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Handle With Care: PlayStation Vita’s Balance Sheet

Friday, 25 November 2011 06:15 GMT By Stace Harman

With the launch of Sony’s powerful, slick and connected PS Vita just around the corner, Stace Harman considers the consoles chances in a crowded handheld market.

Coming soon: PS Vita

Launched in Japan and Asian territories in December 17; international launch on February 22.

Comes in two flavours – standard WiFi, and 3G equipped. NTT Docomo and Vodafone are Sony’s “preferred” 3G partners, but other telcos may offer compatible sims and connections.

The 3G model is priced at $299/€299/£279/AUD$449.95.

12 first-party titles plus an unrevealed number of third-party offerings will be available at launch, along with bundled AR games and a system software suite which includes Flickr, Facebook, and more.

Will support PSP titles with upscaling, allow the limited transfer of UMD-based PSP games, and may even stream PS3 games.

PS Vita is undeniably a technically impressive and desirable piece of hardware. Having had relatively little hands-on time at previous events, I was looking forward to spending some quality time with it at Sony’s recent Vita showcase in London. Primarily, I was interested to see if I’d be convinced by it, in a way that I never really was by PSP, and I came away from the showcase impressed, but also slightly wary.
During the opening presentation, Michael Denny, senior VP of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, took to the stage to outline the company’s strategy regarding Vita, kicking off by reiterating that “Vita is a state-of-the-art portable device with games at its heart”.

Certainly, the games on show on the night combined with a strong first-party launch line-up reinforce his words. Don’t be tempted to doubt the strength of that line-up: any console launch that is accompanied by enough varied and attractive titles that you can’t reasonably afford all of its best offerings has offered a strong launch indeed.

A diverse mix of established brands and new IP was on offer at the Vita event, with Sony’s own WipEout 2048 one of the stars of the show. It managed to feel both a natural fit for Vita and offer moments in which it outshone its PS3 counterpart and cross-platform play with PS3’s WipEout HD and Fury – with any mix of up to eight Vita and PS3 competitors – worked seamlessly over a wi-fi connection. To clarify: WipEout 2048 will not launch on PS3, instead tracks from Vita’s 2048 and PS3’s HD and Fury will be available for cross-platform play, with the game that the host is running determining which tracks are available for that particular play session.

Similarly, the newly announced Motorstorm RC will offer arcade-style racing that’s heavy on social features, with the ability to ping challenges to your friends and share your best track times for asynchronous cross-platform play, in other words: ghost-based time-trial. Motorstorm RC is set to launch at a “competitive price” which will net you access to both the PS3 and PS Vita versions.

Escape Plan is certainly unique.

The visually striking puzzler, Escape Plan, and Zipper Interactive’s newly announced third-person shooter, Unit 13, both offer new IP options that exceeded my expectations, while Uncharted: Golden Abyss is technically accomplished for a handheld title. That, however, is both a compliment and a concern.

There’s a danger that, once the initial admiration for Sony Bend’s accomplishment of fitting Drake into a handheld wears off, too close a comparison with Naughty Dog’s visually impressive PS3 iterations may cause murmurs of dissatisfaction. Is it wrong to compare the Vita and PS3 versions of Drake’s adventures? Maybe. But relative perception of value is inevitable and, for those so far undecided about Vita, this perception will no doubt be informed by Sony’s software pricing structure.

The price of success
This is one of the things making me wary of Sony’s Vita strategy. Undoubtedly, with no new home consoles immediately forthcoming, Vita could pick up some gamers who are willing to spend a few hundred pounds on new hardware and view Vita has technically impressive enough to drop the required asking price. Then there are the early adopters who will buy regardless and likely decided they would purchase the console as soon as it was announced.

If you opt for the wi-fi only unit with two of the launch titles plus a modestly sized memory card, you’re conservatively looking at paying in excess of £300.

But for the huge middle-ground, that mass of sceptical wallet-conscious gamers, Vita is patently not in impulse-buy territory. Supposing that you opt for the wi-fi only unit with perhaps just two of the launch titles plus a modestly sized proprietary memory card, you’re conservatively looking at paying in excess of £300 – and that’s even taking into account retailer bundle deals.

