8-Bit Mapping of Retro Games on the Side of a Building

The video was created by Darkfejzr, it’s an awesome Demonstration as to what they can do with a simple projector. It’s an amazing video, there is a number of videos online that show off mapping in a more realistic way, but this is by far one of the coolest one I’ve seen.

If you are still curious as to what building “Mapping” is all about, it’s when a group of people, usually graphic designers, use high tech projectors to display their art onto the side of a building. A type of virtual graffiti where every other designer is trying to “1 Up” the next.

Capcom trying to kill used video game sales with the one-save game

No save data reset for Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D? this came out all over twitter some time ago with Japanese Gamers complaining about the move. Now that the game is released in the US and UK, the same warning data is found in the back of the manual. This is a move to prevent Used Video Game Sales, thus increasing the publisher’s profits.

For the most part, used video games are awesome for gamers who don’t want to pay the full price for the newest best thing. But, unlike gamers, Game publishers hate used games, for obvious reasons… after you spend the initial $60 on a game, you can then sell it to your friend for $10 bucks, and he then sells it for $3 etc. The used games get passed around 10 different times, the equivalent of $600 to the publishers. But Capcom is about to put an end to that second hand market by developing games that can only support one save file… for the rest of the game’s life.

Currently, Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3d for the Nintendo 3DS is the only game that has been confirmed, that once finished, it can NOT be reset for complete replay. Both the US and UK manual for the game have a warning post stating “saved data on this software cannot be reset.” This means that Mercenaries 3D is going to be a one time only play video game. Once you finished the game, there is no going back. If you want to start the game all over again you’ll have to buy a new copy.   Also, your friends will not be able to borrow the game and start their own storyline.

I understand that the developers are loosing money on the whole deal, but seriously, preventing you from having the ability to play the game all over again once you are done with it is ridiculous. It’s like renting a movie from PPV, once it’s done, it’s done, and you have to rent the movie again.

I hope this is a trial and error kind of move. I think if every developer starts to pull this move, their sales will go down and illegal video game downloads will go up. Or even worse, hackers taking down Capcom to figure out a way around this, just look at what happened to Sony. This move puts a huge restriction on your video games, if I buy a game, it’s mine to keep, the developer or publisher should not have the ability to tell me when I can reset the game or start all over again.

Via: Eurogamer

Montana man builds gaming controllers for quadriplegic gamers

For most of us pressing the trigger button while tilting the joystick, and knocking down your enemies using a series of combinations and button presses, is an every day struggle in the gaming world. But for quadriplegics, a simple action like pressing the A button and tilting the wheel is a challenge that not many can do.

Ruben Rios is a quadriplegic gamer, for him playing a game takes a series of orchestrated, puffs, huffs, sips, flips of his tongue, and even a smooth fluid motion of his head to control his joystick.

Rios has no use of his body below his shoulders, aside from losing his body movements, he lost his passion of video games, until he discovered the head controller it is an innovative design from Ken Yankelevitz, an engineer from Montana who has one hobby; Making unique controllers for quadriplegics to give them access to video games that normally would require the use of two hands.

Yankelevitz is a retired Aerospace engineer reaching his 70th birthday. For the past 30 years, Yankelevitz has kept disabled gamers active in the gaming realm all by himself. But reaching his 70th birthday puts him one step closer to not being able to make more of these controllers, so much in fact that disabled gamers fear that there will be no one else available to replace Yankelevitz once he stops producing his video game controllers.

“If Ken stops making these controllers we’re going to be pretty much left out to dry,” Rios said.

In 1981 Yankelevitz came into the picture when he created the first Atari Game Console controler to give quadriplegic people a chance to have fun with one of the very limited activities available to them. For the most part, video games are one of the only things that can keep quadriplegic people sane. A gaming console is one of the only escapes they have, aside from television, or reading.

As technology increased and the gaming consoles began to expand to more sophisticated controllers, so did Yankelevitz, he stated that the big companies don’t feel like they need to jump into this market because there is no “high” demand to make them profitable. Yankelevitz began to design his own controller, eventually he was able to create his most current version of the video game controller, it is controlled by the movements of your head, lips, flicks of the tongue, and even puffs of air, or sips of air through specifically designed tubes.

