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After keeping a display unit Xbox One under lock and key at PAX Australia, Microsoft will be bringing around 100 playable units to the EB Games Expo in October. What's more, Ausgamer reports, these units will be available to the general public, not just VIPs.

“We are thrilled that EB Games and Microsoft are combining forces to give gamers a chance to get hands-on with the Xbox One at this year’s EB Expo. We hope that this glimpse of the future is as exciting to the gaming public as it is to us. We can’t give away too much just yet, but watch this space for more huge announcements in the coming weeks.” — Debra McGrath, Manager of Brand Engagement and Events.

This is big news for Aussies, who only recently saw the first reveal of the console on Australian soil at PAX Australia. For many fence-sitting attendees, this exposure to the controversial console may make or break their decision to buy the console at launch later this year.

A few days ago, Capcom announced that Double Helix, the company behind upcoming title Killer Instinct, will be developing a new entry into the company's Strider franchise, with a release coming sometime next year. The title was confirmed for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC, leaving only the Wii U unconfirmed.

Recently, NeoGAF member Chindogg had the chance to talk with some of the folks over at Double Helix, specifically about the possibility of a Wii U release. The company stated that Strider could be ported to the console "if there's a demand for it." Seems like it might be time for another "Operation"!

So, if you want to see the game on the Wii U, better start letting Double Helix know! Do any of you guys want to play this on Wii U?

For many people, Platinum Games seems to be buddying up to Nintendo; currently, they have two games being developed for the Wii U (Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101). This, combined with the company's desire to make first party titles, such as Star Fox, has led many to believe that Platinum wants to or should become a Nintendo-exclusive developer. 

However, Hideki Kamiya doesn't seem to want any part of that. Recently, a fan tweeted him asking which company he would prefer to be an exclusive first-party developer for: Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft. Kamiya bluntly replied "No interest." Apparently, Kamiya has no desire for his company to be acquired by these companies, and probably any companies.

Sure, becoming a first-party developer would have its perks, such as the freedom to develop the next Star Fox game if allowed. However, it could come at the cost of giving up certain creative liberties which Kamiya is not willing to relinquish. 

What do you think? Should Platinum Games join Nintendo, or are they better on their own?

The Darksiders games have developed a cult following and have scored reasonably well with critics. To many fans' dismay, a Darksiders III seems to be way off in the distant horizon now, if it ever happens at all. This is due to the fact that Vigil Games, the developer of the Darksiders series, failed to find a buyer after its parent company, THQ, went bankrupt. The developers who worked at Vigil, though, found a home at Crytek, with many of Vigil's former staff making up Crytek USA.

Thus, the people who made Darksiders are still around, and recently Siliconera was told what they've been working on. The team of about 30 has been helping develop Ryse: Son of Rome, according to the game's producer, Mike Read. Ryse is a Crytek action game which is being developed exclusively for the Xbox One and was revealed at E3 just over a month ago,

Read also stated that the team is working on its own "things," but did not go into any further detail, leaving it up to imagination. Unfortunately, Crytek does not own the rights to Darksiders, so whatever they are up to, it isn't Darksiders III.

What do you think? Are you excited to play Ryse: Son of Rome? Are you upset that Darksiders III won't be developed by the same people, if it gets developed at all?

Recently, we heard from Ubisoft creative director Julian Gerighty about Ubisoft's current stylistic focus. According to Mr. Gerighty, the company actively pushes developers to implement open worlds into their games, with an emphasis on "open, living worlds." But what does this type of world entail? Always having your system connected to the Internet.

However, according to a recent Tweet from the official Watch Dogs account, players will not be required to have an internet connection to enjoy the game. Hacking other players in online multiplayer looks like a good time, though, so I believe that those without internet will be missing out. Nevertheless, those guys will still be able to play the game.

How do you feel about this? Watch Dogs launches for current gen systems and Wii U on November 19th, with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions coming at their respective launches.

Shinji Mikami, creator of Bethesda's upcoming horror title The Evil Within and previously Resident Evil, believes his new game is a return to roots. Talking to Eurogamer, Mikami said he thinks improved graphics will help to drive home some of the scares, but also stressed that seeing isn't everything when it comes to horror. The more we see of horror villains, the less frightening they are, and when horror developers pump out sequel after sequel, the fear factor sinks with each new installment.

