Saturday, 5 January 2013

NEWS: Saturday Roundup

Welcome to the Saturday Roundup, a weekly roundup of all the important news going on in the gaming world. If you’re sick of gaming websites' content turning more and more casual, or trying to pass off a single sentence and a link to a cool picture they saw on deviant art as ‘news,’  you've come to the right place. I aim to consolidate and summarize only the stuff that’s most important to gaming enthusiasts. It’s a mix of hard news, interesting features, and other tidbits that I feel like you guys would enjoy. Let’s see what’s been going on this week:

  • The R18+ rating for video games in Australia has come into effect. Up until now, it has been illegal to sell or import games rated above MA15+ in Australia. Some time last year, the states agreed on new legislations that would allow games to receive the adults-only rating instead of being banned outright. South Australian Attorney-General, John Rau, was among those who pushed for the changes, had this to say:

    "It's a win for the gamers who wanted to have the opportunity as adults to purchase these games, but it's also a win for parents because they can be more confident that games that are age-inappropriate will not be available to people under 18."
Australian adults now have the right to make their own choices on media consumption.
  • Today is the last day of the Steam Holiday Sale. The yearly sale, which sees a large selection of titles from recently released blockbusters to little-known indie efforts slashed up to 75% off, is about to end! Today, Steam will showcase the best deals of the sale, for a 'second chance' to pick up on what you missed out on. I'm sure none of you missed out on the amazing indie FPS/RTS Natural Selection 2 and bought it when it was 60% off... right?
  • Still playing The Sims 2? EA is set to shut down the online services of the game, along with a few others. While the game is quite old and has been all but replaced by The Sims 3, it raises the issue of DRM once again, eventually, all online servers come to a close, and if your game requires a server to activate it, it essentially becomes worthless.
  • Looking forward to gaming in 2013? You should be. PC gamer has compiled a list of games that will be released in the new year. The extensive list covers games from pretty much every genre and developer, and it looks like we are going to have a pretty good year.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is at the top of my most anticipated list!
  • The Penny Arcade report takes a look at gaming in 2012. Among the topics discussed are: faster broadband speeds in the US, products shipping ready to play and developers tackling more serious issues in gaming and being less transparent with their audience.
  • Jurassic Life is a Half-Life 2 modification set in the Jurassic Park universe. The team recently released a trailer and I was surprised to find that it doesn't look like crap. Full conversion mods of this magnitude have seen a steady decline as game engines have become more and more complicated. Jurassic Life does not yet have a solid release date.
Could this finally be a Jurassic Park game worth playing?
  • Are you one of many gamers that try to scrimp and save a few pennies by buying games used? You may not be able to do this at all come next generation, as Sony recently filed a patent that aims to 'suppress second-hand game sales'. Publishers and developers have long lamented the used game market, and one-time-use 'online unlock' codes have been used to combat it for a few years now. These codes offer key features, such as online play, and force second-hand customers to pay an additional fee to unlock them. With Sony's new tech, each game will contain an RF tag that will remember whether a game has been tied to a different machine or user account. 

So that’s the news for this week. Sorry for the lack-of-content, as you can imagine this week is kind of a slow-news week! Be sure to subscribe to my twitter for up-to-date news and blog updates, my youtube channel for gaming videos, check out my new digs over at non-fiction gaming for my regular Wednesday article, and check back here every Saturday for more news!

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