In what seems to be the biggest spring in gaming's history, the Wii U is left with a handful of exclusives to bide its owner's time until E3. Although I'm looking forward to games such as The Wonderful 101 and Pikmin 3, I'll be unable to play some of the spring's juggernaut titles on my shiny new Nintendo console, such as Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider. We're seeing dozens of games missing the Wii U for the sole reason of lacking sales. Although it is a valid one, software sells hardware, and no third parties are taking the dive. Konami is joining the club now.
Konami producer Dave Cox has told us why Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 will not be making the jump to Wii U, and the reason is a lack of resources. Although Konami has given a different and more valid reason then the usual "Wii U is too difficult to develop on," I feel a little bit disappointed. I'm looking forward to the new Castlevania, but it looks like my PS3 will be getting the game.
However, there is still the new 3DS entry in the beloved series, Mirror of Fate. I can't wait to join the franchise this March. Cox also spoke about the new 3DS entry. Hit the jump to see what he said!
With Sony and Microsoft's new consoles rumored to be coming out this year, game publishers Activision, Take Two, and Ubisoft have been contemplating the development costs of video games, and, by extension, a possible increase in the price of games from the current $59.99. Take Two and Ubisoft CEOs Strauss Zelnick and Yves Guillemot believe that development costs won't increase dramatically, at least during the beginning of the next generation.
"We don’t have any reason to believe our development budgets will change significantly. If anything we have become – group-wide – much tighter in terms of how we spend our money." — Strauss Zelnick
"What we've said is that, for the first two years of those machines, the costs will not increase because we can use a lot of the engines that we've already created." — Yves Guillemot
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, on the other hand, expects prices to go up.
"This is my 22nd year doing this, and in every single console transition, we've seen an increase in development costs. Over long periods of time, it gets smoothed out, but I would say this is not a transition where that's going to be an exception. We're going to have to figure out how to take advantage of the unique capabilities of new hardware, and that requires new skills and investment in tools and technology and engines and so yes, that's likely." — Bobby Kotick
The fact that these people are even considering an increase in price shows that, at the very least, the technology of video games will become noticeably more powerful and complex. What are your thoughts on this?
I may be more of a Nintendo gamer than I am a PlayStation or Xbox gamer, and arguably a bigger PC gamer than any of the consoles, but even I know that blocking used games is going to be a console killer. We already know the Wii U doesn't do such things. I can attest to this because I own a used copy of New Super Mario Bros. U. Sure, maybe it only saved me $5, but that's still $5 I was able to put towards a pre-order for Pikmin 3. The fact remains that if this does happen, or if they attempt to do an "ultimate pass" for $100 which allows gamers to "unlock" unlimited used games, I tend to agree that the Wii U will reap the benefits of higher game sales since they will have the used game market all to themselves.
To be honest, I don't want any of the console makers to fail, so I just hope all these rumors (some dating a year old) just tend to be complete crap.
This week's Bonus Round focus's squarely on genre preferences. You might be surprised to see what genre's are mentioned as it's not necessarily what many would expect. As an example, one of the panel's favorite genres is Tower Defense! Of course while it's a nice debate above, what we really want to know is what your favorite genre is. Sound off in the comments and let the debates begin!
Digital Foundry, a group of tech fanatics that specialize in analyzing technical fundamentals of technology and innovate digital possibilities, have taken apart Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and decided that the Wii U version of the game is the best one. Digital Foundry honored the Wii U build for its reliable frame-rate and five person multiplayer.
Head past the jump to see why!
It's no secret that this past week has not been a good one for Ubisoft in the public eye. While more people have been attacking and bashing them over the Rayman Legends Wii U delay than people that were likely going to purchase the game to begin with, fact remains they haven't handled it well. Sure, we're getting a "Wii U" exclusive demo (you know, the first demo was Wii U exclusive too, Ubisoft) soon, but overall, they haven't responded well to the situation. In fact, it's almost like they didn't anticipate that anyone would actually care. Of course, Nintendo fans care, especially when the post launch schedule has been sparse for the Wii U. So, what to do about this mess now? Simple: Hire PR people to deal with it.
Ubisoft, one of the largest video game developers and publisher in the world, is looking for a stellar public relations professional to join its team as Public Relations Coordinator in its San Francisco Office. The Public Relations Coordinator is an extremely well-organized professional that wants to learn public relations from the best in the business and has a track record in multi-tasking, coverage tracking, database management and media outreach.
