Letter from the Editor
We live in a time when what previously would have been surreal is now reality. And I'm not even referring to the fact that our president fails to see the need to secure his smartphone, nor that the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency is probably less concerned with the environmental than with serving the oil industry -- though these and other governmental actions would have been appropriately Kafkaesque fever dreams in an earlier decade.
Microsoft bought livestreaming service Beam last August to fold its advanced viewer interactions with its gaming services on Windows 10 and Xbox. They finally opened testing up to select users at the end of January, but today, they're taking the next step in competing against Twitch by launching the Beam app for Xbox One. As with the previous trials, only certain members of the Xbox Insider Program get first crack at it, but you'll now be able to watch our favorite streamers right from your console.
Source: Xbox Newsroom
The civic-planning simulator Cities: Skylines is making the jump to consoles soon, long after Microsoft teased a port back in August 2015. At an undisclosed date this Spring, Xbox One owners will get their own edition of the game, which comes bundled with the After Dark DLC. Delightful as the title is, how gameplay will make the transition from mouse to console controller is anyone's guess.
Source: Cities: Skylines (Xbox)
Rejoice, Nintendo fans! Your eShop purchases on the Switch will be tied to your account and not the hardware, according to a new unboxing video.
Xbox One owners who don't have many indie games can now fill that hole on the cheap. For the next few weeks, video game developer Curve Digital has partnered with Microsoft to offer the Instant Indie Hits bundle for $20.
Source: Microsoft Store
Crowdfunding and investment site Fig is offering successful indie developers a little extra cash to finish games and get them on Steam. With the $500,000 Fig Finishing Fund, developers that hit their funding goals and attract at least 1,000 backers will get at least $20,000 from the investor-based fund. They'll be able to use that cash to finish their games, add more languages and get them up on Valve's brand new Steam Direct program coming this spring.
Bop It! 2016's got nothing on this year's iteration of the '90s musical toy. Hasbro has just launched a Bop It! Maker edition, and if that name isn't obvious enough, it promises the most personalized game you've ever played. The latest version allows you create your own moves by naming them, performing them and recording a sound for them. You can store up to 10 custom moves your friends can try to imitate later, so go crazy and make up some awkward and complex commands for maximum laughs. Bop It! Maker will cost you $20, just like last year's version [seen above]. It will be available at retailers and on the HasbroToyShop website in the fall, but the company will showcase it at Toy Fair 2017 in New York.
Blizzard is shaking up its Warcraft-themed digital card game, Hearthstone, with a slew of changes coming this year. Unlike its prior habit of alternating smaller Adventure releases with larger Expansions, 2017 will see three of the latter full-size sets added to the game. But they're also taking away half a dozen cards from the competitive Standard format, including fan favorites Ragnaros the Firelord and Sylvanas. Welcome to the Year of the Mammoth.
Source: Hearthstone blog
Monopoly's venerable thimble is not passing Go and it won't collect $200. The sewing accessory has been part of the board game since 1935, but voters decided to ditch it during a recent contest for a more modern replacement.
Via: Associated Press
Source: Monopoly Token Madness
Via: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Today is a bittersweet day for NeoGAF user hiphoptherobot. His Nintendo Switch pre-order arrived on his doorstep two weeks ahead of schedule, but he has absolutely nothing to play on it. "I have no games at all," he told the popular gaming forum. "All I can do is flip through the menus." In a short video published on Vidme, he does just that -- slowly working his way through the console's set up process, peeking at News page filled with console use tutorials and fiddling with the console's settings menu.
Indie game developer Snowman has built up quite a reputation based mostly on one game: Alto's Adventure. But we now finally know when we'll get to see the studio's next creation. Where Cards Fall, a game the company has been teasing for a few years now, will be out this fall for Apple TV, iOS and Steam. If you haven't seen any of the gameplay yet, Snowman has also released a new trailer today that gives a pretty extensive look at what to expect when the game arrives.
It's been a long week, hasn't it? Well luckily for Xbox One owners it looks like Microsoft wants to start the weekend early, as from today you'll be able to play both NBA 2K17 and Rocket League for free. As a part of Xbox Live's Multiplayer All Access event, gamers will get three days unpaid access to the games above and all Xbox Live services. With a year's Xbox Live subscription setting you back $59.99, this is sure to be good news for the three Xbox One owners who don't already have access.
Welcome to the return of iPhone rumors. It's already that wonderful time of the year as leaks, rumors and supply chain-side intel offer a glimpse into what Apple's cooking. Or not. Global gaming show E3 is starting sooner this year, with Xbox set to reveal its new console on the weekend before it begins. And like Pokémon? How about more of 'em?
Amazon is firing up new locations for its Games Studio (AGS) offices along the West Coast and infusing it with some legacy blood. John Smedley, one of the original creators of the seminal MMO Everquest, will be helming a new team operating out of San Diego. Apparently, they're already working on a project harnessing both Amazon Web Service Cloud and Twitch.
Watch Dogs 2 has a new ending, and it might be teasing the location of the game's sequel. Ubisoft updated the hacker-themed action game last week, adding new emotes, dances and clothing. It also added this little hint:
News keeps trickling in for the Switch as we await its public release next month. Befitting a Nintendo console, they range from exciting to bizarre, often taking the system's novel points and running into unpredictable territory. Such is the case with the upcoming Ultra Street Fighter II, as a new video emerged confirming rumors that we will, at last, get a first-person hadoken-throwing experience.
Via: Nintendo Life
Source: Capcom TV
Last year, Hasbro revealed an updated version of its classic Simon game that didn't require you to press multi-color buttons. With Simon Air, you just put your hand close to the color and it device would detect your motion. For this year's New York Toy Fair, the company is taking hands-free play a step further with Simon Optix. This new model is a wearable headset that looks something like HoloLens or some other AR/VR headset but it doesn't do any of that.
If you're a PlayStation Now user that doesn't actually own a PS4, get ready to cancel your subscription -- Sony just announced that its cloud gaming service is going to drop support for everything but its flagship console and Windows PC users later this year. On August 15th 2017, PlayStation Now will stop functioning on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV as well as all Sony Bravia TVs, every Sony Blu-ray player and all Samsung smart TVs with access to the service. That's a lot of devices to drop, but Sony is optimistic about the choice, explaining in a blog post that it will help it build a better user experience on the remaining two platforms.
If you're an Xbox fan who's been anxiously awaiting more news on Microsoft's Project Scorpio ever since it was unveiled at E3 last year, you now know exactly when you'll get the full scoop. Microsoft has revealed that its customary E3 briefing will take place on June 11th at 5PM Eastern, and the teaser graphic makes it patently clear that the 4K-capable Scorpio will be the center of attention. There are no fresh clues, to no one's surprise, but it's safe to say this is a big deal when the Redmond crew is shaking up its usual E3 schedule to garner maximum attention. One thing's for sure: we'll be there to give you our first-hand impressions.
Source: Xbox (Twitter)