Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tiger Woods PGA Tour -for Iphone

Electronic Arts (EA) has released Tiger Woods PGA Tour for theiPhone and iPod touch. It’s available from the App Store for $10.

This marks the popular golf video game franchise’s debut on the iPhone. It features famed pro golfer Tiger Woods, along with other well-know golf pros like Annika Sorenstam, Vijay Singh, Natalie Gulbis and Retief Goosen. Play-by-play commentary is voiced by former pro golfer Sam Torrance and The Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman.

You can play as or against Tiger woods on 3D fairways, using realistic sounds, 3D graphics and dynamic camera angles. A unique “Swing Meter” is employed to get you into the game, which features more than 120 holes on seven famous PGA courses around the world: Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, TPC Sawgrass, Doral, TPC Boston, The K Club and Fancourt.

System requirements call for iPhone 2.2.1 software update.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Konami Abandons 'Six Days in Fallujah' War Game

Sayonara Six Days in Fallujah, said video game publisher Konami earlier today, after former soldiers and activist groups tightened the rhetorical thumbscrews to the point the Japan-based company finally cried "Uncle." Konami had been set to publish the game sometime next year.

I'm not sure who to be more disappointed with: Konami, for caving to public pressure, or the pressuring public, for blankly deciding a game they've never seen and about which they've only the faintest mechanical inkling is automatically insensitive, inappropriate, and completely indefensible. I'll stop short of crying "censorship!" but I'm depressed that a few widely quoted individuals who rushed to judgment about a hypothetical simulation could fuel a public lynching before the actual game's been so much as glimpsed in action.

Hadn't heard of Six Days in Fallujah? It is (or was to be) a third-person shooter covering the Second Battle of Fallujah and developed by Atomic Games of Close Combat wargaming fame. I wrote about the game after it was announced a couple weeks ago, wondering whether a game based on any war could be entirely apolitical. As I said then, I was against the war in principle, but that doesn't mean I'm also flatly against the idea of attempting to confront what happened in the form of a "game" — a term to which I'd extend the definition "a virtual environment in which players can safely test hypotheticals." Note that I mean "safe" simply in the sense that a game lets you try, as well as see, and even to varying degrees experience things you couldn't otherwise. In the case of Six Days in Fallujah, it's supposed to involve coming to grips with some of the horrors of war.

Here's the deal. Some of the folks most offended by the notion of a game based on the fighting in Fallujah are Iraq vets and relatives of the battle's victims. It's impossible to grasp what they've been through, and difficult to argue with their position from an emotional standpoint, so I won't. What I will say, is that games deserve a chance to grapple with controversial, politically charged — and yes, even recent — subject matter. Just like any other creative medium, and without special exceptions made for one against another.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Online 'blood plague' offers lessons for pandemics

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -

In the dungeons of Zul'Gurub frequented by online game enthusiasts, a giant winged serpent called Hakkar the Soulflayer may offer important clues to epidemiologists trying to predict the impact of a pandemic.

In September 2005, a plague called "Corrupted Blood" caused mayhem in the hugely popular online game World of Warcraft. What happened next illustrates the kind of issues policymakers will have to grapple with if a deadly outbreak of swine flu in Mexico spreads.

An estimated 4 million players were affected by the pandemic, and by the time it had run its course, whole virtual cities were littered with the bones of the dead, with most survivors fleeing urban areas for the relative sanctuary of the countryside.

Epidemiologists and disaster planners have tried for years to build realistic models of how a highly virulent disease might spread and impact global society and the economy.

But the Corrupted Blood plague accidentally provided something unprecedented -- a chance to safely study a pandemic in a uniquely complex virtual environment in which millions of unpredictable individuals were making their own decisions.

In an article in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal in 2007, Nina Fefferman and Eric Lofgren of the Tufts University School of Medicine said the incident "raised the possibility for valuable scientific content to be gained from this unintentional game error" -- providing insight into real-world pandemics.

Blizzard Entertainment, the creators of World of Warcraft, never intended the plague to get so out of control.

