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Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes may be too "risky" to ever see release. Designer Hideo Kojima explained in a roundtable interview session attended by Videogamer that the game's focus on mature and taboo themes may make it too controversial to sell, even if it does release.
"That's precisely what I want to try to tackle with Ground Zeroes. Honestly I'm going to be targeting a lot of taboos, a lot of mature themes that really are quite risky," Kojima said. "I'm not even sure if I'm going to be able to release the game, and even if I did release the game then maybe it wouldn't sell because it's too much. As a creator I want to take that risk."
Kojima said games have not matured much in the past 25 years--including Metal Gear Solid games--, saying "It's always about killing aliens and zombies." He said he thinks these games are fun, but claimed they have "a long way to go before they can mature."
Kojima does not seem too worried about hitting sales targets for Ground Zeroes. Ultimately, he said creativity trumps sales.
"I'm approaching the project as a creator and prioritizing creativity over sales," he said.
Microsoft appears to be paving the way to announce the long-rumored Xbox 720. The domain name XboxEvent.com was registered yesterday by U.S. Techs, an event management company that recently rebranded itself Eventcore.
NeoGAF forum users point out that U.S. Techs was also behind past Xbox-related domains and Microsoft's 2013 Hosting Summit. The XboxEvent website does not currently resolve to anything official.
A Microsoft representative told GameSpot, Microsoft often acquires various domain names as part of its ongoing business strategy, but beyond that we have no comment.
This news comes during the same week that competitor Sony
Microsoft has yet to talk publicly about its next-generation plans, but past reports suggested the device
Ubisoft wants to improve its relationship with PC gamers. Uplay director Stephanie Perotti told MCV that the company's
Announcing all these partners for Uplay and a wider choice of PC games, it shows our commitment to PC, and we want to improve our relationship with the PC community, Perotti said. We are always seeking to improve. We took a lot of that feedback on board. With every game on PC we are improving."
Ubisoft caught flak from PC games in the past over its always-on digital rights management (DRM) systems. This practice has
Earlier this week, Ubisoft signed agreements with more than 15 companies to make their games available through the Uplay platform. These include Electronic Arts, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Telltale Games, and Bohemia Interactive, among others.
Gamers worried that PlayStation 4 games will see a price hike like last generation can relax. SCEA CEO Jack Tretton told CNBC that that the plan is for PlayStation 4 titles to max out at $60, the same cost ceiling as existing PlayStation 3 games.
"I think people are willing to pay if they see value there and I think there's more choice than ever before for consumers. We're going to welcome free-to-play models; games from 99 cents up to those $60 games," Tretton said. "But if you really see where the heat is for the true gamer on the console it's still that big-form experience that typically runs upwards of $50 million to develop and will justify that $60 price point and will give people hours and hours of gameplay on a daily basis for months and years to come."
Tretton also fielded a question about whether or not the rise of smartphone and tablet games will cut into the PS4 market. The executive described these titles are "additive experiences," noting that in the end, big-budget, blockbuster games are here to stay.
"I think those are additive experiences," Tretton said. "They demystify gaming; they bring people in with a bite-sized gaming experience. But ultimately, I think people migrate up the food chain. Conversely, if you're somebody who considers themself a true gamer and wants to play the most powerful devices and the most deep and rich gaming experiences, you're not going to find yourself migrating down the food chain other than to maybe kill some time or to complement that core gaming experience."
The PS4 is
The Lord of the Rings and Left 4 Dead franchises have come together in an official way. Valve announced this week that the popular user-created Helm's Deep Reborn map has been added to the official Left 4 Dead 2 servers.
Players can visit the mod's workshop page and click "subscribe" to download and install the campaign.
Helm's Deep Reborn puts players into the boots of defenders of Rohan fortress Helm's Deep from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Hordes of undead attack players, and they must push the zombies back to defend the stronghold until Gandalf's arrival.
Valve also announced it is continuing to work on the Extended Mutation System in the Left 4 Dead 2 beta, allowing modders to tinker with new gameplay ideas. An example provided was a mod that allows gamers to play Left 4 Dead 1 inside of Left 4 Dead 2. Valve said it is working with content creators to add new features before the tool is released in full.
