An APB beta participant recently noticed a "VOIP Premium" option in his account management page, which promises to keep ads off of the in-game chat program in exchange for real-life monies. Developer Realtime Worlds was quick to clarify the terms of these ads: they'll only play when traveling between Districts, and only if the player hasn't heard an advertisement in the last three hours.
So you don't need to worry about being in the middle of a conversation and have a McDonald's commercial interrupt you, telling you to get a delicious quarter pounder or something. The reason behind the in-game adds are unknown but I have my own theory. When we talked about the APB payment method a little while ago, I pointed out that for 30 days of gameplay it is only $9.99, making 30 days of gameplay 5 dollars cheaper than your average MMO monthly fee of $15. I believe the in-game ads are what make their price possible. So if I have to listen to a few ads to shave a few bucks off of a monthly fee, sign me up.
Luckily for all you readers and listeners out there, we have been granted access to an exclusive beta of APB, and we will give you updates and details as we're allowed to. We here at the show are excited about this new game! Look out for the PLuGHiTz Platoon!
Bing Entertainment launched this week and with it, Microsoft has given users the ability to stream and purchase music through the Zune MP3 store right from the search results. It only made sense for the Zune store to now also accept credit cards, after a long time of only being able to accept Microsoft points. Zune.net hasn't been able to be used to purchase music until this change was made; users would have to buy Microsoft points before they could actually purchase the songs they wanted. Adversely, consumers would have to access the Zune Marketplace or install the Zune software to accomplish what they wanted to do. Microsoft had to consider all consumers who may not have these devices or software installed who could be potential users of their services.
Hit the break to see what Microsoft had to say about this change.
Sony posted a new entry on their PlayStation blog this week, hoping to clarify some questions and confusion regarding their new PlayStation Plus package announced at E3 last week.
We have some more details about the plan. While this is for Europe (who cares) and other foreign countries, we can assume the details of the plan will be similar here in the States. Sony looks to launch the service on Tuesday, June 29th and it will include games, discounts, exclusive items in the PlayStation Store, full game trials and automatic downloads of content. The current PSN features will stay free, as Sony looks to not alienate their existing customer base with these additions. As we discussed in our original article about this, subscriptions can be purchased in three month or one year duration. One new detail we found out, however, is that if you sign up between launch day and August 3rd for a one year subscription, you will also receive a downloadable copy of LittleBigPlanet for free. The copy will be yours even after your subscription should expire.
Want to know what else is included and some more details? Hit the break and check it all out!
Ever since last week's Nintendo press conference at E3 2010, everyone has been talking about the new Nintendo 3DS. What everyone seems to have forgotten is that no real games were announced, other than Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Satoru Iwata had something to say about that in a Q&A:
Everyone here at PLuGHiTz Live! Radio that has a phone capable of using Foursquare uses it constantly but fortunately for Foursquare their user base extends beyond us and continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This is part of the reason why this location-based social networking service has been receiving enormous amounts of attention from investment groups and large Internet companies such as Yahoo! and Facebook. The other reason is because interested companies like the amount of innovation the service has seen over the past several months. Many of the talks with prospective investors have come close to closing but have fallen short. Their deal with Facebook, which is who Foursquare CEO and co-founder Dennis Crowley wants to work with the most, is on the rocks as they are finding it difficult to negotiate for more cash rather than stock in the social networking giant.
Foursqure has also been involved in an on-again-off-again relationship with Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm. The two companies were discussing an 80 million dollar deal when Horowitz backed out saying the negotiating process was too complicated, lengthy and public for their liking. Three weeks ago Horowitz made another offer for less than the original 80 million but the amount is unknown.
It seems like Foursquare is playing around with some big and wealthy companies but I'm not sure they will be in a position to drag them along much longer. They have already been in negotiations for several months with Facebook and Andreessen Horowitz, seemingly their two most interested potential investors, but they aren't getting the interest that Twitter received despite the fact that their service is much more useful and innovative. That being said, it will be interesting to see who they sign a deal with, for how much, and what they will be able to do with the funding.
Everyone seems to agree that one of the biggest wins at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) was Nintendo's announcement of the glasses-less 3DS. Sony, however, was the banner-waver for 3D gaming as they have been in the rest of the entertainment industry for 3D content.
The surprise, then, will be that Sony has no plans to incorporate any type of 3D experience into their next version of the PSP, affectionately called the PSP2 among the industry.