Hello, all you nonsensical gamers, welcome to NSG’s new weekly article. There is little bit of a change in the format of this article, rather than giving you all the big news from each day, I’ve chosen to pick the biggest and best pieces of news from the week. This will give me a chance to bring you the most important news in more detail rather than trying to ram every detail about every single news piece down your throat. I’ve also decided to choose my favourite piece of news from the week and include it at the end of the article. But if you still aren’t fully satisfied and need more news, listen to our podcast every fortnight.
Now for the biggest news from the past week:
Bioshock Infinite Has Shipped 37 Million Copies
On Monday Take Two, the parent company of 2K who made Bioshock Infinite, announced 37 million copies of said game had been shipped. While this does represent the number of copies actually bought by consumers, it still gives us an idea of the success that the game has had since it’s release in March.
As Take-Two says, Bioshock Infinite has “enjoyed significantly higher first month sell-through than any other BioShock release.” And they were also very popular games upon release, as the original Xbox 360 version of Bioshock (remember, it was a Xbox exclusive to start with) was third best-selling game of August 2007 and in its first week of release, BioShock 2 was the best-selling Xbox 360 game in the UK and North America.
It has actually been a successful year all round for the 2K label. BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, NBA 2K13 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown have all been released over the past year and have been generally well received. Take Two said “Our commitment to delight consumers with the highest-quality interactive entertainment experiences enabled Take-Two to have an outstanding year, despite a challenging environment for many in our industry.”
I’m not surprised with the success that they’re having this year, especially with Bioshock Infinite. With that sort of quality it’s hard to fail.Two games that stand out for me are Borderlands 2 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and with regular DLC being released for Borderlands 2 and a new XCOM game on the way they continue to be highly successful franchises.
Nvidia’s Project Shield Now Priced
Tuesday brought us news about the price of Nvidia’s Tegra-powered project Shield, which is now available for pre-order. The handheld device will be available at a staggering $349 (approx £227), which compared to the PS Vita (around £140/ $215) and the Nintendo 3DS (around £100/ $153) is quite a lot.
Not available until later on this month, and not due to start shipping until sometime in June, you’ll have to wait a little longer to get your hands on the device. But you can actually sign up through the Nvidia website’s “Notify Me” link and put the cash down for the device now.
The Shield is fitted with a Tegra 4 mobile processor which is capable of playing high-end Android games and apps on the Shield’s 720p multi-touch display. The device will also have the ability to stream AAA PC games and play them using the controller that is apart of the device. The only problem is that PC streaming is still in the beta phase at the moment and there is the restriction of needing a 600 series Nvidia GPU on you computer.
I’ve got to admit I have some interest in the Shield. Not much, but a little. With a hefty price tag and the requirement for an expensive piece of hardware such as a competent PC rig, I think that this device will have trouble in today’s market. Especially with the next-gen of consoles around the corner all for a similar price. But the idea of playing high end games on a handheld device would be a somewhat intriguing.
Microsoft Getting Rid Of Microsoft Points
On Wednesday the rumour about the possible removal of Microsoft Points from the Xbox Marketplace rose it’s head again. This time from sources close the Microsoft indicate that the move to real-world currency could be formally announced at this year’s E3 in June.
The change would be to use debit, credit or gift cards instead of points. Gift Card would be available in stores and would be separate from existing Microsoft gift cards, which apply to Windows 8’s Xbox Music, Xbox Games, and Xbox Video Services.
The new system could possibly launch in time for the release of the next Xbox this Autumn. Rumors also suggest that current members of the the service would have their existing Microsoft Points transferred into their real-world value, similar to the traditional Wallet system on PlayStation Network and Steam.
This is something I’ve hoped they would get around to eventually. In fact I’m surprised they haven’t done it sooner. I personally have found the point system somewhat infuriating, buying 1000 points for something that cost 700 points was money that could be spent on something else, even on more stuff in the Xbox Marketplace. But they screwed themselves out of my money.
EA Are No Longer Going To Use Online Passes
EA are getting rid of online passes. Or at least that’s Thursday’s news. The popular attempt by many publishers to try boost new game sales by locking online content for used copies of games. EA, Ubisoft, Sony. Many of the big companies do it. But one of the biggest (and evil) of them all is doing away with them.
EA will be discontinuing its online passes for it’s games. In a statement to VentureBeat, EA’s John Reseburg said that “none of our new EA titles will include that feature.” EA have said that online passes aren’t working. Reseburg said they were “Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn’t respond to the format. We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward.”
Other big companies shall no doubt be continuing to use online passes, no matter how unpopular they are. Though, strangely, Microsoft never seemed to have a go at online passes. What with their love for unpopular decisions and all. But I am glad to see someone getting rid of these awful things. Some people don’t want to or can’t afford to pay the full amount for games and would rather wait and get it pre-owned. This move might actually improve EA’s reputation.
Nintendo And SEGA Sign An Exclusivity Deal
Nintendo and SEGA have signed an exclusive worldwide deal to produce three Sonic games, two of which have been announced. This is easily the biggest news from Friday. They have come to a deal that means Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Sonic: Lost World will be exclusive to Nintendo platforms, as well as a third unannounced title.
There is plenty of info on the first game, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. It will be set in a resort town in Southern Russia, where the players can play as the various Sonic and Nintendo characters (including the blue hedgehog guy and the stereotypical italian plumber dude) and can take part in Skiing, Snowboarding, Figure Skating, Bobsleigh and other winter sports. Apparently, the graphics will be enhanced from previous games and will include snow and ice effects. Way to keep up with the times.
There is less information on what Sonic: Lost World is about, other than it’s an action-adventure platforming game. And there is absolutely no information on the third game, although it’s probably another Sonic game. But that’s just a guess.
Dan’s Pick Of The Week:
“The Wii U Is Crap” says Senior EA Engineer
EA’s Bob Summerwill, a Senior Software Engineer and Architect, has let the world know his thoughts about Nintendo’s struggling console, the Wii U, on Twitter. His comments come only a day after EA’s admission that it has no Wii U games in development.
Speaking to Kotaku, EA spokesperson Jeff Brown confirmed that “we have no games in development for the Wii U currently.” This is obviously supported by the fact that that this year’s Madden will not be available on the Wii U and that Battlefield 4’s Frostbite 3 engine will not be compatible with the console.
This news is quite funny considering the number of EA games that were ported to Nintendo’s Wii U. Games like Madden 13, FIFA 13, NHL 13 and the final game of my favourite franchise Mass Effect were all released for the console and Nintendo along with EA made a big deal about it. Well it appears that EA has awoken to the reality that many others had realised several months, or even years ago. And If you listen to our podcast you’ll know our opinion of Nintendo.