Shacknews - John Keefer

Not much has been said about the new Warcraft movie since Sam Raimi said he was no longer directing the film. But now, Legendary Pictures has announced his replacement, grabbing the the director of sci-fi films Moon and Source Code.

The Hollywood Reporter said Duncan Jones is taking the helm of the live-action adaptation of the Blizzard franchise. It is a big jump in terms of scale for Jones, with Moon and Source Code having had $1 million and $35 million budgets, respectively. Warcraft is expected to exceed $100 million.

He later tweeted that he thinks he is up to the task: "So the gauntlet was thrown down ages ago: Can you make a proper MOVIE of a video game. Ive always said its possible. Got to DO it now! ;)"

Details on the movie have been sketchy since it was first discussed back in 2007. The script is already complete, but is a tightly guarded secret. Production is expected to start this fall, with a planned release of 2015. Chris Metzen, Blizzard's vice president of story and franchise development, is a co-producer on the film.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Nintendo's recent admission of "lower-than-expected" Wii U sales led to a downward revision of its projections, but that hasn't deterred the company from its current price point. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has now said he wants to make it "absolutely clear" that the company is not planning a price drop.

"With Wii U, we have taken a rather resolute stance in pricing it below its manufacturing cost, so we are not planning to perform a markdown," Iwata said in a results briefing. "I would like to make this point absolutely clear. We are putting our lessons from Nintendo 3DS to good use, as I have already publicly stated. However, given that it has now become clear that we have not yet fully communicated the value of our product, we will try to do so before the software lineup is enhanced and at the same time work to enrich the software lineup which could make consumers understand the appeal of Wii U."

The lessons of the 3DS were hard learned, as low sales forced a price drop that brought the sale price below the manufacturing price. It wasn't until fiscal results from the following year that Nintendo announced the 3DS had become profitable again. The Wii U sales aren't too far off Nintendo's former estimates -- 4 million this fiscal year instead of 5.5 million--and the console is already selling at a loss.

As for making the system more appealing, the company's recent Nintendo Direct conference announced new Mario and Mario Kart, Zelda, and various others in development.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

XSEED is quickly becoming a favorite of Japanese game fans, having already released several games that might not have otherwise made the trip overseas. Today the company announced five more games coming stateside, including Killer is Dead from Grasshopper Manufacture.

Killer is Dead is a stylish action game, as you might expect from Suda 51, starring an executioner named Mondo Zappa. It will come to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this summer. XSEED is only handling publishing duties for North America, as Deep Silver will be taking it on for Europe.

XSEED's other plans for this year include a variety of handheld RPGs, and a Steam collection. It will bring Rune Factory 4 to 3DS this summer, along with Valhalla Knights 3 and Ys: Memories of Celceta to Vita in the fall. In case you need to catch up on your Ys series, XSEED has that covered too; it will be bringing the enhanced remakes Ys I & II Chronicles+ to Steam in February.

"XSEED is ringing in the New Year by sharing a glimpse of our upcoming lineup of great titles for 2013, including the exciting partnership for Killer is Dead, the newest creation from Kadokawa Games and Suda 51, which I personally selected to bring to the US market,” said XSEED CEO Shinichi Suzuki, in the announcement. "In the coming year, we will release an array of solid action and role-playing games that are sure to delight fans through a combination of high quality gameplay and well-crafted localization."

Shacknews - John Keefer

The media machine is cranking for Dead Space 3 as we approach the launch of the game next week. A new trailer shows off a bit of the story as protagonist Isaac Clarke gets sent in to retrieve Ellie Langford and her team, and is led to Tau Volantis.

You get a bit of religious zealotry in this one, with a Unitologist exalting the Children of Altman about the Marker's plan, and an impending rebirth, and the fanatics will get in Clarke's way throughout the game. Lots of creepy darkness an necromorphs in this one. It's easy to see why the game's executive producer uses the word 'disturbing' in describing the story.

