games / Columns

Around The Gaming World News Report 9.14.12

September 14, 2012 | Posted by Chris Ferrell

Hey everyone, welcome to the latest installment of Around The Gaming World. If this is your first time checking in I try to cover some of the major stories for each console in addition to news, which in my opinion, is the news of the week.

First let’s start with the comments from last week.

Honestly the adventure update isn’t even to get excited about. The only interesting part of it is the new world generation, which on xbox you’ll have to create a new world to get any use of since the worlds fit on a postage stamp.

The NPC villages, exp system, and several other things I’m forgetting are half finished and useless as of the adventure update.

I’m not a PC elitist at all, I much prefer console gaming. But the xbox version of Minecraft is trash. I’m honestly not sure why people are buying it seeing as the average toaster has enough horsepower to run PC MC.

Posted By: Guest#7579 (Guest) on September 10, 2012 at 11:44 PM

I’ve got friends that love Minecraft on Xbox. Now it will always be behind the Xbox. Doing updates and mods in the PC world is much easier. I’m with you though, if I want to play Minecraft it will be on the PC.

Thanks for the comments. And now, it’s on to the news…

Xbox Gets Resident Evil Exclusives – Capcom has announced their exclusive download modes for Resident Evil 6 on the Xbox 360. The post-launch DLC will be released slowly over time on the 360 exclusively. Each one of these modes will support up to six players online. Check out the full list below.

Survivors Mode takes the classic solo- and team-based versus mode and adds a twist. Get killed and you respawn as an enemy character with the ability to attack the human characters. Take down two human characters to resurrect in human form. Last man or team standing wins.

In Predator Mode, one player takes on the role of the Ustanak, the fearsome B.O.W. that stalks Jake Muller throughout his campaign, and tries to eliminate the human players. The humans’ task: stop the deadly B.O.W. in its tracks, or at least survive until the end of the session.

Choosing the human side in Siege Mode will see players protecting a single NPC, while as a member of the enemy team, players will need to eliminate that same NPC. If the NPC is still alive at the end of the time period, the human team win.

Via: Complex

I’ve said before that I am not a fan of the Resident Evil series. I do realize that many people love the series, but it just hasn’t really appealed to me. But, I do think it’s cool that the Xbox is receiving some exclusive DLC. This is an interesting trend, but one that might backfire on gamers in the future. Just think, the PS3 version of Batman: Arkham City received the Joker as exclusive DLC. I had already pre-ordered the Xbox version, but had I known this I might have pre-ordered the game for PS3.

Limiting DLC to certain consoles is certainly a way to drive sales amongst gamers that own multiple consoles. But, it really doesn’t do anything for gamers who own only one console. If I owned a PS3 and were a Resident Evil fan I would be annoyed by this decision by Capcom to place exclusive DLC on one system.

The Latest Xbox Patent – A Microsoft patent application for an “immersive display experience” has been published by the USPTO. The application describes a system that would augment a “primary display” – say, a television – with a “peripheral image” projected onto the surrounding environment, essentially extending the image of the primary display all around the user. The user could then be tracked within the environment by a depth camera (a Kinect, perhaps?). In shorter terms, as noted by Ars Technica, it looks something like a poor man’s holodeck.

The patent application notes that the system could be used to make video games more realistic. As an example, a player might notice an enemy sneaking up “behind” him in his peripheral vision, as the enemy would be physically projected behind the player onto a wall.

If all of this sounds a tad familiar, it might be because we saw Microsoft demonstrate something very similar in May 2011, only two months after this patent was initially filed. As part of a Microsoft campus tour video, the company showcased its “Home of the Future,” which used just such a technology, turning nearly every surface of a mocked up home into a display

Via: Joystiq

Microsoft has patented a lot of new ideas in relation to their Xbox console. They obviously have some ideas of what they would like the Xbox console to do one day, but wow some of these ideas are probably going to take a few years to even see if they are possible. Extending the TV to all of the surfaces in a room, as suggested in this patent, would make for an incredibly immersive experience. There are some games were this would be incredibly cool. Can you imagine being able to project a Halo battlefield around your room and actually standing in the middle of the battlefield? It would be badass.

Remember a patent doesn’t mean you will see this product in the future. It just means that Microsoft is exploring the option or protecting it so that their competitors can’t take it. I have no idea how Microsoft can or will pull this off in the future. All I know is that I want to see it!

Metal Gear is Now PS Exclusive in Japan – Kojima Productions has announced the Xbox 360 version of its upcoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has been cancelled in Japan, effectively making it a PS3 exclusive in the country. It offered no reason for the decision, although we suspect the fact Xbox 360 barely registers a pulse in Japan almost certainly had something to do with it (last week’s hardware sales for Japan show Microsoft’s machine managed to shift 668 units, while Sony sold over 12,000 PS3s).

With the game looking like it’s going to kick some serious ass, this news will obviously be a devastating blow to all the non-PS3 owning Xbox 360 gamers who live in Japan and were really looking forward to playing Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Via: Games Radar

Now, I’m not too shocked by this but Kojima Productions has cancelled the Xbox version of Metal Gear Revengeance in Japan. Since the Xbox is not at all popular in Japan this shouldn’t really surprise anyone. Luckily, this doesn’t affect gamers outside of Japan, they will still be able to pick up the latest Metal Gear for the Xbox. Hopefully this trend doesn’t move over to the US, I would hate to see multi-platform games abruptly become single platform. This story just goes to show how powerful the Playstation continues to be in Japan.

