Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Take-Two Interactive CEO Expresses Doubt About Potential Of Cloud Gaming

take-two interactive

As is usual, technology progresses alongside time. One of the big shifts for all forms of entertainment has been going from physical media to digital. While physical is still mass produced, it's undeniable that digital has started to eat away at the market in most major regions. In gaming's case, roughly half of game sales are digital now, and both Sony and Microsoft have digital-only next generation console variations coming this holiday season. This naturally has lead to streaming being a big talking point for some, especially Microsoft who recently launched their Xbox Cloud Gaming initiative married to their Game Pass subscription. But not everyone is convinced it is the future.

In a lengthy interview with Protocol, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive  Strauss Zelnick talked about cloud gaming. He seems to be still be very skeptical of it being a key feature of the industry's future. Zelnick points to similar hype behind VR, a technology that has progressed but largely stayed niche, and sees a similar trajectory for cloud gaming. He sites several reasons for this, including casting doubt on the idea that there's some massive untapped potential customer base who want to play games and are only waiting for them to pop up on their phones or PCs (an idea that Microsoft's Phil Spencer has alluded to in the past).

"There were some parties who were saying there are 130 [million] to 140 million current-gen consoles out there. There are billions of PCs out there. You know, if you can make in a frictionless way, console video games available to everyone who has a PC or a tablet or a phone, then your market size automatically would be 20x, just mathematically. Of course that doesn't make any sense at all. Because the implication is you are super interested in video games but you were just unwilling to buy a console.

"[The consumer is] beholden to whatever technology exists wherever they live. You may be out on the cloud, but if they're on a phone line, they won't be able to avail themselves of what you're distributing.

"We've sold 135 million units of Grand Theft Auto 5, 32 million units of Red Dead Redemption. I wish I could tell you that there will come a point where various cloud gaming services will mean those numbers are doubled or tripled, but I don't really see it."

There are other hurdles that Zelnick doesn't get into here either, such as the quality and infrastructure of internet worldwide. Of course, it's always difficult to gauge exactly how a medium will progress, and clearly there are companies looking to push streaming, with the biggest being Google with their Stadia platform. Only the future will tell, but you can't deny that Zelnick puts forward a good case for skepticism of our potential cloud gaming future.


Mafia: Definitive Edition Official PC Requirements Revealed

mafia definitive edition

It's once again time to return to the life of a gangster with Mafia: Definitive Edition. The game is a full up and down remake of the open world original, giving fans a fresh new coat of paint to come back to. The game will, of course, come to the PC as expected, and to get back in the mob, we've got the requirements for what rig you'll need.

The specs come from the official site, which you can see here. The minimum requirements aren't too high, with 6GB of RAM and needing an Intel Core-i5 2550K or AMD FX-8120 with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870. Interestingly, the recommended requirements are quite the jump to 16GB of RAM with an Intel Core-i7 3770 or AMD FX-8350 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 or AMD Radeon RX 5700. Both minimum and recommended list 50GB of HDD space.

Mafia: Definitive Edition will release September 25th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. We got all you need to know with 15 things about the game before then, which you can catch up on through here.

MINIMUM SPECS

  • OS – Windows 10 64-bit
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Processor – Intel Core-i5 2550K 3.4GHz / AMD FX-8120 3.1GHz
  • Memory – 6GB RAM
  • Graphics card – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 / AMD Radeon HD 7870
  • HDD – 50 GB

RECOMMENDED SPECS

  • OS – Windows 10 64-bit
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Processor – Intel Core-i7 3770 3.4GHz / AMD FX-8350 4.2GHz
  • Memory – 16GB RAM
  • Graphics card – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 / AMD Radeon RX 5700
  • HDD – 50 GB

Sony Denies Recent Report Of Cutting PS5 Production Order

ps5

We are close now to the launch of the next generation consoles from both Sony and Microsoft. While Microsoft's plans and prices are clear and clean, the wait is still on for Sony to reveal both their price and date for their PS5. Despite that wait, behind the scenes, both entities are working to get those systems firmly on shelves. There was a report earlier that Sony had hit a snag there, but it seems Sony is pushing back against said report.

The original report came from Bloomberg and said that Sony had cut their production order of the PS5 by 4 million units (going from 15 million ordered units by March 2021 to 11 million). You can read more about that through here. GamesIndustry reached out to Sony about the report, and it seems Sony has denied that they have cut back any of their production order, flatly saying, "While we do not release details related to manufacturing, the information provided by Bloomberg is false. We have not changed the production number for PlayStation 5 since the start of mass production."

