Friday, Jun 12
8 total articlesNet Articles Summary
- SilverStone Tundra SST-TD02-E Review - APH Networks
- Xigmatek Octans Review - eTeknix.com
- Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 850W Review (French) - Cowcotland
- Intel Core i7-5820K vs i7-4960X Gaming-Performance - FullHD, 1440p, UHD - ocaholic
- QNAP HS-251 Review - ocaholic
- Roccat Ryos MK Glow Review - pcGameware.co.uk
- Kingston HyperX Savage SSD 240GB Review - eTeknix.com
- eVGA Torq X5 Review - HardwareHeaven
Dude looks like some edgy take on Matt Damon in Elysium
Deck13 got a lot of buzz with Lords of the Fallen, but unfortunately the action RPG didn't cause the waves that it seemed to have the potential for at the outset. Creating a Dark Souls similar game isn't just about making a highly challenging third-person action game. There's a lot of atmosphere and passive storytelling involved, too. I'm betting developers Deck13 learned a lot from making Lords of the Fallen with CI Games. I'm betting they're putting that into their next RPG. And judging from this teaser image for whatever that action RPG might turn out to be, they're off to a good start.
There's not much to go on so far. All that Deck13 and publisher Focus Home Entertainment have said so far is that the game will be based in a sci-fi dystopian future and that it will again be an action RPG. The implication being that it will be similar to Lords of the Fallen, but without more details that's hard to say for certain.
The teaser image itself corroborates these details, as well as our bit of speculation. An all sorts of edgy looking dude with a giant cerebral implant sticking out the back of his head is leaning into the shadows, blocking his face from view. He's clearly wearing a mechanical exo-suit, channeling a bit of Matt Damon in Elysium. He's also got a huge, terrifying mechanical sword of some sort. On the jagged chunk of metal that is the blade of the sword you can just barely make out the words "Ultra Finish" and "Table Saw." However he made this sword, it's clear we're not looking at the kind of sci-fi where troopers shoot lasers at each other from across the room. We're moving more towards Warhammer 40k chain swords here.
The brutal scars on the back of our cyborg soldier's head and the blunt edges on his "sword" definitely imply some, err, visceral action. Lords of the Fallen had some intense, bloody gore and atmosphere, scaling up to Gears of War-esque silliness. Lords of the Fallen always took itself a bit too seriously to capture that same brutal-but-fun thing Gears had. This sci-fi title already seems to be following in Lords of the Fallen's footsteps in that regard, but that's again making a lot of assumptions based on one image. Sorry, I love speculating based on this kind of stuff. They put it out there just so we can talk about it, right? It's exciting.
Expect more information on Deck13's sci-fi action RPG at "a later date." The game is planned to be released on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2017. That is to say, don't go and look for this game at E3 or anything. It's still a ways off.
Maybe next Tales can launch in both Japan and here at the same time?
It was only a matter of time until Tales of Zestiria's localization was announced for the western world. Bandai Namco tends to take their time with the Tales games, sometimes waiting until improved versions of the game have been put together to better serve the tastes of western audiences. Looks like that might be the case again, because Tales of Zestiria's PlayStation 3 release won't be the only version arriving on October 16. For the first time in Tales history, Tales of Zestiria will be released on both PlayStation 4 and PC in addition to PlayStation 3.
Tales of Vesperia was released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Tales of the Abyss has been rereleased on the 3DS long past its launch on the PlayStation 2. Both Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Phantasia have been updated and rereleased on several platforms. And a bunch of other Tales games have been shifted to other platforms for western release after initially launch on something else in Japan. This is the first time when the west will be getting the initial platform as well as two previously unreleased platform launches at the same time. It's almost like western audiences have persuaded Bandai Namco that they love Tales games as much or more as Japan. Or maybe Bandai Namco just thinks Tales of Zestiria is awesome enough to really do great on PC and PlayStation 4.
