Yesterday's surprising news that Amazon had acquired Twitch led to some rather immediate and obvious questions: What could Amazon possibly want with Twitch, for one, and what happened to the deal with Google? As it turns out, Amazon sees very big things ahead for gaming, and Google was never quite as close to claiming the throne as we thought.
Update: A post on Twitch's website confirms the rumors: Amazon.com is buying the streaming site.
Remember last month when it came out that Google was buying Twitch for $1 billion? It looks like those reports may have been premature, as the word on the street now is that Amazon is "late-stage talks" to acquire the company.
YouTube has acquired Twitch, if a new report is accurate. According to Variety the deal is worth $1 billion dollars and will be officially announced 'imminently', according to sources "familiar with the pact". The report also indicates that the Google subsidiary is expecting a battle with U.S. regulators before the purchase can be finalised, due to potential anticompetitive concerns in the online-video market.
You'd be forgiven for not having heard about Google, an internet search engine that never really took off. If you've not visited it before, here's the link. Alternatively you can Bing it, or Yahoo it, or Lycos it, or AltaVista it. I'd also suggest you Ask Jeeves, but the poor guy must be rushed off his feet serving new internet minutia to his billions of users. Here's a fun idea: imagine an alternate universe where Google was somehow the most popular search engine, and today celebrated the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who with an enjoyable game playable from its front page?
I’m not the first person to admit that I don’t have the firmest grasp on quantum mechanics or the computational mechanics that utilize them. Sure, I’ll bust out the Schrodinger’s cat situation at the many intellectual gatherings I’m totally invited to, but that’s where my familiarity with all things quantum ends. Google’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab wants that to change for the world’s youth, and found the best way to accomplish that task was through non-other than Minecraft.
It's Friday afternoon, which - if you're reading this in the right timezones - means it's time to kick back, let your work-rate slow to a crawl and enter Weekend Chill-Out Mode. At least, that's what's happened to the PC Gamer office, where the existence of GeoGuessr has sent us into a competitive flurry of locational sluething.
If you've always wanted to roll a metal ball around on a 3D version of your favourite PC games website, then I truly hope you're seeking professional help. Also: you can now do that thing I just said, thanks to this weird, cool experiment from Google Chrome. Ignore the bit where it tells you to hook up your phone, and persevere through the frequent dropped connections, because this nifty little game is totally worth it. Not so much for the game itself, which is a sort of Marble Madness/Monkey Ball mash-up, but for the chance to interact with your favourite websites - you can use this on any site - in a new and bizarre way. Thanks to World Wide Maze, I now know what it feels like to roll around on a multi-tiered environment generated from my own words. It feels strange.
It could be seen as another step towards Google's long term plan to make the browser the default platform for PC gaming. It's also worth pointing out that Firefox has had the same feature for a while now; indeed Google directs you to a Mozilla site to try it out. You should try it, it's called Bananabread and surprisingly good.
Of course, they know what you search for - but as seen in a new white paper, Google also takes a deep interest in the trends and habits of people searching for the next hot thing. In this case, games. The highlight is that success in search appears to have a strong correlation with sales figures, giving Google a heads-up on what's going to sell, and what's going to be the next Syndicate...
ArenaNet president Mike O'Brien continued the Guild Wars 2 developer's player community outreach today with a helpful overview on safeguarding accounts against hacking. Among the tips was an announcement by O'Brien of plans for Google Authenticator integration with Guild Wars 2.
Google+ was designed to bring down Facebook. Thanks to backing from the likes of Wooga and PopCap, it even launched with its own suite of games to challenge Facebook giants like Farmville. Things haven't quite turned out that way, though. Gamasutra report that PopCap and Wooga are taking their games off the service less than a year after it launched. Ouch.
Gamasutra realised that something was up when they approached the two companies asking for Google+ success stories. A PopCap rep responded by saying "we're not really up for a conversation on that topic, I'm afraid." Ouch.
In a move that's sure to decimate the productivity of a million offices worldwide, Google have programmed a mini-game into their search engine. Head over to Google and type in the words "zerg rush" to find out what happens. I won't spoil it for you, but it involves a lot of clicking, and will award you a high score at the end that you can share with friends and colleagues on Google+. Let the procrastinating begin!
What were you most interested in this year? According to Google, it was Battlefield 3 that topped the list of games-related search terms on the internet for 2011, making it into the company's annual top ten of fastest rising queries for the year.
Google have just finished a talk at GDC where they highlight the potential of the Chrome Web Store and what it can do to help app developers monetise their ideas successfully.
The Chrome Web Store launched back in December, and since it's release has been gathering momentum. The system has been compared to Apple's iTunes App Store and Google's own Android Market, but rather than for portable devices the Web Store is - like it's name suggests - within your browser. From here in your Chrome window you can access a plethora of apps - including games such as RuneScape - which can then be run within your browser. Read on for all the details.
During a talk at GDC 2011, Vincent Scheib, a software engineer at Google, has shown off the future of web-based gaming with impressive browser-based demos which don't require plugins or web players to work.
Speaking to PC Gamer live at the show he says: "A lot of the tech is available today but in a beta or test form. You don’t have to use flash. As we move forward, the browsers are dedicated to supplying new technology to support higher quality applications."
Hit more for a video, and to try out the demos.