The Montreal International Game Summit has put out its call for speakers. The seventh annual summit will take place November 8th and 9th at the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel. More congratulations are in order for the FIFA 10 development team, as the game picked up two BAFTA Game Awards this past Friday evening – one for Best Sports Title and the other for Best Use of Online. DreamCatcher Games and The Adventure Company have announced the release of new content on an updated website for Sherlock Holmes VS. Jack the Ripper for the Xbox 360. You can check out new screenshots and a new trailer on the site, as well as put in your pre-order at GameStop. Sherlock Holmes vs Jack The Ripper will be in stores near the end of April and is rated T by the ESRB.
Bioware has released more details about Kasumi Goto, the newest member of the Normandy’s crew in Mass Effect 2. Kasumi, the galaxy’s most enigmatic and cunning master thief, will be introduced in the DLC pack Stolen Memory. In addition to being able to recruit Kasumi in all new missions, players will be able to utilize her special skills as a member of Commander Shepard’s squad throughout the entire game. In return for her help, Kasumi has asked for Commander Shepard’s help on a dangerous heist to infiltrate the vault of a deadly master criminal named Donovan Hock. Players must gain Kasumi’s loyalty on the planet Bekenstein, where Hock is throwing a party for some of the galaxy’s richest and most deranged criminal minds. The mission: recover data of great importance to Kasumi and the galaxy at large. In addition to this new mission, players will also receive a new research upgrade, one new weapon, and a new achievement in this PDLC pack. The Kasumi – Stolen Memory PDLC pack will be available this April for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system at a cost of 560 Microsoft points, and on PC for 560 BioWare points. Don’t forget that tomorrow (March 23rd) will be the release date for the Firewalker DLC pack, which includes five heart-pounding missions taking place on five uncharted worlds. Players will be able to explore planets and engage in combat in the new Hammerhead hover-tank. The Firewalker pack will be available via the Cerberus Network console. Mass Effect 2 is rated M by the ESRB.
Toronto – Fans 10 and under attending Toronto Comic Con, March 26-28, 2010, at the Direct Energy Centre will receive a free Gogos Crazy Bones toy, courtesy of Toronto-based Irwin Toy. The popular items will be distributed while supplies last at the Registration area upon arrival.
Gogos Crazy Bones are a collectible, mini game toy sensation. They are small, colorful figures whose gaming origins date back to Ancient Greece, where children played by bouncing and throwing knuckle bones. These more refined, plastic characters are available in the hundreds, each one having a unique face and name.
“We are pleased to be providing free Gogos Crazy Bones right in our backyard at Toronto Comic Con,” said Peter Irwin, Irwin Toys. “It is extremely special for Irwin Toys to participate in the inaugural show here, since Gareb has been a family friend for as long as my father and I can remember.”
Gogos Crazy Bones was named the 2009 British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) Collectible Toy of the Year. The characters have recently been hugely popular in Europe and Australia and were first a big hit in the U.S. more than a decade ago, when 31.5 million packages were sold from 1998-2000.
“Having an international sensation like Gogos Crazy Bones available free to kids is a great bonus for Toronto Comic Con attendees,” said Gareb Shamus, Wizard Entertainment CEO. “It’s particularly gratifying to be partnering with Irwin Toy, which in addition to being based in Toronto, has been a leader in the industry for more than 80 years.”
Toronto Comic Con brings together fans of comics, toys, collectibles and offers a chance to see actors, writers, artists and the best each industry has to offer.
Toronto – Animated Media Inc. (AMI) is pleased to announce the release of its VGK platform for mobile devices. AMI has optimized its flagship product for today’s most popular mobile touch screen devices and has introduced new World Interface Modules (WIMs) to address the unique challenges of touch screens allowing Flash content to run on a wide range of screen display dimensions and with the ability to playback audio directly through the device’s native APIs.
Special features and benefits of the VGK platform for mobile devices includes no re-authoring of existing Flash content allowing for quick implementation, the ability to use a virtual keyboard to send action commands to the Flash content, resizing animations “on the fly” for various mobile devices, and support for OpenGL ES 2.0 GPU hardware acceleration.
