The Biggest Stories Of The Week (August 10, 2013)
I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the summer gaming drought is almost over. The bad news is that the weekly recap drought is about to begin. This will be the last weekly recap for an entire month. I leave for Gamescom in Germany next weekend and with only two days respite, I'm back on the road to PAX in Seattle. I know you'll miss me the recaps, but absence makes the heart grow fonder... or fungus... one of those.
Three important details about the Xbox One
This week, Microsoft revealed three new things about the Xbox One, helping to fill in the picture of the system's November release. First up, we learned that the Game DVR functions are going to be behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall. This shouldn't come as a surprise given all the things already squirreled away back there. Microsoft also confirmed to Game Informer (again) that the console will buffer five minutes of video at 720p and 30 frames per second.
What's interesting is that they weren't yet able (or willing) to answer how capture would be handled if you start recording in advance of playing. For instance, if I want to record a "let's play" video, I'm not sure if that's possible yet. Perhaps Microsoft will be leaning on the Twitch integration and that service's storage for those functions. Hopefully, we'll know more about this from Gamescom.
Next up, Microsoft surprised us by reversing course on the inclusion of a headset. The Xbox One will come with a chat headset, assuaging some of the issues inherent with a live mic being used for conversing with friends (and foes). The headset is the same one that can be purchased separately. There's no word yet on timing or price of an adapter that will enable use of existing chat devices.
Finally, Microsoft clarified how game sharing will work. The best news is that, with the establishment of one "home console," all users on that box can access Gold services. This includes Netflix and other paid apps, multiplayer gaming, Game DVR, and all of the game, music, and movie content on that machine. The way licenses are handled is a bit of a change from the Xbox 360, and for more information on those nuances, head on over to that story for the details.
- The world of Rage might not be completely abandoned, as id Software would like to pick up the wingsticks again one day.
- Did you back the Ouya? If you got your console late, you probably have some store credit waiting for you.
- Those new 3DS Mii Plaza games were worth it for Nintendo. They've already raked in $4 million.
- The Crytek websites remain offline after an intrusion was detected.
- 20 companies are reportedly interested in purchasing Atlus from Index Corporation, but the company hasn't yet made comment.
- There will be no offline mode for Splinter Cell: Blacklist on Wii U.
- August's free PlayStation Plus games are lead by Hitman: Absolution.
- Devolver Digital says it's completely fine to stream the games it publishes.
- It's going to be a long time before we see Street Fighter V.
- Smash Bros. Wii U is getting a Pilotwings map, and Luigi is on the roster.
- Square Enix reports a ¥1.6 billion extraordinary loss due to project reassessment.
- The PlayStation Vita and 3DS both got new firmware and new features.
- Company of Heroes 2 is no longer being sold in Russia due to complaints about the game's historical accuracy.
- Zynga has now fully shuttered OMGPop!
- Bethesda does not have the Wii U in its plans for the near future.
- John Carmack and Matt Hooper join Oculus Rift.
- We have a few new details about The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
- Ubisoft and Hasbro are now partnering to bring classic board games to consoles.
- Xbox Live Gold is required for the Xbox One's Game DVR functions. Sony says that its recording and streaming functions are not behind the PlayStation Plus paywall.
- Four new skins have been confirmed for Batman: Arkham Origins.
- The Xbox One will now come with a headset in the box.
- Capybara Games' Below will be a timed exclusive for Xbox One, with other platforms likely coming later.
- Nintendo president Satoru Iwata addressed the possibility of multiplatform development.
- Trion has closed its San Diego studio, which was responsible for Defiance.
- Amazon is developing an android-based console, but the endgame isn't a standalone unit. It's integration with televisions and other electronics.
- God of War II director Cory Barlog has returned to Sony Santa Monica.
- Microsoft has detailed game sharing on the Xbox One.
Previews and Reviews
- September Cover: Dragon Age: Inquisition
- Galak-Z: The Dimensional (Preview)
- NHL 14 (Preview)
- Pokémon X and Y (Preview)
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 (Preview)
- Ibb & Obb (Review)
- Dragon's Crown (Review)
- Tales of Xillia (Review)
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (Review)
- Halo: Spartan Assault (Review)
- Divinity: Dragon Commander (Review)
Announcements and Release Dates
- Bioshock Infinite and SimCity are coming to Mac on August 29.
- Nobuo Uematsu's eBook, Blik-0 1946, is available now.
- Blackpowder Games has revealed Betrayer, which is arriving for Steam Early Access this month.
- Payday 2 is coming to Steam, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 next week.
- Paradox and Fatshark announce War of the Vikings for PC, coming in 2014.
- Sidescrolling shooter Senran Kagura Burst is getting a North American release.
- Mark of the Ninja is getting a $5 DLC pack with director commentary, a new level, and more.
- Zatanna joins the fight in Injustice: Gods Among Us on August 13.
- It looks like Dishonored is getting a Game of the Year edition.
- Two Professor Layton Games are on track for release in 2014.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 and other classic games are coming to the 3DS eShop.
- Deep Silver announces Dead Island: Epidemic, a Zombie Online Multiplayer Battle Arena (ZOMBA).
- Zen Studios' Kickbeat is coming to PS3 and Vita on September 3.
- X Rebirth is coming on November 15, 2014.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II final DLC, Apocalypse, arrives first on Xbox 360 on August 27.
- inXile Entertainment and EA have made a deal to bring Wasteland 1 back to gamers.