Think you know about Assassin's Creed? Have you travelled the world with Ezio? Then prove it by taking our Assassin's Creed Travel Quiz.
As the launches of the PS4 and Xbox One near the early signs are showing that there could be a record amount of sales running up to the Christmas period and beyond.
At the Tokyo Game Show earlier this year, Sony's top bosses announced that they hoped sales would reach 5 million by 31 March 2014. Combine this with the tight competition by Xbox One and early predictions had sales at 10 million by at least March 2014.
However, pre-order sales have risen above all expectations for both consoles and the sales could reach this mark a lot sooner. Pre orders in Britain for the PS4 have taken up a lion's share of the list according to Sony Computer Entertainment's Vice President and Managing Director for the UK, Fergal Gara.
It also forced Gara to show his hand and explain that pre-orders already in place are 'almost certain' to get their hands on the console before Christmas.
Without a pre-order gamers may be waiting beyond the fiscal year before they can walk into a high street retailer and purchase one of the new consoles straight from the shelf. GAME are still taking pre-orders for PS4s and with just a £20 deposit they are guaranteeing that it will be delivered before Christmas - as long as you place your order soon!
The PS4 has every reason to be dominating most of the attention in the tech world with many new features for all Sony fans to enjoy.
With a new generation of gaming including enhanced graphics and social features with an improved PlayStation Store that learns from the individual gamer, Sony's promises are high.
This console is set to be the most personally defined in the world. As well as this the much derided PS3 Dualshock controller gets a severe upgrade from a more responsive, light and comfortable gaming experience.
The welcome addition of Remote Play with the PlayStation Vita will also provide a new and unknown dimension for PlayStation fans.
There is also further excitement as games exclusive to the new console will be released beside it such as DriveClub, Knack, The Crew and The Division. With exclusive gaming experience, the normal 'wait for a year' attitude when buying a new console has changed as the PS4 is instantly showing what it can do.
With demand increasing by the day as the launch nears, there is only a short time before avid gamers will get their hands on this coveted console.
All prices true at time of writing.
Sources for client reference:
Some intriguing news this morning courtesy of Venturebeat, who are reporting that Microsoft apparently spent over $100m developing the Xbox One controller - impressive for something that looks nearly exactly the same.
Oh, how different it could have been - apparently Redmond physically built hundreds of controller prototypes using 3D printers. Controllers had everything from built in screens to touchpads to... smellovision. Yes, that's right - Venturebeat quote one developer saying they built a controller loaded with different "slugs" that would release smells relevant to the game.
Considering the number of games where for one reason or another you end up in the sewers, I'm quite pleased this didn't come to pass.
Another rejected design apparently had a built in projector, which I guess might have been related to the sadly MIA Illumiroom technology.
So why does the controller now look essentially the same as the 360? Apparently after extensive testing with other developers and a group of "elite users" with high gamerscores, they realised that familiarity is best. Still - I'm sure there's nothing better that $100m could have been spent on, right?
What would you like to have seen on the Xbox One controller? Let us know in the comments!
Potentially good news for any 360 owners who have spent the last couple of years carefully building your castle or gigantic satellite dish - it looks as though you creation won't have to die with your Xbox 360.
As reported by UberGizmo, a recent Twitter exchange between a fan and the Xbox developers, 4J Studios, suggested that they're working on a facility to transfer saves to the forthcoming Xbox One version of the game - in contrast to earlier denials by Microsoft.
.@stampylongnose We're working on ways to move Xbox 360 saves to Xbox One with Microsoft. Can't say it'll be there until it's 100% working.— 4J Studios (@4JStudios) November 15, 2013
Whereas the size of the original PC Minecraft's world was essentially limited by how much RAM your computer has, the 360 version's available map was much smaller. This limit is set to dramatically increase with the Xbox One version.
There's no word on what form any such facility will take yet, though my money would be on some clever wrangling involving the Xbox 360's cloud saves system. Let's hope this also means that we'll see transferrable saves on other games - let's hope that as with the previous games in the series, Commander Shepherd can pick up where they left off in the inevitable Mass Effect 4.
Whilst we in the UK have to wait another week, the PS4 has today gone on sale in the United States. Finally the general public can get their hands on it... and then, of course... destroy it.
