"Square Enix’s mysterious cloud-based gaming business, Shinra Technologies, is no more. We saw little from the secretive project, which was founded in 2014 and headed by former Square Enix president Yoichi Wada. Shinra, named after the corporation in Final Fantasy VII, was promising a platform that developers could draw on to make their games more technically impressive. So instead of being limited by the player’s hardware — a PS4, PC or similar — studios could leverage the cloud to create better explosions, water effects or densely populated worlds."
Oh yeah…remember Shinra Technologies? The technology sounded fascinating and fabulous, essentially allowing various components of game processing (AI, rendering, physics) to be run on multiple different machines instead of an individual machine, meaning they didn’t have to work as hard and could produce more powerful, beautiful, functional games. Not only does this mean that Shinra games would look stunning and be easier to run, but also that MMOs, if on Shinra’s service, could potentially use real-time events and combat with more efficacy and precision.
Sadly, we won’t see the realization of Shinra Technologies. After a Japanese beta last summer, the project is being shut down for not receiving enough money from outside investors. Square Enix will take a net loss of 2.2 billion yen (around $16.8 million USD), and loses offices in Montreal, New York, and Tokyo. On the bright side, maybe now we’ll see Kingdom Hearts 3 a bit sooner. Say, maybe, 2019 instead of 2020?
"On Jan. 19, the iconic Nintendo World store in Rockefeller Plaza in New York will temporarily close its doors for a major renovation. When the store reopens on Feb. 19, it will do so with a new look and a new feel. The powered-up overhaul will include an updated interior design, new Wii U and Nintendo 3DS demo units, a 15-foot gaming screen and more fun elements and surprises. In addition, a large bronze coin installed at the store entrance will display the store’s tagline: “Where everyone comes to play.”"
Cue more NX rumors, am I right? NX…NY….anyway. The grand reopening (Feb 19-21) will include events such as giveaways, costumed Mario and Luigis, and exclusive merchandise for sale. There will also be plenty of games to demo, including new and upcoming titles. It’s sure to be an exciting celebration and renovation–it’s just too bad you have to live in New York to experience it.
"Psychonauts 2, the sequel to Double Fine’s highly-revered platformer, has reached the largest crowdfunding target goal for a video game ever. The Psychonauts sequel hit $3.3 million on January 6 with five days left in the campaign."
Yessssss Psychonauts! Double Fine released the original game in 2005, a platformer following a kid named Raz who has psychic powers. He tries to sneak into a camp where he can learn to become a Psychonaut, essentially a psychic spy, but discovers an evil plot in the process. Raz enters the minds of the characters he meets, helping them through difficult memories or ideas and earning their trust. The campaign for Psychonauts 2 was announced and launched at the Game Awards 2015, and used Fig instead of Kickstarter. Essentially this means that those who backed the game invested in it, and will receive a share in its royalties along with the developers.
Psychonauts 2 will feature Raz again, this time visiting the Psychonauts headquarters and discovering that it’s not all it was hyped up to be. The title is anticipated in Fall of 2018, so we’ve got a long time to wait.