After No Man's Sky hit shelves in early August, complaints arose around bugs and oversights made by its small studio Hello Games. But as the weeks wore on, a new uproar struck out at the differences between concept videos and the released game, which noticeably lacks many features promised in its early promotional material. Now the UK-based Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is launching an investigation into those disparities.
If you didn't know, Kirby is a squidgy pink ball. With minimal facial features. That's about it. Which is why he's adorable (and popular) enough to warrant a whole bunch of merchandise, as well as temporary pop-up cafes across Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. Japan isn't lacking for gaming culture -- in fact, we've already toured a few in our guide to Tokyo. It's just a shame that this one is a temporary arrangement. If you're a fan of all things pink and circular, get to Japan while you can: The Kirby Cafe closes at the end of October, and you need a ticket to merely get inside. Even if you're able to get in, though, can you stomach a Kirby pancake?
Source: Kirby Cafe (Japanese)
I've been playing FIFA since its first title launched on Super Nintendo, when characters on the screen looked like nothing more than colorful stick figures. Nowadays, thanks to the power of modern gaming consoles, the visuals and gameplay are as close to the real thing as it gets. So much so, in fact, that oftentimes when FIFA is on my TV someone asks, "What game are you watching?" FIFA 17, which arrived yesterday in the US and lands tomorrow worldwide, is no exception.
While 2016 has been a great year for eSports exposure — several championships have gotten screen time on ESPN networks — it's also been a great year for money. Not only is it estimated to grow to a $500 million industry this annum, but traditional sports conglomerates like the Philadelphia 76ers and German soccer club FC Schalke 04 are buying pro gaming teams outright. But the latest news isn't just another purchase deal. An odd assortment of entertainment and investors created aXiomatic, an ownership group dedicated to scooping up eSports teams, and are starting off by purchasing one of the more famous ones: Team Liquid.
Steam changed the video game industry in the same way Netflix changed television. Digital distribution was a natural evolution for gaming in the early 2010s, allowing PC players to skip the midnight-release lines at Gamestop and purchase new titles with the click of a button. While Steam wasn't the first hub to offer digitally distributed games -- Valve debuted it in 2003 -- it quickly gained a massive following and by 2011 was undoubtedly the largest platform for finding, buying and playing games on PC, Mac and Linux. Today, Steam hosts more than 10,000 titles and nearly 160 million active users per month, according to Steam Spy and EEDAR.
Steam is Netflix on pixelated, interactive steroids.
Physical photographs aren't the only way Firewatch will invade the real world. Developer Campo Santo recently revealed a partnership with production house Good Universe (Neighbors and Last Vegas) to make a movie based on the indie game about a fire lookout in a Wyoming forest, according to The Hollywood Reporter. No other details are available at the time, but fingers crossed that some enterprising Ford dealership doesn't repurpose the movie's eventual trailer for a summer sales event.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
It's time: Netflix is back with the next entry in its line of Marvel-character TV series with Luke Cage, starring Mike Colter and produced by Cheo Hodari Coker. Be quick with your binge, since on Sunday night, HBO kicks off its highly-anticipated android-populated TV series Westworld. We're also ready for the wide release of Forza Horizon 3 -- I've been playing it and it's not only my favorite Forza, it could've been my favorite entry in the PGR or Midnight Club series.
Tonight is the first presidential debate, and if you need another reason to watch, don't forget that you can use it to compare the HD feeds from different networks. New movie releases on Blu-ray include Ultra HD versions of Warcraft, Everest, Central Intelligence and The Shallows, and on TV don't forget about a new season of Drunk History. There's also a Final Fantasy XV side-scrolling prequel, and XCOM 2 on consoles. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).
The Philadelphia 76ers' ownership group announced on Monday that it has acquired two eSports teams, Team Apex and Team Dignatas, and will merge them into a single organization under the Dignatas banner. The team will compete in League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm while the 76ers will handle the day-to-day operations including player recruitment, marketing and sales.
Via: The Verge
After selling over 40 million consoles, Sony is refreshing the PlayStation 4. That starts with the PlayStation 4 Slim, available now for $299, along with the PlayStation VR headset (out next month) and the higher-powered PS4 Pro, which comes out in November. Sony has said that the PlayStation 4 Slim will become the new standard PS4, replacing the tried-and-true model that launched in 2013. So how does it compare?
