Three-Year-Old Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Multiplayer Is More Popular Than Newer Games

Aside from being in the news for acquiring Candy Crush maker King, Activision also announced its financial earnings report for the third quarter of 2015. It makes for interesting reading. For one, the three-year-old Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has nearly 12 million monthly active users. To put that into perspective, that’s double the combined player base of both Battlefield: Hardline and Battlefield 4. Staggering for a game that’s just on the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, and not even on the PS4 and Xbox One.

“Momentum ahead of launch has been strong and engagement for Call of Duty: Black Ops II grew quarter-over-quarter again to nearly 12 million MAUs, an unprecedented level for a game that is three years old and only available on old-generation consoles,” the report states.

(Also see: Need for Speed, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Fallout 4, and Other Games Releasing This November)

Furthermore, the company states that Call of Duty has recorded double digit revenue due to high sales of its back catalogue (older games like Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare) and their related microtransactions known as Supply Drops. Also, last year’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare continues to be its highest selling game on the PS4 and Xbox One.

“Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty franchise year-to-date non-GAAP revenues increased by a double-digit percentage year-over-year due to strong catalog sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, both for full game and Supply Drops. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare remains the No. 1 game on next-generation consoles life-to-date as it has been since its launch a year ago.

FIFA 16 India Launch Delayed, Says Amazon

The launch of EA’s FIFA 16 has been delayed in India. The game is officially exclusive to Amazon India and those who pre-ordered the game on the website received emails on Tuesday stating the game will arrive on or after September 30.

“Orders were placed only five days ago,” a source close to the e-commerce giant told us. “Considering that orders are usually locked in at least a month before release, it seems that Amazon wanted to see the pre-order numbers before confirming to EA.”

With the game hitting local offline retailers as early as September 17 in cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai via grey imports, it’s disappointing how Amazon India handles the release of what is the biggest game of the year for many an Indian gamer. The fact that at a lot of places its a little cheaper than Amazon India’s Rs. 3,999 makes it a better deal for many a fan. Needless to say some of those who ordered officially took to Amazon India’s Facebook page to vent their ire.

We were fortunate to procure a copy of the game early and found it to be a different yet interesting addition to a series filled with changes both incremental and large enough to warrant a purchase. You can check out our review of FIFA 16.

And if you managed to get the game early, you check out a host of FIFA 16 tips and tricks as well.

Did you order FIFA 16 from Amazon India? Are you cancelling your order and getting it elsewhere? Let us know via the comments.

Razer Wildcat Xbox One E-Sports Controller Announced

At gaming festival Pax Prime 2015, Razer announced the Wildcat controller for the Xbox One. It’s a tournament-grade console controller with multi-function buttons. In addition to this, any button on the controller can be re-bound for easy access. It’s 25 percent lighter than other tournament-grade controllers and has an ergonomic shape that enhances responsiveness and an easy to access control panel that lets gamers create dedicated button profiles for different games on the fly.

“The Razer Wildcat for Xbox One is the third generation Razer Xbox controller and the result of years working with e-sports athletes on many prototypes,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “The lightest tournament-grade controller in its class with additional remappable buttons gives gamers an incredible edge.”

(Also see: Razer BlackWidow Chroma, Razer DeathAdder Chroma and Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma Review)

The company claims the Wildcat offers better durability thanks to premium materials used in its construction such as reinforced high carbon steel analogue stick necks, removable aircraft-grade aluminium triggers, and optional palm grips and analogue stick grip caps. It comes with optional trigger stops for rapid fire, a 3.5mm audio port for stereo audio and microphone input, and a carrying case.

The Wildcat is expected to be available worldwide in October 2015. A smart move considering that the Xbox One’s Elite controller isn’t available everywhere. Be expected to pay the same price. Razer announced that the Wildcat will cost $150 (roughly Rs. 10,000) making it a pricey addition for many a would be e-sports athlete.

Metal Gear Solid V on PC Is a 28GB Download Even if You Buy It on Disc

Previously, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on PC was scheduled for a September 15 release date. However series publisher Konami pushed that up to September 1 to ensure PC gamers can enjoy the latest instalment in the stealth series at the same time as those on console. What was even more surprising was that the physical edition of the game on PC would be out at the same time.

