News Wrap Up

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With E3 2013 still fresh in our minds, it’s time to play catch-up on a few key news items that dropped since the big event. This week’s wrap up covers next-gen console sales, releases, and strategies; the return of Thief, EA Sports abandoning PC, trailers for Borderlands 2 DLC, Lost Planet 3 & Deadpool; more controversy surrounding The War Z.

Next-Gen Consoles, Next-Gen Sales Records

It’s a good time to be a gamer and it’s an even better time to be a retailer in the market. Amazon emailed us this morning to happily announce that thanks to E3 and the PS4/Xbox One showcases, Amazon Video Games had its biggest pre-order week ever. At one point they were selling 2,500+ consoles per minute. Some highlights from Amazon:

The E3 week pre-orders of the two wildly-anticipated gaming consoles brought a year-over-year increase in orders of more than 4,000%, compared to consoles ordered during E3 week last year
Day-one pre-orders for the two consoles was nearly two times that of all video games sales on Black Friday last year (2012)

The Affordable SHIELD

Shield

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, Nvidia announced the SHIELD, a powerful portable gaming device. It won the attention of the industry, numerous awards, and caught our interest when we learned more details about it. With the beefy unit releasing next week, Nvidia has good news for interested players – the platform is now $50 cheaper, likely as a response to the price of next-gen consoles announced at E3 last week and the shift of focus of the event going away from mobiles towards home consoles – for this year, anyway.

We’ve heard from thousands of gamers that if the price was $299, we’d have a home run. So we’re changing the price of SHIELD to $299. If you’ve already pre-ordered SHIELD, you’ll be charged the new, lower price. You will only be charged $299 when the product ships. We want to get SHIELD into the hands of as many gamers as possible.

New Thief, Old Gen

Eidos Montreal’s next-gen reboot of Thief is not only coming to the PC, PS4, and Xbox One but on the PS3 and Xbox 360 as well. Senior producer Stephane Roy confirmed the news that Garrett will be playable for the already-massive install bases who own the current-gen home consoles. Development of the PS3/Xbox 360 build is also being done at Eidos Montreal and there will be no difference in the core gameplay.

 

Nintendo Free-to-Play

Nintendo opted to not host a press conference at this year’s E3 and now we know why. They have barely any in-house games to show off, few third-party triple-A titles coming, and not much debuting in 2013. One of their strategies going forward to introduce new IPs will be to do it through a free-to-play digital model.

However, we are not planning to offer, for example, Mario or Pokémon games in a free-to-play format. With games like Mario and Pokémon, we already have a sufficient degree of trust with our consumers who are willing to pay a certain sum of money to purchase our products as packaged software. On the other hand, what are we to do when we want to offer a completely new product whose value consumers are yet to understand? Consumers are not sure if it is worth outlaying a certain sum of money for such a product. In such circumstances, our current platforms (Nintendo 3DS and Wii U), which give us various monetization options that would not have been possible on past Nintendo platforms, enable us to make propositions in a free-to-play format.

EA Sports, It’s In The (non-PC) Game

Sorry PC sports gamers, EA’s new Ignite engine doesn’t run on PCs, only PS4 and Xbox One. Andrew Wilson, executive vice president of EA Sports, explains that PC players who love FIFA 10 or 11, for example, didn’t have PCs that could run it with the same engine it had on consoles. In the future, it could come through:

“So could I see the potential for EA Sports Ignite to make it to PC in the future? Yes, I think it’s possible, but a couple of things need to happen. There needs to be some adjustment in terms of how EA Sports Ignite works to facilitate the open nature of PC architecture, rather than the closed nature of console architecture.”

Tiny Tina RPG

The exciting, fantasy-themed Borderlands 2 DLC, aptly titled Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, debuts next week. Here are five minutes of gameplay.

Lost Planet, Lost Game

With this E3 2013 arguably being the biggest ever with the most newly announce games, new IPs, next-gen technology, and consoles, Capcom and Spark Unlimited’s Lost Planet 3 literally got lost in the shuffle. For fans of the series, a new gameplay trailer did surface this week.

Deadpool. ‘Nuff Said.

Activision and High Moon Studios’ Deadpool adaptation finally debut next week. The Merc with a Mouth couldn’t get a movie made (at least, not yet) but the fourth-wall-breaking mutant with swords and guns will be playable next week with a plethora of guest stars from the Marvel Comics universe. Let’s hope this isn’t the next X-Men: Destiny…

The War Z

When it’s not offering the game as advertised and being kicked off Steam, not being attacked by hackers or accusers of copyright theft, The War Z actually has quite a loyal fanbase. The endlessly controversial online zombie survival game has been renamed, with little explanation, but as suspected, it has to do with “trademark issues.” Long story short, The War Z is now officially titled Infestation: Survivor Stories.

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