WEEKLY NEWS UPDATES FOR 30TH MARCH – 5TH APRIL

Headline Of The Week

After years of trials and tribulations, the cloud gaming company OnLive is set to die off – oh, the irony in a name…

Services for OnLive will end on April 30th 2015, with all games currently on the service turning free-to-play for all up to that point – which is a nice gesture. No further subscriptions will be charged, and those whose subscriptions were set to be renewed on or after March 20th will receive a full refund. Interestingly, Sony have moved in to buy all of OnLive’s cloud gaming patents which one would imagine will be utilized by the Gaikai service that Sony purchased three years ago for $380 million.

OnLive has struggled to capture gaming hearts since being founded in 2009 – the release of its set top box in the UK in 2011 received little fanfare, and several staff were laid off in August 2012. A new business model was introduced in May last year, but again it barely made a dent on the landscape. As it stands, there has been no streaming device with enough mass appeal to challenge the three main consoles on the market, and with the possible exception of the cheaper Steam Machines, that trend looks set to continue.

In Other News

A Nintendo Direct broadcast this week had plenty of announcements and teasers for fans to salivate over:

– DS and Wii games will be coming to the Wii U e-shop in the near future, with Mario Kart DS & Wario Ware Touched! already available for download – classic platformers Super Mario 64 & Donkey Kong 64 have also been added (with a promotion running that purchasing three of those games will unlock the fourth one for free), while Pandora’s Tower and Sin And Punishment: Successor Of The Skies set to follow soon.

– The first DLC character for Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS, the legendary Pokemon Mewtwo, will be released on April 28th costing £3.59. A second DLC character, Lucas from Mother 3, has also been announced while the Big N have opened a ballot poll for fans to recommend new characters to the roster

– Yoshi’s Wooly World will be released on June 26th, with a new Amiibo made out of wool that looks pretty darn cool

I'll take ten!!! Right after I get my grubby mitts on a Charizard Amiibo...

I’ll take ten!!! Right after I get my grubby mitts on a Charizard Amiibo…

– Finally, DeNA (who recently joined Nintendo to create mobile games for the company) hold expectations that they will be able to generate upwards of $25 million every MONTH from the partnership. While the figure might seem more stupid than ambitious, chief executive Isao Moriyasu revealed in an interview with Reuters that the current most popular title the company makes, Kaito Royale, has generated similar levels of income (more accurately, ¥3,000,000,000) – therefore plonking Mario & Co into the same gap will in theory print even more money

Microsoft has discontinued its Kinect model designed for Windows PC’s, rolling out a new adapter that will allow Xbox One models to function on both machines. The move comes amongst apparent ‘unprecedented demand from the developer community’ with Microsoft figuring that having one machine will end any confusion between systems.

The adapter is now on sale for £29.99, while the company has also confirmed that anyone who purchased a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor will continue to receive support despite the removal from market.

Quantum Break, the Xbox One exclusive title being developed by Remedy which aims to integrate gameplay with a live action TV show, has been delayed into 2016. The announcement was made by creative director Sam Lake, who thanked fans for their patience and stated ‘the team is taking advantage of this opportunity to polish and fine tune the game to create the kind of standout entertainment experience they’ve come to expect from us’.

Remedy aren’t strangers to long delays – their last project, the much underrated Alan Wake, took five years to come to fruition. To be honest, given the relative lack of information related to the game since its initial reveal at the Xbox One launch in 2013, a delay of this type is pretty much a given. At least Xbox One owners can console themselves that Halo 5: Guardians is aiming for a release on October 27th 2015.

Battlefield Hardline held off competition from the highly received PS4 exclusive Bloodborne and the next gen collection of Borderlands to retain the top spot on the physical UK Game Sales Charts this past week. A cut in sales also helped Far Cry 4 to rocket back up the charts.

Top Ten For Week Ending 28th March 2015 (from GFK/Chart-Track)

1 – Battlefield Hardline (Visceral Games)

2 – Bloodborne (From Software)*

3 – Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (Gearbox Software)*

4 – Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North)

5 – FIFA 15 (EA Canada)

6 – Dying Light (Techland)

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

8 – Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal)

9 – Minecraft: Xbox Edition (4J Studios)

10 – The Order 1886 (Ready At Dawn)

(* indicates a new entry)

And Finally…

April Fools Day has now been and passed and this year the output was a little dry from the game industry (with the exception of Sony and their boundary pushing ‘PlayStation Flow’ device…) – however, Google always manage to find some time to slack off and come up with something exciting – so now you can play Pac-Man in Google Maps!

Simply enter a destination as per normal, and in the bottom left next to the option for a Satellite view, you’ll see the prompt to change your local streets and pathways into a 1980’s arcade maze. If you want a virtual tour around Lincoln Cathedral as everyone’s favorite pill muncher, then you can give it a go here.

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