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All Articles: Mass Effect: Andromeda
I’m not sure Sony was ever trying to keep the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro a secret, but today the consolemaker announced full technical specs, price, and release date for the new models.
The PS4 Slim will arrive first, and it’ll actually be available on store shelves beginning September 15. Priced at $299, the PS4 Slim will include a 500GB Hard Drive and a considerably lighter profile:
The internal architecture of the new PS4 system has been revamped, reducing its volume by more than 30% compared to the previous models and reducing its weight by 25% and 16% compared to the first (CUH-1000 series) and current (CUH-1200 series) models respectively. Also, the new PS4 system is more energy efficient, as the power consumption has been cut by more than 34% and 28% compared to the very first and current models.
But the real star of the show was the PS4 Pro, which will launch on November 10. Priced at $399, the PS4 Pro will deliver an “enhanced experience” with a 1TB Hard Drive, support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) image processing (the PS4 Slim will also include HDR support), and 4K image resolution:
By boosting the performance and capability of the system architecture including the CPU and GPU, PS4 Pro allows games to deliver graphics with far more detail and unprecedented visual precision. Users with 4K TVs will be able to enjoy all PS4 titles in higher quality, such as 4K quality resolution and faster or more stable frame rates. In addition, PS4 Pro supports 4K video playback to deliver 4K streaming video services such as Netflix and YouTube.
The PS4 Pro will upconvert all PS4 games to 1080p, and according to the PlayStation Blog, some high-profile games will be further enhanced for the PS4 Pro including Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Days Gone. But Sony was quick to reiterate that they have no plans to release any PS4 Pro-exclusive titles.
However, unlike the Xbox One S, the PS4 Pro won’t include a 4K UHD Drive for playback 4K UHD movies.
But the PS4 Pro is still an impressive package and it’ll be interesting to see if these higher-end mid-generation systems will be embraced by the gaming community.
EA and BioWare will help produce a quartet of novels that will bridge the gap between the events of Mass Effect 3, and those of its upcoming sequel, Mass Effect: Andromeda.
The novels were outed by a “Rights Guide” from Titan Books, and the first, Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation, will be written by N.K. Jemisin and released this August. Jemisin is an award-winning fantasy author, and her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, was nominated for a Hugo, a Nebula, and a World Fantasy Award.
Titan plans to sell the novel series to readers by promising to “answer the many questions fans have been asking”:
While earlier Mass Effect games focused on the defense of the Milky Way galaxy, with humans pitted against a race of ruthless mechanical invaders known as the Reapers, the new story will take the game in a dramatic new direction and is set in a new region of space, with a new and deadly enemy.
The novels will act as prequel and sequels to the events in the games and will become part of the overarching Mass Effect saga. They will focus on key characters and answer the many questions fans have been asking.
The series will continue with Novel 2 in March 2017 and Novel 3 in September 2017, though an author wasn’t announced for either book. The concluding volume, Novel 4, will be written by BioWare’s Mac Walters, and will be published in March 2018.
EA and BioWare still aren’t ready to have that big conversation about Mass Effect: Andromeda that we’ve all been waiting for, but they did create this look into the game’s development process for its E3 2016 trailer. The trailer gives us a glimpse at BioWare employees hard at work on the game, as well more footage of Andromeda in action:
“Imagine distant star systems with remote and hostile planets teeming with alien life and civilizations. Worlds where adventure, danger, and the unknown are waiting to be discovered.”
More will be revealed about Mass Effect: Andromeda later this Fall, and the game will launch for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One in Early 2016.
EA and BioWare are very excited about Mass Effect: Andromeda, and they’ve confirmed that fans will be able to share in this excitement beginning next month. Writing on the the game’s official website, Aaryn Flynn, the General Manager of BioWare said that Mass Effect: Andromeda will be a big part of EA’s E3 Press Conference, which is scheduled for June 12.
Flynn also shared some details about the team’s progress:
- More Freedom: One of our biggest ambitions is to give players an unprecedented level of freedom for a Mass Effect experience –where you’ll go, how you’ll get there, and how you’ll play.
- New Uncharted Worlds: We’re leaving the Milky Way behind and headed to Andromeda, where we’ll meet new allies, confront new enemies, and explore fascinating new worlds.
- The Next Great Mass Effect Experience: Mass Effect: Andromeda will be the first Mass Effect game for today’s consoles and the first built on the Frostbite engine. We’re pushing the technology to deliver visuals, story, and gameplay that have never been done in franchise history.
Finally, Flynn also thought he was announcing a slight delay for Mass Effect: Andromeda, but EA CFO Blake Jorgensen actually beat him to the punch a few months ago. Regardless of who said it first, the game will officially be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One in “Early 2017.”