Either way, what it means is an outstanding looking 1080p version of Tales of Zestiria will be available for JRPG fans to pick up day one. It means that the updated versions won't come at the expense of those still holding onto the PlayStation 3, which has had a long and rich Tales of history up to this point. It almost certainly means that Tales of Zestiria will take a bit longer to launch than it may have otherwise, but like I said before Bandai Namco likes to take its time with localization anyway. Maybe porting the game to PlayStation 4 and PC isn't delaying the game and they just figured they could do it while the localization team did what they do. Either way, a great outcome for those excited for Tales of Zestiria.
As for what Tales of Zestiria is really about, moving past all these silly platform details:
"An unseen evil force known as Malevolence is spreading across the land, corrupting the world and causing humanity to falter. Players will embark on an epic journey as Sorey, a young pure-hearted adventurer whose destiny is to become The Shepard, an individual of great power that can banish Malevolence. Does Sorey have the courage and heart to wield this extraordinary responsibility for good, or will he fall prey to the evils of its power?"
Ah yeah, that's the JRPG kind of epic storyline that I crave from my Tales games.
Pick up Tales of Zestiria starting October 16 on PC, PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4. It feels so good to say it that I'm going to say it again. PlayStation 4 and PC. Note that the screenshots in the gallery are from the PC/PS4 version of the game and are 100% work-in-progress shots. Which is probably why they're plastered with "Work in Progress" and all from the same scene in the game. It's a still a great first look at what's to come. The trailer is mostly footage from the PlayStation 3, though logos, title cards and some other bits look like they're quite a bit higher quality.
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Billy and Jimmy are basically already Sol and Ky, right?
Technos Japan, rest in peace, went bankrupt all the way back in 1996. Their major properties have continued to be licensed and shopped around ever since, including Double Dragon, River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball and the legendary Karate Champ. The holding company with ownership over Technos Japan's properties was Million, who did their best but never fully capitalized on the works. I say "was," because today they sold all of their Technos Japan assets to Arc System Works. Yes, the developers behind Guilty Gear and BlazBlue now own Double Dragon. Oh, the potential.
Arc System Works is a long-historied publisher/developer with plenty of cash and loose ties to Technos Japan's earliest days, as well as more modern connections as well. Arc System Works ported the original Double Dragon onto the Sega Master System way back in 1988, perhaps starting them on the path on the acquisition they've made now. They also made Super Dodgeball Brawlers in 2008 based off of the Super Dodge Ball property, perhaps giving them the relationship they needed with Million to start the process of purchasing the Technos Japan properties.
According to early details from Arc System Works, it seems like they've already begun working on a title that in the Kunio-kun franchise. Something that's never made it over to the western world before. Yet virtually anything that Ark System Works develops these days is eventually being publishers in the western world as well. Their partner for localization and western publishing is Aksys Games, for those who aren't familiar. That's how they've brought the latest Guilty Gear and BlazBlue titles over. That means it's likely we'll be seeing Kunio-kun in the west one way or another.
Then, if Arc System Works does decide to make a modernized Double Dragon, Super Dodge Ball or River City Ransom game, that's almost certain to be localized too. For fans of those old properties, this is really exciting news. Double Dragon holds a lot of nostalgia for a lot of people. Even just the chance of another beat 'em up, or a new fighting games, or really anything, is awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I mean, did you see that last Guilty Gear game? Disgustingly beautiful. I'm so happy.
This is not the Valve E3 announcement you were looking for
Dota 2 Reborn has just been unveiled by Valve. Featuring a completely redesigned and upgraded client, running on a completely new (and as yet unnamed) engine, and featuring new ways to play through Custom Games, Dota 2 Reborn is more than players could have asked for -- at least at first glance. Today Valve focused almost entirely on Dota 2's client, which includes and entirely new dashboard, a redesigned Hero Browser, new ways to watch games and brand new tutorial system for new players. Parts 2 and 3 of the Reborn reveal will focus on Custom Games and the new client. Hold onto your Rapiers.
