Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Wolfenstein developer MachineGames is making an Indiana Jones game, parent company Bethesda has announced.

by Andy Robinson, VGC

he collaboration with the newly reformed Lucasfilm Games label was announced via a video on Tuesday, which features a pan over a desk littered with iconic items from the movie series, including Indy’s famous hat and whip.

Executive produced by Elder Scrolls and Fallout director Todd Howard, the Indiana Jones game will tell a wholly original, standalone tale set at the height of the career of the famed adventurer, Bethesda said.

“It’ll be some time before we have more to reveal, but we’re very excited to share today’s news,” the company added. In a separate post on StarWars.com, Lucasfilm said that some clues to the game’s setup could be found in Tuesday’s teaser.

MachineGames said in a statement: “As huge fans of the franchise, it’s a tremendous honor for us to create a brand-new Indiana Jones game with a completely original story. We’re very excited and can’t wait to share more in the future!”

The Swedish developer was formed in 2009 by former employees of Starbreeze Studios. After agreeing to join Bethesda, the company became the new custodian of the Wolfenstein FPS series, releasing several instalments including The New Order (2014), The Old Blood (2015), The New Colossus (2017), Youngblood (2019) and Cyberpilot (2019).

In a post on Twitter, Chronicles of Riddick and The Darkness lead Jens Andersson – who spent several years at LucasArts before its closure – confirmed he is involved in the Indy game.

MachineGames’ parent Bethesda agreed a $7.5 billion sale to Microsoft last year, with the deal expected to be completed in early 2021, so it’s unclear if the Indy game will release on platforms other than Xbox and PC.

Following the announcement of the ZeniMax deal, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Microsoft would honour existing PS5 exclusivity agreements Bethesda has in place for games like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo.

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From the developers that brought you Assassin’s Creed and The Division 2

by Chris Garcia, One More Game

If there’s any company out there that knows its open-world games, it would be Ubisoft. With their success on the Assassin’s Creed Franchise, they’re looking ready to take on a new challenge as developers Massive Entertainment (The Division 2) have entered into a partnership with Lucasfilm games to work on a new open-world Star Wars game.

According to a report from Wired, this is the first time that a Star Wars game will be developed by someone outside of EA since 2012. This title is still very early in development, and no other details like characters and setting / timeline has been decided on, but Massive Entertainment have already started recruiting personnel to work on the game. Serving as creative director will be Julian Gerighty from The Division 2 and The Crew, and the game will reportedly be using the Snowdrop Engine, which was used in games such as The Division and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.

EA reportedly has a 10 year Star Wars exclusivity deal, but according to the report, “it seems like either that was misstated or the clock has run out early.” EA is still free to create Star Wars games, but Lucasfilm games is “free to seek other partners.”

“The Star Wars galaxy is an amazing source of motivation for our teams to innovate and push the boundaries of our medium. Building new worlds, characters and stories that will become lasting parts of the Star Wars lore is an incredible opportunity for us, and we are excited to have our Ubisoft Massive studio working closely with Lucasfilm Games to create an original Star Wars adventure that is different from anything that has been done before.” says Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft Co-Founder and CEO

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by Jordan Devore, Destructoid

In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment at CES 2021, Sony disclosed a handful of release windows for the 2021 slate of PlayStation 5 games – as well as pair of high-profile titles that are much further out.

These up-to-date release windows appeared at the end of a montage during Sony’s digital press event:

Some of these – like Ghostwire – feel right on cue. Others, including Horizon Forbidden West and Rift Apart, don’t seem like they’ll be out of reach much longer. And then we have Project Athia from Square Enix and Pragmata from Capcom, which I’m starting to wish hadn’t been announced so early.

Even if many of these windows are still too vague to latch onto, it’s nice to have an informal mental roadmap. I like to plot out what the rest of my year in gaming looks like. This new list helps, even if it’s not exhaustive. There will assuredly be other important games in 2021 beyond these highlights.

Anything jump out at you? Or is this PS5 (and partially still PS4) lineup what you’ve been expecting?

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Sony’s SRS-RA5000 speaker.
 Image: Sony

Your first look at the upcoming SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 speakers

by Jay Peters, The Verge

Earlier today, Sony announced that it would be releasing two new speakers compatible with 360 Reality Audio, its spatial audio technology that replicates the feel of live music by placing different sounds and vocals in a virtual sphere around you. It said its plan is to release them this spring, but it didn’t share what the speakers would look like. We didn’t have to wait to learn more about them, though, as Sony’s UK website now has full product pages for the upcoming SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 speakers.

The higher-end SRS-RA5000, pictured at the top of this post, will have three up-firing speakers, three side speakers, and a woofer. It’s also certified for High-Resolution Audio. The SRS-RA3000, pictured below, has two tweeters, two passive radiators, and a full-range driver.

