This one is for all XBOX lovers!  We are giving away some great prizes and GamesINC credits if you shop with us this February.  There are three steps to great giveaways:

  1. Buy any (or all!) of the games listed in February Frenzy.
  2. Enjoy your newly purchased games and complementary 150INR GamesINC credits for your next purchase.
  3. Stand a chance to win some awesome freebies.  These freebies include XBOX Mass Effect 3 Vaults, Wireless Steering Wheels, Kinect Joyride Game DVDs, and GamesINC credits.


Mass Effect 3 Vault for XBOX

This Limited Collector's Edition Beauty Armors your Console
This Limited Collector’s Edition: Mass Effect 3 Vault, armors your console to show Shepard at his best. His chest piece features the iconic “N7 logo” that lights up in two different modes. Each Mass Effect 3 Vault comes with its own numbered Certificate of Authenticity and code that can be redeemed for bonus items in Mass Effect 3’s Multiplayer experience.

Race in style with this hot accessory!

XBOX Wireless Speed Wheel

Take the wheel for easy motion-controlled racing. With the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel, experience realistic, accurate steering, and feel every bump in the road with rumble feedback. The Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel is compatible with all your favorite racing games on Xbox 360, and puts you in total control with intuitive buttons and triggers.

AC3_X360_Inlay_4PACKSHOTS_02.inddAssassin’s Creed III

Assassin’s Creed III spans the Revolutionary War, taking gamers from the vibrant, untamed frontier to bustling colonial towns and the intense, chaotic battlefields where George Washington’s Continental Army clashed with the imposing British Army.

Kinect Joyride


Kinect Joy Ride reinvents driving and Kart racing by adding massive jumps and full body stunts to the classic Kart racing action. With a host of cool features and game modes you can take off for the ride of your life by yourself, pick up a co-pilot or team up with your friends and family to take on the world.



So here’s how it works – if you buy any of the games in our February Frenzy, we will keep a track of your order number.  We will then pull the lucky winners out of a hat at the end of February

Each game purchased stands an equal chance to win our great giveaways. We will be announcing winners every few days.


Only the following titles on XBOX:

  • Forza Horizon (Limited + Normal Edition)
  • All Gears of War Games
  • All Halo Games
  • Battlefield 3 (Normal Edition):
  • FIFA Street
  • FIFA 12
  • MOH: Warfighter
  • Crysis 2
  • Need for Speed:  Hot Pursuit
  • Mass Effect 3 Normal or Special Edition N7:
  • Kinect Rush
  • Dance Central 3
  • Kinectimals: With Bears
  • Kinect Nat Geo TV
  • Nike Fitness


The winner gets to choose his preference, the second lucky winner gets the next choice, and so forth.


Afraid not – this offer is only valid for new games.


So what are you waiting for?  Head over to our February Frenzy page and get a chance to win these amazing prizes!  Write to us at if you have any questions at all!




The theme at CES 2013 appeared to be have given an impetus to innovation.  It is heartening to see that, even with technology (and gaming) companies becoming bigger and more removed from their roots, there still exist teams that bring us technology that is going to reshape the way we live our lives.

Today, let us talk about the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift is what virtual reality (VR) was always meant to be: not the trashy 3D glasses they hand you out at the neighborhood overpriced PVR Cinema.  The story of how the project is heading toward completion is quite humbling. There was this happy-go-lucky guy called Palmer Luckey with a pet project.  He posted about his project on a forum where it was discovered by the legendary John Carmack, founder of id Software.  Eventually, Carmack became a fan and proponent of this pet project and even pushed it on stage at an E3 convention.  This technology later landed on Kickstarter, our favorite crowdfunding platform.  The project raised $2.4 million.  Yes, that much.

The Oculus Rift is set to change our view of virtual reality.

The Oculus Rift is set to change our view of virtual reality.

The VR unit is meant for end consumers, which means it is going to be affordable.  This means you and I will (should) soon be able to use this as our HUD while we slice down evil mercenaries of the C.E.L.L Corporation in Crysis 3 (actually, the release dates for both will definitely not coincide that squarely, but you get the point).


Shaped like ski goggles, the unit has two lenses pointed at a 7″ LCD panel.  This LCD delivers two separate images to each eye, somewhat like what a regular 3D goggles aims to achieve.  Inbuilt gyroscopes and such-likes ensure that the unit is able to sense your own movements and correct the LCD’s vision accordingly.  As you move your head, so does the picture in the LCD.  Imagine dive-bombing into enemy outposts in Battlefield 3 with the air zooming past you as you careen toward your target: yes, that good.


It may be a while before the VR unit is ready for production, but the devkits are out this March.  If you are technically inclined, you may preorder them off the Oculus Rift website here.   To really understand the power of this product, check out some of the initial reactions captured by the Davis Daily:


With devkits out in March, it might still be a while before the gaming world is ready for the implications of this technology.  We don’t expect that adoption will be as slow the Kinect, which means most developers will jump at this much faster.  We peg the release around early 2014.  Anticipating this timeline, some developers are already joining the bandwagon.  For instance, Adhesive Games announced that its Unreal Engine-based free-to-play Hawken will be Oculus-ready when it launches this December.  Here is a screenshot:

Unreal Engine-based Hawken will support Oculus.

Unreal Engine-based Hawken will support Oculus.


This piece of hardware will revolutionize the way games work.  Additionally, this will have amazing consequences for training — imagine manufacturing, aerospace, and hazardous materials training.  This technology could easily change what the future looks like for us.  A future might even be a combination of Google’s Project Glass and Ocular Rift.


