Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

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by Jon Fingas via Engadget

You’d be forgiven for wondering what was happening with Super Mario Run. After a flurryof activity in its first few months, things have mostly quieted down. However, Nintendo is about to spark a bit of life into its signature mobile game. It’s releasing an update on September 29th that adds some (frankly needed) variety. You can play as Daisy, for instance. There’s a new world (World Star) with new gameplay elements, and a Remix 10 game mode that randomizes parts of 10 levels for a fast, perpetually fresh experience. You can also listen to your own music while you play, and your character will even don headphones to reflect that you’re not listening to the usual Super Mario themes.

To help spur interest, Nintendo will cut the full game’s price in half between September 29th and October 12th.

It’s no secret that Nintendo is less than thrilled with the game’s performance. Although it was successful in its first few months compared to many mobile games, it didn’t become a major contributor to Nintendo’s bottom line. However, this update shows that Nintendo is committed to mobile gaming for the long haul — it’s not stopping work on a title just because it’s no longer the hot new thing (it helps that this is clearly Nintendo’s marquee mobile game).

The real question is whether or not an update will spur a mini renaissance — that’s not so clear. Few games achieve the same evergreen status you get out of a title like Angry Birdsor Words With Friends. And it doesn’t help that Super Mario Odyssey for the Switch is right around the corner. If you’re a big fan of Nintendo’s ex-plumber, you’re probably focusing your attention on that title instead.

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by Irwyn Diaz via Twin Infinite

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is the latest entry in Adol’s ongoing adventures and is slated to release on the PS4, PS Vita, and PC. While the game will be releasing on the two former platforms later this week, NIS America has announced that there will be a delay with the PC version. Posting on Steam, the company claimed that the release date has been pushed back to improve the gameplay quality.

If you’ve already pre-purchased Ys VIII on the said platform, NIS America is offering a refund here. Unfortunately, they haven’t revealed an official release date for the PC version, so fans will have to wait for now.

The game follows Adol and his new motley crew who must escape the mysterious Isle of Seiren after a monster attack caused their ship to sink. He and his team must explore the island that’s swarming with dangerous enemies to locate other survivors and ultimately find a way to escape. Along the way, Adol learns about a woman named Dana in his dreams who seems to have a strong connection to the island.

Ys VIII was released yesterday, Sept 12th for the PS4 and PS Vita.

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by Timothy J. Seppala via Engadget

Strange things are afoot at Mass Effect and Dragon Age studio BioWare. Mass Effect‘s former creative director, Casey Hudson, is leaving his spot at Microsoft and will return to Edmonton to lead the studio, as general manager Aaryn Flynnhas announced he’s stepping down. “I have been contemplating changes in my own life for some time, but when I heard that Casey had confirmed he was up for the task, I realized the opportunities before us,” Flynn writes. “I will be working with him over the next couple of weeks to catch him up and do my part to set him up for success to be the best GM he can be.”

Considering Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s tepid reception, critically, from fans and, surprisingly from with in publisher Electronic Arts, maybe this shouldn’t come as a surprise. When something like that happens it isn’t uncommon for the head of a studio to step down. After all, BioWare founders Drs. Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk retired from the game industry wholesale after fans’ vocal reaction Mass Effect 3‘s ending.

“With Mass Effect, the game wasn’t maybe as finished as people wanted it to be,” EA’s vice president Patrick Soderlund told Engadget ahead of E3 this year. “Of course, we take that seriously. What we do is we look at that toward the Mass Effect team themselves, but we also look at what learnings we can apply to the rest of the organization so that this doesn’t get replicated in another place around EA.”

The interesting part here is Hudson’s return. The Mass Effect lead parted ways with BioWare in 2015 to work on HoloLens projects at Microsoft. Now, he’s heading back to old stomping grounds. Maybe bringing him back is an attempt to find Mass Effect‘s magic once again.

There’s also the chance that he’ll be helping with EA’s Destiny-alike, Anthem, but given that that game has been in development for a few years at this point, maybe that isn’t the case. Regardless, perhaps this is the good news BioWare fans have been waiting for since March.

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by Napier Lopez

The Oculus Rift sparked the virtual reality race, but so far, VR has mostly remained the realm of extreme enthusiasts and one-off gimmicks. Now Facebook is looking to achieve true mass market appeal with a standalone Oculus headset.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook is planning to unveil an Oculus headset later this year that relies on neither a cellphone (a la Google Cardboard or Gear VR) nor a powerful PC (like the Rift or Vive). The device – codenamed ‘Pacific’ – will be built by Xiaomi and cost around $200 when it ships next year.

The report isn’t particularly surprising. Mark Zuckerberg described standalone headsets as the VR “sweet spot” during last year’s Oculus conference, and basically confirmed one was in the works:

We don’t have a product to unveil at this time, however we can confirm we’re making several significant technology investments in the standalone VR category.

