5 Conclusions - 25/05/18
A regular look at gaming-related stories from the past week or so whereby conclusions are drawn from anything and everything. These may be incredibly well reasoned based on events from the week. Alternatively, they may be highly speculative, drawn from very little evidence. More likely, they will be somewhere in between.
Conclusion One: The next generation is not now
This week there were various rumours and murmurings that Sony was going to drop the megaton and announce the PlayStation 5. To my ears that sounded awfully scary given the life evidently still in this current — already upgraded, remember — generation. As is often the case these rumours aren’t always based on actual facts or knowledge, merely analyst assessments which go viral, for obvious reasons (a PlayStation 5 would be massive internet news).
Thankfully Sony’s new CEO, John Kodera, has come out and stated it isn’t coming soon and is probably three years out according to the Wall Street journal. That puts the release date tentatively in 2021, eight years after the original PS4 came to life. A normal cycle, then.
Which is fabulous news. Nobody wants to drop a few hundred pounds right now on another console, and given we just had God of War, are getting Detroit and have Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2 to come, why do we need it?
Conclusion Two: EA rolls the dice with Battlefield V and World War II
This week EA revealed all about Battlefield V, the latest in the massive and long-running military shooter. As is typical it’s from DICE, the Norwegian studio owned by EA and developers of multiple Battlefield games and last year’s Star Wars Battlefront II. To see the reveal yourself, take a look at the video below:
In this reveal we learnt a few cool things. Firstly, this game is set during World War II, which seems logical given Battlefield was set during the First World War. There will be single-player, multiplayer and co-op campaigns. There are women in the game and there is no premium season pass needed to access maps and other integral parts of the game.
The new trailer — made in-game — looks stunningly pretty. Perhaps most intriguing of all though is that the game comes out in October this year. The 19th to be exact, seven days before Rockstar take over the world with Red Dead Redemption 2. In my reckoning that gives Battlefield V only seven days in which to sell any copies, and for folks who can’t buy a game a week, I think the choice will be easy. Perhaps EA haven’t realised given the marketing campaign for the old West’s behemoth hasn’t really kicked off yet?
Conclusion Three: This is the end for the DS lineup
In Japan Nintendo has this week announced a new Switch bundle, one without an included dock, according to kotaku.co.uk. A few weeks ago they also let us know that a new charging dock would soon be available, in the US at least.
So here we have a Switch you can buy without ever being able to plug it into your TV, and a dock so you can charge it and still play it and not need to rest it on your bedside table, but still not plug it into your TV.
It’s plain to see that the DS line of handheld consoles will soon be left by the wayside. Why wouldn’t it? Hardware innovation can be focused on battery, power consumption and more to enhance the Switch as a handheld console. That’s an easy thing to do now, even with challenges, because Nintendo owns the whole sector.
So yeah, the Switch is the console now, either inside or out.
Conclusion Four: It’s in the cloud
For years EA Sports — it’s in the game — rang loudly in people’s ears, and to be fair still does. But perhaps now it’s all going to be in the cloud instead, as EA has acquired the tech and personnel from Gamefly, a cloud-based video game streaming company who thought of themselves as the Netflix of games, as Engadget reports.
Sony has got a streaming service which hasn’t really worked (pricing and internet in various geographies like the UK has hampered it), Microsoft plans one and Google / Apple are often talked about as being in the mix for gaming and streaming. EA has its own Origin service for buying and playing games on PC, so streaming them seems like a logical next step. With other successes like EA Access on Xbox there is a myriad of ways in which we could see EA leveraging its game library via streaming. The question remains: what’s the offering, and is it good value? We’ll need to wait for more details from EA here.
Conclusion Five: Hackers are bad
So today sees the release of Dark Souls Remastered on PS4, Xbox One and PC. However, for some reason the game launched a day early on Steam. Whilst this is great news for the multitude of fans waiting for this update to their beloved Dark Souls it comes along with some not so good news. Hacking is back, already.
A YouTuber going by the handle of Malcolm Reynolds is infamous amongst the Dark Souls’ community. He is a known hacker who goes into the game with a view to causing people trouble. This might be as minimal — but annoying as hell — as cheating to backstab you in PvP, or break some of your items, or it could be with a view to getting you banned, because the systems in place in the Dark Souls’ series are possible to trick.
With the remaster things are the same. He streamed himself last night doing all the above and more immediately after release. Whilst it’s a weird thing to want to spend your time doing in any regards (in my opinion), it’s horrible for players, especially if they do get banned from servers by Bandai Namco. That would mean no summoning of help, no PvP and so on. If as part of it your character was screwed when part way through the game too (remember, once an NPC is dead, or an item is gone, it’s gone), that can be a quite dreadful experience. Not for old hands, perhaps, but if it’s your first run and you’re many hours in then...