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Here is what has been making news: New Releases, Xbox One Download Games, PS4 Update, Dead Rising 3, Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Playstation App, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, Insomniac Games Request, Super Mario, PS4 Broken?, Dungeon Defenders II, Sony’s TOS, Xbox One.
November 17th – November 23rd
Monday, November 18th
Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham will be available for the PC.
Farming Simulator 14 will be available for the iPhone and Android.
Tuesday, November 19th
Walking Dead Game of the Year will be available for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Need for Speed: Rivals will be available for the PS3 and PC.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will be available for the Xbox One and PC.
X Birth will be available for the PC.
Zumba Kids will be available for the Xbox 360 and Wii.
Bandfuse: Rock Legends will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3.
AquaPazza will be available for the PS3.
NBA Live 14 will be available for the PS4 and Xbox One.
EVE Online: Rubicon will be available for the PC and MAC.
Fighter Within will be available for the Xbox One.
South Park: The Stick of Truth will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Battlefield 4: Limited Edition will be available for the Xbox One.
Hello Kitty Kruisers With Sanrio Friends will be available for the Wii U.
FIFA 14 will be available for the Xbox One.
Madden NFL 25 will be available for the Xbox One.
NBA 2K14 will be available for the Xbox One.
The Amazing Spider-man will be available for the PS Vita.
Zumba Fitness World Party will be available for the Xbox One.
Young Justice: Legacy will be available for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! Collectors Edition will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS and Wii U.
Thursday, November 21st
Rugby League Live 2 World Cup Edition will be available (in UK) for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
One Piece: Unlimited World Red will be available for the 3DS.
Snowbound Land will be available for the PSP.
The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths will be available for the 3DS, Wii U, iPhone, and PC.
Friday, November 22nd
Angry Birds: Star Wars will be available for the Xbox One.
Need For Speed: Rivals will be available for the Xbox One.
LEGO: Marvel Superheros will be available for the Xbox One.
Zoo Tycoon will be available for the Xbox 360.
Mario Party Island Tour will be available for the 3DS.
Forza Motor Sports 5: Limited Edition Day One Version will be available for the Xbox One.
Ryse: Son of Rome will be available for the Xbox One.
Dead Rising 3 will be available for the Xbox One.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will be available for the 3DS.
Tearaway will be available for the PS Vita.
Super Mario 3D World will be available for the Wii U.
Crimson Dragon (Xbox Live) will be available for the Xbox One.
Call of Duty: Ghosts will be available for the Xbox One.
LocoCycle will be available for the Xbox One.
Power Star Golf will be available for the Xbox One.
Tank Operations: European Campaign will be available for the PC.
Girls Fashion Shoot will be available for the 3DS.
Peggle 2 will be available for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.
Killer Instinct will be available for the Xbox One.
Monster High 13 Wishes will be available (in UK) for the NDS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U.
Ratchet and Clank: Nexus will be available (in UK) for the PS3.
Will have full 1,000 gamerscore
Way back when the Xbox 360 and the PS3 first came out, downloadable games were usually small retro-type games. Since those days, we have come to view downloads as normal, even for the bigger retail releases. As the next generation of consoles jumps onto the market, Microsoft has finally eliminated the separation of downloaded game vs. retail game by making achievements for all the same.
For example, Halo Spartan Assault lists 1000 gamerscore on the Xbox One version, compared to 400 on the Xbox 360 version. Suggesting that downloadable games that have typically been restricted to a 400 point cap will now be equal to full retail versions on the next generation consoles.
Removing the achievement gap is a move toward removing any distinction between downloaded game and store bought game, as it should be. Microsoft had previously stated that they were going to remove the designation of certain games as Arcade and others as Games on Demand. According to Matt Booty, Game Studios general manager, “games are games” no matter if they hold an indie status or an AAA status.
We agree with this new view Microsoft has taken. Although I have to admit, I’m still a bit old fashioned. I like having the physical item in my hand. For example, I have the downloaded version of Minecraft for the Xbox 360. I keep tossing around the idea of buying the physical version of the game just so I have it in my collection. For some reason I just have difficulty trusting in the “virtual” versions of the my games as well as my music.
Download before release
Already there is a patch out for the PS4, one you will need to download now if you want to do anything other than play games on your new PS4. There are two ways you can get the 1.50 patch, directly from you PS4 console, or if you prefer to avoid the congestion of launch day servers, you can download it now onto a USB drive.
If you choose the USB drive you will need a 1GB flash drive. The standalone installer is itself 800MB. All you will need to do is follow the directions from the PlayStation Support site, then stick the USB drive into your PS4. From System Settings you can select “Update System Software.” You can install the update without even connecting your system online.
Mega Man X Costume is available
If you want the unlockable Mega Man X outfit, you will need to beat the game. But beating the game in Nightmare mode will also unlock the X-Buster. Mike Jones from Capcom explained, “It’s cool to be able to leverage other Capcom games as well as just putting stuff in the world whether it be vehicles or weapons. We’re huge Capcom fans ourselves and so it’s an opportunity to tip our caps to some of the games that we love and we’re also inspired by the Easter Eggs used in the previous Dead Rising games.”