“Used at the right time and in the right way disempowerment can be the most powerful tool for the horror game creator. Sequels are a big problem in horror entertainment. As a horror game series continues you begin to know who the enemies are going to be. Just this knowledge naturally makes the game less scary. So to capture a wider audience designers add more action. That further reduces how frightening the game feels. Instead of trying to introduce new ideas I want to return to survival horror’s roots. We’ve strayed from that. I want to explore fear again, and that sense of overcoming fear, one that’s unique to games. That’s one reason I’m making The Evil Within. Really, I’m making this game just because it’s fun to scare people."

Read the rest after the break.

Many video game players have complained about the Xbox One's Kinect. The motion-capture device reportedly costs as much as the actual console. The NSA may use the Kinect to monitor the homes of people around the world. The Xbox One is bundled with the device, so fans don't have a choice concerning the use of Kinect. If you want the new Xbox, you need to purchase Kinect as well.

Naturally, this may alienate some consumers. I know many people who love the 360, but hate Kinect. If a person doesn't want to use motion controls, why should they have to spend the extra money for the device? Perhaps because Kinect is a vital part of the Xbox One.

"The goal with having a Kinect ship with every Xbox is to guarantee to game developers if they implement Kinect features into their games, everyone who has an Xbox will be able to experience it. I often see people dismiss the Kinect instantly because they haven't seen it work like I have. It is an integral part of the Xbox One experience. The number of features on the Xbox One that uses the Kinect is almost too many to count. I can't imagine using the console without it." --Anonymous Xbox One Developer

The developers of Xbox One believe in what they are working on. Do you? Is Kinect cool or dumb? Sound off in the comments.

Assassin’s Creed lead writer Darby McDevitt was asked at the San Diego Comic-Con whether or not a future installment in the franchise could take place in the present day. While McDevitt was open to the idea, he claimed that one of the series’ main attractions is “historical tourism”. Here’s what he said, according to the official Assassin's Creed Twitter feed:


Q: Are you planning a modern AC?
Darby:
There's always a chance, but one of the biggest draws of the series is the historical "tourism."

The series has gone on for quite some time, but there’s certainly no shortage of time periods to visit before the modern day. McDevitt had some thoughts on it, but you'll have to hit the jump to find out what he said!

Assassin's Creed games are known for having cliffhangers in order to setup a future sequel. I'm not going to spoil anything, but Assassin's Creed III has one hell of a cliffhanger. However, just because a game has a cliffhanger doesn't mean that it can't have a satisfying ending.

I know it's not a game, but just look at Star Wars Episode IV. At that point, Lucas had no clue that it would blow up to be as big as it is, but he did have a grander storyline in mind. He didn't know whether he would be able to make a sequel, so he gave the movie a satisfying ending that left room for further expansion. The Death Star was destroyed and imminent danger was averted; Han and Luke get medals and everyone celebrates. But, at the same time, the Emperor and Darth Vader are still out there; there is potential for a sequel.

According to Darby McDevitt, the game's lead writer, Assassin's Creed IV is going to attempt something similar; they are going to provide a satisfying ending that leaves room for more. How they plan to accomplish this, I know not, but it's fine by me. Cliffhangers give gamers a reason to return, a reason to revisit the same story. There's nothing better than finally knowing what happens after a year or more of anticipation.

Ubisoft has upped the ante for their upcoming open-world action-adventure title Watch Dogs, expecting it to push past the original Assassin’s Creed, which shipped a total of 6.2 million copies. At a Ubisoft sales earning call, one of their their directors had this to say:

"What is true is that three months ago when we announced our results, we were kind of referencing that we, in our plan, we had built up Watch Dogs with expectation slightly below what Assassin's Creed 1 did when it was first released--and it was 6.2 million. So after E3, what we said today was that we do feel that we can expect…slightly above the 6.2 million that Assassin's Creed did."

