Sony's secretive division is hoping to find the next PlayStation or Walkman

There was a time when the word 'Sony' wasn't just a consumer electronics brand; it carried meaning about innovation and modernity.But for the last 20 years ago, the company has declined, weighed down by its own success and by the ferocious innovation of competitors in the digital world, like Apple. As management-culture has superseded innovation-culture, Sony has sought to build on the success of brands like PlayStation, without really coming up with groundbreaking new ideas. Japanese newspaper Nikkei has looked into a new unit within the company that is aggressively seeking to create new products. Created by Shinji Odajima it invites ideas and applications from Sony employees. So far, he said, response has been overwhelming. A call for auditions was met with 800 replies. The unit is...

Enemy Starfighter: Homeworld from inside a fighter

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare gameplay trailer

  • Diablo 3 - Xbox One vs. PC comparison

  • Hearthstone - Military Quarter gameplay video

  • Elite: Dangerous Overview video


Demos are dead, long live demos

A game demo is marketing. It's meant to get you to buy the game. The point of a demo is not to allow you to try the game. It's not meant to give you a taste of the whole experience. It's meant to sell you the game. It's a carefully culled slice of the game designed to leave you with a very specific impression of the game, one that may or may not match up with reality. That's the problem with demos, whether they're something you play at home or something the press plays at a show like E3. They should not, but not always are, a representative piece of the game to give you a sense of the whole thing. The industry calls that sort of video or playable section a "vertical slice," a piece of the game that gives you a taste of what it is and what it's offering. It slices through all the layers...

Ancient Space brings galactic RTS action back to PC

Hankering after some Homeworld-style real-time strategy? Ancient Space from developer Creative Forge is seeking to fill the void. Due to be published on Windows PC this fall, the game is a single-player RTS that places the player in command of a galactic fleet at the edge of the universe. Players must build and upgrade their fleets while doing battle with enemies. Various TV actors from action and sc-fi shows are featured including Dwight Schultz (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager) John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise), Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica), Ron Glass (Firefly) and Dina Meyer (Starship Troopers, Star Trek: Nemesis).

Legend of Grimrock 2 now in beta, iOS port of first game shown

Almost Human's island-based dungeon crawler Legend of Grimrock 2 is now in a closed beta, the developer announced today, and in the hands of a select group of players. Legend of Grimrock 2 is somewhat larger than its predecessor, Almost Human co-founders Juho Salila and Petri Häkkinen said in an update — about 25 percent larger. And although the game has been playable from beginning to end for some time, they say, there's still plenty of work to be done to polish and improve upon the game. The developer didn't provide an updated release window for the game, but did provide the above teaser trailer for Legend of Grimrock 2. Almost Human also showed off a shot of the iOS version of the original Legend of Grimrock running on an iPad. "A friend of us and a coder extraordinaire, Juha...

Watch 20 minutes of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain gameplay from Gamescom

In the event that you missed Konami's livestream of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain from Gamescom last week, now's your chance to correct that. Konami uploaded all 20 minutes-plus of its The Phantom Pain walkthrough, showing off all manner of new gameplay features. The new capabilities of Snake's cardboard box are explored in the video, as are some creative ways to use the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system. There's even a tactical horse excrement deployment. For the uninitiated, there's some helpful narration about what's happening in the latest Metal Gear Solid. At Gamescom last week, series creator Hideo Kojima announced that Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and its prologue, Ground Zeroes, are coming to PC via Steam. The Phantom Pain is also bound for PlayStation 3,...
Indie studio Question lampoons game development in The Magic Circle.

Development hell: The video game

On his wall at home, Jordan Thomas keeps a piece of artwork showing a feature cut from BioShock Infinite's development. It's a "Shadow Liz" drawn by former Irrational Games concept artist Robb Waters, from back when Thomas and FX artist Stephen Alexander experimented with a way to show that the game's "tears" were connected to the character Elizabeth. Thomas had the idea to make a "ghost" or "shadow" version of her appear next to each tear, but the team wasn't able to make it read clearly. Some who saw it thought it looked like a bug; others thought it looked like a "little glowy peanut," says Alexander. So Thomas hung up a piece of concept art for the idea as a badge of honor. "And in classic Irrational fashion, my mistake has a beautiful sketch surrounded by everybody's signatures,"...