As an Apple iPhone Developer Program participant, AMI was mindful of that program’s limitations on run-time elements in apps and so the ActionScript engine is not included for the Apple mobile platforms. We currently offer support for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. AMI is also working on supporting other mobile platforms, including Android-based smartphones. AMI’s CEO, Chris Brady said “we have completed many months of review with the Apple and Flash communities and are quite happy to release a deterministic, stable product that meets the needs of both communities.”
AMI will be exhibiting the power of the VGK platform next week at CTIA in Las Vegas in the Ontario-Canada pavilion, North Hall N1: #6711. Please stop by the booth to see our latest product and feature demos and acquaint yourself with Anni Mobi, our Mobile Platform Avatar.
Vancouver – Aftercad Software is pleased to announce that it has entered the nascent cloud gaming market with Project Immersion, the logical next step beyond Onlive, OTOY and other PC-Over-IP efforts for Zero-Wait-State Gaming.
Demoed at GDC 2010 in San Francisco, the Aftercad Immersion Project is being received as possibly a more practical and acceptable approach to the goal of what has been coined “Zero-Wait-State Gaming”. “If you are going to stick it out on the web then you’ve gotta keep it to open web standards so that the little guy can get in and people can consume the content how they want to. This is the new social media paradigm for 3D and we feel our approach is the future.” said Christopher Boothroyd, CEO of Aftercad Software.
“Sometimes to really open up an opportunity, you need to come at it from a completely different angle. Cloud Gaming and Cloud 3D markets in general are about to undergo a major transition from being under the purview of a group of technicians and enthusiasts to wide spread participation by everyone. This is an opportunity that will radically change communications and social media with richer interactive content. To be a part of this is exciting to say the least. Our approach is based on our 3D CAD background and the leveraging of our patent pending Live Web technologies. This gives us an edge by opening up the entire process.” Efforts like Onlive and OTOY utilize what is technically called PC-Over-IP, that is the remote display of something running on a server in the cloud, the capture of user’s keyboard, mouse and peripheral inputs and sending that back to the server as quickly as possible in order to keep latency down and the experience tight. “This works well and I sincerely think these guys are going to replace the console but it is one closed loop system replacing another closed loop system”
Aftercad’s approach is accomplished by the combination of server and client side rendering with client side AJAX UI coding. There is no client side application to install, it ‘simply works immediately’ in the web browser with no user environmental interruptions. In addition to this zero-wait-state content delivery, the Aftercad approach utilizes Software-as-a-Service methods to create a fully interactive client side UI that works in perfect unison with the server side rendering to create a low latency, high response environment where there are no restrictions on the complexity and fidelity of the 3D content being delivered. “Of high importance in this effort is to keep the deployment of this new medium inline with current and future web programming efforts so developers don’t have to learn new scripting languages and spend more capital on integrating yet more plugins, which people typically wont install anyway.” Aftercad’s new approach works entirely within the current web architecture without the introduction of the plugins necessary for Onlive, OTOY or PC-Over-IP in general.
“Think about this as points on a graph, first we had mainframe/thin client architecture, then the PC and consoles took over and Gaming was born, now the pendulum has swung all the way back to running the complex 3D apps server side with a thin client side app. The next point on the graph is to open that loop up with a much richer information flow between the server and the browser as the client app.” This has many advantages over a PC-Over-IP approach in that latency becomes much less of an issue and because there is a rich data flow between the browser and the server, it will be much quicker, easier and ultimately cheaper to integrate with other web browser offerings from other vendors. “There is no reason Games and 3D Apps shouldn’t be part of the Software-as-a-Service revolution as well, a sentiment we share with Google.” As HTML5 begins to take shape, Aftercad’s new zero-wait-state method will also leverage WebGL and other browser innovations to deliver the best possible optimized 3D web content experience, using both server and client side rendering.
Toronto – QuickPlay Media Inc. has announced that it will power U.S. Cellular’s first video-on-demand (VOD) service. Available with U.S. Cellular’s Premium Mobile Internet and SmartPhone access plans, the streaming video clips service offers a broad selection of diverse content that includes music videos, movie trailers, comedy, entertainment news and extreme sports. The mobile VOD service is available on a wide variety of popular video-optimized devices from leading manufacturers, including Samsung®, HTC®, LG®, Research In Motion® (RIM) and Motorola®.