Going by Bloomberg’s description, Pacific will likely be similar to the Gear VR in overall function and capabilities. It shares a similar interface and can also be controlled with a wireless remote.

Despite the low price point (compared to buying a smartphone and the VR enclosure), the device is supposed to be lighter and more powerful (at least for gaming) than the current Gear VR options. It won’t include spatial tracking like the Rift at first, but that will arrive in a future version.

Oculus is also planning a headset that duplicates the functions of the Rift, but wirelessly. It would likely have a battery pack for powering the internal hardware, and beam data back and forth with your PC, as seen in some accessories for the Vive.

Standalone VR headsets are the logical end goal for VR. Though they won’t be as powerful as the ones requiring a PC, they’ll certainly be the most practical. Facebook envisions the Pacific as a headset that small and practical enough that people will be able to pull out it of their bag and use it to distract themselves during a flight.

It’s a future where you can teleport yourself to an IMAX theater during a boring seven-hour flight. That’s the world I want to live in.

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PS5 Is Coming, Sony Confirms

Posted: June 29, 2017 in Announcements

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by Sammy Barker via Push Square

Sony has commented on the PlayStation 5 for the first time, telling the German website, Golem.de that it will release a next-gen console – albeit not any time soon. The platform holder was asked about the PlayStation 4 Pro, and whether the mid-gen device will eventually get any exclusive software. Big-wig Shawn Layden reaffirmed that all of its PS4 games will continue to run on the base model, as it sticks to the tried and tested generational format that the industry is accustomed to.

There has been some speculation that generations may be dead, as hardware manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft adopt rolling console revisions instead, similar to what you see in the smartphone space. But in the interview, Layden is adamant that a PS5 is on the way, although he cautions that “it will probably be some time”.

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by Zach Epstein via BGR News

If you’re among the legions of Nintendo fans who continue to be frustrated by the fact that the company’s hot new Nintendo Switch video game console is still nowhere to be found in stores, you’ve got two options. First, you can pay a premium and head over to Amazon, where the Nintendo Switch with Gray Joy-Con and the Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Con are both in stock right now with Prime shipping. Your second option is to come to terms with the fact that the Switch won’t be in stock in stores anytime soon, and give up for the time being.

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, however. Nintendo has finally broken its silence and confirmed that production of its Switch console is ramping up, with shipments set to increase sooner than you might think.

Some people have come to terms with the fact that they’re not getting their hands on a Switch anytime soon because paying a premium isn’t an option (don’t worry, we have something AWESOME to tide you over). But Nintendo posted a message on its website on Thursday morning to let eager fans know that more Switches are on the way.

Here’s the full message posted by Nintendo, which has been machine translated from Japanese:

Thank you very much for your continued patronage of our products.

The “Nintendo Switch main unit” which we released on March 3, 2017 has continued to be in short supply in the entire domestic market since its launch. We apologize sincerely apologize to our customers and dealers for their inconvenience.

Currently, we continue to ship every week, we are working to deliver more than one product to customers. Also, in July and August, we will increase shipment volume this month, including continued shipment of “Nintendo Switch Splatoon 2 set”.

For autumn and beyond, we will continue to work to ensure that as many products as possible can be delivered to our customers towards the end of the year, such as further strengthening our production system, we appreciate your understanding.

So, long story short, manufacturing is hard when you have a smash hit on your hands. But Nintendo is indeed ramping up production at this very moment, and shipments are set to increase as soon as July, which is just over one week away.

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A June 27 release date for the standalone version of cult classic “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” is said to have come from an inside source at a major US retailer.

Ahead of 2016’s “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” which pushed the franchise’s recent sci-fi motif further than many fans had been comfortable with, publisher Activision found a way to keep its core audience on board.

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” took the first-person shooter genre and redefined it thoroughly, embracing rollercoaster cinematic storylines, multiple protagonists, contemporary global settings, and a milestone progression system that kept players glued to its multiplayer mode.

It was announced as part of a special edition version “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” and now that 2017’s “Call of Duty: WWII” is approaching, it seems that “Modern Warfare Remastered” is to be made available for purchase separately.

Franchise watcher CharlieIntel received information indicating that “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered” would be released June 27 according to a retailer database.

More visible preparations for a $39.99 retail release were seen on store shelves at US chain Target, before Twitter user drewlookinboy posted photos indicating that the June 27 date referred to the PlayStation 4 edition, with the Xbox One version arriving July 27 instead.

Sony’s PlayStation brand is the “Call of Duty” franchise’s current preferred partner, benefiting from timed exclusivity deals that have usually applied to extra multiplayer content distributed after each main game’s release.

As its name implies, November 2017’s “Call of Duty: WWII” returns to the historical European conflict of the franchise’s first three games.

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