8GB ($45) and 32GB ($110) capacities, while the Cruzer Edge sports a compact slider design and is available in 2GB ($13), 4GB ($32), 8GB ($45), and 16GB ($80 capacities).
Hit the jump to read about SanDisk's CompactFlash announcement.
Hulu Plus has become a holy grail of sorts in terms of app integration, and just as Indiana Jones was able to get his hands on the mystical cup in The Last Crusade, Vizio says it's managed to track down Hulu Plus and add it to its VIA (Vizio Internet Apps) platform.
Vizio also added Blockbuster On Demand, both of which you'll find embedded into several CE connected devices, including LCD HDTVs and Blu-ray players.
"Our Vizio Internet Apps platform continues to be the most innovative and compelling connected experience for consumer electronics," said Matthew McRae, Chief Technology Officer at Vizio. "Service and application partners focus on Vizio because of the seamless user experience, class leading features, and award winning devices. The result is a product that gives consumers unprecedented choice and access to the best of what the web has to offer."
Both of these additions are subscription services. For Hulu Plus, you'll have to fork over $7.99/month, while Blockbuster On Demand offers rentals ranging in price from $2.99 to $3.99, and purchases priced $5.99 to $19.99.
Let's see, an Activision Blizzard game starring a former side-character called “Ghost”? Hoo boy, we've been down this road before, and it doesn't end well. Ok, cancellation fears concerning a possibly non-existent game aside, a site called thisisxbox.com fired up the old rumor mill, and it hacked up some dust, cobwebs, and a big hint about Infinity Ward's next entry in the Modern Warfare series.
Apparently, it won't be Modern Warfare 3, as originally suspected. Instead, a “source within the industry” told the site that the new game will star everybody's favorite “Gee, I wish I was playing as that guy” Modern Warfare 2 character, Ghost. The story will follow the conspicuously style-conscious soldier up to the events of Modern Warfare and then into his Task Force 141 days as detailed by an already released comic book series. According to the source, areas from both Modern Warfare 1 and 2 will also be revisited, but from different perspectives.
Infinity Ward refused to confirm or deny the rumor, which – in gaming industry speak – often translates to “well, we're not saying 'no'....” But even if you hate the idea with every fiber of your being, Activision's at least making sure you've got approximately marketsaturationfinity optionsto choose from.
Have things seemed... off lately? Well, friends, that's because you're in the Twilight Zone. Don't believe us? Well, how else do you explain the fact that Valve's embodiment of the phrase “large-and-in-charge” is whistling this tune:
"It's a real game changer for us," Valve CEO Gabe Newell said of Sandy Bridge and its integrated graphics core. "This allows for a console like experience on the PC."
He's referring, of course, to the fact that Sandy Bridge could lead to a consistent set of specs for all PCs. In other words, no more futzing around with different graphics configurations. Granted, Sandy Bridge nearly took home gold when we ran it through our obstacle course, but it came up sadly short in the graphics department.
Meanwhile, Newell noted that Portal 2 was actually built from the ground up with a Sandy Bridge processor in mind. Sure, it's not the most graphically intense game ever, but – if you're a fan of fishing around in the nitty gritty guts of your PC – it might be a disturbing sign of things to come.
We'd be lying if we said we saw this one coming. In an attempt to market Fallout: New Vegas to a skeptical Japanese public, Bethesda decided to give Fallout 3 the time travel treatment, resulting in a project that – somewhat ironically – looks older than its target audience. As explained by Bethesda:
“What would Fallout look like if it had been made in 1987 by a Japanese development studio? Our scientists have answered that question, taking over the Japanese Fallout website with an 8-bit version of the Capital Wasteland.”
It's worth noting, however, that the demake's only available in Japanese, so you'll have to wing your way through the Wasteland for now. Or, if this really is just like old times, you could always wait for a horribly translated and borderline racist localization to come along three years from now.
While previous non-spin-off entries in DICE's massive, far-from-passive war shooter series have understandably stuck to their PC roots, it appears that times have changed. After all, we're talking about a console generation that can produce 256-player FPSes here, so it only makes sense that DICE wouldn't hesitate to spread the wealth. Fear not, however, longtime Battlefield supporters, as the developer certainly hasn't forgotten about you.
“It will not be exclusive,” tweeted Battlefield 3 lead designer David Goldfarb. “We are putting special effort into the PC version, even for us, it's extraordinary.”
If DICE's track record with games like Battlefield Bad Company 2 is any indication, Goldfarb's promises aren't just empty words. Now then, if we could just get him to give us something other than words – maybe some screenshots, details, or a quick video of him running around with his arms in the air, pretending to be one of the game's airplanes. At this point, we'll take anything!