First and foremost let's deal with the elephant in the room. The Source 2 engine is not mentioned a single time throughout today's reveal. A "New Engine" is mentioned at least a couple of times, along with a promise of, "various details about the new engine," but no direct mention of the worst kept secret Valve's ever had. Obviously there's a lot of excitement surrounding the engine, and really the lack of information about it should only make nerds more excited than ever. It means Valve's planning on unveiling the engine somewhere and sometime else during E3. Everyone, quickly into your bunkers.
Back to Dota 2, let's start breaking this down. I starts with the dashboard, the interface that all players see when they start up their clients and work towards getting into a game. Valve says it has been rebuilt to make it, "more intuitive and easier to use," which from what I can tell means it's sleek, sexy and hopefully fast as all hell. And when I say rebuilt, I mean entirely. Joining a game will now be as easy as clicking the "Play Dota" button always on-screen in the bottom right corner. From there Dota 2 players can pick their matchmaking options or search for a lobby with the new expanded lobby system.
Dota 2 Reborn's new dashboard also makes it easier than ever to connect and play with friends. First off, inviting friends to join your party, requesting to join another's party, accepting requests to join your party and so on are all streamlined. As soon as everyone's together, all without going anywhere beyond the main menu, you can start a match with your friends. Parties have also additional features including full voice chat in the dashboard and while the game is loading, and the ability to set a beacon for yourself or your party in order to search for more people.
Not sure about inviting that one friend? Now you can jump directly into their profile and access all sorts of fun and interesting information. First, they'll have a mini-profile which has been customized to show their favorite heroes, items, icon and badge. Then in their profile proper, an activity feed will show a history of games along with comments and accomplishments. How about some more... personal information? Now you'll be able to check out your friends' Hero MMR in detail, even comparing it with their normal MMR. "Oh God, he's playing Earthshaker again guys. Your Earthshaker is terrible man, just look at your Hero MMR." Finally, a "Playstyle Graph" has been added showcasing just how your friend likes to play in their games.
And of course the dashboard wouldn't be improved at all if chatting wasn't a major focus as well. There's an entirely new interface for chatting that makes everything super smooth and accessible. There's not really much else to do, what with chat being a rather straight forward process. But Valve is doing everything they can. Get whispers from any friend in Steam from the new dashboard, hold multiple conversations at the same time or even customize a chat to include chat and private messages from different people, or just enjoy the new, larger chat rooms for large groups. Have 5000 friends that want to talk about Dota 2 Reborn? Perfect!
Moving deeper into the Dota 2 Reborn Client, Valve's completely redesigned the Hero Browser. From here on Dota 2 players will be able to easily sort through Heroes, finding their most played at the click of a button or filtering with a number of different options. Then just by clicking a Hero you'll see a 3D, animated rendering of them equipped with anything you've already put on them. Alongside the 3D model will be options to see them dressed in any of your currently acquired items for the Hero, or any number of purchasable sets and items. Jump through a Hero's taunts or pets from there menus -- it's all there. And if you change their customization, it will be saved for use the next time you play that Hero. So sure, a hero looks good in the menu system, but what about in-game? A giant "Demo Hero" button will take you in-game to experiment with your design.
The next option after "Heroes" is of course "Watch," which Valve recognizes is quickly becoming as important if not more important than playing Dota 2. DotaTV has been revamped much like everything else, now built into the Steam Broadcasting system and providing up to 1080p, 60fps streams along with the ability to embed all sorts of stats and graphs. Third-party streams will now be much more accessible for big events, rewind functionality is fully implements and that's just the start of it. "Watch" will feature all sorts of live tournaments and high-skilled players, as well as streams your friends are watching. Live previews will let you judge whether a match is worth jumping into to watch, because Valve knows we're lazy.
Recordings are as important as live events anymore, too. Dota 2 Reborn will always listings for featured tournaments, listings that provide all sorts of information to players. A live bracket, upcoming games, participating teams, casters and all sorts of other information will constantly be available and updated. Then there are the matches themselves. The Replays area will show matches played by your friends, matches bookmarked by you previously, or even games you decided to pause watching earlier when they were live. And of course all of the big tournament matches will be just as easily accessible if not even more so.
