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Sunday, 22 November 2020

Yakuza 15th Anniversary Livestream Announced for December 8, Will Feature Announcements of "Future Developments"

yakuza like a dragon

On December 8, 2005, the first Yakuza game launched for the PS2 in Japan. That means the series' 15th anniversary is approaching soon- and to commemorate that occasion, on that exact date, developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio will be hosting a livestream celebration event.

As the developer announced on Twitter, the livestream will be broadcast on December 8, a little over two weeks from now. The event will have in attendance Takaya Kuroda (the voice of longtime series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu) and Kazuhiro Nakaya (the voice of Akira Nishikiyama).

Notably, not only will the livestream be a celebration of the series' history, it will also feature announcements of "future developments". That's pretty vague wording, and open to interpretation, but Yakuza fans will be hoping that we'll be hearing something about a new game at the event.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is out now for the Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, and PC (though the Xbox Series X/S release is on hold in Japan indefinitely). The game will release for PS5 worldwide on March 2, 2021.

In our review of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, we wrote, "Yakuza is reborn in this brilliant and compelling new addition to series canon that recontextualizes series tropes and mechanics for an entirely new genre, delivering one of the best outings the series has ever seen." You can read our full review through here.


Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Nabs Top Spot in UK Charts

call of duty black ops cold war

In last week's charts for physical video game sales in the UK, Assassin's Creed Valhalla debuted in first place, with the game having enjoyed a massive launch worldwide. This week, the open world RPG has fallen to No. 4, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (which itself also released to a strong launch) has moved up to No. 1- despite a 27% week-on-week drop in boxed sales (via GamesIndustry).

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales holds on to the third spot. It is, in fact, the best-selling game in the PS5 launch lineup, to no one's surprise. Other PS5 exclusive launch titles like Demon's Souls (No. 4), Sackboy: A Big Adventure (No. 5), and Godfall (No. 7) also figure in the PS5-specific top 10- though of these, Spider-Man is the only one to make it into the overall top 10 for the week. Miles Morales' physical launch sales are down 57% from those of Marvel's Spider-Man when it came out for the PS4 in 2018.

In the overall charts, FIFA 21 is in second place. Thanks to Black Friday discounts, the game saw a massive surge in sales, with a 121% week-on-week boost. Meanwhile, the recently released Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity debuts in 6th place, with physical sales 324% higher than 2018's Switch release of Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition, but 43% lower than last year's remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (which makes sense, since Hyrule Warriors isn't a traditional mainline Zelda release).

You can check out the full top 10 for the week ending November 21 below.

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  2. FIFA 21
  3. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  4. Assassin's Creed Valhalla
  5. Fortnite: The Last Laugh Bundle
  6. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
  7. Watch Dogs: Legion
  8. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  9. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  10. Minecraft (Switch)

New IP Launches Are "Very Risky" – PlayStation CEO

PlayStation logo

Sony has a track record of experimenting with new franchises and properties with every new console generation, and that's very much been the case over the course of the PS4 era as well. Though we certainly got sequels in established franchises with the likes of God of War, Uncharted 4, and The Last of Us Part 2, Sony also took leaps of faith with several new properties such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Ghost of Tsushima, and Days Gone.

If there's one thing all publishers in the industry can agree on, it's that new IP launches are always risky ventures. Speaking recently in an interview with GQ, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan talked about that as well, remarking that though Sony plans to continue its current first party approach, introducing new properties is always a very risky move, owing to the investment they require on the publisher's part.

"We're making great games now and we certainly plan to continue making great games," Ryan said. "The thing with those blockbuster games is that they need a box office release. They cost more than $100m dollars to make these days and in order to be able to do that and bring new IP to the market – which is a very risky thing and and we did four times in the PS4 generation – you've got to have a box office release."

Sony's track record with new properties this generation speaks for itself, with Horizon Zero Dawn and Ghost of Tsushima in particular having been massively successful in terms of both critical and commercial performances. While it goes without saying that Sony will want to keep investing in established properties, it should be interesting to see what new ideas their studios come up with in the coming years.


Sony is Assured of the PS5's Success for at Least the Next 5-7 Years

ps5

Anyone who's followed console launches in the past would tell you that every few years, people begin predicting the death of traditional gaming hardware, whether that's handheld consoles supposedly dying out a decade ago with the advent of smartphones or home consoles seemingly becoming redundant thanks to cloud streaming.

If the launches of the PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S are anything to go by, it's clear that traditional consoles aren't going away anytime soon. Both consoles have launched to great sales, and PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan is confident that the PS5 is going to continue to see strong sales for several more years to come.

