Having trouble keeping up with the gaming news flying off the RGM news desk? Don’t worry, so am I. To help you stay up to date with the big news stories from throughout the week we have put together a brief re-cap of the stories we know you will want to know about.
To kick off the news this week: Microsoft said no such thing, consoles are not going anywhere for a long time
Earlier this week we have saw a lot of speculation surrounding an interview conducted with Aaron Greenburg from Microsoft by engadget with the end message coming out of the direction the interview was presented in, as being that Microsoft do not intend on continuing to produce consoles in the future.
If you read a bit closer though you can see that this is not in fact the message that was trying to be conveyed. When asked “Do you see a future of console upgrades continually happening? Is this the last console generation?” Aaron replied with:
“I think it is. … For us, we think the future is without console generations; we think that the ability to build a library, a community, to be able to iterate with the hardware — we’re making a pretty big bet on that with Project Scorpio. We’re basically saying, “This isn’t a new generation; everything you have continues forward and it works.” We think of this as a family of devices.
But we’ll see. We’re going to learn from this, we’re going to see how that goes. So far I’d say, based on the reaction, there appears to be a lot of demand and interest around Project Scorpio, and we think it’s going to be a pretty big success. If the games and the content deliver, which I think they will do, I think it will change the way we think about the future of console gaming.”
Our take: The message here is that gaming is no longer going to be restricted to console gaming, the presence and evolution of the current Microsoft eco-system is the primary example of this. The idea here is focused around ‘Play Anywhere’ on any Windows 10 device and stay connected, not to stay tethered to your console in your lounge room. This is does not mean that the production of consoles will cease in the future or the near future at all. There may be plans down the track to phase them out, however we don’t know and this statement is certainly not suggesting that at all.
With the introduction of the Scorpio into the market next year, another piece of information that seems to have become extremely convoluted is the ability to play anything from your Xbox One on the Scorpio and vice versa. What needs to be understood is that this statement was based around the backwards compatibility functionality that we currently have on the Xbox One with our Xbox 360 library, meaning that if you could play if on the 360 (subject to the game being added to the Xbox One library) you can play it on the Xbox One. This will be the same with the Scorpio, if you could play it on the Xbox One you can play it on the Scorpio and games released for the Scorpio will be made compatible with the Xbox One.
Now where this gets a bit confusing for some, due to the Scorpio being able to play VR experiences and the Xbox One not having that functionality, people are not entirely understanding how this will work. The answer to this is quite simple, as stated by Aaron in the above interview:
“The idea was, first, how can we innovate with hardware without sacrificing compatibility? Generally when you bring a new iteration of console hardware you lose compatibility with their games and accessories. So we’re saying, if you bought games and accessories for your Xbox One, or you buy an Xbox One S, those games and those accessories are going to work on Project Scorpio. When you think about backwards compatibility and our games lineup, we want gamers to know that when they’re ready to upgrade to Scorpio, that content will go with them. That’s our promise and commitment around compatibility.
The next thing was “Are you going to make games exclusively to Project Scorpio?” And we said we’re not going to have console-exclusive games for Project Scorpio. It’s one ecosystem — whether you have an Xbox One S or Project Scorpio, we don’t want anyone to be left behind, Now, with the power and capabilities we have, we’ll be able to do high-fidelity VR. Now, that space, we don’t think of that as console gaming, we think of that as high-fidelity VR, and so with the VR experiences those will be new things that you will get on Project Scorpio.”
The concept here being similar to what we have been seeing come out from Sony in their marketing of VR which is that these are experiences and not just games. Something that can be thought of as its own entity as opposed to an addition to an existing games library.
There is no fire here, consoles are safe and will remain a part of your gaming culture for a long time to come. We are sitting on the verge of what is an extremely exciting time to be a gamer, with technology evolving at a rate that is near next too impossible to keep up. With the new direction that Microsoft is taking their consoles and eco-system development in we will have more choices, more freedom, and access to newer technology faster than ever before.
