Anyone who grew up playing games in the 90s and early 2000s remembers Rare. After all, how could we forget about the masterminds behind some of the most iconic video games of all time — Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie, the original Killer Instinct and Conker’s Bad Fur Day, just to name a few. Sadly, the British developer hasn’t been itself ever since being acquired by Microsoft, but things might finally change for the better in 2015.
Robin Beanland, a prominent composer and sound designer for Rare, has dropped what might as well be bombshell on twitter, essentially stating that we should expect big things from the studio in 2015.
“This is a HUGE year for Rare,” he tweeted, showing a picture of some music notes.
Now, the only franchise we know of that has music notes as one of its core gameplay elements is Banjo-Kazooie, which had players collect them as point. Did Beanland just tease a new Banjo-Kazooie?
In the summer of 2014, he posted an image of a broken banjo, only to follow it up a few days later with another picture of a fixed banjo. Is that a metaphor hinting that the next Banjo-Kazooie will redeem Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, which many fans of the series consider a sad excuse for a Banjo game? Or maybe that, after almost two decades of irrelevancy, Rare will once again become a creative powerhouse capable of putting smiles on many, many faces?
Even more suggestive, a Rare developer posted a Morse Code message on NeoGaf that, when deciphered, stated “B-K E3 15.” That pretty much tells us that a new Banjo-Kazooie game will be shown at E3 2015.
What else might the developer have in store for the year?
For those not familiar with the original Banjo-Kazooie games on the Nintendo 64, they are 3D platformers (similar to Mario 64) that star a bear by the name of Banjo and his friend, a large red bird called Kazooie. Throughout their adventures, the duo work together creatively to spoil the plans of evil witch Gruntilda.
EA Says Old Console Cycles Were “Painful;” New One Better
At the Nasdaq 35th Investor Program Conference, Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen praised the mid-generation console refresh being carried out by Sony and Microsoft and condemned the old console cycles as “painful”.
The executive pointed out that in previous console cycles investors always tried to identify the peak earning period, seeing as moving from a generation to generation involved huge expenses to upgrade.
The fact that consoles were also highly customized didn’t help matters — each iteration of the Xbox and PlayStation were very different mainly as a result of being built on customized chipsets that were difficult to program for in the early years of their release.
And then there was the issue of compatibility between between cycles, which forced gamers to stop buying games for the older consoles…
According to Jorgensen, EA cut down the number of game engines from 25 to only two in a effort to control the high costs of developing for drastically different platforms, but games were still not compatible across generations.
The situation is of course different today, with both Microsoft and Sony releasing micro-upgrades more often, allowing for more compatibility of games with previous generations.
That’s to say the market now looks a lot more like a traditional PC market than the specialized console market of yore, which Jorgensen believes is “great for the industry, great for their [Sony and Microsoft’s] production, great for software costs, and great for the consumers.”
Consoles will still continue to get more powerful, making older software less appetizing, but “the whole notion that investors had of the cycle is gone away.”
What do you think about the new direction Microsoft and Sony are taking with this console generation? Was it long overdue? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
PSVR Will Sell 750K Units in 2017, Fewer Than Expected
One analyst that expected Sony to sell a around 2.6 million units of the PlayStation VR in 2016 now estimates that the company won’t even sell half of that.
Revised 2016 sales forecast for the PSVR by SuperData Research, a market research and analytics firm, reveals that Sony’s virtual reality headset will shift fewer than 750,000 units by the end of the year, a far cry from earlier estimates.
SuperData conceded to its overestimated of the PlayStation VR’s performance at retail, adjusting its forecast accordingly. Its report stated that “notably fewer [PSVR] units sold than expected due to a relatively fragmented title line-up and modest marketing effort.”
The company, however, remains confident that the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift will sell 420,108 and 355,088 units, respectively.
You can purchase SuperData’s full report and other industry insights on its website.
Did you or will you buy a PlayStation VR? Has it lived up to the hype? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Is The PlayStation 4 Good For Casino Games?
When people think about the PlayStation 4, the first thing that usually comes to mind are big-name games like Uncharted and God of War. However, what few people know is that the console is also a gateway to many great and addictive gambling games.
While some games like The Four Kings Casino and Slots are apps, the fact that you can use your PS4 as an interface for the world wide web means you can also enjoy a plethora of browser-based titles without needing a PC, many of which can be found at betway casino.
Granted, the selection of such games will be smaller on the PS4 (or on any video game console, for that matter) than on a PC, especially when it comes to poker, but you will nevertheless have a lot to choose from.
Now, why would anyone want to gamble on the PS4 rather than on desktop or laptop, you might wonder? Well, the PS4 makes bragging to your friends about your exploits easier, thanks to the accessibility of social share buttons. When you play a great hand of poker or win a jackpot in slots, for instance, you can share images and/or video of the act a lot more easier than you can on a computer of any other type.
So, you now know that the PS4 can be used to play many different casino games, but does that mean you should? Social sharing aside, is gambling using the PS4 any fun? The short answer? Yes!
You will be surprised at how well gambling works on the platform, but it does take some getting used to. Video slots, for example, are as easy to play on a PS4 as they are on a desktop or laptop machine, while games like Blackjack and poker, where a single misclick can cost you big, don’t work quite as well but are still perfectly playable.
Have you played any casino games on the PlayStation 4? Would you recommend any?
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