Play ToneCraft

With over seven million copies sold, Minecraft has become a global obsession. Now, a similar interface has spread into the realm of HTML5 music apps, in this case, for the Google Chrome web browser.

ToneCraft from Dinahmoe, an “integrated music and sound production house,” takes the matrix sequencer concept and expands it one dimension further, taking several cues from the popular game that inspired its name. The result is a cool, 3D loop-building environment sure to please any Lego maniac — so long as they use Google Chrome, because this is a Chrome app.

Each block (or “voxel”) you place on the grid represents a note. Different colors represent different instruments. The X and Y-axis represent time and pitch, respectively, while the Z-axis lets you stack instruments vertically to create a layered sound. The sweeping time line/cursor thing cycles over your masterpiece continuously, turning your blocks into boops and beeps. By placing and stacking colored blocks you can “craft” a wide variety of slick electronic beats with fairly little effort, with which to amaze your online friends and enemies.

We found the app to produce some fairly impressive sounds — and no matter how many blocks you decide to place, it manages to not sound cluttered, allowing you to get fairly creative with these building blocks. Since this is a “Chrome experiment,” in the words of Dinahmoe, the app can get a little buggy. For example, rotating the camera in three dimensions takes way longer than it should, and the blocks can sometimes produce odd visual glitches.

Still, if you have the imagination, this app can keep you entertained for a while. Tonecraft is available for free in the Chrome Web App Store.


Facebook CEO Denies Phone Rumors, Interested In Search

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was candid during his recent speech during TechCrunch Disrupt. Despite persistent rumors that the company is working on a phone, Zuckerberg flat out denied those reports.

“The phone just doesn’t make any sense,” said Zuckerberg. “[Hardware] doesn’t move the needle for us.”

The elephant in the room was the fact that Facebook’s stock has lost half its value from an opening day price of $38 a share to a closing price of $19.43 on Tuesday. “The performance of the stock has obviously been disappointing,” said Zuckerberg.

He said that there’s been some internal restructuring to focus on product groups. “Over the coming weeks and months I think we can expect to see the cool stuff that people have been working on,” he said.

One of the first new projects of late was a more efficient iPhone app. “It was not where we wanted it to be before,” he said of the app. “And to be honest, even what we have now is not as good as it can be.”

One major issue he brought up was search, and implied that Facebook might be making a push into that very soon. “We do on the order of a billion queries a day already, and we’re basically not even trying,” said Zuckerberg. “That’s one kind of obvious thing that would be interesting for us to do in the future.”



Ubisoft Open To Publishing Other Companies’ Games On Uplay

Ubisoft worldwide online games director Stephanie Perotti confirmed that the company is open to publishing games from other companies on Uplay. Digital distributor Origin from Electronic Arts already carries games from THQ, Sega, and Konami among many others.

“We remain open to opportunities,” said Ubisoft worldwide online games director Stephanie Perotti. “Right now, we’re starting the service with our own games, but as we go forward, we plan to potentially add other titles.”

Source: MCV


Apple Game Center At 150 Million Players

Apple has announced that iOS’s Game Center hub now has over 150 million players. By contrast, Xbox Live has only 40 million subscribers worldwide.

Apple’s Greg Joswick went on to call the iPod Touch “the world’s most popular video game player”. He also claimed that there are over 175,000 “games and entertainment apps” on the App Store.

Source: Engadget


IPhone 5 Revealed, IPod Refreshed

Apple announced the iPhone 5, featuring a four inch screen, 326 pixels per inch Retina display and letterbox support for older apps. The phone also has LTE for faster downloads and uploads using “Ultrafast Wireless” technology.

The company also refreshed the iPod with the same screen as an iPhone 5 and a A5 processor from older iPhone models. Other iPhone 5-like improvements include a 5 megapixel, backlit camera sensor, LED flash, autofocus and the new panorama mode in iOS 6 along with 150 Mbps wireless with 802.11 a/b/g/n support with 2.4- and 5 GHz bands for 802.11n and Siri support.

The iPhone 5 will come in models ranging from 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB models starting at $199 and going through $399 and will come in black or white. The new iPod will have 32GB model selling for $299 and the 64GB model will be $399 and be available in pink, yellow, blue, black, slate and a white and silver combo.


Nintendo Wii U Launching At $299 In U.S.

Nintendo confirmed that Wii U will launch in the U.S. on Sunday, November 18. The basic version of the console will cost $299 and will come with a white 8GB Wii U console, a GamePad, a sensor bar, AC adapters, and an HDMI Cable.

The Deluxe SKU has everything that the basic package has in a black color with 32GB of storage, charging cradles and a copy of Nintendo Land. It will also have a Deluxe Digital Promotion that will offer gamers some rebates for downloadable Wii U titles in the eShop.

Nintendo also revealed something called Nintendo TVii. It’s designed to be a personalized program guide merging content from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, TiVo DVR and live TV channels showing what’s available to watch and allowing you to start all this content from the GamePad and share info with friends.


Pokémon Black/White 2 Has DLC Incentive For Early Purchase

Nintendo has announced a reward for users that purchase Pokémon Black/White 2 relatively early. Those that connect the game to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection by November 12 will receive Genesect.

“Genesect, the newly discovered Mythical Pokémon, has been restored from a 300-million-year-old fossil,” reads the Nintendo description. “Modified by Team Plasma, this Pokémon has a signature move called Techno Blast. Genesect is the only known Pokemon with this move. Genesect is a Bug- and Steel-type Pokémon with the ability to adjust its power levels based on the foe it’s battling.”

Pokemon Black/White 2 will release October 7, 2012.


Zynga Localizing Two Japanese Games Worldwide

Zynga has confirmed that their mobile titles Montopia and Ayakashi: Ghost Guild from their Japanese division will be localized outside of Japan. Expect to see the games release on iOS and Google Play in English soon, with Chinese and Korean language versions coming later.

“From baseball cards to the introduction of online card collecting games in the 1990s, collecting is a gameplay mechanic as old as time,” said Scott Koenigsberg, General Manager of Games, Zynga. “Montopia and Ayakashi: Ghost Guild are fun, social, and high-quality games that expand our global mobile games portfolio into the RPG category, and we hope our players across the world enjoy playing as much as we do.”

“We’re very excited about expanding to RPGs and bringing these games to the global market,” he added. “Here in the U.S., the RPG market has blossomed recently. It may have been an underserved market here.”

Source: GamesBeat