It’s the run up to E3, so you’d expect all of the announcements saved for then, right? Wrong. This week has been literally jam packed with announcements, the cream of the crop have been carefully selected and expanded upon to comprise the fantastic little news roundup that you are currently reading. Sometimes, I really do wonder why we’re always so damn nice to you lot!
At an event dubbed The Future of Oculus this week, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer took to the stage to announce that the Redmont based powerhouse was teaming up with Facebook/Oculus to ensure that every consumer VR headset that they ship will come bundled with an Xbox One controller and a wireless adaptor designed to operate out of the box with their upcoming OS, Windows 10. Few details have been released, but we do know is that Xbox One owners will need to stream their games to a Windows 10 powered PC for this to work and that there will be an “virtual living room” within which players can experience their games, though hopefully this will simply be an optional feature and that, at least somewhere down the line, Xbox One games will be designed to work with the much touted VR headset in more fitting ways. Though gamers discouraged by this should also bear in mind that we are likely to see the emergence of Microsoft’s own HoloLens at some point in this calendar year, so virtual and augmented reality ventures are still very much a part of Microsoft’s plan for the console.
Speaking of which, it was also officially announced that there would be a 1TB Xbox One console going on sale this month, and retailing at just £50 more than the standard model, which is now officially set at a price point of £299.99, though retailers frequently drop these even further, meaning that those searching for a new console might just find themselves a bargain. The new iteration of the console not only comes with enhanced storage, but with a revised version of the controller that now houses a 3.5mm audio jack connection, the RRP is £349.99.
With Sony having declared that they will be absent from this year’s Gamescom even in Leibniz, Germany, Microsoft look set to try to take full advantage of this by pushing their presence at the event even further. With a packed 60-90 minute press briefing set for the start of E3, Microsoft feel that they are able to hold back such highly anticipated releases as Crackdown, Quantum Break and Scalebound to enable then to feature “front and centre” in Germany as Phil Spencer wrote on Xbox Wire. Evidently, the executive must feel especially confident in his team’s line-up for their opening press briefing tomorrow, and this surely bodes well for Xbox fans everywhere. However, I’m sure that I’m not the only one disappointed by having to wait even longer to see the new Crackdown up and running, I wasn’t, right?
Independent developer Liber Primus are teaming up with print publisher, Gollancz, to create a series of game-book apps based on the fantasy novel series, “A Land Fit For Heroes”, written by Richard Morgan. Gamers who don’t recognise Morgan for his books, may better remember him from his efforts on both Crysis 2 and EA’s unfortunate Syndicate reboot. Morgan is set to be heavily involved in the creation of the app, which is set to find its way into the App Store for iPad and iPhone, with a PC version ultimately making its way to Steam sometime afterwards.
Bandai Namco announced that the latest entry into their ever popular “Tales of” series of RPGs, Tales of Zestiria, would not only be released on PlayStation 3, but that there were versions on PS4 and PC heading our way as well. Best of all though, they provided a release date of October 19th for the console versions, with PC owners having to wait a further four days to get their hands on the game. Tales of Zestiria promises gamers a “pure Japanese role playing experience”, boosted with a cast of new, interesting characters and a revamped combat system.
Arc System Works have acquired all of the game licences owned by Technos Japan Corporation, and whilst this doesn’t include a vast array of recognisable brands, it does indeed include the mighty, Double Dragon. The developer are more famed for their efforts with their Guilty Gear and BlazBlue games, yet a return to the iconic brawler is a tad more poignant than one might initially believe it to be, they were after all, the team behind the Master System port of the original 1987 arcade. So, from me, as an ex-Sega fanboy, welcome home guys.
Given that the rest of the week’s biggest announcements seemed to favour Microsoft and their Xbox One, it will perhaps come as some relief to PS4 owners that Capcom’s Street Fighter V always remain as a PS4 and PC exclusive, with the Japanese developer coming out this week to state that no future versions of the game will ever reach an Xbox console. When speaking with Gamespot, a company spokesman declared that “this is a real partnership. We are console exclusive for this numbered run”. With the Xbox already featuring an excellent exclusive fighter in the form of Killer Instinct, Phil Spencer decided to invest in their own IPs, but has said that he would try to find a way to make up for the loss of Street Fighter. Now, I may be biased, but Phil, Shenmue would be a great place to start!
Well, that’s another week’s news nicely rounded out, so it’s time for us to turn our attention to E3, but first, I’d better get back to The Witcher! Bye for now.