As the months tick down the E3 in June, countless amounts of news is released on a daily rate regarding this industry. To keep up with it all, I have decided to compile a quick, simple piece going over the highlights of the past week. I hope you all enjoy!
Sony Announcing PS4 on February 20th?
Sony is hosting a conference with invites sent to important investors and media figures. All fingers point to the reveal of the Playstation 4. This oddly comes after Sony saying they will let Microsoft make first move in regards to marketing strategy.
Latest rumors regarding the Playstation 4 focus a new interface that includes a touch pad style controller that is similar in size as duel shock, but includes a touch interface in the center. The Playstation 4 can allegedly record the last 15 min of on screen action, than "share" it with a button on the touche pad to the internet. It is said we will see the next Playstation ship this holiday along side next Xbox.
This announcement from Sony comes after Nintendo's poor financial report.
Nintendo announced a $160 million net income from 4th quarter 2012; lower than expected. This has caused Nintendo to lower expected unit sales by end of 1st quarter 2013 (4M WiiUs down from 5.5M, 16M WiiU Software down from 25M).
In an unsurprising turn of events, the Wii U is said to be selling at a loss with no plan for a price drop. We always knew the Wii U was selling at a loss, and makes profit with the turn of one piece of software. As for the price drop, no company will announce that until the time has come; no one teases a price drop as it would lover expected sales until then.
Reports indicating that the Wii sold similar to the Wii U in the first months is true, but keep in mind that the Wii had a supply shortage, Wii U does not. All fingers point to an even uglier 2nd quarter for Nintendo as a lack of games on the horizon as well as an over stock of units could only mean lower than expected sales numbers. President Iwata hints he will leave if goals are not met.
Valve has gone on record stating that they are more concerned with Apple than Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.
This comes with concern in Apple's ability to steam roll the big three with a dumbed down console. Valve claims they can combat this with use of PC hardware that you already own, making it more affordable.
EA also discussed Next generation.
EA went on to say that you should "never count Nintendo out," than belittled them by saying the 4th (8th?)generation of gaming has yet to start. They also went on to state that Valve has a lack of focus, so it is hard to see where they are coming from with the rumored "Steam Box." None of these comments are surprising, as EA has never had a good relationship with Nintendo, and Origin is laughable in comparison to Steam.
Not surprisingly, they fully support both the next Xbox and Playstation 4.
Speaking of Electronic Arts and next generation
Battlefield 4 will be shown within the next 90 days according to EA, with the Battlefield 3: End Game trailer released earlier this week. Both "Capture the Flag" and "Air Superiority mode" was teased.
The inclusion of "Air Superiority" gives credit to Battlefield 4 rumors from this past November, discussing next generation details and focus.
In other DLC news, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Revolution map pack has dropped
I can honestly say some of these maps are the best a Call of Duty expansion has seen, but Treyarch could do more to expand on re-playability, such as making the peacekeeper unlockable trough achievements, not a strait "give me." Regardless though, the game still needs work connection wise, as it is hell to play at any hour.
Treyarch also announced the ability to stream Black Ops 2 directly to Twitch TV from your Xbox 360, only guaranteeing the game to run even more like crap than it already does. It seems Treyarch is confused. They fully support "competitive" Call of Duty, the map design screams that, yet focus on features that would make any amateur Youtuber thrilled. Treyarch, focus on making a good game, the community and players will decide how far they want to take the game.
The leaked Mass Effect 3 DLC titles "Citadel" finally had some images released.
These screenshots are in response to the seemingly impossible to keep their mouth shut developers, who managed to have every DLC leaked for the game since it's release. On top of this, another Mass Effect 3 multiplayer DLC has been leaked from same reliable sources as the last 5 DLCs: Reckoning.
In the "Reckoning" DLC, several weapons from single player DLC packs will be added to the multiplayer equipment pool, including the Venom Shotgun, Chakram Launcher, Adas Rifle, and Executioner Pistol. Although Mass Effect 3 has disappointed with its original ending and dumbed down gameplay, one has to give credit where it is due; Bioware has delivered with DLC content.
Playstation 3 players finally have a date for their Skyrim DLC!
The Dragonborn pack will be available on February 12, 2012. Hearthfire will be released on the 19th of February, followed by Dawnguard on the 26th of February. These are North American dates only; European dates have yet to be released.
A God of War: Ascension "From ashes" live action trailer was released.
Along side the trailer, new screenshots were also shown. As always, this game is beautiful. The question needs to be asked though, do people still care? God of War is a fantastic series, but it never was one to promote deep, ever lasting gameplay mechanics that innovated how you play.
Crysis 3 open beta went live on Wednesday.
If ever a series proves that we need new hardware, it is this one. I am in love with this game on PC, but the console version is painfully slow, sluggish and just.. not fun. Sadly though, as great as the PC version is, it is hacked (and was on day one) only further damaging what could be an amazing game.
Interestingly enough, The Cryengine 3 seems to put heavy strain on my CPU, going against what was said to be an industry moment in making more GPU based game engines. Squares latest "luminous" engine is indication of this, as their engine has been proven to run on current generation PC hardware at 60FPS with very little strain on the CPU, pushing all properties onto the GPU.
Dead Space 3 to have Micro Transactions
This game.. just, I don't even want to get into it. In the ultimate moment of "jumping the shark," Dead Space 3 developers are including micro transactions in the latest Dead Space. On top of this, the demo released for the game went under scrutiny for it's action influence. The developer went on record and confirmed that the demo was catered toward people with 'low attention spans' and was not a representation of the final game.
Grand Theft Auto V is delayed till September 17th
Not surprisingly, Rockstar delayed their much anticipated title stating "we want the game to be as good as it can be." They received an incredible amount of backlash on their homepage, but I for one am happy about this delay. I am tiered of of broken, rushed games.
Medal of Honor taken out of yearly rotation
And games like this are why. If anyone questions why Rockstar is choosing to wait, take one long hard look at this title. Medal of Honor: Warfighter has been removed from EA’s line-up, proving that quality will forever shine over quantity.