You can grab the game on Tuesday for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Nintendo's portable business has picked up since the 3DS' dramatic price drop, but the company was still forced to lower its earnings forecast last year because of lower-than-expected sales. The company wants to secure games to boost its popularity, and has now committed to assisting Japanese third-parties in bringing games to North America.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in a results briefing that the move is being prompted by lower third-party support for portable devices in western markets like North America, while Japanese portable development continues to stay strong.

"Recently, third-party software developers overseas have been inclined to focus on mega-hit titles for home consoles and have had less of their development studios develop software for handheld devices," he said. "Some developers, which make game content suitable for children, work on titles for Nintendo 3DS, but they are not as active as the time of Nintendo DS.

"On the other hand, as the handheld devices occupy a large share of the video game market and software for handheld devices is important in the video game business in Japan, Japanese software developers are eagerly assigning their top teams to develop key titles for Nintendo 3DS. We therefore plan to more actively support the Japanese software developers in distributing their key titles overseas this year."

Iwata didn't address what form that support might take, but the mention of distribution implies the company could be interested in publishing arrangements.

Shacknews - John Keefer

End Game, the last DLC pack in Battlefield 3's season of content, will be coming sometime in March, and Electronic Arts has released a down-and-dirty trailer showing the return of Capture the Flag mode.

Capture the Flag was a popular multiplayer mode for Battlefield 1942, and the official Battlefield blog promised more details soon on the upcoming Air Superiority mode, which was a staple of Battlefield 1943. Of course, if you are a Premium member, you can get a gander at the minute-long video a bit early.

PlayStation 3 Premium members will be able to grab the pack when it is first released, followed by Xbox 360 and PC Premium members soon after. If you haven't got Premium, you'll be able to grab it two weeks later for $15 (1200 MS Points).

EA hasn't announced plans for its next season of DLC yet, but did mention in yesterday's earning call that Battlefield 4 will be coming sometime next year.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Kratos is coming again to PlayStation 3 in God of War: Ascension on March 12, and he is bringing with him all his previous incarnations in a special Legacy bundle and a limited edition Garnet Red 500GB PlayStation 3.

Selling for $349, the package includes all of the games in the series: God of War 1-3, Chains of Olympus and Ghosts of Sparta, as well as Ascension. A 30-day membership to PlayStation Plus is also included.

Sony is widening its color palette for the console, having announced a Crystal White PS3 bundle is coming on January 27.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The original BioShock wasted no time confronting you with bunny-mask wearing psychopaths to dispatch in the crumbled dystopia of Rapture. BioShock Infinite seems to be taking a different tack, letting you explore the flying city of Columbia in a more peaceful setting for a while.

A new trailer for the game shows a few glimpses of the serenity of the city, even describing it as close to heaven. That is, of course, until everything goes pear-shaped and you begin relentlessly killing people who would do harm to you and your bounty, Elizabeth. Check it out below.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Aliens: Colonial Marines is being done up like a big-budget game with all the trimmings -- including a Collector's Edition, pre-order bonuses, and apparently, a season pass. A retail site mentioned the pass for PC, which includes four packs in all.

A GameStop listing (via Polygon) shows the pass for a MSRP of $29.99. It boasts this price is a 33% discount from buying the four packs individually, as they come between March and summer. The DLC for the game will include "campaign content, additional multiplayer maps, new modes, character customization and more."

This listing is only for the PC version, but season passes tend to come to all platforms, so we wouldn't be surprised to see it on other platforms as well.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

As Microsoft and Sony prepare new consoles and Valve plans its Steam Box (or boxes), it seems everyone is preparing for the three to go head-to-head. Everyone except Valve boss Gabe Newell, at least, who seems unperturbed by either console and more concerned with Apple's movements in the market.

"The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share, and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform," Newell told students of the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs, reported by Polygon. "I think that there's a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging - I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?"

He notes that buying consoles comes with its own set of weaknesses, like requiring you to re-buy content and have a separate friends list for each one, which makes a TV-connected PC more attractive. "I can just extend everything I love about the PC and the internet into the living room," he said. "I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together."

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