It’s time for the Rundown!
Xbox One Reveal Causes Outrage
This week’s Xbox One reveal was met with resounding apathy due to their overwhelming focus on sports and TV, with only 3 games shown (two of which was multi-platform aside from exclusive modes or timed-exclusive DLC, and none of which showed gameplay). That is, until information surfaced regarding their DRM and used game policy.
Consoles must connect to the internet once every 24 hours or games will not run. All game discs use a mandatory install, after which the disc is not necessary, but used games have a fee before you can use them, as the discs themselves are tied to your account. Word is that select retailers will be able to stock used games, but will have to charge a rather large amount compared to usual to the consumer, Microsoft and the publisher get a cut of the used game’s sale, with the retailer who sold the used game only taking 10%.
Furthermore, the new Kinect, which will be mandatory for the console to start up, will always be in a low power state, and will thus never truly be off unless unplugged. The system is also not backwards-compatible with the 360, even the digital titles. In addition, the system, despite apparently having developers from around the world working on games for it, will only be available in the US initially – they even locked out several journalists from Japan. Unlike Sony and Nintendo, however, indies are not welcome.
Specs-wise, we have the exact same stuff as the PS4, except that Sony is using GDDR5 RAM and Microsoft is using DDR3. We also know that 3 of the 5 GB of ram on Microsoft’s console will be for stuff other than running games. Interestingly, they even use a Blu-Ray drive, which means they’re paying licensing fees to Sony.
Following this, both Nintendo and Sony saw an increase in their stock, and the Wii U received a temporary bump in sales on Amazon in the UK, though whether or not this causes a big difference will have to wait for this month’s sales numbers. In addition, gamers worldwide are overwhelmingly against the device, though the mainstream media is eating it all up.
It should be no surprise to anyone that I don’t like this one bit. I will not be purchasing the system, of course, even if the 15 exclusives they’ve announced for their first year wow me at E3 (which isn’t too likely). That said, I will not bury this system until I see their E3 offerings and compare them to Sony and Nintendo.
Basic Mobile Unity Licenses Now Free
Unity has announced that their engine’s basic mobile licenses have now dropped in price from $400 to free. They’re also offering a subscription model for all Unity Pro licenses for a limited time.
While both of these are notable news (though the subscription is, honestly, a poor deal), the mobile licenses are the bigger news here. Now anyone can put their games out on Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, etc, while Mac users can do all of those plus iOS (which cannot be developer for unless you do so on a Mac). This opens the shovelware floodgates to a market that’s already stuffed to the brim with shovelware.
Any effects this will have on the market are speculative at best at the moment, but this could easily turn out to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and nobody wants that.
Some Other Stuff
- A BlazBlue anime named BlazBlue Alter Memory has been announced for Fall. It will adapt the first game, Calamity Trigger. Bang is suspiciously absent from the revealed cast list.
- EA has announced that they will still be developing some titles for the Wii U, just not as many as they have waiting for the PS4 and the XBO.
- Aksys is on record saying they have two new games to reveal at E3. These are likely localizations of the new BlazBlue and Guilty Gear titles.
- The Kickstarter for The Tale of ALLTYNEX has closed at 292% of their initial goal, but failed to reach more than its first stretch goal.
- Sword Art Online will be airing on Toonami in August. Also, Aniplex has revealed the pricing for its physical releases. The Blu-Ray prices are as expected, with the DVD prices being far more reasonable.
- Nintendo is advertising their new Wii U game Game & Wario with a jab at crowdfunding named “crowdfarter”.
- Ubisoft is on record stating that they have faith in Nintendo, even during the Wii U’s current struggles.
- FUNimation has announced that the first half of their dub of The Future Diary will be released on August 13th. Sentai Filmworks has announced dub plans for several titles, including Campione! and AKB0048, which will both be released in September. Both companies have apparently been working to get titles that would have been released by Bandai before they closed their American anime arm.
- Popular indie game Strike Suit Zero has added modding support via Steam Workshop. There was a short sale to coincide with this.
- Sony has revealed a new game that will be titled Freedom Wars. It appears to take place in a really, really crappy world, if the trailer is any indication.
- An interview with a Spanish magazine has revealed that Fire Emblem: Awakening would have been the final game in the series had it not sold at least 250,000 copies. This is what caused most of the game’s design decisions, such as Casual Mode and making it a compilation of some of the most popular mechanics and systems in the series.
- A Japanese crowdfunding site for anime has launched, named Anipipo.
- Atari will soon be auctioning off its assets, THQ-style.
- Capcom has made another statement regarding Ace Attorney Investigations 2. They will apparently look into localizing it depending on whether or not the executives are swayed by the sales of the new game, Dual Destinies. Meanwhile, the iOS ports will be released on the 30th in English.
- Sony is considering splitting off part of its entertainment division, of which it will keep 80% ownership, in order to raise funds.
- A fan asked one of the main developers of Pokémon Conquest on Twitter about the possibility of a sequel. The response was along the lines of that it will happen if the game sells well, since there are many leftover ideas that were not used due to development dragging on too long.
- Bombcats has bombed, despite being free to play, further cementing that you cannot make money off of a free-to-play model very easily without being a manipulative bastard.