Train2Game News: Mid-week Round up – 28.11.12

Good news for PlayStation Plus subscribers! For the festive season Sony are adding a number of new games including: Batman: Arkham City, LIMBO and Vanquish. All the games are added to the PlayStation Plus service on December 5.

Nintendo are offering a similar service where new and existing owners of the 3DS XL who register before January 15, 2013 will be able to download one of five games from the eShop. The titles on offer are Super Mario 3D Land, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, New Art Academy, New Style Boutique and Freakyforms Deluxe.

Take Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick has announced that the Grand Theft Auto series has shipped over 125 million games since its debut on on the original PSOne. Zelnick put the series’ continued success down to the firm’s refusal to annualise as Activision has with Call of Duty.

Microsoft has announced that they have sold over 750,000 Xbox360’s over the Black Friday week. Xbox LIVE Gold Subscription sales also saw a surge of more than 50 per cent compared to last years Black Friday week, and US entertainment application hours logged on Xbox LIVE during the week of Black Friday was up 43 per cent over last year.

Microsoft has announced sales of 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the operating system’s launch month but 40 million licenses sold does not mean there are now 40 million Windows 8 users. Countless numbers of licences are bought up by hardware manufacturers for future use in new machines.

Dishonored is, clearly, a new franchise, publisher Bethesda has said. Sales of the Arkane-developed first-person action game are above expectations, Bethesda marketing chief Pete Hines told Destructoid, and so publisher Bethesda has added it to its stable of franchises, which includes Fallout, Elder Scrolls and Doom. In the UK Dishonored entered the chart at number two following its October release. It was kept off top spot by FIFA 13, but is the biggest launch for a new IP so far in 2012 (a title previously held by Sleeping Dogs). This record was achieved despite UK numbers company Chart-Track not counting digital copies sold.

Train2Game News: Cheaper Next-Gen development

Take-Two boss, Strauss Zelnick, believes that developing for the next generation of consoles could be cheaper.

Despite the jump forward in technological prowess expected for Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles, Zelnick suggests that development costs may actually be lower than the present.

Zelnick said “Do we believe that titles will be a whole lot more expensive to make for next-gen? The answer is we do not

“In many instances, we believe that it may be somewhat easier to make titles for next-gen depending on how the technology comes together.”

Sony and Microsoft are believed to start releasing news on the new consoles next year, hopefully followed by the release of one of them by the end of 2014.

There is still a long road ahead before the next generation so many things may change but as it stands at the moment the future looks bright.

Train2Game News: Take-Two not worried about a lack of next-gen consoles at E3

There’s no need to panic if no new console systems are shown off at E3 next week. In fact, an extended life cycle for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is good for game developers and publishers.

That’s the view of Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick in an interview with MCV.

“There is still ample opportunity in the market with the current generation, provided that you deliver the highest quality entertainment experiences – which we always aim to do,” he said.

“We’re seeing some evidence of an ageing console cycle, which generally is a good thing for a company with very high quality titles, like Take-Two.”

Games coming from Take-Two in the near future include Borderlands 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, BioShock Infinite and Grand Theft Auto V, the latter of which doesn’t have a release date as of yet.

“Hardware transitions historically have created both challenges and opportunities for third-party publishers. In order to succeed, it seems to me that any company needs: talent, tech, IP, and a strong balance sheet.” Zelnick continued.

“Take-Two has all four. As always, we’ll need to make triple-A titles that delight consumers. Frankly, our creative folks will be thrilled to have an opportunity to do just that.” he added.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest news on next gen consoles.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of next-gen consoles not turning up at E3? Do you think their needed yet? Or are developers doing just fine with the current crop?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.