In this roundup we celebrate Xbox’s 10th birthday, wonder if Sonic Team is going to mess up another 3D Sonic game, find out how The Old Republic is making that chedda, hear Sony brag about their fantastic Vita sales, hear Sony deprecate over their lousy Move sales, and listen to Molyneux say the funniest stuff ever.
Let’s round it up!
Video Game News
1. Sonic Team Wants To Do “something new” For Sonic 3D In Next Gen
Sonic over its past 20 years has evolved a lot. In that, there are two distinct, different play styles. There’s the 2D side-scrolling platform action Sonic, and the forward view 3D action platform action Sonic. With the Sonic 4 series we’ve created that side-scrolling 2D platform action. But I’m also interested in the challenge of doing something completely new with the 3D Sonic’s forward view platform action, and bring something new to the table with that as well.
Oh my, it’s hard not to feel like this has been heard before. Sonic’s foray into 3D has been a rocky journey at best. While the Sonic Adventure games garnered positive receptions, just about everything that followed did not. Sonic fans should keep their fingers crossed for whatever is coming down the pipe… toes too, just to be sure.
2. Microsoft 10th Anniversary Xbox Timeline
To celebrate its 10th birthday, Xbox is treating fans to an interactive timeline that tracks a decade of Xbox, configured to start when a user first adopted the brand. Everything from the original Xbox’s announcement at GDC 2000 to the present – ah, memories. Gamers can join in the celebration by talking about their favorite Xbox moments with the #Xboxis10 hashtag or simply be wowed by the tally of every gamerscore from around the world. Hope you like the color green.
3. The Old Republic Has 1.7 million Paying Subscribers
Not only has BioWare‘s Star Wars: The Old Republic reached nearly 1.7 million subscribers, but they’re banking on having an even 2 million by the end of June this year. This comes from PC Gamer who reported that EA CEO John Riccitiello announced the figures at a recent investor conference. Considering The Old Republic was estimated to cost somewhere between $150 million and $200 million, making it the most expensive game ever, this is good news for EA and BioWare who would have taken a serious hit if the game hadn’t taken off. Even if subscribers only paid for one month of service that, plus the cost of the game, has brought in around $108 million alone, if the figures are correct – but let’s be honest, no one is only playing the game for one month. MMO’s are crazy addicting. That’s how they get you.
4. Sony Says Vita Sales Are Exceptional
After months of anticipation, the US launch of PlayStation Vita saw overwhelming enthusiasm amongst gamers, resulting in exceptional hardware, software and peripheral sales. Customer satisfaction rates are very high and momentum will continue as gamers get their hands on a deep line-up of blockbuster titles that take advantage of PS Vita’s unique features, including cross-platform play with the PlayStation 3.
Sony has reported over 1.2 million units of the handheld have been sold globally since December. It would be safe to call that a success.
5. Just Cause Developer Revealing New Game IP At E3
In an interview with IGN, Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg confirmed the announcement of a new game at this year’s E3, but assured fans it would not be from the Just Cause or Renegade Ops series – though it will run on the Just Cause 2 engine and is a licensed game, but not one based on a movie.
We aren’t particularly interested in movie-based games. I think the whole industry destroyed that. So much money’s been pumped into those crappy games, it’s amazing. It’s really scary when you look at how bad they are.
It’s safe to say everyone can agree with that. The only thing that Sundberg was totally clear on was that it would be an open-world experience, so it looks like fans of the studio’s work will just have to wait until E3 to see what they’re cooking up.
6. Molyneux Bored To Death With Controllers
In one of the more colorful quotes from the eccentric Peter Monyneux, former Lionhead boss, he stated his frustration with controllers during an interview with Digital Spy at the recent Xbox Spring Showcase.
