The video game business is evolving much more rapidly than many movie studios in terms of their broad reach and level of interactivity with the players who devote hours to winning the race, collecting a mad fleet of exotic cars , or even doing the most efficient kill shots on retro robo future zombies. Or something.
The automotive genre of the gaming industry is quite a unique subset. Guys and gals who have never enjoyed most first-person-shooters, RPGs and other fantasy wizard content can somehow really love driving games.
Gran Turismo is obviously the mack daddy franchise, but its lead over the improving Forza, Need for Speed and others is diminishing.
As awesome as GT5 and GT6 are, the level of game play is always pretty serious. It might start out with paint jobs and ECU chips for an old used MX-5 that is now a giant killer, but Gran Turismo gets extremely stressful and difficult as the Mario Kart friendliness of the first tracks becomes the brutal London F1 course, Sardinia rally stage, or the legendary Nordschleife in Nürburg.
The light-hearted escapism of the old Donkey Kong Country series is long gone in this intense generation of lifelike games. Your escape will be directly into the racing cockpit. Your eyes will bleed from starting at the 250 mph warp speed down the Mulsanne straight, hate your own slow-fitted fingers, and maybe - just maybe - win a race or two.
Grand Theft Auto takes a totally different path. Instead of the glamor of the world’s best tracks and circuits, the GTA approach is much more down-to-earth. You are a professional criminal building an empire. But there are guys around every corner who want to be the next Tony Montana also.
So you become a fierce and hardened street tough playing the game. Even in the lush green lawns of posh suburbs, the boys will always be in the basement doing evil deeds and wild burnouts on GTA 5 . The goal is to be a fun escape from the reality of speed limits, paying tolls and parking tickets. All the boring parts of life.
So where does the new GTA app fit into this mix? Called iFruit, the new iPhone and iPad apps are companion pieces that integrate with console game play. Build your ideal whip, train your Rottweiler or just browse the enormous game play guide application when stuck.
Is iFruit the perfect time-waster for all those boring hours spent *not* playing GTA 5 ?
What can you really get for $6.99 these days? You may be able to snag up a burger and fries from your favorite fast food joint, or maybe you can pump a few drops of gas into your tank. Well, you may want to think about parking the car or cooking up some ramen noodles today because 2K Drive has officially hit the App store at the cool price of $6.99. No, that’s not per month or per year; that is for a lifetime of edge-or-your-seat racing on your iPhone or iPad.
2K Drive is not some crummy, rushed-to-production iOS game either, as 2K Games — best known for its 2K Sports franchise that includes MLB 2K13 and NBA 2K13 — went to great lengths to make it as realistic as possible. The game includes tons of real-life cars, over 100 unique events, more than 25 real tracks and RaceFace, which allows you to snap a pic of your smiling mug and upload it onto the game.
Not only do you get real licensed cars, but you also get a crack at loading them up with as many aftermarket parts and accessories as you can. You want a 300-plus-horsepower Ford Focus ? You can have it, as long as you earn enough credit to buy the latest and greatest performance parts. You also have to repair physical and mechanical damage, just like in real life, or suffer the consequences of decreased performance.
2K Games also knows that you want to stay up to date with all of the latest automotive news while racing your virtual rig, so it includes live news about all of the latest happenings in the automotive world. Just don’t forget about us here at TopSpeed...
So, head on over to the App store and shell out your $6.99 and get to racing. Until then, you can check out the official launch trailer and more videos on the game after the jump.
You’d think that with the upcoming release of Gran Turismo 6 and Forza 5 on both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, a new era of car racing games is about to be born.
On some level, that’s accurate. But there might be another developer that’s looking to stake that ’next generation racing game’ title all to itself.
We may not know of Anki at this point, but the start-up company is determined to make the kind of waves that’ll get everybody’s attention. How is it going to do that?
Well, the company is developing a new racing game experience that blends radio-controlled cars and artificial intelligence, all wrapped up in an iPhone app. There’s also a mat, smart cars with sensors, and Bluetooth accessories, which pretty much goes to show the detail and sophistication of this game.