Want to save time and money? Stop buying games at launch

“I have a confession to make,” a co-worker said in hushed tones yesterday. “I have never played a Diablo game.” The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 editions of Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition have just been released for $60. For that price you get the full version of Diablo 3, a bunch of social features, the Reaper of Souls expansion, and visuals that are much improved from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version. I’m happy to report that it’s the best version of the game so far, as I spend my evenings wrecking shit with my Demon Hunter. It goes further than that, though. The original PC version was a bit of a mess. It needed to be online to work, the real-money auction house was a controversial choice, and the loot was overwhelming. Every aspect of these flaws has been addressed in the...

Welcome to Pokégon: our page dedicated to Pokémon

Welcome to Pokémon week at Polygon, or as our talented design team has cutely rebranded us, Pokégon.Visit Pokégon by clicking here! What is Pokémon week? Why is Pokémon week? When is Pokémon week? Let's start with when. Pokémon week is running from August 18th to August 22nd. After Gamescom, new game releases lull before gradually ramping up in September and into fall. A handful of us at Polygon thought we'd use this time to meet one of our most common requests: more Pokémon stuff. This week, we'll be posting Pokémon stories, videos, galleries and GIFs. We'll be talking about Pokémon glitches, Pokémon urban legends and Pokémon's unflagging popularity. We'll have opinion pieces about the cultural impact of one of the best-selling games of all time. And we'll have a debate to choose...

Microsoft pulls plug on free-to-play Xbox 360 game Ascend: Hand of Kul

Microsoft is shutting down the Xbox 360 version of free-to-play action-RPG Ascend: Hand of Kul in November, the company announced today, and has already pulled the game from the Xbox Games Store. Developer Signal Studios said in an update on Wednesday that Microsoft discontinued support of Ascend and recently pulled the game from the Xbox marketplace. The change appears to have taken Signal Studios somewhat by surprise, as the developer said the discontinuation of Ascend "surfaced to us while investigating various issues players have been experiencing over the weekend." "We are deeply saddened by this decision and the impact it has on our community," Signal Studios said in a statement. Ascend: Hand of Kul is still available in beta on Steam for Windows PC, the developer explained, and...
Top Games
  • Watch Dogs
    • Platforms: Win, 360, PS3, Wii U, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Ubisoft
    • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
    • Release Date: 2014-05-27
  • Destiny
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Activision
    • Developer: Bungie
    • Release Date: 2014-09-09
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
    • Platforms: Mac, Win, iOS, Android
    • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
  • Dark Souls 2
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, Win
    • Publisher: Namco Bandai
    • Developer: From Software
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
All Games

How Super III is super inspired by Super Meat Boy, Super Mario 64

Super III, a new game from Super 91 Studios, aims to combine the "tight and responsive" controls of Super Meat Boy and the mission system of Super Mario 64 in its gameplay. In Super III, players control the alien III on a mission to save human survivors stranded after a galactic war. The game is a fast-paced 2D puzzle-platformer in which players can climb or quickly warp across the level to make their way through. "Controls are very tight and responsive, similar to Super Meat Boy's, making you feel it was your fault if when you make a mistake and not feel cheated by the game," Super 91 told Polygon via email. Players can choose new missions by entering different portals; like Super Mario 64, each level has several missions to be completed. Tasks include killing enemies, solving...

Assassin's Creed Memories is available for iOS now

Assassin's Creed Memories, a free-to-play mobile spin-off title from Ubisoft's Assassin Creed series focusing on card battles, is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch today via the App Store. Assassin's Creed Memories explores Renaissance Italy and Colonial America and adds new periods such as feudal Japan and imperial Mongolia. Players travel through time and collect cards while engaging in missions to hunt boss targets. Stats are boosted through the use of weapon or armor cards, while ally cards summon special characters to assist in combat. Multiplayer is available in the form of 20 vs. 20 player guild battles; participants build combos and choose their strongest to engage in front-line battles. The game is a collaboration between free-to-play mobile game developer PlayNext...

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter trailer shows off murder scenes, idyllic countryside

Developer The Astronauts just released a 13-minute demo video for its upcoming mystery/horror game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. The video shows off Ethan Carter's spooky atmosphere, massive environments and hard-boiled detective tropes. Protagonist Paul Prospero — introduced as an "occult-minded detective who receives a disturbing letter from Ethan Carter" — who has powerful (possibly supernatural) abilities, which are instrumental to solving puzzles. In the demo, Prospero encounters a nasty crime scene and has to put together the clues in order to form a picture of the murder. The game gained buzz after being shown at the PlayStation presentation at Gamescom. Ethan Carter will be available on Windows PC on Sept. 25, with a PlayStation 4 version due out next year.
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Jenny LeClue is a mystery adventure game influenced by divorce

Upcoming mystery-based adventure game Jenny LeClue draws influence from developer Joe Russ' experience growing up in a divorced family and the effects it had on his childhood, he recently told Polygon. Jenny LeClue tells the coming-of-age story of a young detective investigating a murder case involving her mother. In the game, Russ wants to explore choice and its responsibilities, he told Polygon. Choices are rarely wrong or right, and motives for making those decisions are important. "Growing up in a family of divorce is all about choices, and how your parents' choices can greatly affect you — at least as much as them," Russ said. "It's about accepting that sometimes the right choices have tough consequences. "These are the things I want players to be able to explore in the game and...

