According to a new report from Edge, Microsoft’s next Xbox, codenamed "Durango," will feature 50GB Blu-Ray discs and a new, improved Kinect shipping with the console itself. On the less positive side, the new Xbox will also apparently require an internet connection in order to access the console and will do everything in its power to block access to used games. We already know Sony is thinking about implementing technology to prevent used games from working on the upcoming PlayStation, codenamed Orbis, but now with two main gaming competitors attacking the used game market, the next generation is certainly going to be an interesting one. Head past the jump for more on the new Xbox and why Microsoft’s new ideas may alienate parts of their market.

Ubisoft has done a good job—arguably great—at supporting Nintendo's Wii U platform so far. However, as the sales are slipping, Ubisoft is finding that the Wii U's delivery message is a hard one to understand. Whereas Wii was easy to understand and use upon seeing it, the Wii U with its GamePad must simply be played to be understood. Xavier Poix, managing director of Ubisoft's Annecy, Montpellier, and Paris studios, had this to say about the Wii U:

"The depth of what you can do with that console is really hard to get across unless you play with it," Poix said. "It's different from the Wii, where seeing was believing. With the Wii U, people really need to experience it."

He has much more to say about the future of the Wii U after the jump.

         

That's right folks. The juggernaut new IP Skylanders is getting a new entry this fall. The franchise has made over $500 million dollars already, and Activision is showing no sign of stopping anytime soon.

The last entry in the series brought new giant protagonists to the formula, and this time, Vicarious Visions is switching up the cast of critters—literally. Players can choose to mix-and-match the torso and legs of the Skylanders, allowing dozens of combinations in the game. There are sixteen new figures, but through the new addition to the franchise, 256 "swapabilities" can be achieved. Each power is represented by half of the figure, so players can choose which two elements they want to combine and utilize in the new world of the Cloudbreak Islands.

I'm not surprised to see this series become an annual affair, as the franchise makes a lot of money. I might just have to hop onto the bandwagon for this new entry, as I've heard the Skylanders are a guilty pleasure among many gamers. Head past the jump for a boatload of screenshots!

After six years, Nintendo and Namco Bandi have announced the newest installment in the Mario Kart Arcade GP franchise. According to NeoGAF, the game will be on display February 15th and 16th at the Japan Amusement Expo. Hit the jump to read more...

Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli has announced that their Vigil Games derived USA studio will cease development of Darksiders 3. In a recent interview with GamesBeat, Yerli revealed why Crytek was hesitant in bidding on Vigil during THQ's property auction, and how the new addition to the Darksiders franchise wouldn't fit their strategy. Hit the jump to read more...

Nintendo's bold leap into the HD era is here, and we've seen some stunning displays of graphical prowess from its new console, the Wii U. While games such as Nintendo Land have been remarkable for Nintendo's standards and games such as ZombiU show us that the console is capable of the same visual fidelity as the current consoles from Nintendo's competitors, word has it that this is just the beginning. According to President Satoru Iwata, the games that we've seen so far, including unreleased titles like the gorgeous Pikmin 3, stand at the lower end of the console's capabilities. For Iwata's full quote and what it means for the situation, head past the jump.

On its blog today, Sega reaffirmed that their latest entry in the All-Stars Racing franchise is indeed coming to Nintendo's popular handheld. The game is planned to hit Europe on February 8th, and North America on the 12th, and when it does, it will have a few new features along with all the content the consoles had. It will have eight-person download-play multiplayer and StreetPass challenges added to the standard game, and includes the two new characters from the console version; real NASCAR racer Danica Patrick, and Wreck-it Ralph, from the incredibly well-marketed Disney movie that came out earlier this year. 

Are you interested in picking up the portable version?

According to Emily Rogers, Retro Studios will have a demo ready for its next big project during E3. It's still unclear what this project might be, but it could very well be sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns, or another installment of the Metroid series. Retro also collaborated with Nintendo on the development of Mario Kart 7, and since it was a very well received game, it might very well be that they are also working on the upcoming Mario Kart U.

Personally, I'm all in for a Donkey Kong sequel, but I'd like it to be a platformer like Donkey Kong 64. I think it has a lot of potential, and I just love Donkey Kong 64. It was one of the games that defined my childhood, so a spiritual sequel to it would be great. I'd be really surprised to see a brand new IP, but time will tell.

Sniper Elite V2, a unique shooter by Rebellion, is being ported to the Wii U. It's already on the PS3, 360, and PC, and though it's received mediocre reviews so far, Rebellion is hoping that the Wii U's gamepad is going to revitalize the potential of the title.

