Monthly Archives: May 2014

  • GameStop: 'Stronger Demand' for Xbox One after Price Cut

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    According to GameStop there seems to be a growing interest on the Xbox One since the recent price cut. With the Kinect now being removed from the package, Xbox One consoles are being sol for $399 (the same price as Sony’s PS4).

    In the recent financial earnings call Tony Bartel, GameStop president, said: "I definitely think we're already seeing in our stores [that] there's a stronger demand as a result of the price drop. The good news for us is... we'll sell a lot more units. And that means there will be more [Xbox One] units out there to put software on."

    It has been over 10 days since Microsoft announced that they will be shipping the Xbox One without Kinect. The Xbox One will now be sold for £349, 399 Euros and $499 AUD from 9th June. This decision has been made supposedly due to consumer feedback but I guess anyone could’ve told Microsoft this was a good thing to do.

    Although the bad side is that many of the developers were not even told about this decision and thus were left in the dark. Additional concerns regarding the future of the Kinect has also been voiced by several members in the gaming community. Since the Kinect was there with every Xbox One, there was more incentive to work on apps and features that take advantage of it. Now that might not be the case and the Kinect might again be pushed to the background.

    However Phil Spencer did come forward and say that the Kinect still is important to them, "Kinect remains an important part of our vision. We will continue to innovate on Kinect. I think it's an important differentiator for us."

  • Far Cry 4 Details + Release Date Confirmed

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    It has finally been confirmed. Ubisoft just announced that Far Cry 4 will be available on 18th November in North America and 20th November in Europe for PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.

    As far as we know, the story will be taking place in a fictional region in Himalaya named Kryat, "a breathtaking, perilous and wild region of the Himalayas, struggling under the regime of a despotic self-appointed king."

    Like all the other games in the series the players will be provided with a range of guns and vehicles to experience and it is believed that hunting will make a return. Dan Hay, executive producer, had this to say:

    "Following the success of Far Cry 3, we wanted to take the franchise to the next level and create a game that will surprise players and exceed fans' expectations. Given the unique setting, we feel Far Cry 4 will stand out as a top first-person shooter and we're eager to reveal more about the game in the coming months."

    As is the trend, the pre-order bonus decided. Players who pre-order the game will receive “free upgrade to the Limited Edition which includes Hurk’s Redemption, a series of three action-packed single-player missions featuring the popular character Hurk from Far Cry 3’s DLC. The Limited Edition also includes Hurk’s signature harpoon gun called ‘The Impaler’.”

  • April’s NPD Report: TitanFall Still on Top and PS4 Outsell Xbox One

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    Let’s see what changed since March’s NPD report.

    The Xbox One has sold 115,000 units while the Sony didn’t reveal their sales numbers. However, it was confirmed that the PS4 did outsell the Xbox One. The following is an interesting bit of info from the report:

    "Life to date, sales of PS4 and Xbox One hardware have more than doubled the combined sales of facPS3 and 360 hardware through their first six months of sales. PS4 software combined with Xbox One software sales are up over 40 percent compared to sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360 through their first six months."

    The following list ranks the top 10 most sold games for May and like before Titanfall lead the pack.

    1. Titanfall (360, XBO, PC)
    2. Call Of Duty: Ghosts (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, NWU, PC)
    3. NBA 2K14 (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, PC)
    4. Minecraft (360)
    5. LEGO The Hobbit (360, PS3, One, PS4, 3DS, NWU, PSV)
    6. The LEGO Movie Videogame (360, 3DS, PS3, NWU, XBO, PS4, PSV)
    7. Lego Marvel Super Heroes (360, PS3, NDS, 3DS, PS4, NWU, XBO, PSV, PC)
    8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PS4, 360, PS3, NWU, 3DS)
    9. Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)
    10. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (360, PS3, PS4, XBO, NWU, PC)

    Will the PS4 continue to lead over the Xbox One in sales remains to be seen. With Microsoft removing the Kinect from the Xbox One and now pricing it at $399 (same as the PS4) , the sales for the Xbox One are expected to rise sharply.

  • A Bright Future for Sony?

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    As you might already know, Sony is going through a bit of a rough time. Even though the PlayStation side of their business is booming, a few of the other sides are suffering major losses. In total Sony has reported of expecting losses of over $1 billion.

    Even the high level executives have decided to not take their bonus and also only half their wages to show support for the company. Although, there was some positive news at Sony’s second financial briefing for overseas investors and and investors. The briefing was attended by Sony CFO Kenichiro Yoshida, Corporate Executive Hiroki Totoki, and Senior General Manager Kazuhiko Takeda.

