Horizon Forbidden West Leaked Weeks Before Release

Horizon Forbidden West, arguably the biggest release of the nascent Playstation 5 era has leaked online.

On Monday, January 10, 2022, images of the purported PlayStation 4 version began circulating on social media. Only hours later, the images were pulled from Twitter following a request from “the copyright holder,” which only adds to the veracity of the images.

There is still no news if an early build of the game is circulating online.

Horizon Forbidden West officially launches February 18, 2022.

[Source: VGC]

A Harry Potter MMO Was Cancelled by EA Leadership in the Early 2000s Because They Thought The Brand Was a Fad

Harry Potter is a massive brand. The books have spawned movies, theme parks, and now a spinoff series of movies. The franchise is not going anywhere, but in the early 2000s, Electronic Arts thought the brand was just a fad that would never last, canceling an MMO they had in the works.

The game was in development between 2000 and 2003, just prior to the release of the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Perhaps it was all for the best. EA would probably have ruined it.

[Source: OGL: Original Gamer Life]

GoldenEye 007 Xbox Achievements Have Appeared Online – Announcement Imminent?

Achievement tracking website, TrueAchievements has revealed that two accounts by the names “BIGsheep” and “xtinamcgrath” have unlocked achievements in an unannounced Goldeneye 007 on Xbox. It also just so happens that the Gamertags “BIGsheep” and “xtinamcgrath” belong to Rare employees James Thomas and Christina McGrath.

Of course, this could mean nothing, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

[Source: TrueAchievements]

Sony Acquires Another Support Studio

Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced via Twitter that it has acquired Valkyrie Entertainment.

Valkyrie Entertainment, which was founded in 2002, has primarily been a support studio, working with Sony, Microsoft, and Warner Bros, working on franchises like Batman: Arkham Origins, Injustice 2Middle Earth: Shadow of WarHalo Infinite, Forza Motorsport 2, Infamous 2, and God of War. That is indeed quite the resume.

[Source: Twitter]

Sony Announces Official Covers for the Playstation – Coming January 2022

Sony has announced that it is releasing its own console covers for the PS5, which will aid in making their technologically impressive console less fugly.

Priced at $55 a piece, the covers will come in five different colors; red, blue, purple, pink, and black. However, if you choose any color other than black (or maybe red), then you are missing the point. The idea is to make the console look BETTER, not worse.

The new plates will start appearing on store shelves globally in January 2022, which seems to be a miss on Sony’s part, as these would make good stocking stuffers, but what do I know.

Sony says that replacing the covers are easy, simply pop the current white cover off, click the new one on and boom. I can confirm that it really is that easy, as I replaced the ugly white plates with black ones from a 3rd party about a year ago, because looking at the PS5 in its original state was an assault on my eyes.

[Source: Sony]

Masayuki Uemura, Console Creator Pioneer at Nintendo Passes

Masayuki Uemura, the lead architect behind the NES and SNES, has passed away on Monday, December 6, 2021 according to a statement from Ritsumeikan University.

Uemura was born in Tokyo in 1943. He studied electronic engineering at the Chiba Institute of Technology and joined Nintendo in 1971. Once at Nintendo he was tasked with developing a hom console that could play Nintendo games which at that point were only available in arcades.

His work ultimately materialized in the Famicom in 1983, known in the US as the NES. He also worked on the successor Super Famicom (SNES) which was released in Japan in 1990.

[Source: Ritsumeikan University]

Sony Fires Playstation Executive Allegedly Caught on Video in Pedophilia Sting Operation

Sony has fired a senior vice president who worked on the Playstation Network when he was allegedly caught in an amateur pedophilia sting video.

George Cacioppo, who was a senior vice president of engineering at Sony for the past eight years was caught allegedly trying to arrange a meeting with a person claiming to be a 15-year-old boy. The video was uploaded to YouTube channel People v. Preds on December 3, 2021.

Screencapture: LinkedIn

According to People v. Preds, Cacioppo allegedly spoke with a person who claimed to be a 15-year-old minor on Grindr. Cacioppo allegedly exchanged photos and discussed sex acts, according to screenshots from People v. Preds. Cacioppo then allegedly provided his address and the decoy said he would Uber to his location, where Cacioppo was waiting outside. 

People v. Preds have provided their evidence to San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

[Source: People v. Preds]

Looks Like “Spartacus” is Sony’s Answer to Xbox Game Pass

According to a report from Bloomberg, Sony’s working on a service to rival Xbox Game Pass. You can go ahead and file this under the “it was a bad idea until we decided to do it” category.

Known internally within Sony as “Spartacus,” subscribers will pay a monthly fee to access a catalog of modern and classic titles. The targetted launch for the service is Spring 2022 and Sony plans to merge its two existing services, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, into one.

According to Bloomberg, Sony plans to break the service into three tiers, which doesn’t seem like the wisest decision, but things may change between now and launch. The first tier will include essentially what is PlayStation Plus. The second tier will include access to a catalog of PS4 and PS5 titles. The third tier will include demos, game streaming, and a back catalog of classic PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP games.

Sony has a long way to go to compete with Microsoft in the subscription service arena. Xbox Game Pass is wildly successful and Microsoft is all-in on the service, releasing first-party titles day and date of release. Not to mention, Microsoft has been on a bit of a spending spree, acquiring publishers to bolster their internally produced exclusive titles. There is no word whether Sony plans to include their impressive internally produced exclusives day and date like God of War, Last of Us, Horizon, etc…, but I doubt it.

Competition spurs creativity, so the outcome will only be good for gamers.

[Source: Bloomberg]

Bethesda Drops a 7-Minute ‘Starfield’ Featurette

Bethesda’s highly anticipated Xbox Series X/S and PC exclusive is still a year away, but they have offered up a little behind-the-scenes sneak peek.

The seven-minute mini-documentary titled Into the Starfield: The Endless Pursuit, features Game Director Todd Howard, Studio Director Angela Browder, and Art Director Matt Carofano. The trio discusses how science fiction is a bit of a departure for Bethesda Game Studios. They also detail how the studio’s staff’s ambitions, passions, and history have helped to shape Starfield.

The video offers up very little in terms of gameplay, but there was an interesting anecdote from Todd Howard. He teases that Starfield has “two step-out moments.”

What are these so-called “step-out” moments? We have to wait just under a year to find out.

Starfield launches on November 11, 2022.

[Source: Bethesda]

Master Chief is Looking Badass in the Latest Halo Infinite Campaign Trailer

With the official launch just a week away, 343 Industries dropped one more campaign trailer for Halo Infinite and boy does Master Chief looks like a total badass.

The trailer also gives a bit more insight into the story, which has been kept well under wraps by the dev team.

Halo Infinite launches on December 8, 2021, and like all Microsoft exclusives, will be available day and date on Xbox Game Pass.

As a bonus, Microsoft has also announced via a blog post that subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will gain access to monthly bonuses for Halo Infinite. That should help gamers level up a bit quicker.

[Source: Microsoft]