Monthly Archives: February 2014

  • Xbox One Getting a Price Cut in the UK

    Xbox one UK price cut

    UK gamers rejoice; the Xbox One is getting a price cut in your region! Microsoft has recently revealed that Xbox will be cutting the price of the Xbox One in the UK to £399.99, which is £30 off of it’s original value.

    There has been a lot of controversy behind the high price of the next gen Xbox console, and many have complained that there is little reason to invest in an Xbox One when the PS4 can be picked up for a much cheaper price. Even with this £30 price cut, it’s still £50 more expensive than the PlayStation 4, which unfortunately still only makes the console appealing to those already interested in buying.

    However, with Titanfall just around the corner, it seems pretty clear that Microsoft will go to all measures to try and get as many gamers as possible to jump to their new system. Microsoft have also revealed that the Titanfall bundle will be included in the price cut, and all SKU’s will have their price dropped from the 28th of February.

    If you’re getting your hopes up for a price cut in other regions, unfortunately it’s unlikely to happen. Xbox’s UK marketing director Harvey Eagle revealed to IGN that it’s unlikely that any other regions will get a price cut at this point.

    Despite this, the Xbox One is bound to go down in price over the next year or two as more demand is met, but only UK gamers will be able to make use of this current price cut.

  • Microsoft Mistakenly Passed On the PS4 Exclusive “Rime”

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    It seems that Microsoft turned down an indie they should not have, especially since they got a chance to get it first. The game we are talking about of course is the now PS4 exclusive Rime, the dismissal of which now has been considered a mistake on Microsoft’s part.

    VG Leaks obtained some leaked documents which revealed that developers of the game, Tequila Works, initially pitched the game to Microsoft back when the game was still called Echoes of Siren to Microsoft. This was supposed to be an Xbox One exclusive. However when Microsoft rejected the idea the team then went and approached Sony, where the budget was approved and the game was reborn for the PS4.

    According to the leaked documents, the game was described as "Gauntlet meets Minecraft meets Jason and the Argonauts".  During the day the player has to explore an open world island, hunt for weapons, food, and tools. At night however, the player has to spend the time defending against the island’s monsters.

    This game was announced at Gamescom last year and the visuals remind me strongly of Ico, Journey, and Shadow of the Colossus. The art style too does seem reminiscent of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. This game has all the signs of success  as gamers have been waiting for a game like this for a while. With no news of The Last Guardian anywhere, this game might just fill the void.

    Just recently Microsoft Studios chief Phil Spencer mentioned on Twitter the reason for rejecting Rime. He actually came out and openly admitted he thinks that this decision might have been a mistake. Too early to tell now, but I have a feeling that Microsoft could have really used a game like this in their arsenal. Check out the trailer for yourself!

    RIME Reveal Trailer - http://youtu.be/V-JunUax8xg

  • Activision On Call Of Duty 2014: Next-Gen Is The Focus

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    So there seems to be more promising news about the next CoD game. Recently Eric Hirshberg, Activision Publishing CEO, told IGN that the next iteration in the franchise will have a next-gen focus; meaning that this game is being developed first for the next-gen consoles.

    Although not much else was revealed, it is still good to know that this game is being tailor made for the Xbox One and PS4 than the PS3/Xbox 360. He also mentioned that the addition of Sledgehammer Games (the developers of this next-gen CoD), will allow each team a 3 year development cycle to create each successive CoD game.

    "On the two-year cycle, with the level of content we were putting in the games, it became a real horse race each and every time to get everything done that we wanted to get done. With next-gen hardware, we’ve got more capabilities than ever before to play with and we want to make sure our developers have the time to innovate, iterate, to bring the best creative vision and the most possible polish to each and every game."

    As before Hirshberger showed great faith on Sledgehammer and said we we'll definitely see something different. He said, "We give each of our studios a lot of independence," and as such provided Sledgehammer with one objective "You know what makes this thing great; now go do it your way."

