Although King’s $7 billion empire is built on the slim foundation of its lone blockbuster, Candy Crush Saga, many thought its efforts to trademark “Saga” and “Candy” were a bit over-the-top. It now turns out the company isn’t trying to crush every game maker that uses these words, and instead is taking each dispute on a case-by-case basis. To that end, it has cemented an out-of-court agreement to let the makers of “Banner Saga” and “CandySwipe” keep those monikers (“Candy” is only trademarked in Europe). Those two actually had legit challenges to the mark, but we imagine that other developers who deliberately used the terms to make a point (or for shits and giggles) may not get off so easily.
Filed under: Gaming
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Ten years ago, adjusting the temperature of your home from a smartphone might have seemed like something from a science fiction movie. But in this age of hyper-connectivity, it’s easier to get wrapped up in the quantifiable aspects of life than you might think. Just ask our own Joseph Volpe.
Thin, light and simple: MSI’s latest gaming laptop is all of those things and more. Dubbed the GS60 Ghost, this slim aluminum machine has a bright 15.3-inch display and ultrabook-esque buttonless trackpad. All in all, the Ghost is a great choice for serious gamers, provided they can endure its less-than-average battery life.
In a recent blog post, Sony announced it’s preparing a 1.70 firmware update for the PS4 that will include a brand new video editor (called SHAREfactory) and pre-game loading functionality. Exactly when it will be released, however, is still to be known.
Apparently, Google’s algorithm used by Street View vehicles is so good it can beat reCAPTCHA images 99 percent of the time. If that makes you feel unsafe, don’t worry. The Mountain View company says there are additional safeguards beyond simply typing in the right answer.
You also might like:
Sony and Microsoft’s console sales were neck and neck for awhile, but the gap is starting to widen: according to the latest NPD numbers, Sony is winning the race. Yesterday, the Japanese hardware manufacturer announced that it has moved more than seven million PlayStation 4s worldwide — today Microsoft countered with a total of five million, trailing Sony in both monthly and lifelong sales. A stark difference, sure, but it’s not all bad: the Xbox exclusive Titanfall is the industry’s top-selling title right now, and the second highest selling for the platform overall. The new console is also outpacing the Xbox 360′s first-year sales by more than 60 percent; it’s doing well, it’s just not top dog. The latest inFamous game (a PS4 exclusive) ranked the second highest selling game for the month of March, followed by multiplatform titles like South Park: The Stick of Truth, Call of Duty Ghosts and Dark Souls II.
Sony just announced sales of seven million PlayStation 4 consoles and promised more details on its upcoming software update would follow soon, now here they are. We still don’t have an exact timetable for when firmware 1.70 will arrive, but now we know more about its new “SHAREfactory” video editor and that game pre-loading is in the update. Many people are familiar with pre-loading via Steam and other PC services, which allows gamers to download pre-ordered games ahead of their release, then simply unlock the digital copy on the day it’s “released.” All it takes is enabling the PS4′s “auto download” feature, and you’re done, no more waiting while overloaded servers choke on release day.
The other big addition is SHAREfactory, a rich video editor app that will let gamers spice up their game recordings (which are getting a resolution bump to 720p) with filters and effects, music and picture-in-picture feeds from the PlayStation Camera. The music element is particularly interesting because it mentions both provided tracks and the ability to import your own original songs, even though the PS4 can’t play MP3s right now. If that’s a surprise addition to the list later, we won’t argue. One other tweak is letting users decide which friends they will share a clip or screenshot with from the Share menu itself, instead of having to go back into settings first. Additionally, a Japanese press release indicates the update will bring Remote Play to Sony’s Vita TV mini-console and the ability to archive those HD Ustream / Twitch broadcasts online.
While the Xbox One’s Upload Studio shares some of the same features, Sony is going a step further by letting users post SHAREfactory videos directly to Facebook, or move them directly to an external USB storage device to upload them elsewhere (YouTube). We called out the PS4′s lack of a video editor when we compared the two system’s services and apps, and while we’ll have to wait for some hands-on time to be sure, that gap may be closed. Of course, if you prefer DIY capture and editing, FW 1.70′s HDCP-off that will allow video capture of games over HDMI will be the big addition, but this makes it easier for anyone to try it. Now, if only we knew when we will get to see the new update (and, hopefully, successive ones to fill in missing features like MP3, Blu-ray 3D, DLNA).
Source: PlayStation Blog
One of the big promises that came out of Microsoft’s Build conference this year were apps that’d work across a number of Windows devices with a single purchase, and Redmond is using Halo to lead that charge. The first group of applications includes Halo: Spartan Assault and Skulls of the Shogun, both of which recently made the conversion to universal games — making them playable across Windows Phone, Windows 8 and RT devices for one price. If you’d rather not pay for your entertainment, though, Microsoft also converted the likes of Wordament, Minesweeper and Hexic too. However, as Windows Phone Central notes, buying the universal version of Skulls doesn’t grant access to the Xbox 360 version, nor does Spartan Assault’s universal purchase unlock the Xbox 360 or Xbox One versions. Given that the Xbox division is still pretty separate from everything else though, that isn’t exactly surprising.
