Hello once again NAGuxxes, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have the Oculus Rift recommended requirements (can your rig manage?), Nintendo opens up about their new console, and Blizzard bans half the world. Then it’s a special event for Diablo 3, Del Toro talks about the cancellation of Silent Hills, Sony gives an indie the royal treatment and a well-known Japanese dev has a really pervy idea for a video game (that will never get made). All that, more videos, highlights from the week and unsolicited opinion – after the jump.
The big news this week is that the Oculus Rift has revealed it’s “recommended requirements” – the hardware you should be running to make proper use of the VR headset.
You’re going to need: a GTX 970, i5-4590, 8GB of RAM, 2 USB 3.0 ports and Windows 7. You’re also going to need to not have a laptop.
Yup, according to chief architect Atman Binstock, “Many discrete GPU laptops have their external video output connected to the integrated GPU and drive the external output via hardware and software mechanisms that can’t support the Rift.
“Since this isn’t something that can be determined by reading the specs of a laptop, we are working on how to identify the right systems. Note that almost no current laptops have the GPU performance for the recommended spec, though upcoming mobile GPUs may be able to support this level of performance.”
Some may be disappointed by this news, but Oculus maintains having a set of defined specs is in the best interest of everyone – it helps potential developers to optimise their games appropriately.
The other big scoop this week comes from Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata, as he discusses the Nintendo NX, the new console that nobody knows much of anything about at this point.
Iwata insists that the system is a “dedicated platform with a brand new concept”, that isn’t intended to replace the 3DS or Wii U.
He also explains that the reason for the early announcement was Nintendo’s move to the smartphone market wouldn’t be interpreted as them ditching dedicated game consoles.
Iwata also got a little vague on making the experience “accepted by as many people as possible” and something about the “different situations” in different countries. A big part of what that seems to mean is that Nintendo is finally looking at getting rid of region locks, starting with the NX.
According to the cagey CEO, Nintendo are “internally analysing what hurdles exist to lifting region locks”, but he does also confirm this won’t be for the current consoles.
We’ve seen a lot of banwaves going on lately in various games, but Blizzard dropped a massive one this week – throwing a six-month ban at a whopping 100,000 World of Warcraft players.
These are all players who have been accused of “botting” – using some kind of third-party software to automate tasks for them. Why go through the tedium of actually playing a game after all, when a computer can simply do all that grinding for you?
WoW players continue to amaze me – it really feels more like work than gaming, but each to his own I guess.
While we’re talking RPGs, Diablo 3 is doing something special for their anniversary this year (the third anniversary, for those keeping score at home) – they’re bringing back the cow level.
In a pun-filled Battle.net post titled “Debunking the Cowspiracy”, Blizzard advised players to “avoid the wilds of Sanctuary” until May 21, and make sure to not enter any strange portals “that may or may not lead to alternate planes of existence”.
Bafflingly, some players ignored that advice and have found an Elite, bardiche-wielding bovine called Herald of the Queen, whom they promptly (and rather rudely, killed). They then counter-intuitively entered a portal explicitly named “Not the Cow Level” and turned the place into an abattoir, before raiding several Resplendent and Radiant chests.
Remember, you only have until 21 May to do this.
Sony has said this week that it is treating the open-world, procedurally-generated space title No Man’s Sky “like its own game”.
The indie has been making waves and was picked up by Sony as a timed exclusive, and Sony UK’s MD Fergal Gara has said they’re putting “the full weight of Playstation behind it”.
“If it all comes together as well as expected, it will be treated like a first-party release; it is not a self-published small indie title on the platform.”
The game will eventually be making its way to PC, but there’s no word on Xbox One yet – although Microsoft have said they “would love” to have the title on the green machine.
It’s awesome to see an indie project get so much support from the console maker, particularly as a non-exclusive. The more of this, the better, as indies often bring with them a whole lot of innovation and creativity the industry could use.
We recently found out that as part of Hideo Kojima’s falling out with Konami, the massively anticipated Silent Hills was being binned as well.
Co-collaborator and film director Guillermo Del Toro is bitterly disappointed, saying that him and Kojima were “having a blast” working on it.
“Norman [Reedus, who was signed to play the lead role] was super happy, Hideo was super happy, and so was I,” Del Toro said. “I know there’s a petition going on the internet and it’s gathering signatures. I would add my signature to it, and hope that someone pays attention.”
Del Toro was also none too happy about Konami removing the P.T. demo from the PS Store and preventing redownloads, calling it a “scorched earth approach”.
We finish strong today (so to speak) with a weird revelation from the creative mind behind last generation’s Deadly Premonition, almost undoubtedly Xbox’s weirdest mainstream title.
Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro first talks about a possible sequel: “Deadly Premonition is always on my mind. But I have no idea what form it’ll take, when it’ll appear, who I’ll work on it with, or how I’ll present it. The only answers are in the coffee,” before things get a lot weirder.
Suehiro has another game he’d like to make, with a rather, um, controversial concept.
“Aside from that, I’m also working on a story about a high school girl detective who uses the imagination (fantasising) energy from masturbating to help her solve murders. But all the publishers keep telling me ‘There’s no way we could put out such a perverted game!’ LOL! I wish someone would let me make it.”
Yeah, I’ll be honest, it sounds awful. There’s absolutely no reason I can fathom that her “superpowers” have to come from masturbating, or that she has to be in high school, for that matter.
Get outta here, ya perv.
Let’s kick things off with Arkham Knight‘s intriguing “Dual Play” – the ability to fight alongside an AI controlled ally and switch between them rapidly, building combos.
Have you played Smite? Do you like DotA? This 3rd-person take on the classic MOBA formula is coming to Xbox One in beta form – check it out.
Then we have the reveal of the new Assassin’s Creed title – put into a VOD for your convenience.
Finally, we get a proper look at Blizzard’s Overwatch, which we haven’t seen for some time. This is a proper gameplay video of one of the support characters, Zenyatta, the omnic monk.
Best of NAG
The Witcher 3 is finally, finally almost upon us – and CD Projekt Red have saved their most insane cinematic for the launch.
Then Matthew Vice takes Axiom Verge for a spin, the indie title that was developed by a single dude. Nice.
Once you’re done with that, have a look at Mr Wesley Fick’s always excellent System Builder’s Guide, with a twist – these are Linux-based machines.
Finish off with a nice palate cleanser – me discussing whether or not the old consoles need to be retired.