The broader picture here deserves a mention.  A lot of how this project came to be is serendipity.  If we left it to bigger corporations to get us there, we would still be depending on 3-D glasses (we have seen how slow innovation in that sphere has been).   Companies such as Kickstarter and have provided the impetus to bring such innovation to the masses.  It may still be a while before crowdfunding becomes the preferred route for entrepreneurs and techies, but nonetheless it is a step in the right direction.

In India, we have seen at least one such initiative, Wishberry, that brings the concept to our shores.  India is a hotbed for innovation and companies like Wishberry can make it happen for all the ideas that get shelved for lack of investment — at the very least, entrepreneurs and innovators will have one less excuse for not following their dreams.

We are looking forward to trying out the Oculus Rift the moment it is up for grabs.  In the meantime, it’s back to the trusted DualShock to liberate my friends from the evil Vaas.


As we look forward to the great new games coming out this fall, there is a worrying trend that is becoming apparent — the increasing prices of upcoming games (and, in many cases, the stagnant prices of games beyond their peak!).

So we did some research to figure out what was going wrong.  What we found was interesting. Spiralling prices are only the tip of a somewhat large iceberg — the disorganized state of the market and the lack of market intelligence are more pressing challenges, which are hopefully more in our control to fix.

Prices: The Government
How can there be a negative market trend and the government be not to blame, right? In this case, there are actually two ways, not one, that the government has managed to impact us gamers.  The easiest one to spot is, of course, the nose-diving rupee which seems like it is heading downward in an extreme bungee jump (we can only hope there is a rope tied to the ankle)! While release prices of most games worldwide have remained the same–in rupee terms, they have become more expensive.

There has always been a 27% duty on importing the great stuff we love.  Now, unconfirmed reports say that there is a “clarification” that this 27% does not depend on the price at which Indian suppliers import but on the MRP at which suppliers plan to sell.  This clearly makes the 27% have a much hire impact on prices than earlier.  We sure hope the importer community begins to push back on such practices and looks for workarounds to such inefficiencies.

Pirated Games and Prices: The Chicken Or The Egg?
The ease of access to hacked games and gaming consoles in India has undoubtedly been driven by the high prices of games. The appeal of drastically reduced prices coupled with the Indian approach to jugaad has made the pirated game market rampant. But what was originally driven by high prices could now be keeping prices high. When someone buys a pirated game, they don’t buy an original one:   this reduces the size of the Indian market in the eyes of game producers/distributors.  This means we get less attention (see the Unavailability arguments below) but also potentially higher prices for those who buy legitimate games.

Unavailability: The Nascent Market

Diablo III: Better Late than Never

When B+ games are released in the US and UK and don’t make their way into the subcontinent, we don’t really mind.  But when an obvious blockbuster like Diablo III doesn’t make it way here on Day 1, then that is a cause for worry.  Clearly, the market in India is not developed enough to make publishers take note.  Thankfully, some retailers have managed to now get the Diablo III franchise into India–and (shameless plug) we have a wide suite of Diablo III products from Steelseries to choose from!  The reason that the market is still nascent compared to other nations is that gaming was actively discouraged as a hobby until very recently thanks to parents’ obsession with raising the world’s next Sheldon Cooper.  And also, the high cost of gaming… but we have already established that!

So What’s Next?
Recent trends in the gaming information segment, such as the new MCV India website and the annual E-xpress conference of retailers, are welcome improvements that will hopefully play an important role in the maturing of the market.  Further, the naturally maturing market base (college students playing  PC games 10 years ago are playing original console games today) will contribute to more serious consideration from publishers worldwide.  So what if we got Sniper Elite V2 at a jaw-dropping, eye-bulging, expletive-inspiring price of Rs.3,499 (also available for Rs.3,135 on our store).

FIFA13: Raised quite a few shackles in the gaming world with its pricing!

The future looks mixed. FIFA 13 was announced at Rs.3,499 on PS3 until the distributor for the the XBOX version announced it at Rs.2,999.  The PS3 price was then revised immediately to Rs.2,999.  We have also seen some price cuts on last year’s Activision titles.  Analysts believe most distributors will be forced to increase the already-high prices in the future due to the change in import duties.  But there is also potential good news with Sony looking to manufacture games in India as the head of Sony India stated in a recent MCV article. That should drive some of the prices down – with the aim to get PS3 platinum games to the Rs.999 mark.

If you are a gamer, developer, retailer, or supplier, we want to know what you think!  Let us know in the comments section below!


The third person shooter category is not an easy one to nail. Even if you are a rockstar (sic) working on maximum pain (sic, again)! Jokes apart, we took Max Payne 3 for a ride recently (admittedly a bit late). Did it meet our expectations? Read on…

Max’s new avatar makes us think Rockstar may be planning to star Bruce Willis in the next Payne movie!
Source: Joystiq

Max is now older, more depressed, and slower — which, in fact, is a relief given that Rockstar hasn’t always been known for realistic scenarios (remember war tanks falling from the sky?). Max is now on a “protection” detail protection hapless, rich, spoilt brats with shady lineage.

Rodrigo Branco, Max’s employer, doesn’t make you like him — and you get a feeling Max is only trying to wipe off his demons by working for him. Things take a turn for the worse when Rodrigo’s trophy wife, Fabiana, is kidnapped on Max’s watch.

The cut scenes, once you get over their long-winded nature, are an essential component of the game and provides you with an insight into Max’s psyche. They hold the story tightly wound. That said, at some points it does seem like a bit too much — as an ardent Call of Duty and Battlefield fan (yes, there are people who like both!), I like to climb my own ladders and really don’t appreciate having control taken away from me when I need to do something as mundane as climbing a ladder.

