Grave Gamer News & Views — next-gen

Entire Mass Effect Trilogy Charting for Next-Gen? I know I’m late...

Entire Mass Effect Trilogy Charting for Next-Gen?

I know I’m late on this one, I beg forgiveness. When airplanes don’t have Wi-Fi, my only two choices are to play Pokemon X or sleep with my neck at a perfect right angle.

Anywho, if a Chilean retailer’s online listing isn’t a cruel, cruel mistake, it would appear Bioware is following the trend Injustice, Tomb Raider, and, soon, The Last of Us have set by porting their choice-driven, ass-kicking, alien Frenching sci-fi magnum opus to next-gen consoles.

For the millionth and sixth time this year, a sharp-eyed NeoGAF user caught this potential caveat while browsing Zmart (Shop smart, shop Zmart…?):

That’s the already collected Mass Effect Trilogy, ayuh. But hold the Turian, that’s PS4 box art! Our NeoGAFite says there was also an Xbox One listing to be had.

Clicking on the listing revealed next to squat – no release date, no pricing, no info. Bioware’s been mum on the subject, too. However, that doesn’t mean they haven’t at least thought about bringing the space opera to new systems.

Bioware Edmonton/Montreal GM, Aaryn Flynn, teased to fans on the internet’s megaphone, Twitter, that a next-gen port of the series has been discussed internally.

I truly hope this is legit. Now that we’re well past Mass Effect 3’s ending debacle and ensuing cry-babying, we can clearly view this trilogy for what it is: a groundbreaking piece of art that organically wove storytelling and setting into one immersive epic. Toss in upped visuals and three games worth of DLC and I’d revisit my Shepard faster than you can say “I’ve got some calibrations to do.”

I’ll keep you posted if this rumor hits orbit.

PS4 @ TGS: PS3 Games Streaming by 2014; External Capture Devices...

PS4 @ TGS: PS3 Games Streaming by 2014; External Capture Devices Welcome

The PlayStation 4 is making the rounds at this year’s Tokyo Game Show event and just as you’d expect/hope, Sony’s been releasing little caveats of information regarding the soon-to-be launched console.

Interviewed during a roundtable discussion with press, Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Worldwide Studios, spoke on the planned Gaikai cloud streaming which, when announced that it’d be a part of the PS4’s suite of services back in February, was said to be a way to dip into previous system’s back catalogs.

Yoshida confirmed the Gaikai cloud streaming will begin for the North American region sometime in 2014 and that a decent selection of PS3 titles will be available to browse through from the get-go. These very same PS3 games will also be compatible for the PS Vita. Gaikai’s good graces don’t extend to European territories, sadly, due to uneven broadband speeds across the continent. The service is delayed in Europe until sufficient deals are secured between Sony and local ISPs.

Though the PS4’s on-board ability to record and upload short spurts of gameplay opens up a brave new world to casual gamers looking to share with friends, those with more than a few “Let’s Play’s” notched into their belts have wondered if the next-gen console would support external capture devices for extended sessions.

Well, friends, today you have your “Yup.” Sony’s Third Party Relations man, Brad Douglas, confirmed PS4 video capture support via HDMI. Now there’s no halting your ridiculous goddamn gaming feats in glorious HD. 

Call of Duty Preorders Weakened By Impending Consoles Something...

Call of Duty Preorders Weakened By Impending Consoles

Something interesting is happening to the once mighty COD and Activision is putting the blame squarely on Sony, Microsoft, and your fickleness.

More specifically, Acti says the soon-to-be next generation — which encompasses the unreleased PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (if nobody looks Wii U in the eye, it won’t try to join the conversation) — is negatively affecting preorders for their annualized money bath, Call of Duty.

Eric Hirshberg, Acti’s CEO of Publishing, revealed that Call of Duty: Ghosts’ preorder numbers are nowhere near “the record-setting pace" Black Ops II cemented before its November release last year.  Could it…Could it be that the gaming masses have grown tired of purchasing a rehashed, increasingly formulaic product year-over-year?  Are gamers finally at the boiling point where they’re wisely using dollars withheld to send both a message and a plea for inspired, innovative gameplay once mo—

“Our quantitative consumer research indicates that hesitation amongst past COD pre-orderers is primarily due to not knowing which platform they will be playing on, which is natural at this time in the console transition."  Oh.  I guess there’s also that.  Thanks for clearing that up, Eric.  Indecisiveness hath wounded the beast it seems.

