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AMD Never Settle Reloaded Bundles Now Live, Region-Specific Details Released

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the arrival of its "Never Settle: Reloaded" game bundle, the sequel to last year's monumental "Never Settle" bundle. "Never Settle: Reloaded" delivers by bundling up to four of this year's most anticipated PC games -- "BioShock Infinite" by 2K Games and Irrational Games, "Crysis 3" by Electronic Arts, "DmC Devil May Cry" by Capcom and "Tomb Raider" by Square Enix -- with select AMD Radeon HD 7900 and HD 7800 Series graphics cards. The bundle highlights the continued commitment by AMD to ensure an incredible gaming experience on the world's top PC titles optimized for AMD Radeon graphics cards

"AMD knows gaming and in 2013 we plan to make a huge mark on the industry. Today we begin that journey by showing the world that the best PC game developers are AMD Gaming Evolved partners," said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD Graphics. "The 'Never Settle: Reloaded' bundle clearly stands apart from anything else in the market. Gaming has always been, and will remain, the core of the AMD Graphics strategy and success. In 2013, we plan to forge greater inroads into the gaming industry and it begins with packaging this year's biggest games with the best graphics hardware from AMD." The "Never Settle: Reloaded" bundle offers the following games when purchased with select AMD Radeon HD 7900 and HD 7800 Series graphics cards:

Apple Patents Game Controller and Console Remote

Apple might be diving into the world of console gaming yet again according to Shacknews and The patent application shows a staggering similarity to Sony's DualShock controller and what seems to be an iPhone interacting with a Microsoft Xbox360. This might be an Apple style preemptive attack against future endeavors to create apps that interface with current generation consoles or it could be something new that Apple has in the works. With the current growth in Apples market share and the growing popularity of Apple TV it shouldn't come as a surprise it would want a piece of the console pie. Whether the big three (Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo) give any leeway to Apple has yet to be seen.

Source: Shacknews

Diablo 3 Tops Sales Charts for May

The games market went to Hell in May. Diablo III topping retail software sales for the month, according to the latest sales figures from NPD, and helped fuel a resurgence in the PC games space. Other top performers included Max Payne 3, which launched the same day as Diablo III, as well as Sniper Elite V2 and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
While action titles continued their dominance of the top 10, 2K Sports' NBA 2K12 held the fifth spot for the second straight week. Blizzard continued to show its impact in the PC market with Diablo III at number 1, the first time since July 2010 that a PC-only title has accomplished that feat. The game that did it in 2010? StarCraft 2, another Blizzard mainstay.

Total video game sales continued to shrink, down 28 percent from last year. However, the PC market jumped 230 percent from the same time last year to $80 million, fueled by Diablo III sales. The overall spend in May, including digital sales and microtransactions was estimated to be $1.17 billion.

Mad Catz and Microsoft Studios Sign Deal for Licensed Halo 4 Gaming Headsets

Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. today that it has entered into an agreement with Microsoft Studios, to create Halo 4 branded Gaming Headsets to be released later this year.

“We are excited to add Halo 4 to our portfolio of world class video game licenses,” said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. “Halo is one of the world’s most popular video games and these new Halo branded headsets are sure to appeal to the passionate gamer who wants to maximize his or her Halo experience.”

Samsung Set to Become a Major Force in the Video Game Industry

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, revealed today its cloud-based gaming service: “Samsung Cloud Gaming”. Samsung Cloud Gaming, developed in partnership with Gaikai, a leading cloud-based video game platform provider, will stream a mix of family-friendly and AAA video games directly to owners of 2012 Samsung LED 7000 series and up Smart TVs in the U.S.

Samsung Cloud Gaming gives Smart TV users instant access to some of the video game industry’s biggest titles, without any need to download, install or patch/update games. In under a minute, consumers can find and start playing some of the most popular game titles on the market.

CM Storm Launches QuickFire Pro Gaming Keyboard

Cooler Master, an industry leading chassis, thermal solution, peripheral, and accessory manufacturer, today announces the next incarnation of the extremely popular QuickFire Rapid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, the QuickFire Pro.

Featuring a smooth and clean aesthetic, QuickFire Pro includes laser-marked keycaps and a non-glossy matte finish. This is complemented by a set of extra keycaps (includes a key puller) that give the keyboard an extra appeal that draws other gamers in. A response time of 1ms, in USB mode, offers gamers a necessary consistency to navigate the ever changing landscapes of their video game libraries. With the Windows Key being disabled in GAME mode, users will no longer worry about possibly losing a match from accidentally minimizing the game.

