Hello once more NAGyxxies, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have a clearer indication of Oculus pricing, an unlikely strike in the industry, John Carmack has his head in the clouds and Black Ops 3 is giving the old generation the finger. Then it’s Ubisoft being uncharacteristically accommodating, Xbox One has the lamest timed deal ever, a new horror game is not what you’d expect and Counter-Strike gets the greatest sound pack of all time. Then it’s the usual fare of videos, highlights and a healthy dose of ranting. Hit the juuuuuuuu….
We’ll kick things off with a bit of (rather boring, if anyone is asking me, although I’m fully aware nobody was) hardware news – the Oculus Rift is going to cost “at least $300”.
Considering our horrific exchange rate and import fees and all that funky jazz, this means It’s going to be somewhere in the R5000+ range for us lowly folk at the bottom of Africa.
The news comes via VP of Product Nate Mitchell, who was rambling on about something to do with pre-orders not being done since users will still be waiting some time, but the takeaway was him outing the minimum price – still in line with last year’s promise of the $200 – $400 range.
Still, I have to think how many SA folk would be willing to shell out PS4 prices for one of these. Would you? To be honest, it seems like an awful lot to pay for porn.
Did you know voice actors had a union? Did you know the chairperson is neither James Earl Jones nor Gilbert Gottfried? I know, I was just as upset as you.
Anyways, unfortunately named union SAG-AFTRA is voting to strike, including a number of prominent video game voice actors such as Jennifer Hale, Wil Wheaton and Ashly Burch who’ll be literally dropping the mic.
This means production will be halted on big titles such as Portal 3 and Half-Life 3.
Haha just kidding, neither of those games exist. I hate everyone and everything.
The union is arguing that actors should share in a game’s financial success, and that bonuses should be awarded every time a game hits 2 million copies.
This is kind of a tough one though. I mean, I don’t disagree that actors should get fair compensation for their great work, but it seems to set a dangerous precedent. If we can argue that voice actors should get sales bonuses, what about others who had big roles in the game’s development. Do they get bonuses like this? SAG-AFTRA don’t say, but it’s something worth considering.
John Carmack has lost his mind a little bit over VR, and has now decided he wants to create virtual reality esports stadiums.
This isn’t a bunch of doofuses sitting next to each other with an oversized pair of goggles strapped to their faces, it’s those same doofuses sitting at home pretending to sit next to each other, watching a virtual screen.
I guess it sounds interesting in theory, but the technology required to make that at all enjoyable is so far off that I can’t help but feel pretty meh about the whole thing. That might just be ‘cause I’m a grumpy old asshole though, who prefers to do stadiums the old-fashioned way.
While old-gen consoles were promised support when the new generation came out, it seems they’re getting tossed out on their asses pretty fast. Which, as you all know, I’m fully in support of – it’s been a decade, seriously, we can move on.
The latest shocker is that Black Ops 3 is not going to have a campaign mode on the old-gen versions. Due to their limited hardware, they’re only getting multiplayer and zombies. Ouch.
“The ambitious scope of the 1-4 player co-op campaign design of the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions could not be faithfully recreated on old generation hardware,” Activision said.
That’s publisher talk for “we tried it and it burst into flame”.
Don’t worry though, you’ll only pay $50 instead of $60 apparently, lol. The fact that Activision values the game’s entire single-player experience at 1/6 of the price is the clearest indicator I’ve ever seen that this entire franchise just tacks on the campaign because it’s expected.
Ubisoft took a lot of heat in the last year or two for their poor diversity representation in games, famously saying that it was a little too much time and effort to bother with female characters.
Now it seems the French developer is trying to buy back a little good grace by including a transgender character into the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.
Things get a little heavy handed in the opening blurb however, which has been changed to: “Inspired by historical events and characters, this work of fiction was designed, developed, and produced by a multicultural team of various beliefs, sexual orientations and gender identities.”
Err… really? I don’t want to step on any toes here, but I kind of feel like I couldn’t give a toss about what the sexual orientation is of the people coding a frikken video game about murdering people.
Look, I’m glad they’re making an effort and I probably shouldn’t criticism it, but sometimes when companies like this stray so far into the realms of political correctness I feel like it loses sincerity, like a bunch of suits hired some overpriced consultant who told them what to say in order to show off their extraordinary progressiveness. Maybe I am just an asshole though.
Now for some more upbeat news (you don’t see what I just did there, but you’re about to), Darude of Sandstorm fame is making a sound pack for Counter-Strike.
I can’t even fathom the epicness of Sandstorm starting to play while I’m sticking the bomb defuse. Holy crap nobody will be able to contain my Swagger Jagger after that.
If this pack doesn’t feature Sandstorm somewhere I’m going to set myself on fire.
Horror games are very much in vogue at the moment, and most of them come with all the technological bells and whistles required to make the experience as immersive as possible.
It’s kind of refreshing then to play something like the browser-based Let’s Play The Shining, which manages to pull off being scary with so few bits to work with.
Check it out by clicking here, it’s worth (at least some of) your time.
So apparently, Xbox One will be getting Star Wars Battlefront five days before anyone else, as part of Microsoft’s “EA Access” deal, because they couldn’t get timed exclusives presumably.
Still, I’m wondering what the hell the point of all this is. Has five days realty ever discouraged anyone enough to make them run out and spend another R6K?
It also affects NBA Live 16 and Need for Speed, but honestly this feels like the console maker equivalent of jamming your thumbs in your ears and sticking out your tongue.
Let’s start strong, with some Rise of the Tomb Raider gameplay – I’ll be honest, Lara looks like she’s come a long way.
People continue to use Minecraft as a showcase for how much free time they have. So here’s P.T. in Minecraft.
GTA V continues to deliver, with this set of genuinely impressive semi-truck stunts.
The Angry Birds movie has a teaser trailer, and I can’t say more than that because I couldn’t be arsed to watch it.
Best of NAG
Mr Fick Senior does double duty this week, reviewing some console-appropriate wireless ‘phones from Turtle Beach and then getting positively uncomfortable in his underpants about a fan controller, of all things.
Then it’s Neo Sibeko’s turn, as he puts the MSI Z170A Gaming M7 through it’s paces (it’s a motherboard, and a pretty one at that).
Of course who could forget the sneaky Dane Remendes, Galactus himself picking planet splinters out of his teeth while he casually drops a Mad Max review.
We’ll end as we began – with yours truly. If you need to increase your sodium intake for the day, check out my News I don’t care about article for September.