This is the news
Were only days into 2014, yet this week could perhaps have delivered some of the most important announcements of the year. Sony unveils its cloud gaming revolution with one monumental surprise promise, and Valve uncovers 13 Steam Machines at a busy event in Las Vegas.
Also, the internet causes a stir when it thinks Halo 5 has been delayed, and went mental when a certain Xbox One shooter was confirmed to have only 6v6 multiplayer matches. This is GamesRadars roundup of the biggest news stories making waves through the industry this week, and what a wild ride its been.
Left 4 Dead developer reveals Evolve
With Left 4 Dead 2 having shipped in 2009, its been a while since developer Turtle Rock Studios launched a game. Its been beavering away quietly all this time and, as revealed this week, Evolve is the result (opens in new tab).
Similarly to L4D, Evolve is a co-op-focused multiplayer shooter, pitching players as alien hunters who fight to survive their encounters with a formidable enemy; a player-controller monster that grows bigger and more threatening as each level progresses. Each hunter has their own special abilities, and working together will be crucial. The game is due out on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this fall.
Sony reveals cloud gaming service PlayStation Now
Sony rocked the boat this week with the unveiling of PlayStation Now (opens in new tab), its new Gaikai-powered, subscription-based cloud gaming service. Due for launch in US this summer, PS Now will let you stream PS3 games (similarly to OnLive) for play on Vita, PS3, PS4 and even Sony Bravia TVs on a per-game rental basis or for an all-access monthly subscription.
But thats only the beginning. The service will later support PS1, PS2 and eventually PS4 games (opens in new tab). Even more shocking is Sonys promise to expand the service to non-Sony devices including smartphones and tablets. In time, then, you will be able to play PlayStation games without even owning a PlayStation. Is this the future?
PS4 tops Xbox One in 2013 global sales race
Both Microsoft and Sony enjoyed successful console launches in November last year, but the big question was; which one sold the most by the end of the year? Gamers answered that question with their wallets.
The Xbox One, which launched in 13 markets on November 22, finished the year with around 3 million units sold globally (opens in new tab). This trailed the PS4, which managed 4.2 million sales (opens in new tab) between its November 15 US debut and the New Year fireworks. PS4 launches in Japan on February 22 (theres still no date for Xbox), which will likely give Sonys console a further sales boost.
Sega reveals first-person horror Alien: Isolation
Alien fans dont really have a lot to shout about when it comes to video games adapted from the series. But Sega hopes (and looks set) to buck that trend with Alien Isolation - a new first-person survival horror from Creative Assembly (opens in new tab).
Instead of running around blasting hordes of aliens, Isolation sees you trapped in a space station with just a single Xenomorph. Hunted by this intelligent, formidable beast and armed with no weaponry whatsoever, every move you make will be tense as you attempt to avoid the alien at all costs. Creative Assembly aims to recapture the tension of Ridley Scott's 1979 classic, and by the looks of it theyve succeeded. Its set for release on PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in late 2014.
Valve unveils 13 Steam Machines at CES
After years of speculation, months of teasing and weeks of anticipation, Valve used the CES expo in Las Vegas to finally unveil over a dozen Steam Machines (opens in new tab) gamers will be seeing on shelves in 2014.
Pictures, pricing and specs were detailed for 13 third-party units, all differing greatly in looks, performance and price (from $500 up to over $6000). Alienware, Digital Storm, Origin and Alternate were among the 14 companies officially confirmed to be releasing Valve-approved Steam Machines this year, each one running Valves Linux-based SteamOS and shipping with an official, and quite bizarre, Steam Controller (opens in new tab).
Titanfall multiplayer gets 6v6 limit, players hit the roof
In an industry that thrives on offering more and more each year, it can be a volatile place when trying to explain why a game might be better offering less. Thats the uphill battle Respawn Entertainment faced this week when the internet raged over confirmation that its much-anticipated shooter Titanfall will feature multiplayer matches with a max of 12 players (opens in new tab).
Responding to fan criticism, Titanfall producer Drew McCoy explained (opens in new tab) that the limitation was a matter of achieving ideal balance. "We tried a huge amount of player counts (all the way down to 1v1 and up quite high) and designed the maps, gameplay mechanics, and entire experience around which played best, he said. For the amount of stuff happening at once in a map you'll be hard pressed to find a game that keeps the action higher.
Microsoft confirms Halo 5 will be out in 2014
Microsoft was forced to spring to action this week after a simple misconception--or clumsy oversight, you choose--caused internet folk to sound the alarms over a feared delay to Halo 5.
In a statement regarding Xbox Ones 2014 outlook, Microsoft exec Yusif Mehdi listed several games headed to the platform while neglecting to mention the previously-announced Halo sequel. Must mean it's not coming out this year then, right? Not at all, insists Microsoft. Halo's omission from the statement was simply because the game still lacks a proper title, not because its delayed, promised Microsoft's senior PR manager for Halo, Rob Semsey. "Rest assured your next Halo journey WILL begin in 2014," he said in response to the uproar (opens in new tab).
A glimpse into the future
Thats our roundup of the biggest news of the week, and what a busy few days its been. Check back next week for another collection of the headlines that matter most in gaming.
Are you getting a Steam Machine? See what GamesRadar thinks of Valves PC gaming revolution right here (opens in new tab). Also, we ponder the critical revelation and wider-reaching implications of Sonys ambitious PlayStation Now service here (opens in new tab).