Hello everyone! Welcome back to the second installment of Hot Topics, where we cover the latest news in the realm of video games. This week’s installment of Hot Topics features
In General Gaming News…
Mass Effect 3, one of the most highly-anticipated titles of 2012, is only a month away, so there a lot of new details emerging in preparation of the game’s release.
While BioWare has confirmed that Mass Effect 3 will conclude the saga of Commander Shepard, there is speculation that the studio may be working on Mass Effect 4. With the success of the Mass Effect franchise, it’s no surprise that BioWare would consider creating more Mass Effect games.
IGN recently previewed the first 90 minutes of Mass Effect 3. If you’re worried about spoilers, there’s nothing real big or Earth-shattering… okay that last part is literally true, but there are a few minor details that you might not want to know until you play the game.
Here’s the Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Premiere Gameplay Trailer for North America.
Hit the jump to continue reading…
Here’s some business-related news for you: Konami reported that it’s net income is up 77 percent year-over-year from fiscal year 2011. That number is a bit misleading; most of the increase came from the company’s social networking division. The consumer games division actually decreased by $230 million from 2011.
Square Enix reported increases in revenue and profits, largely on the back of its gaming division.
So you know those NPD sales figures that are always cited? Well apparently they never included sales data from Walmart. Strange, right? Anyway, NPD and Walmart finally reached an accord for the research group to have access the retail behemoth’s sales data. Back when I was in college, one of my professors told me that if Walmart were a country, it would rank in the top ten in the world in terms of GDP, so this is no small matter for the NPD.
Zynga, maker of popular social media games such as FarmVille and CityVille, is responsible for about 12 percent of Facebook’s revenue, according to this article.
For those of you who could use a little help with Star Wars: The Old Republic, have no fear: BioWare is planning on introducing weekly blogs and video guides to try and make things easier for newcomers and veterans alike.
If you’re like me, you get a little irked when you hear about government legislation to regulate or limit games in some way. Well, Oklahoma legislator William Fourkiller has proposed a one percent tax on games rated Teen, Mature, or Adults Only (side note: has anyone ever actually seen an AO-rated game?). Naturally, the Entertainment Software Association did not agree with his logic.
DICE, the studio behind the popular shooter Battlefield 3, is looking to fill a new position bearing the title of “Anti-Cheat Administrator.” It appears that DICE is looking to crack down on cheating in Battlefield 3. Further details as well as some information regarding bans can be found here.
Finally, it looks like a winner has been declared in the Modern Warfare 3-Battlefield 3 fight. Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter had predicted back in November that MW3 would sell twice as many copies as Battlefield 3. On February 1, EA reported that more than 10 million copies of Battlefield 3 have been sold. While Activision has not announced how many copies of MW3 have been sold, the company did report that MW3 generated one billion dollars (cue Dr. Evil voice) in just 16 days–or as Red vs. Blue’s Tucker would say, “Sixteen days?! That’s almost two weeks!”– which would equate to nearly 17 million copies in November alone. While those sales figures could be inflated by Call of Duty elite subscriptions, they don’t take into account Christmas sales for the month of December. Sorry, Battlefield fans. Hopefully the news that new DLC will be announced soon will cheer you up.
Microsoft — Xbox 360
According to Finnish magazine Pelaaja, a new Halo 4 reveal may happen at the end of February.
Microsoft continues to expand its Xbox Live service as Crackle and CinemaNow are now available on Xbox Live to Gold members. Crackle is Sony’s free movie and TV streaming service while CinemaNow is Best Buy’s movie and TV rental and purchase service.
There will not be a new Xbox in 2012.
If that saddens you, then perhaps this will cheer you up: a dev diary for Alan Wake American Nightmare.
Sony — PS3 & Vita
Vita digital games will be cheaper than their physical counterparts.
Nintendo — Wii & DS
Here’s IGN’s Wiki Guide featuring all the details and information they have about Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U.
Speaking of the Wii U, here is an interesting article about the challenges faced when launching a new system.
You should not ignore Resident Eveil Revelations.
For those of you eagerl
y anticipating the release of Guild Wars 2 later this year, IGN has created a Wiki Guide that has everything they know about the game so far.
Diablo III fans will want to check out this video walkthrough that covers changes made to the game’s closed beta test.
Game Releases for February 5-11
-Resident Evil Revelations (3DS)
-Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning* (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
-The Darkness II* (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
-Fallout New Vegas: Ultimate Editions (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
-Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations (PS3, Xbox 360)
-Inversion (Xbox 360, PS3)
-Jak and Daxter Collection (PS3)
-Gotham City Impostors (PS3, Xbox 360)
-Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword (3DS)
-Shank 2 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
-The Simpsons: the Arcade Game (PS3, Xbox 360)
-The House of the Dead III (PS3)
-Balloon Pop (3DS)
-Dance Magic (Xbox 360, PS3)
-PixelJunk Eden (PC)
-GO Series: Undead Storm (DSI)
-Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Great Gateway Grab (Wii)
-Jewel Link Chronicles: Mountains of Madness (NDS) — February 8