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Monday, Jan 17, 2011


Dawn of War II - Retribution Closed Beta This Month

THQ announces plans to launch closed multiplayer beta testing of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution later this month, giving players the chance to check out Relic's upcoming RTS expansion. Here's word on how this will work: "The beta is scheduled to go live on Monday, January 31st when global press and key Dawn of War® community members will be given access. It will then broaden to include everyone who has pre-ordered Dawn of War® II – Retribution™ on STEAM to date on February 1st. Finally, anyone who has bought a Dawn of War game through STEAM or has registered a Dawn of War II product on their STEAM account will automatically receive an invite on February 8th. There will be no open registration phase to this beta."

The Elder Scrolls V Engine Details

The Technology Behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on has details on the all new game engine in the next Elder Scrolls game, which Bethesda is calling the "Creation engine," which makes use of some of the technological refinements they conjured up for Fallout 3. They describe efforts at creating more realistic horizons, improved foliage, improved Radiant AI technology, and more.

EVE Abandons Older CPU Support

The EVE Online Website explains that when version 1.1.0 of Incursion launches tomorrow, CCP's MMORPG will cease supporting older CPUs that cannot handle the SSE2 instruction set, saying this means they will no longer support Intel Pentium 3 (or older) and AMD Athlon XP (or older) CPUs. Surprisingly, there are actually still players using such hardware, as CCP says this will impact about 0.3% of their users. However, the update also does leave it unclear whether this lack of support is permanent, as this vague bit explains: "We urge everyone who encounters this specific error to submit a petition to our customer support department. We will have updates on the next steps we take with this issue immediately after the weekend but we wanted to get a blog up ASAP to inform everyone about the issue." Thanks Big Download.

BF2142 Patch Beta Extended

The Battlefield Blog has word that the beta version 1.51 patch for Battlefield 2142 is going to remain in testing through the end of this month, adding: "so if you don't have the patch, download it and get in on the action!"

Evening Previews

Thanks Ant.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: The Microphone Should be Gold Plated. Thanks Ant.

PlanetSide Next Nears has word from Sony Online Entertainment's John Smedley on upcoming MMORPG plans. He tells them The Agency is still expected for PC and PS3 later this year, and says PlanetSide Next is due in the first half of this year, saying it should be late first quarter or early second quarter. He also tells them that in addition to their announced upcoming projects (The Agency, PS3 Free Realms, PlanetSide Next, and EverQuest Next), SOE also has "a lot" of unannounced projects in the works.

Homefront Crunch Time

Develop has complaints from an "inside source" at KAOS Studios complaining about a "seven-day crunch for two months" at the THQ-owned studio as they work to complete Homefront, their upcoming first-person shooter. They spoke about this with David Votypka, KAOS general manager, who confirmed the game is in serious crunch mode. "If this seems unique or abhorrent, I would have to suggest that any assessment regarding a 10-hour work day would need to consider a much larger segment of the American workforce," Votypka tells them. "Unfortunately, it was misstated that this [seven-day crunch] has been going on for two months. That’s simply not the case. For the record: no Kaos developer has worked 60 days without a break. That will never happen here."

Blue Mars PC Support Ending

The Blue Mars Blog announces that Avatar Reality is shifting their development effort on this virtual world to the mobile version, saying: "With our focus now clearly on mobile, updates to the PC version of the software will likely be restricted to bug fixes for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, we will no longer charge our current City Developers for the monthly city hosting service. The servers will remain online, city updates and uploads will continue, and shop and residence rentals will still function but technical support for the user client will no longer be offered." They also announce a restructuring resulting in the loss of many jobs, including that of CEO Jim Sink, who penned the update. Thanks Massively.

UK Bestsellers

GFK Chart-Track has the top 20 bestselling PC titles in the UK for the week ending January 15. The list is 40% Sims, 30% MMORPGs, and once again topped off by Football Manager 2011.

CliffyB on No PC Bulletstorm Demo

We still haven't heard back from Mark Rein about the lack of plans for a Windows Bulletstorm demo, but Epic's Cliff Bleszinski tweets his feelings on the subject, which don't seem overly concerned: "BULLETSTORM DEMO COMING TO 360/PS3 JANUARY 25th. In other news, PC gamers are grumpy about this." Thanks BeyondUnreal.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

It Came from CES 2011, Part 16

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the observation of the birthday and celebration of the accomplishments of the civil rights leader. I was thinking of this as one of those holidays that's not so widely observed, but the parking lot was half-full at most when I dropped MrsBlue at the train station this morning (as hers is one of those companies that's open today).

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Spacewar! in Java.
Links: Hamburgers in North Korea.
Science: Photoacoustic imaging beyond our wildest dreams.
Images: C-3PO Sculpture in Front of Recycling Center.
Media: Andy and Pee-Wee's Night Out. Thanks Boing Boing.
Immersion - Zombie Headshots (Season Finale).
Huge Guns (with Smosh!).
Spock Finds Everything Fascinating.
The Funnies: xkcd: 3D.
The 5 Biggest Video Game Flops of All Time.
Follow-up: Bumblebees done in by a fungal parasite—maybe.

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