The Biggest Stories Of The Week (July 13, 2013)
Welcome back for another weekly Game Informer recap.We're into our second week of the new "Our Take" format and we're continuing to listen to your feedback. Feel free to leave your thoughts below, drop me an email, or send me a private message here on the site.
A busy week for Microsoft.
While we may never know whether it was the chicken or the egg that came first, we are pretty certain that the plans for the Microsoft corporate reorganization were in motion long before Don Mattrick decided to leave his post for the CEO job at Zynga. Mattrick was reportedly uninterested in moving into the hardware chief role now occupied by Julie Larson-Green after the shakeup. She'll be handling all of the hardware devices (Xbox, Surface), while former Windows Phone head Terry Myerson will be leading development of operating systems (including the three that are making the Xbox One tick).
We're still very eager to speak with Larson-Green, Myerson, or preferably both about the vision for the launch of the Xbox One in the immediate future and the broader life cycle of the console. There is an interesting story to be told here about how Microsoft will affect these changes so close to the launch, especially as two new leaders take over core development arms for the console.
Additionally, Microsoft is contending with new negative PR regarding the NSA's Prism program. Based on a report out of The Guardian, the NSA has the means to broadly access Microsoft services, including Skype, Outlook.com, and Skydrive. The company has denied providing blanket access (as opposed to honoring court-mandated case-by-case requests for user data). Microsoft and Yahoo are two of the companies that have walked up to the line created by the gag-order to suggest that there is more at play here than they are allowed to discuss.
As we do not yet fully understand how the Kinect camera interacts with Skype, which powers chat on the Xbox One, I am concerned about potential privacy issues. The foreign intelligence surveillance court has already created a wider opening than originally intended to allow warrantless collection of data by exploiting the "special needs" doctrine. This provision allows for drug testing, airport screening, and more. Under this doctrine, the FISA courts are allegedly exempting security agencies from the warrant process when searching for "possible terrorists." Given the case of Justin Carter, the term "possible terrorist" could be applied to anyone who makes inflammatory and threatening remarks online... including via Skype... which powers the chat features for the Xbox One... which is attached to the Kinect... which is always on while playing and is intended for use in a low power state while in standby.
Will the camera and microphone bundle in your house make you just another channel for our government to tune into? Probably not. However, it's not hard to see why people might be wary about putting one in their homes.
- Fez is finally getting that Xbox Live patch you've been waiting for.
- New Skylanders Giants sidekicks can be redeemed with points earned from eating chips.
- New Pikmin 3 trailer and educational video about the new Pikmin.
- Bungie's Jason Jones opens up about Halo: Combat Evolved's overpowered pistol.
- Our fingers are crossed that Atlus' registration of a Persona 5 domain means something good for the series.
- Future Saints Row titles might take the series in a new direction.
- Tragedy struck the industry this week, as beloved Giant Bomb co-founder Ryan Davis passed away.
- The lightbar on the Dual Shock 4 is designed to be on at all times.
- Sony has filed a trademark for PlayStation TV, and we think it might be related to the entertainment offerings announced at E3.
- Vivendi is now in position to exact huge sums from Activision Blizzard putting the latter in huge debt.
- Don't expect a sequel to ZombiU. The Wii U launch title was far from profitable.
- Grand Theft Auto V has a new gameplay trailer.
- The Last of Us is the PlayStation 3's fastest-selling title.\
- World of Warcraft is getting microtransactions via an in-game store.
- Starting on July 16, register Shin Megami Tensei IV and Fire Emblem: Awakening and get $30 in eShop credit.
- Sega has sued the estate of THQ for pre-order revenues collected by the defunct publisher.
- Digital PlayStation 4 games will be accessible from any console.
- New images show the Xbox One's prototype designs.
- Deep Silver will be assisting inXile with distribution and international quality assurance on Wasteland 2.
- NHL 14 will have a throwback NHL 94 mode.
- The Steam Summer Sale is in full swing.
- The Season 3 League of Legends championships will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. More exciting is the news that the United States recognizes professional League of Legends players for the purposes of securing VISAs.
- Layoffs have hit Capcom, and senior vice president Christian Svennson has stepped away from the company.
- The 3DS Mii Plaza has four new games, but you'll need to pony up for them.
- MIcrosoft has announced the winners of the 2013 Imagine Cup.
- EA has reportedly laid off another 60 employees. This time, the affected studio is Phenomic (Spellforce, Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances), which has apparently been closed.
- Register for the Killzone: Mercenaries multiplayer beta.
- Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be available for the public to try at next week's San Diego Comic Con.
- A new Far Cry is in the works, and Ubisoft is getting ready to share details.
- Hackers have compromised Konami's systems. Time to change another password.
- Precursor Games is returning to Kickstarter on July 25 for a second attempt at funding Eternal Darkness spiritual successor Shadow of the Eternals.
Previews and Reviews
- August 2013 Cover Reveal - E3 Hot 50
- Grand Theft Auto V Gun Combat Q&A (Preview)
- PayDay 2 (Preview) and Heist playthrough.
- Gran Turismo 6 (Preview)
- The Opening Hours Of Saints Row IV (Preview)
- Civilization V - Brand New World (Review)
- NCAA 14 (Review)
- Dark (Review)
- Shin Megami Tensei IV (Review)
- Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 (Review)
- Layton Brothers: Mystery Room (Review)
Announcements and Release Dates
- Tales Of Xilia 2 Is Coming To North America
- Halo 4 is getting some new DLC in the form of a Champions Pack
- The dates and titles for the Xbox Summer of Arcade have been announced.
- Alien Rage is coming on September 24.
- Shadow Warrior Redux is available on Steam.
- NIS is bringing Demon Gaze and Dangan Ronpa to the west.
- Scribblenauts Unmasked is coming on September 24.
- Dota 2 is out of beta and the full release is rolling out.
- Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness is coming on October 8.
- Details have been revealed for the first Metro: Last Light downloadable content, which arrives on July 16.
- Black Ops II Vengeance DLC is coming to PC and PS3 in August.
- Rambo is getting a new video game.
- Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus returns the series to its roots at a budget price.
- DuckTales Remastered is coming to most platforms on August 13. It will be on Xbox Live on September 11.