First came the NES Classic, then the SNES Classic. And now it’s the turn of the Game Boy, which is now making a comeback in 2018

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by Ghost via Know Your Mobile

The Nintendo Game Boy is a classic product in the world of gaming. It first launched 28 years ago, but is now making a comeback and, best of all, your old games will still work on it.

Launched at CES 2018, the rebooted Game Boy features an aluminium chassis, not plastic, and it will retail for $75 once it is available later on inside 2018.

This isn’t a Nintendo re-release, though; no, this Game Boy was created by computing firm Hyperkin. The product was demoed at CES but is still undergoing work. The company refers to it as the Ultra Game Boy.

Hyperkin has made several significant changes to the design, however, introducing USB charging, a battery that lasts six hours, and a new, backlit LCD display which means you can play the device in the dark without needing a “snake light”.

The Ultra Game Boy will not come with games pre-installed; instead, users will have to use their old ones, if they still have them, or pick up second-hand titles via sites like eBay and Amazon.

Nintendo sold 119 million Game Boy units during its active duty, with the product being taken off the market in 2003. How Hyperkin got permission to do this remains to be seen… Nintendo is usually very protective of its brands, so it will be interesting to see how this develops.

In other Nintendo news, word on the street suggests the company is eyeing a re-release of its seminal N64, whereby the console will be redone and released with its original titles, just as Nintendo did with the NES Classic and SNES Classic.

Nintendo has even filed a trademark for the console, indicating it is now a case of when not if it happens.

As a HUGE N64 fan, this would be awesome for me and it is something I would definitely purchase. I spend most of my teenage years locked in three-hour long duals on Goldeneye with friends.

I want do to that again!

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by Daniel Howley via Yahoo!

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by Lulu Chang via Digital Trends

In what can only be described as a sign of the times, the World Health Organization has recognized a new kind of mental health condition. It’s a familiar ailment, though some of us may be slow to call it a medical condition. It’s called gaming disorder, and it’s characterized by “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior,” or more simply, an addiction to gaming.

In the beta draft of the WHO’s upcoming 11th update of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), due out in 2018, gaming disorder is now included as an affliction. Folks who suffer from the disorder are said to have “impaired control over gaming,” which is to say an inability to control the frequency, intensity, duration, and context of their habits. WHO also notes that those who prioritize video games over “other life interests and daily activities” and continue to escalate the amount that they play “despite the occurrence of negative consequences” are also showing symptoms of the newly classified disorder.

“The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning,” the draft reads. “The gaming behavior and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.”

The appearance of gaming disorder in the ICD-11 may have broader implications than we think. After all, it is this document that stipulates the international standard for what does and doesn’t quality as a health condition, which means that doctors could soon diagnose patients with gaming disorder, and insurance companies could extend coverage for treatment of the ailment (though it’s unclear how that would manifest itself).

That said, not all health organizations appear to agree with the WHO’s recent labeling. As Newsweek noted, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is created by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), has yet to recognize gaming as an official condition. However, the guide does include internet gaming disorder as a potential problem to continue monitoring for future inclusion. So if you’re spending the holidays gaming away, you may want to take a look at just how much family time you’re deprioritizing in favor of those little avatars on your screen.

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Like an old pair of your favorite blood-stained shoes

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by Charlie Hall via Polygon

I had deep reservations about the port of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds for Xbox One, but after a long night on the couch I’m a believer. Battlegrounds feels great on a console. There’s clearly an awful lot of work left to do, but I can’t wait to see where things go from here.

The secret to Battlegrounds’ success on Xbox One is its controller support.

The team at PUBG Corporation were uncompromising in their implementation. The movement and inventory systems have been carried over in their entirety to the Xbox controller. It take a little bit of practice to get the hang of it, but after two or three solid rounds of play it’s no big deal.

But it’s in the subtleties that Xbox One controller support really shines. The turn rates, both in third- and first-person, are smooth. In the menus, players have the ability to fiddle with controller’s sensitivity at each of the different zoom lengths. Tracking where your shots fall is easy, even at 1080p, and it feels as though there’s just the slightest bit of aim assist at ranges over 200 meters.

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Aiming with the Xbox controller was the hardest thing to figure out for me. You tap the left trigger to aim down the sights, and hold the left bumper to hold your breath. Changing from first to third-person also changes the functions of other buttons slightly. It takes some practice, but it’s dynamic and authentic to the PC experience. – PUBG Corp./Microsoft

Not only does it feel natural to move and fight, but all of the nuance of the PC game is there. Players still have the freedom to make tactical decisions, to move from third-person to first-person, to aim down sights, to free-look while parachuting or running around.

