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Feature: The Next Decade of PC Gaming

As 2010 draws to a close, we look back and marvel at how far PC gaming has come over the past decade. The start of the new millennium brought technology and trends that will resonate for years to come. So we take this opportunity to examine some of those technology trends and see how they might grow over or fizzle out over the next ten years. Here are our predictions of what PC gaming might look like in 2020.

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Autolog iPhone app coming soon

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit's biggest innovation compared to previous games in the racing series is Autolog, the online stats system that links your progress in the game and compares it with your friends. Now the game's official web site has announced plans to offer a way to monitor Autolog stats via your iPhone.

The upcoming free app for the Criterion Studios-developed game will allow players to check to see if your friends are beating your times in the game and even challenge them to races which you can do when you get home to play the main game. It will also offer news updates and other features. There's no word on when the app will be released.

Rage for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad due out by end of November

Developer id Software's next big game is Rage and the PC version of the post-apocalyptic first person shooter is due for release in September 2011 via publisher Bethesda Softworks. But at QuakeCon last August it was revealed that id would release a game for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that would be an introduction to Rage's world.

On the Bethblog.com web site, id's master programmer John Carmack gives a highly detailed and highly technical update on the Rage iPhone project. He states, "What we do have is something unlike anything ever seen on the iOS platforms. It is glorious, and a lot of fun. Development has been proceeding at high intensity since QuakeCon, and we hope to have the app out by the end of November." There will apparently be two versions released. One will be for older versions of the iPhone and iPod Touch while the iPad and iPhone 4 will get a "high definition" version that will be twice that of the standard edition game in terms of download size. Pricing for the standard edition will be 99 cents while the HD versions will have a $1.99 price tag.

This version of the game will show off the Mutant Bash TV portion of the full game with players trying to get from one part of the level to the other with the best score. Carmack states that the game doesn't actually use the PC version of Rage's id tech 5 graphics engine.it does borrow some of Rage's content and media.

StarCraft II iPhone remote app coming as soon as next week

Earlier this year we reported on a third party app that would allow players who have the PC version of StarCraft II to control playing the game remotely with an Apple iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Now a new video has been released that shows how the app, the RTS Gameboard, works with Blizzard's sci-fi RTS sequel.

As you can see from the video, the app works basically like a remote keyboard that controls the gameplay in StarCraft II. The app's creator insists in the video that the client software that you have to install on your home PC is not a hack or cheat for StarCraft II. He claims that the game simply looks at the client software as a keyboard for the game. Of course, Blizzard may feel differently as they have made it clear that using any kind of third party hacks in the game could get you banned. The RTS Gameboard app and client software could be made available as early as next week with a price of $2.99.

Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice comic now available for free for iPad/iPhone

Last week, Valve released the fourth and final part of the free online comic book adaptation of Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice. The massive comic, drawn by Michael Avon Fleming, serves as a companion to the just released DLC campaign for both versions of Valve's zombie shooter series.

But if you don't want to mess with checking out each page of the 178 page comic on its official web site or download the PDF file, you can now check out the entire four "issue" saga on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch device. The comic is available for free via the Comixology app for all three of Apple's portable devices.

Pocket Legends to get PC-iPhone-iPad cross-platform play

Wouldn't you love to play a game on the iPhone, play that same game again on the iPad and then go ahead and play it on the PC? That's what developer Spacetime Studios wants to do with its casual MMO game Pocket Legends. It announced this week its plans to provide cross-platform play for the game with all of the previously mentioned devices along with the iPod Touch and the Android platform.

Spacetime Studios, who recently received some venture capital money, is developing this game using its own Spacetime 3D MMO graphics engine. The engine will be made to third party developers sometime in 2011 but no pricing plans were revealed. Meanwhile Pocket Legends is already available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. There's no word yet on when the PC version will be released.

Guild Wars 2 web site reveals more info on smartphone and iPad apps

Earlier this month our sister site Massively reported that developer ArenaNet was creating applications for smartphones and Apple's iPad that will link to ArenaNet's upcoming MMO Guild Wars 2. Today the game's official web site revealed more about its plans for the "Extended Experience".

As you can see from the image above the iPad and other devices (including the iPhone, the iPod Touch and smartphones using Google's Android OS) will let players see a 2D map and watch and chat with their friends as they play in the world of Guild Wars 2. But ArenaNet also plans to release " a series of apps that will share information with each other and the Guild Wars 2 system in ways that simply haven't been done before." Examples include using apps to examine a player's character (stats, equipment, achievements, etc.). Another app will let players place a finger on the 2D world map. That location will be seen by other players in the game world itself.

Rumor: StarCraft II to be controlled from your iPhone or iPad?

StarCraft II is one of the few games that came out at the same time for both the PC and the Mac platforms but now a company claims that it has come up with a way to play Blizzard's RTS game from even more Apple platforms; namely your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

A web site has been set up to promote the upcoming release of the Starcraft 2 Gameboard, an app that will supposedly allow you to play the game via all of the above mentioned portable devices (ironically the app will only interface with the PC version of the game; there's no support for the Mac port). The web site claims the app will be released in mid-September for $2.99 and will let players have access to the game's hot keys and macros, along with unit stats and mini-map control.

While the site's FAQ page claims that this app doesn't modify StarCraft 2's game code and "works almost as another keyboard" for the game it's possible that Blizzard may not see it that way. We will email them to get a response for this app.

[Via Kotaku]

Big Download's News Bits & Bytes - August 23

Gamescom is over but the new PC game announcements are still coming. A new game based on the Neverwinter Nights D&D universe but made by an MMO developer? That's wild.

Quakecon 2010: Anger management goes mobile; id shows off Rage for iPhone

Described as a "side project" during the Quakecon 2010 keynote speech, John Carmack revealed development of Rage for the iPhone. A working demo showed the game operating at 60 fps using the Rage Engine (complete with megatextures) on an iPhone 4, but Carmack assures viewers that it will also work on a 3G. Graphics are on par, if not better, than anything that can be done on the original Xbox or PlayStation 2. The mobile version of Rage is a small, cheap, version that's meant mainly for showing off. Ultimately, id is aiming to release Rage, then follow-up with smaller titles that tie into the big one.

Carmack also states that iPhone projects can be ported over to Android devices, but that won't happen for some time. They'll see how things work out in about six months or so. The iPhone version of Rage is expected to be be hundreds of megabytes, which may be a consideration for people looking to conserve space on their iPhones and iPads. It will also be a huge power drain, so a 30 fps version will be made available. No estimated release window was announced.

[via Kotaku]

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