WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 23RD – 29TH JUNE

Headline Of The Week

The company responsible for the design of the Xbox 360 controller have been bought by virtual reality developers Oculus. Carbon Design, based out of Seattle in the USA, have reportedly been working with Oculus for over a year on unannounced projects, but it is expected the formal deal will be completed by the time Autumn rolls around for a as of yet unrevealed fee.

Oculus, who are trying to reinvest public enthusiasm into VR with it’s Rift headset, was purchased by social media giant Facebook for a cool $2 billion a couple of months ago and is clearly looking to allocate its new found funds, but have yet to outline plans for a commercial version of its product which has earned a favorable critical opinion after showings at gaming and technology expositions.

In Other News…

Despite his future prospects being in doubt for a sustained period of time after three years of financial losses and being unable to attend Nintendo’s AGM due to health problems, Satoru Iwata has been re-elected as President of the Big N by the Board of Directors.

Iwata has been President of Nintendo for the past twelve years, having previously worked as a programmer on titles including Balloon Fight and the much loved cult classic Earthbound. A positive spike in sales of Wii U hardware following the release of Mario Kart 8 has helped secure his position which has come under fire in recent years after large annual losses.

Nine other members of the board were also re-elected, including resident genius and creator of Mario & Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto

Crytek, best known for producing stunning looking games with low levels of interesting gameplay, are reportedly teetering on the edge of bankruptcy after a difficult transition to development for free-to-play games and worse than expected sales for Xbox One exclusive Ryse: Son Of Rome.

Insider news suggests that staff from several divisions are being delayed salary payments, and a takeover bid is currently being considered by a unnamed Chinese firm and Wargaming (the people behind World Of Tanks). A spokeperson from Crytek has bluntly denied the claims made by Eurogamer and German magazine GameStar:

“Regardless of what some media are reporting, the information in those reports are rumors which Crytek deny. We continue to focus on the development and publishing of our upcoming titles Homefront: The Revolution, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, Arena of Fate, and Warface, as well as providing ongoing support for our CryEngine and its licensees”

Sony has confirmed a new PS4 bundle for Europe which will include the re-mastered version of the multi-award winning The Last Of Us.

It's a slight sign of weakness that Sony are having to throw premier titles into bundles...but as premier titles go they've picked a solid choice

It’s a slight sign of weakness that Sony are having to throw premier titles into bundles…but as premier titles go they’ve picked a solid choice

The bundle, which carries a recommended price tag of €429.99 will feature a physical copy of the game, a 500GB black PS4 and a single DualShock 4 controller. The original game was bundled with superslim versions of the PS3 and Gran Turismo 6 this past Christmas.

I’ve been holding off on buying a PS4 for some time now, even with the likes of Killzone: Shadowfall, Infamous: Second Son and Watch Dogs being bundled in with the hardware. The latest deal might just have me sold.

There’s a new Humble Bundle available to pick up, this time in association with speedrunning charity event ‘Summer Games Done Quick’. Whereas normally you name your price for the goods on offer, this deal is slightly different – the minimum price is $25, with all of the proceeds going to humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders.

The games on offer are Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, Gunpoint, Noitu Love 2 Devolution, Bleed, Electronic Super Joy, Giana Sisters: Rise of the Owlverlord, The Basement Collection, Dustforce, Psychonauts & Guacamelee Gold Edition. The deal runs out pretty soon though, so get on it sharpish

In additional deal news, the two games that will be available to Xbox Live Gold subscribers on Xbox 360 consoles next month as part of the ‘Games With Gold’ promotion are Gotham City Impostors & Battleblock Theater.

Here’s the latest update on the amount of money (supposedly) raised by crowdfunding for the space faring MMO Star Citizen – $47 million. With the latest stretch goal being reached, players will now have access to Engine Tuning Kits; allowing them to make minor alterations to fictional engines they’ll never see.

With a swift kick and punch to the gut, EA Sports UFC debuted at the top of the UK Game Sales Charts this week. Watch_Dogs slipped down to second spot, with the only other new entry in the top 40 being MotoGP 14 – ironically enough at 14th place.

Top Ten For Week Ending 21st June 2014 (from GFK/Chart-Track)

1 – EA Sports UFC (EA Canada)

2 – Watch_Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal)

3 – Titanfall (Respawn Entertainment/Bluepoint Games)

4 – Wolfenstein: The New Order (MachineGames)

5 – FIFA 14 (EA Canada)

6 – 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (EA Canada)

7 – Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo)

8 – Call Of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward)

9 – Minecraft: PS3 Edition (4J Studios)

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

And Finally…

What is 0.4 seconds? It’s the sort of margin that Formula One cars are split by on a qualifying lap. It’s roughly the time it takes to blink an eyelid, or to consume a Pot Noodle when you are running late at lunchtime. It also happens to be the gap in time between the old world speedrunning record for Super Mario Bros and the new record set this week by a chap called ‘Blubbler’

Strange name aside, by watching the run in the video link below, you can tell the guy knows the game inside out, running every possible exploit to shave minor seconds of the total run (such as ensuring Mario jumps off each end-of-level pole backwards to save a fraction of time). It’s just another example of how people are still as infatuated with the game as they were over twenty eight years ago.

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