The PlayStation 4 is an eighth-generation home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStation 3 in February, 2013, it was launched on November 15 in North America, November 29 in Europe, South America and Australia, on February 22, 2014, in Japan, it Switch. Moving away from the more complex Cell microarchitecture of its predecessor, the console features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit built upon the x86-64 architecture, which can theoretically peak at 1.84 teraflops. The PlayStation 4 places an increased emphasis on social interaction and integration with other devices and services, including the ability to play games off-console on PlayStation Vita and other supported devices, the ability to stream gameplay online or to friends, with them controlling gameplay remotely; the console's controller was redesigned and improved over the PlayStation 3, with improved buttons and analog sticks, an integrated touchpad among other changes.
The console supports HDR10 High-dynamic-range video and playback of 4K resolution multimedia. The PlayStation 4 was released to acclaim, with critics praising Sony for acknowledging its consumers' needs, embracing independent game development, for not imposing the restrictive digital rights management schemes to those announced by Microsoft for Xbox One. Critics and third-party studios praised the capabilities of the PlayStation 4 in comparison to its competitors. Heightened demand helped Sony top global console sales. By the end of December 2018, over 94 million PlayStation 4 consoles had been shipped worldwide, surpassing lifetime sales of its predecessor, the PlayStation 3; as of December 2018, 91.6 million PlayStation 4 consoles had been sold through to customers worldwide. On September 7, 2016, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 Pro, a high-end version of the console with an upgraded GPU and higher CPU clock rate to support enhanced performance and 4K resolution on supported games; the company released a variant of the original model with a smaller form factor, the release of a patch to add HDR support to all existing consoles.
According to lead architect Mark Cerny, development of Sony's fourth video game console began as early as 2008. Less than two years earlier, the PlayStation 3 had launched after months of delays due to issues with production; the delay placed Sony a year behind Microsoft's Xbox 360, approaching unit sales of 10 million by the time the PS3 launched. PlayStation Europe CEO Jim Ryan said Sony wanted to avoid repeating the same mistake with PS3's successor. In designing the system, Sony worked with software developer Bungie, who offered their input on the controller and how to make it better for shooting games. In 2012, Sony began shipping development kits to game developers, consisting of a modified PC running the AMD Accelerated Processing Unit chipset; these development kits were known as "Orbis". In early 2013, Sony announced that an event known as PlayStation Meeting 2013 would be held in New York City, U. S. on February 20, 2013, to cover the "future of PlayStation". Sony announced the PlayStation 4 at the event.
It revealed details about the console's hardware and discussed some of the new features it will introduce. Sony showed off real-time footage of games in development, as well as some technical demonstrations; the design of the console was unveiled in June at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013, the initial recommended retail prices of $399, €399, £349 given. The company revealed release dates for North America, Central America, South America and Australia, as well as final pieces of information, at a Gamescom press event in Cologne, Germany, on August 20, 2013; the console was released on November 15, 2013, in the United States and Canada, followed by further releases on November 29, 2013. By the end of 2013, the PS4 was launched in more European and South American countries The PS4 released in Japan at ¥39,980 on February 22, 2014. Sony finalized a deal with the Chinese government in May 2014 to sell its products in mainland China, the PS4 will be the first product to be released. Kazuo Hirai, chief executive officer of Sony, said in May: "The Chinese market, just given the size of it, is potentially a large market for video game products...
I think that we will be able to replicate the kind of success we have had with PS4 in other parts of the world in China."In September 2015, Sony reduced the price of the PS4 in Japan to ¥34,980, with similar price drops in other Southeast Asian markets. The first official sub £300 PS4 bundle was the £299.99 "Uncharted Nathan Drake Collection 500GB", released in the UK on October 9, 2015. On October 9, 2015, the first official price cut of the PS4 in North America was announced: a reduction of $50 to $349.99 and by $20 to $429.99. An official price cut in Europe followed in late October 2015, reduced to €349.99/£299.99. On June 10, 2016, Sony confirmed that a hardware revision of the PlayStation 4, rumored to be codenamed "Neo", was under development; the new revision is a higher-end model, meant to support gameplay in 4K. The new model will be sold alongside the existing model, all existing software will be compatible between the two models. Layden stated that Sony has no plans to "bifurcate the market", only that gamers playing on the Neo will "have the same experience, but one will be delivered at a higher resol
An adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of a protagonist in an interactive story driven by exploration and puzzle-solving. The genre's focus on story allows it to draw from other narrative-based media and film, encompassing a wide variety of literary genres. Many adventure games are designed for a single player, since this emphasis on story and character makes multi-player design difficult. Colossal Cave Adventure is identified as the first such adventure game, first released in 1976, while other notable adventure game series include Zork, King's Quest, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst. Initial adventure games developed in the 1970s and early 1980s were text-based, using text parsers to translate the player's input into commands; as personal computers became more powerful with the ability to show graphics, the graphic adventure game format became popular by augmenting player's text commands with graphics, but soon moving towards point and click interfaces. Further computer advancements led to adventure games with more immersive graphics using real-time or pre-rendered three-dimensional scenes or full-motion video taken from the first- or third-person perspective.
