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2018-01-13
Back in December, Bungie had plans to launch Destiny 2's first Faction Rally event of Season 2 following Curse of Osiris's release. It ultimately canceled the event as the developer shifted courses on what content would be available to those with and without purchasing the DLC. Along with Iron Banner, Faction Rally will now be open to all players whether you own the DLC or not--and after the delay, the first Season 2 Faction Rally is nearly here.Following an upcoming hotfix, the new Faction Rally event will begin on January 16 and run until January 23. (Iron Banner returns on January 30.) Factions will return to the Tower and allow players to pledge their allegiance, with their activities then contributing progress toward unlocking Faction-specific gear. New items, including armor ornaments and base gear, will be available from the Faction of your choosing, a selection of which you can see in the images below.Aside from those rewards that players will earn from their Faction, the three groups will also be competing with each other. The Faction that obtains the most rewards packages will be deemed the winner, and that group's exclusive weapon will then be sold for one week. Assuming prices remain consistent with those earlier events, members of the winning Faction will be able to purchase the weapon for 1,000 Glimmer, while everyone else can buy it for 50,000. Unlike in the past, though, all three will sell a weapon of the same type--this time around, it's an auto rifle. You can also see those in the gallery above.The return of Faction Rally and Iron Banner were just some of the announcements Bungie made today. It also shared in-depth details about what content will be free versus paid, changes to Eververse and cosmetic items, quality-of-life improvements, and a roadmap that includes the addition of Masterwork armor. Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
In a much-anticipated blog post, Destiny 2 game director Christopher Barrett talked abut what's coming to the sci-fi shooter in the time ahead. Things kick off on January 30 with an update that will expand the Masterwork system to include armor for the first time.This armor offers better damage reduction when you're using your Super ability. Additionally, you can re-roll your Masterwork armor stat type, and it can be upgraded as well using Cores and Shards tied to Masterworks. The January 30 update also changes how Raid rewards work with the aim of making them "more unique and interesting.""They will now feature mods with Raid-specific perks, and we are adjusting the rewards to ensure a Raid item drops from each major encounter," Barrett explained in a blog post. "The Raid vendor will also directly sell Leviathan and Eater of Worlds armor and weapons for purchase with Raid tokens and Legendary Shards."What's more, there will be new perks that can drop from the final encounters in the Leviathan and Eater of Worlds raids. Barrett added that Bungie is working on other rewards specific to some raids and some activities are coming in the future.An update coming in February, meanwhile, will add scoring and high score tracking to Nightfall Strikes, which will replace the existing time-limit mechanic. "The scoring is similar to the Destiny 1 system but with adjustments to emphasize competitive execution of Strike objectives and support for player selectable score modifiers," Barrett said. "In February, Nightfall High Scores will be exposed in-game via new emblems and will unlock rewards. We also have plans for Clan and Community High Scores in the works."Destiny 2's February update will also add a 2.0 version of mods, which is described as a "full rework" of how mods work for armor and weapons. "This will focus on reducing redundant mods, more unique theming, and greatly increasing their impact on your power," Barrett said. "We are aiming for a February release, but the scope of the rework could push parts or all of it out to early spring. We will be evaluating how Mods play into the Bright Engram economy as a result, because we're sensitive to pay-to-win outcomes."Here are some of the other changes coming to Destiny 2 in the February update, with descriptions written by Bungie:Quickplay ImprovementsWe are adjusting game mode rules to increase the pace of gameplay and power ammo acquisition in Quickplay.PC Tower ChatWe are adding text chat to the Tower for the PC version of the game.Exotic Repetition ReductionThis will prevent players from receiving the same Exotic twice in a row. You may still receive duplicates, just not consecutively.Fireteam Members on Destination MapYou will finally be able to see the other members of your fireteam on the destination map. No more having to ask your fireteam where they went when they fast travel to another landing zone.Then in Spring 2018, Bungie will launch Destiny 2's next paid expansion following last year's Curse of Osiris. While some of the content will of course be locked behind the paywall, everyone is getting new updates to other parts of the game. For Crucible, Barrett said Bungie is hoping to give players "new reasons to play, more variety, and balance improvements." One part of this is a new ranking system; starting with Season 3, there will be seasonal Crucible ranks, broken into two categories: Valor and Glory. Here is a rundown of the two:Valor – A progression rank that goes up as you complete matches. Winning helps you move up faster, but there are no loss penalties.Glory – A progression rank that goes up when you win and down when you lose. Performance is how you move up here.Also new in the update will be private matches for everyone, which you can invite friends to and choose a map and mode. Bungie is also launching a 6v6 playlist (an increase from some of the current 4v4 modes), a "Mayhem event" for a limited time, and some behind-the-scenes improvements and fixes to improve the experience overall.That's not all that's coming and changing in the spring update; the following are some "highlights" that Barrett called out in his blog post, including increasing the vault space, support for multiple emotes, and more:Additional HighlightsWeapon and Ability Balance PassSandbox adjustments based on player feedback and data from the live game. The Sandbox team will share specific changes as we lead up to Season 3.Exotic Weapon and Armor Balance PassExotic weapons and armor