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EA pushing cross-platform 'single identity' system, prepares for next-gen consoles, PC and Mac platform integration
EA has sat down with VentureBeat to talk about a future of gaming with EA under a single identity across multiple platforms, even if that platform is Xbox 360, iOS, or Mac. This move will see EA follow gamers across all platforms, where they can track their activity and even move into new business models that would better target consumers. EA's chief technology officer, Rajat Taneja, said:
Our strategic vision at EA is to create a single backend system so that we can truly embrace the secular trends in our industry that are creating massive growth for games. And we will be able to embrace all of the new business models that come with that.
All of this is the work of 1500 engineers, and more than 18 months of pure time. It's all part of a major investment that EA chief executive John Riccitiello has made, in order to help the company bridge from being just a game publisher, to a multi-platform digital games company.
I think it was all inevitable - EA doing this, will only see gamers embraced instead of fenced off in their respective platforms. Being able to game on the Xbox or PlayStation, and then quickly jump up and get on the bus or train for school or work, and continue gaming under that identity on your smartphone or tablet, is going to be great - for everyone.
You might not know who Respawn Entertainment are right now, but in a few months time, I'm sure they're going to blow most of our minds away with some next-gen first-person shooter. Vince Zampella and Jason West are the brains behind Respawn Entertainment, the two guys who were the co-founders of Infinity Ward - the developer behind Call of Duty.
Zampella told the world Respawn was attending E3 2013 through his Twitter account, where he said "I've gotten a 'few' questions about @e3expo plans this year. Yes, we will finally be at E3!" There's no details on what we should expect to see, but I think we should get ready for some mind-blowing next-gen FPS on the next-gen consoles and PC. The time for gaming to really change is here, and with the guys who bought us the first, and arguably best Call of Duty titles, we should be nothing but excited right now.
Sony has confirmed that all PlayStation 4 games will be available as digital downloads. This is part of Sony's push to the cloud and will reduce the costs to game manufacturers as they don't have to produce CDs. Shuhei Yoshida, Worldwide Studios President at Sony, confirmed the details.
We're shifting our platform more and more to the digital side - PS4 will be similar to PS Vita in that every game will be available as a digital download, and some will also be available as a disc.
It's very possible that this cloud push could result in smaller titles not being available in physical form in countries where broadband internet is widely available. We'll know more once the console actually launches around holiday 2013.
One of the original Xbox launch titles was Project Gotham Racing, something I thoroughly enjoyed alongside the original Halo, but Microsoft have put it in the pit stops permanently, until now it seems. Just weeks before we expect the next-generation Xbox to be unveiled, Microsoft have renewed their trademark for Project Gotham Racing.
Trademarkia is the source, and the trademark covers "computer programs, namely, game software for use on computers and video game players" and was registered back in 2001 before the first game launched. This is just business, the renewing of trademarks, but weeks before the next-gen Xbox unveiling has rumors circling that we could expect a next-gen PGR from Lucid Games, now wouldn't that be exciting?
It looks like Minecraft is about to hit quite the milestone, with that milestone being version 1.5 of the game. Minecraft's upcoming 1.5 patch has been codenamed "Redstone", and will sport quite the list of improvements and additions to the insanely popular 8-bit game.
The latest update will include improvements of:
- changes to the gaming engine
- rendering optimizations
- mobs will include an improved UI
- mobs will no longer be able to walk over rails unless they are after you
- improved inventory system
- death messages now include cause of death, items used to kill you, and who did the dirty deed
- bug fixes... and more bug fixes
If you were waiting to hear on what would actually get added to the game, here's that new list:
- new texture packs
- the game will now allow animated texture packs
- a scoreboard system to track kills, deaths, or commands
Added items include
- Redstone Comparator
- Daylight sensor
- Trapped chest
- Weighted pressure plate
- Activator rail
- Detector rail
- Minecart with TNT
- and more
Watch Dog developer says the PS4 is "easier" to develop for, the game will be "pushed further" on the PS4
I only became aware of Watch Dogs last week when a friend pointed it out to me, I was blown away - it looks truly incredible. The game was then shown off during the PlayStation 4 unveiling late last week and now we're hearing some discussion from developer Ubisoft Montreal on the game. Senior producer on the game Dominic Guay, has said that the PS4 version of Watch Dogs pushes all aspects of the game further, he told Digital Spy:
I guess the image I would give [compared to PS3] is that it's like a magnifying lens. I'll give you small examples; it's like the fidelity of the wind, how it will have everything reacting as it blows through the city, the AI reaction when something happens, every AI has to make a decision on how they'll react to it. We can spend more time in the brain of each AI with a more powerful machine, saying, 'OK, how will I react to what just happened there? Where will I run to? Will I call the cops?', or stuff like that. Fundamentally the core, innovative part of Watch Dogs is the same on every platform. But on PS4 we're able to push every lever a lot further.
If there's a single game I'm excited for in the next couple of years, it has to be Battlefield 4. Battlefield 3 really pushed the boundaries within the first-person shooter in terms of graphics, but the next one should amp that up considerably.
EA labels president Frank Gibeau has said:
We've been investing and innovating on new technology for months. Console partners who have seen our early work agree, EA's next-gen software is nothing short of astonishing. At a GameStop company meeting earlier this week, we gave 500 store managers a sneak peak at Battlefield 4. The game received a huge ovation and thousands of fans reacted to a single enthusiastic Tweet by GameStop's CEO.
At the end of last month, Gibeau told investors that EA would share the first official details of Battlefield 4 in "about 30 days". We're now 30 days into those 90, so we're just two months from hearing this information. The game is coming "next year" and will reach next-gen consoles and PC.
Numerous industry sources, including some Sony employees, expect that Microsoft will unveil the next-generation Xbox at an event in April. A senior Sony official stated he was informed that the PS4 unveiling had "at first caught Microsoft off-guard. We definitely ruffled some feathers."
Another indication that the next-gen Xbox is just around the corner is that a Microsoft media partner, Ustechs, has registered the internet domain XboxEvent.com. Microsoft continues to decline to comment about the next-gen Xbox.
As we've previously reported, the actual PlayStation 4 console was noticeably absent from the unveiling Wednesday night. Sony said that this was due to the console's hardware and design still being finalized. The CEO of Sony has now come out and said that we should see the actual console at E3 or sooner.
"I would look for E3 as a time when you'll get a good look at it," he told Forbes in an interview. "Or sooner."
As soon as actual pictures of the PlayStation 4 surface, you can be sure that you'll be able to find them here on TweakTown.
During Wednesday's PS4 event we were given a look at an extended play-through of one of the next-gen console's launch titles, Killzone: Shadow Fall. The graphics were impressive, but the demo was being played by an experienced Sony staffer who could have had weeks of play time ahead of the launch.
Last night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, we once again got to see Killzone: Shadow Fall in action. This time however, Fallon himself took to the touch-pad equipped DualShock 4 controller. The graphics were still quite astonishing, and gameplay remained smooth. Unfortunately, Fallon did not fare well in the battle on the screen, and the demo quickly turned into a shouting match.
Interestingly enough, we still did not see any glimpse of the PS4 console itself, which lends further credence to the stories of it still being deep in development. We are a little disappointed that we have yet to see a physical console with all the hype that has been generated over the past week. The least Sony could do is show off some super sleek concept prototype.