Finally, the last part of the Dota 2 Reborn update from today focuses on "Learning Dota." Valve wanted not only to help players learn the basic mechanics, but also understand how Dota 2 can be incredible to play. All new guided bot matches will help new players with instructions from an AI director. They'll provide the player with tutorials aimed to fun, educational and prepare them for a full scale Dota match. If Guided Bot Matches prove overwhelming for a new player, the classic mechanic-focused tutorials remain available too.
That sums it up for all of the big plans Valve has for Dota 2 in their 'Reborn' update. At least in this first of three parts. Early next week Part 2 will be released, focusing on Custom Games, followed by the final portion of the update which focuses entirely on the new engine and the launch of the open beta. Hopefully Dota 2 players can remain patient for a week longer. More great news is still on the way.
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20 years of Konami refusing to rename it Pro Evolution Football
Konami may have its problems with other franchises or employees which will remain nameless, but they do have one constant. Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 has formally been announced, marking the 20th anniversary of the franchise since it started off in 1994/1995 under the name International Superstar Soccer. That was way back in the days of the original PlayStation and admittedly looked pretty good for an isometric soccer game. Players had different skin tints based on their nationality, even if they didn't have facial features. Also, probably the best box art for a football game ever made.
Back to Pro Evolution Soccer 2016, Konami has some big plans for this year's iteration of the franchise. No, they haven't renamed it Pro Evolution Football yet, but the changes are still pretty impressive nonetheless. The series will still be coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in addition to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, which means there are still limitations on just how dramatic the changes will be. For sports games, however, it's more about reaching as many players as possible rather than dramatic gameplay or visual improvements in the end.
That said, this is also only the second year that PES will be built entirely on Konami's Fox Engine, which means that the developers are only becoming more and more comfortable with the technology and what it enables them to do. Konami claims that "every facet of the game" has been improved to some degree, which is almost certainly due to the potential of the Fox Engine. As far as specific improvements, Konami has split them into three groups. We have "Fresh Gameplay," "Fundamental Changes," and "Quality Improvements." Best take a breath, as there's a lot to cover. These bullet points are Konami's words and not mine. I'd just butcher them.
- Advanced Collision System – The physicality of the modern game has been realized in PES 2016 with a significantly improved collision system, calculating how players interact, creating a unique outcome depending on type of impact.
- Aerial Strength – With the new physicality system, aerial battles are a completely unique experience this year. Use the left stick to battle the opposition to disrupt a larger more powerful player, or find the best position to make the header/volley.
- 1v1 Control – In PES 2016 the 1v1 player control have been enhanced, offering a wide range of movements with the existing controls. Response times have been improved allowing players to maneuver in tight situations, which also benefits the upgraded feint moves that allow sudden directional change that can cause defenders to lose their balance. The 1 on 1 situations now offer a great leap in exciting table-turning outcomes. Just as the real pitch offers opportunities for those brave enough to perform, players can pull off precise action, flexibly maneuver and pull away from the defender. Technique and timing lead to the defender to lose his balance, and creates great chances just as you pictured.
- Perfect Defense – Performing a tackle at the perfect time will powerfully shove the player out of the way to secure the ball. The ball will immediately be yours, creating direct turnarounds and counter opportunities.
Intelligent Player AI – 2-3 player combination play will be available by the improved concept of team strategy, which depends on the type of tactic you set for your team. Players no longer are reliant on manually triggering a 1-2, with teammates intelligently running off passes into space.
- Goal Keeper ID – In a bid to improve quality and add unique individuality in performance, new goal keeper parameters have been added, that now vary in Catching, Clearance, Collapsing and Deflecting. This adds character to the players, who you can count on catching the ball rather than punching, or are better at stopping close range shots.
- Celebration Control – New for the series, players have full control over goal celebrations to maximize their excitement when scoring! Prompts appear after a goal to trigger a trademark celebration, or unique actions at the press of a button.
