Jun 30 2014
A Halo spin-off game could be in the works at 343 Industries.
According to a Microsoft job advert, 343 is looking for a senior producer to develop a new Halo project line.
"343 Industries is looking for a Senior Producer to help develop a new project line in the Halo universe," reads the job advert.
"This is your chance to work on one of the most exciting and creative intellectual properties in the industry with one of the industry's most talented teams."
Ideal candidates must have current-gen video game knowledge, and knowledge of the Halo franchise.
"As a Publishing Senior Producer, you are core to aiding the productivity of your development partner and ensure you remove any roadblocks for them whilst driving forward and representing the project's needs internally," the ad continues.
"The ideal candidate will be able to gracefully shift between different teams (internal and external), aiding them where necessary and contributing to overall smooth running of the project/projects."
Previous Halo spinoffs include Halo Wars and Spartan Assault.
Microsoft recently announced The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One. It contains Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4.
Steam has broken its own record for most concurrent users.
More than 8 million concurrent users were logged into the platform during the final day of the Steam Summer Sale, according to a NeoGAF post.
The previous record for most concurrent users was approximately 7.5 million over the 2013 Christmas period.
DOTA 2 was the most popular game, followed by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Steam has passed 75 million users.
The number of Steam users grew by 15% during November and December, taking the number of active accounts from 65 to 75 million.
Sniper Elite 3 has overtaken EA Sports UFC at the top of the all-format chart.
The Sniper Elite sequel is the second game in the series to top the chart. Nearly 65% of sales were on Xbox One and PS4.
Ubisoft's Watch Dogs remains second, above EA Sports UFC, Titanfall and Wolfenstein: The New Order.
GRID Autosport is the second highest new entry at seven, above Call of Duty: Ghosts and a Minecraft double bill.
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark debuts at 12, sandwiched between 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and Mario Kart 8.
The top 20 in full:
1. (-) Sniper Elite 3 (505 Games)
2. (2) Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)
3. (1) EA Sports UFC (Electronic Arts)
4. (3) Titanfall (Electronic Arts)
5. (4) Wolfenstein: The New Order (Bethesda)
6. (5) FIFA 14 (Electronic Arts)
7. (-) GRID Autosport (Codemasters)
8. (8) Call of Duty: Ghosts (Activision)
9. (10) Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (Microsoft)
10. (9) Minecraft: PS3 Edition (Sony)
11. (6) 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (Electronic Arts)
12. (-) Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (Activision)
13. (7) Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo)
14. (11) Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar Games)
15. (12) Battlefield 4 (Electronic Arts)
16. (19) Tomodachi Life (Nintendo)
17. (16) LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (Warner Bros Interactive)
18. (17) The LEGO Movie Videogame (Warner Bros Interactive)
19. (15) Assassin's Creed 4 (Ubisoft)
20. (18) Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare (Electronic Arts)
The Sims 4 has rallied in support of Gay Pride Month with a post on its official Twitter account.
The game's community team shared an image depicting the diverse range of relationships available in the title, including same-sex marriages, along with the slogan, "Be proud in The Sims 4".
EA has included same-sex coupling in The Sims from day one, while The Sims 3 allowed all adult characters to enter relationships and marriages of any kind.
The Sims 4 received an adults-only rating in Russia for its depiction of same-sex relationships, running afoul of the country's 'Gay Propaganda' law.
Other games have been criticised for not including optional same-sex relationships, with Nintendo recently forced to issue an apology for excluding them from Tomodachi Life.
Gay Pride Month has run throughout June in the US.
Xbox One owners will be able to monitor all of their data online when an update lands next week.
The incoming download will allow players to check on their Achievements, followers, friends and gameplay clips via Xbox.com.
Players can view friends' profiles online and compare Achievements with them, as well as view their library of game clips.
Xbox chief Major Nelson describes the update as "the beginning of a number of community-requested features on Xbox.com".
The option to monitor Xbox One data online was the most-requested new feature on the official Xbox forums. This service was already available to Xbox 360 users.
Further Xbox One updates will be detailed in the summer and the autumn.
FIFA 15, Madden NFL 15 and NHL 15 will all receive the Ultimate Edition treatment, EA Sports has announced.
Launching across PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, the bundles will include additional Ultimate Team card packs as well as other bonuses.
FIFA 15's Ultimate Edition comes with 40 weekly Gold Packs, access to the Adidas All-Star Team, the chance to control Lionel Messi for five Ultimate Team games, and extra goal celebrations.