Quadriplegic gamers now had the ability to play video games using only their mouth. Yankelevitz said that the system is very difficult to learn, but for a person who suffers paralysis of both arms and both legs, the device is something that gives them control of at least one aspect of their life.

it comes to show you that no matter what, true gamers will never let anything stand in their way of racking up that Xbox live gamer score, or increasing their rating. It also shows you that you don’t have to be a big company to make an impact in someone’s life, for nearly 30 years Ynkelevitz has kept the small community of quadriplegic gamers alive.

The best thing about the Controller, aside from giving quadriplegics the ability to play a game, is the price ($225 for PlayStation 2 controller, $260 for Xbox 360), if a company like Sony, or Microsoft  were to make a controller like this, it would cost them nearly $1000 U.S. dollars per controller, but because they are hand made, and they are made as a hobby, Ken can make them at a reasonable price for every future gamer in the community. You can find out more about QuadControl here and see the device in action in the video below.

Via: Katu

Xbox 360 Sales are increasing after 6 years in the market

This is pretty sweet, the chart shows the change in video game console sales starting in year one (when they were released) Almost every game console drops after the 3 year or so, however, Microsoft’s sales of the 360 console have grown and continue to grow. This has nothing to do with the PSN Hack since Playstation is on it’s 5th year of “life” we’ll see how the sales change in the next year.

The sales are actually increasing for the console giant, this mainly has to do with huge price drops and new additions such as the Kinect. The sales look like they are going to continue to grow thanks to their main competitor going through one of the worst PR cases imaginable.

The chart means that were probably not going to see a new Xbox come out for some time, and we probably will see a Next Generation Nintendo come out pretty quickly some time next year or so. This could potentially ruin the Xbox strong sales but oh well, they are going strong right now and that’s all that matters.  Besides the Xbox is actually a pretty solid console, it hasn’t died yet and it still holds it’s own against the PS3 and Nintendo, the same can not be said about the other consoles, even though they are owned by the same companies.

Until there is a needed change to the console, why try to come up with something new? it brings up the good old saying “If  it ain’t broken why try to fix it?” Good Job Microsoft, You guys really pulled your things together after the Red Ring of Death fiasco ya’ll had going on for a while, props to ya’ll!

Via Engadge

Three Hackers Connected to PSN Hack arrested in Spain

By now everyone across the world knows what the Sony Hack is, or at least they felt the pain when the network went down. I know there are more than one “Sony Hacks”, I’m talking about the first initial hack that knocked down the network for nearly a month. But who was behind the attack? that’s a question that many blame on Anonymous. And I’m sure you’ve heard of Anonymous by now, the hack group that attacks large corporations’ websites.  Well, the Spanish police say they have at least three of the hackers responsible for the attacks and they tagged them as Anonymous. They came into the map when they started defending WikiLeaks and attacking Scientology, as well as Major Credit card corporations.

Anonymous has denied attacking Sony, but since they really don’t have an “organized” group the person that released the news of “we didn’t do it and nothing to do with it” couldn’t say for sure if anyone from anonymous had anything to do with the attack. I for once, don’t think they attacked Sony, had that been the case they would of left user information in tact. Anonymous is more of a “against the corporation” group than anything else, they attack major companies and really don’t have any ‘beef’ with users, or clients. So they don’t steal your information they just make it difficult for the power hungry companies.

The Spanish police arrested the three Hacktivist in Almeria, Barcelona and Alicante, three completely different cities in Spain. The police say that the hackers were using a server in Gijon out in the northern area of the country. Now the police just randomly assume that every hacker is “Anonymous” so they went ahead and tagged these three as one part of the group.

Reuters Stated:

Spanish police alleged the three arrested “hacktivists” had been involved in the recent attack on Sony’s PlayStation online gaming store which crippled the service for over a month, as well as cyber-attacks on Spanish banks BBVA and Bankia and the Italian energy group Enel.

This is going to be the first time that ‘possible’ Anonymous members will face any type of charge in Spain, usually the main people that press charges against Anonymous are the US and Britain, the police said that this case is still open, so they could be looking for additional accomplices.  Cyberwarfare scares the living daylights out of law enforcement officials because of the ability of hackers to actually do physical damage to a city. Which would land under “physical” warfare more than anything, imagine an intersection with all green lights? that’s an insurance companie’s nightmare right there.

Via Reuters

Sony Working hard to bring you the Playstation 4

Every few years or so our current Video Game systems reach their end. In this case, Play Station 3 is approaching it’s life cycle within the next couple of years. Sony is already announcing and planning the release of it’s next generation console.