are receiving a comprehensive design pass to ensure they stand out from the rest of the gear and offer new, exciting, powerful ways to play.Seasonal ReputationSpecific vendors will now display a Seasonal ranking. Earning reputation will unlock unique Seasonal rewards and will reset each Season.Improved Iron Banner and Faction RalliesIn addition to the changes that you will see when Iron Banner and Faction Rallies return this month, we will continue iterating on these to make them unique, exciting experiences that you all look forward to.Playlist Repetition ReductionThis feature solves the problem of experiencing the same playlist entry multiple times in consecutive or frequent succession for both Crucible and Strikes.End Game Player PursuitsWe agree with your feedback on the imbalance between Achievement and Bright Engram rewards, and we will be making adjustments to shift more rewards into specific endgame pursuits instead of generic XP grinding for Bright Engrams. We are excited to share the details as soon as we have them worked out.Multi-EmoteWhen multi-emote launches, you will be able to choose which emote you have equipped to each of your four emote slots.Vault spaceWe are targeting an additional 50 slots to player vaults. We don't believe just adding more space is a complete solution and are actively working on other changes to reduce load on your vault space.We are adding an Exotic accessory tab to Vault collections so you will no longer need to spend Vault space on Exotic Ships, Sparrows, and Ghosts.PC Clan ChatIn addition to the Tower chat that is targeted for February, we are adding clan chat to the PC version of the game.Heroic Strike ChangesWe'll be introducing modifiers to add more gameplay variety to the experience.Then in Fall 2018, or potentially sooner according to Bungie, there will be "a lot more" in terms of updates and changes. However, Barrett said Bungie is "not quite ready" to talk about these things with any specificity, though he did provide an outline of what players can expect:Item Collections and RecordsWeapon Slot and Archetype ImprovementsAdditional Crucible Playlists (e.g. Rumble)Better Clan RewardsMasterwork ExoticsPinnacle Weapon and Gear ImprovementsTrials of the Nine improvementsShaders and dismantlingThe Future of Guided GamesAddress Solo Vs Fireteam matchingBungie also today announced some changes coming to Destiny 2's microtransaction system, quality-of-life improvements, the next Faction Rally, and more.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
Grand Theft Auto Online, the multiplayer mode for Grand Theft Auto V, had its "biggest year" ever in 2017, developer Rockstar Games has announced. The studio announced this in a blog post recently (via IGN), though it didn't say if this achievement is based on player numbers, revenue, or some other metric. For December 2017 specifically, Rockstar said more people played GTA Online than ever before in the game's history.This is extremely impressive, given that GTA Online launched more than four years ago, in October 2013. It is exceedingly rare for any game to have that long of a tail. GTA Online's ongoing success can no doubt be attributed to Rockstar's impressive commitment to launching new updates and activities on almost a weekly basis. The new player record for GTA Online comes not long after Rockstar launched the large-scale Doomsday Heist expansion. So what seems clear is that, as Rockstar and parent company Take-Two have always said, if you make good content people will flock to it. GTA Online had its best quarter ever when it comes to revenue for the three-month period ended September 30, though parent company Take-Two has not shared any specific figures. Take-Two and Rockstar have shied away from discussing specific performance figures for GTA Online, though in 2015 we learned that the game had 8 million players weekly.Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick at one time referred to GTA Online as "the gift that keeps on giving" as it relates to the money it makes from the game's microtransactions. GTA V has shipped an astonishing 85 million copies across all platforms since launch, making it one of the best-selling games ever in the United States. Given the massive success of GTA Online, it stands to reason that Rockstar's next big game, this Spring's Red Dead Redemption 2, may offer something similar. All that we know for sure, however, is that the western will have a "brand-new online multiplayer experience." Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
John Wick: Chapter 3 won't be in theaters until 2019, but the movie's universe is expanding. Starz has confirmed that it is currently developing a spin-off of the Keanu Reeves-starring action movie franchise. Previously, a TV adaptation had been in development as far back as June 2017, but now we know plans for the series are moving ahead.The Continental will focus on the hotel for assassins from the first two John Wick films. In a press release, Starz says, "Set in a hyper-real version of Los Angeles, the series maintains the urgency of the action along with the dry humor from the John Wick movies.""This series is truly unlike anything else on TV," Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht says. "The Continental promises to include the thunderous fight sequences and intensely staged shootouts between professional assassins and their targets that fans have come to expect in the John Wick movie franchise as well as introducing some new, darkly compelling characters who inhabit this underground world."While the network hasn't ruled out an appearance by Reeves in the series, speaking to reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Albrecht says the series does not feature him as the main character. However, the show will exist "side-by-side" with the John Wick films, as far as the timeline does.Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy) will serve as writer and showrunner on The Continental, with Reeves and John Wick screenwriter Derek Kolstad among the executive producers. There is no release date yet.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