If you’re looking at the 3G model and associated data plan, plus a couple of games and a 32GB memory card, that price sails past the £400 barrier. Furthermore, neither of those scenarios takes into account any UMD-based PSP games that you might want to convert to be able to play on Vita; a large library of PSP games to be converted could easily add an extra £100 to the price.

This is important, because however technically impressive Vita is it needs a positive start to avoid being beaten down by over-excited analysts and media outlets alike. Vita need only have a modest launch period, in which it sells in respectable but unspectacular numbers, and reports branding it a failure will quickly crop up, further sowing seeds of doubt in the minds of the fence-sitting gaming public who themselves will begin to perceive it as a failure in spite of themselves and continue to stay away.

“What Vita does first and foremost is to unashamedly be a gaming device.”

“[Launching a new handheld console] is a challenge,” acknowledges Graeme Ankers, executive game director at Sony’s Studio Liverpool. “But what Vita does first and foremost is to unashamedly be a gaming device. Yes, it has touch-screen but it also has physical controls and is tailored to deliver top-drawer gaming experiences; that’s its core thing.

“The secondary part is that it’s a very connected device and so it allows us to go cross-platform with WipEout, you could argue it one way or another but I think that’s a very compelling experience. It’s an out and out gaming device.

“I can’t really comment on the 3DS and why that wasn’t successful, but I think if we play to the strengths of what Vita is and what it does then I guess we’ll find out what people think when it launches.”

Alarm bells
At the London Games Conference in early November, the subject of handhelds was raised briefly by Nicholas Lovell, web entrepreneur and author of the Games Brief blog. He posited that dedicated gaming handhelds would lose ground in the coming years.

“It’s a tough time to be a handheld business,” he said in his LGC presentation. “What it used to offer was really good gaming on the go. What it offers now is really good gaming on the go, much more expensively than other really good gaming on the go. I think is a real problem.”

Gravity Daze: Not on iPhone.

It makes for an interesting sound bite, but more revealingly a poll of the 160-strong industry-centric audience showed that 82 per cent agreed that dedicated handhelds would be losers as the transitions to a predominantly digital marketplace.

However, when holding the Vita in your hands much of the nay-saying surrounding dedicated handheld devices and concerns about pricing fade away, to an extent. Quite simply, using a Vita makes you want a Vita. The lush 5” OLED and responsive front touch-screen and rear touchpad controls look and feel luxurious. The twin sticks, whilst perhaps a smidgen too small, are responsive.

Moreover, all of those social features that we’re being bludgeoned with whenever Vita is mentioned and are already sick of hearing about not only work as you’d expect them to, enabling you to share photos, browse the web, check in via Foursquare and connect game content to Facebook, they also provide solid and intelligent uses in-game.

Vita’s biggest challenge, then, will be to prove that it is neither just a souped-up PSP nor a handheld PS3 and to convince those, like me, who were never quite swayed by its predecessor that the thrill of the ride justifies the price of admission.

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19 Comments

  1. SuperGuyverUSA

    I personally can not wait for this machine to come out! I’m saving alot of money for it. Though, I must say to the people who think this will fail that it WILL fail for them. Gaming is exactly what we want it to be, and if they play more games on “phones” rather than game devices, then the future of gaming is in “phones”. I would like to see this change the gaming world, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. The_Red

    Great read. Vita has great visuals, good launch line-up (Perhaps the best compared to PS3, 360 or 3DS) and decent online features though the features I’m most excited about are the 2nd analogue and the rear touch screen. While I agree with most concerns mentioned, I think the biggest problem is lack of a “Wii Sports” like game for the masses or even a “Call of Duty” type of shooter.

    Even the rather expensive Kinect (When combined with the cost of 360 for most adopters) had Dance Central and Kinect Sports. They weren’t super hot but easily justified the price of admission for most non-committed consumers. Right now I’m dying to get my hands on Vita and titles like Gravity Rush / Daze and Uncharted GA but are they enough to get the masses who are already busy with Fruit Ninja on Tablets, Smartphones and Kinect? Hell, by the time Vita arrives there will be another chunk of audience playing Mario Kart on 3DS.

