Didn't get in on that Ouya Kickstarter? Well, fret not. Today, the folks behind the open-source Android-based game console just brought word that Ouya is coming to select retailers. That's right, you can buy it in stores.
"Just so you know, you're still getting yours as promised, before they're ever in stores. Wanted to be sure you heard that from us," said Ouya boss Julie Uhrman on the console's Kickstarter page. "For you developers, this means even more OUYAs will soon be in the hands of gamers everywhere, so get makin' on those games..."
The Ouya will be available at Best Buy, GameStop, and Target. It will also be sold through Amazon. The console is priced at US$99.99, with extra controllers priced at $49.99 (a redesigned controller!). Yep, that's right, a controller costs about the same as the console!
Shop Ouya [Official Site]
The latest Tomb Raider game will be out in Japan this spring. The game is getting a Japanese language version, with voice actress Yuhko Kaida bringing Lara Croft to life. In case you were wondering, Lara speaks excellent Japanese.
In case you missed it, check out Kotaku's Tomb Raider preview.
トゥームレイダー CROSSROADS 日本語吹き替え版トレイラー [YouTube]
Recently on 2ch, Japan's largest bulletin board, a Metal Gear fan provided a nifty how-to for drawing Naked Snake from Metal Gear Solid 3. The how-to is step-by-step, expect for the part where the fan skips a bunch of steps:
As the fan was going through step-by-step, people kept saying the art was too good and that there was no way they could match it. "Anyone can do this?" wrote one commenter. "You mean, anyone cannot, lol." Their results indicated as much.
The Metal Gear fan then painted Snake in watercolors and showed off New Year's cards (top photo) that had been painted with Snake.
How-to drawings have changed—and gotten really effing good.
It's like a dog whistle. It's emblazoned on my brain. You all know what I'm talking about. Unless you're way too young and you're intent on making me feel way too old. I'm talking, of course, about the noises your dial-up modem made when hooking up to the internet back when the internet was this terrifying thing we used to ‘surf'.
The above massive image attempts to visualise every aspect of that modem noise, and also does a great job of explaining precisely what every blip and bloop meant, what it represented. I just love it.
Oona Räisänen does her level best to explain, but really you should just click on the image below…
When humans talk, only one of them is usually talking while the other one listens. The telephone network exploits this fact and temporarily silences the return channel to suppress any confusing echoes of the talker's own voice.
Modems don't like this at all, as they can very well talk at the same time (it's called full-duplex). The answering modem now puts on a special answer tone that will disable any echo suppression circuits on the line. The tone also has periodic "snaps" (180° phase transitions) that aim to disable yet another type of circuit called echo canceller.
Now the modems will list their supported modulation modes and try to find one that both know. They also probe the line with test tones to see how it responds to tones of different frequencies, and how much it attenuates the signal. They exchange their test results and decide a speed that is suitable for the line.
Be right back. Currently rocking in a nostalgic fetal ball.
The sound of the dialup, pictured [Absorbtions]
There's a new graphics engine... the Skylanders can now jump... and there's even a new, fancier Portal of Power, but none of those things are the biggest change in the 2013 edition of Activision's toys-meets-games series.
No, the big change in this fall's Skylanders Swap Force video game is that players will be able to take their new real-world Skylanders figures apart, rending upper body from lower, and then combine them with the halves of other Skylanders.
In other words, you (or your kids, right?) won't have to play with Wash Buckler or Blast Zone—to name two of the new Swap Force figures.
You'll be able to break those guys apart and play with Wash Zone and Blast Buckler.
As before, the core idea behind Skylanders is that little toy figures in the real world, when placed on a "portal" connected to a game console, trigger that figure to then appear as a video game character in the Skylanders game. The character gains skills and experience in the game, and that progress is recorded in the toy figure.
Older Skylanders figures won't suddenly magically be able to come apart, but the 16 new Swap Force characters can. There will be 16 new Skylanders who work this way, I learned when some reps from Activision and the new game's lead development studio Vicarious Visions showed me the game a couple of weeks ago in New York City. The characters' upper halves of their bodies will define their attack moves; their bottom halves will define movement. Wash Buckler, for example, wields a cutlass and a bubble gun and scampers around on octopus legs that can climb on things. But if he reaches an area where he'd be better off rocketing around, players should detach his octopus legs and attach the lower, rocket half of Blast Zone. The figures come apart and reassemble thanks to a magnet in their waist.
Alongside those Swap Force figures will be 16 new "core" Skylanders, 16 returning characters from older games and eight new "LightCore" figures.
The starter pack for the new game will include two Swap Force characters and a non-severable core character, plus the new Portal of Power stand/sensor that is needed for the new Swap Force characters.
We've got some grown men in the not-so-extended Kotaku family who love collecting Skylanders, and this new batch seems likely to hook them. The reassembly gimmick feels fresh. But Skylanders is getting major competition this fall from Disney's own Skylanders-style project, Infinity. The Activision execs who showed me a little bit of Swap Force declined to say anything about their rivals, offering that they hadn't really seen it yet. (Funny, we had!) We'll see how the competition goes.
DayZ's developers are being refreshingly open about the game's development, and that attitude continues with this 14-minute video presentation from creator Dean Hall and Bohemia Interactive's Matthew Lightfoot.
It's rough, and it's early, and that's exactly the way these videos should be.
Kemp Remillard's been featured here on Fine Art before, for his work on Skyrim. Today, things are a little more technologically advanced.
He's provided art for Star Citizen, the upcoming space shooter from Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts, and that art is making my inner twelve year-old lose his shit. Seriously, there are cutaways. Cutaways.
Every single image here is for a single Star Citizen craft, the 300i, which is built by Origin Jumpworks in a cute nod to Origin, Roberts' old studio. Those curious about the creative process that goes into designing a starship, you can see on several images the discussion notes between the artist (Remillard works for concept studio Massive Black) and the development team.
At only 1:42, it's not exactly feature-length, but don't let the brevity of this clip put you off. It's about a brother and a sister telling you why they play, and enjoy, Minecraft. And it's wonderful.
The video was made by Britt McTammany, and it shows just why this game is so popular with kids. It's got nothing to do with survival horror. It's basically a newer, less expensive LEGO set.
Minecraft is Fun [Vimeo, via ALBOTAS]
Even with the console now out, there's a lot of mystery surrounding the design and capabilities of the graphics processing unit (GPU) on the new Wii U. Nintendo hasn't provided any detailed specs on the thing, and to date users haven't been able to glean much by simply cracking the hardware open and taking a look.
A collaborative effort between tech site/store Chipworks and the users at NeoGAF is hoping to fix that. After finding out that GAF users had been chipping in cash to purchase hi-res "die photos" of the Wii U, which would let them pick over it and hopefully provide more info than Nintendo has been willing to disclose, Chipworks donated just such an image—which they normally sell, as they're difficult to obtain—worth around $2500.
Findings are so far preliminary and, let's be honest, of limited value to the average gamer, but for the technically-minded—or those who simply enjoy a good ol' mob investigation—it's great reading.
Looking at the Wii U Graphics Processor [Chipworks]
Wii U "Latte" GPU Die Photo [NeoGAF]
Reader Chris is doing the world a great service with his work transforming the Wii U's big pad into something you can use on a PC.
The video above shows how you can re-map the pad to almost everything needed for a game's input, meaning if you can configure it, you can use it for most contemporary titles as well (or, say, the Dolphin emulator).
Chris tells us the first pending update will add touch-screen support to the pad, while in the future he's also working on getting streaming working, so that you could play a PC game on the controller.
You can download the necessary files here.