Depressingly there's an entire YouTube genre of people destroying brand new gadgets - and despite the time in the states currently being only 8:45am, several PS4s have already bitten the dust. Here's a selection.
Destruction in the queue
At Best Buy in Orlando someone decided to smash their new console right in front of the other people in the queue. Lucky they were carrying a baseball bat really.
This kid, who has over 400,000 followers on YouTube decided to destroy his PS4 in his garage. And then urinate on it. All for his YouTube fans. Is this what modern viewing is now - begging for likes on a video of a man urinating? Jacob Bronowski is spinning in his grave.
My favourite part is when he takes a baseball bat to it, only to discover it's a bit tougher than he expected.
At least this chap means business. In this video he shoots the console with two high powered rifles in slow motion - so we can watch it back at 50,000 frames per second.
Meanwhile in China, a production-line worker at Foxconn who is tasked with manufacturing the PS4 is saddened that it's so easy for someone in the west to destroy not only his hard work, but waste money equivalent to 6 weeks wages.
Finally here's a clip from the most recent American episode of South Park. Whilst no PS4 is destroyed, the war between console owners is aptly satirises:
Britain Next Week
So that's it - we've got another week until the console goes on sale over here, where things are much more civilised. We're not barbarians like the Americans - we know that if a PS4 were to be found smashed upside down in a bag that had been padlocked, say, then it would almost certainly be an accident.
The Official Nintendo Magazine are reporting that a new stage has been announced for the forthcoming Smash Bros game on Wii U. Themed around arguably the best Mario game ever created, Mario Galaxy, the level is a little different to the others.
Apparently just like the game it is based on, not only is the level spherical, but gravity is very important too - with the pull emanating from the centre of the planet. This will presumably affect gravity across the rest of the level too, and as the game's director Masahiro Sakurai explains, will require "new tactics". Let's hope this shakes things up a bit and other stages also have different physics - to vary the game a little from the same old formula.
The game itself is set to be released in 2014 and as before, brings together many characters from Nintendo games past to fight it out - though new characters this time round are a little lacking, as they've all been used in previous games. New additions this time round include "Villager" from Animal Crossing and... Wii Fit Trainer. Yeah. The one bright spot is the inclusion of Mega Man.
Personally, I'm hoping that the game will feature both Snorlax from Pokemon and a Goron from the Legend of Zelda series - so we can find out once and for all who is the best at napping.
The phoney war has already started. With less than two weeks to go until the launch of the PS4 in Britain, Sony have taken over London's Oxo Tower by extending it's famous windows to recreate the Playstation controller symbols.
The tower is a prominent fixture on the south bank of the Thames. It was originally a power station - before being taken over by Oxo for somewhere they could use as cold storage in an era before fridges (if only we could link back to ye olde TechDigest's 1930s coverage of these new fangled electrical contraptions). Now though, a bunch of shops, posh flats, and a posh restaurant. (If you're wondering whether it's worth going up the Oxo Tower, Mumsnet, of all places have some advice...)
Interestingly the building first gained it's O and X windows after the London council at the time disallowed advertising by the river - so Oxo decided to instead happen to build some windows shaped like their name... very clever.
It'll be interesting to see if Microsoft hit back by taking over any other London buildings. Maybe Kings Cross - or "Kings X" - could become "Kings Xbox", or the London Eye could become a gigantic Red Ring of Death?
The dominant narrative seems to be "is Call of Duty tired?". Heck - when I started playing the game I felt almost like a pariah - and when I was enjoying it, I began to worry that I was enjoying something that I shouldn't. Is CoD a drug? All of the cool kids on Reddit hate it - so what am I doing wrong? Why am I enjoying it?
Despite the naysayers, Ghosts is still a great game... though if you didn't like the previous games, don't expect to like the new one as it's... exactly the same. But this is no bad thing.
So the premise of Ghosts is approximately equally as ridiculous as the previous games in the series - like Modern Warfare. In Ghosts, there's a war taking place between the United States and a Latin American Federation, which is made up all of the South American countries. Then there's the Ghosts - a generic elite squad of soldiers who go behind enemy lines and apparently use stealth... but tend to end up shooting their way out in the most outlandish fashion possible. Think Seal Team Six but with added daddy issues. (I'd explain why but that'd spoil the plot).
You probably don't need me to point out that the plot is pretty silly: why had neither side launched nuclear weapons? It's an existential war in effect, so it's not like the nuclear taboo wouldn't be broken. I guess the lack of nukes though is why the game isn't over in five minutes, and it isn't a depressing survival horror game where you're slowly dying whilst irradiated.
So far then, so Call of Duty. But the game has already had a shootout through the London Underground and trench warfare on the White House lawn - how can it top that?
The first mission opens with you fixing a space station - gently floating about in space. Then the Russians (or at least people in cosmonaut attire) dock with the space station and... start shooting everyone aboard. In terms of realism, Gravity it 'aint.
This does, however, set the tone for the rest of the game - which sees you travel the world blowing up oil rigs, sabotaging missiles and possibly committing war crimes. (Gassing a room of bad guys and shooting them without them putting up a fight isn't really on, is it?).
But what about the dog? For all of the hype, Riley is only used in a couple of missions - and it manages to turn the amusingly ridiculous into the absurd. I think my favourite Riley moment was when - somehow (I'm sure it was explained with some pseudo-science) - you take control of him - your soldier avatar using some sort of tablet device to see what Riley sees. You can then tell Riley what to do - and who to kill. That's right - you can stealth kill enemies with a dog. Amusingly - when you do get a successful kill the soldier will radio Riley to say "good boy".
All in all though - the campaign is, like the games before it, incredibly polished. Each mission is well built, with exciting fixed events punctuated by the standard gunfighting gameplay. Most of the missions throw in something extra. There's a mission with a stealth stage where you have to creep through the undergrowth silently taking down enemy soldiers, and another where the action flips between flying a plane and bombing from above and fighting the ground war. The only shame really is that given the campaign is so short, these mechanics are only used once.
So that's the six hour campaign... but what of the multiplayer? CoD's multiplayer functionality is something of a proving ground for hardcore gamers - with the best players racking up hundreds of hours play and presumably hundreds of hours of people with headsets insulting their mothers.
Essentially - if you've ever played CoD before then it'll all be very familiar with you - the settings are all the same (deathmatch, capture bases, free-for-all) etc - with weapons upgrades and perks earned by building experience in matches.
Of course - this upgrade system is still problematic as it means that the good players are the ones getting all of the best weapons and guns... whilst us hopeless players are doomed to getting killed every ten seconds by even more tooled-up opponents.
So no surprises here - apart from the fact that you can now play as a female soldier. A small step for feminism in a game so relentlessly macho you'd be forgiven for thinking all of the characters were insecure about their sexuality.
So how'd it do? Well, the easiest way to decide if you should buy Ghosts is simple: if you liked the earlier games in the series then you'll like this, as it's very, very similar.
If you're not a fan then this isn't going to convert you.
Intellectually, of course, Call of Duty is the gaming equivalent to the Fast & Furious films - loud, brash with a plot that could have been written by a 5 year old ("the man shoots the other man.. then there's an explosion... and then a car chase...") - but sometimes you don't want a savoury snack.
I mean, what would the alternative have been? Call of Duty: Post-Modern Warfare? Where the main characters would have to take down positivism and patriarchal definitions of gender. I'm not sure the level where you feel dejected after your paper is poorly peer reviewed will be quite as exciting as shooting jeeps chasing after you during a car chase across a frozen lake.
Now how about another historical Call of Duty game? Maybe Call of Duty: Napoleonic Warfare?
As the launch of Sony's new machine gets closer (we're only a couple of weeks away!), lots of little tidbits of information are dripping out about what the console can do, and indeed - what it can't. Here's some of the recent headlines.
Mic & Camera
First up, let's talk about the PS4's camera. It hasn't received as much attention as Microsoft's Kinect 2 for a couple of reasons: first off, it isn't bundled with the console when you buy it, and secondly... it basically isn't going to be as good.
We've seen snazzy demos of the Kinect monitoring your heartrate just watching you, and responding to voice commands to essentially control the whole system - from switching on your Xbox to changing TV channel. Unfortunately for PS4 users, as Engadget reports, they'll have no such luck - with the camera not able to start up anything, and none of the third party apps (Netflix, etc) responding to voice commands at launch. There is talk of some of this functionality coming later though, with system updates.
Apparently gesture commands on the PS4 aren't really happening either - so no swiping your arms in the air to scroll through lists. The only clever visual thing at launch appears to be logging users into the system by recognising their face.