For markets in the Western hemisphere, the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1980s to mid-1990s when many considered it to be among the most technically advanced genres, but had become a niche genre in the early 2000s due to the popularity of first-person shooters and became difficult to find publishers to support such ventures. Since a resurgence in the genre has occurred spurred on by success of independent video game development from crowdfunding efforts, the wide availability of digital distribution enabling episodic approaches, the proliferation of new gaming platforms including portable consoles and mobile devices. Within the Asian markets, adventure games continue to be popular in the form of visual novels, which make up nearly 70% of PC games released in Japan; the Asian markets have found markets for adventure games for portable and mobile gaming devices. Japanese adventure games tend to be distinct from Western adventure games and have their own separate development history.
The term "Adventure game" originated from the 1970s text computer game Colossal Cave Adventure referred to as Adventure, which pioneered a style of gameplay, imitated and became a genre in its own right. The video game genre is therefore defined by its gameplay, unlike the literary genre, defined by the subject it addresses, the activity of adventure. Essential elements of the genre include storytelling and puzzle solving. Adventure games have been described as puzzles embedded in a narrative framework, where games involve narrative content that a player unlocks piece by piece over time. While the puzzles that players encounter through the story can be arbitrary, those that do not pull the player out of the narrative are considered examples of good design. Combat and action challenges are limited or absent in adventure games, thus distinguishing them from action games. In the book Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design, the authors state that "this doesn't mean that there is no conflict in adventure games... only that combat is not the primary activity."
Some adventure games will include a minigame from another video game genre, which are not always appreciated by adventure game purists. Hybrid action-adventure games blend action and adventure games throughout the game experience, incorporating more physical challenges than pure adventure games and at a faster pace; this definition is hard to apply, with some debate among designers about which games are action games and which involve enough non-physical challenges to be considered action-adventures. Adventure games are distinct from role-playing video games that involve action, team-building, points management. Adventure games lack the numeric rules or relationships seen in role-playing games, have an internal economy; these games lack any skill system, combat, or "an opponent to be defeated through strategy and tactics." However, some hybrid games exist here, where role-playing games with strong narrative and puzzle elements are considered RPG-adventures. Adventure games are classified separately from puzzle video games.
Although an adventure game may involve puzzle-solving, adventure games involve a player-controlled avatar in an interactive story. Adventure games contain a variety of puzzles, decoding messages and using items, opening locked doors, or finding and exploring new locations. Solving a puzzle will unlock access to new areas in the game world, reveal more of the game story. Logic puzzles, where mechanical devices are designed with abstract interfaces to test a player's deductive reasoning skills, are common; some puzzles are criticized for the obscurity of their solutions, for example, the combination of a clothes line and deflated rubber duck used to gather a key stuck between the subway tracks in The Longest Journey, which exists outside of the game's narrative and serves only as an obstacle to the player. Others have been criticized for requiring players to blindly guess, either by clicking on the right pixel, or by guessing the right verb in games that use a text interface. Games that require players to navigate mazes have become less popular, although the earliest text-adventure games required players to draw a map if they wanted to navigate the abstract space.
