Almost 8 months after the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 initially launched, the two consoles are in what's referred to as a 'drought'. Unfortunately, most of the heavy-hitter and launch window exclusives have come out, and we're still a ways from the latter half of the year's releases (especially all of those coming out in October). Given that, and the features Microsoft has planned over the next 6 months, it's clear that 2015 will be the best year for the Xbox One.
Without a doubt, one of the most outstanding features of a connected world is the ability to update. Be it software on your computer or console, or apps on your phone, everything connected to the internet is susceptible to improvement through updates. But when video games release with slabs of content missing, and often a Day One update to boot, the wonder of being able to update your games remotely starts to lose its appeal.
If Watch Dogs' launch has taught us anything, it's that there is most definitely such a thing as 'overhyping'. While generating hype is a natural part of marketing a game, there are pitfalls - hyping up an audience gets them excited for the game, but too much can yield disastrous results.
Since E3, select members of the gaming community have been invited to the PlayStation Now beta. As anyone knows, any service in a closed Beta is susceptible to bugs, glitches, and incomplete features; according to user feedback so far, PlayStation Now is no exception.
Playing video games is my favourite past time. I grew up playing everything I could get my hands on, from PC to Sega, and Gamecube to PlayStation 1. As I got older, I moved on to the likes of PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, and now the Xbox One. With each platform I played on, there was a community of like-minded gamers to interact with, each sharing my passion, interest, and overall joy at playing games. It wasn't until I got older that the illusion shattered, and I discovered just how disgustingly toxic the gaming community can be.
Since the dawn of privatised information, there have been a few crowd-sourced elites; a few select, privileged members of the outside world whom are permitted glimpses and whispers of unfinished products within a much larger company. Or in the video game industry's case, not so few. These people are known as 'insiders'. And they need to get out.
From controversial claims prior to the launch of the current console generation, to borderline personal attacks, and even some legitimate leaks in between, video game insiders often cause far more trouble than they're worth. It's only these last few months that the gaming community at large, and even some developers, have become sick of them.
With the biggest day of E3 down, and the heavy hitters knocking their conferences out of the way, the gaming world has been hit hard and fast with announcement after announcement. With Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, and EA all at the top of their game, there's no harder task than trying to distinguish which company put on the best show. While Microsoft and Sony clashed head-to-head, Ubisoft surprised the audience and swooped in to steal the show. And then win.
It's been a big few weeks for piracy advocates. On May 31st The Pirate Bay co-founder, Peter Sunde, was arrested in Sweden following an (arguable) eight-year prosecution held against him and the three others connected to the infamous pirating site. On May 20th, video game Wolfenstein: The New Order released - to the dismay of pirates - at a whopping 43GB download. These incidents revived the internet-old discussion: is piracy really stealing? Furthermore, is piracy immoral?
Have you ever heard the term "Call of Duty clone"? How about "Gears of War clone"? If you dabble in both first- and third-person titles, then you will have heard one of those phrases at some point. They perfectly illustrate exactly what is wrong with the gaming industry: immensely popular games become staples of their genre, which generates unfair comparisons and bad game design as a result.
A particular franchise becomes popular from garnering critical - or underground - reception, and excels in either sales or gameplay experience (a game doesn't necessarily have to sell a lot, or break even, for it to be popular). Once a game or series has been elevated to this level, two things start to happen; 1) developers try to emulate the elements in these games as an easy road to success, and 2) gamers become so accustomed to said popular game or franchise that it becomes 'the norm'.
Ubisoft unveiled a brilliant viral marketing campaign for the upcoming release of the awaited action-adventure video game Watch Dogs on May 27, 2014. A YouTube video was released on May 16, featuring an elaborate prank on unsuspecting members of the public. Only using a smartphone app, the video demonstrates the hacking powers players will possess within the game.