Borderlands 2 will feature a much more robust cosmetic character editing suite, letting players equip their avatars with different skins, costumes and facial types. According to a new promotional poster (below), players of the original Borderlands will unlock exclusive heads and skins to use in the sequel.
I'd love to tell you lots more about Borderlands 2, but you'll sadly have to wait until Friday. Until then, might I suggest checking out our two-part Borderlands 2 hands-on preview, interview with art director Kevin Duc and E3 2012 Assassin/Commando preview?Click here to read more...
Gearbox concept designer Scott Kester has talked of the studio's apprehension when it came to redesigning certain things in Borderlands in order to make it a distinctive title, going to say that the focus of this sequel is to create 'something worthy of the original.'Click here to read more...
We're big fans of Gearbox's wacky co-operative shooter Borderlands here at Dealspwn. Between the randomly generated weaponry, glowing loot drops, dune-buggies and fantastically named villains, it snagged a respectable 8 from Jon. We've long hoped Gearbox might announce a sequel, but for the past year or so they've been far too busy getting Duke out the door. However, according to a Eurogamer source, Borderlands 2 might be closer than you think.Click here for more
This is an odd little story. After Borderlands' massive success forced a certain Wedbush Morgan analyst to eat his poorly-chosen words, we all assumed that Gearbox were well underway on a sequel - and little hints have been cropping up all over the place (including CEO Randy Pitchford mentioning the project by name). However, Pitchford has spoken out to deny that any official development has taken place, and that any plans to make Borderlands 2 are only speculative brainstorming ideas rather than a firm mission statement. Intriguing.Click here to read more...
Today's news roundup sees multiplayer FPS Borderlands streak past the 2 million mark in sales figures, Sony announce that Playstation Home has reached 10 million registered users, and Microsoft outline a new keep fit programme for reaching out to a wider audience that basically consists of copying the Wii and calling gamers fat.
Borderlands has now sold over 2 million copies according to publishers Take-Two Interactive. Although originally released by 2K Games - who have themselves dropped a game or two this year due to fiscal issues - Take-Two owns the long-term publishing rights and, after the game enjoyed a barnstorming performance upon release, the company has described the game as a "key franchise" in its marketing strategy.
This is hardly surprising, however, considering that Take-Two's figures for 2009 tumbled down 39% from the previous year. A dip in financial form was always going to be on the cards considering the success of GTA IV last year, though, and the company will be hoping to bounce back in 2010 with big hitters such as BioShock 2, Mafia II, Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption. I must say, it's nice to see that, in the middle of a recession, it was a gamble on a new IP rather than a hurried rehash of an existing franchise that wound up boosting Take-Two's sales. [Eurogamer]
Whether you perceive it as a useful networking system, an innovative hub for gamers and developers to come together, or simply as a shiny gimmick that takes up space on your hard-drive, Sony's Playstation Home is proving popular, having garnered a good 10 million users in the year or so that it's been up and running.
With the recent addition of the Uncharted 2 game space, and with a Motorstorm space due in the near future, Home's Business Manager, Dan Hill had this to say on passing the milestone:
"PlayStation Home is fast becoming the meeting place of choice between users and developers. Every new game space enhances the overall experience for consumers, offering more variety, more choice and more enjoyment from a PlayStation Home session. The more game spaces there are, the better it gets, and the number of spaces keeps on growing. For developers, there's no better way of driving interest in their titles than giving fans a hands-on, interactive experience based around the game itself. A game space in PlayStation Home ought to be a core element of every studio's marketing strategy for new titles."
It should be noted, however, that the impressive figures are for anyone and everyone who has ever logged onto Home, including those that went to check it out for the first time, and simply never came back. Although it's probably true that most people with a Playstation have checked out Home if only out of curiosity, the digital hub's retention rate is distinctly less than impressive. [1up]
News emerged yesterday that Microsoft have patented a new avatar system, probably to be implemented alongside the upcoming Natal, to try and encourage gamers to be fit fit, healthy, and to exercise more. The nattily titled 'Avatar Individualised By Characteristic' patent proposes "an avatar generator for a virtual environment reflects a physiological characteristic of the user, injecting a degree of reality into the capabilities or appearance." In other words, gamers can expect their avatars to mimic their own love-handles, cankles and moobs.
Microsoft proposes to obtain this information via a "third party health data collection repository, a healthcare smart card, a real-time physiological sensor (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, peak flow, pedometer, etc.)" which sounds s little bit like a bunch of peripherals we've seen released for the Wii. Microsoft aim to take this a step further, however, by rewarding fervent health nuts with "capabilities of a gaming avatar, an amount of time budgeted to play, or a visible indication" whereby "people are encouraged to exercise."
This all sounds a little bit nuts to me. Will we be able to switch this feature on and off? What about disabled users, how will this new avatar system affect them? What do you guys think? You can check out the patent here, sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts. [1up]
Today’s news roundup sees rumours of yet another DSi model hitting Japan, an Excitebike sequel make its way onto WiiWare, and complaints of online play in Borderlands resulting in erasure of character development.
