The last dedicated gaming arcade in London, the Heart Of Gaming, is back up and running after thieves broke in and stole over £5,000 worth of consoles and equipment. The arcade was broken into on Tuesday night but the thieves did not target any of the arcade machines, which do not hold any money (all the machines are set to free-play, which is then covered by entry fees). A GoFundMe campaign set up in response to the robbery raised over £5,000 in less than 24 hours to help get the community run venue back on its feet. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 20TH -26TH JULY→
Facebook is to purchase Oculus VR for $2 billion, in a deal which includes $400 million of cash and 23 million shares in the social networking site. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hailed Oculus, who are currently working on the Oculus Rift VR headset, as the ‘social platform of the future’ (you can read the full statement here). The company will continue to work on the Rift at their headquarters in California.
The reaction to the deal has been…volatile.
The internet seems to have taken a mostly apocalyptic view of events; many early backers of the Oculus Rift (which was Kickstarted to the tune of $2.4 million) have expressed their disgust with Oculus for variously; killing virtual reality and the future of gaming, selling out, and making a mockery of crowd funding. The share price of Facebook took a nose dive after the announcement, dropping 6.9% by the end of day trading on Wednesday. And anyone hoping to play an official version of Minecraft on the Rift will be left extremely disappointed as creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson cancelled the deal to bring the game to the hardware – amusingly taking to Twitter to express that ‘Facebook creeps me out’.
Facebook have flatly denied that they will rebrand the Rift or detract from its focus on gaming, and Oculus themselves have claimed that while the are surprised at just how negative the reaction has been, the benefits will be found in cheaper units and reduced delays of production. Chief technology officer John Carmack has remained optimistic about the deal claiming that Facebook’s vast financial resources will help to avoid ‘an embarrassing scaling crisis for VR’.
Sega have announced a new spin-off universe for the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise called Sonic Boom; which will incorporate Wii U and 3DS games (the final game in an exclusive deal with Nintendo which has also produced Sonic: Lost World), a new range of toys and a 52-episode CGI TV series to debut on Cartoon Network. While Sonic Boom will not replace ‘Modern Sonic’, it has led to a redesign of the cast of Sonic characters – with everyone getting taller and Knuckles the Echidna developing an addiction to steroids.
“SEGA is constantly looking to feed the appetite of Sonic fans, new and existing alike…the various pieces of the Sonic Boom project, such as its unique look, mix of comedy, and action and its focus on the whole ensemble with Sonic as the star, offer another exciting part of that universe for people to explore and enjoy. It will be at once familiar but also new.”
The year of 2013 has been a busy one; between balancing the last year of my extended stay at University and finally entering the daily grind of the working world, time has gone by much quicker than I would have perhaps preferred. It’s important then to take the time for a brief retrospective, not only to supplement the lazy journalism that comes with the end of the year but because when I stop and think back, it has been another banner year for videogames. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Video Game Land Review Of 2013→
After years of waiting, months of speculation, weeks of fan arguments and in some cases days of queuing, the PlayStation 4 has now finally launched in the UK and the rest of Europe – the eighth generation is here people! Of course the PS4 has already been available in North America for two weeks, but Sony still put in a effort to make the European launch of the console feel special; amusingly Sony managed to highjack Page 3 of The Sun ‘#4ThePlayers’, but the real highlight was seeing the 2000 year old Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome bathed in a frankly spectacular light show.
As I write this article there has been no information released with regards to sales figures, but it is expected that the PS4 will break the current record for the launch of a console in the United Kingdom; a record which believe it or not belongs to the PSP (185,000 units over three days in 2005). In the meantime while we await official figures, don’t be stupid and buy Killzone: Shadowfall in the PS4 Store – if you really want to buy a game for the eye-watering price tag of £52.99 that Killzone currently holds, make sure the disc is made of out diamonds and gold first. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 25TH – 30TH NOVEMBER→
Grand Theft Auto V claimed the prestigious title of ‘Game Of The Year’ at the 31st Golden Joystick Awards yesterday in London, beating Bioshock Infinite and The Last Of Us for the accolade.
Naughty Dog didn’t go away empty handed however as The Last Of Us picked up the awards for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Storytelling’, while the developers themselves were named ‘Studio Of The Year’. Ken Levine (founder of Irrational Games) was given a Lifetime Achievement Award, while the biggest surprise was The Witcher 3 being given the nod for ‘Most Wanted’. Hotline Miami, despite picking up six nominations, walked away with nothing.
Given its mammoth success in sales it is perhaps inevitable that GTA V would get the vote for Game Of The Year, but I personally think that maybe The Last Of Us deserves it more for being bold enough to do something new and pulling it off with such aplomb just as this generation of consoles comes to an end; I’ve yet to finish the game myself (playing through a friend’s copy on visits) but my eagerness to get to the end grows by the day.
And so the dust has finally settled on the main conferences at the Electronic Entertainment Expo; over the last two days Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Sony and Nintendo have all held their annual E3 media pitches. As with last year, I was furiously typing all the way through the conferences making notes, and below is my quick round up of all the relevant stuff from the two days. Continue reading E3 2012: Notes From The Five Conferences And Reaction→