Archive for the ‘Game Articles’ Category

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by Ben Gilbert via Business Insider

This holiday season, both Sony and Microsoft plan to launch new, so-called next-generation versions of the PlayStation and the Xbox.

Goodbye, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One! Hello, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X!

It marks the fourth game console “generation” that Microsoft and Sony consoles have gone head-to-head, starting with the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox around the turn of the century. Nintendo exited direct competition on hardware with both companies years ago, starting with the wildly successful launch of the Nintendo Wii in 2006.

These days, the “console wars” are a head-to-head between Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox. But in 2020, it looks as if Microsoft is shifting its business strategy in a way that might end them for good.

Here’s how Microsoft plans to do it:

1. Microsoft doesn’t mind if you don’t buy its new Xbox console, as long as you buy the game.

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Do you want to play games on an Xbox? A PC? Your phone? Microsoft wants to reach you there — ideally across all three.

To that end, Xbox has major initiatives across all three platforms: a new game console (Xbox Series X), a cloud gaming service (Project xCloud), and a Netflix-like gaming service (Game Pass).

“That remains core to what we’re trying to do,” the Xbox leader Phil Spencer told Business Insider in an interview last June. “To allow creators to reach the customers that they want, allow players to play the games that they want with the people they want to play with, anywhere they want. And it fits right into the opportunity ahead.”

It’s part of a broader effort at Microsoft to bring Xbox games to as many people as possible — even if those people don’t buy a new Xbox console. To that end, all first-party Xbox games across the next two years will also head to Xbox One.

“As our content comes out over the next year, two years, all of our games, sort of like PC, will play up and down that family of devices,” the Xbox Game Studios director Matt Booty told MCV in a recent interview.

When the big new “Halo” game arrives alongside the Xbox Series X this holiday, it’ll also arrive on Xbox One and PC.

2. The new Xbox is just the latest box, not a whole new ecosystem.

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The next Xbox console will play Xbox One games. It will also play all the original Xbox and Xbox 360 games that already work on the Xbox One. It will also work with all the current Xbox One accessories, from gamepads to fight sticks.

“The original Xbox games and Xbox 360 games that are backward-compatible now on your Xbox One, those will play. Your Xbox One games will play, your accessories will play,” Spencer said last June.

This is an important precedent that was set with the Xbox One, and it’s continuing with the next generation of Xbox consoles: Your digital game library carries forward, like app purchases on smartphones or movie purchases on Amazon Prime. It establishes your Xbox library as a continuing digital platform, something no game console maker has done thus far.

The compatibility actually stretches further — games with large existing communities will continue to grow those communities on the next Xbox.

“I don’t want to announce anything about what another game team is doing,” Spencer said, “But I think what we would say at the highest level is if you talk about these games that have such massive communities today, a lot of those developers and studios are going to want to think about how they grow their community — not how they take it to zero and try to rebuild it.”

It doesn’t take a lot of hard thinking to imagine the games Spencer is talking about; games like “Fortnite” and “Minecraft” stand out, among many others with large, multiplatform audiences.

3. Going forward, it’s just “Xbox.”

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The Xbox Series X is part of the fourth generation of Xbox consoles from Microsoft, following the original Xbox, the Xbox 360, and the Xbox One generations. It’s a real murderer’s row of bizarre names.

The Series X, however, isn’t a whole new line of Xbox consoles — it’s just the name of the latest in the Xbox console brand.

“The name we’re carrying forward to the next generation is simply Xbox,” a Microsoft representative told Business Insider in December.

It’s a small branding change, but it clarifies Microsoft’s position with its console line: You can expect your Xbox digital library to work on Xbox devices, similar to Apple’s approach with the iPhone.

You might get an iPhone 11 Pro, or you might get an iPhone 8 — they all run the same stuff, albeit in varying degrees of fidelity. Such is the case with the Xbox brand going forward.

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You can put that “Shut up and take my money” meme away (for now).

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by Peter Brown via GameSpot

Microsoft has announced the official name for Project Scarlett is Xbox Series X, or just simply ‘Xbox‘. The new Xbox is scheduled to release during the holiday season in 2020 alongside Sony’s PlayStation 5. However, despite revealing the console at The Game Awards, Microsoft isn’t ready to open pre-orders just yet–if you want to buy it, you’ll have to keep waiting. And that’s an intentional choice on the part of Microsoft.

“We think, in the end, what people want from us is … to put a controller [in their] hand,” Xbox partner director of program management Jason Ronald told GameSpot. “People tell me, ‘Hey, I want to pre-order right now,’ and we definitely love that–like it’s great to have those fans–but I also know that these investments aren’t trivial for families. I want to be transparent about what our design goals are.”

