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The Games of December 2016
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All Articles: GDC 2015
The Princeton Review recently published the 2015 update to their annual review of Game Design programs and the University of Southern California has once again emerged as the top Undergraduate Program. The school ranked fourth in the list of best Graduate Programs, behind the University of Utah, the University of Central Florida, and Southern Methodist University.
Each school was graded on “curriculum, facilities, technology, and career services” when compiling the rankings and many of the top programs were held over from previous years.
“For students aspiring to work in the burgeoning field of game design, these are truly the ‘cream of the crop’ institutions from which to launch a career,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Senior Vice President. “Some are nationally-known universities; others have well-deserved reputations within their regions. All are renowned for their exceptional faculties and awesome, state-of-the-art facilities. Collectively, these schools have graduated legions of the industry’s most successful video game designers, developers, artists, and entrepreneurs.”
The Princeton Review’s 2015 rankings can be found after the break. And if you’re interested in applying to one of the ranked schools, Princeton Review has published in-depth profiles of each program on their website. (more…)
After a few days of teasing (and more than a few leaks from journalists who got to play the game at the Game Developers Conference), NetherRealm has officially announced that Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade will be joining Mortal Kombat X as playable characters. Somebody cue up “We Are Family” because the duo will also team up with the previously announced Cassie Cage, their daughter.
Other new faces to appear in “The Cage Family” trailer include Kenshi and Shinnok.
NetherRealm has yet to confirm if either character will be playable in Mortal Kombat X, but according to IGN, both Shinnok and Jax were featured in the Story Mode chapter they were able to play at GDC. It’s unlikely that NetherRealm would add both characters to the game as opponents and not also let us play as them.
Mortal Kombat X will be released for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on April 14.
Don’t Forget! This is just a changelog of recently announced release dates. Warp Zoned’s complete Video Game Release Calendar includes every title we could find with a 2015, 2016, or unannounced release date.
Even though there’s still a lot of snow on the ground in most places, both of video gaming’s Spring showcases came and went last week. New release dates aplenty were announced at the Game Developers Conference and PAX East, along with a few dozen more since our last Video Game Release Calendar Changelog. Players with a love for AAA blockbuster will want to pay close attention to September 1, as WB Games staked out that spot on the calendar for Mad Max on the same day that Konami attempted to reserve it for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
If you’re looking for games about to be released in the more immediate timeframe, Sony’s Spring Fever promotion has locked in eight of indie gaming’s most interesting titles over the next two months culminating with Shovel Knight‘s April 21 launch on the PS3, PS4, and Vita (it’ll also be available for the Xbox One). Working backwards, April 14’s Titan Souls, April 7’s Bastion, and March 31’s Axiom Verge should also be on your radar if you enjoy retro-styled games.
Moving forward, other big games with confirmed release dates include the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V (now scheduled to launch on April 14), Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (May 5), and the PS4 version of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (May 12). Microsoft and Square Enix also confirmed that, respectively, Forza Motorsport 6 and Just Cause 3 will be out by the end of the year.
Finally, a few games slid into “TBA” slots after not being announced at all. Harmonix announced that Rock Band 4 will be released sometime this year while Square Enix did the same for the North American launch of Dragon Quest Heroes. Capcom strongly hinted that Street Fighter V will be in Spring 2016, but wouldn’t officially commit to any specific date. It’ll be joined in 2016 by Level-5’s Yo-Kai Watch, which will definitely cross the Pacific next year.
The full list of games from the Video Game Release Calendar Changelog Update #2 can be found after the break. (more…)
Shovel Knight won’t just be debuting on PlayStation platforms this April. The paladin who wields a gardening instrument of justice will also make his way to the Xbox One next month. And he’s not coming alone.
Microsoft and Yacht Club Games have confirmed that the Xbox One (and Windows 10) version of Shovel Knight will include a cameo appearance from the Battletoads. Zitz, Pimple, and Rash have taken a hiatus from the game world for too long, and it’s great to see them back in the spotlight. It’s unknown how they’ll feature in the game, but if it’s anything like Kratos’ planned cameo, they challenge Shovel Knight to a miniboss fight.
The new-generation version of Shovel Knight is currently playable at this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and will also be available at this weekend’s PAX East expo in Boston.
