Hello NAGullites and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. I’m exhausted. Dane halved my food rations and increased my daily shift of breaking rocks with bigger rocks to twelve hours, as punishment for saying a bad word in my column this week. So after the jump you’ll find the usual crop of news, videos and highlights from the week – you’ll just have to explore further to find out what. It’s just like No Man’s Sky except with headlines instead of planets. And instead of infinite, there’s like, 10.
Xbox One sales surpass PS4 for July
For the first month since October, Microsoft managed to shift more consoles than Sony.
Marketing boss Aaron Greenberg tweeted out thanks to the fans, saying that it is “nice to be back on top”. That may be getting ahead of himself somewhat as the Xbone is no doubt trailing a decent way behind in terms of lifetime sales.
Still, one has to wonder how the hell this happened, with the newly released Xbox One S not factoring in to these sales figures. Who’s buying the old Xbox One with the sexier, slimmer version coming out the very next month?
My only guess really is sales; I’ve noticed some big price cuts on the Xbone even here in South Africa over the last few weeks, and perhaps the impending arrival of the S is to credit for that. Still, it’s nice to see Microsoft competing in the space again, there’s nothing particularly exciting about a one-horse race.
Bethesda is looking to develop for the Nintendo NX
The Nintendo NX has been heralded as a powerful console that can hang with the big boys (something the Wii U could never manage), and as such is said to be hoping to appeal to third-party developers and compete in the same space as Microsoft and Sony.
Early on in the Wii U’s life they had decent support from the likes of Ubisoft, but that was pulled after the console was consistently unable to keep up with the demands of next-gen gaming.
In a recent interview at QuakeCon Bethesda’s Pete Hines said they are “absolutely looking into” bringing their games to Nintendo’s latest. According to Hines, talks are ongoing between the studio and Nintendo, and are very much aware of the NX’s capabilities and what the hardware is going to be capable of.
Hines isn’t committing to anything right now however, saying that it’s a “game-by-game, developer-by-developer evaluation”. Fair enough. I think it would be pretty cool to see Nintendo compete alongside the big boys in the playground, but with the new and improved updates coming in they may find themselves in yet another awkward timing window.
No Man’s Sky sparks controversy as the murky details of multiplayer disappoint fans
No Man’s Sky head developer Sean Murray is very vocal, but has developed a reputation for being ambiguous and artfully dodging certain questions.
This was shown off in true form on the first day of NMS’ release, when two players found each other and livestreamed it, except they couldn’t see each other or interact in any way.
While NMS has never been marketed as a “multiplayer” game, Sean has said in the past that players are all in a shared universe and can stumble on each other’s effects on the worlds. As for meeting up with each other, Murray said that it was unlikely to happen at all.
Which made it really awkward when it happened on the first day of release, and fans were understandably pissed when every attempt of the players to interact in some way, any way, was unsuccessful.
Sean tweeted a lot about how exciting it all was, but never really addressed the elephant in the room. People have since gone on to say it was a technical issue and due to server load and blah blah blah, but I’d like to hear from the developer rather than the armchair detectives.
The drama only got spicier when pictures surfaced of a No Man’s Sky box with a “multiplayer” logo stickered over, like taking it out of the game was a last minute change.
Sony responded, saying it was a “production error”, which really doesn’t say anything of value at all since that could just as easily imply a last minute change to the system.
I must say, as small a chance as it may be, there’s something exciting about the chance of stumbling across another human in the vast recesses of space. If that chance was removed entirely, it really would be unfortunate.
Nintendo NX detachable controller rumours get patent support
Almost a month ago, Eurogamer reported from “reliable sources” that the Nintendo NX would actually be a handheld console that had extra controller pieces that plugged into each side, and could be plugged into the TV to turn it into a standard console.
It sounded weird as hell, and still does, but those sources are being validated by the reveal of a Nintendo patent filed last year that shows pretty much exactly that – a handheld with controller pieces connecting on the sides.
I feel a little concerned about this design, as it feels like once again Nintendo is trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m all for innovation, but I kind of wish at this point they would come up with a “normal” console.
My biggest concern is the space – how does Nintendo plan on competing with the big boys with a handheld console that doubles as the real deal. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but we all remember how that went with the Wii U.
No Man’s Sky on PC is broken
PC gamers should probably start getting used to avoiding day one purchases at all costs, as more and more I get the feeling that one person at the company gets stuck with the development and resents it greatly.
Steam players are reporting all kinds of issues with FPS drops, tearing and lag, as well as the unlucky some who can’t even get into the game in the first place. This isn’t the typical whiny gamer either, there are reports of people cracking 10FPS with a GTX 980.
The internet has reacted as the internet does, with Steam reviews currently showing “Mostly Negative”. This behaviour gets labelled as childish sometimes (and often rightly so), but this time I feel like it’s justified. Would you give a positive review of a game that ran like ass or didn’t run at all?
I’m tired of games banking on the promise of what it’s going to be three patches down the line – release a working game you’re proud of, you buttholes.
Titanfall 2 injects life into the campaign
Titanfall was an amazing multiplayer shooter, one of the best I’ve ever played, but the campaign was rightfully criticised for being, well, garbage. It was hot, stinky garbage.
With the success of the first game Respawn isn’t pulling any punches with the sequel, and the campaign looks to be a story-driven and even emotional experience. Producer Drew McCoy said this week that they want to emphasise the “connection between pilot and the titan”.
This means that the Titans in the new game won’t be mindless robots, but sentient beings who feel and think and are loyal. This means it’s going to die, isn’t it? These assholes are going to Lion King me I can feel it already.
There’s a new video (two, actually) out which shows off a bit of the campaign, in addition to the story you can also see all new titans with all new abilities, plus a pretty cool melee takedown. Check them out below.
While the hype is fresh, here’s some things about No Man’s Sky you may not know yet – or may want to know before you start.
Gears of War 4 revealed some multiplayer footage this week, and it does not disappoint.
GoldenEye 007 has a special player in the heart of many a gamer, particularly the multiplayer (no Oddjob). A team of modders have created an awesome recreation of the game’s multiplayer in the Source engine, which I guess means Nintendo is going to try kill it soon. Sigh.
We finish with this colourful MMO Worlds Adrift video, which shows how you’ll be putting your ships together for your exploration needs.
Best of NAG
It’s been a hard weekend – relax, rest your eyes and spoil yourself with the smooth sounds of the NAG Online Podcast.
Now that you’re well rested, let me tell you why you’ve been wasting time with all that “Olympics” business you’ve been busy with.