Perhaps the biggest improvement is in the game’s driving. No more pecking at the WASD keys to get your nose pointed in the right direction, as the analog sticks on the Xbox controller were literally made for this.

All that being said, there’s clearly some technical issues. Once, while I was in the top 20, I experienced a crash to a black screen that kicked me out of the game entirely. Texture pop is awful, especially in the opening few minutes of each round. I’ve also heard that there are serious issues with frame rate on the Xbox One X and at 4K.

But this is an early access game. These things should be expected.

All I know is that I can get a solid 30 minutes of highly technical, thrilling, PC-style shooter action from my living room couch. Battlegrounds’ port is an achievement. For their next trick, PUBG Corp. just needs to follow through and finish the game.

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by Jon Fingas via Engadget

Many a gamer has had regrets about their choice of username — xXxDeathCrusher420xXx might not be quite so appealing in adult life as it was in your teenage years. And for PlayStation fans, that’s been a big problem when your PSN name has always been set in stone. Sony may have seen the light, though. In an interview at PlayStation Experience, the company’s Shawn Layden said he hoped to have a name change option available by next year’s Experience. So what’s the holdup? Layden didn’t dive into specifics, but he said the technical solutions were “more complex than you think.”

As Gamespot notes, Layden said in 2014 (yes, 2014) that Sony had to take steps to prevent griefing. It didn’t want trolls to cause havoc in one game, change their name and promptly ruin someone else’s play session. There’s also the matter of making sure that all your friends see the change. It’s unclear whether or not Sony might ask you to pay to change your handle, as Microsoft does on Xbox Live (again to discourage griefing), but setting up those exchanges could involve some work as well.

There’s no guarantee that Sony will have name changes in place. As you might have noticed, it’s been talking about the idea for years. The narrow time frame suggests the feature is getting close, however, and it’s easy to see this becoming a higher priority given that a PSN account is increasingly vital to making full use of your PS4.

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by Matt Fernandez via Variety

Video game development company Square Enix announced a new entry in the “Tomb Raider” franchise on Thursday.

The “Tomb Raider” series of films and action-adventure video games follows British archaeologist Lara Croft as she solves puzzles and shoots her way through swarms of bad guys to uncover ancient treasures. The “Tomb Raider” Twitter page posted an announcement by Square Enix that “a new Tomb Raider game is coming” and that the company will share news about the game next year.

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“Honestly, we wish we could share it with you now, but we’re taking a new approach this time. Driven by our goal of putting our fans first, we want you to know that it won’t be very long between the official reveal and when you can play,” said Square Enix. Though traditional video game marketing tends to begin well before a game’s release date and follows a project through its development, this new approach looks to shorten the gap between the game’s official reveal and its release date.

The tweet also indicated that the game’s announcement would coincide with “a major event in 2018,” likely the upcoming reboot of the “Tomb Raider” reboot film starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft that will be released on March 18, 2018. Angelina Jolie previously filled the role in “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” and “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.” The “Tomb Raider” franchise has been around since the first game was released in 1996, and was rebooted in 2013. Though an official title has not been announced, a leaked image in 2016 suggests that the new game could be called “Shadow of the Tomb Raider.”

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by Mariella Moon via Engadget

EA isn’t only getting a lot of flak over Battlefront II’s loot crates, it’s also under investigation from Belgium’s gambling authority. According to VTM Nieuws, the country’s gaming commission is in the midst of taking a closer look at both Battlefront II and Overwatch, since add-on boxes that have to be purchased before you can see what’s inside might constitute gambling. As Commission chairman Peter Naessens points out, random loot boxes are a game of chance.

Authorities are especially concerned over the fact that the games are marketed towards children. Naessens says kids could feel forced to spend a lot of money under social pressure. EA made earning heroes easier after facing backlash, but players might still end up spending serious money on the game — according to a computation by Star Wars Gaming, it will take at least 4,528 hours of gameplay or $2,100 to unlock all its base content.

We reached out to Blizzard to find out the developer’s stance on the investigation. In a statement provided to GameSpot, EA made its position clear and insisted that Battlefront II’s loot crate mechanics aren’t gambling:

“Creating a fair and fun game experience is of critical importance to EA. The crate mechanics of Star Wars Battlefront II are not gambling. A player’s ability to succeed in the game is not dependent on purchasing crates. Players can also earn crates through playing the game and not spending any money at all. Once obtained, players are always guaranteed to receive content that can be used in game.”

If Belgium’s gaming authorities decide that loot boxes constitute gambling, EA and Overwatch will have to secure a special permit if they want to continue making those games accessible in the country.

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