iwatch apple watch

Hello again NAGoys and thanks for returning for This Week In Gaming. This week we had some sad news for Microsoft’s Xbox One and some Apples news that had everyone scratching their heads in confusion – everyone except EA, who seem to have fallen serious victim to Apple fever. Then we have some Oculus gossip that may or may not be true, and a new-edition 3Ds that you’ll want, but can’t have. Then on the gaming side Alien Isolation gets it’s minimum and recommended PC specs, more insanity spouted from an EA exec and a small New Mexico town will be auctioning off the worst game of all time – and I totally want it. Then there’s a healthy bunch of gameplay and dev diary videos, some highlights from the week and other goodness sprinkled in between. Hit the jump.

Console News

The Xbox One has gotten a pretty tepid response in Japan, following its September 4th release. Sales figures for the first three days sit at a paltry 23,562 units. Ouch.

For comparison, the Xbox 360 sold 60,000 in its first two days, while the PS4 had a far more impressive 310,000 sales in a week. Even the Wii U sold 308,000 in its launch week, although the Japanese do seem to have a soft spot for the struggling console.

The Xbox One is currently sitting firmly in second place; hopefully it can garner a little more interest in other countries. Speaking of which, will you be getting an Xbox One?

If you do, get it without the Kinect.

If you do, get it without the Kinect.

Apple recently unveiled the Apple Watch, and it’s pretty much the dumbest thing ever. It seems that every tech company is so afraid of getting left behind on the Next Big Thing, that they just shameless plagiarise each other’s ideas, even the stupid ones.

So first we had the Galaxy Gear (that nobody wanted), and now we have the Apple Watch (that I sincerely hope no one wants, but Apple fans will buy anything with a half-eaten fruit branded onto it).

Now, hoping to capitalise on this terrible product nobody asked for, the always-in-touch-with-the-community EA is planning to put games on the damn thing.

Oh, they have a name for these too – “wearables”. Kill me now.

“One of the things we’re intrigued with in the mobile division is seeing wearables emerge as a gaming platform,” says Executive VP Frank Gibeau.

“Now with Apple’s big announcement with the watch, there’s a trend here where wearables are going to increase in performance, capability and unique functions over time that we believe will enable gaming experiences.”

Stop Frank, just stop. Please. If I see anyone playing games on their freaking watch, I will be fully within my rights to glare at them, shake my head disapprovingly and walk away.

Or I could just go with the tried and trusted facepalm.

Or I could just go with the tried and trusted facepalm.

Speaking of things nobody wants, I have some Oculus Rift news (zing!).

The Facebook-owned VR hardware manufacturer will be rolling out their consumer beta version in “summer 2015”, which I suppose mean’s winter for us.

I should probably add at this point that this is one of those “multiple sources report” kind of thing, so I may be talking out my ass on this one. But a bunch of people who apparently know these things claim it to be true, so who am I to argue?

There’s no word on the price yet, but I’m almost certain it’ll be the most expensive headache you ever purchase.

Nintendo America is releasing a supercool NES-inspired 3DS XL, and I must say it looks pretty damn sweet. Sadly for us, Nintendo is saying this one is strictly for the yanks, so if you really want one you’re going to have to head to eBay.

A GameStop exclusive, the handheld will be retailing for 200 dollars, and will be joined by a Perona Q and Super Smash Bros. 3DS, with the latter releasing in Europe as well. But you don’t want those, you want the NES one – look at this thing:

nes 3ds xl

Cool, right?

Sources: CVG, Gamespot, TechRadar, Eurogamer

Gaming News

Frank Gibeau (EA’s exec VP, in case you’ve forgotten from like three minutes ago) is just full of gems this week, here’s another one:

“One key takeaway is that with the retina display and the improved processor, combined with the Metal [graphics] capabilities and 128 GB of memory, that gets you to a device that’s on par with next-generation consoles.”

Yes, he really is comparing the iPhone to next-gen consoles. I can’t help but feel like there’s some kind of partnership between EA and Apple that I don’t know about; there’ve been competitor phones with this level of hardware (and frankly, better) for quite some time now.

