281w ago - Effective immediately, Microsoft has dropped the regular subscription-based Gold plan on its Games for Windows Live service, allowing PC gamers to play titles under the GFWL banner online with others completely free of charge.
The move includes titles that support cross-platform gameplay between the PC and Xbox 360, such as Lost Planet: Colonies and Universe at War.
Additionally, Microsoft plans to introduce a completely new marketplace interface for GFWL this fall, featuring a variety of both paid and free content, ranging from playable demos to downloadable content for existing games.
To quote: At the Gamefest 2008 event on Tuesday, Microsoft announced that all Games for Windows Live multiplayer features are now free. These features -- including multiplayer achievements, matchmaking, cross-platform play with the Xbox 360, GFW voice chat, and more -- previously required a GFW Live Gold account. The change is effective immediately and across all GFW titles, both past and future.
282w ago - Courtesy of Dylan Jobe (Game Director, Warhawk) via PS Blog:
As the storm of E3 approaches, so does our next big update for Warhawk and with it comes 2 entirely new gameplay modes for every map, including the Booster Packs - and these new gameplay modes are completely FREE!
Before I get into the meaty list of updates, let me start off by saying that Warhawk v1.4 will have its global simultaneous release very, very soon... how soon you ask?
In just about 48 hours – July 16th at 10:00 GMT (that's 3am Pacific)
When we started designing the new modes, we looked at play styles could freshen up the Warhawk play experience. After all, Warhawk is now almost a year old And after a few months of development and play testing, we're ready to rollout 2 new gameplay modes that the team and I are incredibly happy with: Hero and Collection.
New Gameplay Mode "Hero"
This is a team-based game mode in which one member of each team is randomly selected to be their team's Epic Hero. Players score points for their team by killing the enemy Hero or by killing enemies while they're the Hero. The team that reaches the score limit first (or has the most points when time runs out) wins the game.
Really what it all boils down to is a huge battle between...
283w ago - Manufacturers plan to give away their games for free. The scheme was revealed by one of the industry's leading entrepreneurs, Lisburn-born David Perry. His best-known creations include Enter the Matrix, Earthworm Jim and Messiah.
"The next big thing will be free games," he said. Mr Perry said the plan "sounds crazy" but it had already proved successful in Asia.
"They had so much piracy that they decided to stop charging for the games. Instead, there'll be a charge for things you might want to use in the game," he said.
"Your character might have a plain white T-shirt. If you wanted a nicer one you could have it for a dollar. Or perhaps you could buy a magic sword for a knight for a dollar."
He said this approach had already proved successful in Asia. "It's going to turn our industry on its head and I want to see the same thing happening in the USA and Europe."
Mr Perry was speaking in Belfast after being awarded an honorary doctorate by Queen's University for his pioneering work in computer game development and design. In 2002 his Shiny Entertainment company was sold to Atari for $47m.
Games piracy is a huge problem according to ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. A spokesman said: "It's estimated that over...
284w ago - Update: According to Current.com.au, Sony is giving away another 10,000 free PS3's to those in Australia. All you have to do to get a free PS3 system is purchase a Bravia LCD TV.
Adam over at Gizmodo Aus (linked above) reports that Sony is giving away 35,000 PS3's to Bravia TV purchasers for the month of July.
In a promotion to get Olympic viewers to buy before the games start Sony are giving away just 35,000 PS3 consoles, with a Web site for checking how many are left or the ability to find out via SMS or toll-free number.
The special offer will run between July 1 and 31, and applies to any purchase of a Sony Bravia XBR, X3100, W3100, V4000 and W4000 models.
Sounds like they have learnt their lesson from some of the bad press generated by the previous offer (Although I have to say my one and other folks I know who got them, came pretty quickly).
287w ago - It appears Sony is itching to get PS3 owners signed up for its newly launched Qore magazine.
For a limited time only, those who purchase an annual subscription ($24.99) to the online-based magazine can download David Jaffe's debut PSN title Calling All Cars completely free of charge. That's a $10 dollar value.
Most casual online users still are far from sold on Qore, but offering incentives for signing up is always a great move.