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Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Release Date, Gameplay, Preorder

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Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity

Things are good if you’re a Zelda fan right now — or at the very least interesting if you don’t like to get your hopes up. Not only has Nintendo recently announced that a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild is in the works, they’ve confirmed the release date for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Also set in the Zelda universe, the game is due to come out on November 20th this year.

A Follow up to Hyrule Warriors & a Prequel to Zelda All in One

Age of Calamity is a successor to the original Hyrule Warriors from 2014. It’s set to take place a hundred years before the events of Breath of the Wild, during the lead-up to the Great Calamity.

If you’re a bit of a lore nerd, the long story short is that Calamity Ganon, a primal evil that hates sunshine and likes to spoil things for others, returns to Hyrule after a nearly 10,000 year imprisonment. As you can imagine, Ganon is not too happy about the time spent away, and tends to express that frustration through mass destruction. Only you, the player, stand between the monster and the total annihilation of Hyrule, including heroes such as Link and Princess Zelda.

Gamers that have only played the mainline Zelda game may be surprised by how much more combat-oriented Calamity is shaping up to be. Like the first Hyrule Warriors, Age of Calamity is going to use hack-and-slash combat with multiple champions for you to pick and choose from. The cast is certainly a treat for all fans of all things Zelda. You’ll be able to play as Link, Princess Zelda, the four Champions from Breath of the Wild (Daruk, Revali, Mipha, and Urbosa), and perhaps a yet unnamed character that has been hinted at.

Nintendo released a trailer for the game that gives us a good idea of what the gameplay is going to look like & the dangers and troves of enemies that await.

You can already pre-order the game for $59.99 in the Nintendo Shop. This is not the cheapest game to take a chance on if you’re new to the franchise. On the other hand, Nintendo’s most popular titles are always pricey.

No matter how well the game will perform, it’s likely to join BotW in Nintendo’s evergreen ranks simply for being a part of the Zelda universe. Let’s hope that it will also stand on its own two legs and not piggyback on the popularity of Breath of the Wild.

The Logitech G733 LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset is out

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Logitech introduced the G733, a new wireless gaming headset with RGB and Blu Voice microphone features. With 40 mm PRO-G sound drivers and DTS Headphone:X 2.0 technology, Logitech G733 should deliver precise sound, and deep bass. For gamers, this headset features distance awareness that provides detailed in-game sounds like a shot or movement direction. Along with the clearer dialogues from the large drivers, the new headset has Blue Voice microphone feature with real-time voice filters and noise reduction. In-game chats will be cleaner and more understandable with this trademark tech from Logitech. Due to its large drivers and DTS, the headset is suitable for music lovers alike.

Design is reminiscent of some of well-known Logitech product. G733 features dual-layer memory foam ear-pads and adjustable headband. The headset comes in four colors: blue, lilac, white and black. The casing is made from quality plastics, and overall build quality seems to be on the level for Logitech.

Gamers will value the Lightspeed connection that eliminates latency and is friendly towards the battery. Competitive and casual players will benefit from a fast 2.4 GHz wireless connection.

Earcups have RGB strips on both front-ends, and players can customize the color scheme and behavior in feature-rich Logitech G HUB software.

The new product is designed for both PC and PlayStation 4 gamers, with a strong indication that the next generation of Sony console that is coming this holiday season will also support G733.

Logitech G733 supposedly has excellent battery life with more than 29 hours of gameplay or listening to music, if you don’t go overboard with RGB. The headset charges over USB-C port, and it’s available for 149.99€.

First YouTube reviews already started going out, you can check one right here.

Logitech G923 raises the bar for entry-level racing wheels

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G923 Logitech v1-3

Logitech finally announced the G923, its first steering wheel since the G29 and G920 launched in mid-2015. While its name is indicative of a direct G920 successor, it’s way more accurate to describe the G923 as the ultimate hybrid of Logitech’s last-gen accessories. Meaning the company finally has a product that supports both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One out of the box instead of forcing you to pick just one of those.

Of course, that’s on top of full-fledged PC support, not to mention Logitech’s promise that the G923 will work with both the PS5 and Xbox Series X from day one.

