Digital Media January 2012 – Welcome to the Last Year of the World
This article comes from new contributor Chase Phillips.
The big scary year of 2012 has finally begun! And without fear of the world ending, there has been a lot of news from several places of new and upcoming games, content, DLC, and lots of room for improvement, which is the first subject I want to start with!
EA has finally re-released NFL Blitz in full HD! Grab your buddies and make for the potato chip aisle at your local grocery store. EA Tiburon just released their revamped, fully HD, download-only version of the game, which runs for $14.99 on PlayStation Network and 1200 Microsoft Points on XBLA. Judging on last years NFL season, I wonder if the Packers will be the “god-mode team” of the game. In any case, this downloadable game will be packing a punch either way! No pun intended.
Moving right along, Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio Team is finally showing some love to the indie developers out there now, with some big news and big changes announced on its blog that Xbox LIVE indie games will be receiving a ceiling lift for the size of their games and content. Downloadable indie games will now be a maximum size of 500 MB, as opposed to the previous 150 MB cap.
In addition, there will be a new limit to any downloadable games set at the 80 point price range. After raising the maximum size allowed, they decided that the new allowance will be 80 points per any game with a CCGAME size less than 150 MB, which is three times the current limit of 50 MB.
Everybody wants the highest possible definition nowadays, and we’ve seen quite the battle come and go between Sony and Microsoft when both the PS3 and 360 consoles were released over who will win the “HD WAR”. PS3 took success with the virally popular Blu-Ray disc player technology, which is still taking over the DVD market. As of the 4th, Microsoft finally obtained their long-worked for patent, filed for all the way back in 2007.
The patent will grant the Xbox console the use of a device, very similar to the DVR technology, which will allow gamers to record and save programs, live TV shows, movies, and music and even record programs while the console is turned off. It is possible this is the big facelift that the 360 has competitively been looking for versus the PS3 with it’s Blu-Ray player system, but with 2013 being the earliest possible time the 360 getting the DVR, we might be looking at another ‘could have been’ from Microsoft given that next generation consoles are already being rumored and whispered about. Only time will tell.
Last Monday, Steam reached their all time high of 5 million concurrent users! With Skyrim carrying some seriously large numbers of buyers and with the holiday sales on Steam’s website, offering major discounts on their thousands of games in the library, it’s no wonder the 5 million mark was hit so quickly.
Back in September of 2011, Steam hit their 4 million user count, and a year before that was 3 million. PC gaming has quite possibly slowed in recent years, but it’s very obvious that as ‘dead’ as it seems to be, Steam sure knows the ropes in terms of offering a better value to anyone who is still loving and enjoying their mouse-and-keyboard gaming machine!
And last but not least, the Gears of War games’ developer Epic Gaming announced in a statement that they “do not support the current version of SOPA”. Without a doubt, the Stop Online Piracy Act is causing a rumble throughout the roads and every web journalist and critic is going to be affected.
“Epic Games supports efforts that would stop overseas websites from profiting from pirating our games, but we have to do that in a way that’s compatible with freedom of speech and due process of law”. Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and several other companies have removed their name from the SOPA Supporters list, but none of them have made any official statements. More to come from the SOPA bill, and hopefully the outcome will be one that is congruent with the industry as a whole and not contradicting what and why we gamers continue to enjoy what we love.
Speaking of which, Epic Games is releasing their third major add-on for the grunt-popping, blood-soaked Gears of War 3, which will be available for download on Jan. 17! The DLC, “Fenix Rising,” will offer new maps and skins (weapon skins as well). They’ve also decided to incorporate a re-run system for their prestige players. Those who have reached the 100 rank up limit will now be able to re-up, earning a new rank icon color each time. Players can do this up to three times, but will be offered a glowing skin, each a different color depending on their rank.
Nobody knows how things will pan out for 2012, (maybe the Sun will fall from the sky) but the start of the year has already been powerful for gaming, and with all these stories being the first big news of the year, we should expect to see some major developments as the year carries on. In any case, try not to get lost finding the 16th dragon that you’re “finally ready” to kill in Skyrim. Take some time to read your important fun-filled Digital Media Content Articles! LOL LMAO ZOMG I’m out of here… FTW…
Tune in next week!