    A new studio mixed in with next-gen consoles might just be what this franchise requires to get some fresh new direction. The games are still selling by the bunch so they can’t do much with their magic formula. But I guess if we expected anything new and different from CoD, this is the best shot we got. They have the resources, and now they have the tech too.

  • MGS Ground Zeroes Praised by Critics, Short Gameplay Denied

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    Oh the internet went a blaze when Game Informer mentioned that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes could be completed in 2 hours. Considering it is a $60 game, it would annoy anyone if its entire length was just 2 hours.

    But it didn’t take long before reports started coming in about the fact that the news was only half true. For one the game has been reported to be impressive. Also the only way to finish the game in 2 hours would be to rush to the end and ignore everything else. Check out the list of comments that various reviewers said.

    Samuel Casado, Power Unlimited Editor, said the story was just amazing, "Goosebumps. Disbelief. Shock. 'reboots game' I'm going back in." Dazz Brown from VG Resource's said that this is "not a 2 hour game," and also a "great demonstration" of the FOX engine.

    A few others also went on to talk about the length of the game. Play Magazine's Sam Smith said, "Finished GZ for the first time in about 90 minutes. Total game completion? 9%. I think that tells you all you need to know."

    Sergio Pennacchini added, "To finish mgsv in 2 hours is like going out for dinner with charlize theron and take her to mcdonalds. After completing the main mission and a side mission in 4 hours the game says I’m at 10% completion. Sounds good to me"

    In addition to these praises, other reports also mentioned about how smooth the game plays on the PS4. Also this game is supposedly going to be a blast for players who love playing stealthy. According to these reports, this game is a beautiful and brilliant experience.

  • Square Enix Updates on FFXV and Kingdom Hearts III

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    After all this time it better be near completion! Recently VideoGamer asked Yoshinor Kitase, Square Enix producer, about the current state of Final Fantasy XV. Although in true fashion he was as vague as possible, but we still got an update regardless.

    The first things he confirmed was that Kingdom Hearts III and FFXV are not "in competition" with each other. He went on to say that the new FF iteration is "quite far into development now" and has being given "a very high priority within the company."

    Funny to hear that now though; I mean since its announcement as Final Fantasy XIII back in 2006 and after being renamed to FF XV, it just received priority within the company? At least fans will be glad to know that despite the name changes and massive delay, they have decided to keep part of the original narrative for the game:

    "Right from the start when we first it announced it as Versus XIII, the game itself was backed up by the same Crystal legend: the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology that underpins the whole of the XIII series.

    So even though it's not necessarily the same universe or the same game, they're all linked and underpinned by the backdrop of that legend. Now it's moved on--obviously the title's been changed to Final Fantasy XV--but that hasn't actually changed. The story and the world is still going to be linked and backed up by that. So yes, there is the link between XIII and XV, and they both share that mythology as a backdrop and a starting point."

  • Kojima Says the PS4 Brings Us Closest To "Photorealistic Quality"

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    This has been a hot topic for a while. Since both the Xbox One and PS4 are so comparable, their ability to be best represent cross platform titles have received a lot of attention. For now it seems that most games have a higher resolution on the PS4 and this bit of news again supports the PS4.

    Several games have already been reported to perform better on the PS4. This debate really started off since the release of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition which plays significantly better on the PS4. Also the upcoming and highly anticipated Watch Dogs has been reported to play at 1080p at 60FPS on the PS4 but only at 30FPS on the Xbox One.  However one does have to realize that for a 3rd person, 30FPS is just as good.

    However what the Metal Gear Solid’s creator Hideo Kojima told Famitsu will not let this discussion end anytime soon.

    "I think, between the home consoles available in the domestic market, the PS4 is the best. It's also excellent for graphics, being able to render 1080p at 60fps with room to spare. Since it does it a little better than other hardware, the image quality of the PS4 is the most beautiful. It's the closest to the photorealistic quality we are aiming at."

