This Week's Top Stories: July 16 - 21, 2012

Welcome to another instalment in our weekly news digest where the team at PSU Towers picks our favourite slices of gaming gossip from the past seven days, before proceeding to offer our two cents on each story for good measure.

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Sonic Adventure 2 HD confirmed for PSN, XBLA

SEGA’s been ramping up its retro output as of late, with Sonic Adventure 2 the latest classic game to join the likes of the recently-announced Jet Set Radio and NiGHTS into Dreams for PSN and XBLA. The Dreamcast platform title was for many leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor, and was a million seller for both SEGA’s beloved white box as well as GameCube (it turned up on Nintendo’s machine for the U.K. launch with bonus content). For those unaware, Sonic Adventure 2 marked the first time we clapped eyes on Shadow the Hedgehog and a host of other extra, some would say needless, freedom-fighters who would join the battle against Dr. Eggman. If you liked Sonic Adventure 1 (I’ve always loved it, personally) then you simply must pick this up. If you haven’t already played the original, then you should still grab this sequel for proof enough that the Blue Blur did successfully make the transition to 3D before things went downhill.

Rumor: Metal Gear Solid 5 shown at Comic-Con

Chatter on a new entry in the Metal Gear Solid franchise is nothing new, but if Internet gossip is anything to go by, we may have just reached a crucial turning point in regards to new information. Apparently, the game was shown off behind-closed-doors at Comic-Con over the weekend, with the game’s logo leaking out alongside a new tagline replacing the ‘Tactical Espionage Action' text accompanying previous games. Apparently, MGS5 will be known as ‘Open Ground Reconnaissance Endeavor,’ which just so happens to spell OGRE for short. Coincidence? If this is the real deal, then most definitely not, as Hideo Kojima has been known to be working on something called Project Ogre for the past couple of years. Sadly though, the image was later debunked by Konami, though the same happened to the Resident Evil 6 logo from last year’s Comic-Con, and we all know how that turned out…

Sony wanted IP rights to Limbo, lost exclusivity

Limbo remains one of the best Indie games to grace PSN, or any format for that matter. However, a curious tidbit to come out of the game’s development is that Sony originally wanted the IP to itself, which ultimately made developer Playdead snuggle up with Microsoft for the game’s 2010 debut. It wasn’t until a year later that the title would finally end up on Sony’s online service, as well as Steam. As pointed out by Sony’s Pete Smith, Limbo went on to become quite the success story, pulling in the punters on XBL but also coming out as the best-selling third-party PSN title of 2011.

EA confirms Battlefield 4

Publishing giant EA this week officially lifted the veil on the next entry in the Battlefield franchise, confirming access to the game’s beta will be made available to MoH: Warfighter pre-orders. EA has frequently trumpeted the fact it has no plans to annualize the Battlefield franchise, instead hoping to alternate between Medal of Honor and DICE’s acclaimed military FPS on a bi-yearly basis. This year is MoH’s turned, which would presumably mean Battlefield comes in 2013, with Battlefield 4’s beta itself kicking off in fall next year. No details on the game have been revealed, though it has come as a surprise to some that we’re apparently getting a full-fledged sequel, rather than something in the Bad Company vein.

Hideo Kojima really wants to make this game with the FOX Engine

What game do you think Kojima-san would like to cobble together on his brand-spanking new FOX engine? MGS5? ZoE 3? Nope, apparently, it’s actually a game based on the Japanese manga Joshi Kouhei. That’s at least according a translation by Andriasang, which reveals the Metal Gear Solid creator has become particularly intrigued by the magna, and would love to make a game based on it. Of course, Kojima-san has many ideas swimming around in his head, many of which sadly will probably never see the light of day. Still, anything is possible, though we’d much rather see ZoE 3 before anything else – let’s face it, MGS5 is inevitable, so that doesn’t count.

PS Vita has sold 790k in Japan since launch

PS Vita has been on sale in Japan for six months now, and this week we finally got wind of just how well the handheld has been performing. To date, Sony’s new handheld has shifted just over 790,000 units in the region, which isn’t exactly the most promising of numbers. In terms of software Persona 4: The Golden is the best-selling game for the handheld to date, though even so that’s shifted only 188,782 units, a far cry from the amount of copies that are being shifted through games on 3DS and even PSP. This isn’t exactly encouraging for potential game developers looking to invest in the handheld, more so in a world where many perceive the era of dedicated portable game devices are going the way of the Dodo. Vita needs a shot in the arm in Japan (and everywhere else, for that matter), so hopefully the next slew of titles will deliver the goods. Speaking of new games….

Major PS Vita games will be announced soon, says Sony

As we mentioned above, PS Vita is badly hurting for some quality games at present, though fortunately, Sony appears to be listening. Chatting with Famitsu, Hiroshi Kawano, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan (SCEJ), confirmed that the company will host another Vita Game Heaven event soon, which will play host to some major game announcement. Not only that, but the Tokyo Game Show will also focus heavily on Sony’s new pocket brick, which will no doubt delight those of you who were underwhelmed with the handheld’s showing at E3. This is a crucial period for Sony, as they need to convince companies that the format is worth investing in after lukewarm sales, so if we get news of a new Monster Hunter or Grand Theft Auto, then that’ll surely seal the deal.

Sony’s Gamescom press conference dated

Gamescom is the biggest event on the European calendar for our industry, and this year’s show is no exception. Sony, as per usual, will be hosting a press event at the Cologne-based shindig, which takes place on August 17 @ 7.00 p.m. local time. Speculation has been running rife regarding the electronic giant’s plans for the presser, with many expecting a new ‘super’ slim PS3 to be announced. Of course, Gamescom has been used to unveil various hardware revisions in the past; 2009 saw the unveiling of the PS3 Slim, and last year Sony revamped the original PSP. However, while a new model would be pretty cool, we’re just hoping that the spotlight is shined firmly on PS Vita, as well as some of those meaty PS3 exclusives. Sony really needs to make its new handheld shine, and this is the perfect springboard to achieve this. PSU’s man-on-the-ground Steven Williamson will be attending the show, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for all the latest info come mid-August.

Rumor: Square cancels Final Fantasy Versus XIII

Look up the term Vapourware in any urban dictionary and you’ll surely see Final Fantasy Versus XIII in there too. The game has become synonymous with the term among gamers over the past few years, having first been announced in 2006 and only entering full production last September. Details have been few and far between in all that time, with only a few tidbits of info trickling onto the web from Famitsu and other such magazines. And now, it appears that after six years, Square has finally decided to shelve the project, at least that’s according to sources close to website Kotaku. Not only that, but the game won’t even get an official announcement on its cancellation, but rather fade quietly and ceremoniously into the night. While this is purely a rumor at present, it’s sadly really not all that hard to imagine Square has pulled the plug, though we’ll be sure to keep you updated regardless. In the meantime, fans should keep an eye out for Square’s Final Fantasy 25th anniversary shindig in Japan later this month/early September, where news on the future of the FFXIII saga is expected to drop…

No Grand Theft Auto V for Gamescom

GTA V has been in hiding since its unveiling last November, and sadly, that doesn’t look set to change anytime soon. While hope had been pinned on a Gamescom showing, event organisers confirmed to CVG this week that the hotly-anticipated sandbox game won’t be making an appearance in Cologne in mid-August, fuelling more concern that GTA V won’t make it onto shelves this year. Quite when the game will show its face again is anyone’s guess, but don’t like the game’s no-show next month detract you from what is still surely going to be a massive experience.

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