Rapid-Fire is Goomba Stomp’s weekly Playstation news column, wrapping up all of the Sony stories that you need to know about. This week, Sony released PlayStation VR sales figures for the first time, Middle-Earth: Shadows of War was revealed, Bungie spoke on the upcoming Destiny sequel and much more.
Sony Releases First PlayStation VR Sales Figures
Sony has sold a total of almost 1 million PlayStation VR headsets worldwide since its October release, according to Sony Interactive Entertainment global chief executive Andrew House.
In an interview with the New York Times, House admitted that he doubted the headset would reach this level of success, even advising that the company manufacture fewer devices.
“It’s the classic case in any organization — the guys who are on the front end in sales are getting very excited, very hyped up,” House explained. “You have to temper that with other voices inside the company, myself among them, saying let’s just be a little bit careful.”
Thankfully for Sony, House’s predictions for PlayStation VR sales were far too cautious. He revealed that 915,000 of the headsets had been sold to consumers as of Feb. 19, about four months after release.
At this point, PlayStation VR is poised to easily surpass Sony’s internal goal of selling one million headsets within the first six months of sales.
Noting the scarcity of the devices on store shelves, House said the supply of the headsets will improve by April. Sony also expects to be selling PlayStation VR in Latin American countries by fall.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Officially Revealed
A sequel to Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is finally on its way. Warner Bros. has announced that Middle-Earth: Shadow of War will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, Steam and Windows 10 on August 22 in North America and August 25 in Europe.
Monolith Productions, the team behind Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, has created another original story set in the world of Middle-Earth, with Talion and his companion Celebrimbor making a return.
According to a press release, the story will allow players to “wield a new Ring of Power and confront the deadliest of enemies, including Sauron and his Nazgul, in a monumental battle for Middle-Earth.”
The Nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor has also evolved with the inclusion of a new NPC type: Followers.
“Followers […] bring about entirely new stories of loyalty, betrayal and revenge,” said the press release from Warner Bros. “The Nemesis System is also expanded to create a unique personal world through Nemesis Fortresses, which allows players to utilize different strategies to conquer dynamic strongholds and create personalized worlds with their unique Orc army.”
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War’s official trailer can be seen here.
Bungie Reveals First Details on Destiny Sequel
Rumors regarding the next entry in the Destiny franchise have been swirling for months, with fans even speculating that the sequel could involve time travel.
While the story details of the follow-up to the online first-person shooter remain a mystery, Bungie has released some new information regarding the ties between the two titles.
In a blog post on their website, Bungie confirmed that the progress made by Destiny players will not carry over to the upcoming sequel. This includes “Destiny 1 powers, possessions, and Eververse-related items and currency.”
These will “remain accessible” in Destiny for players wishing to continue playing their original Guardians.
However, Bungie announced that, for some, character customization choices will be transferable to Destiny‘s follow-up. Characters that have reached Level 20 and completed the Black Garden story mission will be able to save their “class, race, gender, face, hair, and marking selections.” Additionally, those accounts will receive honors relevant to their achievements in Destiny as they move forward into the franchise’s next chapter.
In the meantime, players can enjoy the first game’s final live event at the end of March. Called “Age of Triumph,” the event promises to celebrate “three incredible years we’e shared as a community,” while taking a look forward at what’s to come.
More information on “Age of Triumph” will be announced Wednesday, March 8.
Hello Games Launches “Hello Labs” Funding Initiative
Hello Games, the brains behind No Man’s Sky, is encouraging more developers to create games centered on procedural generation or are “experimental focused” through a new funding action.
Announced as Hello Labs by studio founder Sean Murray during his session at GDC, the initiative is structured to provide funding to one to two projects at a time. According to Murray, Hello Labs is already supporting a project in active development.
Murray gave a brief peek into what he and the team at Hello Games have been working on. Currently, he’s “busy working on a current update to No Man’s Sky.”
In his moments discussing No Man’s Sky, Murray made it clear that his work on the exploration game remains incredibly personal.
“No Man’s Sky started as a hobby to me, and in some ways, it still is,” Murray said.
More details on Hello Labs and its projects will be revealed in the coming days. For our thoughts on last year’s most anticipated title, listen to Goomba Stomp’s Random Encounters podcast.
“Avatar” to Come Back to Life in New Ubisoft Title
Massive Entertainment, the Ubisoft developer behind The Division, is hard at work on a game based on the world of the James Cameron movie, Avatar.
They’ll be teaming up with Fox Interactive and Lightstorm Entertainment, James Cameron’s studio, for the project, utilizing The Division‘s Snowdrop engine to power the game.
The game will supposedly be coming to PC and consoles, although Ubisoft has not specified any platforms as of yet.
No plot details have been announced, but Ubisoft revealed in a statement that the game “will continue to expand and deepen in the Avatar universe in exciting and innovative ways along with the films.”
Cameron also released a video statement endorsing the endeavor. “With the power of Massive’s Snowdrop game engine and the team’s passion and obsessive focus on detail, we know they’re the right group to bring the beauty and danger of Pandora to life.” Cameron said.
James Cameron’s Avatar was originally released in the United States on December 18, 2009.
