Blizzard to remove auction house from PC version of Diablo III


In a fairly surprising announcement, Blizzard have posted an update that for the most part brings the Diablo back in Diablo III! That update, ladies and gentlemen, is the removal of BOTH the gold auction house and the real money auction house! They “feel” – and by feel I mean after customers have endlessly requested the removal of these features – that by removing the auction house, Diablo will get back to its basic formula of “kill monsters, get loot”.

When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But as we’ve mentioned on different occasions, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo’s core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot. With that in mind, we want to let everyone know that we’ve decided to remove the gold and real-money auction house system from Diablo III.

The shutdown of both the auction houses should occur by March 18th 2014 so the game can be ready by the time Loot 2.0 and Reaper Of Souls roll out.

I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that Diablo is back.

(Article written by: Pierre J. Iskandar)

GTA V PC release day may have been leaked

In a surprise Reddit post made today, a redditor whose account has been deleted posted a link for a Danish website claiming the release date for Rockstar’s most anticipated release to date, GTA V, to be on the 30th of May of next year.


Now before you get excited, this date could very well be a simple guess or a placeholder, however placeholder dates tend to usually point towards December 31st rather than a date in the middle of the calendar, so do take this bit of information with a grain of salt.

(Article written by: Pierre J. Iskandar)

New PSVita model announced!


Today in Sony’s Japan event the company announced a new PlayStation Vita model (PCH-2000), yes, you read that right, even though it only came out almost a year ago. The new model has:

  • 1GB internal storage for save games
  • A – from what I understood – HD LCD screen.
  • A myriad of colors including grey, pink, yellow, and white!
  • A lighter and thinner profile (20% thinner and 15% lighter)
  • Price: 19,929 yen ($200).
  • WiFi only so far.
  • Extra hour of battery life.
  • New 64GB memory card for 10,479 yen ($105).
  • No word on western availability (yet).

Stay tuned for more information as it’s announced.


Edit 2: Soul Sacrifice Delta! This is not an updated version it’s a completely new game with new items and battles, along with a third neutral force. Releasing March 2014.

Edit 3: Phantasy Star Nova, exclusively for the PSVita in 2014.

Edit 4: Picture up there courtesy of Kotaku.

Edit 5: Terraria for PSVita! Oh fuck yes!

Edit 6: Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 for the Vita!

Edit 7: New (old) PSVita bundle with a memory card that has some games pre-installed, not a lot of other info revealed as far as I can tell.

The Humble Origin Bundle



That was pretty much what I said when I saw this, because in my very humble human brain, EA and good don’t mix, at least that ideology has been holding true until I got a reply from a job at BioWare I applied for telling me I didn’t get the job (It’s a very decent move to actually tell the applicant that he/she didn’t get the job). But I didn’t think they’d go all out like that! Seriously, Humble “Origin” Bundle? If you had asked me about this a couple of days ago I would have laughed at you, I would actually still be laughing right now at the ridiculousness of what you said, but I was proven wrong, Oh so wrong.

So, onto the good stuff, what you get in this unicorn of a bundle:

Beat The Average and get:

1. Battlefield 3 (Origin)

2. The Sims 3 + Starter Pack (Origin)

Pay anything (>$1) and get:

1. Dead Space (Origin + Steam)

2. Dead Space 3 (Origin)

3. Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box (Origin + Steam)

4. Mirror’s Edge (Origin + Steam)

5. Crysis 2: Maximum Edition (Origin + Steam)

6. Medal Of Honor (Origin + Steam)

And here’s more of a kicker, EA won’t get a cent of all of this, everything goes to either charities or as a Humble tip, or, you know, mix and match.

This is admittedly a really astounding move on EA’s part to reverse some of the bad karma they’ve been getting all over the interwebz by being voted “Worse Company in America” a couple of times in a row. Besides, it’ll get tons of people installing Origin, since, well, for $1 you get Dead Space 3, both an Origin exclusive and a game that’s literally just come out a few months back.

