Previously slated for a Spring 2013 release, Ubisoft has announced Splinter Cell: Blacklist will be coming August 20, 2013. Additional content will be available with preorders; more details are coming soon on that front. If the rumors hold true, this may be their last title on current consoles.
The Kat (Gravity Rush) and Emmett (Starhawk) DLC for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale has been slated for February 12, 2013. Both characters will be free for two weeks. If you haven’t picked up this game yet, but know that it’s on your list, there’s an easy way to score this DLC for free after the two week limit. As savvy PS3ers know (especially PS+ members) you can “purchase” this item while it’s free on the store without downloading it. The transaction will be saved in your history, allowing you to go back to it in your download history or directly from the store to add it in to your game when you do eventually get it.
As you might expect, Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype in 2011 means they’ll be implementing the service as far and wide as possible. BSR! recently reported that Windows Live Messenger is being shut down, with Skype intended as the replacement service. Recent next-gen rumors indicate Skype could replace the chat functions on the neXtBox. If true, asynchronous voice and video chat is also a possibility.
Speaking of next-gen consoles, the technical specs for neXtBox have supposedly been leaked. This is probably all fake, but leaks are so common anymore that it might actually be true. So take it with a grain of salt, but maybe it should be a grain of that ever-so-tasty garlic salt:
- x64 Architecture
- 8 CPU cores running at 1.6 gigahertz (GHz)
- each CPU thread has its own 32 KB L1 instruction cache and 32 KB L1 data cache
- each module of four CPU cores has a 2 MB L2 cache resulting in a total of 4 MB of L2 cache
- each core has one fully independent hardware thread with no shared execution resources
- each hardware thread can issue two instructions per clock
- custom D3D11.1 class 800-MHz graphics processor
- 12 shader cores providing a total of 768 threads
- each thread can perform one scalar multiplication and addition operation (MADD) per clock cycle
- at peak performance, the GPU can effectively issue 1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second
- High-fidelity Natural User Interface (NUI) sensor is always present
Storage and Memory:
- 8 gigabyte (GB) of RAM DDR3 (68 GB/s)
- 32 MB of fast embedded SRAM (ESRAM) (102 GB/s)
- from the GPU’s perspective the bandwidths of system memory and ESRAM are parallel providing combined peak bandwidth of 170 GB/sec.
- Hard drive is always present
- 50 GB 6x Blu-ray Disc drive
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct
- Move engines
- Image, video, and audio codecs
- Kinect multichannel echo cancellation (MEC) hardware
- Cryptography engines for encryption and decryption, and hashing
Rumors on the PS4 front exist, but aren’t as detailed. The biggest news in that direction is that the raw computational power is possibly as much as 50% greater and their blu-ray drive will be 100GB. the extra computational power is technically true of the PS3 versus 360 as well, but developers don’t take advantage of it. Regarding the increased capacity on the blu-ray drive, it’s unlikely developers will take advantage of that either. If they do, we’ll just see two-disc versions for Microsoft’s console throughout the next generation.
After seven years, Bethesda has finally learned something about the PS3. Okay, that’s unfair. I’m sure Skyrim will still be glitchy as hell, but at least they’ve figured out the DLC thing. Beginning with “Dragonborn,” all of the current DLC is headed to Sony’s console in February. “Hearthfire” and “Dawnguard” are both set for release later in the month. We dont’ have exact dates yet, but the 1.8 update patch will be the harbinger. They say it’s coming before the DLC, but I’d wager it’s dropping at the same time as “Dragonborn.” All three additions will have a 50% discount in their first week.
No details are actually available yet, but Starbreeze Studios is teasing their next game. Storm is the operating name for what will be a first-person co-op shooter. Starbreeze has had critical success with The Darkness, Chronicles of Riddick, and Syndicate. It’s a little early to be excited, but the company’s past success definitely makes this something to watch.
Sony is hosting a pretty ridiculous sale this week on the 13 games and 13 movies from last year. The 13 for ’13 Sale runs from January 22nd through January 28th. The games in the sale run about 50% off for everyone, and 75% for PS+ members. This is a really great time to get in on Little Big Planet Karting if you were late to that party, or a perfect opportunity to take a chance on the unusual The Unfinished Swan without dropping a lot of cash. Here’s the list of games, check out the PlaySatation Blog for the movies:
- LittleBigPlanet Karting Regular $39.99, Sale $19.99, PS Plus $10.00
- The Unfinished Swan – Regular $14.99, Sale $7.49, PS Plus $3.75
- Ratchet & Clank – Regular $14.99, Sale $7.49, PS Plus $3.75
- Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy – Regular $7.99, Sale $3.99, PS Plus $2.00
- Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds Complete Collection – Regular $24.99, Sale $12.49, PS Plus $6.25
- Warp – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
- Shank 2 – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
- NiGHTS into dreams – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
- Jet Set Radio – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
- The House of the Dead: OVERKILL Extended Cut – Regular $19.99, Sale $9.99, PS Plus $5.00
- Psychonauts – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
- Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13 – Regular $39.99, Sale $19.99, PS Plus $10.00
- Machinarium – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
BioShock Infinite: Mind in Revolt, a prequel e-book will be coing to Amazon’s Kindle next month (02/12/2013). Written by Irrational Games joe Fielder and Ken Levine, the e-book will be available free for pre-orders. It will also be available for purchase separately for $2.99. The game is set for release March 26, 2013.
Capcom had a rough year with their Resident Evil franchise in 2012. The best part of it was Resident Evil: Revelations on the 3DS. Looking to capitalize on that one gem, the game will be ported to consoles this year. The game has been “redefined” for it’s launch on PS3, 360, and WiiU on May 21, 2013. Disc and digital versions are planned.
Two collector’s editions have been announced for The Last of Us. The Survival Edition will come with an art book from Dark Horse Comics, the American Dreams Comic #1, a DLC voucher, and Naughty Dog stickers. Not a bad package for $79.99. If you want to double your cost ($159.99), you can trade in that art book for some extra DLC and a Joel and Ellie 12-inch figurine. The game is set for release May 7, 2013.
The official results of the THQ auction have not been released, but a few things have hit the leaked rumor mill. SEGA is rumored to have purchased Relic Entertainment and its games, most notably the WWII strategy series, Company of Heroes. This would be a good fit for SEGA considering some of their other properties. The Volition unit, containing one of THQ’s most prominent franchises, Saints’ Row, looks to have gone to Koch Media, the owners of Deep Silver (Dead Island). Obsidian’s South Park RPG seems to have gone to Ubisoft, an odd choice but one of the few powerhouses that can really use it. Of course, nothing is set in stone for now. A sales meeting is scheduled for later today where we’ll likely learn the true fate of THQ’s properties. It’s also worth noting that all sales are contingent on a total of $60 million. If the combined sales do not total that amount, THQ will actually retain the properties through support of Clearlake Capital as an investor. What that means for their future is also unclear at this time.