This week the gaming world has paid its respects to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who passed away on Monday from a bile duct growth. He was aged 55.
Iwata had a long and illustrious history with Nintendo, working as a programmer at HAL Laboratory on titles including Earthbound and Balloon Fight, before succeeding Hiroshi Yamauchi in 2002 to become only the fourth President of the company. During his tenure the company enjoyed great success with the DS and Wii consoles, while Iwata himself received praise for his hands-on approach to the role; regularly hosting Nintendo Direct announcements and highlighting the work of developers with ‘Iwata Asks’ interviews. In recent years he took a voluntary 50% paycut in response to Nintendo’s falling profits, and following E3 less than a month ago he publicly apologized for what was perceived by hardcore fans as a disappointing showing. While fighting illness in recent months, he also announced Nintendo’s intention to get into the mobile games sector. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 13TH -19TH JULY→
Good afternoon all; and welcome to the world of a post-E3 news update! I’m still bruised from when I flopped around the room following the Final Fantasy VII remake announcement…Apologies once again for a serious lack of output recently, but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt continues to sap time out of my days with remarkable force. Anyway, the news!
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It’s been nigh-on impossible to escape the saga that has been the release of Batman: Arkham Knight this week. The final chapter in Rocksteady’s adventures with the Dark Knight has been one of the most anticipated games of the year, and early signs suggested that it was heading to glory with reviews in the highest echelon from several publications. The release of the PC port however has ensured that the game will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 22ND-28TH JUNE→
It’s been a busy and for the first time in quite a long while, positive, week for fans of Final Fantasy. Alongside a gorgeous trailer of Final Fantasy XV released at the Tokyo Games Show and the announcement that Hajime Tabata is to replace Tetsuya Nomura as director on the game (a game which one should remember has now been in development for eight years), Square Enix have launched a cloud based gaming system called Shinra Technologies – which fans of the much loved seventh game in the series will be able to appreciate.
Avalanche Studios (the developers of Just Cause) and Ubisoft have already pledged their support to the system, which aims to utilize enormous CPU and GPU databanks for highly ambitious projects and will enter beta testing in the US and Japan in early 2015.
Microsoft are reportedly in talks with Mojang, the developers of sales juggernaut Minecraft, to buy the studio – and if the latest reports from Reuters are to be believed, the ballpark figure for the acquisition is an astonishing $2.5 BILLION.
If the rumors of the deal are true then this is strange news indeed, as Mojang’s founder Markus Persson has regularly criticized Microsoft in the past (going as far as claiming that the company were trying to ‘ruin the PC as an open platform’ with Windows 8) – and given Minecraft’s availability on virtual every system under the sun as well (except ironically on Windows Phones), you would suspect that any exclusivity for future content or a possible sequel would not go down well with those already infatuated with the game. More to the point, two billion dollars is a simply ludicrous amount to splash out for a studio that, despite Minecraft’s enviable success, is essentially a one hit wonder.
The Reuters report claims that the deal could be completed as soon as Monday; so watch this space for one of the most expensive and odd deals in video game history to happen.
Persona 5, Atlus’ much anticipated RPG sequel, will be coming to PS4 – a decision which has immediately vindicated my decision to buy the console. The news was revealed in a new teaser trailer which featured in Sony’s pre-Toyko Games Show press conference, which also suggests that the game has slipped to a 2015 worldwide release date (it was originally intended that the PS3 version would arrive in Japan by the end of this year). On the flipside of this news however, 3DS title Shin Megami Tensei IV has been delayed in Europe until late October – pushing it further than a year since its original release.
A selection of 44 titles were shown off with several new games also revealed, including Resident Evil Revelations 2, a brand new Everybody’s Golf and the gorgeous looking Dragon Quest Heroes (which will get a special ‘Metal Slime’ edition of the PS4), as well as confirmation that dynamic menu themes will be included in System Software update 2.00. TGS 2014 kicks off in earnest on September 18th.
EA are teaming up with Microsoft to launch a subscription service for some of their biggest games exclusively on Xbox One, called ‘EA Access’. It will cost $29.99 per year (or $5 a month), and will let users download and play a selection of games for no additional cost; with the first titles being selected for a beta period are FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 & Battlefield 4.
Subscribers will also have the opportunity to get to 10% discounts on digital EA content on Xbox One, as well as early access to upcoming titles including the latest versions of FIFA, Battlefield & the recently delayed Dragon Age: Inquisition. A similar plan will not be rolled out on the PS4 however, as Sony (who already offer games every month on their own PS Plus subscription plan) have distanced themselves from the initiative:
‘PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200% since the launch of PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price…we don’t think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer’ – A Playstation spokesperson speaking to Game Informer