Battlefield 4 on PS4 to get update, should address “very severe” crash issue

Over on the Battlefield 4 forums, a DICE staffer has confirmed that the PS4 version of the game is due an update which will deploy a new server to address a “very severe” crash. The post reads:

We are deploying a new server to the Playstation4 platform, you might be disconnected from your session as servers are restarting to apply the new patch. The server update addresses a very severe crash issue on the PS4.

When users questioned whether they’ll be able to access Conquest, the staffer (Striterax) responded by saying that there will be a separate patch for that issue.

We are working on the conquest bug too and will release the patch for that when the fix is ready. This fix will address a client crash, the second most common one at that. So hopefully you will notice less crashes when the servers have updated. We have more PS4 updates coming in very soon as well.

If you’re suffering from the Battlefield 4 CE-34878-0 Error, here’s some advice on fixing it (via Reddit) and a rundown of next steps for known issues.

Cheaper, entertainment-only Xbox One “Lite” is on the way – Rumour

According to the dude who correctly revealed the Xbox One’s announcement date, discarded mandatory internet policies and release month, Microsoft is soon to release a cheaper “entertainment-only” Xbox One that will “dramatically” outsell the original Xbox One.

In a post on his Supersite for Windows blog, Paul Thurrott wrote the following summary:

As I exclusively reported previously, Microsoft originally planned to ship a second Xbox One unit focused solely on entertainment, but temporarily killed this effort earlier this year. That device is still coming, will be much less expensive, and will dramatically outsell the Xbox One. Which of course is why they held off.

Keep in mind, Thurrott has been wrong in the past, as OXM states, “…not all his predictions have come to pass…we’ve yet to lay eyes on a subscription-driven Xbox One, for instance.” As for this rumour having any weight – he’s the only person talking about it right now, which makes him either crazy or a frickin’ genius.

In the same blog post, Thurrott says he doubts the next-gen consoles will sell more than 50 million units each, as gaming trends seem to lean towards more mobile use and consoles are just too expensive. He says about the consoles:

They force you to go to a special room in a certain place to use them. And as with the move to laptops and, more recently, to smart phones and tablets, the freeing nature of anywhere/anytime gaming and entertainment on mobile devices is what makes these consoles seem so … ridiculous, almost. Paying $99 or less for a Roku or Apple TV makes sense for the occasional users that represent the mainstream. $400 or more does not.

The P.E. Perspective: It’s pretty easy to make these kind of predictions, and we won’t know how right or wrong he is for some time – but I’m not sure I’m convinced that hardcore gamers will be sold using tablets, laptops and mobile phones. I don’t see companies like Crytek, id Software or 4A Games lowering their standards for graphics by pandering to smaller mobile screens – no matter what the mainstream numbers say.

Or, maybe I’m just old…

Red Dead Redemption’s John Marston will be one of the voices in Codename Cygnus (iOS)

If you think mobile games are a joke or only a way to pass your time on that dreaded train to work, think again. Not only is the gaming industry beginning to take it seriously, it seems that well-known persons in the industry are, too.

Rob Wiethoff who voiced the infamous John Marston in the award-winning Red Dead Redemption hasn’t been on the scene since voicing Marston. But he’s suddenly reappeared to lend his voice to an iOS game, Codename Cygnus. The game is currently in development at Massachusetts-based Reactive Studios.

Codename Cygnus’ Kickstarter campaign needs to raise just $254 in the next three days to meet its target of $11,000. Only yesterday, this figure stood at a little over $2,000 required in four days.

Wiethoff’s presence might just have made a difference!

PS4 “coffin” pictures detail how to send dead units back to Sony

We’ve previously reported on how Sony was addressing the issues with their “estimated less than 1% failure rate” of PS4 units that shipped at launch. Well, if you were one of the unfortunate 10,000 or so who received a faulty machine, you most likely also received this PS4 “coffin” package recently which contains all you need…and all you need to know on how to return your dead machine.

It’s interesting that Sony had this all ready to go, meaning they anticipated some failures on launch – and kudos to them for having it all set. By the looks of the process, it seems pretty straightforward – which is what you want after you spend a chunk of cash on a machine you expect to work.

