Monthly Archives: June 2014

Sony Not Abandoning PS3 Anytime Soon

Though the PlayStation 4 is Sony’s marquee console right now, don’t expect the company to step away from the PlayStation 3 anytime soon. That system has sold more than 80 million units to date, and this figure is growing still, PlayStation software product development head America Scott Rohde says.

“People are still buying PS3s,” Rohde told GamesIndustry International. “All the different parts of the world just adopt new technology at different rates. We don’t know how long the PS3 tail will last. We don’t know how it will be compared to the PS2. The PS2 lasted very deep into the PS3 cycle. There was a broad price difference between PS3 launch and PS2 end of life. We don’t know where all this is going to go, but we will continue to support the PS3 through first- and third-parties as long as there is a good business there for us.”

Third-party support for the PS3 remains strong, with many major franchises coming to the platform this year. These include heavy-hitters like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Destiny, among others. On the first-party front, Sony is bringing LittleBigPlanet 3 to the PS3 this fall.

For its part, Microsoft said last year that it plans to support the Xbox 360–which has already sold more than 84 million units–for at least another three years.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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How Ambitious Indie Space Adventure Game No Man’s Sky Was Born and What It’s All About

The PlayStation Blog today posted an in-depth video explaining how Hello Games’ ambitious procedurally generated indie space adventure game No Man’s Sky came to be and what it’s all about.

In the seven-minute video, Hello Games managing director Sean Murray says the studio knew from the beginning, even before it created the Joe Danger series, that it wanted to make No Man’s Sky. At the time, it was known as Project Skyscraper, and Murray described the game as one he had always dreamt of making.

No Man’s Sky was officially announced at the VGX Awards in early December 2013, and it received an outpouring of praise almost immediately. But the game’s development has not been without its own share of setbacks. A Christmas Eve flooding of the company’s office in Guildford meant Hello Games had lost some progress on the game, but it didn’t materially affect the project.

Despite being announced only for the PlayStation 4 so far, it sounds like the game is also coming to other platforms, potentially the Xbox One. Hello Games has not announced any kind of release window for No Man’s Sky. For more on the game, check out GameSpot’s coverage from E3 2014.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Watch Someone Beat Super Mario Bros. In Under 5 Minutes

This week seems to be all about speedruns. Just days after a world record Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes speedrun video surfaced this week comes another that shows someone completing classic NES game Super Mario Bros. in under five minutes.

Speedrunner Blubbler posted a video this week (via Eurogamer) that shows a completion of the entire game–with no cheats–finished in 4:57.69, supposedly a world record. That’s about a second faster than the previous record of 4:58.09.

It’s an impressive feat to watch. Blubbler deftly zips through the levels, avoiding enemies and timing jumps with absolute perfection. You’ll notice a particularly interesting technique in level 8-2 (at around 3:30 in the video), when Blubbler skillfully arrives at the flagpole at exactly the same moment as the Bullet Bill, allowing Blubbler to bypass the walk to the castle.

Such mastery is entrancing to watch. Check out the full video above.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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The Last of Us PS4 Bundle Confirmed for Europe, But What About the US?

Sony today announced on the European PlayStation Blog that the rumored Last of Us PlayStation 4 bundle is indeed real, and will presumably launch alongside the game next month. The €429.99 ($585) bundle includes a copy of The Last of Us Remastered, a 500GB PlayStation 4, and a DualShock 4 controller.

There’s no word on if this bundle is coming to the United States.

The Last of Us Remastered, an updated version of Naughty Dog’s 2013 acclaimed PlayStation 3 game, launches July 29. It runs in 1080p, features higher resolution character models, as well as improved shadows and lighting. [You can watch a graphics comparison here.] The bundle also includes DLC, director’s commentary, and special interviews with voice actors Troy Baker (Joel) and Ashley Johnson (Ellie).

The game was originally expected to sell for $60, but Sony just recently announced a $10 price drop, meaning it will now be sold for $50. If you already preordered, you can get a refund.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Quick Look: GRID Autosport

Watch extended gameplay footage from GRID Autosport featuring the Giant Bomb crew.

