Who called it? We called it. I’ve been asking for Don Mattrick’s head longer than Microsoft’s investors have been asking for Ballmer’s and it looks like now, three weeks after he took the stage in Los Angeles, he’s departing for distant seas. But who is this Mattrick? We’ve talked about him before, but let’s see if we can’t nail down his contributions to gaming down, for better or worse.
In my time as a gamer I’ve had the opportunity to use a lot of gaming mice. Logitech, Microsoft, Razer, Mionix: these are just a few names I’ve had my hands on.
During E3, the folks at Bloody dropped one of their gaming mice on me and asked me to do a no-nonsense review. Of course, I accepted and after using that mouse for the last two weeks, I’m ready to render my verdict, with a nice video of one of the main advertised features – recoil suppression.
The quantities are beginning to be known, the “primaries” are over and this November frames an election that will dictate the capital of home console entertainment for longer than four years. But the fireworks don’t conclude this year, oh no, this is going to be a long-fought battle until we see the next batch of consoles arrive. Many think they know how this first year is going to roll out, but you’d be surprised. Let me tell you how this war is going to happen.
Over the last several months we have talked a lot about the price of video games. Some devs and publishers are clearly trying to push prices down while others are fine with the status quo. Somehow though, we seem to have some developers who are more than happy to drive the price of video games up. I really can’t help but wonder how they get away with it.
People are freaking out today at the prospect that Google is making a video game console. Since Android is open-source, hardware would-be players like Ouya and Gamestick are already beginning to fill the field by crafting their own gaming hardware on top of Google’s mobile operating system. My thoughts are lukewarm for a variety reasons I’m about to get into, but anyone expecting some kind of market disruption out of this needs to slow down on the headlines and Facebook posts, because a Google console can create more of a mess than it creates.
If you’ve ever played a game on your smartphone, you understand the importance of allowing not just indie developers on a gaming platform, but allowing them to self-publish. Thousands of “garage developers” around the world make their living on platforms, whether PC, Vita or Android and in many ways, they serve as their foundation while bigger developers with massive budgets get much of the promotional space. The Xbox One, however, is somehow staunchly opposed to these developers taking root on their platform, an opinion lifted from the Xbox 360 days. With Microsoft’s Build conference ongoing for developers, you’d think they’d clear the waters and either endorse indie developers or provide a little relief. Well, they kinda did. Kinda.
LucasArts may be dead, but it still has a massive library of games that are simply sitting on a shelf being unmonetized and unadapted to new computers everywhere. What a lost opportunity! Well, it looks like Night Dive Studios, the guys behind the recent System Shock 2 resurrection (which we told you about!) are at it again with a tease for a Full Throttle port!
The world isn’t short on Metroidvania-style adventure games, but few are quite as taut as this one. Developed by Netherlands-based Interwave, the gamemaker is seeking £50,000 (about $80,000) to bring Dark Matter past the finish line. They sent over a (very) early for me to try out and while I’d once been unconvinced, an hour with the game swayed me. Let me explain what makes Dark Matter unique.
That’s right kiddies, it’s time for the official beta of ARMA III, the award winning mil-sim, to hit the world like a nuclear bomb. Ever since the original ARMA came out back in 2006, they have been redefining the way people look at strategic shooters.
When word got out that Microsoft was secretly deploying their games – including Age of Empires – in Asia on Android and iOS, people went crazy. Maybe not quite that far, but while Microsoft has been playing the field for a while, the idea of bringing some of their Xbox-only franchises to platforms they don’t complete with (no, Windows Phone doesn’t count), it got me thinking back to some heyday franchises that would be perfect. With that, I present to you the five franchises that Microsoft should be bringing to smartphones.