Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

by Tyler Fischer, ComicBook.com

Today, PlayStation released a new PS4 update that is reportedly causing PlayStation gamers issues, or at least this is what’s happening at the moment of writing this. The big new 8.0 update adds a plethora of new features and comes with a slew of improvements as well, but it also appears to have broken some features. More specifically, it’s being reported that upon downloading the update, users are experiencing problems with their friends lists, the party feature, and even just general stability issues.

As you may know, this isn’t incredibly uncommon for PS4. In the past, the console has experienced similar issues when it’s pushed updates, particularly ones of this magnitude. That said, in the past, Sony has acted fairly quickly to resolve these issues, however, for now, it hasn’t acknowledged the problem so it’s unclear when the issues will be resolved.

Of course, if you’re worried about the update, you could hold off on downloading it, but without it, you will lose access to a ton of functionality, such as the ability to play online games. That said, you can still play offline single-player games all the same without downloading the update.

As for the update — which you can read more about here (including its patch notes) — it makes updates to party and messages, adds free new PlayStation avatars, adds an option to mute all mics via the quick menu, enhances 2-step verification, removes event creation and private community creation, updates remote play, and makes adjustments to parental controls.

As alluded to, Sony has not commented on any of these reports, but if it does, we will be sure to update the story with whatever is provided.

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GameStop and Microsoft announce a new, multi-year strategic partnership just one month ahead of the Xbox Series X console launch.

by Dalton Cooper, Game Rant

Just one month prior to the launch of the Xbox Series X console, GameStop has announced a new multi-year partnership with Microsoft. The new partnership between GameStop and Microsoft is seen as a strategic move for both companies, as they will combine their resources for mutual benefit.

The GameStop/Microsoft partnership will see GameStop stores integrate Microsoft technology. GameStop stores will begin utilizing Microsoft’s cloud-based data storage and business applications. This will assist store associates when it comes to learning customer preferences and will give them “real time information on product availability.” GameStop associates will soon receive new Microsoft Surface tablets that will allow them to “move freely” within stores, allowing them to assist customers without necessarily having to be at the cash register. Additionally, GameStop associates will also begin using Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams as well, with the goal of improving customer experience.

It was also noted that GameStop is now offering Xbox All Access, which allows customers to get their hands on next-generation consoles like the Xbox Series X and S, as well as an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, for a relatively low monthly cost without having to pay for everything upfront.

As part of the announcement, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer released a statement praising GameStop, stating that the Xbox team is excited about continuing its partnership with the retail chain for the Xbox Series X launch. “GameStop’s extensive store base, focus on digital transformation in an omni-channel environment and expert gamer associates remain an important part of our gaming ecosystem, and we’re pleased to elevate our partnership.”

It’s unclear from the announcement if Microsoft is providing some kind of financial incentive as part of the GameStop partnership. It’s no secret that GameStop has struggled financially in recent years, with the company posting huge losses, laying off staff, and closing down numerous stores. Many have predicted that GameStop is on its last legs, but this new partnership with Microsoft may very well be the shot in the arm in the company needs to stay relevant for years to come.

The length of the Microsoft/GameStop partnership is also unclear, beyond that it is a “multi-year” deal. In any case, it will be interesting to see how this partnership pays off. Microsoft has been making big moves going into the Xbox Series X launch, and while this may not be quite as monumental as its purchase of ZeniMax Media and Bethesda, it is still sure to make an impact of some kind on the industry.

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by BBC

Xbox-owner Microsoft has acquired the games company behind blockbuster titles including Doom, Fallout, Skyrim and Wolfenstein.

It is paying $7.5bn (£5.85bn) for Bethesda’s parent ZeniMax Media.

Xbox has said that the publisher’s franchises would be added to its Game Pass subscription package for consoles and PCs.

This could help make the forthcoming Xbox Series X more attractive than the PlayStation 5 to some players.

Both machines are due to launch in November.

Game Pass already gives players access to more than 200 games. Microsoft includes first-party titles at point of launch to those signed up to its “ultimate” package without further cost.

By contrast, Sony has opted to charge players up to £70 for its own major releases and does not intend to include new titles in its PlayStation Plus Collection service.

It is not yet clear how the takeover affects Bethesda’s plans to create The Elder Scrolls 6, Starfield and other unfinished games as cross-platform titles.

In a statement, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said the two firms “shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways”.

Pete Hynes, senior vice president at Bethesda Softworks, said the deal offered “access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer”.

“We’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us,” he wrote in a blog.

Piers Harding-Rolls, research director from Ampere Analysis, described the deal as “a major coup”.

“Microsoft has often been criticised for its lack of heavy-hitting first-party games franchises when compared to Sony and Nintendo. This deal catapults Microsoft’s games portfolio into a much stronger position,” he told the BBC.

