This Week In Gaming News For 2/08/12!

PSN get’s a name change, Awesome Game Releases, Neo-Geo Handheld, Skyrim Updates and more!

As the season of Winter draws to a close over the next couple of months, the “dead” season for gaming slowly comes a midst on the horizon.
The gaming industry has always had this “empty” space in release launch dates and that normally is around the mid spring and early summer cycle.
The blockbusters of the fall have already ran their cycle of wallet burning goodness and quarter 1 releases for games have finally launched after playing it safe and waiting out the holiday rush in hopes that their games won’t get “lost in the mix” of massive triple AAA title games (is it appropriate to say triple AAA or is it AAA? Who cares!)
Companies like Capcom enjoy early year releases while the major companies like EA and Activision love the Summer and Fall.
It’s this up coming time that most gamers have begun to catch up on all those great titles that have allowed us to indulge in gaming bliss, as well as conjure excuses to your spouse to why you absolutely and positively NEED to buy the latest game on it’s midnight release after you just said the same exact thing, a week ago.
And at the time I at writing this, a much anticipated title (in my opinion) has just released tonight and I was suckered into it’s grasp so I could grab it at 12:01am, but by the time I ran home and opened up my newly prized gaming possession, I had realized that it was now 2am and I have work in a mere few hours.
So my time, must wait.
As this happens to many of us, we wait until midnight, go to the release, stand in line at your local Gamestop that is normally flooded with annoying employees that think the word “Neo Geo” is a color and not a system and parents kindly wait in their cars as their kids pick up the latest gaming title, only to head back to school the next day with bragging rights to their new purchase.
It’s human nature, we all like to brag in one form or another.
But “wait!” you may say, “just what the hell game is he talking about?” and I respond with a sharp and vigilant answer….”Kingdoms Of Amalur of course!” and while some quickly snap back with a readied answer, only few will understand my excitement.
Why am I excited about this title? No, it’s not because an ex-Red Sox player helped develop the game but because it was my answer to all the mainstream video game haze that has dissolved into the air around us.
It seems that Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning will surely satisfy the needs of gamers who are looking for a fresh but tried and true gaming alternative option for the FPS impaired.
“But didn’t you play Skyrim?!” Yes, yes I did and yes I beat it, yes I finished a large majority of the game and no, I did not spend 100+ hours in that game… in fact I find it almost unbelievable when people make claims to such high hours into one single game within a few short months.
Think about that, 100+ hours. But for what?
Something you’ve in one way or another, played before? But it’s recent change satisfied that craving deep down inside but truly did not offer a real fix.
I will be blunt, I am a HUGE Fallout 3 fan but I hated Oblivion.
Skyrim changed my entire outlook on the Elder Scrolls but once I beat the main story and the thieves guild mini-story along with tons of various other things….it seemed rather pointless to continue my journey from now on.
Why? It’s not because endless fetch quest or slaying of various beast did not keep me entertained, they did but it wasn’t what I felt it could have been.
What do these characters have to do with the world around me?
At times they had felt “disjointed” and “unaware” of the chaos around them and that next to no one had tied their lives with this imperative quest I had forgone.
It made me want to beat Skyrim, put it away and save it for a rainy day.
Kingdoms Of Amalur was set to change that, side quest that tied richly into YOUR main story… it was the answer I was looking for, in a market so obsessed with preaching change but accepting what I call “fluff”.
But, enough of that… I’ll save the rest for the upcoming review in the weeks to come!

Onto the news ladies and gents, because this week has some interesting tid-bits that have been stewing about the gaming community.
Lastly, along with the facts there are rumored news bits out there and as normal I will give my insight and opinion into understanding what it means and if it’s bogus or real.

                                              “Do I need to explain this to you?”

The PlayStation Network gets a much needed, name change!
Sony has recently revealed that the network that powers the Playstation 3 and it’s digital store and the way people play on the internet via their PS3, the PSN or so cleverly called “The PlayStation Network” is getting a name change soon.
The well known “PlayStation Network” name is now being changed to “Sony Entertainment Network” as part of the companies plan to merge services.
But wait! Before we go ANY further, I want to make this clear.
ANY news you have heard on the internet saying that the PSN is no more or that PSN accounts are “no more”, is NOT true and I repeat this “NOT TRUE”.
I think it is a disgusting way to gain attention but I have been seeing this all over the place, you can just google “psn name change” and see countless things to what I mean.
All of these so called “gaming” websites that are actually owned by massive corporations who run their sites simply for profit, not passion, have been using such titles like “PSN IS NO MORE” and “PSN ACCOUNTS ARE NO MORE” to garner attention to their websites or videos.
I think this is a lousy and pathetic attempt to gain public views and stuff like this should be spoken about and I urge you to speak out at websites like these but as I would expect with the audience, that you will do it with compassion and respect.
Represent how you feel about cheap “view” tactics and how this fear mongering is unfair for not only Sony (as most people won’t even read the majority of the article and will associate Sony with such acts without proper knowledge) and the people at large.
Now that’s off my chest, back on to the real news.
Sony is making a bold move to unify all of their online services and recently announced as a company spokesman said “This helps us get closer to our goal of establishing a global comprehensive network platform of services across games, movies, music and more, all accessible from one convenient account.”
It’s to be noted that this is only a name change, nothing else will change with your account on the Playstation or any other Sony based services, the menu’s, account information, etc will stay the same.
The only thing that will be changing is where it originally said “PSN or PlayStation Network” it will now be entitled, ” Sony Entertainment Network or SEN”.
A move that will take place as you read this, Sony has stated that along with the name change, no new updates will be applied to those services at the time of title change.
So what does it mean for PlayStation 3 owners? Jack shit!
It seems like a random move from Sony but it seems to be with good intention and hopefully such updates will not confuse people in the months to come as Sony begins to adjust to a minor but major change within their network.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a Neo Geo console in the palm of your hands?
It might be possible in the near future but the keyword does remain in the word “might”.
Recent rumors have been flowing through the web as these pictures started to surface on various forums and other social media outlets over the past few days.
Is it a cleaver photoshop of an iPhone4s or could the noticeable similarities in features (look real good!) just a design choice that they have in common?

