Xbox One drops $50 on select bundles for a limited time this holiday season.
Xbox One to $350, Microsoft’s ability to stay competitive with the PS4 has shown positive results for the company and its investors, and the recent price cut bodes well even more so for the console, but will Sony look to respond this holiday season or beyond?
Microsoft quickly realized who got the better jump on the market upon both consoles’ release in late 2013. Throughout 2014 we’ve seen great value bundles, a kinect-less console, and consistent updates to try and entice more gamers to go with the Xbox One — and it’s worked. Some incredible deals can be found for the Xbox One and, while Sony does have a few options and deals available, the PS4 has not quite been able to match that of its competitors.
Sony has remained steadfast, and their console has been receiving less rapid updates relative to the Xbox One, and has mostly the same core features that it had presented from the start.
The PS4’s last update gave it some significant upgrades — most notably the “share play” addition, but in order for Sony to continue their majority control in the market — especially in North America — gamers will need to see some more purchase options and faster updates for the console.
If Microsoft stays on track with its sales it should be surprising to no one if Sony elects to slash prices and offer some new bundles featuring their best exclusives as well.
Experience a medieval setting as a goblin set as the main character of a stealth focused game sounds like it could be great, put it all together as a stealth game for just $29.99 and Styx: Master of Shadows is looking fantastic already.
The initial gameplay looks solid and the world seems fun as well, but a stealth game is tricky to execute well, and more detailed looks at the full gameplay will be needed for a solid verdict to be reached.
The game looks to balance a serious overall experience with some comedic undertones. How the developers at Cyanide balance their open-world adventure game will ultimately determine the reception they get from the gaming community.
Styx: Master of Shadows ($29.99) releases October 7th for the PS4 (US) and PC and October 8th for PS4 (EU) and the Xbox One.
PS4 still top-selling console in US, despite strong June sales for Xbox One
Microsoft knew exactly what it was doing when it decided to remove the Kinect from Xbox One packages. And it has worked — for the most part. Sales have doubled for the next-gen console, after an impressive showing at E3 2014, which honed in on a specific direction: gaming.
But Sony let out a loud cough Friday in response to Microsoft’s announcement 24 hours earlier, when it took to Twitter to boast PS4’s sixth straight month on top of console sales charts, according to the June NPD report.
Breaking news: PS4 is #1 top-selling US next-gen console in June, 6th month in a row. Thanks for your support! <3 pic.twitter.com/r5bTKg4wYf
Vice president of PlayStation Marketing, Guy Longworth, also added the following comments, further reigning on Microsoft’s sales parade.
PlayStation 4 was #1 in sales for the sixth consecutive month and remains the cumulative leader for next generation game consoles.
PlayStation 4 was #1 for next generation software sales, with PS4 leading two of the top three titles.
PlayStation was #1 in combined home console hardware sales (PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3) for the month.
The biggest next generation software titles, including Watch Dogs, UFC, and FIFA 14, were #1 on PlayStation 4, further demonstrating that PS4 is the platform of choice for blockbuster games.
With no triple-a titles releasing this summer for Xbox One, Sony will be counting on the July 29 release of The Last of Us Remastered on PS4 and the first major DLC for Infamous Second Son, entitled First Light (shown at E3) to kickstart the humdrum summer season and help maintain its sizable lead over Microsoft.
In September, we will see the highly-anticipated release of Bungie’s Destiny on both next-gen platforms and well as the PS3 and Xbox 360, and annual sports installments in the form of the revamped NHL 15 and always-improving FIFA 15.
This console race is a marathon, not a sprint, and after eight months in the US market, things are starting to get interesting for both platforms. Time will tell if it remains a turtle race or if a one of these animals breaks away.
NOTES: Watch Dogs was top-selling game for June for second month in a row, followed by Mario Kart 8.
Wii U continued its console momentum from May into June with console sales up a mouth-dropping 233 percent over June 2013 sales, and the first six months of sales up 48 percent over the same time span last year.
VizionEck, a competitive first-person shooter with vibrant colorful art and an encouragement to explore non-typical approaches to combat. Michael Armbrust released the first glimpse of his upcoming title’s gameplay today.
Showcasing an overload of bright neon colors everywhere you look, the game utilizes a very abstract environment for players to play. The game’s abstract style goes beyond just its looks though. Even the gameplay itself isn’t as straightforward as you may think. Armbrust notes that “Even self-destruction has positive outcomes depending on the player’s circumstances.”
The weaponry is peculiar, your character is just a small cube, and the light-gravity movement all cetainly make the game stand out, but until more gameplay and information are released it will be difficult to determine whether its unique qualities will actually be good qualities.
