Climbing the Great Wall: As per my editorial from last week Microsoft’s partner Shanghai Media Group has released sales numbers disclosing first day sales of 100,000 units which is a reasonable start for the restricted availability of Xbox Ones in the Chinese market, Sony also announced that they would have 200,000 units available ready to ship to China (meaning ready to roll down the highway from where they’re being built to the free trade zone) that being said there is still no release date for Sony’s PS4 in the Chinese market. (Source Joystiq here and here and Polygon)
Rise of the Former Sith: Star Wars fans may be aware of Revan the Jedi who led to the creation of the Sith Empire in the Old Republic. In the critically acclaimed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic you got to play as Revan in his tale of redemption (or fall to the dark side if you swing that way). Well it turns out Bioware weren’t done with him yet and he is returning in Star Wars The Old Republic’s upcoming December expansion. (Source Massively)
Want/Need: The Illumiroom is one of Microsoft’s many “trying things out”, a large portion of their R&D never sees the light of day (though I’m sure there are plenty of patents filed to make sure they get their cut if someone does develop it). Illumiroom was a hit at last year’s CSE and it seems even though it was just a research project that’s not stopped them from continuing to work on it and now I need to convince them to give me one! (Source The Verge)
He’s not that short after all: Ubisoft have released another trailer for Assassin’s Creed Unity which features a man with a complex named after him and a man with an entire family of kinks named after him. No one can ever say the French are not interesting! It would appear though that in their casting they are going the Jean Luc Picard route when it comes to French Accents.
Ubisoft also let the public know the game was going to be locked at 900p 30 FPS across all platforms, their reasoning was that most people wouldn’t notice and those kinds of high fps rates aren’t really needed in action games and their goal was to optimize the animations to be as stunning as possible. What isn’t debatable is of course gamers went bananas on them within minutes. (Source Joystiq here and here and Ubisoft)
Destined to go away sooner or later: Yet more Destiny news! Last week we were running errands for the Queen taking care of her dirty business. This week we’re trying to earn the attention of some bad ass guy with a wolf thing in the Iron Banner PVP event.
Also this week the Video Games Live vocalist Jillian Aversa and Zircon, all I have to say is after watching this I’m really thinking it’s time for Sir Paul to maybe hang up his hat. These are some of the worst lyrics I’ve heard ever… mind you this is the guy who once thought “Scrambled Eggs/Oh, my baby how I love your legs” was a good way to start what would one day become one of his most famous songs, he has a lot to thank John for. (Source Joystiq and Polygon)
Oooops we broke it: Launched with a free PS Plus version Drive Club hit the streets this week but was so popular that PS4 owners overloaded the servers to the point the PS Plus edition had to be pulled. As more and more games go online developers need to be more aware of how these things impact their potential customers as many do not return after bad launches. In the fickle video game industry all it takes is one bad launch for gamers to lose interest. (Source CVG)
OOoooooh now I HAVE to get one: Alien Isolation dropped this week and is scary as all get out, much ado was made about how the throw back DLC linking to the Nostromo was adapted to work with the Oculus Rift, well it seems that it took modders less than a week to adapt the entire game to run on the rift. For a piece of kit that’s not even released yet having a must have killer app already is certainly going to be a boon. (Source DSO Gaming)
This is how it’s done: Destiny announced digital purchases on last gen platforms would be automatically upgradable for a free upgrade to their next gen counterparts (within family). Well it appears this is going to be a thing for Activision. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will allow people to buy the title on their Xbox360 and get a free copy should they upgrade to Xbox One or if you buy a “Cross play” version for the PS4 you will automatically be able to download the PS3 version (which is a bit counter intuitive so if you have a PS3 and are thinking of getting a PS4 remember to buy the PS4 version to get your PS3 version free). Once again though, this is specific to digital copies (mainly I suspect because if it wasn’t Gamestop would send someone around to break their knees). (Source Joystiq)
In other Dragon Age news Inquisition have launched the specs for the upcoming Dragon Age Inquisition and these are maybe not the most hefty are still pretty beefy (I may have to upgrade my processor soon… god I don’t want to pull my cooling system).