“Sniper Elite is just the kind of mature game that is perfect for the different mechanics of the Wii U. It’s been a challenge to get it right, but thanks to our team and the fantastic support of our partners at 505 Games we believe we’ve brought the unique gameplay to a whole new platform.”

So says Jason Kingsley, CEO of Rebellion. Have any of you had some time with Sniper Elite V2? Do you think the Wii U's actually a good remedy for this struggling game?

This is impressive. Remember that Nintendo Direct from weeks back? It was pretty cool. We saw a lot of awesome games and clips, one of them being a video behind the scenes of Bayonetta 2's development. With all the buzz around the exclusive acquisition of this decidedly mature series, Platinum was eager to show just how well the transition to a Nintendo console was going. The video ended with this shot of a monster slashing right at us, scaring those weak of heart.



Well, it turns out that clip wasn't computer generated; that's right, those are the real time graphics of Bayonetta 2--at this point in time, anyway. Who knows what it'll look like at launch! Somehow I'm getting even more hyped over this game. I really have to grab the original Bayonetta to prepare myself.


This just blew me away. The level of polish, from the animation, to the soundtrack, to the depth of the references is purely astounding. There are so many jokes packed into this parody that I've watched it several times over and still think I'm missing some things. I think my favorite just may be the Super Mario Bros. 2 playable character arrangement near the end, though Kirby kicks some ass as well.


The image above was posted to Mistwalker's website and Facebook account, today; as you can see, it's very similar in style and color to a lot of the art we saw for The Last Story, the Wii-exclusive Rainfall RPG from Final Fantasy vet Sakaguchi. However, in the corner it's titled 'Lost World', which means it could bear some connection to Lost Odyssey, another Mistwalker RPG from a few years back. The studio has yet to throw us a bone, but there's no reason we can't speculate! Which game would you be more interested in seeing?

Sony is ending its partnership with SuperBot Entertainment, the developer of Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale. This is due to underwhelming sales of the title, which surely hasn't met Sony's expectations. By cutting ties with the studio, SuperBot is unable to work on Battle Royale any longer, and production of future content will be moved to Sony’s Santa Monica Studio.

Early reports suggested that SuperBot would cease to exist without Sony's support, but director of operations David Yang confirmed that the studio will continue to develop independently.

SuperBot Entertainment can confirm that the relationship with SCEA has ended on good terms. We are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work on with Sony on Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, and are extremely proud of the work we have done. SuperBot Entertainment will continue working on projects that reflect our passion for games and our commitment to creating award winning titles. We are very excited about beginning the next chapter of our future and invite all of our fans and supporters to follow our journey. - David Yang

More from David Yang and Sony after the jump.

On the heels of Game Informer's reveal of The Witcher 3, CDProjekt has released the above teaser trailer along with a nice bit of press material. Contained in that material is the announcement that this game will be the final chapter for Geralt and the final game in The Witcher series. The reasoning? They want to go out on a high note, which is something to admire in the day and age where popular franchises tend to overstay their welcomes.

This material also talks about how The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is going to appeal to long standing fans as well as make an excellent entry point for new fans to the series. Of course, again, this just makes it all the more wanting for Wii U fans. Unfortunately they are specifically saying "high-end" next-gen systems, which will likely rule Nintendo fans out. Still, PC, Sony, and Microsoft fans have one heck of an experience coming their way in 2014. Check out the press release after the jump.

Square Enix is taking the route many have before them when posting net losses of late. Essentially, if they are failing to make money on the console front, they say that it's the market's problem and not theirs. Square is reportedly down ¥5.7 billion for last year, though they predict a profit by the end of the fiscal year (likely due to iOS games, most of which will likely get bastardized over the years by these same companies).

Blaming the market itself rather than their own high budgets and poor quality of games is one of the biggest copouts in the industry right now. Game quality has sunk at many top studios, but more importantly, these studios keep inflating their own budgets to make games. This is especially true on visual fidelity, where a large chunk of the money is siphoned to. Even with games like Dishonored showing that you don't need those big budgets to create compelling games that sell, some companies still have it all backwards. Sure, extensive visual fidelity is important for some titles, but realistically an amazing experience can trump so many other flaws visually.

As an example, does anyone think Pokemon X and Y are not going to sell just because they look like early alpha Nintendo 64 games? Of course not, because the quality of the experience of the game itself trumps anything the visuals may lave wanting. Quality games continue to sell and move in the market while big budget gorgeous shit fests continue to sink. Fact is, developers need to notice these trends and correct them instead of pointing fingers at everyone else.