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Biggest News Headlines Of 2013 - Part 4

Posted on Monday, December 30 @ 12:00:00 PST by Alex_Osborn

As we wrap up our four-day look back on the biggest headlines of 2013, we reminisce over the last few of months of the year and all of the exciting news that it brought to the gaming industry.

Please join me as we dive into the final four news stories that closed out the year with a bang... or in the case of Wii U, a whimper.

1. Microsoft Rolls Back Xbox One Internet And Used Game Requirements

Coming out of E3, it was clear PlayStation 4 was the overwhelming favorite among gamers. As such, Microsoft needed to respond if they ever hoped to have a successful launch for Xbox One. To do this, the company opted to go back on a number of its policies. No longer would the internet be required to play games offline, and used games could be traded or sold without any issue for the consumer. Sure, many criticized Microsoft for going back on its initial vision, but in the end, the vast majority of the gaming crowed was relieved.

And the Big M didn't stop there with the changes. After seeing how many gamers were unhappy with the idea of being forced to use the Kinect, the company decided to make hooking it up optional, despite still including one in every box.

2. Valve Unveils Multi-Hardware Approach With Steam Machines

While Microsoft and Sony were battling against one another, Valve decided to sneak its way in with the announcement of Steam Machines. This new living room-friendly box will run on a Linux-based operating system dubbed SteamOS and allow gamers to enjoy the benefits of PC gaming from the comfort of their couch. Better yet, Steam OS will be available as a free download to PC users as well, offering the same experience to those who don't want to buy a pre-made Steam console.

In addition, Valve also revealed a brand new controller. Instead of having traditional sticks, the game pad features two circular touch pads that apparently allow the precision one would get from using a mouse. Whether or not Valve's plan for living room domination will work remains to be seen, but the company has proven it is a force to be reckoned with.

3. GTA Online Debacle

Grand Theft Auto V is undoubtedly one of the biggest games of 2013, and after wowing the world with its incredible single-player, anticipation was understandably high for its forthcoming online component. Unfortunately, not even Rockstar was prepared to handle the onslaught of eager gamers when GTA Online finally launched, resulting in an experience that was unplayable for the vast majority of gamers for several days after launch.

The experience has since been fixed, but its rough first impression certainly didn't do it any favors. In fact, some may even argue that the online component actual brings down the overall quality of Grand Theft Auto V, undermining the technical achievement that was the single-player campaign.

4. Nintendo Reportedly Sells A Mere 230,000 Wii U Units In November

Wii U has struggled to catch on for Nintendo, but I don't think anyone anticipated it doing this horribly for the Big N. Sure, software was few and far between for the better part of 2013, but with the launch of Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World in time for the holiday season, surely the console would make a comeback in November, right? Wrong. Instead, Wii U sales numbers continue to lag, with Nintendo so far off its 9 million sales forecast it isn't even funny. It's quite sad, actually.

The fact that even a high-quality Mario game wasn't enough to turn things around for the tablet-centric console this holiday season doesn't paint a particularly hopeful future for the console. Will the likes of Mario Kart 8 and a new Super Smash Bros. really be able to turn things around for Nintendo? Looks like we'll have to wait until 2014 to find out.

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