Pursuing the impossible marriage of form and function

In other words, this device is pretty much a mashup between the G920 and G29, but one whose taste in aesthetics is much closer to the sleek, industrial design of the former instead of the jovial button layouts of the latter. The G923 is all the more attractive when you realize it retains the $399 price tag of its predecessors, which also makes Logitech’s newest racing wheel seem like a significantly smarter investment in terms of sheer longevity.

An optional gear knob can be purchased separately for $59.99. In fact, even the original Driving Force Shifter will work just fine with the G923. Besides offering first-party support for modern hits in the vein of iRacing, the G923 also boasts a new and improved force feedback engine. Called TrueForce, this novelty is meant to offer unprecedentedly immersive experiences – especially at this price point.

Also, the NDA on the Logitech G923 Review has been lifted.

Source: TekTick.com

How the latest Wi-Fi standards will benefit gaming

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Wi-Fi 6 mobile gaming

It’s hardly a secret that Wi-Fi 6 is an extremely exciting prospect in nearly every sense: that’s pretty much the gist of what the Wi-Fi Alliance has been saying for nearly two full years now. But everyone knows that any testament to mankind’s engineering ingenuity lives and dies by its ability to enrich our own personal entertainment. Which is why it’s high time we took a good look at what Wi-Fi 6 actually brings and doesn’t bring to the table in terms of gaming applications – and how that might relate to the video games industry as a whole.

Wi-Fi 6 speeds are the last thing gamers need to worry about

We’ll start with the least exciting Wi-Fi 6 capability that still has to be acknowledged: theoretical performance of individual connections. While it’s completely understandable that something along the lines of “faster Internet” will be among the first things to spring to people’s minds on the subject of a new Wi-Fi generation, that’s arguably the most inconsequential of all major changes within the standard.

Doubly so in regards to any possible gaming use cases capable of rivaling even just a simple ethernet connection in terms of consistency. After all, going wireless was always a move made out of convenience. Wi-Fi 6 promises to be a more consistent experience than its predecessor but it’s still an invisible alternative to a pretty visible problem, so minor performance degradation is to be expected. Regarding online gaming, in particular, we’d never recommend starting a competitive round of a real-time game without an ethernet connection in the first place. On the other side, if you’re a mobile phone gamer, regardless if you plan to shoot up people in Fornite or spin a few rounds in an online casino, you’ll probably benefit from the range and speeds the most.

It’s also not like you’re currently close to maxing the 3.5Gbps throughput of the older Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) specification, assuming your router even leverages its full potential, which is implausible at best. Following that train of thought, a nearly triple data rate peak of 9.6Gbps that Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) supports looks great on paper but won’t make much difference in practice for quite some time yet. With that said, there are plenty of things that will.

LAN parties with no risk of network congestion

PlayStation 5 WiFiWe all share plenty of repressed memories of, teleporting FIFA opponents, laggy DotA 2 defeats, slot machines not accepting that spin, endless buffering loops on Twitch, and Denuvo-prompted mid-game shutdowns. In many cases, the root cause of those incidents wasn’t a connection that was slow per se but a network forced to juggle a dozen devices.

Wi-Fi 6 uses several new technologies that allow it to do a better job at managing these situations, meaning no more connection troubleshooting in the middle of a LAN party. Whereas a low double-digit number of connections noticeably slows down even the best Wi-Fi 5 routers out there, the 802.11ax specification has been designed specifically to handle such situations. That makes it an easier alternative to setting up a mesh network, which is essentially the only way to avoid network congestion while still demanding 10+ simultaneous connections from your current setup.

Much like its direct predecessor, Wi-Fi 6 does its thing by utilizing the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It unsurprisingly does a much better job of leveraging the potential of those frequencies, primarily because it communicates over both simultaneously, if needed. This is on top of a new category called Wi-Fi 6E which encompasses even more ambitious (read: expensive) devices with added 6GHz frequency support.

It’s essentially a guarantee the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will ship with Wi-fi 6 support built-in and all new gaming laptops already do, so more consistent local multiplayer experiences are the least of what you can expect in the near term. As for the more distant future, the new standard should greatly benefit amateur and semi-professional eSports events by massively facilitating their logistical requirements.