CM Storm Launches QuickFire Pro Gaming Keyboard

Cable routing, Fn function keys, windows key disabling, LEDs; so if the build quality is even semi decent it should be a good buy for that price, especially with the choice of switches. Looks a bit fugly but i could personally over look that.

Oh look even has LEDs for people who bang on about they MUST have them.

Turtle Beach and Major League Gaming to Introduce New Tournament Headsets

Turtle Beach, pioneers and market-leaders of the gaming headset category, and Major League Gaming (MLG), the world's largest competitive video game league, today announce a multi-year product and marketing partnership under which Turtle Beach will develop the official headsets and audio equipment of Major League Gaming. The first official products offered under this partnership will be MLG versions of the all-new Ear Force XP7 and Z7 MLG Pro Circuit Programmable Surround Sound Headsets for console and PC play, along with the Ear Force TM1 Tournament Audio Mixer.

Slated for release in Fall 2012, working prototypes of these exciting new game audio products and others from the Turtle Beach line will be available for preview in Turtle Beach's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) booth; Los Angeles Convention Center South Hall #2447, from June 5 – 7, 2012. MLG Pro Players will be on hand to help introduce the new products, with appearances in the Turtle Beach booth daily from 2-3 p.m. PT.

LG Launches a Pair of TV-Monitors

LG Electronics (LG) unveiled a new line-up of premium personal TVs which combine a TV and a monitor in a single unit. On LG's DM2752 and M2752 monitors, users can enjoy a range of multimedia entertainment ranging from terrestrial HD broadcasting to any content served up by a PC at Full HD resolution. Both personal TVs feature IPS panels, boasting lifelike color and extremely wide viewing angles.

"With the integration of multimedia entertainment and the internet, LG is at the frontier of cutting-edge TV technology," said J.J. Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of IT Business Unit of LG Home Entertainment Company. We are developing unique personal TVs designed to meet the needs of changing consumer habits, whether that customer's passion is 3D gaming, internet browsing or simply watching their favorite sitcom."

GameStop Announces First-Ever Consumer EXPO at Annual Conference

GameStop, the world’s largest multichannel retailer of video games, is lifting the curtain on its annual conference that, until now, has been open only to GameStop employees. GameStop PowerUp Rewards members are invited to experience more than 200,000 square feet of video gaming at the first-ever GameStop EXPO 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the hottest new video games months before they're released, enter to win great prizes and meet with top video game publishers and special guests.

In addition to general EXPO admission, GameStop is offering a limited number of VIP admissions that include up to four in-depth sessions with some of the biggest names in gaming, access to VIP-only lines and entrance to the VIP gaming lounge. General admission is $35 and VIP admission is $100. Both are payable with PowerUp Rewards points or credit card.

iPad Mini Rumors Get Louder, Video Games Industry Echos Them

To capitalize on its dominant iPad brand, and offer devices at untapped price-points, Apple is said to be working on a smaller variant, so far referred to as "iPad Mini". This little fellow will pack a smaller 7.85-inch screen compared to the 9.7-inch screen on standard-sized iPad. The fresh round of rumors were supported by sources in the video games industry, who tend to be aware of upcoming iPad products, since it's a gaming platform with sizable reach. The iPad Mini could start at a staggering price of US $199, and is headed for a Q3, 2012 release.

Source: CVG

Crytek Takes Aim with Crysis 3 - The First Blockbuster Shooter of 2013

The hunted becomes the hunter! Electronic Arts Inc. and award-winning developer Crytek GmbH, today announced Crysis 3, the premier sandbox shooter experience of 2013. Powered by Crytek's proprietary CryENGINE, Crysis 3 advances the state of the art with unparalleled visuals and dynamic shooter gameplay. Players take on the role of 'Prophet' as he returns to New York, only to discover that the city has been encased in a Nanodome created by the corrupt Cell Corporation. The New York City Liberty Dome is a veritable urban rainforest teeming with overgrown trees, dense swamplands and raging rivers. Within the Liberty Dome, seven distinct and treacherous environments become known as the Seven Wonders. This dangerous new world demands advanced weapons and tactics. Prophet will utilize a lethal composite bow, an enhanced Nanosuit and devastating alien tech to become the deadliest hunter on the planet.