In a nutshell, the game works in such a way that an iPhone app is used to control the RC cars, allowing them to perform numerous tricks and functions that belies what a standard RC car is capable of doing.
But the best part about this new game is that it’s still in its infancy, which means that we can expect more developments to arrive in due time.
For now, though, enjoy all the teaser videos Anki has released for the game. If for nothing else, these videos will definitely get your attention.
When Apple released the first bits of information on the iOS in the Car system just yesterday, we saw a long list of premium automakers that have already signed up, like Mercedes and Jaguar . One that was not on the list that we figured was just hung up in the details was BMW . Well, a new report tells us that there was more to Bimmer not being on the list than meets the eye.
A BMW spokesperson said "The upshot is that as we have such an advanced multimedia offer that has been in vehicles in various guises for more than a decade, it would not be that straight forward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]." So, basically, the changes that BMW would have to make to crowbar in the new Apple system would be way too great to warrant installing the iOS in the Car system.
BMW and Apple have worked together in the past, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that the Bavarian automaker will not support the system for the foreseeable future. Fortunately for Bimmer drivers, BMW’s interfaces are plenty advanced and have a decade-long track record, so there is no worrying about sticking with an outdated or non-functional system. Additionally, BMW will support Apples new Siri Eyes Free system.
We wouldn’t be too surprised to see Apple work its way into BMW sometime in the next five years, or so, but that may take some massaging of the iOS system to appease BMW. Another good reason for BMW breaking down is if iOS in the Car becomes a smash hit, then it would be doing its buyers a disservice by leaving it out.
Those of us in the auto industry are familiar with Mansory for the insane performance programs it builds for some of the finest supercars in the world.
But cars aren’t the only thing Mansory’s adept at building. Turns out, it knows how to work on building customized iPhones, too. Yep. IPhones, or in this particular case, a 24-carat-gold iPhone 5.
Recently unveiled at BaselWorld, the 50-piece Mansory iPhone 5 was designed using 24-carat gold, which was mirror-polished on the iPhone 5. Talk about blinging up, right?
Kourosh Mansory, owner of Mansory Design and Holding GmbH, explained the company’s decision to build an iPhone 5, saying, "At MANSORY, we have always been passionate about luxury watches and fine jewelry, and the 24-carat gold iPhone5 is a natural supplement to our portfolio as it meets our quality standard of production on the highest technical level combined with masterly craftsmanship and the most precious materials.”
If you do decide that this ultra-limited iPhone 5 is in your future, you can be one of the 50 people to score it for a price of €4,900, which is around $6,400 based on current exchange rates. Details of the release and where you can buy the iPhone have not been outlined.
For all of you game addicts out there, "Cie Games" needs no presentation. For those of you who do not know them, we will offer you one more clue: it is the company that has developed "Car Town" - a social network game that allows players to collect and modify virtual cars.
Cie Games announced the launch of the new "Car Town Streets" - a racing game developed in cooperation with International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and specially offered for mobile gaming platforms. Gamers will be able to play it for free on iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
This new game will include "virtual" events and the first one, "Daytona Challenge," will debut today in celebration of the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 24th. Top players for each race will receive a free NASCAR racecar that can produce up to 1,200 horsepower – the fastest car in the game.
The new Car Town Streets will offer gamers the possibility to find, build and race with all their favorite cars, but also form teams and compete in head-to-head race battles. In the future, the game will unlock new race challenges and missions.
Rolls-Royce is breaking new company ground with the launch of its latest app , which has been designed to help you find used Rolls-Royce models without so much of a hassle.
The app is called the Provenance Pre-owned Stock Locator and follows the Provenance app that Rolls-Royce launched last year for its certified pre-owned vehicle program. Among the features of the PPSL app include easy-to-navigate search filters, as well as a feature that allows users to be able to make direct auto comparisons.