It's not all bad news though, as Polygon reported on some innovative ways the PS4 hardware is being used in the forthcoming Dying Light (think Dead Island + Freerunning). Apparently in multiplayer, players may be able to use their headset to shout at the on-screen zombies to distract them from attacking their friends. And similarly, voice chat from friends could end up coming from the speaker in the controller - to create the sensation of radio communication, rather than through the headset.
So what will the PS4 actually look like when you switch it on? IGN took a look, and discovered how the console is influenced by social media.
Apparently there's going to be a "What's New" tab on your homescreen - acting a bit like a Facebook news feed. It'll show status updates, in-game clips you've shared and all that good stuff. As you play there's going to be a 15 minute video recording buffer - meaning that if you do something amazing and didn't hit record, don't worry - you can rewind a little and make sure you capture it to share with friends.
Messaging with friends has also been improved - with up to 8 people now able to join a voice chat party, and it works across platform too - so you can chat to that one person you know who actually owns a PS Vita, if you really want to.
Interestingly there's clever new enhancement to trophies - that will score gold, silver and bronze trophies based on their relative scarcity amongst worldwide players - so if you do bother to collect every single bloody sea shanty on Assassin's Creed 4, you'll know just how elite amongst all PS4 players your skills are.
And of course - the interface all looks great, with each game (like you can see with Knack above) having custom artwork that integrates with the operating system (a bit like XBMC, if you've ever used that). And better still - you can even have the console display players' real names rather than the obscure nickname they've come up with. Which means that - if you're anything like me - you actually stand a chance of remembering who you're friends with.
What else do we want to know?
Phew - so drip-by-drip we're learning more! Now all we need is for someone to have some unexpected good luck, so we can find out more!
What are you curious about the PS4? Let us know in the comments!
Entering hostile territory... expect sniper fire, so keep down low... Copy that.
Increasingly it feels that as a gamer, I'm not allowed to like Call of Duty. It's not fashionable to do so. When writing about CoD I'm supposed to complain that each game is the same as the last one (sometimes exactly the same), and this lack of originality makes it a bad game.
But I'm not going to do that. I'm going to lift my head above the parapet (always dangerous in first person shooters) and say that no, I like Call of Duty. I mean... have you played Ghosts?
One thing the CoD series does masterfully is ramp up the stakes and the scale relentlessly. In the first Modern Warfare there was a shootout in an irradiated Chernobyl... by the time the sequel came around (after the awesome, but relatively overlooked WWII shooter, World at War) the campaign had a sequence in which you shoot your way across the White House lawn and into the Oval Office!
As Charlie Brooker said on TV at the time - it's like being part of a Bond movie.
The latest game, Ghosts follows this tradition. The first mission is a shoot-out on a space station for heavens' sake!
Yes - there's no freedom of movement like you get in sandbox games, and yes, the games are a sequence of predetermined set-pieces interspersed with shooting segments... but that doesn't mean that it isn't exhilarating.
And sure, the plots are never terribly well thought through - but then did you watch Expendables because of it's nuanced take on the nature of masculinity in a post-feminist world? No, you watched it because at one point the man hurts the other man in a visually interesting and amusing way.
There's no game quite as intense as CoD - the assault on the eyes and ears of the explosions, gunshots and bullets whistling past your head. There's a genuine sense of relief when you manage to shoot your way out of a building whilst being pursued by hundreds of enemies.
And so what if it's the same every year? The single player campaign is also maligned for being so short - maybe seven hours play tops. If it takes the developers a year to make an exciting and polished seven hours... then what's wrong with wanting seven more hours of it the next year?
Nobody seems to complain that every new FIFA game is just the same old game. Why don't they make matches last 100 minutes to shake things up? What about letting players use their hands, or changing the ball to an egg shape?
And of course - on a functional level, it is not a bad game. It's very rare for a AAA title to actually be bad? Like how a $100m blockbuster, regardless of plot, will always be a visual spectacle, Call of Duty always plays well, with fluid controls - and with no weird bugs, or half-walking-through-walls and the like. It's always a completely solid game world.
So who's with me? Who's going to join me in unironically liking Call of Duty again? If the anti-CoD zealots take me down, then I want you to seek revenge - ideally in the most ludicrous, and comically violent way possible... using a space station.
Expect a full review of CoD: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 to be posted soon.
