Frank O'Connor doesn't like people breaking embargoes, and after notorious industry tipster CBOAT's (crazy buttocks on a train) playful little Guardians of the Galaxy-assisted nod to the reveal of Halo 5: Guardians, O'Connor has been fuming. On NeoGAF, CBOAT (also responsible for swathes of rumoured leaked info in the run up to the Xbox One and PS4 reveals last year -- some of it accurate, some of it not so accurate) has been amusingly venerated as something of a prophet for some time. This is NeoGAF, mind, their ordination ceremonies are fairly unofficial.
O'Connor, however, is less keen for such leaking swine to be hero worshipped in such a manner, and took to NeoGAF under his forum ID "Stinkles" to deliver a polemic outlining the damage leakers do:
Breaking embargos is not prophesy. Nor does it require any particular skill or insight. Ultimately he is taking or being given information and leaking it, illegally and often erroneously. And he isn't doing it for some noble or worthy reason. He's doing it for attention.
People, including nice people with kids and families and stuff, work super hard on this stuff and wake up in the morning to find some of their effort blown up. It's not fun, and for what? So you can have a mildly interesting surprise 8 hours early and lacking context? Or get hyped or disappointed disproportionately? Or get someone fired or someone innocent yelled at?
Ok. But it isn't prophecy, nor ultimately even important. It's annoying.
It's not hard to sympathise with O'Connor's sentiments to a certain degree. When you're beavering away on something, any kind of project that has you excited, large or small, you want to be the first one to tell people about it. After the blood, sweat, and tears of getting a project off of the ground, surely as a creator you want to be the first one to relay the message and start getting the word out. To have such an opportunity taken away from you is galling, particularly in the run-up to the world's biggest games expo.
Embargoes serve a purpose in the games industry -- information embargoes allow companies to ready themselves for the public eye. First impressions are absolutely key, and the fact is that the internet can be a home to a hysterical audience. Any information, if it isn't successfully presented (and sometimes even when it is) is always twisted and moulded and torn apart and frequently bastardised as soon as it is released. Once out in the open, there's no real way of controlling it, and so strict NDAs reign supreme, ensuring that everything is just so.Click here to read more...
Cometh the hour cometh the console. Following months of rumours, speculation and some megaton non-announcements that set the internet alight, we're now just one day away from the next-generation Xbox reveal, and learning exactly what Microsoft's new device has to offer.
Soon, dear reader, we can start to discuss facts rather than rumours, but there's no denying that many of us will be wondering which of the conflicting reports will come to pass, and which will be thoroughly debunked. So here, for your convenience, is a list of the most plausible, far-fetched and inflammatory rumours that have made headlines over the last few months. Get ready to tick them off from 18:00 GMT tomorrow...
Exactly what components, and how powerful they are, has been the subject of many a futile debate. Bear with me, because the insane deluge of contradictory and conflicting rumours has become utterly baffling.Click here to read more...
After Captain Price voice actor Billy Murray reportedly outed his involvement in Modern Warfare 4, Infinity Ward has spoken out to state that that his claims are "not true," but didn't discuss whether or not a direct sequel is indeed in development.Click here to read more...
The last fortnight has heralded a veritable smorgasbord of rumours surrounding the next-generation Xbox - 'Durango' - both in terms of its hardware, release date and features. For completeness' sake (and because some of you lovely readers have been asking), we've rounded up the smartest rumours, complete with easy-to-surf links to our coverage or elsewhere, into one convenient place.Click here to read more...
Superbot Entertainment has spoken out to confirm that the recently-discovered swathe of as-yet unannounced characters and stages for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is absolutely true. However, it might not represent the sum total of the full game.Click here to read more...
Square Enix president Yoichi Wada has called out recent rumours surrounding Final Fantasy Versus XIII as a "hoax," reassuring fans that the long-delayed project is still in development and is impressive enough to "knock you off your feet." Considering that Square are set to make some major announcements at a Final Fantasy 25th anniversary event this September, perhaps we can expect a progress update?
Last week, sources alleged that Final Fantasy Versus XIII had been secretly cancelled, suggesting that Square were keeping things quiet to avoid shareholder panic and improve studio morale.
Square Enix may not be willing to fully remake Final Fantasy VII until they've managed to release a superior current-gen game, but the rumoured PC re-release has been been confirmed today. According to the official website (which is currently taking an absolute pounding), this new version will contain cloud save functionality, achievements and a cheeky “Character Booster.”
Interestingly, though, the re-release will apparently only be available via the official Square Enix store, despite the initial rumours suggesting that it was headed to Steam.
Valve's respect for Apple is a matter of public record, and rumours of a collaboration reached fever pitch when reports placed Apple CEO Tim Cook at Valve's Washington HQ last week. However, Gabe Newell has spoken out to squash the rumour flat.Click here to read more...
According to Bloomberg's Diana Bass, Microsoft PR man David Dennis has officially confirmed that "no new Xbox hardware [will] be shown/discussed at E3 or anytime soon." Apparently 2012 will be "all about 360," effectively squashing numerous unsubstantiated rumours that herald E3 2012 as a console reveal of epic proportions.
