Happy Thanksgiving!

For all my fellow American readers, Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with terribly fattening food, prepping for Black Friday, and passing out to football. For all my non-American readers, Happy Thursday!

In commemoration of this turkey engorging and Christmas shopping weekend (I’ve been on shopping online all week), here’s a turkey in an assassin’s hood.

Personally, I think a Kenway should have been at the first Thanksgiving. I’m sure UbiSoft can fudge that in there.

Midweek Timewaster – Doctor Who Easter Eggs

If you’ve followed me long enough, you’ll learn that I fall into several fandom tropes, not least of which is Doctor Who. I am a recent fan of the series after long avoiding its wibbly-wobbly universe that constantly finds ways to circle back to amazing adventures. But ever since finally watching the modern reboot of the series last year, I have been obsessively addicted to the series and the incredible portrayals by the last three Doctors, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith.

The wonderful team over at VGFacts.com and DidYouKnowGaming.com put together a quick little video chronicling some of the greatest Doctor Who related Easter Eggs in gaming in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. From Daleks, dialogue references and hiding the TARDIS, programmers have constantly found ways to integrate their Whovian love into their projects.

I remember years ago in particular, playing the original Fallout, having no idea what the little blue box was during a random encounter. Even today, I am particularly fond of the reference of the library in Fallout: New Vegas and the cute nods in Borderlands 2.

Gran Turismo 7 in 2014?

Gran Turismo 6

Sony Polyphony Digital president Kazunori Yamauchi believes that Gran Turismo 7 could be just around the corner, despite the fact that Gran Turismo 6 won’t be released until next week.

“We don’t want to take too long on Gran Turismo 7,” Yamauchi told the UK’s Top Gear. “Best case scenario? Next year.”

For a series known for taking its sweet time due to Yamauchi’s obsessively detail oriented direction, I sincerely doubt we’ll even get a sniff of GT7 by next year. GT5 was largely viewed as a disappointment, even by stalwart regulars of the series. I personally see the game as miles behind Turn 10’s Forza Motorsport, which has always felt vibrant and engaging where Gran Turismo, while certainly a collector’s dream, is an incredibly sterile experience.

But if Polyphony can get GT7 onto the PS4 by next year, it would be an impressive achievement. The PS4 could certainly use an exclusive racer, with DriveClub delayed until spring, Sony must be pushing Polyphony to release something in the immediate future. Sony has long held Gran Turismo as one of its key franchises dating back to the original PlayStation. With the tenuous life Gran Turismo had on the PS3 (GT HD Concept, GT Prologue, GT5, GT5 XL, GT6), a more focused effort is certainly in order for the franchise’s success on the PS4.

Top Gear – Gran Turismo 7 is coming in 2014

Twitch & Sony Need to Rethink Their Livestreams

One of the neat features of the new consoles is the built in ability to livestream gameplay through services like Twitch.tv. The typically gaming related livestream service has spiked in usage thanks to the popularity of competitive gaming, Let’s Play video series and video game talk shows, ala YouTube.

Playroom

But when combined with the generally harmless Sony Playroom, all sorts of shenanigans occurred. An unsuspecting bonus application, Playroom works with augmented reality with the PlayStation Camera by displaying dozens of spawnable robots by visually tracking the controller (with the remnants of PS Move technology). Unfortunately, when given a camera, humans have a tendency to misbehave. Naked.

What was supposed to be a way to share experiences with other communities, devolved to the point where users were stripping naked and even having sex on camera. While I’m not one to discourage another’s interests, whatever they may be, such profane acts are clearly not what Twitch or Sony had in mind, not to mention clearly against the Terms of Service.

I Don't Know What I Expected

But it’s not the first time this has happened. YouTube has certainly had its share of videos expunged for inappropriate content, there have been numerous livestreamers caught exposing themselves and there’s the ever dangerous chat roulette. Even Microsoft had to deal with a bit of banning nude gamers using the Xbox Camera to show their junk during games of Uno.

Twitch has stated they will only allow gaming related content on their service and that any Playroom based feeds must stay on the topic of games. I’m sure they’ll still have to ban a few dicks (figuratively and literally) sometime down the road.

Kotaku – Twitch Taking a Harder Look at PS4’s Playroom After Livestream Mayhem

Persona 5, Spin-Offs Announced by Atlus

Persona 5

Further underlining the notion that Persona has outgrown its Shin Megami Tensei roots, Atlus finally announced that Persona 5 will be coming to the Japanese PlayStation 3 in winter 2014.

The long anticipated sequel had been largely expected thanks to Atlus’ constant teasing of news related to the next Persona game. Social media, trailers that teased more teaser trailers, and a teaser website scheduled to change to persona5.jp, all built up a palpable amount of hype to be revealed during a live midnight broadcast. With Persona fans salivating at the promise of the next chapter in the beloved RPG, Atlus used the broadcast to drive their fans even crazier. The new Sega subsidiary announced Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Persona 4: Dancing All Night and the release date for Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold. No word yet on a western release for any of the titles.

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyringth is a dungeon exploring game for the Nintendo 3DS, similar to Atlus’ Etrian Odyssey and will feature both Persona 3 and Persona 4 characters. Persona Q will release on June 5, 2014.

Persona 4: Dance All Night is an aptly named sound rhythm game that takes place six months after Persona 4. Players will perform battle dances on the PS Vita in the fall of 2014.

And in news related to the greatest title in recent memory, the championship edition esque Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold will release summer 2014 for the PS3. After the success of Persona 4 Arena, Atlus and Arc System Works are expanding the roster and fine tuning the balance of the 2D fighter. An arcade cabinet will hit Japanese arcades this week.

In hindsight this was certainly a lengthy tease, but Atlus successfully wrangled the curiosity of its own fanbase, even being able to add on a few surprises. The Persona series has long been something I’ve been waiting to have a significant chunk of time to sink into it. I also love that Atlus is not afraid to churn out titles for outgoing technology. Persona 3 came out fairly late in the PS2’s life cycle and Persona 4 came out for the PS2 significantly after the PlayStation 3 was released. By winning over an audience with crisp, dynamic gameplay and fantastic story and art direction, Persona has succeeded while larger franchises like Final Fantasy have floundered.

Polygon – Persona 5 coming to Japan winter 2014, spin-off titles announced

John Carmack Leaves id Software

John Carmack is leaving the company he helped propel to greatness. Carmack, who helped create Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake is resigning from his position at id as technical director to focus more on the Oculus Rift.

Although Carmack stated he wanted to continue advising the company that he co-founded, he said that he and the company just could not come to an agreement.

id had been quiet from a game creation standpoint, whose only recent release is the remastered version of Doom 3. The company remains a frontrunner in technical design, with Carmack the lead programmer in their proprietary id Tech 5 engine.

Carmack is the second high profile member of id to recently leave the company. who recently lost CEO Todd Hollenshead. Carmack’s decision to work fulltime with Oculus VR is no surprise, especially considering his title as Chief Technical Officer.

Hands down one of the most brilliant minds in gaming, Carmack is leaving id at the prospect of the many challenges the Oculus Rift poses as a viable gaming medium. id may not recover from the loss of Carmack as they have steadily lost ground to competing engine programs (Epic Games’ Unreal Engine) for some time. The Bethesda owned development team might need a blockbuster hit to allow for themselves to continue making graphics engines.

Polygon – id Software founder John Carmack resigns