There'll be some red faces at Target, the US retailer, this morning as it has emerged (as reported in The Mirror) that they've accidentally sent out the Xbox One to a handful of customers eleven days earlier than the official worldwide release date.
The Youtube user moonlightswami posted this excited video on to his channel showing off his unexpected luck - and then later tweeted about plugging the console in. Luckily for him Microsoft had already released the 500mb required "day 1 patch" download required when booting up for the first time - without it he wouldn't be able to play any games or download anything.
Swami was able to confirm some interesting bits and pieces about the new console: Apparently a download of Assassin's Creed 4 will be a 20GB download - and Call of Duty Ghosts is 39GB. Forza 5 is 31GB and Dead Rising 3 is only 19GB. Hefty.
Also he was able to try the abillity to play a game whilst it downloads - apparently as soon as a game hits 50% you should be able to boot it up.
Unfortunately for Swami though, as soon as Microsoft got wind of his tweets about the console, his account was banned from going online for terms of service violations. (Maybe it will have a happy ending though - Microsoft's MajorNelson and Swami have apparently had a word and invited him to a launch event for the console ahead of the real 22nd November launch).
So the moral of this story is perhaps if you receive your Xbox One early... then shh!
The next generation isn't all about gaming - it's about watching too, which is why Microsoft have just announced their content partners for the Xbox One's launch window. The only real conspicuous absence is that of the BBC iPlayer.
For a few years now the Xbox 360 has been offering different video apps from different providers - from the likes of Netflix and Sky - and this is set to continue with the Xbox One's offering. The full list of Britain-specific apps are as follows:
- Amazon Lovefilm
- Demand 5
- MUZU TV
- NOW TV
If you're a 360 user then none of these will be surprising - all have an existing presence on the 360. There's also a number of global apps joining the list including Microsoft's own: Skype, SkyDrive, Xbox Fitness, Xbox Video, Xbox Music and Internet Explorer.
The big missing apps - which are available on Xbox 360 - are the BBC iPlayer and YouTube - though surely it's only a matter of time until they appears too?
Of course this is also in addition to the One's hugely enhanced TV capabilities. There's a HDMI-in socket on the box for you to feed in your satellite or cable box, to watch TV through the Xbox, and even control it and change channel using voice commands via Kinect. We're not entirely sure whether this will work with Virgin Media and Sky boxes yet - but we'll let you know when we find out.
Age of Empires II, originally released in 1999 has already cemented its place in gaming history. The classic PC real time strategy game has today seen the release of an expansion pack, adding new features and new civilisations to the game - a staggering fourteen years after the original release. It's like if Winston Churchill was to rise from the grave whilst twerking.
The expansion is built for Age of Empires II HD, which was released on Steam earlier this year. The HD re-release didn't add anything new, but scaled up the textures and resolution for modern computers, so it'd look as good as it did in your hazy memories.
"The Forgotten" adds five new civilisations and four new campaign modes, and most excitingly, two new game modes and the ability to have even larger maps ("LudaKRIS sized", the developers say). There's even built in support for the inexplicably popular Twitch streaming.
The two new game modes look like they could add some nice variety. "Treaty" mode limits the amount of military action allowed at the start of the game, so players can focus on building up their resources and their economy. Great if you're sick of being rushed right at the start and being wiped out before you've properly got going.
The other is "Capture the Relic", in which you must send in your monks to capture relics from rival monasteries. I guess this means that rather than build a huge army to invade, you'll want to send in a smaller squad - a medieval Seal Team Six - to try and capture the prizes.
Here's how the new civilisations are described:
Italians - Set sail to Venice and take the role as general in one of the Italian republics that emerged from the chaos after the collapse of the Roman Empire!
Indians - Put vast armies under your command, comprised of countless Camels and powerful Elephants.
Slavs - Even after the dissolution of the Mongolian Golden Horde, these icy planes of Eastern Europe still echo under the thundering hooves and countless boots of your soldiers.
Magyars - Lead the mighty Black Army over the Hungarian plains and command the fiercest cavalry forces that Europe has ever witnessed in the Middle Ages
Incas - Lead your armies along the shores of Lake Titicaca, defend your wealth and heritage from the invading Conquistadors and erect mighty structures to withstand the test of time.
