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We are weeks away from the launch of the Xbox One, and now Microsoft Studios' Vice President, Phil Spencer, has come out and reiterated Microsoft's commitment to PC gaming. The news comes from a chat between Spencer and Shacknews, where Spencer revealed that Microsoft has a few core gamer-focused titles in production for Windows.
Spencer said: "We probably have more individual projects on Windows than we've had in ten years at Microsoft Studios. At the launch of Windows 8, we had about 30 games in the Windows Store. A lot of those you'd consider lightweight or casual games... But we've covered all of that property now. Now we're starting to look at bigger and core gamer things. I'm excited by that."
One of the biggest surprises here is that Spencer noted that cross-platform interactivity and content-sharing will be a key part of Microsoft's strategy going into the future. Spencer added: "For us, we're first-party across all Microsoft devices. We definitely think about ourselves that way in our studios. If you think about a service like Spotify or Netflix, you expect that service to work on any device you have. For some games, it will be similar. I just want to have an Xbox Live account and it works on my phone, on my console, and my Windows machine. And then I'll be able to access my content in a screen-appropriate way."
Now, 'cross-platform interactivity' is not the same as cross-platform play, isn't it? This is something that I would like to see going into the future: cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows-based devices, especially as 2014 will be the year of the Steam takeover.
What is EA thinking? It has been trying to shake off The Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" award, but now a report on Reddit has shown that EA forced itself to unleash Battlefield 4 too early, so that it could have the jump on Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Well, it looks like there are all sorts of issues with Battlefield 4 - myself, no issues here - but according to a QA tester at DICE, EA pumped BF4 through quality control and testing in order to beat COD: Ghosts to the market. This means that the various teams at DICE simply didn't have the time to properly test all of the features of BF4, its guns, weapons, and more. There are massive bugs such as the one that mutes everyone on the server if any player chooses a silencer on a particular weapon.
You can read the entire thing above, which is quite shocking, and disappointing. It means that we'll have to wait months for the game to be more stable, which after the whole BF3 debacle, I was hoping we'd skip this time around.
This morning Activision, the publisher of Call of Duty: Ghosts, announced that the game had managed to break the record set by Grand Theft Auto V, and managed to accumulate more than $1 billion in sales in the first 24 hours. This fulfills a promise made by Activision shortly after RockStar announced that they broke $1 billion in sales in just 3 days.
Unfortunately, Activision may be a little off in their estimates as the numbers they reported account for what is known as "Sell-In," which is how much retailers have paid the company for orders of the game. This means that retailers worldwide have purchased over $1 billion in copies and keys of the game, but $1 billion in actual retail sales might not have taken place yet.
For example, a retailer may purchase 3000 copies of the game for each of its stores, but might only sell 2000 of those copies per store. That leaves each store with 1000 unsold copies which it would return to Activision. This means that actual sales numbers differ from what Activision has reported today. So technically, they have not yet broken Rockstars GTA V sales record yet.
Back when Valve first announced SteamOS, we all knew that it would be something big, and today we got a glimpse of just how big it may be. 4A Games, the guys behind Metro: Last Light have just finished porting the game to Linux with full support for SteamOS, and a visit to the games page on Steam (Source link below) will confirm this.
A report from Shacknews, states that Metro: Last Light will be fully compatible with SteamOS and the Steam Controller in time for those lucky 300 to play on their beta-edition Steam Machines. Metro: Last Light is available now on Steam for just $39.99, but lets be honest, who has time to play with both Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts both out right now!
Evolution Studios' PS4 exclusive DriveClub, will be featured in PlayStation 4 retail kiosks, with Sony releasing a new video that shows off some gameplay footage of the racing title.
DriveClub boasts "team-based racing," social features and attention-to-detail graphics, such as beautiful animation when you step into your vehicle, making DriveClub feel that much more real. DriveClub was expected to launch side-by-side with the PS4, but has been delayed into 2014 unfortunately, like a lot of games these days.
Don't worry - I was surprised too: it looks like Valve will not be making any SteamOS, or Steam Machine exclusive games anytime soon. Valve has confirmed the news, too.
Designer Greg Coomer talked with IGN, where he said: "You won't see an exclusive killer app for SteamOS from us. We're not going to be doing that kind of thing." Valve spokesperson, Anna Sweet, also chimed in: "That would go against our whole philosophy, to launch something that's exclusive to SteamOS or Steam Machines."