The gameplay is relatively smooth too. At times though, you may feel under-weaponed: we have had to empty almost two magazines into a single enemy even when we are shooting straight into him. Our advice: aim for headshots. Like all third person shooters, Max Payne 3 isn’t without it’s share of glitches: for instance, once while we were crouching behind a barrier, Max decided it was time to swim — the ground beneath him turned into water and he struggled to keep floating eventually giving up and deciding to restart the game instead! We have seen such instances in other popular games too, so we aren’t complaining too much (on that note, also check out our picture of FIFA playing on Modern Warfare 3)!

Unlike Ghost Recon and a few other third person shooters, you can’t shift seamlessly from one crouching position to another without getting up first. That typically puts you out there to be shot to smithereens. I really like how Ghost Recon allows you to do a crouch-run from one location to another — but that’s for another story.

Bullet Time: Killing in style never goes out of fashion in Payneland.

Max’s signature moves — Bullet Time and Shoot Dodge — are easy to master and, as always, fun to execute. Max does not regenerate life when shot, the only way to recover is through vials of painkillers that you may (or most likely, may not) find during regular gameplay. In our opinion, it makes the gameplay more exciting (and longer).

The single player runs about 8-10 hours, but you won’t really feel like it has been that long (unless you get some at some point you just can’t get out of!).  The Arcade mode is pretty interesting too — especially New York Minute with its Eagles-esque name, where you are timed to 5 mins of life and are supposed to kill enemies to keep the clock running.  Reminds me of the movie In Time.

The multiplayer is not at all the failure I imagined it might be! You have to first start with noobish Deathmatches but can unlock more modes as you go along.  Gang Wars tries to weave some story-line into the multiplayer mode, which is an unusually tough thing to do.  You have a different objective in each of four different rounds: from eliminating a key enemy (Gears of War 3 style) to claiming territory (Battlefield 3 style).  Multiplayer seems like a whole lot of fun, even though many Battlefield fans will tend to disagree (but hey, that isn’t a fair comparison, right?).

What were your experiences with Max Payne 3?  If you haven’t played it yet, or are on the fence with if you want to invest in it — then we have some great new preowned options for you too! Check out the links below:

Pre-owned: Max Payne 3



New: Max Payne 3




As our team was discussing the poor performance of Syndicate and Ghost Recon in India (decent sales on Xbox, poor on PS3 for the latter) compared to ROW (Ghost Recon is currently the top selling game in the UK for example).  I ventured that I preferred Ghost Recon to both Modern Warfare 3 & Battlefield 3.  And there it was, the whole GamesINC office turned around towards me with a look of shock and horror.  Before my open minded colleagues could confiscate my PS3, I ran out of the office and to the safety of the Delhi streets (well…).

What is it about shooters that divide everyone’s opinion so much?  And why, in India, are some games such as Battlefield 3 nearly impossible to find whereas others such as Ghost Recon suffered in sales.  Let’s start with a walk down memory lane…

The First Shooters:  One Choice Only But What a Choice

Wolfenstein 3D and Doom.  These defined the shooter genre. Playing Wolfenstein for the first time was eye opening– you’d never seen or experienced this before.  Tearing through Nazi officers with an unseen array of weapons and finishing off by taking on Hitler!  Beat that!

Chainsaw, Room Full of Ammo, Big Taurus Thingy Monster – Three Reasons Doom Revolutionized Shooters

And then Doom arrived and did that the very next year.  Adding diversity to the levels which was limited in Wolfenstein, a much longer single player mode, much better visuals, mutant aliens and deathmatches (where do you think the term comes from?).

At the time – the choice was limited to these two games for the vast majority of gamers, but it really didn’t matter – these games were so good and revolutionnary.  Doom & Wolfenstein created the shooter genre & even industry (most shooters afterwards were called Doom clones).

The Diversification of Shooters:  The Following Waves

It’s impossible to cover shooters from the mid-90s to mid-2010s without writing a dissertation – so let’s keep it high level.  Once Doom had engrained the genre into video gaming – shooters started slowly branching in different directions.  Quake took on the multiplayer mode, Half-Life took it to the next level and had an actual story line (a darn good one at that), Golden Eye wrapped them both into one awesome pack.  Half-Life and Golden Eye helped popularize the genre on consoles.

Someone Is About To Die – Getting Your Hand On The Rocket Launcher Was Always Satisfying

As the industry evolved, games such as Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider, Max Payne, Syndicate, Deus Ex (to name a few) started taking shooters into different directions offering a variety of games reflecting the varied demands of gamers (as well as the diversity in creative juices among development houses).  The diversification has even lead to different sub genres:  First Person and Third Person.  Some would argue that the games above, especially Tomb Raider and Metal Gear Solid are not really shooters.  You do shoot in them, no?  And this leads us to today…

Today:  A World of Choices

There are two uncontested big hitters today:  Modern Warfare 3 & Battlefield 3.  They keep the same fundamental as the originals – unadulterated action.  Sure – there’s a story thrown in there for good measure, but it’s all about blasting your way through levels or through online opponents. And boy does the formula work:  Modern Warfare 3 hit $1 Billion in sales in 16 days, more than any other release across all digital entertainment genres (it reached $1 Billion before Avatar and Harry Potter:  The Deathly Hallows – Part 2).  There have been a number of similar style games over the last twelve months which haven’t quite hit the same standard this year such as Homefront and Bodycount to name a couple.

