Blizzard Entertainment has recently announced that the third installment of their popular MMORPG title World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has sold more than 4.7 million copies within it’s first month of release. This juggernaut title has now officially set a new record in the PC-game sales category.
Setting records is nothing new to Blizzard, and it appears as though they were on the hunt to truly out do themselves this time around. Cataclysm was launched simultaneously in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Russia, SouthEast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand this past December 7th. With Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Korea coming online just 2 days later, Blizzard pulled off a record 3.3 million units sold in one day.
This data was garnered from Blizzard company records and reports from trusted key distributors. Blizzard also included digital distribution figures in this data. This new record shatters the previous one day sales record, held by … you guessed it, Blizzard, specifically in relation to their second WoW expansion pack: World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King.
“We created thousands of new quests, introduced new lands to explore, and extensively revamped the game world for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, making it our biggest and most ambitious expansion yet,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment in a statment. “We’ve been floored by the community’s response so far, and we’d like to thank them for their continued passion and support for World of Warcraft, and for helping Cataclysm reach this incredible milestone.”
While exact figures are never disclosed by Blizzard, they’ve previously reported that the World of Warcraft franchise has peaked at 12 million players from around the world (again, no word if this is active players, and does not mention multiple characters tied to the same account). As we’ve seen the gradual free-to-play-ification of the gaming industry over the past few years, Blizzard is one of the very few remaining online gaming companies that has stuck to it’s “Subscription only” based monetization model.
In a press release, Apple CEO Steve Jobs says, “One million iPads in 28 days–that’s less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone. Demand continues to exceed supply and we’re working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers.”
To date, iPad users have downloaded 12 million apps and 1.5 million ebooks.
Early estimates from industry analysts placed 1.3 million iPads sold by the end of June. As per usual, Apple is blowing predictions out of the water.
And in related news…
Games Developer legend David Perry has been working on some exciting stuff over the past few years, least of which is his Gaikai project. At it’s root, Gaikai is a browser based game streaming technology that uses server side streaming.
Great. Browser based games are nothing new, and at first glance, Gaikai might just be another run of the mill, games in browser technology. However,
When’s the last time you played WoW on anything other than your desktop?
Perry recently posted this image to his personal blog, showing a live copy of World of Warcraft running on an iPad (or a really good photoshop job). What’s interesting about this is that Gaikai is designed to work with a Flash Player, which obviously isn’t going to happen on an iPad. So has Perry cracked the code, or is this a prototype version of the game specifically designed for Perry and co. to test with? Either or … expect to see WoW on the go in one form or another in the near future.
As a gamer, of course I’m aware of Razer’s line of products, but sadly, they’re still serving the winblows world, and only offer one mac supported mouse. It’s white and cute, but feels more like a laptop, on the go business type mouse, rather than something substantial under hand. And while Razer’s still sticking with the Redmond crowd, they have recently announced that they’ve started shipping an industry first: and MMO specific mouse.
Dubbed the Naga, Razer bills this new input device as the next level in gaming mice for MMO players. Tested in combination with leading MMO gamers and community sites, including the number one MMO addon go to, curse.com.
“Gaming interfaces have been growing but there’s a gap in providing gamers a true experience of control in the virtual world,” said Robert “Razerguy” Krakoff, president, Razer. “Razer’s engineering team addresses this issue with the Razer Naga, designed to be unique and innovative by offering MMO players more customization and balance in-game. “
If you’re not familiar with the typical MMO setup, the quick and dirty looks like this: Most have an action bar at the bottom of the screen that corresponds to the number keys 1-12 (1-0 plus the – and = key). This action bar allows you to press a number that corresponds to the action that you want to take, while leaving your mouse hand free to target, move, etc. Personally, I’ve developed what I consider a great skill in being able to run forward (the W key) while still being able to click on the 2 or 3 key (depending on which spell I need) to cast while on the move. What the Razer Naga seeks to address here is freeing up the left hand from having to turn/twist into unnatural key combinations (think photoshop ‘save for web’ keyboard shortcut – or the PSclaw as I’ve heard it referred to). This industry first 12 button thumb grid allows players to map the 1-12 keyboard commands to the mouse, and access them via a thumb click. Optimally, I could see this remapping allowing for a full 1-12 action bar full of macros or modifier keys.
Razer has already lined up a number of supported titles (can you have a guess which one tops the list? WoW, I knew you could do it!) and includes add-on software that will allow players to save an unlimited number of profiles. These profiles allow for thousands of in-game commands for each individual character, thereby eliminating the need to re-map every time a player re-specs a character.