Many adventure games make use of an inventory management screen as a distinct gameplay mode. Players are only able to pick up some objects in the game, so the
PC Gamer is a magazine founded in the United Kingdom in 1993 devoted to PC gaming and published monthly by Future plc. The magazine has several regional editions, with the UK and US editions becoming the best selling PC games magazines in their respective countries; the magazine features news on developments in the video game industry, previews of new games, reviews of the latest popular PC games, along with other features relating to hardware, mods, "classic" games and various other topics. PC Gamer reviews are written by the magazine's editors and freelance writers, rate games on a percent scale. In the UK edition, no game has yet been awarded more than 96%. In the US edition, no game has yet received a rating higher than 98%. In the UK edition, the lowest numerical score was 2%, awarded to The 4th Golden Satellite Awards for Interactive Media Winner Big Brother 1; the sequel, Big Brother 2, was given an lower score of N/A%, the review explaining that " put as much effort into reviewing it as they did in making the game".
In issue 255, August 2013, the score of 2% was matched by the review of the re-released Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude given 3% when it first launched. In the US edition, the lowest score awarded was 4%, given to Mad Dog McCree, unseating the lowest-rated game, Skydive!, given 5%. There are two main editions of PC Gamer, a British version and an American version, both are published by Future plc. Founded in the United Kingdom in November 1993, the American sister version was launched a year in June 1994. There are numerous local editions that use the materials of one of the two editions the British one, including a Malaysian and Russian edition; the Swedish edition, though rooted in its UK counterpart, has grown to be more independent due to the immense popularity of PC games compared to console games in Sweden, now produces most of its own material. An Australian edition was published monthly by Perth-based Conspiracy Publishing since August 1998, but it appears to have been discontinued in mid-late 2004.
A Spanish edition titled "PC Juegos y Jugadores" exists. Both American and British magazines are published thirteen times per year, although there are sometimes variations; the British edition of PC Gamer has been in constant monthly publication since 1993. Subscribers get a special edition of the magazine with no headlines on the front cover. Devoted to PC games, the magazine has a reputation for giving in-depth reviews; the magazine shipped with an accompanying 3.5-inch floppy disc. A CD demo disc was released alongside the floppy disk edition from issue 11 onwards with the first CD Gamer containing all the content from the previous 10 issues' floppy discs; the single CD was expanded to two CDs. An edition with a 9 GB DVD known as DVD Gamer ran alongside the 2CD edition for a couple of years, until production of the CD Gamer edition ceased as of issue 162; the UK Edition only came with a single double-sided DVD. In August 2011, the UK magazine announced it was to be discontinuing the disk as of issue 232, replacing it with more pages of content within the magazine and exclusive free gifts.
The magazine has many regular features. These include sections called ´Eyewitness´, ´Previews´, ´Send´, where letters from the readers are spread over 2 two page spreads, at least one special feature, which reports on gaming related issues such as the effect of PC gaming on the environment, a review section which reviews the latest released PC games and re-reviews titles that have been released on budget and ´Extra Life´ which reports on modding games and gaming culture and revisiting old games. There is a ´Systems´ section, which reviews and recommends hardware such as video cards and monitors; the back page of the magazine is entitled ´It's All Over´ and consists of game related artwork such as a version of Dalí's The Persistence of Memory featuring items from Portal. For a time, one of the magazine's features, ´Gamer Snap´, where amusing pictures sent in by readers were printed in the magazine, however the feature was discontinued and replaced with a ´Guess the game´ where readers sent in drawings of memorable scenes in video games drawn in Microsoft Paint.
The PC Gamer blog was started to coincide with the transfer of the PC Gamer UK site to become part of the Computer and Video Games network which incorporates all of Future plc's gaming magazines. The move brought some controversy, with many long-standing members of the forum leaving due to the new forum's cramped spacing and slow loading times; the introduction of a blog was seen as one of the redeeming features of the switch. The blog has since been updated with contributions from many of the magazine's staff; the topics discussed range from the controversy over violent video games, to the benefits of buying a PC over a console. In 2010, PC Gamer re-launched their website and blog by bringing together the online communities of both the US and UK magazines into one website; as a result, the PC Gamer blog now has contributions from both the US and UK magazines, all hosted at the new website along with the forums for both magazines. The PC Gamer UK podcast was started on 4 May 2007 and ran 93 episodes until its final episode, released on 5 July 2013.
