Spider-Man Goes Back To The Future

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is ambitiously tackling four different settings; the two original being revealed as Noir in 1933 and a modern Amazing Spider-Man. Now, Activision has revealed the third dimension: the 2099 version of the character set in a dystopian future where the mantle of Spider-Man is taken up by Miguel O’Hara.

{video link no longer active}


Eager Customers Flood AT&T Account Site

The account management site for AT&T recently saw some outages after Apple said the telecommunications company would excuse customers from their contracts in order to upgrade to the iPhone 4. Errors during the period included “No backend server available for connection: timed out after 100 seconds or idempotent set to OFF, “Maintenance In Progress” and “Due to a system upgrade the site is temporarily unavailable.”

While customers are usually forbidden from purchasing a new subsidized smartphone until their contract has, or is about to, expire, Steve Jobs announced that AT&T is relaxing those guidelines for iPhone 4 customers. “Any existing iPhone customer eligible for an upgrade between today and the end of this year will be eligible for our best pricing for iPhone 4, $199 and $299, with a two-year term commitment,” read a statement from AT&T.

“We know that people are eager to get iPhone 4, which is why we moved up the upgrade eligibility date for current iPhone customers by up to six months,” added Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility. “This move, combined with the new wireless data plans we announced last week, will make it more affordable for more people to purchase an iPhone and enjoy the benefits of the mobile Internet.”

The iPhone 4 can be purchased unsubsidized for $399 for a 16GB model and $499 for 32GB and without a contract for $599 for a 16GB phone or $699 for the 32GB device.

Source: ComputerWorld

Dead Or Alive Maker Preparing E3 Revelation

Tomonobu Itagaki today announced that the first title from his Valhalla Game Studios will be revealed at E3. No details were hinted at, and Itagaki’s previous comments have given no solid impression as to what the project may be, other than suggesting that it won’t be a fighting game because he considers the genre perfected in Dead or Alive 4.

“Our motivation was always to come up with a project from scratch, to gather together and work together as comrades, and to create something that all of you gamers can enjoy. It was for this simple goal that we decided to go independent,” writes Itagaki. “In the past, I created four unique games – Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, DOA Xtreme, and NG Dragon Sword. Thus, this announcement will be the fifth all-new project in my lifetime. I don’t know if that number is large or small, but I know as a fact that every one of these announcements was a presentation of a new gaming paradigm from me to all of you. This time, it is no different. Details will be coming soon, so please look forward to hearing from me.”

“My heart pounds with anticipation every time I make these announcements. It’s not something one can get used to – complacency is never an option for me,” Itagaki added.

Source: ValhallaGameStudios.com

Dragon Age Anime Coming 2011

BioWare and Funimation Entertainment announced today that they will collaborate on an anime feature film based upon the Dragon Age franchise. Overseeing the production is BioWare’s Mark Darrah and Mike Laidlaw, with a home video release expected in 2011.

“Anime is a great medium for us to continue the robust Dragon Age story”, said Mark Darrah, Executive Producer for the Dragon Age franchise. “Partnering with Funimation ensures that we are delivering the exceptional quality and entertainment value that our Dragon Age fans expect.”

Dragon Age will be the first major anime movie produced via Funimation’s Original Entertainment, which was founded in November 2009.

“We are thrilled to be working with EA and BioWare on the production of the Dragon Age anime feature,” said Gen Fukunaga, President and CEO of FUNimation. “We are going to be bringing the classic visual and storytelling techniques found in anime to create a film that will extend the narrative of the world BioWare has created.”

FaceTime: New Video Chat Standard?

Steve Jobs recently called to make FaceTime an open industry software standard for video calling. This is a lofty goal, involving talking to standards bodies and convincing competitors like Cisco, Microsoft and Google to get on board. While video chat will no doubt become common on phones going forward, generally most corporations have favored developing their own technology.

“I hope Apple is successful in convincing Cisco, Microsoft, Google and others that FaceTime is a good standard for video telephony,” said Forrester analyst Charles Golvin. “I have no idea whether [FaceTime] is the BEST solution, but we have enough video telephony endpoints out there that it’s time to make video calling as easy and interoperable as voice. [It’s] about time we realize at least part of the promise of the 1964 New York World’s Fair [when the Picturephone was introduced].”

Jobs made his FaceTime promises during his WWDC keynote. “This is amazing. I grew up in the U.S. … dreaming about video calling and it’s real now,” said jobs, referring to watching video calls made on TV shows like Star Trek and The Jetsons. “Apple will ship tens of millions of FaceTime devices this calendar year, so there’s going to be a lot of people to talk to. FaceTime is based on H264 video … and a bunch of alphabet soup acronyms. We’re going to the standards bodies tomorrow and making Facetime an open standard.”

Other Apple devices, like the iPod Touch media player, could see the addition of FaceTime and help reach Jobs’ goal. “I think tens of millions is a stretch with the current product line,” said Carl Howe, an analyst at Yankee Group. “You can assume iPhone 4s will sell easily a million a month for the next six months, but that only gets you to 6 to 8 million units.”

