Xbox Gets More Ubiquitous

PC World reports that Massachusetts based IT company Novell is demonstrating software that can convert games developed using Microsoft’s XNA 4.0 game engine to iPhone apps. The company is also said to be in late stage development of tech that can do the same for Google Android powered smart phones. Microsoft has demonstrated its own tech enabling XNA games developed for Windows and Xbox 360 to run on its own mobile operating software, Windows Phone 7. Novell s tech, called MonoTouch, takes it broader by allowing developers to convert their XNA .NET apps into iPhone and Android code. PC World says the company used the tech to demonstrate how the same Indiana Jones game Microsoft has recently used to showcase its Xbox 360 to Windows Phone 7 conversion can run on iPhone.

Read more at PC World.

Need For Speed Online Game Goes Beta

Gamasutra reports that EA has launched a closed beta for the first MMO racing game based on its Need For Speed franchise. The company is recruiting players to help test Need For Speed World in preparation for an expected summer release on PC. Gamasutra says the strategy behind the game is twofold. EA has been vocal about expanding the digital portion of its game business, and doing so using its popular franchises such as Need For Speed, Madden football and Tiger Woods golf. It also wants to turn the Need For Speed franchise into a line of online racing titles catered to different markets. The game’s announcement described Need For Speed World as offering 150 miles of open world racing based in different cities and with an an unparalleled social experience. EA also trumpeted the game as the world’s first MMO racer, a statement that Gamasutra points out surprisingly ignores the company s own previous effort with Motor City Online,” among other games.

Read more at Gamasutra.

‘More Human Than Human’

Square Enix and Eidos debuted this CG trailer at the Game Developers Conference as a sneak peek at their anticipated sequel Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It turns out that while the game’s protagonist is cybernetically augmented, he isn’t so evolved that he’s beyond placating his problems with some very human vices.

Check it out at GameSpot.

God-Like Pacing

Any video trailer is going to benefit from the quality of its source material, and the God of War games have always made for trailers that are feasts for the eyes. Yet in terms of presenting that material with superb editing and pacing, Sony’s team just seems to get better and better, and the trailer launching the series presumed finale God of War III is one of the best. Watch it at Joystiq.

A Chink In Sony’s God Of War Armor

Writing for LA Times, Ben Fritz and Alex Pham talk to Sony about a PlayStation 3 hardware shortage on the day the company is releasing God of War III.  Admitting the supply constraints at retail are real, even as it releases the sequel in a tent pole franchise, Sony’s US game boss Jack Tretton sublimely summed it up by telling the paper, It s not ideal, I won’t kid you. Fritz and Pham get insight from Tretton and others at Sony about the situation. Read the article at LA Times.

South By South What?

Not sure what the buzz is about at South by Southwest. Or worse, know all about it but couldn’t make it this year. Here are a couple of decent reads as the annual Austin, Texas based festival kicks off:


NY Times David Carr has an article on his first few days at SXSW. Being seemingly new to the event, yet benefitting from attending as the Times media and advertising columnist, he manages an excellent, informal outsider-stumbles-inside view of it. Read it at NY Times.


Adweek’s Brian Morrissey calls SXSW a Burning Man festival for digital technology, then looks at its growing lure for marketers and advertisers. Morrisey talks to some of the major brands that have elbowed their way into the mosh pit this year. Read his article at Adweek.

Record Attendance At GDC 2010

This year s Game Developers Conference set a new record with more than 18,000 people in attendance, reports Industry Gamers. Organizers released the total attendees as 18,250, a more than seven percent increase over last year. GDC director Meggan Scavio said the attendance showed the passion of the game development community despite hailstorms and turbulent business times. Industry Gamers says organizers have already confirmed next year s GDC for Feb. 28 through March 4 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.


Rumor: ‘Gears Of War 3’ Coming Next Spring

Citing a trusted US publishing source, Edge-Online is reporting that Microsoft and Epic Games are planning to release Gears of War 3 for Xbox 360 in April 2011. While a sequel in the super successful shooter series has been expected, no game has been officially announced. The source also told Edge that while the Gears game could be completed this year, Microsoft is pushing it to 2011 to avoid cannibalizing sales of its other shooter Halo: Reach or affecting performance for the Natal motion controller. Both products are slated to hit Xbox 360 before the end of this year. Edge-Online says a teaser trailer for Gears of War 3 is planned for next month followed by a bigger reveal at E3 in June. The outlet wasn’t able to get a response from Microsoft, although it does cite a statement from Epic Games Mark Rein that the developer has no titles on slate for 2010.


Read more at Edge-Online.

Facebook Tops Google In Visitors

Whether just breaking a tend or setting a new one, last week Facebook topped Google as the most visited web site for the first time during a non-holiday period. TechNewsDaily reports on statistics from web analytics firm Hitwise that found Facebook visits skyrocketed last week by 185 percent in period-over-period comparison, beating out Google. The firm said Google visits increased by only nine percent in the same period. Together the two sites accounted for fourteen percent of all web site visits during the week. Previously, Facebook had only logged more visits than Google on a few recent holidays including Christmas and New Year’s. TechNewsDaily says the boost in Facebook visits might be related to the recent redesign that included making the social site s search function more prominent. The outlet cites figures from another source, comScore, that found searches on Facebook grew by ten percent in January compared to the month prior.


Read more at TechNewsDaily.