Sony are making a $60 loss on every $399 PlayStation 4 sold

How are Sony making such a powerful next-gen console and keep it cheap? By making a loss. Sony will lose around $60 on each $399 console sold, due to hardware costs. Eurogamer has been told by “well placed sources”.

Masayasu Ito, Senior Vice President at Sony denied the figures, but only because he believes they’ll earn the money back on PlayStation Plus memberships. Ito wouldn’t reveal if consumers would need to buy one or more launch game for Sony to actually make a profit on the console.

Ito did say that the PlayStation 4 will reach a profit point much sooner than the PlayStation 3. The Wii U was also sold at a loss until bought with a game, and look how well that did!

3A releases VALVe Portal 2 Atlas & P-Body figures

Game memorabilia collectors were foaming at the mouth this morning when 3A released two Portal 2 figures for pre-order. The ATLAS and P-body figures are officially on sale now, and they are absolutely beautiful.

Some details on the figures:

  • ATLAS is approximately 27.5 cm (10.8″) in height
  • P-body is approximately 30.5 cm (12″) in height
  • ATLAS and P-body each need 1 x CR2 battery to power their Optical Sensor light-up feature
  • Portal Devices need 2 x AG4 batteries
  • Each character comes with their own Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device
  • The Portal Devices are removable and not permanently attached to the characters
  • Each character features illuminated Optical Sensor displays with animated boot-up sequence
  • Both figures feature torso sections that are removable from their bodies
  • The eyelids on each character can be manually opened or closed to create different expressions

Each figure sells for $190 USD or as a set for $340 USD, and are expected to ship sometime towards the end of 2013.

Destructoid writer suspended for outing trans* woman who held fraudulent fundraiser for SRS

I’ve read through pages and pages on the internet, trying to make sense of the drama that ensued following Allistair Pinsof, a video game journalist at Destructoid, outing Chloe Sagal, a transgender woman.

Firstly, apologies to readers because I can’t provide links to original posts and Tweets as they have been taken down now. What I can share, however, is Destructoid’s response, and Pinsof’s response to the backlash (Google document).

In a nutshell, what happened is this: Chloe Sagal, creator of the game Homesick, started an IndieGogo campaign to raise funds for a “lifesaving surgery.” Sagal claimed that she was in an accident that left a piece of shrapnel in her body, which, if not removed, could be fatal.

She raised $35,000 before IndieGogo removed her campaign as they detected fraudulent activity. After a series of depressing posts stating that she’s giving up, and that life’s unfair, Chloe apparently attempted suicide live on her Twitch TV channel.

Things only got worse. Pinsof (who now regrets his actions) took to Twitter to discuss the situation. He not only outed Sagal, but revealed that her IndieGogo project was basically a fundraiser for gender reassignment surgery (SRS).

As a result, Chloe’s life is potentially in danger while she is reportedly admitted in the hospital following her suicide attempt.

As a neutral third-party, I understand that neither Sagal’s nor Pinsof’s intentions were to cause harm. But their actions were very wrong.

Do we know for sure that Sagal was definitely raising money for SRS? What if she wasn’t? The fact is, she lied. I can never fathom the kind of life that a transgender woman lives. But at the same time, lying is not the answer. While internet is full of abusive, threatening trolls, there are also a lot of kind people who could have generously donated to her cause had she been honest.

On the other hand, Pinsof should have known better. As a fellow journalist, I find it very surprising that he got involved in something of this nature personally, and outed Sagal the way he did. He made a mistake that not only destroyed his career, but also resulted in hurting Sagal beyond comprehension.

But if Sagal made a mistake, so did Pinsof. There is a lesson in this fiasco for everyone involved

EA reveals Dead Space 3 & Crysis 3 sales “well below” forecasts in financials call

Today, Electronic Arts had its annual, post-earnings financial call. There was a ton of information that the company released, and we’re heat to tell you about some of the “juicy” stuff. We already mentioned that there will be no new Star Wars games released by the publisher until after March 2014.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Since Star Wars: The Old Republic added a free-to-play option last November, monthly average revenue for the game has doubled.

EA Labels president Frank Gibeau said that the massively multiplayer online role-playing game has added 1.7 million new players since the business model switch.

As for paid subscriptions? Gibeau said The Old Republic now has “just under” 500,000 subscribers. This is down from the 1.3 million subscribers from last year.

Crysis 3 / Dead Space 3

AAA shooters Crysis 3 and Dead Space 3 did not meet Electronic Arts’ sales expectations (shocker!), despite topping the sales charts in February.

EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said sales of these titles “came in well below our forecast.”

Dead Space 3 sold 605,000 units and was the top-selling game in the US during its launch month (February), according to NPD data.

Crysis 3 was also released in February and was the month’s third best-selling game in the US, moving 205,000 copies.

These are some truly ugly numbers, and the fate of both franchises are in the balance.