It had a rotating cast made up of members of the staff including Chris Thursten, Tom Senior, Graham Smith, Tom Francis, Marsh Davies. The podca
Weird fiction is a subgenre of speculative fiction originating in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. John Clute defines weird fiction as a "Term used loosely to describe Fantasy, Supernatural Fiction and Horror tales embodying transgressive material". China Miéville defines weird fiction thus: "Weird Fiction is roughly, conceived of as a rather breathless and generically slippery macabre fiction, a dark fantastic featuring nontraditional alien monsters." Discussing the "Old Weird Fiction" published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock says, "Old Weird fiction utilises elements of horror, science fiction and fantasy to showcase the impotence and insignificance of human beings within a much larger universe populated by malign powers and forces that exceed the human capacities to understand or control them." Weird fiction either eschews or radically reinterprets ghosts, vampires and other traditional antagonists of supernatural horror fiction. Weird fiction is sometimes symbolised by the tentacle, a limb-type absent from most of the monsters of European folklore and gothic fiction, but attached to the monstrous creatures created by weird fiction writers such as William Hope Hodgson, M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft.
Weird fiction attempts to inspire awe as well as fear in response to its fictional creations, causing commentators like Miéville to say that weird fiction evokes a sense of the numinous. Although "weird fiction" has been chiefly used as a historical description for works through the 1930s, the term has been used since the 1980s, sometimes to describe slipstream fiction that blends horror and science fiction. Although the term "weird fiction" did not appear until the 20th century, Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as the pioneering author of weird fiction. Poe was identified by Lovecraft as the first author of a distinct type of supernatural fiction different from traditional Gothic literature, commentators on the term have suggested Poe was the first "weird fiction" writer. Sheridan Le Fanu is seen as an early writer working in the sub-genre. Literary critics in the nineteenth century would sometimes use the term "weird" to describe supernatural fiction. For instance, the Scottish Review in an 1859 article praised Poe, E. T. A. Hoffmann and Walter Scott by saying the three writers had the "power of weird imagination".
The Irish magazine The Freeman's Journal, in an 1898 review of Dracula by Bram Stoker, described the novel as "wild and weird" and not Gothic. Weinstock has suggested there was a period of "Old Weird Fiction" that lasted from the late 19th to early 20th centuries. S. T. Joshi and Miéville have both argued that there was a period of "Haute Weird" between 1880 and 1940, when authors important to Weird Fiction, such as Arthur Machen and Clark Ashton Smith were publishing their work. In the late nineteenth century, there were a number of British writers associated with the Decadent movement who wrote what was described as weird fiction; these writers included Machen, M. P. Shiel, Count Eric Stenbock, R. Murray Gilchrist. Other pioneering British weird fiction writers included Algernon Blackwood, William Hope Hodgson, Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen, M. R. James; the American pulp magazine Weird Tales published many such stories in the United States from March 1923 to September 1954. The magazine's editor Farnsworth Wright used the term "weird fiction" to describe the type of material that the magazine published.
The writers who wrote for the magazine Weird Tales are thus identified with the weird fiction subgenre H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber and Robert Bloch. Other pulp magazines that published weird fiction included Strange Tales, edited by Harry Bates, Unknown Worlds. H. P. Lovecraft popularised the term "weird fiction" in his essays. In "Supernatural Horror in Literature", Lovecraft gives his definition of weird fiction: The true weird tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains according to rule. A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present. S. T. Joshi describes several subdivisions of the weird tale: supernatural horror, the ghost story, quasi science fiction and ambiguous horror fiction and argues that "the weird tale" is the result of the philosophical and aesthetic predispositions of the authors associated with this type of fiction. Although Lovecraft was one of the few early 20th-century writers to describe his work as "weird fiction", the term has enjoyed a contemporary revival in New Weird fiction.
For example, China Miéville refers to his work as weird fiction. Many horror writers have situated themselves within the weird tradition, including Clive Barker, who describes his fiction as fantastique, Ramsey Campbell, whose early work was influenced by Lovecraft; the following notable authors have been described as writers of weird fiction. They are listed alphabetically by last name, it has been suggested by some, predominantly Ann and Jeff VanderMeer and China Miéville, that Weird fiction has seen a recent resurgence, a phenomenon they term the New Weird. Tales which fit this category, as well as extensive discussion of the phenomenon, appear in the anthology The New Weird. Cosmic horror Cthulhu Mythos Dark
A game engine is a software-development environment designed for people to build video games. Developers use game engines to construct games for consoles, mobile devices, personal computers; the core functionality provided by a game engine includes a rendering engine for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detection, scripting, artificial intelligence, streaming, memory management, localization support, scene graph, may include video support for cinematics. Implementers economize on the process of game development by reusing/adapting, in large part, the same game engine to produce different games or to aid in porting games to multiple platforms. In many cases game engines provide a suite of visual development tools in addition to reusable software components; these tools are provided in an integrated development environment to enable simplified, rapid development of games in a data-driven manner. Game engine developers attempt to "pre-invent the wheel" by developing robust software suites which include many elements a game developer may need to build a game.
