With a waterfall flow of information already coming forward regarding the next console generation from Microsoft and Sony it seems like right now is a good time to take stock of the overall data and what it all means from a big picture perspective. Either the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Scarlett may end up being overpowered compared to the competition, but for now that remains in debate. Without final specs and independent third party testing we just don’t know yet. In terms of official announcements, we do have confirmation on several key factors regarding the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett.
With Sony skipping E3 this year Microsoft decided to throw a massive showing of 60 games, over half of which are part of Xbox Game Pass, and 14 games from Xbox Game Studios including some closer looks at titles we knew about as well as some new games. Although some may argue that Microsoft held back a bit this year, there were still a ton of announcements to cover. We’ve selected some highlights from the bunch and provided the important info you need to know about the 2019 / 2020 Xbox lineup!
“If you thought you were safe, you’re totally wrong. We are in 1946. Europe is in ruins, torn by the nefarious “Plan Z”. A brave band of heroes manages to throw the Führer into hell, but they know little. Hitler’s Hordes are back looking for more.” reads an Amazon Spain listing when translated.
An alleged Amazon UK listing which was leaked said “Watch Dogs Legion is set in a near-future, dystopian version of London. It’s a post-Brexit world in which society, politics, and technology have changed and altered London’s fortunes,” & “Play as anyone, Every individual you meet in the open world, has a full set of animations, voice over, character traits and visuals that are generated & guided by gameplay systems.”
If you haven’t heard about Intellivision Amico yet then let us be the ones to tell you, it’s a modern 2D gaming platform for retro-inspired games, retro ports, indie titles, and more!
Last month it was announced that a new Earthworm Jim will release exclusive to the Amico. With in-house console design experts and investment in game development studios, Intellivision are taking the Amico console very seriously. During a time in which gamers having growing frustrations with AAA games, the Amico provides a very different platform full of potential.
The Amico releases in 2020, and this year’s E3 2019 will be the first time game journalists will get hands-on with playable consoles, controllers, and twenty two playable Amico games – all of which are exclusive titles. Although this will occur behind closed doors for press appointment only, it’s a great sign that things are on schedule for Amico. We also have information on how the games available for demo would break down in terms of genre and style.
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.
A title announced at Bethesda E3 2018 which took many by surprise and showed promise was The Elder Scrolls: Blades. Pitched as a “pure Elder Scrolls game” by Todd Howard on stage, this is the latest major iPhone / Android game production which scales up in quality on consoles as well as PC Gaming platforms like Epic Games Store, GOG, and Steam. There was also some amount of cross-platform interaction being attempted. At the core of this game there are also town building, elements, item acquiring, and collecting junk / chests full of random loot which must be upgraded by tier through in-game currency.
Wait times are leveraged against gamers as well, with players able to skip through huge grinds built into the game through buying chests of higher value than the game is willing to give out just for playing.
Two images have surfaced allegedly showing off, for the first time, what next-generation game console PlayStation 5 will have for a controller come 2020 during its expected release window.
At GDC 2019 the world saw its first reveal of Stadia, a new cloud compute / video game streaming platform being launched by Google some time this year featuring low latency gameplay with 1080p 60 frames per second for 15 – 25mbps internet connections and up to 4K HDR at 60 frames per second for higher bandwidth users. While many have been skeptical of this service, Google has produced the science behind how it’s worked hard to make the previously impossible a soon-to-come reality. However, there are still a lot of questions left unanswered – particularly pricing.
Furthermore there is some speculation surrounding the games lineup for the new service as partnerships have been vaguely teased between the Unreal Engine, Unity Engine, and third party developers with little info on who exactly is working on Stadia projects and what titles gamers should expect at launch. Beyond the Project Stream testing which was done last winter with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey we are mainly given id Software’s presentation of Doom Eternal for Stadia as a reference point for their incoming lineup.
That being said, an alleged leak has surfaced from the aftermath of GDC 2019 naming the next Call of Duty as a potential launch title for the service. Jade Raymond and Amy Hennig are also said to be hard at work on exciting new projects for Google which will hopefully become Stadia games we can be thankful for after the tumultuous events the two visionaries have been seen going through in recent history under the mismanagement of EA Games.
Worlds Will Change…
With a full orchestra, dozens of world premieres, and world famous presenters from within the entertainment industries, The Game Awards 2018 took place in the Microsoft Theater (Los Angeles, California) and is one of the most digitally distributed products of all time and was streamed live in 4K HDR resolution as well as VR formats around the globe on more platforms than any other industry event or live awards show in history. In this article we will cover the play-by-play as well as provide coverage of the awards, world premiere announcements, game trailers, some commentary, and the full high definition replay footage of the event in case you missed the incredible ride.