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. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATES FOR 30TH MARCH – 5TH APRIL→
Here are the important headlines from the last week in the gaming world:
Where would the news industry be these days without internet leaks? This week we had a bonanza as two games had more news unveiled before their developers intended. First up are Pokemon Black & White 2, which had new details spoiled in Japanese comic CoroCoro. Among the biggest changes (all of which are listed here by the ever useful Bulbapedia) is that two years after the original games, large parts of Unova has been frozen over. There are also two new gym leaders (a Poison and Water gym respectively), a new starting city, and some Pokemon that were previously excluded from the Unova region are now present from the start. The entire game world of Unova also looks like it has been given a pretty serious revamp to prevent accusations of a copy and paste job. The first official trailer for the game was released yesterday in Japan, which you can view via this link.
And the second leak concerns Crysis 3. After an image of a future solider holding a crossbow was released on Origin, EA have come out and confirmed the existence of the game, as well as stating that further details will be released on Monday 16th April. Expect the Crytek game to look outstanding and probably be based in a ruined city once again.
Do you remember Skyrim? You know, the game that came out last November which you may or may not have played to death since? Well, if you have completed the game on Xbox 360 and own a Kinect, you now have reason to go back to it, as this week Bethesda confirmed Kinect support for the title. Set for release around 23rd April, the update will allow Kinect users to operate the game with over 200 voice commands at their disposals, including control over menu navigation, follower commands, and most importantly Dragon Shouts – meaning that everyone’s interpretation of ‘FUS RO DAH’ will actually do something now. Make note however that it won’t be a full update; in order to control movement and fighting you will still need your trusty controller to hand. Bethesda have also remained pretty coy about upcoming DLC for Skyrim, simply maintaining that they are hard at work on new content.
Finally, you know that you have hit the big time in gaming when Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong amongst other things) heaps praise upon your game, and that has been the case this week with Rovio’s stupendously successful Angry Birds series. Miyamoto stated that the bird flinging mobile game is ‘one of those games that I immediately appreciated when I first started playing’; even going to the lengths of stating that he wished he had invented it for the DS. Angry Birds Space, the latest free release, was downloaded over 10,000,000 times in just 3 days after its release last month – who knows, maybe one day the series will hit a billion sales one day.
Here’s a quick roundup of some of the big news stories from this week in the gaming world
Positive news for Sony this week – in Europe the PS3 has just passed the 22 million units sold mark (making up roughly 40% of the overall number of PS3’s sold since its launch in 2006). The recent price cuts have only helped to spur people to buy the PS3, which had a very sluggish start to its life but has really picked up the pace on the Xbox 360 over the past two years as its games catalogue increases. In fact, the PS3 is the best selling console of the year thus far, even with the PSN hack scandal that dominated the headlines a few months ago.
Sonic CD is the latest game of the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise to be updated for the new generation. Originally released in 1993 on the Sega CD system (and marking the first appearance of both Metal Sonic and Amy Rose), the updated version will include widescreen graphics, achievements, and the original Japanese soundtrack. It will be hitting all systems this coming Winter. Sonic CD is often considered one of the better Sonic games with its interesting time travel dynamics, and perhaps this re-release will give it the success that it failed to achieve on the doomed Sega CD system.
Crytek recently made their highly impressive CryEngine3 free for people to download, and it seems that it has been quite the success with over 100,000 downloads recorded within a week of it becoming it available to the public. Just remember, if you make a game commercially available using the engine, Crytek will ask for 20% of the revenue – otherwise, go nuts and create some crazy games as you wish
Kinect Star Wars has been delayed by Microsoft, and will not be making the Christmas rush it seems. I can only assume they realised that the game is horribly broken and have decided to fix the thing before the punters can buy it. LucasArts, please just give it up and make Battlefront 3 already.
And finally, some clever gamers managed to get a recording of the FIFA 12 demo in action at Gamescom, and in doing so showed off the ratings for the players of the six demo teams. If they make it to the final version of the game, then it will mark a departure from 90 being the highest threshold a player can reach – Messi is a frankly unbelievable 95 in the demo, and the rest of the teams similarly have some very highly rated players (Tevez is an 88 for City, and Fabregas a 89 for Arsenal…before he moved of course). You can check all the player ratings from the demo via this video.
This week has featured some interesting developments in the game world. A handful of new games have been announced before E3, the next big title of the year is now only a week or so away from being released, and Microsoft have suddenly remembered about the lack of games for its latest peripheral.
So let’s start with those new games that have been announced. The first to note is that Soul Calibur 5 will be coming your way soon. Namco have said that the game is set 17 years after the events of Soul Calibur 4, and that its story will take place throughout history. They have also promised a refined battle system with a continuation of the 8 way running mechanic (to allow full 3D movement), a better online mode, more customisation and characters from other franchises (like Link in SC2 and Yoda/Darth Vader in SC4). It is set for release in 2012, and you can see the teaser trailer here. Continue reading Soul Calibur 5 Announced, LA Noire Hits Shops Soon And More Kinect Titles Promised→