FaceRig maps your face onto a 3D avatar in real time

Ever have days where you're not quite feeling yourself? Soon you may be able to make yourself into someone else -- at least online.

A team of veteran game developers from Romania have built what they're calling FaceRig, a piece of software that maps your facial movements in real time onto the head of an animated character. The project's currently making a run on Indiegogo, where it has far surpassed its $120,000 fundraising goal with 28 days left to go in the campaign.

Although the use of such software would at this point be highly limited in actual games, its purpose -- at least initially -- is a little more realistic. The idea is to stream the resultant output to Skype, Twitch, or any other Webcam-based service. The program uses real-time image-based tracking technology developed by Sweden's Visage Technologies, and audio processing to alter your voice to make you sound more like a character. … Read more

Pizza Hut: Xbox 360 owners are really hungry

Pizza Hut has found a delicious home on the Xbox 360.

Speaking to Polygon in an interview published Wednesday, Pizza Hut public relations director Doug Terfehr said that his company's app on the Xbox 360 has "been a source of unbelievable growth for us." According to Terfehr, Pizza Hut has generated $1 million in revenue after just four months on the console.

Pizza Hut launched its app on Xbox Live last year. The app allows gamers to place their pizza orders from the console, and then either pick them up or have them delivered.

Terfehr wouldn't … Read more

PlayStation Now will need DualShock for all devices

Sony's cloud-delivered gaming service, PlayStation Now, will require a bit of help from the company's DualShock controller.

Speaking to The Verge in an interview published Thursday, Sony PlayStation Marketing VP John Koller confirmed that to control on-screen titles through PlayStation Now, users will "need to have the DualShock to be able to play."

Interestingly, not all DualShocks will work on every device. The DualShock 4 will obviously work with streaming to the PlayStation 4, but the company's Bravia TV line will require DualShock 3. Tablets and smartphones will also need the DualShock 3, according to … Read more

Alibaba to get its mobile gaming on, report says

Alibaba, the e-commerce company in China that has established itself as one of the country's most successful online firms, is headed to mobile, according to a new report.

Alibaba plans to launch a mobile-gaming service that could be integrated into both its messaging application and its e-commerce service, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the company's plans. Those who don't want to be tied to another app to play games will be able to access a standalone mobile-gaming app from the company, the Journal's sources say.

China is … Read more

Sony at CES: 4.2M PlayStation 4 consoles sold in 2013

Sony has sold more than 4.2 million PlayStation 4 gaming consoles, the company announced Tuesday at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Andrew House, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said the PS4 launch was the largest console launch ever with Sony selling 2.1 million consoles in the first two weeks. That figure grew to 4.2 million units as of December 28, he boasted at Sony's keynote event.

The figure beats Microsoft's Xbox One sales as of the end of 2013. Microsoft said it sold 3 million units by the end … Read more

2K Sports tells MLB 2K games 'you're out,' report says

Take-Two Interactive's 2K Sports has decided to put an end to its Major League Baseball (MLB) relationship.

Gaming site Polygon reported on Monday that 2K Sports was thinking about getting out of the MLB business and was able to confirm the news last night. In a statement, a representative from 2K Sports said that the company has "decided not to renew our MLB 2K series for 2014." The representative went on to reassure fans that the NBA 2K franchise, which is the top-selling basketball franchise in the industry, will live on.

Although 2K Sports has set itself … Read more

China lifts sales ban on foreign game consoles...for now

China has suspended a 10-year-old ban against sales of foreign video-game consoles.

Pointing to a statement from China's State Council, Reuters reported Tuesday that "foreign-invested enterprises" will now be allowed to make game consoles within Shanghai's free trade zone and sell them to Chinese consumers after inspection by the country's cultural departments. The State Council didn't indicate how long the reprieve may last.

Even if the ban's suspension is permanent, though, console makers would face a range of challenges adapting themselves to the market, Reuters noted.

Chinese gamers are used to getting their … Read more

Valve's Steam Machine lineup poses massive threat to gaming status quo

LAS VEGAS -- Valve isn't known to push promises or boast bold claims, yet all eyes are on CEO Gabe Newell's empire in anticipation of its all-in moment. Because instead of loudly laying a roadmap, Valve has silently amassed influence -- Steam now has 65 million active users -- and built free open-source tools, like SteamOS, that can now be used on any gaming rig, even one you design yourself. Those calculations have all led here, the launch of the Steam Machine as the first credible gaming alternative to the console juggernauts.

At CES 2014, we're watching … Read more

Is this a clue for code-breaking scavenger hunt Cicada 3301?

Break out your tinfoil hats. The next installment of a mysterious code-breaking scavenger hunt may have been released on Monday.

According to contributing editors of a Wikia page on the topic, a tweet from the Twitter account that was previously associated with Cicada 3301 has posted a link to a photo on the site Imgur. There have been nearly a dozen photos claiming to be the 2014 clue for the puzzle posted on the image-sharing board 4chan over the weekend, but many have been debunked.

Like with previous years, the apparent clue is white text on a black background. This time it reads, "Hello. Epiphany is upon you. Your pilgrimage has begun. Enlightenment awaits. Good luck. 3301." … Read more

Microsoft: 3 million Xbox One consoles sold

Consumers bought more than 3 million Xbox One consoles before the end of last year, Microsoft said on Monday.

In a blog flaunting the new feat, Yusuf Mehdi, Xbox marketing vice president, revealed that more than 3 million were sold to consumers across 13 countries before 2013 came to a close. The Xbox executive called that a "record-setting pace for Xbox" following its distinction as the fastest-selling game console in the U.S. during its November launch month.

Mehdi said that Microsoft has been delighted by the response of Xbox One owners who raced through Prague streets in &… Read more