Again, I’m a mac gamer, and won’t be able to test this one out in person, but admittedly, the concept is intriguing. I guess the only thing that I’d worry about is mis-clicking. Heck, I’ve been known to have a click fail now and again, and that’s with a full sized keyboard. Trying to touch feel 12 buttons under thumb might be quite a challenge. Having said that, I’m sure the average 14 year old would have it mastered in just under half an hour, and 12 additional ‘don’t click – push the button’ macros could be quite handy.
Razer Naga Stats:
COST: US: $79.99, Europe: euro 79.99
- 5600dpi Razer Precision 3.5G Laser Sensor
- 1000Hz Ultrapolling(TM) / 1ms response time
- 200 inches per second max tracking speed
- Zero-acoustic Ultraslick(TM) Teflon feet
- 17 MMO-optimized buttons (including 12 button thumb grid)
- Optional MMO-specific software AddOns
- Unlimited character profiles with AddOns
- Approximate size: 116L x 69W x 41.6H (in mm)
OMG RLY??? This is hands down the best video I’ve seen in a long time. Big props to tenakalaz for sending it over. FTW!
Zoinks! Look at all these unread articles that are simply piling up in my RSS feed reader. How the heck am I going to read all of these? You know…I wish there was just something that could make a minimal footprint and still give me all the tasty RSS feed that I love. Meh…this sucks and I feel like I’m wasting my time with this overloaded RSS feed reader. Minimize, never open again.
Does any of this sound even remotely familiar? Well stop using my voice as your narrative. But seriously, when I first became aware of what RSS was/is and how to use it, I’ll admit I went a bit overboard with the subscriptions. After a while, it got to the point where I’d read 5 or 6 feeds a day, and watch the unread items notification pile up. At one point I finally got fed up with my self-inflicted guilt, and just abandoned RSS altogether, and just went directly to the site to catch up. The problem with this is distractions, bills to pay, random acts of WoW, etc.
Enter stage right (left, top or bottom if you prefer): Snackr. Thanks to Ritchie over at Datenschmutz, my faith in RSS has been restored. I stopped by his laboratory the other day and happened to notice this slick little news ticker running up the left side of his second monitor. A closer inspection revealed that the news was actually coming from a variety of sites. “You don’t know Snackr?” says Ritchie. A short 20-minute subway ride home, and I’m all over Snackr.
Snackr is missing an e. Yes, snackr is missing an e, but hey, flickr gets away with it, and I think this tiny little app might have the same appeal to me as the world’s best photo sharing site, as I believe Snackr to be the worlds best RSS feed reader. The concept is simple enough: Snackr is an RSS ticker that pulls random articles from RSS feeds you select (i.e. news you want to read). You can then select where you’d like the ticker to be displayed. I personally have it running up the left side of my screen, as I slightly offset all windows to the right anyway, it made perfect sense.
I’ll admit that the system is not perfect, it’s a heckuva lot more intuitive than logging into a feed reader and sitting there idly and reading. Instead of having to stay on top of the feeds 2-3-4 times a day, I’ve not got news scrolling along in the background. Not to mention that I’ve now got any breaking news right in front of my eyes as it happens. Once I see a title that grabs me, it’s a simple click to open the feed, and depending on the source, either read the whole article or just an excerpt. Snackr always provides as link at the bottom of the window to the entire story, should you want to comment, blog about it, or view images.
The preferences panel couldn’t be easier to navigate, with options for scroll speed, keep snackr in front of other windows (something I don’t need as I set the ticker off to the left so that it’s always in view), don’t show items older than (insert number here) days old (I personally set it to 1 day, as I want the most recent news), automatically check for updates, and position of the ticker.
Adding an RSS feed to Snackr hasn’t been exactly easy, as my default RSS reader is set to AppleMail, and to be honest, I haven’t really figured out how to change it. Instead, I normally copy/past the RSS feed address into Snackr. Removal of a feed is just as easy. In the preferences panel all your feeds are listed. Simply click on the feed and then select Remove. Presto. Gone.
Another drawback is that Snackr won’t automatically remove a feed from the ticker that you’ve already viewed. It will turn the text a slightly darker shade of grey, but I’d love to see the feed removed and replaced with another article from the feed.
I’ve been testing Snackr for the past week, and as the title states, Snackr has renewed my faith (and use of) RSS feeds. I’ve found myself glancing over at it while programs load, emails download, or during flight times in WoW. Truly an awesome utility that I recommend without question.
Bonus: Snackr allows import/export of RSS feeds in OPML format. If you’re installing snackr, you can simply import my faves right on top of yours. If there are a few you don’t like…feel free to delete away.