    Hopefully the quality of launch games, the system features and network features will ultimately help Vita stand against the tide of smartphones and tablets because of the 2 next gen gaming handhelds (Vita and 3DS), Vita is the only one with any chance (Nintendo is still ages behind in terms of online and connectivity which is more than essential for any modern digital device). If Vita fails, we could be looking at the definitive end of gaming only handhelds, which means no more 2nd analogue and that makes me sad :(

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Aimless

    I don’t think the Vita’s situation is that different to any new piece of gaming hardware. They don’t tend to launch at mass market prices — you could say neither the PS3 or 360 are at that point yet — but the cost will come down over time.

    Hardware pricing isn’t really the issue. In terms of unit sales the PSP is more successful than both the HD consoles, where it ran into trouble was with the attach rate of software as that’s where all the companies make their money. The real battle for the Vita is ensuring it doesn’t run into the same situation: I feel it’s in a much better place that its predecessor as it can host “console quality” games without such compromise and has a strong focus on digital delivery.

    Also, a small correction: Golden Abyss is being developed by Sony Bend, not Naughty Dog.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Elven_Star

    Nice read. I’m pretty sure Vita can do much better than 3DS, as long as Sony keeps pouring in good games.
    As for the “much more expensively than other really good gaming on the go” stuff, the other experiences you mention like iOS and Android devices are absolutely not comparable with what you get on even PSP, let alone Vita.
    I have played Final Fantasy Tactics and Crimson Gem Saga on both PSP and iPhone 4 and I couldn’t tolerate the iOS versions for more than a couple of minutes. Pretty much the same graphics, but control wise, worlds apart.
    In the end, it’s pretty clear that no core gamer can look at iOS and Android devices as his first, and as some people claim, only choice for gaming on the go. And with introducing Minis, Sony has addressed the casual gaming issue as well. The only problem was that developing for Android/iOS was much easier. Vita supports Android software now, so I guess that won’t be an issue anymore.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. FeaturePreacher

    Can’t wait for COD for the vita. If that title reaches half the current COD audience, it can hopefully silence the nonsense of cloistered critics and their pitiful promotion of phoney games.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DarkElfa

    I hate Sony as my long list of posts against them would attest, but even I’m thinking of buying one.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. The_Red

    Also, let’s not forget about the huge problem that is the launch date outside of Japan. Vita really needed to come out before Christmas. By the time it arrives on most market, people have already spent their money on 3DS and Mario Kart.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Goffee

    And there was me assuming the Balance Sheet was some Wii board like peripheral. Ultimately, this is a plain consumer choice pure and simple – if it gets off to a slow start, Sony will cut the price as Nintendo had too.

    But over the 5-to-7 years of its lifespan (just like the PSP) Sony will rake it in – and it has a lot more software (in the form of publishers, casual games and back catalog) to back up the hardware with this time.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. OrbitMonkey

    Who wants to bet that a week before launch, Microsoft reveal/leak their next console?

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Johnny Cullen

    @3 – I’ve fixed it.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. 2plus2equals5

    November 30th i’ll preorder vita so i’ll get ear headphones :D

    #11 3 years ago
  12. The_Red

    @9 I would be really ironic since Sony did the same with with “NGP” the day serious 3DS info was coming out last year.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. daytripper

    @9 nah e3 it will be.

    i want a vita but the price coming to £300 for memory and a game also is a bit of a sticking point for me, i’ll eventually get one however when the price drops

    #13 3 years ago
  14. manamana

    If Guerilla is bringing a decent KZ to the Vita – I’m in!

    #14 3 years ago
  15. HauntaVirus

    This looks great but I might wait for the Slim version which is a few years down the road.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Christopher Jack

    Well Sony certainly has a bigger chance to make an impact in the handheld gaming world with both PSV & PlayStation Suite than Microsoft does with WP7. My new Omnia 7 is naked! I just hope that MS are able to continue updating the platform & that my phone doesn’t get kicked to the curb any time soon.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Kabby

    Certainly looks way ahead of the 3DS at this point in time. I’m sure Sony are a little worried for Europe after the PSP more or less tanked next to the DS.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Telepathic.Geometry

    Honestly, I have nothing against Sony (I own and adore my PS3), but I can’t see anything that I would want this machine for that I couldn’t just do at home on my PS3. You can knock DS all you want, but from the start, it has always offered something you couldn’t get on your Wii/Gamecube.