Industry veteran and id Software designer John Carmack has only kind things to say about the just-announced PlayStation 4. Writing on Twitter, Carmack said he is pleased with the specifications for Sony's next-generation platform.
"I cant speak freely about PS4, but now that some specs have been made public, I can say that Sony made wise engineering choices," he said.
Carmack's commented last year on next-generation platforms, saying he was "
"Sony and Microsoft are going to fight over gigaflops and teraflops and GPUs and all this," he said at the time. "In the end, it won't make that much difference."
Sony officially announced the PS4 this week at a New York City event. The system will be available
id Software last year
Bohemia Interactive has announced that Arma III will be a Steam exclusive. Explaining the decision, studio CEO Marek paněl acknowledged some gamers may be irked at the decision, but said ultimately it was the right choice for the game to only be available on Steam.
We realize that some people may find it difficult to migrate to a new platform, especially if they were used to purchasing and playing our games without any external third-party application," he said. "We have evaluated the pros and cons, but in the end Steam enables us to release Arma III, brings massive advantages to the game, and improves the end-user experience. Not to forget, the majority of our players already come from Steam.
In a detailed blog post titled "Full Steam Ahead," Bohemia explained that if Arma III was not a Steam-exclusive, it would be difficult to ship the game this year.
"It is important not to forget the bottom-line as set out above: we honestly believe that we would not be able to deliver Arma III in 2013 without this decision," the company said.
Boxed copies of Arma III will be available in most regions, Bohemia said, noting this could take the form of a Steam Code in a retail package or a DVD. Arma III was originally targeted to launch in 2012, but was
Square Enix today announced minimum and recommended system specifications for the PC version of
Tomb Raider. The PC version includes a range of "optimizations" including increased detail tessellation, post-filter effects, and Steamworks integration.
Tomb Raider for PC was a collaborative effort between Square Enix and Nixxes, the Dutch developer that also worked on
Tomb Raider is due out for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC March 5. It is the first entry in the long-running franchise to feature a
Tomb Raider's main character--Lara Croft--is voiced by
Minimum system requirements for PC
Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista,7,8 (32bit/64bit)
DirectX 9 graphics card with 512Mb Video RAM:
AMD Radeon HD 2600 XT
Dual core CPU:
AMD Athlon64 X2 2.1 Ghz (4050+)
Intel Core2 Duo 1.86 Ghz (E6300)
1GB Memory (2GB on Vista)
Recommended system requirements for PC
Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB Video RAM:
AMD Radeon HD 4870
nVidia GTX 480
Quad core CPU:
AMD Phenom II X2 565
Intel Core i5-750
DualShock 3 controllers will not work with the PlayStation 4, though current-generation PlayStation Move controllers will. Sony president of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida confirmed the news this week during a roundtable session in New York City attended by GameSpot.
"No, [the PS4] doesn't support DualShock 3," Yoshida said. "But it does support PS Move."
During the PS4 announcement presentation this week, Sony-owned developer Media Molecule showed off a technology demo where players used a PS Move controller to sculpt 3D objects.
As for the
Yoshida's discussion touched on numerous other topics, including The Last Guardian, why Sony did not show off the PS4 hardware itself, and used games.
Sony's PlayStation 4 will
"I'd like to see maybe two models, one under $300 and one under $400 would be ideal. $299 is the magic price point," Pidgeon said. "I think this current generation took way too long to get there. It has to be under $400 and honestly if they could subsidize it further and take more of a hit, it might be worth their while in the long run."
A report from earlier this week suggested the
Pidgeon added that he believes both the PS4 and Xbox 720 will see slower initial sales during the first year due to the way in which consumers now take in entertainment from a host of sources. This means, according to Pidgeon, that Sony and Microsoft will continue to look to current-generation systems as viable platforms.
"Uptake during the first year is going to be slower than people expect," he said. "And to keep a viable business in terms of profit margins, they're going to have to do their best to keep their current-gen platforms viable as they're perhaps moving into next-gen more slowly than they did last time. Historically, we've seen generational transitions where the previous generation just dropped off a cliff when the new console came out, but that would really hurt either Sony or Microsoft if that happened."
