It's been a little slow on the gaming front again this week, but I sort of think that's to be expected. We know which blockbusters are coming in the first half of 2013, and no one's talking about the last half because the whole industry knows there will be next-gen systems coming - even if Sony and Microsoft are keeping mum about them. Although, if we read too much into a recent statement by Sony's Hiroshi Sakatomi, theyll likely be making the announcement in May, slightly before E3. Also of note, according to research group Baird Equity, PlayStation 4 is expected to release for about $400 in October, one month before the next generation of XBox launches at a similar price point. Baird expects the new consoles will be made from currently available PC components, which seems a little strange to me - as does the $400 price tag. They also say an enhanced Kinect will be bundled with Microsoft's new hardware.
In case you missed some of the recent stories we've run on BSR!, check them out here:
A first person shooter from the NRA
Two special editions of Injustice: Gods Among Us
The announcement of Disney Infinity
In other news:
A December 2012 study from International Data Corporation reveals the Sony PlayStation 3 has shipped 77 million lifetime units. This is notable for two reasons. First, 77 million units is a lot and should give you a little perspective on how massive a hobby we enjoy. Second, this is actually one million more units than Microsoft's XBox 360. The PS3 has been trailing the 360 since Sony launched it a year after Microsoft's console. Forecasts had 360 being the big winner on the HD front for this console generation, but the lead may be changing hands as the cycle begins to close out. Note these are units shipped, not sold. Sony's report in November indicated they had actually sold 70 million units at that time. Microsoft hit that milestone about a month earlier. Expectation is that Sony will likely surpass Microsoft's units sold before the new consoles are released later this year. The lead position, while new for the PS3, would not be new for Sony. The PS2 only recently saw production being halted in some territories and it still holds the record for best-selling console of all time.
One of the top-rated games of last year (also topping some game of the year lists) is having some trouble on the XBox 360. The disc-based version of The Walking Dead is having some stuttering and freezing issues the 4GB consoles. Telltale, looking to resolve the problem, has a dubious solution. Head over to the appropriate forum thread to download a form. After confirming your proof of purchase they'll send you a code to download all five episodes from the Marketplace. Why is this a dubious solution? Because the game with all five episodes runs 2.85GB and you've only got 4GB on your console. That's why these people aited for the disc version in the first place! Is it worth shuffling everything off your 360 just to play? I would say so. But, if you agreed with me you probably would have done that already.
Speaking of The Walking Dead, Terminal Reality's FPS version, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, has been issued a March 26, 2013 release date. This version will star Merle and Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker, respectively in a prequel to the hit AMC television series. Resource management will reportedly play a major role.
Another zombie story? Why not? The Rigor Mortis edition of Dead Island: Riptide has been announced. The upgrade will include an alternate cover, collectibles, and DLC in travel suitcase packaging. Your collectibles will include a magnetic severed hand bottle opener, bungalow key with wooden tag, and zombie hula girl bobble figurine. Kind of silly, but definitely classier than the European bonus: a bust (literally) of a woman's bikini-clad torso, missing its head, arms, and legs (which is somehow bloody everywhere except the actual breasts). The Rigor Mortis edition will be $79.99, as opposed to $49.99 for the standard edition. The game releases April 23, 2013.
[Deep Silver has apologized for the UK edition statue. Whether it's still releasing or not is unclear. The official line is that they are "deeply sorry" and "committed to making sure this will never happen again." Frankly, it's misogynistic, but not nearly as bad as far too many gamers want it to be.]
Let's go ahead and make this the zombie issue. An achievement list has been leaked for Resident Evil: Revelations. This would indicate the game, previously a 3DS exclusive, is coming to consoles. A 360 release is obvious based on this being an achievment list, but it's likely we'll see it on PS3 as well. Also, it has the full 50 achievments, unlike the abbreviated list that came with Code Veronica. Look for more when we have an official confirmation from Capcom.
Tim Schafer's Double Fine Studios has apparently requested the bankruptcy filings of THQ, Inc. ahead of the upcoming auction for the publishers IPs. THQ published Double Fine's Costume Quest and Stacking. Could Shafer and company be looking to pick up some portion of THQ's portfolio? It seems an odd move for a smaller (but high quality) developer. They likely don't have the financial clout to butt heads with an Ubisoft or Warner Bros. It's doubtful Schafer would be sniffing around for Saints' Row or Red Faction. But, THQ has a lot of franchises without those huge names. Color me curious. Now I'm even more interested in the auction, taking place January 22, 2013.
On the subject of Double Fine, Ron Gilbert's The Cave has been confirmed for release on PSN and XBLA next week. the price is expected to be $14.99. If you don't know what this is... I can't really help you. Ron Gilbert is pretty amazing and has worked with Tim Schafer for a long time. The game is being touted as a co-op platform/puzzler, but the backstory on it strikes me as a weirdly dark update to Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Maybe that's just me. Regardless, three player couch co-op is pretty rare, and this game has it.
Starting today, Sony is giving away one PlayStation Mobile title per week for the next six weeks. The promotion launched today with Samurai Beatdown, a 2D rhythm-based brawler. Not sure what this means for PS Mobile. Are they not doing as well as they thought and trying to generate excitement? Or are these good games that just need a little love. By only running them for a week, they could easily create excitement in the handful of quick pick-ups - excitement that may not reach the ears of friends until after the game reverts to full price. Regardless, free games for Vita, Sony smartphones and tablets, HTC Android devices should be a good thing for owners of those gadgets.
That's it for this week's VGQH. Keep checking Big Shiny Robot! throughout the week for up to the minute news. Also, check back next Wednesday for any of the smaller stories you may have missed.