Why are games fun? In part, because they challenge our ability to think. Even simple games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Nim and Kalah, or puzzles like the Eights Puzzle, are challenging to children. More complex games like checkers, chess, bridge, and Go are difficult enough that it takes years for gifted adults to master them. Nearly all games require seeing patterns, making plans, searching combinations, judging alternative moves, and learning from experience, all being skills which are also involved in many daily tasks.
It's no surprise that Alan Turing proposed chess playing as a good project for studying computers' ability to reason. In many ways, games have provided simple proving grounds for many of AI's powerful ideas.
Amazon took its biggest step yet into the video game market on Thursday with the surprise announcement of Amazon Luna at its device event. Luna will be a video game streaming service, similar to Google Stadia, save for key points that could lead the platform to success over its competitor. Powered by Amazon Web Services, Luna will be capable of playing games up to 4K and 60 frames-per-second over a high-speed internet connection and on certain titles. It will be usable through Fire TV, PC, Mac, Android, and iOS, with support for Bluetooth controllers, PS4 controllers, Xbox controllers, keyboard and mouse, and the specialized Luna controller launching with the service for the price of $49.99. What is sure to separate Luna from Stadia and potentially give it the edge is pricing.
To mark the epic 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., Nintendo has announced a handful of exciting Super Mario video games, including Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Released on September 18, the new Nintendo Switch video game includes optimised versions of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, making it a great nostalgic gift for Mario fans this Christmas. It also includes the soundtracks for the three games. The remastered collection of Mario games is currently Amazon's bestselling Nintendo Switch video game and is the third bestselling title for 2020. Released in limited supply, Super Mario 3D All-Stars will be available through March 31, 2021.
TL;DR: The Build Your Own First-Person Shooter Game Development Bundle is on sale for £31.39 as of Sept. 25, saving you 97% on list price. You don't need a massive bank account, a giant team, or a million-pound contract with a publishing giant to make a hit video game these days. All you need is an idea, a computer, and a little bit of training. Just look at Minecraft, which started its reign as an indie game over a decade ago and has become one of the best-selling video games of all time. Even if you have no coding experience, you can try your hand at video game creation.
Engadget, which had an opportunity to demo Luna, wrote that the technology worked "just fine," playing across a Fire TV, Mac and iPhone over the span of 45 minutes. "I started on Fire TV and was able to boot up the beefiest game in the store, Control, in a matter of seconds. It stuttered a bit throughout the opening scenes, but not enough to interrupt the cinematic flow," wrote Jessica Conditt of Engadget. "More often than not, gameplay was smooth, and none of the network interruptions that did appear were significant enough to break my experience."
Video game fans who missed out on pre-ordering a PlayStation 5 will get another chance Friday. Retailer GameStop revealed on Twitter on Thursday it will offer more pre-orders of Sony's PS5 on Friday, Sept. 25. GameStop didn't offer a specific time for when the pre-orders will open up to consumers. "We are pleased to announce that further quantities of PS5 consoles will be made available to pre-order," said GameStop in its tweet, noting they will be offered both online and at stores. Video game lovers have experienced a September scramble as pre-orders for both the PS5 and Xbox Series X launched.
When Alex Handy first founded the Museum of Arts and Digital Entertainment (or the MADE) in Oakland, Calif. in 2011, he imagined the institution as a bucket placed underneath an industry that was constantly leaking and dripping out vital artifacts of its own history. Over the museum's near-decade of existence, it has weathered rising rents, flooding, and even robberies to deliver a playable library of more than 10,000 games to its visitors. However, more than six months after the ongoing coronavirus crisis forced its closure, it's not at all clear if the MADE -- or its fellow video game museums across the globe -- will be able to survive the economic fallout wrought by the virus. And given the interactive nature of video games, it's clear that these museums will have an even tougher time mitigating the risk of transmission once they open back up.
Blizzard Entertainment made true to its promise to host an online version of BlizzCon after the company was forced to cancel its in-person convention due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19. BlizzCon 2020 was supposed to take place later this year, but with the events that caused a worldwide dilemma has urged organizers to think of ways to still push through the annual event while observing guidelines set by health agencies and the government to curb the spread of the virus. "We're talking about how we might be able to channel the BlizzCon spirit and connect with you in some way online, far less impacted by the state of health and safety protocols for mass in-person gatherings," said BlizzCon Executive Producer Saralyn Smith in a May 26, 2020 blog post. Blizzard Entertainment's eSports World Championship competitions for "Hearthstone," "Heroes of the Storm," "World of Warcraft" and "StarCraft 2" will be held over an entire week later this year. Windows 10 has come on board as an official BlizzCon 2015 sponsor, with the opening ceremony streaming on Xbox One for the first time.
We can all join a raid and have the same goal and accomplish that together. And we can all do that together. Imagine if we could do that in real life. Imagine what we would be able to do if we could connect people across all these different categories. You know, it's hard to imagine these days now in the U.S. when you see how divided everything is, but imagine if we could all do that -- instead of working towards killing a raid boss, we're solving something even deeper for society.
In handheld mode, the star pointer is operated entirely through the touch screen. This might sound like a good solution on paper, but "Super Mario Galaxy" often requires multitasking. For example, while fighting a boss, you may be running away from them, avoiding their line of fire, trying to collect star bits, and so on. Whenever I wanted to acquire star bits, I would have to keep Mario in place, let go of the joystick, and touch the screen. "Super Mario Galaxy" can be a fast-paced game, and having to stop and touch the screen during a tense moment can ruin the experience.