You may recall that the Mega Man costume was available in the first Dead Rising game. Jones states that unlocking the Mega Man X outfit should be fairly easy, however, “Some of our QA testers think that Nightmare is possibly the most difficult Dead Rising yet.”
Using Street Pass
A new feature was recently debuted at Nintendo Direct which lets you challenge Shadow Link through StreetPass. Within the game Link can approach a character named Gramps who informs Link that a new Shadow Link, tagged with StreetPass, can be accessed. Link must then find Shadow Link in the world and is transported for one-on-one combat. If you defeat Shadow Link you will win some rupees, the reward increases as you defeat higher levels of Shadow Link. There is no penalty if you should lose the battle.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will release on November 22nd.
Out now for iOS
As they had promised, Sony recently launched the official PlayStation App for iOS and Android which lets you check out the PlayStation Network even when you are not near your console. You will have access to chatting, buying games, and hooking up with a PS4.
The app is free and available from the iTunes App Store or Google Play in the U.S.. The app will let PlayStation owners see just what their friends are up to, chat with them, dig around trophies, buy things in the PS Store, and get news updates from Sony. But the best part is that it supports the second-screen stuff and can be used as a keyboard for a PS4.
The PS Vita’s 3.00 update added the PlayStation App feature as well.
Coming early next year
On February 28th, 2014, the second trilogy of Layton games will come to a close with the release of Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy. The game has been available for nearly a year in Japan, and will be coming out sooner for European gamers. This means that North American gamers will be among the last to have the ability to solve the final set of brain teasers in the series.
Support future developer who lost her leg
Ana Kessel is a 20-year-old who enjoyed a summer internship with Insomniac Games. Recently she was seriously injured in a car accident which resulted in the need to have her leg amputated. Now the Ratchet and Clank developer is requesting that their fans visit Kessel’s support page.
On November 13th, Insomniac Games took to Twitter and posted: “Our NC intern this summer on R&C: Into the Nexus, Ana Kessel, was injured badly in a car accident. You can help here: http://www.gofundme.com/58oak4″
The funding goal is $150,000 with the hope to not only pay hospital bills but to get Kessel the best prosthetic leg possible. Currently donors have raised $40,847.00. Kessel, a recent college graduate, had ended her internship and as such has no medical health coverage Insomniac responded to a question on Twitter regarding interns and health insurance, “She was our intern only over the summer. So she’s on her own right now, hence the help we’re trying to rally.”
According to a North Carolina news article, Kessel was riding her scooter when a man struck her with his car a left the scene. He has since been picked up and charged with felony hit and run and driving without a valid license.
Kessel had recently graduated from Full Sail University and completed her internship working with Insomniac Games on Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus, which is a PS3 exclusive. Her goal is to continue her graphic arts work, stating, “Life is definitely going to be different, but I don’t’ think there will be anything that I won’t be able to do that I’m not already doing.”
Best of luck to you Ana, we know you will succeed in anything you choose to accomplish. Thanks to Insomniac Games for rallying for financial support to help make Ana’s future journey a little bit easier.
A new galaxy may be coming
Shigeru Miyamoto recently confirmed that the upcoming release of Super Mario 3D World isn’t the end of the Galaxy series. So a third entry in the Super Mario Galaxy series hasn’t been ruled out. Yoshiaki Koizumi of Nintendo’s Entertainment and Development in Tokyo agreed, saying, “When we first started making Super Mario 3D World, Miyamoto-san asked me if this was going to be more like Super Mario Galaxy or more like Super Mario 3D Land. When we made Super Mario 3D Land, we had our eyes on the form of this game, so we made it this way without any hesitation.”
Miyamoto added that “The same team can’t make both at the same time, and we can’t bring in a second party and slap the name Super Mario Galaxy on it. I suppose we could idealistically make both in Tokyo, but we want to do something new too, so there was that dilemma.”
Last month Miyamoto explained that Nintendo hadn’t set out to define the future of Mario games and that Nintendo won’t limit itself to games that are similar to Super Mario 3D World. “So for example, I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility of us creating more games in the vein of Super Mario Galaxy.”
Super Mario 3D World will launch on November 22 for the Wii U.
Sony speaks out on the problem
Some of the PS4 early access users have reported broken displays. One of the complaints reported that after downloading Netflix, the PS4 stopped outputting through the HDMI. The units are covered under Sony’s 12 month warranty and are being replaced. It isn’t unusual for early runs of console hardware to have some problems. Many of the problems can be fixed during testing, but the scale of possible problems when a console goes public is unpredictable.
According to a recent statement by a Sony representative, “A handful of people have reported issues with their PlayStation 4 systems. This is within our expectations for a new product introduction, and the vast majority of PS4 feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We are closely monitoring for additional reports, but we think these are isolated incidents and are on track for a great launch.” Sony went on to state that, “There have been several problems reported, which leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of systems. The number of affected systems represents less than .04% of shipped units to date, which is within our expectations for a new product introduction.”