Battlefield 3 Multiplayer – It’s Beautiful, It’s Chaotic, And It’s Hours of Endless Fun

For those not so much into the spray and pray – there’s a myriad of additional choices, some different by degrees (Max Payne 3, Black Ops, Crysis), some offering completely different experiences (Deux Ex, Ghost Recon, Uncharted).  There’s also been a merging with RPG which has given us some absolute classics such as Red Dead and the GTA series.

The multiplayer has also really taken to the fore – even games such Max Payne & Uncharted 3 offer multiplayer modes.  Development houses have kept gamers hooked for tens if not hundreds of hours of gameplay with awesome multiplayer modes.  For example, one of our regular customers wanted to trade in Max Payne 3 – we called him up and suggested he try the multiplayer before he made his decision.  He hasn’t traded it in, he likes the multiplayer too much – not a good business decision, but we’re gamers and we want people to get the maximum enjoyment.  In addition to the multiplayer, new DLCs appearing all the time mean that there’s no need to get a new game – as developers are constantly adding new maps, challenges, weapons to your game.

The Future:  What does it look like?

Developers will keep trying to keep gamers hooked into their games for as long as possible.  This year does not see such a heavy hitting line up as the end of last year (2012 actually might be a lighter year between big line ups in 2011 and 2013).  Modern Warfare fans might make the jump into Black Ops 2 in the winter when it releases, whereas Battlefield 3 fan boys seem a loyal bunch, and might stay away from a Call of Duty game – from observation, they could be playing Battlefield 3 for a while (I nearly got lynched on Facebook too for suggesting Ghost Recon is better than BF3).  Medal of Honor: Warfighter might be the big surprise as they are timing their release to perfection – jut when the market might be looking for a new traditional shooter.

Medal of Honor – Real World Conflicts, Tight Graphics, Chaotic, and Perfect Timing. Could Be A Big Hit

Does that mean the end of diversity in the gaming industry? By no means – sales of Max Payne 3 have been good, and gamers are always looking to get into new games – so while the multiplayers will keep fans occupied, it won’t stop them buying the latest games on release.  Over the last twelve months, games like Uncharted, Deus Ex, Saints Row The Third and L.A. Noire have entertained even the biggest BF3 or MW3 fan.

And this year, well next year actually – there’s a lot of interesting games in proposition which could take a lot of genres to the next level. Crysis 3 in particular looks stunning, and seems to be bringing a lot more options to players. Tomb Raider seems to have reinvented itself into a grittier more real game.  The Last of Us just looks like something we haven’t before.  And finally we can’t wait to get our hands on WatchDogs, which looks like a Deus Ex on steroids.  The last 3 in particular promise so much in terms of the evolution of shooters. Check out our preview of what’s coming in our E3 round up.

Will it look any different in India?

In India, the reason that games such as Ghost Recon and Syndicate struggled even more than internationally is that they were not hitting the spray and pray demand of the market – as well as not having the multiplayer following that will allow you to play against your friends.  The stealth and cooperative modes that these games offered do not appeal as much.  If you can shoot a thousand enemies per minute, why settle for ten?  Especially if those enemies are not your friends…

Watch Dogs – Cyberpunk, Strong Story, Intense Action, Good Looking, Everyone Is Hackable. Hits All Our Buttons

And in the case of Syndicate – the Indian market’s dynamics, a younger average age of gamers meant that the emotional attachment that us old timers had with the title did not push them to buy it. If anything – the Indian market is going to heavily go for the heavy hitters and less likely to go for the offshoots in the shooter genre.  With time – as the market keeps growing and ageing – things might change…but for the moment, we expect Black Ops 2 to perform well.  Medal of Honour is a bit of an unknown quantity for the Indian market, it could do very well as gamers look for a new shooter and it’s timing is perfect…or it could suffer the same fate as Ghost Recon and Syndicate.  We’re not expecting too much from Halo 4…but you never know, Halo fan boys might come out of the closet for the latest one.

2013 should be interesting – the popularity of such the reinvented Tomb Raider, the widely expected Last of Us and Watch Dogs will tell us a lot about the preferences of gamers in India.

What are your thoughts?  Did you choose Max Payne 3 or Ghost Recon: Future Soldier?  Why?

As always – keep up to date with our latest news, offers, and releases on Facebook and Twitter.  For all your gaming needs in India – shop @ GamesINC.

We offer all the latest and greatest shooters on our Web site.  If you wanna pick up some shooters at unbeatable prices, check out our high quality used games for Xbox here (includes Mass Effect 3, MW3, Black Ops & many more) or our PS3 collection (includes MW3, Syndicate, Deus Ex & many more).

Disclaimer:  Some people will have objections to the classifications of shooter, especially for games such as Tomb Raider, GTA, and Deus Ex. I’ve taken the “if you shoot something, it’s a shooter” perspective.  Controversial, I know…

And apologies to PC fan boys for not covering your platform in a lot of depth (except for the early days). You’ve accused us of being too console oriented, and that’s true – we write on what we know. We’re actually looking for PC bloggers if you’re interested…



This article comes to us from our guest writer, Anish Kataria. Anish is a passionate gamer, a car and bike enthusiast, and a generally happy guy. He can be reached on twitter @AnishKataria.

Gamers in India have never had it easy!  Trying to find a little bit of gaming nirvana has always been a difficult task in our country, and has led countless gamers to tread cautiously across narrow by-lanes and deal with vendors whose products left a lot to be desired.  The delayed software/hardware launches, freakishly high import tariffs, inaccessible network services (thank you, Sony!), and the overall apathy of the international gaming community toward us.


E3 is the annual carnival for the computer and video games industry.