- New Master League – The famous and hugely popular Master League sees a total revamp, allowing users to immerse themselves in the managerial world of soccer. Every element has been redesigned or reworked, from the vibrant and involving menus to the new and exciting player transfer system, PES 2016 see one of the series most integral modes redefine the single player experience.
- New Visuals – Incorporating the many advancements of the Fox Engine the visuals have seen a huge upgrade. See the rain splash as players slide in to win possession, or the turf kick up as you strike the ball into the top corner. New night-time lighting and real turf textures add to some of the many improvements.
- Dynamic Weather – For the first time in the PES series, dynamic weather has been introduced, with the chance of rain starting during the game. Combined with the ever more realistic ball physics, the rain changes how the game can be played with passes speeding up, and players less skilled to struggle with trapping. The defender taken by the 1 on 1 will be covered with pitch blades by slipping and falling. This feature is applied to all offline modes including the Master League, becoming an important element to decide the outcome of the match.
- Human Motion – Seeking to humanize player movement, 3x new animations have been added to bring the in-game superstars to life. Goalkeepers have seen an abundance of save animations added, while outfield players shoot, pass, dribble and tackle in a countless variety depending on the situation. Players complain when a foul isn't given, or lament a teammate when a pass isn't made when in open space. The new 1v1 control also benefits from this, with players being able to fool their opponents with shimmies and feints that can result in causing the opposing player to lose his balance and fall in the wrong direction!
- New Ball Physics – The past few years has seen the series make huge advancements in ball physics, and for PES 2016 new levels of realism have been reached. Each spin, bobble and ricochet has been calculated using real ball physic data, helping keep every moment in every game unique and unpredictable.
- myClub – Since the launch of the mode in PES 2015, myClub has been updated on a weekly basis, and now have been further improved based on user feedback for PES 2016. The enhancement will introduce player level systems, and players exclusive to the mode. Use GP acquired through matches or myClub coins to experience realistic club management combined with players to strive to be stronger in your squad. Choose the manager, consider coaches, and build the strategy based on what you aim with your team. Build Your Team, Create Your legacy!
- Dynamic Wide Camera Angle– The new angle gives you a larger field of view, allowing you to better plan and adjust your players to compete in aerial battles, or see the intelligent runs being made thanks to Intelligent Player AI. Depending on where the ball is on the pitch, the camera will tilt and zoom in/out to make sure the user has the best view possible during the match.
- Commentary – New commentators have been introduced for both UK and Germany, with Peter Drury and Marco Hagemann joining the PES team. An abundance of new lines and specific stories have been recorded dedicated for Master League, responding to player transfers, player growth and team performance.
- PS4 Image Importing – Edit mode is synonymous with the PES series, and further updates have been made to this hugely popular mode. PS4 (and PS3) users are now able to import images into the game perfectly replicating any team kit or emblem the user wishes - including managers.
Oof, it's a lot to go over, isn't it? So I won't! And heck, it doesn't even begin to go over Konami's continued efforts to garner contracts and rights for international teams and players. Just last week Konami announced another three year partnership with UEFA to keep the Super Cup, Champions League and Europa League in the game. I wonder what sort contracts they've worked out with FIFA in the past -- oh, err, maybe a topic for another article.
Best of luck to all of the Pro Evolution Soccer fans reading through all of those notes and deciding what they're most excited about from Pro Evolution Soccer 2016. Konami's tagline for the game this year is "Love the Past, Play the Future" which is, I think, a really smart tagline. It ties into the 20th anniversary, but it also captures so much of what people love about both football and the game itself. Cheers to all of the PES players of the last 20 years, hopefully Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 is the best title in the franchise yet.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 is planned for release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 starting September 14 in North America, September 17 in Europe and on the 18 in the UK.
Console Wars? Nah, welcome to the Livestream Wars
Google wasn't able to buy Twitch, as Amazon sneakily acquired the livestreaming service despite their best efforts. Google does not forget. Google does not forgive. Introducing Youtube Gaming, Google's new livestreaming service intended to compete directly with Twitch's current monopoly. Youtube Gaming will be launching later this summer, but only for the United States and the United Kingdom. And it seems that the service will be for video games only, though Youtube refers to just "gamers" and not video games. What's that mean for tabletop and pen and paper gamers? I guess we'll see.