Borderlands 2 Skill Trees – If you, like many others, find yourself increasingly anxious for Borderlands 2 you may want to head over to the game’s official website. Gearbox is letting fans do a little experimenting by proving an early, interactive look at the entire skill tree for each character class.

It’s all really simple. Just choose the character class you’re interested in and their skill tree will pop up, letting you take a gander at all they have to offer. The builder sets you up with all the skill points you expect to receive up to level 50 and you can spread them out as you wish, just like you would in-game.

Via: MTV Multiplayer Blog

I just recently got into the Borderlands series. On my podcast, the entire panel beat me up for not having played the original Borderlands game. Needless to say, I caved to them and ended up buying the game. Dear Lord is this game tons of fun. In the span of a week I have gotten tons of missions accomplished but still feel like I am nowhere close to the end of the game! But, i have already gone and pre-ordered Borderlands 2.

I love this move by Gearbox to put the skill trees online ahead of the game release. Now gamers will have a chance to strategize and figure out the perfect way to spec out their characters. I’m sure this also builds up the hype and excitement for the game. Although, I don’t know that this game needs anymore hype. I’ve heard this is the largest pre-ordered 2K Game so far. I can understand why, the first game was fantastic and I have no reason to think that the sequel would be bad.

Wii U Launch Info Finally Arrives! – Nintendo said Thursday that its new Wii U game console will go on sale starting in November in the U.S. and Europe, and will also work as a home entertainment center, connecting with video streaming services.

In simultaneous online presentations in Japan, North America and Europe, the company confirmed that the console will be launched in time for the crucial holiday season. The console will come in a basic version with 8GB of internal memory that will cost US$299.99, and one with 32GB of memory for $349.99.

The company demonstrated how the game console, which comes with a single game controller equipped with its own touch screen, will also serve as an entertainment center, allowing users to stream video content from Hulu, Amazon and Netflix to their TV sets. The touchpad will show additional content, such as box scores and statistics for sports broadcasts, a timeline of key moments for TV shows, and previews for movie services.

The console will launch in the U.S. on Nov. 18, then in Europe on Nov. 30. Those regions will get the console before Japan — earlier Thursday, Nintendo said the Wii U will go on sale in its home country on Dec. 8.

In the U.S. broadcast, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime stressed that the console will have a full complement of games early in its launch. The lack of games available for Nintendo’s 3DS handheld launch last year was a major reason that device stumbled after it went on sale, forcing the game company to slash prices

Via: PC World

The launch dates and price for the Wii U have finally gone official. After months of speculation it’s good to finally have some solid facts to go by. The rumored November 18 launch date was confirmed to be true. That’s no big shock as Nintendo will want to make sure they can capture the holiday sales. Also, the two price points were proven true as well. Though, I see very few people buying the $299 Wii U with 8 GB of storage. For an additional $50 you got quadruple the memory. Personally, I think the $299 version of the console only exists so that Nintendo can say they are selling a sub $300 console.

A lot of this seems like Nintendo is playing catch-up. Adding in multiple streaming services is nothing new for Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers. We have had Amazon and Hulu for a couple years now. That being said, the addition of these services is something Nintendo had to do. I’m not trying to dog on the system too bad. I really am curious to see how the Wii U develops. As a tech junkie I want to get my hands on the console and see how well the NFC works with the controllers. One of the things that hurt the 3DS launch and Wii launch is there weren’t a lot of games available right away. Nintendo is trying to fix this saying that between the November launch and March, 50 titles will be released.

What about you guys, any interest in the Wii U? I don’t intend to buy one, but I would like to sit down and play around with the system for a while.

Ubisoft Changes Their DRM Strategy – Digital Rights Management (DRM) is supposed to stop piracy, but in reality it’s more likely to hinder paying customers from playing their purchased games than it is to stop resourceful pirates from doing their thing.

One of the most annoying forms of DRM is the always-online requirement used by many PC games, including some of Ubisoft’s, like From Dust and Driver San Francisco (though those were later patched to remove the online requirement).

Now Ubisoft’s Stephanie Perotti, worldwide director for online games, has told Rock, Paper, Shotgun in an interview that the company is ditching the annoying DRM for good.

“Whenever you want to reach any online service, multiplayer, you will have to be connected, and obviously for online games you will also need to be online to play,” Perotti said. “But if you want to enjoy Assassin’s Creed III single player, you will be able to do that without being connected. And you will be able to activate the game on as many machines as you want.”

Via: Complex

Ubisoft has taken a beating for the always-online DRM in the past. This DRM required user’s have an active internet connection so that a DRM server could check that your game was not pirated and then allow you to play the game. It was always annoying to have to be online to play. But, there is some good news, Ubisoft is moving away from this model of DRM!

When you play Assassin’s Creed III you can play your single-player campaign without having an internet connection. I think this is a great move by Ubisoft. All this DRM has done is punish people who legitimately buy the game. Pirates will always find a way to play the game so don’t punish the people that shell out their money on your game. I hope more PC game makers adopt this model and start removing the always-online DRM. Ubisoft has been smart and realized that the always-online requirement hasn’t helped piracy but has certainly annoyed their paying customers.

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Thanks for checking in for your weekly dose of gaming news. It should be interesting to see how some stories, such as the next version of the Xbox and PS3, progress over the next week. As always, please make use of the comments to let me know what you are thinking. Feedback is always welcomed.

If you find yourselves bored on Xbox Live, send me a message. I’m always looking to put together a good team to play Borderlands. Without a good team you just get your ass kicked.

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Chris Ferrell
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