Weekend News in Brief (1/1 edition)

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Well, as the year’s officially ticked over into 2016, we have a couple items on the Oculus Rift, Steam details of account exposure, a couple companies reversing recent trends back into the gaming market, and FF IX coming to phones/PC. Click Continue Reading…

Let’s get to the news.

Lucky’s Tale, a game similar in feel to Mario 64, has been announced as the second Oculus Rift pack-in game. By similar in feel, I mean a 3D 3rd person character in a Virtual World. The first pack-in game, EVE: Valkyrie had been announced back in early December.

It’s not all beer and skittles for VR fans, however, as their unique control system, the Oculus Touch, has been delayed until the second half of 2016. Pre orders for the Rift are scheduled to open sometime soon for a Q1 2016 release.

 

And in another reversal of previous trends, a MMO actually went away from the Free to Play model, as Albion Online is retooling the game to be a more traditional modeled MMO. However, the closed beta period for the game has been extended six months, to August 1st, 2016. So if there’s no further delays, we’re looking at late 2016 (No MMO probably wants to release around the period where Legion releases, which is currently scheduled to be done by September 21st).

There are persistent rumors that Microsoft is planning a “lightweight” version of the XBox One to compete with lower end gaming platforms, such as Apple TV. The rumored system would be a disc-less system, and only be able to play Windows Store games. Hopefully, if true they name it something that DOESN’T have Xbox One in the name, to avoid brand confusion. The cynic in me says that Microsoft will do that, and then try to claim victory in the console wars by claiming all sales under the Xbox One banner (lightweight and normal) versus the PS4. But that’s just me. I’m cynical.

Speaking of the rumor mill,  there is an uncomfirmed report that Activision Blizzard has acquired Major League Gaming for a reported $46 million price tag. This likely would see Activision Blizzard fold it into their existing organization to be the “house organ” for tournaments featuring Blizzard’s IP (such as Heroes of the Storm, Warcraft PVP, StarCraft, and the upcoming Overwatch)

Steam has announced the details of the caching issue that potentially exposed 34,000 accounts right before Christmas. While complete identifying information was not leaked from the issue (which was caused by a caching server issue during a DDoS attack), the information that WAS exposed could give attackers a chance to compromise financial information.

The sequel to Consortium will be heading to Kickstarter later this month, as the Kickstarter campaign for Consortium: The Tower will begin on January 18th. No word on what the funding goal will be.

And finally, we will be seeing another Final Fantasy game jump from consoles to other platforms as it was announced that Final Fantasy IX would be coming to PC and mobile devices in 2016. Hopefully they will have learned a lesson from the Final Fantasy V and VI ports, which were panned nearly universally for using the horrible graphics used in the iOS ports. But I’m not counting on it.

That’s a lot of news for so early in the year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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