Deus Ex Campaign Pushes The Boundaries Of Human Augmentation

Square Enix went all out for their ad campaign for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The campaign began on a viral marketing website for the fictional Sarif Industries which was later apparently ‘hacked’ by the ‘Purity First’ terrorist group.

The Sarif Industries website has been posting links to real cybernetics developments like an artificial hand that can feel {link no longer active},  powering cybernetics with the mind {link no longer active}, and a bionic eye that could restore vision.

Fans can choose a way to augment themselves, capture and image with a webcam and add to an ongoing user-generated mosaic. {link no longer active}

THQ Files Chapter 11

THQ announced they are pursuing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with a deal announced with Clearlake Capital Group that will see the firm act as a “stalking horse bidder” for the publisher for $60 million. Companies have 30 days to submit another bid, and the sale will finalize if none do so.

Pending court approval, THQ has said it will continue to operate as normal with no layoffs. THQ’s four studios will continue to operate and its employees will continue to be paid.

The bankruptcy will allow THQ to discard certain obligations with debt and hopefully put them on firmer financial ground when it is done. THQ has also obtained financing commitments of about $37.5 million from Wells Fargo.

Tim Schafer Talks The Freedom Of Kickstarter

Double Fine helped change the industry, and itself, when it launched its phenomenally successful Kickstarter this year. For Tim Schafer, the experience was eye-opening and changed the way he looks at game making.

“It made me unafraid of being open. I come from a background at LucasArts, the most closed company of all,” said Schafer. “It’s like Willy Wonka when the doors are closed. Lucas is a very secretive company because of all the crazed Star Wars fans out there. And the regular game development is like, ‘keep everything a secret and release it when you’re polished and ready’.”

“The Kickstarter thing and the documentary that we’re doing with the Kickstarter has just taught me that there’s nothing to be afraid of. You release your stuff, you show a piece of concept art that may or may not be in the game,” he added. “It doesn’t matter. People are just like, ‘Oh, that’s cool!’ People get on your side more, not get on your side less. The fear is that if it’s not perfect, you can’t show it to people because they’ll freak out. The fact is, they just feel more bought in. They feel like they’re part of the development team.”

Project Godus Reaches Kickstarter Goal

22 Cans has reached its goal of 450,000 British Pounds ($730,000) for Project Godus. The successor to Populous hit the goal with less than 48 hours remaining on the Kickstarter.

22 Cans announced stretch goals for the product as well. At £460,000 they will add three additional single- and multiplayer game modes, at £475,000 players will be able to create their own sects, at £485,000, BAFTA award winner James Leach will pen the story, at £500,000 the team will add both first-person world crafting in “possession mode” and a co-operative multiplayer mode and at £550,000, support for Linux and Ouya will be added.


Nintendo TVii Launches

Nintendo has confirmed the launch of the TVii service on Wii U for December 20. The service is designed to help users search for content and get recommendations from cable or satellite television and Web-based video services.

Users can also use the GamePad to post to Nintendo’s Miiverse, Facebook or Twitter and look up Internet-based information such as cast details, movie reviews and sports scores. However, the service only works with Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and local cable or satellite services; Netflix and TiVo will have to wait until 2013.

iPad Mini Not Cutting Into Regular iPad Sales

A recent survey by Forrester found that 47 percent of iPad mini purchasers have never purchased an Apple product, debunking the myth that it’s cannibalizing regular iPad sales. Right now the 7.9-inch iPad mini makes up 34 percent of total iPad purchases.

“The iPad mini will add to Apple’s overall sales, but also cut into some of the big iPad sales, and that’s a risk they’re willing to take,” predicted Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps around launch. “They’d rather have a lower average selling price, but keep market share.”


PS4 Details Wrangled Up

According to rumors, the production line of the PS4 will indeed be Orbis. The term is Latin for circle and will likely be part of the console’s full name, because the number four in Japanese (shi) also means death and is generally thought of in a negative fashion.

The name Orbis will also tie into Sony’s PS Vita, which is Latin for life. This “circle of life” system-pairing will likely be built on cross-play and cross-buy functionality present in the PS3 and Vita, as Sony seeks a larger ecosystem of devices.

At the core of the PS Orbis will be an AMD quad-core APU 28nm processor codenamed “Liverpool,” 16GB of flash memory enabling swift firmware updates, and 4GB of RAM, or possibly 8GB of RAM. “The downside is that RAM is expensive, but Sony can’t afford to scrimp,” PSM3 commented.

There’s the possibility that the system will ship with a controller that consists of two magnetized Move wands that form a Dual Shock when combined. The PS Orbis will also likely have a Move camera integrated and the ability to use the PS Vita as a controller and “Sony also filed patents for augmented reality 3D controllers,” noted the article.

The PS Orbis is expected to be an “always online” experience. As such, PlayStation Plus will factor in even more, with subscription plans likely to supplement the raw cost of the console and reduce the sticker shock.

Games available on the system could come from the cloud, be free-to-play and possibly be ad supported. It is also a possibility that the online-only nature of the console would lock out used games entirely.

The report states that the console will not be backwards compatible with old PlayStation discs, instead supplementing it with a back catalog of streaming games. The reports of an ultra-hd, 4K resolution were also bagged as impossible for the system.

The cost for the Orbis could be $500 or more and come between late 2013 or in early 2014. Games have been in production for the system for over 18 months, most being emulated on PCs right now. “PS4 will be a high-end PC with optimized, custom graphics hardware “that’s no bad thing,” PSM3 concludes.