When Netflix announced that they were producing the urban cop fantasy Bright, it came with a heavy price tag and plenty of expectation. The streaming giant shelled out $90 million for the movie, and lined up a formidable team: stars Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, Suicide Squad director David Ayer, and a script from Max Landis, for which they paid $3 million (a notably high price). And it seems like the financial gamble paid off, with Variety reporting that Bright was watched by an estimated 11 million viewers in its first three days. As always, Netflix itself has not released any official figures, but the company did reveal it was its most-viewed film ever in its first week, and a sequel has already been greenlit. Landis isn't coming back, but Ayer is taking on script-writing duties himself.Of course, if you had only read the reviews for Bright, you could be forgiven for thinking the whole enterprise had been a big mistake on Netflix's part. The movie was hit by terrible reviews, and currently boasts a pretty dismal 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. Ayer is no stranger to bad reviews--he is the director of Suicide Squad after all--and was so taken by one particular vicious takedown that he stated that "the highest compliment is a strong reaction either way" and that the review was "going on my fridge."While Ayer's reaction is somewhat passive-aggressive, he does have a point. Bright has indeed provoked a strong reaction, whether it's the critical panning, or what seems to be a far more positive response from Netflix subscribers. And we're getting a sequel, whether the haters like it or not. So what did the filmmakers get right, and what changes can make Bright 2 a better movie?Look who's OrcingThere's a lot going on in Bright. It's a buddy cop comedy, an urban action movie, a fantasy epic, and a social satire. It takes elements we've seen a seen a dozen times before in other movies, and throws them together in a way that is often unfamiliar. It's not surprising that the film is a tonal muddle, but in an age of cookie-cutter sequels, endlessly repeating franchises, and a general dearth of originality, the ambition and imagination of Bright is to be applauded, even if the end result was flawed.The world that Ayer and Landis built is fascinating. This is an alternate Earth populated by races and elements familiar to World of Warcraft players and readers of Tolkien--Orcs, Elves, Fairies, wands, and magic. But instead of mystical woods and mist-shrouded mountains, this is the urban Los Angeles that Ayers documented in his cop movies Training Day and End of Watch. We learn enough of the history of this world to provide context, but ultimately Bright is a character-driven film with little time for history lessons beyond beyond what is needed for the story.So there's plenty for Bright 2 to dive into. There are races that we have not seen yet, and others glimpsed very briefly. One fleeting shot shows a centaur officer--half cop, half horse--while in another, a dragon is seen flying high above the city. Dwarves are mentioned but do not appear, and at one point Jakoby, the Orc cop played by Edgerton, mentions that there were once "nine armies" who united against the Dark Lord. In 2016, Landis provided a handy infographic that broke down the racial make-up of Bright's America, revealing that Goblins, Giants, and lizard-like Brezziks are also part of his world.Speaking of the Dark Lord, we learn little about him, beyond that he's a terrifying Elven presence whose return is feared by all. An evil overlord is a fantasy standard, and the expectation is that he'll play a bigger part in Bright 2. There's an early exchange between federal agents and the magic-user that they capture, in which the latter explains that modern military weaponry would be no match for his return. This certainly sets up a spectacular confrontation if he does make an appearance in the sequel. But it would be a mistake just to deliver a conventional motion-captured CG bad guy, the likes of which we've seen too many times over the past decade, mostly at the end of superhero movies. The Dark Lord needs to be something seriously scary, not just a big dude with a purple face.Where there's a WillBoth Smith and Edgerton are returning for the sequel, so expect further mismatched buddy cop comedy. Both actors are charismatic, but much of their relationship fell into cliché; we've seen this dynamic play out in any number of movies, from Lethal Weapon to Smith's breakout movie Bad Boys. But there's room to do something more interesting with these characters.Jakoby in particular is fascinating, an Orc who's not accepted by either his own kind or the humans with whom he works. By the end of the movie he's "blooded"--accepted into the Orc world--by Orc gangsters. What does this mean for him? There's opportunity now to set up some serious moral conflicts, as he is now fully a part of a community that is considered a lower class, who are targeted by police daily and compose much of the criminal underworld.And while audiences obviously want to see Will Smith wisecracking and shooting bad guys, hopefully he can bring additional dramatic weight to his role as the jaded, veteran cop Ward, caught between duty and providing for his family, and not just the Bad Boys-style mugging of the first movie.Ayer would also be smart to dial down the thunderingly-obvious class and racial analogies too. Science fiction has long had a tradition of mirroring real-world concerns through speculation and satire. But it's really heavy-handed in Bright, from the scenes of cops beating Orcs on the street to Smith's cringeworthy line "fairy lives don't matter today!". The themes of division and prejudice are as relevant today as ever, but a more subtle approach that trusts its audience to get the point might ultimately deliver a more powerful message (and elicit more positive reactions from critics).Ultimately, Netflix cares more about keeping their subscribers happy than pleasing a handful of critics, and perhaps we shouldn't expect the follow-up to deviate massively from its predecessor. But while Bright was not a great movie, it was also not a dismal failure, and showed enough ambition and originality to potentially lead to something genuinely great in the sequel. Here's hoping.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