Earlier this week, Electronic Art CFO Blake Jorgensen spoke to investors at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference. During his presentation, the executive revealed that Mass Effect: Andromeda is officially slated for release in the fourth quarter of EA’s fiscal year, which runs from January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017:
“So, we’ve got a great year ahead. For the first time I’m trying to tamp down Wall Street expectations than build it up. Good position to be in, I guess. We’ve got our Battlefield first-person shooter game coming in the third quarter, and our third-party title that Respawn, our partner, built, it’s called Titanfall, it’s the second title that they brought into that brand. Both of those are first-person shooters and will be targeted around both the fast, action-driven shooter market, as well as the strategy-driven market in the quarter. We have all our sports games. We have our Mirror’s Edge runner game, that’s first quarter, and then we have Mass Effect, which is a sci-fi action game, in our fourth quarter. So, big year ahead and we’re pretty excited.”
Executives from Electronic Arts previously discussed Mass Effect: Andromeda’s release date during their quarterly financial report at the end of January. At that point, the game was expected to launch in late 2016/early 2017, so this isn’t really a delay, but more of a clarification.
Whatever happens, we know one thing for sure, Mass Effect: Andromeda won’t star Commander Shepard and is said to take the franchise in wild new directions.
TitanFall 2 gets a Late 2016/Early 2017 release date; Battlefield 5, Mass Effect Andromeda still on track for 2016
Even though it has yet to be officially announced, EA is confident that TitanFall 2 will be released during the late 2016/early 2017 period. CEO Andrew Wilson delivered the good news during the company’s quarterly financial call yesterday, while also ticking off tentative release dates for Battlefield 5 (Fall 2016) and Mass Effect: Andromeda (late 2016/early 2017):
An all-new Battlefield game from DICE will arrive in time for the holidays, we’re excited to have a new TitanFall experience coming from our friends at Respawn and of course, Mass Effect: Andromeda from the team at BioWare will launch later in the fiscal year.
Wilson would go on to say that the next TitanFall is shaping up nicely, and that he can’t wait to talk about it “in the months ahead”:
Again, it’s a little early to start talking about the details of TitanFall in this juncture, and that wasn’t the purpose of raising it. What I would say, having seen the game, is it’s looking fantastic. Our relationship with Respawn is extremely strong; we have great faith in that entire team to build a spectacular game and are really looking forward to sharing more details in the months ahead.
While it’s possible we might learn more about all three of these titles this Spring, we’ll likely have to wait until this year’s E3 Expo. Though EA recently said they’re skipping this year’s E3 Expo and will instead hold their own event, EA Play 2016, in the days just before the convention.
It’s time to stop calling it Mass Effect 4. Electronic Arts opened their 2015 E3 Press Conference with a short glimpse at Mass Effect: Andromeda, the next game in the well-loved RPG franchise. In development at BioWare Montreal, Mass Effect: Andromeda will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One next Fall.
EA’s executives didn’t say much about the game during their E3 Press Conference, but developers at BioWare were all too eager to finally talk about their new project. According to the BioWare Blog, Andromeda takes place “far away from and long after” the events of the original Mass Effect trilogy:
While we aren’t ready to go into too many details just yet, as you saw in the trailer and can tell by the name, this game is very much a new adventure, taking place far away from and long after the events of the original trilogy. You will play a human, male or female, though that’s actually not the character you saw in the trailer (more on that later). You’ll be exploring an all-new galaxy, Andromeda, and piloting the new and improved Mako you saw. And through it all, you will have a new team of adventurers to work with, learn from, fight alongside of, and fall in love with.
BioWare describes the trailer as a “visual target for the final game,” so it’s possible Andromeda may not look like this when its released. But the inclusion of Johnny Cash’s “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” was inspired. Along with the desert visuals, it gives the whole thing a Firefly vibe, though that was probably unintentional.
You can’t take the sky from me…
A few days ago, BioWare Montreal uploaded a job listing looking for an Online Producer to guide the development pf Mass Effect 4‘s online multiplayer. While multiplayer is nothing new for the Mass Effect series (Mass Effect 3 featured a cooperative multiplayer mode), many fans began to worry it would be detrimental to the single-player storyline of the next entry in the franchise.
Thankfully, Chris Wynn, the game’s Senior Development Director, has popped up to calm everyone down. He also wants the world to know that Mass Effect 4’s campaign will be “MASSIVE” (yes, he used caps lock):
If anyone is concerned that online will take away from single player, I assure you that SP will be MASSIVE in the next Mass Effect.
— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) February 12, 2015
Presumably, Mass Effect 4 will be officially unveiled later this year. But until then, mini-updates from the developers (like this one) are all we have to go on.