It is worth mentioning that while that's a pretty flat denial, part of the Bloomberg report was that the yield of chips for the system had fallen behind. It's possible that part of the initial story is accurate, meaning that Sony's order may still be affected in the end, but at the very least, Sony has seemingly made no official altercations to said order.

We aren't sure of when the PS5 will launch yet, though most people are banking on November, close to the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, both of which release on the 10th. Sony is scheduled to have a PS5-themed showcase tomorrow, which many hope will finally pull back the curtain on those details.


Take-Two Interactive CEO Sees Potential Better Success For Microsoft With Xbox Series X And Xbox Series S

Xbox Series X_S

Last gen with the Xbox 360, it seemed as if Microsoft was primed to become a dead heat competitor with Sony, but fumbles with the Xbox One allowed Sony to once again take the dominant position, and Nintendo has made a meteoric return to form with the Switch. While it's hard to gauge exactly where the Xbox One is at since Microsoft has since stopped giving exact numbers, it's not difficult to look at sales charts to see the system has lagged behind, especially compared to the 360's reign. We're now on the cusp of a new generation of consoles, and Microsoft is coming in with two systems: the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Will this time around be better for them? Only time will tell, but at the very least, one person sees potential for a better position.

In an interview with Protocol, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked about the potential for both Sony and Microsoft in next gen. He said he hoped both did well, for the better of the industry as a whole, and expressed being impressed with Microsoft's aggressiveness in its launch. He seems to think Microsoft has put in the work to recover and sees potential for a better success this go around.

"So far it looks to me as though they're both approaching this launch very aggressively. We've always worked happily with both parties. We would like to see both be very successful.

"In certain parts of the world, as you know, Sony had a preferred position last time around. I think Microsoft is working very, very hard to see that that's not repeated. I think it will be a challenge in Asia, where Sony's dominated. But if I had to guess, I think Microsoft is going to do very well.

"I think you're going to see that [Sony] will be very aggressive on the content side and on the marketing side. They are going to focus, as they always do, on aiming at an advantage on the content side.

"But Microsoft's trying to do the same thing; as you know, Microsoft has bought some studios. There's a lot of stuff that they own and control. Perhaps they'll do more of that. They have a great balance sheet."

While Microsoft has pivoted more to software and subscription services in more recent years, namely their popular Game Pass program, selling consoles is still the primary way to get those subscriptions to people. It can be hard to imagine managing to go head to head with Sony, or Nintendo for that matter, once again, but stranger things have happened. The Xbox Series S and X will both launch on November 10th.


Yakuza: Like a Dragon is Shaping up to be One of the Most Exciting Games of the Year

These days, few of Sega's franchises are as healthy and vibrant as the Yakuza series. The in-depth look at various Japanese cities, and it's examination of the crime families that run the underground of those cities has proven to be a setting that has no limit on the amount of stories that can be told and characters that can emerge from it. On top of that, the engine and gameplay style that Yakuza games rest on has shown itself to be formidable in the face of gamers' ever-changing expectations with many great Yakuza games benefiting from the format, even other games like Judgement and Fist of the North Star, that clearly have the same skeleton of the Yakuza games underneath, are fantastic experiences despite deviating little from that overall structure.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the franchise's newest installment, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, is doing well in Japan and has plenty of people excited in the West, awaiting it's official western launch later this year. This isn't going to be just another Yakuza game though. Despite Keeping the namesake of the almost 20-year-old franchise in-tact, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is going out of its way to shake things up in several areas that might just give the game an edge over the competition once all the dust settles.

Firstly, as is most obvious about the new game, Yakuza: Like a Dragon passes on continuing to focus on Kiryu, the protagonist from the previous games. Here, we'll be playing through and bearing witness to a new character, Ichiban Kasuga. A much younger, pluckier, and potentially more interesting character than the aging Kiryu who seems to project an entirely different energy altogether. Kasuga is younger, more reckless, and perhaps, as a result, far less predictable of a character, and that could really inject more energy into the franchise if he takes hold even nearly as well as Kiryu did for the series.

As an avid gamer, Kasuga seems to project his own interpretations of battles and story elements into the real world for us to see. This gives the game sort of a Scott Pilgrim vibe, but of course still very deeply rooted in the quirky Japanese presentation style that we all know and love from previous Yakuza games. On top of that, you will also be playing Kasuga's friends at certain points, all with their own strengths and weaknesses which seems to aim at coloring the battles in particular quite a bit as the mechanic unveils itself. Depending on how you use them, Kasuga's bond with them can strengthen, which will also be interesting to develop as the game progresses.

