Headline Of The Week

At the end of a week which has seen Sony celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original Sony Playstation (a milestone which reinforces just how quickly time has passed me by), the company has been looking ahead to the future with a number of announcements made both at The Game Awards 2014 and the Playstation Experience event – perhaps the most pivotal of which is that Street Fighter V will be console exclusive to the PS4. And that’s not a timed exclusive like Rise Of The Tomb Raider; Xbox One owners will not be fitting themselves into Ryu’s oversized mitts at all.

If a franchise like Street Fighter is willing to go console exclusive, expect more big names to split their loyalties
If a franchise like Street Fighter is willing to go console exclusive (albeit with PC support as well), expect more big names to split their loyalties

Other highlights from the Experience event include a fifteen minute playthrough of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, the debut of David Jaffe’s latest project Drawn To Death, a confirmed release date of January 22nd for Grim Fandango Remastered and the bizarre announcement that Square Enix are porting the PC version of Final Fantasy VII to the PS4, complete with blocky original graphics and MIDI soundtrack. Way to troll the fans pining for a remake…

In Other News

I mentioned above about The Game Awards 2014…while the ceremony was nowhere near as cringeworthy as last years Spike VGX, it still has a lot to improve upon before I’ll recognize it as a legitimate awards show – actually handing out the awards on screen might help for a start. Still, the show did feature some world premiere footage of various games, including Metal Gear Online (fully confirmed now as a multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with decoy dogs) as well as a fresh look at No Man’s Sky, and finally new footage of The Legend Of Zelda Wii U.

The new footage, showing series creator Shigeru Miyamoto and series director Eiji Aonuma traversing through a wide open area with brand new ‘horse not running into trees technology’ looks charming enough, but more intriguing was the slightly throwaway comment made by Miyamoto that Star Fox for Wii U would launch before Zelda next year, despite there being barely any footage of the game in action.

In related Zelda news, the official Symphony Of The Goddesses concert tour is to return to the UK in 2015, with new musical additions from A Link Between Worlds – they will be playing at the SSE Arena in Wembley on Friday 17th April, and tickets are on sale now.

Following a lack of stock during the Black Friday sales period, Amazon have officially cancelled a high number of delayed pre-orders for Super Smash Bros for Wii U. The problem has not been a lack of copies of the game, but rather severe shortages of Gamecube controllers and adapters, as well as Amiibo figurines. The following was sent as an e-mail from Amazon’s customer service department:

“We regret to inform you that we have been unable to source the item…our supplier has informed us that this item is no longer available. This item has now been cancelled and we can confirm that you have not been charged for it. Please accept our apologies for any disappointment or inconvenience caused.”

Neither Amazon nor Nintendo have commented on the situation.

Ubisoft have confirmed that leaked material suggesting the next Assassin’s Creed game will be set in London is real. A number of screenshots revealed on Kotaku initially showed shots of an assassin looking over the skyline of Victorian London with the game subtitled as Victory, and Ubisoft were quick to validate the material, suggesting that its Quebec team have been working on the game for three years and expressing disappointment that the internal material was prematurely leaked.

After jet-setting through Italy, America and France, the series can now mess up Victorian history for all!
After jet-setting through Italy, America and France, the series can now mess up Victorian history for all!

The report also suggests that the game will be next-gen exclusive with a release date aiming for August 2015 – a decision which would confirm the recently released Assassin’s Creed Rogue as the last game in the series to grace the PS3 and Xbox 360. The publisher announced that it would officially reveal the title at a later date, with it’s first priority being the fixing of the bug-ridden Unity.

As a means to help youngsters develop the craft of making games, the BBC have launched a game creation tool aimed at 8-14 year olds. The ‘Make It Technobabble’ tool provides users with existing assets and backgrounds which can be utilized to create basic platformers or racing games, with eight sample games readily playable to give you a feel for the thing.

If that sounds like your kind of thing, then you can test out the software here for free with no download required

The combination of Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire helped to record the best launch of any game in the series in the UK this past week, eclipsing the record set by Black & White in 2011. It was not enough to deny Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare a return to the top spot though, as a series of massive discounts during Black Friday helped to propel the game back to No.1.

The fever sales also helped Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag make an unexpected return to the Top 10, while shockingly Smash Bros could only manage 13th spot.

Top Ten For Week Ending 29th November 2014 (from GFK/Chart-Track)

1 – Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Sledgehammer Games)

2 – FIFA 15 (EA Canada)

3 – Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North)

4 – Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal)

5 – Assassin’s Creed: Unity (Ubisoft Montreal)

6 – Pokemon Omega Ruby (Game Freak)*

7 – Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (Game Freak)*

8 – DriveClub (Evolution Studios)

9 – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft Montreal)

10 – Minecraft: Xbox Edition (4J Studios)

(* indicates a new release)

And Finally…

We end where we began the article, with a more in-depth look at how Sony have been celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of the most influential consoles of them all – the Sony Playstation. Along with a series of nostalgia inducing articles, Sony also revealed this gem:

How can something so grey seem so attractive...it's yours for 399 quid
How can something so grey seem so attractive…it’s yours for 399 quid

Sadly, the console is not going to be available at retail in Europe, and given that only 12,500 of them will be made (which seems an odd number – why not make it 20,000?) you can expect the value of these rare beasts to skyrocket. I would sincerely hope that the controller becomes a standalone thing though, because I’m a sucker for small details like the coloured logo on the PS button.

In the meantime, PS4 owners can be happy with the 20th Anniversary theme released for free on the PS Store – activate it, and the background of your console’s menu will change to a classic grey with applications receiving the multi-colored treatment. Best of all, when the console boots up, it will play that oh-so evocative PS One startup noise, before moving into a medley combing the themes of the PS2, PS3 and PS4. Classy.

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