The man behind the cover art for such classic games as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Pac-Man has died. The news was reported by a friend on Nintendo Age that artist Greg Martin has passed away last week. Martin began his career at Hanna-Barbera, working on projects associated with the Jetsons, Yogi Bear, and the Flintstones. Later he moved on to designing game covers for those properties, and soon began doing the box art for games put out by Nintendo and SEGA. In addition to Sonic and Pac-Man, some of his other box art can be found on titles such as Landstalker and Duck Tales 2.
Square Enix has announced that the remastering for the soon to be released in the west Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD was done by Virtuos Games instead of Square Enix itself. Virtuos is best known for porting titles to iOS platforms, among them being XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but has also worked on titles like The Last of Us, contributing “character art, environment art and props…including clothing for main characters Joel and Ellie.” The studio has said the Final Fantasy games remaster has been the “biggest to date” that they’ve attempted and that the project is “a new milestone” for the team. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD will be available in North America on March 18 for the PS3 and Vita, and it will be available on March 21 in Europe.
Microsoft’s new console hit a milestone prior to the end of 2013. The Xbox One has now sold more than three million consoles worldwide. Xbox corporate vice president of marketing, strategy, and business Yusef Mehdi said in a post on Xbox Wire, “It’s been incredible to see Xbox One selling at a record-setting pace for Xbox, and we were honored to see Xbox One become the fastest-selling console in the U.S. during our launch month in November. Since our launch, demand for Xbox One has been strong, selling out throughout the holidays at most retailers worldwide. We are continuing to work hard to deliver additional consoles to retailers as fast as possible. The reaction from our fans was mind blowing for our team. As we see your excitement, your energy and your hours of gameplay, we continue to be inspired to do great work- for you.” Mehdi also said that he expects 2014 to be a “promising year” for the console, pointing to upcoming releases such as Project Spark, Sunset Overdrive, and Titanfall. He thanked fans for “making 2013 truly epic for Xbox” and says he is looking forward to a good year in 2014.
In other Microsoft related news, studio boss Phil Spencer has congratulated the Xbox’s competitors, having some nice words to say about both Sony and Nintendo. Spencer told OXM that Sony has “done a nice job with PS4” and he’s praised their commitment to “new things and creative things”. Spencer also described Nintendo’s first-party catalog as “an amazing asset.” Spencer said on Sony: “When I think about their announcement, their clear focus on a customer, leading with the value proposition of what they’re trying to do, staying true to a vision, I think they’ve done a nice job in how they defined the PS4.” He went on to talk about how he respects Sony investing in “new things and creative things”, saying “What they’ve done with David Cage and Quantic Dream around Beyond [Two Souls] and Heavy Rain; they stay committed to franchises even if they don’t sell 10 million units, they’ll stay committed to things.”
On the subject of Nintendo, Spencer said, “Nintendo, I think- and there’s some argument about this- that their first-party is such an amazing asset. Their first party studios and IP can lead what they do as a company and the platforms are almost in service to the IP- not in a bad way. I think Nintendo does that as well as anybody in terms of hitting the franchises and having huge success with them.”
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