After some back-and-forth Twitter banter, the English voice actors for Dragon Ball's Goku and Vegeta will be facing off in a live Dragon Ball FighterZ match on January 25. The event will be held at the Esports Arena in Santa Clara, Calif., and will be livestreamed on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook.Sean Schemmel, who voices Goku, and Christopher Sabat, who voices his longtime rival Vegeta, started talking smack in a Vegeta-themed Twitter thread on January 6. It culminated in Sabat suggesting they settle the score in FighterZ. After fans and even Bandai Namco jumped on the idea, Sabat issued a more formal challenge to get the attention of anime streaming site Funimation, which decided to make the "Super Saiyan Showdown" official.Hey @SeanSchemmel & @VoiceOfVegeta... You wanted a #SuperSaiyanShowdown?! 🔥🔥🔥YOU GOT IT 🔥🔥🔥 January 25th. It's on. pic.twitter.com/Deh30f1UFH — Funimation @ SuperSaiyanShowdown (@FUNimation) January 10, 2018Funimation is responsible for the English dubs of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super, and now Dragon Ball FighterZ. FighterZ includes both English and Japanese voiceover.Dragon Ball FighterZ releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on January 26. A beta of the game begins on January 14 at 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET and runs until January 16. You can see all of the confirmed Dragon Ball FighterZ characters so far in our gallery, including the three most recently recently announced fighters: Hit, Goku Black, and Beerus from Dragon Ball Super.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
The Legendary Pokemon Kyogre is now available in Pokemon Go. Beginning today, players can encounter the powerful Pokemon at Gyms as a Raid Battle, where it can be found for the next several weeks.As with other Legendaries, you'll need to team up with other players to battle Kyogre; only after defeating the Legendary will you have a chance to capture it. Kyogre is a powerful Water-type Pokemon, so players will want to bring Electric- and Grass-types such as Jolteon, Zapdos, and Exeggutor to gain the advantage over it.Pokemon Go developer Niantic had been teasing that Kyogre would be the next Legendary Pokemon coming to the popular mobile game. The studio released a promotional image featuring the monster for Pokemon Go's recent holiday event, which also introduced 20 more Water- and Ice-type Pokemon originally from Ruby and Sapphire to the game.Kyogre marks the second Gen 3 Legendary to arrive in Pokemon Go thus far, following its counterpart from Pokemon Ruby, Groudon. Players who have yet to add that Legendary to their teams can still encounter it for a limited time; Groudon will appear in Raid Battles until January 15, giving you only a couple more days to catch the gigantic Pokemon.Players will be able to encounter Kyogre in Pokemon Go until February 14, just over a month after it first began appearing. Similarly, the Legendary Psychic-type Mewtwo will also be available in the game for a while yet; however, unlike other Legendaries, Mewtwo only appears in invite-only EX Raids.In other Pokemon Go news, Niantic has announced a new monthly real-world event for the game called Community Days. These events have players gather in local parks to meet other Trainers and capture Pokemon. January's Community Day will feature a special Pikachu that can use Surf, just as in the classic Pokemon Yellow version.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
Cherry is best known for manufacturing the most popular mechanical keyboard switches, and at CES 2018, the company revealed and showed off its latest switch. The Cherry MX LP (low profile) sports the smallest form factor of any of its switches, 35% smaller to be exact. This will allow future gaming keyboards and laptops to use Cherry technologies while maintaining a relatively thin profile.The Cherry MX LP switch that was available to test at CES was a linear, non-tactile version, similar to the MX Red but with different actuation specs. While it shares the same actuation force of 45 cN, the total travel distance is around 3.2mm and the actuation point is about 1.2mm. These specs make them technically faster than most Cherry switches, and close to the MX Speed, although the new MX LP felt much more firm.Cherry MX Blue switch on the left, Cherry MX LP on the right.The new switch features an arc around the housing to facilitate better LED backlighting with options for single color or full RGB. Although the MX LP doesn't have any IP standards for spill resistance, Cherry asserts that by nature of its enclosed design, the switch internals will not take on dirt or dust. The company also boasts that its gold crosspoint technology ensures at least 50 million keystrokes per key.Currently, there aren't any specific keyboards announced yet that'll use the MX LP switch, but Cherry stated that it's working with several partners to release MX LP keyboards this year.For a while, Corsair had an exclusivity deal for its gaming keyboards with Cherry providing the switches. Even though this has passed, many companies are moving to creating switches in-house. Logitech has the Romer-G switch as seen in the Logitech G413, Razer uses its own line of color-coded switches with the new Blackwidow V2, and Steelseries has its QX2 used in the Apex M750.We have many more stories out of CES 2018; you can check out our impressions of the new HTC Vive Pro and 65-inch gaming monitor from Nvidia. To see all the best gaming hardware from the show, be sure to read our CES 2018 roundup.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
Xbox One may have had a slimmer lineup of exclusive games than either PS4 or Nintendo Switch in 2017, but the new year is certainly shaping up to be a busier one for Microsoft's console. Following the launch of its powerful Xbox One X last November, Microsoft is turning its attention to expanding its roster of first-party titles, with a solid selection of games that can only be found on Xbox One (and PC, thanks to the company's Play Anywhere program) lined up throughout the year.In the video above, we take a look at the most anticipated games coming exclusively to Xbox One in 2018. On top of some titles that we've already known about for quite some time, such as Sea of Thieves, the anticipated pirate game from storied developer Rare, Xbox One owners have a slate of exciting games to look forward in the coming months, from high-profile releases like State of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3 to some intriguing indie titles like Ashen and The Last Night. You can also see all of the year's big Xbox One exclusives in our gallery.Those certainly aren't the only big games coming to Xbox One this year, as a number of major multiplatform releases like Red Dead Redemption 2 are slated to arrive in the next few months. Microsoft will also continue to bolster the Xbox One's library by making even more original Xbox games backwards compatible. The first batch of original Xbox games arrived back in October and added classics like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Ninja Gaiden Black, and Microsoft has said that another selection will be available sometime this spring.Regardless of what platform you own, there are a ton of great games to look forward to in 2018. In addition to Xbox One, we've taken a look at the most anticipated PS4 games, Nintendo Switch games, and PC games of the year. We've also shared what we think will happen this year in our gaming predictions for 2018.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