To ensure customers know what they’re paying for, Microsoft is going to hold off on pre-orders for a little longer. Though we now know a lot more about Xbox Series X–like its name (i.e. Xbox), its PC desktop-looking design, the new share button on its controllers, how it will work with Project xCloud, and a host of other details–we’re still in the dark about quite a few things. The big one is, of course, its price tag.

More than anything though, Microsoft doesn’t want to start selling the new Xbox yet because customers haven’t had a chance to try the console. The Game Awards presents a wonderful platform for announcements, but, as Ronald puts it, the show doesn’t present “an opportunity for people to play–it’s a stage.”

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The next generation Xbox got a big reveal last week, with a first look at the box itself and a name: Xbox Series X.

The Xbox Series X is part of the fourth generation of Xbox from Microsoft, following the original Xbox, the Xbox 360, and the Xbox One generations.

It’s quite a list of names, especially compared to the dead simplicity of Sony’s PlayStation line which starts with the PlayStation 1 in 1995 and runs through to the upcoming PlayStation 5 that’s scheduled for 2020.

But there was something particular about the way that Microsoft revealed the name of the Series X:

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Microsoft / The Game Awards

Do you see it?

“THE NEW” is tiny, followed by “XBOX” in huge letters, and then “SERIES X” in medium-sized letters below that.

Like this:

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Upon closer inspection, it appears that “Xbox” is the make and “Series X” is the model — as if the name going forward for Xbox consoles is simply “Xbox.”

It turns out there’s a good reason for that.

“The name we’re carrying forward to the next generation is simply Xbox,” a Microsoft representative told Business Insider, “And at The Game Awards you saw that name come to life through the Xbox Series X.”

Like the first Xbox generation, the next one is simply named “Xbox.”

It’s a basic rebranding, but a meaningful one that could help to simplify the Xbox line for interested consumers. It also clarifies Microsoft’s intention with its console line.

“Similar to what fans have seen with previous generations, the name ‘Xbox Series X’ allows room for additional consoles in the future,” the Microsoft rep told us.

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Currently, there are two models of Xbox One: The Xbox One X and the Xbox One S. Both came out after the original Xbox One, which launched in November 2013.

For several years, Microsoft also offered that Xbox One, which looked different from both of the consoles seen above. All three of these consoles are part of the “Xbox One” generation, which tracks with 2013 to present day. They all play the same Xbox One games, though the Xbox One X is technically far more powerful than the other two boxes.

Confused yet?

That’s exactly why Microsoft is simplifying its naming convention going forward. At the same time, of course, the statement indicates that Microsoft is already working on other versions of the next-generation Xbox — something that lines up with repeated rumors of a disc-less, streaming-focused Xbox. Microsoft isn’t saying just yet, though. “We’re excited to offer fans a glimpse at the next generation of gaming with Xbox Series X,” the rep said, “But beyond that, we have nothing further to share.”

One thing is clear: That “Series X” bit isn’t so important — it’s just Xbox from now on.

Check out the intro video for the new Xbox right here:

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(Bloomberg) — GameStop Corp., the ailing video-game retailer, plunged as much as 19% after posting a third-quarter loss that was larger than even the most dire Wall Street estimate.

The adjusted quarterly loss came to 49 cents a share, the merchant said Tuesday. The most pessimistic analyst had expected a deficit of 16 cents. Sales plummeted 26% from a year earlier to $1.44 billion, and GameStop also reduced its forecast for the year.

The shares tumbled to as low as $5.25 in their worst decline in three months. The stock had lost 48% this year as of Tuesday’s close.

The dismal results came at the start of the industry’s biggest season, with top-sellers including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Luigi’s Mansion 3 being released in the period.

The chain has struggled to sustain its revenue as more video-game players gravitate to free online titles that generate money by selling fans online merchandise while they play. The Grapevine, Texas-based retailer, which once boasted annual sales of more than $9 billion, is forecast to finish the current fiscal year with revenue of $7.17 billion, based on analysts’ estimates.

Another headwind: The current generation of game consoles is aging, leaving consumers without a reason to upgrade.

Chief Executive Officer George Sherman blamed “the unprecedented decline in new hardware sales” for hurting sales last quarter, “as the current generation of gaming consoles reach the end of their life cycle.”

Mike Hickey, an analyst at Benchmark Co., described the latest results as “awful.”

The company’s “voyage seems doomed as the digital storm intensifies.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Rob Golum in Los Angeles at rgolum@bloomberg.net;Olga Kharif in Portland at okharif@bloomberg.net;Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, John J. Edwards III, Molly Schuetz

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Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) rolled out its new “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” battle pass, along with other new Season One content, a move KeyBanc says makes sense given that the battle pass is becoming the standard gamers are used to.