MS opens up Windows 10 Store to ID@Xbox program with 17 games including Shovel Knight/Battletoads crossover
Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 a platform for gaming, and to do that, they plan to open the Windows 10 Store up to independent game developers through their ID@Xbox program. The first batch of ID@Xbox games through the Windows 10 Store will include 17 titles. Some of these games are currently available (or will be available soon) for the PC through Steam or other download services, but many of them will be brand new to the platform when Windows 10 launches later this year.
However, the biggest news to come out of this announcement is that the Battletoads will return in one of these ID@Xbox games. Zitz, Pimple, and Rash won’t be starring in their own adventure (yet), but they will provide assistance to Yacht Club’s Shovel Knight when his eponymous game appears on the Windows 10 Store. The Behemoth confirmed that their next project, Game 4, will also appear on the Windows 10 platform, which makes sense given its previously announced Xbox One exclusivity.
Many ID@Xbox titles on Windows 10 will provide cross-platform multiplayer with their Xbox One counterpart (if they have an Xbox One counterpart) and the developers interviewed in the Microsoft-produced video above seem very happy with the ease of the development environment.
Hot on the heels of Valve’s announcement of their Vive virtual reality headset, Sony has stormed the stage at this year’s Game Developers Conference with a brand new version of their Project Morpheus. Like Valve, Sony is ready to vaguely talk about a release date and they confirmed that Project Morpheus will be available in the first half of 2016. Their latest prototype also includes a number of improvements over the previous publicly-displayed version:
- OLED Display: In exchange for the 5-inch LCD, the new Morpheus VR headset is equipped with a 5.7-inch 1920 X RGB X 1080 resolution OLED display. This new screen expands the field of view and enables low persistence, removing motion blur.
- 120hz Refresh Rate: The previous refresh rate spec has been doubled for this new prototype, which means games for Morpheus can be rendered at 120fps. When combined with the OLED display’s high refresh rate and the power of PS4, Morpheus is able to output amazingly smooth visuals.
- Super Low Latency: We know how critical low latency is to delivering a great VR experience, and we’ve reduced latency to less than 18ms, about half of what the first Morpheus prototype had. Low latency is critical to deliver a sense of presence, at the same time making the VR experience comfortable to players.
- More Accurate Tracking: To make positional tracking more precise, we’ve added three LEDs to the headset (one on the front and two on the side) for a total of nine LEDs to support robust 360° tracking.
- User-Friendly Design: We’ve made the Morpheus VR headset easier to put on and take off, with a single band design and quick release button. The headband supports the weight of the unit on the top of your head, so there is no pressure on your face. Other components have also been adjusted and configured to make the headset lighter, so that players do not find the headset cumbersome or uncomfortable to use.
Sony was not ready to discuss a price point for Project Morpheus, but they were all too happy to show off a new tech demo known as “London Heist.” The title couldn’t be more descriptive as the demo drops players into the middle of a heist in the heart of London that quickly devolves into a shootout. Polygon‘s Ben Kuchera was incredibly complimentary about the demo in his preview. Hopefully something like it is development for Project Morpheus’ launch next year.
[Source: PlayStation Blog]
A new player has joined the virtual reality wars as Valve and HTC have announced that they will collaborate on the creation of Vive, a virtual reality headset that will use Valve’s SteamVR technology. A “developer edition” of Vive will be available this Spring and a consumer version is expected to launch this Fall. The Vive will be on display at this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco where it will join a very crowded marketplace that includes the Oculus Rift, the Samsung Gear VR, and Sony’s Project Morpheus. The Vive’s official website includes more details about the device, including a claim that it will eliminate the “jitter” found in other headsets:
A 1,200 by 1,080 pixel screen in front of each eye, with refresh rates of a blistering 90 frames per second, displays photorealistic imagery that fills your field of vision in all directions, eliminating the jitter common to previous VR technologies and transporting you to another world.
A special two-handed controller will allow players to interact with objects in the simulation and optional SteamVR “base stations” can be paired with Vive to create a 15×15 area that players can use to walk around their virtual world. So who will be creating these worlds? Valve has partnered with three developers (so far) to create content for Vive including Cloudhead Games (The Gallery: Six Elements), Dovetail Games (Microsoft Fight Simulator), and Fireproof Games (The Room).
More will surely sign up in the coming days.