The Dragon Ball FighterZ roster grew to 24 fighters with the recent reveal of Goku Black, Beerus, and Hit. The three Dragon Ball Super characters join the likes of Goku, Vegeta, and more in the upcoming fighter. In the video above, you can see them in action in 4K.Beerus can create Spheres of Destruction, which explode when they come in contact with an opponent. His Meteor special attack is God of Destruction's Judgment. The assassin Hit's moveset emphasizes striking, much like his Time Skip technique in the series; his Meteor special temporarily stops time and unleashes a combo attack. Goku Black's special is called The Work of a God, and he can summon Zamasu to "bind" an opponent.A beta of Dragon Ball FighterZ begins on January 14 at 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET and runs until January 16. Of the three newest characters, only Beerus is playable in the beta.Dragon Ball FighterZ releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on January 26. The game will have a season pass that adds eight more characters to the roster post-launch. Check out our gallery of all the characters that have been confirmed so far to see the launch list.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
The holidays may be over, but you can still find plenty of deals on games if you're looking for something new to play. Many digital storefronts are holding New Year sales to usher in 2018, and that includes the Humble Store, which has now kicked off its annual winter sale.Humble's winter sale runs until January 25 and offers discounts on tons of great PC games. Destiny 2 Digital Deluxe Edition is $75, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is $30, Ark: Survival Evolved is $36, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is $24, Tekken 7 is $25, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is $30, and Elex is $33.49.There are also a number of great older games on sale. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Game of the Year Edition is $20, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is $20, Rocket League is $12, Doom is $15, Dishonored is $2.49, Wolfenstein: The New Order is $10, and Undertale is $5. Some other noteworthy discounts you can find right now include:Braid -- $6Darkest Dungeon -- $10Disgaea PC -- $7.49A Hat in Time -- $24Hyper Light Drifter -- $10Octodad: Dadliest Catch -- $4.94Oxenfree -- $5Psychonauts -- $1.49Saints Row IV -- $3.74Slime Rancher -- $13.39Stacking -- $1.49Sunless Sea -- $5.69To the Moon -- $2.49The Vanishing of Ethan Carter -- $5You'll have until 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET on January 25 to take advantage of the above discounts. Many publishers such as Ubisoft and Bethesda are also holding separate sales in the digital store, giving you a ton of options to choose from. You can find the full list of discounted games on Humble's website.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-13
Hyperkin showed off plenty of neat retro accessories at CES 2018, but one of the standouts was the original Xbox controller, commonly referred to as the Duke. This hulking gamepad is oddly making a comeback by the end of March according to Hyperkin for $70 USD. Official international pricing hasn't been stated but one can estimate £50 GBP and $90 AUD.Given that it was happily succeeded by the Xbox S controller during the first generation of Microsoft's console, the Duke's return taps into perplexing nostalgia. However, after getting our hands on it at CES, we noticed that it does have some modern touches. While button placement is exactly the same as before, there are two tiny shoulder buttons to act as the black and white buttons, which are also still functional on the controller. The Duke is noticeably lighter than its forebear as well.A closer look at The Duke. (Sean Buckley/CNET)In terms of other modern features, the Xbox One's view and menu buttons are found in the middle. But at dead-center where the Xbox logo once stood is a huge circle that plays the boot-up screen animation of the original console when it's pressed. The Duke will only work through a wired micro USB connection and it is compatible with PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.Sean Hollister from CNET (GameSpot's sister site) spoke with Seamus Blackley, co-creator of the Xbox, about how and why the massive gamepad is coming back. Blackley said it's "miraculous" that he got Microsoft's approval, but continued:"I discovered to my horror and fascination that The Duke was an object of nostalgia and comfort and happiness and childhood memories, and all these people with big hands saying it was the only controller that was comfortable."THE NEW DUKE CONTROLLER is available at the END OF MARCH for $69.99 And what a wonderful moment! Thanks @XboxP3 Thanks @Hyperkin!!! pic.twitter.com/KB9C6BYxCe — Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) January 12, 2018"I contacted Phil [Spencer, Head of Xbox], who was a buddy of mine, and asked, 'Phil, is this crazy enough to do?' and some of the hardware guys who were there when the Xbox was on the drawing board said we should absolutely do it."Hyperkin is digging up the past in more ways than one; check out our impressions on the Game Boy remake called the Ultra GB. For more on what came out of CES 2018, be sure to read through our roundup of the best gaming hardware at the show, and best accessories on display.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-12