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A filing has shown Sony’s PS5 in live photos for the first time, and it’s particularly large — you’ll need to make room for the game console.

by Jon Fingas, Engadget

Sony’s PlayStation 5 hasn’t really appeared in live photos, making it difficult to gauge the size of the console. However, the game console has finally made a real-world appearance in a filing at Taiwan’s NCC (via The Verge) — and it’s clear the PS5 isn’t meant for small cabinets. While Sony hasn’t been shy about mentioning the PS5’s 15.4-inch length (or height), 10.2-inch depth and 4.1-inch thickness, the NCC’s photos put those dimensions into context. You’ll have to make room for this beast, whether you’re buying the Digital Edition or the disc-based model.

As we pointed out in our specs comparison, this should be the largest console to date. It’s much larger overall than the Xbox Series X (if not as thick), and still bigger than legendary behemoths like the original PlayStation 3, the first Xbox, and the Xbox One. Sony also hasn’t included the stand or the “largest projection” of the PS5’s body into its figures.

You’re probably not buying a console based mainly on size. Game libraries, ecosystems, and price likely matter more. All the same, this is something to consider if you want a next-gen system but don’t have much free space.

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You don’t need a 25-character code to access bundled games and DLC.

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by Ann Smajstrla via Engadget

A new Xbox feature makes it easier to claim games that come with the console, doing away with the 25-digit codes that were required before. Digital Direct, pointed out by Polygon, embeds games and other DLC directly to the console that you can redeem during the setup process. For those who are post-setup, the feature can be found in the “Accounts” and “My Library” sections.

When setting up a console, you will now see a page giving you the option to redeem content and service offers that come with it, according to the Xbox website. Redeeming is as simple as clicking “Claim It.” Anything that’s redeemed will be attached to the Microsoft account that claimed it.

Alternatively, you can navigate to “Settings,” then “Account,” then “Included with this Xbox,” to find the Digital Direct content available for your console and its redemption status. This information is also viewable in “My Library.”

Digital Direct appears to be the “digital attach” feature dubbed Project Roma, according to Thurrott. The Xbox team gives codenames to various features that were under development for its console — Anaconda was revealed as Series X and Maverick turned out to be Xbox All Digital, among others.

The feature is shipping first on the just-released Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox One XCyberpunk 2077 won’t be available to play until September, but gamers can take advantage of Digital Direct on the new console while they wait.

Microsoft has previously tried to address the hassle of download codes by making them scannable via QR codes and the Kinect camera. Digital Direct eliminates the tedious typing, however it could make it difficult to share or sell a bundled game you don’t want.

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by Ben Gilbert via Business Insider

Do you have a Nintendo Switch? Did you also have a Nintendo 3DS or Wii U?

If you answered yes to both of those questions, there’s a possibility your Nintendo Switch account was one of about 300,000 that was breached by hackers.

Nintendo announced the breach in April, but it doubled the number of affected accounts in an update this week “as a result of continuing the investigation.”

The issue applies specifically to anyone who connected their old Nintendo 3DS and Wii U “Nintendo Network ID,” or NNID, to the Switch. Nintendo now uses a system called Nintendo Account, but the company allowed people with existing NNIDs to connect those to their new Nintendo Account.

Nintendo said it no longer allows NNID logins on the Switch.

If your account was breached, you’ll likely know soon by receiving an email like this:

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Beyond sending an email to the account associated with your Nintendo Account, Nintendo is alerting affected users by forcing a password reset.

“As a further precaution,” the company said, “we will soon contact users about resetting passwords for Nintendo Network IDs and Nintendo Accounts that we have reason to believe were accessed without authorization.”

Going forward, the company suggests doing two things to make your accounts more secure.

First, you should change the passwords associated with both your Nintendo Account and your Nintendo Network ID. Second, you should set up two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security on top of a password.

For more information, check out Nintendo’s support page here.

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‘Ghost of Tsushima’ is moving back a few weeks to mid-July.

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by Kris Holt via Engadget

The Last of Us Part II, fingers crossed, will at long last make its way to PS4 on June 19th. Sony and Naughty Dog had originally planned a February 21st release date, but they pushed the sequel back to May 29th. Earlier this month, they delayed the game indefinitely to better coordinate a global release strategy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As it turns out, you’ll only need to wait an extra few weeks for the next chapter of Ellie’s story.

News of the new date arrives just after major spoilers about The Last of Us Part II seemed to emerge in leaked videos. Footage showing cutscenes, gameplay and menus appear to be doing the rounds, but at the very least, you know how much longer you’ll have to dodge spoilers if you’re eager to play on release day.

To give Naughty Dog’s latest opus some breathing room, Sony has also pushed back another upcoming major title by a few weeks. Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima was scheduled for June 26th. Instead, the hotly anticipated samurai adventure will be out on July 17th.

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by Rudie Obias via Yahoo Life Shopping

Video games are a fantastic way to pass the time, but they’re pricey. If you want to start playing without paying, we’ve got great news: The live-streaming service Twitch is dropping games that are free for Amazon Prime members.

