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Syndicate content Slashdot: Games
News for nerds, stuff that matters
Updated: 29 min 27 sec ago

Oculus Ditches DRM Hurdle, Allows HTC Vive Games On Rift Again

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 17:40
An anonymous reader writes: After changing its DRM to exclude ReVive last month, Oculus has changed its mind again and is now allowing HTC Vive games to play on the Oculus Rift. "We continually revise our entitlement and anti-piracy systems, and in the June update we've removed the check for Rift hardware from the entitlement check. We won't use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future," Oculus VR said. "We believe protecting developer content is critical to the long-term success of the VR industry, and we'll continue taking steps in the future to ensure that VR developers can keep investing in ground-breaking new VR content." VentureBeat reports: "ReVive developers have acted quickly following the removal of the check. An update to the software has been posted on GitHub to bring it back in line, meaning you'll now be able to access the games that were previously available without jumping through extra hoops. Perhaps even more games might work going forward. CrossVR, one of the system's developers, took to Reddit to thank Oculus for the decision. 'I'm delighted to see this change and I hope it can generate a lot of goodwill for Oculus.' CrossVR said."

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Valve Faces Lawsuit Over Video Game Gambling

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 16:20
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Bloomberg: Valve's Counterstrike: Global Offensive game is being sued for its role in the multibillion-dollar gambling economy that has fueled the game's popularity. Michael John McLeod filed a lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut alleging that Valve violated gambling laws and engaged in racketeering with a handful of off-shore gambling companies. McLeod, who has been gambling on CS:GO since 2014, is asking for class-action status for the suit. The suit was first reported by Polygon and doesn't give a specific request for damages, nor does it say how much money he lost by betting on the site. According to Bloomberg: "Valve provided for money, technical support, and advice to such websites as CSGO Lounge and Diamonds, which take bets, and OPSkins, which runs a market where virtual goods are traded and can be redeemed for cash." Valve has yet to respond to the suit.

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Sony Agrees To Pay Millions To Gamers To Settle PS3 Linux Debacle

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 20:25
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: After six years of litigation, Sony is now agreeing to pay the price for its 2010 firmware update that removed support for the Linux operating system in the PlayStation 3. Sony and lawyers representing as many as 10 million console owners reached the deal on Friday. Under the terms of the accord, (PDF) which has not been approved by a California federal judge yet, gamers are eligible to receive $55 if they used Linux on the console. The proposed settlement, which will be vetted by a judge next month, also provides $9 to each console owner that bought a PS3 based on Sony's claims about "Other OS" functionality. Under the plan, gamers eligible for a cash payment are "all persons in the United States who purchased a Fat PS3 model in the United States between November 1, 2006, and April 1, 2010." The accord did not say how much it would cost Sony, but the entertainment company is expected to pay out millions. On March 28, 2010, Sony announced that the update would "disable the 'Install Other OS' feature that was available on the PS3 systems prior to the current slimmer models." This feature, Sony claimed, would be removed "due to security concerns." Sony did not detail those "concerns," but the litigation alleged piracy was behind the decision. A gamer can get the $55, but they "must attest under oath to their purchase of the product and installation of Linux, provide proof of their purchase or serial number and PlayStation Network Sign-in ID, and submit some proof of their use of the Other OS functionality." To get the $9, PS3 owners must submit a claim, at the time they bought their console, they "knew about the Other OS, relied upon the Other OS functionality, and intended to use the Other OS functionality." Alternatively, a gamer "must attest that he or she lost value and/or desired functionality or was otherwise injured as a consequence of Firmware Update 3.21 issued on April 1, 2010," to get $9.

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Indie Dev TinyBuild Lost $450K To Fraudulent Sales Facilitated By G2A

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 20:25
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Paste Magazine: Indie developer TinyBuild, the studio behind Punch Club, Party Hard and SpeedRunners, had thousands of their game codes stolen through fraudulent credit card purchases, which then wound up on G2A.com, a site that allows people to resell game codes. The basic idea behind G2A is straightforward and pretty harmless: with the amount of game codes sold through Steam, the Humble Store/Bundle, and more, the site gives consumers a place to sell unwanted game codes. However, in doing so, G2A has created a huge black market for game codes sales. As TinyBuild described in their blog post on the matter, the common practice for scammers is to "get ahold of a database of stolen credit cards on the dark web. Go to a bundle/3rd party key reseller and buy a ton of game keys. Put them up onto G2A and sell them at half the retail price." This allows scammers to make thousands of dollars while preventing any profit from reaching the game developers because, once the stolen credit cards are processed, the payments will be denied. G2A states that TinyBuild's retail partners are the ones selling the codes on G2A, not scammers, despite the thousands of codes they lost through their online store to fraudulent credit card purchases. In 2011, TinyBuild was in the news for uploading their own game, a platformer called No Time To Explain, to the Pirate Bay.