Destiny launch trailer shows combat readiness

Here's the launch trailer for Destiny. Activision released the trailer this morning, which pulls together many of the game's selling points; grand sci-fi adventure, player choice, fast combat, good looks and seamless multiplayer. Created by Bungie, the studio behind the original Halo series, Destiny will be released on Sept. 9 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. Be sure to read Polygon's full Destiny coverage.

Game pre-loading comes to Xbox One early with Madden 15

Pre-purchasing and pre-loading of Xbox One games has come to Xbox One earlier than expected, thanks to EA Sports' Madden NFL 15. The Xbox One version of the game is now available for pre-loading to those who pre-purchase the game through the Xbox Games Store. Microsoft announced at its Gamescom press conference that game pre-loading would be available on Xbox One this September with the release of FIFA 15 and Forza Horizon 2. Microsoft was rumored to have pre-loading available on Xbox One earlier this year, when a page on hinted at a pre-load option for Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall. On Twitter, Xbox Studios partner studio manager Mike Ybarra said the move was in response to giving Xbox fans a feature they've been asking for. Xbox One owners who subscribe to Electronic...

Clementine will make a stand as The Walking Dead Season Two closes next week

The fifth and final episode of The Walking Dead Season Two, No Going Back, will launch next week, developer Telltale Games announced today. No Going Back will be available for Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Windows PC on Aug. 26, Xbox 360 on Aug. 27 and for iOS on Aug. 28. The announcement was made alongside the release of the season's final trailer, which chronicles the emotional journey of protagonist Clementine and asks players to reflect on the choices they've made for her character. Be warned, the trailer is packed with spoilers for previous episodes in both seasons of Telltale's episodic drama — so you may want to hold off watching until you're all caught up — and includes an all-new scene created specifically for the trailer. The Walking Dead: Season Two episodes are...

Why Pikachu may soon be as iconic as Mickey Mouse

The silhouette of three slightly-overlapping circles is, in most cultures, instantly recognizable and unmistakable for anything but Disney's anthropomorphic mouse, Mickey. He's been in cartoons, movies and video games, his silhouette is plastered on Disney merchandise and he's the mascot for some of the world's biggest and most profitable theme parks. Mickey Mouse is a pop culture icon, and arguably one of the biggest in the world. But there's another rodent in popular culture that could dethrone Mickey: Pikachu. Best known as the star of the Japanese franchise Pokémon, Pikachu has a legitimate shot at the title of most iconic animated character. It's been in a video game series that has sold more than 260 million copies globally. It's part of a trading card game that has shipped more...

Microsoft may be offering 24-hour demos of Xbox One games to Gold subscribers

It appears as if Microsoft has begun a new program that would allow Gold subscribers to demo certain games for a 24 hour period, according to an image shared on Reddit. "Yes I am in the preview program. I already own the game so it doesn't work for me. All it does for me is go to the store and I can select play from there because I already own it," the Reddit user posted. We've reached out to Microsoft for comment, and have yet to hear back at the time of publication. Having a way to allow users to play a game for free for a day would be a nice addition for Xbox Live subscribers, and could also be a powerful promotional tool for the games supported. Xbox Support seemed to confirm this as a new feature. @PrestoFriend531 Gotcha. Looks like it is actually. We'll be in touch here...

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney hits the 3DS eShop on Aug. 29

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney will launch in North America through the Nintendo 3DS eShop on Aug. 29, Nintendo announced today. The title is a collaboration between Professor Layton developer Level-5 and Ace Attorney creator Capcom. In this crossover game, worlds collide as Layton and Phoenix Wright work together to solve a series of mysteries. Players will progress through the story by solving puzzles in the style of the Professor Layton series and working out courtroom drama as they would in any Ace Attorney game. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney originally launched in Japan in Nov. 2012 for Nintendo 3DS. The title was released in Europe earlier this spring.
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