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New Xbox this time next year?

Microsoft might have a new Xbox for the 2013 holiday season.

A new report from Bloomberg suggests that Microsoft might be readying the successor to the Xbox 360 for the 2013 holiday season. We here at CNET have been speculating the company might do the big unveiling at E3 2013 next summer and then set up a release shortly after. Some of the rumored features of the next Xbox -- aside from an obvious bump in performance -- are a Blu-ray drive and a more precise version of Kinect.

Industry site Telecoms.com has discovered some information about the iPhone 5'… Read more

Xbox co-creator channels arcade classics at mobile-game startup

Innovative Leisure is a startup with a singular purpose: Create great mobile-gaming experiences. To accomplish that mission, co-founder Seamus Blackley has assembled a crew of industry veterans who know a thing or two about developing popular titles.

The team includes the developers responsible for arcade classics like Asteroids and Centipede; Battlezone; Major Havoc; and Missile Command. In other words, some of the most popular titles in gaming history.

The coming together of the startup has been largely credited to Blackley, who also helped launch the original Xbox at Microsoft before leaving the company in 2002. So one might question whether … Read more

Saints Row: The Third taste of anarchy

It may have been fair to call Volition's first Saints Row game a Grand Theft Auto clone back in 2006, but since then the series has evolved into something that goes way beyond an attempt to emulate Rockstar Games' flagship franchise.

Saints Row has solidified its place in the gaming landscape by redefining what it means to be considered over the top. With Saints Row: The Third, Volition has presented its best chaos simulator to date.

The Saints have conquered their previous home city of Stilwater, and with the realization that their gang's brand has tremendous value, are now moving on to bigger and better things in the town of Steelport. Cops are the least of your worries here--it's the rival gangs you'll need to constantly deal with.… Read more

Behind the scenes: The making of Homefront

Released last week for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, Homefront tells the story of a future in which a united Korea has become mad with power and is in the process of invading a crumbling and vulnerable United States. Players assume the role of Robert Jacobs, an ex-Marine who joins up with the American Resistance, a scattered group of freedom fighters who swear to defend the country at all costs.

We got to sit down with Homefront's Design Director, David Votypka of Kaos Studios, to talk about the challenges of making a title with such controversial content, adapting writer John Milius' story into a game, and more.

Equal parts "Children of Men" and "Red Dawn," Homefront is a game whose story is easily one of the most engrossing we've experienced in quite some time, complete with an extremely convincing, cinematic opening. It's this narrative that instantly radiates through the player, creating more than enough reason to see Homefront all the way through. Though there are certainly a fair share of disturbing moments, at times Homefront is able to blur the line between a story and a video game. We asked Votypka about the hurdles in dealing with these very real and serious topics.

Votypka explained that video games, as a medium, are maturing and that he and the studio felt it was important not to shy away from the gruesome images found in plenty of R-rated films. Votypka says that Homefront definitely pushed boundaries that other titles may not wish to tackle. Having played through the game, we can confirm Homefront has a few moments that separate it from the pack.… Read more

San Franciscans angry over video game balloon stunt

Update (Wednesday, 5:17 p.m. PST): This story now has a response from The Marine Mammal Center and The California Department of Fish and Game about the potentially hazardous effects of balloon litter on wildlife.

SAN FRANCISCO--Dozens of red balloons released today as a video game promotion ended up in the San Francisco Bay, causing anger among those who see the balloons as an environmental threat and an immediate danger to fish, birds, and other wildlife.

During the Game Developers Conference here, video game publisher THQ released hundreds of the balloons in conjunction with a promotion for its new … Read more

The 404 767: Where lady, you're scaring us (podcast)

Today's show title comes from the Sloppy Joe scene in "Billy Madison" and continues our weeklong tribute to Adam Sandler's comedic repertoire. We know how you kids like 'em shloppy!

Jeff uses the first bit of the episode to bemoan the Washington, D.C., legal system for its use of traffic-ticketing speed detectors in deserted 40 mph stretches of road.

Take a look at the video and let us know if you think Jeff's ticket is warranted, taking into consideration his admission of guilt on a live, recorded podcast that is definitely admissible in a court of law. Cool story bro!

Now onto the first of today's stories: game company THQ is organizing an anti-North Korean rally in San Francisco to protest the country's dictatorship and abhorrent human rights violations.

The walk from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Yerba Buena Gardens will feature speeches by economic experts, musicians, and the launching of 10,000 balloons.

But the other side of the story is that THQ is also throwing the rally to promote its upcoming shooter game called Homefront that puts the player in control of an American soldier challenging North Korean forces in a dystopian occupied United States. Keeping with last week's discussion of the violent realism in Call of Juarez, could this be another case of too real, too soon?… Read more

THQ: Games should be priced at $40

If you're tired of spending $60 for a video game, you should be hoping that THQ President Brian Farrell has some clout in the industry.

A $40 price tag for video games could benefit both gamers and publishers trying to generate more revenue, Farrell said yesterday at the BMO Capital Markets Digital Entertainment conference in New York City.

"Investors are thinking 'can we hold the $59.99 price point?' and what we're thinking about the business is turning it on its head a little bit," Farrell said at the conference, according to GamesIndustry.biz. "It'… Read more

A doodling tablet coming to the Wii

A doodle pad is noodling its way to the Wii.

Game developer THQ unveiled on Tuesday the uDraw GameTablet. The accessory, which is designed exclusively for the Wii, allows people to draw and color on a 4-inch by 6-inch surface with a detachable stylus. As the player draws on the tablet, the artwork will show up on your television screen. The tablet's uDraw Studio software, which comes with the tablet, is what allows players to draw and color.

A Wii version of Pictionary and a new title called Dood's Big Adventure will be sold separately.

THQ CEO Brian … Read more