14th February 2010 - Welcome gamers to the 29th “The Week That Was”, and a Happy Chinese New Year to you all. Hopefully it’s an especially fruitful year for all the tigers out there (not Woods). In game releases this week, the hits just keep on coming with a couple of huge titles arriving. We return to Rapture 10 years after the events of the original with Bioshock 2 gracing the 360 and PS3 this week (also on PC). PS3 owners also get a dose of super-sized multiplayer action (I’m talking up to 256 players big) with MAG.
CVG recently held an interview with EA Sports boss Peter Moore, and in part two of the interview revealed this week, he talked about the PS3’s motion controller. Moore believes “Arc” (if that’s what it will be called) will be a different experience to the Wii. EA are looking at what sort of sports games they can bring to it and how they can bring credibility and authenticity to the platform. From experience with the Wii, he believes the types of games that stand out are tennis and golf, so expect an “Arc” controlled tennis game and a new Tiger Woods game.
We’re all still eagerly awaiting Gran Turismo 5 to be released, and I’m sure Sony would want it to come out soon given the recent lifetime figures for the series. Polyphony Digital released a tally of lifetime sales figures for games in the series, and the series as a whole has reached 55 million sales worldwide. I’m sure a release of Gran Turismo 5 would push it well over 60 million if only they’d finish the game!
And the firmware update allowing 3D compatibility on the PS3 will be arriving later this year. The update will arrive this summer (our winter) at the same time as Sony’s new 3D Bravia LCD TVs, as well as a 3D compatible Blu-Ray player. Not much longer now!
In Wii news this week, an Australian man has been fined $1.5 million by Nintendo Australia for making illegal copies of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The game was released here before the rest of the world, and Queenslander James Burt uploaded a ripped copy over the Internet. Unfortunately one of the ramifications of this is that this may hurt future release dates for Australia i.e. we might not receive earlier release dates than the rest of the world.
Nintendo look set to make some big announcements later this month with Nintendo of America sending out official invites to its Q1 Media Summit Event on the 24th of February in San Francisco. A big announcement is expected for the event, or perhaps extra details on upcoming titles such as Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid: Other M or the next Zelda game. Watch this space.
And despite the “downturn” Nintendo were experiencing last year, a record-breaking December saw Nintendo bounce back. In fact, analysts believe they could have performed even better in the US had they not reduced Wii production heading into the holiday. Nintendo of America’s Charlie Scibetta has said that replenishing Wii inventories “will be a challenge”. I’m sure this is a challenge Nintendo are happy to have following average performances for the system for most of last year.
The king of over-hyping Peter Molyneux talked about Natal this week, believing it could potentially alter the way we play games forever. Molyneux even compares it to the humble mouse, which greatly altered the way we interact with PC’s. He said, “The mouse was the real revolution of the PC — not the Intel processor. And who’s to say Natal couldn’t end up creating something you and I can’t even imagine now. It forces us to approach technology in a completely different way. Before the mouse, we only had the keyboard.”
Recently the US military looked to purchase Xbox 360s to aid in training, but apparently Microsoft weren’t too keen on the idea. According to Roger Smith, the chief technology officer responsible for purchasing training equipment, Microsoft had three reasons for not obliging, which included the fact they wouldn’t make money off any game sales, that there may be a shortage of Xbox 360s and that they were worried it would taint the 360’s image.
And this week saw Microsoft’s X10 event mentioned in a previous “week that was”. There were various details revealed about the upcoming games in the 360 line-up. Crackdown 2 featured at the event, as well as Fable III where various gameplay details were revealed. Xbox Live Arcade also featured with news that Perfect Dark will be arriving on the XLA in March. But perhaps the most exciting news was the confirmed launch date for the heavily anticipated Alan Wake. The game will be released on May 18th in the US and on May 21st in Europe. You can check out the new trailer.
And now for the week's other news in brief:
· A Consumer Electronics Daily report is predicting up to 20 games will be released this year that will support stereoscopic 3D.
· Hopefully for EA, the release of Mass Effect 2 and these upcoming titles will turn things around for them.
· Some more details on the upcoming Sonic game. It will be coming to Xbox Live Arcade, the PSN, WiiWare and a fourth unannounced platform (my money’s on the iPhone).
· Ubisoft hope they can release major brand titles more frequently, starting with the recently announced Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. They believe they can do it without brand fatigue as well, something currently being experienced by Activision with the Guitar Hero games.
· Activision are looking to scale back the number of music games they release in 2010, which includes them not releasing any music games on the PS2.
· This won’t stop Activision churning out other franchises, with the company aiming to annualize their key franchises. They also hinted at subscription based games.
· The next Assassin’s Creed game in Ezio’s timeline will be set in Rome, and will include an assassination multiplayer mode.
· Final Fantasy XIII will be a presenting partner of the NBA All-Star Celebrity game.
· If you’ve seen gameplay for Heavy Rain, then you know that motion controls would fit in nicely. Quantic Dream think so too, but they may have something else in the pipeline.
· It looks like inFamous 2 is on its way, and it may even be out before the end of the year.
And that’s a wrap.
Article written by Phong Nguyen