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Monday, Sep 23, 2013


Grand Theft Auto Online Microtransactions?

A post on reddit points the way to a XML file on the Rockstar website suggesting that the upcoming Grand Theft Auto Online will feature the ability to buy in-game cash via microtransactions when the multiplayer version of Grand Theft Auto V goes live next month. This shows the ability to buy Shark Cards in denominations of $100K, $200K, $500K, and $1.25 million. This is all unconfirmed at this time, but if it is the case, we imagine it will spark outrage from some players that people will be able to buy cash rather than earn it in the game the honest way, by stealing it. Thanks nin via Kotaku.

Company of Heroes 2 Free Maps Tomorrow

Owners of Company of Heroes 2 will be getting two free new multiplayer maps tomorrow, reports Polygon, saying this information from publisher SEGA. Here's their description: "The first map, Rostov, is based on the WWII battle of the same name and will support up to six players. The second map, Khakov, is based on the Ukraine's second-largest city, which was also the site of several WWII battles. It will support up to four players."

Hellraid Interactive Prequel Trailer

This trailer is an interactive prequel to Hellraid called Edyn's Escape that shows the events preceding Techland's upcoming hack-and-slash action game. Here's the outline of what this is all about: "Edyn’s Escape is set in the environments from the game and uses items available during gameplay. The movie’s action takes place two weeks before the events from the game where players will be fighting forces of Hell for the survival of mankind. The main goal in Edyn’s Escape is to escape from a monastery overrun by hellish monsters as the viewer plays the role of a monk named Edyn. A special reward awaits those who see the movie through to its conclusion." Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Interviews

Evening Patches

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

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SteamOS Announced

The countdown on the Steam Living Room page has concluded, and this page has details on SteamOS, "available soon as a free operating system designed for the TV and the living room," the promised announcement about Valve's future plans for Linux and Steam. This is the first of three planned announcements on the topic, so expect more to come in about 48 hours when the next countdown concludes. Here's word:

As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself. SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.

Alien Rage Trailer

Alien Rage is due for release on Steam tomorrow (it's also coming to consoles later this fall), and in anticipation, CI Games offers a launch trailer for the sci-fi first-person shooter. Here's word on the game:

In Alien Rage players will unleash a fury of powerful weapons as they blast their way through armies of Alien forces hell-bent on taking them down. Battling through 14 intense levels, players will be able to discover and equip ten epic weapons each designed with two unique, strategic firing modes to prepare to face a barrage of enemies and unstoppable mega-sized bosses that will push players FPS skills to the limit. With unforgiving enemy AI, players must utilize tactical manoeuvres to not only get an advantage in battle but to simply survive the intense old-school styled shooter experience in Alien Rage.

Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Weekly Sales Charts

GfK Chart Track offers their updated charts on video game sales in the U.K. through last week. Rome: Total War II [sic] remains their mis-titled number one. Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 enters at number five on the full-priced PC top 20, while The Elder Scrolls Anthology debuts at number four. On the PC bargain chart, Euro Truck Simulator 2: Go East rolls over the competition to park at number 2, while The Sims 3: Movie Stuff remains at number one. And stuff. Finally, there's a new sheriff in town on the all-platforms/all prices chart, or better to say, a new criminal in town, as Grand Theft Auto V makes its unsurprising debut in the top spot, stealing away the number one position from Saints Row IV. Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 enters that chart at number two. Here's the their overview on the latest developments:

Released on Tuesday 17th September, ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ makes a stunning debut at the top of the All Formats Chart this week, breaking all records to become the fastest selling game ever.

With just 5 days on sale it has become the 24th biggest selling title of all time in the UK (11th biggest on Xbox 360 and 10th on PS3). It has sold more in its first week than the launch weeks of all other GTA titles combined. It’s launch week is 2.4 times greater than that of ‘GTA IV’ and betters previous best ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ by almost ¼ million units. Released on just the two formats, Xbox 360 accounted for 57% of sales and PS3 43%.

It might feel like GTA V was the only new release this week with 89% of all sales being for just that one title, but ‘Pro Evolution Soccer 2014’ debuts at No2, while further down the chart at No22 is ‘Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning’. Hardware bundling helps push ‘The Last of Us’ (+536%) up from No27 to No3, while last week’s No1, ‘Saints Row IV’ (-45%) slips to No4. ‘Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist’ (-8%) is down one place to No5, ahead of ‘Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition’ (+1%), a non-mover at No6. ‘Diablo III’ sales drop by 49% as it falls from No3 to No7. ‘Disney Infinity’ (-20%) drops 3 places to No8 ahead of a re-entry for newly retailer-promoted ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’ (+913%) at No9. ‘Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix’ (-70%) slides from No2 to No10 in its second week of release. Sales from the remaining 9 titles in the Top 10 only represented 4%, making it hard to imagine a week where one title has been so dominant or perhaps ever will.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Had a misunderstanding (yeesh!) with network solutions today, as anyone who visited this morning and found their landing page parked here. It should be straightened out now, but you have my apologies. This also impacted my email: I don't know if messages got bounced along the way, but once it was cleared up I got a backlog, but if you sent mail since last night, it's possible it wasn't received. Apologies for the downtime.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Brutality.
Science: The life and death of Buran, the USSR shuttle built on faulty assumptions.
NRDC: Clean Energy The Most Affordable Way To Power The US.
Media: The Terror of Being Caught With Porn.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Troopas.

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