RogueyWon writes: "In an interview with gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Ubisoft has announced that it will no longer use DRM for its PC games that requires the player to be online and connected to its servers at all times, even when playing single-player content. This represents a reversal of Ubisoft's long-standing insistence that such DRM was essential if the company were to be profitable in the PC gaming market. Curiously, Ubisoft is still at pains to remind gamers that they will need an internet connection if they wish to play its games over the internet — a restriction that is perhaps not entirely unexpected."
RogueyWon writes: "Eurogamer is reporting that Sony has closed its subsidiary developer Studio Liverpool. Beginning its life in 1984 under the name Psygonis, the development house has played an important role in the history of computer and video gaming, publishing classics such as the Lemmings series. Since its acquisition by Sony in 1993, the studio has been best known for its work on the WipEout franchise, which helped to establish the Playstation console as a successful brand. Sony's statements indicate that it will seek to find positions for staff in its other development houses, but that some redundancies will be necessary."
RogueyWon writes: "According to reports on Kotaku, Sony is planning to ditch the Cell processor that powered the Playstation 3 and may be planning to power the console's successor using a more conventional PC-like architecture provided by AMD. In the PS3's early years, Sony were keen to promote the benefits of its Cell processor, but the console's complicated architecture led to many studios complaining that it was difficult to develop for."
RogueyWon writes: "After several years of development time, legendary developer id Software have released (in the US at least) Rage, their first internally developed full-sized game since 2004's Doom 3. Powered by the new id Tech 5 engine, the game has received mostlygoodreviews so far. A glance at the game's Steam forum reveals many PC players complaining of graphical issues and a lack of customisation options, but it's hard to judge whether this is worse than the norm for a major release. The game is scheduled for release in Europe and Australia towards the end of the week."
RogueyWon writes: "Eurogamer reports some encouraging news for console-bound fans of online shooters. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the new stand-alone version of the wildly successful Half-Life mod recently announced by Valve, will support mouse and keyboard controls on the Playstation 3. This isn't entirely unprecedented; 2007's Unreal Tournament 3 had a similar feature, but the idea has never gained momentum. If the idea of allowing PC-style controls on a console does catch on, could this help remove some of the stigma associated with first person shooters on consoles?"
RogueyWon writes: Games industry trade site MCV is reporting that two major UK video games retailers are threatening to ban Steam-enabled PC games from their stores. The as-yet-unnamed retailers are apparently concerned that by selling Steam games, they are pointing their customers towards a competitor and will by trying to bring pressure upon publishers to strip Steam functionality from their games. This could prove an interesting test of where the real power lies at the retail end of PC gaming.
RogueyWon writes: Sony have just announced via the official Playstation blog that Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5 has been delayed yet again. This delay hits just three weeks before the game was supposed to arrive on the shelves. A release before Christmas is still being suggested, but a healthy degree of skepticism might be wise. Delays have already hit other Playstation 3 exclusives, such as Littlebigplanet 2, meaning that Gran Turismo 5 had been increasingly central to Sony's strategy for the holiday period. This delay isn't just bad news for racing game fans; it's also seriously bad news for Sony and their investors.
RogueyWon writes: Now that the massively-multiplayer Final Fantasy XIV has been on the shelves for a couple of weeks, the reviews are starting to arrive; and it appears that the game is the subject of a critical battering unprecedented in the history of the main Final Fantasy series. First it was the Amazon user reviews, then Gamespot weighed in, describing the game as a "step backwards for the genre" and now IGN has described it as "an arduous experience that, in its current state, isn't worth playing". Given the general dissatisfaction that surrounded the release of the (offline) Final Fantasy XIII earlier in the year, many long-time fans of the series must now be wondering whether the magic hasn't departed.
RogueyWon writes: Kotaku is reporting that Bethesda's Japanese marketing campaign for the upcoming Fallout: New Vegas is based around some pretty savage mockery of commonly perceived failings of Japanese role-playing games. While it's dubious whether this tactic will actually boost the game's sales in a notoriously hard market for Western developers to crack, many of the criticisms contained in the advert of Japan's domestic RPGs ring true. Is it time that Japanese RPG developers, increasingly focussed on underwhelming extended cinematic experiences and low-budget hand-held titles, took note of the lessons from Western developers such as Bioware and Bethesda?
RogueyWon writes: "MMO Champion is reporting that Blizzard have temporarily banned the world's top World of Warcraft guild, for what appears to be the accidental exploitation of a bug that Blizzard themselves have introduced into the final encounter of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Details are somewhat sparse, and those that are available have mostly come from the guild involved, but it appears that a bug in the fight meant that normal tactics caused some of the boss's mechanics to fail to trigger, resulting in the boss being easier to defeat than intended. Blizzard's draconian response seems likely to raise eyebrows, given that their own testing cycle clearly shares at least part of the blame."
RogueyWon writes: The Times is reporting that Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5, likely to prove a key title for the Playstation 3, has been delayed indefinitely, despite an expectation that it would be released relatively early in 2010. As reported by the Times, the delay seems likely to impact Sony's plans to bundle the game with the Playstation 3 console, in time for the important spring sales period in Japan.