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  1. Today's headlines involve some big news on the Nintendo front for Wii U owners and prospective buyers as well as news about some studio closures and downsizing going on. And of course, Tuesday means new releases on the PlayStation Store. Read on about it all below- Report indicates Nintendo will cease Wii U production in 2016 According to a Japanese report from Nikkei, Nintendo plans to end production of the Wii U by the end of 2016. The report notes that the company has already stopped making certain Wii U accessories. If true, then the claims of the Wii U successor, NX, coming out at the end of 2016 have gotten a lot more credible. However, the report also indicates that an NX release in 2016 isn't a sure thing just yet. At any rate, Nintendo likely still has plenty of Wii U stock in circulation, and the current sell-through rate (along with past holiday sales) may indicate that they can sail through this year (and perhaps part of 2017) with whatever stock they generate before stopping production. Source: IGN Sony shuttering Evolution Studios Sad news for fans of Evolution Studios, the developer behind the Motorstorm franchise and DriveClub, as Sony has announced that they have closed down the studio after a recent evaluation of their Worldwide Studios. The news comes after the disastrous launch of DriveClub and the subsequent issues with its online play and such, which ultimately saw 55 members of the staff cut last year alone. Source: GamesIndustry.biz 5th Cell undergoing massive layoffs but not closed at this time In other redundancy news, it's been reported that 5th Cell has had to lay off 45 people after their latest Scribblenauts game had been cancelled by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It was originally thought that the studio had been closed altogether after animator Tim Borrelli tweeted that he had been laid off and "RIP 5th Cell." However, 5th Cell CEO Jeremiah Slaczka has set the record straight, saying that the company is not shutting down but is 100% committed to helping those affected by layoffs to find new jobs. 5th Cell is currently working on Anchors in the Drift, a free-to-play RPG that is being crowdfunded on investing platform Fig. Source: GamesIndustry.biz Toki Tori developer Two Tribes is retiring from game development after their next game releases This one was pretty surprising to me. Out of seemingly nowhere, Two Tribes made the announcement that they would be retiring after their upcoming game Rive finally releases. No, they didn't run out of money. Nor is there behind-the-scene drama that's causing things to go amuck. They simply decided that it's time to hang up their coats as far as developing new games go. Co-founder Collin van Grinkel mentions that it partially has to do with them feeling like "dinosaurs" (they originally started in 2000) in an age where the indie development scene is more crowded than ever. There's no word on what van Grinkel and the remainder of Two Tribes will be doing afterward just yet, but he does mention that the studio will still support their current releases and publishers; whether or not that includes ports of their existing games to new platforms remains to be seen. Their final game, RIVE, is set to release soon, and Van Grinkel calls it the best game they've ever done. If fans and the media agree with the sentiment, it'll be good to see a developer go out on top for once. Source: Press Release PlayStation Store New Releases 3/22/16 This week brings yet another surprising amount of games to the PlayStation Store, with 12 games for PS4 and two for Vita (including one surprising entry). Check out the full list below! PS4 101 Ways to Die - $14.99 Bully (PS2 Classic) - $14.99 Catlateral Damage - $9.99 Day of the Tentacle Remastered - $14.99 Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice - $9.99 Manhunt (PS2 Classic) - $14.99 Okage: Shadow King (PS2 Classic) - $9.99 Republique - $24.99 Sebastién Loeb Rally EVO - $59.99 Smite - Free-to-Play Trackmania Turbo - $39.99 Warheads - $4.99 PS Vita Day of the Tentacle Remastered - $14.99 X-Com: Enemy Unknown Plus - $19.99 For games on sale, see the the full list at the source link below. Source: PlayStation Blog What are your thoughts on Nintendo possibly pulling the plug on Wii U this year? And Evolution Studios' closure and 5th Cell's downsizing?
  2. Going to steal a cue from NeoGAF here, but I thought the question was a really good one: has 2014 been a disappointing year for AAA titles? Of course, 2014 has been pretty good for indie games, niche titles, RPGs, and Nintendo titles (for the most part), but if you look back, there have been a number of big titles that ultimately ended up falling short (or WAY short in some cases), To quote the NeoGAF post again, here's what the OP came up with- Disappointing New IPs Watch_Dogs Destiny Buggy Messes Assassin's Creed Unity Halo MCC GTA Online Driveclub Meh Sequels: COD Advanced Warfare Infamous Second Son Huge Games Delayed Into 2015 (I added this bit) The Order 1886 Batman Arkham Knight Evolve Battlefield: Hardline The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Quantum Break Xenoblade Chronicles X Personally, I'd have to agree on some level that 2014 was a little bit of a let down in terms of releases overall, though again, there were some great releases in specific areas. What do you guys think?
  3. Jason Clement

    PlayStation Plus Games for October Revealed

    Another month, another set of new PlayStation Plus Instant Games for subscribers to play. This month sees a few big games hitting the lineup, including one of the first big exclusives on PS Plus for PlayStation 4 owners. Here's what you can expect to download and play in October- PS4 Dust: An Elysian Tale (to read our official review, click here) Spelunky (Cross-buy) DriveClub PlayStation Plus Edition PS3 Batman: Arkham Asylum Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara PS Vita Pix the Cat (PSV/PS4) Rainbow Moon (PSV/PS3) (to read our official review, click here) It's worth noting that DriveClub PlayStation Plus Edition features unrestricted access both online and offline to 11 tracks of India and 10 cars for your garage, according to the PlayStation Blog. However, if you want all the content, you'll have to purchase the full game. Check out the video below for more info/footage on the games. http://youtu.be/nqJwE7_nIpY Source: PlayStation Blog Are you interested in any of the PlayStation Plus lineup for October? Which do you plan to play?
  4. [uPDATE] Sony has clarified via twitter that those who upgrade the PS Plus version of DRIVECLUB will not lose access if their PS Plus subscription expires. The tweet reads, "UPDATE> If you have #DRIVECLUB PS+ Ed & upgrade, we'll ensure you keep full game access even if your PS Plus runs out" Certainly a smart move on Sony's part. Original story: Last week we reported that DRIVECLUB had finally received a release date and now we have another tidbit of news to share. As you may know, a content-limited version of DRIVECLUB will be available for free to Playstation Plus members. Jamie Brayshaw, Community Development Manager at Evolution Studios, announced today what exactly that version would include. The PS Plus version of DRIVECLUB will give players access to "one location (India), 11 tracks, 10 cars and access to all game modes." Brayshaw added, "You can take part in all the game modes, set, send and compete in challenges, and race online against others in the DRIVECLUB community." From the sounds of it, Playstation Plus members will get a substantial taste of the game before having to decide whether or not to make the full investment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss--cO6ZnZA The news was not all good, however. Playstation Plus users will be able to upgrade to the full version for $49.99. According to the announcement, "This will give you access to all five locations, 55 tracks, 50 cars and all 50 tour events," and here's the bad news, "as long as your PlayStation Plus subscription remains active." This means that despite spending $49.99 for an upgrade, players do not actually own the content. This is contrary to the standards set with all other purchased PS Plus content. If you purchase anything, even at an extreme discount, you own it whether or not you subscribe to PS Plus in the future. After a loud negative response from fans, Paul Rustchynsky, DRIVECLUB's Game Director, announced on twitter that he is "seeking clarification." Since it is addressed in the announcement video as well, this does not seem like a miscommunication. At the end of the day, the game is still available for $59.99 at retail on a Blu-ray disc. For updates on the developing DRIVECLUB PS Plus fiasco, keep it at Game Podunk. Would you upgrade DRIVECLUB on PS Plus if a subscription is required to keep it? Source: Playstation Blog
  5. Marshall Henderson

    Sony Shows Off Four Games for PlayStation 4

    Four by four, Sony marched in with their announcements today, discussing four exclusive titles for the PlayStation 4. Killzone Shadow Fall, Driveclub, inFAMOUS Second Son, and The Witness each got floor time at Sony's press event today, dazzling people away from the dearth of Vita titles. Guerilla Games's presentation for Killzone Shadow Fall wasn't there to show off a gripping narrative, but certainly demonstrated what the PlayStation 4 is supposedly capable of doing. The footage showed a giant, foggy city, at pre-rendered cutscene-quality for many other games, that came down with a sudden case of First-Person Shooting. Knife kills claimed the lives of several Helghast-looking people, and an assault rifle that could transition into a sniper rifle claimed the lives of a lot more. In the end, enemy helicopters surrounded the main character, and the demo ended. Shooters, though, are not everyone's thing. Some people just want to race cars and do so in style, which is the goal of Evolution Studio's Driveclub. As is the standard for most 'realistic' racing games, Driveclub took great cares to make pretty the cars. Of course they were shiny, but headlights showed light refracting through the wax in rainbows, and the interior materials supposedly reflect light differently. Time, of course, will tell. Driveclub seems to focus on team-based racing, and takes a first person view from inside the car. If you loved the driving in Far Cry 2... It's been a while since Sony gave fans of inFAMOUS anything to cheer about, so inFAMOUS Second Son apparently intends to rectify that. Taking place within a city under martial law, Second Son seems to center around rebels that are fighting for freedom, with superpowers, of course. Unfortunately, there didn't appear to be any live gameplay, so how pretty the shown footage was shouldn't knock anyone's socks off. The big-ticket games are well and good, but indie games are where the wealth in original ideas come from, so Braid's Jonathan Blow came out to talk about The Witness. The Witness is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and centers around exploration. Straddling the line between pretentious and visionary (or perhaps favoring one side more than the other), Blow described the open world puzzle game as an open-world game that focuses on cutting out redundant features, centering on concept-pertinent puzzles, and having the theme of epiphanies. It's an attractive enough line-up, but hopefully that doesn't peter off after release. Of course, Sony would never do that. The current date for release is, of course, Holiday 2013 for the console. You can look forward to new details as they arrive, and we'll have 'em right here, nice and warm for you.