Are There Too Many Shooters On The Market?

This year will bring us four new shooters: A new Call Of Duty, Evolve, Destiny, a new Borderlands title. And let’s not forget DLC packs to support titles already on the market for Titanfall, Call Of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4. So this begs the lingering question: are there too many shooters on the market?

People theorize that the rise of broadband connections in households have helped usher in this new era of shooters, serving as a catalyst for people’s lust to be the best and decimating the competition. While that may be true, this might ultimately be hurting the market space.

There is no doubt that Call Of Duty is the undisputed king of the FPS market. On the weekends the peak amount of players could be anywhere from 50,000 to 300,000 on Xbox 360. However, stiff competition from rival publishers and developers could mean those numbers could start dwindling soon. Battlefield 4, Call Of Duty’s closest competition has been revered for its gameplay when it isn’t facing a litany of connection issues. But both of these titles both feature the standard run-and-gun gameplay which leaves the FPS genre yearning for innovation.

So enter more unique titles such Evolve, Destiny, Titanfall and Borderlands. Titanfall brings us stellar gameplay that feels like Call Of Duty but switches the formula up by letting you play as mechs as well as the standard foot soldier. Borderlands, Destiny and Evolve wish to push the envelope further offering a heavy design emphasis on cooperative play and light RPG elements, creating a truly unique experience to be shared with a smaller number of pals all experiencing the same campaign and sharing a common goal.

With that being said, these are still shooters that focus on multiplayer, run-and-gun gameplay. Does this leave room for other games in other genres to thrive? Other than Assassin’s Creed (another annual title, like Call Of Duty) how many major third person adventure titles or platformers have we seen in the last five years? Or heavily funded RPGs, whether Japanese or western developed?

This truly could be a time for shooters. However, gamers are getting bored and want something new.

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Is Evolve the Next Rising Star in eSports?

You may not even know it, but if you’ve ever spent time mowing down zombies with friends in Valve’s Left 4 Dead, you’re already familiar with the work of Turtle Rock Studios, developers of the upcoming Evolve. An asymmetrical shooter game that pits four player-controlled hunters versus one player-controlled monster, Evolve certainly continues its developer’s legacy of offering nonstandard gaming experiences in a familiar package. But a video released recently by the developer has us wondering how successful the upcoming title could be in the quickly-growing eSports community.

The information already released about Evolve already had us drawing lines to not only the studio’s previous titles, but popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games like League of Legends and DotA 2, which could certainly bode well for its appeal in the eSports scene. Like other MOBAs, player characters (in this case, hunters) are classified and organized by their abilities- in this case, the hunters are split between the Assault, Trapper, Support, and Medic classes, each with its own set of weapons and abilities. Turtle Rock plans to release multiple hunters of each of these classes, as well as new monsters, to keep things fresh as players master the existing classes and weapons, and this is where the MOBA comparisons get interesting.

The entire genre is a clear leader on the eSports front, with League of Legends and DotA 2 each constantly vying for the most viewers on popular streaming sites like and dozens of high-profile professional tournaments regularly dominating the streaming landscape. Could Evolve‘s similarly nuanced gameplay systems and fast-paced multiplayer help distinguish it with a new eSport following? Time will tell, but if you need a little extra convincing, check out this video featuring eSports commentator Aaron “Ayesee” Chambers and Turtle Rock Studios’ Chris Ashton giving a play-by-play of a live Evolve match!

Evolve — 4v1 Interactive Trailer

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Rumors: Xbox 720 Packs AMD Radeon HD Graphics, Arriving in 2013

Microsoft’s third-generation Xbox game console is coming out in 2013 and will pack Radeon HD-based graphics processors from Advanced Micro Devices, according to several tech and entertainment sites.

Microsoft and AMD would not comment on the reports from SemiAccurate, Fudzilla, and IGN, which differ slightly as to the specs and release schedule for the unnamed console, referred to variously in previous media reports as the Xbox 720, Xbox Next, or Xbox Loop.