But lamentations aside, let’s get to the reason why I am writing this article.  The Electronic Entertainment Expo (better known as E3) is the annual carnival for the computer and video games industry and is presented by the Entertainment Software Association.  E3 2012 was held between June 5th and 7th in Los Angeles.  So, here’s my take on the 5 titles that gamers should look forward to.  Unfortunately, some of them are tied down to certain platforms but that just means that we’ll have to call upon our brethren for access, unless you’re one of the lucky few who have both the PS3 and the Xbox 360!

Crysis 3

Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Expected Release:  Q2 2013

The Crysis series of games has always been the top of any list that I’ve created as a result of the exhilarating game-play, brilliant graphics, and well-written storyline.  Initial trailer reveals that Crytek (the game developer) has another ace up its sleeve and ‘Prophet’ (the main protagonist) looks amazingly cool handling the killer composite bow with 4 different arrow tips (remember John Rambo facing the Russians in Afghanistan?). The trailer shows that the developers have made it easier for gamers to use multiple paths/ways to plan your attack before each mission!  Other interesting bits include being able to control alien weaponry for the first time in the series and multiple pre-scripted settings for the nanosuit.

The game starts with the Prophet returning to New York City in 2047 and finding the city enclosed by a nanodome that turns most of the city into a rainforest.  The corrupt Cell Corporation (Yes, every cool game must have one evil corporation!) is trying to grab both land and technology, while Prophet battles wicked aliens and Cell’s thugs for payback!

Medal of Honor:  Warfighter

Platform(s):  PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Expected Release:  End October 2012

Medal of Honor:  Warfighter (also called Medal of Honor: 2) builds on, and is a direct sequel to, the critically acclaimed series reboot Medal of Honor from 2010.  Expect some breathtaking visuals and immersive surroundings from this game as it’s based on an evolved version of DICE’s Frostbite 2.0 engine (the one used in Battlefield 3!).  The single player mode will continue to follow the story of Tier 1 operators who are the most precise, aggressive, and disciplined (make sense?) warrior in the US arsenal.  Every single mission in this game is aligned to an actual historical event or a real world hotspot (e.g. Somalia).

The game’s stage-debut at E3 provided a great insight into the vast number of preferences on offer in the single player campaign.  This includes taking out entire buildings with air support, using a remote-controlled robot that offers grenade launchers and Gatling guns, and engaging in firefights in different ways.  To top it off, the multiplayer mode features 13 playable Tier 1 special force units from 10 countries!

Watch Dogs

Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Expected Release: 2013

You are no longer an individual; you’re a data cluster bound to a global network—so says the trailer (woah!). Storyline, good storyline, the most awesome storyline! This game from Ubisoft Montreal has unleashed a torrent of tweets across cyberspace, left the gaming community stunned, and is undoubtedly the most anticipated game coming out of E3.

The game takes you to Chicago of the near future, one of many cities controlled by a supercomputer called ctOS (Central Operating System).  ctOS controls almost every piece of technology in the windy city and collates/processes information on all its residents.  In the game, you’ll play Aiden Pearce, a highly skilled hacker who can kick ass in the physical domain as well.  Gameplay demo from E3 showed Aiden jam cellphones to serve as a quick distraction, access personal information from the central hub to start conversations, tapping phone calls to retrieve critical information, and manipulate traffic lights to cause massive damage.  The game seemed a bit GTAish when the gameplay demo was demonstrated but slowly started revealing the strategic insight and behavioral tendencies of our antihero (?).

Overall, cyberpunk comes back with a bang!

Tomb Raider

Platforms:  PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Expected Release:  Early March 2013

Guess who’s back?  Yes, she’s back—the fantasy of every teenage boy at the turn of the century.  Tomb Raider became a household name (Angelina Jolie may have played a small part) because of the way Lara Croft was designed (sexy, suave, intelligent, and dangerous), the depth and multiplicity of plot (first 3 titles mostly?), and the ever changing game environments.

This new game is a fresh start for the franchise and is a prequel to the original series.  In this game, a young naïve Lara Croft gets stranded on a tropical island in the dragon’s triangle after the ship she was travelling in is hit by a storm and shattered in two.  The game shows how Lara developed her tomb raiding skills because of chance and not by choice (she’s really scared of tombs in the beginning of the game).  Further, it makes Lara more human, more believable, and develops her character/her physical presence slowly as the game progresses.  More so, it makes you forget the cold icy Lara of the past and gives her a heart (she apologizes to a deer she had to kill in order to get some much needed nutrition!).

It looks like the developers have done a really good job of adding some RPG elements to the game, making it a wee bit more open-world rather than the linear (reach-your-objective games of the past), and making her physical movements more authentic.

Halo 4

Platform(s):  Xbox 360

Expected Release:  Early November 2012

Personally, I’m not looking forward to this game since I feel this franchise is over-rated (and I don’t have an XBOX 360) but since this is the highest selling game on the Xbox platform, I just had to include it (yes, double standards!).  On second thoughts, the new game actually looks pretty cool.  Graphically, the engine in Halo 4 seems to be doing a better job than the one in Halo 3 as the lighting effects feel better and Master Chief’s character model looks a bit more detailed.

The game continues 5 years after Halo 3 ends and marks the return of Master Chief and his best friend Cortana after they were lost in space.  Action in the game takes place on an unknown Forerunner (race of ancient beings) planet.  Other game elements highlighted across gaming discussion boards include Cortana’s insanity, increased emphasis on exploration/discovery, and aligning the multiplayer campaign with single player story elements.

