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If you’re keen on dropping some cash for The Last of Us: Remastered on the Playstation 4, make sure you do it on disc. GamePur reports that the game requires 50GB of drive space on Sony’s newest console and the download size applies to the digital version as well, although it’ll be possible to play the game while it’s still downloading after you grab most of the assets required for the beginning levels. The Remastered edition features the PS4 port of the base game, the Left Behind story DLC, all the multiplayer enhancements as well as improved audio, higher quality textures and a jump in resolution and detail for all the cut scenes, moving from 720p 30fps to 1080p 60fps.

The Last of Us: Remastered hits stores on 1 August 2014 with a recommended retail price of R699.90.

Source: GamePur

uncharted 4 a thief's end header

According to a blog by Naughty Dog’s Eric Monacelli on the Playstation website, the team wants to show the world how it should be done on PS4 with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, by aiming for that magical number that gamers salivated at all through the past year – native 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second. While that’s doable on a few AAA games already and is also promised for ND’s The Last of Us for PS4, they want to make a bigger and better Uncharted for the console and still hit that framerate. Some say that’s not possible, but that’s their goal. 

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Michael Knowland, the lead character artist for The Last of Us, has left Naughty Dog adding to the growing list of top level departures. Knowland had been with Naughty Dog since October 2011.

Over the last few months, Naught Dog has seen three top tier employees hand in their notice.  In March of this year, Amy Hennig, the creative director and lead writer on upcoming Uncharted 4, left to join Visceral Games. She was followed soon afterwards by Uncharted 4’s game director Justin Richmond. Earlier this month, Nate Wells left Naughty Dog to join Giant Sparrow; Wells filled the position of lead artist on The Last of Us.

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Right then, we’re up to high profile Naughty Dog departure number three in less than two months. Nate Wells, the lead artist on The Last of Us, has just revealed that he bowed out from Naughty Dog in early April. He’s taken up a position with The Unfinished Swan development team Giant Sparrow.

Back in March, Unchartered 4 creative director and lead writer Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog to join EA’s Visceral Games in heading up development of a new Star Wars title. After Hennig’s departure, Justin Richmond (who filled the position of game director for Uncharted 4) followed suit and left to join Riot Games.

Interestingly, writer and actor Todd Stashwick has been dropped from Uncharted 4. He was down to do voice-over work for the game; his voice can be heard in the game’s reveal teaser, which had him pegged as a major new character in the franchise. Stashwick revealed that he would be helping Hennig on the new Visceral Games Star Wars project. Perhaps that didn’t sit well with Hennig’s previous employers, because Stashwick has revealed that Naughty Dog has chosen to “recast my role”.

Sources: Polygon & IGN

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The uncanny similarity between The Last of Us character Ellie and actress Ellen Page has been a thing ever since the game was revealed at the Spike TV Video Game Awards in 2011. Ellen Page has never been involved in the project, but is involved in another Sony exclusive called Beyond: Two Souls. When The Last of Us first became public, many thought that Ellen Page was in fact playing the role of Ellie, so striking was the resemblance.

Naughty Dog later went on to alter Ellie’s appearance in the game, and around the same time they began making an effort to promote the character’s actual actress Ashley Johnson. Whether that was in response to all the “oh hey, it’s Ellen Page” comments or because Ellen Page subsequently signed on to Beyond, is up for debate.

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So, The Last of Us has been out for a week now. That’s seven days. Since we got the game as a gift to our dad on Father’s Day, it’s been the most played game in the house the whole week. But because I was busy writing and stifling my coughs from bronchitis and trying not to die at my computer desk, I couldn’t play as much as I would have liked. And because I had the brilliant idea of setting up shop in the lounge where all the gaming gets done, I had a pretty big problem – avoiding spoilers for the game. As a gamer and someone who has looked forward to this particular game for over a year, I absolutely wanted to avoid spoilers at all costs.