Thankfully, despite Kiryu not being the main focus this time around, he does exist in this world and will be crossing paths with you from time to time. This is something that Sega is being fairly tight-lipped about other than letting us know that it does happen, but if you're motivated to spoil it for yourself, odds are you can certainly hunt that info down. All we want to mention thus far is that it can and will happen at some point, and that might be enough for those who miss the days of Yakuza 1 through 6 to go ahead and dive into this new one and give it a chance. Letting Kiryu still exist in the universe of Like a Dragon is an insanely smart move because of this. While most would agree that a change of pace for Yakuza is needed, a more graceful transition that still honors the previous games is always best.

yakuza like a dragon

With this, Sega gets to have its cake and eat it too. The new Yakuza game will definitely benefit from having the interest of the Yakuza series' built-in audience of the original games. Yakuza name, the similar story structure, and the same gameplay engine also will benefit from the new protagonist, new changes and updates to the gameplay, and creating a new lineage that will make the game seem far less intimidating for newcomers who might have passed up on getting the last few games due to now knowing what is going on. This game is a brand-new storyline and ditches the numbered title that likely caused many gamers to pass on the more recent entries.

While it is still called Yakuza 7 in Japan, and not calling it that here might lead to more headaches down the road with subsequent releases, the advantage of that for the west is that it's more welcoming to folks who have found the incredible backlog of games too imposing to want to get into, and I don't think anybody can blame them for that. Yet another genius move by Sega here. The Eastern audience gets to have a sequel with a fresh take while the west gets somewhat of a more inviting soft reboot, all with the exact same game. They really seem to be on a roll lately.

One thing that this game has on several others that are coming up is the fact that it will be on the Xbox One, Series X, PS4, Steam, and presumably the PS5 around launch time. This is fantastic news for the game's success, as the vast majority of gamers who would be interested in the game likely have at least one of those platforms ready to go and will therefore have a way to play it.

Yakuza Like A Dragon

Regardless of how or where Yakuza: Like a Dragon lands with you personally, the game is surely promising to be something rather interesting and bring quite a lot to the table for new and old fans of the series across all regions. While Yakuza has been slow to gain steam in the west, it has definitely come a long way in popularity since the days of the PS2 where it was largely regarded as a fairly underground niche' series. Now, Yakuza is fairly well-known and even those who haven't played the games, regardless of why, are generally at least familiar enough with it to recognize the name.

The difference with this game will be the added features, the fresh new band of characters, and of course the healthy nods to its predecessors that always help long-time fans of any series feel a sense of continuity while the developers also make new entry points for a new generation of fans. Sega is right to expect a lot out of this game in terms of critical and commercial performance. As long as everything goes according to plan, and they seem like they are, Yakuza: Like a Dragon will certainly be an interesting release and may just surprise many of us with how well it does.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


Watch Dogs: Legion PC – 4K/Ultra and Ray-Tracing Requirements Revealed

Watch Dogs Legion

Ubisoft's Watch Dogs: Legion is still more than a month away but the system requirements for the PC version have been revealed. There are actually several sets of requirements, from running the game at 1080p resolution and Low settings to 4K resolution and Ultra Settings. The requirements for ray-tracing are the most hefty though.

If one is running the game at 1080p resolution and High settings with ray-tracing, then an Intel i5-9600K (or AMD Ryzen 5 3600), Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with 8 GB VRAM and 16 GB RAM is required. At Ultra settings and 4K, you'll need an Intel Core  i7-9700K or AMD Ryzen 7 3700X with an RTX 2080 Ti with 11 GB VRAM and 16 GB RAM. Installation size is the same across the board at 45 GB but an additional 20 GB is required for HD textures.

Check out all of the system requirements below. Watch Dogs: Legion is out on October 29th for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Google Stadia. It launches on November 10th for Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X so if ray-tracing on PC proves too expensive, perhaps next-gen consoles will be a better choice.

1080p / Low Settings

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 / AMD Ryzen 5 1400
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R9 290X
  • VRAM: 4 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage Space: 45 GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 (x64)

1080p / High Settings

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 / AMD Ryzen 5 1600
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480
  • VRAM: 6 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB (Dual-channel setup)
  • Storage Space: 45 GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 (x64)

1440p / High Settings

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K / AMD Ryzen 5 2600
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060S or AMD Radeon RX 5700
  • VRAM: 8GB
  • RAM: 16 GB (Dual-channel setup)
  • Storage Space: 45 GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 (x64)

4K / Ultra Settings

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K / AMD Ryzen 7 3700K
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti or AMD Radeon VII
  • VRAM: 11 GB
  • RAM: 16 GB (Dual-channel setup)
  • Storage Space: 45 GB (+ 20 GB HD Textures Pack)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 (x64)

