With Google Stadia re-introducing the idea of cloud streaming to the gaming public, Microsoft and Sony have been flexing the muscles of their xCloud and PSNow services respectively. Google has been doing some interesting things with scaling compute models for their instances, but they face some major challenges as well.
Microsoft announced today that 1,900 games are currently in development for the xCloud service with 3,500 games already ready to be streamed. Phil Spencer has even mentioned that he is partaking in a very early Alpha version of xCloud enabling him to play Xbox games on the go from mobile, laptop, or other platforms. Preparation for the eventual roll-out of xCloud is well underway with servers already in Azure data-centers in 13 regions.
In an upcoming teaser for GDC 2019, the Game Developers Conference trade show / expo which annually consists of a 5 day gathering for the game industry’s best and brightest, it has been revealed that Microsoft will bring Xbox Live to the Nintendo Switch as well as mobile platforms. This was confirmed by Microsoft who has also recently brought their voice assistant AI Cortana to Amazon’s smart speaker and smart home line of products as a downloadable Alexa skill. These two moves are significant on their own but also signal a greater long-term strategy which could change the face of Xbox gaming forever.
Bioware’s future is indeed in jeopardy as many have feared. While the gameplay engine and graphics of Anthem should sell for an instant success the title has struggled to ship units since its release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC February 22, 2019. Sales of this title could be very important for the studio’s survival as subsidiaries of EA Games have historically been closed down after just one flop at times.
According to the NPD via EA, Anthem has sold 50% of Mass Effect Andromeda’s physical launch sales and around 25% of Destiny’s digital sales. The numbers also indicate that Kingdom Hearts 3 and Resident Evil 2 sold much higher in their opening weekends. The next Dragon Age title which was teased recently will need to rise to meet the demand from shareholders to keep Bioware’s relationship with EA Games alive.
Call of Duty battle royale became a reality upon the release of Black Ops 4 on October 12, 2018. Ever since, Treyarch’s take on the “100 enter, one leaves” sub-genre has risen to a high status of popularity with many gamers and critics alike praising it as one of the best battle royale experiences available. Arguably un-seating the first mega-hit in the battle royale sub-genre, PUBG, Blackout seems to have taken a strong second place position underneath Fortnite depending on who you talk to. Since Black Ops 4 didn’t release with a story mode campaign though, there is a certain crowd of people who may have skipped the game. Now, starting January 17, 2019, Treyarch will offer a free trial period for Blackout which gives potential players a chance to see what they’ve been missing.
I’ve just tried out the Resident Evil 2 One Shot Demo for the first time. It was definitely proof of Capcom’s excellence in producing a remake of the 1998 classic with a perfect blend of modern gaming and the soul of the series. Lighting is used to keep players on edge and excitement levels high. Slightly slower than real life movement rather than super fast controls give a sense of danger and introduce real risk to every moment. Even the fact that the demo only gives you 30 minutes and one chance at survival makes you rush into things only to discover how fatal it can be not to use your brain for critical thinking while playing this game.
Resident Evil 2 appears to be giving long-time fans an authentic tribute honoring a game that, while seen as campy by today’s standards, actually was on the leading edge of the emerging 3D gaming Survival Horror during the time period in which it released. Capcom has returned the Resident Evil series to grace with RE7 giving a radically new take on the series and now RE2 appears to solidify the spirit of Resident Evil in a way no release has ever done before. Don’t be surprised if this title turns out to be the best Survival Horror game ever made when it launches in 2 weeks on Friday January 25, 2019 for PS4, Xbox, and PC.
Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden is a tactical adventure game mixing RTS ( Real-Time Strategy), stealth, exploration and some RPG elements into its gameplay. Developed by The Bearded Ladies Consulting and published by Funcom. In this game players take the role of a member of “The People” a faction of humans living a mutated life in The Ark, an isolated area, and going out on missions within the rest of the post-apocalyptic world. These concepts and the overall game itself are all based on the Mutant series of board games which sees mankind fleeing to segmented underground communities.
Fallout 76 is an online-only exploration and survival role playing shooter game quite unlike any other. This spin-off title was developed by BattleCry Studios (which was folded into Bethesda Game Studios in March 2018), and while the release has been marred by various controversies surrounding leaks, the game’s launch, and the handling of customer relations, this review will seek to discuss the actual game itself after an extensive amount of gameplay and deep dive on what this live experience has to offer for those who are still interested in playing.
This is my first 76 hours reviewed with the majority of game time spent on versions 1.01 (launch version after day-one patch) and version 1.02 as well as some time spent seeing the improvements and changes that came from the version 1.03 update. Subsequent articles will cover evaluating future changes to the game. For more on that, head over to our Fallout 76 Section and catch the latest. Now that we’ve got that out the vault, on to our full review.
Rockstar Games is finally back after last releasing Grand Theft Auto V in 2013. Red Dead Redemption 2 is the prequel to one of the last generation’s best games, Red Dead Redemption. Taking place in 1899 at the tail end of the age of the wild west, the end of the age of outlaws, players take on the role of Arthur Morgan, one of the gang’s longest running members. Arthur finds himself on the run from the law, other gangs, and is unsure of the situation he is in. Throughout his journey, and your journey, Arthur just may find himself on the road to redemption. Society and civilization versus the wild west and its infamous outlaws, a tale so old it can almost write itself…
Phil Spencer has been quoted as saying that “for a long time, Xbox was like the Garage of Microsoft”. His aim to re-invent the Xbox brand has begun to take shape behind-the-scenes, but will only truly be felt during the next-generation of consoles games. It takes time to make changes at major companies, Spencer inherited a mess from Don Mattrick whose infamous DRM scandal can be largely blamed for the deficit between PS4 and Xbox One this generation. Earning back the reputation of Xbox with gamers will take time. It also takes a long time for game studios to produce new games, and that’s a big part of what Phil Spencer has been initiating, exclusives for Xbox.
Xbox provided a 2 hour livestream from Mexico City during their X018 Event showcasing their lineup for 2018 / 2019 and revealed world premiere content for first party and third party games. There was also two new studio acquirement announcements for Microsoft Studios and a large number of ways that Xbox plans to get more gamers into their brand by remaining consumer-friendly and increasing their investment on quality content for the future.