Grand Theft Auto 5 is poised to have the most successful launch in the history of entertainment, according to GAME.
Over 1,000 stores across the UK will begin selling the upcoming open world game at midnight upon its release date.
Midnight launches will apparently be held at over 300 GAME retailers, 65 Grainger stores, 270 Asda supermarkets and 248 Blockbuster shops.
HMV, Tesco and several indie shops will offer the game from the get-go as well.
"The gaming community has been anticipating this launch for years and there's a very good chance that this could be the biggest entertainment launch in history," GAME category director Charlotte Knight told MCV.
"This is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the gaming industry and GTA V is a massive part of that. We have some very exciting plans for launch."
HMV senior category buyer Gavin Howes is adamant the game will produce initial success, basing his claim on a previous Grand Theft Auto instalment's outcome.
"San Andreas on PS2 is still one of the best examples of how hardware can be pushed once developers understand the capabilities of a console and Rockstar have done it again with GTA V, he said.
"This is probably the best thing that could have happened to the current gen with the next-gen around the corner."
Asda head Craig Thirkell added: "GTA IV has been flying off the shelves in anticipation. This is the first of our midnight launches for 2013. We have a few surprises up our sleeves to keep our customers happy on the night."
GTA 5 launches on September 17 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Qualcomm Inc has unveiled the Toq, a smartwatch that can play music and handle phone calls and messages, and said it would start selling the device in the fourth quarter, marking the chipmaker's entry into the emerging arena of wearable computing.
The company, which dominates the global market for applications processors for smartphones and tablets, introduced the device on Wednesday in a bid to showcase its own technology to manufacturers as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its own much-anticipated "Galaxy Gear" in Berlin.
The Korean company's gadget also performs basic functions like calls, photos and messaging in concert with a smartphone.
Apple Inc and Google Inc are also widely believed to be working on "wearables" such as wrist-worn devices, in what analysts expect to be the next phase of the mobile communications boom. The exploration of such wearable-computing devices has accelerated in recent years as smartphone growth tapers off.
Qualcomm is using the watch, which works as a second display for a smartphone, to promote proprietary features including a low-power always-on display, wireless charging and stereo Bluetooth audio.
"We are in conversation with partners and our hope is that if we make a great product now and continue to improve it, it will make their offerings better as well," Anand Chandrasekher, Qualcomm's chief marketing officer, told Reuters at the company's annual developer event in San Diego.
Qualcomm executives said they would divulge more details on how to buy a Toq later this month, and did not specify a price. Tech blog Cnet reported it will sell for $300, similar to Samsung's $299 price tag for Gear.
The U.S. company said its Google Android-compatible Toq will be the first smartwatch with a touch-enabled "Mirasol" colour screen that can be easily be viewed ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Sep 05 2013
A smartwatch that can make calls, receive emails and take photographs has been launched by Samsung.
Described as "something out of sci-fi", Galaxy Gear was unveiled at a Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin.
It features speakers and microphones, meaning users speak into and hear from the watch instead of a handset.
Pranav Mistry, head of Think Tank Team at Samsung Research America, demonstrated the device during a presentation at the Berlin IFA .
"This is an exciting time for all of us at Samsung," he said.
"We have created something incredible. You don't need to get your phone out anymore.
"Gear takes the entirety of your digital world and places it right where you can see."
Mr Mistry said Samsung was inspired by a traditional wristwatch with a simple face.
"It is stainless steel but light in weight," he said.
"The strap is packed with technology of the next decade."
He said the watch, which comes in six colours, is comfortable enough to be worn all day.
It is switched it on with a swipe, which unlocks features including apps, contacts, a camera and email.
Incoming messages - such as calls, alerts and emails - show up on the smartwatch and can be accessed on the wrist.
"You don't need to talk to the air like a bluetooth handset or get your phone out of your pocket," Mr Mistry said.
The smartwatch will be available in more than 140 countries with the Galaxy Note 3 from September 25.
It will be competing with Sony's SmartWatch 2, which was announced in June.
Aug 09 2013
PlayStation 4 users will be able to capture video without a PS Plus subscription, Sony has confirmed.
Responding to questions on Twitter, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida told followers that a subscription isn't required to capture and stream videos.
A PlayStation Plus subscription will, however, be required for multiplayer gaming and free monthly titles.
The news comes after Microsoft revealed that its own DVR video capture service will require an Xbox Live Gold membership.
A Gold membership is also required to access Skype, internet explorer, multiplayer gaming and NFL on Xbox.
The PS4 will be available this holiday season for $399 (£349), alongside Killzone: Shadow Fall, Drive Club and Knack.
Sony will focus on its PS4 games lineup during this month's gamescom event in Cologne.
Aug 09 2013
The Last of Us creative director Neil Druckmann has revealed a number of the game's alternative endings.
In one ending, after betraying his business partner in the early stages of the game, Tess would pursue, capture and torture Joel, Druckman told Game Informer (via CVG).
Explaining why the plan was scrapped, Druckman said: "We had a tough time understanding why Joel would take this journey - we weren't buying it. We also had a hard time buying that Tess would go on a vendetta.
"We could understand her pursuing Joel a little bit, but why would she go for a year around the country?
"Those things were solved by saying that Tess is going to die when she gets bitten, but her dying wish to Joel is to do this one good thing - help me do this one good thing so my soul can rest because I've done all these horrible things."
Ellie, meanwhile, was originally cast as a pacifist who was unwilling to kill any non-infected. Her first kill would come in the final stages when she would save Joel by killing Tess.