And here's the four new campaigns - with descriptions straight from the horses/camels mouths:
Alaric - The trauma of the Hun invasion in the 4th century has shaped Alaric, the fearsome warrior king of the Goths. But can the beloved king secure a new homeland for his people in the territory of the collapsing Roman Empire?
Sforza - Always hungry for glory and wealth, Sforza wanders around 15th century Italy, offering his services to the highest bidder. Will he pick the right battles or make the wrong enemy? Take the fate of the young mercenary captain in your hands.
Bari - 400 years after the collapse of the Roman Empire, Italy is still up for grabs. Relive the tale of the port city Bari from the point of view of a Byzantine family, rising from the common soldiery to the nobility. Beware, for not only Bari is at stake, but also control of Southern Italy.
Dracula - History forged an incredible legend around the man who ruled Wallachia in the mid-14th century. Holding his ground against the vast armies of the expanding Ottoman Empire, his cruel tactics made him the most feared man in all of Eastern Europe. Shall his thirst for blood and the loyalty of his soldiers hold the Turks back for good?
The expansion is available right now on Steam - for only £6.99.
Whilst lots of films have accompanying games, transit the other way isn't so common... and when it is, it isn't so good. We've had the likes of Tomb Raider, Doom and that ancient Mario Bros film... and in the next couple of years we can apparently expect Assassin's Creed (starring Michael Fassbender, would you believe). But what other games should be made into films?
Players firing up Call of Duty Ghosts could be greeted by a familiar scene, if new evidence uncovered by one YouTuber is anything to go by - it seems that they've reused the ending of Modern Warfare 2 for the beginning of Ghosts.
In the video, which was reported by Videogamer, it shows side by the side the two games - and how the same animation has been used in both. It seems they've been caught red-handed.
This isn't the first time similarities have been noticed. Back when Modern Warfare 3 came out, another eagle-eyed player spotted that some 3D building models had also been reused from the original Modern Warfare - as demonstrated in this video.
It's a running joke in the gaming community how each iteration of Call of Duty is just like the last. When I told a friend of mine that I'll be reviewing Ghosts (coming soon!), he suggested that I wouldn't even need to remove the cellophane from the packaging.
Though this said - is re-using stuff really that bad? It seems inevitably that in any sequel the assets from the original game could plausibly be used again. Do players of Arkham Origins really think that the developers have gone back to create a whole new animation of Batman tearing a grate from the wall? Or do Battlefield 4 players expect every bullet sound-effect to be all new recordings of bullets? As long as the game is fun to play, what's the problem? This said, it would perhaps be wise not to do this en masse and just release the exact same thing time after time. Though this doesn't seem to have harmed Nintendo.
What do you think about CoD reusing content from previous games? Let us know in the comments!
This was too good not to share. Twitter user Chris Mallinson has done the maths and it turns out that the Mac Pro (the super powerful Mac aimed at TV editors and record producers), can be configured to have more RAM available than every Nintendo Entertainment System ever produced.
It checks out too - though the maths is a little fiddly.
There were 61.91 million NES sold throughout the lifetime of the console.
The NES has 2 KiB of RAM - that's 2 Kibibytes (like 2 Kilobytes but a KB is technically 1000 bytes whereas a KiB is 1024 - a crucial difference when multiplying!)
So that makes 123820000 KiB. Or to make more understandable, that's 118.084GB of RAM in every NES ever made.
But what about the Mac Pro? The new Mac Pro which has just been announced - like the 2010 model can only officially go up to 64GB of RAM - if you walk into an Apple store and want to buy one.
However, if you're willing to take your computer apart, you can manually add in extra RAM to double this to 128GB. In fact - the recently released Mac OS Mavericks operating system is the first Apple OS to properly support 128GB - as the folks at the Mac Performance Guide figured out:
So there we have it - the new Mac Pro can run about 10GB more RAM than all 60 million NES.
And technology has managed to do that in just 30 years! Now all we need to see is a video of Mario running on an emulator on the Mac Pro for the circle to be complete.
Good news for console players who haven't had a chance to play Angry Birds Star Wars yet - as of today it's out on... pretty much everything.
It's been on Android and iOS for ages, but now you can also grab it for Xbox 360, PS3, WiiU, PS Vita, and 3DS. With release for Xbox One and PS4 at launch too. So now there's literally no excuse not to play the game.