    Yoshida started off by first apologized for the big losses sustained by the company. He explained that this was due to the massive restructuring they underwent for future growth purposes. They are expecting losses to continue till 2015 but that will be the last time.

    After this they are expecting a “bright” future. He also added that PS4 has been doing amazingly and will be turning a profit in 2014 itself. Vita on the other hand has not met expectations. The most significant news was that Yoshida believes the PS4 will reach profit levels that the PS2 had. That is a lot to expect but so far the PS4 has surpassed every expectation.

  • CoD Fans, Sledgehammer Says "Yes, We're Listening To You"

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    Sledgehammer has been given a massive undertaking. They are the first to bring CoD to the next generation with the launch of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. You can guess the amount of pressure they are in considering the legions of fans who want this game to be perfect. It has been a while since CoD has gotten an overhaul and everyone is looking towards this iteration to blow them away.

    Well just to make sure that the fans understand them, Sledgehammer has posted on Reddit saying that they really care about their core audience and are constantly listening to their fans. This is what Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey had to say,

    "Sledgehammer Games takes fan feedback very seriously. With [40 million] voices strong, there are always going to be competing viewpoints within the fan community. We also have passionate visions of the game we want to deliver. Bottom line, we actively listen, even if we can't always respond or agree.

    So thanks for being here, and for helping us make the game be the best it can. Every developer on this game has one goal--to create the highest quality experience of our careers. So one favor--keep it classy and constructive. As fans, we owe it to each other and the game."

    CoD Advanced Warfare will be hitting the shelved on 4th November 2014. For now only the debut trailer is out and most of us are still waiting to see the multiplayer reveal. Guess it will follow shortly. Expect something big at E3 which is just a few weeks away.

  • Sony Says Free-to-Play System give Gamers "Voting Power”

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    Many of us have reservations towards free to play games. But Sony has come out and said that all gamers should be rooting for this. According to John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, the free to play model being used by a fair share of developers is actually a "powerful form of democracy."

    In an interview with GameSpot he shared his thoughts on this subject,

    "We believe very strongly in this idea that if you open it up so that anybody can play it, it is the most powerful form of democracy in gaming that there is. Because they can vote with their feet and they don't have to pay us a dime. So it really keeps you on top of your game."

    Well he does make a fair point. Although I guess the main concern gamers have is that the people who chose to pay will end up having a advantage over them. I guess this model has a lot of potential in the hands of the right developers who can balance the paid and non-paid users.

    As for whether this model will end up becoming the most used form of business is not certain. According to Smedlye this is mainly because "you're seeing games evolve very strongly into games as a service model." Meaning that we are seeing games becoming more of service as games can be changed and extended with future content (DLC). I guess this is why they have decided to use the free-to-play model for their upcoming game, H1Z1.

  • Drive Club Game Director Says Microtransactions Not Required

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    As you might already know, Plus members have been getting a small segment of Drive Club for free. In addition you will be able to upgrade to the full game for a lower price. But there was a bit of an issue that arose with it.  Supposedly if your PS Plus expired you would lose access to the game even if you had paid to upgrade it.

    Good thing however was that Sony now has cancelled that decision and players now will have access to the game even if the subscription runs out. Following this, game director Paul Rustchynsky brought attention to the microtransactions that will be utilized in Drive Club, in order to clarify this sore subject as well.

    "It's been a hot topic of late inside gaming, and we've been very keen to take on board the feedback from gamers and make sure we don’t upset anyone. So, in Driveclub, what we've done is make sure that the progression system is really straightforward, really simple, and gives you access to a lot of content really quickly."

    He also explained the Fame system which is the basis of game. Players level up as they earn more Fame and as each time they level up you get to unlock a new car.  This is basically how one would pay the game without any microtransactions. Others who want to unlock a car by simply paying for it also have that option through microtransactons.

    "If you want to unlock a car immediately, you can pay to unlock that car straight away but it's not a consumable microtransaction. We don't let people buy Fame, for example and spend lots and lots. The idea is if you want to shortcut things you can do--it's identical to what we did in Motorstorm RC. So if you played that, you know what we're doing here."

    It has been a long time coming but we are at the final stretch. Driveclub will be coming exclusively to PS4 on 7th October 2014.

  • Destiny Has to Sell Over 15 Million Copies To Just Break Even

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    EA and Bungie have decided to spend about $500 million dollars on Destiny. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick revealed that during a Mike conference just a while back. This is by far the highest being spent for any game ever.