Reports vary on when Microsoft may announce the Xbox 720. Some say the company will reveal the platform in
[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, The Verge also reports that Microsoft will hold a press event in April to announce the Xbox 720.
The original story follows below
Unspecified developers and "industry professionals" have informed CVG that Microsoft will announce the Xbox 720 at a one-off event in April. This is later than the
In addition, a "senior Sony official" who asked to remain anonymous told the site that the PlayStation 4 unveiling this week "at first caught Microsoft off-guard." This person added that, "We definitely ruffled some feathers."
Microsoft spokesperson Larry Hryb--aka Major Nelson--
The PS4 is officially
Killzone: Shadow Fall will be a PlayStation 4 launch title, developer Guerrilla Games has confirmed through the PlayStation Blog.
"It has been an amazing journey for us so far, being offered the opportunity to be a launch title for the new PlayStation, and the subsequent mild panic to figure out how to best handle all of that," wrote Guerrilla Games senior producer Steven Ter Heide.
Shadow Fall saw its
Another confirmed PS4 launch title is
Red 5 Studio has announced that it will be hosting another round of public beta testing for its upcoming shooter Firefall.
The developer said on its official website that the next beta weekend will start from February 22 at 12pm PST and will end on February 25 at midnight PST. Players can now stream their play sessions via the integrated Twitch broadcasting system in-game.
2K Games has revealed that Irrational is already working on downloadable content for the upcoming title BioShock Infinite.
According to the publisher, Irrational will produce three add-on packs for the first-person shooter, which will provide hours of additional gameplay and include new stories, characters, abilities, and weapons.
2K also announced details concerning the BioShock Infinite Season Pass, which will be available at launch on March 26 and will cost $19.99 on the PlayStation Network and PC, and 1,600 Microsoft points on Xbox Live. It will include all three add-on packs and can be preordered through www.preordernow.com or at participating retailers.
According to 2K, those who purchase the BioShock Infinite Season Pass will also receive the Early Bird Special Pack, which contains exclusive gear, including a machine gun damage upgrade, a pistol damage upgrade, a gold skin for both weapons, and five infusion bottles that let players increase their health, shield durability, or ability to use vigors.
Those who preorder BioShock Infinite will also receive the Industrial Revolution Pack, which grants exclusive access to three in-game gear items that boost combat abilities, $500 bonus in-game currency, five lock picks, and the Industrial Revolution puzzle game, which unlocks stories of Columbia and allows players to pledge their allegiance to the Vox Populi or Founders through Facebook.
BioShock Infinite was
Analysts have suggested that the game would be a significant financial boon for publisher 2K, saying the game could
Longtime game designer and musician Kenji Eno, known for his work on the D survival horror and Real Sound franchises, died Wednesday. A statement released on the From Yellow to Orange website from CEO Katsutoshi Eguchi explains Eno died of heart failure. He was 42.
"It is with great sadness that I inform you that Mr. Kenji Eno passed away last night (February 20, 2013) of heart failure," Eguchi wrote.
"Mr. Eno was a musician and video game designer based in Japan. He is best known for his cult survival horror series, the D games and his audio game series, Real Sound."
Eno's latest work was the WiiWare game You, Me, and the Cubes.
Electronic Arts today confirmed it had enacted a round of layoffs at its Los Angeles and Montreal offices, a well as "some smaller locations." In a blog post titled "Transition Is Our Friend," EA Labels president Frank Gibeau explained that the cuts are a result of the ongoing console transition.
"EA's leadership on these high-growth platforms allows us to retain and attract the industry's best talent. Thousands of our existing employees have been retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives. But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance," Gibeau said. "This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations. These are good people and we have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job."
EA's Los Angeles campus is home to BioWare Victory and Danger Close Games, the latter of which developed Medal of Honor: Warfighter. As for Montreal, EA has teams in the region working on Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel (Visceral Montreal) and mobile games (EA Montreal). It is not clear which teams were impacted or if development on any projects has been impacted as a result of the layoffs.
