Hello once again NAGilliotes, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have more disturbing Windows 10 behaviour, a hands-on with the Steam controller, exciting rumours about the Nintendo NX and Valve talks about their attitude towards advertising on Steam.
Then it’s MGS V destroying the movie industry, bad news on our attitude towards pre-ordering games, Payday 2 breaks a promise to fans and gets obliterated by the internet and Black Ops 3 promises a somewhat unique campaign experience. All of that, some videos from the week, highlights from the site and more of my unwanted commentary on everything, after the jump.
Windows 10 has gotten a lot of flak for progressing from annoying telemarketer to locked-in-basement levels of invasiveness, and now it seems that Microsoft is upping their game once again.
The OS maker has made it abundantly clear that it wants everybody on Windows 10, and it wants it now.
No longer content with simply spamming users with notifications and reminders (or, in some cases, downloading the Windows 10 files without permission), it is now essentially forcing those who have previously opted out of Windows 10 to do the upgrade.
The prompts now come with no way of declining them, and for some, are popping up equipped with countdown timers which allow the user to start immediately or reschedule. No doubt these rescheduling windows will get smaller and smaller as well.
For some other people, the update tells them to restart their PC in order to start the install, and has blocked regular Windows updates.
It’s all a little bit… creepy, really. Considering Windows global dominance as the OS of choice for developers and consumers, as well as the extremely troubling privacy and security issues that have been raised since its release, having it now force its way onto our computers without permission only adds to the Orwellian feel it’s already generated.
I haven’t gotten any notifications at all, and at this point I don’t know whether to feel relieved or left out.
Sticking with PCs (or something akin to them), the Steam controller is due out this year and the folks over at Eurogamer got to test it for themselves.
The feedback is… mixed? The resounding message is that it feels kind of weird, neither like using keyboard and mouse nor like using a standard controller. I guess we won’t really know how it feels to use one until we’ve gotten a ton of practice though.
I can see this being something that people “master” and become really good at using, I guess the question is whether or not you want to bother.
Anyways, you can see two nerds fumbling around with it in this video:
Nintendo has apparently started sending out developer kits for its upcoming NX console; software kits to enable third-party game creation.
Previous speculation was that Nintendo will be replacing both home and handheld consoles at the same time, and now new rumours are stating that the NX includes a mobile unit that can be used with the main device at home, or separately as a portable handheld.
Further reports state that the NX will not suffer from the same hardware issues as the Wii U, specifically it will be able to keep up with the competition rather than being underpowered by comparison.
Right now the best guess is that it will be officially revealed mid-2016, in time for a Christmas release next year. It’s going to be a big year for Nintendo, who, after the failure of the Wii U, really need this one to work out.
While cruising through Xbox and Playstation digital platforms, one will encounter some level of outside advertising.
When asked last week about ads on PC’s Steam (cheekily using Doritos as an example), Valve’s Erik Johnson said no way.
“We don’t see a case for that ever getting user value. So we wouldn’t do it. I don’t think that those ever work, either. To take it a step further, I don’t think anybody buys Doritos as a result of that.”
Johnson wasn’t done however, adding that “it would be a bad business decision, let alone just dumb.” A not so subtle dig at the console competition, perhaps? Either way, I’ll be thankless for an ad-free Steam as long as it remains “a bad business decision”.
In further proof that video games are about as mainstream as it gets at this point, MGS V has outsold Avengers: Age of Ultron on opening day.
Whereas the superhero flick managed to rake in a cool $84 million, Snake’s latest outing more than doubled it with an absurd $179 million.
It was cheaper to make MGS V too, with the budgets coming in at $80 million vs $250 million. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen games turn a bigger profit than movies (something like GTA V’s revenue would have Hollywood execs foaming at the mouth), but it’s nice sometimes to be reminded of how far video games have come in an immediately relatable manner.
When a game pulls in more than the biggest movie of the year, people sit up and take notice.
There’s been a resounding echo around the web it feels like, picking up steam over the last year or so. That echo has been “do not pre-order games”.
With gamers sick and tired of buggy, broken releases, many have started to question the value of the pre-order. While a few bonuses occasionally thrown in to sweeten the pot, these are frequently irrelevant anyway and it would appear that many gamers don’t need much encouragement regardless.
Still, many have been burned by placing a pre-order on the promise of what will be, and not getting what they were led to be believe they would (like, a game that actually works). It also doesn’t normally result in people getting a game any faster, and in reality the entire pre-order craze seems somewhat foolish.
Well, I can now report that all that campaigning and whining has done absolutely nothing at all. A recently released Adobe report shows that preorders have actually increased 24 percent since last year, a disappointing figure indeed.
Furthermore, 33 percent of pre-orders are attached to “negative emotions” in the study. In short, pre-orders are pointless and bad, and we all do them anyway because we’re marketed into it – like lambs to a slaughter.
On the subject of slaughter, Black Ops 3 is coming out, and apparently picks up the story “40 years after Black Ops 2”. How anyone is supposed to remember what the hell happened in Black Ops 2 isn’t mentioned.
Regardless, Treyarch is promising to leave you scarred for life, saying that there is “some really screwed up mind-f**kery going to happen to you when you play the game… that’s intentional in design.”
“We’re doing that on purpose because that’s the Black Ops way, right? This is covert ops. This is, “I’m not sure what’s going on with me right now, I’m not who I think I am. Are all these things normal?”
That doesn’t sound so much like “covert ops” to me, but I can’t say I have a lot of experience in the field. Still, Treyarch says it will be a “really twisted narrative experience”, and I can get on board with that.
Oh boy. This one is bad. So Payday 2 is adding microtransactions. Which to those who’ve never played it may not think is a big deal (it’s somewhat the norm these days), but it is a big deal when the developer adamantly swore that they would never, ever do that.
So much so in fact that the very mention of microtransactions would have them all projectile vomiting onto each other’s suits.
Well, not quite, but they did say back in 2013: “We’ve made it clear that Payday 2 will have no microtransactions whatsoever (shame on you if you thought otherwise!)”
On a separate occasion, when asked if they might come up in the future, lead designer at the time David Goldfarb said, “No. No. God, I hope not. Never. No.”
As you can imagine, the internet took the news with its usual graceful aplomb and full understanding.
Haha, just kidding, they’re currently trashing the game on Reddit and sending a tsunami of negative reviews to the Steam page. Honestly though, what did they expect?
We’ll kick things off this week with a playthrough of the first mission in the Legacy of the Void campaign for Starcraft 2.
Nolan North is a legend in video game voice acting. In this clip, he attempts to do as many of his voices as he can in 60 seconds.
Divninity: Original Sin is getting a complete overhaul and re-release as an Enhanced Edition, and the big news is that it’s coming to consoles. Check out this trailer:
Fallout 4 is just oozing cool right now, and this 60-second live-action trailer does the perfect job of illustrating that wandering, jaded badass vibe they’re going for.
Best of NAG
Delano is at it again, with another indie that has shapes and stuff. Find out if Velocibox is worth your time right over here.
Boom, more Delano. You’re welcome. This time he’s doing a full-blown review of Assault Android Cactus, a frantic shoot-everything indie that’s been getting some good press.
Then we head over to the results of the NAG Jam, NAG Online’s very first game jam. I got the chance to get a tour of the games from our master and overlord Dane Remendes himself, and I must say they were pretty awesome. You can find out more info on the competition, how it went down and the winners right here.
Finally, there’s still a whole lot of rAge stuff coming out this week, mostly our experiences from the event and various goodies and games we got our hands on. You can find everything rAge 2015 by clicking this link.