A Week in Gaming: New consoles, Apple smartwatches and Valve layoffs
It’s been another big week for gaming. Sony is set to announce something big — PlayStation 4? While it launched Steam for Linux, Valve also has made several layoffs.
It’s been another big week for gaming. Next week will probably be even bigger. Sony is set to announce something big. It’s not clear what, but we’re guessing it’s going to be the PlayStation 4. We will know on Feb. 20 for sure. For now, all we can do is wonder.
Apple SmartWatch Rumors Emerge
We’ve heard rumors of some wearable Apple devices. This may have been triggered by consumer love for the last-gen iPod nano as a watch. Now it’s said that Apple is working on a smartwatch. If the rumors are accurate, it will be curved glass and run on iOS. Let’s see if Apple doesn’t scrap this one. Link
Teases at new PlayStation games
A few PlayStation developers have already teasing at new games, according to reports. Two employees from MotorStorm developer Evolution teased on Twitter about Sony’s Feb. 20 PlayStation event. Media Molecule has also updated its website. Media Molecule makes LittleBigPlanet and is working on Tearaway for the Vita. Its website was updated with a new mystery title under the “games” page. Any upcoming games are likely related to next week’s Sony event, which is likely our first look at the PlayStation 4. Link
EA executive says next-gen consoles likely won’t have backward compatibility
Being that this is coming from an executive at one of the biggest game publishers globally, it’s worth paying some attention to. Blake Jorgensen spoke to investors earlier this week about the next generation of consoles. He said that it’s very likely that future consoles won’t have backward compatibility. This was made popular with the PlayStation 2 and has become somewhat of an expectation of gamers for new consoles. Link
Will gamers buy a console that doesn’t play used games?
According to a GameStop poll, 60 percent of gamers won’t buy a console that doesn’t play used games. It’s not clear how the poll was conducted. This is also a poll of GameStop customers, many of which tend to go to the store because it carries used games. It’s an interesting poll, but if rumors of new consoles killing the playback of used games are true, this could make for interesting results in the game industry. Link
Valve lays off several employees
Valve laid off several employees earlier this week. The move was mainly to its hardware and Android departments. According to Valve boss Gabe Newell, the developer is not canceling anything, and they aren’t changing any current projects.
Valve worked with Xi3 to develop the Piston or “Steam Box,” as many call it. There is also a Steam app for Android. Link
Next Xbox rumors say Kinect required for console
According to the latest Xbox rumors, the new console will need Kinect to function. However, the motion-sensing input device will ship with every unit. It’s also said that the new sensor is much more accurate than the previous one.
It’s also said that the next Xbox will support multitasking. That means it will be able to run several apps simultaneously. Link
PS4 controller rumor
The above photo is reportedly a PlayStation 4 controller. It’s said to be a prototype and may change in the future (I hope so–It’s fugly.)
It has a touchpad and what looks like a light at the end for PlayStation Move-controlled games. Sony should be detailing the system next week. What’s worth noting is that several sites have confirmed with multiple sources that this is real. Again, it’s a real prototype. That doesn’t mean it’s a real version of what will finally ship. Link
The Valve layoffs surprised me. It can’t possibly be hurting for money, steam is a cash-cow. It must be some internal (read: non-disclosed) projects that got shut down.
What didn’t surprise me is that EA execs think consoles won’t be backwards compatible. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have already set the trend with this. Why would they want to let you insert last-generation discs and play old games, when they can instead force you to re-buy the game in digital form from their built-in appstore? Highly unethical, but the bottom-line is all that matters when you’re working with a publicly traded company.
What you have to begin to wonder is, is Valve making more money creating its own games or running the App Store? Not sure where the layoffs were however you need to begin asking the question — what is their primary business?