We’re listing the ten Games of the Decade. These are the ten PlayStation titles released over the past ten years that we believe have left a historic mark on the industry. Whether it’s Destiny’s impact on the Games as a Service space or Journey’s innovative approach to online connectivity, these are the releases that the industry will be referencing well into 2020 and beyond.
It was just a demo – but it was probably the greatest demo of all time. We remember the announcement of the fictional 7780s Studio’s PT fondly – it was sandwiched between a couple of forgettable games at one of PlayStation’s annual Gamescom press conferences. At the time, we shrugged it aside; indie developers had already ushered a survival horror renaissance with the likes of Outlast, and we assumed it was just another one of those.
In a way, it was, but this downloadable demo harboured a bigger secret: Silent Hills. There was euphoria that night, as people completed the demo and got their first glimpse of Norman Reedus in the starring role. Hideo Kojima, a veteran at breaking the fourth wall, was at his cunning best that evening – and news that he was collaborating with famed director Guillermo Del Toro on a reboot of one of PlayStation’s scariest properties was merely the viscera on the blood-soaked cake.
A very messy spat between the auteur and publisher Konami killed any hopes of reboot ever seeing the bright light of day, but even now it’s a project that’s firmly in the public eye. That’s because PT – or Playable Teaser, as it would later become known – is arguably the greatest example of survival horror the industry has ever seen. Set in an endlessly looping corridor, the interactive short proves the adage that less is more, contorting its play space to dramatic effect.
As a game, the demo subscribes more to the Gone Home school of design, with very little for you to do beyond observing the environment. But the puzzles are clever, and the atmosphere invoked is intense from start-to-finish. Kojima and his team eke more life out of a single hallway than most AAA titles manage in an entire open world, and each element of the experience – from the art to the audio design to the sinister sway of the camera – contribute confidently to that.
In a world after PT, survival horror will never be the same. There are already several titles that have taken inspiration from the release; Layers of Fear, the sadistic stroll through the demented mind of an obsessive artist, owes its entire existence to the demo – leveraging perspective to twist each scene in the exact same way as the Silent Hills sampler. It’s become the contemporary Super Mario Bros 1-1, being recreated in practically every creation suite, including Media Molecule’s Dreams.
And there are still stories today about what could have been; talk of waivers as Kojima and his crew planned to invade on the personal lives of players with their hotly anticipated reboot. The auteur would later reunite with Reedus and Del Toro for Death Stranding, released earlier this year. And there’s talk of return to horror on the cards. But it’s hard to imagine anything hitting quite like PT did – it was a perfect storm of pure terror, and a nightmarish interpretation of what a horror game can be.
Do you agree that PT has left an indelible legacy on the survival horror space? Are you still holding out hope for the return of Silent Hills one day? Scream where everyone can hear you in the comments section below.
Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries
Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.
Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver
EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.
Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.
Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.
Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.
($1 = 1,117.7000 won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum
The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.
Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.
Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.
The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.
The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.
Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.
In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.
Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.
Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.
In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.
Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.
The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.
($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)