PS Vita Loves Indie Devs With Its Very Affordable Dev Kit

 

Speaking at GDC Europe, SCEE’s George Bain has confirmed the price studios will have to pay for a PlayStation Vita development kit.

“The PS Vita development kit is going to be very affordable,” said Bain. “And when I say affordable I mean €1,900 plus VAT.”

The price, which Shuhei Yoshida told Develop; would be within the financial reach of smaller studios back in June at E3. This comes as great news to numerous small and medium sized studios (AND MEEEEE) ME ME ME ME ME ME!!!). Web speculation to this point had suggested the price would be around $3,000.

The €1,900 price tag is significantly lower than the €20,000 charged for PS2 and PS3 dev kits at launch, and the initial €15,000 fee for a PSP dev kit. Those dev kits saw their prices significantly reduced in 2009.

“There is no cost to join the PS Vita Develop Program,” Bain added. “There’s just that cost of the dev kit. If you’re a small developer, we happy to talk to you about this. It will help if you have a games portfolio. There’s no reason we won’t speak with smaller studios about joining up.”

Bain also confirmed that prototype dev kits can be free, and revealed that the SCEA PubFund, which offers studios budget for the creation of exclusive titles, is currently seeing up to 15 pitches a week.

The PS Vita Dev kit will, unlike the consumer version, feature HDMI out. (Aww yeeeaahh)

Bain concluded by confirming that while the Vita will eventually see non-gaming apps created with Sony partners, for now the company is only accepting game proposals (because at the end of the day.. a system needs gaemz to succeed.. I hope you’re taking notes Mrs. 3DS). She system will also, like the PS3, boast support for freemium gaming models.

 

 

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BORDERLANDS 2 TEASER

 

Shooting, shooting, explosion and more shooting. Gearbox teases us harder than a stripper during a Tuesday afternoon.

– Mave

Pre-Order Battlefield 3 on Origin and Get a Free Game

 

If my title read “pre-order Battlefield 3 on Origin and Get a Free Game” then congratulations! Your site hasn’t been ruined from spending countless hours staring at a screen. Although you didn’t capitalize the “p” in Pre-Order nor did you capitalize the “o” so you might wanna get a vision test anyway. Anywho;

EA is desperately trying very hard to sell gamers on a service they don’t seem to want, at least judging by online comments (I don’t see the big fuss, I enjoy the service, but then again I’m superior to all of you). The publisher has been offering sales on past games, early access to the Battlefield 3 beta for those who pre-order, and now we know that you’ll be using EA’s Origin service even if you buy the game at a physical retail location. The latest weapon is a simple one: if you pre-order Battlefield 3, you get a free game from a list of three.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive this e-mail when I caved in and pre-ordered the game:

As a special thank you for pre-ordering Battlefield 3 early at Origin, we’re offering you a bonus PC digital download game. Please apply the code below at the shopping cart to redeem one PC Digital version of one of our recommended shooter titles: Mass Effect 2, Dead Space 2 or Medal of Honor. The price will be reduced to $0 after applying the code at your shopping cart. Hurry—this offer is only good for the month of August, and is exclusive to Origin customers only. See below for more details.

Hey, if you give me a chance to have Mass Effect 2 I’m taking it hard and fast like a undersexed housewife.

That’s not a bad deal, and it’s my personal recommendation/order that you pick up Mass Effect 2 if you haven’t already played it (although Medal of Honor is severely underrated if you’re into military shooters, probably everyone is so fucking quick to dub it a “Fish clone”). On the other hand, EA is beginning to sound like a pitch man on late-night television, screaming “but wait, there’s more!” in an effort get you to take out your credit card and buy their game… through their service. Which is starting to work…

– Mave

Borderlands 2 Will Save Your Awesomeness (Saves) In A Pretty Cloud

As the first succulent bits of juicy info start slowly trickling in; a rather tasty revelation for the game and its functionality on the Xbox 360 has finally reached our hungry tastebuds.  In a recent interview with Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, Pitchford claims that Borderlands 2 will be using a cloud functionality on Xbox Live to handle game saves in the sequel.  While there have been some whispers out of Redmond about the possibility of the inclusion of cloud based saves, nothing has come down the pipeline officially from Microsoft.

Pitchford spoke about the new features in a recent interview:

“Borderlands 1 saved your content locally, we’re doing some things we hope on all platforms that allow you to save your content on the cloud so that you never lose content and as long as you can access your account you can be at your friends house or whatever and continue playing with your character. We have some more details to talk about there and some things to work out with that there but its an objective we have.”

While there has yet to be an official date set for the release of Borderlands 2, you can just do as I do and proclaim that it should be arriving sometime after April 2012 since that is the start of the fiscal year for the company (ooh look at me putting my money knowledge hat on).  As far as cloud based storage coming from Microsoft, maybe Borderlands 2 will include a necessary dashboard update so this feature can be implemented.

When Borderlands 2 does finally decide to reveal itself; it’ll be available for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 (possibly Wii-U, but I doubt it.. although I would appreciate a Mac version.. just saying.)

Stop Freaking Out About The PC Version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Ever since Bioware’s so called “hardcore tactical-RPG” series (Dragon Age) became “consolized” with Dragon Age 2 and Crytek’s rig-busting shooter lost its rig-raping oomph in Crysis 2, PC gamers were already in a “RAEG” when they learned Eidos-Montreal outsourced the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Not again. Not Deus Ex. “Not a console port!“, The pc gamers cried.

Well take your fingers off of your keyboard and refrain spamming the inbox of Eidos-Montreal, Eidos-Montreal told Gamespy in an exclusive interview, that making a straight console port of Deus Ex: Human Revolution was never an option, and they went to great lengths to co-develop the PC version with partner Nixxes (while getting an added assist from hardware partner AMD). The result, Eidos-Montreal Director of Technology Julien Bouvrais and Nixxes Software Founder and President Jurjen Katsman explain, is an outsourced game that looks and plays like it was designed for the PC first. (In other words, shut the hell up and enjoy a damn good game for fuck sakes.)

Now as I noted, Eidos-Montreal thought that offering them cookies wasn’t enough to answer my questions and chose to go with Gamespy for this interview. So I will now post the entire interview with Gamespy; because I’m just bitter like that. Plus I still have that abandonment issue thing.

GameSpy:Warren Specter’s and Harvey Smith’s original Deus Ex is on the shortlist of all-time PC classics. Knowing this, how important was it to Eidos-Montreal to make a great PC version of Human Revolution?

Julien Bouvrais, director of technology, Eidos-Montreal: Deus Ex is one of those legendary franchises amongst developers. A vast majority of people who have been working in the industry for a while and have been playing games since they were kids, have dreamt about one day being part of such a cornerstone of the gaming history.

I remember back in June 2007, when I started at the studio, I was employee number 11 and at that time pretty much everyone spent their first days playing the original Deus Ex again. That was a self-imposed requirement. Everyone felt it was important that it be fresh in our minds when we talked about the game and what Deus Ex: Human Revolution would be.

GameSpy:So why was the decision ultimately made to outsource the PC version?

Julien Bouvrais: Obviously, while console versions of the game were part of the picture, PC was also a big focus. It was simply out of the question to do a straight port of the console version to PC, while being able to keep the essence of the adventure we experienced seven years before. With this in mind, we started exploring ways to best create the whole Deus Ex: Human Revolution project — console and PC.

There was really no way our team could tackle all three platforms at the same time. Making a Deus Ex game is an incredible challenge in the first place and we wanted to be sure we wouldn’t put the game at risk.

GameSpy:So you turned to Nixxes Software, most recently Eidos Interactive’s partner on the PC version of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Why was the Netherlands-based studio the right choice for Human Revolution?

Bouvrais: Working with an external studio that had lots of experience on PC, with which Eidos had been working for several years, started to make a lot of sense. Nixxes knew the engine extremely well, they had delivered many PC games, and were huge fans of the Deus Ex franchise as well. The head office was really supportive of this decision, and retrospectively, I am convinced this is one of the best decisions we made to ensure the quality of the game.

When we took the initial steps to outsource the PC version, Nixxes was already collaborating with us on the game and had a very good understanding of what we were trying to achieve. They didn’t really have to get up to speed on the technology or our ambitions, which clearly allowed for a very smooth transition. The Eidos-Montreal and Nixxes teams literally worked together in the same code repository, keeping in contact daily. We were as close as we could be to one another considering both studios are 6,000 kilometers apart.

GameSpy:Jurjen, how did your studio react when it learned it would be working on a prequel to Deus Ex?

Jurjen Katsman, founder and president, Nixxes Software: Everyone in the studio was extremely excited about working on Deus Ex: Human Revolution. We have worked on PC versions of quite a few games over the years, but Deus Ex has been such an iconic franchise on PC that it really made it a special project for Nixxes. Everyone really wanted to play a part in ensuring that the PC community would get the prequel that they have been waiting on for such a long time.

Since we had already been working with Eidos-Montreal on the technology for quite a while, it was relatively easy to roll into the project. We had already met some of the key contacts, in most cases face-to-face, so communication went quite smoothly.

GameSpy:When Eidos-Montreal revealed to the public that the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution was being outsourced, the reaction from the PC gaming community was fast and furious. How aware of the fan feedback were Eidos-Montreal and Nixxes? Did it have any impact on the work you were doing on the PC version of the game?

Jurjen Katsman: We followed the announcement and the reactions quite closely here at Nixxes. I would say that some of the more negative reactions only made us more determined to make sure that the PC version would really stand out and be a great PC game. Many reactions also confirmed that we actually were on the right track. A lot of fears that people voiced were about things we would never consider acceptable in a PC game either.

Julien Bouvrais: Even before we announced the collaboration with Nixxes, there was a great fear from the fans of the original game about the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. We were following the community in the forums and their reactions about the rebirth of Deus Ex and what it would mean for the PC version of the game. Many were scared that it would be a straight port of the console game, which is exactly what we, the developers both at Eidos-Montreal and Nixxes, just didn’t want for the game. We took many steps in ensuring the PC version would have its own flavor.

I would say that the fans’ reactions on the forums and social networks did have a direct impact on our decisions as it comforted us in our decision to not only outsource its development, but also work with AMD as a hardware partner to deliver even more specific features.

Jurjen Katsman: It was also good to see that it was not only negative reactions. People actually had faith in us doing a good job on this game, and I believe that with Deus Ex: Human Revolution we have lived up to that expectation.

GameSpy:Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of the PC version of the game. What specific features set it apart from its console counterparts and make it a game that’s truly designed for PC gaming?

Julien Bouvrais: First off, Nixxes developed a DX11 renderer that is used on the PC, when available. We did leverage this by adding several features you will see when you have DX11 hardware on your PC: real-time tessellation, improved Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, improved blurs and depth of field. We also added custom support for AMD’s Eyefinity (multiple monitors), and 3DHD. On another note, the user interface has been tailored for the keyboard, and mouse controls can be fully customized for your gaming habits.

Jurjen Katsman: We did quite a lot of work on anti-aliasing as well. We offer various anti-aliasing options to gamers to choose from depending on how powerful their hardware is. They really help smooth out rough edges that you can see more easily on a PC monitor.

Technically, little details that we believe PC gamers will appreciate are additional options to customize the gameplay, like adjusting the FOV, and disabling the reticle.

GameSpy:Any features you wanted to work into the PC version that didn’t make the cut? And of those features that did make it, which do you think will impress PC gamers the most?

Jurjen Katsman: As for something that didn’t make the cut, after we had been quite successful in using tessellation on characters, we also spent quite some time trying to use it on the environment as well. With the type of cityscape environments that we see in Deus Ex: Human Revolution it ultimately wasn’t a good fit.

Julien Bouvrais: My favorite feature on PC would be the ability to extend your view with Eyefinity as it really adds depth to the experience… this is really something everyone needs to try.

GameSpy:Given that impressive feature set, how do you compare playing the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the console versions? In what ways is the experience different on PC?

Jurjen Katsman: We are obviously a little biased, but for us here at Nixxes, the PC version really is the version you should play. The extra depth you get from 3D or EyeFinity, and the extra crispness of the enhanced resolution, effects, and frame-rate, really give you superior visuals. And the speed and accuracy that you get from playing with mouse and keyboard compared with a gamepad, at least for me personally, makes it a pretty easy choice.

Julien Bouvrais: Looking back at what the game looks like on PC, I am really proud of what we have accomplished. Let’s be realistic in that obviously this is the same story on all three platforms — the same characters, the same core gameplay features, etc. However, when I play the game on console or on PC, my approach is different… the experience is different.

If you ask people on the team which version of the game they prefer to play, you will get different answers, and I truly think it depends on what kind of a gamer you are. Those who usually play on console prefer the console versions whereas the PC gamers wouldn’t play Deus Ex: Human Revolution on anything other than a PC. This is how I personally measure what we have accomplished with the game.

GameSpy:Wrapping things up, how would you describe the overall experience of making the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution together?

Julien Bouvrais: Overall, developing Deus Ex: Human Revolution has been an incredible experience for me. It was never an easy ride, but we took the time we needed to make it right, and I am happy with the result. We learned a lot about the franchise and about ourselves as a team, and this is really key when you start a studio from scratch like we did.

When it comes to PC, we have reached our goals to deliver a unique experience on this platform and Nixxes has been a big part of this.

Jurjen Katsman: The cooperation with Eidos-Montreal has made Deus Ex: Human Revolution an amazing project for us and we are very proud of the end result. We hope that it will show people that having the PC version produced by another studio can actually really be a good thing for a game.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be released in North America for the PC, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 on August 23rd, 2011

– Mave

Gaming Bad Ass of the Year So Far: Jeff MuthaFu@!ng Fletcher

Apperently, Jeff Fletcher has hung up his Bungie hat and has picked up the title of Bad Ass Vigilante.