Layoffs

Over the last few weeks we have reported on multiple layoffs happening at Electronic Arts.

The numbers are in. At the end of 2012, EA employed around 9,370 people across the world.

During these layoffs, approximately ten percent of their staff were let go. This means the company’s total headcount now stands at around 8,400 worldwide.

EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said the company expects to recognize $16 million in severance expenses as a result of the “cost reduction move.”

FIFA 13 / SimCity

EA announced during the call that FIFA 13 has sold over 14.5 million units. This number is up 30 percent over FIFA 12.

In addition, SimCity sales have come in at around 1.6 million copies worldwide, 50 percent of which came through digital sales. You can read our review for SimCity here.

Battlefield 3 Premium

In some news I am sure the Pixel Enemy community will love, EA announced that Battlefield 3 Premium has generated the company over $120 million in revenue from more than 3.5 million subscribers.

So that’s everything we learned from EA’s post-earnings call today. What do you think about some of these numbers? Are you surprised at how poorly Crysis 3 sold? (I’m not). Let us know your thoughts below.

Why Led Zeppelin, and Muse never made it into Rock Band

On April 2, Harmonix will release the final downloadable content for Rock Band. Don McLean’s 1971 iconic song, “American Pie,” will be the game’s swan song, and what a run it has been. Since the original launched on November 2007, over 4000 songs digitally have been supplied weekly allowing the jam to continue. During Harmonix‘s Pax East panel, they detailed the issues licensing music, and what music they were looking for.

Chris Rigopulos, vice president of the developer said, “It all starts with a song,” which is created by multiple moving integral parts than the band itself. It’s the biggest reason why very few solo band albums have made their way to Rock Band’s digital marketplace. It was easier for the developer to acquire the rights of a song that’s already out. However, it has not stopped them from creating content for their loyal fan base.

In the game’s prime, Harmonix was exploring the possibility of making Rock Band: Japan, and Pearl Jam: Rock Band. These were previously confirmed projects that the development team announced early in its process that didn’t fruition, but have owed up to their false step. “We made mistakes, we did our best to deliver on what we stupidly promised,” John Drake, director of communications and brand management said. According to Drake both games were full-blown experiences that were in development before they were canceled. What caned Rock Band: Japan was the “small living spaces plus big hardware”, which doesn’t work in small Japanese homes. Pearl Jam: Rock Band based itself on various live shows, and was supposed to release in 2010. The 1990’s alternative rock band has had multiple albums release on the digital marketplace, but knowing the news that this was supposed to be a full game, you have to suspect that maybe some of it was left over work.

For this reason, fan favorite bands didn’t make an appearance. On RockBand.com request submission form, the most requested band was Muse with 616,738 requests, but only provided 1 piece of downloadable content. You would have thought that with that much of a demand they would provided albums worth of music for their digital marketplace, or develop a game similar to Beatles: Rock Band. It’s also worth mentioning that Rock Band: Led Zeppelin was never realized because of the band imagery. It just speaks to how hard it was for Harmonix to make premium artists like the Beatles, and Nirvana available to users.

The Rock Band franchise was the party game I remember playing endlessly during High School. After listening too how hard it was for them to give us weekly downloadable content for almost five years, I have more of an appreciation for their effort now.

Source: Polygon

M16A3 removed from Battlefield 4 multiplayer, DICE confirms

Update: I’ve included a short video from our YouTube channel, in which I tell viewers the news, and what it really means for Battlefield 4.

The M16A3 was often deemed the “most overpowered weapon” in Battlefield 3. It was definitely one of the most popular weapons, and there was a lot of controversy surrounding it.

The M16A3 had low recoil and insane accuracy. It was like a laser beam, and a personal favourite of mine when needing to don my “tryhard pants”.

However, the weapon annoyed a lot of people, and many complaints were made. Now it seems that DICE have heard the whining, and have opted to remove the fully automatic M16A3 from the release build of Battlefield 4‘s multiplayer. Alan Kertz, lead core gameplay designer on BF4, repeatedly confirmed this on Twitter:

The M16A4 will still remain, which is a burst-fire variant, but there will no longer be the full-auto death laser.

The “M16A3″ you may have seen in gameplay footage, is in fact a mislabelled M16A4, which has now been corrected:

What do you guys think of this? Did you consider the weapon overpowered in Battlefield 3?

Battlefield 4 on PS4 “spotting” done via R1 button, DICE said to offer “alternate” trigger scheme to L2/R2

Just yesterday, we talked about how Battlefield 4 is taking advantage of the PS4’s DualShock 4’s touchpad, and tilt sensors.

Now, we also know which button will be used to “spot” enemies, which button knife takedowns have been switched to and more.

Over on Reddit, eSports commentator and BF4 live-stream host GoldenboyFTW (Alex Mendez) has divulged a few BF4 details from his hands-on with the PS4 version at gamescom.

