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Square Enix Launches Final Fantasy XIV Beta Sign Ups

400°
258w ago - With Final Fantasy XIII now released in Japan, Square Enix has just opened up Final Fantasy XIV Beta sign ups along with an official [Register or Login to view links].

All individuals are invited to apply, regardless of their past MMORPG experience.

The official Final Fantasy XIV Beta Web site indicates that the recruitment is currently for the Windows version of FF14 only, however, a PS3 version will follow on a later date according to [Register or Login to view links], to quote:

"When the TGS09 trailer for Final Fantasy XIV hit the Web, there was a disclaimer about a beta test at the very end of the video. In the past it was stated that there would be no beta test for the PS3 version of XIV."

Those interested can sign up at their [Register or Login to view links] or [Register or Login to view links] Web site accordingly. Cheers!
 

Rumor: PS3 Price Drop to $299 Revealed By FYE Ad Sign

100°
276w ago - In a follow-up to our previous article on retailer FYE hinting at a PS3 price drop comes a few pics of an ad sign.

Courtesy of Oswald9599 from CAG (linked above), the ad signs show a PS3 price drop to $299 for the 80GB model and $399 for the 160GB Uncharted bundle.

To quote: "Your pal Oswald went down and got the proof so that the many haters and nonbelievers would get what they need and finally start with the enthusiasm that an announcement like this deserves.

This Pic is from a sign that might be up in some stores near you, but be warned this price drop is not in any way officially announced by SONY.

This price drop will take effect most likely the first week of September or sooner (NOTE: THE EXAMINER LISTED THIS EVENT AS STARTING ON SUNDAY AUG 16, THIS IN NO WAY HAS BEEN CONFIRMED)."
 

Valve Researching Sign Language for Use in Half-Life 2: Episode 3

100°
277w ago - Valve's Gabe Newell appears to have recently conducted a focus group with deaf individuals in order to learn more about sign language and how it can be applied to games, notably the upcoming Half-Life 2: Episode 3.

Why? To help develop Alyx's character, and further the animation technology implemented in the Half-Life games.

Newell explains, to quote: "[Alyx] had a crush on someone who was hearing impaired, so she taught Dog how to sign so she could practice. Something happened, maybe, the person is off fighting the Combine someplace else, but that's why she and Dog would start signing with each other when they wanted to communicate without making noise, or communicate without other people knowing ... It gave us the excuse to build the technology for signing."

The focus group responds by noting the importance of facial expression whilst signing. While the Half-Life franchise has been known for its believable facial animation, it might take even more to fully realize the nuances necessary for authentic signing. It'll be interesting to see if Valve is up to the challenge.
 

Internet Explorer 8's Poor Reception Not a Good Sign for Microsoft

250°
296w ago - The honeymoon appears to be over for Internet Explorer 8 - and it wasn't much of a honeymoon to begin with, either. Just days after the browser's big debut, its market share has fallen a full 28 percent from its peak.

Alternative browsers, meanwhile, have held steady ground, losing no significant number of users to Microsoft's new offering.

To quote: IE 8 managed to break the 2 percent mark within a day of its release last Thursday, according to tracking data by analytics firm Net Applications. It grew slowly over the weekend, topping out at 2.59 percent of the overall browser market at 3 a.m. (EDT) Sunday. From there, things started heading downhill.

With a steady decline, Internet Explorer 8 dropped down to 1.86 percent of the market by Monday morning. It's bounced up and down a bit since then, but thus far, there's been no sign of a second wave of supporters rushing to make the switch.

Compare that with the release of Firefox 3 last summer: Within just three days of its launch, Mozilla's next-generation browser more than doubled its beta share, jumping up to nearly 19 percent of the market.

"I suppose the kindest description of user reaction to IE 8's first public outing would be 'underwhelming'," says Aodhan Cullen, CEO and founder of online data firm StatCounter.
 

PDP & Hasbro Sign Multi-Year Gaming Product Licensing Deal

50°
300w ago - This new license agreement broadens the already successful business collaboration between PDP, the top gaming accessory provider, and Hasbro, a leader in games, toys, and entertainment products and services.

The agreement includes international rights across many of Hasbro's well-known brands.

Press Release: PDP AND HASBRO SIGN MULTI-YEAR, MULTI-BRAND LICENSING DEAL

New Accessory Products for Gaming, iPods, Cell Phones

Performance Designed Products, LLC ("PDP") and Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) have agreed to a multi-year, international license agreement that will allow for the creation of a new line of video gaming accessories and products for popular gaming devices, iPods and cell phones.

"We are thrilled to enter into this agreement with PDP," said Mark Blecher, senior vice president and general manager of digital media and gaming at Hasbro. "Hasbro's goal as a brand-driven company is to selectively align ourselves with the best possible licensee partners. We have had a very successful relationship with PDP over the last three years and are looking to expand that success with this new deal."

Upcoming projects for the year include video gaming accessories for the Nintendo DS, Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 2 and 3 systems. These projects will include...
 
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