Youtube is hoping that its vast community of gaming personalities and video creators will help to convert Twitch streamers, or encourage a new community of gaming streamers to sprout out of the existing site. In fact, most of the mentions of streaming in Youtube Gaming's press release were accompanied by mentions of video creation as well. Obviously Youtube sees the opportunities regarding streamers uploading their feeds directly into videos which can further be monetized. This, more than anything else, could be Youtube's greatest weapon in its pending war against Twitch.
In an event held in Los Angeles, Youtube Gaming went over some of the initial features they had planned for the service. Viewers can follow both their favorite individual channels or individual games if they so choose. As Youtube tends to do, they'll provide recommendations based off of who and what each user follows. Better yet, they'll be able to provide search results that are accurate to a user's interests as well. Their example is a user typing in "Call" and getting results for "Call of Duty" instead of "Call Me Maybe." As a Call of Duty player who also likes to listen to Call Me Maybe on occasion, why not both?
"Live streams bring the gaming community closer together, so we’ve put them front-and-center on the YouTube Gaming homepage. And in the coming weeks, we’ll launch an improved live experience that makes it simpler to broadcast your gameplay to YouTube. On top of existing features like high frame rate streaming at 60fps, DVR, and automatically converting your stream into a YouTube video, we’re redesigning our system so that you no longer need to schedule a live event ahead of time. We’re also creating single link you can share for all your streams."
Youtube has made clear that they've learned from Twitch and other stream services' successes and failures and plan on providing a high quality service out the door. Speaking of out the door, it sounds like Youtube Gaming wants to get started relatively soon. I wouldn't be surprised if streaming opens up to a small group of popular Youtubers at first, or that it starts with a small beta, but hopefully we'll all have the option of streaming on Youtube before long.
It has to be said, as someone who both streams and records videos on occasion. Youtube is already known for allowing third parties to have overwrought control, allowing them to pull down videos at will whether they have good right or not. Or for example, how they allow Nintendo to take the profits from Youtube channels uploading videos of Nintendo games. Will this translate in a similar way to livestreams? Will Nintendo take the profits of a Super Smash Bros. tournament livestream? This is the question that could make or break Youtube Gaming, as Twitch has become a bastion of freedom in comparison.
Expect more news on Youtube Gaming throughout E3, including impressions from popular Youtubers no doubt. Youtube Gaming is planned for a summer 2015 launch, which could mean just weeks or it could mean months. It's exciting to think that gamers finally have a viable alternative to Twitch now, because at the very least competition results in good things for both viewers and streamers.
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Origami is always easier to recreate after you've done the folds
The best of the Vita's exclusives are leaping overboard. Escape while you can! There's somewhere better for us to make our home! Today Media Molecule announced Tearaway Unfolded's PlayStation 4 release will be happening on September 8. The delightful platformer adventure featuring little folded paper in their little folded world will soon be taking a paper plane to a new platform. Consider how few cheerful, creative, all-ages games the PlayStation 4 seems to be sporting, Tearaway will certainly be a welcome addition.
Because Media Molecule is one of the most friendly development studios out there, they wrote up a little thank you note for fans in today's announcement:
"We’ve been completely blown away by your excitement and anticipation for Tearaway Unfolded over the past few months, it has really inspired us and spurred us on during development of the game and we wanted to say a massive THANK YOU for all your love and support! We really can’t wait for you all to play it!"
