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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Overstrike may get pushed to 2014
Insomniac’s first foray into multiplatform development, Overstrike, has been in hiding for some time now, and from the look of things it might be for good reason – it won’t be out until 2014. That’s at least according to a PSU.com source, which has heard whispers that we shouldn’t expect the title to arrive on shelves until early 2014, though it didn’t completely rule out a holiday 2013 launch. A lengthy wait by anyone’s standards, and it would certainly explain the game’s recent hiatus. Still, Overstrike remains one of the most anticipated games of the current crop of home consoles, though at this rate it looks like it’ll be arriving around the same time as both Microsoft and Sony’s next-generation offerings. Let’s hope we get an update on the title soon enough.
Sony acquiring cloud gaming for ‘variety of internet-connected devices’
One of the hottest rumors around E3 pointed to Sony getting all chummy with Cloud gaming company Gaikai Inc, though sadly this failed to materialize in time for the platform holder’s press conference. However, it turns out the gossips weren’t pulling our legs, as it emerged this week that Sony has acquired Gaikai for the sum of $380 million, specifically to bring its services to ‘a variety of internet-connected devices.’ Details are being kept largely under wraps at present, though regardless of your opinion on Cloud gaming this is a massive move for Sony, and has big implications for future hardware. Prior to E3, we heard murmurs of PS1 and PS2 games being made available via streaming, so we’re hopeful that PS3 and PS Vita owners alike will be able to snap up some retro-fused treats in a matter of seconds. No doubt this functionality will feature heavily in the PlayStation 4, though for now Sony’s keeping mum on the topic.
Has Sony been working on PS4 since August 2010?
PS4 is coming, that much is certain, and will probably be here by Holiday 2013. However, what isn’t necessarily common knowledge is just how long Sony has been chiselling away on its next-gen machine – at least, not until now. VideoGamer.com spotted a linkedIn CV for former Sony America director of research and development, Attila Vass, which apparently confirms the company has been working on PS4 for nearly two years. Vass, who was at Sony since May 1998 until April 2012, said he had been involved in working on both PS Vita and the ‘next generation PlayStation’ since August 2010, which if true means PS4 – or Orbis, as it’s supposedly known as – is already well underway. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on Sony’s next-gen efforts as soon as we hear more.
PS Vita getting PSone Classics with Firmware 1.8
Just like YouTube support, PSone Classics has been conspicuously absent from Sony’s PS Vita since launch, though it’s a case of better late than never as the service will finally arrive with Firmware 1.8. While a concrete release date has yet to be confirmed, Sony has said the update will arrive this summer, so hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer. It’ll be worth it too, seeing as how some of the first batch of games includes Final Fantasy VII and Tomb Raider. After the questionable slew of PS2 Classics that have been cropping up on the PS Store lately, it’s good to know that PS Vita owners will at least be getting some decent retro classics to play on the go.
Devil’s Third rights handed back to Itagaki-san
THQ has been sailing through some choppy financial waters as of late, and sadly, it’s meant the intriguing-looking Devil’s Third – brainchild of Dead or Alive’s Tomonobu Itagaki – has been dropped from the publishers line-up. This much we already know, but the company has confirmed this week that all rights to Itagaki-san’s actioner have been returned to him and his team at Valhalla Games. With the game now in the final stages of development, this now means that Itagaki-sand and co need to shop around for another publisher, so it could potentially mean heavy delays. THQ’s reason for dropping the game came down to the fact they didn’t see the game setting tills alight; something which worries us seeing as how in this day and age companies are less inclined to take a risk on new IP. Here’s hoping it gets picked up again.
New PlayStation All-Stars characters to be revealed at Comic-Con next week
PSU.com totally felt the All-Stars Battle Royale love at E3 when we went hands-on with the game in early June, but one thing that we felt was a little lacking was the character line-up. Evidently, there’s still plenty more fighters to be revealed since it’s still early days, but the good news is we won’t have to wait long to find out who else will be joining the roster. Developer Superbot Entertainment confirmed that the game’s Comic-Con panel will play host to the reveal of two new characters in the Sony brawler, one of who is heavily speculated to be none other than Jak of Jak & Daxter fame. With a plethora of iconic characters to pick from, we have no doubt that Superbot will come up with the goods. Let’s hope they throw in a couple of the more obscure faces from Sony’s past, eh?
