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Posts tagged videogames

Nintendo updates the 3DS

This morning Nintendo updated the 3DS and the 3DS XL. The key updates are an additional second thumbstick on the right side (above the ABXY buttons) and ZR and ZL shoulder buttons.

The new 3DS launches on October 11 in Japan with no word on release for Europe or the United States.

It’s interesting to me that the regular 3DS got larger in every dimension and heavier and the 3DS XL got slightly thinner and slightly lighter. As much as I want to say “I’m still cool with my launch 3DS” and “I don’t need to upgrade, even though I’d like better battery life” I know that all it’s going to take is a Zelda game that needs a Z button and I’ll be ordering one.

[via Joystiq]

jeffrubinjeffrubin:

52 Unbelievable Video Game Things For Sale At The World’s Best Video Game Store, maybe the most Jeff Rubin’y video I know how to make.

I can confirm that this is the most Jeff Ruin’y video you could have made. 

Destiny - Launch Trailer

Yeah. I’m in.

Microsoft confirms Rise of the Tomb Raider Xbox exclusivity deal "has a duration" 

Oh look. It’s the news the I (and the world) was expecting yesterday. Rise of the Tomb Raider is a timed exclusive… *sigh*. Reading the conversation Eurogamer had with Spencer it’s still clouded in PR double speak and half truths:

"When people want me to say, can you tell us when or if it’s coming to other platforms, it’s not my job," Spencer told Eurogamer. "My job is not to talk about games I don’t own. I have a certain relationship on this version of Tomb Raider, which we announced, and I feel really good about our long term relationship with Crystal and Square.

"I get the reaction I see. If I’m a PlayStation person all of a sudden I feel like, the franchise has gone. I didn’t buy the IP. I didn’t buy the studio. It’s not mine. Where this thing will go over time, just like Dead Rising or Ryse, we’ll see what happens with the game. I don’t own every iteration of Tomb Raider.

"I don’t own them building Tomb Raider on other platforms. I can’t talk about the franchise that way. I can talk about the deal I have."

So, what, exactly, is that deal?

"I have Tomb Raider shipping next holiday exclusively on Xbox. It is Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I’m not trying to fake anybody out in terms of where this thing is. What they do with the franchise in the long run is not mine. I don’t control it. So all I can talk about is the deal I have. I don’t know where else Tomb Raider goes.

Is there a time limit on the exclusivity period?

"Yes, the deal has a duration. I didn’t buy it. I don’t own the franchise."

Even reading it, and I’ve read it four times now, I get a little lost in the middle. That said, Spencer dropped the names Dead Rising and Ryse, both were recently announced to be coming to PC after being named Xbox One exclusives.

Like I said yesterday, exclusive has come to mean exclusive-ish, over the past few years.

Sony takes a victory lap with PS4 and indies, doesn't invite Vita 

The biggest news from the Sony conference yesterday is that they have already sold 10 Million PS4 consoles. Which… is huge. I’m surprised they sold 10 Million in less than a year.

To put this number in perspective, the Xbox 360 was the first console to sell 10 Million last generation and it took two and a half years. Back then Microsoft said, “History has shown us that the first company to reach 10 million in console sales wins the generation battle. We are uniquely positioned to set a new benchmark for the industry.”

The other cool thing is Share Play:

Some really cool ideas here, and let’s hope they get ripped off by other companies. On the PlayStation 4 you’ll get 10 keys with your copy of Far Cry 4, and those keys allow you to invite friends who don’t own the game to play with you for up to two hours.

That’s a pretty beefy demo and, more importantly, it shows trust in the game’s quality. The reasoning is easy to spot: Ubisoft thinks you’ll buy it after getting an extensive demo. I just see it as a way to invite my friends to play a session or two with me. Everyone wins.

The upcoming Share Play feature that will launch with the 2.0 firmware coming this Fall will also help you play with people who may not own the game you’re enjoying.

Man. I do hope that feature comes to other platforms. It’s such a cool idea.

Exclusive Has Come To Mean Exclusive-ish Over The Past Few Years

In the wake of today’s Tomb Raider news I thought it would be important to talk about the word “exclusive” and what it has come to mean.

A few days ago Editor in Chief of Kotaku, Stephen Totilo and I had the following exchange on twitter:

image

His initial link points out that Rise and Dead Rising 3 were both announced as Xbox One exclusives and now they are both coming to PC. Those two announcements (two months apart) have come in the midst of the commonly used phrase “timed exclusive”. It’s exactly what it sounds like, the game is exclusive to a platform for a set amount of time.