What's interesting about the new versions is that each have been enhanced by what the platforms can do. The Xbox versions, for instance, support Kinect for voice commands, and the forthcoming PS4 version uses the touchpad on the new DualShock 4 controller - for more precision aiming.
The new versions also have more than 20 new levels, in addition to the 200 additional levels. There's even local multiplayer too.
Intrigued? Well it'll only set you back around £27 - compared to, er, free on mobile.
We've no word yet on when the rumoured "Angry Birds: Dead Horse Beating Edition" will be released, but will keep you updated.
Earlier today I had my first hands-on go with the forthcoming Archos GamePad 2 - Archos' second attempt at turning Android into a gaming platform that can compete with the likes of the Nintendo 3DS and Sony PS Vita.
Traditional mobile gaming (if there can be such a thing - only a few years ago we were all playing Snake) has been on the more casual end of the spectrum, with simple games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja dominating. Serious gamers would have picked up a dedicated handheld to play something a bit more intensive on the go.
Recently though we've seen games developers take Android (and indeed, iOS) more seriously. Take a look at EA for example - they've recently published Fifa 14 for Android, and it's pretty much the fully featured console game. There's different tournaments, online play, even fantasy team building and an incredibly clever feature where injuries and bans on the real life pitch are reflected in the videogame too.
We've also seen big console games re-released for mobile platforms. Both Grand Theft Auto 3 and it's sequel, Vice City are now available for Android - not cut-down versions (a la GTA China Town Wars for the Nintendo DS), but the fully fledged game.
This is great news for gamers but there is one little problem. Whilst touch screens are great for managing emails and browsing the web, they're frankly crap for gaming.
Most games like this rely on on-screen touch controls - so a pretend virtual thumbstick, and some on screen buttons - can you think of anything more horrible to use in an intense firefight?
What makes the GamePad 2 different from other Android tablets is that unlike, say, the Nexus 7, it actually has physical buttons. The screen is surrounded by Playstation-style controls. And this is where it does something really clever.
Whilst only a proportion of games have gamepad controls built in (there's a common Android GamePad control), Archos have built a button mapping app - so you can map out where on the screen should map to the physical buttons around the edge, so even if the game doesn't natively support real physical buttons, you can trick any game into thinking so. Apparently the new tablet already has 700 older titles pre-mapped too.
So I'm wondering - could we see a resurgence in buttons? We've got the convergence of 'proper' games coming to tablets and built-in support, and the GamePad 2 can serve as a proof-of-concept for the whole industry. If it proves popular, you can bet every other tablet manufacturer will come up with their own version.
The only stumbling block is likely to be aesthetic - after the sleekness of the iPhone and iPad, buttons make a device look ugly. But if buttons prove to be popular once more, could even Apple start to put them on their devices again?
We hope to be reviewing the Archos GamePad 2 in the next couple of weeks too - so stay tuned for that!
Chat show host Jonathan Ross is to join Microsoft Studios as an executive producer, Microsoft have announced.
Ross, of course, is best well known for presenting his Saturday night ITV chat show - and for having previously upset Andrew Sachs.
It's not immediately clear what Ross and his business partner Georg Backer will be doing with Microsoft - though thankfully it's the interesting videogames making part of Microsoft that they're joining, and not, say, the Microsoft Office team (lest I feel compelled to make some mean-spirited jokes about the spell checker). This isn't as bizarre as it sounds - Ross has previous gaming experience. His company previously built the iPhone game Catcha Chatcha Aliens, and Ross himself lent his voice to both Halo 3 and Fable 3.
Lee Schuneman, who's head of Lift London - one of Microsoft Studios, er, studios said: "Microsoft Studios is focused on creating the best in class cross-media entertainment, with Lift London specifically looking at creating IP across multiple channels. Jonathan will be a huge asset for us as he really knows how to connect to mass audiences with an impressive understanding for audience tastes and trends".
When translated into something a human being might actually say, it suggests that Ross will be consulting on ideas that will enable games to work not just on the Xbox One but on other platforms too. I wonder if this could lead to more experiments like 1vs100, the online live quiz show for the Xbox 360? Or maybe given the Xbox One's heavy focus on TV as well as gaming - if we might see some sort of TV show that interacts with gamers, somehow?
And don't worry Sony - even though Microsoft how now snapped up Jonathan Ross there's always, er, his brother Paul Ross you could have?