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'BioShock Infinite' delayed to 2013, causing millions of gamers to simultaneously weep

BIOSHOCK-INFINITE

The release of BioShock Infinite, one of the most anticipated games of 2012, has been pushed back from Oct. 16, 2012, to Feb. 26, 2013, according to a message posted on developer Irrational Games’ website. “We’ve come to realize that some specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary,” wrote game director Ken Levine. “I won’t kid you: BioShock Infinite is a very big game, and we’re doing things that no one has ever done in a first-person shooter.”

Sadly, that means we’ll have to wait four extra months before being able to visit Columbia, the game’s floating steampunk metropolis — and a relative of sorts to Rapture, the underwater utopian setting of BioShock and BioShock 2. Set in an alternate-universe 1912, Infinite lets you play as Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, who travels to Columbia to rescue a woman with some incredible — and incredibly dangerous — magical powers. It was the most promising game I saw at last year’s E3 convention; speaking of which, Levine also mentioned that Infinite will not be making an appearance at this year’s E3.

Levine and his team should have all the time they need to finish this game. But I wouldn’t be opposed to sending a Big Daddy to the company’s Quincy, Mass., headquarters just to politely keep their feet to the fire. How crushed are you about BioShock Infinite‘s postponement?

Read more:
‘Diablo III': Chris Metzen discusses the inspiration for Peter Chung’s ‘Diablo: Wrath’ video
‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 2′ sends the franchise into the future. Gamechanger or shark-jumper?
‘God of War: Ascension': Director Todd Papy talks multiplayer

Will Ferrell, Louis C.K., Pinterest, and 'Sesame Street' Muppets among Webby Award winners

Over a decade after it debuted on Saturday Night Live, Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush impression is still paying dividends. The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences announced today that Ferrell had nabbed a Webby Award for Best Individual Performance in an online video; the clip in question, which appeared on Ferrell’s site Funny or Die, shows Ferrell’s Bush learning about the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Ferrell wasn’t the only big name to score a spiral-shaped Webby. Icelandic fairy Bjork won a Special Recognition Award for Artist of the Year, while Graydon Sheppard and Juliette Lewis of the “S— Girls Say” videos got cited as Actresses of the Year — despite the fact that Sheppard isn’t actually a girl. Funny or Die’s “Drunk History Christmas,” which featured performances by Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, and Jim Carrey, won for Best Online Film or Video Comedy, although none of those stars received individual awards. New essentials Pinterest and Spotify won for top social media site and music app, respectively. The adorable Sesame Street Muppets page was named Best Youth Website. READ FULL STORY

'God of War: Ascension': Director Todd Papy talks multiplayer

Kratos has never been one to play nice with others, so maybe it’s no surprise that the God of War series has so far avoided multiplayer. But that all changes with God of War: Ascension, the PlayStation 3 prequel that was first announced earlier this month. Sony revealed Monday that Ascension will contain multiplayer modes in addition to a single-player campaign. EW got to see some of the ancient Greek gameplay in action and talked to director Todd Papy about how multiplayer will work in the God of War universe. Here’s what we learned: READ FULL STORY

'PlayStation All-Stars': Sony's answer to Nintendo's 'Super Smash Bros.' -- VIDEO

PlayStation-All-Stars

Believe it or not, it’s been 13 years since the first Super Smash Bros. debuted on Nintendo 64, bringing together several iconic Nintendo characters in one four-player fighting game and answering one of life’s greatest mysteries: What’s it like to be defeated by Jigglypuff?

Now it’s Sony’s turn. The company has officially announced PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, a PS3 exclusive that brings the Super Smash Bros. formula to the Sony universe. At a Los Angeles media event earlier this week, developer SuperBot Entertainment gave the press its first look at PlayStation All-Stars. Our snap judgment: The game’s a blast, though your mileage will obviously vary depending on your passion for side-scrolling brawlers. READ FULL STORY

Various crazy schemes can't prevent Netflix shares from plunging

Netflix_240.jpg

I have a theory about why everything has gone wrong with the once-beloved, now-maligned Netflix. In simple terms: They were Scrooge McDuck, and they decided that they wanted to be the Beagle Boys — the gang of hoodlum bank robbers who conceive crazy schemes to rob Scrooge McDuck. One year ago, Netflix was practicing a grateful backstroke through a mountain of money. There was some trouble on the horizon, of course. Content providers were starting to create their own video-streaming services, and mailing DVDs was costly, and users would fly into a blind rage whenever the site slightly updated its interface. Scrooge McDuck constantly faces down threats from competitors like Flintheart Glomgold (Amazon Instant Video) or people who want to undermine his business model, like Magica DeSpell (Starz’ decision to remove its content from Netflix). There were ways to solve these problems. Netflix had an adoring constituency. Everyone you knew was watching Party Down. Your parents were starting to use “Netflix” as a verb. READ FULL STORY