Activision has had timed exclusives on Call of Duty DLC on Xbox for a few years. It makes Microsoft happy because they get to say “we get this popular thing first” on stage at big events and the die hard fans of that franchise are more likely to buy the game on that platform.

But in the past when third party games were exclusive, they were really exclusive. Final Fantasy games were exclusive to Sony platforms for years, for example. So were Tomb Raider games. 

The first chink in the armor of “exclusivity” I can remember was BioShock in 2007. The first BioShock is one of the best games I’ve ever played, won tons of Game of the Year awards, and was touted as being “Only on Xbox” – words they even printed on the box.

14 months after it came out on the Xbox 360, a PS3 version was released.

This story is become more and more common. On the one hand, I love it. I love that GTA, BioShock, and Final Fantasy are playable on every platform. It’s great for gaming, it’s great for gamers, and it’s great for people who can only afford one console.

(Yes, as long as console makers continue to publish games you’re never going to get to play 100% of games released, but you can play 95%, and that’s pretty good. At least in the near future you wont be playing Halo on a PlayStation and you won’t be playing Uncharted on an Xbox.)

But on the other hand, we’ve cheapened the word.  People don’t trust the word exclusive when especially when Microsoft says it. Just look at the news about Rise of the Tomb Raider, almost every outlet reporting it casts some doubt about the length of this exclusive. Not a single report that I’ve read is certain that Square / Crystal Dynamics will publish Tomb Raider only on the Xbox. Everyone is expecting Sony to have Tomb Raider in 2016.

Microsoft has warped the meaning of the word exclusive to mean exclusive-ish, or exclusive-for-now. They’ve also cheapened the value of their console. When you look at the landscape of games coming one or two games may nudge you to choose one console over the other.

Stephen Totilo is right, “it set’s a precedent” and lying about a game that’s exclusive devalues your console and just makes your consumers upset.

It is still unclear weather the the new Tomb Raider is actually exclusive to Microsoft or if it’s just a timed exclusive. The fact that it’s been more than four hours since the news broke, and outlets still seem to be debating the definition of exclusive and what it means in this instance, is in of itself a problem. 

UPDATE: Eurogamer has confirmed that the Tomb Raider deal “has a duration”

-Creighton
@sensiblemadman

Rise of the Tomb Raider is exclusive to Xbox 

I’m shocked. I loved last years Tomb Raider. It was widely considered one of the best games of last year, selling about 6 Million copies on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, something that Square considered to be underperforming.

I don’t know what Microsoft did to keep this exclusive to the Xbox One, but I bet it cost them quite a bit of money.

I’m into “second place” Microsoft (Sony is widely outselling them). They’re making me feel great about my Xbox One purchase.

UPDATE: Geoff Keighley is saying on twitter that “Official line is that the game is ‘exclusive on Xbox for holiday 2015’”

Meanwhile Joystiq updated their original article to include part of a post from Darrell Gallagher, the Head of Product Development at Crystal Dynamics. He says this:

Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past - we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.

This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4.

I’m really not sure what’s happening, but it certainly sounds less like this is a platform exclusive and more like an “exclusive-ish”… which is very similar to a conversation I was having on twitter.

UPDATE 2: Eurogamer has confirmed that the Tomb Raider deal “has a duration” and is a timed exclusive.

Why multiplayer games are better in person 

But the advent of the online first-person shooter means that games like Goldeneye 007 and Halo are no longer the preserve of late-night sessions in the dorm room. Why play for nothing with your friends when you could be fighting against the world for new perks in Call of Duty? Major developers have all but ignored local multiplayer games in recent years, and now it’s up to the indie scene to pick up the slack.

Everything Sam Byford says here is completely true. Luckily, so far Halo has stuck to its local multiplayer roots, but it’s getting harder and harder to find games like this.

My favorite gaming memories come when playing local multiplayer. It’s the reason I own multiple Xbox 360s.  A contingent of friends used to come over and play 6-8 player Bomberman and Halo in my old apartment. There is really nothing more satisfying than killing your friends sitting in another room.

Personally, I hope there is more local multiplayer coming. Even if it’s not from the AAA devs.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection brings four Halo games, Halo 5 beta to Xbox One Nov. 11 

This is exactly what it sounds like. I approve.

Crackdown - Trailer

Very excited about Crackdown for Xbox One. I logged a LOT of hours in the first Crackdown and this game looks like it has all the fun and open world super hero cop you could ask for.

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