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Elon Musk's Open Source OpenAI: We're Working On a Robot For Your Household Chores

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 15:05
An anonymous reader writes from a report via ZDNet: OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence non-profit backed by Elon Musk, Amazon Web Services, and others, is working on creating a physical robot that performs household chores. In a blog post Monday, OpenAI leaders said they don't want to manufacture the robot itself, but "enable a physical robot [...] to perform basic housework." The company says it is "inspired" by DeepMind's work in the deep learning and reinforcement learning field of AI, as displayed by its AlphaGo victory over human Go masters. OpenAI says it wants to "train an agent capable enough to solve any game," noting that significant advances in AI will be required in order for that to happen. In May, the company released a public beta of a new Open Source gym for computer programmers working on AI. They also have plans to build an agent that can understand natural language and seek clarification when following instructions to complete a task. OpenAI plans to build new algorithms that can advance this field. Finally, OpenAI wants to measure its progress across games, robotics, and language-based tasks, which is where OpenAI's Gym Beta will come into play.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitch Brings CFAA and Trademark Claim Against Bot Operators

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 15:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Techdirt: I think most people agree that bots that drive up viewer/follower counts on various social media systems are certainly a nuisance, but are they illegal? Amazon-owned Twitch has decided to find out. On Friday, the company filed a lawsuit against seven individuals/organizations that are in the business of selling bots. Twitch's lawsuit uses a CFAA claim and a trademark claim. The CFAA is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was put in place in the 1980s in response to the movie War Games and is supposed to be used to punish "hackers" who break into secure computer systems. Techdirt reports: "It's a pretty big stretch to argue that bots accessing your open website that anyone can visit requires some kind of specific "authorization." Yes, cheating bots are annoying. And yes, they can be seen as a problem. But that doesn't mean that Twitch should be trying to expand the definition of the CFAA to include accessing an open website in a way the site doesn't like. The trademark claim is also somewhat troubling, though not as much. No one is visiting the sites of these bot makers and assuming that they're endorsed by Twitch. I mean, they're all pretty clear that their entire purpose is to inflate viewers/followers on Twitch, which is clearly something that Twitch is against. Twitch doesn't need to use either of these claims, and it's disappointing that they and their lawyers have chosen to do so. This is not to say that bots and fake followers are okay. But these kinds of cases can set really bad precedents when a company like Twitch decides to over-claim things in a way that harms the wider tech and internet industry."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hacker Taunts Blizzard After Knocking Gamers Offline

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 10:23
Reader itwbennett writes: A person nicknamed AppleJ4ck, who has been previously been linked to Lizard Squad, a group notorious for DDoS attacks against gaming platforms, including the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, has taken credit for server outages affecting gaming giant Blizzard (Alternate source: ZDNet) Monday morning. The outages led to authentication lockouts for gamers attempting to access Overwatch, Hearth Stone, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Heroes of the Stone, and others. During the outage, AppleJ4ck said Monday's problems were just a test, promising more outages in the future.

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Hacker Who Stole Half-Life 2's Source Code Interviewed For New Book

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 02:30
"Can you love a game so much you must take its sequel?" asks Ars Technica, posting an excerpt from the new book "Death By Video Game: Danger, Pleasure, and Obsession on the Virtual Frontline." At 6am on May 7, 2004, Axel Gembe awoke in the small German town of Schonau im Schwarzwald to find his bed surrounded by police officers bearing automatic weapons... "You are being charged with hacking into Valve Corporation's network, stealing the video game Half-Life 2, leaking it onto the Internet, and causing damages in excess of $250 million... Get dressed..." The corridors were lined by police, squeezed into his father's house... Gembe had tried creating homegrown keystroke-recorders specifically targeted at Valve, according to the book, but then poking around their servers he'd discovered one which wasn't firewalled from the internal network. Gembe spent several weeks discovering notes and design documents, until eventually he stumbled onto the latest version of the unreleased game's source code. He'd never meant for the code to be leaked onto the internet -- but he did share it with another person who did. ("I didn't think it through. The person I shared the source with assured me he would keep it to himself. He didn't...") Eventually Gembe contacted Valve, apologized, and asked them for a job -- which led to a fake 40-minute job interview designed to gather enough evidence to arrest him. But ultimately a judge sentenced him to two years probation -- and Half-Life 2 went on to sell 8.6 million copies.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Mattel Sells Out Of 'Game Developer Barbie'