This is a good thing people, embrace it. Don’t stress about what the future of gaming will be, simply enjoy the gaming of now and sit back and watch it all unfold.
Next up we have seen weekend one for the Titanfall 2 tech test kick off and wrap up.
EA have had their time in the light at Gamescom 2016 with a livestream, during which details regarding Titanfall 2 were discussed.
Producer Drew McCoy focused mainly on the upcoming beta testing stating that they actually want testers to get in there and break the game. By doing so we, the testers, will help to make a better end product for the games official launch in October later this year.
The developers have also revealed that they have revamped the way that Titanfall is hosted on the servers harnessing new technology to create an even better experience for all who play Titanfall 2.
This open beta was available for everyone to download and play on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, however the PC version will not be available until the games full release, you can read up more on that here.
The open beta wraps up today so we will have to wait until weekend 2 has been and gone to see just how good a job we all did of achieving their goals to break it so they can fix it before we buy it.
Scalebound has been one game that has had our attention since its first appearance at E3 in 2014. A short CG trailer captured everyone’s imaginations, because as we know, every story needs more dragons.
Ea4rlier this week, Microsoft revealed a few new screenshots showing off the brilliance of the dragon named Thuban, along with its armor and a village that is set within the game. As you can see from the images below the level of detail in these screenshots is extremely exciting.
To be released on Xbox One and Windows 10 in 2017, Scalebound has held its cards quite close to its chest over the past couple of years with only a little detail coming out here and there along with a gameplay demonstration at E3 earlier this year. Today more details have been provided about how the Dragon Link will work at a closed doors presentation held at Gamescom 2016.
Hideki Kamiya and J.P. Kellams of Platinum Games went on to explain that there are various types of dragons on hand, a ground focused two-legged Rex like creature, a four-legged tank style dragon, and the aerial attack dragon which is the Wyvern. As you choose one of these dragons you are in fact potentially choosing them all as they are linked in an evolutionary cycle which allows for you to select the parts from each you like the most, creating your own ultimate dragon which can be done by visiting the Dragon Shire and spending in-game currency which you earn as you progress through the game.
You don’t always have to be in control of your dragon when you fight either, if you so wish you can allow him to be controlled by AI or if you prefer you can take the reins yourself however the camera always remains focused on your point of view regardless of it you are fighting on your own or on the back of your dragon. Drew, the main protagonist and Thuban are joined together by a special energy which you can harness during the game to control your experience. This is what is called the ‘Dragon Link’ and allows you to change seamlessly between the two characters.
As you progress through the game there will be a variety of upgrades available including buffs for your dragon’s powers which in effect become a part of its DNA so will be with the dragon from there on in.
The combinations that you can come up with for your dragon and load-outs are extremely extensive meaning that you have the ability to customize the game the way you want to play it and end up with a dragon that compliments your game play style.
This kind of game style I find very exciting, not being constrained to one character is a major plus and the benefits of being able to instantly which from Drew to Thuban will allow for some pretty awesome game play, however there will be a degree of strategy needed to keep you both on your feet as once you switch to Thurban, Drew becomes motionless so you don’t want to leave him standing among enemies when you decide too active your Dragon Link.
Personally, I can’t wait to play Scalebound, I have been excited for it from the moment I saw the first CG trailer and the more I learn, the more my excitement grows.
Another exciting reveal this week has been the ReCore Gamescom Gameplay Trailer.
During Gamescom 2016, Microsoft revealed a new gameplay trailer for their upcoming title ReCore.
ReCore is set to release on September 13th for Xbox One and Windows 10 and is being hailed as a spiritual successor to Mega Man and Metroid by some gaming outlets. It will also retail for just $39.99 USD.
You can check out the trailer below:
To wrap up this week’s main updates, the PlayStation 4 System Software 4.00 Update and Features.
Earlier this week, John Koller – the VP of Marketing at PlayStation – released a blog post detailing the new features and updates on the PS4’s upcoming 4.00 system update which has been code-named Shingen and in being rolled out across all users who are included in the public beta program.
