17 February, 2014

Gaming Headlines: Wii U third party woes, a generous PS Plus trial, 1993…

Hi everybody. Welcome to Gaming Headlines a look at computer/video game stories from the past week that have caught my eye.

The only surprising thing is that it hasn’t been cancelled
This past week it was announced that Ubisoft’s much anticipated (and already delayed) Watch_Dogs will be arriving on Wii U later than on other platforms (Game Informer). Due to arrive elsewhere at some point between the start of April and end of June it is unclear how much longer it will take to arrive on the system. Third party games are announced as no longer coming to the Wii U with alarming regularity, whilst those that do turn up often have features removed so this is yet more irritation for owners of Nintendo’s console.
There is something of a vicious circle going on with companies cancelling/delaying/removing features from games as they are finding it difficult to shift copies on Wii U, whilst Wii U owners aren’t buying due to cancelling/delaying/removing features from games.

Not all games are struggling to sell on Wii U however with indie title Mutant Mudds Deluxe performing well on the eShop (Nintendo Everything). Whilst sales-wise “3DS is king”, the Wii U version has apparently managed better sales than the PS3, Vita and PC (via Steam) versions combined.

PS4 owner takes out 21 year PS Plus trial  
With access to free games and discounts PlayStation Plus has obvious appeal. For those on the fence about signing up there is a free trial, but when one gamer was given the option to extend his trial he did. Repeatedly (VG 24/7). He finished up with his membership extended until 2035. Unsurprisingly this deal is not widely available.

TVii still not available in Europe and Oceania 
It may have launched in the regions 444 days ago but Wii U owners in Europe and Oceania are still without the TVii service. The TVii page on the Nintendo France site reads:

“Nous vous prions d'accepter nos excuses, le service Nintendo TVii initialement prévu en Europe pour 2013 ne sera pas accessible cette année. Veuillez rester à l'écoute pour des annonces ultérieures concernant ce service dans un avenir proche”.

Maybe there will be better news next week.

The wrong kind of English
Thursday saw the first Nintendo Direct of the year featuring more footage of games we already knew about (X still looks extremely  promising) and some new reveals such as NES Remix 2 (something I’m very much looking forward to). It was also announced that GBA games would finally hit the Wii U Virtual Console in April whilst the first Inazuma Eleven DS game would be available to download from the 3DS eShop after the presentation. But not for everyone…

So why was the UK denied this re-release of the RPG Footy game? No reason was given in the presentation, but Nintendo Life reader “AcridSkull” found the answer on developer LEVEL-5’s site. It seems it is down to a new US voice cast:

“While this was a challenging decision, it was deemed unsuitable to release a game with American English voice acting in a territory in which the franchise has been so firmly established with the British English voice cast and downloadable game size constraints prevented us from including both English voice options”.

The comment about “downloadable game size constraints” is somewhat eyebrow-raising considering full retail 3DS games are available to download from the eShop, but that’s the reason they are going with. If you are a UK 3DS owner who really wants to play the game, the Argos eBay Outlet is currently selling the physical DS release for a fiver.

Unfinished Amiga game looking to come to Steam
A game that caught my eye on Steam Greenlight this week was 1993 – Space Machine. There are lots of games on Greenlight but this fun-looking arcade shooter came to my attention via the story of its development. Originally titled Shenandoah: Daughter of the Stars, it was shaping up nicely for a 1993 Amiga release when a case of unrequited love caused the whole thing to fall apart. Obviously the story doesn’t end there and the full story including that of its return here on Polygon is definitely worth a read.

Well that’s all for now.

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