It’s your video game industry news update for January 23rd, 2018 – Xbox Game Pass will have future first-party games on launch day, God of War confirms its release date, and PlayStation announces its own kind of amiibo. The video game industry changes every day and your time is important. Let’s get you caught up, starting right now, on Games in Time!
Phil Spencer, Head of Gaming at Xbox, announced today that going forward, all new Xbox One exclusive games published by Microsoft Studios will be available on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service on the same date as their global release. For example, Sea of Thieves will available in physical form at retail or digitally through the Xbox Game Store and Game Pass on March 20th. Xbox Game Pass was established last year as a way for players to download unlimited full games from a growing library of over 100 titles, all for a $10/month subscription. In addition to today’s news, Microsoft will also make six-month subscription plans available for $59.99.
If you ask me, this is a really big deal for Microsoft going forward, but it requires the continuous improvement of their first-party game lineup. Ten dollars a month may be intriguing for 2018’s already-confirmed titles, but it could be irresistible when the next Halo, Gears of War, and Forza games come out. For this bold move to become a primary distribution method for the games industry, though, customers will need to be drawn in droves to buying a subscription to a Netflix-like library. That being said, this day-one first-party move can only help that. It would be a dream come true to see something like this for Sony and Nintendo’s stellar first-party libraries, but it can only happen if both of those companies see consumers moving to Microsoft’s plan. At the very least, this opens the door for Nintendo to easily adopt a library subscription service for their impending Virtual Console plans.
God of War, the next blockbuster title from Sony’s Santa Monica Studio, will officially be released on April 20th. You may remember that God of War’s release date was originally leaked as possibly being March 22nd, but it is unknown if this was intentionally moved to avoid an increasingly-busy March release schedule. To coincide with the release date announcement, a new story trailer was posted online today, as well as a blog post that details the game’s special editions and preorder bonuses. The Stone Mason Edition at $149.99 is the most impressive of these – including the game, a 9” statue of Kratos and Atreus, 2” carvings of the Huldra Brothers, a cloth map, a lithograph, edition-exclusive items like a ring and a keychain, and additional digital content. For more information, visit the PlayStation Blog.
PlayStation will soon be distributing their own line of amiibo-like figures called Totaku. These toys will be distributed by Thinkgeek, which is owned by Gamestop, starting March 23rd. Seven figures are confirmed to exist, including God of War’s Kratos, LittleBigPlanet’s Sackboy, Bloodborne’s Hunter, Tekken’s Heihachi, Wipeout’s Feisar FX 350, PaRappa the Rapper, and Crash Bandicoot. The figures will not have any near-field communication compatibility, they are stationed on cross-shaped bases, and are expected to be sold at $9.99.
- Shortly after the debut of the Android 21 character trailer, reviews for Dragon Ball FighterZ went live, with an impressive Metacritic aggregate score of 87. The game comes out this Friday, January 26th.
- Overwatch’s Blizzard World map is now available to play.
- HollywoodReporter.com states that a Duke Nukem film project is in pre-production, with negotiations for John Cena to star as the titular character.
- And finally, recent notable game releases include:
- Kirby Battle Royale is out now on Nintendo 3DS
- Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 4 is out today on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android
- Assassin’s Creed Origins: The Hidden Ones is out today on PS4, Xbox One, and PC
- The Inpatient is out today on PlayStation VR
- And Lost Sphear is out today on PS4, Switch, and PC
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