Eurogamer


The PC version of forthcoming FPS RPG sequel Borderlands 2 ships with Steamworks, publisher 2K Games has announced.


Whether you download the game from Steam or pick up a boxed copy at retail you'll have access to Steam Achievements, all DLC, auto-updating, multiplayer matchmaking, Steam Cloud support and more.


The follow-up to Gearbox's accomplished 2009 shooter, due out on European shores from 21st September, looks to be shaping up rather nicely.


"Borderlands 2 is still about shooting, but there's much more to it than that," read Eurogamer's recent Borderlands 2 preview.


"Its gorgeous world, creative set pieces, and ludicrous humor aim to flesh out the blueprint set out by its predecessor."

Eurogamer


A batch of what appears to be concept art for Sim City 5 has popped up on the web.


The shots, which you can check out below, were posted on NeoGAF along with a crude translation of an article from German magazine GameStar indicating the game is being developed by Maxis for a 2013 launch.


It apparently has a multiplayer mode and shows off a new graphics engine.


There's no indication as to what platforms the game is bound for.


We know for certain that Maxis is hard at work on something new and that an announcement is planned for GDC next week.


It's been nearly nine years since the last mainline entry in the franchise arrived on shelves. Take a look at our Sim City 4 review for more on how that turned out.

Eurogamer


Microsoft has launched a Consumer Preview build of its new Windows 8 operating system, which includes Xbox Live functionality.


Xbox Live for Windows 8 allows you to access the Games Marketplace to buy and browse Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 titles.


Video and music are also available to purchase and download to your Xbox 360.


Xbox companion apps are also available. And, of course, your Xbox Live avatar is present and correct to give you a wave.


Windows 8 is expected to launch this winter for desktop and tablet PCs. It utilises Microsoft's new Metro interface, used on Windows Phone 7 and the latest Xbox Live dashboard.

Eurogamer

UPDATE: GAME Group has issued a note to shareholders in an attempt to calm concern over its ability to stock new games.


Its current stock issue with EA is "temporary", and both parties are working to make sure it doesn't happen again, GAME said.


"Today the Group confirmed that it will not be stocking a small number of titles from one supplier, Electronic Arts, during March and notes that this has caused speculation in the market," the statement said.


"This situation, which is a result of ongoing discussions between the Group and EA, is a temporary one and indeed both businesses are already engaged in discussions about future launches together. It is always a matter of regret when customers are inconvenienced, and both the Group and EA are committed to ensuring that this situation does not occur again."


GAME added: "As part of the strategic plan development process which it announced on February 3, the Group has been working closely with its suppliers, as well as other stakeholders. In particular, the Group has been discussing with its suppliers the level of support and engagement it needs from them over the coming months. There have, during that process, been isolated instances where it has not been possible to agree launch plans for individual game titles."

ORIGINAL STORY: Gargantuan US shop GameStop wants to buy GAME, according to a report.


GameStop is particularly interested in GAME's UK and Spanish businesses. It's not interested in the Australian stores, though, MCV said.


According to MCV, GameStop does not wish to "double up" by owning both GAME Australia and its own EB chain.


GAME, which confirmed this morning that it will not stock Mass Effect 3, FIFA Street, Tiger Woods 13, The Sims 3 Showtime or Mario Party 9, held a meeting with publishers last week to try to negotiate improved lending terms for stock.


"We committed to only stocking products on which we could get the right credit terms, regardless of the title or the supplier," an internal memo to staff read.


"We will not stock products if the terms are not right for our business - a position we believe is critical to our long term health as a business - we have taken the very difficult decision to not stock EA's March releases, including Mass Effect 3."


As of September 2011, GAME is a worldwide business of 1287 shops, 615 of which are in the UK.


GAME took £1.625 billion in revenue in its last full trading year. It expects to make an £18 million loss this year.


Today GAME's shares fell nearly 16 per cent, from 5.75p to 4.94p at the close of trading.


Given GAME is a PLC, any discussion with GameStop over a takeover would have to be declared to the stock exchange.


Both GAME, GameStop UK and GameStop US have declined to comment directly on the report.

Eurogamer


Mass Effect 3's chunky Vault console casing allows you to dress your PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 in Commander Shepard's battle armour. It also comes with free Mass Effect 3 "DLC".


We knew this already, but now the nature of this extra in-game content is clear.


Far from being exclusive missions or spoilerific squad-mates, the Vault's "Reinforcement Packs" instead offer gamers more of the randomly selected upgrade packs that everyone can buy in the game's co-op mode.


As seen in the Mass Effect 3 demo, multiplayer progress awards players with coins. You can then spend these coins on various levels of upgrade packs that contain new character classes, weapons and health consumables.


Like a pack of Pokémon cards, the contents of each are entirely random. Some items are common, others are uncommon. Some are rare. None are holographic/"shiny".


This means that people who don't wish to buy the Vault armour (£69.99 by the way) should not be missing out on anything. Sigh of relief.


The Mass Effect 3 Vault casing does however provide increased airflow for your console, achieved by "lifting it off of the ground". The N7 logo also lights up.

Eurogamer


PlayStation Vita is the most powerful handheld system in world, with titles like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and WipEout 2048 representing the current state-of-the-art in gaming on the go. But what if you could play full PC versions of LA Noire, PES 2012, Batman: Arkham City and Assassin's Creed: Revelations on the move? What if you could play them on your existing mobile phone, with frame rates up to 60FPS? That's the mouth-watering prospect offered up by the mobile version of OnLive, and in Sony's Xperia Play the cloud service has found a perfect companion.


Just before Christmas, OnLive launched a smartphone application allowing players to leave behind their OnLive set-top box and go mobile with a range of over 100 PC titles streamed over the Cloud. The result is an experience that, at its best, even the shiny new Vita struggles to replicate; current-gen AAA games playable on a device that slips effortlessly into your pocket and can go with you anywhere.


Of course, there are a couple of problems in achieving this videogaming nirvana. Your average mobile phone lacks the physical interface required to truly enjoy such games, and the dire nature of 3G connection performance makes Cloud gaming viable only when you're in range of a decent WiFi connection.


The criminally underrated Sony Xperia Play solves one of these problems at least. This particular handset boasts slide-out gaming controls, complete with eight-way d-pad, twin analogue touch-pads, four face buttons and two shoulder triggers. The phone's volume rocker - which sits in the middle of the aforementioned triggers - even doubles as the left and right 'bumpers' found on the Xbox 360, PS3 and OnLive pads.

"Xperia Play with OnLive offers a tantalising glimpse of how cloud services could revolutionise the future of mobile gaming."

Mobile Cloud Gaming: Right Here, Right Now