Hello once more NAGasauruses, and thanks for sneaking your way back in after hours for This Week In Gaming. This week we get a first look at Microsoft’s new tablet, Sony’s optimistic about the PS4’s future while Microsoft continues to treat us all like confused toddlers, new games are both announced and leaked (much to the fury of one disgruntled developer), Apple makes a questionable decision, the longest-running joke on the internet may or may not be coming to an end and more gossip, videos and things you may have missed. Head on in.
Microsoft has had a bit of a rocky history in the tablet market, failing to really find a way to squeeze in amongst the giants. The company is hoping to change that with the newly revealed Surface Pro 3.
The tablet will come in a variety of options, ranging from the Core i3/64GB SSD/4GB RAM option for the poorly folk such as myself for “only” $799 and the super-duper Core i7/512GB SSD/8GB RAM powerhouse for a mere $1,949.
Everyone will get a 12 inch Full HD display and a slim 800g weight. Unfortunately, you’ll all get Windows 8 as well. Ew.
Sony CEO Kaz Hirai has said this week that the PS4 will probably pull in more cash than the PS2 – which is kind of the console that everyone had.
To put that in perspective, the PS2 managed an eye-watering 155 million units sold in its lifespan – which, granted, was over a decade.
Considering this generation of consoles is expected to last 7-10 years, that target may very well be possible.
Microsoft has earned a reputation for shamelessly contradicting every thing they say when it becomes convenient to do so, and they seem to have done exactly that with the Kinect.
To recap, they originally said the Xbox One cannot function without it – then later backtracked saying actually no, you could unplug it no problem. They still maintained it was an essential piece of hardware to present a unified platform for developer though, oh no but wait now you can buy the Xbone sans Kinect.
Now, just to reaffirm our belief that Microsoft thinks we’re all morons, European Studios boss Phil Harrison has said the Kinect-less option will mean more games will be created for the system. What.
“Fundamentally that is good for opening up the Xbox One ecosystem – the more consumers who buy Xbox One, it’s a virtuous cycle for more developers to make and more consumers to play games, and that is what we’re committed to achieving and continuing.”
Translated, that seems to say that now they’ve removed the crappy peripheral nobody wanted in the first place, they’ll sell more systems which is good for everyone. Ugh, I can’t stand this shameless spin-doctoring anymore, how about a bit of honesty and humility, Microsoft?
NeoGAF has long been the home of all good rumours and leaks, and rather appropriately the forum which Halo dev Frank O’Connor used to lash out at those naughty boys and girls who tell tales they shouldn’t.
“Breaking embargos is not prophecy,” he wrote. “Nor does it require any particular skill or insight. Ultimately [leakers are] taking or being given information and leaking it, illegally and often erroneously.
“People, including nice people with kids and families and stuff, work super hard on this stuff and wake up in the morning to find some of their effort blown up. It’s not fun, and for what? So you can have a mildly interesting surprise 8 hours early and lacking context? Or get hyped or disappointed disproportionately? Or get someone fired or someone innocent yelled at?
“It isn’t prophecy, nor ultimately even important. It’s annoying.”
O’Connor’s vitriol is a response to the leaking of an Xbox One remake of Halo 2 coming later this year, as part of a celebration of the original Halo’s tenth anniversary.
Speaking of inside info, an anonymous source inside Ubisoft says that the new release target for The Division is “a bit optimistic”.
Yup, despite already being pushed back several months, the same person who predicted that delay has said there’ll likely be another one.
“The Division is without a doubt one of the most ambitious game projects of all time and our publisher has naturally realised this. We’ve been given increased resources, we’re hiring lots at the moment and are given a lot of help from other Ubisoft teams which is going to be needed if we are to deliver a finished game by next fall.
“Sadly I still think that the date is a tad bit optimistic as we still don’t have a functioning game and still have massive problems making our multiplayer component work at the concept stage.”
I don’t really have a problem with delays, but it does seem kind of pointless to put out all these unrealistic promises all the time. Instead of putting ridiculous pressure on your dev team, why not just wait till the game is actually ready before releasing it?
