The summer lull is coming to an end and August is seeing several high profile titles release, from Pikmin 3 this weekend to the upcoming Splinter Cell Blacklist and Saints Row 4. It’s time to play catch-up on a few key news items before heading into the end of summer. This week’s wrap up covers Capcom’s PS4 game, Ouya sales, Train Simulator 2014, Wii U indie games, Forza 5 AI, the future of Total Annihilation, The Last of Us ending and DLC and a fan-requested Super Smash Bros. playable character.
Read on for the details and more stories.
A Tease ‘Deep Down’
First unveiled during Sony’s PlayStation 4 presentation at E3 2013, Deep Down is Capcom’s upcoming dark fantasy game. The above teaser released last week, not revealing too much. Deep Down is the flagship game for Capcom’s new Panta Rhei and from the teaser, we know it’ll be online. At this point, the game is only announced for PS4.
If you haven’t seen our Ouya review, we concluded that the system was a neat, affordable, development-friendly box that lacked software, games and an online infrastructure (no friends lists, chat, achievements, etc.). It’s available but not complete, designed to be an evolving platform. Problem is, it’s not making much money for devs. According to Ouya’s CEO Julie Uhrman, the biggest selling game on the Ouya is TowerFall and it brought in approximately $21,000 by the end of July. The good news is that it’s incredibly easy (and cheap) for devs to port over games to the console. The bad news is that it’s going to be hard to get exclusives when so far only 27% of system owners have spent any money on software. Did we mention it’s got a competitor coming later this year from Mad Catz?
Train Simulator 2014
RailSimulator.com (the website domain and developer name) has announced Train Simulator 2014‘s release date for September 26 on PC. Trains can go faster, there are more of them and players can craft their own routes via Steam Workshop, all boosted by improved graphics. If you already own a previous version of the game, you get TS2014 for free.
Wii U Games
After years and years of waiting, Pikmin 3 is finally out and it’s really good. It’s also one of the only Nintendo Wii Ugames of note to release since the platform debuted last year. Where are the games?! Business Development Manager, Dan Adelman, woke with Joystiq about game development on Nintendo’s struggling platform and his role is to find developments. He expects 20-30 indie games to release on Wii U by the holidays. Is that enough to justify buying the console at this point?
Forza 5 AI
Among Microsoft’s many ways of creating negative buzz for the Xbox One before reversing their stance on online policies was regarding the Xbox Cloud. In theory, cloud computing allows for bigger and better Xbox One games by sharing the computational load with Microsoft servers over the network. The downside is that these games require a constant internet connection. One of Microsoft’s core first-party franchises leading the charge for the Cloud is Forza Motorsport 5. Turn 10 Studios creative director Dan Greenawalt told OXM that thanks to the cloud
“So we can now make our AI instead of just being 20%, 10% of the box’s capability, we can make it 600% of the box’s capability. Put it in the cloud and free up that 10% or 20% to make the graphics better – on a box that’s already more powerful than we worked on before.”
Think of how the online worlds of Destiny and The Division can benefit, let alone the plethora of MMOs and free-to-play online titles coming to next-gen platforms.
PS Vita Sales
During Sony’s Q1 2013 Earnings Call last week, Citigroup Securities directly asked about the money spent on PlayStation hardware and software R&D to which Sony could not answer, explaining that the PS2 is no more, PSP is declining and the Vita is “not performing that well.” Will the PS4 help boost Vita sales? The Vita can be used as a PS4 controller input but it depends on the developer and title.
Ever play the epic strategy game Total Annihilation back in the late ’90s? Uber Entertainment funded a spiritual successor of sorts called Planetary Annihilation and it raised over $2.2 million on a target of $900,000 via Kickstarter, proving that the RTS genre is still alive. As for the actual license, Total Annihilation, along with Master of Orion, were acquired by Wargaming – the juggernaut developer behind World of Tanks – during Atari’s IP auction. Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi:
“Total Annihilation and Master of Orion are strategy game classics. Although it’s too soon to disclose any details, we are more than willing to give a new lease of life to these games most of us grew up playing. It’s exactly where our major focus will be.”
Will Wargaming build a Tanks/Warships/Warplanes free-to-play game built with the Total Annihilation units?
The Last of Us Ending
The best selling exclusive game on PS3, and one of the highest rated on the platform ever, had an ending some some people loved, that some people didn’t. For developer Naughty Dog, it wasn’t easy for the team to decide on what to do. Creative Director Neil Druckmann:
“It just wasn’t honest to the world or the characters we created. This ending felt right for us… [Naughty Dog had] about three or four ideas before finding the ending that worked best for the story we wanted to tell.”
The ending, even after being fleshed out from its original idea, didn’t “sit well” with some of the team. There were other alternative endings for The Last of Us and the team willl unveil those at PAX Prime at the end of the month.
The Last of Us DLC
“News is on the way about the first DLC drop. Should hear about it this month.”
They are working on single-player DLC but have two multiplayer DLC packs coming too. Characters from the main campaign will return but they don’t quite know yet if it’ll continue off from where the end of The Last of Us leaves the characters.
Reggie In Next Super Smash Bros?
Another Wii U game that’s taking way too long to come out, Super Smash Bros. had a small presence at E3 2013 where a few new playable characters were announced, including Mega Man and the Wii Fit Trainer. Now, fans want Nintendo of America COO Reggie Fils-Aime in the game too and have started a petition. You can sign it here and join the other 28,000+ current supporters (at the time of this writing).
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