SemiAccurate’s Charlie Demerjian reported last week that 32-nanometer chips code named Oban that will power the successor to the Xbox 360 are currently in production. According to Demerjian, Oban combines a Power PC central processor from IBM with a Radeon HD 7000-series GPU from AMD. The chips are being manufactured by IBM and GlobalFoundries, AMD’s spun-off manufacturing arm, the story goes.
The console itself won’t start rolling off assembly lines until late this year and the Xbox 720/Next/Loop won’t hit retail shelves before the second quarter of 2013, according to SemiAccurate.

Fudzilla’s David Stellmack later claimed his sources confirmed the SemiAccurate details, adding that Microsoft’s plans for a 2013 release of the console are “all but assured.”
But IGN, a division of News Corp., offered a different take this week on the GPU being used in the rumored console. Instead of AMD’s latest 7000 series parts, the console’s processor will utilize the older 6000 series GPU, IGN reported, citing “sources close to the project.”

“More specifically, it will be akin to the Radeon HD 6670, which offers support for DirectX11, multi-display output, 3D, and 1080p HD output,” IGN’s Scott Lowe reported Tuesday. Even if Microsoft isn’t using the latest, greatest GPU from AMD, the “Xbox 720′s raw graphics processing power is expected to be six times that of the Xbox 360 and will yield 20 percent greater performance than Nintendo’s forthcoming console, the Wii U,” Lowe said.

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How to Buy a Copy of Modern Warfare 3 Today!

Last night we posted an image of a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 that a reader had purchased in a Tampa, Florida Kmart. Then it started popping up on eBay and Craigslist. Then videos from the game starting popping up. How was everyone getting copies of a game that wasn’t supposed to go on sale until next week? Kmart.

A helpful reader and Kmart employee explains to us what happened and how you may be able to get your very own early copy of the game if you act quickly.

Turns out that the shipments of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sent out to Kmart came in boxes that said to put the game out immediately. Typically when stores get games early they’re marked with the date the games are meant to hit shelves. So in this case those boxes should have said to put the games out on Nov. 8.

Our reader tells us that since he’s a gamer, and coincidentally has no spending cash right now, he’s going to hold his copies until the official release date. But, he adds, if the store in your area has clueless, or cash ready electronics employees there’s a good chance that the game will be on the shelves and ready to be purchased.

None of the Kmarts in my area have opened yet, so I haven’t been able to see how many are selling the game early. We’ll be checking on that later today. It also might be worth checking in with other big retail chains to see if they had the same shipments with the wrong dates on them.

I’d assume that this is going to be rectified very quickly, so if you want a chance at an early copy you might want to go shopping first thing this morning.

We’ve reached out to Kmart and Activision for comment about the early sales and to see if any action will be taken against people who play the game early and will update when we hear back.

Update: Intern Matt just finished calling a slew of Kmarts from around the midwest, south and east coast and none of them are selling the game early. Sounds like stores have been alerted. But let us know if you find out different in comments.


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Calibur11 – Battlefield 3 Vault Released!

Calibur11 has announced another new addition to their line of Vault console housing systems. The newest addition celebrates Battlefield 3’s release, and is due to be for sale later this fall. In the past, Calibur11 has celebrated games such as Gears of War 3 with custom Vault systems, and their popularity is widely due to the unique design and protection their products offer gamers. The concept of the vault system is something that can benefit all Xbox 360 gamers, and the newest Battlefield 3 edition provides a unique way for gamers to celebrate the newest Battlefield release.

The vault system provides unique advantages that go well beyond an aesthetic enhancement of the Xbox 360 console. The housing unit protects from physical damage that defiles the integrity of the device, while providing a solid base that prevents the Xbox 360 from getting knocked over. All in all the advantages are undeniable, and it is a worthy investment for hardcore gamers.

The Battlefield 3 unit provides the same functional advantages as other Vaults, but increase the aesthetic appeal with a theme that is unique to the Battlefield game franchise. The unit features a claymore on the side, which as we all know, is a pertinent part of modern first-person shooter games. It also features a rugged design that adds to the nature of the Battlefield games, and lets your friends know that you mean business when you log on to the Xbox 360.

Additionally, the Battlefield 3 Vault can be outfitted with a decorative smoke grenade and a controller cradle, which add to the appeal of the unit. LED lighting also highlights the claymore and the unique design of the newest Vault from Calibur11.

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