The week in news: 21/2/2013


Sony has officially announced the PS4 in a press conference held this morning in New York City. The system will be launching in the US and Japan at the end of 2013.  Release date information for other territories, including Australia was not given. While the final form of the console itself was not revealed,  we did get a glimpse at the specs and functionality of the new console.

The PS4 has a “supercharged PC architecture”, which will make developing games more straightforward.   The console will feature a sleep mode, similar to those seen on portable devices like the 3DS and PSVita.   This will allow games to be resumed within seconds of booting up the console, at the exact point you left off.   Sharing gameplay footage will be a big focus of the console, an always on recording function and a dedicated “Share” button will allow players to upload and stream video of their games with ease.   The controller will be the Dual Shock 4, the dimensions of which are similar to the existing PS3 controllers.  Notable changes include a trackpad on the face of the controller and a headphone jack, as well as the “Share” button.    The console will also feature a built-in motion sensor that resembles the Move and Kinect.    Games from previous generations will be playable via cloud streaming, and full cross-play functionality was announced for the PS Vita.   The price of the console was not given.


Additionally, a number of next gen titles were announced or demonstrated at the conference. inFAMOUS 3, Killzone: Shadowfall and Drive club were the first party titles announced.  Activision announced Destiny will be a PS4 title, and will receive exclusive content.  Braid creator Jonathan Blow was in attendance to show some footage of his new game, The Witness, which will be a PS4 exclusive for the launch period.  Ubisoft confirmed Watch Dogs will be a PS4 title, and showed more footage.  Blizzard announced Diablo 3 would be making the transition to the PS4.     A sizzle reel demonstrated that 70 third party developers are currently creating games for the PS4.


Sony has announced that the PS Vita will be receiving a price cut in Japan from the 28th of February. The price will drop from the equivalent of $329 to $213 for both the Wi-fi and 3G models.  No announcement has been made yet for a price cut in Europe, America or Australia, but this is a good indicator that it could be coming.


Bungie, the acclaimed developers of the original HALO trilogy, have made an official announcement about their next game. Destiny will be a first person shooter set in an expansive, persistent world for 360, PS3 and PS4.   Co-operative multiplayer will be a key focus in the game, which will be set in a brand-new, sci fi inspired universe.  Though the world is persistent, Bungie have clarified that it is not an MMO and will not require an ongoing subscription fee.


A lawsuit between EA and Zynga has been dismissed. EA originally filed charges against Zynga, claiming that The Ville was so similar to The Sims Social that it was a copyright infringement.  Zynga countersued, calling the claim “baseless”.  At the time, EA released a statement saying that the lawsuit was filed in order to set a precedent that would prevent blatant rip-offs in the game industry.   While the details of the settlement are undisclosed, Zynga issued a statement saying “EA and Zynga have resolved their respective claims and have reached a settlement of their litigation in the Northern District of California.”.


Watch Dogs, Ubisoft’s impressive hi-tech open world game that arguably stole the show at last years e3, could arrive for the current generation of consoles at the end of the year. The game featured such striking visuals that many were led to believe it was a next gen title.   Leaked marketing material has revealed that the title is currently scheduled for a release at the end of this year for the PS3, PS4, 360 and Wii U.