16th January 2010 - Welcome readers to the 25th instalment of All Age Gaming’s “The Week That Was.” Only one game released of note this week, with “Army of Two: The 40th Day” being released for the 360 and PS3. Worth a look for those that enjoyed the first one.
This week presented us with more news regarding the PS4, with Sony’s Senior VP of Product Development stating that it will use optical storage discs (like Blu-Ray) for blockbuster games. Rumours are beginning to circulate that the discs used for the PS4 will be a new format, with a massive capacity of 6 terabytes! Not only will the discs be able to fit all the necessary HD video, audio and any 3D imagery, it would also provide enough space for developers to add extra security measures and help the fight against piracy. Still rumours at this point, I wouldn’t expect any sort of PS4 announcement for at least a couple of years.
For those of you eagerly waiting for God of War III, the Ultimate Trilogy Edition has been officially announced and priced by EB Games. The limited edition compilation will include the God of War Collection (the first 2 games, remastered in HD), soundtrack, art book, documentary as well as a few postcards. The Ultimate Trilogy Edition won’t come cheap though, with a price tag of $248. Still no official release date yet, but the game has been given an MA15+ rating.
And for those of you eagerly waiting for Gran Turismo 5, prepare to wait a bit longer. Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that the Japanese release date is now TBA. The release date will be announced at a later date, and Sony have apologised for any trouble caused by the delay. Series creator Kazunori Yamauchi has told USA Today at the CES that the game is about 90% complete. Originally slated for a March release in Japan, it is yet to be announced whether or not this delay will affect the “Summer 2010” Western release (US Summer).
In the US, the online movie-rental service, Netflix, has been available for the 360 and PS3 for some time. It will soon be available for Wii owners too. The service will arrive in Spring this year with a minimum subscription cost of $9 a month. The service will operate similar to the PS3 version where users get a special “instant-streaming” disc mailed out to them by Netflix. This is a huge coup for Netflix, with the Nintendo Wii easily being the most popular console in the US.
Dedicated Wii owners out there (and when I say dedicated, I mean those that still actively buy games) are probably all too aware of the flood of mini-game/party compilations on the market. Capcom’s Chris Kramer has attributed this to the unbelievable success of party games when the Wii first launched, that they soon saturated the market. Well Target and Best Buy in the US are believed to be saying “no more!” as they have reportedly told publishers to not even bother approaching them with collections of mini games. I applaud the move and hope local retailers follow suit.
Despite poor sales of Madworld, Platinum Games may produce a sequel to this brutal game. Platinum Games’ Shigenori Nishikawa has said, “I think Madworld was very well received and was acknowledged for its innovative graphical style and gameplay. We would definitely be interested in making a sequel in the future.” Good news for fans of the game, but let’s hope by the time it’s produced, mature games are selling better on the Wii.
And Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has burst the bubble on the possibility of a Wii successor. In an interview with Bloomberg Business Week, Fils-Aime has said “We are confident the Wii home entertainment console has a very long life in front of it.” He suggested that no such announcement regarding a hardware upgrade would be made at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in March, and wouldn’t elaborate on the type of announcements that Nintendo would make at E3 even later in the year. Nintendo are betting on the upcoming Metroid Prime and Mario Galaxy games to reinvigorate sales.
A lot of focus has been placed on Sony, the PS3 and the future of gaming in 3D. Microsoft don’t want to be left out of the party with the Xbox Product Manager, Aaron Greenberg, claiming the Xbox 360 is “fully 3D capable.” Greenberg has told G4TV, “as consumer interest for 3D grows, we’ll grow with it... I think right now we’re unsure what level of interest there is from consumers to really want a 3D experience in the living room. Many, many years from now when it becomes a reality, we can absolutely support it.” Greenberg is unsure if the living room is the right environment for 3D gaming/movies, as there may be too many distractions to make it fully immersive.
Although rumoured for some time now, Xbox Live is officially heading for mobile phones. The service will be known as “Xbox LIVE Games” and appears to be available only on Windows-based mobiles. This exclusivity comes as a bit of a surprise considering how many mobile users will miss out on using the service, including the ridiculous amount of iPhone users out there.
There was more talk surrounding Project Natal this week, with Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg telling Kotaku at CES that we should expect “brand new original games” rather than re-worked existing games. Greenberg said, “because there’s nothing like it, developers are going to be making brand new content for us.” He also doesn’t expect Natal games to simply be ports of Wii games either as Natal is a different experience and Xbox LIVE is expected to feature heavily in it.
And Greenberg also spoke to Joystiq this week about Natal, telling them that he expected Natal to be in “millions” of homes this holiday period (i.e. over Christmas). That is a confident statement but certainly achievable considering the 39 million Xboxes worldwide. Greenberg also assures us that a hard drive is not required at this stage. Meanwhile Greenberg’s colleague, David Hufford expects Natal, as well as software upgrades to extend the life of the 360. Hufford mentioned at CES that, “the Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don’t even know if we’re at the midpoint yet.”
And now for this week’s other news in brief:
· It looks like Namco Bandai is developing a drumming game for the Wii.
· The awesome BioShock 2 marketing continues, this time with chess pieces and cryptic telegrams.
· Brisbane is getting a videogame themed and orientated bar in Brisbane, titled The Mana Bar.
· Here are the most popular Xbox Live titles from 2009.
· The game industry has not been faring well lately, with an estimated 11,500 people losing jobs since late 2008
· EA’s Jens Uwe Intat believes Natal and the Sony Wand will reach audiences left untouched by the Wii.
· Michael Pachter expects more price cuts for the PS3 and 360 by the end of the year.
· Ubisoft are planning a follow-up to Assassin’s Creed 2 featuring Ezio, and multiplayer!
· Nintendo has confirmed that Metroid: Other M will be coming out this year.
· How much money has Modern Warfare 2 made? How about, one billion dollars!
· The Nintendo Wii Balance Board could help prevent falls in the elderly.
· New Super Mario Bros. Wii may just be on track to beating Modern Warfare 2.
· First impressions have shown Final Fantasy XIII to perform just as well on the 360 as it does on the PS3.
· Splinter Cell: Conviction is getting delayed yet again, this time to add more polish.
· The original Xbox was planned to be Dreamcast compatible.
· Activision has confirmed the rumoured DJ Hero sequel.
· Some developers are a bit “iffy” about Project Natal.
And that’s a wrap. See you next week gamers.
Article Written by Phong Nguyen