Most game engine suites provide facilities that ease development, such as graphics, physics and AI functions. These game engines are sometimes called "middleware" because, as with the business sense of the term, they provide a flexible and reusable software platform which provides all the core functionality needed, right out of the box, to develop a game application while reducing costs and time-to-market — all critical factors in the competitive video game industry; as of 2001, Gamebryo, JMonkeyEngine and RenderWare were such used middleware programs. Like other types of middleware, game engines provide platform abstraction, allowing the same game to be run on various platforms including game consoles and personal computers with few, if any, changes made to the game source code. Game engines are designed with a component-based architecture that allows specific systems in the engine to be replaced or extended with more specialized game middleware components; some game engines are designed as a series of loosely connected game middleware components that can be selectively combined to create a custom engine, instead of the more common approach of extending or customizing a flexible integrated product.
However extensibility is achieved, it remains a high priority for game engines due to the wide variety of uses for which they are applied. Despite the specificity of the name, game engines are used for other kinds of interactive applications with real-time graphical needs such as marketing demos, architectural visualizations, training simulations, modeling environments; some game engines only provide real-time 3D rendering capabilities instead of the wide range of functionality needed by games. These engines rely upon the game developer to implement the rest of this functionality or assemble it from other game middleware components; these types of engines are referred to as a "graphics engine", "rendering engine", or "3D engine" instead of the more encompassing term "game engine". This terminology is inconsistently used as many full-featured 3D game engines are referred to as "3D engines". A few examples of graphics engines are: Crystal Space, Genesis3D, Irrlicht, OGRE, RealmForge, Truevision3D, Vision Engine.
Modern game or graphics engines provide a scene graph, an object-oriented representation of the 3D game world which simplifies game design and can be used for more efficient rendering of vast virtual worlds. As technology ages, the components of an engine may become outdated or insufficient for the requirements of a given project. Since the complexity of programming an new engine may result in unwanted delays, a development team may elect to update their existing engine with newer functionality or components; such a framework is composed of a multitude of different components. The actual game logic has to be implemented by some algorithms, it is distinct from sound or input work. The rendering engine generates animated 3D graphics by any of a number of methods. Instead of being programmed and compiled to be executed on the CPU or GPU directly, most rendering engines are built upon one or multiple rendering application programming interfaces, such as Direct3D, OpenGL, or Vulkan which provide a software abstraction of the graphics processing unit.
Low-level libraries such as DirectX, Simple DirectMedia Layer, OpenGL are commonly used in games as they provide hardware-independent access to other computer hardware such as input devices, network cards, sound cards. Before hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, software renderers had been used. Software rendering is still used in some modeling tools or for still-rendered images when visual accuracy is valued over real-time performance or when the computer hardware does not meet needs such as shader support. With the advent of hardware accelerated physics processing, various physics APIs such as PAL and the physics extensions of COLLADA became available to provide a software abstraction of the physics processing unit of different middleware providers and console platforms. Game engines can be written in any programming language like C++, C or Java, though each language is structurally different and may provide different levels of access to specific functions; the audio engine is the component which consists of algorithms related to the loading and output of sound through the client's speaker system.
At a minimum i
THQ Inc. was an American video game developer and publisher based in Agoura Hills, California. Founded in April 1990 by Jack Friedman, the company developed products for home video game consoles and handhelds, personal computers and mobile devices; the company published both internally created and externally licensed content in its product portfolio. THQ's internally created games included Darksiders, De Blob, Destroy All Humans!, MX vs. ATV, Red Faction and Saints Row series among others; the company held exclusive, long-term licensing agreements with leading sports and entertainment content creators such as Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Pixar and WWE. After years of financial struggles, stock value drop, debt, THQ declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2012 and began liquidation of its assets the following month, with several properties either being acquired or auctioned to other developers. In addition, most of the remaining staff were laid off. In 2014, the THQ trademark was acquired by Nordic Games, which had acquired some of THQ's properties in the auction.