"Crysis 3 is a thrilling mix of sandbox gameplay, advanced combat and hi-tech human and alien weaponry that shooter fans will love," said Cevat Yerli, Chief Executive Officer of Crytek. "Leveraging the latest CryENGINE technology, we're able to deliver seven unique themes that offer stunning and visually loaded gameplay experiences. We cannot wait until people get their hands on the game."

Battlefield Evolved and Dark Knight Rises Appear in Retail list

According to MCV a major UK High Street retailer has mentioned two new titles for the first time. Firstly, it suggests that Warner Bros’ upcoming summer movie hit The Dark Knight Rises will be accompanied by a video game tie-in. Furthermore, owing to the nature of the in formation MCV obtained, it suggests a physical release rather than a smaller-scale digital title. Also on the list is a game called Battlefield Evolved. No further details are known. With EA planning a big push for Medal of Honor: Warfighter this Q4, a fully-fledged Battlefield release seems unlikely. It may be that the SKU includes Battlefield 3 and all of its DLC. Both games are supposedly scheduled for the autumn.

Source: MCV

Valve Corporation Worth $3 Billion

Video games developer, publisher, and distributor, Valve Corporation is valued at US $3 billion. A privately-held company, Valve doesn't disclose its finances to the public. Forbes estimated its worth by consulting video game industry insiders, equity analysts, investment bankers, and technology analysts. Valve's co-founder and managing director, Gabe Newell, who owns over 50% of the company, has a net worth of $1.5 billion, making him the newest billionaire from the video games industry. He ranks 854th out of 1,226 global billionaires in Forbes' list. Apart from having largely successful game franchises such as Half Life, Counter Strike, Left4Dead, and Portal, Valve has arguably the most popular video games digital distribution platform, Steam. Steam distributes more than 1,800 titles, from 50 different publishers.

Source: Forbes

Infinity Ward Lawsuit Going to Trial with EA and CoD Creators

Apparently the war between the original creators of the Call of Duty franchise and Activision is going in front of a jury. The big "he said, the monolithic corporation said" video games kerfuffle of 2010, the fallout from Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vincent Zampella leaving Activision then signing up with Electronic Arts, is indeed going to trial. On Wednesday, a California Superior Court judge denied EA's motion for summary judgement on the complex lawsuit, as well as one from West and Zampella, meaning the big Call of Duty mess will go before a jury next year.

New Double Fine Adventure Game Funded by Fans

Shacknews is reporting a new adventure game from Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, and the rest of the Double Fine Productions gang is on its way, having hit its funding goal of $400,000 only eight hours after launching a crowd-funding plan. What's more, Double Fine is now having "a lovely chat" with Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson about his offer to fund a Psychonauts sequel.

"If I were to go to a publisher right now and pitch an adventure game, they'd laugh in my face," Schafer said in a video for the KickStarter project. So Double Fine turned to its fans, seeking $300,000 to fund a new adventure game and $100,000 for video game documentary team 2 Player Productions to record its progress. The project launched at 6pm Pacific on Wednesday, and reached the $400,000 mark a touch over eight hours later.

THQ Outlines New Business Strategy

THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) announced its updated business strategy as the company exits traditional kids' licensed video games and focuses on its core video game franchises and digital initiatives for the future. The company will continue to build its strong portfolio of core game franchises and align its resources to deliver games on both existing consoles and new and emerging platforms. The company intends to accelerate digital revenues by extending and supporting key console launches, and to create dedicated digital properties for emerging platforms.

"THQ will be a more streamlined organization focused only on our strongest franchises," said Brian Farrell, President and CEO, THQ. "The success of Saints Row: The Third is an example of what our revised strategy and focus can achieve. We have now shipped 3.8 million units globally and are currently expecting to ship between five and six million units lifetime on this title. Additionally, our robust digital content offerings for this game have resulted in the highest digital revenue of any console title in our history."

Now Joins Opposition to SOPA and PIPA

The highly controversial SOPA & PIPA bills currently being rushed through Congress by Big Media are encountering ever more opposition from minor and major players alike, such as Google. Now, owned by parent company CD Projekt RED, has come out against these bills too and are one of many games companies to do so. They address the questions of "will it work?" and "will it stop piracy?" with the answers being sort-of and no.

