Hello NAGgles, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. It was a rather quiet week, with most of the big news coming out of Japan’s Tokyo Game Show. With that, of course, comes some spicy new videos you may not have seen yet. In consoles Sony details how you can buy upcoming PS3 titles without worrying about the next-gen crossover, as well as what exactly went into creating the Dualshock 4. In gaming PCs are dying (again) while Steam climbs over their corpses to massive growth, GTA V made more money than exists, and broke another record you may not know about, Peter Molyneux flaps his gums and Dark Souls II gets a release date. As for the things you missed; well let’s just say me and Wesley both had a bad week.
Sony is optimistic about their newest console, looking to sell five million PS4s by March 2014, just in time for the end of the financial year.
They’ll have to sell a little more than just the console if they want to get in the green however, as a Sony exec said this week that in order to make a profit on each console, they need to sell a PS Plus subscription and a launch title as well.
That certainly seems doable, as what the hell else are you going to do with the console otherwise? That’s a really expensive Blu-Ray player.
The previous generation isn’t done quite yet however; there are a lot of big titles still coming to the long in the tooth consoles this year. It’s a bit awkward to purchase a game you were planning on playing on the next-gen at a later time, but Sony have thought of that too. This week they confirmed that various big titles will be coming with a redemption code to convert the game to a PS4 title, which’ll cost you about R100. No official confirmation yet on how this will all work here in SA.
The first thing Sony revealed of their new console was the controller, the Dualshock 4. It was pretty impressive at the time, and still is, and the PS4’s architect Mark Cerny said the company put a lot of work into the revamped design.
According to Cerny, they made and tested a “ridiculously broad style of controllers”, and consulted with multiple developers.
“We looked at the top-selling titles, if they were people we could talk to, we began sending over a stream of controllers. And we would ask them things like concavity or convexity, or trigger pressure, or trigger location, or accuracy, or the like.”
A lot of the internet masses are still not convinced however; the lack of offset joysticks makes them nervous. Rest easy gamers; Cerny assures us that “we did indeed conclude that the two joysticks on the same level works perfectly well. That did come out of our testing.”
Sexism in gaming is a hot topic right now, with the general consensus to be that most gamers are whiny man-children incapable of having an intelligent conversation on the merits of any feminist criticisms of mainstream gaming.
It’s generally perceived to be a man’s world in the industry, but this week Microsoft revealed that a stunning 40% of Xbox Live users are women. This, according to Microsoft, is a dramatic shift from when the service was first launched.
Hopefully as the industry becomes more saturated with female consumers, the immature amongst us grow more accustomed to this mythical creature.
Speaking of mythical creatures, the PC has been slowly going extinct over the last year. Credited in part to the not-so-popular Windows 8, PC sales have been on a serious decline, with an 11 percent drop year-on-year.
But that hasn’t stressed Valve big cheese Gabe Newell, who says that PC gaming “appears to be immune” to the drop in sales, despite acknowledging that for other companies in the PC space, things are “looking pretty grim”.
Newell quotes the impressive statistic of a 76 percent growth in Steam to match the PC’s 11 percent movement in the opposite direction. This, according to Gabe, is due to the platform’s innovation in the industry.
“PC gaming is where innovation is occurring. It’s not on the consoles, it’s not on the closed systems, it’s happening to the extent to which a games platform is open. So on PC you have digital distribution, you have social gaming, free-to-play, MMO, trading – most interesting topics are really coming out of the PC.
“We’ve seen tremendous evolution of innovation in the open PC space.”
As a card-carrying member of the PC master-race, I’m relieved to see that even Windows 8 can’t bring us down. We survived Vista, we can survive anything.
The big news of the week of course was the release of possibly the most anticipated game in history, Grand Theft Auto V. You may have heard that Rockstar’s latest masterpiece brought in an obscene $800 million dollars in its first day, crushing previous record holder Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’s $500 million. And keep in mind, the Call of Duty guys had three platforms to sell on, not just two.
What you may not have heard, is that GTA V has also achieved the highest ever Metacritic score, with a rating of 97 on the PS3 and 98 on the Xbox 360.
Okay, that wasn’t quite truthful. It’s not technically the highest-ever, it’s actually tied with another game. Grand Theft Auto IV. Yup, Rockstar now holds both the top spots on the all-time highest rated list. Yeah, so there’s that.
Oh – one more thing. I almost forgot. GTA V has also just cracked the $1 billion mark in only three days, the fastest entertainment property ever to do that, including anything out of Hollywood. Yeah, so there’s that too.
Hey, remember Peter Molyneux? He created that absurdly stupid game that simulated coal mining, without the inconvenience of fatal lung disease.
He managed to keep people interested in the most boring game of all time by promising a prize at the end that would be life-changing. It wasn’t – in a stunning display of ego that only Molyneux could hope to achieve, the prize was the opportunity to be the omnipotent god of his next game. If you find power in a video game life changing, then you probably need to set some more ambitious goals.
That game, Godus, is now available on Steam early access, so those curious enough can pay around R200 to get their hard work destroyed by a contest winner.
Dark Souls II has finally got an official release date of March 14th for Europe; for consoles only. There will be a PC version, but that will be coming out at an “unspecified later date”, which is developer-speak for “we are only doing this because we have to”.
Dark Souls II confirmed a March 14 release date this week, and to go along with that announcement is a new trailer, titled “Aching Bones”. A rather apt description, considering this will probably be the most difficult game you ever play.
Remember the MechWarrior games? They were clunky, but awesome, and as I recall a ton of fun as well. Good news then for nostalgic fans; after four years in development MechWarrior Online has finally launched, a free-to-play mech battleground that I’m told is actually an awesome game. It’s got CryEngine 3 under the hood so it’s no slouch – check out the release trailer.
Straight out of the Tokyo Game Show, this one is for Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV. The irony of that name never ceases to elicit a chuckle from me, nevertheless this is a franchise with a hardcore RPG fan following. The latest iteration will be available on both next-gen consoles.
Finally, also from the TGS, we have a new trailer for Sony’s launch title, Knack. I have no idea what to expect from this game, but according to PS4 system architect Mark Cerny, it is “a little bit like Crash Bandicoot and Katamari Damacy, with a touch of God of War“. Well, that clears that up then. Check it out:
Best of NAG
Hearthstone has become somewhat of an overnight phenomenon, with keys for Blizzard’s online card game being traded for kidneys and first-born children. You can hang on to your organs and your brood though, because NAG is simply giving them away. Have we lost our minds? Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean you should feel guilty about taking advantage. Simply go here and drop a comment.
Sexism in gaming. It’s a thing. A big thing. A thing that warrants discussion. Unfortunately, sometimes the biggest problem isn’t the issues themselves which are being discussed, but the people discussing them. If you can call it a discussion. Go and be a part of the solution by reading and commenting here.
Wesley Fick is an equal opportunity kind of guy, so he tends to give games a real chance. He goes in with an open-mind, and tries to look past the flaws, to find the good. So go over here and find out why this game caused him to rage-uninstall forever. Hilarity ensues.
This was a bad month for me. It was traumatic, it was personal, and I decided to share it with you, the reader. This week I went into the darkest part of my soul, and faced a demon that has been lying in wait for quite some time. It was hard for me to do, so I’d appreciate it if you let me share it with you.