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More games get released in October than any other month (though November is probably close), so it shouldn’t be surprising that megapublishers like Electronic Arts and 2K Games nearly ran the table with the NPD Group’s monthly best-sellers report.
EA’s Battlefield 1 took the top spot, and the publisher placed three other games in the top ten including FIFA 17 (#4), Titanfall 2 (#9), and Madden NFL 17 (#10). 2K Games had an equally strong month, thanks to Mafia III making gamers an offer they couldn’t refuse (and the #2 spot on the list). It was followed by NBA 2K17 (#5), WWE 2K17 (#7), and Civilization VI (#8).
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, NPD’s Sam Naji said that overall industry revenues were up 6% in October 2016, though hardware and accessories aren’t selling as well as they did a year ago.
The full Top 10 from October 2016 can be found after the break. (more…)
“Big” is the key word for today’s Xbox Games Store update…
Let’s start with Titanfall 2, a game with massive walking mechs that players can jump in and out of as they wage war on the opposing team. I think that certainly qualifies as “big.” Developed by Respawn and now available to download for the Xbox One, Titanfall 2 is even bigger than the original game thanks to the addition of a single-player campaign and lots of new multiplayer options.
“Big” can also be used the describe the gigantic game world and towering dragons that players will encounter in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition. Rebuilt for the Xbox One with “remastered art and effects,” Skyrim Special Edition will also include mod support on consoles for the first time.
Finally, ClusterTruck is also available to download today for the Xbox One, and it asks players to catch “big” air as they jump from truck to truck on the world’s most insane highway.
More details about all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)
The PlayStation Store is about to get a little more epic this week as a handful of big games are now available to download on the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita.
First up, the Titanfall franchise will make its PS4 debut this week with the launch of Titanfall 2. The second collaboration between EA and Respawn will add new Titans, new weapons, new multiplayer options, and an expansive new single-player campaign to the series.
Also available this week is World of Final Fantasy, Square Enix’s reimagining of the Final Fantasy franchise for younger players. Designed using the “chibi” art style, World of Final Fantasy will merge together many of the greatest heroes and villains from the franchise’s lengthy history in an RPG that’s now available to download for the PS4 and PS Vita.
And speaking of epic RPGs, Bethesda will bring The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition to the PS4 this week. In addition to the main game and all its expansion, the Skyrim Special Edition will include support for mods and additional technical wizardry that adds “remastered art and effects, volumetric god rays, dynamic depth of field, screen-space reflections, and more” to the game.
PS4 and PS3 owners will also be able to launch into some epic dance moves with the release of Just Dance 2017.
Finally, a pair of episodic games will receive new chapters this week on the PS4 and PS3. Batman: The Telltale Series will reach the halfway point with Episode 3: New World Order. And The Odd Gentlemen will bring the King’s Quest reboot to a close with Chapter 5: The Good Knight.
More information on all of these games (and a big batch of other new releases) can be found after the break. And, as always, the PlayStation Blog has a complete rundown of this week’s new add-ons and discounts. (more…)
EA and Respawn Entertainment will storm their way into stores this week with Titanfall 2 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. In addition to expanded multiplayer options, Titanfall 2 will include a single-player campaign for the first time. We can finally say it… Your Titanfall sequel is ready.
Also available this week is World of Final Fantasy, a new “chibi” RPG from Square Enix that celebrates the grand history of the Final Fantasy franchise. Designed primarily for a younger audience, PS4 and Vita players will still need to save the world from an evil mastermind. Thankfully, they’ll be aided by dozens of heroes from previous games in the series.
If you’d rather skip all the fighting and just dance, Ubisoft has you covered with the launch of Just Dance 2017 on the PC, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Just Dance 2017 includes dozens of songs, and the new Just Dance Machine mode, which will throw an assortment of different dance styles at players.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition will make its PC, PS4, and Xbox One debut this week, as Bethesda plans to relaunch their epic RPG on a new generation of platforms. And Telltale will bring together Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure on a single disc for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Finally this week, one of my favorite puzzlers of the year, Tumblestone, will receive a retail release on the PS4 and Wii U.
A complete list of this week’s new retail releases can be found after the break. (more…)
Even though Skyrim and NBA 2K17 appeared in Nintendo’s Switch trailer, they haven’t officially been announced yet
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and NBA 2K17 both played a huge role in the “First Glimpse” trailer for the Nintendo Switch. In addition to showcasing two games that are extremely popular with players around the world, the two games proved that Nintendo was taking significant steps towards expanding the third-party offerings of their next console.
But hold on a second, it seems that Bethesda and 2K can’t yet confirm that Skyrim and NBA 2K17 will be available for the Switch.
In nearly identical statements to Polygon, both publishers said they were “happy to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Nintendo” and “[weren’t] confirming any specific titles at this time”:
However, when contacted by Polygon, representatives for both 2K Sports and Bethesda declined to confirm whether their respective games were in development for Nintendo’s new console. The two publishers sent remarkably similar statements, too, telling Polygon they were “happy to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Nintendo” on the trailer. Both companies added, “While we are not confirming any specific titles at this time, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Nintendo and support of Nintendo Switch.”
Nintendo likely had a hand in helping craft their statement to the media, but then why oh why were Ubisoft (Just Dance 2017) and Sega (Project Sonic) allowed to announce projects for the Switch (nee NX) earlier this year?