Other notable mentions from the event include:

The Last of Us (only PS3)

This game is going to be awesome! Check out this discussion from the great guys at

God of War Ascension  (only PS3)

Epic series comes back with a bang and also adds a multiplayer mode!

Assassin’s Creed 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360, and WiiU) 

Shows potential.

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

I feel that the series is over hyped (especially after the last one) and I’m not really looking forward to it!

Dead Space 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Scary, very scary!

In other gaming news – DICE has just launched Battlefield 3 premium.  This membership service costs a one-time fee of USD 49.99 (Rs 1899 in India, if I remember correctly from the figure I saw late last night!).  This service is a must have for any BF3 aficionado as it offers all five expansion packs (Back to Karkland, Close Quarters, Armored Kill, Aftermath, and Endgame), exclusive in-game items, online double XP events, and insider tips/tricks from DICE.  I really want to get this but I’m wondering how to bypass Sony’s hackable payment structure. Sigh!

Till we meet again, may the force be with you!


Although we hadn’t posted about WTF IGC recently, we were just as excited as everyone else about attending the event that could define gaming in India.  So, we woke up today energized to check out the surprise WTF had arranged for us.  In hindsight, shock may have been the right word there.

Starting at the beginning, getting to Noida isn’t easy. Getting to Greater Noida is even a greater (sic) challenge.  Armed with an iPad for navigation, you would think getting directions would be a cinch.  That was until we reached Noida and realized that the WTF pages weren’t iPad friendly.  But hey, that’s a minor hassle — we decided to check out Google Maps for the address.  So we pasted the address from the WTF site on to Google maps and hey, wait — there is no sector BZP in Greater Noida?  We couldn’t let a simple thing like that keep us down. We asked for directions, went round in circles, and finally made it there. It was going to be worth it after all!

Except it wasn’t.

As we entered the complex, we did feel the potential of what this could be.  It really is what the Ayatti-Caparo group promises it to be.  Even with the issues getting there, we didn’t feel we would be let down. Yet.

We saw a queue up front which, we assumed, was for tickets for the event.  We parked our car and went over to the queue.  A few kids (I am allowed to call them kids, having passed the 30-year mark) in the queue looked disappointed — that looked odd given how this was the most anticipated gaming event of the year.  We found out then that they had been waiting there since 10AM and the organizers were still setting up equipment (at 4PM!).

One disappointed fan told us: “We have been hanging around here since 10AM, and now they are telling us that they are waiting for Honey Singh — who the hell wants to listen to Honey Singh, this is a gaming event!”.  His friend (kids are cute that way) consoled him saying: “Dude, don’t be disheartened — you have been waiting for four years for a gaming event.  We will be back tomorrow.”  At this point, I turned around to look at the stage — it was still being set up:  if I was the organizer, I wouldn’t blame Honey Singh for the delay.  I suspect this was just something an uninformed volunteer told our disappointed fan.

Another disappointed fan with a group of friends told us that they had been waiting since 10AM and they had not been let in by the guard for about two hours.  Being dedicated gamers, they took it in their stride and waited around under the hot scorching sun for the event that was promised to them (it isn’t like you can just hop over across the road to an air-conditioned mall to while away your time).  We asked the group if they were planning to come back tomorrow and there was a resounding no across the group.  “We aren’t planning on coming back, not after this.”

On the bright side, we did see refunds processing start around 4:15pm.  We left in another 15 mins but we expect that most refunds would be processed during the evening.

This should serve as a good learning experience for WTF.  We are not event managers ourselves, but we can imagine the multitude of things that can go wrong with an event like this.  WTF has probably done a lot of similar (but non-gaming) events in the past but getting this right in the next two days is critical to their survival.  The Metallica gig cancellation in Gurgaon cost DNA Networks a lot in terms of future prospects.  IGC being a failure is equally epic in its proportions given how gamers have viral power on social media.  Future events can, and will, be impacted if WTF fails to use the next two days to make this event a success.

Did you go to IGC today?  Let us know what your experiences were like.  If you are going tomorrow, be sure to let us know on our Facebook page how it went!

UPDATE: We promised you pics from the event, so here they are

Beta, Alpha, Delta... wait, where's Sector BZP? We eventually came to the conclusion that it was some combination of Beta-Zeta-Pi (isn't that a sorority?)!

Something fishy?

We thought this was the queue for tickets. Turns out it was for cancellations.

At the entrance: someone manning the desk might have been nice.

We are sure they didn't need to work on Day 1 -- not sure if they got paid though.

At the entrance: we didn't get the feeling there were going to be 300,000 visitors.


Gamers worldwide have been following stories of Game UK’s demise with increasing curiosity.  A lot of Indian gamers were disappointed to see the store go into administration.  Admittedly, most of us based our best wishes for The Game Group based on our experiences (and cheap prices) with their website.  Those closer to the erstwhile retail giant’s physical stores felt otherwise.  For instance, here is a comment from a reader from the Guardian’s coverage  of the event that sums up a lot of what customers in the UK are feeling:

“Ask any gamer why they don’t shop at Game anymore. Price. Range. Poor Customer Service.”

The Game UK Website wore a "down for maintenance" notice as well.

Those are probably the three most important things that drive any business — it doesn’t matter whether the business is a brick and mortar store or an online site.  While our assessment of the coverage shows that Game’s outcome was driven by a series of incorrect business decisions, it does belie the question: what about the gaming market?  Will all stores eventually close?  We have seen how the music industry has been taken over by online (legal and illegal) downloads and no-one ever buys CDs anymore — is that what will happen to gaming as well? Considering how we are investing our lives savings into the GamesINC franchise, you can imagine how important this was for us.

