Hitman Absolution – Attack Of The Saints

Between jobs, Agent 47 only has the briefest period of time to recouperate and he always has to watch his back. Here, a wetworks team called “The Saints” has been hired by his former employer, the ICA, to wipe him out, but it’s hard to put down the world’s best hitman.

Samsung TV – Seductive Motion

Guys are all experts at misinterpreting signals from women. So not surprisingly, when a gorgeous model uses motion-control technology, her Samsung Smart TV isn’t the only thing that reacts . . .

Zynga Says Consoles Have ‘Too Much Friction’

Zynga has made its fortune in on Facebook, but it has expanded out into the mobile space. Speaking at the D10 conference, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said they are not looking into consoles, saying, “There’s too much friction [in the console market.]”

On the subject of reliance on Facebook, Pincus said, “We’ve never thought in terms of attachment or detachment from Facebook. There’s nothing stopping us from putting games in all kinds of places, as we find opportunities. Facebook has met our 90-10 rule, making it worthy of more and more investment,” he says. “We’re just seeing Android and iOS having the potential to be there. I think about this like the evolution of TV — at the beginning there may have been one or two channels, but what really happened was that people genuinely wanted to watch TV. It wasn’t created by the networks. There was a relationship between us and content — us and Mad Men, or whatever your show is. Eventually, we found each other, and I think the same is true with play. I think we will go anywhere that we see the potential to make it social.”

“We see Facebook as a platform, just as we see iOS and Android. We’re not worried that we’ll get too attached to iOS and Android,” he added. “We’d love to have a much bigger business on those platforms; if they became a huge concentration for us, I don’t think we’d feel that we didn’t have a business, we’d be excited that they grew that much.”

Source: Engadget

Sony Ditched Digital Only PlayStation 4

Sony reportedly considered lopping off the optical disc for the next PlayStation according to a report. The fourth home PlayStation console is currently being targeted for a 2013 release.

However, the Japanese company decided against a download-only model in the end because Internet connections are too inconsistent around the world. Because game files are large, especially in comparison to movies and music, and it would be to the serious detriment of customers who didn’t have reliable broadband access.

Microsoft is also apparently putting in an optical drive into the next Xbox for similar reasons. Neither Microsoft nor Sony officially commented on the matter.

The success of the next PlayStation is especially critical for Sony and new CEO Kazuo Hirai, who came from a gaming background and is trying to prop up the other failing parts of the company. Sony also delivers content to the living room via their consoles, making it key for multiple reasons.

While the next generation of consoles will still sell physical games, even GameStop realizes that a digital only future is coming, and are looking to mitigate that by selling gift cards for digital purchases and codes for DLC. “If we all agree the technology is inevitable—which I think it is because it’s like death and taxes—it’s still going to take longer to happen than it did for music and movies,” said GameStop CEO Paul Raines.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

CD Projekt Goes Cyberpunk

CD Projekt RED Studio announced that it is working on a new game based on the cult classic Cyberpunk pen & paper RPG system created by Mike Pondsmith. The game is described as having “all of the hallmarks of the Witcher series” and “will be richly detailed, non-linear, and with a complex and gripping story.”

“For over two decades, I’ve been proud to say that Cyberpunk’s been the gold standard of what it means to be a true cyberpunk game,” said original “Cyberpunk” game designer Mike Pondsmith. “And it’s been a huge success for me and our many fans, with over 5 million players worldwide. But over all that time we haven’t found the right team to bring our cyberpunk world to full digital life — until now. CD Projekt Red is the team we’ve been hoping for. Their incredible work on The Witcher and The Witcher 2 shows that they share the same dedication and love of great games that we do at Talsorian. I’m especially stoked that they want our participation in making this game a fantastic project that will live up to everything Cyberpunk fans (old and new) have been waiting for. Trust me — this game is going to rock.”

The studio also announced that The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has sold more than 1.7 million copies on PC and Xbox 360. Also, on August 23 the Xbox 360 version of The Witcher, published by Spike Chunsoft, will hit the stores in Japan, and the studio will bring The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition to Mac this Fall.

