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Recent Articles: Minecraft
Mojang’s Owen Hill has announced (via the PlayStation Blog) that a disc-based version of Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition will be available in stores on May 16. The retail release will join a downloadable version of the game that was added to the PlayStation Store on December 17. Priced at $19.99, the retail version of Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition will be current up through Update 14, which added “Emeralds, Ender Chests, potatoes, and more” to the game.
Mojang also wants to remind us that 4J Studios is hard at work on Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition and Minecraft: Vita Edition. There’s still no release date for either version, but development continues on both and is currently in the “serious business” stage, whatever that means.
If you’ve slipped away from The Simpsons, you might be unaware that the long-running show did a couch gag based on Minecraft last night. Swiping Minecraft’s logo font, last night the show was presented as “Simcraft: Parodies Are Easy!” A truncated version of the opening then followed the Simpson family past the statue of Jebediah Springfield, Lard Lad Donuts, and the tire fire until they’re greeted by Moe the Creeper. I’m sure you can imagine what happened next. The intro is available to view on YouTube (for now) thanks to “SuperNecocheaBros.” But if you’d prefer to wait for an official upload, the full episode will begin streaming on Fox.com on April 11.
Someone who did see the opening last night was Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson, who has mixed emotions about The Simpsons using his creation:
The Simpsons did a Minecraft couch gag. I'm not sure how I feel about it.
— Markus Persson (@notch) April 7, 2014
Honestly, I’m not sure I know either. The couch gag was neat, but the blockiness of the characters and the world didn’t really resemble Minecraft. And YouTube is full of fan-made Simpsons/Minecraft mashups that take place within the actual game. Just take a look at this excellent version of the entire opening by 8lack7ight.
Or maybe I’m just one of those crotchety Simpsons fans who checked out a few seasons ago.
After crusing past 10 million copies sold in December and 11 million in February, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition has reached another sales milestone right on schedule: 12 million copies sold. Mojang’s Daniel Kaplan spoke to Xbox Wire about the game’s sale figures and he has revealed that the developer would have been happy with a paltry one million:
Daniel Kaplan: It is pretty amazing! I remember when we started talking about sales numbers that we would be super happy to sell 1 million copies. That would have put us on par with BF1943 and Castle Crashers, which both are awesome games, so that was something to aim for. We never even dreamed of selling 12 million!
Kaplan also confirmed that more Mashup Packs, Texture Packs, and Skin Packs are currently in the works for Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition. While he wouldn’t give specifics, the game’s next add-on, the Candy Texture Pack, will be available on April 18.
And on the subject of Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, Kaplan said that it will be released “eventually.”
Amazon has entered another product market with the announcement of the Fire TV, an Android-powered set-top box that streams audio and video, and plays games. The Fire TV is available now for $99.
According to Amazon, the Fire TV is designed purely to outpace it’s competitors. The 0.7-inch-thick box features a quad-core CPU with 2 GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU, and a dual-band wireless radio with two antennas for 1080p streaming. Long story short, as far as tech specs go, it trounces the Roku 3 and Apple TV with ease.
The gaming aspect of the box is geared more towards non-traditional gamers, people who may already tap about on a smartphone or tablet. To get into the game, players will have to purchase an Xbox-like add-on controller that retails for $39.99. The controller also comes with 1,000 Amazon coins, a digital currency used for buying games from the Fire store. If a game supports it, players can choose to use their smartphone, tablet, or Fire TV Remote instead.
Amazon’s in-house development team, Amazon Games, plans to build exclusive games for the device. Sev Zero, a third-person shooter/tower defense hybrid, is one such title and everyone who purchases the Fire TV Controller will receive it for free. Amazon hopes that by the end of next month “thousands” of games will be available from developers and publishers like 2K Games, Disney, Double Fine Productions, Electronic Arts, Sega, Telltale Games, and Ubisoft. Third party titles like Minecraft: Pocket Edition and Gameloft’s Asphalt 8: Airborne are already available for the device.