    This comes after what Kojima recently said, that the PS4 version of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes looks "slightly better" than the Xbox One version. Although we don’t have the technical details about resolution or FPS rates on either consoles, but we can safely take Kojima's word for it. Things aren’t looking too good for the Xbox One right now.

  • Sony Considers the PS4/Vita Bundle an "Interesting Proposition"

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    So Sony recently revealed the slimmer and lighter PS Vita 2000 model will be launched in the US sometime in spring.  It is only logical that gamers like us start wondering whether we will be getting a PS4/PS Vita bundle in the US soon.

    John Keller, PlayStation hardware marketing boss, told GameSpot that they would “certainly look at it” and that it is “an interesting proposition.” Although they do not yet have any “firm plans” regarding this proposed bundle. He said,

    "I like the idea personally of being able to put them together if not as a bundle but as a marketed experience point. So Vita we think fits very, very well as a companion device for the PS4. But, I stop there because I want to make sure Vita retains the beauty of what makes Vita Vita. And that's that it's got it's own unique kind of bespoke games."

    This bundle is definitely in Sony’s favor. The vita sales has not been that amazing and being coupled with the PS4 could really boost its sales. Plus, the PS Vita, PS4 and the PS Vita TV seem to be integral parts of the gaming ecosystem Sony’s is trying to create.

  • 5 Great Reasons to Buy Titanfall

    is it worth buying titanfall

    So the Titanfall open Beta has arrived, and many players are enjoying the experience the game has to offer. However, whether or not you’ve played the game at this stage or not, there’s still one hard question to ask. Is it worth buying Titanfall?

    We’re not going to convince you to buy it, and if you’re not a fan of the modern day shooter, you may not enjoy the casual gameplay that the game offers, but if you’ve enjoyed Battlefield or Modern Warfare 2 before, there’s a good chance that it would be worth buying Titanfall. Below we’ve listed 5 great reasons to buy Titanfall.

    Fast Paced Combat

    Titanfall is a fast-paced super FPS that is pumped with adrenaline every single second. When the action dies down, there is still action to be found seconds later, and it’s incredibly enjoyable because of this. Is it worth buying Titanfall because of the fast paced combat? I’d say, yes.

    The AI were a weird choice, but they work perfectly on a 6v6 game like Titanfall - they act as a filler to string together your big kill streaks, and keep your heart pumping whilst you’re running to the next objective.

    Titans

    Titans aren’t just a gimmick - they add a whole lot to the game, and the Titan v Titan combat can be incredibly fun and quite tactical. Sometimes things turn into a mosh pit, but with a good team of Titans, you can completely wreck the other team.

    Parkour and Free running

    Most military shooters are incredibly linear - you can pretty much follow one path and not ever have to worry about enemies getting to your back. Titanfall plays in a three-dimensional space, and you’re going to have to use the buildings and walls you can wall run on to your advantage.

    Burn Cards

    Some people hate this feature, and some people love it. It may be a feature that grabs your interest and makes you want it even more, but it’s unlikely to ever turn you away from the game. Completing challenges and game mode objectives in Titanfall gives you Burn Cards - these cards have varying status effects and can be used in-game. However, once you die, your used burn card is gone forever. Burn Card effects vary from fully automatic shotguns to a cloaking device that disguises you as an enemy AI. It’s pretty cool.

    Short Games

    The thing that never got me playing Battlefield for long were the ridiculously long battles that took place. If you’re like me and don’t have time to invest in an hour long battle, Titanfall may be perfect. Games of Titanfall can last anywhere from five to fifteen minutes, but they feel super fast paced and it makes the game easy to pick up and play at any time.

    So, is it worth buying Titanfall? Only you can make that judgement, but hopefully these 5 things have given you an insight into what kind of game Titanfall is.

