The Last of Us Hands-On Preview:

We’ve finally been able to get our hands on Sony’s The Last of Us, to see if the hype around this survival horror game stacks up. The game comes from Naughty Dog, who has already established that they know how to provide action with the Uncharted series, but rather than focusing on loot plundering, The Last of Us is meant to be a terrifying escort mission, taking you across a dystopian United States.

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Xbox 720 Ad Spotted In Real Steel Trailer

Another day, another reputable media outlet doling out anonymously sourced information about Microsoft's Xbox 360 successor. The next Xbox console will come equipped with speech recognition technology, according to "sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans" speaking to The Verge.

The full extent of the feature isn't known, but it seems that the console will allow for voice activation, "natural language controls," and speech-to-text. The console maker is also reportedly looking into the possibility of having the console detect individuals when they enter a room and offer suggestions based on voice inputs. The report compares this functionality to Apple's Siri.

The rumor comes only a day after Edge's own report that the Xbox 360 successor will require an always-on Internet connection. This would allow Microsoft to block the use of secondhand games, just as rumors have suggested next-gen consoles would do for some time.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge Wii U Release Date Announced

Team Ninja's Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge is confirmed for an April 2, 2013 release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms as both a retail offering and a digital download. The previously Wii U-exclusive launch title will be relatively unchanged when it comes to the new consoles, save for the addition of new costumes for all playable characters.

Ninja Gaiden 3 was a bit of a disaster when it launched on the Microsoft and Sony platforms in the middle of 2012, but Team Ninja rose to the challenge of addressing criticisms for the game's Wii U release. The resulting Razor's Edge is a much stronger game overall, with fundamentally solid fighting mechanics further bolstered by the alteration or outright removal of the more offensive bits. Those who skipped NG3 last year may want to give it another look in April.

Need for speed most wanted

Michael Keaton will lend his considerable talents to DreamWorks' upcoming Need for Speed movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The actor joins stars Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper in the Scott Waugh-directed adaptation of the Electronic Arts-published racing series.

Keaton will (awesomely) play "the reclusive and eccentric host of an underground supercar race where he invites the best drivers from around the world." Keaton does eccentric really well. It should be fun to see him mixing it up with the two stars.

Keaton's been busy lately. In addition to his delightful turn as a Salt-n-Pepa-loving cop in The Other Guys, he also recently finished up filming for a role in the upcoming RoboCop reboot.

Halo 4 Reviewed By Conan O'Brien

Posted February 7, 2013 - By Adam Rosenberg

Conan O'Brien might not love the video games, but that doesn't stop him from reviewing Halo 4. The latest episode of Clueless Gamer sees the late-night funnyman taking on a game that he provided a voice for. That's what we in the press call a "conflict of interest," but Conan gets a pass because he's funny about it.

The highlight of the episode is of course when Conan confronts his in-game self, a guard stationed in a hangar bay with another guard, voiced by late-night cohort Andy Richter. We learn a few things from this encounter. Conan apparently hates himself, but he hates his "friend" Richter even more. 


Hitman: Absolution

The less said about that first Hitman movie, the better. Fox International Productions seems to realize this, as it's flipping the reboot switch on the franchise with an all new film set in the Hitman universe, starring Paul Walker. Aleksander Bach, an accomplished commercial director and feature newcomer, has been tapped to direct the reboot, called Agent 47, according to Deadline.

Bach will work off of a script from A Good Day To Die Hard's Skip Woods and Michael Finch. Woods also wrote the 2007 Hitman film, which starred Timothy Olyphant. Nothing has been revealed yet as far as the reboot's story goes, but expect to hear more soon, as production is supposedly set to start in June 2013.

God of War: Ascension Hands-On Preview - A Softer, Multiplaying Kratos

God of War: Ascension is just over a month from launch, an approaching event that's increasingly been cause for alarm. After all, we haven’t even seen the single-player since last summer at E3, and while a multiplayer beta just recently wrapped, it just wasn’t the same God of War experience we’ve come to expect from this Sony tentpole that's made itself synonymous with over-the-top, first-person action gaming.

More to the point is that Ascension is a prequel to the entire series, giving us a look at Kratos before he was Kratos: the armed-to-the-teeth warrior who bellows anger at the gods while battling through impossible scenarios against supposedly immortal foes. By toying with the formula, Sony and their Santa Monica Studio would risk neglecting what's made GoW such a hit in the first place.

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Tags: G4, TV, Videogames

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2K Reboots XCOM As First-Person Shooter

That other XCOM game, that one that was originally revealed to be a first-person shooter hybrid, is still in development at 2K Marin following multiple delays and a string of "no comments" concerning its status. The game came up during Take-Two Interactive's latest investor call (via Joystiq), confirming that 2K Marin "continues to make progress" on the game.

It's now looking like the XCOM shooter won't be making its way to gaming platforms until later this year, or perhaps early 2014. The game is on track for a fiscal 2014 release; Take-Two's fiscal year runs from April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014, so that's the window we're looking at. Provided those plans don't change, you can probably expect to hear more about the game during the coming GDC-E3-Gamescom-PAX trade show gauntlet.

