#170: PS4 reaching end of lifecycle, sales in decline…

TODAY: There will be dedicated servers and replays in Command & Conquer: Remastered — The Wonderful 101 Kickstarter has already met its goal — Blizzard makes it easy to get a refund for WarCraft III: Reforged

Top Story

PlayStation 4 sales in decline as the console reaches the end of its lifecycle

Sony has released their financial results from third quarter of 2019, and the most notable trend is that the PlayStation 4 is finally slowing down.

PlayStation 4 sales are down nearly 25% and is clearly nearing the end of its lifecycle. Demand is shrinking, in part because the market is saturated and in part because of the PlayStation 5 announcement.

PlayStation Plus continues to grow at a steady pace

There are other interesting numbers too, including a tally of PlayStation Plus subscribers. About 37% of PlayStation 4 owners subscribe to PlayStation Plus, nearly doubling between the fourth quarters of 2015 and 2019, from 20.8 million to 38.8 million subscribers.

The service’s popularity is mostly thanks to the monthly bundle of free games, but you also need the subscription to enjoy online multiplayer on the PlayStation 4.

Sony remains tight-lipped about the PlayStation 5 and while there are a lot of more or less credible leaks, there is not much official information. The new console has no firm release date, and the hardware specifications are still not known.

Sony is expected to drop the PlayStation 4’s price this year to maximize their sales and clear up stock before the PlayStation 5 launch.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which WarCraft III mod popularized the multiplayer online battle arena?

  • Defense of the Ancients
  • Uther Party
  • The Edge of Eternity
  • Darkwind RPG – A Hero’s Tale

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today’s issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

News Bits

Command & Conquer Remastered team posts development update

The Command & Conquer: Remastered team has just reached their content alpha milestone, and has posted posted a development update on Reddit. Every single game asset has now been replaced with a new, gorgeous high-resolution version!

The multiplayer is also shaping up, and the developers have been able to play with QA teams all over the world using dedicated servers. There is also a new replay system enabling players to share and add post-match commentary to multiplayer matches, much like StarCraft.

There is still no release date for Command & Conquer: Remastered, but since 2020 marks the series’ 25th anniversary it seems reasonable to assume it will launch this year.

Zombie Army 4 Review Roundup

Rebellion is launching Zombie Army 4 today and critics seem to have had a good time so far. The current Metacritic rating is 71, based on 30 critics. Here’s they had to say:

PC Gamer (Score 70/100) – “An excellently-crafted shooter, especially with friends.”

PlayStation Universe (Score 70/100) – “Zombie Army 4 is a solid co-op offering that offers plenty of blood-spilling fun. However, it’s let down by dated mission design and repetition, while its single-player isn’t half as fun as when you’re teaming up with a group of mates. Fans of the series will definitely appreciate what’s on offer, though.”

VideoGamer (Score 70/100) – “The mood wafts above it all, overpowering any laughable suggestions of plot or character—neither of which fuels Zombie Army 4.”

IGN (Score 70/100) – “Zombie Army 4: Dead War doesn’t break new ground in the co-op zombie gauntlet genre, but it adds a few unique mechanics that make it fun to tackle the hordes.”

The Sixth Axis (Score 80/100) – “If you like shooting zombies with friends, then Zombie Army 4: Dead War is the game for you. There’s a few new twists and several layers of progression now thrown into the mix, as you battle undead Nazis once again, but this is classic undead sniping action through and through.”

Daily Fact

The Wonderful 101 is PlatinumGames’ homage to … themselves!

The Wonderful 101 originally launched on the moribund Switch and didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but the superhero troupe is making a comeback thanks to PlatinumGames’ still-ongoing Kickstarter campaign.

The game is filled to the brim with Easter eggs and references to PlatinumGames’ history, as well as broader culture. For example, Wonder Wonderland is named Allison Trump, which is the full name of Alice from Lewis Carroll’s books about Alice in Wonderland.

Jeanne, Rodin and Bayonetta make appearances, although unlocking them is no mean feat: You need to earn a platinum rank on every single stage in the game!

While The Wonderful 101 wasn’t a big success the first time around, it is clearly fondly remembered by those who played it, and still holds appeal for those who didn’t. What kind of surprises will PlatinumGames have in store for the remaster?

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Daily News

PlatinumGames use Kickstarter to launch The Wonderful 101 Remastered

Wii U exclusive The Wonderful 101 is making its way to Switch, by a somewhat unconventional route: Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter was supposedly only a way to gauge interest rather than fund development, but has already reached its goal and raised over £800,000 in a single day. Platinum will publish The Wonderful 101 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Switch in April.