    PSP is just like a miniaturised PS2/PS3 as far as I can see, potential touchscreen stuff being in there notwithstanding. I’m sure the faithful won’t agree with me there, but it seems like that to me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one…

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Christopher Jack

    @18, I disagree. Sony was pushing full fledged gaming into an area that’s only known very basic & primarily 2D games. While I do believe that those tried & true games like super Mario & the Pokemon jrpgs had a point, they were accessible & easy to get Into- something that the psp wasn’t exactly reknown for.

    Imo, all the PSV would need to do to fix that is have all games require an instant save/load function, usable even through the likes of cutscenes, which should probably be avoided in the first place for a portable game, but the fact that the hardware wouldn’t restrict the devs from that in the first place is only a testament to the doors that Sony have pushed open.

    #19 3 years ago

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    Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD Edition is now available on PC as well as Android and iOS tablets. The fifteen year-old title has been revamped in full HD and includes the seven original campaign scenarios and 48 skirmish maps. Local multiplayer mode, a map editor and a Steam lobby are also included.

  • 50 finalists for Bohemia Interactive’s Make Arma Not War contest announced

    The 50 finalists for Bohemia Interactive’s €500,000 Make Arma Not War contest have been announced, after the firm combed through over 250 entries. Finalists chosen in the single-player category were chosen by Arma 3 players, and the add-on and multipkayer entries were selected by Bohemia Interactive. Winners for the next round will be evaluated by […]

  • Here’s a new batch of gruesome Killing Floor 2 screenshots

    Tripwire Interactive has released a new batch of screenshots for Killing Floor 2. The screens show various weapons as well as a variety of Zeds ready to tear you to shreds. Killing Floor 2 is slated for release this year on PC and PlayStation 4. It will also be made available for SteamOS.

  • Hatred is now available for pre-order, new video released

    Hatred is now available for pre-order through the game’s official website. There are two editions to choose from: Digital version with the official game soundtrack for €16.66; or the Digital version with the game soundtrack and a T-shirt for €36.66. The second edition is limited to 1,485 units. Hatred, which was handed an AO rating […]

  • This The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D TV spot is sort of creepy

    With The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D arriving on the first Friday the 13th of the year, it’s only fitting Nintendo would release a slightly creepy TV spot for it. The game’s concept is rather dark, and while it the commercial isn’t too creeptastic, for as short as it is the message is conveyed […]

  • GTA 5 “documentary” chronicles the life of a Tennis Pro

    Here’s another user created video featuring footage from GTA 5, but this one is a documentary instead of crazy stunts, mayhem and face-plants. Created by Bombastic Gamer Films, the documentary delves into the life of Tennis Pro Andreas Schmovakovic, who is both the “greatest player in the world, and the worst.” It’s rather good honestly. […]

  • World of Tanks Xbox 360 updated with console exclusive Pacific Island map, JapaneseChi-Nu Kai tank

    World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition has been updated with a new and exclusive console-only map called “Pacific Island”, which also comes with a Japanese tank. Players will be able to wreck havoc in their very own Japanese Chi-Nu Kai tank, which ca be picked up through the in-game store for Tier 5. It tank […]

  • Here’s the first trailer for OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

    Roll 7 has released the first trailer for OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood. Gameplay in the second outing will include ramps, jumps and hills, allowing for plenty of air and split level routes. It comes with a deeper combo system with Manuals, Reverts, Revert Manuals and Grind Switching. The ‘Tricktionary’ has also been updated with new […]

  • Learn all about the single-player mode in this Evolve video

    A video showing off the single-player portion of Evolve has been released by 2K and Turtle Rock. All content in the game can be played in either online multiplayer or offline in single-player. The video below contains two matches of Defend mode played from both the Monster and Hunter perspective. AI obviously takes on the […]

  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U update comes with 15 extra stages

    An update for Super Smash Bros. Wii U has been released, and it comes with 15 new stages for the 8-player mode. The update, version 1.0.2., is 316MB in size and the stages are split with nine normal stages and six Omega stages. Here’s the list: Regular stages Animal Crossing – Smashville Animal Crossing – […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update includes Metroid Prime Trilogy, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. demo

