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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

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Bungie today released its Destiny teaser for tomorrow’s livestream, which focuses on Prison of Elders. Below is a breakdown of the teaser and what to expect tomorrow. Arekkz Gaming gives you the lowdown above. You can watch the full stream tomorrow here on the site. House of Wolves is out on May 19.

  • The 3D Realms Anthology is now available on Steam for PC and Mac

    The 3D Realms Anthology, announced back in October, is now available on Steam for PC and Mac for a limited-time price of $29.99. After the introductory period has ended, it will run you $39.99. The collection contains 32 games, which if purchased individually would you run more than $120. Here’s the list in case you […]

  • A Portal-themed pinball table is coming to Zen Pinball later this month

    Valve and Zen Studios have announced a Portal-themed pinball table is coming to Zen Pinball. The table will be made available on all pinball platforms, including Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX2, from May 25. Called the “Aperture Science Heuristic Portal Pinball Device”, it contains the characters Chell, Wheatley and of course GLaDOS. Portal Pinball […]

  • Star Wars characters coming with release of Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits

    Star Wars characters are coming to Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits. Disney says it will contain “many favorite characters and include more gameplay content and variety than ever before.” There will be three Star Wars Play sets: Twilight of the Republic set in the Episodes 1-3 timeline, Rise Against the Empire set during the […]

  • Hearthstone has been played by 30 million people

    Blizzard’s strategy game Hearthstone has 30 million players, the developer announced on Twitter. The figure doesn’t breakdown players numbers by platform, but Activision will release its recent financial report tomorrow, so maybe more information will be forthcoming. Hearthstone was releases on PC March 14, 2014 followed by Mac, phones, and tablets. Blackrock Mountain, the latest […]

  • Tomorrow’s Destiny livestream focuses on Prison of Elders – here’s a teaser

    Another Destiny: House of Wolves livestream takes place tomorrow, and it will focus on Prison of the Elders. The Prison of Elders is a prison facility in The Reef which is watched over by Variks and is part of the new Arena game mode which is limited to three players. The livestream will be hosted […]

  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced for current and last-gen

    Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced by Activision, which isn’t shocking in the slightest. Correction: My stupid brain has EA on it due to the financials release later today. The game is being published by Activision. Not EA and I previously stated. I apologize, and have reprimanded myself in a most sever manner. […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition is sold out in the UK

    Hopefully, you pre-ordered the Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition in the UK already. If not, you are likely out of luck. According to GAME, the pack which contains the Half Scale Replica of Snake’s Bionic Arm has sold out in the UK. The retailer confirmed the news to Videogamer this morning. […]

  • Far Cry 4 Complete Edition coming June 19 for PC, PS4 to the UK

    A Far Cry 4 Complete Edition has been announced and it includes the full game as well as the Season Pass. This is the sku which popped up on Amazon Germany earlier in the week. The Season Pass provides access to five separate pieces of DLC. Here’s a refresher on the DLC content: The Syringe: […]

  • The Witcher 3: live Q&A stream with CDP, new monster dev diary inside

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out in just two weeks, and if you want to know more about Geralt’s latest adventure, CD Projekt is hosting a live Q&A now on Twitch. There’s also a new developer diary below which focuses on monster in the game. The Witcher 3 is out on May 19. Huzzah! […]

  • Forza Horizon 2′s Alpinestars Car Pack has five cars and is ready for download

    The Alpinestars Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 is out now on Xbox One and its the only way you will ever be able to afford a 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport. Unless, of course, you win the lottery or are left in some rich person’s will. In that case, I’ll take the ’53 Corvette, […]

  • Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition has been released in North America. It will be made available in the Europe on May 7 and in the UK May 8 for £49.99 on consoles and £34.99 on PC. As previously announced, this edition contains all previously released DLC content as well as […]

  • Two GAME exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians now available for pre-order

    GAME has announced two exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians, and both are now available for pre-order exclusively through one of the retail chain’s 318 stores or online. The £79.99 Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians, which delivers new digital content wrapped in a steel book. There’s also the £199.99 Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition […]

  • Deals with Gold: Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Bioshock Infinite, more

    Microsoft has announced its latest Deals with Gold discounts for Xbox Live Gold members. Franchises on sale include Far Cry, Call of Duty, along with individual titles Assassin’s Creed Unity and Bioshock Infinite. The full list is below. Bioshock Infinite discounts are available for both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members. Xbox One Far Cry […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has released, watch the launch trailer here

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can watch the launch trailer for it below. Boxed copies in Europe arrive from May 15, and in Australia/New Zealand on May 14. You can grab digital copies from the following online services: Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store.

  • GOG’s online service GOG Galaxy is now in open beta

    GOG Galaxy, the DRM-free online gaming platform from the folks at GOG, has left Alpha and is now in open beta for all to try. As previously announced, the online service, similar to Steam, is option. Players do not need to play online as all games are stored by the service and can be played […]

  • DayZ-inspired Goat Simulator DLC GoatZ is out this week on Steam

    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]