The Update for the Week Ending 14th December 2014

Hello Fellow Cravers. It’s time to get updated on the weeks news, UK charts and game releases this week.

NEWS
3) Games With Gold is well worth its money, but Playstation Plus is a lot better in 2014 

The freebie games offered by online services like PlayStation Plus and Games with Gold seems like some of the best values in gaming. But is it, really? Well, According to one analysis, the answer is, obviously Yeah.

Push Square, a U.K.-based, PlayStation-oriented publication, went through the entire year’s worth of free games released in Europe and North America on PlayStation Plus, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita.

Yes, the well-known catch is that you get to play these games only if your £40 annual subscription is current (also I am reminded of this on a constant basis). But buying in at that amount returned more than £960, according to each game’s listed PSN price as of Saturday 13th December 2014.

Of course, not everyone owns every platform and some games are not preferable for reasons of taste, but in whole numbers it looks like a solid deal. Plus, its not like you cannot purchase the games in case you get either a PS3, PS4 or PSVita later on.

You can see a month-by-month, region-by-region breakdown of games at this link. Push Square also ran their Metacritic numbers just to make sure the offerings weren’t crap. They aren’t. Many months had an average Metacritic rating over 80.

As for Xbox Live’s Games With Gold program, they gave away more than £350 worth of games — at current prices — in 2014.

Though the whole number — £373.27 — is a lot smaller than the £960.64 that PlayStation Plus delivered, Microsoft also is dealing with one less platform. PlayStation Plus offers free games for the PS Vita handheld, and Games With Gold didn’t ramp up for Xbox One until June.

Thirty-four games were offered for free in 2014 for those with a Xbox Live Gold membership, which many have long considered a standard, if hidden, cost of owning an Xbox 360 or Xbox One. There’s been no way to access multplayer without it since day one, after all. The free games ranged from titles like Halo: Spartan Assault to Darksiders 2.

As far as Metacritic scores go, the offerings on Games With Gold clock in at 78.3, worsened by Spartan Assault‘s 53 and Crimson Dragon‘s 55( both titles on Xbox One), but also improved by Halo: Reach‘s 91.

Now owning both the PS4 and Xbox One, I check PlayStation Plus’ Free Games, and Xbox One’s Games With Gold, religiously each month, because who would say no to free games? In some cases they’re offering a game I already have on disc, which I can then sell off or trade in. The only drawback of this is having to clear space on a hard drive. But it was something to be expected for this Generation on consoles, and some of the downloads are rather enormous. But then it’s not like you lose the game at the end of the month, as long as you have ‘purchased’ them, they stay in your Library forever, plus you can always play them as long as you have your Subscription.

2) Xbox One outsells PS4 for the first time in November

For the first time this year, Microsoft’s Xbox One has beaten Sony’s PlayStation 4 in monthly sales in the UK, according to data from Microsoft and the NPD Group.

November set a new record for sales of Xbox One, Microsoft said in a statement, and was the best-selling console in the U.S. and U.K. for the month.

“Response to the holiday lineup of games on Xbox One was incredible, with Xbox One fans buying more games in November in the U.S. than any other gen eight platform and enjoying over 357 million hours of gameplay globally,” Mike Nichols, corporate vice president of Xbox marketing said in a statement. “In fact, more fans logged into Xbox Live across Xbox One and Xbox 360, and enjoyed more entertainment, than any other month in the history of Xbox.”

Sony’s PS4 has been the consistent sales winner in the U.S. since January. But Microsoft made aggressive pricing moves last month, when the holiday shopping season kicks off in earnest.

Microsoft also had three bundles for sale during the month, which contained Xbox One consoles with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Sunset Overdrive or Assassin’s Creed Unity packed in.

According to NPD estimates, the best-selling retail game of November was Activision’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto 5 and Nintendo’s new Super Smash Bros.

Nintendo said in a statement that Wii U sales were up 10 percent year-over-year and that “the week of Nov. 23 was the biggest single week of Wii U hardware sales since the system launched in November 2012.” Nintendo says it sold more than 710,000 copies of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in the U.S. alone since the fighting game’s launch.

Sales of Nintendo’s new amiibo figures are about equal to sales of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the company said. Link, Mario and Pikachu (in that order) have been the best-selling figures to date, Nintendo says.

1) Steam Winter Sale leaked to be coming December 18th 

Steam’s famous Winter sale may begin on Thursday, Dec. 18, according to a Reddit user who said that PayPal Japan leaked the date in an email. Redditor Quantumbinman also posted a screenshot from his email that appears to include the start date.

If the information is accurate, it will be the second time in as many months that a Steam sale’s date leaked thanks to PayPal, who emailed customers in late November listing Nov. 26 as the date for the 2014 Exploration Sale ahead of its official announcement.

Steam’s last Winter Sale started on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. So it is more then likely this information is true.

UK GAME CHARTS

FIFA 15 has taken a 2nd week in a row at No.1 with very few new games coming out this week as we get close to the Christmas and New Year’s break, with the top 5 games not moving from last week. The highest mover at No.6 is Just Dance 2015 who has moved into the top 10 from No. 11 last week. Both Mincraft Xbox and Playstation editions have moved up a place to 7 and 8 in that order, with Destiny also making a huge jump thanks to The Dark Bellow releasing this week from 16 to 9. Leaving Assassin’s Creed: Unity holding on to a top 10 place droping down 3 places to No.10  .


Still at No.5:                        LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM
Still at No.4:                        FAR CRY 4
Still at No.3:                       GRAND THEFT AUTO V
Still at No.2:                       CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE
Still at No.1:                       FIFA 15

NEW RELEASES

GAMES RELEASED ON TUESDAY 16TH DECEMBER 
Elite: Dangerous (PC) – Digital Only
Loadout (PS4)

GAMES RELEASED ON FRIDAY 19TH DECEMBER

Amiibos wave two (Luigi/Princess Zelda/Diddy Kong/Captain Falcon/Pit/Little Mac)

So here we are, the Update for week ending 14th December, tune in to the CTG podcast available every Friday, and next Monday for the  last Update of 2014. See you then

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