Sun, 06/19/2016 - 08:30
Long-time Slashdot reader sandbagger writes: The Mattel people have released a new Barbie doll figurine touted as Game Developer Barbie. Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, she was apparently designed by a game developer. It's already sold out on Mattel's web site, with CNET saying it provides a better role model than a 2014 book In which "computer engineer" Barbie designed a cute game about puppies, then admitted "I'll need Steven's and Brian's help to turn it into a real game," before her laptop crashed with a virus. Mattel says that with this new doll, "young techies can play out the creative fun of this exciting profession," and the doll even comes with a laptop showing an IDE on the screen. Sandbagger's original submission ended with a question. Do Slashdot readers think this will inspire a new generation of programmers to stay up late writing code?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Razer Announces Open Source VR HDK2 Headset, And $5 Million Developer Fund

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 09:40
Razer has announced its second Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) headset. Dubbed HDK2, the new headset from the gaming-hardware company is priced at $400. As for the specifications, the HDK2 offers dual OLED display of screen resolution 2,160x1,200 pixels while retaining the 90hz low-latency refresh rate. The original HDK will continue to be available for purchase at $300. On the sidelines, the company announced a $5 million to studios working in this space. AnandTech reports: OSVR has an open framework so it will be able to work with a variety of controllers, and as more control mechanisms become available, it should be able to support them. The HDK system supports several content technologies, including SteamVR, and they plan to announce more content soon. On that note, OSVR is also announcing a $5 million developer fund. Their goal is to ensure unrestricted access of VR content on all hardware. If you are a VR content developer, you can apply to this fund. If approved by the fund, and OSVR support is added to the content, Razer, or other future contributors, will purchase game codes in bulk to help compensate developers for their integration time, and the fund will also assist with marketing and promotional support.Also at E3, Sony announced that its $399 PlayStation VR wil be available to purchase in the U.S. from October 13.

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Alienware Launches Laptop With QHD OLED Display After 20 Years of Business

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 02:00
MojoKid writes from a report via HotHardware: Dell's Alienware 13 gaming notebook has been popular among gamers and power users that want a little more horsepower in a relatively light 4.5 pound 13-inch machine. However, over the past couple of years, Alienware hasn't changed-up the design much -- until today that is. [In celebration of its 20th anniversary], the company is officially making the OLED display equipped Alienware 13 available today, which they debuted back in January at CES. Initial testing and review impressions show that, as expected, the OLED display sure is gorgeous. The OLED display of the Alienware 13 is also representative of a full revamp (except for the skins), including a 6th generation Intel Skylake Core series processor and an NVMe Solid State Drive. The real kicker, however, is that Alienware's 13.3-inch QHD (2560X1440) OLED display offers great saturation and contrast with an extremely crisp 1ms pixel response time that delivers beautiful image quality, whether working in content creation, or in fast-moving action while gaming. Viewing angles with the display are also superior to high-end IPS panels including Dell's own XPS 15 with its near bezel-less Infinity Edge panel. At E3 2016, AMD announced the Radeon RX 470 and RX 460, which will join the RX 480 in the company's Polaris family.

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AMD Announces Radeon RX 470, RX 460 Graphics Cards

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 15:30
An anonymous reader writes from a report via GameSpot: At E3 2016, AMD has announced the Radeon RX 470 and RX 460. They will join the RX 480 in the company's Polaris family. Both GPUs will be VR-capable, whereas the RX 480 is made for 1440p gaming. AMD says the RX 470 will focus on delivering a "refined, power-efficient HD gaming" experience, and that the RX 460 will offer a "cool and efficient solution for the ultimate e-sports gaming experience." The RX 480 will be priced starting at $200 for the 4GB variant, with the other two cards most likely priced lower. The company did also announce that the chips are extremely thin, offering a very low Z-height, and will fit into thin and light gaming notebooks. They support a wide variety of features that include DX12, HDR, HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.3/1.4, and H.265 encoding/decoding. AMD claims the RX 480 card outperforms $500 graphics cards in VR. The RX 470 and RX 460 have yet to have official release dates. However, the RX 480 is scheduled to launch on June 29. In April, AMD announced a plan to license the design of its top-of-the-line server processor to a newly formed Chinese company, creating a brand-new rival for Intel.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Announces Xbox One S, Project Scorpio Gaming Consoles