First off, he mentions how R1 is now used to spot, which readers using controllers on PC will be familiar with. While holding the R1 button is known to bring up a radial menu (commorose on console), tapping it will “spot” enemies.

I had a chance to play the PS4 version at Gamescom and spotting is done with R1 for sure. Oh and it plays wonderfully!

Of course, seeing as R1 will be used for spotting/radial menu, and the R2 trigger is now being used to fire your gun, where does this leave the knife button? Well, it seems it’s either going to be mapped to the circle button or by pushing in R3 (which was used to crouch and go prone). Here’s Mendez’s response:

It was either circle or pushing in the R3 button.

I know what you’re thinking; if knife takedowns are using the circle or R3 button, where does that leave the “use” and “prone” inputs? Sadly, that’s not clear for now. However, there is a silver-lining for those who cringed when DICE revealed that aiming down sight and firing will be relegated to the L2/R2 buttons instead of the PS3’s L1/R1 configuration.

According to Mendez, DICE will be offering an “alternate” control scheme, though he mentions using L2 and R2 are “very comfortable.”

You will feel very comfortable with it BUT they said they are providing the alternate version.

Well, there you go. Hopefully, offering an alternate control method should make Battlefield console vets feel right at home straightaway.

For more on BF4, make sure to read up on how DICE won’t be making yearly iterations of the franchise, the complete weapon camos detailed, and how the final base game will have 7 game modes across 10 multiplayer maps.

Thanks, Jonathan Mejia!

Here are the challenges that will launch with the Xbox One, includes TV challenges

We just revealed the details about Dead Rising 3‘s season pass and now we have found the challenges that will available for you to grab when the Xbox One launches:

GAMES:

Madden – Complete a game of football during the two week period of launch – Reward – Calvin Johnson MUT Item
Fifa – Play 5 online Matches -Reward: EAS FC Reward
NBA Live 14 – Win 12 head to head seasons games by Christmas – Reward: Bronze premium pack
Skylanders – Defeat 25 Golems – No Reward
Just Dance – Earn 25 stars – Reward: 50 Mojo bonus
Need for Speed – Bank 5 million SP during a promotional period – No Reward
Xbox fitness – Complete three workouts during launch week – Reward: Loyalty card stamps
Zoo Tycoon – Release 50 Barbary lions into the wild to raise awareness – Reward: Barbary lion artwork
Lego Marvel Superheroes – Collect 2 billion studs before 31st of December – No reward
Battlefield 4 – Play 100 rounds in any game mode in first 14 days of launch – No reward
Forza – Drive 100 miles before 12/31/13 – Reward: Badge and Title
Crimson Dragon – Collect 50 experience seeds reward- artwork 101
TV:
FXNow – Watch 3 episodes form any original show – No reward (Possibly US or UK exclusive)
FXNow – Watch any episode or movie by jan 7th – No reward
Crackle – Watch every episode of the show featuring horseless caridges, cafes and whimsical laughter – No reward

American McGee starts concept art for Alice: Otherland

The confirmed release is not official, but American McGee has already started drawing up some concept art for a third installment in the Alice series. Shown on his Facebook page today, the art features some sketches from Alice: Madness Returns that they used as a touchstone, and McGee stated they have just had their first meeting with their Art Department to “discuss style and tone for rendering the new game.”

We’ve already seen the title image for this post earlier this month and it left us salivating for more.

Earlier this week McGee released a concept image for how he imagined a Kickstarter backer reward might look like for Alice: Otherland. (We’ve previously reported on how the third installment would most likely be a Kickstarter project if he goes ahead.) McGee describes the art as follows:

*If* we get to do a 3rd “Alice” game – which is still a very big if – I just realized something like this would make for the ultimate Kickstarter backer reward. This concept image was done years ago – at the start of Alice 2 production – and depicts my idea for the retail box I thought “Alice: Madness Returns” game should have sold in. That idea obviously didn’t happen. But hey, yesterday’s crushed dream is today’s inspiration.

Yes, that’s a Cheshire cat head in a box.

We’re watching this one closely, and more than confident there will be a third installment for the mad heroine.

With this much noise already, it’s hard to imagine it won’t happen.

Grand Theft Auto 5 Xbox 360 version suffering load screen issues, here’s a fix

We’ve had multiple reports from fans experiencing issues with the Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto 5, during the load screen, it freezes. And that’s it – it just stops loading up. We invited a reader to try one of our discs, and it confirmed that his disc isn’t simply scratched as neither discs would load his save.

Luckily, we have a fix! All you have to do is delete your regular save, so pray that your auto saves have been working. It kind of corrupts the file, but the Xbox 360 doesn’t seem to recognize that.

As of yet, we’ve heard no reports of the PlayStation 3 version suffering from this issue, but let us know if it does! And don’t forget DO NOT install the game disc…