Marketing/Gamification Firm Raises $25 Million

Badgeville has announced that they have received $25 million in series C funding, led by InterWest Partners. The gamification and behavioral based marketing firm is looking to tap into the increasing market of gamification; 70 percent of the top 2000 global companies are engaging in gamification marketing techniques and researchers believe that the market could top $2.8 billion by 2016.

“Badgeville solves an increasingly important business need: helping the enterprise understand and influence user behavior across every digital touch point. By providing a true Platform-as-a-Service solution, the company has quickly become the leader in gamification — and also an unparalleled innovator in how businesses should approach user engagement, employee efficiency and customer loyalty,” said InterWest general partner Doug Pepper, who has been named to the Badgeville Board of Directors. “Badgeville has all the indicators of a successful SaaS company: a highly-sophisticated platform, a world-class management team and a growing market.”

“Badgeville has rocketed from its company launch and Series A funding all the way to a Series C funding in a mere 20 months, far faster than most SaaS companies,” said Jeff Crowe, General Partner, Norwest Venture Partners, who led Badgeville’s Series B investment and participated in this round. “Investors, ourselves included, are excited about both the large untapped market opportunity and the rapid progress that [CEO] Kris [Duggan] and team have made in staking out the leadership position in the Behavior Lifecycle Management space.”

Anarchy Reigns Gets Delays In West

Sega has confirmed that Anarchy Reigns is not releasing in the West the same time as it is in Japan on July 5, 2012. While it is ready to come to the West, Sega has listed the release date as “to be confirmed.”

“Unfortunately that means we don’t know when the game is coming out in the West, that’s up for Sega to decide,” said a Platinum Games rep .”We worked really hard to make sure that everybody could get the game on time. The game is fully localized. If you buy the Japanese version or any version, it’s going to have all the languages in it. We really wanted everybody online around the world to play together at the same time but unfortunately that’s not going to happen.”

“It is still coming out in the first week of July, but in the West, Sega is looking for the best time to put it out. It will still be out there in July. There will still be ways for you to get it if you know where to go,” he added. “We’re still 100 percent behind the game and we still want to connect with you and play with you and have a good time, so let’s make sure that happens no matter what bad news we get.”

Source: platinumgames.com

Replay Games Considers Legal Options Over Wisecrack Kickstarter

Al Lowe is looking to sue Wisecrack Games over its crowdfunded project Sam Suede for copyright infringement. Sam Suede In Undercover Exposure is a Kickstarter project asking for $500,000 and cites Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe as part of the project both on the site and in its pitch video, though he is not currently working on the project.

“I think the blatant misuse of the Leisure Suit Larry name and copyrighted material shows clear disregard for copyright law,” said Reply founder Paul Trowe. “To piggyback on someone else’s success is not only rude but also illegal. Those who continue with this will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law. We are suing today.”

Wisecrack claims to have violated no copyrights of Replay stating, “Wisecrack’s references to Al Lowe’s accomplishments, including his work on the Leisure Suit Larry series, are truthful, come directly from Mr. Lowe’s website with his permission pursuant to a written agreement, and constitute de minimis and fair uses under applicable law. As Kickstarter fans are aware, Al is currently working on Leisure Suit Larry. The references to Al Lowe’s extensive work with Ken Wegrzyn on the design of Sam Suede in Undercover Exposure is truthfully stated and a historical fact. The original design and prototyping have been completed by Al and Ken, as well as a written agreement with Al Lowe for the Sam Suede in Undercover Exposure Kickstarter with Wisecrack Games. Upon completion of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Wisecrack Games moves into full production to complete the game.”

Source: GamesBeat

Kinect Reports For Surgery

Surgeons are trying out Kinect’s motion control capabilities at St. Thomas’ hospital in London, thanks to a collaboration between Microsoft research and Lancaster University. This will allow surgeons during keyhole surgery to manipulate images with voice and gestures.

“Until recently I was shouting out across the operating theater to tell someone to go up, down, left right,” surgeon Tom Carrell told the. “But with the Kinect I’m able to get the position that I want quickly – and also without me having to handle non-sterile things like a keyboard or mouse during the procedure.”

“This is a lovely example of a successful interdisciplinary research project, combining the technical skills of computer scientists with a social scientific and medical expertise that ensures the new technology resonates with the way in which surgeons actually do their work,” added the university’s Dr Mark Rouncefield.

Source: BBC