A WEEK IN GAMING – Zelda Wii U bundle, Playstation Home, Need for Speed & more news

As usual lots and lots of stuff has been going on in gaming this week, but what little delights could we have missed? Here’s a quick round up of some of the smaller stories that have happened over the last week.

wii-u-zelda
Nintendo…..Shiny…..Want

The Wii U will see a further price drop in the UK from the 4 of October. Nintendo’s failing console is in dire need of a sales boost and will see £30 skimmed off the top but that’s not all, instead of the family party title Nintendoland being bundled with all consoles the Wii U will now come with a choice of Zelda Wind Waker HD or Lego City Undercover. There will even be a limited edition Zelda Wind Waker HD Wii U console available to pre-order, retailing at around £250.

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ps_home
No it’s not the Sims

HONEY, I’M PLAYSTATION HOME! Yes I don’t remember it either. My ignorance of Playstation Home will become apparent as I lived in this wonderful virtual world for all of 30 minutes. I became bored and decided that it wasn’t for me. Sony wanted to create a virtual world (that had no similarity to The Sims, honest) where people could live, interact freely and with ease. Sadly Facebook, Twitter, Skype and just about every device in the world made this form of interactivity much more accessible and Sony’s Playstation Home appeared to be more of a chore. However, my sentiments are shared. Japan will stop receiving updates for Playstation Home – to be shortly followed by other parts of Asia. Europe and North America will continue to receive updates, but I doubt for much longer.

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steamProduct information such as Subtitles have been absent for Steam Sales, until now. Kristina Barber petitioned Steam several months ago to ask for the addition and Steam have listened. All games now come with the appropriate information. Hopefully this will see sales increase for anyone who was tentative about purchasing from Steam.

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ps-vita-nintendo-3ds-e1310126291272Sony’s PS Vita has seen a price cut (again). High pricing and lack of physical copies of games may be the reason the handheld has struggled to perform. Sony believe the machine itself was ahead of its time and with the cross-play functionality of the PS4 and PS Vita, it is easy to understand why. Sony attempted, probably foolishly, to tap into a market where the console tried to set itself apart from the android device world. You can now find PS Vita’s on the shelf for around £180.

Nintendo’s Scott Moffit took the time to emphasise the PS Vita’s failings by highlighting that handheld gaming warrants a different approach

I believe their view on the market is that the handheld gaming occasion and the home gaming occasion are one in the same, that people just have the desire to keep continue playing their home console game when they leave the house…..And our philosophy, our belief, our strategy, is that we believe it’s kind of a different occasion. The moment of time you’re willing to play, the amount of time you have able to play when you’re away from home is different and your gaming behaviour is different.”

Nintendo can certainly say they have dominated the handheld market in comparison to Sony’s Vita but with app devices becoming the norm surely both consoles need to kick themselves up the behind and fast.

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lionheadLionhead’s creative director, Gary Carr, supported Microsoft’s decision to reverse its attitude and policies for the upcoming Xbox One. Whilst many believe that Microsoft are just catering for the masses or just simply unable to stand by their convictions, Carr believes this is just good business.

“The fact that Microsoft turned round and changed its Xbox One online policy within a week – is that a bad thing? I think that’s a great thing. I think it is listening…..It turned around and admitted ‘we got some things wrong, we’ve heard you and we’ve changed our policy on that’.

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NeedForSpeedRivals
Frostbite 3. Is this the permanent look of NFS?

The Need for Speed franchise apparently needs continuity and by switching studio once more EA hopes to achieve this. Criterion, Slightly Mad Studios, EA Black Box, EA Montreal, EA Bright Light, and EA Vancouver have all attempted the declining racer and whilst some felt Criterion’s Need for Speed Most Wanted was a step in the right direction, EA obviously have decided otherwise. With the differing styles and titles such as Most Wanted, Hot Pursuit and the upcoming Need for Speed Rivals, EA feel they have to knuckle down and produce a recognisable and successful formula.

We’re going to build it, we’re going to build it on Frostbite 3. People will see something they are familiar with every time we release the game. And I think that is the core basis of building a brand; that people know what to expect.”

I wish Ghost Games the best of luck with this mammoth task.

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pro evo
Can we expect to be playing here in Pro Evo this year?

The undertaker has been measuring up Pro Evolution Soccer’s coffin for some time, he even has the suit picked out and today Konami may have personally delivered the nails to shut said coffin. Let’s face it, FIFA is a giant of the gaming world and also the best football game on the market. Gone are the days were PES games were considered the “superior” alternative to FIFA. I myself was a huge PES fan. But Fifa has changed everything. The gameplay and physical mechanics are more realistic and have helped to create the most authentic footballing experience to date. PES is quick to blame EA’s spending power and says it simply cannot compete with the official licences EA has “aggressively” acquired. This has led to PES 2014 struggling to acquire the rights to use Spanish Teams and their respective Stadiums. Whilst Konami have managed to pull this off, it has certainly all come at the final curtain call. Oh and this year it will not rain in Spain (seriously, Konami have removed the option to select rain due to budget cuts).

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