Hello again loyal NAGgists and welcome back to This Week In Gaming. This time around we have another resolution scandal; who do you think came out top this time? Meanwhile Xbox One is getting a fancy new remote to cement their “home entertainment” image, and a new developers survey shows what platforms are being worked on the most – the results may surprise you. Then in gaming we have Diablo 3 getting some new features, a PS4 exclusive that Microsoft regrets turning down, a game that lets Twitch.tv viewers control it through the chat and an update on the Gears of War reboot. All that along with more news, videos and NAG highlights you than can shake a Media Remote at. Hit the jump.
A recent survey shows the PS4 as the favourite amongst developers. Of the developers polled, 20 percent are currently working on a PS4 title. It may seem low, but keep in mind that only 17 percent are hammering something out for the Xbox One.
As for the Wii U? A depressing 4 percent for Nintendo’s console, which can’t seem to find a foothold in the market. Then there’s the older generation, still going fairly strong at 14 percent for the PS3 and 12 percent for the Xbox 360. I imagine that come next year’s surveys those are the numbers which will see the most significant drop.
And who said PC gaming was dead? A smirk-inducing 52 percent of developers say they’re working on a title for the PC (or Mac, ugh.) Take that, suckers.
The Xbox One has long touted itself as a home entertainment device, an image Microsoft has now locked in with the announcement of the Xbox One Media Remote.
The device lets you control the playback of Blu-ray movies and streaming video, and features “motion-activated backlighting”, as if that’s what we’ve been clamouring for all these years.
You can also control your TV’s volume and whatnot through the Kinect. It’s selling price is listed at $24.99, which means when it comes to SA you’ll probably be looking at around 300 bucks.
Resolutiongate continues this week, as Thief is the next game to announce that the PS4 version will run at a slightly higher resolution than the Xbox One version, specifically 1080p vs 900p, both at 30fps.
The developer does however point out that you “would need really good eyes to see the difference”. The issue here of course isn’t the actual resolutions, but rather that the PS4 for is, however slightly, more powerful.
What I’m curious about is whether or not this small power discrepancy could make a difference when the consoles are being truly pushed to their limits, say in three to four years time.
Diablo 3 has released a new patch on the testing server which adds Clans and Communities, new social features designed to get players to band together.
Clans are the smaller of the two, invitation only groups where players can form tight-knit groups of members; capped at 120.
Communities on the other hand are designed to get players together based on anything from favourite class to geographic location. We could, for example, have a South African Diablo 3 Players community. Communities are generally larger and more casual, and can be set to public or private.
Zombie Studios’, the development team behind horror title Daylight, are introducing an ingenious new feature – the ability to control a Twitch streamer’s game through chat commands.
For example, typing “meow” into chat makes a cat noise in the game. These are of course on timers to prevent abuse, but it is a fantastic scheme to get a ton of viewers and attention on your game.
There’ll also be no lists released of what words work – the viewers will have to figure out all the commands on their own. Again, this ingeniously adds an extra layer of excitement.
The unique FPS released on PC and Playstation 4 on the 8th of April. It’s cheap too; likely costing somewhere around R250 here in SA.
Gears of War fans may be wondering the fate of their franchise in the hands of new studio Black Tusk, but Microsoft Studio’s Phil Spencer has said they’re taking their time with it.
“Still working through plan,” he wrote. “I can say first original GoW from BT has to reignite franchise and grow it, won’t be a quick turn.”
So the good news is, it’s not going to be some hacked together rush-job. The bad news, of course, is that you’re going to have to wait quite some time to get your hands on it.
Playstation 4 exclusive Rime has been causing a bit of buzz with its unique survival gameplay. During the day you have to gather supplies and bolster your defences, for in the night the island guardians come to tear your base apart.
However, a recent document leak shows that the game was originally pitched as an Xbox One exclusive. Phil Spencer’s response? “Part of the job is living with mistakes”. He goes on to say that they also passed on Guitar Hero, and that he can “list many misses regretfully”.
Pretty mature response, and Phil does add that he’s happy when he sees a great game come to fruition elsewhere.
You’ve heard of speedruns, you’ve heard of 100% completion runs, but have you ever heard of someone trying to complete a video game with the lowest score possible?
That’s exactly what Youtuber NotEntirelySure set out to do in Nintendo classic Super Mario Bros. To do this, he had to not hurt anyone, not collect a single coin, and finish each level with 0 seconds on the clock.
The hardest part is a hilariously difficult sounding jump across a chasm with coins suspended above it. I’ll let N.E.S. himself (hey… is that name a coincidence?) explain:
“The timing of the liftoff, the duration of holding the jump button, and the timing of the wall jump are all frame perfect,” the pro player explained. “NES games run at 60 frames per second, which means all the necessary inputs need to be timed within 1/60 of a second. In addition, the starting position before running I used not only has to be on the right pixel, but also the x sub-pixel has to fall within a certain range.”
That sounds like the kind of thing that would make me go through 6-7 controllers before giving up and murdering someone.
Check out the full run below (it’s only nine minutes), and skip to 3:51 if you want to see the jump. Although don’t watch it if you have blood pressure issues, or are prone to anxiety. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something quite as stressful.
Sony’s upcoming online fantasy RPG Deep Down got a new trailer this week, to coincide the PS4’s launch in Japan (poor Japan). The free-to-play title has drawn comparisons to the legendary Dark Souls, and features four player co-op. Check it out.
Team Ninja’s New Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is the zombie spin-off of the popular franchise, no doubt attempting to cash in on zombie madness. It’s due for a mid-march release and I have to admit, it does look kind of fun.
Speaking of classic franchises, the Thief reboot lands in under a week, and early reports have been pretty solid. Not convinced? Perhaps Square Enix’s last ditch efforts to sway you will work.
Finally, we have what may be the biggest release of the year (although competition is tight), Titanfall. This is the AAA, action-packed, sell all the copies game of the year, and there’s even a dubstep pumping, gun blasting television ad to go with it. You know you love it.
Best of NAG
Alright fat cats, it’s time for you with the thick wallets to gloat. This week Wesley Fick highlights the rigs you can put together if you have more money than sense – the R19,500 to R30,000 range. As for the rest of us, it’s a good way to window shop and spiral downwards into a deep depression.
My column this week was a continuation from last weeks; showcasing some more NAG Online writers with superhero alter egos. There’s still a few I haven’t gotten to yet, but I think I’ll play those close to the chest for now (i.e. extort them for blackmail money).
Superman Delano takes yet another indie for a spin this week, this time it’s a rather beautiful RTS game which is totally free. Not free in the same way that Russian bride I found on that torrent website supposedly was, this is actually free. You have no excuse not to try it. Go. Go now.
Finally I want to throw a little love the way of Hearth Battles, a new SA community looking to grow a competitive local Hearthstone scene. Blizzard’s stupidly addictive CCG is now in open beta and is totally free, so get involved with that, then check out Miklos’ interview with the Hearth Battles guys to find out what it’s all about.