Many wrestling fans have been aching for John Cena to turn heel for years. Now it's finally happening, sort of. Cena has joined the cast of the upcoming animated series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a villain named Baron Draxum.Draxum, a new character to the franchise, is described as "an alchemist warrior mutant who seeks to turn all of humanity into mutants." According to a press release from Nickelodeon, Cena will appear as a voice on the series in a recurring role. The new Ninja Turtles series follows the four mutant brothers "as they encounter new mutants and villains and discover a mystical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City."Cena joins an already impressive cast on the series that includes Ben Schwartz (DuckTales), Omar Miller (Ballers), Josh Brener (Silicon Valley), Brandon Mychal Smith (You're The Worst) and Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries)--who will lend her voice to the first African-American portrayal of April O'Neil.In addition to joining Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cena is expanding his partnership with Nickelodeon. The 16-time WWE Champion will also host the Kids' Choice Awards once again and serve as an executive producer on Keep It Spotless, a new Nick game show."It's an honor to come back a second time to host the biggest, slimiest party of the year, the Kids' Choice Awards. Not only do I get to be a cartoon character in the new Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, but I get to be a villain, too," Cena says in a statement. "And to top it all off, I'm stepping behind the camera to executive produce Nick’s new competition series Keep It Spotless, which gives a whole new meaning to staying clean."Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will premiere sometime in late 2018. Character art for the series, including Cena's Baron Draxum, has yet to be released.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-12
The Overwatch League represents one of the most significant ventures into esports to date, and certainly the largest from Blizzard. Significant resources are being put into the league, with Twitch reportedly paying a major sum to secure broadcasting rights. Blizzard has also built a major arena in Los Angeles and released a huge batch of new Overwatch skins to help drive interest in the event.Clearly, the company's investment in esports is serious, though it remains to be seen what kind of success it will enjoy (or not). Blizzard has been careful to temper expectations for this first season, but it believes it's made decisions--some of which were inspired by mainstream professional sports--that set it up for success. That includes its region-based approach, where teams hail from particular cities or areas, much like an NBA or NFL team, thus helping prospective fans to choose and really get behind a group.In the lead up to the Overwatch League's launch, we discussed Blizzard's approach to esports, whether the league's existence impacts how the studio handles balance updates, and more with game director Jeff Kaplan. You can check out our full interview with him below. We've also got a primer on Overwatch League, a rundown on all the teams and rosters, and a guide on how to watch Overwatch League. And, of course, following the most recent Overwatch update, we've also got a look at all the new team skins.GameSpot: What does Overwatch League mean to somebody who's been working on the game for several years now? What does Overwatch League mean for Overwatch?Jeff Kaplan: Well, I think we get excited about not only what does Overwatch League mean for Overwatch the game, which is obviously, in some ways, exciting and daunting and flattering to us that such an amazing league would get built around the game that we worked so hard to make. But I get really excited for what Overwatch League means to esports. I've always been a huge pro sports fan, and I've always loved esports. The two have always felt so separate to me. There are awesome things that pro sports does and is doing that we've always wished we seen more of in esports. There's awesome things about esports that pro sports doesn't understand. I'm really hoping that this becomes the marriage and the inspiration for esports in general that we could sort of level up to that next level, and just really solidify and professionalize esports.What is it about the city-based structure that you're taking from pro sports that'll help Overwatch League? Do you think it'll lend more personality to it and loyalty maybe among fans, or what are some of the pro sports aspects that you really want to see shine through in Overwatch League?I think the regional-based teams is one of the main things for pro sports that we've taken a huge inspiration from. I think we can all remember when or have that friend, if it's not us personally, where they weren't into a particular sport, but, for whatever reason, their home team makes it to the finals and now they're going to get into it. It becomes this life-long love that you suddenly have. That really has been hard in esports. One thing that will happen with esports, for example, is you'll approach a game that you're really into for the first time, and you might become aware of the esports scene. It's so hard to have an immediate grasp on who you should be a associating with in any way. There's all these organizations where, if you're an esports fan and have been following them for a long time, they really mean something to you and you know what these names are and what they stand for. But if you haven't been following esports, it's a little bit foreign in that regard. So we think bringing a regional-based approach will help some fans immediately associate.The other thing that I hope it does is start to bring esport awareness to more parts of the world. I think we all know that there are certain parts of the world, such as Korea and California, that everybody knows what esports is. Everybody's really into it and following it. But there's so many parts of the world where esports really hasn't penetrated fully yet. It would be great to start to see regional-based teams get more and more exposure to some of those parts of the world.The thing about esports is that, I guess, compared to like traditional sports, it's sort of like the rebellious, younger brother. It's still evolving. Overwatch is a very accessible game compared to League of Legends or StarCraft that allows more people of varying experiences and skill levels to try to get into