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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Sony cutting 10,000 jobs globally
Internet chatter is rife that Sony is looking to slash 10,000 jobs worldwide in an effort to extricate itself out of some sticky financial situations, which includes poor sales of its TV sector. While nothing has been confirmed as of yet, the loss of such an enormous number of positions is particularly hard to bear, even if is in the long run to get the company back on track. Newly-appointed Sony boss Kaz Hirai is to spearhead a meeting for a new business strategy this week, which will no doubt shed further light on Sony’s financial situation and how it plans to unstick itself.
Sony's Kazuo Hirai later confirmed the news in a new business strategy meeting later in the week, which revealed Sony is placing firm emphasis on its games business - PS3, PSN and PS Vita - to help turn things around. Unfortunately, part of this does indeed involve cutting 10,000 jobs worldwide; disturbing news in itself, made even more worrying given the current economic climate.
Lost Planet 3 announced
Arguably the hottest piece of news to come out of this year’s Captivate event was news that Lost Planet 3 is in development. Not only that, but Capcom’s not working on the prequel either; it’s handed the reins to Spark Unlimited of Turning Point: Fall of Liberty fame. And yes, you did read right, the game is a prequel, intended to deliver on what Capcom had planned for the original game. This essentially means co-op has been dropped in favour of a story-driven campaign chock-full of spectacle and ample monster slaying antics. Regardless of your opinion of Spark Unlimited, the game is sounding pretty promising, though it remains to be seen if they’re up to the task; sadly, Fall of Liberty was a pretty dire experience, and The Box wasn’t much cop either. Let’s hope they strike it lucky with Lost Planet 3, eh?
Resident Evil 6 gets spoiler heavy trailer, new release date
Capcom unleashed a new Resident Evil 6 trailer fresh from its recent Captivate event, lifting the veil on a host of juicy plot details in the process. That mysterious unnamed mercenary with the buzz cut? He’s called Jake Weller, aka son of Albert Wesker. The cute blonde who follows him around? She’s Sherry Birkin, a returning character from Resident Evil 2. And that woman Leon and Chris are fighting over towards the climax of the trailer? Yep, Miss Wong is back. However, the most tantalizing piece of info garnered from the footage is the news that Capcom has pushed the release forward to October 2. That means instead of competing with the likes of Call of Duty, it’ll be duking it out with BioShock: Infinite among others. I’ve been pretty vocal about Resident Evil 6 and have made no effort to hide my disdain for the series’ action-oriented route, but even I’ll concede this trailer pipqued my interest again. Narratively speaking there’s a host of interesting concepts thrown in, particularly when it comes to Jake and his female companion. Furthermore, reading some impressions of Leon’s scenario gives me hope that Capcom is at least attempting to make something that resembles survival horror, with previews giving mention of tense, claustrophobic environments and spooky lighting effects. Fingers crossed this translates into the core gameplay experience.
Street Fighter x Tekken to feature PS Vita, PS3 cross-platform play
Cross-platform play is one of the most attractive prospects for owning a PlayStation Vita, and fortunately, Capcom’s taking firm advantage of this functionality with Street Fighter x Tekken. Those of you who plonk down the cash for the upcoming PS Vita port of the crossover brawler will be able to have a punch-up with PS3 owners thanks to Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. What more is there to like? Get stuck in.
Overheard @ PAX: Capcom releasing SF 25th anniversary bundle
News such as this has an unhealthy side effect of making one feel rather old. But let’s not get into that. PSU’s very own Don Oliveira attended PAX over the weekend, and heard some potentially amazing gossip. Apparently, Capcom is looking to release a meaty Street Fighter bundle this year to commemorate the series’ 25th anniversary this year. And we say meaty, because it’s going to include all major SF games, presumably 1-4 at the very least. Pleasingly, this ties in with previous comments the firm has made regarding the 25th anniversary, where it claimed it had “big plans for 2012.” Unfortunately we weren’t able to squeeze out any further details from the Capcom employee at PAX regarding release date and pricing, but from the sound of it, Street Fighter fans have reason to get giddy this year. Stay tuned.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 coming to consoles in September 2012
Tekken Tag 2 was always on the cards for a console release, though up until now we weren’t privy to a release date. This week however, Namco finally revealed that we can get our hands on the brawler for PS3 and 360 in September 2012. Furthermore, the console version will be more than just a quick port; in addition to the already meaty arcade roster, the PS3 and 360 versions will also include extra fighters, details of which are being kept under wraps. In addition, it’ll also chuck in an assortment of extra game modes, such as 1 on 1, 2 on 1, 2 on 2 and an all-new Fight Lab allowing gamers of varying experience to hone their skills.
Official PlayStation Facebook page teasing announcement for next week
Sony’s gearing up for what seems like a triple-A game announcement for next week, if a teaser on the PlayStation Facebook page is anything to go by. However, upon further inspection of the post, it’s looking increasingly likely this won’t just be any game, but rather, a new God of War title. The message itself sounds like something you’d find in one of Kratos’ games, but more importantly, further snooping has revealed the words ‘GOW’ in the full URL of the image. Doesn’t exactly take a genius to deduce that we’re probably looking at a God of War 4 announcement for next week, which would make sense considering the plethora of rumors surrounding the game for nearly the past year or so. Whether or not the game will release in September 2012 as previously speculated is anyone’s guess, but it is looking increasingly likely Kratos is on his way back.
Crysis 3 is real, more info next week
Like God of War 4, Crysis 3 has been keeping the rumor mill spinning for some time now, though this time Crytek has found itself in a rather awkward position; the kind that has resulted in the company admitting the game exits prior to an official unveiling. That’s thanks to the official Origins website, which outed the game ahead of an announcement next week. As such, when approached by CVG, Crytek wasn’t able to really deny anything, merely commenting that we can expect more details to drop next week. Early chatter suggests a New York setting (as with Crysis 2), though this time it’s been overgrown and left to ruin, described as “almost a forest,” which would put it nicely in line with the original game’s setting. How the core gameplay has evolved remains to be seen, however, and is likely what most people are eager to find out. Still, we won’t have to wait long.
Mass Effect 3 leads March NPD
As if there was ever any doubt, the NPD Group has confirmed that sci-fi RPG Mass Effect 3 has taken the crown for the best-selling videogame in the U.S. last month. The Xbox 360 version apparently stole the show, though; with Microsoft boasting the game outsold the PS3 version by 4 to 1. More interesting however is that Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City managed second place with over 500k sold, which is impressive considering the critical mauling it received upon launch. As for hardware, the 360 stole the show once again, though not without a fight; PS3 nabbed a close second place, with little more than 50k separating the two machines, marking a considerable difference from previous months. The tides have certainly changed though, as it didn’t seem that long ago Nintendo was ruling the roost with the Wii. These days however, it seems the white wonder has stumbled somewhat, as for the past 15 months 360 has beaten out the once-dominate Nintendo platform, which PS3 nestled snuggly in the middle. Still, with Wii undeniably the winner of this generation at the moment, it’s still an all-out battle between Sony and Microsoft for second place.
The Best of the Rest...