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The Week in Review

| 14 Jul 2012 14:00

This week we learn that the FPS genre may be lacking innovation, there is a pair of gloves that will be able to translate sign language and the next Xbox may feature more features.

DICE: FPS Genre Lacks Innovation

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Today's FPS market is all about present-day warfare, with more to come on the Christmas horizon. As game publishers attempt to release franchise titles to a regular schedule and bolster existing ones with DLC, DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson took aim at first person shooters, criticising them for lacking innovation. Troedsson believes that the stagnant technical evolution of the genre is failing to hold the attention of FPS gamers, whom he considers to be a more "hardcore" audience with extremely high expectations. (Link)




Help Choose Which Indie Games Get on Steam

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Ever since Valve vastly extended the number of third-party titles offered on Steam back in 2006, indie games have had a bit of a tough time joining the party. While winners of the Independent Games Festival usually make an appearance, the sheer volume of indie titles out there divided by Valve's limited validation resources means a low percentage make it to the popular distribution platform. That's going to change soon though, with Valve's new community-rating service for indie games called "Steam Greenlight." (Link)




Gloves Translate Sign Language to Speech

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Remember that 1995 movie Congo with the gorilla that could talk using sign language and a voice modulator? Well, it only took about 20 years, but the technology to make such a device real finally caught up to campy Hollywood films. At Microsoft's annual design competition called the Imagine Cup, a group from the Ukraine won the Software Design category for EnableTalk. In truth, the pair of gloves covered in sensors wouldn't have done much without the software to translate hand movements to something a computer could understand, and then communicate with Microsoft's voice programming API to export actual speech. That all of that happens in real time using simple hardware is pretty amazing, and EnableTalk earned the Ukrainian Quadsquad team $25,000. (Link)




Xbox 720 May Feature PC-Like Customization

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Remember those Xbox 720 design documents from 2010 that leaked onto the internet? Whether you believe they're genuine or not, it's hard to deny they hint at things that Microsoft would love to implement in its next console. Microsoft's takedown notices may not have been the confirmation on the matter we were hoping for, but the discovery of a US patent application has just reignited the issue. Four months after the internal documents were created, Microsoft filed patents for a scalable hardware system with certain design concepts bearing a curious resemblance to ideas from the Xbox 720 documents. (Link)




Amazon to Begin Supplying Free-to-Play Games

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Amazon has announced a new service, Game Connect, a free-to-play game supplier for PC and Mac. Game Connect - not to be confused with Kindle's GameCircle - will supply exclusive content and bonuses to customers who have linked their game account information with Amazon. This allows any extra content or virtual goods that the player purchases in-game to be sent direct to their Game Connect account. "Game Connect helps game developers reach more customers," said Mike Frazzini, director of Amazon Games, adding that it would help developers "move more quickly and grow their business by simplifying the purchase process for customers." So far, there are twenty three games on Amazon's free-to-play list, with more to come.(Link)

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