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From Declawed DRM To More CoD Subscription Rumours - News Roundup 4th January 2011

Jonathan Lester
Activision, Avatar Kinect, Call Of Duty, CES, iFling, iPad, Kinect, Microsoft, Pokemon Black and White, Subscriptions, Ubisoft DRM

Pokemon Black & White Gets English Trailer

Pokemon Black & White has finally received an English language trailer ahead of its March US release date... and it's actually a very interesting precedent. Previous videos suggest that the gameplay formula has remained unchanged, but this recent video seems to hint at a "new adventure" and storyline this time around. We've been clamouring for a more interesting premise and context for the poaching/inhumane bloodsports for years- and it seems that this latest iteration may be set to deliver.

On the other hand, all this coronation business is probably just going to release a legendary Pokemon that we'll have to catch before hitting Victory Road. With 150 new critters to catch, we probably wouldn't have time for the extra exposition anyway...

Ubisoft Declaws Evil DRM

From Declawed DRM To More CoD Subscription Rumours - News Roundup 4th January 2011

One of 2010's biggest controversies stemmed from Ubisoft's 'evil' DRM. Sick of rampant PC piracy, the active Digital Rights Management system forced Assassin's Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction players (amongst others) to remain constantly connected to the internet... on pain of instant quitting and loss of progress. Despite adding cloud saving functionality and a few other upgrades, this state of affairs was a massive pain in the ass.

Thankfully, Ubi has announced that the DRM no longer requires a constant internet connection to function- just a valid connection during installation. It looks like not ragging on the disenfranchised PC crowd is one of their New Years resolutions... [PC Gamer]

Analysts Predict Incoming "Second Tier" CoD Subscriptions

From Declawed DRM To More CoD Subscription Rumours - News Roundup 4th January 2011

Again with these rumours. Wedbush Morgan is still banging on about the possibility that Activision's set to monetize its Call of Duty multiplayer. This time, they suggest that a premium "second tier" will be imminently added  to Call of Duty: Black Ops (adding new features for a higher price) while leaving regular multiplayer free. This would be a sneaky way of getting around their promises to never charge for online multiplayer; akin to EA's Gun Club or BFBC2's VIP membership.

Activision remains a top pick, primarily due to the company’s potential to create and monetize a second tier of multiplayer online gaming for its Call of Duty franchise. - Wedbush Morgan January Newsletter

We'll keep you posted. [Kotaku]

Rumour Control: Microsoft To Reveal Avatar Kinect At CES?

From Declawed DRM To More CoD Subscription Rumours - News Roundup 4th January 2011

Microsoft is set to deliver its Consumer Electronics Show keynote speech on Wednesday night... and a number of rumours are floating around regarding a new Kinect service. Entitled Avatar Kinect, this new software update will reportedly allow avatars to interact on Xbox Live as well as share social experiences such as ESPN. A few leaked presentation slides suggest that these rumours are probably right on the money, but it remains to be seen whether Avatar Kinect will be a single standalone download or part of a sweeping Kinect update.

Microsoft will be streaming their keynote speech live on their Facebook page- and we'll be keeping a close eye on what transpires. [Glimpsedog]

And Finally: I'm A Real Thumbstick!

As Matt mused in the 2010 retrospective, the iPad has become a legitimate gaming platform with one major weakness: the hateful virtual thumbstick. This has been a barrier to entry since the earliest days of iPhone gaming, but the new iFling suction cup peripheral is set to change the way we play forever.

You know, by sticking a thumbstick onto your iPad. We still can't quite work out whether it's complete genius or completely pointless, but I can't believe no-one thought of it sooner!

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