Archive for August, 2013

According to the Microsoft store website, if you pre-order Grand Theft Auto V you will receive $20 credit towards XBL purchases!  

The post states it would be 1600 Microsoft points (which is the equivalent to $20), but with the recent change from points to actual currency, this has been amended on the site as well.  It still states it as a 1600 point redemption with the additional information displayed beside the asterisk.  

This offer is valid until September 16th, one day before the release of GTA V.  This is a great value!  Although if you want the game by the midnight release you’re probably out of luck reserving it in this manner.  

Gamescom Sony Recap

Posted: August 20, 2013 in News
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Finally!  A release date!  Over at Gamescom in Germany, Sony finally announced the PS4 release date among other things.  That magical date is November 15th, which is a Friday, a full two weeks before Black Friday here in the States.  What does this mean for the Xbox One release date?  It will be interesting to see whether they opt to try to release in that two week window or just go for an October release.

Other notable information from the conference was a price drop for the PS Vita, effective immediately.  The original price was $249.99 and now has been dropped to $199.99, putting it on the same level as a new Nintendo 3DS XL.  That should incite some competition, especially with the PS Vita being able to stream most PS4 games.  No, further information was given on how the mobile device will effectively do this or the technical aspects of the streaming.

Two other confirmations were also made at Gamescom from Sony.  First is Twitch support for viewing and streaming will be in tow and the 12GB flash memory PlayStation 3 will be at the $199.99 price point.  The latter has been on sale since August 18th.

Now for some games!  Several games were announced, some old news and some new here is the list:

  • Rogue Legacy, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, N++, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Volume, Fez and Wasteland Kings will be coming out first on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita
  • Developer, The Chinese Room will be releasing Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
  • Shadow of the Beast is being “reimagined” by developer Heavy Spectrum 
  •  Arrowhead Game Studios is developing a sci-fi shooter called Helldivers.
  • Borderlands 2 is coming to PS Vita.
  • On December 6th Gran Turismo 6 is launching for the PS3
  • Minecraft will make an appearance on the Sony platforms

Origin introduces digital download refunds

Posted: August 19, 2013 in News
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Starting on August 19th, EA’s Origin store will be able to give consumers refunds on purchased digital content.  Now this comes with a few caveats, but this is still awesome news for a digital distributor of games.  Hopefully others (*cough* Steam) will soon follow suit.

Dubbed the “Origin Great Game Guarantee“, this new policy works pretty simply:  The consumer may return any digital download as long as its an EA title (I know) “within 24 hours after you first launch the game, within seven days from when you purchased it, or within the first seven days after the game’s release date if you pre-ordered it (whichever of these conditions happens first)”.

This return can be for any reason as long as it’s in that window of time you have.  The new policy is active now in 20 countries and will be rolling out worldwide in the coming weeks.  All Origin users, worldwide will be covered by the end of September.  This is a great step in the right direction for digital downloads.  All we need now is to be able to share our digital game libraries!  One day…

12GB PS3 confirmed for $199.99

Posted: August 14, 2013 in News
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If you are one of those people who has been waiting for console prices to severely decrease, your only days away from bliss.  On August 18th, a flash based 12GB PS3 will be released for $199.99 in Canada and the US.

Originally, this was just a rumor.  This special bundle was only set to be released in Europe and Hong Kong.  The reason for this being Sony representative John Koller being adamant on a focus for “digital consumers” in North America.  Well, seems like Sony had a change of heart.

Units have already begun to come in to brick and mortar shops, so it looks as if this is going to happen, all with an August 18th street release date.  Check the link for a confirmed picture sent to Engadget of a unit at a Kmart in the the US.    

At last June’s E3, Microsoft originally announced 21 countries would be receiving the Xbox One simultaneously.  Due to demand and Microsoft wanting a smooth launch of their new hardware, this number has now been decreased to 13.  

The 13 countries set to still receive the console on a yet unannounced date in November are Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand.  The remaining 11 who will have to wait till Q1 of next year are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland.

Microsoft also sited “work to localize the Xbox One dash, incorporate additional voice and languages, and build partnerships to bring apps and meaningful local content to each country.” as additional reasons to the postponement of the console this year in certain countries.  

 

It almost seems as if Microsoft is changing it’s policies by the month with the Xbox One.  In a shocking move, Xbox Corporate Vice President Marc Whitten announced that the Xbox One will no longer require the use of the Kinect sensor.  Having already made sweeping changes to their DRM policies this is just another change to go along with a console whose features have radically changed from what we knew three months ago.

 It was made public some time ago that the Kinect sensor could be turned off.  This has now changed to the Kinect being able to be fully disconnected from the console.  This changes things significantly depending on if Microsoft decides to sell the console on its own or not.  If that is the case we are looking at developers not fully incorporating what the Kinect can do in their games which was a huge push on Microsoft’s side originally.  Not everyone owned a Kinect for the Xbox 360 so in turn developers were not incorporating it into their games.

Does this also pave the way for cheaper Kinect-less Xbox One’s?  As of now Microsoft is steady standing their ground that this will no be the case.  With the constant change of polices though who knows if they will stay true to it.