It’s the weekend, which means two things: 1) Everyone gets some gaming time (I hope) and 2) we got the top 5 stories of the week coming your way. Below, you’ll find brief summaries of our top 5 stories from this week, as well as a few stories that were interesting, but weren’t quite that big to make the cut. As always, if you want to read the full story, simply click on the link hidden in the titles. If you have suggestions for future entries, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here we go.
Nintendo has decided to start selling refurbished Wii U Deluxe consoles for $200 from their Nintendo of America site for a limited time. After the promotion ends the regular price for a refurbished Wii U will be $250. *Nintendo has not indicated how long the special pricing will last.
“The Wii U Deluxe Set is now available as an Authentic Nintendo Refurbished set only from Nintendo, and it comes with our standard one year warranty. Although it may have minor cosmetic blemishes, it is guaranteed to be fully functional. We think you will find the standards for Authentic Nintendo Refurbished Products are VERY high.”
Since Watch Dogs has been given new launch dates for consoles excluding the Wii U, many have been pestering Ubisoft as to the reason. Watch Dogs’ creative director, Jonathan Morin, responded on Twitter by saying “[w]e needed to focus on the overall experience and some Wii U staff was needed for this. Logistic”. Morin confirmed the expectation of a multiplayer open world free-roam with 8 players.
Watch Dogs will be released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, and PC May 27, 2014. The Wii U version has no set launch date yet.
Rumours are starting to surface that Sony will at last be revealing its entrance into the virtual reality market. The announcement is expected to come at Sony’s ‘Driving the Future of Innovation’ session which is to be held on March 18 at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The two hosts of the session, Anton Mikhailov and Richard Mark, both hold very senior positions in Sony’s R&D Department and both were heavily involved in Sony’s previous innovations, the PlayStation Eye and PlayStation Move.
According to developers who have experience with Sony’s new device, the technology is very impressive but so far there is little support for it amongst third parties. This is mainly due to the high cost of virtual reality development and that so far the market is relatively niche. Instead it will be up to Sony’s own internal studios to build the first software for the system to encourage other publishers to jump on board. However, third parties are already developing software for what will be Sony’s main rival in the virtual reality space, the Oculus Rift. There are already several third party games announced for this competitor, including Space Hulk: Deathwing by Streum On Studios and Eve Valkyrie by CCP. The Oculus Rift is expected to launch either late this year or early next year.
The BAFTA Video Game Awards 2014 was held last night with Sony coming away as the biggest winner. Their most successful entrant was the Naughty Dog developed The Last Of Us which was nominated for 9 awards and won 5 of them. Not only did it win Best Game, Best Story and Best Action Adventure but it also won the Award for Audio Achievement. In the performer category both Ashley Johnson who plays Ellie and Troy Baker who plays Joel were nominated, with Ashley being announced as the winner. Tearaway, another internally developed Sony title was also very successful. The Media Molecule developed PS Vita exclusive notched up 3 awards for Best Family Game, Best Handheld Game and the Award for Artistic Achievement.
Unsurprisingly, the night’s other big winner was Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V, which walked away with Best British Game , Best Multiplayer and Best Game Design. The co-founders of Rockstar, brothers Dan Houser and Sam Houser also made a rare public appearance to accept the 2014 BAFTA Fellowship Award on behalf of their 900 employees. They were presented with the award by Metal Gear Solid creator, Hideo Kojima. ”Rockstar was founded with a mission statement that video games were the next mass-market entertainment medium, that they were uniquely interesting and powerful and that we as a company would serve two masters to prove this fact, combining the production values of movies with an obsession of gameplay above all else,” said Dan Houser. ”Back in 1999, we began shouting this to whoever would listen. A few people laughed at us for our hubris, both in ourselves and in the medium. Most people simply ignored us.Now, as far as I know, this is the first time BAFTA has given an award to 900 people.”
The NPD figures have been released for February 2014 and show that PS4 is extending its lead over Xbox One in the American market. Whilst 258000 Xbox Ones were sold last month, Sony has confirmed that the PS4 sold more, although they did not give a specific number. Thanks to the release of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which sold 130,000 copies, Wii U sales were up 25% over last year. However that still only puts the number sold at around 82,000, well below its next gen console rivals. Unfortunately, we so far have no numbers for the sales of 3DS or PS Vita.
For the list, view the original article by following the link in the title.
This week had a lot of big news and the news staff and I found it hard to narrow it down to the usual five stories:
If you missed out on the big news items this week, you can check out our weekly podcast and get an audio update of this week’s madness from our podcasting team. Listen to us as we talk about some things seriously and a few other things not so much. We guarantee this episode will make you shake your fist at times and nod your head at others.