It’s an interesting dilemna Sony and MS have presented third-party publishers with.  Over this past generation, publishers have taken to relegating one-off’s or shaky IP’s to smaller digital affairs and focused their efforts into building sequel spewing franchises because their business models have morphed into almost totally relying on guaranteed cash-in’s.

Besides a shortlist of annual sports titles, you didn’t really see these yearly blockbusters running towards the PS3 and 360’s launch.  Now, we’re witness to companies like Ubisoft and EA packing up their totem titles like Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield, hoisting them over their shoulders, and making the journey to a brave new, next-gen world.

But missed preorders almost definitely won’t mean missed sales when Ghosts launches (like clockwork) this Holiday.  The third-party, Activision included, has a contigency against the very same install base they fought and bled to root over the course of this generation.  Of the three heavy hitting franchises mentioned in my rambling, all have current-gen counterparts being made available for the unwilling and undecided hesitant to go next-gen.

I think the upward battle ahead pushes the first-party into the frontlines more than the third-party.  Any angle you approach it, it’s not a matter if games will sell — because they will.  It’s a matter of where games will sell.  Why cry over spilt milk, Activision?  (If "crying” in this instance means issuing a sales report and the “spilt milk” refers to low preorders on a multi-billion dollar video game…Listen, I wasn’t formally trained in metaphors.  Lay off me.)

Microsoft Reverses Xbox One’s Shit-tastic DRM Policies By Zeus,...

Microsoft Reverses Xbox One’s Shit-tastic DRM Policies

By Zeus, you’ve done it.  We’ve done it.  Our collective bitching has effectively moved mountains.  We made Microsoft budge.  Hell, that’s the metaphorical equivalent to knocking the Earth off of its axis…Which would likely kill us, but as we hurtle through space to our unknown doom, hold onto the peace of mind that we can at least lend our Xbox One games to a friend before we die.

Forgive my nonsense and dig this: Micro’s president of interactive entertainment, Don Mattrick – ‘member him? – issued a cordial update on the Xbox One’s used games and online policies in a post titled “Your Feedback Matters” (That alone deserves a tip of the hat).  The Xbox One’s DRM-like policies have, up until now, been met with “passionate” responses from the gaming community (you’re free to replace “passionate” with whichever venomous word of your choosing; all are correct).

But it would appear Microsoft, in the first expert display of damage control since the console’s reveal, has completely reassessed their stance on connectivity limitations (i.e. the “always-online” debate):

An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Similarly, disc-based games, which were originally to be tethered to individual profiles, thus preventing friends from using the same disc on their own consoles, has seen all potential restrictions revoked:

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

Mattrick goes on to state that it is his and his company’s belief that while consumers will continue to support the system’s online features, including the cloud, for playing and downloading games (a steadfast march into an all-digital age that many argue is already here), Microsoft still wants to provide the “choice of both physical and digital content.”

Practically all of my criticisms toward the Xbox One were rallied against Microsoft’s policies and contorted, arrogant ideologies in regards to the future of gaming.  There is no denying that this was a good fucking move on their part.  This is exactly the compromise needed to change a lot of minds about the Xbox One’s threading within the next generation’s tapestry.

I feel much of Sony’s thunder from E3 could be muffled by this policy assessment, but policy should have never played a part in the purchasing decision to begin with.  It should have always been a battle between games and features.  We’re back to that level, yes, but the skirmish is now also pit on the dollar – our dollar, to be precise – and the PlayStation 4 still rests at a hundred bones cheaper than the competition.

Still, MS has definitely won some good graces today.  We’ll see how far that carries them when both systems launch.

Xbox One: Everything You Need to Know (That Matters)

The veil has lifted, the seas have parted, and the goats have been sacrificed.  You know what that must mean; Microsoft has officially revealed their next-gen successor to the Xbox 360.  Everyone, I want you to meet the Xbox One.


Isn’t she a marvel of modern engineering?  Just look at how sleek and…VCR-like it is.  What says “The Future” better than a device that gives me the overwhelming urge to shove my VHS copy of Short Circuit into it?  Check it out, it floats, too:


Ha, lookit that shit just hovering there.  Technology’s wild, man.  But there’s way more to Microsoft’s newest console than its totally not made up ability to float a couple of inches off the ground.  Read on and we’ll tear open the system’s specs, learn about its leg up over the 360, and hopefully figure out a means to destroy these things before they’re floating a few inches over our children’s mangled corpses.