Amazon has pegged the average cost of a Fire TV game at $1.85, with prices starting at $0.99. Free-to-play titles will be available as well. But what else can the Fire TV do? (more…)
When the consumer version of the Oculus Rift ships sometime in the near future, it’ll come complete with a big Facebook logo as Mark Zuckerberg’s technology empire has purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion. Somewhere, Jesse Eisenberg is jumping for joy as his future portrayal of Lex Luthor just got a lot more credible.
I kid, I kid, but Zuckerberg plans to expand the Rift’s focus beyond games to also include “communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas.”
“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” Zuckerberg said. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”
Speaking to Polygon, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey said that the deal will enable the company to procure better components at a keeper price and, ultimately, deliver a better version of the Rift: “There are things that piles of cash and having a $100 billion plus company behind you can do that you can’t do on your own. Overall, it’s going to be a better product at a lower price.”
However, not everyone is happy with the news. Markus “Notch” Persson revealed that he was in talks with Oculus to develop a version of Minecraft for the virtual reality headset. But he later tweeted that that deal is now dead because he finds Facebook “creepy.” An expansion on his thought process can be found on his official website.
So what’s next for Oculus? According to a Reddit post by Luckey, “We can make huge investments in content.”
Call of Duty: Ghosts was the best-selling game of the month in November, December, and January. Today, the NPD Group released their list of the best-selling games in February and, once again, Ghosts has taken the top spot. Ghosts has had an impressive run, but I have a strong feeling that major new releases like TitanFall and Dark Souls II will prevent Infinity Ward’s military shooter from winning one for the thumb next month.
Amongst new releases, the game adaptation of The Lego Movie and a trio of games from Square Enix (the Thief reboot, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and Bravely Default) all broke into the top ten. Amazingly, the boxed version of Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition is still hanging on at #9.
The battle of the next-generation consoles continues to be almost a wash as the PS4 slightly squeaked ahead of the Xbox One in February. According to Microsoft, 258,000 Xbox One systems were sold during the month with the NPD Group reporting that Sony sold 10% more PS4 systems. Due to the Xbox One’s premium price tag, it technically brought in more sales dollars in February. As I said, the whole thing is almost a wash.
A complete look at last month’s top ten best-selling games can be found after the break. (more…)
What kind of film could you create out of a video game with no characters, no plot, and no consistent world from player to player? I don’t know, but when you’re talking about the most popular game in the world, Warner Bros. is willing to give it a try. Deadline is reporting that the movie studio has reached a deal with Mojang to create a movie based on Minecraft.
The Minecraft movie will be produced by Roy Lee, who is one of the masterminds behind this year’s massively popular The Lego Movie. Jill Messick, a producer on Mean Girls, will also help bring Minecraft to the silver screen. It is much too early to discuss writers, directors, or actors, but might I suggest Quentin Tarantino for all three? Nah, I’m only joking… I think.
Warner Bros. is no stranger to the world of video games. In addition to producing the next Mortal Kombat movie, the company is one of the few to find success in game publishing thanks to its WB Games label.
The results are in and, according to The NPD Group, Call of Duty: Ghosts is once again the best-selling game of the preceding four weeks. After reigning supreme during November and December, the military shooter has emerged victorious against a particularly weak January release slate.
In fact, the only other new release in this month’s top ten is the “Definitive Edition” of Tomb Raider, which, along with sales of the “Game of the Year Edition” on the PS3/Xbox 360, helped Lara Croft’s latest adventure take the #10 spot.
Post-Christmas gift cards likely played a role in determining January’s biggest moneymakers as many of 2013′s biggest games staked out the remaining eight spots. NBA 2K14, lead by a strong performance on the PS4, landed at #2 and Battlefield 4, despite its continued online woes, was the #3 best-selling game of the month. And what about the next-generation consoles? Well, the NPD revealed that the PS4 is currently the #1 next-generation console in the US with the Xbox One close behind.
A complete look at last month’s top ten best-selling games can be found after the break. (more…)