To make good on their expected release date of June 2, EA has confirmed the gold status (indicating complete readiness for manufacturing in the gaming industry for you non-believers) of The Sims 3, the third installment of the ridiculously populuar life simulation series.

Set to launch on the PC and Mac, retailers will have a $49.99 standard edition with the obligatory Collector's Edition at $69.99 which packs:

  • the retail game
  • tips guide
  • Sims-styled 2 GB USD drive
  • and a unique "European-styled" virtual sports car

Hrm, I wonder if I can ride with a gold chainsaw in said virtual sports car.

'The Sims 3' Goes Gold, New Screens

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Freaky Creatures Trailer »

MMOs, social networking, collectible action figures and virtual spaces... all cornerstones in the nerd world, however, can they all exist in the same package? Freaky Creatures, the strategy MMO hybrid released from Abandon Interactive last month for PC platforms and mobile phones, combined all the aforementioned elements with a very ambitious goal in mind. What kind of brave minds are at work with such aspiring goals?

We had a chance to grab a Q&A with Matt Saia, Creative Director at Abandon Interactive Entertainment for the method behind the madness.

G4: Hi Matt, first off, where did you draw your inspiration for Freaky Creatures from and what will set it apart from the rest of the pack?

Read More »

Apple Approves Previously Rejected NIN App, Now Only Accepting 3.0-Ready Apps

More interesting iPhone news making the rounds today. Engadget reports that Apple has finally approved Trent Reznor’s previously rejected Nine Inch Nails app. You might remember Reznor’s rather tempered against Apple and its app approval/rejection policy from earlier in the week. Well, it seems that Apple had visions of coming across Mr. Reznor in a dark alley someday, because, according to Reznor, the company decided to approve his app without requiring any changes.

Given that the app was originally rejected because it let users stream the NIN song “Downward Spiral,” which contains “objectionable content,” it would seem that Apple has changed its definition of “objectionable.” Or the company realized that letting this fight escalate any further would be a huge waste of time and energy, especially since the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0’s parental control feature will serve to prevent these kinds of battles from being waged in the future. Better to just let this one slide, and prepare for the next major pitchfork-fest on the horizon.

According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple is now only accepting iPhone and iPod Touch apps compatible with the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0. It’s safe to assume that most developers have been preparing for this for a while, and as such, have been developing current and future apps using the OS 3.0 betas. The bigger issue will be with apps that are currently available. If those apps are not supported by the new OS, will they be forcibly removed from the app store?

At the very least, every app residing on people’s iPhones and available on the app store that hasn’t been built to run on OS 3.0 will need to be patched or reworked before the OS is released, whenever that is. Not a small undertaking that, assuming the new OS is drastically different than the current one.

What are your predictions on the iPhone OS transition?

 Source and Source

Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

AT&T LogoAre you tired of your iPhone feeling like a kid? You know, you love it dearly, you can’t image a world without it, and yet it’s a constant drain on your bank account? Horrendously inaccurate analogy aside, one of the painful realities of iPhone ownership has always been the monthly service price. If rumors are true, that price could be coming down in a few weeks.

According to The Street, analysts predict that Apple will lower the current $69/month service plan to $59 most likely around or concurrent with Apple’s expected announcement of the next version of the iPhone on June 8 at the company’s World Wide Developer's Conference.

Since it could be a while before we see that $99 iPhone made from angel wings and unicorn tears rumored a while back, this reduced service price stands as probably the best deal current and prospective iPhone users are going to get for now. For AT&T, the lower price also gives them a chance to stockpile new customers in case Apple and Verizon get too close for comfort. Like that's going to happen.

How does an extra ten bucks a month sound to you?


Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

iPhone OS 3.0As you iPhone beta fiends probably know by now, Apple has released the fifth beta for the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0. A shortened turnaround time for this latest beta (just over a week) is a good indication that things are going smoothly on the development front. 

As far as features, the new beta includes that parental control (see my post about this feature from yesterday for some humorous context), but it lacks tethering and MMS capabilities.To find out more, you can always head over Apple's iPhone developer center.

If there are any readers out there playing around with the new beta, please let us know what you think, and how 3.0 is shaping up in your opinion.


Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

iPhone 3.0 OS' Parental Controls To Open Door For Rejected Apps?

Remember when Apple rejected your stab-nuns-with-puppies-while-dancing-on-the-graves-of-children iPhone app because it was “too hypothetical”? Well, there might be hope for it and all the other rejected apps after all, thanks to the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 update.

iLounge reports that the new OS’s Parental Control feature could give new life to objectionable apps that Apple previously rejected (or approved then rejected like “Baby Shaker”). The “good” news came after Apple forced a news aggregator app called “Newspaper(s)” designed by Makayama to remove access to the U.K.-based tabloid the Sun, just one of 50 worldwide newspapers users can access with the app.

Read More »

Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

BlizzCon '09 Tickets On Sale May 16 and May 30It might be a few weeks away BlizzCon fiends, but May 16 will be here before you know it and there is a new ticketing system that you should be aware of before it’s too late. To streamline the whole process, Blizzard has introduced a ticket queue system that will sort Blizzard store customers into a first-come/first-serve line once a certain number of simultaneous checkouts has been reached.

Of course, just because you’re in line doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a ticket, but it’s certainly better than not being in the line at all, right? And hey, if you miss out on the first round of ticketing, not to worry. A second round will be held on May 30.

In the meantime, Blizzard recommends setting up a free Battle.net account if you haven’t already to make the whole process just that much smoother. Tickets cost $125 each, and the convention itself will be held on August 21-22 in Anaheim, CA.

A gaming site is probably the last place I should be asking this but: anyone here planning to attend this year’s BlizzCon?


Apple Hires Drebin, Teversham For

Adding fuel to the fiery speculation that Apple is interesting in gobbling up Electronic Arts is the recent hiring of Bob Drebin (no relation to Police Squad's Frank Drebin). Forbes has reported that Apple recently stole Drebin -- cited as the creator of the GameCube's graphics processor -- from AMD. The company also snatched up Richard Teversham from Microsoft's Xbox team. The speculation is that Drebin and Teversham were hired to prepare Apple's "all-out assault on the handheld gaming market".

To me, this means that Apple is just stepping up its existing gaming efforts with the iPhone and iPod Touch products. I don't buy the speculation (at least, not yet) that Apple is readying standalone gaming products. Despite its current price, I don't see why Apple would be interested in buying out EA. Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter recently told Gamasutra that the rumor of Apple acquiring EA, "Sounds retarded to me". Even though half the things Pachter says sound retarded to me, I have to agree with him in this case.

Considering that Apple is snatching up executives with specific gaming experience, what do you make of the Apple/EA rumors now?


Top Gun is coming to the iPhone and we've got the exclusive trailer. The game, from Freeverse and Paramount Digital Entertainment, will task you with shooting down MiG's and avoiding the Danger Zone. It also has a pretty impressive 3D engine and will hopefully sport a copious amount of one-liners.

Exclusive Top Gun iPhone Trailer »

Post your favorite Top Gun quote in the comments section!

RIM's BlackBerry 8300 Series Outsells iPhone 3G In Q1 2009

NPD Group has revealed that RIM's BlackBerry 8300 series outsold Apple's iPhone 3G in the first quarter of 2009. NPD director of industry analysis Ross Rubin cited Verizon as the secret to RIM's success, "Verizon Wireless’s aggressive marketing of the BlackBerry Storm and its buy-one-get-one BlackBerry promotion to its large customer base contributed to RIM capturing three of the top five positions.The more familiar, and less expensive, Curve benefited from these giveaways and was able to leapfrog the iPhone, due to its broader availability on the four major U.S. national carriers."  Here's NPD's list of the top-five best-selling smartphones:

  1. RIM BlackBerry Curve (all 83XX models)
  2. Apple iPhone 3G (all models)
  3. RIM BlackBerry Storm
  4. RIM BlackBerry Pearl (all models, except flip)
  5. T-Mobile G1

To be completely fair, this isn't exactly a fair comparison. There are two iPhone 3G models and five BlackBerry 8300 models available in America. The iPhone 3G is only (officially) available through AT&T, while each of the "big four" American carriers offer models in the BlackBerry 8300 series. But please, don't mistake me for an Apple apologist (that's Leahy); the bottom line is that RIM's BlackBerry series dominated in Q1 2009.


Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor Love Apple, Hates App Store, Digs Android, Hates Windows Mobile

When it comes to mobile phone operating systems, there's no better expert than Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor.(Yes, I'm kidding.) In addition to being one of the most innovative musicians and song writers of his era, Reznor is a huge Apple fanboy. However, he's pretty pissed about the way Apple handles approvals for its App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch. Reznor recently railed on Apple's approval process and gave his thoughts on other mobile operating systems in a few recent posts on his message boards. Here's what he thinks of the iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile platforms:

"I love Apple products and as goofy and out-of-touch as their app approval process / policy is, I will still use them because they work 1000X better than the competition. This is not a debate, it's a fact. The iPhone is THE most elegant, modern smartphone at this point in time and it's perfect for what we want to do with the NIN app -- except for the ludicrous approval process, and that's what I want to draw attention to.

Android is cool, but nobody has an Android phone. Blackberry is OK but the hardware is inconsistent and WinMo straight-up sucks balls. If Apple doesn't get it together, we will most certainly make it available to the jailbreak community. I didn't invest in this app to see it languish on the sidelines from an idiotic policy while this tour is in full swing."

I was kind of hoping Reznor's App Store angst would force him to support Android. Oh well, his comments are honest and pretty much spot on. Should he ever want to call it quits in music, Reznor clearly has a future as a mobile phone analyst. NPD Group better sign him ASAP.


Tags: Apple, iPhone, Music, Tech

WoW iPhone?

If you happen to be working on a World of Warcraft iPhone app, you should probably stop now, because apparently, Blizzard has started sending out a new batch of cease and desist orders to independent developers selling WoW-related iPhone apps. WoW Insider reports the developer of an unofficial WoW Armory app (Warcraft Characters) has received a C&D letter from Blizzard requesting he immediately pull his app from the Apple store. Now, whether this had to do with the fact that the app cost .99 cents isn’t clear, but there are a couple free apps still available at the app store, so it might have something to do with it.

Now, as WoW Insider points out, this isn’t the first time Blizzard has gone after outside developers. However, given the recent rumors about an actual iPhone version of WoW being in the works, generated in large part by a video posted over at Touch Arcade that showed a mobile version of WoW being played on an iPhone, Blizzard’s activity on the C&D front seems to suggest something is most likely in the pipeline. Then again, they could just be trying to crack down on people siphoning off revenue earned by infringing on Blizzard’s intellectual property.

Read More »

Gold iPhone

There’s no denying that having a Solid Gold dancer in your pocket would be…not unpleasant, but a solid gold iPhone? That’s just ridiculous. While you’d need a time machine (or some questionable standards) to nab the first one, your golden mobile dreams can now be realized for around $35,000, thanks to Stuart Hughes, designers of gaudily customized devices and accessories of all shapes and sizes. Be careful not to look directly at it, or else you might feel a part of your soul shrivel up and die.

Any buyers?


Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

Booyah logo1

What happens when a trio of industry vets from companies like Blizzard Entertainment and Insomniac Games form a company (Booyah) and then turn their sights on the ridiculous connective and interactive potential of the iPhone and iPod Touch? Oh, nothing much. They just managed to raise $4.5 million of funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers' iFund to create the next revolution in entertainment that’s all. Of course, nothing is known about said creation at this point, and it looks like we'll have to wait until spring to find out what it's all about, but I’m going to guess it isn’t just a mobile version of WoW. Although, based on this limited and incredibly ambiguous tidbit, it might not be that far off:

"Booyah is creating a playful life companion that combines the immersive experiences that draw consumers to massively multi-player online games, the interconnectedness of social media, and the power of the iPhone and iPod touch."

What kind of magical delights await us in this brave new world of mobile entertainment?

Take a trip through a mission in EA Maxis' Spore Galactic Adventures to take down a menacing super weapon in the PC/Mac simulation expansion.

Also, feel free to try and name the "slave" creatures being set free in the trailer. I'm going with Armadillophaunts.

Galactic Adventures hits June 23.

Spore Galactic Adventures TX-5000 Mission Trailer

Spore Galactic Adventures TX-5000 Trailer »


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