If you’re interested in buying this, and there is absolutely no reason why you should not be, go here.

All I can say now is this, EA, you have earned back my respect. And thank you for the practically free games.

An ode to a Steam Summer Sale

I won’t actually write an ode to Gabe Newell, although he totally deserves one, but that’s not the point of this article here. Now that the Steam Summer Sale is – more or less – over, how did you all do? Did any of you actually stick to their planned budgets? What games did you all get? Have you actually started playing any of these games?

I want to share with you all the list of games I bought during the sale, and I should say that I went over my planned budget by almost $50, which is shameful to say the least, but I did get some pretty good games:

  1. Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition – $7
  2. Dead Island GOTY – $5
  3. Darksiders II + Season Pass – $5
  4. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum – $15
  5. Organ Trail: Director’s Cut – $1.25
  6. Mirror’s Edge – $6
  7. Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Edition – $5
  8. Fallout 3 GOTY – $5
  9. Hitman Absolution Professional Edition – $7.50
  10. Just Cause 2 + DLCs – $3.75
  11. Universe Sandbox – $2
  12. Tomb Raider: Survival Edition + DLC – $15.25
  13. Braid – $5
  14. FEZ – $5
  15. Hard Reset: Extended Edition – $3.75
  16. Super Meat Boy – $3.75
  17. To The Moon + Soundtrack – $3.75
  18. The Binding Of Isaac + DLC – $4
  19. Borderlands 2 Psycho Pack DLC – $3.40
  20. Cities In Motion II – $6.80
  21. Euro Truck Simulator II – $10
  22. Just Cause* – $0.27
  23. Civilisation V Gold Edition – $12.50
  24. Fallout Collection – $3

* Just Cause’s price was $0.27 for almost 5 hours until Steam noticed and brought it back to $1.39, was able to grab almost 8 copies to give to friends, who knew Steam Trading Cards would be so useful!

What did you folks think of this summer’s sale as a whole? Share the list of games you bought in the comments section.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Steam’s Summer Sale

It’s that wonderful time of the year again where the whole family gathers together and shares a nice meal with their friends and loved ones, exchanging small conversations, gifts, and celebrating the spirit of, well, something. Wait, what do you mean there’s no holiday coming up? I beg to differ, my dear misguided fellow human, Steam’s Summer Sale is coming up! It’s not a cause for celebration? Seriously? Oh what do you know anyway, silly human.

What is Steam’s Summer Sale?
In a nutshell, every summer for the past two summers, Steam has made extravagant discounts on a large array of games and even publisher catalogs under the moniker of a summer sale. Moreover, every summer sale has started by roughly last week of June to the first and second weeks of July, so in other words, it’s very, VERY soon. We just have no idea when it will be yet.

Personal tips and tricks to surviving the summer sale without having to sell a kidney:
This is what I personally intend to do to avoid spending way too much on games, especially since an entire publisher catalog can go from $250 to $50, which is alluring to say the least.

  1. Make a list of the games you absolutely need to have in your life, you can browse Steam now and add those games to your wish list for easier access, or you can go my personal favored archaic route of a pen and paper. Give those games a rating from “Would rather wrestle a grizzly bear naked than not having it” to “Would let the grizzly bear win than actually buying that crap”. (It’s a good rating system, trust me on this)
  1. Decide how much you’re willing to spend during the entire sale and stick by it. Now this can be very tricky since you can always say “Holy crap, this game is down from $50 to $5, I must have it”, but do you really want it? I mean, sure, the discount is very nice indeed, but is this game going to make you achieve absolute happiness and bliss? Probably not. You probably even have never heard of the game yet are attracted to the discount! I’m here to tell you, we’ve all been there, and we’ve all made that mistake before. Moral here is that $5s accumulate really fast, especially if you have a low budget to begin with, since for example I’m not yet graduated from college I can’t spend much on games, so my budget will be somewhere between $50 to $80, and there are other games I really want.
  1. Wait for the daily deals. Sometimes you can find a game you really want at 25% off, but it’s on a weekend deal, should you get it? I say no, wait, chances are this game may be featured on one of the daily deals for up to 80% off, thus saving you more money.
  1. Don’t be fooled by the developer or publisher catalogs on sale. Be realistic, when will you get the time to play 20+ games? Hunt game packs instead, for instance, if you want the Half Life series, get the Half Life Complete pack instead of the entire Valve catalog. Not to mention that these catalogs break through your budget like a walrus dancing on a Saturday afternoon.