The answer to that probably lies in a statement a Nintendo spokesman made to The Wall Street Journal after the reveal. He said the consolemaker won’t make any new announcements about possible games for the Switch or reveal specific hardware details until 2017. That said, I think Skyrim and NBA 2K17 will definitely both eventually make their way to the Switch. It would be an incredibly terrible PR move to showcase both games in the console’s reveal trailer and then hope fans just forget about them over the next five months.
The Nintendo Switch doesn’t currently have a release date, but it is expected to be released next March.
All the rumors are true. Nintendo’s NX console is actually a console/handheld hybrid known as the Nintendo Switch.
Set to launch in March 2017, games for the Switch will be released on cartridges and players will be able to “switch” between playing on their TV with the Switch Dock or taking them on the road with a tablet-sized screen and controllers that click into place on the edges. A “Pro Controller” option will also be available, and certain games will feature a Wii-style “Remote + Nunchuk” control scheme for gaming on the go (with a kickstand for the screen). If you’d prefer a more traditional setup, the controllers can be attached to a Joy-Con Grip to better emulate a regular controller.
So what else did we learn? For starters, beloved Bethesda RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be available for the Switch. 2K’s NBA 2K17 also made an appearance in the video.
Nintendo themselves gave us a quick glimpse at a brand new Super Mario 3D game, as well as remasters of (or possibly sequels to) Splatoon and Mario Kart 8. And, of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was also on display.
The final launch date and price will be announced at a later date, but I’m sure we’ll learn much more about the Switch throughout the day. And there’s always the Red Dead Redemption 2 reveal to look forward to in about an hour.
Bethesda has announced (via Bethesda.net) that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition has officially “gone gold” and is ready to be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 28. They’ve also offered up the system specifications for PC owners who want to make sure their rigs are up to snuff ahead of time:
Minimum System Requirements
- OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-Bit Version)
- CPU: Intel i5-750 / AMD Phenom II X4-945
- RAM: 8 GB
- Hard Drive: 12 GB
- Video Card: Nvidia GTX 470 1GB / AMD HD 7870 2GB
Recommended System Requirements
- OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-Bit Version)
- CPU: Intel i5-2400 / AMD FX-8320
- RAM: 8 GB
- Hard Drive: 12 GB
- Video Card: Nvidia GTX 780 3GB / AMD R9 290 4GB
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition will include a number of graphical tweaks including volumetric lighting (“God Rays”), dynamic depth of field, and remastered art and effects. Console owners will also get the chance to deploy mods in Skyrim for the first time, and PS4 Pro owners will get to experience the game with native 4K support.
Finally, Bethesda unveiled the hard drive requirements for console owners. PS4 players will need 20 GB (33 GB in Europe), while Xbox One owners require 17 GB (25 GB in Europe) of free space.
Jonathan Nolan also looked to Skyrim and the fact that “life is beginning to resemble a game” for Westworld
Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher and co-writer of The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Interstellar, has previously discussed how he used video games as an inspiration for HBO’s reboot of Westworld. Previously, Nolan cited Red Dead Redemption and BioShock as two games that helped shape his vision for Westworld. But speaking to Vice, the showrunner revealed he was also fascinated by the independent lives that Bethesda created for NPCs in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
I was fascinated by the concept of writing a story in which the protagonists’ actions aren’t part of the story. In games like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption, or the sandbox games that BioWare make, morality is a variable. How do you write a story in which the hero’s moral component exists on a spectrum? That’s a fascinating challenge.
I’m also fascinated by how non-player-characters in video games have their own lives. In Skyrim, when you walk into a village, you aren’t necessarily the most important person there. The NPCs have lives that happen whether you’re there or not. I was listening to directors’ commentary from Ken Levine about building BioShock Infinite and the affection that game developers and designers develop for their characters. It’s a qualitatively different relationship than the one screenwriters have with their characters, because video game characters don’t just recite dialogue—they do shit, and the players interact with them.
Nolan expanded on this theme in a separate interview with IGN, where he said that “life [is] ever more beginning to resemble a game” and that some people have started to live their lives according to the rules of a fantasy universe:
For me, the jumping off point of starting with the Host… Everyone’s favorite party conversation brainteaser these days is “Are we living in a simulation?” I get tired of that question fairly easily because in a sufficiently robust simulation there’d be no way of answering of course. But the idea that our lives could be programmatic, that there could be rules at play that we’re not familiar with, that we don’t understand, is something I’ve long been fascinated by – and so is the idea of fate and the idea of an unseen hand that’s guiding events. Here, it’s a very literal thing.
Before we had children, I was a gamer back in the day, and I think that was the other aspect of what drew me to the original concept, was the idea of life ever more beginning to resemble a game. That with enough wealth and sufficient technological advancement that you could get to a point where you live, as a lot of people do, a significant portion of your life in a fantasy universe, whether it’s World of Warcraft or the new VR games that are just coming out.
You really dissolve into that experience and live your life inside – not a real world but a curated world. One that’s distinct from the real world because there’s intention there, there are rules. There is a narrative. Life, real life, resists narrative through lines. There aren’t hidden levels. There’s just f**king chaos. But in the game universe there are always deeper levels of meaning. So for us it was like a candy store. There were all these ideas that we wanted to play with in one series.
New episodes of Westworld will premiere every Sunday on HBO. Have you noticed the show’s parallels to video games? Let us know in the comments.