One thing to mention: Do not send bug infested PS4 units back to the company. See our take on that piece here.

Note: We found these pics at Art Mechanix.

Call of Duty Ghosts: Activision will not reset stats boosted by hackers, claims there’s “nothing” they can do

Have you been playing Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Ghosts’ multiplayer extensively since it got released? If so, you might have noticed that more than a few people are once again hacking in a Call of Duty game — a shocker, I know.

Unfortunately, it seems these people aren’t just hacking their own stats, but those around them, too.

While this might mean that you’ll rank up way, way faster than intended, leveling up is part of the fun, right? And unless you’re a cheater, progressing and ranking up by your own skill is better than being given added boosts just because someone thought it was a good idea. Not even mentioning how you can get banned when someone reports you as a cheater since they have no clue someone else boosted your stats.

So, what is Activision doing about this? Aside from banning hackers, nothing much when it comes to your stats, it seems. In a post on Activision’s Support, it mentions that they (Activision) can’t reset your stats and states that if your stats are boosted by a hacker there is “nothing” they can do.

If your stats are boosted by a hacker there is nothing we can do. Activision will not reset your stats. Please note that knowingly entering a hacked server may be grounds for a ban. To avoid this, make sure you do not accept game invites from people you do not know or trust.

For now, you’ll have to take your high-level boosted stats and like it — at least until if and when Infinity Ward comes up with a fix.

Has anyone encountered this? How many levels did your character progress in one match?

Microsoft cancels E3 post-press conference media roundtable

In a rather strange move, Microsoft has seemingly cancelled their E3 post-conference roundtable with the media for the Xbox One.

This was revealed by Steve Tilley who covers tech and gaming for Sun Media over on Twitter earlier today.

Tilley adds that he got this notice from an email sent by Micrsoft’s PR agency.

For now, we’re unsure if this means that the media roundtable will be rescheduled or just shelved for unknown reasons.

If it is indeed cancelled, is it because Microsoft will be able to answer almost every question gamers and the media has in its E3 presser? Or are they cancelling it as to avoid the media asking a ton of questions that they want to remain close to their chests for now?

Speculate away in the comments and let us know why you think Microsoft has cancelled the roundtable.

American McGee talks about Kickstarter, next-gen consoles, triple “I” titles, and fart apps

“I want to be the next Walt Disney, only a little more wicked.” – American McGee

We’ve been anticipating American McGee’s Kickstarter announcement since he first started gauging interest for an Alice sequel on his Facebook page a few months ago. Teasing us ever so gently with ideas and images for Alice: Otherlands and OZombie, we still aren’t sure which project will be launched, but needless to say our interest is at at an all time high.

With just a few weeks away from the big reveal, we’ve been seeing concept art, potential tier level rewards and some pretty fancy pics of a dressed up McGee for the Kickstarter shoot – so we approached him with a few questions on the upcoming project and picked his brain about next-gen consoles, living in Asia and the game industry in general.

Below is our interview with McGee, as well as some exclusive concept art from OZombie that we’re happy to reveal to our readers today.

PE: How do you feel Kickstarter (or crowdfunding) has changed the game for independent game development?

McGee: It’s been an incredibly positive evolution. Just take a look at all of the amazing titles we’ve seen go through the process so far – none of those games would have seen the light of day without Kickstarter. You’ve got relatively obscure indie studios pitching alongside long-time industry “names,” and they’re operating on a level playing field. Ideas live and die on their creativity and a team’s ability to pitch their vision and capability.

A traditional publisher with a plan to take a couple of careful “bets” per year could never compete with this nearly infinite amount of enthusiasm and support. One thing I really love is that it’s a self-supporting and self-sustaining community – it makes fans publishers, developers as publishers.

We’re now able to see all these developments through to release without the filtering or “direction” from a publisher, their marketing department or feedback groups. It’s like micro-brewed unfiltered beer compared to mass produced Bud Lite.

PE: How is the progress going getting the Alice rights from EA?