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Shadow of the Ninja on Virtual Console and a demo for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Here’s your update: Metroid Prime: Trilogy – Wii U Rock ’N Racing Off Road – Wii U Frenchy Bird – Wii U Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. – […]

  • Battlefield Hardline open beta takes place next week on all systems

    Details and dates for the Battlefield Hardline open multiplayer beta were announced by EA and Visceral Games today. From February 3-8, the beta will be available to all players worldwide on Origin for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. You’ll notice that the dates coincide with the Microsoft slip up earlier in […]

  • Transistor, Yakuza 4, Thief headline February PS Plus offerings

    Sony has announced your free PlayStation Plus games for the month of February. Come February 3 in North America and February 4 in Europe, Plus members on both side of the pond will be gifted with the following: Transistor (PS4) Apotheon (PS4) Yakuza 4 (PS3) Thief (PS3) Rogue Legacy (PS Vita|PS4|PS3) Kick & Fennick (PS […]

  • Life is Strange launch trailer and final dev diary released

    With the first episode of Life is Strange releasing tomorrow, Dontnod Entertainment has released the last developer diary for the title as well as the launch trailer. Titled Creating Arcadia Bay, the video provides more information on the licensed soundtrack as well as the voice actors behind Max and Chloe. It also touches upon how […]

  • LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers out this year

    LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers have been announced by Warner Bros., the former was outed by Toys R Us and then teased at the end of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, if you recall. LEGO Jurassic World encompasses all four Jurassic Park films and will be made available in June for 3DS, PC, […]

  • Pokemon, Super Smash Bros. top Nintendo’s million units sales list for Q3

    Nintendo has posted a list of titles which have sold millions of units as part of its quarter three earnings release. Global unit sales of 3DS titles for the nine months ending December 31, 2014: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: 9.35 million (life-to-date, same) Super Smash Bros.: 6.19 million (life-to-date, same) Tomodachi Life: 2.11 […]

  • How to take a screenshot on Xbox One: a lesson in frustration

    Trying to do just one simple thing seems to have 360 steps with Microsoft – why is the Xbox One’s functionality such a car crash? “The Xbox One’s definition of usability is in fact the exact opposite – this is a console designed to make life inconvenient for its players unless they sign up for […]

  • Game of Thrones’ Westeros is being made in Minecraft by 125 people

    WesterosCraft, the project dedicated to creating the entirety of Game of Thrones’ Westros has resurfaced. There are more than a few ambitious Minecraft projects, but hardly any as impressive as WesterosCraft. We first came across it all the way back in January 2013, but it looks much better now. “I would say the world is […]

  • Dying Light exploit gives you unlimited money and items

    Dying Light has been out for just over a day and an infinite money and item exploit is already out there. A simple exploit has been discovered in Dying Light that lets you duplicate weapons, all of which you can sell for profit. Win/ win. YouTuber PowerPyx lays out the steps in the handy video […]

  • Sunset Overdrive concept art is as jovial as the game itself

    Sunset Overdrive is a colourful game which is partly due to its concept art. The concept art featured below is created by Vaughan Ling, one of the concept artsists who worked on Sunset Overdrive. Anyone who’s played the game will immediately recognise the locations, weapons, character designs and general atmosphere of the game through these. […]

  • Get an extended look at the PS4 version of Project CARS

    The PlayStation 4 version of Project CARS has been shown in 1080p 60fps. The video below is captured by racing game enthusiasts Team VVV from a preview build. You can see different racing disciplines being demonstrated here, on different circuits. The game’s impressive visuals get even better when the weather gets worse.

  • Battle Pod is the Star Wars arcade game you’ve waited your whole life for

    Star Wars: Battle Pod is an arcade game that lets you replay the battles of the original trilogy, and features an incredible cockpit. If you’ve never played a game at an arcade before, Star Wars: Battle Pod will definitely be the one to change your mind. It’s an arcade cabinet out of a classic Star […]

  • CoD Exo Zombies: how to unlock the Ride of the Valkyries Easter egg

    To no one’s surprise, Exo Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has some Easter eggs. The first Exo Zombies Easter egg, of surely many more to come, has been discovered. It’s a musical one that involves Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How you unlock it is not as convoluted as you might […]