The company renamed itself THQ Nordic in August 2016. THQ Inc. was founded by LJN co-founder Jack Friedman in April 1990. "THQ" was an abbreviation for Toy Headquarters. THQ acquired Brøderbund's video game division in September 1990 and released its first video game, Peter Pan and the Pirates, in January 1991. Though always formally called THQ, the company traded as T•HQ in video games' box arts and instruction manuals. In 1991, THQ agreed to be acquired by Trinity Acquisition Corp. in a stock swap valued at about $33 million with THQ's shareholders owning 51.7% of the new entity. THQ's name was retained for the new company and Friedman was named as its president. THQ acquired video game developer Black Pearl Software of Chicago in 1993. THQ withdrew from the toy business in 1994 to focus on video game production. In addition, the company dropped the • from its label. Jack Friedman left the company in 1995 to co-found the toy manufacturer Jakks Pacific. Brian Farrell became CEO of THQ in 1995. In 1997, THQ was reincorporated as a Delaware Corporation, in 1999 acquired San Jose video game developer Pacific Coast Power & Light.
In February 2000, THQ faced a class action lawsuit over federal securities laws violation due to nondisclosure of material information. In September of the same year, the company expanded its internal product development capabilities with the acquisition of Volition located in Champaign, Illinois. Since THQ's internal studio system grew to eleven studios across the globe with distinct capabilities across all viable gaming platforms; some of these studios, such as Relic Entertainment, Vigil Games, Blue Tongue Entertainment, Juice Games, Kaos Studios and Volition, worked on games for next generation consoles as well as PCs. THQ went on to acquire Vigil Games in 2006. On May 10, 2007, THQ reported its highest annual sales figures and net profits for the fiscal year which ended on March 31. THQ's revenues reached over $1 billion. In March 2008, THQ announced the development of the world's first cheerleading game using the Wii Balance Board. Not long after, on November 3, 2008, the company closed five of its internal studios: Paradigm Entertainment, Mass Media Inc.
Helixe, Locomotive Games, Sandblast Games. In 2009, huge declines in sales prompted THQ to form a strategic plan to cut $220 million in annual costs by 2010 and invest in "fewer, better bets." In 2007, THQ had a $68-million profit and $1 billion in revenue, which put it within range of their rival Activision. Many of its big-budget games sold poorly, despite having favorable reviews, its hold on kids' games based on Nickelodeon TV shows and Pixar movies slipped as kids turned to free online games playable on the Internet. With shares down 86% from the previous year and a market value of only $173 million, THQ had the possibility of being acquired by other companies. In March 2009, THQ spun off Heavy Iron Studios and Incinerator Studios as independent companies, announced it was looking to sell Big Huge Games. Two months in May 2009, THQ agreed to sell Big Huge Games to 38 Studios. In August 2009, THQ acquired Midway Studios San Diego for $200,000; the sale of the studio included all assets, except for the TNA Impact!
Video game. In February 2010, THQ announced that Juice Games and Rainbow Studios would be part of a reshuffle, would now bear the title THQ Digital Warrington and THQ Digital Phoenix, respectively, it is said that 60 members of staff face redundancies between THQ's US Rainbow studio and the UK Juice Game's studio. In August 2010, THQ unveiled the uDraw GameTablet, a $70 accessory for Nintendo's Wii console that lets gamers draw and play on their television screens; the white, 9-by-7-inch peripheral houses a Wii Remote on the left, with a doodle pad and tethered stylus on the right. THQ said. In January 2011, THQ sold off its Wireless division to a Swedish mobile company called 24MAS. On January 12, 2011, THQ unveiled its new logo. In March 2011, THQ, after its game Homefront was released, suffered a 26% stock drop; the large drop was speculated to be a result of Homefront's poor reception. On June 13, 2011, THQ announced the closure of THQ Digital Warrington. On July 27, 2011, THQ announced; this was believed to be due to the poor reception over the latest game in the franchise, Red Faction: Armageddon.
