30 Years Of Electronic Arts Celebrated In Retro Gamer

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, Games and Players, NDS

Retro Gamer magazine goes back to where it all began for mega-publisher EA.

Retro Gamer celebrates Electronic Arts’ thirtieth anniversary by speaking to founder Trip Hawkins. Trip, along with other key early staff such as Gregory Riker, Randy Breen and Bill Budge, reveal how the company was first formed, and how it turned from a small creative publisher, into one of the industry’s biggest success stories.
Controversial games are also a big theme in issue 105. From Grand Theft Auto, to Mortal Kombat and Doom, we reveal some of the biggest gaming controversies of all time, and speak to the developers behind them, including John Romero, Scott Miller and Eugene Jarvis.
Other exciting features to look out for include an exclusive making of Tempest with Dave Theurer, what really happened to Ultimate’s Mire Mare, and why the Atari ST was so much more than a poor man’s Amiga.
Trip Hawkins speaks to Retro Gamer. you can read the full article in issue 105, on sale now, priced £4.99. Get your copy from all good newsagents, the Imagine Shop, Zinio or iTunes.

Chirp iPhone app introduces sharing via sound

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

You’d be forgiven for thinking this is a story about some sort of jukebox from my House (of Crackpot Theories), but this is news about a real app called Chirp.

What’s Chirp? “Half Bump, half Soundhound.” On your iPhone, you choose an item (photo, note, or link) and then you can share with everyone around you who also has the app. It plays a high pitched series of tones, which other phones nearby (also running Chirp) listen for; the tones convey the URL to the item uploaded, and the other phones download it. (The app does require data access to work, so it’s not true peer-to-peer sharing, but it’s good enough.)

I loaded it today, and since the TUAW staff doesn’t all report to one big office, I was sitting here by myself wondering how to test it. Luckily the Chirp Blog has a couple of test items you can use to try it out, and I have to admit, it’s pretty slick.

Something I hadn’t thought about when I first downloaded the app was doing something with audio on a website or in some other fashion, like an audio QR code. At first that sounded kind of cool, considering all the useful kinds of things to be done with something like that. Then I thought about hearing the same brief tone many many times a day and I think that would get old in a hurry.

As of now it appears to be just the Chirp app that uses this technology, but for a quick way to share files it looks reasonably handy.

hat tip The Next Web

Continue reading Chirp iPhone app introduces sharing via sound

Chirp iPhone app introduces sharing via sound originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 20 Jul 2012 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Is This What PlayStation 4 Looks Like?

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, Games and Players, NDS, PS3, Sony

PS4 takes one step closer to reality.

The first images of what could be the PlayStation 4 has emerged, as found in the latest issue of Play magazine.

Play commissioned artist Ross Board to design the image based on Sony’s product line and history, technology trends and the likely architecture of the PlayStation 4 itself.

Play believes the PlayStation 4 will have a Blu-Ray drive, in spite of the recent Gaikai deal. The outlet also believes Sony’s next console will feature an internal power source, four USB 3.0 ports, PowerXCell and will continue to use DualShock as its primary input device.

“The next generation will arguably the last that uses physical media,” the magazine writes. “Downloads and streaming means publishers don’t have to worry about second-hand sales, while the continued success of services shows digital is the way forward. Problem? UK’s broadband infrastructure is poor.”

The latest issue of Play is available now from newsagents, iTunes, Imagine Shop and greatdigitalmags.com.

Metal Gear Solid 5: Comic Con Reveal Rumours ‘Fake’ – Konami

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, NDS

Did Hideo Kojima show Metal Gear Solid 5 behind closed doors at Comic Con? The evidence is mounting that he did.

Metal Gear Solid 5 could well have been revealed behind closed doors at Comic Con over  the weekend according to mounting speculation and a number of images alleged to have leaked from the reveal.

“Just got pulled into a back room at Comic Con by @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN and showed some crazy new secret stuff. Wow,” Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski tweeted on Saturday, leading to speculation that Kojima was showing the next-gen Fox Engine at the event.

Turns out the presentation could have included MGS5 as well.