You made Facebook $1.21 this year; and other revelations from Facebook's earning report

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re wasting your time on Facebook. According to an earnings report that the beloved omniscient mega-corporation just filed in preparation for its Jupiter-sized IPO, Facebook had an average revenue per user of $1.21 for the first quarter of 2012.* That means you, Mr. or Mrs. Average Facebook User, have made just enough enough money to buy a couple packets of Splenda for the Facebook coffee machine — or it would mean that, if Facebook hadn’t long since replaced its coffee machine with a mute Vietnamese monk who serves the most perfect coffee in the world and has no eyelids. READ FULL STORY

Sony announces 'God of War: Ascension' for PlayStation 3 -- VIDEO

How’ve you been, Kratos? After two years of rumors and speculation, Sony confirmed today that a new God of War game will be coming to the PlayStation 3. Called God of War: Ascension, the game’s blood-drenched trailer (see below) suggests that it’s a prequel set before the Spartan warrior became the ash-covered “Ghost of Sparta.” And that’s pretty much all we know at this point. A spokesperson for Sony did say that more game details would be revealed next week. Until then, let us toast to the return of Kratos, who was named one of EW’s 100 greatest characters of the past 20 years.

Check out the trailer for God of War: Ascension below. READ FULL STORY

Mark Zuckerberg apparently bought Instagram without notifying Facebook's Board of Directors -- report

Facebook has spent 2012 making the sort of big-money rollercoaster-tycoon moves that send the go-go ’80s Reaganauts on Wall Street into fits of gold fever, while more sober critics begin pondering just how inflated a bubble can be before it bursts. Just a few weeks away from the company’s presumably-massive IPO, Facebook announced that it was buying the retrogasm delivery system known as Instagram for a cool billion dollars. Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook CEO and fencing enthusiast Mark Zuckerberg closed the Instagram deal on his own, without alerting the board of directors. Zuckerberg apparently invited Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom over to his house, where they haggled over the price of Instagram. (Per the Journal, Systrom initially wanted $2 billion.) READ FULL STORY

Zooey Deschanel, Samuel L. Jackson in new iPhone ads -- VIDEO

Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson are an unlikely pair, but iPhone endorsement has the power to unite them. Both actors appear in new ads that tout the 4S’s voice-recognition software. Siri helps the A-listers plan their persona-appropriate days: While the adorkable New Girl struts around in PJs, orders tomato soup from a darling establishment called the Cabbage Patch and has a one-person dance party, Jackson gets his seduction on with his electronic wingman and some ’70s smooth soul. See the ads below. READ FULL STORY

Behind Facebook's billion-dollar bet: Seven burning questions about Instagram

Something is always buzzing in the social media world, but this week Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram is the queen bee.

The deal between the social network giant and the quirky photo-sharing app has journalists, bloggers and the general mobile population (including 30 million Instagram users) overflowing with energetic opinions and questions about how Facebook plans to use its latest product, and what it means for the future of the little camera app that could did.

Why did Facebook purchase Instagram?
Any media savant will tell you that one of Facebook’s biggest struggles is with its mobile technology — notably on iOS — due to the massive amount of content offered and the clunky, inconvenient platform currently being employed to display it. “They realized that their mobile experience was just too cluttered,” said Nick Bilton, lead columnist for The New York Timestech blog. “Facebook has so many different services within the company that it takes 11 steps to take a photo and share it. With Instagram, it’s almost an instant process.”

One approach the company has started to take to rectify their mobile woes involves building out smaller apps — like the recently launched Messenger — which offer standalone doses of specific Facebook features. In the case of Instagram, and considering that photo sharing is the start-up bubble du jour — Facebook looks to have finally found a photo-sharing property that, coupled with other acquisitions, may be the missing puzzle piece of their mobile strategy. Tech pundit Om Malik’s opinion suggests far less amiability: “Facebook was scared s–tless… Facebook is essentially about photos, and Instagram had found and attacked Facebook’s Achilles’ heel — mobile photo sharing.”

NEXT: “The number to watch is really going to be Instagram’s audience”

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