Is this a definitive last word or a corporate mind game? We'll find out in June. [via MCV]
Compelling rumours about a potential Valve console - dubbed the Steam Box - have been doing the rounds of late, backed up by patents and testimony from a Valve employee who's been working on hardware for the company. However, Head Of Marketing Doug Lombardi has spoken out to squash the story, instead stating that the hardware is just a test box rather than a potential game changer.Click here to read more...
A sensational report from MCV captured our imaginations recently by purporting that Sony would be announcing the next-generation PlayStation console at E3 2012, in order to steal some thunder from both the next Xbox and Wii U. However, SCE Chairman Kazuo "Kaz" Hirai has flatly and categorically denied the rumours during a roundtable at CES, stating that they're sticking to a ten year life cycle.
“Andy (House) is absolutely right in that we are not making any announcements at E3. I’ve always said a 10-year life cycle for PS3, and there is no reason to go away from that."
So there... for now at least. Considering that Microsoft didn't announce or even hint at the next Xbox during their disappointing CES keynote, we should probably take any subsequent rumours with a healthy degree of cynicism. [via the Wall Street Journal]
BioWare aren't the only ones engaging in pre-reveal hype-mongering for an mysterious unreleased title. Spike TV has been teasing another new game reveal for this year's VGA awards on December 11th, culmanating with the image above buried within their latest trailer.
The biohazard symbol and "infection" motif are both very reminiscent of Resident Evil (with the Resi series actually named Biohazard in Japan)- and an eagle-eyed report from gamerzines has spotted that previous silhouette teaser artwork exactly matches the classic Resident Evil zombie logo. Not quite a smoking gun, but enough for us to thrust this rumour straight to the head of the pack (well in front of the suggestion that Valve might be teasing a new Left 4 Dead).
So what resident evil could this be referring to? We know that Resi 6 must be set for an immanent reveal, but the urban graffiti art style suggests that the new title might actually be the rumoured Slant Six-developed multiplayer title set in Raccoon City. Once again, all we can do is wait and surmise.
Ubisoft's Jade Raymond has confirmed that her Toronto studio's current project is none other than Splinter Cell 6- and that production is well underway. During a quietly-released promo video, the Managing Director revealed a little footage as well as plans to vastly increase the size and scope of the studio over the next few years.
We’re working on Splinter Cell 6, the next iteration of the blockbuster franchise, and we’re doing it entirely here in Toronto. Within the next 10 years we plan to ramp up studio to at least 800 people, and we’re ahead of schedule on that. - Jade Raymond, Ubisoft Toronto Managing Director
You don't have to take my word for it. [Video courtesy of gamerslive.fr]
Anton Mikhailov, Sony's celebrity R&D boffin and key developer behind Playstation Move, has confirmed that they have the capacity to improve the accuracy and response time of Playstation Move via firmware updates... but they probably won't need to.
We can certainly update [Move] through firmware. The real question is, do we want to? So far we haven't had any real requests from studios to improve the accuracy. There are a couple of issues here and there we can fix, but the majority the games are not even taxing it to its full accuracy.
Anton continued to suggest that most gamers actually prefer to use gesture based inputs or broad motions rather than inch-perfect manoeuvres, and I'm broadly inclined to agree. After all, there comes a point where realism and accuracy can actually diminish the fun. Perfecting dual-handed (and hence, dual peripheral) input mechanisms is currently Sony's primary focus. [Eurogamer]
Wow, it seems that grouchy old Keiji Inafune really wasn't kidding when he recently announced that he hated his job and wanted to retire. Writing on the blog of Capcom subsiduary Daletto, the vociferous developer explained that he has decided to quit and pursue a new career.
I entered the company as a character designer and 23 years passed in an instant. As a developer, I've reached the top at Capcom. There are no more stairs to climb. I'm leaving Capcom with the intention of starting my life over.
People that really know me, can see where I'm coming from. I'm not a regular dude. It's probably because I'm strange.
I'll do my best. Thank you. - Keiji Inafune
Sayonara, Inafune-san. Thanks for Mega Man, Onimusha and Dead Rising! Apparently he'll be searching for his next position immediately without taking a break... though considering that he frequently decries the Japanese games industry and slags off rival companies, he might have to consider a change of scenery. I wonder if Bethesda could use another guru? [Daletto (translated)]
The quarterly financials are in, folks... meaning that it's time to pore over the figures and come up with some contentious comparisons between Microsoft and Sony. Luckily I've done the hard work so that you don't have to.
First up: Microsoft. The software giant has announced record-breaking revenue of $16.2 billion for this quarter (ending September 30), an increase of 25% over the same period last year. They've seen year-on-year growth thoughout all of their divisions, ending up with a net income of $5.4 billion- and net profit of $382 million for their Entertainment Services division (which includes the Xbox 360).
