Intel Gears Up For Tablets/Smartphones

While Intel had a great first quarter of 2011, many analysts are concerned about the company going forward given the uncertain future of PCs and the looming power of smartphones and tablets. Intel CEO Paul Otellini recently fired back at those doubters, saying that an Intel chip will find its way into a smartphone in the next 12 months and is working to have chips for Android/Honeycomb, MeeGo and Microsoft/Windows mobile OS based tablets.

“We’re heads down on a number of designs on tablets, on all three of those operating systems,” Otellini said.

Source: MarketWatch

Mortal Kombat: Why There’s No Xbox 360 Exclusive Character

The PS3 version of Mortal Kombat has Kratos as an exclusive character, but the Xbox 360 version has no such similar bonus. As NetherRealm Studio head Ed Boon implies, this was either because Microsoft didn’t ante up for such a cameo, or the deal with Sony scuppered any hopes of a similar one with Microsoft.

“I’m not allowed to talk too much about it, but I can tell you we certainly wanted to do an exclusive for 360, but that’s all I can say. It was not a decision we made where we said, ‘Oh, let’s not do one for the 360,'” said Boon. “Anybody who’s really knowledgeable about the Xbox video games, the big titles, names like Master Chief from Halo, Marcus Fenix from Gears of War, and any other Xbox exclusive title, is going to come up in a conversation in talking about it. So clearly we’ve discussed it.”

Source: Eurogamer

Epic Talks Consternation For $.99 Games

The gaming industry has changed radically in the past five years, with trends like social games, free-to-play and motion control shaking up the established base. While it’s an exciting time to be in the industry and cover it, it’s a scary time for those in the traditional games business.

“We have not been this uncertain about what’s coming next in the games industry since Epic’s been around for 20 years,” said Mike Capps, president of Epic Games. “We’re at such an inflection point. Will there be physical distribution in 10 years or even five? Will anyone care about the next console generation? What’s going on in PC Can you make money on PC if it’s not a connected game? What’s going on in mobile?”

“Tons of really scary things… It used to be, ‘Well, of course PlayStation 3 will be successful because PS2 was amazingly successful,’ he added. “But can you say for sure that you know everyone’s going to jump to the next generation I sure hope so I’m going to try to make some great tech that will make everyone want to. But it’s scary.”

While Epic has achieved some success with Infinity Blade on iOS, Capps acknowledges that cheap apps are a major threat. “If there’s anything that’s killing us [in the traditional games business] it’s dollar apps,” he lamented. “How do you sell someone a $60 game that’s really worth it … They’re used to 99 cents. As I said, it’s an uncertain time in the industry. But it’s an exciting time for whoever picks the right path and wins.”

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}

Uncharted 3: Multiplayer Debut Trailer

Naughty Dog wants to make Uncharted 3 into a multiplayer world-beater, with lots of modes and customization. Check out the trailer (with music Kill Everybody by Skillrex), join in the beta on June 28, 2011 or earlier for PlayStation Plus subscribers or those who buy certain copies of InFamous 2.

{video link no longer active}


Who Has Your Back In SOCOM 4?

On the official Facebook page for the game, the SOCOM 4 Teammate Finder {link no longer active} allows fans to build a firefight team from their friends on Facebook. The experience begins by asking the user a series of questions about what they look for in a teammate (loyalty or self-reliance ) and multiple choice answers to determine what they would do if they were lost somewhere in a southeast Asian jungle. Once the questions are answered, the user s Facebook profile pic becomes the Team Leader image and four friends are chosen to fill the role of sharp shooter, demo and infantry, recon and close combat. Teammates are chosen based on number of posts and photos that they have on Facebook to determine their team role. Fans can show off their chosen team on their wall or post to a friend s wall that they have been chosen to be part of their team. Users can also watch a trailer of the game or send an application to a friend to also look for their own team.

Play Angry Birds Rio Now!

Rio is here and #1 at the box office! And if you haven t been one of the 10 million plus people that have already downloaded the Angry Birds Rio for your mobile phone, check out an official website destination or the official Facebook page {link no longer active} for the film to access links to both the iTunes App store {link no longer active} and Amazon Android marketplace. Download now and launch some angry birds across two chapters with 30 new levels inspired by the story of the film. Launch some angry birds to rescue caged exotic birds and attack evil marmosets. After you ve gotten three stars on all levels, don t worry because more is on the way with additional level updates in 2011 slated for May, July, October and November.

THQ CEO Talks Future Of Retail Beyond $60 Games

THQ is launching an experiment with MX vs. ATV Alive, releasing the game at a $29 price point and adding onto it with micro-transaction opportunities. THQ CEO Brian Farrell ultimately believes that the future is leaning away from the $60 retail release.

“Our view is that there will be a wide range of price points for games in the future,” said Farrell. “These price points will be driven by the type and depth of the content delivered. A $60 video game now and in the future can deliver a deep experience and hours of differentiated experience through online play, as we ve just done with Homefront.”

“With MX vs. ATV Alive, we are taking this one step further by experimenting with delivering a customizable experience for the player in a brand new pricing model. Fans will soon see that the lower price does not mean a lesser product. MX vs. ATV: Alive has an extensive selection of tracks, vehicles, game modes, gear and much more to keep gamers engaged,” explained Farrell. “While MX vs. ATV Alive is only the first game we ve announced under this new pricing model which is comparable to the popular micro-transactions utilized by mobile and social games that add content based on each player s particular interests we believe this model has a future in the industry.”

“Retail titles tend to have large file sizes that are prohibitive for downloads, making augmenting disc releases with DLC more appealing. Having DLC available after the release allows the player to further customize their experience and remain engaged with the title for longer periods of time. Since the DLC ranges from free to just a few dollars, gamers won’t have to break the bank to enhance their experience,” the CEO said. “We also think purchasing and playing add-on DLC provides the consumer with a deeper engagement with the product and provides an incentive not to invest time and money in another game.”

“There is definitely a place in console games for the micro-transaction model. For example, the Motoclub shop in MX vs. ATV: Alive the in-game store will allow players to purchase content from inside the game rather than having to purchase it through the Xbox Live marketplace. I think it is a great example of how a triple-A console game can participate in the micro-transaction model,” said Farrell.

Source: Forbes

Facebook Credits Come To Playfish Titles Early

EA Playfish has announced that they are switching over to Facebook Credits from Playfish Cash. Customers can exchange Cash for Credits on a one-for-one basis until June 30 and will receive bonus item for the game in which they complete the Playfish Cash conversion.

“It s actually something we re excited to get behind because we think that having individual game currencies in connection with Facebook Credits is a better user experience,” said Playfish VP of publishing and product management C.J. Prober. “So going through that hurdle over the next couple of months will get us to that endpoint.”

“We’ve always taken the high road and really been focused on the consumers from everything from virality to payment methods, he added. Credits provides a much more seamless purchasing experience across the whole platform.”

Source: Inside Social Games