Seems a better option than putting out a buggy, broken mess – which seems to be the modus operandi these days.
Ten years ago if I told you about a great new World War 1 FPS, you’d roll your eyes and sigh. For years and years we had to put up with title after title featuring bi-planes and creaky bolt-action carbines, until Modern Warfare came along and made it so we can’t shoot anything without a laser sight.
And so we come full circle, to the point where I’m actually clamouring for a war with Germans and clanking guns in it.
Enter squad-based FPS Verdun, featuring actual trench warfare alongside the regular deathmatch gameplay. It’s currently in open beta, but is due for a proper Steam release sometime in the near future.
Ze French and ze Germans will both have four distinct squads of four, with each member having a separate, specific role. Check out this trailer:
Internet Nanny and Protector Of Our Children, Apple, has pulled a game from its App Store, presumably for our own safety.
The offending title is Weed Firm, a mobile game which has players growing and selling their own marijuana. The removal comes after the game topped the iOS charts earlier this week – perhaps all that exposure was what got it taken down.
Developer Manitoba Games made a snarky comment on their website: “This was entirely Apple’s decision, not ours. We guess the problem was that the game was just too good and got to No. 1 in All Categories, since there are certainly a great number of weed-based apps still available, as well as games promoting other so-called ‘illegal activities,’ such as shooting people, crashing cars, and throwing birds at buildings.”
Sarcasm aside, they do have a point. Whatever your position on marijuana may be, a game that has players doing something illegal isn’t exactly unprecedented. It seems a strange double standard to allow players to murder, steal and run drug cartels, but growing marijuana potplants warrants a ban.
Okay, let’s just get this out of the way right now – Half-Life 3 is “in development”. Apparently. According to one guy. Who doesn’t work there anymore.
I’m sick to death of the rumours, and honestly this news doesn’t feel much like news. This is the big scoop from Counterstrike creator Minh Le:
“I guess I could say that I did see something that looked kinda like in the Half-Life universe. And I mean it wouldn’t surprise anyone if I said they’re doing it, they’re working on it, yeah. So to go on a limb I’d say I did see some concept art for Half-Life 3.”
So, an ex-Valve employee thinks maybe he saw concept art for something that “looked kinda like in the Half-Life universe”. Half-Life 3 confirmed.
He did also say there’s a new Left 4 Dead game in the works, which he actually saw. So that one is likely a little more credible.
Square Enix has released a new trailer for their somewhat under-the-radar new game with the hilariously Japanese title of Murdered: Soul Suspect. Due on June 6th, this new trailer gives an overview of the game’s story.
EA’s FIFA World has entered global open beta, offering the “authentic FIFA experience” to poorly football lovers the world over. This free-to-play PC title is developed by EA Canada and seems to be pretty close to the retail game.
Deep Silver has revealed the next entry into the Metro FPS series, Metro Redux. It’s due later this year for next-gen platforms, and this is the first look at actual gameplay.
Hardware-shredding Watch Dogs is finally landing on May 27th, and to keep the hype at fever pitch Ubisoft have released this action-packed launch trailer. So, will you be picking up this long-awaited new IP?
Best of NAG
Being a PC gamer since I was a wee lad, I have a soft spot in my heart for mods; I have some pretty good memories playing some pretty crazy mods with friends. Now we have mods that don’t even need you to move files around your hard drive or own a separate game – they come straight from Steam. Sweet. In that spirit, Delano took Fistful of Frags for a spin this week, a standalone mod with a western feel and some great gameplay. Check it out.
Another game you might not have heard of is Hunger, a new IP from a Swedish studio with a penchant for adventure games. This little gem was uncovered by resident gamescout Miklos. Have a looksy.
My column this week was a reflection on the people pulling the strings on the game industry. More specifically, if the people making the decisions about what to make and how much to spend making it have any idea what the hell it is they’re actually doing. I think maybe they don’t.
Hey, want to win stuff? Sure you do, it’s free. This week prime overlord Dane Remendes is giving away a Razer mouse and a Razer headset, which he’ll pay for selling the hair and bodily fluids of the freelancers. I really wish I’d read that contract more carefully.