With every week that passes we get another seven days closer to the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The first full week of November 2013 was all about damage limitation for Microsoft. The 720p-roblem isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, especially if Xbox insists on talking about it. All this and more old news formatted afresh by Blog: Unlocked right here.
1. PlayStation 4 Vs. Xbox One: The Final Blows: Dust is still settling in the aftermath of Resgate (Blog: Unlocked). Or ‘Res-hate’. In the fortnight before the coming of next-gen, Microsoft has demonstrated interesting PR policy by continuing the dialogue around the 720p-alava (Rev3Games). By the time Edge’s Michael Gapper gave his press relations 101 class via Twitter (here, here, here, here and here) it was too late. That didn’t stop Ryse: Son of Rome design director Patrick Esteves joining the vocal defence of Xbox One’s graphical limitations at launch (TechRadar).
Infinity Ward’s Mark Rubin, whose game has been at the the centre of this storm, told Eurogamer he had seen Call of Duty: Ghosts running native at 1080p on the Xbox One but listed a whole heap of reasons why Joe Public won’t experience that pleasure when it’s finally released on the new console. Despite all this Microsoft remains bullish about its chances when the Xbox One finally goes up against the PlayStation 4 (GamesIndustry.biz).
2. Change Is Difficult: Sales of cross-generation titles are down across the board. Unit numbers for Battlefield 4 (69% fewer than BF3), Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (60% down year-on-year) and now Call of Duty: Ghosts (if rumours are to be believed) have all disappointed so far. As MCV puts it though: “This is only ‘part one’ of their launches.”
3. PlayStation: Sony is pulling out the big guns by preparing the ‘biggest PlayStation launch campaign in history’ according to MCV. Expect to see lots more of the #4theplayers hashtag.
At the centre of this very campaign came two announcements: one, the US is getting 13 apps for the PlayStation 4 at launch (PlayStation US Blog); and two, the full, and confirmed, list of launch titles for the new console (MCV). Though it was never suggested that the gorgeous Journey from thatgamecompany and Giant Sparrow’s The Unfinished Swan would be included in the launch games roster, it’s now been revealed that neither has a future on the PS4, at least not right now (MCV).
The DualShock 4 might not be the only official PlayStation 4 controller. An Oculus Rift-rival could be coming to the Sony console after new patents were discovered NeoGAF, as reported by MCV.
4. Xbox: Sony has undoubtedly made the biggest moves to position the PlayStation 4 as the platform for indie games and developers. However, having struck a deal with Unity – whereby its Xbox One deployment kit will be freely available to registered developers – Microsoft appears to be cosying up to smaller studio projects too (Unity blog).
It’s been announced that after a period of waning support for PC gaming, a number of core Xbox One titles will indeed appear on Windows 8 platforms, including the Surface tablet (Shacknews).
When the Xbox One launches on 22 November users will be able to download a total of 13 apps for their new dashboards (Digital Spy) but Forza fans will have to wait until 2014 before they can get their driving gloves around the Xbox One Force Feedback Racing Wheel (Digital Spy).
Away from the resolution row there is nice news for Xbox. Videogames charity GamesAid put a White Commemorative Edition Xbox One up for auction (MCV). The campaign raised a landmark £5,000 in just two days (MCV).
5. Retail: Ubisoft have raised the black flag on the good ship Assassin’s Creed IV PS4 Bundle (MCV). Fortunately, after the collapse of Blockbuster, for a second time, the retail chain confirmed that it will be offering refunds for all those who preordered a next-gen games console through them. That didn’t stop one man from staging a megaphone protest in an attempt to get compensated immediately (BBC). It seems Sony had a hand in this refund guarantee by organising pre-orders to be switched from Blockbuster to a different supplier, thus securing waiting list places (MCV).
Also, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes coming Spring 2014! (Konami).
Videos: Here are some moving pictures of Microsoft’s liquid-looking Xbox One UI dashboard in all its working glory:
EA Sports showed off more of what FIFA 14 will look like on next-gen consoles:
Finally, Killzone: Shadow Fall got its own live action trailer:
Until next week, the penultimate week before the Xbox One lands. Stay safe out there!