With Microsoft's billions behind it, Minecraft's momentum is showing no signs of slowing. The game now supports VR and has lets players fine-tune their worlds with Add-Ons, the movie has a release date (although it is in 2019) and soon it's going to have its very own official novel. Mojang has confirmed that the new book, titled Minecraft: The Island, is being written by none other than Max Brooks, the scribe behind the apocalyptic zombie novel World War Z.
GOG is extending its efforts to liberate your games from Steam's copyright protection. Alongside a back-to-school sale, the online game store is expanding its GOG Connect effort to cover 17 more games, including Hotline Miami, the 2013 Shadow Warrior remake and the space exploration title X Rebirth. It's the same drill as before: connect your Steam account and you can grab DRM-free copies of those games at no charge, helping you back them up or move them without hassles. The focus remains on indie games, but it's still good news if you're worried that you've put too many eggs in Steam's basket.
Source: GOG Connect
Now that the Angry Birds movie has proven to be a financial success, other studios want in on the mobile-games-as-movies trend. New Line Cinema has secured the rights to a Fruit Ninja movie already in development by game creator Halfbrick Studios and producer Tripp Vinson (of San Andreas and Journey to the Center of the Earth). Not surprisingly, this will involve a lot more than watching an off-screen assassin cut produce into pieces -- the project is currently envisioned as a live-action comedy that sees a ragtag group becoming Fruit Ninjas to, naturally, save the world.
Via: The Verge
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Minecraft is close to some updates that could seriously alter how you play if you like to mess with game mechanics... or simply immerse yourself in a virtual world. An upgrade arriving October 18th for Minecraft's Windows 10, Pocket and Gear VR editions will introduce Add-Ons, which let you change how characters and objects behave by tweaking text files. Want giant chickens, or Creepers that trigger huge explosions? It's now relatively trivial. Think of it as an entry point into the world of game mods without having to learn programming.
Last month, Microsoft announced plans to bring Xbox Wireless tech to PCs and other gaming accessories starting with Lenovo's IdeaCentre Y710 Cube. Today, the company went a step further with controller support for Samsung's Gear VR headset. That's right, the Xbox Wireless Controller will soon work with Samsung's phone-driven virtual reality device. Minecraft: Gear VR Edition will be the first game to make use of the feature, but eventually you'll be able to use it on any Gear VR title with controller support.
Source: Xbox Wire
Video game journalist and presenter Geoff Keighley is teaming up with YouTube for a new live show. It'll be broadcast every Thursday at 8pm ET/5pm PT under the YouTube Gaming banner (presumably, you'll be able to watch it through regular YouTube too.) Rather like Keighley's E3 show, it'll have trailers, gameplay footage and developer interviews, all wrapped up in a professional studio environment. Popular YouTubers Nadeshot, iJustine, MatPat and iHasCupQuake will be popping up too (this is a YouTube show, after all) no doubt to raise interest and awareness.
Source: YouTube Gaming (Twitter)
Days ago, Bungie released its third expansion, Rise of Iron, for its popular MMO shooter Destiny. A new short single-player campaign, multiplayer mode and six-person raid should keep players busy killing enemy aliens, and each other, for months. Undoubtedly, some of those gamers are parents, and while they pummel and gun down foes in-game, they might look wistfully at their kids sitting on the couch next to them. How can my progeny engage in this rich, bloody, grim universe with me, they'll ask? The answer, obviously, is a children's book.
"We recognize that the current ecosystem isn't consistently profitable yet for team owners or for the league."
That's how Riot Games' directors of eSports Jarred "Bradmore" Kennedy and Whalen "Magus" Rozelle laid out the studio's plans to funnel more money to professional League of Legends teams in 2017. The changes come after four years of explosive growth across the eSports industry, with League of Legends leading the charge, but it also follows a public spat between coaches and founders about the game's booming economy.
Source: League of Legends
After a summer of test runs, the full version of Minecraft: Education Edition will officially launch on November 1st. When it goes live, the service will require a $5 yearly membership per user or a district-wide license, but the Early Access edition is still free until November.
On the island of Santorini, Greece, a group of AIs has been facing off in an epic battle of Doom.
This is VizDoom, a contest born from one man's idea: To improve the state of artificial intelligence by teaching computers the art of fragging. That simple notion then spiraled into a battle between tech giants, universities and coders. Over the past few months they've all been honing their bots (known as "agents"), building up to one, final death match.
Okay, it was a lot more than one match. But that doesn't sound nearly as dramatic.
The competition is all about machine visual learning. Just like when you or I play Doom, the agents can only make decisions based on what they "see," and have no access to information within the game's code.