This week in gaming

Next-gen is now

Sony’s next-generation console, the PlayStation 4, is available today in North America and will release to the rest of the world throughout December, finally becoming available in Japan on Feb. 22.

Console launches rarely go off without a hitch, and this one is not different. A few people, including IGN and Kotaku, have reported that their consoles have become inoperable and no one seems to know exactly why. Sony has told IGN that less than .4% of all consoles shipped have experience problems, and that it is within reasonable expectations for a new product launch.

Batman hits the arcade

We scored an exclusive interview with the creator of popular boat-racing game “Hydro Thunder” and CEO of Specular Interactive, Stephen Ranck, in which he talked about his early days making games as a kid and how he got started working on “Cruisin’ USA” for Midway.

He also have us some insight into his company’s newest game, “Batman,” an open-world driving game that will hit arcades Monday. 

Nintendo strikes gold with a fan-favorite franchise

Link returns to his roots in the newest “Legend of Zelda” game.
The latest installment in the “Legend of Zelda” series is getting crazy-good review scores, netting a perfect score from EGM, Joystiq and Game Informer.

“The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” for the Nintendo 3DS comes out Friday, Nov. 22 along with a special-edition, gold-and-black 3DS console that features the Triforce made famous by the series and a free download of the game from the Nintendo eShop.

Free Xbox games continue into the next generation

Xbox’s Larry Hyrb, a.k.a. Major Nelson, tweeted yesterday that Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be getting access to free Xbox One games each month beginning sometime in the future.

He went on to say in his tweet that details would be made available later in the year, and no word has been released yet on what games might be included in this program.