Of course, the thank you came right after announcing Tearaway Unfolded's pre-order package and asking everyone to buy it for all those exclusives. Everyone who pre-orders Tearaway Unfolded will be granted the Crafted Edition free of charge. Nothing too exciting in the digital bundle, mostly just cosmetic items. Still, for everyone excited about Tearaway coming to PlayStation 4 it should be a fun reward. Oh, and it does include the game's full soundtrack. That's quite a bit of value compared to the other items
Here's everything in Tearaway Unfolded's Crafted Edition pre-order bonus:
- Gold Leaf and a shining Gold Stamp to wear proudly on your messenger
- God of War and Journey costumes, allowing you to ‘journey’ through the world of Tearaway Unfolded in style
- Eight custom decorations (from franchises such as Lemmings, Gravity Rush, No Man’s Sky, The Order: 1886, God of War, Infamous, The Last of Us, and Killzone)
- Two super cute papercraft plans (Sackboy and Baby Wendigo)
- A spectacular Pig Crown
- The official Tearaway Unfolded soundtrack featuring all original tracks from the game
All of the items collected in the Crafted Edition are shown in the image below, except for the papercraft plans and the Pig Crown. I was really hoping to see the Pig Crown. Is it a crown made of pigs? Is it a crown for a pig? So mysterious.
Tearaway Unfolded arrives on PlayStation 4 starting September 8. It has previously been on PS Vita since November 2013. The updated version will include an extended storyline and enhanced features, not to mention it will run in glorious 1080p at 60fps to be enjoyed on your largest of television screens. Let's hope it's a success so Media Molecule might make a Tearaway 2!
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Splatoon also makes software top ten with only two days worth of sales
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt has achieved critical acclaim for setting new standards in a variety of areas, not least of these being actual sales with no less than 4 million copies sold worldwide in under two weeks. It's an impressive achievement in its own right, and more than enough to ensure that the Witcher III was the best-selling game at U.S. retail last month. According to the NPD Group, CD Projekt RED's title also enjoys the best first month sales yet for an RPG on eighth-generation console platforms.
Mortal Kombat X may not have retained its crown as bestseller from April, but it still manages to outsell storied incumbents (including Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare) to reach second place on NPD's software top ten for last month. One big surprise was Nintendo's Splatoon, which managed to squeeze into the top five despite having only two days worth of sales to its name for NPD's May 2015 reporting period; not a bad showing for a new IP exclusive to Nintendo's underdog platform.
Microsoft's Xbox One was overtaken by the PS4 last month in terms of both hardware and software sales last month, though the console and software giant touts an 81 percent year-over-year increase in Xbox One hardware sales compared to May 2014. NPD also notes that eighth-generation console hardware sales as a whole were 8 percent higher, and software sales for these platforms rose 15 percent year-over-year.
Unfortunately the gaming industry at U.S. retail didn't enjoy similar growth for the month of May 2015, which saw overall sales plummet 13 percent year-over-year to $507.6 million USD. Software sales fell 25 percent to $204.7 million USD compared to last year. Even with May 2015's Witcher III success story, Watch Dogs, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and Mario Kart 8 proved too tough an act to follow. Finally, console hardware sales last month were $153.6 million, down 18 percent compared to May 2014.
|1.||The Witcher III: Wild Hunt||CD Projekt RED||PS4 / Xbox One / PC||05/2015|
|2.||Mortal Kombat X||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment||PS4 / Xbox One||04/2015|
|3.||Grand Theft Auto V||Rockstar||PS4 / Xbox One / Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC||11/2014|
|4.||Minecraft||4J Studios||Xbox 360 / PS3 / Xbox One / PS4||11/2014|
|6.||Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||Activision||PS4 / Xbox One / Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC||11/2014|
|7.||NBA 2K15||2K Games||Xbox 360 / PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / PC||10/2014|
|8.||FIFA 15||Electronic Arts||PS4 / Xbox One / Xbox 360 / PS3 / Wii / 3DS / Vita||09/2014|
|9.||MLB 15: The Show||Sony Computer Entertainment||PS4 / PS3||03/2015|
|10.||Super Smash Bros. for 3DS / Wii U||Nintendo||3DS / Wii U||10/2014|
I nominate this game for, 'First VR title to make me wet myself'
Of all the studios to walk on-stage during the Oculus Rift press conference to announce their virtual reality project, Insomniac Games was not one that many expected. The studio is neck deep working on their Ratchet & Clank re-imagination project and that's only when they aren't working on their huge upcoming in-house Ratchet & Clank CG film. Not to mention they've got several ongoing mobile games that have gone live in recent months. Yet there they were, unveiling the most surprisingly impressive project of the day -- unveiling Edge of Nowhere.
