Programmers have long tailored videogames for computers, television consoles and mobile devices. Now they are also targeting three-dimensional simulations enabled by special eyewear, a key focus of a conference this week in San Francisco.
Many developers descending on the Game Developers Conference are expected to come toting prototype videogames, movies and virtual-reality goggles—updates of offerings that ignited a short-lived technology craze in the early 1990s.
Videogame makers have been grappling with many changes in the past few years, from new living-room consoles to the rise of smartphones. Now they face another challenge: arena-style games like “League of Legends.”
Gamers have flocked by the millions to play the Riot Games Inc. title, which typically pits two teams of five players in battles involving mystical characters called champions. The action is viewed from above—more like a simulated board game than the familiar first-person shooter perspective—and typically played online using PCs rather than consoles.
This week, Microsoft spokesman David Dennis confirmed the company discontinued the Xbox 360 offer in July. “This program was intended to be a pilot experiment from the start, and Microsoft routinely adjusts the mix of offers available to its customers and this change was simply standard business practice,” he said.
Technology that monitors a new car’s engine performance and sends detailed trouble alerts to an owner’s cellphone is now becoming available to owners of older model vehicles using inexpensive add-ons.
On any given day, Jayson Love fires up a personal computer from his Billings, Mont., home and starts his job—playing videogames in front of an audience of thousands.
Sony and Microsoft are gearing up for what they say will be record launch periods for their respective new videogame machines. A key reason: they are churning out big volumes of the new consoles.
Makers of videogame hardware are preparing for one of the biggest holiday battles in years. But software could be a decisive weapon this time.