Speaking to GQ, Ryan remarked that people have been predicting the end of traditional consoles and generations for years, but that prediction is yet to come true. He added that Sony is assured of the PS5's success for at least the next 5-7 years, before saying that cloud technology is likely going to progress rapidly, and that that's something Sony's keeping an eye on.

"It seems that I've spent most of my life at PlayStation listening to people tell me that this generation is going to be the last one because something else is going to make the console model redundant," Ryan said. "I'm sure these people are really wise and really intelligent but to date they haven't been correct.

"Since we've got serious about talking to the world about PS5 it just makes me really positive about the future that awaits over the course of the next five, six, seven years and after that, who knows? I think the cloud will probably become more important over the course of the next few years, even though there are still business model and technology challenges. As that happens we're continuing our studies and our investment and looking at this very carefully."

Sony saw incredible success with the PS4 on the back of a content-driven strategy that saw the system receiving high-quality exclusives on a regular basis. It seems like that's an approach that Sony are going to take with the PS5 as well, so it's hard to see them faltering with the new console (unless things somehow go really, really wrong).

The PS5 is out now globally.


PlayStation CEO on PS5 Launch: "Absolutely Everything is Sold"

ps5

The PS5 is out now all over the world, and it's got off to a predictably great start, especially where hardware sales are concerned. Consoles generally tend to sell out at launch, but the PS5 has been particularly hard to get for many since its release. Stock has been surprisingly limited, and demand for the console is far ahead of its supply line (though a lot of that admittedly has to do with the console launching in the middle of a pandemic).

In fact, it seems that the console is sold out in every sense of the word. Speaking in an interview with TASS, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said that "absolutely everything" is sold out where the PS5's launch sales are concerned.

"Everything is sold," Ryan said. "Absolutely everything is sold."

Ryan went on to say that Sony is working to ensure that stocks are resupplied as soon as possible, and that the console's supply can keep up with its demand. "I've spent much of the last year trying to be sure that we can generate enough demand for the product," he said. " And now in terms of my executive bandwidth I'm spending a lot more time on trying to increase supply to meet that demand."

In the same interview, Ryan also suggested that the PS5 might be getting its own Xbox Game Pass competitor down the line- read more on that through here.


Cyberpunk 2077 Will Add Ray-Tracing Support on AMD Cards After Launch

cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 has been touting its ray-tracing support on PC with Nvidia cards for a while now (we recently got to check it out in action as well), and the game's recently updated PC specs revealed that those who want to play with ray-tracing enabled will only be able to do so with certain Nvidia GPUs. Of course, that has left many question what the situation is with AMD cards.

As per CD Projekt RED's global community lead Marcin Momot, though Cyberpunk 2077 won't support ray-tracing on AMD cards at launch, that's a feature that will be added later. Momot said in response to a question on Twitter regarding the same that CDPR is currently "working together with AMD", and that the developer will "introduce this feature as soon as [it] can."

Recently, gameplay footage of Cyberpunk 2077 running on the Xbox One X and Xbox Series X was also shown of. CD Projekt RED says PlayStation gameplay will be revealed soon as well.

Cyberpunk 2077 launches on December 10 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia, and will be playable via backward compatibility on Xbox Series X/S and PS5. Dedicated next-gen ports will arrive in 2021.


Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered Now Allows Save Transfers from PS4 Release

Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered

Insomniac Games promised shortly before the game's launch that Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered would receive an update following release that would allow players to transfer save data from the original PS4 game to the PS5 remaster. That update is now out, as announced by the developer on Twitter.

To transfer your save data, you need to ensure that both Marvel's Spider-Man on your PS4 and Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered on your PS5 are updated to their latest versions (v1.19 and v1.001.000 respectively). In the PS4 game's main menu, upload your saves to the cloud, after which you will be able to download them in the remaster on PS5. Once you do that, all of your Trophies from the original game will automatically be unlocked in the remaster as well (including any new ones added with the remaster, as long as you've met their criteria in the original game).

Meanwhile, Insomniac Games also confirms that the rest mode crashing errors that have been seen with the remaster (which sees the console crashing if you put it in rest mode while playing the remaster) have also been fixed.

In our review of Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered, we awarded the game a score of 8/10- read our full verdict through here.


Xbox Series X/S' Smart Delivery is "A Winning Move" – Unity Chief Product Officer

xbox series x xbox series s

Right off the bat, backward compatibility is a much great emphasis for consoles than it has been in a long, long time. Xbox in particular is really banking on having a vast number of games from across four generations being playable on a single device (with several enhancements, no less), with features such as Smart Delivery designed specifically for that purpose, and to ensure that backward compatibility is as optimized and easy to use on both the Xbox Series X and Series S as it can be.