Better Wi-Fi range and its immediate benefits

In conclusion, you can at the very least expect to waste less time on accusing other people in the household of tanking your ping ahead of a crucial match once you upgrade to Wi-Fi 6. Another way in which the 802.11ax standard will save you time is by improving the range of your home network, which is another one of its advantages that lowers the need for creating a mesh of routers.

Even if you aren’t regularly dealing with Wi-Fi dead spots, having a better range will yield immediate benefits on the battery life of your laptop, smartphone, or any other gadget constantly connected to the Internet which supports the new standard. Even when talking about mixed networks with both Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 clients, the latter (aka the things we’ll be first to upgrade because we use them for gaming) won’t be held back by the former. Of course, the actual gains vary greatly depending on the exact combination of a router, device, signal strength, and use case.

With that said, the cause and effect chain behind battery life improvements resulting from a stronger Wi-Fi signal is simple enough to follow: a spotty connection will lead to more data packets being lost, which makes your device send more of them to compensate. More processes require more processing power, thus drawing more battery energy. This is the same phenomenon that can absolutely tank your smartphone battery due to a weak cellular signal, though Wi-Fi and the 802.11ax specification, in particular, are nowhere nearly as power-hungry as mobile networks.

Work smart, play smarter

While we’re on the subject of battery life improvements, Wi-Fi 6 introduces a number of new solutions that improve the efficiency of wireless communications across the board. One of those is individual target wake time, or TWT, which lowers the volume of needless data packet exchanges between a host and a client by doing a more detailed job of planning them.

Spatial reuse is another piece of tech working toward the same goal by allowing data streams to overlap before sending out duplicate packets. This technique dovetails nicely with the aforementioned network congestion safeguards of Wi-Fi 6. More importantly, spatial reuse is an amazing prospect for local multiplayer applications seeing how a LAN party is a textbook example of such non-efficient processing.

As you might have guessed, allowing data intended for multiple devices to overlap comes with its own security risks, so let’s hope our banking software will have these protocols disabled by default. With that said, spatial reuse in combination with individual TWT is an extremely exciting prospect for apps like PlayLink and Steam Remote Play. Don’t forget you still need your smartphone to actually support Wi-Fi 6 for such use cases but the good news is that most higher-end handsets released from this year onward do, and even some 2019 models like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series fit the bill.

If only Wi-Fi 6 adoption was as quick as Wi-Fi 6

While Wi-Fi 6 has sort of been available to consumers in various shapes and forms for a while now, it wasn’t until this spring that router prices dropped to reasonable levels and last year’s flagships with support for the new standard became more affordable. Things will hopefully pick up pace from here on out, especially by the time the holiday season starts and electronics are once again flying off the shelves.

Therefore, if you have or are planning to purchase at least one Wi-Fi 6 device by the end of the year, you’ll probably find a new router investment to be worth it – but perhaps not on gaming merits alone. Still, what’s the point of shelling out a grand for the latest foldable flagship if it’s regularly connecting to a molten piece of plastic originally leased to you as part of your first-ever broadband Internet subscription in 2009?

In all seriousness, Wi-Fi 6 certainly won’t revolutionize the video games industry overnight, as it’s essentially just a tool, another piece of a much larger tech puzzle that adds to its already imposing complexity, from a developer’s perspective. Yet five or so years from now, we expect many positive developments in the eSports and remote gaming spheres to be traceable right back to the Wi-Fi Alliance and its 802.11ax specification. Now, if only Nintendo released an updated Switch with Wi-Fi 6 support as its hybrid console otherwise checks all the marks for being the embodiment of every single gaming benefit the new standard brings to the table.

Logitech targets esports pros with new wireless headset

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Logitech Pro X Lightspeed Wireless Announced 2

Logitech’s highly anticipated follow-up to last year’s G Pro X headset is finally official, having been confirmed in the form of the G Pro X LIGHTSPEED.

The company’s latest offering doubles down on the gaming-oriented feature set of its predecessor in almost every respect, so while it definitely won’t be winning any value awards anytime soon, it’s solely concerned with appealing to esports professionals and those striving to become ones.