Why The Battle Pass?

The battle pass model is becoming the industry standard, shifting away from the paid downloadable content model, KeyBanc analyst Tyler Parker wrote in a note.

Under the new “Call of Duty” battle pass, gamers can spend $10 for certain new content that gamers can unlock. The pass replaces the game’s “loot boxes,” which weren’t popular with gamers.

“The battle pass is a more user-friendly version of monetizing the player base and a shift in the right direction,” Parker wrote.

The new system increases engagement, he said, but also provides more opportunities for players to spend more money in the in-game store.

“Assuming the unlockable content remains attractive, we believe the battle pass presents an opportunity to retain users with stable investment over the next year,” Parker said.

KeyBanc has an Overweight rating on Activision Blizzard with a $60 price target.

On Wednesday, the stock was trading up 1.02% at $56.51.

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“If there is a Snyder cut, I hope it’s better than the one that is out now,” says cinematographer Fabian Wagner.

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by Zack Sharf via IndieWire

Zack Snyder went viral this week after posting a photo of film containers that seemingly contain the much-discussed “Justice League” Snyder cut. Snyder’s post was an attempt to end the debate over whether or not the Snyder cut exists. The director exited “Justice League” after a family tragedy and Joss Whedon was hired by Warner Bros. to oversee reshoots and postproduction. Whedon was also tasked with lightening up the film’s tone. During a recent Q&A (via ScreenRant), the original “Justice League” cinematographer Fabian Wagner weighed in on the recent Snyder cut buzz by saying, “If there is a Snyder cut, I hope it’s better than the one that is out now.”

Wagner has long been critical of Whedon’s “Justice League.” In an interview over the summer, Wagner said he cried all the way through watching Whedon’s drastically different version of the film than Snyder’s. The cinematographer said at the time that watching Whedon’s “Justice League” was so hard he couldn’t figure out how much of the original film was changed in reshoots. “A lot was changed,” he said. “It looked very different.” Now Wagner reasons that Whedon and Warner Bros. threw out 90 percent of what he shot with Snyder. Wagner was not involved in any of the “Justice League” reshoots.

“I did principal photography for Zack. We finished shooting and he started editing,” Wagner said. “We did the color grading for the trailers. So the first three trailers were all things we shot. Then they started reshoots. I wasn’t there. It was a completely different team. They reshot 55 days, I think. The movie that was in cinemas was 10 percent of what we shot. Everything else is a reshoot.”

Snyder’s photo of the “Justice League” film canisters includes a label that reveals a 214 minute runtime. That length makes “Justice League” as long as “The Irishman” at three and a half hours (though it could be so long because it’s possibly just an assembly cut). Although Snyder cut buzz continues to soar, there are no concrete plans as of now to release this version. IndieWire has reached out to Warner Bros. for further comment.

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Sonic

by Connor Sheridan via Total Film Magazine

The Sonic the Hedgehog movie’s redesigned protagonist appears to have been revealed.

His new look seems to be a heck of a lot closer to the speedy blue mammal you know from the games, after an early trailer promoted a vocal backlash from fans. Physical advertisements for the movie that show Sonic with a much less frighteningly human head have been spotted by eagle-eyed Twitter users. In fact, if you didn’t look too close, you might think it was just an extra-furry version of Modern Sonic.

Tails’ Channel | Sonic the Hedgehog News & Updates@TailsChannel

Here’s a wider picture of the allegedly leaked redesigned standee image. Source is also unconfirmed.

View image on Twitter
The original movie design for Sonic the Hedgehog gave him an upsettingly human-looking face (and teeth), giving him the overall effect of being a muscular child in a furry blue onesie. The redesign restores his skinny limbs, his white gloves, and his trademark lopsided smirk. It almost gives him back his old connected goggle eyes, though it doesn’t go quite that far into cartoon territory. The biggest remaining difference from the game version now, aside from having individually rendered fur/quills, is that his arms are still blue.

No official announcements have been made about Sonic’s new look so far, aside from the movie’s producer saying that “the fans have a voice in this too”, but the appearance in that leak lines up with another one spotted in October.

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at this point its going to spread like wildfire, i posted the image to the public first and i didn’t take a photo.

View image on Twitter
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie was originally due to hit theaters this week, but it was delayed because of the overwhelmingly negative response fans had for the original design. It looks like fans are much more pleased with the new version, so hopefully the movie as a whole will be similarly well received when it hits theaters on February 14, 2020.

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