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.
Sony have unveiled Project Morpheus; a virtual reality headset that will work in tandem with the PS4. Speaking at the Games Developer Conference (GDC), Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida revealed that the company has been working on the device for three years, and showcased the device playing a first person version of God Of War 3.
While Project Morpheus will not be the final version of the headset, it is already compatible with both the Dualshock 4 and PS Move controllers, and boasts a 5 inch panel display with HD graphics and 3D audio support. Interestingly, the headset can also mirror its display onto a TV allowing for spectators to watch the action – which they will have to do, because at the moment only one headset per console is supported. Sony have also mused the application of Project Morpheus outside of games, including using the headset to engage in virtual tourism for example.
Development kits for the headset are still a work in progress, and nothing has been said regarding price or potential release dates. Personally, I still see the application of virtual reality as a gimmick that has been tried before (notably by Sega in the mid-90s) and will probably fail again, but between this and the Occulus Rift (set for commercial release later this year at under $300) it suggests one of the directions the new generation of consoles may take.
If Project Morpheus doesn’t take your fancy though, maybe this will – an upcoming firmware update for the PS4 will allow users to dim the light emitted from the light bar at the rear of the Dualshock 4 controller. You won’t be able to turn it off completely though. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 17TH – 23RD MARCH→