Powerful 50mm drivers paired with pro filtering tech

As such, the plan is for the G Pro X LIGHTSPEED to retail at $199, which seems like a fair deal considering how the 2019 headset is still going for its original price of $130 while boasting a premium metal case with memory foam ear pads for that extra bit of luxurious convenience. Not to mention Logitech’s very own voice filtering software called Blue VO!CE that’s part of the overall package

With that said, the G Pro X LIGHTSPEED hence ties the G933 as Logitech’s most expensive gaming headset to date. Naturally, it retains support for the DTS 7.1 surround specification and still manages to stand out by being what’s arguably the first truly premium wireless gaming headset from Logitech.

ASUS ROG Falchion has everything except a numeric keyboard

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ROG-Falchion

Are you in the “who needs numbers when gaming” camp of users who never touch “those numbers on the right?” Do you believe they’re only taking up space anyway, and just happen to be looking for a new keyboard? The new ASUS Republic Of Gamers Falchion could be what you seek.

The ROG Falchion is an ultra-compact keyboard that keeps only the 68 more essential keys of full-size keyboards. All of them come with high precision Cherry MX RGB mechanical switches. As a bonus, they can put on quite the light show, thanks to per-key RGB lighting and support for ASUS Aura Sync technology.

It’s also cable-less, but theoretically as quick as its cabled cousins, since it relies on low latency 1ms 2.4GHz wireless connectivity.

Although its copact footprint doesn’t allow for dozens of custom keys, the Asus ROG Falchion has an interactive touch panel that can be programmed for similar functionality.

Asus promises up to 400 hours of battery life until the ROG Falchion needs a recharge. That is, if you keep the lighting off. There is no mention of any estimates with the lighting on, so your guess is as good as ours.

ASUS releases ROG Strix XG17AHP portable gaming monitors

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ROG Portable Gaming Monitors

The new ROG Strix XG17AHP gaming monitors are now available for purchase in the United States and United Kingdom, ASUS has confirmed.

Building on the foundation of the brand’s hip identity, these monitors seek to cater to an audience that hasn’t existed until just recently by addressing a problem that was just as much non-existent – the challenge of transporting high-end gaming hardware.

Solving problems that are yet to become commonplace

Namely, all of these newly released ASUS monitors are bundled with a ROG carry case and a tripod mount, with the latter allowing them to function like regular monitors, not just laptop attachments propelled by a flimsy kickstand. The result is a series of unique monitors that manage to be both highly portable and technically excellent. Again, this isn’t something that many manufacturers even attempted to achieve until now, primarily because the niche was so small to make any potential returns a rounding error at best.

However, with gaming becoming more ubiquitous, not to mention the rise of eSports lending itself to professional gaming teams with erratic travel schedules becoming much more common, products like the XG17AHP monitors are now gaining traction. Regarding this particular series, ASUS offers 240Hz IPS displays supporting FHD resolutions, VESA Adaptive Sync, USB-C, and Micro HDMI 2.0. All of that paired with a 7,800mAh battery promising three hours of standalone operation at most demanding settings.

The portable gaming monitors start at $499 and £499, respectively, with ASUS already hinting at more similar products being in the pipeline.

Wii U emulator CEMU gets massive performance upgrade

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wii-u-pc-emulator-cemu-1.15.6

Even while the Wii U was Nintendo’s latest gaming console, the best way to experience Wii U games was – on a PC. The emulation scene cracked the system in its heyday, and things just snowballed ever since.

One of the largest such snowballs is CEMU, which just got another major update, improving performance in a wide variety of games. Among other things, CEMU version 1.20.0 deals with the very fundamentals of its Vulkan/OpenGL implementations, resulting in significantly better performance on most systems.

Breath of the Wild in 4K/60fps

As always, there’s plenty of targeted fixes to go around in this latest CEMU build, as well. Many of those target Xenoblade Chronicles and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, both of which have been among the most popular titles to emulate among CEMU’s audience for several years now.

