Morning News Wrap (15 Jan 2013)

Breakfast Wrap 06When you woke up this morning, chances are the first thing you said was: “I wonder what great bits of titbits those crazy zombies have for us today?”  Or maybe not.

CCP Games has announced that it will launch an open beta for its PS3 exclusive Dust 514 on 22 January.  The free-to-play shooter has been in development for more than three years and the console game is designed to interact with Eve Online on PC – both groups will be able to strategise battles and trade equipment.

Images of a long-cancelled Half-Life 2: Episode 4 project have emerged online.  The episode was sub-titled ‘Return to Ravenholm’ and was in development between 2006 and 2007 at Dishonored creator Arkane Studios before being cancelled.

In what can be considered a continuation of a rumour thread, analyst Colin Sebastian of Baird Equity Research said the new consoles will retail at the $350-$400 range.  This is the same analyst who has predicted the release dates as being October for the PS4 and November for the next Xbox.  All this next-gen speculation has being coming from all quarters and Game Informer is claiming that the consoles are due for a March reveal, in “Apple style press briefings weeks before E3”.

Speaking of Apple, rumours are that a new iPad and iPad mini are to be released in March, along with new iPhones in more sizes and colours between May and June.  This comes on the back of Apple apparently slashing its orders for iPhone 5 components based on weaker than expected consumer demand.  According to the Wall Street Journal, iPhone 5 screen orders placed by Apple for the January-March quarter are now half as large as originally planned.  Is this the start of a decrease in the fortunes of Apple or just way too much speculation from way too many?

Ubisoft has had two ‘Ultimate’ Editions listed on GAME’s website.  ‘Ultimate Far Cry’ and ‘Ultimate Splinter Cell’ have appeared.  Other than a price of £39.99 on Xbox 360 and PS3, and £29.99 on PC, it is apparently due for release later this year.  The Splinter Cell edition is only listed on PC currently, and other than that, no other information was given.

UK high street retailer HMV has entered administration.  This is a sad day for the 4000 jobs at risk and entertainment retail in general.

A Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance demo will hit Xbox 360 and PS3 from January 22.  The game releases on 19 February, and to tide you over, a new trailer has been released.

After the NRA called the video games industry “a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and sows violence against own people” in the wake of the Sandy Hooks shooting, the gun-loving organisation has only gone and created  a new iOS shooting game which is appropriate for ages four and up.  It’s a shooting range simulator developed by Medl Mobile and called NRA: Practice Range… knobs.

Free stuff if you are a PS3 gamer.  Get a free Corvette Stingray DLC for Gran Turismo 5 today and Darksiders is available for free to US PS Plus subscribers.

If you are still playing Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, a new title update will permanently double the amount of XP points received in the game’s multiplayer mode.

And finally, the screen writer for the Assassin’s Creed movie has been confirmed.  The movie will be written by relative unknown Michael Lesslie.  Lesslie has no feature-length films under his belt, but has penned scripts for short films (Skirt and Heavy Metal Drummer), and is also the playwright responsible for Prince of Denmark.