Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 09.08.13

Call of Duty Black Ops IIIt’s the end of the week and time for the industry news round up!

The epic climax of Activision and Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II Downloadable Content (DLC) Season Pass culminates with Apocalypse. Available first on the Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft on August 27, the game’s fourth and final DLC Pack delivers four thrilling, diverse multiplayer maps and the all-new wildly creative Zombies experience – “Origins”. In addition one of my favourite bands, Avenged Sevenfold, will be again lending their musical talent to the game with their song, Shepherd of Fire, from their upcoming album Hail to the King, featuring in the opening cinematic.

Marvelous Games, the European division of the Harvest Moon publisher MarvelousAQL, has today unveiled more details on RunBot – the first title to emerge from the recently announced five-game publishing agreement with Touch Racing Nitro developer Bravo Game Studios. Due for release worldwide on iOS on August 22nd, RunBot is a brilliant Parkour/freerunning twist on the endless runner genre, offering phenomenal 3D visuals across a constantly evolving course.

Sources say that Amazon is working on producing its own android based games console, for release later this year possibly around the US thanksgiving season. There’s no real news about what the console will consist of, other than ‘it’s coming’, but given that Amazon has a pretty healthy stock of games and a download service already in place, it could already be one up on the Ouya, whose exclusive developers have been struggling to turn a profit on the system.

The Suikoden Revival Movement has launched the next phase of its campaign entitled ‘Operation Blinking Mirror.’ Between December 10 and December 12, 2013, the Suikoden Revival Movement will be inundating Konami Japan with Suikoden-related paraphernalia such as letters, artwork, cosplay photographs and sculptures. Operation Blinking Mirror – an ode to a teleportation device found throughout the series – has launched its own Facebook page where fans can find out more.

Finally videos have surfaced from Microsoft and Sony unboxing the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. You can view the Xbox One – here and the PlayStation 4 – here.

Train2Game News: Ouya developers respond to negativity

OUYA ConsoleThe upcoming Android console, the Ouya, has received some negative reviews recently. The console developers commented on the negativity.

Backers of the Ouya Kickstarter started to receive early versions of the console last month. Since then, a handful of negative reviews have appeared online claiming that it isn’t ready for retail.

In a statement sent to Games Industry International, Ouya said the console sent out was not a review unit, and therefore “not ready for review.” The units were sent out for a “preview period” to test, in order for Ouya to make improvements based on feedback before the product’s official retail launch.

The early shipping was also an opportunity for supporters of the Kickstarter campaign to get their hands on the hardware.

An Ouya representative explained that “we will be making Ouya review units available in early to mid-May so that you are able to review the more complete consumer experience and prepare your coverage in time for the June 4th retail launch.”

Ouya stressed that the company “has sent no review units out to press. Any reviews you have seen online are a result from individuals who received early backer units from supporting our Kickstarter.”

Ouya is already working on several updates, including external storage support, more payment options and a simpler game install process.

I, personally, have been looking forward to what the Ouya has to offer and how it will fair in the games market but this has made me think that this is an entirely new endeavours by a fairly small company.

Will the Android console be able to compete in today’s console market against the seasoned veterans with its cheap price tag or will it fall flat and be a forgotten adventure?

Train2Game News: Microsoft analyst comments on next Xbox

XboxPreviously, on the Train2Game blog, we reported rumours, that the next Xbox may have to always be connected to the internet. It seems, as time goes on, those rumours may be true.

Microsoft analyst Paul Thurrot has revealed that Microsoft will reveal its next-generation Xbox at an event on 21st May and the console will launch in early November.

Thurrot reiterated what was rumoured already – that previous Microsoft design documents have mentioned the “always internet connected” feature.

Thurrot claims “Looking at some of the stuff I got a long time ago, it actually says ‘must be internet-connected to use’ in the notes. That’s all I have, but it does say that.”

Mr Thurrot also revealed the console will be named just “Xbox” and the Microsoft’s machine will be “expensive”. He estimated they will cost around $500 (roughly £326, although likely higher in the UK) but a lower price $300 (£195) model will also be available with some form of subscription.

He also mentioned two other unannounced Xbox-branded machines. One, code-named “Yumo”, was to be an Xbox device purely for entertainment apps, rather than games. The product has seemingly been abandoned to avoid confusing consumers.

The other machine is a new budget-priced Xbox 360 model, code-named “Stingray” which is due for release later this year and the device will cost just $99 (£65). Thurrot suggested this may mean Microsoft’s new Xbox would not play Xbox 360 games.

I would speculate, the choice to create a cheap 360 model would be there way of competing with Android consoles such as the Ouya and Gamestick.

All eyes now look to May 21 in hopes of learning more about Microsoft’s next generation console.

Train2Game News: PlayStation 4 UK release date and price announced

PS4 ControllerExciting news for all Train2Game students who are looking forward to Sony’s PlayStation 4. The UK release date and price has been announced.

The Sun news paper announced that the next gen console will be released later this year in October, this follows what Sony said when they announced the console last month.

Even better news is the price. The Sony PS4 will cost you £300. This is much cheaper than when the PS3 was released in 2007, costing £425. This new cheaper price makes it a much more viable option for most gamers and, in my opinion, there should be close competition with the next gen Xbox.

The cheaper price for the new Sony console is probably due to Android consoles like the Ouya and Game Stick being released for £99. The next gen consoles will also have the mobile and free-to-play markets to compete with so I can see a lot of surprises being pulled out from Sony and Microsoft.

