This Month in Gaming
Microsoft Announces Plans to Close Xbox Live Indie Games
Microsoft has announced that it will be shutting down the Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) program. The actual Xbox Live platform isn't going anyway, but instead Microsoft will be closing the doors to its Indie games section. XBLIG allows small-time developers to produce and sell their games on Xbox Live as opposed to jumping through all of the normal hoops and hurdles associated with selling a video game. Effective September 9, 2016, Microsoft will no longer accept new developer subscriptions or membership renewals. Microsoft has said that players will still be able to re-download indie games they've purchased in the past, although no new games will be added to XBLIG.
Why is Microsoft shutting down indie games? Chris Charla says it's because developers now have more options when it comes to releasing games. "Creators have more platforms they can ship on today than ever before, and more and better tools to help them every day – and our priority is ensuring that we give independent developers the support they need to take the next step with us towards the future of gaming," said Chris Charla, head of the [email protected] program, in a statement.
PlayStation Celebrates its 20th Anniversary
Here's a story that will make you feel old: Sony celebrated the 20th anniversary of its PlayStation console on September 9, 2015. Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, is expected to appear onstage at this year's Eurogamer Expo (formerly known as Eurogamer Expo) to discuss the 20th anniversary of the PlayStation, as well as what's in store for the future of Sony's video gaming division.
In commemoration of this significant milestone, Sony will be offering steep discounts of up to 70% on more than 100 PS4, PS3, PS Vita, and PS games from September 9 to September 24. Some of the discounted games include Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition, Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Digital Pro Edition, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Collectors Edition, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Call Of Duty: Ghosts Digital Hardened Edition, Resident Evil Revelations 2 Episode 1, Metro 2033 Redux, Metro: Last Light Redux, and Dark Souls II Scholar Of The First Sin. For more details on the PlayStation 20th anniversary sale, visit http://blog.us.playstation.com/2015/09/08/playstation-20th-anniversary-sale-100-titles-up-to-70-off/.
Nintendo Announces Real-World 'Pokémon Go' Smartphone Game
It's been a long time in the making, but Nintendo has finally announced the title of its first smartphone game. The Japanese video game company has toyed with the idea of releasing games on Android and iOS platforms, which some analysts believe is attributed to the decline of the Wii. But up until now, we haven't heard any official word on just which games it would create and/or port to mobile devices. Well, Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Co., has said Nintendo's first game to be released on Android and iOS will be a new augmented reality Pokémon Go game.
Pokémon Go isn't your grandma's Pokemon game. This bold new project will allow players to catch, trade and even battle Pokemon in real-world locations using their smartphones' GPS coordinates. Nintendo has also announced plans to sell a complementary device that will be used in conjunction with the app. This device, known as the Pokémon Go Plus (for obvious reasons), will connect to your smartphone using wireless Bluetooth technology and alert when you are near a Pokemon. So if you're walking around the mall doing some weekend shopping and approach a Pokemon, the Pokémon Go Plus will flash and beep, at which point you can capture it. So, when you can get your hands on Pokémon Go and start collecting Pokemon in real-life locations? Unfortunately, the game isn't expected to be released until sometime next year.
New 'Remastered Version of 'Castle Crashers' Now Available for Xbox One
Good news Castle Crashers fans: developer Behemoth has released a new and improved "Remastered" version for the Xbox One. Originally released August 27, 2008, Castle Crashers is a unique 2D action-adventure role-playing game set in a fictional medieval universe. It follows the story of four knights who undertake a mission to rescue the princess and recover the stolen jewel. While the plot may sound generic enough, Castle Crashers is anything but. It's a fun, hack-and-slash game that be played solo or with up to three additional players.
So, what's included in the new Castle Crashers Remastered version? Most of the changes are visual and performance enhancements, including bumping the frames-per-second (FPS) up from 30 to 60, as well as new textures that are reportedly up to five times larger than the original. Behemoth claims that players can joint online games more easily since there are more players now on Xbox One than Xbox 360. Lastly, Remastered has introduced a new minigame called Back Off Barbarian. Castle Crashers Remastered is available to purchase on the Xbox Live Marketplace for $15. However, if you already own the original version for the Xbox 360, you can download Remastered for free up until September 20, at which point the price will go up to $5 for owners of the original version.