Create your own games in LittleBigPlanet 2

Following Friday's unofficial confirmation of LittleBigPlanet 2, Sony on Monday made the game's existence official. Monday morning, the PlayStation Blog took the wraps off the sequel, which first surfaced in April via a loose-lipped musician's Twitter post. That outing came five months after a level designer at the game's developer, Media Molecule, shot down sequel talk, saying a retail follow-up would be "counterproductive" to the game's massive community.

Monday, Sony made much of the achievements of said community--which has created more than 2 million levels for LittleBigPlanet--when it formally announced LittleBigPlanet 2, which … Read more

Nintendo chief: 3DS will have a 2D switch

Details about Nintendo's 3D handheld gaming device have been scarce since it was announced in late March. But the company's president says it will have a feature that lets gamers turn off 3D functionality and play in standard 2D.

CEO Satoru Iwata didn't elaborate on how the option on the 3DS will work, the Associated Press reported Friday, but he did say that health concerns related to "children's eyesight" are a key factor in why the company decided to include 2D functionality in the device.

The 3DS, which will replace the DS, is set … Read more

Reports: Zynga may launch social-games network

It may owe its fortunes to Facebook, but the word is that social-gaming giant Zynga is getting ready to launch its own site in a bid to wean itself from its dependency on the popular social network.

According to TechCrunch, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus hosted a company meeting Thursday afternoon in which he asserted that hit games like Farmville, Mafia Wars, Cafe World and others might soon appear on their own social games site called Zynga Live.

"'Pincus announced at a 5 p.m. meeting yesterday at Zynga that Zynga was going to launch a social game network called Zynga Live,'" TechCrunch wrote, quoting from an anonymous insider e-mail.

The theory here is that Zynga and Facebook are clashing over the percentage that the social gaming giant might have to pay to use Facebook Credits, the social network's nascent currency platform.

"'Facebook and Zynga [have] been negotiating on Facebook Credits and the talks turned for the worst,'" TechCrunch quoted the e-mail as saying. "'In the negotiation process, Facebook shut off Zynga's feeds and threatened to shut down games. Zynga, in the process, threatened to completely leave Facebook and prepared to do so in the previous upcoming weeks."… Read more

Zynga pulls pit bulls from Mafia Wars after complaint

Virtual meat hooks, flame throwers, and propane bombs are OK, but attack dogs are not: social-gaming behemoth Zynga has removed pit bulls from its roster of virtual weaponry in the Mafia Wars game after a complaint last month on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PETA's reasoning is that promoting a domestic animal as a weapon will only encourage misunderstanding and abuse of pit bulls, which have been routinely used in illegal dog-fighting activities and are often subject to horrific conditions as their owners attempt to toughen them up. The breed of dog has gotten bad … Read more

Toy Story 3 game celebrates Pixar's spirit of play

EMERYVILLE, Calif.--Call it Toy Story 3.5.

That's what Pixar's Jason Katz, at least, called Toy Story 3: The Video Game, during a press event for the game at the famous animation studio's headquarters here Wednesday.

Katz, the story supervisor on the forthcoming "Toy Story 3," which will hit theaters on June 18, was explaining to a group of reporters that while the game version of the film is very true to its source material, it also stands on its own and extends the franchise. Someone who plays the game and then sees the … Read more

Xbox gamer wins $1 million for perfect score

Who knew video games could be so profitable? An Alabama man is $1 million richer because of his skillful pitching--in MLB 2K10.

Two months ago, Wade McGilberry, 24, of Semmes, Ala., entered a contest to be the first person to pitch a perfect baseball game in the video game.

McGilberry told CBS "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith he didn't play video games for hours at a time before the contest. He said he only played about a half-hour to an hour every day--"until his wife (got) home."

And he didn't play sports games. He said he previously played only first-person shooter games, such as Halo 3 and Call of Duty. But that changed when he learned about the contest by video game company 2K Sports.

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After he got his wife Katie's permission to compete, McGilberry said, he even talked with her about missing work to devote his time to the game. As it turns out, he didn't have to miss work at all.

McGilberry tried several times to pitch the perfect game, getting stuck repeatedly on the fifth inning. In addition to the stress of playing online, McGilberry had to verify he was playing the game by videotaping his play.

However, after five tries and finally reaching the seventh inning, he knew he was onto something. … Read more

Give Road Trip gadget tips, get Halo codes

If I had any doubts that you wanted Halo: Reach beta codes, they were put to rest by the responses I got over the last few days after I offered up 10 codes in return for suggestions of where I should go on my forthcoming CNET Road Trip project.

In response to my offer, I got close to 200 suggestions, many of which were terrific, and some of which I'll likely visit during the trip. And the codes lasted just hours.

Now, however, I've got 10 more Halo: Reach codes to offer you. This time, though, I'm … Read more

RealNetworks launches social-game platform

RealNetworks may be best-known for its audio- and video-streaming technologies, its stake in the Rhapsody music service, and the recent drama of its RealDVD software litigation, but the company hopes to be just as well-known for its new social-gaming platform.

Officially launched at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco this week, "GameHouse Fusion" is a platform for developers to build social features into their games with minimal effort. Think of it like what companies like Aurora Feint and Ngmoco have done for iPhone games--but for every platform.

The service creates a profile for gamers based on … Read more

Sony offers extended warranties on PS3, PSP

Sony has launched a program that lets PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable owners protect their gaming devices after the initial warranty runs out.

The PlayStation Protection Plan, announced Monday, offers U.S.-based owners a one-year or two-year extended warranty for their PS3 or PSP. The plan basically extends the coverage available in the manufacturer's one-year warranty, which covers repairs at no charge done by "PlayStation-trained service technicians." Shipping is included.

Pricing for the PlayStation 3 starts at $44.99 for one year of protection. A two-year PS3 warranty costs $59.99. For the PSP and PSP … Read more

Halo: Reach beta opens to millions

Starting Monday morning, millions of Halo fans got their first chance at what Microsoft is calling the largest video game console beta in history.

After building up excitement in the Halo community for months, Microsoft and its partners at Bungie Studios opened the Halo: Reach beta. Most people who get into the multiplayer beta will do so via game discs from a previous version of the franchise, Halo 3: ODST. The beta is set to last until May 19. However, some people were able to score beta codes in a variety of contests, including one on CNET News.

The full … Read more