“U.S. Cellular has a history of bringing to market mobile services that enhance people’s lives, and its partnership with QuickPlay is reflective of its commitment to delivering an amazing mobile entertainment experience,” said Wayne Purboo, CEO and co-founder of QuickPlay Media. “We are very excited to be working with this market-leading company to build their consumer engagement via a high-quality mobile video service.”
U.S. Cellular’s innovative Video Clips service includes convenient features that make it easy for users to search and discover new and interesting video content, including a Top 10 ranking of most popular videos, recommendations based on a subscriber’s viewing habits and a listing of featured videos. Users can choose from a diverse selection of content including music videos in the Rap, Rock, Country, R&B, Dance, Pop, Reggae, 80s, Alternative and Soundtrack categories; movie trailers; classic comedy, animation and cartoons; entertainment news; and extreme sports. In the future, additional channels and content will be added to the service.
“Better serving our customers and ensuring their satisfaction is our #1 priority,” said Joe Settimi, Sr. Director of Data Strategy and Services for U.S. Cellular. “We are excited about offering this service which will help enhance our customer’s mobile experience.”
Montreal – Feeling Software and ImmerVision announced today that the integration of ImmerVision 360° Panomorph lens into Feeling Software Omnipresence 3D Security System has been completed. This integration will be demonstrated at the ISC West security tradeshow in Las Vegas from March 24th to 26th at the booths of Feeling Software (#9134) and ImmerVision (#11115).
“The integration of “ImmerVision Enables“ 360° immersive viewing functionality into Feeling Software’s Omnipresence 3D Security System offers users the ability to eliminate blind spots and heighten situational awareness when using analog or IP cameras equipped with Panomorph lenses,” said Alessandro Gasparini, ImmerVision’ SVP – Sales & Marketing and Chief Commercial Officer.
Omnipresence 3D was created with the goal of bringing 3D graphics technology, traditionally the domain of video games and film, to power new applications in physical security. As a visual platform for complex, critical security systems such as airports, nuclear facilities, and universities, Omnipresence uses an interactive 3D map to present the big security picture of a facility and all of its security assets.
“Omnipresence can already show hundreds of cameras at once in a realistic 3D environment and allow you to follow suspects effortlessly,” said Christian Laforte, CEO of Feeling Software. “Until now, facilities have been plagued by blind spots, which become even more obvious when you have a 3D map and can actually see an entire floor’s coverage (and blind spots) at once. Using Omnipresence 3D with ImmerVision’s Panomorph lenses, you see everything, everywhere, all the time.”
Montreal – Bluestreak Technology Inc., the leader in open Flash® platforms for wireless and wired devices, today announced at CTIA Wireless 2010 the availability of four new Flash solutions for wireless and wired operators worldwide. These solutions, together with our key partners, make it possible for operators to quickly deliver on four of the key megatrends for 2010: premium content consumption, Internet video delivery, Rich Communication Suites (RCS) and broadcast mobile TV, as predicted by Mark Newman, Chief Research Officer at Informa Telecoms & Media in “The Netsize Guide 2010”.
“Today’s subscribers are demanding highly interactive and visually stunning content and media on their devices at home or on the road,” said Dominique Jodoin, Bluestreak Technology CEO and President. “Last year, Bluestreak Technology already extended the capabilities of our MachBlue™ platform to meet those consumer demands by supporting every major mobile operating system, for wired and wireless devices. In 2010, we are leveraging this work with our partners to enable Flash® solutions that deliver the premium content, video, TV, and communication services subscribers want, on any device they use.”
Bluestreak Technology’s new Flash® solutions enable:
* Premium Content Consumption – A client centric DRM, Video, Flash enabling solution for the consumption of secure monetizable content, such as video and music, for Android devices.
* Internet Video Delivery – A visually compelling solution for delivering Internet video content, such as podcasts or user generated web videos, on any mobile device.
* Rich Communication Suites (RCS) – A mobile application solution that unites a variety of mobile messaging functions, e.g. SMS, MMS, email, IM, contacts, calendar, etc., into a single user interface.
* Broadcast Mobile TV – A live 24/7 TV broadcast service available on portable media players and car entertainment systems with access to ABC, CBS, CNBC, ESPN, Disney, FOX, Nickelodeon, and many other TV channels.