5 Reasons The Xbox 720 Won't Be Named Xbox 8

We've heard it before, but a new report has surfaced claiming that the next Xbox console from Microsoft will block used games. The latest rumor comes from no less reputable a source than Edge, which cites "sources with first-hand experience of Microsoft's next-gen console."

According to the report, the blocking of secondhand games is a product of the console's requirement for an always-on Internet connection. Edge also notes that the next Xbox will be fitted with a Blu-ray drive and that a recently rumored set of tech specs -- AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, Direct3d 11.x 8000MHz GPU, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM -- is accurate.

Whether or not this is accurate remains to be seen, but Edge isn't exactly known for wasting people's time.

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Ride To Hell Revs Its Engine For Upcoming Announcement

Fans who are waiting patiently for Kurt Sutter to figure out his Sons of Anarchy game can take comfort in the fact that the Deep Silver-published Ride To Hell, from Eutechnyx, is still in development. Deep Silver's Martin Wein told PlayNews (via Polygon) that an announcement regarding the game's development will be happening "in the near future."

For those who aren't familiar, Ride To Hell was announced way back in 2008 as an open world game focused on West Coast biker culture (think: '60s-era Hell's Angels). The initial reveal had the game pegged for a mid-2009 release on multiple platforms, though those plans have obviously changed. Polygon also notes that the game's official website, which was still active as of 2012, now redirects to Deep Silver's homepage.

The game has undoubtedly changed somewhat since 2009, but you can take a look at G4's coverage from back then to get a sense of what the game was originally aiming to do.

Tags: Videogames

Star Wars Pinball Available for Download in February

Zen Studios, the game developer and publisher best known for their popular Pinball FX franchise, announced Star Wars Pinball today. Developed in partnership with LucasArts, Star Wars Pinball will feature all new Star Wars themed tables and be available for download in February 2013 on most digital platforms (i.e. Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Google Play, Apple App Store). The first, 3 table pack will be based on Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Pretty solid choices if you ask me.

“It’s been over 30 years since Star Wars, video games, and solid state pinball all burst onto the entertainment scene, and their popularity endures today. We’re excited to be combining all three for the very first time,” said Neil Sorens, Zen Studios’ Creative Director. “Our designers are huge Star Wars fans, and you can expect every detail in every table to reflect their passion for the Star Wars universe."

Each Star Wars table will feature different moments from the Star Wars universe with interactive 3D characters and unique gameplay. Check out the trailer below:

Star Wars Pinball Announcement Trailer »

So we’re getting new Star Wars movies AND a new Star Wars pinball game? If McDonald’s brings back those lead paint based Star Wars novelty glasses it’ll be 1982 all over again. What do you think?


Twitch.tv Launches Ad-Free Subscription Service

Twitch.tv is now a service that you can pay for, provided that ditching ads is a thing that you're interested in. The gamer-oriented live-streaming service now offers Twitch Turbo subscriptions for $8.99 that comes with a number of benefits for those who take their video game webcasting seriously.

Subscribers receive a number of benefits, starting with the removal of all ads; as the website says, "no pre-rolls, no mid-rolls, no companions, no display ads, and broadcasters still get paid." Turbo subscribers also receive a custom set of emoticons, an assortment of Turbo-only chat colors, and "priority" customer support. You can sign up for Turbo right now on the Twitch.tv website.

Tags: Videogames

DayZ continues to shamble ever-forward toward its eventual standalone release, and ArmA 2 mod creator Dean "Rocket" Hall can prove it with this new video blog. There remains no set release date for DayZ; the footage here looks fairly rough, but Hall has said previously that he's a fan of Mojang's Minecraft model of post-release development.

Don't expect too much from this first of a planned series of video blogs; Hall, along with Bohemia Interactive's Matthew Lightfoot, sticks primarily to the game's clothing, map, and interior locations. Visually, the game is looking solid, but it's hard to say how far along development is based on what's shown here.

Ouya Console To Support XBMC Media Player, TuneIn Radio Service

The Ouya console will be available in retail stores starting in June 2013, the company confirms in a morning announcement. The official website for the console confirms that those interested in the console will be able to snag it from Amazon, GameStop, Target, and Best Buy.

The Rubiks cube-sized console will carry a $99.99 price tag, with a single controller also packed into the box. Additional controllers will sell for $49.99. Retail is the final destination for the Kickstarted console, which ships to backers in march. Pre-orders placed by non-backers through Ouya's website arrive next, in April.

Full disclosure: I am an Ouya backer.

Tags: Videogames

CD Projekt Red is ready to share the first details on the next chapter on Geralt's adventure in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The game, which is the subject of the next Game Informer issue's cover story, will be released in 2014 for PC and "all high-end platforms available." In case it's not clear, that's a reference to the next set of consoles.

Described as a "standalone sequel," Wild Hunt uses an open world that is significantly larger than The Witcher 2's was and that eclipses even Bethesda's Skyrim. A few of the new features, such as a dedicated Monster Hunting questline, are mentioned in the trailer above. You can also find a more detailed rundown of what's discussed in the GI feature at Gematsu.

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