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Posts with tag pc-games

Gaikai promises to stream PC games like WoW straight to your browser

David Perry is one of those game developers who doesn't do anything small -- he started out with a company called Shiny Entertainment, responsible for great old games like Earthworm Jim, MDK, Messiah, and the Enter the Matrix movie tie-in game, and nowadays he's moved on to the MMO market, where he's developed all kinds of crazy ideas (including, we're not kidding, a dance MMO). This is the kind of guy who has ideas and chases them down.

His latest idea is a system called Gaikai, a "game streaming service" that allows players to jump right into any PC games they'd like, no installation or hard drive space necessary, online. There are a number of services like this springing up lately, including the much-discussed OnLive, where instead of depending on your local hardware to render and produce the game you're playing, you just send and recieve information with a remote server. As you can see above, Gaikai is focusing on PC games, and anyone who's planning on running a PC gaming service has to include World of Warcraft. Starting at about 6:00 into the video above, he shows off a version of WoW that requires no installation or loading at all; just sign in and play.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Hardware

Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams accept Guinness World Record awards

Apparently there were a few Blizzard blokes at E3 last week, even though we didn't see them wandering the floor at all. Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams were both there to accept their awards for world records from Guinness after making it into the 2009 Gaming edition. World of Warcraft picked up a record for the most popular MMORPG in the world (with, as you probably know, 12 million players), and Starcraft gained recognition for being the best-selling PC strategy game, with 9.5 million copies sold worldwide. Neither of these awards are really that much of a surprise -- both games have already garnered tons of other awards, and both games are already squarely in the pantheon of the best and biggest PC games ever sold. But being recognized is always nice, we're sure.

They honored a number of other extremely popular games and services as well, including two big Activision Blizzard titles: Call of Duty 4 was recognized for being the most-played online video game, and Guitar Hero was recognized for being the best-selling rhythm game series (though Red Octane, the game's original publisher, was honored, and they've only recently been acquired by the Activision overlords).

Congrats to all the award winners, as if they even needed it. Something tells us the millions and millions of dollars in revenue from all of these games was probably a nicer reward than Guinness recognition. Just a guess.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Wrath of the Lich King falls off the top sales spot (for now)


It only took four months, but a new title has knocked Wrath of the Lich King off the top of the PC sales charts, according to industry trackers NPD. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, the much-awaited RTS title featuring that other fantasy universe with "war" in the title, has taken the top spot, knocking Wrath down to number two (and the original version of WoW and the Battle Chest hold their spots around six and seven).

We suppose it had to happen at some point -- with PTR interest kicking in this past week, and the game having sold so many copies already, there had to be a point where something else jumped up above Wrath. But don't count the award winning expansion out of the number one spot yet. While Dawn of War II is getting reviewed very favorably, this little bump is likely due to an audience of fans who wanted to get the sequel on day one. Once first-week sales for that game level off, it's entirely likely that we'll see WotLK back up on top. Not that Blizzard needs any more money, of course. But it is good to be the (Lich) King.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Making money

Wrath tops the PC sales charts for November

Surprised? You probably shouldn't be -- NPD has released the top sales list for November, and our favorite game is sitting right on top. In fact, the most interesting thing about the list is what's not on it: games. Wrath is at number one, followed up by such great titles like Office 2007 and Trend Micro Anti-virus. The collector's edition of Wrath comes in at number four, and after that it's all utilities except Call of Duty: World at War at number six and Spore at number 10.

That's a sad month for PC gaming, especially during a time when sales are supposed to be at their highest. Blizzard's leading the charge (and they're not leaving PC anytime soon), but they seem to be pretty much the only PC studio able to bring it home this year.