  • Why Xbox One Can’t Run Games In 1080p - Sniper Elite Developer Explains

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    So the Xbox One has been taking a lot of heat because multiplatform games seem to be performing better on the PlayStation 4. Speaking to game ranger, Jean-Baptiste Bolcato, one Rebellion Game’s developers working on Sniper Elite 3, spoke about the reasons behind this lack in performance.

    First part of the conversation aimed at how the eSRAM of the Xbox One was the reason behind Xbox One’s failure to reach 1080p in games.

    It was clearly a bit more complicated to extract the maximum power from the Xbox One when you’re trying to do that. I think eSRAM is easy to use. The only problem is…Part of the problem is that it’s just a little bit too small to output 1080p within that size. It’s such a small size within there that we can’t do everything in 1080p with that little buffer of super-fast RAM.” 

    It means you have to do it in chunks or using tricks, tiling it and so on. It’s a bit like the reverse of the PS3. PS3 was harder to program for than the Xbox 360. Now it seems like everything has reversed but it doesn’t mean it’s far less powerful – it’s just a pain in the ass to start with. We are on fine ground now but the first few months were hell.”

    This has been the reason why a lot of the games have not been able to output in 1080p on the Xbox One. A few examples include CoD Ghosts (720p), Xbox One exclusives Dead Rising 3 (720p) and Ryse (900p), Battlefield 4 (700p), and Assassin’s Creed IV (900p).

    Bolcato then went on to explain that Microsoft has released a new development kit for the Xbox One, which includes companion patches for users that will hopefully allow developers to improve the performance of Xbox One games over the course of the console's lifespan.

    They are releasing a new SDK that’s much faster and we will be comfortably running at 1080p on Xbox One. We were worried six months ago and we are not anymore, it’s got better and they are quite comparable machines. The Xbox One is a bit more multimedia, a bit more hub-centric so its a bit more complex. There’s stuff you can and can’t do because it’s a sort of multimedia hub. PS4 doesn’t have that. PS4 is just a games machine.”

    The fact that Digital Foundry revealed that the PS4 was better than the Xbox One at multimedia capabilities mean that this could be a way for him to save some of Xbox One’s reputation. He continued on to be more positive with,

    Yeah, I mean that’s probably why, well at least on paper, [PS4 is] a bit more powerful. But I think the Xbox One is gonna catch up. But definitely there’s this eSRAM. PS4 has 8GB and it’s almost as fast as eSRAM [bandwidth wise] but at the same time you can go a little bit further with it, because you don’t have this slower memory. That’s also why you don’t have that many games running in 1080p, because you have to make it smaller, for what you can fit into the eSRAM with the Xbox One.”

    So this does seem like a full reversal of the Xbox 360 and PS3. If Xbox One gets better over time, so will the PS4. The head start in the beginning itself was the decider last generation, and it seems this time Sony has taken all the right steps. Time will tell if Xbox One can make a comeback like the PS3. The stronger the competition between these giants, the better for us gamers! 

  • New XBox One Updates Improve Voice Control and Other Features

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    So it seems that the Xbox One has been scheduled to receive a number of patches. The first of which was released just a few days ago, on the 11th of February which fixed a bunch of things.

    This is what Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer, had to say about the updates that will be coming from 11 February onwards. 

    Just as we did with Xbox 360, Xbox One will have regular updates to deliver new features and platform experiences designed to delight you”

    He went on to add that the first set of updates would further fine tune the Kinect to perform that much better along with the following list of things:

    • Ability to see and manage your storage space. 
    • Ability to control your install lineup and more easily manage your download queue, with separated My Games and My Apps lists. 
    • Ability to use your USB keyboard with your Xbox One. 
    • Controller battery power indicator 

    The Xbox One will be receiving another update on the 4th of March which would basically “prepare” the console for the upcoming FPS TitanFall.

    Regarding this Whitten told GMA News, “This update will contain many new features and improvements, most significantly to our party and multiplayer systems,”

    So what do you guys think? What feature do you think Microsoft should update or add in its next patch? What should be their top priority?

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