McGee: Cannot comment in detail on this, but will say the talks are ongoing and we at Spicy Horse are doing everything we can to find a way forward.

PE: If/When Alice: Otherlands or OZombie hits Kickstarter, we expect it will exceed its goal (see Torment’s example) – what kind of stretch goals might we see? More gameplay? Multiplayer?

McGee: I can’t comment on this in detail because we’re still undecided on which project we’ll Kickstart in July. What I can say is that we’re developing content and campaigns for both Alice: Otherlands and OZombie. There’s a lot of overlap in terms of general design, development team, tools, tech, production budget, etc. – so we can manage pre-production on both ideas simultaneously and efficiently.

PE: Are you planning on building Alice: Otherlands or OZombie in Unreal Engine 3?

McGee: Whichever project goes forward, we’re planning to use the Unity3D engine due to the fact that over the past two years or so, we’ve worked with Unity3D to build some really unique cross-platform/device technology. We’re now able to deliver high-quality 3D gameplay across all platforms targeted by Unity3D (PC/Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android), and we’re able to do this with real-time synchronous multiplayer.

What this means is, you can be on an Android tablet playing in real time against your friends who are on Windows, Mac or Linux – and from a variety of web portals or via a downloadable, stand-alone client. There are some really interesting features we can build around this technology.

PE: If you go with Alice: Otherlands, might we see Susie Brann and Roger Jackson return?

McGee: We’d love to bring them, along with Chris Vrenna, back to the project. And I could see having them involved with OZombie as well. There are ongoing conversations with a range of people who have been involved in the Alice and other Spicy Horse projects – all of them willing and committed to coming on board and helping us out.

PE: Do you ever want to develop AAA games again?

McGee: I’d like to think that the games we’re developing these days are AAA targeted at a wide range of devices and platforms. The idea of “III” (Triple I, for Indie) came up in something I was reading the other day, and I think that’s a good way to think about what we’re trying to do – take our AAA experience from something like Alice: Madness Returns and apply it to client, online, web and mobile games for Windows, Mac, Linux and more.

We really want to raise the bar on what people should expect when playing games that are presented across a wide range of platforms. Given the nature of where the technology is heading in the next 12 months, I think we’ll start seeing 360 and PS3 quality graphics on tablets by Christmas 2013, and we want to be ready with content for that transitional shift.

If you ask me if we should think about doing something for the next-gen consoles (maybe that’s AAAA?), I certainly wouldn’t rule out this possibility. For me, there’s nothing to be gained in predicting the “end” of a particular type of game, or suggesting that mobile is going to “beat” console or vice-versa.

It seems to me we’re heading towards an ever more diverse game ecosystem where there will always be more players, platforms and devices than any single developer or publisher will ever be able to address alone. If we’re given an opportunity to work on another large-scale console game, I’d certainly give it strong consideration.

PE: What do you think of the PS4 and Xbox One?

McGee: I’ve commented on these consoles in other interviews and my words are always twisted to make it sound like I’m “against” consoles and “for” mobile or web games. The comments below these interviews always contain sentiments like, “Well, that guy’s a douche because he likes mobile and web games now.”

Hey, Mr. Commenter, you know what? You’re the douche for being unable to recognize that change is part of the world we live in! Funny thing is, I’ve been making games long enough (going on 21 years now) to have seen this sort of brand vs brand, device vs device “war” play out many, many times. All the gnashing of teeth and spitting of blood will do nothing to stop the inevitable march of technological progress.

That being said, I think consoles as we know them are going away – if not after this cycle, then the next. What we know today as “mobile devices” will continue to get smaller, faster and more powerful. Alternate input/output devices like the Oculus Rift and Kinect will evolve, merge and eventually replace our caveman-like mouse/keyboard and touch screen setups. This also means that mobile games as we know them today are going to go away also.

The same can be said for “web games”, free to play games, retail games…they’re all going away. Actually, I think it’s all converging towards a sort of singularity in gaming where everything we see evolving and shifting today will end up in “uber-products” that take the best elements from each variation and combine them into Matrix-like realities that will be hard to distinguish from true life.