With all that said, I’d like to share with you folks my wish list. For some very odd reason I never got around to playing any of the Half Life games, and with all the – admittedly annoying – “Half Life 3 confirmed” comments on every single social networks, I feel that I should give this a go. Also the first Portal, Mirror’s Edge, and Borderlands 2’s Season Pass and Psycho DLC.

Share with us your tips, tricks, and wish lists in the comments below and let us know what you think of Steam Summer’s Sale!

Most of the tips come courtesy of this guy’s video right here.

Microsoft Revoking Online DRM

After an unbelievable backlash from almost every single gamer that has watched or been to E3, Microsoft have admitted their mistake and are now actively trying to correct their mistake, Don Mattrick, president of interactive entertainment of Microsoft had the following to say:

Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.

Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.

You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:

An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.

This comes as a shock to me personally since from the myriad of responses Microsoft have given over these past few weeks, they were pretty stubborn over their periodic online check in, pre-owned games weird resale methods, and everything in between. But I do have to say, Microsoft have re-earned my respect for backtracking that way and righting their wrongs. It’s not everyday you see a big company like that make a 180 degree turn – regardless of the fact that they were about to be crushed by Sony – and change their policies that way even before the console launches.

The most welcomed change in these restrictions though is the region locking, according to that statement made by Don Mattrick, Xbox One will no longer activate only in the 21 countries stated on the Xbox One page, but other countries will be able to enjoy it too.

The only drawback so far for the Xbox One will be the higher price tag, but with all these restrictions removed, I’m personally finding it a bit more justified now.

Let us know if what Microsoft just did will convince you to buy an Xbox One or not.


What Microsoft Did Wrong With The Xbox One

Last generation, Microsoft were the gamers’ saving grace, a white knight, if you will, defending gamers with lesser costing consoles and overall better looking cross platform games. After all, Sony did launch the PlayStation 3 at a staggering $599 price point, albeit with a very powerful architecture that almost exactly three developers were able to make use of efficiently – for the curious, the developers I’m referring to are Naughty Dog primarily, Quantic Dream, and Sony Santa Monica – and it is because of this architecture that almost all cross platform games looked better on the Xbox 360.

This upcoming generation however, it would seem as if the console war has ended before it even started with the Xbox One suffering a crushing defeat, not at the hands of Sony, mind you, but at the hands of Microsoft themselves. I’ll explain my reasoning for this in the following points.

  1. DRM:

Any gamer who has been playing games for the last 6 years at least know that publishers impose DRM, not the console, be it through online codes, activation codes, or any other kind of restriction that may be present. However Microsoft have valiantly went out of their way to mention to the masses and anxious gamers that the Xbox One will have DRM over used games, then went on to correct themselves in saying that they will not impose any DRM themselves, but will leave it up to the publishers – which was already the case since time immemorial – making the very mention of this a moot point, I mean, why mention something that you have absolutely no control over?
That’s one part of the DRM though, what are the others, you ask?

  • Selling used games:

Microsoft have also said that the Xbox One will support the sale of used games, however this won’t work in the common sense of the “sale” word, it’ll involve the individual selling his/her license of the game to a participating retailer (i.e.: Gamestop, Walmart, Best Buy, etc…), in other words, if you’re unfortunate enough to live outside of Microsoft’s scope such as myself, you will not be able to sell your games, ever. Not to mention other restrictions that I’ll mention in a little bit.