Sweet added: "Whenever we talk to third-party partners, we encourage them to put their games in as many places as possible, including not on our platforms. Because we think that customers are everywhere, and they want to put their games wherever customers are."
I guess this is a good thing, as it means that even a system-seller like Half-Life 3 would reach any Steam-based platform, be it Windows, Mac OS X, SteamOS or any of the Steam Machines.
It's that time again everyone! Of course I am talking about the arrival of a new Humble Bundle and a fun and easy way to support some great charities. The new Humble Bundle features 6 games from Warner Bros. Games including Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, F.E.A.R. 3, and Lord of the Rings: War in the North.
For those who wish to pay a little extra to beat the average, ($4.56 at the time of this writing) you will also pick up Steam keys for Batman: Arkham City GOTY, and Scribblenauts Unlimited. This bundles chosen charity is the We Can Be Heroes foundation, which is designed to raise awareness and critical funds needed to fight the devastating hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa and bring help and hope to eight million people who are in urgent need of assistance.
I have purchased almost every humble bundle and weekly sale that has been offered so far, and today is no exception. I urge everyone to jump in and even if you can only afford to donate $1 you will land some sweet games, and help out a deserving charity at the same time. Do you plan on purchasing the new Humble Bundle? Let us know in the comments.
This morning Activision announced the official launch of the next installment in its Call of Duty franchise. Call of Duty: Ghost is built an all new, next-generation engine and places players in a battle scenario where they are heavily outnumbered and outgunned. This is a first for the series, and Activision is billing it as an "Epic Thrill Ride" that takes the franchise to the next level.
"The launch of Call of Duty has become a pop-cultural event shared by millions around the globe. We consider this a huge honour and it drives us to exceed our fans' expectations each and every time," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing Inc. "Call of Duty: Ghosts delivers on this promise with an epic thrill ride which takes the franchise to new heights on both current and next gen consoles. The teams at Infinity Ward, Raven and Neversoft have poured their hearts and souls into making this the must have gaming experience of the next generation. And of course, none of this would be possible without the most passionate fans in the world. Today is for them."
The game kicks off when the "Orbital Defense Initiative" or ODIN space station launches a strike on the earth after an intense firefight in space lands the weapon in the wrong hands. With your home destroyed, your brother and you come across an elite group of soldiers who are known as the Ghosts. You join up with their group and fight together as a squad to defend what's left of the earth. Our own Simon Hutchinson will have his full review of the game up soon, so stay tuned to TweakTown for the latest on Call of Duty: Ghosts.
According to some tweets from Arkane Studios' HR manager, Ashley Pierce, it looks like the developer of Dishonored is switching from Unreal Engine 3 to the CryEngine for its upcoming title.
Both Arkane and Battlecry Studios are developing with Crytek's infamous engine, which has powered the Crysis games (of course) but also the free-to-play MechWarrior Online. The news is coming thanks to the developer looking for a Tech Artist to "dive deep" into the CryEngine. Pierce was asked if Arkane was indeed using CryEngine, where she responded, "here in Austin we are!"
We know that Call of Duty: Ghosts will be filling up all of those pixels natively on 1080p displays on the PlayStation 4, but it won't be doing so on the Xbox One, a console where Call of Duty sells better this generation, anyway.
We've been all over it in the news, because it's a big problem when a game can't run at 1080p at 60FPS on a next-gen console, especially a game like COD: Ghosts. Well, the developer of the game, Infinity Ward, has come out and explained why their title won't be running at native 1080p on the Xbox One. Infinity Ward head honcho, Mark Rubin, said that they had to sacrifice resolution in order to get the game at a continuous 60 frames per second.
He continued: "It's very possible we can get it to native 1080p [resolution]. I mean I've seen it working at 1080p native. 's just we couldn't get the frame rate in the neighbourhood we wanted it to be. And it wasn't a lack of effort. It wasn't that it was like last minute. We had the theoretical hardware for a long time. That's the thing you get pretty quickly and that doesn't change dramatically. It was more about resource allocation. The resource allocation is different on the consoles. That huge web of tangled resources, whether it's threads-based or if it's GPU threads or if it's memory - whatever it is - optimisation is something that could go theoretically on forever."