Nintendo appear to be aiming for at least one new DS model a year to sell to the unsuspecting public, because according to the Japanese Nikkei news service, Nintendo are planning to introduce a new DSi model to Japan, this time with a slightly bigger screen. Are you as excited as I am? The new model boasts a 4-inch screen (as opposed to the original DSi’s 3.25-inch screen) and will be offered for the same price as the current DSi.
Nikkei point out the larger screen may be an attempt to market the DSi to the older demographic, who may not enjoy the same quality of eyesight they had in their youth. Aside from the larger screen, everything else will remain unchanged. No release date has been confirmed, and whether this model will appear elsewhere is still under discussion. Assuming an official announcement will soon follow, we’ll let you know more as soon as we find out. [Kotaku]
Nintendo’s Wii channel revealed some pleasant news for Nintendo fans today, unveiling a new sequel to old classic Excitebike. The announcement states Excitebike: World Rally is intended for a rather surprising November 9th release date on WiiWare.
A short video shows off the games 2.5D look, also revealing a track editor, optional motion controls, and online multiplayer support. More details are sure to follow, but with a November 9th release date it’s not like you’ll have to wait too long. [NintendoEverything]
Borderlands is the latest release to be surrounded by unfortunate online issues, despite an otherwise positive reception. A few players on all three formats have reported bugs whenever playing multiplayer resulting in the wiping of their characters’ progress. Complaints on the official Gearbox forums highlight issues such as skill points and weapon proficiencies being reset to zero upon players joining or leaving a match, with no apparent way of recovering the lost data.
Kissing these hard-earned skill points and advanced abilities goodbye does not bode well with these players, although Gearbox is currently working on a solution, frequently responding with a statement reading: “Your report has been heard and we're working on it. Unfortunately there isn't a fix just yet, but when one is available we hope to be able to repair as much of your character data as possible.” A patch will likely be issued as soon as its available, but until then be aware of the consequences of online play. [1UP]
Final Fantasy XIV is held up on the Xbox 360 due to issues between Square Enix and Xbox Live, in today’s news roundup. In other news, Mass Effect 2 won’t suffer the same problems as its predecessor as the frame-rate is locked to 30FPS, the Xbox 360 outsells the PS3 in Japan, and Borderlands has DLC already in the works.
Final Fantasy XIV will be hitting the Xbox 360 at some point, despite no official announcement. Producer Hiromichi attributed discussions with Microsoft for the delay. “For FFXIV, because 360 has its own policy with Xbox Live that is different from [the] internet, that's something we're in discussions with Microsoft [about], to come to an agreement," he said. “That's one of the reasons it's not going to be launched [simultaneously].”
Back at E3 Sony announced Final Fantasy XIV will be a PS3 exclusive, before Square contradicted this revealing it will be coming to other platforms. Whatever the case, it looks like Final Fantasy XIV will be receiving a short window of exclusivity on the PS3 before Microsoft get their hands on it. [VG247]
Mass Effect was released in 2007 to much critical acclaim and praise. But amongst this, there was the occasional complaint of problematic framerates and lengthy load times, something that won’t be an issue in Mass Effect 2. “If you look at most good shooters, they lock down frame-rate at 30 FPS. We've done the same thing. Bam. Everything's 30 FPS, streaming is fixed up,” said associate producer Jesse Houston.
“If you remember in Mass 1, if you took a step backwards and you hit a weird stream and it'd pause for a moment. We've done away with that. What you're seeing here is pulled straight from the game”. Mass Effect 2 will see an early 2010 release on the Xbox 360 and PC, without any “weird streams” hopefully. [VG247]
The Xbox 360 isn’t a big deal in Japan. Its main aim seems to be avoiding last place in the hardware charts along with the much older and less powerful PS2. The news that the 360 managed to pummel the PS3 saleswise comes as quite a surprise. August 10th to 16th marked a week where the 360 managed to sell an impressive 9,162 units while the PS3 trailed behind with only 5,944 units sold.
Obviously these figures are a long way off to putting the consoles in reach of the DSi (87,936 units sold) and the Wii (47,732 units sold) but they are exciting from Microsoft’s viewpoint at least. Strangely, the sudden surge in sales doesn’t seem to be inspired by anything in particular. No new software for Microsoft has made an impact in Japan this week or any in recent memory. Perhaps Bill Gates went into Japan and bought 9,000 360s just to get one up on Sony? Or perhaps it's much more likely that Japanese consumers are holding off until the arrival of the PS3 Slim. [GameSpot]
Downloadable content is pretty much a necessity with any big-name release nowadays, and the sooner, the better. This is something Gearbox president Randy Pitchford hopes to take advantage of with Borderlands, announcing, “people are going to be surprised when they find out how quickly we're coming” with the DLC.
“We're going to watch and see what happens when the game launches, so we can have our plans affected by what our customers want more of” said Pitchford. Gearbox are currently working on “plans for the initial stuff”, which will be announced soon, but are waiting for fan feedback before deciding exactly where to take the DLC. Pitchford claims Borderlands is the “best we’ve ever done” and is headed for an October 23rd release date. [Eurogamer]