I’m going to level with you. I don’t play a lot of EA Sports games anymore. EA Sports titles have ceased to feel cutting edge a long time ago, and are more akin to yearly shovelware if you ask me. So the news of EA breaking up from FIFA does not tug at my heartstrings. With that said, this is a major divorce.
This year’s planned FIFA 23 will be the last title, in a nearly 30-year run. That doesn’t mean that EA is giving up on soccer (football for my European friends), as future titles will fit under the newly minted “EA SPORTS FC” umbrella.
EA promises that everything you love about the series will mostly remain intact:
“Everything you love about our games will be part of EA SPORTS FC – the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes will be there. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and VOLTA Football will all be there. Our unique licensing portfolio of more than 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums and 30 leagues that we’ve continued to invest in for decades will still be there, uniquely in EA SPORTS FC. That includes exclusive partnerships with the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, the MLS – and more to come.”
Since EA has partnerships with individual leagues and clubs, gamers will still see their favorite players and teams in future games.
In the meantime, FIFA will need to find a new partner, to release a soccer video game with FIFA branding. FIFA will find it difficult to compete with EA since many leagues are now locked in with an exclusive partnership with EA, like England’s Premier League for example.
Microsoft is planning to release the rumored Xbox Streaming Stick within the next 12 months. The Xbox Streaming Stick will allow users to stream Xbox Game Pass games to your TV without a dedicated console.
The Xbox Streaming Stick aligns with Microsoft’s “Xbox Everywhere” initiative, to get Xbox Cloud Gaming and Xbox Game Pass into as many connected devices as possible. Microsoft is also partnering with Samsung to develop an Xbox Cloud Gaming app for the TV manufacturer. This will allow Samsung TV owners to stream Game Pass titles without a streaming stick.
The Xbox Streaming Stick was initially revealed during E3 2021, but things have been quiet since then. Looks like Microsoft has been quietly ramping and perhaps an announcement is imminent.
Not me, I can tell you that. I loved the Nintendo Wii, but who really needs this? I also could care less that it was made for Queen Elizabeth II, but I digress.
The 24-karat gold-plated Wii was created by the original THQ and intended for the Royal Family to promote Big Family Games. However, it was returned to THQ as there is apparently a strict gift policy at Buckingham Palace.
Currently, the bidding is at $2,200 and the auction ends on May 21, 2022. I suppose you could always melt the thing down as gold is crazy valuable right now.
Too bad the Queen decided not to keep it. She could have auctioned it off herself to pay for her piece-of-shit pedophile son’s sexual assault settlement.
Playing Fortnite on a mobile device has been a real pain, if not impossible since Epic started its legal fight with Apple and Google due to their app store fees. However, things are going to be much easier now, as Epic Games has partnered with Microsoft to get the title onto Xbox Cloud Gaming. Fortnite is officially the first free-to-play title on Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Now, anyone who wants to play Fortnite on mobile just needs a Microsoft account, an iOS device or Windows PC, and an internet connection to play via browser. Also, there’s no need to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass since Fortnite will remain free-to-play.
Maybe not in the literal, throwing fists sense, but according to Reggie Fils-Aime, he had to fight Shigeru Miyamoto to have Wii Sports packed in for free with the Nintendo Wii.
In Mr. Fils-Aime’s own words, from his latest biography:
“So now Mike [Fukuda] and I were trying to get agreement to two different bundles, and the world’s best game designer was not happy. The ever-present smile and impish squint of My Miyamoto’s eyes were gone. ‘Neither of you understands the challenges of creating software that people love to play. This is something we constantly push ourselves to do. We do not give away our software,’ Mr. Miyamoto stated.”
Reggie Fils-Aime / Disrupting the Game
But, give away the software he did, and it was a good decision. First off, the Nintendo Wii went on to sell like crazy. Secondly, you do not cross Reggie, as he will fucking smash you.
The Xbox Series X and Playstation have been hard finds for over a year since they launched. A global chip shortage is one of the many reasons for the short supply, and according to Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, the short supply will continue until 2024.
In a recent interview on CNBC Data Check, Gelsinger who previously mentioned that the chip shortage will last until 2023 has updated his prediction, tacking on another year. Mr. Gelsinger believes that shortages are likely to continue because essential manufacturing tools are not readily available, so manufacturing cannot keep up with increasing demand.
“That’s part of the reason that we believe the overall semiconductor shortage will now drift into 2024, from our earlier estimates in 2023, just because the shortages have now hit equipment and some of those factory ramps will be more challenged…”
– Pat Gelsinger via CNBC
For what it’s worth, things do seem to be improving as availability has improved. One can’t simply walk into a store and purchase a new Xbox Series X or PS5 easily, but if you stay on your toes, patient gamers are finding them online.
On the Xbox Series X|S front, in particular, people are getting their hands on console. Could be the reason why they are selling so well. Who would have thought.
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that Starfield’s music is going to be top-notch. One just needs to look (or listen) to Bethesda’s previous works and you have an idea of what to expect in terms of quality and scale.
The latest Starfield mini-doc looks into how the soundtrack was constructed, as audio director Mark Lampert and composer Inon Zur detail their processes and inspiration in building the game’s epic score.
Starfield launches on the PC and Xbox Series X|S on November 11, 2022. It will also be available on day one on Xbox Game Pass.
According to GameDeveloper.com, Sony has begun communicating with developers that games that cost $34 or higher will be required to have time-limited demos on the Playstation Plus Premium tier. These demos must be at least two hours long.
Apparently, many devs felt blindsided by this announcement, as they were informed about the policy via an update on Sony’s developer portal.
As someone who has been gaming a long time, I can give two shits over game demos.
Sony has announced dates for the global rollout of Playstation Plus, their weak sauce response to Xbox Gamepass.
Asia markets (excluding Japan) — targeting May 23, 2022
Japan — targeting June 1, 2022
Americas — targeting June 13, 2022
Europe — targeting June 22, 2022
These are targets mind you, and not set in stone dates, so things can change.
In case you forgot, Playstation Plus has a tiered pricing model.
PS Plus Essential — $60 per year with two monthly games, discounts, cloud saves, and online multiplayer.
PS Plus Extra — $100 per year with “up to 400” PS4 and PS5 games.
PS Plus Premium — $120 per year with “340 additional games” including titles from the PS1, PS2, PSP, and (cloud steaming only) PS3 catalog, as well as PlayStation Now-style cloud streaming and “time-limited game trials.”
Sony still has not announced what games you’ll get, which makes it difficult to gauge whether this is a good value or not.
Last week, it was reported that Microsoft is working on a program that will allow ads in free-to-play Xbox games. Internal sources have stated that the ads wouldn’t disrupt gameplay and will be similar to billboards in a racing game, as to be unobtrusive.
Of course, whenever Microsoft does something hot button, the Playstation fanboys hem, and haw and go on and on and fucking on until I puke. Then all of a sudden Sony announces that they’re doing the same thing and all is quiet.
The in-game ads on Playstation games are expected to launch by the end of this year and similar to the Xbox, will be limited to inconspicuous areas, like the aforementioned billboards.