WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 5TH – 11TH MAY

Headline Of The Week

On Wednesday, Nintendo published figures that revealed a 23.3 billion yen net loss for the fiscal year ending 31st March 2014, after twelve months in which only 2.72 million Wii U consoles have been sold. The next day it didn’t matter, because the internet flipped out over the surprise announcement that Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire are getting long awaited remakes for the 3DS/2DS.

The placeholder artwork for the new games...

The placeholder artwork for the new games…

...And just one of the inevitable humorous reactions

…And just one of the inevitable humorous reactions

Entitled Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, the remakes will be created in the 3D engine premiered in X & Y, and will be released worldwide in November this year. Outside of this information, very little has been revealed about the duo, including what features from the games originally released in 2003 will be enhanced. A safe bet would be that a mega-evolution for both cover mascots Groudon and Kyogre is in the works.

In the meantime you will have to make do with X & Y, which Nintendo’s financial reports revealed were the best selling first party titles for the 3DS over the past year at 12.26 million units (compared to 9.62 and 9.27 million respectively for Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land)

In Other News…

The PS4 and Xbox One versions of The Elder Scrolls Online have been delayed by a whopping six months. Bethesda have released a statement saying that Zenimax have been given the time to ‘solve a series of unique problems specific to those platforms’…which implies they’ve been struggling to get the game to work.

As an incentive for those put off who have been waiting for the console versions, Bethesda have stated that anyone who purchases and plays the PC/Mac version of The Elder Scrolls Online by the end of June will have the opportunity to transfer their character(s) to either console version when they are released. The delays have only worked to deal more damage though to an MMORPG which hasn’t set the world on fire as hoped.

For the first time in nearly 15 years, EA will not be releasing a Need For Speed game this year. We’ve had the really disappointing film (seriously, it was highly underwhelming), but no racer will emerge before the end of the 2015 financial year as dev studio Ghost Games have been allocated an ‘extended development window’ to come up with a successor to Need For Speed: Rivals. I kind of wish that they would rest Need For Speed for longer than a year if it was to result in the return of Burnout, but the gods are cruel and don’t appreciate the simple joys of crashing cars into busy junctions of traffic.

In related EA news, the company has heaped some coal into the fires of the E3 hype train by revealing that a ‘major’ new game running on the Frostbite 3 engine will be unveiled at the conference; most likely Mass Effect 4. Star Wars: Battlefront will also make an appearance at the show, along with six unrevealed titles.

Epic Games are working on a totally free version of Unreal Tournament, to be released on Windows, Mac and Linux.

In keeping with a long tradition of supporting modifications, players will have the chance to create weapons and levels, and then sell or give away their content, while all content made by Epic themselves will be free of charge.

It will be the first game in the series since 2007; Epic have been busy with Gears Of War in the time since but now that the IP has been sold off to Microsoft, they have switched their focus back to the fan favorite. Development of the new UT is expected to take a couple of months, with the initial focus on deathmatches.

Call Of Duty devs Infinity Ward have merged with Neversoft, the team once responsible for the likes of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Guitar Hero. The new super studio, which will retain the name Infinity Ward, will be headed up by the current executive vice president of Activision’s worldwide studios, Dave Stohl, while the head of Neversoft Joel Jewett and studio director Scott Pease are retiring after twenty years at the company.

In an leaked internal memo, CEO of Activision Publishing Eric Hirshberg had the following to say:

“While it will be strange to not see the Neversoft logo on future games, the important things – which are the Neversoft team’s talent, creativity, professionalism and commitment to creative excellence – all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter….The impact of their 20-year run of hard work and success cannot be overstated”

The first screenshots of TellTale Games’ Tales From The Borderlands have been unveiled, giving an early glimpse of how their narrative heavy approach will be incorporated into the loot-and-shoot madness of Gearbox’s acclaimed series. I’m happily optimistic about the early results.

The mash of different styles appears to be coming together nicely. As ever, silence will be a valid option

The mash of different styles appears to be coming together nicely. As ever, silence will be a valid option

The screens show the two new protagonists Rhys and Fiona, as well as returning characters from Borderlands 2 including the haiku speaking assassin Zer0. In an interview with Playstation Blog, TellTale producer Adam Sarasohn also revealed that loot acquired in this game will carry over to other Borderlands titles.

If things go according to plan, the first episodes of Tales From The Borderlands will be released by the end of the year

A PC version of Final Fantasy III is heading to Steam. Promising improved 3D visuals, integration with Steam’s Trading Card service and achievements, it will become the third game in the long running series behind VII and VIII to be released on the digital distribution service.

Final Fantasy III was originally an exclusive for the Famicom in Japan in 1990, before being ported to the DS in 2006. It is expected that the PC version will be an upgrade of the mobile port released in 2011 for the IPhone.

It might not be a game, but a sizable majority of console owners use Netflix‘s streaming applications more than they play games nowadays. It might be relevant therefore to inform you that the subscription price is going up marginally, from £5.99 a month to £6.99.

In a nice touch, existing members have been guaranteed that they will continue to pay the original price for the next two years. The extra money is expected to go towards funding new shows; I must say I’ve become quite the fan of the U,S adaptation of House Of Cards…

While it is certainly worth mentioning the sale currently running on the Humble Bundle Store until the 21st May, the Deal Of The Week can be found if you have an Origin account – after a scan of the marketplace, you will notice that you can pick up Plants Vs. Zombies: Game Of The Year Edition for free as part of EA’s continuing goodwill programme.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 swung straight to the top of the UK Game Sales Chart this week, ousting Titanfall after a three week reign.

The other new release to penetrate the top ten was Child Of Light at No.9, while the 3DS exclusive Mario Golf World Tour suffered a lowly debut in 22nd spot

Top Ten For Week Ending 3rd May 2014 (from GFK/Chart-Track)

1 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Beenox Interactive)

2 – Titanfall (Respawn Entertainment/Bluepoint Games)

3 – FIFA 14 (EA Canada)

4 – 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (EA Canada)

5 – Call Of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward)

6 – Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (4J Studios)

7 – Lego: The Hobbit (Traveller’s Tales)

8 – The Lego Movie Videogame (Traveller’s Tales)

9 – Child Of Light (Ubisoft Montreal)

10 – Battlefield 4 (DICE Studios)

And Finally…

An album comprised of orginal music paying homage to modern titles such as FTL: Faster Than Light and Hotline Miami has been released on BandCamp to raise money for the charity Child’s Play.

‘NotAGame Collection’ features 17 tracks created by composer Simon David, with the intention that 50% of the net proceeds generated by album sales will go to the charity. Speaking about the creation of the album, David said “The album is produced to a very high quality, using professional-grade kit, and was made with the help and support of a number of the original developers and composers…in terms of the idea behind the album, it’s really about trying to highlight the incredible quality and variety of good work that is done by the video game music industry by paying tribute to some of the best and most talented composers and their work.”

If you want to listen to and purchase the album, then you can follow the BandCamp link here.

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