The stories for this week:
- Home Loses Voice Chat “Temporarily”
- Microsoft Starts Selling an 800 Point Card
- Electronic Arts Gets Steamed and Will Cut 10% of Jobs and Nine Studios
- Metal Gear Solid Touch Announced
- Street Fighter IV Full Character List Revealed
Home Loses Voice Chat “Temporarily”
With the new update to Sony’s much vaunted Home (did you catch my sarcasm there? If not, it was indeed dripping with it), they took out the ability to chat over a headset. They say this is only temporary, but they also say it will returns “as soon as we are ready…” Hopefully it won’t be as soon as it took Home to come out!
I have yet to install Home on my PS3, mostly because it hasn’t been hooked up for a bit. Do you guys feel it has been a worthy addition to the system or is it all smoke and mirrors?
Source: Colony of Gamers
Microsoft Starts Selling an 800 Point Card
Although you can’t buy games like Braid, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix or Castle Crashers (why isn’t the update out yet again?) with it, you can buy a variety of XBLA games with the new $10 800 Point Card. I had always wondered why they didn’t have an 800 point variety card given how many things in the marketplace cost 800 points. There are a lot of good games available for that price (Bionic Commando: Rearmed anyone?) so this can only be win for both Microsoft and any last minute shoppers looking for something for their game playing loved ones.
EA Gets Steamed and Will Cut 10% of Jobs and Nine Studios
The first half of the headline is somewhat misleading with the second half, but EA has opened up a bunch of its games to the Steam Community. Games available today include Spore, Spore: Creepy and Cute Parts Pack, Warhammer Online, Mass Effect, Need for Speed Undercover and EA Sports FIFA Manager 2009. Upcoming titles include Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space and Red Alert 3. These join Crysis and Crysis Warhead that went up back in September.
The second half of the headline is EA announcing cutbacks they plan to implement before the end of March 2009. They have already closed Black Box and moved some of the people to another studio. Although there were rumors of Need for Speed games being cancelled I personally have a hard time believing that since not long ago the NFS games were their top selling game worldwide, even beating Madden. EA plans to cut 10% of its jobs (or 1000 jobs) as well as close nine studios and locations. Outside of Black Box there has been no word on other studios closing. One would believe developers like Maxis, Tiburon, Criterion (who are rumored to be working on the next NFS game) and EA Redwood Shores would be spared, but who knows. It is just so sad that when EA moves forward creatively it gets hit by bad economic times.
Source: Steamed Games (Joystiq) and EA Announces Upcoming Cuts (Joystiq)
Street Fighter IV Full Character List Revealed
With the announcement of Rose as the final 25th character, we now have the full list of characters playable on the console versions of Street Fighter IV coming February 17, 2009 to the 360 and PS3. Here is the list:
Abel, Akuma, Balrog, Blanka, Cammy, Chun-Li, Crimson Viper, Dan, Dhalsim, E. Honda, El Fuerte, Fei-Long, Gen, Gouken, Guile, Ken, M. Bison, Rose, Rufus, Ryu, Sagat, Sakura, Seth, Vega and Zangief.
That’s a pretty good lineup, although a lot of SFIII and Alpha characters are left twisting in the wind. Capcom has been riding high on the SF horse lately with over 250k buys of the HD remaking of SF II Turbo and we’ll finally see a good joystick with the release of this game.
Metal Gear Solid Touch Announced
We got all excited when Kojima put up a little puzzle on his site and now we know that the game coming out is not the rumored Metal Gear Solid 5, but an MGS game for the iPod Touch and iPhone coming in 2009. Kojima calls it a simple shooter and to be honest, the iPod application stuff is exploding out there and this should be no surprise that major gaming companies are looking toward that platform as well with the number of Touch and iPhones out there.