Sony’s SRS-RA3000 speaker.
 Image: Sony

Both speakers can calibrate themselves to the room they’re in with an internal microphone and a “unique Sony algorithm,” too. With the SRS-RA5000, you have to press and hold a button on the speaker, while the SRS-RA3000 can calibrate itself automatically. The two speakers also have Sony’s Auto Volume feature, which adjusts the volume of each track automatically to play them at a consistent volume. And both speakers support Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.

The SRS-RA5000 will cost approximately £500 / €599, while the SRS-RA3000 is priced at about £280 / €359, according to the press release on Sony’s UK website. That also says both speakers will arrive in February 2021, which is a bit sooner than the previous “spring” date we had heard before, so perhaps there will be different release dates in different regions.

Sony said it is expanding the 360 Reality Audio platform from audio to video earlier on Friday, and the company is working with major music labels and service providers to begin streaming video content with the codec later this year. Approximately 4,000 songs currently support the format, according to Sony.

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by Tyler Fischer, ComicBook.com

PlayStation players can now order a special PS2-themed PS5, though not via Sony, Walmart, Target, GameStop, Best Buy, Amazon, or any other major retailer, but courtesy of SUP3R5. Earlier this month, SUP3R5 announced its “retro-inspired” PS5 console and PS5 DualSense controller. At the time, neither product was available to purchase, but today that changed. That said, if you want to pick up either of these custom-made pieces of nostalgic hardware, you will need to be prepared to fork over some additional cash money.

The special PS5 DualSense controller runs at $99 USD, while the console, which comes with the controller, runs at $649 USD. The former is limited to just 500 units, while the console is even more limited at 304 units. In other words, stock is going to vanish very, very quickly. In fact, by the time you’re reading this, both pieces of custom-made hardware may very well be sold out.

That said, if you decide to purchase either of these products, you should keep in mind that neither come the way of Sony, who may very well shut down the operation before any products are shipped out. Further, “the retro-inspired conversion process” for the controller includes a complete disassembly of the controller, which will void its warranty. The console does not require this, and thus its warranty shouldn’t be voided, but for now, there’s no way to confirm this will be the case. For the console, all SUP3R5 is doing is temporarily removing the side panels from the console. Again, this shouldn’t void the warranty, but for now, there’s no guarantee it won’t

It’s also important to keep in mind this is a new operation with no history, and the return policy is very vague. Meanwhile, full payment is required at checkout, though the product won’t begin shipping until sometime this spring.

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KFConsole heats up fried chicken. KFC

by Kate Duffy, Business Insider

Fast-food chain KFC has created a new high-end gaming console that comes with a built-in “chicken chamber” to keep your chicken warm while you play.

KFC has teamed up with CoolerMaster to create the “KFConsole,” the chicken chain said in a statement on Tuesday. It is essentially a high-end gaming PC with components made by Intel, Asus, and Seagate.

It’s a powerful machine: KFC claims it can run games at 4K resolution at 240 frames per second – more than the PlayStation 5 or Xbox One can manage. It can also run virtual reality games, KFC said.

The bucket-like console has a cooling system that transfers the heat produced by the components to the chicken chamber, helping to keep the hardware cool and the finger lickin’ chicken warm.

“The Bargain Bucket-shaped machine features the world’s first built in chicken chamber, which is kitted out to keep its contents hot, ready for consumption during intense gaming sessions,” KFC said.

Cooler Master didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. An Intel spokesperson said they don’t have anything additional to share at this stage beyond the details on the Cooler Master website.

The cost and release date of the KFConsole haven’t yet been announced.

The KFConsole chicken chamber. KFC

The console has smooth gameplay with 240 frames per second frame rate, 4K display compatibility, and can run virtual reality games, according to Cooler Master’s website.

It also includes an Intel Nuc 9 Extreme Compute Element and two Seagate BarraCuda 1TB SSD drives for storage, Cooler Master said.

“This machine is capable of running games at top-level specs, all on top of keeping your meal warm for you to enjoy during your gaming experience… what’s not to like?” said Mark Cheevers, PR & social media lead at KFC UK & Ireland, in the statement.

“If Sony or Microsoft want any tips on how to engineer a chicken chamber for their efforts next time, they’d be welcome to get in touch,” he said.

Stephen James, global PR & influencer manager at Cooler Master, said in the press release: “When we were approached by KFC Gaming to make the KFConsole, we jumped at the chance to get involved and enter the console war.”

“The KFConsole has been custom built with the gamer at the front of mind. The last thing we want is anyone to go hungry while playing!” he added.