  • Lending games:

You will be able to lend your games to anyone on your friends list by transferring the game’s license to them – although this sounds a lot like gifting rather than lending – but they have to have been on your friends list for at least 30 days.

  • Family members:

You can add up to ten people as family members who will be having unrestricted access to your account and its content, or in other words, you can share your games with ten different people, and that’s it.

  • Supported regions:

Here’s where the fun really starts, the Xbox One will only be supported in 21 countries and according to Microsoft’s Xbox One’s website, the games will only be activated in these countries. So if you’re unlucky enough to live somewhere else, well, no Xbox One for you.

  • Periodic connection:

While the Xbox One does not require an always online state to function, it does need to check your game licenses periodically to make sure everything’s in check, which would be problematic to people with no internet access.

  1. Kinect:

Kinect will be bundled with every Xbox One, not bad, really, until you realize that Kinect has to always be connected to your Xbox One in order for the console to function. While some people don’t mind that, others do. So in other words, this is very debatable in the sense of privacy, and no, not because Google or Apple track your location or your phone calls or what have you, gives Microsoft the right to do so, at least in my honest opinion.

  1. Cloud processing:

This is actually something I personally am looking forward to, Microsoft have mentioned that they will use the power of the cloud in order to enhance the visuals of the games. Never mind the fact that if you play offline you might get worse graphics, but the thing is, this gives the console an outstanding shelf life, even though more than one company have tried that concept and failed miserably (I’m looking at you, OnLive).

  1. Price point:

This was the final nail in the coffin for Microsoft’s Xbox One, a $499 price tag was preposterous to say the least, for a console so closed I expected the price tag to be a little bit lower than this, but the reasoning behind the price is that every Xbox One comes bundled with the Kinect, so this supposedly justifies that price tag, somehow.

  1. The game demos were not running on Xbox Ones:

Yep, you read that right, they were running on Windows 7 based PCs (now why on earth would Microsoft not use Windows 8?), moreover, those PCs had Nvidia GTX GPUs inside of them, which is absolutely different to the AMD hardware the Xbox One is built around. This could mean lots of things, maybe Microsoft hadn’t finished a dev kit in order to demo the games on, maybe they wanted to ensure a smooth conference, but that would mean they used far superior hardware, which potentially means the Xbox One will not perform as well as we’ve seen on the demos.

  1. Xbox One’s reveal:

Last but definitely not least, that reveal a month ago. I presumed a gaming console was meant for gaming, but I digress, it’s a multimedia platform, catering to fans of live television (and advertisements) and fantasy football leagues, and Call of Duty’s dog, not gamers!

Now how did Sony crush Microsoft? By doing absolutely nothing, in a nut shell. What Sony did was simply call out what Microsoft mentioned, and said they were not going to do that. Had Microsoft not mentioned the whole DRM dilemma, Sony wouldn’t have said a word about it, and Microsoft would have maintained their dignity. Sony also announced a lower price point, at $399 you get the console, a controller and a mono earphone, sure you don’t get the eye, but let’s see how much the console would cost if you did buy the eye as a stand alone purchase, currently on Amazon, the PSEye is for $59, which makes the console price go up to roughly $460, let’s say you also want to get a one year PlayStation+ subscription to play online, your total is now $510. Now you want to get an Xbox One with a one year gold membership, you’re going to pay $550, which makes the PlayStation 4 cheaper.

To spare you my ramblings, Microsoft have shot themselves in the foot, repeatedly, and Sony took advantage of that. Repeatedly. Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think of Microsoft’s restrictions, what would Microsoft have to do in order to convince you to buy the Xbox One? Personally I would like to see the periodic checks gone, but again, that’s just me.

Microtransactions and how they will affect the gaming industry

Back in the day, one could buy a new game, at the launching price (what ever the price it was that said game launched with back then) and that was it, no fuss, no worrying about anything to purchase for that particular game in the future. Until that is in the early 2000s (or maybe even before, I might be mistaken here) when game expansions starting coming out, those were essentially continuations to the original games, of course back then (I sure do like to believe so) game companies didn’t have in mind to extort more money out of their customers when they first launched their games, that realization came when they started realizing that they could actually release more parts to the game and sell them!