  • Dying Light is sub-1080p on Xbox One, full 1080p on PS4 – report

    Early analysis of Dying Light on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has revealed a few technical details about both ports. Digital Foundry has produced some analysis of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Dying Light based on some early testing. Both versions manage a solid 30 frames-per-second, only dipping below that in […]

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault DLC free to all EA Access members

    EA is offering Battlefield 4′s Second Assault expansion free to anyone with an active EA Access subscription. Anyone with an active subscription to EA Access can download the Second Assault expansion pack for Battlefield 4 starting January 29 and through February 28, free of charge. All you need to do is find it on the […]

  • The Witcher 3 is getting optimised, but no visual downgrade

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the final stages of development and developer CD Projekt RED is making sure optimisation work doesn’t impact the game’s visuals. The Witcher 3 art producer, Michal Stec, spoke to Eternity in an interview and was asked whether the team will downgrade the visuals to get better performance. “No. […]

  • Can’t download Dying Light on PS4? Here’s a fix

    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers – PewDiePie, others weigh-in

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets, and some prominent YouTubers aren’t pleased with the company. Update “What Nintendo are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTube,” wrote Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) on his […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]

  • An average Evolve match takes less than ten minutes

    Evolve players are pretty quick at hunting each other down. Evolve developer Turtle Rock has released an infographic brimming with statistics garnered from its recent beta test. One of the key takeaways is that all three monsters, and all four classes, are working as intended – their performance in game matches Turtle Rock’s designs. If […]

  • Super Mario Amiibo can be pre-ordered on Nintendo UK, Mario and Peach sold out

    The latest set of Amiibo in the Super Mario series is now available for pre-purchase through the Nintendo UK Store. Each of the following sports a red base and will run you £10.99: Bowser, Luigi, Mario, Peach, Toad and Yoshi. It looks like Peach and Mario are both sold out, though. All six can be […]

  • The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 free to download now

    League of Legends has excellent music, and now you can have it too. The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 collects 15 tracks from the MOBA’s history, and is available for free. You can grab the music from iTunes, Google Play or via direct download. Tere’s an example track below to get you in […]

  • Super Bowl 49 update arrives on Madden NFL Mobile

    With Super Bowl 49 occurring this coming Sunday, February 1, EA Sports has updated Madden NFL Mobile with new feature enhancements and Super Bowl-themed Live Events. Updates include: League vs League Tournaments Obstacle Course Super Bowl Bonus Players Tom Brady and Richard Sherman Super Bowl Legends Super Bowl Moments Upgraded Auction House The Super Bowl […]

  • See Super Smash Bros.’ unused custom moves

    Super Smash Bros. was originally intended to have 16 custom moves per character. The final version of Super Smash Bros. only features 12 custom moves per fighter, but Nintendo left animations for some of the cut moves in place. A Youtuber called RED has dug these cut mvoes out of the brawler’s code, and displayed […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt contains 16 hours of sex scene mo-cap data

    Sex is nothing new to the The Witcher games, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is no exception. In fact, it contains 16 hours of sex scene motion capture data. Giggity. There’s a reason for the bedroom dalliances though, as Geralt is a flesh and blood human, or a modified human at any rate, with […]

  • Here’s the launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

    A launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered has been released after an Amazon listing was revealed for it over the weekend. Key upgrades include: High-definition Graphics — All of the in-game textures have been meticulously recreated in HD for mobile and desktop. Widescreen Support – A true widescreen (not cropped) view strengthens the game’s […]

  • The open beta for Battlefield Hardline will be dated tomorrow

    The exact dates as well as more information on the Battlefield Hardline open beta will be shared tomorrow. This is according to the latest blog post from developer Visceral Games. “We’ll share the exact dates and info on the Battlefield Hardline open beta tomorrow,” wrote Visceral boss Steve Papoutsis. “Stay tuned, thanks again, and keep […]

  • Upcoming Hearthstone patch to apply balance change to Undertaker

    An upcoming Hearthstone patch will apply a balance change to the Undertaker card, Blizzard has announced. After the release of Goblins vs Gnomes, Blizzard said it kept an “eye on the state of game balance” as more matches were played using the additional cards. Released with The Curse of Naxxramas, Undertaker is considered an overly […]