I’m going to get totally over the top here, and this is the stuff that gets me in trouble. I’m just bored to death with f****** controllers. I am! [A controller] is about as experimental as a brick these days. Because you know what it is, whatever game you do, you pick up this controller and you do the same. Your thumb moves here, you can’t move your thumb like this, you can only move it like this. You finger goes here, you pull the trigger, and you expect an arrow to be fired, a shot to be fired from a gun, whatever it is, and you use this finger occasionally. That’s it. That’s it. And this is the whole of your experience, the entirety. 100% of your experience in this game is what you do with this thumb and this finger. That sounds rubbish.
Always funny, whether he knows it or not, he went on to compare controllers to the UK teen soap Hollyoaks. “There’s got to be more, man. There’s got to be more than that. This is like the Hollyoaks of gaming. I mean, it is. Okay, you can sit and watch Hollyoaks from ’til the cows come home and you can feel your life draining away from you. I just want people to approach a gaming experience and think, ‘What if I do this?’” Don’t try to think about that sentence for more than 5 seconds or blood will come out your ears. Thankfully, Mr. Molyneux is going to continue his work with games at 22 Cans, so there will be plenty more kookiness where this came from. We pray that a reality show starring the lovable weirdo will be in development soon.
7. Tribes: Ascend Release Date
Those following Tribes: Ascend will be happy to hear a release date has been confirmed for April 12, 2012. In other good news, the 400,000 players in beta will be able to carry over their progress when the game is released. Those still wanting to enter the beta can do so here without the need for a beta key – bonus!
8. Sony UK boss: Move Could Have Been Better
Most would agree with Sony UK boss Fergal Gara’s thoughts on the PlayStation Move. In an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine UK, he admitted that:
What I’m thinking is that it’s better suited towards the casual market, certainly, but we also are pretty clear that we could have done a better job on the titles we’ve had and we’ve brought to market for the PlayStation Move. As you’ve said, great tech, probably not so great applications so far. So there’s a job for us to do on the strength of games, and having seen what’s forthcoming gives me great hope that we can do a better job with Move as we look forward. So we’re certainly not forgetting about it.
He also added that the Move is still being worked on, but whether that means the tech is being tweaked or whether there will be a stronger push to the mainstream and away for the casual market is unclear. Since the Kinect is clearly leading the peripheral game war, with a much better reception, PlayStation needs to get a move (sorry) on things if they want to truly innovate the way we play.
9. No More Sonic 4 Episodes After Episode 2
Another facepalm moment from Sonic Team – announcing that there probably won’t be anymore Episodes for Sonic 4, following the second episode to be released later this year. Producer Takashi Iizuka told Digital Spy, “We are looking forward to hearing the feedback from the users for Episode 2, but we are currently not planning to release another episode. We just want to see how the users accept this episode.“
Sonic’s legacy since his early days have been a mixed bag, but nostalgia keeps most coming back regardless of the wacky concepts the team continues to through at fans. Sonic 4 was a step in the right direction, bringing Sonic back to his old school 2D days while adding a bit of flair to keep it modern. The game garnered relatively positive reviews and Episode 2 has been confirmed to work out the kinks that fans disliked about Episode 1 – but it seems like that will be the end of the road for the game and Sonic Team will most likely use what they’ve learned and apply it to the new 3D game concept they’re working on (as mentioned above). Let’s hope the feedback they gather helps make another Sonic Adventure, in terms of quality.
Source: Digital Spy
10. Transformers Prime Video Game Announced
Activision and Hasbro are teaming up to create a Transformers Prime video game based on the television series of the same name. The game will allow fans to play only as Autobots (bummer) as they save the earth from the eeeevil Decepticons.
While initially players will be able to choose from favorites like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, more characters will be unlocked as they explore and battle their way through the world in this brawler-style game – plus a few driving sections, which should come as no surprise. Fans of the show should have a good time with this one as it appears to capture the spirit of the series. The game will hit stores later this year and will be developed for the Wii and 3DS by Now Production, while the regular DS version will be handled by Altron – whose name coincidentally sounds like a Transformer.