This Week’s Top Stories: April 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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Analyst: Sony must release PS4 before next Xbox to ‘remain competitive’

Analyst Colin Sebastian has added his two pence on the subject of next-generation consoles, though his musings on the subject aren’t much more positive than Michael Pachter’s latest outburst. Sebastian not only feels that Sony needs to cut the price of PS3 if it’s to remain competitive in the game space for the long run (like Pachter), but also feels Sony needs to beat Microsoft to the punch in regards to releasing its next home console. While I think we can all agree that a PS3 price cut is in the pipeline, it remains to be seen just how soon we’ll see a PS4. Sony themselves have admitted that it would be “undesirable” to launch a new platform after Microsoft, but Internet speculation favours the Big M for getting new hardware out the door first. Still, you can’t argue that PS4 coming out first would hurt Sony’s fortunes after a late start to this generation. Plus, a PS3 price cut would certainly stimulate sales help clear out stock in preparation for a successor. Quite when this will happen, though, is anyone’s guess. We’re still putting our money on a 2014 launch.

EA official unveils Crysis 3

After the Origin site let the cat out of the bag last week, it was only a matter of time before EA officially lifted the lid on the third Crysis game, and sure enough, they did on Monday. Due for a spring 2013 launch on major consoles and PC, the game appears to incorporate sandbox gameplay, and returns to New York – only this time, it’s an urban rain forest packed with lush vegetation. New weapons and Nanosuites are promised, and the addition of a sandbox setting certainly sounds like Crytek are attempting to inject some spice into the proceedings. Be sure to keep an eye on this one.

Dragon’s Dogma demo dated

Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma is certainly an ambitious-looking beast, and a bold new direction for a company that has largely cut its teeth in horror games and beat-‘em-ups in the past two decades or so. Fantasy-themed RPGs are certainly not its usual playing field, so it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out. Fortunately, we’ll be able to get an early taste soon enough via a playable demo, which Capcom confirmed will be made available on PSN next Tuesday (Wednesday in PAL regions). It’ll offer two distinct play styles too, namely the fighter class and a stealthly Strider. The best part is that those of you who purchase the main game can transfer your created pawns over to the full title come May 2012. Needless to say, this is the perfect opportunity to flex your creative muscles and plan ahead for the real thing.

Rumor: PS3 exclusive reveal set for May

E3 isn’t for another six weeks or so, but that hasn’t stopped Sony from apparently looking to lift the cloth on two PlayStation 3 exclusives before the massive shindig. First of all we’ve had one major announcement this week with the long-rumored God of War: Ascension (see further down the page), but now we’ve got murmurs of another exclusive PS3 outing, this time pencilled in for May 2. The title is supposedly going to be revealed by JeuxVideo, and the hot topic on the Internet is that it’ll be a MMO title based on Media Molecule’s acclaimed do-it-yourself platformer, LittleBigPlanet. This is all speculation based on a recent job ad posted by Sony, though it doesn’t seem like a complete impossibility. If true, though, it seems like Media Molecule is intent on expanding the series beyond the brilliant core series, with LittleBigPlanet Karting already confirmed for release later this year. Is there no stopping SackBoy? Stay tuned.

Journey soundtrack tops iTunes chart in over a dozen countries

Journey obviously resonated with legions of gamers upon its release last month, having become the fastest-selling PSN title in the U.S. and Europe to date. However, the game’s soundtrack also seems to have gone down a storm, with the official album managing to break into the Top Ten iTunes chart in over 20 countries – no mean feat for a videogame soundtrack. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, we recommend hitting up the PlayStation Store or iTunes and plonking down the cash for the Austin Wintory-composed score asap — you won’t regret it. Our only question now is, what will thatgamecompany come up with next, and will they possibly be able to top the majesty that is Journey? We don’t know, but we can’t wait to find out.

007 Legends announced

James Bond’s movie career has found a new lease of life following Daniel Craig’s casting as the super smooth spy, but sadly the same can’t be said about his videogame output. GoldenEye 007: Reloaded was a decent stab at an alternate take on an iconic game, but other titles – notably Quantum of Solace – have been a bit of a shambles. Not to be deterred, developer Eurocom is back again with its latest Bond effort, namely 007 Legends. The game will release this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the franchise (yep, it’s been half a century since Sean Connery uttered those immortal words “Bond, James Bond” in Dr. No) and takes six films in the series and ties them together with a unique, overarching narrative. Quite how this will pan out and what films are being used remains under wraps, but the concept certainly sounds intriguing. Speaking as a lifelong Bond aficionado, I’d like to see each era represented – six Bonds, six movies. Fingers crossed this turns out as good as it sounds.

God of War: Ascension announced

Well, there we have it folks. After months of rumors dating back almost a year, Sony has finally pulled the curtain back on a new God of War game, featuring once again a rather angry Kratos. However, this is not God of War IV, but a prequel subtitled Ascension, which depicts our bald brute before he became the legendary Ghost of Sparta – in other words, it’s set before the PSP games. Not much is known at this point, but it appears rumors of a September 2012 launch were slightly optimistic; Sony’s official product page lists the game for a Spring 2013 release. Sony Santa Monica is once again at the helm, with director Todd Papy overseeing the project. Will the long-rumored multiplayer mode crop up? Expect more info on this at E3 for sure.

Prey 2 hasn’t been cancelled, won’t be out this year

Internet chatter has been doing overtime in regards to the status of Human Head sequel Prey 2, with recent murmurs suggesting the ambitious project had been shelved. Fortunately, that isn’t the case, with publisher Bethesda confirming the game is very much still in development. The bad news? It won’t be out until 2013. Apparently, the title currently isn’t in a state where it meets Bethesda’s quality standards, and as such needs more time in the oven. No release date was given, though it definitely won’t be out this year.

PS3 Mass Effect 3 multiplayer solution in the works

PS3 owners were a tad cheesed off when it emerged Sony was apparently obstructing BioWare’s plans to host Mass Effect multiplayer events on the platform, though it now appears things are in motion to rectify the situation. Sony said this week that it’s working with both EA and BioWare to work on bringing multiplayer weekend events for PS3 owners, though that’s about all it said on the matter. Nonetheless, it’s at least confirmation that something is being done on the matter, and hopefully means we won’t have to wait long to take part in the events that Xbox 360 owners have already been indulging in for the past few weeks. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Rumor: Prey 2 development hasn’t progressed since November 2011

Following initial news that Prey 2 had been delayed beyond its planned 2012 launch, rumors started popping up later in the week that paints a slightly more worrying picture. Apparently, due to a contractual dispute with ZeniMax Media, Human Head put the project on ice last November, and it remains unknown if the studio will even resume development. Shacknews’ source claims that Bethesda may bring another developer on board to continue the project, but there’s still a chance that Prey 2 may never see the light of day. Hopefully Human Head can negotiate a better deal at some point allowing development to continue, as Prey 2 up until now was one of the most anticipated games of the year. We’ll be sure to keep our ears to the ground.

The Best of the Rest…

Call of Duty sales beginning to slow?

Sony dates E3 press conference

Media Molecule releases LittleBigPlanet 2 update 1.2

Sony brings digital streaming, recording to PS3/Vita with ‘nasne’

Dead Space 3 up for pre-order at South African retailer

Kevin Butler is officially a legend, available as pre-order DLC for LBP Karting

God of War dev hiring for new IP