Hello once again NAGerissions, and thanks for coming back for another look at This Week In Gaming. There was a bit of back and forth this week, with Nintendo taking some cheeky jabs at Sony and EA looking to bring the smackdown to Activision with Battlefield 4. I’ve proposed rap battles, but haven’t received a response just yet – I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime after the jump you’ll find Ellen Page, a Call of Duty map that tries to kill you while you play, Nintendo’s take on where they’ve succeeded where Sony hasn’t and an unannounced Xbox One title. Sound exciting? That’s cause it is; see you on the other side.
Back when the PS Vita was first released, I was very sceptical. For me, portable gaming was about being able to quickly jump into a game anywhere – a long car ride, in line at the bank, on a bus, whatever.
Sony on the other hand were going for raw power and hardcore gaming, at the expense of things such as battery life. It seemed like a bad idea to me, and it would appear that most of Sony’s potential customers have felt the same way.
In an interview this week, Nintendo executive VP of sales and marketing Scott Moffitt elaborated on the differences between Nintendo and Sony’s approach.
“It really comes back to, in my opinion, the core strategy. I believe their view on the market is that the handheld gaming occasion and the home gaming occasion are one in the same, that people just have the desire to keep continue playing their home console game when they leave the house.
“And our philosophy, our belief, our strategy, is that we believe it’s kind of a different occasion. The moment of time you’re willing to play, the amount of time you [are] able to play when you’re away from home is different and your gaming behavior is different.”
Sony might be crushing Nintendo in the home console domain, but the latter certainly has a stranglehold on the mobile market right now. I’m interested in your thoughts – which gaming philosophy can you relate to?
Right on topic, in case you somehow missed it Nintendo have announced a new handheld console – the Nintendo 2DS.
Yeah, it is exactly what it sounds like. But to be honest, the 3D on a 3DS was mostly good for headaches anyway, so this seems like a more affordable and possibly better option.
One piece of news to surface since the reveal is that instead of individual displays, the device has actually been built with one large touch screen – although they will appear to be separated. This is likely also a cost-cutting technique in order to further bring down the price of the 3DS’s budget sibling.
To “deactivate” the top touch screen, they’ve just put a layer of plastic over it. Really. This does open up interesting possibilities as to what someone could do with a “hacked” device.
Our last piece of Nintendo gossip is a rare bit of smack-talk from the usually well-mannered company. It comes from Nintendo of America president Reggise Fils-Aime, who said that he is “unimpressed” with the Xbox One and PS4 launch line-ups.
“It’s all about the games,” Fils-Aime said. “The competitive systems have announced their launch lineups. I’m allowed to say ‘Meh.’”
This is kind of hilarious coming from the company that launched a console with what, one and a half games? Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has said more than once that their launch line-up was incredibly weak, and them being slow to get good games out has contributed massively to the console’s failure thus far.
I think Reggie might want to remember what his mother told him about people in glass houses.
This next bit of news isn’t the most relevant news for us down in the Third World, but the Xbox One has been delayed in several parts of Europe due to issues with the voice control on the bundled Kinect.
Kinect causing problems already? The Playstation fanboys are gonna have a field day with this one.
The rumour mill was churning this week, with a release date for the Xbox One being pegged at November 8th. The information comes from a leaked document for mega-franchise Walmart, detailing a midnight launch on that date.
As always, nothing is officially confirmed, and this release date is unfortunately of course not relevant for South Africa.
I’ll be honest, the gaming news was a little sparse this week. We’ve hit the post-Gamescom lull, and it seems all the marketing folk are letting the hype engine gather dust. Fortunately, there were at least a couple of things that piqued my interest
There’s an on-going contest between the Call of Duty franchise and the Battlefield franchise, with juggernaut publishers Activision and EA squaring off for military FPS supremacy.
So far Call of Duty has comfortably held the #1 spot (at least in terms of sales), but EA is hoping to change that with Battlefield 4. While we may all get a kick out of the rivalry, EA Labels big cheese Frank Gibeau says that the competition is good for the industry, and for us.
“Something I learned from the EA Sports business – with regards to FIFA versus Pro Evolution and Madden versus 2K – these fights are good for the industry. They’re good for customers. Competition drives innovation, and from our perspective some people snigger at these two companies going head-to-head but actually it’s good for our industry, it’s good for customers and it’s good for our dev team.”
Crytek’s free-to-play FPS Warface has me all hot under the collar, since I love shooting other people in the groin for free. The game is currently in close beta for PC, but Crytek have now announced that the title will also be coming to Xbox One.
I think a Crytek quality, free-to-play, multi-platform FPS is pretty exciting. I hope it’s as good as I want it to be.
While we’re all excited and what-not, Microsoft have said that at this weekend’s PAX Prime event they’ll be showing off some “surprise games”.
Director of programming Major Nelson said in a blog post, “And of course there will be other surprises at the booth, including games that I’m not at liberty to divulge . . . yet.”
So, any guesses?
Warner has released a brand new trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. It’s mostly some cool looking cutscenes, but there’s a bit of gameplay sprinkled in as well. Blackgate is the handheld version of the game, coming to Vita and 3Ds on October 25th, and offers a further exploration of the storyline in Origins.
Still on the fence about Call of Duty: Ghosts? Well Activision is offering you an exclusive map for your pre-order called Free Fall, which “drops you into a shattered skyscraper on the brink of collapse”. The windows are the floor, everything is sideways and you’re a long way up from the ground. It looks pretty awesome, to be honest.
Beyond: Two Souls looks to be another excellent PS3 exclusive, right in the wake of the phenomenal The Last of Us. In this video, Hollywood superstars Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe discuss their characters in the game, how they related to them and how a relationship develops between them.
Oh hey, speaking of The Last of Us, Sony have released a video showing off a new multiplayer feature for the game, interrogation mode. In the mode, you’ll have to interrogate other players on the field as to the whereabouts of a supply cache they’ll be trying to defend.
Best of NAG
Next is a really interesting read from resident hardware guy Wesley Fick, who asks whether the various hardware optimisations put forward by the two big players, AMD and Nvidia, are actually hurting gamers . Are all these exclusive effects in the spirit of good competition, or spoiling the experience for consumers? Read Wesley’s take on it.
Last up is, surprise surprise, me, as I used my column this week to break down the five douchebag gamers you’ll encounter online who don’t seem to get quite how much they suck. Everyone has been at least one of these in their life (guilty), and might well be one right now. Check it out, maybe you’ll learn something about yourself.
Saving the best for last, the September issue of NAG is now officially on shelves. The big feature is everything you could want to know about The Witcher 3, which any self-respecting gamer wants to know all about – it looks to be amazing. Otherwise there’s a nostalgic feature on the last eight years as we say goodbye to the current generation of consoles, a ton of reviews including titles like Company of Heroes 2 and Pikmin 3, and more previews than you shake a controller at. For more details and a look at the sexy cover, head over here.