Big Dollars Not Enough? SOPA Support Continues To Wither Away

The draconian internet censorship bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) being lobbied for by wealthy big media corporations (mostly fronted by the RIAA/MPAA, News Corporation and the like) and currently being debated in Congress is still losing support wherever one turns. A week ago, we reported that GoDaddy initially supported it, but soon changed its mind as it immediately began to haemorrhage customers. Now, it turns out that many video games companies are also coming out against it and with no pressure against them required.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is the game industry's trade association and stands firmly behind the much-despised bill, which means that the gaming industry as a whole is deemed to support SOPA. However, while some members openly support it, others just won't say so publically and some of its members actively do not support it, having made official statements to this effect. Here are just three of them:

GameFly Delivers PC Client with 'Unlimited PC Play'

Following in the footsteps of Valve's Steam and EA's Origin, GameFly is now venturing into the world of the online delivery platform. Only GameFlys client brings it with a twist. If you are a subscriber to the GameFly service you will be able to play certain games for as long as you want without actually having to purchase the game.

Gameflys co-founder Sean Spector said "We are thrilled to finally be able to open up the beta so anyone interested in video games can start using the client, and we are hard at work expanding our catalog of PC titles for our users to play for free in the Unlimited PC Play section"

GameFly currently works as the gaming worlds answer to Netflix. Digital content delivery is the next logical step in its evolution. Currently you can download the beta application and give it a try for yourself. At the end of the day Steam may finally have a true competitor on the PC platform. A client with unlimited gameplay for a annual small cost.

Source: ShackNews

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Hits $1 Billion Milestone in Just 16 Days

Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced today that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 crossed the $1 billion mark in sales since its launch on November 8, 2011, according to Charttrack and retail customer sell-through information. Highlighting the trend of interactive entertainment gaining a greater hold of audiences worldwide, the game achieved this milestone in just 16 days, eclipsing the record set in 2009 by the feature film "Avatar," which reached the $1 billion milestone in 17 days.

While 2011 box office revenue is on the decline — down 4 percent this year at $9.4 billion, compared with $9.8 billion in 2010 -- the number of people purchasing and participating in gaming is on the rise, with no sign of slowing.(1) With more than 30 million gamers, the Call of Duty community now exceeds the combined populations of the cities of New York, London, Tokyo, Paris and Madrid.

Modern Warfare 3 Sets Record for Biggest Entertainment Launch

Shattering its own day-one sales records, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, announced that its highly-anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has become the biggest entertainment launch ever with an estimated sell-through of more than $400 million and more than 6.5 million units in North America and the United Kingdom alone in the first 24 hours of its release, according to Charttrack and retail customer sell-through information.

This marks the third consecutive year that the Call of Duty franchise has set day one launch records across all forms of entertainment, something no other entertainment franchise in any medium has ever accomplished. Last year, in North America and the United Kingdom , Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops had estimated day-one sell-through of $360 million and in 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, set day-one records with estimated sell through of $310 million, according to Charttrack and retail customer sell-through information.

On November 8, 2011, millions of fans attended more than 13,000 midnight openings at retail stores worldwide. According to Microsoft, after just two days, the number of gamers playing simultaneously on Xbox Live set a new peak concurrency record.

R&D: TDK Uses Lasers To Double Hard Disc Capacity, Helping Save HDs From Extinction

Here’s a development that will bring joy to those that prefer to hear mechanical noises from their hard discs instead of the inky silence of the new solid state drives. The current perpendicular magnetic recording technology used in today’s hard discs are due to hit a brick wall within a couple of generations or so. This will finally give SSDs the chance to make mechanical drives obsolete once and for all when their capacities increase and the prices drop. To get around this, TDK intend to use lasers coupled with a high coercivity material to achieve this capacity improvement. The coercivity value of a material is a measure of how difficult it is to magnetize ie how strong the magnetizing field needs to be. A material with low coercivity, is easy to magnetize, but it can also lose its magnetic imprint (north and south domains) easily, especially with densely packed data and is easy to erase with stray magnetic fields and to some extent, physical shock. Conversely a material with a high coercivity value can be damned hard to magnetize, but will keep its magnetic imprint much more stably and crucially for data storage, can retain much smaller magnetic domains, giving rise to greatly increased storage capacity for all that ever increasing avalanche of crucial data, such as music files, dodgy videos and humungous video game installs.
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