It’s the weekend, which means two things: 1) Everyone gets some gaming time (I hope) and 2) another Top Five Stories of the Week is 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 email@example.com. Here we go.
Redbox getting ready to rent next-gen games?
This morning, both NeoGAF and Polygon captured screenshots from Redbox.com which listed next-gen titles coming to the online service as early as tomorrow, March 25th. Since those sites started reporting on this information, Redbox has taken down the coming soon images.
Prior to the listings being removed, these Wii U games were listed as being available to rent tomorrow: Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Super Luigi Bros. U and Lego City Undercover. There also was a listing for the first week of April which had versions of Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Thief available for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Upcoming Star Wars Games To Be Inspired By The Arkham Series
In a interview with Fortune EA’s new CEO Andrew Wilson has laid out his company’s plans for the Star Wars franchise. Rather than base games on the upcoming theatrical films, Wilson has instead taken inspiration from Warner Bros. handling of the Batman series. ”What Warner Bros. did with Batman was take the core roots of that IP and manifest that inside the walls of Gotham City and delivered an interactive experience that had real ties to what you would see in the films and what you had read in the comics, while having its own life because it could provide such deep and more immersive story lines,” he said. “When we look at the Star Wars properties that’s how we’re looking at it. We’re not trying to build a game that replicates the storyline of any particular film.”
Last November EA and Disney signed a 10 year deal that allows EA to create numerous Star Wars titles across multiple different platforms. So far the only game confirmed to be in development is the next instalment in the Star Wars: Battlefront franchise from DICE; which was announced in a teaser trailer at E3 last year. We also know that both Bioware and Visceral are expected to develop games in the franchise but what those are have not yet been officially revealed. One of the rumors from Kotaku’s Superannuation is that EA Canada is currently developing an open world action game which will be set in the Star Wars universe.
PlayStation Vita increases App limit via firmware update
Last night, Sony released a new firmware update for their handheld, the PlayStation Vita. The firmware update now enables users to have more apps on their home screen. Previously the limit was 100 apps but this has now been raised to 500 via the update.
Other highlights from System update 3.10 are the Calendar App and Voice messages. The calendar app can be synced with Google Calendar and events can now be shared via messages. And speaking of messages, users can now record voice messages and send them to friends who are on their PS Vita or PS4.
For a full list of the features, check out the original story.
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition Is In Development For Xbox One As Well As PS4
Last year it was revealed that Diablo III and its expansion Reaper of Souls would be launching on PS4 in 2014. Both the game and the expansion pack will be sold together as Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition. However whilst the PS4 is the only next gen version announced, the game’s lead designer Alex Mayberry has revealed to Videogamer.com that his team is also developing the game for the Xbox One. This matches with a leaked listing from Best Buy Canada that showed a Diablo III game for Microsoft’s next gen console.
Yet whilst he can confirm that he is developing it, he cannot confirm if the Xbox One version will ever be released. ”I don’t know where we are with Microsoft right now so I can’t really comment on what that contract looks likes” said Mayberry. “The point is we are developing for Xbox [One] and PS4 simultaneously. We hit those major platforms and then our goal as a development team is to make them run.” Whilst it may seem odd to us to develop a game that you’re not sure you’re ever going to release, Mayberry said that it makes sense from a developer viewpoint. ”We have that pipeline worked out,” he continued. “We’ve already done it with the 360 and PS3, so that team knows how to develop at the same time for both of those platforms. That’s just what we do. And then Blizzard and Microsoft can work out whatever they work out.”
Infamous Second Son and Titanfall boosting console sales in the UK
March has been quite an active month for game releases but maybe more importantly both Microsoft and Sony have released their all-important system sellers.
MCV is reporting that Sony has enjoyed a 106% increase in PS4 sales since the launch of Infamous Second Son last week. These impressive sales numbers have shot Infamous Second Son straight to the top of the UKIE GfK Charts, surpassing Metal Gear V: Ground Zeroes. MCV was not willing to divulge what retailer is reporting these numbers but they have substantiated that it is from a trusted retailer source.
For those keeping score at home, Microsoft, who are fresh off the heels of releasing the much anticipated Titanfall have also enjoyed tremendous success with hardware sales. They reportedly had a 96% increase in sales, which is still 10% less than what Sony is reportedly to have moved. Since the release of Infamous Second Son and Metal Gear, sales of Titanfall have dropped by 73%, which puts EA’s mech shooter in the third spot on the UK Charts.
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:
- Is The Last of Us coming to the PlayStation 4?
- OlliOlli skating over to the PS4 and PS3 later this year
- Far Cry 4 Will Release Next Year And Take Place In The Himalayas
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.