Gaming Round Up 04/05/14

May 4, 2014 2:45 PM

Multiformat

This week’s round up may have been fairly uneventful if it wasn’t for the trailer of the new Call of Duty having been leaked early. This year’s game is titled Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and features invisible aircraft, exoskeleton power suits, walking tanks and the star of House of Cards, Kevin Spacey. It looks set to be in the near future, possibly further along than the future levels of Black Ops 2 judging by the technology on display. The politically fuelled storyline centres around growing private military organisations; one sequence in the trailer looks like it’s based on the destruction of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Sledgehammer Games are developing Advanced Warfare, who have not yet made their own full Call of Duty title and only helped co-develop Modern Warfare 3. Expect the game on next gen machines; other formats haven’t been mentioned yet but rumours suggest that Transformers: Fall of Cybertron developer High Moon is working on last gen ports of the game. Advanced Warfare will be out on November 4th.

Listings for next gen ports of the Mass Effect Trilogy surfaced on a Chilean retail website this week. The listing has been taken down now and EA haven’t confirmed it actually exists but Bioware have hinted before that the compilation could be going next gen, admitting it was an idea they were looking into. If the ports exist then they’d be filling in more time until the next game, which would assume it’s further away than many would hope.

 

Sony

Indie developer and publisher Curve, creators of Stealth Inc, have said their games have been selling better on the Playstation Vita over the PS3. The handheld’s installed base may be as little as a tenth of the Playstation 3’s but Curve’s design director Jonathan Biddle has said, “If you compare it to the PS3, for example, you’d expect the home console would be selling the most. Vita’s doing way better for us though. That’s not proportionally, that’s in terms of unit sales.” He added: “You don’t have the kind of competition that you have with PS3, because there aren’t triple-A games on Vita. You don’t get the big games on Vita any more, but you are getting a lot of the same sized digital games. These are gamers’ games. They’re small and can kind of be experimental in some way, but they’re all interesting and there’s loads of them.” Despite the developer’s reputation as a Playstation indie game publisher, they also announced this week that Stealth Inc 2 will be arriving exclusively on Wii U sometime this year.

A new firmware update for the Playstation 4 has added a video editing tool and a dimming function to the controller’s light bar. The SHAREfactory video editing tool allows users to customise captured clips by adding filters, transitions and themes as well as text and video from the Playstation Camera. You can then share the videos to Facebook or export them to a USB storage device. The brightness of the light bar on the back of the controller can also be adjusted to bright, medium or dim. The 1.70 update also introduces automatic downloading for pre-ordered games, live broadcasting in HD, and new PlayStation Camera voice commands.

Nidhogg PS4

Nidhogg – set for PS4

Sky Go and Now TV are coming to the Playstation 4 as well as several more indie hits that will soon make the jump to Sony’s latest console. The deal with Sky will see Sky Go launch later this year with Now TV expected this summer. Now TV offers live streaming and on-demand content from various Sky channels, for people who don’t have Sky but want to watch some of their content on other devices. While Sky Go is for people who have Sky but want to watch everything through their console though you can pay one-off fees to watch specific shows and channels you aren’t signed up to. Also at a special indie event in San Francisco this week, Sony revealed that over 1,000 independent developers have signed up to self-publish their games on the PS4. A number of indie hits were confirmed for PS4 including Nidhogg, Skulls Of The Shogun, Jamestown Plus, Spelunky, and Starwhal: Just The Tip.

 

Microsoft

Xbox One In China

Xbox One Comes To China

Microsoft have announced they’re to launch the Xbox One in China after the country lifted a 14-year ban on the sale of foreign game consoles. However, Spicy Horse founder American McGee, responsible for Alice: Madness Returns, has stated on his Facebook page a list of reasons why he thinks the move is a ‘blunder’. He claimed that PS4 and Xbox One consoles are already attainable and that piracy will affect Microsoft’s digital content strategy: “”Any console shipped out of the Shanghai [Free Trade Zone] will be unable to play any games other than those approved by the Ministry of Culture (and other media oversight bureaus). That means content for the device will be limited and inferior to what could be had by purchasing a black-market console on Taobao. Chinese consumers are wise to hardware/software restrictions and prefer to purchase ‘rooted’ devices whenever such restrictions are put in place.” Microsoft plans to launch its latest console in 26 new markets in September 2014.