This “rumor” has been circulating around the blogsphere for some time so it feels good to actually have the official news from a Sony Rep .

On a Recent earnings call, Sony CFO Masaru Kato said,

For the home equipment the PS3 still has a product life, but this is a platform business, so for the future platform – when we’ll be introducing what product I cannot discuss that – but our development work is already under way, so the costs are incurred there.

So it finally looks like Sony is trying to get their PS4 ready for the near future. E3 is coming up in about a month so if we’re lucky we’ll be able to have more details about what is going on with the system, as far as seeing a working prototype during the E3 convention … I don’t think it’s going to happen but you never know. If Sony follows it’s 10 year life cycle, the PS3 is probably dying off in 2016 so the PS4 should be ready around that time, I guess we have 5 more years to go.

Sony had a multi-billion dollar loss with the whole security breach earlier in the month so it’s hard to see how they are going to pull this off but I’m sure they have something up their sleeves, Sony is one of those companies that is to big to fail.

NVIDIA via TFTS

Game Boy hack records movies in 8bit

Who gets technology now days, yesterday we had a camera clocked at 200 Mega Pixels, 600 Mega Bites per picture. Today we have a camera that records in 8bit.

I used to have one of these before HD Cellphone cameras were cool, and way before this hack was cool, do you guys remember the Game Boy Camera? it’s a cartridge with an eyeball looking thing on the top, all it could do at the time was take still pictures at an amazing 8 bit quality and then you could modify the images by playing around with the “clown option” where you added clown hair to people etc.

Well, a guy modded the camera, his name is “Kraettz” and he added the ability to shoot video in 8bit, which looks pretty cool. His mod is not the best looking mod out there, duct tape holding wires together, cables sticking out of the side etc, but when he wasn’t going for looks, he was going for functionality.

The Game Boy can shoot video at 320 x 240 resolution and using a 9-volt battery you can expect to shoot for about 50 minutes. Also the portable media player can store about 40 GB of film, and that is equal to several hours of film.

I can gurrantee you that the iPhone or the Droid is going to have something similar to this in a few weeks, so before you go out and buy a new Game Boy Advance to try this your self, just wait for the app to come out.

Anyways, check out the video of kraettz when he took his “new” old-school camcorder to the slopes in the video below.

Via: OhGizmo!

Chinese Prisoners Forced to play video games and farm MMO Gold

Prisoners at China’s Jixi prison labor camp are tasked with a number of back breaking type jobs, mining rock, carving chopsticks by hand, assembly line work, and thats only when the sun is up. When the sun goes down they are forced to endure grueling video game play, farming for gold in online games. A practice that has been banned since 2009… allegedly.

 The lucrative business of gold farming, is where a player (or sometimes automated robot) does the same actions over and over again in an MMO, with the intention to sell the gold earned to players who do not want to spend their days collecting the money. It’s a big business in China, earning nearly $2 billion in 2008, so you can see why they would want prisoners to “work” for their gold.

Dali, a prisoner who was recently released form the work camp said “There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp,” he added  “We didn’t see any of the money. The computers were never turned off.” He claimed to have heard the guards talk about the MMO operation and how it was bringing in nearly $1000 on a good day.

“If I couldn’t complete my “gold” quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things,” said Dali.

There are companies in china that focus on nothing but “selling gold” to internet players, Wow7Gold is an internet based company and they make 1.2 Million a year selling game advantages to World of Warcraft players, a researcher named Richard Heeks at Manchester University estimated that 400,000 Asian workers are now employed by gold farming companies and they bring in $879 million a year. Their employes make about $100 per month so it’s not that much, but it’s something for doing what they do on the everyday bases.

While those companies are “legitimate” the Chinese government wanted a piece of the pie, instead of opening their own company, why not make the prisoners do it for free? and thats pretty much what’s been happening since they found out that they can sell Americans $2 million MMO Gold for $10 bucks, in large numbers you can start making a very good living off of that.

In 2009 the practice was allegedly stopped in prison camps after the government set regulations on virtual currencies but we can clearly see that it continues to this day. I guess this is a type of torture that no one really wants to endure, imagine having to play Farmville 12 hours at a time… that’s almost 4 harvest of strawberries every day

Via: Current & Kotaku