Microsoft has opened a new LA-based studio called Xbox Entertainment Studios, which is headed by Nancy Tellem, president of entertainment and digital media at Microsoft. The studio’s mission is to “create true interactive content for Xbox and other devices that will change the way entertainment content is experienced and delivered” as well as produce first party content and continue to partner with third party content creators in a bid to “pioneer the future of TV”. [via CVG]
Speaking of upcoming releases, this week’s Xbox Live Marketplace goodies have been announced. Included in the release schedule (follow the link for the full details) is Assassin’s Creed: The Infamy (19 February – 800MS Points), a fair amount of zombie influenced games and add-ons as deal of the week, some discounted Skyrim DLC, and other stuff.
EA is suggesting that the next-gen consoles will not be backwards compatibile with current-gen titles, but will focus on deep cross-device connectivity with devices such as tablets and smartphones. That’s according to EA’s chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen via Gamasutra: “An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible… And if you [play] multiplayer on a game, you’ll most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation… I think as well you’re going to see a lot more integration between tablets, phones, and the consoles over time. You’re going to see people playing on glass at the same time they’re playing on the console.”
Mr. Jorgensen of EA also went on to say that the used market debate is a “double-edged sword”. There are benefits to it, such as the “health of the retail channel, and having a healthy retail channel is an important thing for us [EA and publishers].”
Sadly, this had no immediate effect on current retailers, other than GameStop announcing it has plans to close 250 outlets in 2013. However, another 60 to 70 stores will open and the company has also acquired 40 closed GAME shops in France. [via CVG]
HMV in Ireland has shut all of its 16 stores, resulting in the loss of 300 jobs. In a statement to the Irish Examiner, the company said: “All stores were loss making and it was not possible to attract a purchaser.”
A new patent by Sony suggests that the next-gen Vita may have HDMI and USB connectivity. Why on earth that is only being considered now is slightly ridiculous. It should’ve been considered for current gen Vitas already. [via Patent Bolt]
Sega has reportedly dismissed suggestions that Gearbox had outsourced the singleplayer component of Aliens: Colonial Marines. According to DSOG, senior producer at Sega of America Matthew J. Powers, told press that the game was “absolutely not” outsourced – outside developers simply helped Gearbox with production. “Absolutely not, the game has been developed by Gearbox Software. Other studios [like Timegate] helped Gearbox on the production of single and multiplayer.” Still doesn’t explain why the game is only a little bit better than average.
The PS3 and PC release date for Black Ops 2‘s ‘Revolution’ DLC has been announced. The DLC will be available from 28 February and features four all-new multiplayer maps, a new zombie map and new weapons. The DLC is available as a stand alone purchase or as part of the Season Pass.
If you are picking up the Android powered Ouya, you will be happy to know that all apps and games that come to the console will have a ‘free-to-try’ policy. Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman confirmed this via GamesIndustry International. “It cleans up the app store,” she said. “It removes the confusion between a paid app store and a free app store. We also think it cuts down on the copycat games, where you have games that look like each other and one is paid but the other is free and you don’t know what to do.”
A new Tomb Raider ‘Final Hours’ video has been released. It is the beginning of the end… part 1.