Happy New Year to you all! I’m back after a lengthy Christmas break to bring you back up to date with the news
Headline Of The Week
Following a beta test at the end of last year, Sony has finalized the details for its PlayStation Now streaming service.
Whereas during the initial test users had to rent games by time on a per-game basis, a decision that proved unpopular, the final service will adopt a more sensible $20 a month price plan granting access to over one-hundred PS3 titles including The Last Of Us and Racthet & Clank: Into The Nexus. The service will launch in the United States and Canada on January 13th on PS4 initially, with other Sony products (including the Vita and Bravia TV’s) following soon after. Although a UK date has not been set, the service is still set to debut in Europe on the shores of Blighty.
In related PS4 news, Sony announced at a press conference in Japan that they have sold 18.5 million units worldwide, with 4 million of those sales coming during the Christmas period at the end of 2014. The PS4 continues to outpace sales of the PS2 in the UK, which is really quite an astonishing feat given the latter’s dominance during the early part of the century.
Nintendo are to create a port of The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask for the 3DS. The original N64 title was released in 2000, and was hailed as one of the darker instalments in the long running franchise (with a child Link having to relive three days over and over again in order to prevent a creepy looking moon from crashing into the world) – now it will follow in the footsteps of bigger brother Ocarina Of Time in coming to Nintendo’s handheld platform with improved visuals and streamlined controls, set for release in Spring 2015.
Before we hit the headlines, I’d just like to make a personal apology for the lack of articles recently – I’ve been on a lot of overtime at work which has cut into my personal time that I have free for writing, but ultimately it means that in a few weeks time I can celebrate being a small cog in the wheel of a very big project…anyway, THE NEWS!
Headline Of The Week
Looking to follow in the footsteps of online retailer Amazon and their Fire TV micro-console, Google have announced its own set-top box called the Nexus Player.
Focusing on the streaming of video, applications and games from the Google Play service (and with the option to ‘cast’ content from connected devices in a similar method to the Chromecast dongle), the Nexus Player is designed by Asus, features a specially designed Android TV interface and will retail for $99 – the exact same price as the Fire TV. It will also require a separate controller costing $39.99, so it is unlikely to put a dent into the console majority enjoyed by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo – however bear in mind this is Google we are talking about, and the sheer brute force of their financial coffers means that any attempt to muscle in on the home console market should at least raise an eyebrow.
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.
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.
A survey conducted by the Independent Game Developers Association has identified Valve as the most desirable game developer to work for. The team behind the likes of DOTA 2, Team Fortress 2, Portal and the digital distribution platform Steam came on top in a poll of over 2,200 developers ahead of the likes of BioWare, Activision Blizzard and even the potential to work independently.
Although Valve have not created a new game for a couple of years now (focusing instead in getting SteamOS & Steam Machines into the living room and denying the existence of Half Life 3), developers have identified the open minded approach to completion of tasks and flat organization of employees as a big factor in why they would want to work there. Other developers appearing in the Top Ten included Ubisoft and its many subsidiary studios, Nintendo, Naughty Dog, Double Fine & Bethesda. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 18TH – 24TH AUGUST→
Casey Hudson, the executive producer at Bioware (who has overseen much loved titles including the Mass Effect series and Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic), is to leave the company after sixteen years of service. Hudson had most recently been involved in a new IP that BioWare have been developing, which is set to be revealed in the coming week at GamesCom in Cologne. In a pre-prepared statement, Hudson had the following to say:
‘After what already feels like a lifetime of extraordinary experiences, I have decided to hit the reset button and move on from BioWare…I’ll take a much needed break, get perspective on what I really want to do with the next phase of my life, and eventually, take on a new set of challenges.’
In additional developer news, there has been yet another high profile exodus from Naughty Dog – Jacob Minkoff & Taylor Kurosaki (lead game designer on Uncharted 3 and narrative design lead respectively) have both left to join Call Of Duty developers Infinity Ward. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 4TH – 10TH AUGUST→