As Sony’s latest PS4 firmware patch introduced the ability to preload unreleased digital games, Microsoft has responded to calls for the feature. Xbox Live director of programming Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hyrb said on Reddit: “All I can say right now is that yes, we want this feature as well.” The ability allows pre-ordered games to be automatically downloaded, so that they’re ready to play as soon as the title launches. Hyrb also stated last month that external game storage will be added to Xbox One in the near future.

 

Nintendo

Nintendo is offering a free Wii U game to UK customers who purchase a copy of Mario Kart 8. If they register the game on the club Nintendo website before July 31st, they’ll be emailed a code enabling them to download one of 10 free games. Users have a choice of some of the Wii U’s best received games yet including The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101. The offer is available in the US albeit with fewer games. Terms and conditions can be found here. Mario Kart 8 is released on May 30th.

For a second year running, Nintendo will not be hosting a press conference at E3, preferring to use its Nintendo Direct video to showcase new games and announcements. E3 in June is always the year’s biggest trade show and event for video games but some of the most important announcements come from media briefings days before the event starts. By tradition, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony have their conferences on the Monday with Nintendo to follow the day after. Though just like last year, all they’ll host on Tuesday June 10th is a ‘digital event’, which is just a longer Nintendo Direct, where game footage gets to be demoed on screen.

 

PC

The original PC version of Minecraft has reached over 15 million sales now according to a tweet by the designer himself. That figure comes only a month after Mojang, Minecraft’s developer, reported the Xbox 360 edition had surpassed 12 million sales and that all mobile sales had topped 21 million sales. Xbox One, PS4 and Vita versions are expected to release later this year.

The Elder Scrolls Online director Matt Firor published a blog post this week about the game’s state and what’s planned over the next few months. He stated first and foremost that developer Bethesda is “working every day” to reduce gold farming and botting, where a program plays out the game, adding: “We’re also doing a lot of work behind the scenes to keep the game honest”.

The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online

“In a world as large as ESO’s, with endless variations of gameplay by players, it is impossible for QA to identify all bugs before launch, but we’re working hard to find and close them quickly. We’ve fixed many quest blockers, especially in zone, NPC guild, and main story quests, but we know there are still others. These affect far fewer players, but they’re annoying when encountered and we will address them.” The Elder Scrolls Online released on PC on April 4th and will come out for Xbox One and PS4 on June 30th.

The developer of Dust 514 has announced Project Legion for PC, a first-person sandbox shooter set in the universe of Eve Online. Developed for just over a few months, CCP Shanghai are making the free-to-play MMO shooter in what builds on top of its console predecessor. CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson said, “It’s taking all we learned from Dust and almost making a new game from scratch, even though it’s the same team doing a first-person shooter, so they’re very experienced now. And we’ve made good headway on it.” With even the name not unconfirmed yet, CCP will be heavily consulting fans on the direction of Project Legion’s development.

 

And finally…

Respawn Entertainment head and Titanfall co-creator Vince Zampella has co-founded a new mobile studio. Called Nuclear Division, the studio was set up so that Zampella had an avenue for exploring innovations in mobile gaming that wouldn’t fit in at the console-focused Respawn. The studio was set up in collaboration with Larry Pacey, the former product head for slot machine firm WMS. It’s “silly to ignore” the market Zampella has stated. “I’m not saying one is better than the other, in terms of console versus mobile. It’s a different gaming experience. Both interest me.”

“This is something I believe in very strongly. I look at Larry’s passion and drive, and it syncs up closely with what we want to do. This is a model of gaming that is growing and that I am interested in.” Pacey said: “The goal is to build the kind of product that Vince and I know. It is based on things we like, and is more for the core gamer. If you look at our careers, we like to find new players experiences that are differentiated and unique.” Zampella has stated he wants everything he learns with Nuclear Division to go back to Respawn.

Tony Hawk Shred Session

Tony Hawk’s Shred Session for iOS and Android.

Activision has revealed Tony Hawks Shred Session, a free-to-play endless runner developed by Big Bit. The game tasks players to perform tricks with swipes of the screen through levels set in Santa Monica boardwalk, London and more. “I’m stoked that Activision shares my vision for an original skateboarding game on mobile,” Tony Hawk said in an official statement. “It’s exciting to evolve with new technologies, and Shred Session is a whole new direction.”

“We’ve never gone exclusively in that direction yet so I’m excited because, with the amount of time people are spending on their phones and their tablets playing games, we’ve never had our own game in that space so I’m excited to provide one finally.” The game is set to release in the summer on iOS and Android devices.

 

Releases This Week

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (360/PS3/Wii U/PS4/PC/3DS)

 

Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS)

 

Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl (3DS)

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