Hollywood Sure Loved That Metal Gear Solid 5 E3 Trailer

It wasn’t only gamers who seemed to enjoy the epic Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain E3 trailer, which you can watch above. Hollywood liked it, too.

In a post on the game’s website titled “Celebrity Comments on the E3 trailer,” there’s input from a handful of Hollywood people, including key personnel behind movies like Spider-Man, Drive, Pacific Rim, and The Walking Dead.

Here’s what they had to say:

Film Producer Avi Arad (Spider-Man, X-Men)

“Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a stunning presentation. The trailer is full of symbolism and philosophy that we come to expect from Mr. Kojima. Although cleverly disguising the story and therefore making the trailer enticing, Mr. Kojima makes sure to include enough visuals to make us comfortable that we are in for a new Metal Gear experience. For me, the sight of the Diamond Dogs and Snake putting the ashes on his face with multiple urns make me believe that a lot of history is going to be dealt with. If one listens carefully to the amazing song, Nuclear by Mike Oldfield, it is fantastic story telling that gives us enough of a window to know we are about to embark on another emotional masterpiece by Mr. Kojima. Kiefer Sutherland as the voice of Snake is just fantastic while raising the drama, and makes us long to play the game.”

Director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives)

“Watching the trailers for MGSV makes you wonder if the spirits of Dostoyevsky, Stanley Kubrick, and Caravaggio entered Hideo Kojima’s body because, using the art of gaming as his canvas, he boldly goes where no one has gone before.

The trailers for Metal Gear Solid V, prove once again that Hideo Kojima is a master at portraying a wider and more complex view of human nature combined with breathtaking action sequences. A daring and bold move from one of the founders of the future of technology. With Metal Gear Solid V, Hideo Kojima has created the perfect marriage of cinematic storytelling and cutting edge gaming technology. For me, it all culminates into one word: Genius.”

Director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim)

“Kojima-San remains a massive inspiration for me and METAL GEAR continues to deliver the edgy, vital, jaw-dropping world and feel that we have come to expect but it pushes the envelope every single time. It is a window into the future of the medium and its breathless narrative and artistic expansion. Amazing!”

Director Park Chan-wook (Old Boy, Stoker)

“I have always been thinking that I want to see a film directed by Mr. Kojima, but after seeing the latest trailers for Metal Gear Solid V, I realised I was wrong. He has actually been making films in his own way already. Metal Gear Solid games are already films, the films of the future.”

Director Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Vital, Nightmare Detective)

“Intense, crazy, deep Kojima world. By the time you finish this game, you should be changed into a completely new person.”

Actor Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead, The Boondock Saints)

“Wow! That is AMAZING! So beautiful … So well done. You guys created such an incredible piece of art.”

For more on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, check out the game’s 30-minute gameplay trailer, which you can now watch in all its 1080p/60fps glory.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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You Can Now Watch YouTube Videos In 60fps Starting With Battlefield, Titanfall

YouTube is bringing 48 and 60 frames-per-second playback to the video site, allowing you to view video game footage in a new way.

“Your video game footage with crazy high frame rates will soon look as awesome on YouTube as it does when you’re playing, when we launch support for 48 and even 60 frames per second in the coming months,” YouTube wrote on its official blog.

Some preview videos featuring Battlefield Hardline [watch here] and Titanfall [watch here] are available in 60fps from the YouTube Creator Channel. To see the videos in silky smooth 60fps, make sure to enable HD.

There’s also a high frame rate version of the latest trailer for Video Game High School you can watch right here.

The new frame rate option is just one part of a bigger plan to make YouTube more accommodating to video creators, the company says. Other components of this plan include a new Creator Studio app for iOS and Android that lets you track your videos on the go, an updated royalty-free audio library with sound effects, and a new Fan Funding option that lets viewers contribute to your video channel without having to go through a third-party platform.

