Two things are going to be happening this year for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that will directly affect the internet and its present management. The first is the upcoming preliminary vote on the revamped rules of “net neutrality” on May 15th; the second has to do with the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which would give a 40% userbase share to an ISP that already has a history of throttling users and businesses.
Game industry visionary John Carmack, one of the founding developers of id Software, recent departed ZeniMax to work for Oculus VR on the Rift and other technology. Carmack's primary stated reason for his departure was a lack of support and interest on part of Zenimax in virtual reality technology. Last week, ZeniMax alleged that Carmack brought over internally-developed tech to the rising virtual reality giant, Oculus VR, recently acquired by Facebook.
Finally, a game industry analysis has been published that includes digital sales and transactions. The industry has endured countless misrepresentative reports that only accounted for physical product sales (which are, quite obviously, down considerably with the evolution of that new-fangled "Internet" thing—we really need to get one of those "websites").
The NPD Group has released its latest Games Market Dynamics (US edition) report, emphasizing a total of $2.87 billion in spending from US gamers in Q3 2012; of the $2.87B reported, a total of $1.4B was diverted toward digital purchases and game subscriptions or DLC transactions. Physical products are still clinging for life, though, and brought in $1.07B in spending; used games and rentals made up the remaining $399 million. At the time of writing, we are unsure if this data includes Steam's sales metrics, though we have reached out to the NPD Group for comment. (Update: NPD notes that Steam does not release official sales details, so they have estimated for digital consumption through Steam).
The South Eastern parts of the US don't have much in the ways of technology conventions (unless you count guns and technological advancements in the 'grits' department), but between ECGC, X-CON, CGS, and the incumbent DragonCon, we've seen evidence that there's room for growth.
Our friend and developer of Digitanks is offering his game up for free as a protest of SOPA and PROTECT-IP, the two internet censorship bills that are being combated today.
"I encourage everybody to pirate Digitanks for free. If this legislation passes then I won’t be able to make a living on the internet, so you may as well pirate my games," Jorge Rodriguez, developer of Digitanks, posted on his blog.
How many times have you been playing one of Spacetime Studios' grounding-breaking Mobile MMOs, either Pocket Legends or Star Legends, and thought about just how much bigger the world would be, how much more populated and how much more involving it would be, if it were populated by people who were playing the desktop counterparts too? That dream is now a reality as Spacetime Studios has announced the first ever PC/Mobile cross-platform MMO.
The desktop clients for Pocket Legends and Star Legends are now available for download off of the Chrome Store and the iOS/Android versions have been available for a while.
In a recent gaming hours report put out by the gaming log website Raptr, we found that Skyrim beats out Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Gears 3, and Bulletstorm in terms of the longest average gaming session (continuous sittings) and nearly dethrones MW3 for total hours played. The stats below show the most played video games of 2011, broken down into a few key categories and by hours. Here are the stats (more after th jump):
A look into how PCs will inevitably take control of the video gaming market, and how they currently rake in 42.5% of all global video game software sales.
Our review of 3D Vision PC gaming technology and our guide on how to build a $550 budget gaming PC have led us to understand that PC gaming's influence in the global video gaming market never waned, and -- in fact -- is growing, especially when the dichotomy between console and PC hardware is considered (believe it or not, GPUs will soon be 1000% more powerful than they currently are).
We recently examined data presented by DFC Intelligence to NVIDIA about global PC gaming software sales and found that PCs currently bring in an estimated 42.5%of total video game software revenue. That's right: almost half of all video game-related money goes solely toward PC video games, with the remainder getting apportioned between all major consoles (PS3, Xbox360, Wii, and so on).
"Would Minecraft with Samaritan graphics be better? I think so." -Tony Tamasi, SVP Content & Technology at nVidia.
A bold statement to make at the East Coast Game Conference (ECGC), but it does stir thought: as we approach evermore realistic visuals, when do we start hitting that wall of no-return? According to Tamasi, nVidia has real-time ray tracing, procedurally generated smoke, and video cards capable thereof on the horizon within the next five years. The technological advancements yield promising results for video game nerds everywhere (barring, perhaps, some competitive gamers -- as noted below), and some of the upcoming video card releases will be a dozen times more powerful than existing tech.
Venturing once again into the dark, dungeon-like halls of the Joystick Labs building in Durham, NC, I descended the stairs into a hallway lit primarily by the dim screens of laptops and monitors; in these halls stood some fifty-odd game developers and enthusiasts, each showcasing his or her respective work. This is where greatness comes to fruition. There was also free food.
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