Fast forward a few years and you start getting into the “Next gen” era, or more descriptively, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (Since they could be considered last gen now, right? No? Yeah, I don’t want to be saying it either). With the rise of their respective online stores came the rise in Downloadable Content, which essentially was watered down expansion packs, instead of a game giving out one expansion pack and calling it quits, like for example, Red Alert 2 with Yuri’s Revenge, Warcraft 3 with The Frozen Throne, or Diablo II with Lord Of Destruction, these “DLCs” came as continued support of the company to the games they let out, most notable of which being Call of Duty with their map packs which raises another issue, more often than not, DLCs are multiplayer centric and not single player centric, especially when it comes to shooters, the company knows its target demographic won’t be paying attention to the single player mode as much as they will to the multiplayer mode (At least that is how I felt about Battlefield 3) so they start to concentrate on the multiplayer ignoring (sometimes, not always) the subpar job they did on the singleplayer campaign.

A little more down the line and you get Free to Play games, ah, the things that started it all as far as microtransactions are concerned, “want more XP in that MMORPG you’ve been sinking so many hours in? Sure, buddy! Go get that nice credit card of yours, pay us, and we’ll give you what you want!” But that was “almost” justifiable due to server costs and whatnot. However, recently, with the launch of a new game back in 2012, microtransactions began to take form in full retail priced games, and that game was…

Yep, Ubisoft had announced before the launch that a digital currency would be used in-game called Erudito Credits, which you can buy off of Xbox Live or PlayStation Network for as low as 25 cents, or as high as $20, those Erudito credits allowed you to jump start your multiplayer experience. Sure you could go the ethical way in order to unlock everything as you progress, but that was just easier to purchase, or, you know, legally cheating in game, but lets not dwell on the “in game cheating” thought.

After nothing much was said about Ubisoft’s microtransactions move, and since as far as my knowledge, it wasn’t incorporated in Far Cry 3, I for one though it didn’t pan out the way they had envisioned it to, and just dropped the idea. Yesterday, however, Visceral tries to justify adding microtransactions to their upcoming and widely anticipated title

And here’s what they had to say about it:

There’s a lot of players out there, especially players coming from mobile games, who are accustomed to microtransactions, They’re like, ‘I need this now, I want this now.’ They need instant gratification. So, we included that option in order to attract those players, so that if they’re 5000 Tungsten short of this upgrade, they can have it.


Honestly, most of the dev team are that way; we’re kind of old school, a little bit older, so, not only are the microtransactions completely optional, but all packs are available to purchase using in-game resources you find.


I can see why they would incorporate such a system, they want more profit out of their games, call it fighting used games, call it fighting piracy, call it whatever you want, what it is doing is hurting the actual players, that’s for sure. Think of it this way, you’re a hardcore Dead Space fan, you’re working hard in its co-op mode or multiplayer to get that upgrade you want oh so much, then, you find someone else who’s still starting, with an upgrade even better than the one you wanted! If there’s some sort of competitive multiplayer in Dead Space 3, it will be broken because of that, unless the purchases are purely cosmetic that is.

What this means for the next gen consoles however, at least in my opinion, is that games most likely will not be sold at a full $60, probably less, and will incorporate microtransactions in them, along of course with the DLCs, but that’s just my two cents about this. Let me know what you folks feel about the microtransactions system and whether you’ll feel like it’s hindering the gameplay experience or not.


I have some exciting news to share with you folks, a couple of days ago I received an email from NextGenUpdate asking me to join them as a game reviewer/reporter! (I know, as awesome as a dragon fighting king kong).



So, long story short, I now write for NextGenUpdate as well as this blog, Trustious, and GamerzLounge.

I honestly would not have made it this far if it wasn’t for you folks, so, thank you!

Now go read my first post over there, you sillies!