According to Brett Bibby – chief product officer of Unity, which is one of the industry's most widely used game development engines – Smart Delivery in particular is a "winning move", while cross-gen features on PlayStation – such as being able to stream PS5 games on PS4 through remote play – also deserve praise.

"Giving players more options to play is always a winning move," said Bibby in a recent interview with GamingBolt. "Smart Delivery on Xbox is a great example, no doubt extending the life of many Xbox Ones that would otherwise be sitting in a closet once replaced. And by using the PS4 to stream PS5 play, Sony is creating a similar opportunity for their audience. Games have long ago left that 'niche' feel behind them; they're something everybody does. The changes we're seeing this generation really reflect this, providing more opportunities to play what you want when you want – and wherever you want."

We also posed questions about the importance of backward compatibility in the newer consoles to Tomas Sala, the solo developer of the Xbox Series X/S launch title The Falconeer, and he had similar glowing things to say about the matter.

"Making games playable across generations is a great way to extend the life of a game – especially if it's one that keeps players engaged with seasonal content or ongoing updates," said Sala. "Smart Delivery is an especially clever way to do this, as it lets creators deliver an optimized version of their game to whichever platform a player prefers."

In the same interview, Bibby and Sala also spoke to us about the Xbox Series S, and whether they feel the console will be able to keep up with next-gen demands (spoilers: they do). Read more on that through here.

Our full interview with the duo will be live soon, so stay tuned for the whole thing.


"Silent Hill and Resident Evil Were a Great Inspiration for Us" – The Medium Developer

The Medium

It's hard for anyone to make games in the horror genre and not be inspired by genre titans such as the classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill games. Bloober Team, in fact, have been very vocal about how the latter in particular has been a source of inspiration for them (The Medium even boasts legendary Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka's talents).

Speaking to us in a recent interview, The Medium producer Jacek Zieba once again spoke about this. Asked specifically about The Medium's fixed camera angles (which is a break from all of Bloober's previous horror games, which have typically been first person), Zieba told us that one of the reasons the game adopts this approach is to echo the style of the classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill games (and the fact that Bloober Team felt fixed cameras would be best suited to The Medium's dual reality gameplay).

"We experimented with various camera angles during development, and we ultimately decided that the use of  semi-fixed camera angles was the best solution for the most comfortable game experience when it comes to exploring the world in either a single or in dual reality," Zieba told GamingBolt.

"Because of fixed camera angles, we were able to introduce an even stronger cinematic feel to the whole game," he added. "At the same time, we somehow refer to old-school horror games such as Silent Hill or Resident Evil, which were a great inspiration for us when designing The Medium."

We also spoke with Zieba about Bloober Team's love for Silent Hill in particular, and he had glowing things to say about Konami's legendary franchise, saying that it (and Silent Hill 2 in particular) have "always been  a great inspiration" for the studio.

"In our opinion, Silent Hill 2 is one of the best horror games ever," he said. "Both Silent Hill 2 and the Silent Hill series have always been  a great inspiration for us as we approach psychological horrors.

"With The Medium, Silent Hill 2 was one of the main inspirations when it comes to the atmosphere of the game. When playing The Medium, players who are familiar with the Silent Hill series should experience similar themes and aesthetics in our game, especially in the context of the overall atmosphere."

The Medium is due out for Xbox Series X/S and PC on January 28, 2021. During our interview, we also asked Zieba if Bloober Team intend to bring the game to PS5 as well, to which he responded that the developer has no such plans for now.


Watch Dogs: Legion Save Issue Fix Planned for Early December

Watch Dogs Legion

Despite good reviews and strong sales, Ubisoft's Watch Dogs: Legion continues to face issues, particularly when it comes to saves. PC players were facing issues with corrupted saves earlier this month, which the developer had planned to fix in a patch. However, save issues continue, at least for Xbox Series X players.

The worst part is that it will take more time for a fix to be released. As per the game's official Twitter, "The team is aware of this issue and are working on a fix for it, which we're aiming to have in a patch in early December." This will presumably coincide with the launch of Watch Dogs Online, the online component of the open world title. We'll have to wait and see.

Watch Dogs: Legion is currently available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Google Stadia and PC. You can read our official review here. Along with online content, there will be new missions and new types of Recruits added for free. Season Pass players will also receive access to a new expansion, Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline featuring the return of Aiden Pearce and Wrench. Stay tuned for more details on its release in the coming months.


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