Ray Tracing On – 1080p / High Settings

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-9600K / AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  • VRAM: 8 GB
  • RAM: 16 GB (Dual-channel setup)
  • Storage Space: 45 GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 (x64)

Ray Tracing On – 4K / Ultra Settings

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K / AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
  • VRAM: 11 GB
  • RAM: 16 GB (Dual-channel setup)
  • Storage Space: 45GB (+20 GB HD Textures Pack)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 (x64)


Second Extinction Enters Early Access on October 13

second extinction

Systemic Reactions' co-op dino killing FPS Second Extinction is a game many have been curious about since it was revealed earlier this year, and soon, players will have the chance to dip their toes in the water and see how the game is shaping up. In a new trailer, the developer has confirmed that Second Extinction will be entering early access on October 13. The trailer also shows a time lapse of artist Tom Dubois creative a piece of key art for the game. Check it out below.

At launch, Second Extinction's early access will offer 4 playable heroes, 6 main missions, and several side missions spread across 7 regions of the game's world. There will also be 10 different weapons to use, each with 5 unique tiers of upgrades. Meanwhile, in the future, the developer plans on adding loadout modifiers, armour augments, more game modes (including a horde mode), an additional mutation, and more. The early access version of the game will cost $24.99, but you should expect the price to go up for the full launch.

System requirements for the game's early access launch have also been revealed via its Steam page. You can check them out below.

When Second Extinction launches in full, it will be available on PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One. You can get more information on the game via our interview with its developers through here.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 (64-Bit versions)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-3570 or AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
  • Memory: 12 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 780 3GB or AMD R9 280 3GB
  • Storage: 30 GB available space
RECOMMENDED REQUIREMENTS:

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 (64-Bit versions)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4770 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1070GB or AMD Vega 56 8GB
  • Storage: 50 GB available space


Crysis Remastered Receives an Impressive 8K Tech Trailer

crysis remastered

Crysis Remastered is just days away from launch, and once again, you'll be able to look at whatever system you're planning to play it on and ask yourself, "can it run Crysis?" And with the game's launch looming on the horizon, Crytek have released an impressive new 8K tech trailer for it.

Crysis Remastered features various visual enhancements to what was a cutting edge technical revelation when it came out in 2007. It features global illumination, real time reflections, rippling caustics, enhanced depth of field, higher quality textures, improved lighting, enhanced particle effects, and much more- not to mention 8K support. It will also feature software-based ray tracing on PS4 and Xbox One, becoming the first game ever to do so. Check it all out in the trailer below.

Crysis Remastered releases for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on September 18. You can check out its minimum and recommended PC requirements through here. The game will also feature a "Can it run Crysis?" graphics option with 8K support. Read more on that through here.


Amnesia: Rebirth Launches on October 20

Amnesia Rebirth

Frictional Games are masters of the horror genre, with two excellent games in Amnesia: The Dark Descent and SOMA under their belt. With their next game, Amnesia: Rebirththey're going back to the beginning while bringing all of their expertise from recent years with them, and now we know exactly when we'll get to dive into their newest horrifying adventure.

Amnesia: Rebirth will be releasing on October 20, just in time for Halloween, Frictional Games have confirmed with a newly released trailer. The trailer also shows plenty of gameplay footage, showcasing a large variety of environments, some typically claustrophobic looking gameplay sections, and what's hinting to be an all-around terrifying experience. Take a look below.

Amnesia: Rebirth will be releasing for PS4 and PC. On PC, it will be available via Steam, GOG, and the Epic Games Store. You can learn more about the game through our interview with creative director Thomas Grip and writer Ian Thomas through here.


Twin Mirror Releases on December 1

twin mirror

Dontnod Entertainment first announced Twin Mirror in 2018, and since then, anticipation for the game's release has been high. There's been a couple of delays, and periods where there have been next to no updates on the game, but now we finally know when it'll be out.

Dontnod Entertainment have confirmed that Twin Mirror will be releasing on December 1. Unlike the developer's previous games, this won't be an episodic affair, and will instead be releasing as a single package in one go.

In Twin Mirrors, players will take on the role of former investigative journalist Sam, who travels to his hometown of Basswood, West Virginia for the funeral of his best friend. Upon arriving in the town though, he quickly realizes that things aren't what they seem, and he must uncover Basswood's many dark secrets. Players will make narrative-shifting choices, collect clues, and head into Sam's mind palace to piece them together and figure out the truth.

Twin Mirror will be releasing on December 1 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, where it will be an Epic Games Store exclusive. There's no word on whether next-gen versions of the game are planned.


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