‘Metal Gear Solid 5: Open Ground Reconnaissance Endeavour’ (O.G.R.E. see?) is featured on fuzzy slides posted over on GAF, featuring lines such as ‘A Paradise Is Born Of The Bloodstained Earth’, while dialogue seems to read: “The moment we were cast out of heaven we became monsters,” and “Would she have wanted this? That doesn’t matter now.”

All sounds like it ties into MGS lore to us – check out our gallery for more.

Meanwhile, although Konami UK declined to comment to NowGamer on the rumours, the UK twitter account seemed to encourage the speculation before adding that the rumours are ‘fake’.

What should we believe? Are you hankering for MGS5? Let us know!

Electronic Arts Celebrated In This Month’s Retro Gamer Magazine

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, Games and Players, NDS, Xbox

Retro Gamer takes a lot at videogames most recognisable developer and publisher, EA, as it celebrates 30 years in the industry.

Electronic Arts is now 30 years old, so we spoke to founder Trip Hawkins and several of his key staff about the company’s origins.

We also take a look at some of gaming’s most controversial games, including Carmageddon, Grand Theft Auto, Doom and Mortal Kombat, speak to the creators of the legendary Dungeon Master, and discover the truth of Rare’s Mire Mare.

Other highlights include the best clones of classic arcade games on Xbox Live Arcade, the making of hit arcade game Tempest, and an examination of why the Atari ST was so much more than the poor man’s Amiga.

Trip Hawkins speaks to Retro Gamer, and you can read the full article in issue 105, on sale 19 July, priced £4.99. Get your copy from all good newsagents, the Imagineshop, Zinio or iTunes.

Going to the London Olympics? Here are the transport apps you’ll need

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

The London 2012 Olympics officially start in just under two weeks. From July 27th until August 12th millions of combined spectators, journalists, and the world’s fittest athletes will descend upon the greatest city on the planet. During that time Transport for London estimates that there will be an extra four million visitors to the city. To put that in perspective, that’s adding over 50% to the capital’s normal population of 7.5 million. In addition, TFL estimates that up to one million extra people per day will be using London’s transport systems. What does that mean? Chaos, basically (and a huge pain for the people who live here).

But if you’re going to be one of the four million visitors there is some hope. You can stock up on London’s best transport apps that will help you navigate the city. Since I moved to London in 2007 I’ve tried virtually every London transportation app. In the list that follows, I’ve narrowed down the single best app from each category: tube, bus, car, bicycle, and boat.

Tube: Tube Map Pro

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needHands down, Tube Map Pro by mxData Ltd is the best tube app out there. The app uses officially licensed maps from Transport for London that allows users to easily see an overview of the entire transport network and find out how to quickly get from one point to another. Besides maps and route planning, the app uses GPS to show you the closest station to you, features live departure boards, and lets you track the balance of your Oyster card (the Tube’s ticketing system) right in the app.

If you’re visiting London, Tube Map Pro is the single best app purchase you can make. Tube Map Pro is discounted to US$0.99 in honor of the games. The app is universal, so it works on both the iPhone and iPad. mxData also has a free, ad-supported version of the app called Tube Map.

Bus: London Bus Checker

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needAfter the Tube, the mode of transport most visitors will be taking is the bus. London’s bus network is excellent, and many times it’s faster that the tube (when you take walking to stations into account). The best London bus app I’ve found is London Bus Checker by FatAttitude. The single best thing about this app is it lets you see, in real-time, when the next bus you need to catch is coming. If, for instance, your bus stop is around the corner you can check the app to see if the #55 is two minutes away and you need to run to make it, or if it’s 10 minutes away and you can mosey on over at your own pace.

Among the many other features, the app also offers stop alerts so you know when you’re approaching your stop and lets you see full route maps for London’s entire bus network. London Bus Checker is $2.99. It’s also a universal app, so it works on both the iPhone and iPad.

Car: Park-Up – London Parking

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needLet me just say this right now: if you are planning to drive in the city during the London Olympics, you are crazy. Period. You’ll spend more time sitting in traffic then you will seeing all the sights London has to offer. That being said, I’m sure there will be some people who will still think that driving is the way to go. In that case, iOS’s Maps app is the best route planner for your transportation needs. However, just because Maps can get you there, it doesn’t mean you’ll actually find a place to park. That’s where Park-Up’s London Parking comes in.