The idea was scrapped, however, because Ellie felt disengaged from the action.
"What we realised is that we had to get Ellie engaged more in the combat because when she was disengaged from the action for that long you didn't care so much.
"So that changed pretty early on. We decided it wasn't going to be about the first time she killed someone, it was more about this coming of age story of the impact that the ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Facebook is to roll out a major set of changes to its News Feed which are designed to load content that is more relevant to each individual user.
Described by Facebook's engineering manager for News Feed Ranking as a "personalised newspaper", the new feed features three major changes, which have already been tested with a small number of the site's members.
The first change is called 'Story Bumping' and is based around the way in which users view their Facebook news feeds. The idea behind story bumping is that it stops members of the site from missing relevant stories and skips content which they might not find interesting.
In future, when users load up the News Feed, it will populate with stories that are "new to you". This means stories users may have previously missed - regardless of the time they were posted on Facebook - will be pushed to the top of the News Feed.
Facebook uses a complicated algorithm to calculate how stories are relevant to its users based on criteria such as number of likes, comments and how close the person is to the user.
The result of the Story Bump feature should be that more relevant Facebook posts appear higher up in news feeds. Facebook said that in testing, this has resulted in an increase in interactions with stories. Story Bump should now be live on web-based versions of Facebook.
The second change to be rolled out relating to the way Facebook organises the News Feed is based around the last 50 interactions a person had on the site.
It means that people a user has had recent interactions with will also be used as part of the ranking criteria.
Finally, there is what Facebook calls 'chronological by ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Aug 03 2013
Details of an Android tablet developed in North Korea have emerged.
A review of the 'Samjiyon' device appeared on the North Korea Tech website after a tourist brought it back from the Asian country, offering insight on its specs.
Developed by the Korean Computer Centre, the slate is powered by a 1.2GHz processor backed up by 1GB of RAM, and comes with Google's Ice Cream Sandwich OS on board.
First-party Google apps such as Gmail and Google Play have been locked out, and the device can only connect to North Korea's state-run intranet.
Rovio's Angry Birds Rio was included on the review model, but the source notes that it is likely a pirated copy.
A range of educational apps and digital copies of school text books were also found on the Samjiyon.
The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog has admitted that the team was divided about the game's ending.
Responding to questions on Reddit, creative director Neil Druckmann and game director Bruce Straley said that there were originally three or four endings in the pipeline.
"We had a happier ending at one point, where Ellie and Joel were driving completely contented and satisfied with their adventures off into a glorious sunset," Straley revealed.
"But that didn't feel right. It just wasn't honest to the world or the characters we created. This ending felt right for us."
Druckman, meanwhile, said that the "ending we ultimately went with didn't sit well with some members of the team".
"Once it was more fleshed out, it became an easier sell," he continued. "We went through about three or four ideas before finding the ending that worked best for the story we wanted to tell."
Druckman promised to reveal some of the abandoned ending ideas during a panel he and Straley are hosting at PAX Prime later this month.
The duo also revealed plans to unveil single and multiplayer DLC in August.
The team is planning two multiplayer packs as part of The Last of Us season pass, while single-player DLC will reportedly feature characters from the main campaign.
The Last of Us has sold more than 3.4 million copies since launching in June.
It is believed to have grossed more than Man of Steel on its opening weekend.
Aug 02 2013
A Tomb Raider sequel is in development for next-gen consoles, Square Enix has revealed.
Square Enix CEO Phil Rogers confirmed the news in an open letter to fans, revealing that the game is already "well into development".
"I am also excited to reveal that we are well into development on a next-generation Tomb Raider sequel - something you may have heard about recently!" Rogers revealed.
A sequel had been heavily rumoured after Dark Horse Comics said that its Tomb Raider comic series would "lead directly into the sequel".
Rogers used the open letter to quell fears that the company was abandoning triple-A video game development after posting poor financial results earlier this year.
Tomb Raider itself was considered a "flop", despite selling 3.4 million copies.
"I can categorically say that we're not abandoning core, triple-A console and PC games," Rogers continued.
"We're working hard at improving how we develop our games and how we release them, and I want to explain that in a little more detail.
"In the future, we'll offer gamers more choice, support more platforms and try new things - but we will make sure that whatever the platform, we'll always keep our focus on raising the quality bar," he added.
Square Enix plans to share details about the new Tomb Raider game "soon", and will continue to update fans about its progress through the development process.
Apple's long-rumoured budget iPhone has seemingly been confirmed during an undercover operation looking into labour rights violations.
China Labour Watch visited manufacturer Pegatron to investigate working conditions and found factory staff working on plastic casings for an Apple smartphone.
"[The factory's] assembled products include iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, and low-priced plastic iPhones," the report states.
The investigation also found that Pegatron violated labour laws by hiring underage workers, breaching contracts and demanding staff work excessive hours. Apple has promised to investigate its supplier.
An undercover reporter described working on the plastic cover, explaining: "Today's work is to paste protective film on the iPhone's plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched on assembly lines.
"This iPhone model with a plastic cover will soon be released on the market by Apple. The task is pretty easy, and I was able to work independently after a five-minute instruction from a veteran employee.
"It took around a minute to paste protective film on one rear cover. The new cell phone has not yet been put into mass production, so quantity is not as important. This makes our job more slow-paced than in departments that have begun mass production schedules."
The budget iPhone was recently reported to be named the iPhone 5C after a photograph of its alleged packaging leaked. It is expected to be unveiled on September 18.