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The Biggest Stories Of The Week (June 1, 2013)

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend and are starting to stretch out and limber up for a huge flood of news coming over the next two weeks. E3 is just about here, and we'll be shipping off to Los Angeles at the end of the week. Will there be a recap next week? Probably not, but who knows? I may surprise you.

 

As E3 approaches, Sony and Microsoft are preparing for battle.

I've never been partial to console wars. Even as a kid, I had an appreciation for both Nintendo and Sega systems since a friend and I each went down different paths, making both accessible. Over the past two generations, hardware releases have been staggered and Sony and Microsoft in particular haven't had to face off directly for limited consumer dollars. This time around is different, and we expect that the war of words between the two companies is going to heat up.

This week, Sony took the opportunity to strike out at Microsoft's exposed weaknesses following post-Xbox One reveal PR fumbles. As you might recall, inquiries on how used games will work on the Xbox One (Microsoft has promised that it does have a solution) and how often the system will need to connect to the Internet to authenticate itself have only been met with vaguest of responses. Furthermore, many core gamers were upset that services (and not games) were the focus of the reveal, even though that Microsoft made that fact known well in advance.

This week, Sony has made statements intended to woo the core demographic. On Thursday, CEO Kaz Hirai was explicit that the PlayStation 4 is "first and foremost a game console." Additionally, president of worldwide studios confirmed something that should make existing Vita owners quite happy (and possibly incentivize new purchases). All PlayStation 4 games will be required to include remote play on the Vita unless there are additional technology considerations (such as use of the PS4 Eye camera) that would negate the value.

Finally, we were reminded that Sony has already put some definition around its plans for online authentication checks and used games. The responses aren't completely in focus, but taken together with Sony's overarching approach to the PlayStation 4, it seems that the company is headed in a different direction than Microsoft.

 

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it gave one young man a chance of a lifetime.

Sundays typically aren't heavy news days, especially in the middle of a holiday weekend. Last week kept us on our toes as Peter Molyneux and 22 Cans anxiously awaited the conclusion of the six-month long Curiosity "experiment." For those unfamiliar, Curiosity was, on the surface, a quirky mobile app (game doesn't feel like the right word) in which players destroy layers of the cube by tapping and destroying "cubelets" on the exposed surface. With the exception of in-app purchases that allowed players to remove or restore large numbers of the tiny cubes, that's all there was to it (though the communication between players on the surface of the cube as described by Peter Molyneux in our interview is quite something). 

Since Curiosity launched in November, people were enticed by the promise that something special was buried at the center. Last week we found out what that is. The winner, a young man named Bryan Henderson of Edinburgh, Scotland, will help shape 22 Cans upcoming title, Godus. He will also have influence over the game once it launches, sending out commandments and edicts to the lesser gods (players). Henderson will also be entitled to a share of the Godus profits during his reign (which is likely to last between three and twelve months).

We had the opportunity to interview both Peter Molyneux and Bryan Henderson about Curiosity and Godus.

 

The Game Informer team revisits some under-appreciated gems from this generation.

Memorial Day was on Monday and we decided to switch things up with a full day of features. Sixteen of us each took our favorite under-appreciated and/or under-purchased "cult classic" title from this generation and wrote about why gamers would do well to revisit them. You can see all of the features right here.

 

Previews and Reviews

 

Quick Hits

Announcements and Release Dates

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