OS Windows 7 or 8.1 64-bit
CPU AMD six core CPU @ 3.2 GHz or Intel quad core CPU @ 3.0 GHz
System RAM 8 GB
Graphics Card AMD Radeon HD 7870 or R9 270 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
Graphics Memory 2 GB
Hard Drive 26 GB
AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGH: NBA 2K15’s killer feature was the ability to scan your face and insert it in to the game on the head of a custom player. It’s too bad that you pretty much invariably look like Joseph Merrick (the guy John Merrick was based on). (Source polygon)
Well… that kind of fixes it: Much has been made of the USB exploit that could hand hackers the keys to your computer. Apparently there’s kind of a fix but it involves glue and shorting your USB device… I think I’m just going to go back to the way I behaved when floppy disks were seething petri dishes of computer viruses and basically if you don’t know where a USB device came from or has been you don’t use it. (Source Gizmodo)
Samshing Smash Brothers: Well, banner week for Nintendo in pissing off their fans. A while back it was announced Super Smash Brothers would be delayed to an indefinite date. Nintendo this week announced the title would be coming to the Wii U console this November. Good news right? Well yes, sort of. You see, this is only a few weeks after the release of their very similar (see almost the same) Gameboy version which has led some Nintendo supporters to call foul implying (or in some cases out right saying) this was a tactic to drive up the Gameboy version sales. Adding insult to injury the much touted peripheral that allows you to use your old Gamecube controller with the Wii U (in the grand tradition of Nintendo peripheral devices) will only work with Super Smash Brothers and the implied ability to work with other games was a “mistake” and people wonder why Nintendo is considered a little sketchy. (Source Nerdist here and here)
So… everyone dies right: Telltale have leaked another image from their upcoming Game of Thrones title hinting again to the Forrester family. So I’m guessing I should start reading these books right? (Source Polygon)
Ooooh boy… That was… awkward: When you think Japanese idol culture anime mashup up you automatically think soon to retire early 80s counter culture hero David Letterman right? I’ve always thought there was something weird about Paul Shaffer, yeah he’s a Canadian and we’re all a bit weird, but those glasses kind of led me to peg he was just in to some trippy stuff and that’s been made clear by his booking Hatsune Miku the Japanese synthetic idol artist in this closing season of Letterman’s show. Yes, basically he invited Kreiger’s girlfriend to perform. Though… it was really freaking cool. (Source Polygon)
Flex the Plex: Plex is a media streaming tool that uses DLNA, released as a free download for the Xbox One available now and 360 some time soon to any Plex Pass holders (and eventually free to all users) this tool lets you stream content from your PC to your Xbox One or Xbox 360 console, pretty much available for every other type of device except consoles, Xbox appears to have exclusivity at least for the time being. This is an early release version with limited functions (like no music, channel support, or filtering) though Plex promise to continue to build on this as well there is an unofficial client that appears to be continuing development that looks to be more fully featured. I suspect there will be a free and more robust pay version in the future. (Source Kotaku)
I could have called that: Apparently PC sales are starting to ramp up again, for the last couple of years market analysts have been alternating between declaring the PC dead as a platform how it was going to be replaced by cell phones and tablets, here’s the thing. PCs are expensive and really don’t need to be replaced all that regularly. When Windows 8 failed to materialize sales a large number of people were saying it was the death of the entire desktop form factor the reality is Windows 7 was solid and there was just no need to replace that hardware. There’s some things that Tablets are great for but writing your resume is not one of them and with a 4.3 percent year over year growth over the last two years it would look like pundits are back on the PC train. (Source Gamasutra)
The Long Drawn Out Career Suicide of Lindsay Lohan: So, remember that law suit Lindsay filed against Rockstar Games? Well it appears she’s doubling down with a 67 page submission indicating pretty much every female in the game and advertising is her. It’s like her lawyers have made her think she can basically own being a blonde coked out Hollywood starlet who’s career has imploded or at least bottle blonde actress who's worn a red bikini and thrown the peace sign. Hate to break it to her, but she’s far from alone in either of those camps. What’s her proof you might ask? Well one mission that features the main character she claims is her Lacey Jonas takes place at the Gentry Manor which is loosely based on the Chateau Marmont.
Those not in the know the Chateau Marmont is a historical Hollywood landmark and everyone who’s famous has stayed there at some time (including Lindsay). So, when making a game about a fictional version of Hollywood, of course the stars will stay at your fictional Marmont but in Lindsay’s head that means that’s her. Honey, you’re so vain, I bet you think this game is about you. (Source Polygon)
Still… it’s no Troy and Abed in the Morning: Donald Glover is a talented artist, a comedian, writer on such great shows as 30 Rock (you can thank him for Kenneth) and actor (I miss you Troy) who has subsequently focused on his rapping career which to this non-rap fan’s ear is actually pretty good. With all those serious credentials he’s also a big geek, a comic and video game fan, he’s lent his song Crawl to Ubisoft to use in their Far Cry 4 trailer and it really kind of works (but Ubisoft are artists at finding the right modern music to go along with their trailers). Check out the linked Polygon article for a little mini-documentary about their partnership which shows he actually had a lot of thought tied to the decision of which song to contribute.
