When Ubisoft showed off Watch Dogs for the first time in 2012, there was no such thing as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Well, okay, they existed in some sense of the word, but both consoles were far from publicly ready, making Watch Dogs an unbelievably pretty game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Unbelievable to the point that many journalists were incredulous about it not being touted as intended for next-gen, but Ubisoft couldn’t say it was headed to unannounced consoles. In so many words, Watch Dogs was essentially the first “next-gen” game shown off…even before the consoles were unveiled. It’s somewhat hilarious then that we’re here to tell you today that Watch Dogs now has a release date — May 27th — after being delayed past the actual launch of the new consoles. It’s unclear if that means all versions (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC and Wii U) will arrive on the same day, though the Wii U version was already given a release date sometime after the other versions. Sorry Wii U, owners!
In a move that won’t surprise Batfanatics, a new Batman game is headed to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC at some point this year. The latest caped crusader game entry is titled Batman: Arkham Knight, and it’s set to complete the trilogy that Rocksteady Games started back in 2009 (which includes Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and doesn’t include Arkham Origins). We’ve dropped the first teaser video below the break, which heavily features both very serious sad talking and a totally sweet Batmobile. We’ll let you decide which is more exciting.
In our count, the first tease shows Penguin, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, and we can hear Scarecrow. That all makes sense given the video’s blurb:
“In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever.”
Source: Warner Bros.
By Japanese game console launch standards, the PlayStation 4 is off to a great start. In the first 48 hours of availability, Japanese console buyers snapped up just under 350,000 PlayStation 4 systems (322,083 to be exact, according to Famitsu). That’s roughly four times what the PlayStation 3 moved at launch back in 2006 and about six times what Xbox 360 sold in 2005 — not too shabby!
That’s just a drop in the bucket for PS4′s worldwide sales thus far, which crested 5 million last week (well ahead of Sony’s sales estimate for its current financial quarter). It also inches the PS4 ever closer to 6 million units sold worldwide, putting it well over the competition’s (admittedly not recently updated) numbers.
You might be wondering, “Why does this matter to me?” It might not! But it certainly doesn’t hurt your chance of playing more great games if the console makers are doing well and facing stiff competition. It’s like the opposite of the slogan for Aliens vs. Predator: Whoever loses, we win!
WWE promised that Americans would be watching body slams and piledrivers on a myriad of devices toward the end of this month, and that moment is finally at hand. WWE Network apps are now available in the US for almost every major platform under the sun, including Android, Apple TV, iOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku players, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. In all cases, you’ll pay $10 per month to stream live wrestling events as well as beyond-the-ring content like documentaries and classic matches. The app also serves as a second screen companion when you’re watching live TV shows. International grappling fans will have to remain patient, however — WWE Network won’t reach other countries until late 2014 or early 2015.
Second screen usage occurs when you use a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, alongside another activity. Nielsen reports that 43 percent of tablet owners and 46 percent of smartphone owners put their devices to work as second screen providers. Video game companies are taking the leap into second screen companion applications for their games, from Battlefield 4′s Battlescreen to Xbox One’s Smartglass experience.
Battlefield’s first person shooter experience, available on Origin.com, has long set itself apart from other franchises through the use of a Battlefield map for the commander’s use. You call in artillery strikes, help coordinate squads, and drop supplies to soldiers. In older versions of the game, you switched to a separate screen on your television or computer monitor to access this mode. With Battlefield 4‘s Battlescreen app, you use an app on your tablet or smartphone to give you access to commander mode, as well as squad and loadout management. This prevents you from getting killed because you’re stuck in the commander screen, and you don’t see what’s going on in your general proximity.
Xbox One Smartglass
Xbox One has split its focus between performing as a video game console and setting itself up as a media powerhouse in your living room. One step Microsoft took in this direction is the Smartglass companion app. This app gives you an additional way to control the Xbox One dashboard, look up information on the game you’re playing or the shows you watch, and provides additional content from the developer for games that provide second screen support.
Playstation 4 Companion App
The Playstation 4 app isn’t as media focused as the Xbox One, but one feature that is particularly useful is the ability to purchase and start game downloads directly from the app. It starts the download on your PS4, as well as downloading any needed updates, so you aren’t waiting an hour for a download when you get home to try a new game. It also provides you with an easier interface for instant messaging with your PS4 friends, as you aren’t limited by the on-screen keyboard or voice chat through your console.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag shipped with a companion app that exists to supplement the main experience and contribute to immersion. Many handy resources such as the world map were shifted to the companion app, so you don’t have to leave the main screen to check your location. In addition, you have access to the lore and story database to get more involved with the game even when you’re not playing. Finally, this app offers fleet management so you send your ships off for trades and treasure while you’re away from the console.
