WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 12TH – 18TH JANUARY

Headline Of The Week

Nintendo are set to release the New 3DS and 3DS XL in the United Kingdom on February 13th. The news was confirmed in a Nintendo Direct broadcast which also revealed that both The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will arrive in Europe on the same day; two big hitters that you would expect will help drive up sales of the new hardware. The New 3DS (which includes a new C-button for refined control, improved 3D capabilities and CPU upgrades) went on sale in Japan and Australia before Christmas, helping to push lifetime sales of 3DS hardware past the 50 million mark.

In related Nintendo news, the company has announced details for the fifth wave of Amiibo figurines (including Charizard, Wario and Pac Man) which will be on sale in Europe on April 24th, as well as unveiling a new set of characters based on Super Mario Bros series – a Waluigi Amiibo may well be on the cards for future Mario Party titles.

In Other News

Winning the award for strange DLC release of the week, Harmonix have added three new tracks to Rock Band 3 – ‘R U Mine?’ by the Arctic Monkeys, ‘Shepherd Of Fire’ by Avenged Sevenfold and ‘Something From Nothing’ by Foo Fighters. The last piece of DLC for the game came out 23 months ago, and the sudden arrival of the aforementioned tracks has helped to spark the debate as to whether the series is due a revival on next gen consoles – a notion reinforced by Harmonix polling former customers on what they would want from another Rock Band game. Harmonix is currently working on the crowd-funded Amplitude but have stated on multiple occasions that Rock Band 4 would be a possibility if the stars align.

The music genre, which enjoyed a surge in popularity following the release of Guitar Hero in 2004, quickly became saturated with a number of sequels and spin-off titles which all but killed off interest in musical titles – although the likes of Rocksmith, Dance Central Fantasia: Music Evolved have helped to keep the flame alive. Activision has previously stated that Guitar Hero is ‘on hiatus’, so maybe 2015 will see a resurgence of interest.

Microsoft has officially unveiled Forza Motorsport 6; the Xbox One exclusive was confirmed alongside the debut of the new (and quite good-looking) Ford GT (which will feature on the cover of the game) at the International Auto Show in Detroit. In what appears to be a lucrative deal, several new Ford models will be available in game before their real life counterparts take to the road.

Turn 10 Studios will once again be on development duty after successfully bringing out two Forza titles (5 & Horizon 2) in the Xbox One’s first year on sale.

Given the hype and advertising time Sony granted it, it is probably unsurprising that Destiny was the most downloaded PS4 game on the PS Store in 2014.

A set of lists released this week by the platform holder also proclaimed Minecraft as the most downloaded PS3 title, Sword Art Online the most downloaded for the Vita, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the most popular PS Classic title in its 10th anniversary year, closely followed by the evergreen Crash Bandicoot trilogy.

Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, the remake of the PS1 classic Abe’s Oddysee, will be released on PC, Mac & Linux on February 25th, with PS3 and Xbox One versions of the title expected in early March. Originally released as a digital download on the PS4 in July 2014, all the new versions will include post-launch fixes and tweaks. The Wii U version is still currently in development.

Grand Theft Auto V has reclaimed top spot on the UK Game Sales Charts, in a week that saw the PC version of the UK’s best ever selling game get delayed from January to March 24th. A severe lack of new titles means there has been little movement across the Top 40 as a whole

Top Ten For Week Ending 10th January 2015 (from GFK/Chart-Track)

1 – Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North)

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

3 – FIFA 15 (EA Canada)

4 – Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal)

5 – The Crew (Ivory Tower)

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

7 – Minecraft: Playstation Edition (4J Studios)

8 – Minecraft: Xbox Edition (4J Studios)

9 – Destiny (Bungie)

10 – Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor (Monolith Software)

And Finally…

One of the rarest video games ever produced in America has been purchased in a eBay bidding war for a cool $35,100. Because you know, collectors will bid anything for rarity.

This is what all the fuss is about - a game that I highly doubt many people have actually bothered to play

This is what all the fuss is about – a game that I highly doubt many people have actually bothered to play

Bids on the ‘factory sealed’ copy of 1987 NES title Stadium Events had reached up to a mind blowing $99,000, but several offers were cancelled late on and the auction subsequently became restricted to pre-approved parties. While the PAL version of Stadium Events is quite common, the US version is one of gaming’s most highly sought items (following Nintendo’s decision to recall almost the entire test run of Bandai printed copies that appeared in Woolworths – Nintendo had purchased the rights to the game from Bandai). This particular copy of the game was even sent to the Video Game Authority in Roswell, Georgia for official grading, verification and authentication.

While the money being thrown around is quite silly, the notion of bidding for such a title is perhaps not quite as daft as it first appears. As time progresses, the very first produced video games are gradually reaching that age where they can be considered as historical items of cultural interest. Expect auctions similar to this one to be much more frequent in the decades to come.

 

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