Rumor: Super Slim PS3 leaked
Speculation on a possible second slimmer edition of PS3 has been doing the rounds for about a month now, following Sonyworldwide Studios president Shuheu Yoshida admitting the company’s hardware buffs are always looking at ways to cut costs. Indeed, it looks like this is just what Sony intends to do, if a recent slew of leaked documents are anything to go by. The filings appear to show plans for a new 4000 PS3 series, or if you want to be super technical, the CECH-4001x. Furthermore, the chaps at Eurogamer seem pretty confident the new SKU will get a Gamescom reveal next month, three years after the original PS3 Slim was unveiled. The fact Sony is allegedly planning another hardware revision isn’t too much of a stretch; with PS3 in its twilight years, the company will be wanting to position the console as an ideal choice for family purchases, primarily as a means of stimulating sales but also to clear stock ahead of the inevitable release of PS4 – whenever that may be. We can imagine seeing a PS3 4000 bundled with Sports Champions 2, or perhaps one of the myriad of movie tie-ins doing the rounds. Furthermore, hardcore gamers who have yet to make the jump would surely find the prospect of a shiny, sexier PS3 quite tempting, especially if Sony decides to bundle it with something like Metal Gear Solid 4 or Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Done right, this could sell like hotcakes. We’ll keep you posted.
SEGA confirms NiGHTS into Dreams HD remake
Say what you like about SEGA when it comes to Sonic the Hedgehog, but in terms of back catalogue releases this generation, the company has been doing a pretty solid job. This week, the firm announced it has dipped once again into its deep pockets and come up with another classic gem for the HD treatment – NiGHTS into Dreams. This one is a golden oldie folks. Originally released on the Sega Saturn 16 years ago, the game was later remade for PS2, and it’s this latter version that the HD remake is based on. However, aside from spruced up visuals, Trophies and other bits and bobs thrown into the mix, gamers can also opt to play through the flying platform game in all its original 32-bit, untouched glory thanks to the retro-tastic Saturn mode. Aside from perhaps a Shenmue HD release, this is probably one of the most beloved SEGA classics to receive a digital re-release, and we applaud them for it. If you want a slice of classic gaming, then don’t miss out on this come fall 2012.
Tales of Xillia confirmed for U.S., Europe
The Tales series has built up a strong following among JRPG fans over the years, though one in particular, Tales of Xillia, has continued to remain elusive in the west. That’s all changed this week however, as publisher Namco Bandai confirmed that the cel-shaded gem will be heading to the U.S. and Europe sometime in 2013. Not much else is known at this point, but at least we know it’s coming. Interestingly, the release schedule sort of parallels White Knight Chronicles, in the sense that even before the original game turned up in the west a sequel was already being prepped for Japan. Sure enough, Tales of Xillia 2 is on track for a November launch in the Land of the Rising Sun – and the good news is Namco reckons there’s ‘a good chance’ it’ll arrive over here too.
Gearbox wants to see Borderlands 2 come to Vita, ask Sony
Ask anyone about PlayStation Vita, and even the most loyal follower is sure to concede the format needs a few more games. Well, how does Borderlands 2 sound? Not too shabby, right? Well, if Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford has his way, the colourful shooter-RPG may be coming to Sony’s new handheld. Specifically, Pitchford revealed during the Rezzed conference that he’d love to see the game on PS Vita, and urged fans to look to Sony to get behind the idea. Sadly as it stands Gearbox is too busy with the console release to work on a PS Vita version, but the prospect of Borderlands 2 hitting the portable is too tantalizing to ignore. Fingers crossed, eh?
The Best of the Rest…