In the same year on August 9, 2011, THQ announced it would shift its development focus away from licensed kids and movie-based titles by closing down THQ Studio Australia and Blue Tongue in order to focus on "high-quality
The Krkonoše, Riesengebirge, Riesageberge or Giant Mountains, are a mountain range located in the north of the Czech Republic and the south-west of Poland, part of the Sudetes mountain system. The Czech-Polish border, which divides the historic regions of Bohemia and Silesia, runs along the main ridge; the highest peak, Sněžka, is the Czech Republic's highest point with an elevation of 1,603 metres. On both sides of the border, large areas of the mountains are designated national parks, these together constitute a cross-border biosphere reserve under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme; the source of the River Elbe is within the Krkonoše. The range has a number of major ski resorts, is a popular destination for tourists engaging in downhill and cross-country skiing, hiking and other activities; the Czech name "Krkonoše" is first mentioned in a 1492 record of the division of the Manor of Štěpanice into two parts. The first map occurrence of the name dates back to 1518, when Mikuláš Klaudyán referred to the mountains as "Krkonoss".
The origin of the name is interpreted as a compound of "krk" or "krak" – an Old Slavonic word for Krummholz – and "noš" – derived from "nosit". Alternative linguistic theories mention a connection with the pre-Indo-European word Corconti, first listed by Ptolemy and refers to a pre-Celtic or Germanic people. In Simon Hüttel's chronicle of Trautenau from 1549 the names Hrisenpergisches Gebirge, Hrisengebirge, Risengepirge appeared for the first time, but in the following centuries several other names were still used too. Martin Helwig's map of Silesia mentions Riſenberg. In 1380, Přibík Pulkava called the mountains the Sněžné hory; the Czech writer Bohuslav Balbín recorded in 1679 that the mountains were known under various names: Krkonoše, Rhipaeos Montes, Obrovski Mountains, Snow Mountains or Riesen Gebirge. The modern names of Krkonoše, Riesengebirge and Karkonosze became accepted only in the 19th century; the range is often referred to in English as the "Giant Mountains". The area of the Krkonoše amounts to 631 square kilometres, 454 square kilometres within the Czech Republic and 177 square kilometres in Poland.
While most of the Sudetes are middle-sized mountains Mittelgebirgen, Krkonoše has a few characteristics proper of high mountains such as glacial cirques, small periglacial landforms and an elevation above the tree line. The main ridge of the mountains runs from east to west and forms the border between these two countries, its highest peak, Sněžka-Śnieżka, is the highest peak of the Czech Republic. The Silesian northern part, in Poland, drops steeply to the Jelenia Góra valley, whereas the southern Czech part slopes to the Bohemian basin. In the north-easterly direction the Krkonoše continue to Rudawy Janowickie, in the south-east to Rýchory; the pass Novosvětský průsmyk at Jakuszyce forms the western border with the Jizera Mountains. The Bohemian ridge in the Czech Republic, running parallel to the main ridge, forms a second ridge. At Špindlerův Mlýn the river Elbe divides the Bohemian ridge; the ridges are divided by the rivers Elbe, Mumlava, Bílé Labe, Velka Úpa, Malá Úpa and Jizera, which originates in the Jizera mountains.
The rivers on the Czech side fall over steep edges into valleys formed by ice-age glaciers. The largest waterfalls on the southern side of the mountains are the Labský vodopád with a height of 50 metres, Pančavský waterfall, Horní Úpský waterfall, Dolní Úpský waterfall and Mumlavský waterfall; the most important rivers on the Polish side are Łomnica and Bóbr. They form impressive waterfalls, such as Wodospad Kamieńczyka, Wodospad Szklarki (13.5 metres or 44 feet Wodospad na Łomnicy or Wodospad Podgórnej. The main ridge of the Krkonoše forms the watershed between the Baltic; the rivers on the south side drain into those on the north side into the Baltic. The river valleys and lower layers form the sub-montane zone; the aboriginal hardwood and mixed forests are replaced with spruce monocultures. Only the river valleys offer remnants of hardwood forests; the higher parts form the montane vegetation zone. Their natural coniferous forests have in large parts been replaced by spruce monocultures, which are heavily damaged due to air pollution and soil acidification.
In many places, the forest is dead. This is due to the geographic location in the Black Triangle, a region around the German-Polish-Czech border triangle with many coal-burning power plants; the sulfur dioxide emissions, which are responsible for acid rain, the emission of many other concentrations have been reduced since the beginning of the 1990s, but the forest die-back, which started in the 1970s and culminated in the late 1980s, could not be stopped entirely. The clearing of forests in the surroundings of mountain huts created species-rich mountain meadows, which were maintained in alpine pasture farming. After the expulsion of Germans in 1945, this type of management came to a standstill and the mountain meadows were abandoned. Above the timber line at about 1,250 to 1,350 m (4