PAX East rolled through Boston this past weekend, and it’s safe to say that gaming as we know it is in a transitional phase. A largely low-key exhibition was highlighted by teases of potentially industry-shifting devices over the year (and next year) to come, but nothing yet imminent on the horizon. We don’t mean to imply that PAX East 2015 was entirely uneventful, though. Between rapid improvements in virtual reality tech, a new Blizzard IP, and live gameplay demos of Final Fantasy XV, there was plenty to talk about.
Virtual reality was front-and-center this year, and visitors quickly learned just how close VR tech is to hitting the consumer market. Sony’s exciting Project Morpheus headset has improved in leaps and bounds since inception, and it sounds like the hardware is nearing finalization. Those who have had the opportunity to test out the headset return with glowing reports, and the company is planning for a 2016 release at an extremely competitive pricepoint. But Valve also made some major waves in the VR world, coming out of nowhere to announce the Vive headset (built in partnership with HTC). Reporters and developers who tested out the Vive were blown away, proclaiming it the new leader of the VR pack. A holodeck for the masses? Yes, please. You can put that on the list of things I wasn’t sure I’d see in my lifetime.
Blizzard’s latest IP, the Pixar-inspired superhero MMO Overwatch, also raised some eyebrows with an impressive dose of new, seamless (if somewhat typical) gameplay. However, the biggest game-related news to come off the showroom floor was that a hands-on demo of Final Fantasy XV A) existed and B) was playable (albeit only for a select few). In keeping with series tradition, the game sounds incredibly visually ambitious, to both it’s credit and fault. Gone is the turn-based combat, and back are the side quests and mini-games that were such a staple of the franchise prior to XIII. As per usual, Square Enix is shooting for the stars here. Let’s see where they end up.
In other gaming news this week, Uncharted 4 is pushed to 2016, Mass Effect 4 will have multiplayer, and the Gaming Roundup logs off for the last time. Read on!
- The cast for the Assassin’s Creed movie is starting to come together, as Marion Cotillard joins Michael Fassbender for the upcoming film.
- In a blow to Sony’s 2015 PS4 lineup, Naughty Dog announced this week that Uncharted 4 has been bumped from a 2015 release to Spring 2016. Take your time, guys. Just don’t rush the ending (we’re looking at you, Uncharted 3).
- It’s sounding like Mass Effect 4 will contain some form of multiplayer. Not exactly earthshaking news, but we’re starved for pretty much anything Mass Effect-related these days.
- Far Cry 4 has frickin’ yetis now, y’all.
- Has Sony finally lost patience with The Last Guardian? Scuttlebutt indicates that Sony has abandoned its trademark, though the developer claims the game is still alive and well.
- Bloodborne’s latest story trailer looks both incredibly beautiful and gutwrenchingly brutal. Would you expect anything less from the developer of Dark Souls?
- Lastly, it’s Game Over for the Gaming Roundup. Theresa and I will still be reporting on games for Tor.com in the future—a little less frequently, perhaps, but with a little more focus and depth. If you’ve read this far, Dear Reader, you’re probably a regular, and we want to thank you for making us a part of your week, each week, for the last few years. Y’all seem nice and decidedly not-crazy, so if you’d like to talk games with us or even just say hi, please keep in touch on Twitter (@pritpaulbains and @tdelucci) or, hell, add us as friends on Xbox/Playstation so we can kill each other online, as is the way of our people. You can find Theresa on both PS4 and Xbox One as Skillet2012, and Pritpaul as Kickpuncha on Xbox One.