Vivendi Half-Life 2 game release uncertain

After weeks of uncertainty over when the game would be released — compounded by a missed launch date and a hacker attack on the game’s development company — online game retailers have begun showing a post-Thanksgiving ship date.

Yet the game’s publisher, Vivendi Universal Games, referred questions this week to developer Valve Software, and a Valve spokesman said only “nothing yet,” when asked Wednesday if the company had any update on when it would release the title. Inc. shows the game being released Dec. 1, while says the game will ship on Nov. 27. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s says for people who pre-order the game “it should arrive on or just after” Nov. 17. Best Buy Inc.’s estimates the game arriving between Nov. 3 and Nov. 12.

However, GameStop Corp.’s still shows an April 1, 2004 release, and a spokeswoman for Amazon, which is generally considered to be on top of industry release schedules, said the company was merely guessing at that Dec. 1 date based on comments by the game’s developer, Valve, that it would be out this holiday season.

“Half-Life 2,” the sequel to one of the best-selling video games ever, is considered so important to the industry that its assumed delay into 2004, combined with the delay until next year of the equally-important “Doom III,” has prompted analysts to lower their PC games growth forecasts for this year.

“HL2” is also seen as key to hardware companies like PC graphics chip makers ATI Technologies Inc. and Nvidia Corp., who count on video game players to consistently buy the newest, fastest and most-expensive chips to play intensive games like “HL2.”

The game had been set for a Sept. 30 release; but the week before, Valve said the game would not launch on schedule but would instead be out at some unspecified point this holiday season.

Subsequently, Valve said some of the game’s code was stolen by hackers that infiltrated the company’s e-mail systems. Bits of that code appeared on the Internet, as did what some fans said in online forums were playable portions of the game.

Valve has said only that it is assessing the impact of the theft on the game and its schedule. But a senior executive of Vivendi Universal Games, a unit of France’s Vivendi Universal, said in an interview with a French newspaper earlier this month that the game would not come out until April 2004 because of the stolen code.

A source familiar with Vivendi Universal Games’ operations said at the time, however, that it was unclear when the game would be ready for release and no one was certain of that April forecast.

The original “Half-Life,” released in 1998, is still popular among PC gamers, and a modified version of the game, called “Counter-Strike,” is widely used in gaming competitions.

“Half-Life 2” stars Gordon Freeman, a scientist battling aliens from the planet Xen in a mysterious European locale known only as City 17.

Source: Reuters


HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.

Sony’s latest sensor is stacked, backlit, and equipped with a global shutter

Say this five times fast: Backlit, stacked, global shutter sensor. Sony managed to cram all three technologies into one sensor. The result is a high-speed sensor with a higher resolution without sacrificing low-light quality.

Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Master Shinobi combat with our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice beginner's guide

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one of the hardest games of the generation, and it can be overwhelming, even for those who have played From Software's other games. Here is what you need to know to get started.

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Horde and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Whether you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we've got a guide to help you unlock every allied race that's coming in Battle for Azeroth.

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Product Review

Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit may look silly, but it really works

During our hands-on with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, fears of a gimmicky product from Nintendo were quickly dispelled. While not a direct competitor to Oculus or HTCs own headsets, Labo VR brings a clever, new way to experience VR that makes…

PlayStation does the smart thing, stops selling digital codes at physical stores

Sony will no longer offer PlayStation digital full-game downloads at retail stores. The game downloads will now only be available directly from the PlayStation Network's own digital store.

Seven years later, ‘Dark Souls’ is still a gloriously punishing masterpiece

Despite my experience and love of From Software’s Dark Souls III and Bloodborne, I never played the original Dark Souls. The new remastered version gave me a chance to remedy that, and it was glorious.

Atlus reveals Persona 5 The Royal, teases mysterious new female character

Atlus revealed Persona 5 The Royal in a trailer that features a mysterious new female character. It appears that the redhead will be an antagonist to the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, but many details about the upcoming game remain unclear.

Save big on Corsair gaming headsets and a premium keyboard

From March 24 to 30, you can pick up one of two models of the great Corsair's Void Pro gaming headset on a sweet discount. One of Corsair's best mechanical keyboards is also on sale this week -- at a steep discount.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!