Ubisoft additionally have released the first in a series of “Documentaries” about the fictional country of Kyrat doing a little pre-game world building. (Source Polygon and Ubisoft)
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TAKE MY MONEY… It’s free… well… WHERE DO I PAY: Guardians of the Galaxy was kind of a bit of a surprise hit, of course it was going to do well with the comic fans but the unexpected success at the much wider audience kind of took Disney and Marvel aback. It turns out that they have realized it is best to not to leave money on the table and aside from the Rocket Raccoon comic this week at New York City Comiccon they announced a Guardians of the Galaxy animated series, watch the trailer and relish in how amazeballs it is.
Stupid People say Stupid Things: So… conservative commentators are not always the most geek friendly. One of the rock star supporters of the Gamergate movement Yiannopoulos a week before Gamergate blew up was saying how “If you’re a grown man with hands clamped to an Xbox controller instead of a pair of tits you need a good slap.” They kind of don’t always get civil discourse let alone the concept of geek culture as a whole or in Yiannopoulos’ case even being a vaguely decent human being. Anyhow, over at The Week James Pethokoukis seemed to peg the current economic situation in the US on Cosplay. That’s right, it’s not the Bush era tax cuts, the ongoing war against the poor, or the collusion of all levels of government with corporate interest. Nope, it’s that dude dressed as Deadpool’s fault. Apparently they failed to get the memo that cosplay is not cheap and pretty much everyone I know who does it is actually very gainfully employed. So… is there a rule saying that being a right wing economics/political blogger means you have to be a total asshat? (Source io9 and The Week)
Rock on: Rocksmith is being released for the Xbox One and PS4, the good news? Well if you own the 2014 version already all your DLC will carry over (within the same console family a recurring trend) as well any hardware you need is cross platform compatible. So that cable you use for the Xbox 360, PC or PS3 can also be used with the Xbox One and PS4! (Source Ubisoft)
OoOoooh Disney you coy so and so: Look, I’m a consumer of pop culture but even I have my limits. The first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was pretty neat but it quickly became in to “Watch Johnny prance, prancercise Johnny prancerscise!” When I heard Disney were going to be converting some of their other ride based attractions in to movies I was skeptical then I saw this, the trailer for Tomorrowland staring George Clooney that sexy beast. I know when to admit I am wrong.
Sigh… bad science is bad for everyone: It would appear the latest in a long string of biased research is once again biased. A new paper that was released arguing that media violence (including violent video games) causes aggression has proven to have maybe had its findings fudged as it was rewritten after getting feedback during the peer review process which is kind of not kosher when it comes to science. Basically when one of the peer review sources found a flaw in how they generated their results, the authors took the paper back and rewrote the thesis redefining the word consensus to make the results work. How one redefines consensus is beyond me. If this was climate change people would be throwing kittens but since it’s video games, TV and movies it’s okay to lie.
Personally, if violent media is bad for kids, we need sound science to build policy off of. Fudging results to make your science work doesn’t benefit anyone. (Source The Guardian)
Ooooooooh can’t wait: Remember Grim Fandango? If you don’t it was one of the last of the adventure games to come out of LucasArts and is possibly one of the best of all time. A noir mystery set in the afterlife and developed by Tim Schaffer his Double Fine have been able to grab up the rights from Disney/LucasArts and will be releasing a remastered version updating graphics, controls and sound. The best part, originally this was only announced for the PS4 turns out it’ll be on a host of systems including the Vita, Linux, Mac and Windows (and I’m guessing after a timed exclusivity Xbox One). Check out the linked Polygon article for details. (Source Polygon)
Seriously people: So, it appears making a crack about Gamergate supporters is enough to get you driven from your home with rape and murder threats that include your home address and explicit descriptions of how it is going to be done. On top of that it also means it’s cool to endanger the livelihood of a person, that person’s employees, and that person’s coworkers. Briana Wu developer at Giant Spacekat posted some memes about Gamergate making fun of supporters on her twitter feed. Guess what happened, as of today all of the above. Friday she was forced to flee in the middle of the night, the police and the FBI have become involved and as of Saturday Giant Spacekat’s bank accounts and various financial systems were under hacker attack as well as the apple products (I’m guessing iCloud accounts AGAIN). And people who wonder why we don’t believe them when they say Gamergate is about protecting the integrity of games journalism. I am a Gamer and I’m not about to let these people ruin that but I’m also not going to pretend they aren’t gamers. We seriously need to clean house and 4chan and Reddit have a lot to answer for so I’m just going to put this link to Rationalwiki here to do my smackdown for me. (Source The Verge and Polygon)
Now to really lighten the mood: Cats… wandering around fighting dinosaurs… set against the Monster Hunter series backdrops… because CATS! (Source Joystiq)
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