Another week has passed, which means it’s time to check in on all the hottest rumors and leaks to come out of the wide world of video games. This week we have information on a new remastered edition of a modern classic, mysterious business moves by a high-level Xbox executive, leaked information for fans of basketball games, and more. Let’s get to it.
1. What new tech is Microsoft’s Phil Harrison working on?
It’s not every day an executive leaves a perfectly fine position at a major gaming company to start up a new studio. But that’s exactly what Xbox’s Phil Harrison has done. Formerly the corporate vice president of Xbox in Europe, Harrison has jumped ship to create Alloy Platform Industries, a new company with an intentionally vague name that’s related to video games in some unexplained way.
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Harrison hints that the new company’s purpose is to work as some kind of unofficial offshoot to Xbox. The company has “licensed some technology from Microsoft, which will form the basis of our initial investigations and explorations,” Harrison said. Making it even more interesting, he added, “It’s unannounced technology that nobody outside of Microsoft knows about.”
That effectively rules out the obvious choice, HoloLens. If you recall, HoloLens is Microsoft’s upcoming augmented reality headset that will be used for gaming in some fashion, as well as a slew of other applications. Further clouding the waters, Harrison used the word “technology,” which could refer either to hardware or software. It’s unclear what this is all about, but it will be interesting to see what technology Alloy Platform Industries is working with once more information comes to light.
Harrison also said he’s been planning this move “in full consultation and collaboration with Microsoft, specifically with [Head of Xbox] Phil Spencer,” for more than a year.
2. Is Gears of War coming to Xbox One?
Aside from Halo, Microsoft’s biggest exclusive game series during the Xbox 360 console generation was Gears of War. The series consists of four games in all, each one hinging on hyper-muscular men battling monstrous, hulking aliens. According to anonymous sources speaking with Polygon, Microsoft and Black Tusk Studios are remastering the first Gears of War game for Xbox One.
Previous rumors had hinted at a “Marcus Fenix Collection” that would be comprised of remakes of the whole series. But if Polygon’s sources are correct (as they seem to be), this puts those rumors to rest.
As expected, the new version of Gears of War will include spruced-up visuals and new cutscenes. The sources showed Polygon screenshots of several different modes of the game and revealed that the multiplayer mode would run in 60 frames per second. If the game is indeed that far along, we can probably expect to see it by the end of the year.
3. NBA 2K16 covers leaked
Basketball fans will be pleased to hear that Polygon has obtained a picture of all three alternate covers for NBA 2K16, this year’s installment of the acclaimed basketball series. Each year, as with many sports games, one or more star players wind up on the cover of the game. The three players who have the honor this year are Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Another detail is that the game’s cover proclaims it to be “a Spike Lee joint,” which is how the director’s films are usually referred to on the posters and marketing materials. What role Lee had in the game’s development is unknown, although Lee is a prominent basketball fan.
The game has no official release date yet, but previous installments in the series have generally come out the first Tuesday of October.
4. Are these leaked details for Gamestop’s retro games?
Currently, video game collectors have to turn to eBay, Craigslist, and used media stores to get their hands on classic NES, SNES, and Genesis cartridges. That may be changing if GameStop has its way. The ubiquitous video game retailer has announced that it will begin selling used retro games as part of a trial program in a handful of stores.
No other details have emerged since the announcement, but a new leaked document appears to show the trade-in and selling prices for the games in the program. It’s unclear if GameStop will only deal with the games listed here, or if it will be open to all retro games. We don’t know who leaked this document, so it could very well be fake. But Gamestop employees have leaked plenty of things in the past, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if this is the real deal.