the sport. Is that accessibility something that you're always thinking about?With everything that we've done with Overwatch, from the game itself to the league, there's always been a desire to be as inclusive with as many people as possible. We try to make things approachable both in the game and in the league structure so that somebody who's not necessarily familiar with Overwatch or Overwatch League immediately feels welcome. That's always the goal. It's kind of a Blizzard goal with all of the things that we do, to speak to as many people as possible. A lot of times it gets taken the wrong way. A lot of people say, "Oh, you're trying to dumb things down," or, "You just want to make for the casual audience." That couldn't be further from the truth. I mean, there's nothing more hardcore than trying to stand up in esports, a franchise esports league like we've done. It's extremely targeted at the hardcore audience experience..The Blizzard approach is not to make everything casual. The Blizzard approach is to find what we think is amazing as hardcore fans ourselves or hardcore players in games and then [discover] how do you bring that to as many people as possible and not be off-putting like some hardcore content and features sometimes [are].Blizzard has had a hand in esports for a very long time, like with StarCraft, which arguably sort of molded modern esports as we know it. Through Overwatch League, this is a more conscious and involved effort on Blizzard's part. Was it tricky to figure out how exactly you were going to inject more traditional sports, like setups and systems, within the esports model?Well, the awesome part about working on Overwatch League is that we can take that love for pro sports and start to bring it to esports. The hard part wasn't the ideas themselves. You know, coming up with regional-based teams or that we wanted to start to embrace having home and away uniforms in the game or that we wanted to feed statistics to our broadcasters in a way like pro sports was doing. The ideas wasn't the hard part. The hard part was actually the execution on those. That's the thing that we're going to continue to iterate on. We're very pleased with the progress that Overwatch has made from the Overwatch World Cup at BlizzCon to the Overwatch League pre-season games that happened in December to what we hope is going to be a great kick-off for this opening week. We know we can do way more than we've already done, but to us it's very much about iteration and then constantly sort of raising the bar on ourselves. We're going to watch every single match and decide how can we be better every single time.Now that Overwatch has this chance, because you are taking things from the more mainstream professional athletic sports, is there a sense that you are trying to prove something to people who might not normally be into esports or even people who are but maybe might not think the structure is going to work?I think there's a lot of pressure on us with Overwatch League to get it right. There's a lot of eyes, and we're very excited. We don't want to let people down. I think of it less in terms of we have something to prove and more of what I hope our legacy is, both as Overwatch the game and Overwatch League. Obviously the dream is for Overwatch League to become far reaching, to have people fall in love with not only Overwatch and esports but our teams and our players, and to really get to know them just like any professional sport. That would be the ultimate goal.I feel like even if we come up short of that goal, as long as Overwatch League inspires the world that esports is bigger and more important than they realize... I feel like the younger generation already gets it and knows that this exists. And that we validate that esports is real and important and growing. And that future esports endeavors strive to do something a little bit higher, a little bit better, a little bit more professional. I feel like that would be a victory.When a game enters the esports scene, I always am curious how that affects your view with all these Mercy nerfs and whatnot. With something like that, is there extra weight to those balance updates? You're very open with your audience about the updates and I always look forward to [YouTube user] dinoflask's take.Me too.But does the league add more considerations, like how something affects the Overwatch League meta as opposed to the casual meta and so forth?Well, we're always balancing with our pro players in mind. So the fact that Overwatch League exists hasn't changed that. We were lucky enough to enjoy a really thriving pro scene in the beta that just sort of developed organically on its own. Those players have always communicated very clearly with us, and they have a lot of avenues to get through to us. So pro players have been influencing the design of Overwatch since its inception, since the earliest days that anybody besides the development team could play it. So not a lot has changed in that regard.I think, obviously, any time you have a lot of eyes on something, which I hope will be the case with Overwatch League, it makes you want to get it right. But I feel like we wanted to get it right [prior] to Overwatch League existing. The fact that the league exists doesn't change the responsibility that we have as developers to make sure that the game is balanced, that it's super fun to play, and that it's also super fun to watch.Is there one thing in particular that you're just hoping will happen? Whether seeing fans and people respond to it more like excitedly or anything? Is there something like that?I think there are two things that I'm most excited for with Overwatch League and that I hope to see. The first is we have this whole cadre of amazing pro players that I feel like have really been legitimized in their career, legitimized in their talent and their skill, and they're going to get the recognition that they deserve. I feel like under the Overwatch League structure, they're very protected as professionals, and that's very exciting to me. These players are at an awesome point in their lives, and I think this is an amazing opportunity for them. To me, more than anything, this league centers around them and this opportunity. So that's going to be exciting. I hope they get the spotlight that they deserve because they've earned it. It's going to be really exciting to see it play out.The other thing that I'm super