In fact, between CEMU and rivaling Dolphin Emulator, the Wii U isn’t even in the top three ways to experience Breath of the Wild living up to as much of its technical potential as possible, assuming the third place goes to the Switch. The new update was initially made available exclusively to CEMU’s Patreon supporters but can now be downloaded by anyone directly from the project’s official page linked above.

Global pandemic adds billions to PC gaming industry’s valuation

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PC Gaming Industry Valuation

The number of people indulging their gaming habits has been on an unsurprising rise since the Great Lockdown began earlier this year. But just how big of a momentum the gaming industry generated on account of this is what may take you aback.

As Jon Peddie Research reports, the global PC gaming hardware market is set to grow by a whopping $3.6 billion this year. That’s a sequential improvement of nearly 11% – not bad for a market perceived as highly saturated as PC hardware is.

Future-proof gaming PC > job security

What makes the figure even more impressive is that the analysts interpreting the data claim it already accounts for the overarching economic uncertainty stemming from the novel coronavirus crisis. According to them, the reason why so many people are still pulling the trigger on new PCs even in face of potential job loss is simple enough – it’s a good time to do so.

Or, better said, they believe it’s a good time to do so, given how the next generation of consoles will be out later this year. While technical details on the PS5 and Microsoft’s acronym-defying XsX are still vague, the overall architectural composition of both consoles is hardly a mystery, especially with both using AMD hardware. In other words, PC gamers have all the information they need to build rigs that will last them for years, even way beyond the next console generation, depending on their exact budget, as per the same source.

Man literally risks marriage with $8,000 gaming PC

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Reddit 8000 pc story

One very brave man risked the prospect of marrying the love of his life for a single gaming PC. In his defense, it was $8,000 worth of a single gaming PC that was on offer. And by “on offer”, we mean “had to be actively pursued on a per-component basis and then assembled”.

As you might have guessed, he decided to make the purchase, and it wasn’t long until his fiancé discovered the connection between the appearance of the shiny new toy and the disappearance of the couple’s wedding and honeymoon fund worth €7,000, which amounts to just over $8,000.

There may be more at play here, besides the brand-new PC

The woman in question shared her story on Reddit, unsurprisingly alluding to much deeper issues plaguing their relationship, not to mention drawing suspicion to the cited figure. Namely, she gave provisional approval of the purchase, unaware of how much a gaming PC could go for.

Still, as her fiancé supposedly got a wide array of peripherals, a gaming chair, and other bells and whistles to go along with the PC, it doesn’t take a lot of recklessness for one to end up in the $8,000 territory. Especially if he was never in a position to spend his entire paycheck on something, a mistake everyone tends to make once in their life, but one most people learn from.

Forza Horizon 5 fan trailers are getting too realistic

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Forza Horizon 5 Fan Made Trailers

Microsoft remains tight-lipped about future Forza games, but that doesn’t mean fans will stop clamoring for Forza Horizon 5, even though it’s Forza Motorsport 8 that should realistically be expected to arrive first.

Are Forza concepts raising an entire generation of video editors?

In any case, here’s an example of how advanced fan-made Forza Horizon 5 trailers have gotten. It appears Microsoft waited long enough for even professional video editors to have a crack at making these, or people making these turned pro due to the sheer volume of these they were making; it’s really hard to tell at this point.

Racing fandom aside, the latest industry rumors point to a new Forza game arriving in 2021, which makes sense considering how Microsoft already revealed its hand as far as Xbox Series X launch titles are concerned. Meaning anything due to be released in just a couple of months from now would have already been announced by now.

All that’s left to do for us, Forza fans, is jump right into the newly released Update 24/Summer Season, knowing things will work out in the end. At the risk of making these our famous last words: there’s no way Forza Horizon 5 doesn’t happen.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gets November release date

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Assassins Creed Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be hitting PC and consoles on November 17th, Ubisoft announced.

The Viking-themed action adventure will be continuing the game design philosophy behind the previous two entries in the series. AC: Origins and AC Odyssey (not a typo, it just seems Ubisoft grew weary of colons) both featured a fresh take on the franchise which fully leaned into the RPG elements that the older games have been flirting with since the original Assassin’s Creed.

