That “Panopticon” trailer revealed by Sony Studios Japan last week is actually a tease for a multiplayer action title called Freedom Wars, which is due for PS Vita in Japan sometime in 2014.
The game still is rigidly connected to the concept of “Panopticon”: elements like the world population, male/female ratio, and the monitoring of human activity via surveillance cameras play a critical role in this dystopian future. War casualties have also increased significantly – the trailer lists today’s cumulative casualties at 107,800,000, but in this “near future” world, they’ve increased to 1,240,500,000. How they manage to maintain zero population growth with that many unpredictable casualties just goes to underline how insanely surveiled this world is.
Click below for another new trailer.
The upcoming release of Batman Arkham Origins on consoles may be drawing a lot of attention, but let’s not forget about its little brother. Accompanying Origins is the Metroid-style 2.5D Blackgate on the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita. As it turns out, we can likely expect some unique differences between these two versions.
Another NPD reporting period gone by, another month of decline for the games industry. Overall sales fell about 25% compared to March, with a 17% drop in software sales, 19% drop in accessory sales, an a whopping 42% drop in hardware sales. NPD cites a decline in the releases of new titles as a large reason for the slump. However, despite the month-over-month decline, year-over-year sales actually increased about 118% in unit sales and 130% in dollar sales, meaning those fewer titles were better drivers than the ones released last year.
The biggest-profile release of the month – Injustice: Gods Among Us – unsurprisingly fared best among April’s new games, with older titles like BioShock Infinite, Black Ops II, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon still charting.
Click below for the top ten titles of April 2013.
A mysterious countdown timer for something called “Panopticon” just ended today, revealing a trailer for what appears to be a video game by Sony Japan Studios. Or is it a movie? I’m not sure – which just goes to show how spectacular the art style is. The project uses a cel-shaded anime style that pulls off a blend of cartoonish characters and realism better than almost anything else I’ve seen to date.
The setting is a dystopian future – and if you know anything about the panopticon in theory, you know that a big theme is going to be close surveillance and heavy policing to enforce order.
If it is a game, it looks like it’d be either an action game or RPG. But, again, aside from what’s seen in the trailer – which mostly looks like a blur between cinematic and perhaps a few clips of gameplay – we don’t know anything about Panopticon yet. More info is due to arrive on May 21.
Click below to check out the trailer.
All’s been relatively quiet on the PS Vita front since Sony announced PS4 in February, and according to Game Informer, there’s a reason for that. Executive editor Andrew Reiner tweeted that he gets the impression the little handheld with big dreams will have a “surprisingly big show” at E3 this year.
If true, that means Sony’s banking big on this year’s E3 to spread the word about their catalogs for both PS4 and Vita in order to drive sales and keep them going strong as they enter the next generation.
Last week, Sony teased an “amazing big title” for Vita that we haven’t seen or heard about yet. I’m guessing it’ll be a central showcase at Sony’s E3 press conference.
Just ahead of NPD’s sales reveal, infamous Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter released his estimates for game hardware sales for the month of April. Highlights from the report: Xbox 360 is still on top with over 200,000 consoles sold, while PS3 picks up a close second in the home console department with 165,000 systems. As for Nintendo: 75,000 Wiis sold…and only 55,000 Wii Us. We’re talking January-level lows, which I suppose you might expect given that there was only one major Wii U title released last month, and it wasn’t even an exclusive. Even combining Nintendo’s hardware sales, they don’t even approach Sony or Microsoft.
Meanwhile, the handhelds situation is very different. Pachter estimates that 3DS managed an almost 50% jump over last year’s numbers with 185,000 units sold. PS Vita, on the other hand, dropped an impressive 57% year-over-year to 30,000 units.
One of the lingering complaints about Sony’s powerful PS Vita is that it needs a bigger game library. This is true of all young consoles, and Sony is looking to turn that perception around with releases like Soul Sacrifice and the upcoming Tearaway. According to one Sony employee, there’s a pretty impressive game headed to the handheld that we haven’t heard about yet.
Final Fantasy X-2 and its girly-battling action are being re-mastered in HD for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, and today Square-Enix shared the first HD screenshots of the remake. Naturally, the game’s infused with more “facial expressions” and “carefully redrawn” textures. I think we all know what Square’s getting at.
Click below for the first official images from the game.
This week’s hardware and software sales numbers are in for Japan, and the 3DS has snagged the top spot yet again. Despite increased sales from a price cut, Sony’s PS Vita still lags behind both models of the Nintendo handheld. Meanwhile, the top-selling game of the week in Japan is a title you may have never heard of. Hit the jump to catch the breakdown.
The PlayStation Vita isn’t selling quite the way Sony had hoped it would yet, and a big part of that is that the handheld does not yet have a robust library of must-have games. The latest title from LittleBigPlanet creators Media Molecule looks to take a big step in changing that. Tearaway, a papercraft inspired adventure that makes full use of the Vita’s unique functions, is currently beating out big name titles like Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us in pre-orders at UK retailer ShopTo.net.
According to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe blog, Sony will be having an eventful week with some game announcements planned.
We’ve a busy week in the offing, with some intriguing game announcements planned.
With the next Gran Turismo title rumored to be in development, as well as LittleBigPlanet 3, there are a few games to possibly see over the next few days. What candidates do you think might come up, or would you like to see?
Though Nintendo’s sitting out on E3 when it comes to major press conferences, the other usual suspects – Sony, Microsoft, EA, and Ubisoft – have all announced times and dates for their own presentations. Most of them have claimed their usual timeslots before the show even opens, meaning the press conference hubbub will all go down on June 10, the day before E3 officially kicks off.
Click below for exact times for all the major press events.