Headline Of The Week

Microsoft have taken the wraps off its latest OS – and seemingly in line with the old playground trick of ‘one, two, skip a few’ when playing Hide & Seek, they’ve gone straight from Windows 8 to Windows 10.

They are sure pushing compatability for the new OS - expect a new UI for the Xbox One in two years time...
They are sure pushing compatibility for the new OS – expect a new UI for the Xbox One in two years time…

Designed to run on multiple devices including PC’s and Windows Phones (and potentially being compatible with the Xbox One), the main headline for the OS is the return of the classic Start Menu which was controversially left out of Windows 8 – although the latest menu is a blend of traditional functionality and the ‘Tiles’ system which offers more immediate updates from your most used applications. Windows 10 is also set to introduce quadrant snapping and the ability to create multiple desktops.

Microsoft faces an undeniable uphill battle to make 10 a success, not only amongst the gaming community but in general – Windows 8 has had an exceptionally poor adoption rate since release, making up only about 6% of the market compared to a mighty 53% for Windows 7 and 23% for Windows XP; a system which Microsoft no longer supports updates for. At the very least, you can assume it will run Steam – meaning most of us will be fine…

In Other News

EGX (formerly the Eurogamer Expo) is currently the UK’s biggest videogame event, and the 2014 exhibition was a rousing success once again attracting over 75,000 visitors – including myself for the second year in a row! However, this year marks the last time that the event will be held at Earl’s Court in London – as of 2015, EGX is moving to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) outside of Birmingham in a multi-year deal. Earl’s Court is set to be demolished in the near future as part of redevelopment plans for more houses, so a move at some point was inevitable.

In a nice gesture, ticket prices are to be frozen at this year’s rates, and there will be discounts for those making the journey to the venue on trains/coaches. There is also the added bonus that the NEC is several times bigger than Earl’s Court, which potentially means the show has even more opportunity to grow. The event will take place between 24th and 27th September 2015 – EGX Rezzed on the other hand is moving away from the NEC to Tobacco Dock in London, where the event will be held between 12th-14th March.

Bungie have patched Destiny to v1.02, following no short amount of criticism over the game’s infuriating loot/engram system which left thousands resorting to endlessly shooting at a cave to try and get some good gear.

Among the fixes, engrams which are picked up will now guarantee an item of that particular class (so a blue Rare engram will always deliver a Rare item for example), and there is now a more predictable drop rate for high end items in the new Strike playlist, Vanguard: Tiger. From a brief bit of playtime since the fix, I have to say that I’ve received plenty more items worth giving a damn about – Destiny still feels quite soulless though, and I’m not sure than any amount of patches will stop the increasing numbers who are feeling apathetic to the whole experience.

On a cheerier note, the soundtrack for the game is also now available on iTunes – you can pick up the 44 song collection for $9.99, although amusingly it doesn’t include the credits song that Paul McCartney worked on.

A PS4/Xbox One port of Bayonetta 2 is categorically ‘not going to happen’ according to a series of tweets from Platinum Games’ developer Hideki Kamiya.

Even a perfect score in Famitsu magazine was unable to prompt a surge in Wii U sales upon release in Japan
Even a perfect 40 out of 40  score in Famitsu magazine was unable to prompt a surge in Wii U sales upon release in Japan – shame, as it seems like really good fun from the demo I played at EGX

After being asked by several users on Twitter the question of whether the highly reviewed action title would come to non-Wii U platforms , Kamiya outlined the game’s troubled five year development history, citing that Nintendo’s offer to help publish the game is the main reason why it will not appear on systems apart from the Wii U:

“Bayonetta 2 was about to get terminated completely, when Nintendo came in and lent a hand and we were able to restart the development we so desired. The game was finally released last week, so after five years, we were able to make Bayonetta 2 available to the public…knowing those circumstances, if someone is still angry for heading towards Nintendo, I wonder what the reason for that is: could you tell me in a way that is easy to understand?

As I have said before, if you want Bayonetta 2 on PS4 or Xbox One, how about trying to ask Nintendo? If Nintendo doesn’t say yes, it’s not going to happen. While you’re at it, try asking for Mario and Zelda too.”

Following images leaked from a Russian video game exhibition, Konami have confirmed that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes will be hitting Steam on the 18th December, complete with 4K resolution compatability – making for a nice early Christmas present.

It is the first game in the main MGS series to come to PC with The Phantom Pain set to follow in 2015; the excellent Revengeance was ported to Steam at the start of this year.

The next set of offerings for Games with Gold and PS Plus in October have been revealed.

Xbox Live Gold subscribers can now pick up Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for free with Darksiders II available in the second half of the month, and from October 8th PS Plus subscribers can get Spelunky & Dust: An Elysian Tail for PS4, Batman: Arkham Asylum & Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles Of Mystara for PS3, and Rainbow Moon plus the wonderfully hypnotic Pix The Cat for Vita.

In addition, from October 10th, DriveClub PS Plus Edition will be free to download with 11 tracks and 10 cars to choose from with more DLC in the wings.

If ever you need to bet your life on something, then there are two solid options – sunrise will follow sunset, and the latest version of FIFA will storm to the top of the UK Game Sales Chart upon release. FIFA 15 inevitably romped to the top of the charts this week, accounting for a quite astonishing 80% of all entertainment software units sold last week in the UK. The 3DS RPG Fantasy Life was the only other new entry. debuting in eight spot.

Top Ten For Week Ending 27th September 2014 (from GFK/Chart-Track)

1 – FIFA 15 (EA Canada)

2 – Destiny (Bungie)

3 – Disney Infinity 2 (Avalanche Software)

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

5 – Call Of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward)

6 – Watch_Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal)

7 – The Sims 4 (The Sims Studio)

8 – Fantasy Life (Level 5)

9 – Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition (4J Studios)

10 – Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (Popcap Games)

And Finally…

Hands up if you ever used PlayStation Home…right, no-one ever did. However, the service (which is to be shut down in March 2015) was apparently quite successful according to the CEO of one of the UK based developers that contributed content to the virtual environment.

In a piece written for GamesIndustry, Patrick O’Luanaigh of nDreams described Home as being a lucrative venture, generating ‘seven figure revenues for many years’. He went on to praise the (tiny) community who were active on Home, saying “some people met on Home, then married in real life. For several people it was a refuge from the real world – a place where they felt safe and secure.”

Home has been operational since 2008 and was a potentially solid idea led astray by the requirement for real world purchase of avatar items. One doubts that Sony will be returning to the idea of a interactive space for quite some time…