That kind of thinking might be some pretty crazy shit, but it’ll somehow end up as a headline or a comment where I’m saying, “consoles are dead.”

PE: Seen any next-gen SDK?

McGee: Yep, but can’t comment.

PE: How has living and working in Asia influenced your creative process?

McGee: Living in Asia has influenced my brain in many ways, which I would imagine has an impact on the creative process. Being in Asia for more than nine years has given me a chance t really learn and understand the culture, language and market. It’s been a wonderful time and I feel lucky to have built a strong and expressive studio with a track record developing unique titles for over seven years.

For me, the creative process has always been a collaborative one, so the most obvious influence of being here (the one you might notice if you visited our studio) is that I’m often communicating ideas to the team directly in Chinese. If you’d have asked me back in my days at id Software whether I’d one day be doing game design in Chinese, I’d have laughed you out of the room.

PE: What advice would you give to young video game designers?

McGee: The main thing is, get out there and start developing right now. There’s never been a better time to be a kid with a passion for games and too much time on your hands. When I was a kid, I had a Commodore 64 and a tape drive.

If I made a “game”, it got uploaded to some BBS somewhere and maybe 20 people downloaded it. These days, the only thing standing between being a young game designer and being the next Supercell is the $99 Apple Developer fee, an iPhone, Mac and the next “Fart App” idea.

I’m not suggesting that you should make another Fart App, but I’m saying it’s an awesome time with all the tools, platforms and off the shelf engines you have at your disposal. Get started!

——————————————–

We really appreciate American McGee taking the time to answer our questions and look forward to your comments.

Alice: Otherlands or OZombie will be announced on Kickstarter in July.

Battlefield 4: DICE has found a “solid fix” for headshot glitch, will push it out as soon as possible

Last week, we posted that Battlefield 4 had an annoying one-hit kill bug that irritated some (most?) players since that meant, y’know, that their character bit the dust after getting hit with on bullet on the head even at full health.

Good news for everyone as DICE has announced in the official Battlelog forums that they’ve found a “solid fix,” and will push it out as soon as possible.

UPDATE: We now have a solid fix for this issue and will push it out as soon as possible. We will get back to you with an ETA on that update.

Unfortunately, though, no ETA has been given just yet. But at least we know there’s a fix incoming soon, right?

For more BF4 news, be sure to read up on DICE confirming that the “squad join” feature won’t be making its way back to BF4.

Titanfall “big surprises and news” set for VGX

With Microsoft hinting that more Quantum Break footage will make its way at VGX next month, it seems it’s not the only Xbox One exclusive that will be making headlines in the show.

In a tweet by Spike TV and VGX host Geoff Keighley, he shares that he’s excited to announce that Titanfall is “coming” to VGX and that we should expect “big surprises and news” from Respawn.

Excited to announce that Titanfall is coming to VGX. Big surprises and news from @respawn on December 7. Don’t miss it.

— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) November 22, 2013

The videogame awards show will air on Spike TV on December 7 and for those who’d rather watch on their mobile, we’ll have a stream up once the show’s ready to start.

What “big surprises” are you expecting from Respawn? If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s an announcement and date for the game’s beta.

Battlefield 4 PS4 gets update, “reduces probability” of corrupted save file in SP, fixes crash when changing weapons

The first update for Battlefield 4 on PlayStation 4 has been pushed out according to the Battlelog forums. It has been said that this fixes a number of “common crashes” and should reduce the amount of crashes and increase the overall stability of the game. DICE are said to be improving stability as they move forward.

The game patch update on the PlayStation 4 includes the following changes:

Fixed common crashes that could occur when changing weapons or maps
Reduced the probability of a corrupted save file in the single player campaign
Fixed a crash occurring when resuming the single player campaign
Fixed a bug where accessing PlayStation Plus subscription resulted in a connection error
Improved performance when shooting at destroyed Levolution objects
Hopefully this does indeed fix some of the problems that the PlayStation 4 users are experiencing, Battlefield 4 is a very good game, it just needs to get rid of all the weird bugs that they are having at the minute. I am very impressed by the number of patches which are being pushed out to us so far though.