Weekly News Blast!

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Another week gone and another full week of gaming news. Allow our man James Paton to guide you through the weeks events…

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Most of the news this week has centred on Sony and their upcoming Playstation 4 console, so I’m going to start with them…

Firstly, the exclusive Assassins Creed IV and Watch Dogs content that Sony have managed to secure from Ubisoft looks like it will only remain as such for a period of six months, after which time it may appear in the Xbox One versions of both games. Of course, Ubisoft have a fairly good track record of keeping exclusive items as exactly that, so this will simply be a case of wait and see as nothing has been confirmed so far. However, with such a substantial gap between the content arriving on both systems, it may just be possible that they’ll leave it until they churn out the now obligatory “game of the year” versions as all publishers seem to be so keen on doing these days.

It's been a week of controversy for the PS4.

The rather pointless option of allowing users to use their real names when gaming online has been confirmed by the Japanese giant, not long after Microsoft took the opposite stance (at least for the time being). The use of pseudonyms when gaming online offers players a certain amount of protection, and from my own personal experience, the only gamers that I know to have had their accounts hacked are those that foolishly – or perhaps through a lack of imagination – opted to use their real names on Xbox Live. So, be warned future Playstation 4 owners, don’t say that I didn’t warn you!

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On a more positive note, Sony are now taking pre-orders over PSN for additional games including Killzone: Shadow Fall, Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts. On top of this, Sony are also offering the option to upgrade pre-orders for the PS3 versions of the games up to PS4 ones. This would be a cost-effective upgrade for Playstation fans and is one that is certainly worth considering. On top of this, it has emerged that Sony Online Entertainment is preparing a massive upgrade to its DC Universe Online MMO just in time for the PS4 launch. It is said to offer a substantial visual overhaul of the game, as well as refinements to its core gameplay and systems in an effort to future proof it, which can only be good news for its fan base.

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Assassins Creed fans on both PS3 and Xbox 360 have yet another title heading their way in January of next year when the former PS Vita exclusive, Liberation, will surface in the form of an HD version. On top of its visual improvements, this new release also promises to feature the addition of a further fifteen missions to complete. The PS3 version has been scheduled for release on January 14th, whilst the Xbox version still carries the rather vague release window of January 2014.

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Xbox One owners received some news to cheer about with the announcement of a release date for the next-gen exclusive, Titanfall, and the detailing of its mammoth collector’s edition, which as far the UK goes, will be entirely exclusive to Game. Costing a whopping £250, the set features an 18” LED lit Titan model, a 190 page hardback art book and a schematic poster on top of a copy of the game (of course). Bunking tradition in one regard though, this set will not feature any DLC or unlockable content. Titanfall is set to drop into stores across the UK and Europe on March 13th 2014, whilst American gamers can get their hands on it just two days earlier.

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There was also news of some cheer for those that didn’t already know, celebrated gaming legend Shinji Mikami, as well as Keiji Inafune, have both been quoted in an Edge article as having said that the performance levels of both the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 are pretty much identical – just like John Carmack stated a very long time ago indeed. It would appear that Edge still continue with their Xbox bashing efforts though throughout the remainder of this article, claiming that Sony’s machine is a much more developer friendly device – not so much in terms of raw power (although they still don’t understand this and claim otherwise), but rather in terms of its user policies, using the old Xbox 360 policies as proof that Microsoft are lagging behind Sony in this respect. Contrarily though, Microsoft have already abandoned their foolish idea to charge developers (rumoured to be as much as $40,000) to release updates on the existing Xbox 360 hardware, and they have also hinted that Xbox One games would benefit considerably from more support as they move forward through a simplified and expedited updating system. Insomniac’s Ted Price also commented on the issue in an article with Game Informer way back in July. Ultimately then, this point is now rendered null and void. As any sensible person knows though, if hardware performance is a gamers main concern, then they really ought to have a PC…

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And speaking of which, there’s really never been a better time to invest in a fantastical new gaming machine with the release of the new AMD R9 290X which comes with a price tag in the UK of around £470, despite out performing its biggest and most expensive rival, Titan, which would set back a dedicated PC gamer somewhere in the region of £800. Also, though certainly not a title to show off your new gaming grunt, EA has announced that popular life simulation, The Sims, will receive its latest release in the form of The Sims 4 this autumn. They even opted to stress that the game could be played entirely off-line, which was rather nice of them.

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Lastly, Nintendo will surely be seeing a significant boost to its hardware sales from now, and throughout the Christmas period, as its latest handheld offering, the 2DS, has now dropped below the coveted £100 barrier-making it a far more attractive purchase to parents everywhere. Coupled with Nintendo’s aggressive marketing strategy, I think it’s fair to say that we could now be looking at the biggest selling piece of hardware this Christmas.

Alas, readers, that is all for now, see you next week!

– James Paton. He’s on Twitter @TheBlackPage81

@lowfatgaming

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