- Chris Morris at Plugged In4 hrs ago
It's a dead heat between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Microsoft says sales of its next-generation console have topped 2 million in 18 days. That's roughly on par with the PlayStation 4, which sold 2.1 million units in 15 days.
"We continue to be humbled and overwhelmed by the positive response from our fans," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of strategy and marketing, Xbox. "We are thrilled to see sales of Xbox One on a record-setting pace, with over 2 million Xbox One consoles in homes around the world. Demand is exceeding supply in our 13 launch markets and Xbox One is sold out at most retailers."
The strong sales are a coup for Microsoft, who was considered something of an underdog after the console’s bungled reveal around the E3 expo. The Xbox One costs $100 more than the PS4, and the walkup to the system's launch saw Microsoft scrambling to make major changes in reaction to consumer complaints.
- CNET at Games Blog22 hrs ago
The best-laid schemes of mice and... well, mice. Intimidating opponents is even easier when playing chess with dead mice. Artist Rachael Garcia explains why having a chess set you can pet is fun.
By Bonnie Burton, CNET
Yelling "Checkmate!" is even more rewarding with a dead mouse clasped in your hand. Or that appears to be the thinking behind this one-of-a-kind wooden chessboard that comes with taxidermy mice dressed as kings, queens, rooks, knights, bishops, and pawns.
Created by Florida-based artist Rachael Garcia, the unusual taxidermy chess set is made with white and brown mice that were originally destined to be snake snacks.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In1 day ago
Today's big game launches are massive media events. Die-hard fans brave all sorts of weather to line up, stores open at midnight, and CEOs hand out the first few copies.
But even the carnival atmosphere of today's biggest titles pales compared to the launch of the seminal, controversial first-person Doom, which made its debut 20 years ago today.
Late on Dec. 9, 1993, a small group of programmers in the id Software offices sat bleary-eyed, staring at a computer. It was almost midnight, and they had just completed a 30-hour QA session, hoping to squash the last few bugs in the game before the its official release date of Dec. 10.
A computer administrator at the University of Wisconsin, David Datta, had agreed to let id upload the game to the school's FTP site so fans could download it and share it with others. When midnight arrived and the team hit 'upload,' it should have launched a new era -- but the upload failed.
- Ben Silverman at Games Blog1 day ago
Spike TV handed out tons of awards during its three-hour livestreamed awards show this weekend – and no offense to Game of the Year winner GTA V, but the real star of the show was the wealth of new video game trailers and announcements.
Missed the show? No worries – thanks to Yahoo Screen, we’ve got clips of all the biggest reveals right here. Stream away!
Telltale Games: A Game of Thrones The team behind spectacular episodic games based on The Walking Dead and Fables will take its talents to Westeros.
No Man's Sky Looking for the Next Big Thing? A tiny indie team at Hello Games stole the show with this ambitious open-world space game.
Telltale Games: Tales from the Borderlands Telltale hit a double by also revealing work on an adventure game set in the rough-and-tumble world of Borderlands. Yes, that Borderlands.
Broken Age Tim Schafer and Double Fine have been hard at work on this Kickstarted adventure game, and this gorgeous trailer proves it.
- Gordon Cameron at Plugged In1 day ago
When it comes to the Transportation Security Administration’s baggage-confiscation policy, no monkey is safe. Even fake ones.
As Seattle’s King 5 News reports, Redmond, WA resident Phyllis May was going through security at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, en route to a plane flight back home, when she was stopped by a TSA Agent because a gun was found among her bags.
Technically speaking, that's accurate. Not technically speaking, the “gun” was about two inches long, made of plastic, and was being worn in a holster by a sock monkey named Rooster Monkburn. (Yes, that’s a takeoff on the grizzled hero of the Western novel “True Grit” and its film adaptations.)
May, as it happens, runs a small business selling such sock dolls, though that was lost on the TSA Agent, who insisted on confiscating the tiny gun and told May she was supposed to call the police.
Her reply will echo through the ages:
"She said 'this is a gun,'" said May. "I said no, it's not a gun, it's a prop for my monkey."
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In2 days ago
The biggest game of the year was also the biggest winner at this weekend’s VGX Awards.
Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V won the ‘Game of the Year’ award at Spike TV’s three-hour livestreamed gala, capping off a monster year for the open-world crime game. The game also won the ‘Best Soundtrack’ award.
Other notable winners include the gorgeous survival game The Last of Us, which won awards for 'Best PS3 Game', 'Best Male and Female Voice Actor', and 'Studio of the Year' (Naughty Dog). Indie adventure game Gone Home won both the 'Best Indie Game' and 'Best PC' Game categories, while EA’s giant mech shooter Titanfall is the 'Most Anticipated of 2014.'
A one-hour awards highlight show will air on Spike TV December 9 at midnight. Check out the full list of winners below:
Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto V
Studio of the Year: Naughty Dog
Most Anticipated Game (voted on by fans): Titanfall
Best Shooter: BioShock Infinite
Best Independent Game: Gone Home
Best Action Adventure Game: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Best Sports Game: NBA 2K14
Best RPG: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Best Fighting Game: Injustice: Gods Among Us
- Chris Morris at Plugged In2 days ago
Spies aren't just listening in on your phone calls and reading your e-mails. They're also monitoring your gaming.
Based on new information disclosed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, a joint report by The New York Times, ProPublica and The Guardian alleges that U.S. and British spies have conducted surveillance and gathered data in online games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life.
Spy activity in the games was said to be so intense, in fact, that a "deconfliction" group had to be assembled so that spies from the CIA, FBI, and Pentagon would avoid running into each other.
- Yahoo! Games at Games Blog4 days ago
It's been a year of change for the video game industry -- and it's a year of change for Spike TV's annual video game award show, too.
Hosted by Joel McHale, this year's Spike VGX Awards show is less about celebrity antics and more about games and the people who make them. A quintet of top titles are duking it out for the big brass ring -- Bioshock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V, Super Mario 3D World, The Last of Us, and Tomb Raider are your five Game of the Year nominees -- but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Over 20 other awards will be handed out, from Best Handheld Game to Best Voice Actress to Best Music, as well as world premieres, special guests, and more. It's a commercial-free three-hour livestream, and you can watch it all right here thanks to Yahoo Screen:
The show begins on Saturday, December 7, at 6:00 pm EST (3:00 pm PST). Our hats off to the winners!
- Chris Morris at Games Blog4 days ago
Sony is asking an unspecified number of PlayStation Network customers to change their passwords after finding "irregular activity" in a routine scan of the system.
The company did not disclose how many users were affected, nor what the exact nature of the activity was.
"The Sony Entertainment Network team routinely monitors for any irregular activity, and if such activity is detected, we may sometimes reset passwords of affected accounts to protect consumers and their account information," the company said in a note to affected users. "Your account password was recently reset as part of this process and you will need to create a new password the next time you access your account using the 'Forgot Your Password' option on the Sign in screen."
In resetting the passwords, Sony also cautioned users to "keep a close eye on [their] account for any unusual activity including emails about transactions [they] did not perform."
- Chris Morris at Games Blog5 days ago
Sometimes, it really pays to read the fine print.
United Kingdom resident Peter Clatworthy learned that the hard way recently when he paid £450 (roughly $750) on eBay for what he thought was an Xbox One. What he received for his money, though, was just a picture of the console.
The auction description, it's worth noting, did say that bidders would receive a photo of the console - but it was still listed in the site's "video games and consoles" section, which led to the confusion. (Some shady eBay sellers pulled this sort of thing during previous console launches, offering just the packaging for their consoles.)
"It said 'photo' and I was in two minds, but I looked at the description and the fact it was in the right category made me think it was genuine," Clatworthy told the Nottingham Post. "I looked at the seller's feedback and there was nothing negative. I bought it there and then because I thought it was a good deal. It's obvious now I've been conned out of my money."