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 12:15
Details of Microsoft's rumored new console have dropped ahead of the company's conference at E3 tradeshow Monday. It appears the long-anticipated smaller and more powerful variant of company's current console is real. According to a leaked press render, Microsoft will be announcing the Xbox One S (where S stands for Slim) at the gaming event. The Xbox One S will be 40 percent smaller than the Xbox One, and pack in more powerful processing and graphics muscle. According to the render, the Xbox One S will come with a 2TB hard drive, and feature support for 4K video playback and High Dynamic Range. According to separate reports, the Xbox One S is likely to be priced at $399 for the 2TB variant. Update: 06/13 16:58 GMT by M : Microsoft has officially taken the wraps off the product. It will be available for purchase starting August. AnandTech has more details.Also at its event, Microsoft announced Xbox Play Anywhere. The Verge reports: It lets you buy participating cross-platform games once, and own them on both platforms. If you buy a game on Xbox One it will simply appear in your Windows 10 library, and vice versa, and your saved games, achievements, and other information will carry over between the two versions.Microsoft also unveiled "Project Scorpio", a high-powered Xbox One launching next year that is capable of supporting 4K content as well as virtual reality headsets. "We are creating more choice in your gaming experience than ever before," said Xbox chief Phil Spencer to open Microsoft's E3 conference. No word on its pricing yet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Announces the Xbox One S, Its Smallest Xbox Yet

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 12:15
Details of Microsoft's rumored new console have dropped ahead of the company's conference at E3 tradeshow Monday. It appears the long-anticipated smaller and more powerful variant of company's current console is real. According to a leaked press render, Microsoft will be announcing the Xbox One S (where S stands for Slim) at the gaming event. The Xbox One S will be 40 percent smaller than the Xbox One, and pack in more powerful processing and graphics muscle. According to the render, the Xbox One S will come with a 2TB hard drive, and feature support for 4K video playback and High Dynamic Range. According to separate reports, the Xbox One S is likely to be priced at $399 for the 2TB variant. Update: 06/13 16:58 GMT by M : Microsoft has officially taken the wraps off the product. It will be available for purchase starting August. AnandTech has more details.Also at its event, Microsoft announced Xbox Play Anywhere. The Verge reports: It lets you buy participating cross-platform games once, and own them on both platforms. If you buy a game on Xbox One it will simply appear in your Windows 10 library, and vice versa, and your saved games, achievements, and other information will carry over between the two versions.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft's 4K-capable Xbox One S Is 40% Smaller Than Company's Current Gen Console: Report

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 10:20
Details of Microsoft's rumored new console have dropped ahead of the company's conference at E3 tradeshow Monday. It appears the long-anticipated smaller and more powerful variant of company's current console is real. According to a leaked press render, Microsoft will be announcing the Xbox One S (where S stands for Slim) at the gaming event. The Xbox One S will be 40 percent smaller than the Xbox One, and pack in more powerful processing and graphics muscle. According to the render, the Xbox One S will come with a 2TB hard drive, and feature support for 4K video playback and High Dynamic Range. According to separate reports, the Xbox One S is likely to be priced at $299, hinting that the original Xbox One will see a price drop later today. We will update the story when things become official.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

It Took 33 Years To Find the Easter Egg In This Apple II Game

Sun, 06/12/2016 - 02:34
Jason Koebler writes: Gumball, a game released in 1983 for the Apple II and other early PCs, was never all that popular. For 33 years, it held a secret that was discovered this week by anonymous crackers who not only hacked their way through advanced copyright protection, but also became the first people to discover an Easter Egg hidden by the game's creator, Robert A. Cook. Best of all? Cook congratulated them Friday for their work. The article attributes the discovery to a game-cracker named 4am, who's spent years cracking the DRM on old Apple II games to upload them to the Internet Archive. "Because almost all of the games are completely out of print, all-but-impossible to find, and run only on old computers, 4am is looked at as more of a game preservation hero than a pirate."

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Microsoft Mistakenly Sold Fallout 4 For Free On Xbox

Sat, 06/11/2016 - 20:34
On Thursday the $110 Deluxe Edition Bundle of Fallout 4 appeared in the Xbox store priced at $0.00. The Escapist reports that "The mistake went viral, and there's no telling how people were able to take advantage before the error was corrected..." An anonymous reader shares their report: If you grabbed Fallout 4 for free on Xbox One, it will be disappearing from your account... Microsoft has confirmed that any copies obtained due to the error will have their license revoked, and the games will disappear from the user's Xbox One library. Now Microsoft is telling affected users that "your free download will no longer work. For the inconvenience we will deposit $10 by the end of June in your Microsoft Account."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.