Hello again friends, lovers, countrymen and welcome to Saturday. It’s nice, isn’t it? While you were all out last night trying to drink away the nightmare of the past week, I was hunched over my filthy keyboard compiling everything you may have missed this week. So pop a few Panado and get a big glass of water as I talk you through some PS4 tidbits, Ubisoft’s take on the death of consoles, Hideo Kojima’s latest mental illness, how someone has actually found a use for the Kinect and more videos than you can shake a broken bottle at.
Console news was a little scarce this week, but Sony have confirmed some more information regarding the PS4.
First up, owners of a PS4 will be able to access their digital library of games from any other PS4. All you have to do is login to your PSN account and you’ll have full access to all your digital games.
The news came via senior engineer Neil Brown, who said, “You can visit your friends house and you can log into your account and play any game from your digital library, which is good.” Not the most eloquent statement, but Neil isn’t paid to do PR.
While you can do this with current-gen consoles, the thing that makes it viable on the PS4 is that you can play the game while it’s being downloaded. This means that you can start the download at a friend’s house and immediate start playing, rather than start the download and have it finish five minutes before you leave.
The Xbox One will work pretty much the same way, but both consoles won’t allow you access to physically bought games – you’ll have to carry the discs with you.
Of course, carrying the discs can be a bit of a nightmare at the moment as well, as anyone who has ever installed a game on the PS3 will be able to attest to. Due to the enormous size of the games, installation can take upwards of 20 minutes.
However, with the PS4, you’ll also be able to play games as you install them. Utilising the same Play As You Download technology, PS4 owners will be able to start playing a game basically as soon as they put the disc in. Sweet.
Now we all know Microsoft is trying to push the Xbox One in different directions than pure gaming, but they may be taking it a bit far by advertising it as “great for small businesses”. In a post on their Small Business Support Website, they talk about how it can “rival the most modest of video conferencing and networking platforms”. Basically, it has a webcam, a mic, and you can use Skype.
I think having an Xbox One in the office could do some serious damage to company productivity myself.
Before the official reveals of the next-gen consoles, a hot topic was the speculation on whether or not this generation would be the last. Considering the PS3 has been going for seven years now, it’s not inconceivable to think that in the future we may have such heavily integrated devices that a dedicated gaming console is no longer viable.
Ubisoft CEO yves Guillemot disagrees, however. In a recently published interview from E3, he said, “I still think it is not the last generation, because the manufacturers want a way to control their platform and the machine is the best way to have a specific access to that.”
What are your thoughts? Will this generation be the last?
The biggest bomb dropped this week was the long-awaited GTA V gameplay trailer. If you haven’t seen it, do so right now. I’ll wait.
It’s insanely impressive, and if Rockstar is delivering everything they’re promising in the trailer, it’s going to raise the bar on what is possible in games forever. The game’s scope is simply enormous, with infinite possibilities and avenues to explore, a multitude of mini-games built-in and a sprawling, living world to interact with.
One person who was particularly impressed was Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, who was so awed by the video that it left him feeling “depressed”.
In a tweet he said, “I don’t think our “V” can reach that level. Rockstar’s team are the best. W/o question they will pull up the possibility of game.” He added, “This free control is future of the game, way higher than anywhere, makes me depress as matter fact.”
You have to admire his humility, and he’s probably right – at this point it’s hard to imagine MGS 5, or indeed any other game released in the next year, can top what GTA V looks to put on the table.
One company looking to make waves is Epic Games, whose founder Tim Sweeney says has games in the pipeline “at every scale”.
Now that the company is finished working on Gears of War, they reportedly have a “bigger, triple-A shooter project that hasn’t been announced yet”, which should definitely be something to look out for.
Furthermore, Sweeney says they’re “trying to master development at every scale”, by working on a number of small projects with only 2-3 developers over a period of a few months.
They’re also currently working on Fortnite, a relatively highly-anticipated PC online game with cutesy graphics and a zombie survival theme.
Battlefield 4 developer DICE has been openly critical about motion control, calling it a “gimmick”; so one might be surprised to learn that the next Battlefield game will be making use of Xbox One’s Kinect.
The caveat, however, is that it won’t be used for motion controls. According to DICE VP Magnus Troedsson, “There are other places where it will make sense, and we are going to use it for other things in the game, but we haven’t announced exactly what.”
It’s pretty cool to see developers thinking outside the box on the Kinect, and not getting tunnel-visioned into thinking of it as a gimmicky motion controller. I think the fact that it’s a non-optional component actually encourages this kind of process.
Nintendo has been criticised for leaning a little too heavily on their existing IP, churning out Mario games by the hundreds. That could be about to change, however, as Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has been working on a brand new IP exclusive to the Wii U, and it might be ready as early as next year.
When the guy who created frikken Mario is working on brand new IP, it’s definitely worth sitting up and taking notice. This kind of thing could be exactly what the Wii U needs to pull it out of it’s current slump.
Other big news this week is that DotA 2 has officially left the beta stage. It’s weird to think that a game with tournaments boasting million dollar first place prizes was doing all that while technically a beta, but the popular MOBA is now open for anyone to come and play.
Valve is doing the launch in “waves”, so everyone will have to apply for access and then get notified when it’s their turn to join in. This is smooth out the problematic “launch spikes” that we often see. So you all have no excuse now – come and play with me, and I’ll even try not be an asshole.
One game which never even made it to beta (yet) is former Assassin’s Creed creative director Patrice Desilets, who says that his on-hold title, 1666 Amsterdam, could be the next big thing in action-adventure games.
Ubisoft allegedly sacked Patrice, and are now hanging on to his IP, which has been suspended as a result. It would be pretty sad if we end up never seeing what this game is or could have been.
It’s all juicy gameplay this week, and we’re going to kick things off with the highly-anticipated Splinter Cell Blacklist. With the amount of media getting pumped out for this game I’m still not sure if anyone is going to need to actually play it when it’s released, but if you haven’t had quite enough here’s yet another gameplay walkthrough with dev commentary.
Next up is the somewhat, uh, less highly-anticipated Rambo: The Video Game, in development at Polish studio Teyon. I can’t quite decide whether this is going to the best or the worst game I play in 2013, but I know I’m going to play it. Check it out:
Bungie’s Destiny gameplay video is old-hat, but before you scroll right past this one, hear me out. This time it comes with, wait for it, developer commentary! You better watch it again, in case you missed something the first time around.
Finally we have a full-length gameplay video for Sony’s Killzone: Shadow Fall. The footage was taken from the playable demo at E3, which was only seen very briefly before in an E3 trailer. Now you’ve got a full 8 minutes to get a real feel for the game, enjoy.
Best of NAG
You look like someone who could use another video. Maybe even another gameplay video? If you’re the kind of guy who likes two starters and second helpings, click this green text right over here and enjoy 7 minutes of Assassin’s Creed 4, ye scurvy dog.
Razer really likes giving away stuff. Honestly, it’s a wonder they still manage to clear profits with all the free things they’re punting off, but I’m not complaining and neither should you. What you should do is head over to this week’s Razer contest and find out how you can snag one of ten Marauder keyboards.
My column for the week was a gaming Hall of Shame, as I named the worst offender in every gaming related category, from movies to video game covers. Seriously, go for the video game covers (they’re amazing), and stay for the comments discussion on my pick for the worst company in gaming. You can check it out right here.
Finally, the United States have outdone themselves once again with their penchant for frivolous lawsuits, as Minecraft creator Mojang was issued with a cease and desist letter recently. If you feel like laughing (and crying), go see what those crazy yanks are up to now.