The app works in such a way that users can search for certain Rolls-Royce models in a specific country. From there, they can specify the exact model depending on a number of variables, including the car’s model, age, mileage, budget, or color.
For all the neat features of the app, it does have one caveat. The app will only cater to the highest grade models, which will be determined by a team of factory-trained technicians, who, in turn, will subject the car to a comprehensive road test before grading them.
The PPSL app can be accessed on the company’s official homepage and is available for the iPad, PCs, Macs, and most smartphones.
Cops in Maryland are quickly cutting down on their time spent running license plates by using what are called automatic license plate readers (ALPR). These nifty devices scan your plates automatically and check for insurance, validity, and other key safety issues. This is all well and good, according to civil liberties watchdog, the ACLU, but what they do with said information has the ACLU up in arms.
The ACLU has growing concerns with how long the information is retained in these ALPRs and worries that this ever-rowing data may eventually allow the government to precisely predict every move you make. So for all of you conspiracy theorists that think the gummament is watchin’ ya, this is just another nugget to keep in your head.
In a released statement, the ACLU says:
“If license plate scans, which are typically stamped with a location, time, and date, were used just for these purposes and deleted shortly thereafter, privacy concerns would be minimal to non-existent. After all, police can run license plates against these databases themselves. ALPR technology simply cuts down on the time and manpower required to perform these functions on a large scale.
The privacy issues arise with the retention of the information. A police officer will not forever remember the exact location and time of an innocent motorist’s travels. With ALPR technology, those details can be stored indefinitely, creating an ever-growing historical record of the daily comings and goings of every Marylander. As ALPRs become more ubiquitous and that record becomes longer and more detailed, it will become possible for the government to determine a person’s exact movements during any given time period.”
However, the police taking records of our license plate activity is one of the more primitive tracking devices that the government has access to in order to track us. There are many more active and precise devices that we all use on a daily basis that allows the government to keep tabs on us.
To see what other devices the government can use to track us, simply click past the jump.
Daimler’s Smart lineup has been begging for an electric variant since its inception, due to its small stature and focus on being more “green” than other cars on the road. It took some time, but Smart finally did debut an electric variant and it is now due for an upgrade. Well, after much delay, the redesigned Smart electric drive – yes, it’s all lowercase letters to stay true to the “smart” way – is finally set to hit the streets without hitting the filling station.
With the influx of EVs in the marketplace, can the puny smart fortwo really stand up to the challenge? The fortwo has always been a niche car and adding in the hum of an electric motor in the place of its three-pot gasoline power plant just places it into an even narrower niche.
Only time will truly tell whether this car will gain any traction in the EV market, but we are all set to dive into it and tell you what to expect. We will also let you know if this car is one for the ages or one that you can live without.
There’s no denying that the sound of any kind of forced induction is incredible. Fitting a turbocharger to any car is quite expensive and as a result, people generally only install aftermarket ones for the performance upgrades. However, if you’re still obsessed with the sound of a turbo, but aren’t prepared to pay to have one installed, then a recently launched iOS app dubbed ‘iBoost’ may be the perfect solution for you.
Developed by app development team Bonobo in conjunction with Japanese tuning firm HKS, the app helps recreate the sounds of the systems developed by HKS itself. In order to function, the iBoost app utilities the iPhon’s accelerometer to detect movement of the car, with a variety of different gauges and sounds being offered.
Nathan Hamey, lead designer of iBoost stated, "Working with HKS has been a blast. The partnership has given us pit-lane access to extract the best sounds possible from their SQV. We’ve also painstakingly crafted their boost gauges to look and respond just like the real thing. I think people are going to get a real buzz out of seeing and hearing authentic HKS gear in their car."
"We’re thrilled to have the chance to be featured in iBoost," says Masaya Funayama, spokesperson for HKS. "It’s is an incredibly well designed application and a lot of fun to play with. It’s a great match for the HKS SQV," he continued.
With the basic version costing just $0.99, while the upgraded pack costs $1.99, the iBoost app is definitely an attractive purchase.