Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced its president and CEO Jack Tretton, who has been with the company since 1995, will step down as of March 31, 2014. His successor is Sony Network Entertainment International executive VP and COO Shawn Layden, another long-time PlayStation employee. He previously served as president of SCE Japan.
This departure comes as "a result of a mutual agreement between Mr. Tretton and SCEA not to renew their contractual relationship," according to an SCEA press release.
Calling his time with the company "the most rewarding experience of [his] career," Tretton said "Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I'm very excited about starting the next chapter of my career.
"I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation."
Considering that the series just celebrated its 25th anniversary, it might seem a little odd that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is only the fifth game in the series. However, if you’re counting Peace Walker, it’s the sixth, and the seventh if you include Portable Ops, too. If you're counting every game with the words "Metal Gear" in the title, it's something like the thirteenth game in the series.
Plenty of other game franchises would've retired or rebooted by now (and plenty have) but somehow, this one manages to consistently reinvent itself, all the while staying within the confines of the same universe. Ground Zeroes makes some of the most drastic changes the series has seen in over a decade, while still managing to feel familiar.
Clementine has been through an awful lot since meeting Lee at the start of The Walking Dead series. She's grown, she's changed, and now, she's with a new group. Episode One sought to be a buffer of sorts between the two seasons, clinging on to some old adages and themes, but now, things are really starting to pick up in Season Two.
In case you were wondering, that's a good thing from a gameplay perspective, but a pretty terrible thing emotionally. Although I'll refrain from spoiling any major plotpoints, note that there will of course be minor story details discussed below, as well as spoilers for Season One and the first episode of Season Two.
It's hard to believe that I've been watching South Park for almost 17 years. I vividly remember sneaking downstairs in the dead of night, quietly turning on Comedy Central to watch Eric Cartman get probed by an alien. I still watch the show to this day.
Although it's had its ups and downs, one thing is for certain -- South Park is still topical. Odds are even if you don't watch it, you've heard about the controversial premise to an episode at least once per season. Or more importantly in this instance, you've heard the tumultuous story about the coveted South Park game, which has taken years to see the light of day.
But it's finally here, and I have to say -- it was worth the wait. Barring a few mechanical issues, it's like watching a long, quality episode of the show.
The last few times we've written about Murdered: Soul Suspect, the discussions centered around next gen ports. Well, that and the protagonist's unfortunate choice of head wear and other accoutrements. I mean, the fedora is somehow not the most egregious fashion choice. Wallet chain?
But now I've gotten a chance to play and have a bunch of different things to complain about.
Lords of Shadow may not have been the Castlevania game everyone wanted, but I mostly enjoyed it for what it was, and that ending was to die for. It was the perfect segue into Lords of Shadow 2, which has been teased for nearly four years now as the return of Dracula -- the main man himself -- and a culmination of the Lords storyline.
Whether that wait was worth it or not hinges almost entirely on how much you enjoyed the first Shadow outing -- if it had a few extra problems added on top of it.
The original Thief was one of my favorite PC games of all time. It was unique in that it completely focused on stealth -- a mechanic that wasn't used often at the time outside of a few select games like the original Metal Gear.
It not only encouraged you to stay in the shadows, but stay silent as well, incorporating elements of sound into the core gameplay. It was stunning, to say the least. The new Thief manages to takes bits and pieces from the original franchise, but it isn't nearly as memorable.
The Tales series often doesn't get the same recognition as big-name JRPGs like Final Fantasy, and that's a shame. It's a consistently quality franchise that has been delivering year after year, but one of the problems with it is that some of the titles are a bit harder to find.
Whereas Square releases port after port of Final Fantasy, making it easier to acquire older games, Namco doesn't tend to re-release Tales games often in the West, leaving them a little harder to track down on older consoles. Thankfully they've wised up for Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, which delivers one of the best games in the entire series on PS3.
You'll get to shoot Nazi faces off in Wolfenstein: The New Order starting on May 20, 2014 in North America, and May 23, 2014 in Europe.
Typically release date confirmations would be a story on its own, but Bethesda has sweetened the pot here as pre-ordering the new shooter will also get you access into the beta for Doom 4. Note that Bethesda is referring to it as the "next Doom game" instead of as Doom 4. A reboot, perhaps? The Wolfenstein site has a little more info regarding the beta.
Along with that the release date and the next Doom game beta is this new trailer that starts off with a bang. Literally, look at those President heads explode. Bethesda sure knows how to make killer trailers.
Here's the biggest bit of info -- the PS4 version will sport 1080p resolution with 60fps, and the Xbox One will run at 720p also at 60fps. On the 360 and PS3, they'll both run at 720p and 30fps. You can also head over to the website itself and look at some direct comparison shots.
So yeah, there you have it. Thankfully, Konami is being pretty upfront with the differences, however they came about.
You don't have to ask me twice to get back into the world of Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, given that the game swept pretty much every award you could earn in 2013. I'm happy to accept the invitation into its super freaky post-apocalyptic world, especially when that return comes with a healthy dose of backstory. For me, it's the storytelling that makes Naughty Dog's games so enjoyable.
I felt like in many ways it was a step back for the franchise, and the cast wasn't nearly as charming as Square Enix thought it was. But with XIII-2, I partially warmed up to the series, as it slowly but surely injected that classic Final Fantasy charm of old. It embraced the silliness factor, had a less confusing (but ultimately still confusing) story, and crazy bits like Mog and Chocolina only added to its allure.
Somehow, Lightning Returns has dialed it up a bit, adding in insane elements like the Lady Gaga-esque Moogle suit, more Chocolina, and a story that actually makes sense. For that reason and many more, it's my favorite of the trio.
Finally! The story of Final Fantasy XIII is finally final with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy. But this closing act turns the trilogy on its head with brand new play mechanics and a game structure that is unlike anything seen in the previous titles. Lightning herself may be (mostly) the same, but everything else is quite different.
I don't think I've ever complained a game was too short. Except Persona 4: Golden. I could have played that for another 400 hours. And I've always laughed at the ridiculous price per hour breakdown some Internet goers abide by. I found Thirty Flights of Loving to be more complete feeling in its 15 minute run time than many 15 hour games I've slogged through.
But the wild world of variable pricing models, downloads, and paying for games that don't even exist yet has complicated my more generalized, "price doesn't matter," and "quality over quantity" stance.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes -- a short prologue to the full Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain -- will cost anywhere from $20 to $40. That's problematic.
Bigby the Wolf has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He's just stumbled upon two murders, everyone is judging him based on his past, and all of it is starting to take its toll. In the second episode of Wolf Among Us, Telltale does an amazing job of unloading some of that burden off to the player.
Whereas Faith showed us Bigby from afar, we've now become him in Smoke and Mirrors. This is going to be one wild ride that even Toad might not be able to handle.