Not a Prime member? Amazon offers a 30-day free trial for new users—sign up here. After the trial is over, you can get Amazon Prime for $13 a month or $119 a year. You have to be a Twitch member to join Twitch Prime, but it’s free to sign up.

Twitch Prime is a perk for all Prime members. Every month, users get five free games—worth more than $100 in total—to keep (even if you cancel the service), plus level-up options for characters, skins, boosts, upgrades, and more free of charge.

To start playing, you’ll need the Amazon Games app or the Twitch Desktop app for Windows 10, macOS, and iOS. It’ll work with iPadOS, Android, Fire TV, Chromecast, PS4, Xbox One, Apple TV, and more. Check out a full list of compatible devices here.

Scroll down for this month’s free videos:

Earthlock

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Released in 2016 by indie developers Snowcastle Games, Earthlock is a role-playing combat game following Amon, an adventurer and scavenger who gets caught up with the ruling Suvian Empire on Umbra, a planet that stopped spinning after a cataclysmic event.

Etherborn

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Etherborn is an award-winning puzzle game that breaks all the rules of gravity and physics. You play as a body with no voice in search of a voice without a body, as you shift and comb through big and small Rubik’s Cube-like structures.

Lightmatter

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You know that kid’s game “the floor is lava?” Well, Lightmatter works the same way, but in this case shadows are lava and light is safety.

Through a series of puzzles, you have to position your light sources (a lamp and an orb) in such a way that no shadows appear in your pathway, while you navigate an empty building after a catastrophic event. Terrifying…but fun.

Kathy Rain: A Detective is Born

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Kathy Rain: A Detective is Born is a point-and-click game that’s set in the ‘90s. It follows, you guessed it, Kathy Rain, a journalism major who comes home to investigate the mysterious death of her grandfather. It plays like a graphic novel with lots of hidden details, secrets, and twist-and-turns.

Turok

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This is the HD remastered version of the 1997 shooter video game Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. It follows Turok, a time-traveling warrior who protects the Lost Land (a world inhabited with aliens and dinosaurs)—as he pieces together the Chronoscepter, an ancient artifact designed to defeat an evil overlord called The Campaigner.

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Naughty Dog’s highly anticipated sequel won’t hit its May 29 release date.

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by Jonathon Dornbush via IGN

The Last of Us Part 2 is no longer set to be released on PS4 on May 29, Sony and developer Naughty Dog announced today.A tweet today from Sony confirmed “Update: SIE has made the difficult decision to delay the launch of The Last of Us Part II and Marvel’s Iron Man VR until further notice. Logistically, the global crisis is preventing us from providing the launch experience our players deserve.” The company followed the statement with “Currently, there are no other delays to report, but we’ll keep you updated.”

Naughty Dog also released a statement on Twitter about the delay, which you can read in full below:

As you’ve likely just seen, the release of The last of Us Part II has been delayed. We’re sure this news is just as disappointing to you as it is to us. We wanted to reach out to all of you in our community to give you a little more information.

The good news is, we’re nearly done with development of The Last of Us Part II. We are in the midst of fixing our final bugs.

However, even with us finishing the game, we were faced with the reality that due to logistics beyond our control, we couldn’t launch The Last of Us Part II to our satisfaction. We want to make sure everyone gets to play The last of Us Part II around the same time, ensuring that we’re doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone. This meant delaying the game until such a time where we can solve these logistic issues.

We were bummed about this decision but ultimately understood what’s best and fair to all of our players. We’re hoping that this won’t be a long delay, and we’ll update you as soon as we have new information to share.

We wish you all, your families, and your friends the best of health. Thank you for being amazing fans and your continued support.

Stay safe!

The Last of Us Part 2 first received a release date of February 22, 2020 late last year, coupled with a story trailer and our first chance to go hands-on with The Last of Us’ long-awaited sequel.

Shortly after, Naughty Dog announced a delayed Last of Us Part 2 release date to May 29, with Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann saying “We realized we simply didn’t have enough time to bring the entire game up to a level of polish we would call Naughty Dog quality.” And recent reports have alleged that The Last of Us Part 2 led to sustained crunch at Naughty Dog rather than alleviating development crunch. 

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The Last of Us Part 2 was also supposed to have its first public hands-on at PAX East 2020, but due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Sony pulled out of PAX East.

Sony and HBO also recently announced that a The Last of Us TV show adaptation is in the works, set to air on HBO with Druckmann and Chernobyl executive producer Craig Mazin behind the series. (And the TV show will replace The Last of Us movie that was in the works.) No casting has been announced, but we’ve offered plenty of suggestions for who should play Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us TV show.

For more on the upcoming sequel, we spoke to Druckmann about Joel’s role in The Last of Us Part 2why The Last of Us Part 2 isn’t an open world game, as well as how dogs affect stealth and combat in The Last of Us sequel.