After signing a new deal with Sony to host their PlayStation Now gaming service, which no one saw coming, Microsoft has revealed their popular Xbox Game Pass service is coming to PC. Not only that, but Microsoft’s PC games lineup will also be available on Steam. Of course, this is all part of Microsoft’s new multi-platform strategy. While the debate is still out about when xCloud will be ready, Game Pass is a great way for Microsoft to get their games downloadable on other platforms in the mean-time.
It is heavily expected by industry insiders that Game Pass and / or more Microsoft titles will be announced for Nintendo Switch at E3 2019. Greg Miller of Kinda Funny Games has even predicted Battletoads could be shown at Nintendo’s E3 2019 Press Conference by an on-stage Phil Spencer (which Microsoft owns due to their acquisition of Rare).
An alleged Amazon UK listing which was leaked said “Watch Dogs Legion is set in a near-future, dystopian version of London. It’s a post-Brexit world in which society, politics, and technology have changed and altered London’s fortunes,” & “Play as anyone, Every individual you meet in the open world, has a full set of animations, voice over, character traits and visuals that are generated & guided by gameplay systems.”
If you haven’t heard about Intellivision Amico yet then let us be the ones to tell you, it’s a modern 2D gaming platform for retro-inspired games, retro ports, indie titles, and more!
Last month it was announced that a new Earthworm Jim will release exclusive to the Amico. With in-house console design experts and investment in game development studios, Intellivision are taking the Amico console very seriously. During a time in which gamers having growing frustrations with AAA games, the Amico provides a very different platform full of potential.
The Amico releases in 2020, and this year’s E3 2019 will be the first time game journalists will get hands-on with playable consoles, controllers, and twenty two playable Amico games – all of which are exclusive titles. Although this will occur behind closed doors for press appointment only, it’s a great sign that things are on schedule for Amico. We also have information on how the games available for demo would break down in terms of genre and style.
Classic Mortal Kombat characters Nightwolf, Shang Tsung, and Sindel have been revealed for the MK11 Kombat Pack. This DLC pack has been in the making for quite a while and brings beloved characters back to the tournament.
Shang Tsung is a shapeshifter who could become any fighter at will in older MK titles, we look forward to seeing the 2019 spin on that concept and hope its scope is large. So far, we know from the trailer that Shang Tsung has special moves of other MK ninjas including Smoke, Reptile, Rain, and more, and can even turn into the character he is fighting.
Since the original merger between Blizzard and Activision it has been gamers’ worst fear to see corporate greed would somehow lead to the dissolving of the former’s authenticity and identity. Blizzard has always been loved by gamers as a beacon of quality titles which provided great value per dollar while also being complete packages that expanded in large ways, not ‘nickel-and-diming‘ customers the way modern games often do.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, on the other hand, has players reconsidering the franchise as interest has begun to grow. For the first time, Call of Duty’s graphical engine has been given a major upgrade. The title will also focus heavily on its single player campaign which was a feature absent from last year’s Black Ops 4 and will be pressured to earn more than ever with Destiny going third-party as Bungie exits Activision ownership retaining its rights.
With Google Stadia re-introducing the idea of cloud streaming to the gaming public, Microsoft and Sony have been flexing the muscles of their xCloud and PSNow services respectively. Google has been doing some interesting things with scaling compute models for their instances, but they face some major challenges as well.
Microsoft announced today that 1,900 games are currently in development for the xCloud service with 3,500 games already ready to be streamed. Phil Spencer has even mentioned that he is partaking in a very early Alpha version of xCloud enabling him to play Xbox games on the go from mobile, laptop, or other platforms. Preparation for the eventual roll-out of xCloud is well underway with servers already in Azure data-centers in 13 regions.
Sony launched their own Nintendo-Direct style broadcasting last month and although the first episode was underwhelming for many due to its indie / VR focus, the second entry has done well to make up for that. The pre-recorded show essentially compiled brand new trailers from a handful of PlayStation 4 games into a 10 minute presentation. Overall, they’ve done a good job at showing what’s coming up for PS4 owners in wake of all the PlayStation 5 headlines we’ve seen Sony engineer Mark Cerny generating lately.
A title announced at Bethesda E3 2018 which took many by surprise and showed promise was The Elder Scrolls: Blades. Pitched as a “pure Elder Scrolls game” by Todd Howard on stage, this is the latest major iPhone / Android game production which scales up in quality on consoles as well as PC Gaming platforms like Epic Games Store, GOG, and Steam. There was also some amount of cross-platform interaction being attempted. At the core of this game there are also town building, elements, item acquiring, and collecting junk / chests full of random loot which must be upgraded by tier through in-game currency.
Wait times are leveraged against gamers as well, with players able to skip through huge grinds built into the game through buying chests of higher value than the game is willing to give out just for playing.
Bethesda has released repair kits and improved repair kits for semi-persistent online game Fallout 76 which restore the condition of weapons and armor to 100 and 150 percent durable for in-game currency called Atoms which can be purchased or earned in-game for free. Pete Hines has described the practice as essentially no big deal, claiming it’s not pay to win by some technicality we have yet to be explained, and pointing at “loot crates” as the real enemy. However, fans of Fallout 76 find the addition of this item has affected the balance of the game’s PvP elements and gameplay integrity overall.
Information from Beta testers of “Project Yeti” which is Stadia’s internal code-name at Google has allegedly been leaked through broadcast personality TheQuartering regarding some of the unanswered questions Google left hanging for the service regarding pricing and more. We’ve even got some very surprising inklings of what the games lineup may look like.