The gameplay trailer lists a multitude of features and inclusions planned for the finished product:
4 Player local co-op splitscreen. With the rarity of triple-A local co-op games, VizionEck’s incorporation of the game mode is a great addition to the title.
24 player online multiplayer. More information will be released soon, but seeing how 24 players will battle out during one match will be very interesting to see. The released multiplayer modes so far, “Ranger, Team Ranger, Duel, and Retrieval.”
Free DLC. The addition of free DLC is another important inclusion, especially given how simple the gameplay initially appears. The game leaves a lot of room for new ideas and features to be included post-release.
An open world campaign. The only game mode shown so far was a “Ranger 1V1V1V1” free-for-all, but the game promises to go beyond what the first look at the gameplay showcased.
The trailer notes a variety of other features as well. Check out the trailer below.
VizionEck will release this Holiday season exclusively on the PS4.
With many of Sony and Microsoft’s system sellers being pushed into early 2015, gamers do not have much reason to purchase a next-gen console.
Sony opened up its first-party lineup back in November with the PlayStation 4’s launch starting with the platformer Knack (which had much more potential) and Killzone: Shadow Fall (which was meant to show off PS4 graphics).
Sony followed up with its not-so-secret weapon, Infamous Second Son. Sucker Punch showed off the power of the PS4 while trying to weave its natural storytelling formula into the equation. Although, the game was generally well-received, certain critics were finicky with certain aspects of the game , such as the voice work of Delsin and characters as well as the story itself.
Xbox One opened up with Ryse, Dead Rising 3 and Forza Motorsport 5. All were met with mixed to generally favorable reviews.
Crytek, the studio behind Ryse, is reportedly experiencing a staff strike as employees are refusing to come to work because they are not getting paid. As a result, Ryse 2 is rumored to be cancelled and the developer’s next title, Homefront: The Revolution (Homefront 2) is in jeopardy.
Xbox made up some ground with the March release of Titanfall. But the Respawn multiplayer FPS was not a strong enough catalyst to deter Sony’s growing console sales.
Now, most of the console exclusives (i.e. Halo 5, Quantum Break The Order: 1886, Uncharted 4) and third-party blockbusters (i.e. Batman: Arkham Knight, The Division, The Witcher 3, Dying Light, Elder Scrolls Skyrim Online) have been pushed back to 2015.
Nintendo has emerged out of the darkness with its highly successful Mario Kart 8 on Wii U. The eighth installment in the series has sold over two million copies worldwide and continues to boost Wii U sales as well. In fact, the Nintendo racer has pushed Wii U console sales more than Titanfall did for Xbox One or Infamous Second Son did for the PS4.
Since the release of Mario Kart 8, the Wii U has accomplished another feat: the Wii U has outsold the Xbox One. As of June 14, the Wii U has sold a total of 6.4 million sales, while the Xbox One has sold 4.6 million consoles and PS4, in the lead with 8.4 million.
Now, Nintendo is poised to enter the homes of holiday shoppers this fall when it releases Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS on October 3, with the Wii U version to follow. The best bet would be a Black Friday bundle deal which would quickly fly off shelves.
The last installment of the fighting series, Super Smash Bros. Brawl released in March 2008. But this time around, a holiday release would almost definitely assure increased console sales, as the only bundles Nintendo might have to compete with is a Xbox One/Master Chief collection bundle and a white PS4 Destiny Bundle. The Mario Kart 8 bundle is already surpassing all expectations.
A few months ago, most people would have pegged the Wii U as a dead console. But now, it has the opportunity to jump back into the market and in a big way.
Bungie is going to have a massive task ahead to market Destiny to the people to encourage them that this new franchise is indeed going to be incredible.
So far the quality of the game looks outstanding. The game has been presented extraordinarily well in the just the limited Alpha stages of game development. A staunch difference in comparison to their 2013 simple and straighforward trailers, the game has shown an incredible blend of classic Halo 2 multiplayer mid-game objectives and the power-up abilities introduced in Halo 3/Halo: Reach.
The classic scramble for the Sword (or other powerful on-map weapon) returns in a new style. A scramble for your own special weapon ammo occurs on the map randomly with an alert to all players. This brings together intense fire-fights in areas where you otherwise wouldn’t expect to face-off.
The power-ups of Halo: Reach take a new role as ‘supers’ here, but just how many will be included in the final game remains to be seen.
Combining the past success of their games will be crucial to ensuring the game takes off with early support from Bungie fans, and the game is sure to have a very Halo-esque feel to it. It will be exciting to see how they continue to build on what they’ve been able to showcase so far.