PlatinumGames need to create all-new IPs

The Wonderful 101 remaster is PlatinumGames’ first foray into self-publishing, as every one of their games have been developed in collaboration with a publisher: Sega owns the Bayonetta and Vanquish IPs, while Nintendo co-owns the Switch exclusive Astral Chain as well as The Wonderful 101 – but PlatinumGames got permission to bring the game multiplatform.

Don’t expect dramatic changes to The Wonderful 101, since director Hideki Kamiya considers the game to be just as good now as it was in 2013. There will be tweaks to the user interface, since the game was built around the Wii U’s unique features and is not suited for conventional game controllers.

If you want to help PlatinumGames win their freedom and give The Wonderful 101 another lease on life, you still have over thirty days left to make your pledge on Kickstarter.

Blizzard finally addresses fan outrage over unpolished WarCraft III: Reforged

After a period of rock-solid outrage, Blizzard has finally addressed the controversy surrounding Warcraft III: Reforged.

The blog post states that the developers are fully committed to supporting the game long term, and that Blizzard expects to release a patch this week to address the visual bugs in Classic Mode. The developers also promised to talk about the upcoming leaderboards system in the next few weeks.

WarCraft III: Reforged launched last week, and immediately provoked a sizable backlash. Most of the outrage was about technical problems and the absence of the remastered cutscenes showed at BlizzCon in 2018.

Blizzard’s response has not particularly assuaged the angry fans, mostly because it fails to address most of their concerns. The biggest unaddressed concern is about the removal of the original WarCraft III from the Battle.net app, forcing players to struggle with all the bugs and missing features in WarCraft III: Reforged.

Want a refund? Blizzard has made it easy

Fortunately, Blizzard has made it easy to vote with your wallet by claiming a refund. If you purchased the game less than 72 hours ago, you are eligible for an instant refund. All in all, it seems like Blizzard shot itself in the foot by releasing the game too early rather than take the time to iron out all the issues.

Message from Today's Sponsor

Iconoclasts Xbox Launch Contest – Win the New Xbox Series X!

The 23rd January marked the Two Year Anniversary of Iconoclasts! Since launching, Iconoclasts has garnered much praise, including an 85%+ score on Metacritic, and we now look forward to introducing the game to new players on the Xbox One.

To celebrate the release of Iconoclasts on Xbox One we are giving away the new Xbox Series X plus three launch titles to one lucky gamer. To enter all you have to do is to complete at least one of the actions on Gleam. The more entry points you earn the higher your chance of winning.

– Bifrost Entertainment

News Bits

Cyberpunk 2077 producer doesn’t rule out a Nintendo Switch port

CD Projekt Red and Saber Interactive defied all expectations with the Witcher 3 port for Switch, but Cyberpunk 2077 producer John Mamais is not making any promises about a Switch port: “Not as far as I know,” said Mamais.

“Not yet. I don’t know if Cyberpunk 2077 would work on the Nintendo Switch. It might be too heavy for it. But then, we did put Witcher 3 on it and we thought that would be too heavy too but somehow we pulled it off.”

Considering how much more technologically sophisticated Cyberpunk 2077 is, a Switch port would require some serious wizardry. Unless the Switch hardware is updated, we are more likely to see Cyberpunk 2077 running on more recent mobile hardware.

Cryptic tweet from MediEvil composer suggests a sequel is in the works

MediEvil composer Andrew Barnabas teased further remakes on Twitter in response to fans digging for news about MediEvil 2. Barnabas also put paid to claims that the remake didn’t sell very well. Sony has not released sales numbers for MediEvil, but if the composer is happy with his royalties …

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which WarCraft III mod popularized the multiplayer online battle arena?

Answer: Defense of the Ancients!

Isn’t it funny how the biggest eSports phenomena seem to start with mods?

Originally launched as a WarCraft III custom map in 2003, Defence of the Ancients established the core features of the MOBA genre: Three lanes, waves of creeps and heroes that level up and buy equipment.

The formula was refined and expanded by League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm and of course the direct sequel Dota 2. However, MOBAs have even deeper roots in the Blizzard RTS community!

The StarCraft map Aeons of Strife used the three-lane layout years before Defence of the Ancients, and the MOBA design template would probably not exist without it. Now you know who to thank (or curse!) for those hundreds of hours lost to farming creeps and ganking opponents!

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