Around 8:30pm Friday night, Bungie employee Fletcher decided to take a quick trip to the ATM to withdraw some of his hard owned Halo cash when he spots these two guys in an altercation. Quickly the altercation turns violent as the men start pounding each other’s faces in until they both pull out their guns in a duel-like fashion.

Pow!

Shots fire as Red Team Enemy One goes down. Enemy Two spots Fletcher and begins barreling towards him, gun loaded. Fletcher, a former security guard, quick draws his legal firearm and tells Enemy Two to “drop his weapon“.

Shit’s getting realEnemy Two thought and as if the gun he held in his hand turned white hot, he dropped the gun to the ground. “Get down!” Fletcher demanded and knowing he was pwned, Enemy Two had no choice but to oblige.

…. When the cops arrive they find Enemy Two sitting on the curb dejected, with handcuffs on. Fletcher was no where to be seen yet his presence was felt…everywhere.

Okay, I may have exaggerated the story just a tad bit but its still pretty bad ass. Check out the actual news story video here and hats off to you Jeff Fletcher, that was quite bad ass of you. MissB.

Gamefly Details its new PC Game Rental Service

 

 

I’ll be the first guy to admit this; if Gamefly were to meta-morph itself into a living being I would gladly toss its salad time and time again. Thanks to Gamefly I was able to play all of the hottest games while remaining a cheap ass bastard. But since my ps3 fell victim to the YLOD/Jack The Ripper I haven’t been able to bask in as much awesomeness as I wanted to. (Gametap is OK, but it’s no Gamefly) Well Gamefly have apparently sensed my sadness and the sadness of all of you for not being able to play with me and announced their new, most likely going to be awesome, PC Game Rental Service. 🙂 😀

Now I wish I could’ve gotten this interview, but for some inane reason Gamefly thought they’d get more publicity by doing a interview with G4 (pffft, whatever). Well some people don’t like G4 and vastly love us so much that they don’t want to visit their inferior site. So I’m going to appease these lovable fans of ours/mine and give all of you the details/G4’s interview with Sean Spector (one of the founders of Gamefly).

G4: Will subscribers be able to download brand new, AAA PC games?

Sean Spector: Yes, on the retail side we will always offer AAA PC titles for sale at launch, or you can pre-order the games. With the “Unlimited PC Play,” there will be a wide selection of games, ranging from AAAs to casual and indie games.

G4: Is the idea to compete with Steam?

SS: With Direct2Drive, we are the #2 digital retailer in selling digital PC games. We want the client to be a one-stop shop for gamers, so we offer up-to-the-minute gaming news, a place to socialize with other gamers (and learn about new games), the ability manage their physical GameFly GameQ, and a way to organize their entire gaming library across all platforms.

G4: And these are full downloads? Not streaming like OnLive?

SS: Correct. We offer full Windows/Mac game downloads so gamers can play whatever they want, whenever and wherever they want. They wouldn’t be tied to an always-on connection.

G4: Is there a stand-alone client? Or is it web based?

SS: Our client is a custom built proprietary client, just like our popular mobile apps.

G4: And you don’t have to be online to play?

SS: We don’t believe in forcing consumers to be online to enjoy their games. If you have the digital client downloaded onto multiple PCs, you just have to sign into your account on any one of the PCs to play whatever game you’ve purchased and downloaded.

G4: How about fans of older, harder to find PC titles?

SS: We have over 1,500 titles from our acquisition of Direct2Drive. They will all be represented in our client. We’ll also have additional games in the “Unlimited PC Play” portion.

G4: How will you keep people from stealing games?

SS: You will need to have an account with GameFly and a credit card to purchase games.

G4: Are you considering doing something similar for downloadable console games?

SS: We are not at this time.

G4: Does it include a digital version of the manual, if the game has one?

SS: In some cases yes.  That really depends on the publisher.

G4: Are you going to raise the price of your minimum subscription of $16 a month? You’ll be giving people unlimited games for a very, very cheap price. Is there a catch?

SS: The Unlimited PC Play service will be at no additional cost to our members.  We are always looking at ways to deliver value to customers/members. Mobile is another great example of this as well.

There you have it my ravenous yet adorable fans. All of the questions I wanted to ask Gamefly, but didn’t get the chance to since G4 has that thing called “moar moneeyz”

 

Anyways I don’t know about the rest of you, but as I stated before I’M EXTREMELY EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!! This can only mean great things, especially for all of you. Once this service launches this holiday season; Gamefly expects hundreds of PC games will be available to download and play at launch. Which of course means, all of you will finally be  able to bask in my opinion in whatever game (available for Mac & or PC) you were hoping to play. And as we all know..

 

My opinion >>>>>>>>>>>>> Everything else.

 

 

– Mave

 

I do want to express ONE apology to the readers of this site/my fans… I’m sorry I wasn’t able to review Dead Space 2 for you… that is all.