Great news for Microsoft Flight Simulator fans. Microsoft has licensed Flight Simulator franchise to Dovetail Games, creator of the Train Simulator franchise. Dovetail games will now develop games for this franchise and the first game is expected to be released in 2015. Dovetail will also bring 2006′s Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition to Steam. This will include all of the content from the Deluxe Edition and the Acceleration expansion pack and will release later this year. ACES Studio, which was responsible for the Flight Simulator franchise inside Microsoft was shut down by Microsoft during its layoffs in 2009. After few years, Microsoft released Microsoft Flight for Windows uses and later it was also discontinued. Licensing this to 3rd party studio is a great move by Microsoft that should please gamers of this franchise. ...

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Since Valve Corporation co-founder, and former Microsoft employee, Gabe Newell publically called Windows 8 a “catastrophe,” it’s been fun game to look at the Steam user statistics every month. For the month of June we see PC gamers still prefer to use Windows, with a dominating 95.35% of OS share among Steam users. All versions of MacOS combined control 3.42% among Steam gamers, and Linux comes in at third with 1.13%. For a further breakdown of Windows, Windows 7 still leads with 62.06%. Combining Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 we see 24.98% OS share among Steam gamers. Up nearly 2% from last month and up 5% from January of this year.  Windows XP usage still remains around 5% even though the operating system has hit end-of-life. I suspect when DX12 is released we will see a further shift to Windows 8 off Windows 7 among gamers. Source: Steam ...

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Microsoft Studios has acquired the “Rise of Nations” franchise and has announced “Rise of Nations: Extended Edition” is coming to Steam Store next month. Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy game that spans all history.  Start with a single city in the Ancient Age; gather resources; build an infrastructure; research technologies; construct Wonders of the World such as the Pyramids and the Eiffel Tower; and expand your military might across the world, conquering hostile nations with bombers, battleships, and tanks—all over your lunch hour! In Rise of Nations there are: 18 Nations—each with special abilities and unique military units. Over a hundred military units operating on the ground, sea, and air— from Hoplites to Frigates to Helicopters. Over two dozen buildings with upgrades and technologies that will take your nation from a small City to an Information Age society. 14 Wonders of the World—the Terra Cotta Army, the Taj Mahal, the ...

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Microsoft has announced that its classic RTS Age of Mythology is being polished up with modern features for a May release on Steam.  The game will included a number of features including: Age of Mythology + The Titans Expansion Pre-Purchase on Steam Early April Improved Water and Lighting Full Steamworks Integration Twitch TV Integration Enhanced Observer Mode Support for Win 7/8 and HD Monitors A trailer for the game has also been released: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I9YFelMWMU The game critically acclaimed when it was released in 2002 and should be a good nostalgic trip for many. Source: Age of Empires ...

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Somewhat unexpectedly Microsoft has confirmed that Halo: Spartan Assault will launch on Steam’s digital distribution service on April 5th.   Halo: Spartan Assault was an exclusive to Windows Phone originally but later debuted on the Windows 8 Store.  It has also come out on the Xbox One and 360. Steam and confirms that it will include 30 missions that not only deliver intense gameplay, but also explore the Spartan Ops program seen in Halo 4.  Special features include Steam achievements, leaderboards, and Steam trading cards, and Steam Cloud save games.  The cooperative mode has been stripped from this version of the game. Features: Epic campaign featuring 30 action packed levels with a brand new Halo story set just before the events of Halo 4. Command many of your favorite Halo weapons, vehicles, and armor abilities, and customize your Spartan to create the perfect Spartan warrior. Complete weekly challenges for XP and ...

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In an interview to Engadget, Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten said that he not worried about the upcoming wave of steam machines or the new technologies like Oculus Rift. In fact, he revealed that he is more really excited about these on what they mean for the game industry as a whole which he loves. “This is literally the most golden of golden ages that I’ve ever seen around gaming,” Whitten told us in an interview this week at CES 2014. “I think this is what makes gaming great. And you love seeing the passion of seeing someone like Palmer [Luckey] and those guys at Oculus. And seeing someone like John Carmack get on and really be focused on it is great. I don’t know how it could be anything but good.” When asked about whether Steam machines will take over Xbox One sales, he reminded us that the market is ...

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There are various ways in which one could measure the reach of a new OS in the market. Usage share is important one among them and Steam gaming service usage numbers will give us a glimpse of market trend. According to the December month stats from Steam, Windows 8/Windows 8.1 saw a growth to capture about 20% of the usage share among Steam gamers. Windows 7 remained the most popular OS with an usage share of 64.38%. According to the the latest market share data from Net Applications, at the end of  December 2013, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 gained 0.85% points. It now holds 10.15%, up from 9.30% in November. Thanks to new PCs and the free update for Windows 8 PCs, Windows 8.1 market share increased by 0.86% from 2.64% to 3.50%.   Source: Steam via: Neowin ...

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Former Valve’s Steam business executive Jason Holtman who left the company after 8 years has now joined Microsoft. As expected, he is now part of Microsoft’s PC/Windows gaming division where he will focus on making Windows a great platform for gaming and entertainment. Here is the response from him about his new job. “Yes, I have joined Microsoft where I will be focusing on making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment,” he said. “I think there is a lot of opportunity for Microsoft to deliver the games and entertainment customers want and to work with developers to make that happen, so I’m excited to be here.” Source: Gameindustrybiz ...

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It seems, despite Valve’s protestations, Steams users are adopting Windows 8 four times faster than the general population. Their own updated Steam hardware stats page shows in total 4.69 percent of users have already adopted Windows 8, versus between 1.44 percent and 1.09 percent according to Statcounter and NetApplications. The percentage is more than half of the 8.07 Vista user base and exceeds the 3.26 percent Apple users. The news is probably not that surprising, given that most gamers want to be on the cutting edge of PC technology, and that Windows 8 generally results in a faster PC, but it does suggest that Valve may want to rethink their objections to Windows 8 before a significant percentage of their users start running the OS. Via Neowin.net ...

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Valve are no great fans of Windows 8, going so far as to start a project to move their Steam gaming empire to Linux. It is therefore no surprise that they do not make any compromises for Windows 8, including allowing one to pin Steam  games to the Windows 8 Start screen. That’s where FeLiZk’s Pin Steam comes in.  The app allows one to select games from Stream’s service and pin either Double Wide (the default) or smaller tiles to the Start screen, and when the game is uninstalled will also remove the tile. This app requires you to have a Steam account and to have setup a Custom URL in your steam profile. It also requires Steam to be installed on your device to launch games. The app is $1.49 with a free trial and can be found in the Windows 8 Store here. Via Ghacks.net ...

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