For the full list of new YouTube features, check out the detailed post on the company’s blog.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Nintendo President Re-Elected As Wii U Sales Rise

During Nintendo’s annual shareholder meeting overnight, the company re-elected Nintendo president Satoru Iwata to the board of directors. Iwata was not physically present at the meeting, as he’s still recovering from a recent surgery that also kept him from attending E3 this month.

The proposal to re-elect Iwata and nine others was approved as originally proposed. In addition to Iwata, iconic Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto, along with Genyo Takeda, Tatsumi Kimishima, Shigeyuki Takahashi, Satoshi Yamato, Susumu Tanaka, Shinya Takahashi, and Hirokazu Shinshi, were re-elected. One additional candidate, Naoki Mizutani, was elected.

Iwata’s leadership of Nintendo has not been universally adored, and it’s been suggested by some that his job was at risk following Nintendo’s third straight annual financial loss this year. At the time, Iwata apologized for the poor performance, but said it did not mean he’d have to leave the company.

Since then, Wii U hardware sales have been on the rise. Marquee first-party racing game Mario Kart 8 launched in late May, selling 2 million units in under a month, and helping hardware sales overall jump by a significant margin, according to Nintendo. Officially, the Wii U has sold 6.17 million units, but that figure is only accurate up to March 31, before Mario Kart 8’s release.

Nintendo has a number of other high-profile projects in the works, including Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, a toys-to-life initiative called amiibo, and a brand-new Legend of Zelda game launching for Wii U in 2015.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Wii U Racer Mario Kart 8 Sells 2 Million Units In Under a Month

Nintendo’s recently released Wii U racing game Mario Kart 8 has now sold 2 million units worldwide. The game was released on May 30, meaning it reached that sales milestone in under one month. The sales figure, which accounts for units sold through to consumers, was announced overnight during Nintendo’s annual shareholder meeting and confirmed to IGN.

Mario Kart 8 sold 1.2 million units in its first weekend alone, helping Wii U hardware sales rise significantly, according to Nintendo. The latest official sales number for Wii U hardware is 6.17 million consoles sold, though that figure is accurate only as of March 31, before Mario Kart 8’s release.

Though Mario Kart 8 may be off to a solid start, it still lags far behind predecessor Mario Kart Wii. That game is the original Wii’s most successful non-bundled title with more than 35.5 million units sold to date.

According to Nintendo executive Scott Moffitt, the Wii U is on the brink of pulling off a 3DS-like turnaround. He maintains that marquee games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros., along with the company’s new toys-to-life amiibo line, should help make the Wii U a success.

For more on Mario Kart 8, check out GameSpot’s review and what other critics are saying.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Oculus VR Looking for Help to Build Its Headsets

Google made its Android operating software successful by selling it to numerous different hardware manufacturers. Valve licensed its Steam platform and OS to companies to make Steam-dedicated computers and controllers. Now, Oculus VR, developer of the Rift virtual reality headset for PC, is attempting to do the same with its technology.

In a report in Bloomberg, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe revealed that the company is actively seeking corporations who wish to break into the VR industry. The company is too small to develop and manufacture the Rift by itself, Iribe explained. “If we do want to get a billion people on virtual reality, which is our goal, we’re not going to sell 1 billion pairs of glasses ourselves,” he said. “We are openly talking to any kind of partner that wants to jump into VR, and there’s a lot of interest right now.”

Oculus is still a relatively small company and has yet to release a commercial version of the Rift. Facebook, who acquired Oculus in March, has no experience with hardware manufacturing, either. It makes sense that the company would seek partners elsewhere to help spread its headset.

Interestingly, one of those potential partners is Sony, who is developing its own VR headset called Project Morpheus. Oculus and Sony have shown each other their respective headsets and Iribe said that Oculus is open to a partnership. “We showed their key executives our prototypes, and we said if you want to work with us, we are happy to engage deeply and be friends in this industry,” he said. ‘It hasn’t gone anywhere past that, but they did show up and opened up to us and in turn we opened up to them.”

This week, Oculus announced that it had bought Carbon Design Group, the company responsible for the Xbox 360 controller, steering wheel, and Kinect, among other products. The team will help Oculus with “unannounced projects,” but no details have emerged yet.

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
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