Vikings: The Game

Valhalla is shaping out to be the most mature iteration of that vision yet, with Ubisoft confirming it’s toning down some widely unpopular effects of the RPG transition. The most notable of those is likely the removal of instant assassinations with the hidden blade propagated by both Origins and Odyssey, which was one of the most common points of fan criticism directed at the last two games.

The hidden blade will hence once again have the potential to be just as deadly as in the older titles, but you’ll have to work your way to that point, Ubisoft’s developers said. As for the rest of the game: dynamic quests, town management, sailing, raiding, and messing with historical figures portrayed as Templars have all been mentioned as some of the hallmark features of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, with new details about the game now emerging on a weekly basis.

PUBG hits 70 million sales ahead of Season 8 update

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Season_8_Key_Art

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds surpassed 70 million sales, the GamesIndustry.biz reports, framing the info as the official figure coming directly from the PUBG Corporation.

This latest in a long series of milestones comes just as PUBG prepares for the launch of Season 8. It took less than three years from its official release to 70 million copies being sold, though PUBG is one of those games where making a clear distinction between early access and version 1.0 isn’t entirely fair, at least not when talking about commercial performance.

From H1 to PUBG

Still, even after PUBG became a cultural phenomenon spawning an entire new (sub)genre of video games, it only sold a total of 8 million units during the 9-month period leading up to its official release in late 2017. Which isn’t to say its momentum hasn’t slowed down in the meantime, as it was only half a year later that PUBG hit 50 million sales. Fortnite’s free-to-play business model has long since overtaken it and moved on to take over the entire world, with Epic Games boasting 350 million lifetime players as of May.

Be that as it may, PUBG’s latest milestone confirms that the player following surrounding the game remains large enough to sustain further development, not to mention pointless Internet arguments about how it compares to H1Z1 on a scale of industry-changing pioneering achievements; which goes from H1 to Z1, as far as H1Z1’s dozens of fans are concerned.

Microsoft ponders acquiring renowned Warner Bros. gaming division

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wb-games

Microsoft is exploring the possibility of acquiring Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, The Information reports, revealing few other details and citing sources from the wireless industry.

Yes, that wireless industry which sometimes provides cellular service to your smartphone. Because AT&T’s 2018 acquisition of Time Warner – since rebranded as WarnerMedia – is what brought about this new reality in which old white people see video games as an undesirable burden at best and the thing making our children violent at worst. Wait, that’s been the case since forever. Phew.

That awkward moment when you realize you accidentally bought a multi-billion business

Luckily for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, commonly known as WB Games, old white people don’t live forever, meaning companies have a limited supply of them when it comes to filling out their executive offices. By now, some industry heavyweights even have executives who are neither old nor exclusively white, which neatly coincides with the overall demographic targeted by the gaming industry.

Fast-forward to today and you have AT&T shopping for a buyer willing to take WB Games off its wrinkled hands after realizing it accidentally bought a multi-billion-dollar game-making business it doesn’t understand as part of an $85 billion purchase its executives pretend to understand, while already being over $120 billion in debt that no one can understand. Hey, it happens to the best of us.

Unfortunately, the one thing old white people definitely understand is IP law – after all, they invented it. Meaning AT&T intelligently concluded that it should look for someone willing to pay billions of dollars for WarnerMedia’s studios while being willing to leave trillions of dollars in the form of video game licensing revenues on the table. The idea makes perfect sense: something like that ought to balance AT&T’s books as it fits that rare criteria of being indistinguishable from real magic.

But given how human civilization failed to birth that combination of ineptitude and financial prowess since AT&T decided to bid for Time Warner, the next best option for AT&T is to weasel itself into some kind of a licensing deal crafted on the back of a WB Games divestment. We’re still talking about a multi-studio, global operation involving hundreds of full-time employees, mind you, so an acquisition in the ballpark of $4 billion.

That’s a lot of money for anything, least of all something that has a massive overhead, meaning an ideal buyer must wield a combination of enormous mountains of cash and vast seas of concrete ideas on how to use WB Games’ massive production and distribution network to start creating value as efficiently as possible – as soon as possible.