Dead Rising 3
Dead Rising 3 has a Smartglass compatible app that is actually integrated into the game world itself. Since your character uses a phone, you essentially use the phone that they are toting around ingame. NPCs give you missions by calling you up, and you also have maps and hints to help out.
Like so many games launching at the end of 2013 and throughout 2014, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes straddles both last generation (Xbox 360/PlayStation 3) and the current one we’ve just entered (Xbox One/PlayStation 4). Given Metal Gear‘s history of gorgeous visuals, the question asked itself: what will Ground Zeroes look like on aging game consoles compared to the new shiny ones? It turns out that Kojima Products, the studio behind Ground Zeroes, has exactly the answer we were looking for in the form of a brand new comparison video.
If anything, we’re most shocked by how great it still looks on the older consoles! Of course, for those of you still fighting the console wars, there’s the (negligible) difference between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to analyze. Head below to take a look for yourself.
Sony’s prediction that it would move 5 million PlayStation 4s before the end of the fiscal year turned out to be on target. It just announced 5.3 million of the next-gen consoles sold worldwide as of February 8th, all before the PS4 launches in Japan on the 22nd. The PS4 has held the overall next-gen hardware sales lead since it launched in November, and appears to be extending the gap on the Xbox One during these early stages of the war. We haven’t received exact US sales figures yet, but the PS4 sold the most units in January, and worldwide had 4.2 million sold at the end of 2013. Pushing over a million more new systems in just over a month is no small feat, and Sony’s upcoming launch in its home country is sure to expand that total. Once we have the system in our home however, it’s software and services that will be most important in getting use out of those boxes. Right now Microsoft is putting its next-gen eggs in the Titanfall basket, but Sony is pushing PlayStation Plus with its first-ever commercial for the service (embedded after the break), plus exclusive games on the way including Driveclub and Infamous: Second Son.
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Sony and Kojima Productions collaborated on the first limited edition PS4 console, which will arrive exclusively for Japan on March 20th to celebrate the launch of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Click the link for more.
Harmonix, the studio behind Guitar Hero and Rock Band, hopes to chart new territory with its new rhythm-based, first-person shooter called Chroma. And if you’re scratching your head as to what that means, you’re not alone! Click on through for more on the ins and outs of this experimental game.
Philips’ new connected retail lighting might make it easier for customers to navigate stores, using light-based communication to pinpoint those hard-to-find ingredients. Follow the link for more information.
Samsung’s faring well in Greater China it seems. According to the latest numbers from IDC, the company took 19 percent of the mobile market share. Read on for more.
Filed under: Misc
Despite Japan’s rich gaming culture, the new consoles that’ve taken pride of place in your living room are still considered next-gen in the Land of the Rising Sun. While Microsoft still hasn’t offered a firm date for the Xbox One‘s arrival, Sony’s PlayStation 4 makes its Japanese debut this coming weekend. Now, as reparations for the three-month delay, Sony and the snake-charmers (read: game devs) at Kojima Productions have partnered on the first limited edition PS4 console that’ll launch exclusively in Japan on March 20th. This “Fox Edition” PS4 has been crafted to celebrate the launch of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, a copy of which’ll be bundled with the console for 46,980 yen (around $462) — the regular console will retail for 41,979 yen (around $413) sans game, since you asked. Unfortunately, this first limited run PS4 is less impressive re-skinning effort, and more, well, boring sticker.
As it turns out, Microsoft’s lead in US next-generation console sales was short-lived. The NPD has just released estimates which show that the PlayStation 4 outsold the Xbox One during January. Neither the NPD nor Sony is providing exact numbers, although Sony Senior VP Guy Longworth states that PS4 sales were almost twice as high as Microsoft’s. The system was certainly alluring enough to drive game sales during the quarter — the PS4 was the platform of choice for five of the top 10 games, while the Xbox One was never higher than second.
Microsoft also isn’t divulging Xbox One figures, although the NPD tells us that the system was the runner-up in hardware sales. The company can trumpet the strength of the overall Xbox brand, though. Together, the Xbox 360 and Xbox One represented 47 percent of game sales; the Xbox 360 was also the most popular system for five of the top 10 software releases. Nintendo has a silver lining on its dark cloud, too. Game sales for the 3DS and Wii U respectively increased by six and 26 percent year-over-year. That’s no mean feat when overall spending was down by a quarter. Whichever platform you prefer, we wouldn’t declare the console wars over — not when expected system sellers like Titanfall could easily shift the balance of power.
This just in: PS4 the #1 selling game console in the US in January, still #1 worldwide. Thanks, guys! pic.twitter.com/1vOFmtUukX
- PlayStation (@PlayStation) February 13, 2014
per @LuckyLongworth: PS4 was #1 in sales for next gen consoles in January, nearly doubling the nearest next gen competitor.
- Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) February 13, 2014