At first, it could only be encountered by relatively advanced players who had penetrated deep into a new dungeon provided as part of a software update. Among the many offensive powers of Hakkar -- others included "blood siphon" and "cause insanity" -- was the ability to spread the Corrupted Blood plague.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gameboy is now 20 years old


Twenty years ago Japan's Nintendo Co. launched the Game Boy, the iconic handheld video game player that spawned characters from Super Mario to Pokemon and sold 200 million units worldwide.

When the Game Boy was first launched this week in 1989, Japan was enjoying its economic "bubble years," Madonna's "Like a Prayer" topped international charts, and Chinese students were just starting to mass on Tiananmen Square.

Video games had recently moved from the arcades into family homes. In Japan children were playing Nintendo's Family Computer or "Famicom" games on their television sets, and simple handheld games called Game and Watch.

But the Game Boy -- sold at 8,000 yen (80 dollars at today's exchange rate) -- was the first portable console with changeable game cartridges and marketed as "35 hours of games in your pocket with just four batteries."

"Children were so happy they could play on the train after school and before the inevitable evening crash courses," recalled Hirokazu Hamamura, head of Enterbrain, a publishing company on the gaming industry.

"If Nintendo beat its rivals in this field, it's because the company has spent decades in the universe of social gaming," he said.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hindu Leader Criticizes Sony's game

A video game released by Sony Computer Entertainment has come in for criticism from Rajan Zed, a Hindu leader in the U.S., who has urged Sony to withdraw the game.

"Hanuman: Boy Warrior", a video game for the PlayStation 2, trivializes Lord Hanuman, a highly revered deity of Hinduism, Zed said in an e-mail.

Sony said on Tuesday that it does not plan to withdraw the game from the market.

In a video game format, the player would control the destiny of Lord Hanuman while in reality, believers put their destinies in the hands of their deities, Zed wrote.

Controlling and manipulating Lord Hanuman with a joystick, button, keyboard, or mouse is "denigration", he added.

Lord Hanuman is a key deity in the Indian religious epic, theRamayana, and is described as leading a monkey army to fight demon King Ravana.

The game has been described by Sony on its web site as a "growing up" story of Lord Hanuman, who starts as a powerless being and regains his powers through the game.

The game, which is currently only available for sale in India, was developed with inspiration from Hindu mythology, and prominent Indian scholars were consulted at every step, said Atindriya Bose, country manager for Sony Computer Entertainment, in an email.

The aim of the game is to encourage young Indians to celebrate the stories of Lord Hanuman and to help bring the key lessons to life, he said.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Fallout game coming in 2010.

Fallout: New Vegas was announced earlier today at a Bethesda press conference in London. Bethesda's Peter Hines made the announcement, and also said that Obsidian Entertainment will be working on the title. Obsidian is best known for their work on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II and Neverwinter Nights.

"It is not a sequel to Fallout 3," Hines said. "It's simply another Fallout game in that universe."

Fallout: New Vegas is due to release sometime in 2010, and will be on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty players anticipating the new COD:Modern Warfare 2 coming out November 10th,2009.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

David Reeves retires from Sony Europe

SCEE boss David Reeves has announced his departure from the company, having been with it since 1995.

"It has been a wonderful ride with PlayStation," said David Reeves in a SCEE statement. "I have just two things to say on leaving: I want to thank all of those people who have supported SCEE and me personally in the past 14 years; you have been magnificent! Secondly, I am going to spend my time now trying to repay society for all I have taken from it. If your children are having physics lessons at the local school or wondering why their ski instructor is very elderly, your car mechanic has a bad back, or the social worker keeps bringing you PSP games, then it could just be me! Good luck to everybody at SCEE and everybody who continues to support us."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Russia Successfully Test-Fires Ballistic Missile

Russia successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday as part of a routine designed to extend the weapon's life for up to 22 years.

It is being reported that Russia test-fired a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile from the Plesetsk cosmodrome and successfully hit the test site on Russia's Pacific peninsula of Kamchatka, 6,000 km (3,700 miles) to the east.

Itar-Tass news agency quoted Colonel Alexander Vovk of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces as saying."This launch confirmed the time extension for the Topol group of missiles for up to 22 years."