UK May Not Face Lengthy PS4 Stock Limits After All

Contrary to recent reports of months upon months of PS4 shortages, Sony UK’s Fergal Gara has suggested that the second wave of PlayStation 4 stock will likely be arriving in days, rather than weeks or months, after launch.

Speaking at EGX, Gara said Sony are continuing to work with retailers regarding final allocations.

“Everybody who has pre-ordered to date will definitely get a console prior to Christmas. The cut-off date for that was 5th August” confirmed Gara. “The overall volume point about the UK in those first few weeks of launch is substantial. We will fully catch up demand, probably not before Christmas but relatively quickly thereafter. That’s my current expectation.”

“So, a bit tight for the first few weeks before evening out quite quickly.”

Gara explained that some retailers have already stopped taking pre-orders whilst others are working on a first-come, first-served basis. He also said that unless Sony UK were “pleasantly surprised by a bigger launch day volume than expected” it is unlikely there will be PS4 units on retailers’ shelves.

“But a second batch of stock will be within the week probably, so we’re not talking about droughts for months and months,” he added.

UK May Not Face Lengthy PS4 Stock Limits After All

Microsoft Announce Xbox One Tour

The Eurogamer Expo this past weekend was the first UK consumer outing for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but, if you were not fortunate enough to join us at Earls Court and would like to get your hands on Microsoft’s next-gen offering, fear not, for the company have just announced the Xbox One Tour.

The promotional event has two parts; “Area One” brings the likes of Forza 5, Ryse and Dead Rising 3 to some of the world’s biggest cities, including London, whilst a series of smaller “Test Drive” booths will be popping up at 175 locations worldwide, including shopping centres, university campuses and festivals.

The complete list of Area One Tour dates are as follows:

  • Philadelphia: 3rd-6th Oct.
  • Paris: 10th-13th Oct.
  • Toronto: 10th-13th Oct.
  • Chicago: 17th-20th Oct.
  • Vienna: 17th-20th Oct.
  • Atlanta: 24th-27th Oct.
  • Dallas: 31st Oct.-3rd Nov.
  • Berlin: 31st Oct.-3rd Nov.
  • Phoenix: 7th Nov.-10th Nov.
  • San Francisco: 14th Nov.-17th Nov.
  • Dublin: 14th Nov.-17th Nov.
  • Los Angeles: 21st Nov.
  • London: 21st Nov.-24th Nov.

Microsoft have also promised that fans in Italy, France and Spain will be able to experience Xbox One at their booths during Milan Games Week (25th-27th October), Paris Games Week (30th October–3rd November.) and Madrid Games Week (7th-10th November).

The exact dates and locations of the smaller pop-up “Test Drive” events are currently unknown.

The Xbox One is due to launch in the US and UK on November 22nd.

Microsoft Announce Xbox One Tour

Next-Gen Call Of Duty: Ghosts Launches Before The Consoles Ship

It would appear that the next-gen versions of Call Of Duty: Ghosts will launch some two weeks ahead of their respective consoles.

If the listings on Amazon are to be believed, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One editions of the game will release alongside their current generation counterparts on November 5th.

The games PS4 product description seems to clarify the point, warning customers with the following message:

“Your PS4 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts will be dispatched to arrive on Tuesday, November 5. However you will not be able to play your game until you receive your console on Friday, November 29.”

The Amazon listing for the Xbox One version of the game has a similar message.

Whilst Activision have yet to officially announce a release date for either the PS4 or Xbox One versions of Ghosts, this apparent day-and-date policy with cross-gen releases isn’t as unusual as it may first seem. EA have previously mentioned that three of their biggest next-gen launch titles stateside – Madden NFL 25, Battlefield 4 & FIFA 14 – will be landing three days ahead of both consoles there, and 24 hours ahead of the UK Xbox One launch.

Xbox One will launch in the UK on November 22nd, with PS4 following one week later, November 29th.

Next-Gen Call Of Duty: Ghosts Launches Before The Consoles Ship

Still Rocking A CRT Or Are We Truly A High Definition Generation?

Insomniac’s long-awaited Ratchet: Gladiator launched earlier this week, finally hitting the PlayStation Network storefront after multiple delays. Even after the long wait however, a minority of gamers may still find the title to be completely unplayable.

The reasoning? That magical box of tricks to which your PS3 is connected: the goggle-box; your TV. You see, Gladiator’s store description holds the following salient piece of information:

“High definition display required. This game does not support standard definition TVs.”

You what? I can’t play this game panned, scanned, and in full glorious monochrome on my 14” portable? Outrageous! I jest of course, I’ve a lovely LCD set, but the listing does pose some curious discussion about whether we’re equipped for not only HD ready, but HD reliant gaming.

Gladiator’s unexpected requirement – believed to be the first of its kind – had me wondering whether an HD-exclusive future is on the horizon or whether we’re currently living in one now.

When the PS3 launched in late 2006 / early 2007, consumers worldwide were just starting to make the transition to high-def, but now with the next generation of consoles mere months away, HD is all but a necessity. Nintendo’s mid-gen release, the Wii U, still happily outputs via component cables or HDMI, but both Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s forthcoming Xbox One will feature a singular source of video output, and yep, you guessed it, that’s HDMI.