Many of the reports came from the PS4 “Play the Future First” winners. Now many of those winners who were supposed to be able to play the PS4 before launch, won’t be receiving a working PS4 until after launch. In one known case the issue happened after downloading the 1.50 update, although it is not known if that actually caused the problem or if the problem existed prior to the update.
Hopefully, Sony will have this all worked out so those of us who have the PS4 already at home and out of its box will be able to enjoy the full glory of the next gen console. If you are experiencing problems, we encourage you to contact Sony support at 1-800-345-7669.
Raises money for charity
Trendy Entertainment, the Dungeon Defenders II developer, recently announced a unique way for fans to donate to a worthy cause. They recently opened access to its group that will direct the game’s development, called Defense Council, to the first 500 people who raise $30 or more in its Child’s Play fund drive. The Council seat participants have already raised over $16,000 for the charity, the remaining ten seats are up for bid on eBay, with the highest bid for one seat going for $182.
David Loyd, Trendy Entertainment’s studio director, stated, “We will be involving the whole community in Dungeon Defenders II’s development. Right now we’re taking our first steps toward that goal with the Defense Council.”
You don’t have any privacy, and you never did.
Now that the PS4 has launched, it’s doubtful that many of us will bother reading Sony’s TOS (terms of service). However, some folks have read it and are expressing concern over a section regarding Sony’s ability to “monitor and record” PSN communications, including voice char and video messages. However, this monitoring isn’t new to the PS4. Give a good look at the TOS for the PS3 and the PS Vita, they both detail Sony’s right to monitor our messages on PSN.
We really shouldn’t be shocked that a game company can do something like this. This is all the reality of 2013 when the governments, and companies, are able to do whatever they want in the name of security. Xbox One offers a similar, and rather eerie statement on its service: “You should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features (for example, voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions) offered through the Xbox Live/Games for Windows-Live service.”
On some level it is a bit irresponsible of Sony to be completely hands off when it comes to its service. The company does need to have the ability to ban problem gamers and investigate network security risks given it is offering online gaming. Some level of quality control is necessary if you’re going to invite millions of people onto your service.
The loss of my privacy isn’t something I enjoy, I hate the idea as much as anyone. The only way to opt out of the loss of privacy is to keep your consoles offline after you register. Still, if you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other similar social media service, your private life is public, you have very limited privacy. And under those services you actually have far less privacy than you do on PSN.
So, we accept the fact that this is part of modern life, a new standard of online privacy, or lack of privacy as the case may be. Fire up your current and next-gen consoles, keep in mind that you are likely being monitored, and keep your interactions within acceptable limits. And enjoy your game!!
Lack of compatibility planned
As you may know, Sony announced that they intend to use cloud gaming network Gaikai to stream PS3 titles to both the PS4 and the PS Vita starting next year. Microsoft, on the other hand, has no intention of offering this or any form of backwards compatibility for the Xbox One. This despite the fact that they have the capability of doing so. Last September Microsoft showed off Halo 4 comfortably running both on a PC and Windows Phone using Cloud technology. Yet, Albert Penello, senior director of product management and planning at Xbox, stated that it isn’t possible to provide a quality game streaming service to consumers. Really? What exactly is the problem?
It seems that the problem is that Penello is opting to play Microsoft’s cards close to his chest, a much safer move from the arrogant and bullish message delivered by Microsoft at the Xbox One’s announcement last May. Remember when the company lost a fair amount of their good standing with gamers and the press? Microsoft has been trying to play catch-up in the PR battle since its blunders during Xbox One’s announcement. In the mean time, Sony seems to be winning the PR battle with a strategy of doing whatever Microsoft isn’t doing.
So Penello offers a non-committal attitude toward the possibility of cloud game streaming, tempering expectations rather than making promises it may later need to reverse. In this way, Microsoft is able to keep the possibility of backwards compatibility as a goodwill-generating feature in its back pocket to be pulled out if things are starting to look back for the company again. This is evident in a further statement Penello made, “This is one of the things where the network just has to get better before we can do it. When that happens, you’re going to have a really interesting conversation around that, can I actually run Xbox One games that way as well. I’ll be really interested to see how our friends in the Bay Area [at PlayStation] deal with this problem. But I can tell you, it’s totally possible. We like it, we’re fans of the cloud. We’re not shy about that.”
Clearly Microsoft isn’t making a commitment to introducing backwards compatibility for the Xbox One. Yet, Penello’s statements appear to highlight the fact that Microsoft is trying to play a smarter game then they did at the Xbox One’s reveal. I hope this is the case at least. My gaming library is extensive. Backwards compatibility simply makes my investment in a new console a bit more comfortable. I’ve said it before and nothing Microsoft has said thus far has changed my mind, if I were to purchase a next-gen console today, it would be the PS4. Microsoft just hasn’t done enough to temper my original disappointment with them.