Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn't just open world, but open altogether. There's no set path or set road, or one way to do something. It won't have any one equation to solving puzzles, tackling quests, or besting baddies in battle: the game will offer tons of different ways to experiment, ensuring that players do things their own way.
Now that Breath of the Wild is finished and ready to be shipped alongside the Nintendo Switch on March 3, game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi has delivered some interesting answers in a recent Famitsu interview. We haven't heard anything from Fujibayashi on the project--likely because he's been busily working on the game for the past five years--so this is a rare treat, one that really highlights the core tenants of what Breath of the Wild actually is.
"There may have been a "single road" to the LoZ games so far. But this time there will be a lot of solutions for one question. Including some we didn't even imagine during the development. Every time one solution was discovered, it surprised even the developers that you could do it this way," Fujibayashi said in the interview.
Nintendo's second mobile game Fire Emblem: Heroes is already swinging out of the gate, and has already raked in $2.9 million in its first day of availability.
Nintendo continues to make paradigm shifts towards a more profitable and open-ended business structure, and its budding smartphone gaming focus will be a big part of that. The company's second major mobile game, Fire Emblem Heroes, is proof that the once-ailing Japanese games-maker is keen on turning everything around. In just a few short months Nintendo learned from its mistakes with Super Mario Run and pulled a complete 180 reversal to enable a more traditional free-to-play microtransaction-laden "freemium" type of focus, and it's paid off in dividends.
While Fire Emblem Heroes only earned 1/4th of Super Mario Run's day one earnings, the former game is a much more lucrative long-term strategy. Nintendo listened to shareholders and investors and implemented the "gacha" business model, which is essentially built around gambling: players buy in-game "orb" currency priced at $1.99 to $74.99 and redeem orbs for packs without knowing what will be in them, counting on luck to unlock key characters. This system is responsible for the long-term success of most major smartphone games especially in Japan, where Fire Emblem Heroes is off to a roaring start.
If it was up to Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan, mouse and keyboard players would be banned on consoles, Kaplan said: "We have contacted both first-party console manufacturers and expressed our concern about the use of mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices".
Kaplan added: "We have lobbied and will continue to lobby for first-party console manufacturers to either disallow mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices or openly and easily support mouse and keyboard for all players. I encourage you to reach out to the hardware manufacturers and express your concerns (but please do so in a productive and respectful way)".
The reason for the comments came from a thread that had posters saying that most high-end Overwatch players on both the PS4 and Xbox One are using a mouse and keyboard, and not the traditional controller, with some gamers asking if Blizzard thinks this is cheating or not, as a mouse and keyboard has much higher accuracy and speed over the controller. Should professional Overwatch matches be allowed to use the mouse and keyboard on consoles?
There will be some of our older readers that will remember the good times they had in previous TimeSplitters games over many different platforms over the years, and we'll hopefully be able to do it again soon with TimeSplitters Rewind.
TimeSplitters Rewind is being made by Cinder Interactive arts, as the company has all of the original assets from TimeSplitters, and is using it all as its concept work to build new assets that are at the current levels of the gaming industry. The team is using CryEngine as the engine behind TimeSplitters Rewind, so we should expect it's a great looking, and hopefully well optimized game when it's released in 2018.
Resident Evil 7 is a great looking game, but the lack of 21:9 aspect ratio support for UltraWide monitor games is disappointing - but will the game ever support UltraWide resolutions? It seems not, according to Capcom - the developer of the game said: "There are currently no plans to support wide aspect ratio monitors".
Capcom also talked about the reasoning behind the 90-degree FOV lock, as there is an artistic and technical reason behind it, with Capcom explaining: "FOV capped at 90 degrees is a game design decision". They continued: "The dev team explored potentially going wider after seeing feedback from the demo, but going wider introduces issues where certain objects, textures, etc. are then not fully rendered out for performance considerations. It will also have performance implications since going wider will introduce more objects into the scenery. Having too much peripheral vision for this type of game can also lessen the tension and atmosphere intended for the game".
From the way I'm taking this news, we won't have 21:9 aspect ratio support because of the artistic feel - which I think would be fine, but the performance reasons aren't strong enough for me. 3440x1440 is easier on your graphics card to render than 4K (3840x2160) - and even if it were 'too much', they could just warn people they would need a better graphics card.
Final Fantasy VII: Remake is still a long ways off, and there's no guarantee the game will even be shown off this year let alone shipped. What's more is the game is a multi-part series, meaning it won't be released all at once and instead launched in chapters. Given how long the Remake is taking, the episodes could end up on different console generations--provided the iterative cycle doesn't continue, of course.