The PlayStation 4 console it’s self still hasn’t been seen by public eyes. A good guess would be that both the next generation Xbox and the PlayStation 4 will be revealed at E3 in June in an attempt to compete with one another further.

Train2Game News: End of week round up – 08.02.13

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3's does it look dated to you?Train2Game are this week bringing you an end of the week round up of news.

A new Call Of Duty has been confirmed for the fourth quarter of this year. “The Call of Duty franchise continues to set the bar for innovation and we expect a new Call of Duty game in development for 2013 to raise that bar even higher,” said CFO Dennis Durkin during a financials conference call today. Historical trends indicate this year’s title is likely to be a new entry in the ‘Modern Warfare’ line, developed by Infinity Ward. Expect an early November release.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told investors on Thursday that Ubisoft plans to publish a new Assassin’s Creed game during the 2014 financial year. The game, developed across several of Ubisoft’s global games development studios, will likely be introduced at E3 this year. Although Guillemot didn’t go into too much detail, it was confirmed the game will take place in a new time period and star a new character. In further Assassin’s Creed news, Assassin’s Creed 3 sales have reached 12 million across the globe.

Yet another big game sequel that surfaced this week was that of Little Big Planet 3. The game is being developed by Sumo Digital who were the company behind the cross controller pack for Little Big Planet 2. Sony have yet to comment on this but VG247 was told that the independent, Sheffield-based studio has been working on the project for unknown platforms for “well over a year”.

The first trailer has been released for the up coming Activision Walking Dead game, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. The game features the Dixon brothers, Daryl and Merle. In addition, Activision announced that those who pre-order The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct on Xbox 360 or PS3 at GAME or GameStop Ireland will receive the Walker Herd Survival Pack, which contains Herd Mode where you stave off endless waves of the undead. The add-on will also grant new weapons in the story mode including a survival knife, sawtoothed machete, kukri, reinforced hatchet and advanced machete. If you do get the add-on, be sure to install it before starting the game as you won’t be able to access the new weapons in a game already in progress. You can watch the trailer here.

The developers of the OUYA android console have said that they want to release a new OUYA every year. Ouya company founder Julie Uhrman said “There will be a new Ouya every year. There will be an Ouya 2 and an Ouya 3. We’ll take advantage of faster, better processors, take advantage of prices falling. So if we can get more than 8GB of Flash in our box, we will.” By the end of last year, 1200 Ouya dev kits had been sent out. By the end of January, the software development package had been downloaded 22,000 times.

Train2Game News: New Nvidia hand-held console announced

Project ShieldTrain2Game has discovered that Nvidia just announced Project Shield, a new gaming console that looks like a controller attached to a 5 inch HD screen.

The new hand held console runs on the Android operating system but what sets it apart from the other android platforms is that it has a controller similar to a current console controller for ease of use.

Project Shield is powered by a custom 72-core Nvidia A15 GeForce GPU and features a 5-inch 720p retinal multi-touch display, integrated speakers, wi-fi connectivity and the Android operating system. It’s also designed to interface as a controller with an Nvidia GPU-equipped PC, allowing you to play games from your couch.

Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of Nvidia said “Project Shield was created by Nvidia engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play. We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen. We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books, letting us play in a cool new way”

No word yet on what the device will cost. A post on the official GeForce website lists a tentative release window of Q2 2013. The site states “It will first launch in the US and Canada, with a worldwide rollout to follow. Pricing and final specs will be unveiled closer to availability.”

The Android gaming platform seems to be a big player in 2013 with the OUYA games console, the recently announced GameStick and now Project Shield from Nvidia.

Train2Game News: OUYA developer consoles being released this month

OUYA ConsoleThe kick started, Android console, OUYA inches ever closer to release as developer units are being shipped by the end of the month.

The team behind the Android-powered console has announced that they will be shipping the OUYA to anyone who pledged over $699 dollars to the $8.5 million kickstart goal that was reached back in August. The console will be sent out for developers to start testing on December 28.

The idea behind the console is that it will be a $99 console, built on Android, where all the games are free to play.

OUYA was created in 2012 by Julie Uhrman, a video game industry veteran who saw an opportunity to open up the last closed game platform — the TV. Julie and an initial team of game developers and advisors brought the concept to life, with the help of Yves Behar and fuseproject, and took OUYA to Kickstarter in July of 2012. OUYA’s first consoles will ship in early 2013.

“Yes, we are shipping these to you on time, as promised,” the company said in a recent update. “The dev consoles are an early version of the OUYA console and controller designed for developers to test their games on OUYA. Our Kickstarter developers are the first to get a crack at ’em! We’re psyched to have you on board, and we can’t wait to see what pours from your brain!”

For backers of any tier of the Kickstarter, OUYA chief executive officer Julie Uhrman also announced that usernames can be claimed on December 25.

“By December 25, we’ll email each of you a link to activate your account. For those of you who responded to our survey about preferred usernames, you’ll be able to confirm your choice. For the handful of popular names that had conflicts, we broke the tie(s) by honoring whomever backed OUYA first on Kickstarter. And, if any of you didn’t respond-or didn’t get your preferred username, you can choose a name when December 25 rolls around,” said Uhrman in the announcement.

You can read a basic fact sheet about what the OUYA is and what is designed for in the document below. It looks to be good for developers and gamers a like.

OUYA Basic Facts