Activision Sees Smartphone Power Equaling Xbox 360 Soon

The power of mobile devices has been increasing at a meteoric rate over the past few years as hardware manufacturers look to one-up each other for the next versions of their phones. Activision vice president of mobile development Greg Canessa sees mobile phones reaching the power of current-gen consoles very soon.

“The CPU and GPU capabilities of mobile devices will reach Xbox 360 levels of graphical fidelity and processing power within the next generation,” Canessa said. “Activision will be creating a mix of casual and immersive gaming experiences on mobile, but as I say smartphones are more and more allowing for us to create those kinds of experiences. The games that Activision publishes on console, the games it publishes on PC, pretty soon we’ll be publishing those kinds of experiences on tablets and smartphones.”

Pitfall iOS

When asked to explain what Activision’s strategy is with mobile, Canessa said, “We have about 350 different brands and IPs to work with. That’s legacy IP, that’s triple-A IP and that’s licences with other companies. We want to create mobile games from all of these aspects of the Activision portfolio, and build a variety of experiences. I would definitely say that one of our competitive advantages is the strength of our brands. The creation of new IP is expensive, and when you consider how much money we spend on marketing our IP, we can apply that halo effect to our mobile properties. You are going to continue to see us take advantage of our big marketing campaigns to help our mobile products too.”

Source: CVG  {link no longer active}

Social Components Are Mandatory Even For Single Player, Says Nintendo’s Iwata

Miiverse on Wii U will let players share messages about various games with their friends, the system’s home screen will have Miis gathering game icons that they’re playing, and messages from other players can pop up at certain moments sharing their experience of whatever section of a game they’re in. This sort of social interaction is vital to the next generation of gaming, according to Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata.

“We have reached an era where even a single-player game experience [can] have a social component that is very important,” he said. “And I think that social component is mandatory.”

“Early on, when I played a Mario game, it was really fun for me to sit and chat with my friends about, ‘Hey I found coins over here, there’s a hidden place.’ [or] ‘This is how far I got.’ That interaction was great. Of course the Internet does provide a lot of that interaction, but it’s not built for that purpose,” he said. “What we really want to do is create a place where folks who are playing by themselves will not feel like they are playing by themselves. They’ll be able to share those experiences and have that empathy.”

Source: Kotaku

Curiosity By Peter Molyneux Will Be Renamed Because Of The Mars Rover

Recently, Peter Molyneux’s 22 Cans confirmed that its first project would be delayed. The game won’t launch until September and it might be because of the Mars rover that landed a few weeks ago.

“Humm there is a problem with the name Curiosity; we can’t use it because of NASA,”tweeted Molyneux. “I wonder what one word would sum up Curiosity: The Cube.”

“We have a new name for curiosity. After hours of posting, collating office discussions, asking advice from the press the consensus is… Curiosity: What’s in the Cube,” later declared Molyneux, who added, “Not what I voted for but ho hum, I wanted to call it Cube of Duty.”

Source: Twitter

EA’s Peter Moore Says They’re Not Focused On 3D

While 3D was all the rage a couple of years ago across movies, television makers and game platform holders, enthusiasm has dipped in recent months. While the head of PlayStation Europe Jim Ryan and Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata both acknowledged that 3D is more on the back burner now and Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore echos that sentiment.

“3D is certainly not in any way on our list of things we are focused upon as a company,” he said. “It’s just not a technology particularly in our world of gaming that seems to have got traction. If I was skeptical 18 months ago I remain skeptical.”

Source: Eurogamer

Election Apps Target Personal Data, Study Finds

GFI Software is reporting that the apps created to promote the campaigns of President Obama and Mitt Romney have intrusive permissions built in. The apps on Android and iOS demand information about the user who download them to the candidate’s campaign databases on themselves and even their friends and families.

The Romney app requests a person’s name, address and home phone number to create a ‘MyMitt’ account or a connection to Facebook able to collect personal data about you and your friends. It can identify a user’s device ID, mobile number, carrier, GPS and cell locations and tells them they might be added to the Romney campaign’s contact list, probably for priority telephone canvassing; while permission is asked for the smartphone’s camera and audio recording, it isn’t used by the app.

The Obama for America app asks for cell and GPS location data, access to the smartphone’s contact book, call logs and SD Card contents. Probably most controversially, it was reported last week that it offered users information on nearby registered voters, including first name and the initial of the last name with a home address, while encouraging downloaders to visit these people to campaign on behalf for President Obama’s re-election, providing canvassing tips on arguments to use on door-stopping trips.

“When checking out this particular feature, it [the app] told me to go canvassing in part of town locally known for a higher crime rate,” notes GFI Software threat researcher, Randall Griffith. “Users should be aware of their surroundings in any area they visit regardless of what a mobile app tells them.”

The stated purpose of the Obama app is as a canvassing tool for use in swing states while Romney’s was conceived to be a way for supporters to hear about his vice-presidential choice. While the information gathering might just be the first step for future apps, voters are likely to become more aware of what comes with these “free” app downloads.

In other news, security company Barracuda noticed that Mitt Romney’s Twitter account had received a suspiciously large boost to its numbers in a matter of days in late July. This was ascribed to the creation of large numbers of bogus accounts.

Source: Network World

Dungeon Fighter Online Reaches 3 Million Concurrent User Mark

Nexon has announced that Dungeon Fighter Online hit 3 million concurrent users in China this June. Nexon subsidiary Neople has been working with Chinese partner Tencent Games to help the game appeal to the Chinese audience, to whom the game is known as Dungeon&Fighter.

“We are pleased to see that Dungeon&Fighter, which was first introduced more than four years ago, continues to set new records year after year,” said Shin-Chul Kang, CEO of Neople. “We take pride in developing innovative action-packed games that resonate with players, and we strive to continue delivering highly localized updates to our titles that keep users engaged over time.”

Press Reset: The Story Of Polygon Trailer

The new website Polygon is launching soon and they filmed a documentary called Press Reset on the creation of the new site. In case it’s a little too much for you, check out the fan made parody about the much more humble origins of Giant Bomb.

{the link for the parody video is listed as “private”}


Inside Assassin’s Creed III – Episode One

The creators of Assassin’s Creed III shed some light on what it takes to redesign one of gaming’s most iconic franchises from the ground up. Part one in a four-part documentary series, “Inside Assassin’s Creed III: Episode One” gives looks at some of the game’s key pillars through the eyes of its developers and outside experts.