The Madden NFL 15 bundle includes 30 Pro Packs, delivered three times a week for 10 weeks post-launch, and a Draft Pack comprised of 10 selections from the first round of the NFL draft.
NHL 15 features 50 Gold Packs, delivered two a week for 25 weeks, and will also come with other bonuses that are yet to be announced.
Madden NFL 15 will be released on August 29 in Europe and August 26 in the North America, with NHL 15 arriving on September 12 and 9, and FIFA 15 on September 26 and 23.
FIFA 15's Ultimate Edition will also be released for PC, while the others are exclusive to consoles.
Jun 29 2014
Facebook has denied reports that it has abandoned its Home Android Skin.
The New York Times claimed that the team behind the service had been disbanded.
Facebook Home was first launched in the US in April last year, offering notifications, messages and photos on the phone's lock screen instead of the main app.
The software has received largely negative reviews and not been updated since January, despite promising monthly updates.
However, the social network has told The Verge that it is continuing work on Home, although it's not clear whether it still has a team solely dedicated to its development.
Facebook's most recent strategy has been splitting services from its main app - such as chat - and making them available in standalone apps.
Amazon is giving away 30 of the most popular applications on the Amazon App Store as part of its Free App of the Day promotion.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2, AccuWeather Platinum and OfficeSuite Professional are among the software included in the offer, which runs today (June 27) and tomorrow.
Other free games on offer include The Room Two, Pinball Deluxe Premium and Ravensword: Shadowlands.
Holiday planning apps such as Travel Interpreter and MobiLearn Talking Phrasebook are also up for grabs, along with a wide range of productivity apps.
In total, Amazon is offering up around £100 worth of free software during the two-day event.
The full list of apps included in the summer promotion is as follows:
Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek (£0.99)
League of Heroes Premium (£1.98)
The Room Two (Kindle Tablet Edition - £1.98)
Pho.to Lab PRO (£1.91)
PUZZINGO Puzzles (Pro Edition - £9.32)
Root Explorer (£3.00)
Loco Motors (£1.19)
Dr. Panda's Bus Driver (£1.79)
Pinball Deluxe Premium (£1.87)
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (£1.83)
Card Wars - Adventure Time (£2.38)
Wedding Dash Deluxe (£0.62)
Dungeon Village (£2.80)
Ravensword: Shadowlands (£4.25)
Holiday planning apps
AccuWeather Platinum (£1.95)
Travel Interpreter (£5.99)
MobiLearn Talking Phrasebook, English-French-German-Italian-Spanish (£6.37)
Remote office apps
EZ Money Manager (£6.34)
Jump Desktop (RDP & VNC - £6.37)
Business Calendar (£3.99)
Splashtop Remote Desktop HD (£5.56)
2Do: Todo List | Task List (£4.41)
OfficeSuite Professional 7 (£9.36)
MyBackup Pro (£3.01)
Pocket Informant 3 (£5.95)
Amazon has been accused of "bullying" independent publishers in the UK as the internet retailer seeks to overhaul some of its contractual agreements.
The online seller is trying to secure the rights to publish additional copies of books if the publisher fails to satisfy demand, and wants its partners to match any pricing deals offered to other distributors.
Amazon wants to replenish its stock using its "print-on-demand" technology, which requires publishers to hand over digital versions of their titles.
Although quicker than traditional printing methods, this system is considered to offer inferior quality, with publishers expressing concerns that they will shoulder the blame for the dip in standards.
The Seattle-based company is also seeking the introduction of a 'most favoured nation' to its publisher agreements, which would prevent them from offering promotions to distributors without also giving them to Amazon.
One mid-range UK publisher has hit out at Amazon over the demands, telling BBC News that the firm is "bullying" smaller operations and "destroying the industry".
Amazon is yet to respond to the allegations.
Google has rolled out a new version of its Google Search app for Android devices, expanding voice control functionality across the platform.
The 'OK Google' vocal command can now be used on any tablet or smartphone running the operating system, even when the device is locked.
Once the update has been installed, users can turn on enhanced hotword detection via the Voice subsection of the Settings menu.
The Google Search app has also added an Audio History tool for improved vocal searches. This system learns the user's accent and pronunciation habits to provide more accurate results.
The 'OK Google' hotword, which will play an integral role on smartwatches running the Android Wear OS, first appeared on the Moto X smartphone last year.
Google Search's latest app is available as a free download from Google Play.