As of late most news in regards to Sony has been pretty good news, the PS4 is doing well, PlayStation Now is soon to become a reality and the Archival Disc format (more on that below) is on the way, however most is not all and today came the bad news as Sony confirmed Jack Tretton the company’s Computer Entertainment CEO will be stepping down this March 31th.
“Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career,” said Tretton. “Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I’m very excited about starting the next chapter of my career. I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation.”
Mr. Tretton’s position will be taken up by SEN executive Shawn Layden, a man who has been with Sony for some fifteen years, eight of those as director of international software development at SCE Worldwide Studios in London, as well as a short stint as president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan.
Betamax, VHS, LaserDisc, DVD, and HD DVD, all of these storage mediums where eventually made obsolete and the same fate now awaits the current king Blu-ray as Sony and Panasonic have confirmed that a new disc format will be heading your why next year. Dubbed Archival Disc the format will launch with a capacity of 300GB – six times more than a current generation Blu-Ray disk capacity of 50GB but over time Sony and Panasonic (this is a joint venture) hope to increase capacity more than 20 times at around 1024GB or a terabyte. What you’d actually do with such a tremendous amount of disk space I’ll leave up to your imaginations but remember, keep it clean.
Most Wii U owners are already well and truly geared up for the release of Mario Kart 8 however for all those still sitting on the fence in regards to whether or not they actually want to take Mario and co out for yet another spin (well all those in Europe anyway), Nintendo have decided to offer up a limited edition version of the game featuring a Blue Shell figurine in hopes of convincing you.
Whether or not this added piece of plastic, along with the additional £10 it’ll cost you over the standered edition convinces anyone not already convinced to splash out on Mario Kart 8 remains to be seen however the bundle is probably aimed more at the Nintendo faithful than anyone else, as is the deal which could see you save £5.49 on Mario Kart 8 if only you download Super Mario Kart (priced at £5.49) on the Virtual Console before June 30th and then purchase a digital copy of Mario Kart 8.
When it came to light last year that Rocksteady wouldn’t be developing Batman’s final PS3 and 360 outing Arkham Origins fans were right to worry that without the series creators at the helm Origins would failed to live up to the legacy of either Asylum or City. Despite Origins’ short comings yesterday saw Arkham fans erupt in excitement at the news that Rocksteady have one more Batman up their sleeves in the form of Batman Arkham Knight. Set for release later this year on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, Arkham Knight will conclude the Arkham series and see Batman taking on the likes of the Scarecrow, the Riddler, Two-Face and Harley Quinn to name but a few one last time. A much bigger Gotham and a Batmobile to race through it have also been promised by Rocksteady as has a new streamlined control option which will see batman sprint to the ledge nearest to him before diving straight down. It’s a safe bet we’ll be seeing plenty more of Arkham Knight over the coming months, until then however here’s the game debut trailer.
When OnLive launched a few years back the game streaming service did so on a wave of hype which quickly turned sour. Despite this misfortune OnLive aren’t quite yet ready to throw in the towel and plan to relaunch the service, this time with Steam as partners. So what has OnLive got to offer this time? Much the same as they did the last time to be honest, for £9.99 or $14.99 a month subscribers will be able to play a game on their home PC before continuing where they left off remotely on a range of devices, including those on which said game is not normally supported such as laptops, Macs, Android consoles, or even TVs with the OnLive Game System. Add to that the CloudLift service which allows users to link their existing Steam game library to their OnLive account and sharing cloud saves between the two and you’ve go a competent if uninspiring service, one which they have to build on if they hope to justify the monthly fee.
Message boards the world over are always filled with someone or another proclaiming loudly that Nintendo should (and might) drop out of the hardware business altogether and go third party, and while no amount of telling these people will ever convince them otherwise Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has once again reiterated Nintendo’s future is set in stone as a console manufacturer.
“We believe that we can capitalize the most on our strengths through a hardware-software integrated platform business, and therefore this type of dedicated video game platforms will remain our core focus.” Firmly stated Mr Iwata in a new message to investors published online, ending any and all hopes (for now at least) some may have held of MarioIOS. Mr Iwata did however go on to outline his own hopes that Nintendo can enter into an entirely new industry, along side that of gaming. One focused on Quality of Life products, whatever they might be.
“With a platform business that improves people’s QOL in enjoyable ways, we will attempt to establish a new business area apart from our dedicated video game business. We have set ‘health’ as the theme for our first step and we will try to use our strength as an entertainment company to create unique approaches that expand this business.”
The world of the free to play game or app can be one heck of a muddled one more often than not, and that largely comes down to the fact that the word “free” often only really applies to the initial download and very little more there after meaning. Should you want to make any real progress in your chosen game you’ll probably have to pay to unlock one thing or another. All that could be about to change shortly however as yesterday the European Commission revealed they had numerous concerns regarding the term “free to play”.
“Misleading consumers is clearly the wrong business model and also goes against the spirit of EU rules on consumer protection.” Said EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding before adding. “The European Commission will expect very concrete answers from the app industry to the concerns raised by citizens and national consumer organisations.”
Put simply, should the EU get their way the term “free to play” could soon be attached only to games and apps which are completely free, a welcome move I’m sure all those not raking in cash from extra Phoenix Downs, zombies busting plants or gems will agree.
Warner Bros. Interactive have finally unveiled the first story driven expansion for Batman Arkham Origins dubbed Cold, Cold Heart. Set for release in April Cold, Cold Heart will be an origin story of sorts surrounding, as if you couldn’t guess from the title, Mr. Freeze. This new open-world quest will see a number of as yet unseen gadgets added to the Arkham universe as well as a new XE suit designed for extreme conditions, however whether or not there is anything Warner Bros. Games Montréal can do or add to Arkham Origins to lure fans back after the still unfixed bugfest that is Batman’s current gen swansong remains to be seen.
It may have only been out for a few months yet but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft announcing a new XBox One bundle and surprise price cut which will see UK gamers offered a £30 reduction in the asking price of the XBox One bringing Microsoft’s console down to £399.99. While the UK alone has been treated to this price cut a new XBox One bundle ($499.99) featuring an XBox One (obviously) and Kinect sensor, standard wireless controller and chat headset, one month Xbox Live Gold membership and also a digital copy Titanfall will be made available globally from today. It remains to be seen whether or not either the price cut or this Titanfall bundle will really help Microsoft in clawing back the ground already lost to Sony and the Playstation 4.