Hello again NAGillians, I trust you’re enjoying your weekend. If you’re not, perhaps I can make things right with by filling you in on the good and the bad of the PS4’s launch, more word on “ResolutionGate”, the lamest scandal since the last internet controversy, Rockstar’s plans for GTA V, a ton of new gameplay videos, one game is received far more poorly than I expected and I highlight some of the things you may have missed around here this week, but shouldn’t’ve. Hit the jump.
Sony dominated the news this week with the release of the PS4 (finally), and not all of it has been good.
As we saw with the lengthy FAQ released not long ago, there’s a whole lot of features which won’t actually be available at launch. One of these, surprisingly, turns out to be 3D Blu-Ray discs, as well as regular CDs and some re-writeable 2D Blu-Rays.
This is in addition to the outrage caused by the FAQs reveal that MP3 and DLNA wouldn’t be supported on day one either.
Honestly, it seems like poor form to me. A lot of people want to use these consoles as media centers as well (Microsoft certainly pushed that idea with the Xbox One), and to not have capabilities for things as basic as 3D Blu-Rays (something the 8-year-old PS3 can do) is kind of unacceptable in my eyes.
It was more bad news on day one for Sony as reports came in of faulty hardware in PS4s. The main culprit appears to be faulty HDMI ports which were causing display issues, a problem first resolved by Kotaku.
However, Sony is saying that the issue is affecting “less than one percent of owners”, but it seems like this “statistic” may be an optimistic fabrication, and not something actually tested.
It’s not all bad news though. As promised, the install times on the next-gen console are extremely low due to the “play while you install” technology; Kotaku tested 7 games and managed to install each of them in less than 45 seconds.
For comparison, a GTA V install on the Xbox 360 took 15 minutes. Not bad.
Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios boss (now that’s a title) Shuhei Yoshida weighed in on “ResolutionGate” this week in an interview, taking the opportunity to gloat.
“Since the beginning of this year when we saw leaks [about the specs] of next-gen platforms, we immediately knew since the tech specs on PS4 were accurate that the Xbox specifications were likely accurate as well. So we knew at that point that we had much more raw power.”
He went on to say he was hoping for a “slight difference” when the third party games were released, but was pleasantly surprised to see a “significant difference” in the likes of Call of Duty Ghosts and Battlefield 4.
All that being said, there’ve been some rumblings that Xbox One actually has a better and more consistent frame rate, which for my money is a helluva lot more important than resolution.
Alright, enough about Sony now.
In other news, Sony has revealed that Towerfall, the multiplayer combat game for the Ouya will be getting a PS4 release early next year.
It’s not just a port either – the next-gen version will feature fifty new levels and a ton of new game modes as well. Check out the reveal trailer:
In one of those classic pieces of news that isn’t news, Football Manager 2013 was pirated 10 million times. This further proves the point that a downloaded game isn’t a lost sale, since it’s hard to fathom anyone would spend real money to play a soccer game where you don’t actually play soccer.
GTA V is continuing to blow everyone’s minds with its multiplayer online component, but Rockstar has promised fans it isn’t quite done with the story yet.
This week Rockstar announced they have some “exciting new Story Mode updates” on the way. The news came along with the announcement of GTA Online’s Beach Bum DLC, which again they said is the first of many content updates.
Rockstar have said from release that the current GTA Online is only the beginning, and they plan on expanding and building on the epic world they’ve created. I can see GTA Online being a thing for a long, long time to come.
Despite having a seemingly strong line-up of games for the PS4 launch, Sony’s software has received pretty mediocre reviews at launch.
The Metacritic scores include Knack at a paltry 59, Killzone Shadow Fall at a disappointing 75 and Resogun sitting good but not great at 82.
Aforementioned Shuhei Yoshida said that while he was disappointed with the scores, he doesn’t believe it’s worrisome for the launch, adding that he thinks the games need to be given more of a chance.
Speaking of Knack, I’m a bit sad to see it so poorly received. Back at rAge when I did a hands-on with it, I loved it. The gameplay was very simple and definitely not a technical showcase of “next-gen”, but it was fun, in the way Super Mario or Paperboy was fun, and perhaps we’ve lost sight of fun over features.
Or alternatively, what I saw in ten minutes was woefully unrepresentative of the full game, and it really is a steaming pile of trash. I’d like to believe in the former.
Call of Duty Ghosts and Battlefield 4 both got off to shaky releases early this month with several issues with lag, frame rate drops and servers.
However, both games this week released patches to help combat the various bugs and performance problems, and from my own side I’ve noticed a big difference in Ghosts. Unfortunately, shoddy releases seem to have become somewhat of the norm.
Need for Speed Rivals launches next week Tuesday, for all current and next-gen platforms. The series has certainly had its highs and lows, will Rivals be one worth picking up? Maybe the launch trailer will help.
Dead Rising 3 is Xbox One’s big exclusive launch title, but will the zombie-slaying Capcom romp be enough to sway you from black to green? Not wanting to leave things to chance, the publisher has released an eighteen minute gameplay video featuring various methods of zombie murder.
One big pull for the PS4 is Infamous: Second Son, which from what we’ve seen looks to be a ton of explosive, hilarious fun. A new video released this week gives us five juicy minutes of gameplay. Check it out:
More gameplay footage came in the form of the first mission of Killzone Shadow Fall, a Sony title which has received mixed reviews so far. This full fifteen minutes of gameplay should help you figure out if it’s your kind of thing.
Best of NAG
The GTA Online “Stimulus Package” dropped a couple of weeks ago; which is a bit like millions of wholly irresponsible people winning the lottery at the same time. Matthew Fick blew his children’s university fund in an impressive twenty minutes, and he tells you exactly how here.
Next up we have a self-plug double whammy. First, check out my column for the week where I go on a rant about games sucking and gamers sucking more. Including myself. Then after that, you absolutely have to click on this link right here. It’s my top 5 choices for this generation of games, and you don’t even need to read it. I just need your sweet, sweet page views in order to achieve my destruction of fellow writer Miklos.
Speaking of Miklos, I’m loathe to admit that he wrote a pretty good column this week, laying out 10 tips for playing the new Assassin’s Creed. He’s somewhat of a veteran you see. Seriously, it’s useful advice, go check it out.
Finally, check out Tancrid Miller’s final entry into his diary of being a NAG Online intern, complete with mythical beast cover picture.