The app tracks over 10,000 places to park in central London, from single street parking bays to entire car parks and parking garages. What’s really nice about the app is that you can view what kind of parking space it is before you get there. Tapping on any parking location will show you the hours and costs, and, if available, the number of spaces, height restrictions, and security arrangements. Park-Up London Parking is $4.99. It’s also a universal app, so it works on both the iPhone and iPad.

Boat: KPMG Thames Clippers

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needA great way to get from one side of London to the other is by boat. The Thames is full of clipper ships that ferry people up and down the river. Many times, if you have to travel a long distance, this is actually the best way to go. Using KPMG Thames Clippers by Seligman Ventures, users can enter their start and destination piers and view the official timetables from Thames Clippers. Do note, however, that these time tables are not updated in real time.

KPMG Thames Clippers is a free app for iPhone.

Bicycle: Barclays Bikes

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needCompared to cities in the US, London is extremely bike friendly (though it does have some catching up to do with its European neighbors). Chances are you won’t be bringing your bicycle to London, but that shouldn’t stop you from cycling around the city (which is probably the best, fastest, and funnest way to not only get around the capital, but to see it as well). Barclays Bank has a cycle hire program with the city. The program installed thousands of bicycles at spots around the capital that anyone can use. The first half-hour is free, and after that charges are relatively cheap.

If you are going to be hiring Barclays cycles, you’ll want to download the official Barclays Bikes app. The app shows you where the closest cycling docking terminal is, lets you calculate the cost of how much a bike hire will be (based on the time you plan to have it), and lets you plan your cycling route based on places, postcodes, or address. And the best thing about the app is it not only shows you how close the nearest cycling docking station is, but it also shows you how many bicycles are available at that station.

Barclays Bikes is a free app for iPhone.

Everything: Citymapper – London Transport

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needAll of the above apps are excellent for their chosen mode of transportation. But what if you want to get from one place to another and choose your mode of transportation based on time or cost? That’s where Citymapper – London Transport by Citymapper Inc. comes in.

The developers call the app a “Super Router” and boy, are they right! Just enter your start and end locations and Citymapper shows you a list of all your transport options including walking, cycling, bus, tube, rail, and cab. For each option, they also show you how much the journey will cost (or for cycling and walking, calories burned) and also how long the trip will take.

Citymapper does note that the app is still in beta, but in my tests it works quite well. Citymapper – London Transport is a free app for iPhone.

Check out screenshots from each app below and drop me a line in the comments if there’s a London transport app you love that I didn’t list.

Gallery: The top London transport apps for the 2012 Olympics

Tube Map ProLondon Bus CheckerPark-Up - London parkingBarclays BikesKPMG Thames Clippers

Going to the London Olympics? Here are the transport apps you’ll need originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 14 Jul 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Borderlands 2: ‘A Quick Playthrough Takes Around 60 Hours ‘ – Pitchford

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, NDS

Borderlands 2 will take you around 60 hours to complete if you’re quick about it, according to Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford. More details here.

Borderlands 2 is rather massive, and it took the guys at strategy guide creators Brady Games over 58 hours to complete during a quick playthrough – Possibly the slowest ‘quick’ playthrough ever documented.

Speaking with NowGamer, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford explained why it took the team so long to finish Borderlands 2:

“In the first Borderlands, a typical average playthrough would see people finishing the game at between level 30 and 35, and it would take them between 20 to 25 hours, according to our metrics.”

“But when the guys who are doing the Borderland 2 strategy guide for Brady Games came to visit us, they planned to spend a week to play the game and get everything they needed out of it to write the guide.”

“Their approach was that they were going to start by taking a character and just playing through the game really fast, and then they would play the other characters, do second playthroughs, find hidden stuff and do all of the challenges.”

“That very first, quick playthrough took them 58 hours, so they had to extend the time here to more than double, and come back a second time just to see everything.” 

“Part of why that happened is, when we were playing the first Borderlands, for most of us it became a hobby, just as it did for a lot of our fans. So we really took the idea that Borderlands 2 needed to be a hobby as well.”

