The summer months can bring drought conditions in many areas across the world, but as any hardcore gamer will tell you, the gaming industry suffers the same condition each year. It's even tougher in years like 2014, where two major consoles just launched and early adopters are clamoring for new software for their pricey investments.
While I can't do anything about the lack of new games that are set to drop this summer, I can certainly help you get through it. Over the next two months, right before summer hits, we are going to see a few high profile games released that we think will dull the summer gaming blues. Some are old favorites, while a couple are brand new IP that look to offer unique gaming experiences. Here's my list of the five games to pick up this summer, in order of release date:
As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft has decided to do an about-face, now offering the Xbox One without Kinect for $399. The move continues Microsoft's seemingly cowardly backtracking trend that it's been doing with the Xbox One for about a year now. While many see this simply as a price drop and a way to get the Xbox One without an accessory that they may now want, for all intents and purposes, this kills Kinect dead. Right where it stands.
Allow me to explain. When the original Kinect launched for the Xbox 360, there was a lot of hype and excitement surrounding its release. For the first time, you could use your body as the controller for a new type of gaming experience. It was cool, and about as novel as the original Wii. It was a toy and a gimmick, and soon many folks stopped playing Kinect games, and none really took off at retail. However, Microsoft was getting good data and feedback for what we realized the "real" Kinect would be. The one that launched with the next Microsoft console.
Nintendo has announced the Super Smash Bros. is coming to the Nintendo 3DS this summer, and Wii U later this winter. Both versions will heavily promote online play with friends through Nintendo's Miiverse, as well as through random matches with other players.
Nintendo also says it will monitor the behavior of online players, and will punish those who are a hindrance to others, including those who leave matches early, bully others, cheat, etc. Skill-based matchmaking will also be incorporated to keep things fair and fun.
The Nintendo 3DS version in particular will feature a new mode called Smash Run where up to four players get five minutes to team up and beat up enemies in exchange for power-ups. After five minutes is up, those power-ups are put into play, as the players engage in a battle against each other.
No specific release dates were given for either version of the game, but we'll likely get that information in a couple of months at E3.
Many popular movies have been adapted into LEGO video games, and the video below aims to show what it would look like if Breaking Bad were given the LEGO game treatment. In the four-and-a-half minute parody, we get a look at the great-looking LEGO versions of Walter White, his sidekick Jesse Pinkman, Skylar, Hank, and all the other characters from the show. And yes. You can cook meth. Blue, LEGO meth.
This matches up nicely with the Bathing Bad blue bath salts, no?
Check the video after the break, just be warned, there are spoilers if you're behind on the series.
Windows super-fan Paul Thurrott, who has a good track record for internal Microsoft rumors, is sharing information that he has heard as it pertains to the launch window and pricing of the new Xbox (which we are assuming will be called Xbox Reveal or Infinity, but is codenamed Durango.) First, the next Xbox will launch in early November 2013, and will cost $499 out of the gate. Alternatively, you'll be able to pay $299 for the console if you also pay a $10 monthly subscription fee.
If this is true, then we imagine that this is where all of the hoopla over an "always-on" console is coming from. If you choose to go the subscription route, then your Xbox will likely need to be connected to the Internet in order to make sure the subscription is active. Piggybacking on that thought, maybe if you stop paying (or if you can't get the Xbox online,) then the Xbox will simply not let you play games until you are paid up or reconnect it to Xbox Live.
Other information shared include that the new console will ship with a Blu-ray drive, and will run on a modified version of Windows 8. We will have all the news as it happens when Microsoft unveils the next Xbox on May 21.
Read More | Windows IT Pro
Microsoft has announced that it will reveal the next Xbox on May 21st at an event to take place at the Xbox campus in Redmond. Gamers have been patiently waiting for an announcement from Microsoft on the next Xbox (codenamed Durango,) especially after Sony announced the Playstation 4 at an event in February. The company says that the event will "mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV, and entertainment." Aside from inviting select press to be on hand, the event will also be broadcast as it happens on Xbox LIVE for all to see. It'll also be broadcast on SPike TV for those who are in the US or Canada.
Don't expect all the info on the next Xbox to be revealed on the 21st, though. Microsoft says that they'll wait about three weeks before announcing the full line-up of games, which it'll do at E3. There's a lot riding on the next Xbox, which follows up the current generations most successful console, the Xbox 360.
Read More | Major Nelson
Microsoft has put together another custom-designed Xbox 360 console, this one celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Xbox Live. As you can see in the image above, it's a dark gray console with green and orange accents, and an "X" design papered all over the hardware. It's a great looking device to our eyes. It was announced on Twitter by Major Nelson, who confirmed that the company is giving these out to a number of Xbox Live members who've stuck around since the beginning.
Nintendo's Wii U console is set to hit North America in six weeks, and Nintendo has finally confirmed exactly which titles will be available on day one. Buyers will have 23 different titles to choose from, along with deciding between the basic white Wii U bundle, and the Deluxe black bundle. We've got a full list of the games that Nintendo says will hit stores within the Wii U "launch window"--but it's disengenuine, to say the least, as that launch window lasts a ridiculous five months. So click on past the break, and pay attention to the launch dates of the 50 listed titles to see which you can get on day one. It's unfortunate that the only first-party Nintendo titles that will be available alongside the launch of Wii U are Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U.
Today Microsoft has announced a permanent Kinect price cut, bringing the motion controller peripheral down to $109. The change in price is immediate, as you can buy it right now on Amazon for the newly-reduced price tag, which still includes Kinect Adventures, by the way. Kinect also sees price drops in Latin America and the Asia Pacific area, with the exception of Japan.
Read More | Major Nelson
- Exclusive design: Limited-edition, one-of-a-kind console was custom designed by the Halo 4 developer, 343 Industries, and Xbox 360.
- Two custom Halo 4 wireless controllers: With rotating D-pad and blue LED lights.
- Halo 4 Standard Edition game
- Exclusive sounds: Hear actual Halo 4 in-game sound effects when console is turned on and when the eject button is pushed.
- 320 GB hard drive
- Custom downloadable content: Unique armor skin, unique weapon skin, unique emblem, matching avatar armor, and unique avatar prop.
- Black Xbox 360 headset
Details of the console were accidentally posted on the Microsoft Store, and have since been pulled, but not before the details above, along with images, were saved. We assume this one will sell for $399 this fall. We've got an image of the controller after the break.
Read More | Xbox Forums
© Gear Live Media, LLC. 2007 – User-posted content, unless source is quoted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License. Gear Live graphics, logos, designs, page headers, button icons, videos, articles, blogs, forums, scripts and other service names are the trademarks of Gear Live Inc.