While Microsoft managed to improve in all sectors, Sony has had a much more asymmetrical quarter throughout its hardware divisions. PSP sales have halved from 3 million to 1.5 million this second quarter... but the PS3 isn't pulling any punches. Hardware sales have slightly increased, but software sales have skyrocketed from 38.7 million in 2009 to 60.1 million units! This has pulled the Networked Products and Services division out of a 59 billion yen loss into a 6.9 billion yen profit.
Here's where it gets interesting. According to the latest sales figures, there's only a gap of 5 million units between PS3 and Xbox 360 sales (39.2 million PS3s compared to 44.6 million X360s)... with Sony selling at a faster rate this last quarter. Sony was able to shift 3.5 million PS3s between July-September whereas the Xbox 360 sold a lower 2.8 million, meaning that they have lost a little ground since Q1, but are still effectively gaining on Microsoft. This holiday season is likely to be pivotal for both companies, with Motion Control providing an interesting new proposition for existing consumers without actually being in significant direct competition. Sony sold over 6 million PS3s last Christmas, for the record...
5th Cell, the studio behind the recently released Super Scribblenauts, has released a teaser site and trailer for their newest project. Entitled Hybrid, this latest title is a gritty postapocalyptic shooter featuring two playable factions: Paladins and Variants. It's set for an XBLA release, though the exact date is up in the air at the moment. Why not check out the website for some cryptic backstory? [whatishybrid.com]
I hope (vainly) that we'll still be able to summon objects into existence with a magical notepad. Dropping whales or the Eiffel tower onto enemies will make for a brand new take on the FPS genre...
Yet more choice PSP2 rumours have oozed onto the internet courtesy of Kotaku, who recently claimed that a number of sources divulged information about the upcoming handheld after a closed-doors demonstration at TGS. Their latest unverified intel suggests that the PSP2 might ditch the UMD optical discs, instead storing downloadable games on Memory Stick much like the PSP Go. Uh oh. Apparently Sony are still deliberating the exact details of the storage system; though we hope that they'll allow other retailers to sell downloadable PSP games and decide their own price levels if the system goes completely disc-less.
Their 'sources' also reckon that the PSP2 will pack a gigabyte of RAM, which is almost double the amount you'll find in an Xbox 360.
Personally I think that the PSP 2 will ditch the UMD format. The constantly-spinning drive had a terrifying effect on battery life and took up a lot of space that could otherwise have been used to pack in more hardware or improve the form factor. File this one under very likely. As for the RAM, I think we'll need to sit back and wait. [Kotaku]
Stuart Black, the developer behind Black and the foulmouthed spokesman for upcoming beautifully-vulgar FPS Bodycount will be leaving the Codemasters team.
“Having created a great vision and direction for Bodycount, Stuart has decided to move on after three years with us.”
“He will see out his design role until October and, through the transition period, will continue to work with the talented development team that will take the game through to completion.”- Codemasters studio manager Adrian Bolton
No specific reason has been given for Black's decision to quit- but we're genuinely surprised to see it confirmed. Stuart has been a mainstay of the FPS headlines in recent months; issuing a constant stream of expletives, hyperbole and updates about Bodycount's development cycle. Considering his undeniable passion and position as as official Bodycount mascot, we can only assume that the dev team shouted down one of his ridiculous (or brilliant, or both) design decisions. Maybe a Lady Gaga-themed level? [via VG247]
Bioware has dropped the bomb on a massive patch for Dragon Age Origins that fixes a huge number of glitches, bugs and flagrant little coding issues across the board. Rogues will have special reason to rejoice, since daggers will now actually grant them the dexterity damage modifier they deserve. Oh, and memory leaks and corrupted save games should hopefully be a thing of the past.
Check out the full (and significantly long) list of tweaks and updates here. The patch will hit for the PC later today, though the console versions are currently awaiting testing and accreditation. [Bioware Forums]
Uh-oh. Bobby Kotick's been breathlessly fantasizing about instigating a membership subscription system for playing Call of Duty online for some time... and if a recent gameplay video is to be believed, the software and platform to do so may have already sneaked into Modern Warfare 2. For your delectation:
Hmm. Even if this video isn't doctored (considering it would be fairly easy to overlay a grey screen onto MW2 gameplay footage), there are any number of things that this video could be. Note, however, the Modern Warfare 2 Membersh... title hanging ominously over the menu like the sword of Damocles.
Personally I'd be very surprised if Activision is trying to sneak subscriptions into Modern Warfare 2 (considering that Black Ops is just around the corner)- but I'd be interested to see what you all make of it. I'd personally file this one under "Unlikely but plausible." [via TheSixthAxis]
Popcap fans and gardening aficionados will be delighted to hear that Plants vs Zombies will be dropping onto XBLA in September. According to leaked achievements discovered over the weekend, it will also contain a couple of new modes including multiplayer bowling.
According to the press release, this new version of Plants vs Zombies will boast "seven game modes, including two all-new multiplayer modes, 12 unique achievements and 21 mini-games," enhanced resolution and a quirky leaderboard system that involves creating a virtual clubhouse for your friends to visit! It will retail for 1200 Microsoft Points.