Triple-A titles in recent memory have been struggling to meet sales expectations, and one may be forgiven for being skeptical of Ubisoft’s rather optimistic projections. For example, last year’s Dead Space 3 was required to sell a staggering 5 million copies just to break even (which it failed to do), and more recently the new Tomb Raider shipped 3.4 million copies in its debut month, but still missed its sales expectations. It’s no secret that modern game development is expensive (unless you’re in the indie market), meaning each new IP is a huge risk, and Ubisoft is certainly taking that risk. Watch Dogs is coming out on all modern home consoles as well as the PC, will launch with five kinds of collector’s editions, and is already being developed into a Watch Dogs film.

What do you guys think? Will Watch Dogs be the springboard for a whole franchise or is it going to plummet into the depths of "failing to meet sales expectations" due to overambition?

Yesterday at the San Diego Comic-Con, Capcom announced the revival of their classic game series Strider, which has not seen a release since Strider II in 1992. The game, which is being developed by Killer Instinct studio Double Helix Games, is set to release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

The game will feature "blazing fast gameplay, married with deep environment traversal options" and will utilize an "ultra-responsive control system." Double Helix also announced that they will be working with some of the developers of the original Strider games. Hopefully, this well help the game meet the standards that fans of the franchise have been craving.

You want to see more? Of course! Well, hop inside for the announcement article from Double Helix, as well as the announcement trailer, a gameplay trailer, and some screenshots!

Yesterday, Ubisoft announced a limited edition bundle for their new game Watch Dogs for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC. However, they did not announce a bundle version for the Wii U version of the game.

The bundle will include a copy of the game wrapped in a neat Steelbook case, as well as a nine-inch statue of protagonist Aiden Pearce, a replica of his vigilante mask, a soundtrack CD, and an 80-page hardcover art book. All of this will be inside of a special collector's box.

The bundle will release at the game's launch. For Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, that's on November 19th. It will also be available on Xbox One and PS4 at their respective release dates. Are you excited about this bundle? I'm not, as I'll be getting the Wii U version. But, how do you feel?

At an Ubisoft investor's conference call yesterday, CEO Yves Guillemot announced that the preorder numbers for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are double that of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3's launch periods. On top of that, two of Ubisoft's next-gen launch titles, Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, are among the systems' top five most reserved titles.

Ubisoft seems to be handling the generational jump nicely; they've picked one of their top franchises to lead the charge, as well as a great up-and-coming IP. And, because these games will be cross-generational and not next-gen exclusive, the pool of potential buyers is vastly larger. Things are looking up for Ubisoft for the next generation, but we'll see.

What do you think about these figures?

Julian Gerighty, a creative director for Ubisoft, recently spoke with Polygon about the development cycle of an Ubisoft game. According to Mr. Gerighty, each game has to be reviewed by the company's editorial department in Paris; this review helps to highlight certain gameplay systems that they feel would be beneficial to the game. Their most recent tactic? Open worlds.

Just look at Ubisoft's upcoming line-up: Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV, and Tom Clancy's The Division. What do they all have in common? Open worlds. However, Mr. Gerighty made it clear that Ubisoft wants the games to have "open, living worlds" that blend single-player and multiplayer experiences. The catch? These types of games will pretty much require a constant, always-on internet connection, something that we know gamers don't want thanks to the Xbox One's reception.

How do you feel about these types of games? Innovative? Restrictive? Tell us in the comments!

According to some big name companies, such as Nintendo and Ubisoft, multi-screen gaming is the future of the industry. Nintendo has based their entire home console around the concept, and other companies have tried to emulate this through various means, most notable of which is Microsoft's SmartGlass. SmartGlass utilizes the screen on tablet computers and allows them to be used as controllers for the Xbox 360. This seems like it should work just as well as the Wii U in terms of a second screen experience, but that is not so, according to Rayman creator Michel Ancel.

In a discussion with ShackNews, Ancel discussed the multi-platform nature of the newest installment in the Rayman series, Rayman Legends. For those unaware, Rayman Legends was originally going to be a Wii U exclusive, but release was pushed back and the game became multi-platform. The game is set to include special features that utilize the Wii U's second screen, thus giving the Wii U version more features and potentially more content. This raises the question, though: couldn't those features be emulated through SmartGlass, thus allowing Xbox 360 owners access to these features? The answer is no. Find out what Ancel said about SmartGlass inside!