This Week in Video Games: Nintendo President Passes Away, Console War Stiffens, GTA V Astonishes, And MOAR!
It’s not surprising that we are in the midst of the most exciting season in gaming in a long time. It’s fall, and with the holidays closing in, just about every blockbuster release is going to be hitting stores in the next few months. This year, however, seems to be a bit special, bigger than ever before, as Sony and Microsoft have their consoles release dates just around the corner, and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are surely looking to reshape the landscape of video games and entertainment. I’m not sure we could’ve picked a better time to introduce this weekly video game feature, as we’ve undoubtedly just witnessed one of the most epic weeks in video games, with the release of the much-anticipated Grand Theft Auto 5. But, that’s not all; there’s plenty more that happened this week in the wonderful world of video games that YOU need to know!
Let’s get the sad news out of the way first: Nintendo’s former president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, passed away at the age of 85. Yamauchi made the choice to change Nintendo from a trading card company to a video game company when he took over in 1949, and was the man behind everything from the NES to the GameCube.
Ubisoft is moving forward with yet another video game- movie adaptation, with the Michael Bay-produced Ghost Recon film. We still don’t have word on whether or not Bay will direct the movie, but it seems likely. The announcement probably won’t be much of a shock to most, as Ubisoft has been trying to turn their prominent game titles into movies, with the Assassin’s Creed adaptation set to begin filming next year, and even the yet-to-debut IP, Watch_Dogs, has a film in the works.
This week was huge for consoles as well, and both the PS4 and the Xbox One were shown off at Tokyo Game Show 2013 this week. The competition between the two consoles is getting stiffer as the we move closer to their releases, and both of the next generation consoles tried to sweeten the pot a bit in an effort to sway gamers to their side. Sony confirmed that its console will have motion and voice control, like the Xbox One, through its PlayStation camera, and that HDMI recording will be supported some time after launch. Another interesting tidbit is that, through the Xbox One’s pass-through port, “any HDMI device” can be played through the “snap” feature, including a PlayStation 4, if you aren’t fulfilled by playing just one game at a time.
For those of you who are feeling a bit nostalgic, could care less about the two big-hitters, or are interested in having the Frankenstein’s monster of video game consoles, then Hyperkin’s RetroN 5 may be for you! This monstrosity combines a bunch of old game systems (NES, SNES, Genesis, Famicom, Game Boy Advance, Super Famicom, Mega Drive, Game Boy Color and Game Boy cartridges) into one mega-console, so you don’t have to take up your entire living room with these classic consoles. At $99, it won’t break the bank to pick this up when it drops on Dec. 10th.
Easily the biggest game this year, and seemingly a shoe-in for Game of the Year, Grand Theft Auto 5 (Nerd Bastards Review) released this week to absolutely red-hot reception. Selling $800,000,000 in just 24 hours, and breaking the $1,000,000,000 mark in 3 days, shattering records all across not only the gaming industry, but throughout all of entertainment. The game isn’t just a commercial success, and is equally matched by the flood of positive reviews that the game has been getting this week.
While I haven’t been able to play the game as much as I’d like (because I’d like to be able to never stop playing it), it’s quickly becoming clear why the game is such a success. The gameplay isn’t really anything new, admittedly, and is almost an amalgam of Grand Theft Auto IV, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the latter of which also shares GTA V‘s setting. The game plays almost identical to GTA IV, with necessary and logical improvements, but brings back the complex customization that was featured in GTA: SA.
The game looks great and plays beautifully, but its characters and the voice actors who bring them to life is where the game really shines. The GTA series has always been known for its unbelievable realism and attention to detail, and Rockstar further refines those traits in this latest entry. Of course, when your budget is bigger than any game and most movies ever made, you can expect this sort of quality. So, Bastards, what are your thoughts on this past week in the world of video games?