Videogame sales in general are doing just great: even in a bad economy, console companies -- both developers and retailers -- are seeing nice growth. But those saying PC gaming is dead will only have to point to November's sales for proof. Maybe in 2009 we can get a couple more titles quality enough to give World of Warcraft a run for its money.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

GotGame releases their ingame browser separately


Behold the power of WoW Insider -- GotGame told us about their browser and social networking service a little while ago, and we were so much more fascinated with the browser part of their app that they split it off. And here it is: Rogue is what they're calling their ingame browser application -- you can download it for free from the site, and after a quick install, you can open up a browser in any PC game.

As lots of commenters said on our last post, this isn't really an ingame browser, it's more of an overlay that lets you browse while playing the game. And all it really does is save you the couple of minutes it would take to tab out and check your own browser (or just run WoW in a windowed mode, and use both at the same time).

But there are a probably a few users out there who would find it really useful. Downtime is the main issue I can think of (though lots of my downtime is filled lately with the Bejeweled addon anyway). But if you've been waiting for a solid, standalone ingame browser to come along (complete with Flash support, which makes it easy to pull up Hulu or Pandora while playing), Rogue is it.

Filed under: Fan stuff, News items, Add-Ons

GotGame tries to bring a browser and social networking inside Azeroth


The folks at GotGame kindly sent us a note about their new service -- they're running a "closed beta" (which just means you have to sign up for it, but they're increasing the number of people in it each week) of some software that will let you actually crack open a web browser ingame, with some social networking services attached (so you can keep track of your friends in the service and what they're playing).

You can see some screenshots of how it works in the gallery below. Personally, I've never been too big a fan of any of the "cross-game" social networking services (Xfire is a really popular one that we've talked about before, and a friend invited me to Raptr as well recently), mostly because I already know what my gaming friends are playing, and I've got enough social services running to distract me from my work anyway. And while an ingame browser is kind of nice (EVE Online actually has one built-in to the game), my own browser is already just an alt-tab away (and I've always got Lightheaded when I just need to pull up some game help). It's nice that this one works in more than just World of Warcraft, but really, why bother playing anything else?

So the GotGame software didn't really strike a chord with me, but maybe if your friends are already on it, and you're looking for a more robust ingame browser, it's just what you need. Get Adobe Air installed, and then you can try getting into the beta on their website. Any other ingame browsers that you guys use regularly or, like me, do you prefer that things outside the game stay there?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, News items, Screenshots

World of Warcraft tops the PC gaming charts in the UK

Calling the World of Warcraft an international phenomenon is probably not too much of an understatement. It's showing up in pop culture more and more, and its active subscriptions blow away the competition. Of course, there's always people who insist that the WoW craze will pass, that there's a WoW killer game just around the corner, and all that.

While this may happen some day, it doesn't look like that day is going to be coming any time soon. For example, the latest numbers on PC Game sales in the UK show World of Warcraft: Battle Chest reaching the top of the sales heap for the week, jumping up from the fourth position last week ahead of titles like Mass Effect and Age of Conan.

The surge in popularity might be attributable in part to the Worldwide Invitational. The hype was pretty hot and heavy both here and around the web, and I'm sure more than a few people might have hopped off the fence and decided to see what the fuss was about. Regardless, it's certainly good to see that WoW is not giving up its crown any time soon.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Nonsurprise: WoW was most played PC game of Q3

The Nielson Company -- the uber-powerful organization which tracks the viewership ratings by which TV programs live (like Lost) or die (like Studio 60) -- has determined that World of Warcraft was the #1 most played PC game during the period of April - November 2007.

According to the group, residents of Azeroth and Outland averaged 17 hours of play per week -- 12 hours more than the nearest competition, players of The Sims. So when my family and friends suggest that I'm crazy for playing WoW more than 15 hours a week, I can point to this and say, "Well, if I'm crazy, then so are at least 4.5 million other people!" Yeah, kind of a lame defense, I know.

17 hours seems like a good estimate to me because it falls smack dab in the middle between your casual players (who probably play up to 10 hours a week) and your hardcore types (who probably play 30+ hours per week).

[Via Massively]

Filed under: News items

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