This week in rumors
Battlefield fans have one hell of a treat in store if this weeks rumor of a drastic series spin-off are true. Plus, is Sega holding out on another major Sonic announcement? Will Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Chewbacca be stars in an unannounced Disney Infinity sequel?
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes longevity is called into question, an actual Sony employee mentions the firms unannounced VR headset, and Take-Two tackles ongoing questioning over Grand Theft Auto V on PC. Will they ever announce it? Get our take in this weeks rumor round-up.
New Sonic game coming to PS4 and Xbox One
The Rumor: Sega announced a new 'Sonic Boom' game this week, but it isnt the only Sonic title in production at the house of Sonic, it seems. A new Sonic game is in development for PS4, Xbox One and Wii U (opens in new tab), according to a recent leak. The information emerged out a German toy convention, where toy company Jazwares displayed promotional material which listed a new 2015 title TBA for the three new consoles.
Our Take: The recently-announced Sonic Boom game is the third of a three-game deal between Sega and Nintendo, revealed exclusively for Wii U and 3DS. So it would appear, with the inclusion of Xbox One and PS4 in this leak, that it points to an entirely separate development, perhaps being handled by Segas main Sonic Team studio, as Sonic Boom has been outsourced to Californian studios Big Red Button Entertainment (Wii U) and Sanzaru Games (3DS). The same promotional material also listed details of Segas Sonic Boom TV series which hadnt been publicly announced at the time, adding to the legitimacy of the toy companys knowledge. We expect more announcements from Sega real soon. And hopefully Knuckles wont look so deformed.
Police-themed Battlefield game coming 2015
The Rumor: DICE has handed its precious Battlefield series over to California-based Dead Space developer Visceral Games for a police-themed sequel (opens in new tab), according to a report. The game is said to be codenamed Havana and is targeting a release in 2015, which would leave players enough time to play out Battlefield 4 and its upcoming DLC content.
Our Take: There has been much speculation over how EA will annualize its first-person shooter properties after having announced in January 2013 that it would withdraw investment in its Medal of Honor titles, essentially yanking it from rotation. Bringing in a second developer to work on Battlefield would certainly be taking a leaf out of Activisions book, which has multiple studios working on Call of Duty games. And with no further details offered, its up you to imagine how a Battlefield game with cops might work, but were imagining cops vs. criminals with gangs instead of squads, and much urban warfare.
Disney Infinity 2 coming with Star Wars, Marvel characters
The Rumor: A Disney Infinity sequel is already in development (opens in new tab), hints the Disney Careers site. The firm has posted a listing seeking testers familiar with Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Wii U to join Avalanche Studios--the house behind the first Disney Infinity title. This also appears to back up a recent Wall Street Journal report, which claimed a new Disney Infinity is in development and will feature Star Wars and Marvel characters.
Our Take: With the new platforms included in the brief, the Disney job ad certainly hints at an entirely new game as oppose to DLC packs for the first game. And with 3 million copies of that game sold in US alone, it would come as no surprise if a Disney Infinity sequel was in the works. But the inclusion of Star Wars and Marvel characters would be an awesome draw for those with the first game. Sure, Disney Infinity is for kids, but could you resist buying little Star Wars figurines?
EverQuest Next could support Sonys unannounced VR headset
The Rumor: Sonys long-rumored (opens in new tab) virtual reality headset was rather casually brought up by Sony Online Entertainment president (opens in new tab) John Smedley this week during a discussion over possible compatibility with EverQuest Next, reigniting speculation that the firm may reveal its Oculus Rift competitor soon. Sony reportedly planned to unveil its VR tech at Gamescom in August 2013, and then in Tokyo Game Show in September before pushing back its reveal to 2014.
Our Take: Sony has a new headset in the works, theres almost no question. Its just a matter of when it will be revealed and how deeply it will tie the headset to its PS4 campaign. Sony could use its as another selling point against Xbox One, but if it does so the asking price will be critical. It will need to be affordable to appeal to the wider console crowd.
Take-Two brushes off GTA V on PC questions
The Rumor: GTA V coming to PC is not a new rumor--it has the been the big question since even before the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions were released. This week, however, Take-Two CEO Karl Slatoff was asked directly (opens in new tab) about the unannounced port. Unfortunately for mouse-keyboard types, Slatoffs answer was less than thrilling: "At this point there's really nothing for us to say about that. We haven't announced anything as it relates to any other platforms versus what's out there."
Our Take: Were sure there are some very smart people in an office somewhere who have this all planned out in a way thats best for business, but it is sometimes hard to understand corporate behavior. Slatoff admitted that GTA IV was a success for the company, and GTA V is the fastest-selling entertainment product of all time--surely a PC version is inevitable. Just tell us its happening and when, Rockstar, and well all stop pestering you.
MS dismisses cheaper Xbox One rumor
The Rumor: Stemming from last week, rumors circulated via a prominent Microsoft leak that the firm has plans to release a cheaper version of the Xbox One in 2014. It was indicated that the firm will drop its price by around $100 to $399, crucially aligning it with the PS4. But speaking with fans on Twitter, Aaron Greenberg, chief of staff for devices and studios group at Microsoft brushed off the rumor (opens in new tab). "No," he replied to questioning, "you cannot believe everything you read on the internet".
Our Take: Some of the many claims of last weeks Microsoft whistleblower were more widely corroborated than others. Word of a Halo 2 HD remake (opens in new tab), for example, was heavily backed up, while the claim of a cheaper Xbox One was not. Wed be hugely surprised if Microsoft brought a cheaper Xbox One offering to market inside its first 12 months of life, but then the Xbox One story has already seen greater twists.
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is 2 hours short
The Rumor: If reports are to be believed, Metal Gear Solid 4 has cutscenes that almost outlast the entire campaign in Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. According to a preview (opens in new tab) in Game Informer magazine, the main story can be completed in less than two hours. That is, however, apparently without tackling any of the games side-missions or bonus content. Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima quickly addressed fan concern (opens in new tab), assuring saying the game includes the main mission alongside 5 Side Ops, with other replayability value. I believe people will be satisfied with the 'play time' of GZ and will not stress the 'clear time, he added.
Our Take: Ground Zeroes is supposed to serve as just an introduction to the full sequel, Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain. We expect it to be short. Admittedly, two hours does seem a little too short, but its worth noting that, playing games under the time constraints of a press event, journalists tend to rush to see as much of a game as possible, instead of exploring at a normal pace as they may otherwise do. Open-world gameplay and exploration is the major new feature of Ground Zeroes.
Whats your take?
Does Microsoft risk irreparably damaging relationships with its most loyal following--early Xbox One Adopters--by releasing a cheaper SKU so soon, or is the longer battle with PS4 more important? Does a cop-themed Battlefield incite squeaks of excitement or cheek-slapping facepalms? Would you be excited for a new-generation Sonic game? Give us your take in the comments below.
Want more? For further discussion, here's how rumored Marvel and Star Wars toys get more adults to play Disney Infinity (opens in new tab) and a discussion on what Double Helix can do for Amazon's venture into games (opens in new tab).