But like what any business should do before they launch, this is one of the considerations we took into account early on.  And it is being supported by those in the industry sharing their opinions in the wake of Game’s demise.

Our take is that we are still between five and ten years away from going completely digital (more infrastructurally advanced countries may see the change in five years and we expect India to make the shift in 7-10 years).  So here is our no-numbers (well almost) quick assessment of the future (we can’t share all our IP on our blog now, can we?):

Software Requirements

Video graphics have come a long way in the last decade.

The top reasons why we love the console — the graphics, sounds, and features — eventually translate into massive software storage requirements.  An XBOX game can take up to 8GB in storage whereas a PS3 game can go beyond 15GB.  A digital download that size is still a nascent possibility in the UK and U.S., and a near impossibility in “fair” usage policy afflicted India.  Even without fup, I’d feel a tinge of guilt spending all my bandwidth on games — sort of like the guilt you feel when you print out a hundred pages on your work printer.  With time, the size of games will only increase, not decrease.  That said, there is a distinct possibility that — if the XBOX720(?) and the PS4(?) allow — the market moves to SD cards as an alternative to DVDs.  That will possibly be a step in the right direction and will enhance the lives of our consoles significantly.  In either case, there will be no impact on online and physical retail stores who will still have something to sell.

Internet Infrastructure

The biggest bane of online downloads is not fup, but overall infrastructure support in the country.  Downloading a 8GB game is hardly the same as downloading a 100MB music album.  Chances are high that even before games are delivered online-only, movies will take the plunge.  If a large proportion of the customer base moves to streaming videos, DVD and BluRay downloads, and game downloads, free bandwidth will become scarce.  Our Airtels, BSNLs, and Reliances will hardly be able to keep pace with the upgrades required. Of course, not all of these scenarios will come to pass all at the same time, so I am admittedly being more catastrophic than the situation demands.  However, if you look at how our ISPs have taken a reactive, almost regressive, stand toward business and have focused on acquiring customers that they know they won’t be able to sustainably serve with the current infrastructure, we see a lot of pain in the coming days — with or without massive digital downloads.

Compare your speed to those around the world and you can see that we are not nearly ready. Source:

Business Sense

The most important factor that will determine whether the gaming world goes digital is the amount of business sense it makes.  When Microsoft launched the XBOX, it was estimated to be losing $125 per box just on cost of goods.  It takes a lot of time, effort, and R&D money to design a new console — 10 years is a completely legitimate timeframe for such companies to ride the tide.  Companies will still make money through online sales of passes, DLCs, and (some) games.  It was only about 4 years ago that Microsoft started to make money off its console business and followed it up with about $1Billion in profit in early 2011 thanks to the Kinect.   It is too early to try to change the entire gaming environment by moving to digital downloads.  Remember the first XBOX and the red ring of death?  If Microsoft tries to change its hardware in a way that goes beyond extracting more performance, then it might well run into another couple of years of technical nightmares.  Its not that they can’t build a great system, but that it is unreasonable to expect that the first attempt will be perfect.

Beyond the technical aspects, there is also an entire logistical and delivery system associated with ensuring that a game DVD reaches the end-user.  A new delivery channel — technical and server upgrades for every publisher wishing to offer digital downloads, for instance — will need to be built. That does not come overnight.  We can speculate all we want on what the new XBOX720(?) or the PS4(?) will bring, but one thing that new consoles will not bring is automated upgrades for all service providers in the value chain.  It is still possible, but this will not be the revolution everyone expects — it will in fact push back innovation by a couple of years while we transition to the next infrastructure and game publishers themselves understand the new platform.

The change from physical media to online digital downloads cannot be avoided and will happen, whether some of us want it or not.  Companies, suppliers, and retailers will have to innovate or die.  But it is still a few years out in the future.  In the meantime though, it is not business as usual.  In India, we have a lot of work to do.  Unlike most other ventures — online and offline — the gaming market itself is nascent here.  We can’t sit back, look at those burgeoning numbers that consultants share with us, and expect the money to keep flowing in.  India is still not taken seriously as a gaming market.  We retailers, developers, and gamers have to build the market together.  But that is a story for another time.

How far out do you think the digital media revolution is?  Do you think Indian infrastructure and gaming market is ready for it?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Research and articles sourced from:


As true gamers, I bet you have been judged more than once in the typical gamer stereotypes that people hold — that you are a socially-challenged and entitled brat who has nothing productive to do.  So, the next time you face such discrimination, tell them off with these facts we gathered from global research on how gaming is good for you.

Increased Health Benefits

Not all of us fit this stereotype.

Gaming isn’t all that bad for your health, as we always feared.  After all, a lot of people tend to be couch potatoes that spend endless hours on their controllers (oh wait, that’s a stereotype!).  According to a recent research by the University of Rochester, gamers playing action-based video and computer games made decisions 25% faster than others without sacrificing accuracy.  The same study also concludes that champion gamers  can pay attention to more than six things at once without getting confused, compared with the four that someone can normally keep in mind — in a work environment that realistically needs its employees to juggle multiple complicated tasks, we see this as a fun way to build a pipeline of employable talent.

Increased Dexterity in Real World Situations

Its funny how people will yell sexist at any insinuation you make on women’s driving skills — and yet, will stand by their long-held beliefs that gamers could never get a date, implying that all gamers are overweight potato couches with a bottle of beer and a packet of chips on the side.  That was until now when the research above found that 42% of computer and video game players are women!  Getting back to the benefits, it seems female gamers were “better able to mentally manipulate 3D objects, a skill at which men are generally more adept” (quoting verbatim from the study, lest someone scream sexist again!).  I can see how this might be helpful in some situations like, say, parking a car?