The list of companies meeting both criteria is rather short

Besides Microsoft, there’s Electronic Arts, Activision-Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive. What makes Microsoft the frontrunner in the race is that it’s already years deep into a strategic expansion of its gaming portfolio, the kind of thing that tends to make people go “oh honey, could you please look out for a network of gaming studios next time you’re out shopping?” As you can imagine, this doesn’t happen very often.

Then there’s the fact Microsoft is 15 times bigger than the other three contenders combined, meaning the only way it doesn’t end up buying WB Games is if it believes it’s 16 times less capable of making money from that transaction than EA, T2, and AB are combined. Or, if AT&T accidentally hires someone who knows what they’re doing and listens when they tell it to divest itself from the oversaturated wireless market while doubling down on a rapidly growing segment like video game development before even thinking about selling WB Games.

But that kind of bold forward thinking hasn’t been seen at the executive level of any industry since John Legere left AT&T after 20 years, only to start another two decades’ worth of turnarounds ending in AT&T’s most laughable competitor surpassing it in every respect.

Marvel’s Avengers beta test dates now official

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Following weeks of speculation, Crystal Dynamics at last announced concrete details on how it intends to beta-test Marvel’s Avengers. For starters, it prefers money over incessant questioning on social media, so PlayStation 4 owners who pre-ordered the game will be able to jump into the action on August 7th. Alternatively, an open beta will be launching a week later, August 14th.

On that same date, Xbox and PC closed beta testing will begin, also limited to pre-orders. Likewise, this week-long exclusivity period will be followed by an open beta launching August 21st.

Beta to be like a vertical slice of the real thing

Crystal Dynamics will be live-streaming an in-depth overview of the incoming beta tests on July 29th so as to better acquaint the players with the game, or better said: the game’s limitations in this pre-release period.

Details on the matter are still slim, but from what the devs have been saying, the beta will be more akin to a vertical slice of the experience than a more fully featured experience that’s merely missing some maps.

Of course, Marvel’s Avengers will also be ready for the release of the next generation of consoles this holiday season, with all owners of the last-gen versions being promised free upgrades to what will essentially function as a high-definition version of the game.

Watch Henry Cavill build his first gaming PC in an overly dramatic fashion

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henry_cavill_building_gaming_c.0

With the entire planet now doing a repeat of that lockdown thingy, Hollywood star and lifelong gamer, Henry Cavill, decided to experience the joy of building his very own custom PC, pointless RGB lights and everything.

The result is a surprisingly suspenseful montage of the undertaking that the actor shared on Instagram earlier today, just in case you needed some extra motivation to finally get around to doing some tinkering of your own. Just don’t go emulating Cavill’s CPU installation philosophy of “I can only be wrong so many times before it fits” and you’ll be fine. In fact, even he was somehow fine, unless he bought another one of those Ryzen 9s between takes.

Geralt of Nvidia

Cavill, who first gained prominence for his portrayal of Superman in numerous DC movies, is an avid gamer since childhood. He was actually late to accept the very role that launched him to stardom because of being absorbed in World of Warcraft while his agent was frantically trying to reach him, as he once recalled.

The British actor also credited his positive experience with CD Projekt’s Witcher games as one the main factors motivating him to join the production of the eponymous Netflix original series that’s currently in the middle of filming its second season.

Persona 4 Golden hits 500,000 PC sales in a month

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Persona 4 Golden hits 500k PC sales

Eight years and one day – that’s how long it took Atlus to port Persona 4 Golden from PlayStation Vita to PC. Mind you, it’s not like anyone was expecting that move after all this time, anyway.

But it happened – Persona 4 Golden hit Steam on June 13th, immediately finding itself at the top of numerous sales charts. One month later, Atlus boasts a new audience of half a million people. That’s more than 170 gamers for every day P4G remained a PS Vita exclusive.

A truly quintessential classic now finally playable on a comparably timeless platform

And while this JRPG masterpiece is certainly a great fit for a handheld console, whatever it lost on portability, it compensated by finally allowing us to experience Inaba in 60fps with essentially no loading times. If you’ve never tried Shin Megami Tensei games but consider yourself somewhat of an RPG aficionado, there’s a decent chance P4G is the best $20 you’ll spend this year; and if there’s one entry from the entire franchise that deserves to be as widely available as possible, then this enhanced edition of the 12-year-old PS2 classic certainly takes the cake.

