TOKYO — Inside Sony headquarters, at the heart of Tokyo’s Shinagawa district, Yasuhiro Ootori is about to reveal something that almost no one outside the Japanese tech giant has ever seen: the inside of a PlayStation 4.
What we see is a hardware architecture that’s both simple and powerful. With longtime game designer Mark Cerny leading the way, lending his software-minded expertise to Ootori and the rest of the hardware engineering team, Sony abandoned the overly complex Cell microprocessor that drove the PlayStation 3, building the PS4 around an “x86″ chip similar to the processors that have driven most of our personal computers for the last three decades. The idea was to make it that much easier for developers to build games for the new console, to create the things that will ultimately capture our attention.
Twenty years after the release of Tim Burton’s legendary stop-motion animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas, its popular protagonist Jack Skellington lives on — this time in Disney’s $100 million virtual toybox Disney Infinity.
Jack Skellington’s Infinity figurine — available in GameStop stores now and everywhere else October 29 — unlocks the Pumpkin King himself as a playable character in the Infinity Toy Box mode, as well as a new challenge level called “Jack’s Nightmare.”
WIRED recently caught up with Disney Infinity executive producer John Vignocchi and art director Jeff Bunker to learn more about the process of adapting Burton’s iconic character, and got an exclusive look at some behind-the-scenes concepts and character studies.
There’s a moment that every player of the Grand Theft Auto series has experienced. You’ve done the missions, you’ve driven inside the lines, but you’ve gotten bored. You stop and think to yourself: “Just how crazy can I get in this thing?”
GTA V is now nearly a month old, and its online mode has been accessible since the beginning of October. That means that millions of players have now had ample time to get a little creative with their exploits in Los Santos.
Luckily, some of these inventive players have recorded their exploits. They’ve poked and prodded at GTA V’s underlying systems, breaking the physics systems, exposing the game’s goofiest design flaws and busting up a whole lot of cars.
We’ve assembled nine of the most over-the-top videos and GIFs of players’ adventures in GTA V. Click here to watch them all.
We all have hobbies, and a lucky few have a passion. Within that group, there are some for whom passion borders on obsession.
Such people are the subject of Living the Wired Life, a series of profiles about people who use technology to pursue their passion and excel at their endeavors, whether it’s riding hundreds of miles through the desert, crossing the Pacific in record time or putting yourself in the studio with Mick and Keith as they laid down the tracks for Exile on Main Street.
These are serious (and potentially dangerous) undertakings, but that’s part of the appeal. You don’t become obsessed with the Wired Life if you don’t love it. Here’s a rundown of people living that life (including - above - Emile Rosales, aka Chuggaaconroy!).
SAN DIEGO — The convention floor opened on Wednesday at 6 p.m., but for one of Comic-Con’s most fascinating tribes of fans, the celebration started in earnest a few hours later, outside in the warm night, on a stretch of sidewalk a half mile north in San Diego’s Gaslamp District. There, slowly, the Guild of Extras began to assemble— at first just five, clustered in a knot around a lamppost, and then three or four more, and then 10 more from inside the building until the sidewalk was thick with their talk and embraces. There were men and women in roughly equal numbers, predominantly in their twenties and thirties, but a few were much older. Some of them wore the group’s official jacket: a sharply cut zip-up number with a whimsical crest of a googly-eyed squid, embroidered on the left breast.
Who were these people? The first thing you need to understand about the Guild of Extras is that they’re friends–very close friends, by any fair definition of that phrase. There are 182 of them by the most recent count, and they stay in touch mostly through a private Facebook group. But they meet up in person whenever they can, and Comic-Con is a special time when a large portion of them can reconnect: “It’s like the rest of the year is just a waiting period,” one of them tells me.
The second thing to know about the Guild of Extras is that (per their name) they are extras, in the Hollywood sense of the word. But almost none of them are trying to make it as actors or actresses. They’re scientists, students, healthcare workers, and so on, who appear as background characters on web series, for free. They do it to support creators whose work they admire, but also for another chance to hang out together once again.
It’s only third, after pondering those other two points, that you should think of them as fans — though fans they most certainly are. The Guild of Extras all met while serving as extras on The Guild, a web comedy about World of Warcraft-style gamers that ran six “seasons” online and helped launch its creator and star, Felicia Day, into the middle echelon of nerd celebrities. Over the remainder of Comic-Con, the self-named “Guildies” used Day-affiliated events–her meet-and-greets and signings, the panel parties hosted by her YouTube channel, Geek & Sundry–as gathering points for their own get-togethers.
Earlier this week, a Tumblr called the Hawkeye Initiative posted a story about an employee at game publisher Meteor Entertainment who pranked her CEO, Mark Long, by swapping out a poster of a scantily clad female mechanic for a custom poster of a scantily-clad male mechanic (illustrated by fellow Meteor employee Sam Kirk) and waited to see the reaction. After the initial surprise, Long thanked her for “calling [him] on [his] bullshit” and decided to hang the posters side-by-side in the office. The story went viral, making the rounds at nearly every major gaming website and scoring nearly 200,000 page reviews. The employee, who goes by the pseudonym K2, spoke about the prank for the first time with Wired, and about what the internet’s reaction to it could say about the best way to approach the gender problem in the gaming industry.
When we last looked at Curiosity — What’s Inside the Cube?, we were curious to know why half a million people were compulsively working together to tap and destroy the imaginary green cube in this iPhone app.
A few months later, they haven’t stopped. In fact, ten times that many people are now taking part in this “experiment.” Some are drawing crude pictures on the cube’s surface. Others are just trying to break the cube and get to its center. Still others are paying real money in an attempt to thwart them by adding layers back onto the cube. Today, its developer told Wired that just 50 layers of the cube now remain.
The end is near. But what happens when Curiosity‘s cube is gone?