The Red Herb Roundup: The Phantom Herb


This week’s most percolating gaming happenings that you may have missed. If you didn’t miss them, congratulations. You’re better than I am. But now that you’re gloating about it, you’re worse than I am. O, how quickly your vanity carried you to ruin, my former liege. Anyway, welcome back to the Roundup. Leave your shoes anywhere.

In Tech

  • Sony is bent on selling five million PS4’s by next March. I’m bringing you one unit closer to your goal, guys. You don’t have to thank me. But you do owe me.image
  • Fun fact: the PlayStation 4, a console owned and created by a Japanese company, is delaying its Japan launch because there aren’t enough Japanese games for it. A sign that Western developers have overtaken the gaming scene this generation? “Nah,” says Sony figurehead Shuhei Yoshida. Japan is a “portable-heavy” market is all. So you say.image

  • “The Steam universe is expanding in 2014.” A tease of promises untold or a thinly veiled threat of world dominance? When it comes to Valve, cryptic sentences usually result in both. The Bellevue, WA geek kingdom, a company that has subtly but surely influenced industry sweeping trends, is teasing three announcements for next week, beginning Monday morning. What’s the deal? Gabe “The Man” Newell hinted “hardware opportunities” for bringing Linux to the living room will be revealed soon. Steam Box anyone?image
  • The RetroN 5 is upon us, old school fiends. Hyperkin, one of the foremost manufacturers of video game clone devices (we’re adults here; I mean “knock-offs), has dated their wondrous, cartridge eating console for December 10th, 2013. The RetroN 5, to those unfamiliar, is a plastic portal to the past that allows you to play NES, SNES, Famicon, Genesis, Mega Drive, Sega Master System (B.Y.O. Power Converter, though) and Game Boy carts all in one machine. Essentially it’s the universal remote off retro consoles. Classic kicks will cost you $99.

In Games

  • image Tokyo Game Show went and happened in Japan this week (forgetting which city, though…). With it, Capcom laid on us more about their PS4 exclusive online co-op fantasy RPG with futuristic overtones, Deep Down. Crap, still didn’t get it right. Now, Deep Down is an online co-op free-to-play fantasy RPG with futuristic overtones. An open beta is planned in time for the PS4’s Japanese release we talked about.image

  • Sega bought Atlus. Technically, Sega Sammy Holdings is "sponsoring” Index Corp., the company that owns developer Atlus (Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, Dragon’s Crown), which means Sega, under the name Sega Dream, is taking over business operations from Index through a newborn form of bankruptcy called civil rehabilitation. But why’d you make me say all that shit? Wasn’t “Sega bought Atlus” good enough for you? This is how your vanity got the better of you.image
  • At this point, after missing both E3 and TGS this year, fans just want to know whether The Last Guardian is dead or not. Every time we ask, Sony says it isn’t, but when we press to see the patient, Sony says their not taking visitors. I JUST WANT TO SEE IF IT’S OKAY. Hang on, composing…Okay…So, the game is still in production and Team Ico’s former creative head, Fumito Ueda, is still overseeing the game even in light of his public departure from the studio in 2011. “We are still waiting for the time to reintroduce it,” said Yoshida. Looks like we may be reintroduced to a PS4 title at this rate…image

  • Fans of bastardly difficult games better brace their sore and bloody thumbs for next year. Dark Souls II will arrive on PS3 and Xbox 360 March 11th, 2014. The PC version joins the slaughter sometime soon after. Here’s a trailer to make up for that ambiguity.image
  • Mr. Kojima has confirmed Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes will run at 60fps on both the Xbox One and PS4. Though the framerate clocks in at half that for the current-gen, gameplay remains virtually the same for all consoles Ground Zeroes can be found on. What is Ground Zeroes? A prologue to MGSV. Is it separate or on-disc? Now you’re asking dangerous questions. Quick! Here’s gameplay to make you forget your prying ways.

In Memoriam

  • Hiroshi Yamauchi, former President of Nintendo (from, amazingly, 1949 to 2002), passed away this week at 85, fighting pneumonia. Yamauchi, who took over the company from his grandfather, pioneered Nintendo’s shift from children’s toys to video games. Under his watch, Nintendo became synonymous with gaming, leading the market with its home consoles and household name properties. A solemn and heartfelt thank you goes out from us to you, Mr. Yamauchi. The worlds we visit, the world we escape into, would not be the same nor even there at all if not for you. Thank you for our childhoods.image

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