At half a million $20 sales (not accounting for key resellers, though they don’t appear to be a huge problem for Atlus right now), Atlus likely pocketed in the ballpark of $7 million within the first month of P4G’s Steam release. And that’s without even considering that a renowned Japanese studio likely negotiated a better revenue sharing deal for itself than what Valve would give to every newly approved publisher with zero releases to its name.

Following the roaring success of Persona 4 Golden on PC, not to mention the early 2019 release of Catherine Classic which surpassed 200,000 Steam sales not long after the port was out, Atlus will hopefully start viewing PC as a more viable platform moving forward.

Microsoft Flight Simulator gets beautiful trailer before liftoff

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Microsoft Flight Simulator Trailer

It’s been six years since the last Microsoft Flight Simulator released, and that one was actually just a repackage of the old MFSX – from 2006.

This time, however, we’re getting a full-fledged new entry to the legendary flight sim franchise, so feast your eyes on one final trailer illustrating the beauty that French studio Asobo managed to capture with its in-house engine.

The game combines modern graphics with 2PT of mapping data loading on the fly

In many ways, not much has changed since the early ‘80s and the seminal Flight Simulator 1.0. Because Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) is still as much of a game as it is a tech showcase, this time for combining cutting-edge physics and models with two petabytes (2,000TB) of geographic data pulled from Bing Maps in real-time using Microsoft’s AI-assisted cloud platform Azure.

The eleventh installment of the showboaty flight sim series is releasing on Windows and Xbox One come August 18th.

Far Cry 6 confirms Breaking Bad star casting

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Following several not-too-subtle hints on social media, this week’s Ubisoft Forward conference started with the official announcement of Far Cry 6, as well as confirmation that TV legend Giancarlo Esposito has been cast to play the main villain in the latest installment of the long-running franchise.

Ubisoft is not shying away from the motivations that led to this inspired casting choice. On the contrary, the character of President Anton Castillo appears to be hitting many of the same notes Esposito already made his own with his highly celebrated portrayal of criminal mastermind and your friendly Mexican fast food joint manager Gus Fring.

Far Cry 6 clearly seeking to emulate one of TV’s best-ever villains

The role spanning the majority of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul – including the latter’s final season due in 2021 – cemented Esposito as a classical TV villain of the 21st century. How well he ends up emulating that legacy in an interactive medium remains to be seen, but from what little Far Cry 6 footage was shown so far, his acting appears to be as inspired as ever.

As for the premise of the game, Far Cry 6 will task players with dismantling the totally-not-Gus’s regime through revolutionary actions, all the while President Castillo is preparing his son to succeed him as the future dictator of fictional Yara through rather elaborate, sociopath-level lessons about tough love.

Far Cry 6 is coming to the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC, and Google Stadia on February 18th, 2021. Pre-orders are already available, as well.

 

Valve devs pushing for a “normal” Half-Life game

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The Half-Life series still has a future independent of VR technologies, at least if it’s up to the developers behind Half-Life: Alyx. Valve’s team behind this year’s hit VR game is eager to tackle a larger project in the same universe, with some of its members outright stating they’re “not afraid” of making another Half-Life game after their experience with Alyx.

This rare bit of reporting on the in-house sentiment regarding Half-Life comes from a newly published interactive storybook Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours, authored by Geoff Keighley. The insider suggests that any larger project would still have to be approved from up top, contrary to frequent claims that Valve has a perfectly flat corporate structure.

The curse of number 3

Nearly 13 full years following the release of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Valve’s animosity toward number three is an established industry fact.

The original conclusion to Gordon Freeman’s journey fell apart following years of development plagued with technical difficulties and internal insistence on continuing the series’ perfect track record of genre-changing innovation. While it’s unlikely that any future game Valve releases will actually be called Half-Life 3, it seems there’s still hope for its story to be concluded in an interactive format that dares to look beyond Episode Two instead of yet another prequel.