Still, they sure as hell aren’t next-gen consoles. Gibeau also said that EA will be releasing a mobile game using the Frostbite engine (that powers games like Battlefield) “soon”.

Am I the only one who doesn’t want this? If you think playing Battlefield on your cellphone would be anything but awful, that’s bad and you should feel bad.

Alien Isolation has “gone gold”, meaning that it’s all wrapped up and ready to ship next month. It actually looks pretty damned cool, so I’m quite excited for this one.

Did you know the Alien can hear the monitor? Good luck!

Did you know the Alien can hear the monitor? Good luck!

So, now that it’s all finished, the survival horror can kick things off with the most scary aspect of all – can your PC run it? Here are the requirements:

Minimum PC Specifications:
Processor: 3.16Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
RAM: 4GB RAM
Video Card: 1GB DirectX® 11 (AMD Radeon HD 5550 or Nvidia GeForce GT 430)

Recommended PC Specifications:
Processor: AMD: Phenom II X4 955 – 4 Core, 3.2 GHz or INTEL: Core 2 Quad Q9650 – 4 Core, 3.0 Ghz
RAM: 8GB RAM
Video Card: 2GB DirectX® 11 (AMD GPU: AMD Radeon R9 200 Series/Nvidia GPU: GeForce GTX660)
I’ve trimmed these slightly, so just note that you’ll need an internet connection and an operating system that was released sometime in the last five years.

Hey, remember those Atari ET cartridges that were put into a landfill, and later excavated by that documentary crew? Of course you do, because that was hilarious.

Anyways, the landfill’s city, Alamogordo, New Mexico, plans on auctioning off some 800 of the excavated cartridges (keeping 500 for their greedy selves).

Auctions will begin in about two weeks, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want one. It is, after all, a rather unique piece of gaming history.

So, any guess on how much they’ll go for?

Sources: Gamasutra, PCGamer, Eurogamer

Videos

Call of Duty developer Sledgehammer has released a new video showing off their “exoskeleton abilities”, including cloaking and speed boosts. Does this sound suspiciously like Crysis to anyone else? But, I ask you, did Crysis have Kevin Spacey? Didn’t think so.

Next up is a new developer diary for horror title The Evil Within, showing off how sound designer Masahiro Izumi makes ultra-realistic sounds for gruesome scenarios such as chewing on flesh. It’s probably a tad more low-tech than you think, check it out:

Here’s the part where I begrudgingly promote a Ubisoft game, with a new gameplay video for Assassin’s Creed Unity – this time looking at the co-op heist missions. There’s a decent chance you’ll be playing these heists before GTA V’s. Zing!

As I mentioned earlier, Alien Isolation has “gone gold” – which means it’s time for a new trailer! It’s kind of scary. And by kind of, I mean I’m not sure I’m going to be able to play this game alone.

Best of NAG

Let’s kick things off with my column this week, because I’m an attention-seeking narcissist. This Wednesday I decided to write about five big gaming franchises that no longer pitch my tent, float my boat, butter my mielie, wet my whist-okay, you get the point. Read what game series I’ve gone off of, and then tell me yours.

Next up we have Matthew Fick’s podcast challenge, handed down by me last week – play text-based adventure title Peasant’s Quest for 7 days and write about it, lest you wear a silly hat to rAge. Did he make 7 days? Did he finish the game? Did he commit sewage pipe? So many intriguing questions, the answers to which can be found here.

Then we have some content not actually related to me, a column by Mr Rick de Klerk entitled, “This Headline has Destiny in it”. Is it about Destiny? Or is that just a clickbait title designed to get you to, well, click. Figure that out for yourself by clicking this green text instead.

Lastly, I’ll take this opportunity to promote the latest episode of the NAG Online podcast, of which I am one of the hosts. Did I mention I was a narcissist? Rick was tragically struck down with superAIDS and wasn’t able to make this one, but we found a stray Jeronkey roaming the corridors to take his place.

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