Verizon will publish an API that could allow consumers to "turbocharge" the network bandwidth their smartphone apps use for a small fee, executives said Tuesday.
Verizon anticipates that a customer running an app on a smartphone will have the option to dynamically snatch more bandwidth for that app, if network congestion slows it down, said Hugh Fletcher, associate director for technology in Verizon's Product Development and Technology team. The app, however, must be running what Verizon referred to as the network optimization API it is currently developing, and hopes to publish by the third quarter of 2012.
Users could have the option to pay for the extra bandwidth via a separate microtransaction API Verizon is developing and hopes to have in place by the end of 2012, Fletcher said.
The list of songs that will appear in Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the ‘80s has been fully revealed with the announcement of the final eight, making for a total of 30 songs. Overall, the list isn’t terrible; it’s got a mixture of everything, from A Flock of Seagulls to The Vapors to Dio, but it just seems to be lacking any true flavor. It feels like a completely random selection of ‘80s songs, as opposed to, say, a really sweet group of ‘80s songs or one that captures a particular aspect of ‘80s music.. We still don’t have any official word on why Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy” disappeared after being seen in earlier builds of the game.
The game is set for release on PlayStation 2 on July 24 at a full retail price of $49.99. Nothing has been announced, but 360 Guitar Hero II owners might be seeing a downloadable content package (read: lots of microtransactions) later this year containing these songs.
The newly announced songs:
- Anthrax’s “Caught In A Mosh”
- Accept’s “Balls to the Wall”
- Judas Priest’s “Electric Eye”
- Dead Kennedy’s “Police Truck”
- X’s “Los Angeles”
- The Go Gos’ “We Got the Beat”
- The Vapors’ “Turning Japanese”
- Winger’s “Seventeen”
- Limozeen’s “Because, it’s Midnite”
We all know that microtransactions, small payments for incremental additions to games, are the way of the future. But you don’t have to brag about how much of our money you’re going to take! In a recent interview with IGN, Ted Lange, Associate Producer on Guitar Hero II, bragged that the game for the 360 will have “more online content than anyone has ever seen”.
While I’m excited about getting tons of new songs for the game, I often wonder how many of these songs could simply be squeezed onto the original disc if they tried. My guess is that the advent of microtransactions has made some programmers sloppy - there’s probably a fair amount of blank or wasted space on the GHII disc, but why bother putting more on the disc when you can just charge for it later!
Read More | IGN.com
While Electronic Arts has been busy monetizing nearly every facet of its Xbox 360 releases, from tutorials to unlockable items and cheats, a Japanese developer has stepped up to try and take the crown away from EA. 1up reports that Frontier Groove, publishers of AquaZone recently released 18 new fish for their aquarium simulator to the Xbox Live Marketplace. Should a user wish to purchase all 18, the cost will run over 5000 points, more than $60. 1up also discovered that the size of each download is the minimum size allowed by the Xbox 360, 108K, which strongly suggests that gamers are paying for content that is already on the retail disc. Interestingly, AquaZone has been one of the weakest supporters of the Gamerscore program, and is probably one of the reasons that Microsoft is enforcing new standards for that as well.
Read More | 1up
The release of Lumines Live on the Xbox Live Marketplace last week stirred up a storm of negative reaction regarding the content available in the game, the pricing, and the need for additional content packs for full enjoyment of the software. This disappointment was echoed by Playfeed’s own experiences with the game. 1up follows up on the controversy, and talks with Microsoft’s Greg Canessa, the group manager for Xbox Live Arcade, to try and sort through the issues with the title, Xbox Live Arcade, and microtransactions in general. The short version of the interview: Microsoft’s Xbox Live Marketplace is a great service, and all the problems are the fault of game developers.
Canessa states that Microsoft issues guidance on the three pricing points for Xbox Live Arcade titles, whether that is 400, 800, or 1200 points. While Canessa didn’t want to specifically discuss EA’s penchant to charge from everything from tutorials to cheat codes, he did claim that providing microtransactions were all about providing choice; Canessa believes that charging for additional content means that gamers that don’t want the content will essentially be paying less for their software. While it is true that gamer’s no longer have to pay for content they don’t want, gamers are already paying a premium for Xbox 360 titles over their previous generation counterparts, and are now being forced to pay extra for content that was formerly free.
Regarding Lumines Live, Canessa basically throws Q Entertainment under the bus. At first he claims that there is nothing wrong with the presentation of Lumines Live on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Then, when confronted with the messaging in the game, he claims this is solely the responsibility of Q Entertainment. Microsoft at this point claims to only be the platform provider, and holds no other responsibility.
As gatekeepers for the platform, the company needs to own up to the user experience that they and their partners provide. Microsoft’s approval process for boxed games at retail already seems to be broken, given the number of basic issues that have required patches to the consumer. Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade should be even more controlled, but apparently is not. From poor user experiences with Xbox Live gameplay in titles to the latest Lumines debacle, Microsoft needs to step up and act as an advocate for the gamer.
Read More | 1up
Shortly after Guitar Hero II was promised for “every significant platform,” Red Octane has announced that the game will be coming to the Xbox 360 with support for downloadable tracks and a new “X-Plorer” controller. The game and controller should be viewable at the X06 show. Dusty Welch, Red Octane Head of Publishing did seem a little bit confused about what the Xbox 360 offers, claiming that the “large integrated hard drive… provides an incredible platform for facilitating downloadable content.” But this does indicate that exclusive downloads will be coming to the Xbox 360 via the Xbox Live Marketplace.
The full press release continues below.
Word from Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of the Gran Turismo series, indicates that gamers may end up shelling out a lot of money if they want to have a complete set of cars and tracks in the upcoming Gran Turismo: HD. According to translations posted on the Beyond3D forums, Yamauchi spoke to Famitsu about the implementation of micro-transactions in the new game. There will apparently be two versions of the game: Gran Turismo HD: Premium, which will include 2 courses and 30 cars. Another version, Gran Turismo HD: Classic will start with no cars; cars can be purchased for 50 – 100 Yen, and each course will cost 200 – 500 Yen. The game will include 750 cars and 50 tracks, meaning that a gamer looking at getting all the available content would be spending hundreds of dollars. Should this information turn out to be correct, it would appear that Sony has definitely taken the microtransaction economic model to heart.
Read More | Beyond3D Forums