If the next iPad has a front facing camera, “that would get us there [to tens of millions] perhaps, but such a fast rev of that platform would be dangerous, although not unprecedented for Apple, for early adopters,” said Howe.

As for Google and Cisco, they seem obliged towards open standards, though not necessarily towards Apple’s. When asked about Apple’s chances, Golvin responded, I hate to hedge but it really depends on whom they’re able to enlist as supporters of their approach. If big players like Cisco, AT&T and others endorse Apple’s approach, then its chances are good. But if other players view it as favoring Apple, then it will remain in isolation.”

Source: ComputerWorld

DJ Hero 2 Dropping Beats This Fall

Activision today announced that DJ Hero 2 will be coming this Fall. The follow-up to the #1 new videogame intellectual property of 2009 will feature songs from Dr. Dre, The Chemical Brothers, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Rihanna among others.

“DJ Hero was the best music game of 2009 and with DJ Hero 2 we re delivering a new easy to pick-up, challenging-to-master experience that all players can enjoy together,” said David Haddad, Chief Operating Office, Guitar Hero. “With new social game modes, the inclusion of full microphone support, all-new levels of creative freedom and an amazing soundtrack, DJ Hero 2 is the ultimate mixer of music and friends.”

The new additions for DJ Hero 2 include the ability to crossfade, scratch and sample in over 70 mashups. There will also be multiplayer modes that include specially mixed DJ battles and the ability to sing or rap with lyrics and rhymes using a microphone.

“We’re improving upon all the gameplay elements from DJ Hero that gamers loved with the all-new freestyle gameplay and a host of new multiplayer game modes, said Jamie Jackson, Creative Director, FreeStyleGames. “But we’re not stopping there either as the award-winning soundtrack is getting bigger songs from hotter artists that our talented crew of DJ s is spinning into hits that fit the gameplay flawlessly.”

DJ Hero 2 will be available for PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 in a Party Bundle with copy of the game, two turntable controllers and a microphone, or a standalone software product.

Safari 5 Is 30% Faster Than Safari 4

Apple has released the latest version of their Safari browser. With Safari 5, they claim that back end improvements and a DNS prefetching feature have led to a 30 percent speed boost, making it twice as fast as Mozilla’s Firefox 3.6 and three percent faster than Google’s Chrome 5.0.

New additions include a Safari Reader button, which gives the user the option to see web pages as scrollable text, sans graphics and other items. Also, the Safari Developer Program will support CSS3, JavaScript and over a dozen HTML 5 features, allowing developers to make extensions for full-screen video playback, forms validation or geo-location services.

“Safari continues to lead the pack in performance, innovation and standards support,” said Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing at Apple. “Safari now runs on over 200 million devices worldwide and its open-source WebKit engine runs on over 500 million devices.”

Source: ZDNet

John Riccitiello Nervous About ‘Poorly Authored 3D Content’

A lot gaming industry types think that there’ll be a large presence of 3D titles at E3.  That said, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello doesn’t believe 3D has reached the critical mass it needs to make a huge impact.

“I will tell you that a great 3D game experience is a truly wonderful thing. I was playing a title we ve got for fiscal 2012 in 3D yesterday up in Vancouver and it was definitely unbelievably cool. I think that before you see a revolution you have to have an army, and right now there’s like twelve people in America with 3D television sets, and they’re not exactly an army. (Laughter). So, the masses need to rise. The first thing you need for a large installed base is 3D televisions and 3D PCs. I think they’ll come over the course of the next two to three years in large numbers. Samsung and Sony are certainly putting a lot of weight behind that and you’ll see that play itself out. I don t think it s going to be a big story this year for games; some particular titles are going to play it out.”

“I am a little nervous that some game companies will put out poorly authored 3D content, sort of just put it together, because look, all games, most nearly all games are 3D already. It doesn’t take that much to separate, you know, two and a half inches and sort of redraw the entire frame and have it run through any of the various polarization or the primary blinking system between the right and left eye. It s quite a different thing to author it in such a way that the ‘Z-dimension,’ the third dimension, is really well done. When it’s not really well done, it s a new kind of headache that you haven’t ever experienced. So I’m actually a little afraid this year that we’re going to get less than well-authored content and it’s going to be one of those stories: video games give me a migraine. I think that over time, probably in the course of 2011, 2012, the strongest publishers will author some great content, the installed base will be there, and there will be a good positive growth spurt. I just don’t think it will be this year.”

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}

Netflix iPhone Bound

Netflix will be coming to the iPhone, according to an announcement during Apple’s WWDC. This marks yet another platform that Netflix is available to, which includes several set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, HD television sets, DVRs and game consoles.

Barclays analyst Doug Anmuth says that the Netflix iPhone app “should have a positive effect on subscriber growth, churn, & potentially SAC.” However, the new limited data plans from AT&T could put a damper on 3G streaming.

Anmuth doesn’t think that Netflix is going to be stopping its mobile expansion with just iPhone, and expects an Android app soon.

Source: Business Insider