Crowdsolving Social Problems

FoldIt uses social collaboration with a competitive edge to decipher proteins.

It wasn’t too long ago when Seth Cooper from the University of Washington, decided to tap into efforts of  thousands of gamers to solve scientific problems.  His coworker  Firas Khatib and his army of gamers cracked a critical AIDS research problem — determining the three-dimensional structures of different proteins — in just three weeks.  They used FoldIt, a social gaming experiment that brought together thousands of gamers to solve this longstanding issue.  It is interesting to note that two-thirds of the top scorers in this game have no biochemistry experience beyond statutory high school.  You learn more about the FoldIt project here and about its application to AIDS research here.

Making Work Fun

Using gaming concepts to make business processes smoother and solving critical organizational challenges is fast becoming popular — although the only thing we want to see changed about this is the term “gamification”.  For instance, with the popularity of Facebook as a marketing tool, companies are turning to gaming concepts — such as reward for progress achieved — into branding and sales tools.  Starbucks rewards (and attracts) visitors who check in to outlets on Foursquare with a Barista badge, and their most loyal customers with a $1 off.  Nike+ lets you save runs, set goals and challenge friends while you exercise.  All successful examples of how organizations have adopted gaming concepts.

But last, and definitely not the least, simple games put smiles on people — and that counts more than all else.  If you haven’t seen this already, check out how fondly this 100-yr old grandmom talks about her Nintendo:

Research and articles sourced from:


This article comes to us from our guest author, Abhishek Shirali.  Abhishek is a Consultant by day, social media expert by night (he claims only nights), and traveller/photographer on weekends. Follow him on Twitter at @abhishekshirali to learn about things you never wanted to know.  Also, we would like to thank Comic-Con India for the photographs on this post.  Visit them at and 

As the month of February, and with it the beautiful Delhi winter, drew to a close in 2011, it brought with it one of the most-awaited events of the year. The capital was hosting its first ever Comic-Con, its very own comic book convention and was finally giving comic-book lovers its due. High expectations, shaped primarily by the famous Comic-Con International in San Diego, were inevitable. But even those with the lowest of expectations were let down.

But not unlike the Indian cricket fan, comic-book lovers are eternally optimistic and forever faithful.

The Comic-Con returned to Delhi in 2012. And this time it did not disappoint. In the last year, the Comic-Con has “grown up” and has realized that it needs to cater to everyone – artists, authors, the die-hard comic book fan, the curious onlooker and of course, that driver of the economy, the businessman. It had merchandise, it had new artist stalls, in-conversation events, discount shops – and best of all it had the cosplay enthusiasts.

The Comic-Con this year was brilliant – but there were a few events/artists that stood out.

In conversation with Robert Crumb:

Meet the founder of the underground comix movement Photo Courtesy: Comic Con India

First and foremost an artist, Crumb is considered the founder of the underground comix movement. The founder of characters such as Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat, talked about, amongst other things, the influence of LSD on his art. Imagine his surprise when the audience told him that LSD is freely available here as well. I have a feeling he probably was tempted to see what “Indian LSD” is like.

Anant Pai – The Master Storyteller:

Anant Pai: He did start the fire! Photo Courtesy: The Hindu

If you’re like me and grew up during the 80s and the 90s, you probably read the Amar Chitra Katha – the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and  other historical comics. And you always knew who Uncle Pai was. Uncle Pai’s biography, “Anant Pai: Master Storyteller” was launched at the Comic-Con this year. As Reena Puri, Amar Chitra Katha editor said, “What can be the best way to pay tribute to a storyteller? Tell his story.” Amen!

The Kuru Chronicles:

Kuru Chronicles: Ari Jayprakash's work is brilliant and scary. Photo Courtesy: Comic Con India

Prominent photographer and artist Ari Jayaprakash launched the art work for his upcoming book “The Kuru Chronicles”. The art-work is brilliant, scary and makes you wonder about the fantastic talent this man possesses. Set in a parallel dsytopianCalcutta future, on a cold winter morning 5 entities are brought together in a singularly extraordinary event. The aftermath of which coincides with the advent of Kalki and the Kal Yuga. Dark, atmospheric, a tantrik psycho cannibalistic entre spread over 280 pages in 26 chapters, spanning 17 years. Pick it up soon. This one’s going to be a winner.

Chairman Meow:

Chairman Meow: India's own Kung Fu Panda (but not in a rip-offish way) Photo Courtesy: Comic Con India

One of the artists you heard a lot about during the first Comic Con was Abhijeet Kinni and his UbiMa. Everyone was awaiting a sequel – but I think it never came. However, what did come was the revolutionary Chairman Meow. Comparisons with Kung-Fu Panda are inevitable – the author brings it up himself – and the characters are similar. Will yourself through the first 5-6 pages and you immediately understand the characters and marvel at the brilliance of the artist and the author. And if you were ever interested in Communism, you might find this quite interesting.

The Ravanayan:

Ravanayan: Its not all black and white Photo Courtesy: Comic Con India

Ever wondered about the stark “whiteness” of the Ramayana? About how the entire story was mired in either white or black. The Ravanayan series by Vikas Goel and Vijayendra Mohanty looks at Ramayana from, you guessed it, Ravana’s point of view and as such is as grey as a stormy morning. Vikas is an awesome artist, something he agrees to quite readily and Vijayendra’s understated writing makes this one of those series that you would love to go through in one sitting.

So that’s it folks.  These are my highlights from the event.  Are there any artists and publishers you are looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!