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Microsoft this week leaked — apparently by complete accident — several confidential documents used in its case against the FTC. The unredacted documents provide a glimpse into the internal workings of Microsoft, including some of the conversations between top executives such as Phil Spencer. While the documents are fun to read by themselves, if only because it’s tantalizing to read something you’re not meant to, the amount of buzz they (or at least one of them) have caused doesn’t seem to be warranted. I would caution anyone against taking the leaked documents as gospel for Microsoft’s current gaming plans.
The one part that seems to be generating the most consternation is Xbox’s apparent intention to acquire Nintendo. However, if you actually read the body of the 2020 email in which this idea is floated to Phil Spencer, his response is pretty firmly in the “No” column. Translating the polite corporate jargon, he tells Takeshi Numoto, “I like the way you think but it’s not happening.” He credits Numoto’s idea, but categorically says there’s no way such at thing could be. He says that “getting Nintendo would be a career moment,” which is hard to fault because it’s true. It’d be the coup of the century if Microsoft could pull it off, but it won’t.
Other pieces of intel include that Phil Spencer told Satya Nadella that he felt the Xbox Series X was stronger than the PlayStation 5, that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor would have cost $300 million to get on Game Pass day one (which even Sarah Bond suggested wasn’t a good investment), and that they’re working on a new controller that imitates the haptics of the DualSense. The company’s internal roadmap for consoles includes a new console in 2028 and a mid-cycle refresh next year. These might be the most instructive documents in the leak, if only because they reveal Microsoft seems to want a digital-only future with the Brooklin Series X refresh.
Funnily enough, the most delightful pieces of information in the leaked documents, in my opinion, seem to be hardly raising a stir: Namely, that Bethesda has (or at least had as of three years ago — there’s that question of relevance again) remasters of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3 on the way, as well as a Ghostwire: Tokyo sequel, Dishonored 3, and three unannounced titles. Given the release schedule, it’s very likely the remasters, at least, are in the works and on their way soon. Also, Microsoft called Baldur’s Gate 3 a “second-run Stadia PC RPG,” which is hilarious in retrospect.
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The week that has been the most
Unity seems to have fully completed its walk of shame this week. Today it released new terms attempt to curb the tumult caused by its announcement of a Runtime Fee. The new policy is not exactly clear, but what is clear is that Unity is aware of how badly it, to use former CEO David Helgason’s turn of phrase, “f*cked up.” It remains to be seen if Unity can regain its trust with developers after such a reviled decision, as many were fully prepared to abandon Unity over it.
In other news, Capcom and RGG separately announced that Apollo Justice: The Ace Attorney Trilogy and Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth are launching on January 25 and 26, respectively. Given that that’s a few days before my birthday, I’m choosing to believe those dates for games in two of my most beloved franchises are a gift to me, personally.
In personal news, I’ll be using the weekend to finish the story mode of Mortal Kombat 1 and play Resident Evil 4 Remake’s Separate Ways DLC, if there’s time for it. I’m waiting to try out the new version of Cyberpunk 2077 until Phantom Liberty properly releases — that way I get the full experience at once.
What to play this week
- Mortal Kombat 1
- Lies of P
- Payday 3
- Party Animals
- Cyber Citizen Shockman 2: A New Menace
New on subscription services:
- NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Sid Meier’s Civilization VI (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Star Ocean The Divine Force (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Odin Sphere Leifthrasir (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Unpacking (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Planet Coaster: Console Edition (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- This War of Mine: Final Cut (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Cloudpunk (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Contra: Rogue Corps (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Tails Noir (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Call of the Sea (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- West of Dead (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- PAW Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls (PlayStation Plus Extra)
- Star Ocean First Departure R (PlayStation Plus Premium)
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PlayStation Plus Premium)
- Star Ocean: The Last Hope (PlayStation Plus Premium)
- Dragon’s Crown Pro (PlayStation Plus Premium)
- Warhaven (GeForce Now)
- HumanitZ (GeForce Now)
- 911 Operator (GeForce Now)
- Ad Infinitum (GeForce Now)
- Chained Echoes (GeForce Now)
- Deceit 2 (GeForce Now)
- The Legend of Tianding (GeForce Now)
- Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries (GeForce Now)
- Sprawl (GeForce Now)
- Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space (Prime Gaming)
- Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate (Prime Gaming)
- Junkworld (Apple Arcade)
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