Newest God of War Could Take Another Chance At Multiplayer

The new God of War installment could bring back one unexpected feature from God of War: Ascension.

The Sony Santa Monica Studio website has a job listing for a senior multiplayer programmer, calling for somebody who wants “all players to have the best possible shared experience”. The listing reveals as much detail about this theoretical multiplayer feature as you would expect; none. Game director Cory Barlog reportedly said that God of War would not include a multiplayer mode in the weeks after its big reveal at E3 2016.

That leaves us with three scenarios: either the initial reports were inaccurate, the studio has changed its mind, or the listing is related to another game that isn’t related to God of War.

Another thing to think about is many signs point to God of War being released this year. The senior multiplayer programmer listing was posted near the end of February, which would not leave the studio with much time to implement such a typically complex feature. Though it may just be filling a gap from a previous employee leaving, rather than staffing up an entirely new position.

God of War: Ascension’s multiplayer portion let players create their own mythological Greek heroes to slay monsters in competitive and cooperative modes. It did well enough bringing multiplayer to a series that had always been about narrative-driven, single-player monster slaying, but it didn’t make that big of a splash. The new God of War has a very different design from previous games, with an over-the-shoulder camera instead of a fixed, floating perspective, for example. So if it does indeed have a multiplayer, don’t expect it to share much in common with Ascension’s.

 

Project Scorpio Specs Announced

Microsoft has revealed fresh new tech specs about its upcoming upgraded Xbox One console, Project Scorpio.

According to a new report from Digital Foundry, the console’s specs are beyond what we’ve seen in the current console generation. Scorpio was able to run a Forza Motorsport demo at 60 FPS in seemingly native 4K, with graphical settings at an “Xbox One-equivalent” level. In terms of specs, the console boastsa 1 TB hard drive, as well as 12 GB of GGDR5 memory–the same type of RAM contained in the PlayStation 4, though Sony‘s device only contains 8 GB.

That 12 GB is split into two portions: 8 GB is accessible to developers, while 4 GB is reserved for system use. That’s an increase over Xbox One’s 8 GB overall memory, which was split the same way into portions of 5 GB and 3 GB, while GGDR5 represents a speed increase over Xbox One’s DDR3 RAM. Digital Foundry–which was shared this information by Microsoft itself–says Scorpio will run all Xbox One games “better,” whether they’re patched for the new console or not. This is because the console uses no emulation–Xbox One games will run natively using the system’s internal power.

Combined with a faster CPU, the result is a more stable or higher frame rate, no screen tearing, and faster load times. All of that is also reportedly true for backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games, even though changes in hardware between Xbox One and Project Scorpio mean Microsoft has had to go through each backwards-compatible Xbox 360 game individually to make them run on Scorpio.

The site says Scorpio’s internal design brief was to scale existing titles up to 4K–and this latest batch of information suggests Microsoft has succeeded. it should be noted, however, that the demo only contained one test version of an unconfirmed Forza game–though the build apparently was built using the same tech used to make Forza Motorsport 6. Additionally, titles that were originally 30 FPS will not go over that unless patched to do so, while the level of optimization seen in all titles could vary.

Users who own 1080p televisions will still be catered for, too: “ultra HD-rendering should super-sample down for those 1080p displays,” says the site, meaning games should look sharper, even if you don’t own a 4K set. Although no price has officially been confirmed, Digital Foundry and Eurogamer estimate from the specs they’ve seen that the console will cost US $499–the same price as the Xbox One at launch.

We already knew that Scorpio will boast six teraflops of performance–including 320 GB/s memory bandwidth and eight CPU cores–though the console will differ from Xbox One by reportedly not containing ESRAM. Microsoft says Scorpio is the most powerful console ever made and that it will be more powerful than the PlayStation 4 Pro, which came out last year. It will still support Xbox One games, controllers, and accessories.

The new console is due to launch this holiday, but it remains to be seen when Microsoft will start to officially show it off in more detail. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said he is unsure if Microsoft will show off Project Scorpio before E3 in June, while also stating recently that he thinks it’s “critical” for first-party games to be ready for the system’s launch.

 

Jumanji Reboot Involves A Video Game; Ditches Board Game

Yesterday, Sony announced the full title for the upcoming Jumanji sequel as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Additionally, it was confirmed that the movie has a video game plot.

The storyline will center upon four high school kids who find themselves drawn into the Jumanji game while in detention. The teens have to clean out the school’s basement as punishment and while doing so they find an old video game console, which hasn’t been specified on which retro console it will be, that has a game called Jumanji on it. They discover that choosing a character in the game transports them into a jungle as that character.

It was first announced in April 2016, and it was presumed that it would be a reboot of the much-loved ’90s movie. However, the film will in fact be a sequel. Jake Kasdan, the son of legendary Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan, is directing. The film opens on July 28, 2017. There is no word yet on when the Welcome to the Jungle trailer will be released to the public but we will have it for you as soon as it releases.

 

 

PlayStation Drops Prices On Sony Exclusives

Sony’s latest set of deals on the PlayStation Store, the “Only on PlayStation” sale, offers discounts on, you guessed it, exclusive to Sony platforms.

Discounts of up to 80 percent are available on games for every Sony system, from the original PlayStation all the way up to the PlayStation 4. In all, more than 100 titles are on sale. Highlights from the sale include deals on all three of thatgamecompany’s games —Flow, Flower and Journey — and on fan-favorite Sony franchises like Uncharted, Infamous, God of War and Sly Cooper. Here’s some specific game deals below. None of these deals require a PlayStation Plus membership, although there are deeper discounts available in some cases for subscribers.