    Just for comparison, Take Two spent a bit over $260 million on GTA V. According to the developers, the $500 million will be spent over a bunch of stuff including development, packaging, marketing, royalties and infrastructure support. They also plan on keeping Destiny around for a long time, like 10 years.

    Activision rep said this, "Over the long term, we expect the ultimate product costs to be roughly in line with other AAA titles."

    So I guess they have some time to make their money back. However, according to recent reports they need to sell 15 million copies to just break even. That is indeed quite a high goal but for a first person shooter it is not an unreachable goal.

  • E3 2014: Massive Sony Reveals

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    Major news has been revealed about Sony’s plan for E3 2014. The following is a list of the major news as revealed by DualShockers.

    +Uncharted PS4 3 Minute Trailer showcasing ”In-engine” footage interspersed with gameplay segments. Visuals are supposedly unprecedented and set a benchmark for console graphics. Summer 2015 release date. It looks absolutely stellar. Features tropical setting and differing time periods with Nate/Francis.

    +Media Molecule’s new title will be a landmark title for Morpheus. 3D world building, beautiful, quirky visuals.Extremely creative and fun. Possibly related to the ”Entwined” trademark filed last week by SCE (not sure). Late 2015.

    +Gran Turismo 6 is coming to PS4 as 1080p 60FPS repackaged title in the vein of Gran Turismo 7: Prologue. Stunning visuals, extra features (social connectivity, new tracks, dlc etc). Coming mid-late 2015.

    +God of War 4 teaser will be present – will be CG with snippets of in-engine footage. A little early for reveal, but is designed to offset negativity surrounding canceled new IP and generate excitement – also to partially offset CG announce of Gears of War at Microsoft presser. Late 2015. Date wont be announced.

    +Kill Strain trademark is related to Syphon Filter reboot for PS4. Sony Bend working on revamping the franchise. Stealth, beautiful visuals and a possible Winter 2014 title. Bend finally getting to join the big boys.

    +Wipeout is also making the transition to PS4. Source is unsure of who is developing it, but hints that it could be Sony London, Evolution, or Firesprite.

    +Quantic Dream has a trailer prepared – unsure whether it is penciled in for Gamescom or E3. Sony will be watching Microsoft’s presser earlier in the day to gauge whether additional titles will need to be slotted in to dampen hype. Expect Dark Sorcerer- like visuals in real time. Off-topic, but still relevant – they are close to deal to become a Worldwide Studios developer, along with Ready At Dawn.

    +Speaking of Ready At Dawn, The Order:1886 will get a stage demo. Big title for Fall 2014. Sony is expecting great things from said title – franchise hopes rest on its performance.

    +Ninja Theory working on a PS4 exclusive – possible Heavenly Sword sequel which was shelved a number of years ago. Quite far into development.

    +Sony London will be at E3. First AAA title in many years. 3rd person title. Gorgeous. They’re back with a bang.

    +Guerrilla Games bringing their RPG to E3. Provocative setting – very interesting. Insane visuals as usual. A good reaction to the title is expected. Will please the hardcore.

    +Sony Japan Studios debuting two, maybe even three titles. Project Beast – spiritual successor to Demon Souls. The other is The Last Guardian. Retooled for PS4, possible Winter 2014 title. The Other title is shrouded in secrecy.

  • Blizzard Gearing Up To Release Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition

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    Blizzard has just confirmed their plans to release a brand new bundle pack for Diablo 3 that will release later this year. The new pack will be available for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and has been named the Ultimate Evil Edition.

    Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition will include the original game, as well as the Reaper of Souls expansion, and it has been set for release on August 19th this year.

    For those that have already played on their old gen consoles but would like to purchase Diablo 3 for either the PS4 or the Xbox One, there will be an option that will allow you to transfer your current character over to another console. This option is platform based, so only Xbox 360 characters can be transferred to the Xbox One, and only PS3 characters can be transferred to the PlayStation 4.

    As expected, there won’t be any variation between the different console versions, and all four consoles will be capable of four player local and online multiplayer. Besides from the added expansion pack, players will also have access to a brand new Apprentice Mode that will reward low level players who play alongside more experienced players.

    The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition will be available for $39.99, whilst the PS4 and Xbox One versions will be available for a higher $59.99. If you pre-order either the new version of Diablo 3 for any console, you’ll receive a code that will unlock wearable pauldrons that offer vitality and cooldown reduction.

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