Nonetheless, all is not what it seems. The game released last week, ahead of its official September 1 date (also known as a street date break) and PC owners discovered that even if you buy Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on disc, you will still have to download the entire game. Reason being, the disc just comes with a paltry 8.7MB of data that’s just a Steam installer.

Considering that the game itself is 28GB and has no preload option, this makes the PC version feel a little more a rushed afterthought than a day one priority.

(Also see: Metal Gear Solid V, FIFA 16, and Other Games Releasing This September)

Coupled with the fact that Konami announced that the game is only downloadable on release day at 12am ET (9:30am IST) makes it all the more disappointing for fans of it on PC as console owners have had the luxury of preloading the game days before release.

This isn’t the only game where Konami has given PC gamers the short end of the stick. Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 on PC won’t have the same visual fidelity as the PS4 and Xbox One versions. Of late, Japanese publishers have taken more care with their PC releases, hopefully it’s something Konami takes notice of going forward.

Microsoft: Xbox One to Be Sold at Priority Retailers From September 1

On Monday, NDTV Gadgets exclusively reported that the Xbox One will be coming to Microsoft Priority Retailers in India by next month. On Tuesday, Microsoft officially announced that Xbox One consoles, accessories, Microsoft-published Xbox One games, and Xbox Live subscriptions will be available at Microsoft Priority Resellers across India from September 1 in Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, and Chandigarh.

“Moving a step forward to extend the world’s most-loved gaming portfolio to passionate Indian gaming enthusiasts, we are happy to bring the Xbox One consoles, games and accessories to our Priority Resellers,” said Anshu Mor, Director – Interactive Entertainment Business, in an emailed statement. “Retailing our products on Amazon.in gave us the platform to build scale and reach out to the ever-expanding digital audience, and now with the availability of our gaming products in our stores, we are committed to bringing a world class experience to our customers.”

The Xbox One will be available at Microsoft Priority Resellers and Amazon.in at Rs. 34,990 for the standalone unit and Rs. 45,990 for the Xbox One with Kinect. It’s a far cry from the heavily discounted variants we’ve seen on Amazon, but this was bound to happen the moment the company increases its distribution reach. While it’s probably a case of too little too late, you can’t fault the company for trying.

Sony Announces PS4 System Software Beta Program

If there’s one thing Microsoft has over Sony is that its Xbox Preview program is a thing of beauty. It allows Xbox enthusiasts to check out features just before they’re ready for prime time, such as backward compatibility, and lets Microsoft tweak them as per user feedback.

It seems that Sony’s been paying attention. Through a post on the PlayStation blog, the company has requested fans to apply for its beta software program that starts in early September.

“Calling all PS4 fans! Before we launch our next major system software update, we’re running a beta program to test its functionality. If you’d like to get a sneak peek at the features of the new system software, and help us with feedback on ways to improve it, sign up today,” said John Koller, VP of Platforms Marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America in a blog post.

You can sign up to be a beta tester for Sony’s latest firmware on the registration page. In order to be a part of it, you’ll need a PlayStation 4 and an Internet connection of course. You will also have to use a master account as well. In addition to this, testers can roll back to the previous system software update (v2.57) at any time.

Gears Of War Ultimate Edition Launch Trailer Released

Gears Of War Ultimate Edition

The new remastered Gears Of War Ultimate Edition will be exploding on to Xbox One systems later this month on August 25th 2015, and to whet your appetite before hand Microsoft have released a new trailer.

The latest trailer for the Gears Of War Ultimate Edition pays homage to the original trailer released back in 2006 that include the Gary Jules’ Mad World tune.

The Gears Of War Ultimate Edition includes all the games remastered at 1080P together with 60fps multiplayer. Microsoft explains :

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition XBOX ONE EXCLUSIVE A Gears of War launch wouldn’t be complete without the return of Mad World. In celebration of the new Ultimate Edition, Mad World has been reimagined with all new footage showcasing how the original is back and better than ever.