Source: Windows Phone Central
I am not ashamed to admit that I have taken advantage of Steam sales and Humble Bundles to amass a library of roughly 150 games for a fraction of the retail price. I am, however, ashamed to admit that I’ve only actually played about one-third of them (and that’s probably being generous). Apparently, I’m far from alone. According to Ars Technica, just shy of 37 percent of registered titles have never been played. The site figured out a way to measure both the sales and number of hours a game is played through Valve’s digital store. That’s a huge deal when you’re talking about an industry that avoids giving out concrete numbers at all costs. While the method used for collecting the data is Steam-specific and won’t work for the entire industry, it still provides valuable insight into one of the largest game retailers in the world.
Basically for the last two months, Ars has been running a random, semi-anonymous rolling poll of publicly available information from people’s Steam profiles. With some fancy math, they’ve been able to figure how many copies a game has sold and just how many hours people are putting into each title. Now, the methodology is not perfect, but the outlet has compared its results with both public and private numbers provided by companies and its estimates match up quite well.
What the results seem to suggest is that the Steam (and likely the broader video game market) is very reliant on big blockbuster titles. The top 20 percent of titles account for 83 percent of all sales and 98 percent of total play time. If you want to break it down even further, the top 110 selling games (roughly 4 percent of titles) account for about half of all sales. It’s not quite enough of a disparity to inspire the gaming industry’s own version of Occupy Wall Street, but it serves to highlight the stark divide between the big boys and the indies.
Source: Ars Technica
Sony was quick to pat itself on the back for passing five million PlayStation 4s sold more than a month earlier than it predicted, and now that the fiscal year is over there’s more to celebrate. As of April 6th, Sony says it has sold more than seven million PS4s worldwide, covering more than 72 countries/regions. Games are moving too, with 20.5 million sold in stores or as downloads since launch, while players have already punched that Share button over 135 million times. We’ve had multiple updates on Sony’s stats since the last time we heard specific worldwide numbers from Microsoft, which seems to still trail in the hardware sales race — we should know more about the situation in North America after the NPD reports for March come out tomorrow. Despite relative radio silence on sales, updates on the Xbox One have added a number of features to its software recently, and Sony has revealed the PS4 will get a big update with external drive support, HDCP off and more soon. A post on the PlayStation Blog claims information on that is close by, but for now gaming fans (bored of Infamous: Second Son / Titanfall) can focus on what’s really important: which system moved more units.
- PlayStation (@PlayStation) April 16, 2014
The PlayStation 4 may be leading home console sales, but that doesn’t mean Sony’s bank account is in the black. The company has made a minor habit of garnishing its quarterly earnings reports with notable losses, and it’s been selling off assets (including its own headquarters) to help balance its budget. Its latest liquidation is the company’s 8.25 percent stake in Square-Enix, the outfit behind jRPG hits like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. The ¥4.8 billion ($46.9 million) Sony expects to pocket from the sale is only a dent in the $1.1 billion it estimates it lost last year, which leaves the sale of Sony’s other headquarters and its VAIO PC business to help make up the difference. This might mark the end of Sony’s financial support for Square-Enix, but gamers shouldn’t be worried: The game developer has a long, loyal history with the PlayStation brand.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Humble Bundle 5 brings slew of top Android games for cheap, includes The Cave, The Room Two and more
The next best thing to free games are game sales and for the next 12 days, you can get a bundle of great Android games for whatever you want to pay.
The Humble Mobile Bundle 5 is back with Bag It!, R-Type II and Aralon: Sword and Shadow, but if you pay more than the average price, which at the time of writing this is $4.96, you also get The Cave, The Room Two, Carcassonne and more games that are coming soon.
We’ve written about The Humble Bundle in the past and if you’re not familiar with it, instead of paying a set price for the set of games, you actually get to choose your own price and can even choose how the money is divided up to charity and the developer. The charities include Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child’s Play Charity. If you choose to pay more than the average price, you get more games.
If you pay just $4.97, you are already saving a ton of money since Aralon, The Cave and Carassonne all cost $4.99 each on Google Play.
All of the games included with the Humble Bundle also are 100% DRM-free and the bundle is exclusively for Android devices.
There’s also a Humble Bundle app for Android to help you download your new games and keep them updated, or you can download the APKs.
VIA Humble Bundle
The post Humble Bundle 5 brings slew of top Android games for cheap, includes The Cave, The Room Two and more appeared first on AndroidGuys.
When some 1.1 million people played Pokémon together via Twitch’s game-broadcasting service, developer Studio Bean must’ve gotten inspired. Choice Chamber takes the idea of the audience deciding what happens onscreen to a new level and injects Twitch chat into the game’s DNA; here, the peanut gallery has a direct impact on the player’s progression. As you make your way through a series of randomly generated rooms, the audience (people watching you broadcast via Twitch, of course) takes a series of polls that alter the game’s flow. It’s a lot like playing as dungeon master with your Dungeons and Dragons crew, but with a 21st century twist. As cool as voting on what weapon the player gets, or summoning a giant fist that wipes across the screen to obliterate a boss monster sounds, though, the project is only halfway to its $30,000 Kickstarter funding goal. With four days left in the campaign, Twitch has announced that it’ll step in and match the funds needed to finish the game.
This marks the first time that the streaming outfit has played an active role in game development, and, if it’s a hit, chances are that we could see more like it in the future. If you want a taste of controlling a game without the hassles of actually playing one yourself, the arcadey Dead Nation on PS4 and the upcoming Daylight use Twitch interaction, too. Not into zombies or horror? Well, Twitch is still playing Pokémon.