While Insomniac was unwilling to say too much about Edge of Nowhere's story and gameplay, perhaps because they have further plans for the game at E3, they did hammer in one point. Edge of Nowhere is built from the ground up to frun on virtual reality devices. On-stage they referred specifically to the Oculus Rift, but on the game's Youtube channel it's rather clear that Insomniac is planning for their game to be VR headset agnostic. That's to say that it will hopefully work on both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, as well as any other high-end PC VR headsets that come along.
As for what Insomniac CEO Ted Price did say about his game, well, it really speaks for itself:
"Travel to the frigid reaches of the Antarctic in search of a missing expedition. As you venture deep into the unknown you will encounter a surreal world which will test you. It will twist you and eventually it might break you. You're surrounded on all sides by the unexpected and nothing is as it seems."
Watch the Edge of Nowhere trailer now and see just what Price means by "unexpected." Spoilers, but we're talking about some major Lovecraftian themes going on here. At one point tentacles pour out from behind the camera, covering the player's range of vision. It's rather exciting to think about, as the game's camera is from the third-person perspective. The protagonist never even sees the tentacles, only the player does. Or maybe the player is the source of the evil? Oof. Also, check out the reflection in the guy's goggles in this article's header image. I'm 95% sure that 's a giant crab monster with an octopus for a head. Or Crabthulhu. Basically a terrifying nightmare monster. Basically.
Further details on Edge of Nowhere will hopefully be forthcoming in the days (E3?) or months ahead. My money is on the game either being shown during Sony's conference as running on the Project Morpheus, but maybe it'll show up somewhere else -- or not at all. There's currently no release window, nor platform details revealed for the game. How mysterious, no?
Years we've been waiting for someone to find their keys to the Guild Hall
Its been a well known rumor that ArenaNet will be attending E3 for some time now, showing off something from the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion Heart of Thorns. What exactly they might be revealing has been a point of contention, however. There's so much left to reveal, after all. Today ArenaNet spoiled the speculation and so started a tidal wave of hype. During the PC Gaming Show, the PC gaming focused keynote taking place for the first time this year, ArenaNet will first unveil Heart of Thorns' Guild Halls. Guild Wars 2's namesake halls are soon to begin construction.
The PC Gaming press conference will only be the start of it, too. Afterwards, and throughout the week, ArenaNet will be showing off more and more of the Guild Halls system. It all builds up to a special livestream on Friday, June 19, when ArenaNet will show Guild halls in-game for the very first time. It makes you wonder what exactly they'll be showing for the rest of the week. Concept? Q&A's? A cinematic trailer for the PC Gaming keynote? Either way, next week will be a Guild Halls buffet and everyone's invited to eat as much as they like.
Even in ArenaNet's announcement regarding the upcoming Guild Halls announcement, they reveal some of their plans:
"In this presentation, Colin will reveal how Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ will create new ways for you and your guild to play, battle, socialize, and progress together through the guild hall system."
The implication being that ArenaNet has major plans for Guild Halls, including ways for guildies to interact with each other several cooperative and competitive ways. It will also feature a progression system of some sorts, a way for guilds to level up or expand their guild halls. Perhaps it will allow for additional shops, or entirely different ways to interact with each other. Perhaps guilds will be able to spend their collected Influence to progress, or maybe Guild Merits. It's probably a different system entirely, perhaps built around experience contribution like other, single-player progression systems in Heart of Thorns. Ah, it's exciting to think about what ArenaNet might have put together.
Guild Wars 2's first major expansion, Heart of Thorns, does not yet have a release date. Players are hoping for a late summer, early fall release, but the only safe bet is somewhere in 2015. Probably. Hey, you never know. With ArenaNet showing more and more of the game to press and the public, you'd have to think the expansion is in the thick of beta testing already. That's the hope, at least.
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