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Despite the fact that their flagship franchise is one of the launch titles for the PlayStation Vita, Naughty Dog did not develop it; Uncharted: Golden Abyss was developed by Sony Bend Studios, but the project was overseen by Naughty Dog. So can we expect a full-on Naughty Dog title hitting Sony’s small screen in the near future?

At the moment, it doesn’t look like it. Despite rumours swirling around that stated the contrary, Naughty Dog is not developing anything for the PSV and doesn’t have any plans to do so in the near future.

According to Naughty Dog’s community manager Arne Meyer, the veteran PlayStation development team  wouldn’t ever “say never, ever, but there’s no plans for it right now”. And why is that? Well, Naughty Dog has always felt that that “consoles play to [their] strengths as a studio the best.”

Well that’s fine then; you guys just keep on trucking with The Last of Us instead.

Source: Game Informer

Here is your new scarf-wearing Drake!

The news is out!

The story focuses on the hero’s relationship with his mentor and father figure, fan fave Victor “Sully” Sullivan, and has him searching for a legendary lost city that will ultimately take him to the Arabian Peninsula and the vast wasteland of the Rub’ al Khali Desert, also known as the Empty Quarter. (Said legendary lost city has been known by various names, including “Iram of the Pillars” and the “Atlantis of the Sands”; click the link for more backstory.)

Some concept art:

More on the plot:

The inspiration for the story, says Hennig, came from Naughty Dog’s desire to take on the challenge of conceiving and building out gameplay scenarios within a desert locale — “challenge,” because organic elements like water, fire and sand are technically difficult to credibly render with animation. Says Hennig: “When we first came up with the idea of sand, you see everyone’s eyes light up here and go, ‘Yeah, that’s going to be really hard — let’s do it!’” Adds Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells: “We’re a bunch of nerds. We just look forsomething that will be a technical, artistic challenge, and allowed us to push into an area of the world and history we’ve never tapped into before.”

Some screenshots? (click to embiggen)

And the official PlayStation blog post sez:

UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception features the return of famed fortune hunter Nathan Drake and follows him through a gripping, action-packed storyline that will take you all over the world. In his search for the fabled “Atlantis of the Sands,” Nathan Drake and longtime friend and mentor Victor Sullivan set off on a daring trek into the heart of the Arabian Desert. But when terrible secrets of this lost city are uncovered, their journey becomes a desperate bid for survival that will force Drake to confront his deepest fears.

Throughout UNCHARTED 3, you’ll be taken to spectacular new locations around the globe,that will showcase all of the work we’ve taken on to take acclaimed physics, particle and visual effects to a new level.

Competitive and co-op multiplayer will return as a key ingredient to the UNCHARTED 3 package, where all of the new features we have planned will combine with our signature single-player cinematic gameplay to create a unique action-adventure multiplayer experience that can only be found in the UNCHARTED universe.

Oh, and there’s one more thing – UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception fully supports high-resolution Stereoscopic 3D.

PlayStation Homeless

According to sources, advertisers are abandoning PlayStation Home.  “The product has disappointed both users and advertisers,” says Brand Week. “In fact, Red Bull remains one of the few non-endemic advertisers to carve out space in the world.”

What’s PlayStation Home? It’s this “free” virtual world thing on the PlayStation 3 where you can roll your own creepy, lifeless “avatar” and parade it around a bunch of virtual spaces. Mostly, your avatar just gets dry-humped by other avatars who scream ‘TAKE IT’ over and over. Initially, Home was just a bunch of meeting point spaces, like a courtyard outside a mall, the area inside the mall where you could buy virtual clothing for real money: and then slowly, more spaces got added that either tied into games, or advertising.

Click to Embiggen

Click to Embiggen (comic from www.penny-arcade.com)

The game-spaces usually had some kind of game-related theme going, or some minigames to play, while the advertising-sponsored spaces were just giant areas with big logos that may as well say CONSUME, BUY, CONSUME! But that’s a little cynical. Regardless, while Sony boasts that millions have logged in and millions have bought $1 bits of virtual clothing, much like the ill-fated second-reality, Second Life, the real-reality of PlayStation Home seems to be that of stagnation and disinterest.

