This week in Rumors
With 2014 being the first full year of the new console generation, all eyes are on game publishers to deliver the huge blockbuster experiences new owners demand, and according to the latest rumors, weve got plenty of treats in store before 2015.
Will a new Assassins Creed make a splash with Atlantic Ocean adventures? Will Far Cry 4 take gamers out of the jungle and into snowy mountains? Will Facebook use its new ownership powers to mess with the Oculus Rift? And will a former PS3 horror game be Sonys first virtual reality blockbuster on PS4? All that and more in this weeks rumor roundup...
PS4 to get pre-release download feature in April update
The Rumor: Infamous: Second Son developer Sucker Punch has said via its official Twitter feed that PS4 will get pre-downloading features for PSN titles in April. Oddly, however, Sony itself is reluctant to confirm the news. "We know that it is the feature you've been asking for and we are considering it accordingly," a rep told Polygon, clearly unwilling to confirm any such plan. We do not have specific details to announce at this point in time, but stay tuned for upcoming announcements about system updates and added features, they added.
Our Take: This is an odd one, since it came from the Twitter feed of a first-party Sony developer. Thats a pretty significant authority. But when the platform holder itself refuses to confirm the news, were inclined to suspect the Twitter poster may have spoken prematurely of a feature thats not yet completely locked in and--perhaps--stands a chance of being delayed. Companies dont like the word delay, so we assume Sony will say nothing about it until the feature is a sure thing. Its worth noting though that the Sucker Punch Tweets haven't been deleted.
The Last of Us getting PS4 re-release
The Rumor: According to the software marketing manager within PlayStation Eurasia, Naughty Dog is developing a PS4 version of The Last of Us. The Turkish PlayStation spokesperson let slip that the PS4 version will see a release in Summer. "There is no information about a new The Last of Us game but I can share this knowledge: as of this summer, The Last of Us will be on the PS4. Both on PSN and physically," he said, according to IGN translations.
Our Take: Its another sort-of-official-but-not-quite rumor, since these are reportedly the words of a man who has Sonys logo on his business card. On actual official terms, Sony has announced no such release. But Naughty Dog is known to be working on an Uncharted sequel for PS4, so at the very least its sure to be knee deep in development with PS4 tech.
Far Cry 4 set in the Himalayas
The Rumor: Ubisofts next open-world entry in the Far Cry series, the still unannounced Far Cry 4, will take gamers to the snow covered mountaintops of the Himalayas, according to a Eurogamer report citing "sources familiar with the project." It is also claimed that the game will be revealed at E3 this June, and will release before the end of March 2015 on PC and next-gen consoles.
Our Take: There have been whispers of a Himalayas setting for Far Cry 4 before, and this latest report backs up those claims. Around four years separated the release of Far Cry 2 and 3, the latter of which released in November/December 2012. If Ubisoft Montreal is cooking up another Far Cry sequel, a 2015 next-gen launch sounds like good timing to us.
PS4 sales boosted significantly by Infamous: Second Son
The Rumor: The release of Sucker Punchs Infamous: Second Son has given the PS4 a significant sale sales boost, according to early reports out of the UK. Figures are yet to be officially confirmed, but according to retail sources UK PS4 sales increased 106 percent in the week ending March 22. And this all happened in the month when Xbox One got high profile release Titanfall, was expected to turn around PS4s chart dominance.
Our Take: With both next-gen consoles having received their first major post-launch exclusives this month, Marchs hardware sales figures will be very interesting indeed. US NPD figures wont arrive for a few weeks yet, but in UKs weekly charts, Titanfall debuted at no. 1 in its opening week, before dropping last week into third place thanks to Infamous and Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes. Which console will take March? Place your bets...
Facebook branding to rub off on the Oculus Rift
The Rumor: As the internet was set ablaze with the furor surrounding Facebooks acquisition of Oculus VR this week, the New York Times fanned the flames with word that Facebook intends to "rebrand" the Oculus Rift VR headset and its user interface. This, claims the report, came from someone who was involved in the acquisition process.
Our Take: We find it hard to imagine what a so-called Facebook interface would look like for a VR unit, but for now, raging Oculus fans can take some comfort in Facebooks denial of the report--a spokesperson saying that such claims are not in the spirit of our relationship."
More Assassins Creed Comet details leak
The Rumor: New details for Assassins Creed: Comet, an unannounced game purportedly planned for release on PS3 and Xbox 360 later this year, leaked this week suggesting the game will star a sailor and Templars member named Shay. According to reports, Shay will sail up and down the Atlantic coast in a timeframe around 1758. New York will reportedly be one of the cities Shay will visit, among other East Coast US locations.
Our Take: Two Assassins Creed titles were leaked last week, AC: Unity has since been confirmed, while AC: Comet remains a rumor. Regardless, these leaks seem fairly solid. Well be expecting official word on this in the coming weeks--if not sooner.
Steam Greenlight will be ceased within a year
The Rumor: Valve will abandon Steam Greenlight, its user voting-powered publishing system, within 12 months. This is according to Curve Studios design director Jonathan "Bidds" Biddle, who says this was info from Valve itself given during meetings at GDC.
Our Take: Valve boss man Gabe Newell has already confirmed that the company intends to make Greenlight go away, as it plans to evolve Steam into a more open platform with publicly curated storefronts. In that case, Greenlights demise could end up being good news for indies.
PS3 horror game Until Dawn switched to PS4 Morpheus VR title
The Rumor: Until Dawn, a horror game originally revealed in 2012 as a PS Move-enabled title for PS3, has been transitioned over to PS4 and will be a Project Morpheus title, according to a Polygon report citing anonymous sources.
Our Take: The game was originally scheduled for a 2013 release, but weve seen nothing of it since a trailer released in November 2012, which certainly suggests something is up. And its premise--a dark horror in which the Move controller translates your hand movements to that of your in-game character who holds a torch--is a perfect fit for VR. Were excited to see what developer Supermassive Games has cooked up.
Whats your take?
Do you think Facebooks purchase of Oculus VR is a good or bad thing? Does an Atlantic Assassins Creed sound exciting to you? Would you buy a PS4 version of The Last of Us? And which console do you think will win the March sales race? Let us know in the comments below.
Want more? Heres Lucas Sullivan on why he believes Facebook's $2 billion purchase of Oculus VR is a good thing. And Andy Hartup discusses what AAA games can learn from the six-month Watch Dogs delay.