Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s regular catch-up news feature. With each issue we will bring you the best news that you may have missed. Grab the biggest mug you’ve got, fill it with your favourite brew, and catch up with us (and our favourite news anchor, Dee Dee)!
It’s the beginning of the end for PS4
It was bound to happen, but it seems too soon regardless: Sony has stopped production on all but one PlayStation 4 model in Japan. The only one that will still be manufactured for the time being is the PlayStation 4 Slim 500GB model, in black. That means that if you want a 4K experience through PlayStation, the PlayStation 4 Pro won’t be a choice for much longer.
This move makes sense. For one, there have been PlayStation 5 stock issues since it was launched, and now there will be more manufacturing space available. However, availability isn’t the only issue, which makes me think the move is more to force people onto the new console to up its sales numbers. The PlayStation 5 has not sold well at all in the two months since its launch, and making more won’t solve the issues that have been pointed out: the default controller layout has been changed, Sony is currently developing only a handful of Japanese games, and that studio has been reported to be cutting staff.
PlayStation 4 was launched in Japan in 2014, with a slim and pro release in 2016. PlayStation 5 is currently sitting at an abysmal 240,000 consoles sold in Japan. At the current rate of sales, the PlayStation 5 would sell less than half of the PlayStation 4 units sold in a comparable lifespan (six years).
Nintendo acquires Luigi’s Mansion 3 developer
Next Level Games, based in Vancouver, BC (Canada), has been making games exclusive to Nintendo consoles – starting with GameCube and now for the Nintendo Switch – for a few years now. It makes sense that Nintendo would want to acquire the developer, and pending approval, that is about to happen.
Next Level Games will be only one of two Nintendo subsidiaries outside of Asia, with the other being Retro Studios in Austin, Texas (USA). Three others are based in Japan, with the final being in China. You’ll recognize Next Level Games based on its Nintendo library, which includes Super Mario Strikers and Luigi’s Mansion 3 (above). Non-exclusive titles include Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, Ticket to Ride, and Captain America: Super Soldier. Honestly, there is already a bond formed with Nintendo as the company’s best games have been Nintendo exclusives.
The acquisition will make Next Level Games’ development resources available to Nintendo and allow for faster development since the communication channels will already exist. If all goes well, the deal will be closed on March 1, 2021.
Akiba’s Trip remaster coming this March
The original Akiba’s Trip launched for PSP in 2012, which is basically a lifetime ago – although isn’t everything prior to 2020? A remaster, titled Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed, was announced in June 2019, and retail listings have revealed that it will launch in Japan for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on May 20, 2021. It was previously also announced for PC, so expect a digital version to be available for those players. This is the first time we’ve seen a confirmation that the game is coming to Nintendo Switch, so combined with the release date and an impending Western launch (for the first time), it’s all good news!
Akiba’s Trip really is a trip. Described as a strip action RPG, the goal is to expose vampiric creatures (Shadow Souls) to sunlight by liberating them… of their clothes. Yes, the game is literally about tearing clothes off vampires. Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed is a remaster of the original title, built in a modern engine and rendering the location based on what it was back in 2012. There is now a badge collection element. Most importantly, underwear looks even better, whatever that means.
The game will be releasing physically, in Japan at least. A 10th Anniversary Edition has been spotted, which includes a full-colour visual book, a reprint of the official gameplay guide, and a two-disc soundtrack. There’s been no listing for a standard edition yet, but I expect that will happen for one or more platforms (presumably PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch).
Outriders release will be delayed by two months
It’s a new year, and that means its time for new game delays! I really don’t mind delays, as long as it means there is no crunch and the game is high-quality at launch. Yes, that’s a read directed towards CD Projekt Red, because I really cannot get over the massive failure of its latest launch. Anyway, Outriders! It was set to launch on February 2, but that will be pushed back to April 1. The goal of the extra time is to fine tune the game and focusing on a fantastic play experience at launch.
Outriders is a one-to-three (ha, one-two-three) player co-op RPG shooter. Yes, I’m covering a shooter, but what can I say other than game news is still rather quiet after the holiday break! It’s set on a hostile planet in a dark sci-fi universe. Players will leave their home to pursue a mysterious signal. Other players can drop in and out as they please, but it is still entirely possible to play solo.
Outriders is developed by People Can Fly and published by Square Enix. People Can Fly has collaborated on several titles with Epic Games (including Bulletstorm and Gears of War), but this one is entirely its own creation. The game will be available for Google Stadia (I’ve actually heard good things!), PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One. A demo for Outriders will be available on February 25, presumably on the above platforms but that is yet to be confirmed.