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Sunday, Aug 31, 2014

  

Activision Taking Take-Two?

Investors.com hashes out the possibility that Activision is looking to acquire Take-Two Interactive, one of the many reports that stem from a research note from Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey on Friday describing "an emerging romance" between the two companies. This nauseous image is said to be based on both company's ambitions to create Hollywood movies based on their games. They quote the Hickey analysis as advising: "For Activision, acquiring Take-Two Interactive would be a no-brainer, in our view, circling some of the strongest development talent and owned IP in the world, within a company that has nearly $1 billion in cash and trades at a comparably lower multiple." Thanks nin via Polygon.

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Announced

The Icewind Dale website has details on the Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, an updated version of the beloved RPG in the works at Beamdog for release on Windows and OS X as well as mobiles "when it's ready," though they add this is "likely within a month." Here's word on how this is being enhanced:

Beamdog and Wizards of The Coast announced at PAX today that pre-orders have begun for Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition ahead of its upcoming release.

Originally released in 2000, Icewind Dale is hailed as a classic Dungeons & Dragons adventure based in Wizards of The Coast's legendary Forgotten Realms campaign setting. The Enhanced Edition will allow new and experienced gamers alike to enjoy this epic adventure as never before. Available on PC, Mac, iPad, and Android tablets and phones, the game will retail for $19.99 on desktop and is available for pre-order now.

Icewind Dale has been enhanced with new kits and character classes, dozens of new items and spells, and restored quest material cut from the original game. The redesigned user interface features Zoom capabilities and a Quickloot Bar, among numerous other improvements. Up to six players can simultaneously enjoy Icewind Dale with the new cross-platform multiplayer mode.

RAYA Sound Engine

An article on the AGH University of Science and Technology website has details on the RAYA real-time sound engine for video games, which tackles audio reproduction with the type of ambition that is often reserved for improving game graphics. Word is: "All audio effects are computed based on the actual geometry of a given game level as well as its acoustic properties (acoustic materials, air attenuation). The sound changes dynamically along with movement of the game character and sound sources, so the listener can feel as if he was right there - in the game." They offer this video demonstrating how this works using Quake III Arena. Thanks Wookiestick. Continue here to read the full story.

The Sims 4 Preloads

EA announces those interested in getting underway ASAP in The Sims 4 can start preloading from Origin now in advance of this week's launch of the lifestyle simulation. Here's word:

Pre-load is currently rolling out for everyone who pre-ordered the game on Origin. When itís available in your area, just launch Origin and download your copy. You can check to see by hovering your cursor over the game tile in your Game Library.

Once youíve pre-loaded The Sims 4, your game will unlock once the game launches in your region. For fans in the US, that means itíll start rolling out at 12 AM EDT on September 2, 9 PM PDT on September 1.

Fans in other regions can find their local release schedule below:

September 2: North America, Central Asia, and Russia
September 4: Australia, Japan, and Europe (excluding the UK)
September 5: New Zealand, India, South Africa, and the UK

Steam Top 10

Valve lists the following as the 10 bestselling titles on Steam last week:

  1. The Walking Dead: Season Two
  2. Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition
  3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  4. DayZ
  5. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
  6. Sid Meier's Civilization V: The Complete Edition
  7. Sid Meier's Civilization V Beyond Earth
  8. The Crew
  9. Metro Redux
  10. Age of Mythology: Extended Edition

Op Ed

Brad Wardell - 3 things that have made gaming social media more toxic.
First, I want to emphasize that the gaming media isnít some monolithic thing. There are a lot of good publications and journalists in the game industry. But at the same time, they, like you, know who and what Iím referring to, are often appalled by them, so I think they, and you, will forgive me if I simply describe the usual suspects as ďthe gaming mediaĒ.

Itís not just that the gaming media publicizes every tawdry rumor or speculation about the individuals involved in making games. Itís that they actively take sides and drive the narrative. This is extremely divisive and thus creates a constituency of people waiting ďtheir turnĒ to air their grievances.

Sunday Interviews

Sunday Previews

Sunday Consolidation

Sunday Metaverse

Sunday Tech Bits

Sunday Safety Dance

Hardware Reviews

  • Belkin OmniView Secure 4-Port Business-Class KVM on TweakTown.
  • QNAP TurboNAS TS-470 Pro NAS Server on Nikk Tech.

Out of the Blue

Looks like my ambitions to do something dramatic in Manstiovia today may be derailed by wet weather. What's weird is we often have company for Labor and Memorial day weekends, and typically have great weather, so the lack of planning for this weekend now seems like good planning, as we managed to avoid invoking a rainout.

Rained Out Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Jellydad Hero.
Abyss Walker 2: The Lost Island.
Story: 8-yr-old erects lemonade stand to raise money for retired army veteran.
Science: Labs in the lab: how scientists aim to root out disease in dogs.
Images: Bill Murray Takes Tickets At Baseball Game, Definitely Worth Price Of Admission.
Media: If The Incredibles was a Christopher Nolan film. Thanks JDreyer via Kotaku.
SmartBird - Bird flight deciphered. Thanks TheFlyingPenguin.
Augmented Thrill Ride Project- Oculus Rift + Roller Coaster.



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