 

  • God Hand – $2.49, 75 percent off
  • Twisted Metal: Black – $2.49, 75% off
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves GOTY Edition – $4.99, 50% off
  • God of War Collection – $3.74, 75% off
  • Journey Collector’s Edition – $12.49, 50% off
  • Tokyo Jungle – $3.99, 80% off
  • Ratchet & Clank Collection – $7.99, 60% off

The Only on PlayStation sale runs for one week, from now until 11 a.m. ET on March 28.

 

PS3 Production Ending In Japan

Sony is ending production of PlayStation 3 units soon in Japan. The console’s entry on PlayStation’s official Japanese website has been updated to read, “Shipments are scheduled to end soon.”

This doesn’t mean global production will stop any time soon. While Japanese and western consumers are typically quick to adopt new technology, other parts of the world are slower to receive new hardware. For example, while the PS3 came to Japan and North America in November 2006, it didn’t launch in Brazil until 2010, so production could be expected to continue for some time there.

Much of the PS3’s early life wasn’t ideal due to a high retail price and reports that it was difficult to develop for, but the console enjoyed a re-emergence of sorts later on thanks to high-quality exclusive titles like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Journey, LittleBigPlanet, and The Last of Us. Sony also released revised versions of the console: the Slim model launched in 2009 before a Super Slim edition followed in 2012. The device was replaced by the PlayStation 4 in 2013.

It remains to be seen when the PS3 will cease production in the west.

 

 

PlayStation Now Bringing PS4 Games To PC

What a time to be alive.

Sony is making it to possibly get PlayStation 4 exclusives like Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us Remastered on your PC. The PS4 is bringing it’s game catalog to its streaming game service PlayStation Now, the company said today in a blog post. The announcement is light on details, but we know that every game in the service, including PS4 games, will be part of a single PS Now subscription.

Last month, Sony said it’s dropping PS Now support on every platform except PC and PS4, so it can focus on building a better user experience. That list includes the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV, Sony Bravia TVs, Samsung smart TVs and Sony Blu-ray players. The service will stop functioning on those platforms on August 15th.

This move seems like a rebuttal after Microsoft unveiled its own “Netflix-for-games” service called Xbox Game Pass, which offers about 100 titles from the Xbox 360 and Xbox One libraries for $10 a month. Unlike PS Now, it lets you download and install games onto your hard drive. It will launch sometime in spring.

 

Without Console Exclusive Games, Is Xbox’s Project Scorpio Even Worth Buying?

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few months, you have seen both Nintendo and PlayStation flourish while the Xbox has been playing catch up since the 2016 holiday season.

Nintendo released the Switch earlier this month and it has already broke old Nintendo console records for a launch weekend, beating the Wii and N64. PlayStation in recent months has released the PS4 Pro in November and the PSVR in October and both have been incredibly successful. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Sony‘s sales went through the roof and was pretty much carried by the PlayStation 4’s sales and as the company itself wasn’t doing too hot.

Microsoft is on the down slide and it doesn’t look like the Xbox is going to be relevant until Project Scorpio is finally released in late 2017.

Xbox has tried to get fans of the console excited with introducing ideas like the Game Pass which is basically like Netflix but with video games. Game Pass has over 100 titles ready to be downloaded like Halo 5: Guardians and Payday 2 and only cost about $10 per month. It’s not a bad idea but instead of streaming games, you have to download the entire file to your console and you only get to play for about a month or so. This means a lot of installing and uninstalling that could be a pain in the you know what. Here’s the thing I have to ask myself as an avid Xbox fan since the beginning…

Is Project Scorpio even going to be worth the money?

Let’s look at the features that the “most powerful console ever created” as said by Monolith’s studio head Kevin Stephens. Just recently announced, Scorpio will support VR. No word as to what kind of headset it will support (Microsoft brand only or third party headsets) but Microsoft has come out with their own headset which will more than likely be compatible with the console.

In short, the graphics core will be more than capable of going head-to-head with top-end graphics card; the brand-new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 has 6.5TFLOPs of performance. By the time Scorpio launches, it will be the equivalent of a mid-range PC in 2017, which is how most consoles tend to launch. It will also run at natural 4k and will have at least a 1TB HD. On paper, the console to end all consoles (sarcasm) sounds pretty great, but it’s lacking something.

WHERE THE HELL ARE THE EXCLUSIVES!?

Exclusives, Exclusives, Exclusives drive sales in this business and the Xbox not only had a flop with Halo Wars 2, but they even cancelled Scalebound, and action RPG that was being talked about as a rival to PlayStation’s JRPG exclusives. There was uproar from fans and developers alike because now if you get hired by Microsoft to created a new game, you are nervous because you don’t know if your game will even hit the shelves. And it’s almost a slap to the face of the fans who now primarily play multiplayer titles that are available on multiple platforms.

When asked about exclusives for Project Scorpio, a senior Microsoft spokesperson said it was “up to developers” to decide if they want to develop games exclusively for Project Scorpio. “I don’t know about that. We’ll see. It’s up to the game development community; what do they want to do,” said Shannon Loftis, GM of Game Publishing at Microsoft.

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, posted on the official Xbox website a few weeks ago to tease “an Epic Xbox 2017 Games Lineup” and listed Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Cuphead, Below, and Sea of Thieves, among a few other lower-profile releases. At a glance, there aren’t high expectations here unless Sea of Thieves really lives up to its potential and it’s hard to get excited for a followup to the disappointing Crackdown 2 until more of the third installment is showcased.

It’s hard to see anyone paying $100-$200 more for a better running version of their current system. I’m sure some will upgrade but unless you really hate how slow the Xbox is, I wouldn’t recommend buying Scorpio at release.