excited about with Overwatch League is the first-time esport fan that's never even paid attention to esports before. I know we're going to attract some of them. I think for all of us as a kid... for me, I can remember the first time my dad brought me to Dodger stadium. I have almost an emotional reaction to those memories. I can't wait for the next generation to grow up with memories like that of their Overwatch League experiences. Also, for people to realize... it's a hard pill for some people to realize who've never sat down and watched esports that watching a video game be played at the highest professional level is actually amazingly exciting. I think [with] a lot of people, it's easy for them to dismiss that or roll their eyes [at] that. Then they go to their first DreamHack or BlizzCon or [Dota 2] International or hopefully Overwatch League match, and they realize the energy and the excitement and the skill level of what's being performed before them is actually amazing and a great experience. I'm really excited for those first time esport fans.You also have to wonder if there are people out there who are extremely talented Overwatch players, where maybe it's like a very serious hobby for them, but now this structured league could bring out the next generation of players.We're excited for that as well. One of the things that I really love his approach on is Nate Nanzer, who's the commissioner of the Overwatch League. Since the inception of the League, [it] felt like it wasn't just about coming up with an amazing professional league. It was about coming up with an entire ecosystem that made it very clear for players the steps that they needed to take to achieve that someday. I think we all, you know, when we watch our first professional baseball game or basketball game, it can seem really daunting, but there feels like a path to get there. You know you can ask somebody like, "What do I need to do to be that someday?" We wanted the same thing for Overwatch League. We wanted it to not only be the celebration of the top play in the world, but also to be a very aspirational thing that, you know, our really talented players who might not realize it might have a future in pro esports.It seems like it's fostering a sense of community, right? It's always been connected. Esports are always very like digitally connected. Then of course there are the actual tournaments and the actual match where people go and there's a ton of people. When Major League Baseball players have to go down to AAA for a while, it's always fun to go see them play for a $5 ticket. I wonder if eventually Overwatch League will become so widespread that there will be that really concrete sense of community around it. You touched on it, but that just seems so appealing to me to be like, "Oh, there's a Dynasty game this weekend. Let's have friends over and watch it. Like get pizza." Or go to a bar and watch it.You're speaking specifically to one of the design goals of the league itself in the regional-based sense, which is, you know, there are a lot of Overwatch players who know exactly who they're going to root for: I'm a Genji main, and I love Seagull. I watch his stream every day. So therefore, I'm going to be a Dallas Fuel fan. That's a very informed decision that you're making at that point. Whereas, some people just want to enjoy the sort of experience at first, and they're not yet initiated into what that means. So they need those things to latch onto. So I think and I hope that the regional-based approach will be one of those things that allows people to say, "I'm not sure who my Overwatch team should be, but I'm from San Francisco so I'm going to root for the Shock just because I'm from that area," for example.We also thought a lot about that when we helped the teams develop their names and their logos as well. That some people won't be from any of the areas that these teams are in, but they'll just look at, "Wow, look at those Seoul Dynasty uniforms. That black and gold. It's gorgeous. I love how it looks on D'Va. I guess I'm a Seoul Dynasty fan now." I think we've all had that friend who just bought the Oakland Raiders football jersey, you know, back in the day just because it looked cool. Now they're a Raiders fan for whatever reason. So I think there's going to be some of that as well.When you talk about trying to make something broader and appeal to more people, that means that you're looking for multiple avenues for people to get into the experience. Obviously, I think what we all understand is--with that highly competitive Overwatch player, esports fan--what their avenue is. They're going to immediately be attracted to this because of the high-level competition and the players who are playing in the league. But for those who aren't yet familiar with that, we have to give them these other things like the regional-based association or cool uniforms and logos and names for them to associate with.Info from Gamespot.com
2018-01-12
World of Warplanes was originally released in 2013 for PC, but the game has been essentially re-released with a recent 2.0 update. The new version promises more strategic combat, in the form of the new Conquest Mode, a new class of aircraft, and more. Check out some of the game in action in the video above.While the game has traditionally focused on straight-up dogfights, World of Warplanes 2.0's new Conquest Mode is focused on tactical superiority and cooperation between classes of aircraft. You play as part of a team that attacks or defends key sectors on the map, and will need to make full use of all the game's multiple classes to win.Another big change to the game is the addition of Bombers. As you can imagine, the new class's focus is its large payload of bombs, which you drop on enemy territory from high altitudes where only certain other types of fighters can intercept them. The game's developers say players who want more tactical gameplay will enjoy it. Bombers also have a special camera mode called bomb sight that will help you bomb the right target.There are many other additions to the game too, including changes to the way maps work, tweaks to the game's economy, and the ability to respawn in the same battle. The 2.0 update also comes with completely overhauled graphics. You can get a full look at all of the new additions on World of Warplanes' website.Info from Gamespot.com
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