Remember when Final Fantasy 15 was supposed to come to PS3 as Final Fantasy XII: Versus? Many years later the game showed up on PS4 and never shipped on PS3 due to difficulties. Could something similar affect the new Final Fantasy VII: Remake? Will each episode basically end up its own self-contained game due to inconsistent performance and quality? According to game producer Yoshinori Kitase, the final chapter of FF7: Remake could very well be much different than the first chapter, creating a kind of fractured game-within-a-game sentiment.
When Famitsu asked "should the production be prolonged due to being in multiple titles, will the rest of the titles maintain the quality from the first?" Kitase said: "With the quality line set in place, it's our duty to carry on and protect it until the very end without having any disturbances for the episodes under production. But of course as we advance through the episodes, it'll only be natural to have quality that is fitting for the next generation [of when the episode releases]."
EA expects to sell about 3 million copies of Mass Effect: Andromeda in its first week or so, and here's how that will affect the company's overall Fiscal Year 2017 earnings.
Mass Effect: Andromeda will ship on March 21, 2017 which is right at the fourth quarter end of EA's current Fiscal Year (FY17). This is not by mistake. EA slotted the new Mass Effect game in this spot specifically as a business strategy to help bolster an already-stellar year of earnings. In its third quarter (ending Dec. 31) EA hit $1 billion of operational cashflow for the first time ever, and pulled in a net revenue of $1.149 billion. That's pre-Mass Effect: EA expects BioWare's RPG will have a massive effect on the fourth quarter earnings, and forecasts have net revenue estimates at $1.482 billion. From Q3 to Q4 2017 EA forecasts a $333 million increase in net revenue, and Mass Effect will be a major part of those earnings, but all of EA's current money-makers are included as well.
As such, EA expects that 30% to 50% of Mass Effect: Andromeda's lifetime sales will be sold through the game's launch period in Q4 2017. Mass Effect 3 sold about 6 million units at launch, so EA estimates the new Mass Effect could sell between 1.8 million and 3 million during its launch. Since the FY 2017 ends on March 31, 2017, Mass Effect: Andromeda will have 10 days or so to sell up to 3 million combined digital and physical copies on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Digital-only purchases are a different story. EA typically stops recording digital sales about 5-7 days before the actual fiscal year is over, so that leaves about a 3-5 day period for digital purchases to be included in the FY 2017 earnings.
Sony's new 4K-ready PS4 Pro might get a new feature that natively optimizes frame rate threshold in games that don't yet have PS4 Pro Forward Compatibility upgrade patches, essentially letting every PS4 game harness the power of the new console.
Right now if you want to play your favorite game in 1080p 60FPS, 4K 30FPS or native 4K on the PS4 Pro you have to wait for the publisher/developer to roll out an enhancement patch. Sometimes these patches never come. As it stands PS4 games can't natively leverage the power of the PS4 Pro's beefier Polaris-grade GPU and overclocked CPU to enable higher frame rates and resolution. But what if you didn't have to wait? What if your entire games library could leverage some of the PS4 Pro's power by default and you weren't at the mercy of developers?
That might actually be about to happen. According to a Japanese beta tester screenshot on NeoGAF, the Sasuke update will enable "Boost Mode" which optimizes FPS in PS4 games without that don't have the required patches.
Sony today announced a long overdue feature is coming to the PlayStation 4: external hard drive support.
The new PS4 System Software Update 4.50 (aka Sasuke) will add support for external hard drives up to 8TB in capacity to all PlayStation 4 models (PS4, PS4 Slim, PS4 Pro) effectively allowing gamers to completely circumvent the most annoying feature of the current generation of consoles: too little storage for 50GB+ games.
There's one caveat, however: Sony seems to affirm that only USB 3.0 SuperSpeed hard drives will work for external storage. "With this update, you have the option to store content to an external HDD. Just plug a USB 3.0 HDD into your PS4, and voilà, you now have more space on the console," reads a post on the PlayStation Blog.
In its latest Q3 2017 financial earnings report, EA reveals that it's raked in an insane $1.115 billion in operating cash flow in a single three-month period. This is the first time EA has achieved such a feat in a single quarter, and expects strong titles and services to continue the momentum into FY2018.
"For the first time ever, we generated over $1 billion in operating cash flow in a quarter. This is a true testament to the innovation we built into Battlefield 1 and FIFA 17 and the continued strength of our digital live services," said EA Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen.
Overall the Q3 2017 performance exceeded EA's guidance forecasts, and EA predicts that its financial future will be even better: the company forecasts that its Q4 2017 (ending March 31, 2017) net revenue will increase to $1.482 billion compared to Q3 2017's net revenue of $1.149 billion, likely bolstered by new content such as Mass Effect: Andromeda, Battlefield Premium purchases from Battlefield 1's They Shall Not Pass DLC, and accumulated services, content, etc.