The main features being updated are the User Interface, Quick Menu, Share Menu, Folders and Library Organization, Trophy Improvements and User Profile. All of the details are listed below.
“We’ve made a lot of adjustments and improvements to PS4’s main user interface. That includes some changes you may notice right away, like new system backgrounds and a revised What’s New tab, to smaller changes like updated popup notifications and redesigned system icons. As a whole, it all adds up to a more refined and easy to use UI. The overall look and feel of the UI remains the same — it just has a fresh coat of paint.”
“As you know, pressing and holding the PS button on your DualShock 4 brings up the Quick Menu. We’ve overhauled this menu to make it faster and easier to use. One big change is that the menu now only covers a portion of the screen, meaning you don’t need to leave gameplay entirely.
“We’ve added several new items to the Quick Menu, letting you quickly get info without having to back to the home screen. You can see the online status of your friends, and shortcuts to quickly access your Party, Favorite Groups, Communities, and more. You can also customize the Quick Menu, removing or adding items as you see fit.”
“We’ve given a similar overhaul to the Share Menu, which appears once you press the Share button on your DualShock 4. Like the Quick Menu, it only covers a portion of the screen. It will save the last social network you shared video clips or screenshots to, making the process of sharing a screenshot or video a bit faster and more streamlined.
You can also upload longer video clips to Twitter (was 10 seconds, now up to 140 seconds).”
Folders and Library Organization
“One of the big requests we get is for more options to organize content on PS4. With this update, we’re adding functionality to create folders on PS4’s content launcher and Library. This will help collect your favorite games and select apps in one place for quick and easy access.
“We’re also making some pretty big changes to the Library. We’ve added a new tab called Purchased, which will show all of the content you own — games, applications, demos, and betas you’ve participated in. As a result, the Games and Applications tabs focus on content currently installed on your system. This should help de-clutter your library, and make it faster to find the content you’re looking for.
“There are some new sorting tools for your Library as well. You’ll be able to sort content by purchase date or install status, and search for specific games and apps via text input.”
“This update brings the ability to view the Trophy offline. You’ll see a new “offline mode” option if your system is unable to connect to the network, letting you view your entire Trophy collection without an Internet connection.
“We’ve also added a button that will let you view the content of a Hidden Trophy. The Trophy will still be hidden by default, but you can now choose to show the Trophy name and info.
“Lastly, we’re changing the icons that show how rare a Trophy is. Instead of four boxes that fill, the icon looks like a pyramid with the ultra-rare Trophies at the top.”
“We’ve updated the look of the User Profile, making it easier to see relevant info for a player at-a-glance. For instance, you can now see your Trophy progress compared with another player right from their profile. You can also add a background image to your own profile — perhaps a screenshot you took in one of your favorite games.
“The update has even more features that won’t be available in the beta, so stay tuned for additional info on what to expect. We’ll be back with more info on 4.00, including its launch date, in the coming weeks.”
A lot of little changes, and a fair few big changes – some of the UI changes seem like a fresh lick of paint, whereas some of the menus seem like an upgrade in common sense. The addition of folder creation is a welcome addition (especially for someone like me who must have some kind of organizational OCD, or CDO as I call it…it’s OCD but in alphabetical order…) the changes to the Library as a whole will definitely help with making things easier to find, especially if you have a lot of content to sift through.
The improvements to the Trophy’s again, seem like an upgrade in common sense. The ability to connect seamlessly to the internet should not be seen as a given, so more offline functionality should be introduced. The last update feature on User Profiles looks like a cosmetic update with the ability to see the features you would probably want to see “at-a-glance” and the ability to add a background which could be a screenshot from your favorite game is a nice touch.
This is by no means a definitive list of updates, as there are due to be a lot more included that won’t be in the beta. PlayStation have promised more info to come, but surely the beta updates will be the main changes.
So that brings you up to date with some of the main stories brought to you by RGM this week. Other interesting pieces of news that may interest you are: