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  1. It“s a little after 4 AM on my side of the world. Tonight, I elected to spin my insomnia into productivity by watching this morning“s SCEJA Press Conference. The presentation went for two hours and covered games from both sides of the world on both major Sony platforms. There was about a half-an-hour dedicated to the PlayStation Vita that included announcements of new games like Luminous Arc Infinity and Disgaea 5, new system SKUs (so much pink!), release dates for games we knew about already like Phantasy Star Nova, and more. But rather than recapping the entire two-hour show (which included the Japanese debut of many trailers/games shown here in the United States at E3 2014): here“s everything new and noteworthy from the broadcast: First and FOREmost: Hot Shots Golf is headed to PlayStation 4. This new project will feature "open-world entertainment in the form of golf". No release window or title was given for the new project, but longtime fans of the series (who haven't played a Hot Shots Golf game on consoles since 2008) are likely glad to see it mentioned. Secondly, a brief trailer for Resident Evil Revelations 2 was shown, highlighting the game's visuals. Looks like rumors were true! It“s confirmed for Early 2015 in Japan. After that, Yakuza 0 was shown. There was a bunch of new information offered during the presentation, starting with the fact that the game takes place in 1988. It will also feature cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. And then came the part of the night where the room fell silent and everyone watched in awe, then screamed with excitement. Persona 5 has been confirmed for PlayStation 4, as well as PS3 (we knew that part already). Feast your eyes on the trailer above, the first footage of the game since its announcement last year! God Eater 2: Rage Burst has been announced for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Senran Kagura: Estival Versus has been announced for PlayStation 4. That“s the first time this franchise has appeared on a console! This is also the part where I should mention that the Tekken Team are working on an a Project Morpheus game for PlayStation 4 called Summer Lesson. A new Ys project is in the works for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, coming in 2015. The footage shown makes me think it“s going to use the party system like in Ys: Memories of Celceta. Oh, right. And then Square-Enix showed up at the very end of the presentation with a new Dragon Quest game. The footage looked absolutely incredible...and for a fleeting moment, I thought what we were looking at was Dragon Quest XI. But, in a unique twist--the new game is Dragon Quest Heroes, co-developed by the folks responsible for Dynasty Warriors. That“s right--Hyrule Warriors isn“t the only high-profile Musuo cross-over game on the block. Anyone reading this think there“s more where that came from? ...More importantly, does anyone think Dragon Quest Heroes will make its way to the West? That pretty much covers it for this morning“s heavy hitters. If you“d like to watch the entire presentation, I“ve embedded it below. There“s certainly more to see! I“ll keep my ear to the ground about most of the titles I“ve mentioned, especially with TGS looming ever closer on the horizon. http://youtu.be/5D-Wr_3-E5U
  2. Microsoft has gone back to the starting point with Xbox One. No longer should we focus on the original Xbox or Xbox 360 but look toward a brand new era of digital entertainment. Do you watch TV shows or movies? Microsoft wants to own your living room and have you enjoy all that media through Xbox One. Oh, and the device will have something to do with games too. Although the Xbox One reveal had nothing to do with games, it has been proclaimed that Microsoft's E3 presence will be all about the games. What about these supposed fifteen exclusive games - will they all be shown? Will we get much-needed answers to our questions about used games and online connectivity? The staff of Game Podunk have put on their "game analyst" hats and are ready to share their best E3 predictions. A Rare Opportunity Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief "Most of us have heard the news by now - Microsoft will be announcing a sequel to a 'historic' Rare franchise, but the question is which franchise are they referring to? Many people seem to think it will be none other than the long dormant Killer Instinct series, and for good reason - Microsoft recently renewed the trademark for the series last Fall. While Killer Instinct is clearly the frontrunner in all this speculation, what if the Rare sequel in question isn't from that series? The Banjo Kazooie series is probably Rare's hallmark franchise and what people love them most for, but somehow I don't think that will be it either. No, we're going to need to go back in time a bit more. There are two series that haven't been considered that would push fans' nostalgia buttons like crazy if Rare were developing a new game for them - Battletoads and R.C. Pro-Am. While neither series has been relevant for some time, they might provide the nostalgia bomb that Microsoft is looking for in getting some people to jump onboard with the Xbox One. The problem with R.C. Pro-Am is that Microsoft already has a popular racing game in Forza, so unless the former does something dramatically different, we can probably rule it out for now. Which leaves us with Battletoads. Crazy? Sure, but it might just be crazy enough to work and give Microsoft the big surprise they're looking to shock people with." Silence Is Golden (When It Comes To DRM) Marcus Estrada | Managing Editor "Microsoft has recently explained the problematic parts of the Xbox One and is unlikely to step away from them now. So what can they do to calm gamers down during their conference when all they're currently arguing about is a 24 hour internet check in and changing used game market? Simple, they won't talk about it at all! They're going to focus on their games and other properties but not say a single thing about the online pushback against their decisions. They already canceled their after-conference appointments with journalists so it's likely Microsoft will just clam up about any of this. They've given their answer via the official Xbox news website and are now done discussing it. Take the Xbox One or leave it because the console's controversial features are (probably) here to stay!" The Great Used Games Tax John Kidman | Contributing Writer "I suspect a speedy retreat from the poorly articulated 'fee' surrounding used and borrowed games. Microsoft hit everybody in the jaw when they initially announced the existence of this surcharge, so expect a few audible 'boos' from the audience when they first begin to address the issue that sent the twitter feeds and gaming websites into flame spirals. Microsoft will likely fully articulate a smaller-than-anticipated ($5 or $10) fee after a few pithy comments, perhaps about 'not believing everything you read on the internet.' I suspect this fee will similar in structure to online passes. The gaming industry is like any other industry, consumer driven, and imposing a large fee is truly a bad business model. A much better business model would be embracing the used game market on consoles by creating the ability to buy and sell ownership of digital titles, sending 10% of the proceeds of the transaction to the developer and paying the seller the balance in whatever monopoly money the console creator decides to implement." A Double Dose of Halo Gaiages | Community Manager "At the Xbox One reveal, it was stated that the Xbox One was going to get a bunch of exclusive, some of them even being new IPs, so they better flaunt their gaming power at the biggest gaming conference of the year! As to what they will show, that's anyone's guess... and my guess is that we'll be seeing a new Halo game. Yes, I know, there's the Halo TV series, but what better way to hype that than with a tie-in game? Also, Halo is pretty much one of Microsoft's system sellers, so what better way to hype their new system than with a new entry into the franchise?" 15 Exclusives, 8 New IPs, 1 to Rule Them All Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief "One of the biggest things about Microsoft's conference is that they're set to announce 15 first-party games for release within the console's first year on shelves. That's a lot of games, especially for a launch console's initial year, which is typically rife with delays and periods of game droughts as gamers weather the wait for the true next-generation games to arrive in year two. While we don't know if MS can make good on that proposition for sure just yet, we can guess as to what they'll announce as part of the 15 exclusives. Let's start with a few that we actually know of already: Ryse and Ascend: Hand of Kul (formerly Ascend: New Gods). The former was announced in 2012 and is a new IP being developed by Crytek, and the latter is a free-to-play online role playing game being developed by Signal Studios, who created Toy Soldiers for XBLA, and though the game was originally announced for 360, I have a sneaking suspicion that it has moved to Xbox One. Both games would also fulfill the new IP condition as well. What else do we know is coming? LocoCycle from Twisted Pixel was recently announced. Not surprisingly, Forza 5 is also on the way. Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment's latest game Quantum Break was revealed as a new IP at the Xbox One reveal event. Is it likely we'll see Halo 5 release in the Xbox One's launch year? Likely not, though it's probable if 313 Industries simply continues using Halo 4's engine without any huge upgrades. You can also bet on seeing some type of new Gears of War title being announced; possibly Gears of War 4. Let's assume Lionhead isn't only working on Fable Anniversary as well and has been working on another next-gen Fable; that would round out the big 4 MS franchises. And last but not least, Black Tusk Studios is reportedly working on MS's next big game, and it's assumed to be a new IP as well. Breaking down what we know and what we're predicting- 1. Forza 5 2. LocoCycle 3. Quantum Break 4. Ryse 5. New Halo title 6. Gears of War title 7. New Fable title 8. Black Tusk Studios title 9. Ascend: Hand of Kul (?) Assuming Ascend: Hand of Kul does make the leap to Xbox One and that three of the 15 games are new entries in the Halo, Gears of War, and Fable series, then that accounts for 9 of the 15 exclusives that MS is referring to. As for the remaining 6 games? We'll have to wait and see. Expect them to be a mix of smaller XBLA-like titles and a perhaps a few AAA titles. One thing seems certain, though - MS is banking big on at least one big game to really get people talking, and it could very well be the Black Tusk Studios title. Stay tuned as we find out the answer in just a few short days." What do you think? Do you have any predictions for Microsoft's Pre-E3 Conference?
  3. Marcus Estrada

    Gamescom 2012: Sony Press Conference Liveblog

    EA's conference ended earlier today and so now it's time for Sony to take the stage at Gamescom. Here's hoping they can get started on time and bring us all an exciting conference. 10:02 - The stage lights up and a video begins playing showing off some of their most anticipated titles. The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, PS All-Stars, Assassin's Creed III and more. Oh, there's even some Move games in there like Sorcery, Datura, The Unfinished Swan, and some sports and dancing games. 10:03 - Vita games are being displayed such as new ones like Assassin's Creed III: Liberation but also already available ones such as Uncharted and Gravity Rush. 10:05 - Jim Ryan, president and CEO of SCEE has taken the stage. He is discussing how modern gamers wish to play across devices, socially, and the like. 10:07 - Today's conference will start up with discussion about the Vita. Thank goodness, as E3 really was lacking with Vita content. First up is LittleBigPlanet on Vita. A trailer for it plays which shows off new touch and tilt functions for the game. It also shows off using the Vita's cameras to take pictures for your game. 10:10 - A PS All-Stars trailer follows up. It shows off Ratchet & Clank, Spike, Dante, and Sackboy. Spike, by the way, is from the Ape Escape series. Dante is of course the new rendition of himself from DmC. 10:12 - Using Cross-Play you can play the game with people on PS3 or Vita. More excitingly though, the Cross Buy function is going to be a part of PS All-Stars. This means that if you buy one version then you will be able to get it on another system at no extra cost. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time and Ratchet & Clank Q-Force will also have the Cross Buy feature. 10:13 - Now it's time for some ACIII: Liberation gameplay footage. You can use the front touch screen to tap on enemies to kill. Similarly, you can use the rear touch pad to move your character about (the video shows this being used to "row" a boat). 10:15 - Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified will feature 4 vs 4 multiplayer via wi-fi. Maps are even being built specifically for the Vita platform. 10:17 - That was quick. Now they're speaking about the holiday season. Starting August 28th, PSone Classics will be all playable on Vita. Apparently 60+ games will be available for the system by the end of the year. 10:18 - Alex Evans of Media Molecule has come up on stage now to demonstrate some of what they're working on. The game is called Tearaway for Vita. The world is 3D and "made" out of paper. Tapping the rear touch pad lets you interact with the world (shown here as causing a drum to vibrate). 10:22 - Using the same touch pad you can also push through the paper of the world. This is demonstrated by opening up the ground beneath enemies' feet. The feature is also used to push a block along the ground. 10:24 - With the trailer playing we're now seeing other features of the Vita. For example, you can blow on the screen to blow away objects in game. Tilting also causes the world to change. Making noise into the mic, touching the front touch screen, and using the camera all work as well. Media Molecule definitely seems to have put tons of thought into how to best make a Vita game which uses all the functions of the system. 10:25 - A trailer is playing now. It's for Killzone: Mercenary. It only shows off a bit of gameplay but you can see that the touch screen can be used to execute kills on enemies. 10:28 - Now they're discussing PlayStation Mobile. It's a "seamless" gaming experience across your various platforms (that support PS Mobile). These would be all PS Certified devices. This includes the Vita but also various tablets and smartphones. 10:31 - Again, Cross Pay is talked about. If you buy a game once once then you get it across all your mobile platforms. Thank goodness. 10:32 - Now the talk shifts to PS3 again. Games like Dust 514, LittleBigPlanet Karting, PS All-Stars, Assassin's Creed III will all be available this holiday season. ACIII in particular will have that "over an hour" of extra gameplay on PS3 and some DLC on launch. 10:33 - LBP2 Cross Controller DLC... This lets you use the Vita as a controller on PS3 with the game. The Vita is used for control but also can be used as an extra screen. It shows off a view altered from the main screen though, so it seems like a "unique" feature we might expect to see from the Wii U game pad. It's too bad this is only available for LBP2. 10:35 - Using the touchscreen functions with the PS3 game make it seem to have about the same amount of extra functionality as LBP on the Vita will have. For example, with the DLC you may move objects in the game world that you wouldn't otherwise be able to move. Another feature shown was making the Vita act as an X-ray over the main gameplay screen. This can show off objects that are invisible on the main game screen. 10:41 - The conversation now jumps to PlayStation Plus. Red Dead Redemption will be September's PS3 game addition for subscribers. Cloud storage is also being increased to 1GB. Finally, PS+ will be extended to Vita. 10:44 - Wonderbook time, wee! Book of Spells is the first in the Wonderbook series... So far they're not saying anything which we haven't already heard from E3. Either way, they've brought a trailer to showcase the title. Now we see a better shot of the actual book though, which seems to have QR code-style images on the pages for the system to read. 10:47 - Diggs Nightcrawler is another upcoming Wonderbook title. It's got a film noir vibe but is still kid friendly with its anthropomorphic characters. The Walking with Dinosaurs IP will also be coming to the Wonderbook line. 10:53 - FIFA 13 time. They're going to show off how the Move can be used to play the game. Using the controller you can mark which player you want to pass to. One interesting feature is that you can "paint" a path by drawing on the screen where you'll want the player to go. 10:55 - Until Dawn is a new IP being shown off. You'll play as seven characters as you progress through the story. It seems like your typical teen horror flick and utilizes the Move. 10:59 - Now we're about to see two new games brought by Sony's Japan Studio. The first game features an invisible boy. His silhouette is only viewable when drenched in rain. The game's current working title is, predictably, Rain. 11:01 - Puppeteer is the next new announcement. Its story is focused around a boy who is transformed into a puppet and then things get weird from there. For example, the main power the lead character has is to switch his head with other objects which grant specific powers. 11:06 - We're now getting another look at The Last of Us. There's a tiny bit of story scene on display before we're treated to lots of gameplay scenes. 11:08 - Conference is now getting wrapped up. Just before the end though there's a trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified. It did seem odd that they discussed it earlier without an accompanying trailer. It's over!