This is an interesting rumor because we have two Reddit sources that who don't contradict each other, per sé, but can't agree on what the rumor means. On one side, someone on a plane caught a glimpse of a Powerpoint presentation that included a bunch of games, and among them was Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flags. It apparently had a nice logo, however no pictures were provided. On the other side, another Reddit user overheard two advertising agents talking about the game at a local café in San Francisco. This one, however, goes into much more detail and explains that Black Flags is Assassin's Creed III DLC planned for release sometime this summer. What are the details of this second post? Hop inside to find out!
BioWare seems to be getting a bit defensive when anyone asks them about Mass Effect 4. This is because they don't want to "relate" the game to the original trilogy, as in have it held back by what they have done previously. They do not want to imply the game is following Commander Shepard's footsteps.
"To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here," BioWare community manager Chris Priestly wrote on the company's forums.
As understanding as I am of this sentiment, it left me wondering... what am I supposed to call it? Well, maybe we have the answer. More quotes after the jump!
Crytek, the people behind the Crysis series, have spoken up about what they want from the next console generation. To absolutely nobody's surprise... they want more power. They want to create "console experiences that are close to the PC". This, of course, ignores the fact that it takes much more than pretty graphics to create a fantastic gameplay experience. Still, we can't criticize them too much as this has been, and likely always will be, their sticking point. Crysis has always been a technical wonder for benchmarking and pushing hardware. Someone has to be willing to do that, right? Quotes after the jump.
I make it no secret I am not of fan of TMNT. I was enamored with the original series and I could never wrap my head around the newer versions of my childhood heroes. That being said, I realize that for many, the new show is a vast improvement on the original works. However, one thing I can say definitively as that the TMNT games have been pretty bad. The original Ninja Turtles series lead to fantastic titles, from the original Arcade game, to the GameBoy... and yes, to the fabled and arguably greatest side scrolling beat-em-up ever, Turtles in Time. While Activision now owns the rights to the TMNT licensing, Nicklodeon owns the show and together they are teaming up for 3 games, according to a recent press release. You can read it after the jump.
I know Pachter can get a lot of flak, but this time he is providing some decent insight into the mindset of Sony. Jack Tretton, president of SCEA, noted at last year's E3 to Pachter that he is totally against blocking used games.
For the record, I’m totally opposed to blocking used games. I think it’s great for the consumer that they can buy those. We have a customer that buys our console late in the cycle, pays less, is looking for value priced games, and I think it would be anti-consumer for us to do that.
This is a bright spot for those worried that used games are going to go by the wayside for every console that isn't a Wii U. Still, like Reggie Fils-Aime for Nintendo, it's not his call in the end. Sony is a Japanese based company and thus it is their decision as to whether or not this happens. While Jack Tretton will likely try to somehow fight against it, or at least to let it "skip" the United States, the fact remains that we just don't know whats going to happen. Used games are more than just a market for places like GameStop—it's pretty much what keeps local game shops viable in today's society. If used games go away, retailers may soon follow.
J.J. Abrams, the legendary man who directed the latest Star Trek movie and is in charge of the new Star Wars trilogy had a brief discussion at the game industry DICE conference about the possibility of making games and movies together. In particular, Portal and Half-Life.
Abrams: There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on.
Newell: We're going to find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie.
In the end, what comes of this is unknown, but hopefully if they work together it could blur the line between movies and games a bit. Do you think this is a good idea?
After getting the news earlier about Rayman Legends being delayed and no longer being a Wii U exclusive, it caused an uproar over the net. Wii U owners being upset because a game they had been waiting for, for quite awhile now. Gamers have taken to forums everywhere to voice their opinions on what Ubisoft is doing with this game. Then, having the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners pretty happy with what's happening but what about how the developers feel? That's something we wouldn't usually know, but today, a Rayman Legends developer spoke up. There's more after the jump!
Ubisoft's just announced their future plans for the Assassin's Creed series, one of the biggest franchises of the WiiStation360 generation. Not only will it feature an entirely new protagonist, era, and location, it's going to be coming pretty darn soon. Ubisoft didn't give a real date for Assassin's Creed 4, but they did say it would see release during fiscal year 2014, which starts April 1st of this year and ends on March 31st, 2014. This is a very wide window, and I'm certain the release date will be on the far later side of the spectrum, seeing as how Assassin's Creed 3 released only months ago.
Do you have high hopes for the franchise? Personally, if feels a bit rushed to me, but then again, the entire franchise is actually surprisingly young. Even though there was never much more than a year between releases (even if some were spinoff titles, Ubisoft has always maintained pretty high quality. I'm hoping this next game takes us somewhere vastly different than the past installments, with entirely different weaponry; we have yet to see a game take place in Asia or Africa. Of course, there are reasons for this, but...imagine the different in gameplay! One can dream. What would you like to see in the next Assassin's Creed? Sound off below!