Gamers Digest: June 28
by Stephen Janes (@stephenkjanes)
The Gamer’s Digest is designed to inform you Nerds with all the latest happenings in the busy and cluttered world of video games, so you can be the most informed Nerd the next time you join your friends for an Xbox Live party.
Retail Version of Ouya Released
About a year ago, an ambitious Kickstarter hit the Internet with the promise of a powerful gaming device that wouldn’t feature the logo of Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony. Nearly eight hours after the Kickstarter campaign went live, the project was completely funded and then some. Boasting a small frame with powerful potential, the Android-powered device finally became available to the public on June 25th. In case you haven’t been following the story of the Ouya, it was designed and produced by industry veterans who wanted a console that would not limit the user in any capacity. It can be rooted, altered, opened and tinkered without any backlash or threat of void warranties. While the initial release hasn’t gone down as smoothly as the developers would have hoped, the fact that it is available for public purchase (for a mere $99) is a huge step for indie console developers to start making waves, especially considering it’s the second highest “requested” console on Amazon.com.
Metal Gear Solid V to Feature Branching Storylines
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain looks to be yet another solid installment for series creator Hideo Kojima and his crew. After wowing the crowd during the Microsoft E3 conference, the game received a lot of buzz for its new FOX Engine, stunning graphical output and lack of David Hayter. In a recent discovery, the game will adapt and conform based on certain decisions made by the player. Kojima stated in a recent interview that missions are more like episodes and can be played in any order. In addition, the player will choose between life and death for certain characters throughout the game, which will change the dynamic of future missions in-game. How this will happen is yet to be seen, however. This doesn’t sound quite like a morality system in games such as InFamous, Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim, but this does sound like a new concept for the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Granted, you were able to eliminate enemies using non-lethal weapons, but regardless, it never affected the story one way or the other.
Google Developing their own Gaming Console
Whether coincidental to the Ouya release or just a timely leak, it appears that Google is developing their own Android powered video game console. There isn’t a whole lot of information to report, but allegedly a lot of well-cited sources can confirm that something is in the pipeline for Google. In addition to the console, Google is looking to release a smart watch and finally release the Nexus Q, a media streaming device similar to the Apple TV. One of these devices is supposed to be released Fall 2013, but my educated guess would be the Nexus Q since it’s already established in a sense. I’m intrigued by Google’s push into hardware with this gaming device and what makes it different from something like the Ouya.
EA Making Changes to Origin Platform
The Origin platform developed by EA was designed to rival Steam and its content delivery system. While Origin has never reached the same level of success as Steam, EA claims it has a strong fan base of over nine-million registered users. In a recent interview with IGN, EA executive vice president Andrew Wilson stated that he wants to, “re-establish Origin as a service to gamers, not as a means to drive transactions.” In addition, Wilson is very aware of the negative connotations regarding Origin and claims that EA is looking at making Origin a “supplementary service and not a competitive service.” After showing a teaser for Star Wars Battlefront and a new Mirror’s Edge, it seems that EA is trying to move forward and return to the positive light with gamers. Despite some recent questionable moves, I’m happy to see EA announce games and features that are favorable for all gamers and not a hinderance (getting rid of online passes being a major example).
What do you Nerds think? Has EA done enough at this point to win your controllers (and wallets) over again? Do you plan on picking up the Ouya from retailers at some point? Have any expectations or hopes from the future Google Gaming product?