The shooter that defined the first generation of HD gaming has been painstakingly remastered in 1080P, modernized for Xbox One with 60FPS competitive multiplayer, and loaded with new content including five campaign chapters never released on Xbox.

Darkfinity Smartphone And Tablet Gamepad

Tablet Gamepad

A new smartphone and tablet gamepad has been created called the Darkfinity that allows you to both play and charge your mobile device.

The Darkfinity gamepad supports devices up to 10.5 inches in size and is equipped with an internal 3350 mAh rechargeable battery and connects to your devices using Bluetooth.

The Darkfinity Gamepad project is currently over on the Kickstarter crowd funding website looking to raise €80,000 in pledges to make the jump from concept to production. Watch the video below to learn more about the gamepad that is now available to back from €69.

Finally, mobile gaming becomes easy and flexible – on your daily trip to work, on long journeys, just everywhere – transform your surroundings into your personal gaming world and take your games with you wherever you go.

The Darkfinity gamepad is the first, high-quality gamepad for smartphones and tablets that includes a powerbank and is in no way inferior to your gaming console at home! High-class and multifunctional – after many years of development we eventually managed to combine several products within our gamepad and consequently enable 100% gaming experience.

The Darkfinity Gamepad was developed during the previous three years by Ümit Göksu, the founder and CEO, and his team existing of German engineers. After all these years of development, we now have the first gamepad that enables mobile gaming – comfortable and without any compromises – with every device and on the long run. The gamepad can be adjusted horizontally in size through the telescope pullout and is therefore suitable for all mobile devices up to 10.5 inches.

Nvidia GameWorks VR Beta SDK

Nvidia GameWorks VR Beta SDK

Nvidia has today announced that their new GameWorks VR Beta SDK is now available in two versions as an SDK for game and application developers, and as an SDK for headset developers

The SDK has been designed to provide developers with improved performance, lower latency and plug-and-play compatibility for virtual reality games and applications.

Offering a set of application programming interfaces, libraries and features. The new beta Nvidia SDK for game and application developers includes:

– VR SLI — increases performance for virtual reality apps where multiple GPUs can be assigned a specific eye to dramatically accelerate stereo rendering. With the GPU affinity API, VR SLI allows scaling for systems with more than two GPUs.
– Multi-Res Shading — an innovative new rendering technique for VR whereby each part of an image is rendered at a resolution that better matches the pixel density of the warped image. Multi-Res Shading uses Maxwell’s multi-projection architecture to render multiple scaled viewports in a single pass, delivering substantial performance improvements.

While the SDK for headset developers provides :

– Context Priority — provides headset developers with control over GPU scheduling to support advanced VR features such as asynchronous time warp, which cuts latency and quickly adjusts images as gamers move their heads, without the need to re-render a new frame.
– Direct Mode — the NVIDIA driver treats VR headsets as head-mounted displays accessible only to VR applications, rather than a normal Windows monitor that your desktop shows up on. This provides better plug-and-play support and compatibility for the VR headset.
– Front Buffer Rendering — enables the GPU to render directly to the front buffer to reduce latency

Nvidia is now taking registration from Application developers who can simply sign up for our GameWorks Registered Developer Program and download the GameWorks VR SDK for free. For more information on the new GameWorks VR Beta SDK jump over to the official Nvidia website for details and to register your interest

Angry Birds 2 Hits 30 Million Downloads In 2 Weeks

angrybirds2

Rovio has announced that their latest game in the Angry Birds series, Angry Birds 2 has been downloaded 30 million times since it launched two weeks ago.

The company has said that around 10 million of those 30 million downloads have come from China, the game is available as a free download and comes with in app purchases.

It’s been shy of two weeks since Angry Birds 2 was released worldwide and the response has been humbling! After 14 days of flinging, smashing and popping, the flock’s all-new adventure has hit the 30 million download milestone — with a third coming from China alone.

What a great start to the Angry Birds 2 journey! But keep those slingshots well waxed and in good working order. The adventure on Piggy Island is just getting started, and exciting surprises await around the corner.

It will be interesting to see how much revenue this new game generates for Rovio, it could end up being more profitable than the original Angry Birds, due to the in app purchases, although some fans of the franchise are not very impressed with the way the game is structured.