Come Christmas roughly a quarter of Western households will be entirely unable to join in on the likes of Killzone: ShadowFall, or Forza 5. The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board estimates 26.8 million private domestic households (approx. 97%) in the UK own televisions, however data released last summer (July 2012) by the UK’s communications industries regulator, Ofcom, reveals that only 70% of UK households have a HD ready TV, which whilst a 10% marked increase on 2011’s figures, still leaves nearly a third of households – some 9million TV-owning consumers – potentially unable to partake in next-gen.

If Ratchet: Gladiator is a sign of things to come, this SD TV owning demographic won’t be any better off sticking with the PS3 or Xbox 360 either. Those consoles may well be supported into 2014 and beyond, but their ‘legacy’ connectivity, however, is still deemed useless if the newly released content isn’t compatible – as today’s release surely highlights.

Research group Leichtman, Inc. conducted a similar study earlier this year in the US, whereby 75% of respondents claimed ownership of a HD TV. 38% of this sample had access to more than one HD capable television.

Interestingly, the Leichtman report also indicates that less than a quarter of all US homes, 23% in fact, had access to a HD TV in 2007, with UK figures for mid-2008 thought to be around 10m sets. Of course, a generation ago HD was still very costly, and the vast majority of people, myself included, felt they could, and potentially should, wait a while and ride out their trusty, undying CRT.

Nowadays, old fashioned SD TV sets are no longer found for sale in the mainsteam, and yes, those who enjoy games on more than a once-a-week casual level are increasingly likely to already have a HD set or two at their disposal – nonetheless, the figures are remarkably telling, and with so many households potentially still relying on the tried and tested box-in-the-corner, the next couple of years could be interesting for video-games.

Still, at least HD-only titles mean you’ll never have to sit with your nose pressed against the glass, squinting furiously as you try to make out some semblance of a weird Japanese game’s subtitled plot-line, eh?

Still Rocking A CRT Or Are We Truly A High Definition Generation?

Watch Dogs 30FPS On PS4 And Xbox One, 360 Version On Two Discs

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs will run at 30 frames-per-second on next-gen consoles, the game’s Creative Director, Jonathan Morin, has confirmed. Talking to VideoGamer at this week’s Eurogamer Expo, Morin has said “the frame-rate we’re focussing on [is] a steady 30”.

Whilst confirming a stable frame rate is priority at the moment, Morin wouldn’t talk about the game’s resolution, claiming that he simply didn’t know whether the game would run at 720p or 1080p on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. “I think for where we are, the most important thing is the steadiness and [ensuring] that it’s always capped the same so when you play it it feels right”.

During the same interview Morin also discussed current generation release plans, revealing that the Xbox 360 version of the game will ship on two discs – one being for installation and the other required for the gameplay. “It’s the same thing as GTA” he said.

This is believed to be an issue created by the Xbox 360’s lower capacity DVD drive, and although the game’s exact storage requirements are unknown, the PlayStation 3 version of Watch Dogs is expected to release via a single high-capacity Blu-ray Disc.

Watch Dogs is expected to launch on current generation machines, and Xbox One, on that console’s launch date – November 22nd – before finding its way to PlayStation 4 a week later, on November 29th.

Watch Dogs 30FPS On PS4 And Xbox One, 360 Version On Two Discs

GAME Reveal Their PS4 Bundles For Launch

GAME have emailed customers who hold a Phase One, or launch day pre-order for Sony’s PS4, and detailed the packages the store will be offering on November 29th.

The email confirms day-one availability for those who pre-ordered prior to August 6th and also offers a selection of six bundles which GAME are now allowing customers to add to their order.

The bundles, which are not available via the GAME website at the moment, are as follows:

  • £399.99 – Console & Killzone: Shadowfall.
  • £399.99 – Console & Watch Dogs.
  • £399.99 – Console & FIFA 14.
  • £404.99 – Console & Call Of Duty: Ghosts.
  • £439.99 – Console, Killzone: Shadowfall & DriveClub.
  • £449.99 – Console, Killzone: Shadowfall, PS Eye camera & extra DualShock 4 controller.

GAME are promising all customers with pre-orders placed after August 6th will get their console in time for Christmas, although exactly when is still unknown.

Availability of these bundles in store at any point before then is expected to be extremely limited.

Personally, the Killzone, Camera and extra DualShock bundle still seems the best option to me, even with GAME’s pricing being slightly higher than expected.

What about you? Do any of these newly revealed packages take your fancy?

GAME Reveal Their PS4 Bundles For Launch

The Legend Of Zelda Wind Waker HD Gets A Launch Trailer

Nintendo have released an official launch trailer for The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker HD which is due to land on Wii U October 4th. The game will be available stand alone or as part of a new, limited edition Wii U console bundle.

Offering far more than your bog-standard HD upscale, Wind Waker HD brings all new off-TV play via the Wii U Gamepad as well as Miiverse functionality to the title.

Nintendo have also added an increased difficulty mode, all of which sits nicely alongside the remastered graphics and refined gameplay to make a stunning experience for Zelda fans old and new alike.

The Legend Of Zelda Wind Waker HD Gets A Launch Trailer