PlayStation Plus March Lineup Announced
Only a few days after February’s close, early March has already been filled with incredible gaming experiences across platforms. But, for PlayStation owners who have not been able to purchase Horizon Zero Dawn or try out the Nintendo Switch, the new lineup of PlayStation Plus titles hopes to offer some alternative for the time being.
PlayStation 4 owners will gain access to Disc Jam, an multiplayer action-sports game combining air hockey and tennis from High Horse Entertainment, and Media Molecule’s platform-adventure title Tearaway Unfolded.
Additionally, Lumo will be crossbuy-enabled, playable on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.
Severed, the touch-based RPG from the team at Drinkbox Studios, will also be free for the Vita. Those still dedicated to the PlayStation 3 can pick up Under Night: In-Birth and Earth Defense Force 2025.
Last month’s PlayStation Plus offerings included LittleBigPlanet 3 and Not a Hero.
Notable Releases for the Week*
A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV
PS4 — Digital (Out 3/1)
Set in a fictitious 30 years before Final Fantasy XV, this game features retro-style visuals centered around a fast-paced combat system with influences from modern gaming. The in-depth combat system blends intense attacks, devastating magic, mighty summons, and unique companion attacks into a singular gaming experience through three diverse locations in the world of Final Fantasy XV.
ACA NeoGeo Nam-1975
PS4 — Digital (Out 3/2)
Nam-1975 is an action game released by SNK in 1990. It was one of the first ever games released on NeoGeo! Players take on the role of U.S. Special Forces soldiers braving a harsh battlefield as they try to survive a series of deadly firefights.
PS4, PS VR — Digital
Old School puzzle-solving gameplay reminiscent of adventure game classics mixed with impressive first-person visuals that make for a gritty and immersive experience. Fans of movie series such as Saw need look no further: a mysterious fish-head nemesis, a grudge, a series of never-ending trials, and a shocking ending will satisfy all your needs.
PS4, PS Vita — Digital (Cross Buy)
forma.8 is a unique take on the Metroidvania action-adventure formula, with a striking visual style and a huge world to explore. As the small exploration probe forma.8 you’re stranded alone on the surface of an alien planet. Separated from your companions, you have a life or death mission to accomplish: find and recover a lost, powerful energy source before it’s too late. Are you ready to uncover the truth?
Ghost Blade HD
PS4 — Digital
Ghost Blade HD is an intense bullet-hell shoot ’em up game with satisfying and addictive score-based gameplay. Designed with a modern graphic style and special effects, Ghost Blade also features an awesome two-player mode! Ghost Blade HD is easy to learn, yet hard to master.
Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride
PS4 — Digital
Within the shadow of an ancient forest, on the bottom of a foggy valley, stands the lonely village of Ravenbrook. The folk there are cheerful and diligent, yet warily superstitious. They surround the village with countless charms to keep the evil spirits at bay, for on the other side of the forest, there lies a seemingly bottomless pit, known as the Abyss. It is the place the villagers of Ravenbrook fear most…
Horizon Zero Dawn
PS4 — Digital, Retail
Horizon Zero Dawn is an exhilarating new open-world action RPG exclusively for PS4, developed by the award winning Guerrilla Games (Killzone). Take on the role of skilled hunter Aloy as you explore a vibrant and lush world inhabited by mysterious mechanized creatures.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing
PS4 — Digital
Put on your wide-brimmed hat, grab your weapons, and embark on an incredible adventure in the gothic-noir world of Borgovia, where mad science threatens the fragile peace between monster and mortal. Be Van Helsing, monster-hunter extraordinaire and save the day with your charming and beautiful companion, Lady Katarina (who happens to be a ghost, by the way). Explore the savage wilderness in the mountains and the soot-stained brick districts of a grim metropolis twisted by weird science, and don’t forget: you might never know who the real monsters are!
Stranger of Sword City Revisited
PS Vita — Digital
From the present day to the parallel world Escario. Survive in the land of polar night! Enjoy the tried and true fundamental charms of the Dungeon RPG genre such as character creation, dungeon exploring, and item collecting.
Suikoden IV (PS2 Classic)
PS3 — Digital
A prequel to the acclaimed role-playing series Suikoden, Suikoden IV reveals the origins of the Rune of Punishment. Although set in the past, Suikoden IV has no shortage of innovation, as it features a Tactical Formation System and more than 60 playable characters.
Torment: Tides of Numenera
PS4 — Digital, Retail
Explore Earth one billion years in the future in the science-fantasy setting of Numenera. Discover the Ninth World built on the bones of extinct, hyper-advanced civilizations and leave your own mark on it. Make thousands of essential choices, face the consequences, and meet death incarnated as you seek the answer to the ultimate question: What does one life matter?
The Walking Dead — The Telltale Series: A New Frontier
PS4 — Retail
Telltale’s award-winning series returns with its third season: A New Frontier. Continuing the emotionally powerful storytelling seen in Seasons One and Two, we return to one of gaming’s most beloved characters: Clementine. We see her story through the eyes of Javier, a young man determined to find the family taken from him.
PS4 — Digital, Retail (Out 3/3)
On a race track, it’s the car that makes all the difference. In a rally, it’s the driver. WRC 6 puts you to the test: fog, mud, punctures, night racing, engine breakdowns… you have to deal with it all.
*Courtesy of http://blog.us.playstation.com/