As you can see in the above pictures, the possible SNK branded Neo Geo handheld certainly does have a fantastic look to it, even if it turns out to be fake.
The features that stick out to me the most are of course the sheen metal finished wrap around edges, they also share the same screw as the iPhone 4 (yes I pay attention that well to details) along with the infamous hollowed out line on top of the device and if all is right, another should be located somewhere on the mythical hand held.
Some other noticeable things that put up red flags for me are of course the way the screen sits and looks along with the subtle iPhone 4 features that pop out to me more than anything else on the device.
I’ll let you be the judge of this, go ahead and compare!
But in the realms of hopeful truth, this thing is no doubt a beauty.
And while the retired SNK logo (it is now SNK Playmore) is on the device, the odds of this being actually pumped out by SNK is very slim.
If anything this device could be a hand held that supports ROM emulation, which would support the theory of having an SD slot on the side of the device.
The joystick featured on the hand held is another noticeable feature to hardcore Neo Geo enthusiast, it shares the stark appearance of the Neo Geo CD controller along with the Neo Geo Pocket Color.
Which is friggin’ awesome!
Even if this system turns out not to be an offical SNK product, how do you feel about picking up this classy looking Neo Geo emulator? If the price is right that is and that is the biggest question at hand, how much will it run me?
At the time (and since it is such an early rumor) there has been no comment from SNK on the device or price but they have not officially declined any such rumors on either fronts.
While the rumor mill has been spinning with speculation on the return of SNK to the console or hand held market, the odds are very slim.
SNK Playmore hasn’t exactly been in the best financial position to take such a gamble like this and if it were to be released it would most likely be in limited quantities and only support emulation as odd as that may sound.
I will keep everyone updated on next weeks “This Week In Gaming News” on the details of this device as I have recently reached out to SNK Playmore who has yet to respond to my inquiry.

Lastly and more recently spoken about earlier in this article is that of Skyrim.
For PC fans of the massive adventure game by Bethesda, it has been reported and confirmed that Skyrim on the PC will be receiving a huge “Hi-Res” texture/graphic update by the time you are reading this, on Steam.
In the pictures below that were provided by Nebula, you’ll notice some visual changes that range from a sharper image and all the way to a huge over haul in the way the game looks.

The most noticeable of course is the foliage on the ground and the insane amount of detail it now beholds, instead of it’s lesser brethren to it’s left.
Along with this outstanding update to the graphics in the game, the update on Steam includes the hyped “Skyrim Workshop” aka the creation kit.
It allows players to fool around with a wide variety of different values, mods and many other things all through out the game.
A bold move made by Bethseda, the Skyrim Workshop will allow what will seem like, endless content for years to come for PC players as the console generation is left in the dust.
A sure fire win for the PC community again (you lucky bastards!) and a humble nod back to Bethesda and their roots to where they began, the PC.
The Hi-Res texture pack can be found on the Skyrim website or downloaded through Steam for no extra charge, along with the workshop.
Which in a time where nothing is free, this is an amazing deal for PC owners and if you have not downloaded this major update…get off your buns and get downloading!

                                                          “Fus Do BACONNNNN!”

Game Releases from the dates of 2/2/12 – 2/08/12
-Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning (X360/PS3/PC)
-The Darkness II (X360/PS3/PC)
-Final Fantasy XIII-2 (X360/PS3)
-Soul Caliber V (X360/PS3)
-NBA 2K12 (X360/PS3)
-Jak & Dexter Collection (PS3)
-Fallout New Vegas: Ultimate Edition (PC/PS3/X360)

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About Nightoftheliving8bit

Hailing from the mighty mighty east coast, Eric has spent the majority of his life being a passionate and devoted gamer. From the 80's all the way up to today, Eric has played countless games over the years for various systems, all the while never truly becoming the dreaded "fan boy" of a particular console. Eric currently works for a video game magazine and a local news station and spends the majority of his free hours gaming and reading/researching into various things on gaming culture, news, events and so much more. Eric is also known under his two names, NightOfTheLiving8Bit and ER1C OF WAR and you can find him creeping the dark and dank places of local flea markets in search for lost treasure or kicking back at home enjoying his favorite new or old school games, while always looking into new ways to help innovate the gaming community as a whole. If Gamester 81 was Yoda, Eric would be his Luke Skywalker when it comes to gaming knowledge and he looks forward to bringing you the best of the current world of gaming and generations past! Favorite Games: (No particular order) Final Fantasy III (US) & VII, Resident Evil, Kings Field, Assassins Creed Series, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Elder Scrolls Series, Fallout Series, Gears Of War Series, Metal Slug 2, Clock Tower (PSX), Halo Series, Super Mario Bros 3, Mega Man 2, Castlevania Series, Donkey Kong, Gran Turismo 2, DOOM, Startropics, Metal Gear Solid, Duke Nukem 3D, Diablo I & II, Quake, Chrono Trigger, Super Metroid, Crystalis, Ghost N Goblins, The Legend Of Zelda and various others titles! Favorite Systems: The Nintendo NES, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 1, Xbox & Xbox 360, Super Nintendo, Virtual Boy, Neo Geo AES, PC gaming and the Atari 2600!
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