The sales have slowed down substantially this weekend, likely in the face of America's most worshipped holiday: Black Friday. Even with the innovative holiday-forging that wrought “Black November,” sales are still dry – but there's still a few things worth a look.
Ubisoft's sales revenue for the first half of 2015 has dropped 60% as compared to the first half of last year. Actual profits have not yet been reported. In its official report, Ubisoft does hasten to add that they still exceeded their sales target, and that the company intends to make the majority of its sales during 2H15 with the release of Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Rainbow Six Siege, Just Dance 2016, and Rayman Adventures.
There's no trade-in program for your kids' candy, unfortunately, but there are still a few hardware sales through the weekend. EVGA's GTX 980 Ti Hybrid is marked down $50, the 850 EVO makes for a cheap SSD, and some budget-class storage and cases are also running low prices.
We've covered virtual reality headsets in the past -- notably, we sat down at length with engineers of the Valve/HTC Vive at PAX Prime -- but the folks at Razer have recently thrown their futuristic VR hats into the ring as well. The "Open-Source Virtual Reality ecosystem," or OSVR, has been nearing the end of its development cycle over the past few months. Razer's just announced the $300 "Hacker Development Kit," with which developers can program for VR technology in general. Although the idea of an OSVR "ecosystem" seems to promise that Razer will develop additional VR products, the dev kit (which includes a headset and software) is the only product being offered right now; it is not a dev kit for an existing Razer product, and it's not intended to develop software specifically for Razer products.
Kingdom is a 2013 flash game by developer Noio, greatly expanded and brought to PC/Mac/iOS/Android with the help of fellow developer Licorice. As we noted back in our August preview, despite being an indie game, Kingdom was, for once, not funded by Kickstarter --surprise! Let's see if the retail release keeps that overly-addictive-flash-game charm.
In the beginning, there is a King (or Queen) and a pile of money. Such is the way of life. The "tutorial" is short and sweet: ten coins are enough to light a campfire, build two walls, and hire/equip a builder and an archer--after that, there's not much else to learn. Coins are the only resource in the game, and are used to create buildings, upgrade the settlement, hire workers, and buy tools. At night, mischevious green creatures scurry in to tear-down buildings and run away with tools (or brutally devour innocent townsfolk, as the game progresses). If one snatches the crown, that's it--time to start a new kingdom. This is a permadeath game.
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