Back in 2010, a new service called OnLive was created that allowed gamers to instantly stream a collection of titles across a cloud service. It was poorly received and ignored by all, meaning that by August 2012 OnLive was dead in the water. Following nearly a year and a half of utter silence and new financial backing, the service has returned for another bite of the cherry with a new business model.
With a new companion service called CloudLift, for 10 quid a month users can stream games they already own and sync saves through devices with an internet browser – in theory allowing you to player quite demanding games on low performance machines. Aiming to provide 720p visuals and 60fps, CloudLift most prominently works with games bought on Steam, and OnLive have also signed deals with a number of publishers to promote their games on the platform. Existing subscription services will continue to run, as will any games that users purchased on the old doomed microconsole that OnLive distributed.
Will the reboot work? Probably not; the subscription fee will immediately alienate many, especially since you have no access to games outside of the ones you already own (meaning that OnLive is vastly different from the library based services such as Spotify or Netflix that it is comparing itself to). Added to this, Sony has their Playstation Now service raring to go as a major competitor, not all Steam games support cloud saves (meaning that you would have to start over again everytime you play on the move), and the fact that Steam themselves want to stream games makes OnLive kind of redundant.
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.”
This week saw the unexpected delay of one of the most eagerly anticipated titles of the Winter period and a key launch title for the PS4 & Xbox One, as Ubisoft announced that Watch Dogs has been set back from its initial launch date of November 19th to early 2014. In a blog post, Ubisoft said:
“Our ambition from the start with Watch Dogs has been to deliver something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming…it is with this in mind that we’ve made the tough decision to delay the release until Spring 2014.”
The statement also confirmed that open-world racer The Crew (which I recently got hands on with at Eurogamer)would be delayed as well. The company have said that customers who have preordered next-gen consoles bundled with Watch Dogs will be able to swap the title for another game.
It’s a real shame, because both games were things that I was really looking forward to that might have convinced me to buy into the next generation early. Oh well, back to the Steam backlog I go…
Well what a change in fortunes – E3 this year has been nothing short of excellent to watch. Whereas the past few conferences have been relatively staid, cautious and sometimes very awkward affairs, 2013 has seen E3 return to what it should be – a true gamers conference. Badly choreographed on stage segments are now seemingly a thing of the past, and while a lot of the content on show was pre-rendered footage rather than actual gameplay, the games themselves came thick and fast with plenty of new and fresh ideas in the mix. Also, with the PS4 and the Xbox One going up against each other head-to-head for the first time, we could anticipate that something special was going to be in the works.
The following report is not a completely in depth take on events (check your friendly neighbourhood gaming website for an intricate breakdown of what happened), but rather the things that I personally took away from the best E3 conference in years. Continue reading E3 2013 – Coverage Of The Conferences→
All eyes on the gaming world will be on Los Angeles later today – it might not be the best gaming conference in existence (that title for me belongs to GamesCom), but E3 is certainly the biggest of them all and as a result garners the attention of the media like no other gaming event.
For the past two years I have produced a relatively in depth live-blog of events as they unfolded through the day (which, if you want to invoke a bit of nostalgia and have a laugh at all the broken promises can be seen here both for 2011 and 2012) – I very much enjoyed typing up these reports, but this year a combination of actual academic work, a lack of a laptop that won’t overheat after five hours and general laziness means that I’ll be producing a much more concise report on events which you should expect around Wednesday or Thursday.
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→