“From moment one, it kind of felt clunky,” said John Rafferty, creative director at Publicis’ Denuo. “And once you got through that, there wasn’t much there.”

Sony has rebutted all this negativity, by saying the FOX network and US Army still advertise with them. Unfortunately, FOX network and the US Army advertise with everyone and everything indiscriminately.

Itagaki Defeats Tecmo

Remember the court case between Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki and ex-employer and game publisher, Tecmo? That’s okay, we forgot too.

The short of it: back in June 2008, Itagaki announced his plans to resign from Tecmo and sue for “unpaid completion bonuses”. Tecmo denied all this, fired back with a counter-suit, and said Itagaki smelled funny (this bit is made up). Now, the court case has been resolved: and by resolved, we mean that Tecmo settled out of court. According to Itagaki, the settlement was “harmonious”.

Pictured below (which was found here), is what we think Itagaki’s new game at his new developer, Tokyo Cowboys, should be:

Click to Embiggen

Click to Embiggen

Naughty Dog Moves

“Naughty Dog is proud to reveal that after six years in our current studio space, it’s time for the Dogs to move on to a bigger, better Kennel. As of March 1, 2010, we’ll be based out of our new studio less than 500 feet away from our current space.”

“We’ve built out our new studio from a raw and open floorplan to a killer new studio that provides us with more flexibility in space, layout and adjusting to fluctuating staffing needs – not to mention there are some significant upgrades to help us keep developing cutting-edge, award-winning games.” - Naughty Doggy Bloggy

The Development Hero Squad that brought us Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter and Uncharted, finally gets a bigger dog run. Go Naughty Dog, Go! They drew us, their fans, this little picture to commemorate the event:

Click to Embiggen

Click to Embiggen

Third Party Games Sell On The Wii

You hear it all the time from the Big Publishers, the party line that “third-party games don’t sell on the Wii”. They usually say this when one of their hand-me-down games with moody, angry plot and “mature” content, bombs by not selling to people who realize it’s crap before even picking it up off the shelf. The story that these publishers don’t tell, however, is how much frakking money they’re making from all those other games that they release on the Wii, that go on to sell millions.

Fifty-four third-party titles have cleared the million-mark on the Wii, according to Nintendo. This is comparable (if not higher) to the Xbox 360, and completely blows past the PlayStation 3. Yes, the popular ‘hardcore’ rebuttal is that these games are all ‘pandering’ to the ‘casual’ market, blah blah blah. Same old cowdung, different generation. Just remember kids, today’s hardcore is tomorrow’s casual.

Regardless, Nintendo finally releasing some solid figures does cast a serious light on how disingenuous publishers can be when they’re pushing an agenda. With these figures released, the final piece is now in place, and all the bullmanure is put to rest.

“The Wii is a fad!” – Four years after release, and it still outsells the 360 and the PS3. Clearly, it is not a fad.
“Third-party games don’t sell on the Wii!” – Except when they sell millions.
“The Wii is for the idiot casual!” – Ah yes, when it’s not YOUR kind of game, it’s obviously STUPID. Gaming racists. (Gamists?)

So, can we as a gaming culture, please move on from being stupid about things we don’t personally agree with?

iwata

If you’re a PS3 owner and you haven’t at least played Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, then shame on you. If you have, well then you know what all the hype and high scores are about. If you’ve already blazed through it and collected almost all of the treasures, you’re probably already left wanting more.

Well, there’s some good news. According to Naughty Dog’s creative director, Amy Hennig, Uncharted 2 will soon be receiving a bunch of downloadable content for players to enjoy. The best part? Some of it will be free. OK, now let’s hope that the downloadable content isn’t entirely geared towards the multiplayer side of things, like with most other games. Us single-player fans like your game too, Naughty Dog.

Uncharted 2 really is as good as all reviewers agree that it is

Uncharted 2 really is as good as all reviewers agree that it is

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