News from the video game industry for the week of February 8
Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista collect together a selection of notable items from the world of gaming into one post. In today's Weekly Game Replay, we recount the drama of Curiosity's heavily-delayed prize of being a "God of Gods," Bioware's cancellation of Shadow Realms, the dropping of a content update public beta for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the expansion of Steam's economy to other games, and the PlayStation 4's return to beating the Xbox One in US hardware sales.
Sims 4 to see release for Lion and above in February
Life simulator The Sims 4 has a release date for OS X. The fourth iteration of the series will be available for download on February 17. Sims 4 requires OS X 10.7.5 Lion or greater, a Core 2 Duo processor running at 2.4GHz or faster, 4GB of RAM, and the Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, or better. Pricing is not yet known, but it will be "priced similarly" to the PC edition.
Campaign add-on to Halo paced differently, highly regarded by fans
Microsoft game studio 343 Industries has spelled out a compensation package for users affected by the matchmaking flaws that Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been plagued with since launch. The package includes Halo 3 adjunct title ODST, which was not expected to be released, a remastered multiplayer map, a month of Xbox Live service, and a character nameplate for use in-game.
Avalanche Studios developing open world sequel for next-gen consoles, PC
Swedish developer Avalanche Studios and publisher Square Enix revealed that they are working on the next entry in the Just Cause franchise. Just Cause 3 is an open-world action adventure game like its predecessor, making its way to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2015. Avalanche Studios Chief Creative Officer Christofer Sundberg said that it will be sold as in physical and digital versions, without hinging on free-to-play models or in-game transactions. After release, the studio intends to look into downloadable content.
Nintendo 2DS, 3DS get another 3D remake from Legend of Zelda's Nintendo 64 days
During the recent Nintendo Direct it was revealed that the company is updating another Legend of Zelda game for its 3D handhelds. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - which was originally released on the Nintendo 64 in 2000 - is coming to the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS in spring 2015. Majora's Mask 3D follows 2011's remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D - another game that was originally for the Nintendo 64.
Halo: Spartan Strike builds on Spartan Assault, removes microtransactions
Microsoft and 343 Industries couldn't close out the year without adding a new game to the Halo universe. Though Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be hitting store shelves before Thanksgiving, a new top-down, twin-stick shooter will be arriving on December 12. Halo: Spartan Strike is launching on Windows devices and Steam for $6.
Halo Slyr headset coming this holiday season, work with Astro allows customer focus
Skullcandy Gaming was present at Seattle's Penny Arcade Expo over Labor Day weekend, allowing gamers to experience its specific brand of gaming headsets. As part of its presence at the show, booth visitors were able to play Halo: The Master Chief Collection ahead of its launch, while talking about a new entry in the Skullcandy Gaming line. The company teased a development of its recently-unveiled collaboration with 343 Industries, a new Halo-branded Slyr headset.
Microsoft gaming properties could continue media expansion if studio deal occurs
Sources have said that Microsoft's Xbox Entertainment Studios (XES) may not be shuttering, as previously indicated during the company's announcement of 18,000 layoffs. Microsoft has reportedly been shopping the studio around in an attempt to find it a new home, with some possible results already popping up. It is said that Microsoft has recently entered into talks with Warner Brothers about XES operating under the studio.
Date changes, beta launch dates and console exclusive titles outlined during press event
[Updated with Phil Spencer's comments on Rise of the Tomb Raider being a timed exclusive] During the Microsoft press event at Gamescom today, a number of announcements were made regarding some upcoming games and beta programs. While there wasn't much in the way of brand new games, some important date shifts were noted, as was the announcement that a sequel to one of the most successful games of 2013 would be exclusive to Xbox One.
Comic Con reveal shows reworked cutscenes from Blur, gameplay footage leaked
During a panel at San Diego Comic Con last week, new footage from Halo: The Master Chief Collection was shown off by a number of people involved with the Microsoft project, including Franchise Development Director Frank O'Connor. A new video was released by the company, offering a first look at the new cinematics completely remade for high definition. Leaked gameplay footage from the panel has turned up as well, showing off some of the in-game changes.
Four games in one interface with Halo 2 receiving the full 'anniversary' treatment
During the Microsoft media briefing at E3, 343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross took to the stage to outline some details on the upcoming Halo: Master Chief Collection for Xbox One. The collection will be coming to consumers in time for the holidays, hitting the shelves on November 11. As was previously announced, the collection will include Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4.
Over 50 EA games to shutdown at end of month, Halo finds a way to live on
With the announcement of Gamespy shutting down at the end of the month, gamers and companies alike have been scrambling for solutions to keep fan favorite games going. Among them, Electronic Arts and fans of Halo: Combat Evolved have tried to find solutions that would keep the games after the shutdown, to mixed results.
Steam Halloween sale offers up to 75 percent off 195 titles
Digital game purveyor Steam has unveiled its Halloween 2013 sale, where users can "save big on creepy titles." Some notable OS X and Windows cross-platform "Steamplay" titles at 75 percent off are the survival shooter two-pack Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2; classic horror title The 7th Guest; hybrid brawler and real-time strategy rock adventure Brutal Legend; tower defense/shooter game Dungeon Defenders, and the collector pack of the Penumbra adventure series. All told, 195 Windows-compatible games are on sale. The sale runs through November 1.
Proof of physical copies, torrents of the game found
Microsoft has confirmed that the highly-anticipated Christmas-season release Halo 4 has been leaked three weeks before its release date. Not only have pictures of players viewing the game on their gaming console been seen, but several torrent sites are hosting a 16.28GB file claiming to hold the two-disc title.
Halo ATLAS companion app brings maps, live stats
Microsoft revealed on Thursday that it will bring out its Halo ATLAS game companion app to users on December 10. The Assisted Tactical Assault System will give Halo Reach and Halo Anniversary gamers the ability to watch real-time data from live matches. The app can be had for Windows Phone, iOS and Android devices and was created in conjunction with Brady games.
Xbox features blasted innards and Halo figurine
Weta Workshop has created a customized Xbox 360, featuring a Halo theme, that will be auctioned to raise money for charity. The console features a miniature Master Chief shooting directly into the housing, with electronic innards blasting out from the other side. The customization was completed by Weta's founder Richard Taylor.