An eerie hush has settled over the video game landscape. Grand Theft Auto V is weeks old and Rockstar Games’ most significant online effort has only just opened for business. The bulk of the year’s biggest sports games have hit with only NBA 2K14 waiting in the wings. Valve has announced its myriad hardware plans, from Steam Machines to its bizarre new haptic feedback controller. Now we’re in the dead zone, the quiet window of the fall before the rest of the biggest western releases hit. The Ubisoft bruisers like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Watch_Dogs, Activision’s Call of Duty: Ghosts, Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 4. This is the moment before the storm breaks and Microsoft meets Sony to see whether the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4 will reign supreme (spoiler: they’ll both sell well and have great games on them).
What can we do to break the tension in this dark time? Read Jetsetter, Digital Trends’ weekly column devoted to import gaming and game development outside the U.S. Naturally. Where else around these parts are you going to read about games like Exstetra for Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita. What’s Exstetra? A Japan-only RPG where your most powerful moves are the result of making out. Naturally.
This week in Jetsetter, we check in on the Japanese PlayStation 4 launch, rumblings of Valve trademarks abroad, and the latest addition to Kojima Productions.
Japanese retailers restrict PS4 pre-orders.
Sony is expecting to have a strong PlayStation 4 launch in the U.S. this fall. The company started taking pre-orders through retailers like GameStop and Amazon immediately after its E3 2013 press conference, and those pre-orders stayed open through the summer until retailers filled sold through their allotment. Sony is reporting that pre-orders are “substantially” over 1 million, and could be much higher, which means Sony prepared for a lot of hardware to be ready on day one. What about in Sony’s home country, though?
The PS4 won’t hit Japan until February 2014, but just because it is home turf for the manufacturer, that doesn’t mean there will be an abundance of stock. Dualshockers checked in with stores like Yodobashi Camera, Bic Camera, and Nojima Online to see how they’re handling pre-orders, which open on Saturday. Right now, customers will only be allowed to order one console, and all stores are planning to rigorously investigate if people try to order more than one using different names and addresses.
Hitman: Absolution technology chief jumps ship to Kojima Productions.
Eurogamer reported that Julier Merceron, the British technology chief at Square-Enix who helped produce Hitman: Absolution, Tomb Raider, and others, has joined Konami to work with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain studio Kojima Productions. Merceron’s primary work will be helping develop new iterations of the Fox Engine technology running Metal Gear Solid V and Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes.
European Half-Life 3 trademarks are a cruel, cruel hoax.
Valve is an American developer, but hints about famed developers’ new projects regularly leak out of foreign trademark offices. So when a trademark for the most mythical of all sequels, Half-Life 3, popped up at the Trademarks and Design Registration Office of the European Union this past week, it was hard not to perk up and start salivating. Bad news for those patiently awaiting Gordon Freeman’s return: the trademark is not real. Neither, for that matter, was the trademark listed for Portal 3. Fan site Valve Time confirmed that the trademark was wiped from the registry within days of going up.