As a result, Borderlands 2 has become twice the size in terms of scope and content, and features a new Badass Rank System that doesn’t have a level cap. You can technically level up your Badass Rank over 10,000 times, which is both awesome and nuts.

Check out more from Borderlands 2 and Randy Pitchford in our full interview in a few days.

Aliens Colonial Marines: Early Announcement Was ‘Unusual’ – Pitchford

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, NDS

Aliens: Colonial Marines isn’t out until 2013 now, but Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has shed new light on why the project is taking so long. Full quotes here.


Aliens: Colonial Marines was announced in 2006 “before the ink was even dry on the paper” according to Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, who also explains that, “Usually we’d be very far along with a project before it’s even announced.”

Speaking with NowGamer, Pitchford discussed the status of the Aliens: Colonial Marines project and the new February 12 release date in detail.

“This is the first time we’ve really announced a date,” Pitchford explained, “There has been guidance (projected release windows and seasons), but if we had full control, none of that guidance would have even been mentioned, as it’s all speculative.”

Pitchford also explained that while development of some games are dictated by time or budgets, he confirms that Aliens: Colonial Marines is bound by vision and quality.

“That’s the approach we took with Aliens: Colonial Marines,” Pitchford continued, “When we did that, it meant that we were going to allow ourselves to be flexible with our schedule and our budget. 

“One of the last things I want to remind everyone of was when we the business deal was completed on the Aliens project, we hadn’t even written the first line of code yet.” 

“20th Century Fox and Sega got so excited that there was going to be this sequel to Aliens that they put out a press release before the ink was even dry on the paper.” 

“I think their aim through that was driven on the business side, but immediately this demand was created before anything was even made.”

“Usually we’d be very far along with a project before it’s even announced, but when Alien ships the development time will be the same as the original Borderlands.”


Daily iPhone App: Photo Mapo turns your photo into a postcard-style map that you can share

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

The next time you go on vacation, you might want to install Photo Mapo from Ripe Bytes on your iPhone before you head out. The app is more than just a photo frame. It’s a photo-mapping app that will take your photo, display it on an attractive map and allow you to share the resulting composition with your friends and family.

The app lets you take a photo or use an existing image from your camera roll. It pulls the GPS data from the shot and finds the location on a map. You can customize the style and the zoom level of the map, add a description and then combine them both with your photo. In the end, you get an eye-catching composition that you can send to a friend. Photo Mapo has a fun, touristy feel that makes you want to go on vacation just so you can use it.

Photo Mapo is available for free from the iOS App Store.

Daily iPhone App: Photo Mapo turns your photo into a postcard-style map that you can share originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 11 Jul 2012 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Minecraft Update 1.3: Emeralds, NPC Trading & Tripwires

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, NDS, Xbox

The PC version of Minecraft to get a whole host of new features and bug fixes.

We’re going to need someway of distinguishing the PC and Xbox 360 versions of Minecraft for you. With both games running wildly different versions, this could get a little confusing for people.

Anyway, Minecraft (on the PC, that is) will soon be getting a patch bringing it to version 1.3 with a slew of new features and updates.

The biggest new addition is the overhauling of the underlying system, now enabling single-player worlds get easily converted to multiplayer servers.

The resulting demands on the CPU has increased, however, meaning older rigs running Minecraft might not be as smooth as before. Jens Bergensten insists Mojang is looking into optimising this, but it won’t be done until the next update with 1.4.

Other new features include new resource emerald, which acts as currency for the game and can be used to trade with NPCs who, depending on profession, can buy, sell or enchant items.

Tripwires have been added too, bringing yet another way of initiating your redstone mechanisms and assist in building defenses against zombies.

Adventure Mode is now a thing, meaning you can create worlds and quests for the community to jump into without the abililty to destroy your creations.

More steps have been included too and, finally, items can be placed on half slabs rather than floating mystically in the air.

That’s the majority of the new features coming in Minecraft version 1.3, but full-time Minecrafter’s might want to take a look at Redstonehelper’s Reddit thread, where a detailed rundown of every new feature and bug fix has been compiled.