One Twitter used responded to KFC’s tweet asking how Cyberpunk, which has now sold more than 13 million copies, will run on the console. KFC replied: “It runs better than any console.”

This isn’t the only mind-boggling invention KFC has come up with in recent years.

In February, the food chain collaborated with Crocs to create shoes with fried chicken painted on them, topped with a chicken-scented charm. The shoes sold out within half an hour after their launch in July.

KFC announced the release of its 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog in December 2018 – basically a log that smells like fried chicken.

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Reportedly, an internal GameStop memo claims that CD Projekt RED aims to launch a “major” patch for Cyberpunk 2077 on December 21.

by Brianna Reeves, Screen Rant

Since the chaos surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 refunds has yet to subside, GameStop reportedly issued a memo to staff, claiming CD Projekt RED will roll out a “major” patch for the RPG on December 21st. This particular fiasco started earlier in the week, following a statement from the studio wherein it promised refunds to players who wanted one.

Trouble arose, however, when some PlayStation and Xbox users found themselves unable to secure a refund from the platform holders. Said chaos spurred on yet another response from CD Projekt RED executives, who clarified that the company hadn’t been in contact with Microsoft or Sony about reimbursement, meaning whichever policy the two digital storefronts have in place applies to Cyberpunk 2077 regardless of what CDPR’s original statement insinuated. Now retailers like GameStop are caught in the middle with respect to physical purchases. Upon informing its staff of how to handle refund-related matters for Cyberpunk 2077, the retailer let loose another interesting tidbit.

GameStop employees reportedly passed along a memo from higher-ups to VICE‘s Patrick Klepek (via Wccftech). According to Klepek’s reporting, the memo notes that CD Projekt RED aims to deliver a patch on December 21st, which should represent a “major fix” for the glitch-filled role-playing title. If customers still aren’t pleased with the product’s post-patch state, the message advises staffers to direct customers to CDPR for their reimbursement needs. The full memo begins with GameStop stating the message is being relayed “on behalf of our partners at CD Projekt RED,” before continuing as follows,

CDP will issue a patch on 12/21 that should be a major fix to address customers’ concerns about Cyberpunk 2077. If customers are still unhappy and want to return their product, they should be directed to send an email to: helpmerefund@cdprojektred.com for reimbursement directions and refunds issued directly from CDP. The complete CDP message to Cyberpunk customers can be found here: https://en.cdprojektred.com/news/important-update/

At the time of writing, CD Projekt RED has yet to corroborate the claim that a “major fix” will drop on December 21st. However, this particular detail does align with the studio’s statement from earlier in the week, which announced that a new patch would arrive within seven days. The seventh day falls on the date in question. Should GameStop’s memo prove accurate, December 21st could exemplify the first step to CDPR’s turning things around for Cyberpunk 2077 and, in turn, appeasing players who are demanding more transparency.

Since its launch late last week, Cyberpunk 2077’s long-awaited arrival has been beset by a wide range of performance issues. While last-gen versions of the title took the hardest hit, PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S builds are struggling in their own right. Texture issues, pop-ins, inconsistent frame rates, hard crashes, and a litany of immersion-breaking bugs keep the title from living up to its true potential. As a consequence, many are looking for someone to blame, a party to point a finger at in the name of demanding change. For a brief time, Microsoft and Sony were on the receiving end of the blame game due to uncertainty about the Certification process. Yet, it seems evident that those at fault are CDPR bosses who decided to ship a broken game before it was ready.

Cyberpunk 2077 is available to play now on Google Stadia, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S platforms.

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by Richard Lawler, Engadget

Cyberpunk 2077 has only been available for a couple of days, but its first post-launch patch is already rolling out. Hotfix 1.04 is already available to PC and PlayStation players, and CD Projekt Red says it should go out “as soon as possible” on Xbox platforms.

There’s a long list of tweaks for various mission-based issues that could otherwise interrupt your gameplay, and there’s nothing specifically mentioned about the rogue penis problem, but the most important adjustment is probably to the game’s “bytedance” segments. As highlighted by Game Informer reviewer Liana Ruppert, it included a sequence of flashing lights that could trigger epileptic seizures. CDPR said it would address that, and in the notes says that now “The effect has been smoothed out and the flashes reduced in frequency and magnitude.”

There are, of course, unspecified changes to resolve problems with crashes and improve stability, and specific tweaks on PS4 and Xbox One to improve the quality of reflections.

Some players on Reddit have had issues launching the game after installing the patch, but it’s unclear whether that’s due to problems with the patch or waiting for it to finish unpacking. For PC players the update is a little over 1GB, but on PS4 people have noted a 17GB download.

Here’s the list of updates: https://www.cyberpunk.net/en/news/37043/hotfix-1-04/

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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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