Hitman developer IO working on a new James Bond game
Given the tense, stealth-action gameplay, deep comic-book lore, and decadent, globe-trotting opulence featured in the studio’s string of excellent Hitman titles, the partnership of IOI and Bond is an absolute no-brainer. Given IOI’s pedigree, Project 007 could well turn out to be the title the studio was born to make, one that will leave fans shaken and stirred.
As Chris alludes to in his article, I can’t think of a better studio to take the on the Bond franchise, given IO’s work on the Hitman games. The last few Bond games, while not bad by any means, weren’t overly original or memorable. The care and craft that IO’s demonstrated with their work over the last 20 years should give both Bond and video game fans a sense of relief.
It’s an interesting turn, considering IO’s split from Square Enix in 2017 looked like it could put the future of the studio in jeopardy. Now, they’re now self-publishing the next Hitman and working on a brand as prestigious as James Bond. The future looks like it’s never been brighter for IO.
Control: Ultimate Edition
Control’s Ultimate Edition more than lives up to its name. The game looks as stunning as ever, and the story is even more mind-bendingly crazy with the addition of both The Foundation and AWE DLC packs. The controls have been tightened up and a few of the more difficult parts of the game have been tweaked to avoid treading through hostile zones over and over again. There’s no better way to experience this must-play game.
Apple's Small Business Program reframes their battle with Epic and Spotify
Apple has removed a potent weapon used by big players like Epic Games and Spotify. These companies love to pretend they are speaking up for small developers, rather than protecting their own interests. When Apple charges the same commission to a one-person business as it does to a tech giant, that’s a persuasive angle to take. Apple has now robbed them of this PR weapon.
This has been my biggest issue with the setup of the battle between Epic, Spotify, and Apple. Epic often talks of fighting for the smaller devs but the whole thing smells like a PR stunt to paint Apple as the big bad.
To be clear, I absolutely think they’re right in regards to smaller devs being able to keep more of their money and grow but I believe these larger App Store devs true intentions are to help themselves avoid paying the 30% first and foremost. If they can help the smaller apps along the way, great. Without one (or several) of the heavy hitters speaking up, the smaller devs simply wouldn’t have enough leverage to get Apple to make a change like they have today.
If that really was their goal? Great! Mission accomplished. From my understanding, this is a huge win for the vast majority of devs who use the App Store to make a living. Should the fight between Epic, Spotify, and Apple continue, which it likely will, it’s going to look a lot more like multi-billion dollar companies is trying to pay as little as possible for a resource that helped get them to where they are today.
I chatted with one Apple employee who’d been using this hardware for months, and after it was unveiled, his daughter texted him to ask if the new MacBooks were faster than hers. “Much” was his one-word response. Then he texted again: “Much much.”
As expected, a great review by Gruber. I’m trying to avoid grabbing an M1 MacBook Air but reviews like these that talk of ridiculous performance and battery life aren’t helping.
I completed the AWE downloadable content for Control last night and, as a big fan of Alan Wake, very much enjoyed it. It makes me wonder what Remedy has planned next for their connected universe of games and if we’ll see Alan again sooner than we think.
There's an insane amount of character customization options in the Demon's Souls remake
There are “up to 16 million permutations” for player-created characters, according to creative director Gavin Moore. The avatar examples posted today on the PlayStation Blog look surprisingly good, to the point where some of them don’t immediately scream Souls, but I’m not complaining. Not at all.
It’s hilarious to me how much attention seems to have been given to something that felt like such an afterthought by both the developers and the players in the original game.
At the end of the day, the game is so dark and you’ll just end up throwing a helmet or a cloak on your head anyway but it’s nice to know the options are there if you need it.
I’m going to tempt fate and try grabbing a PlayStation 5 tomorrow. If my previous experiences purchasing consoles online from big-box stores are any indication, this will be an unsuccessful disaster.
Ubuntu Desktop is now available for the Raspberry Pi 4
With 20.10 Groovy Gorilla, Canonical has added full desktop support for the Pi 4. Martin Wimpress, Canonical’s director of engineering for the Ubuntu Desktop, says this means the Pi is now a “first-class citizen.” Canonical guarantees the same level of integration, QA, and support from kernel to userspace that it does for an x86 PC.
This is great news for Pi owners.
Weird timing on this update as I bought a Pi 4 a few weeks ago and, while experimenting with the many Linux distros available for the device, I was disappointed to find the only option for Ubuntu was the Server version. After several days of experimentation, I returned to the Canonical website to find the desktop version of Ubuntu suddenly available to download.
So, after several minutes of wondering how in the world I’d missed it only days earlier, I downloaded it, flashed it to my micro SD, and got the Pi up and running.
So far, I’m getting solid performance out of the 4GB Pi running 20.10. GNOME chugs a bit occasionally but it’s far from unusable and I’m confident it’ll only get better with this new partnership between Pi Foundation and Canonical.
I ordered a HomePod mini this morning for our basement entertainment room. I’ve been really pleased with the quality of our original HomePod when connected to the Apple TV in our living room and I’m looking forward to seeing how the mini compares.