Gibeau described console transitions as "complex" and "challenging," but said he's not worried about EA's prospects. "We have never been more ready or more excited about what comes next," he said.
Last night, Sony
Less than a month after Ziff Davis parent company J2 Global
"We are focusing on our two flagship brands, IGN and AskMen," the company said. "Unfortunately, as a result, we have made the decision to close sites and restructure our teams accordingly."
Terms of J2 Global's acquisition of IGN this month were not specified, though a
BioWare has announced the final batch of single-player DLC for
Citadel promises to bring fan-favourite characters along for "one final, sentimental journey" in Commander Shepard's trilogy, including Miranda, Garrus, and Wrex.
The file size of the content is so big that Xbox 360 owners will be required to download it in two chunks, having to pay 1,200MSP for the first part and then getting the second for free. Citadel will not function on the Xbox 360 without the first pack.
PC and PS3 users will get all of Citadel in one download. The pack will be released on March 5 for $14.99/1,200MSP.
"When a sinister conspiracy targets Commander Shepard," wrote BioWare community manager Chris Priestly on BioWare's forums, "you and your team must uncover the truth, through battles and intrigue that range from the glamour of the Citadels Wards to the top-secret Council Archives. Uncover the truth and fight alongside your squad--as well as the cast from the original Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2."
In addition to Garrus, Miranda, and Wrex, BioWare has teased a return for Liara, James, and Kaidan in the pack's screenshots.
After players have finished the main chunk of content, Citadel will contain an additional hub to explore, promising both minigames and additional story content.
"When the adventure is over, reconnect with your favorite characters from the Mass Effect Trilogy, try your luck at the Citadel's Silver Coast Casino, blow off steam in the Armax Combat Arena, or explore and furnish Shepard's own living quarters on the Citadel. With unique content and cinematics featuring your friends and romance interests in the Mass Effect trilogy, Mass Effect 3: Citadel offers one final chance to see the characters you have known for years and rekindle romances."
"The team has poured heart and soul into Mass Effect 3: Reckoning and Mass Effect 3: Citadel. As the launch of these chapters near, the feeling around the studio is bittersweet," said executive producer Casey Hudson.
Alongside Citadel, BioWare formally announced the previously rumoured Reckoning multiplayer pack, which will be released for free on February 26.
"Newfound allies join the multiplayer war for survival in Mass Effect 3: Reckoning," said Priestly. "The Geth Juggernaut, Female Turian Raptor, Talon Mercenary, Alliance Infiltration Unit, and more take up arms to stop the Reaper threat. Smash your enemies with the Biotic Hammer as you lay waste to the battlefield as the Krogan Warlord."
"Wield 7 new weapons for multiplayer, including the Geth Spitfire Assault Rifle, Venom Shotgun, Lancer Assault Rifle, and amplify your arsenal with new equipment and weapon mods featuring the Geth Scanner and Assault Rifle Ultralight materials."
BioWare is now
The PlayStation 4 won't be able to play any of the PlayStation 3's PSN games, Sony has revealed.
This means gamers' current downloaded collections, which may include titles like
Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida confirmed the news to Engadget after the PlayStation 4 was officially unveiled last night. It's because the PlayStation 4's new x86 architecture is radically different from the PlayStation 3's Power PC innards, according to Engadget's report.
Yoshida added that Sony was looking to make the current-generation PSN titles playable "in some form" in the future, with Engadget saying the PlayStation 4 will be able to emulate some current PSN titles--but only ones that don't "guzzle the latest console's power in emulation."
For more information on the PlayStation 4,
NEW YORK CITY--Notably absent from Sony's PlayStation 4 announcement last night was the hardware itself. During a roundtable discussion today, Sony president of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida apologized to gamers for not showing the device itself.
"I'm sorry we did not show the hardware," Yoshida said. "But we have plans from now--in February--through the year for the launch. We like to disclose things based on what we think we really want to communicate first. And next time we will talk about these things."
If Sony had shown off a PS4 unit last night, it would not have been representative of the final design. Yoshida was asked, "Is the final hardware finished?" To which he bluntly responded, "No, it's not."← Find out everything we know about the PS4.