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Amazon Black Friday 2017 Early Deals Now Available For Everyone

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 06:49

Ahead of Black Friday 2017, Amazon has kicked off a week-long sale on all their major departments including all things gaming. These deals are available here.

It should also be noted that Amazon currently has the PlayStation VR Headset and Camera bundle for $250. There are also a number of non-Amazon deals where you can purchase the PSVR headset without the camera and as a bundle with Gran Turismo Sport. Amazon also currently has deals on Overwatch Game of the Year Edition and Civilization VI, both at $30 and WWE 2K18 is $36.

Amazon currently has Black Friday deals for Just Dance 2018 at $30 and the PlayStation 4-exclusive Hidden Agenda for $15. There are also a number of gaming headsets on sale, including the Anksono SL-100 for $17, the Beexcellent Gaming Headset for $14, the Onikuma Gaming Headset for $21, the Sades Over-Ear Gaming Headset for $19, the SA810 for $21, the Luxon 7.1 Headphone for $21, and the Supsoo G811 Gaming Headset for $20. Rounding off this current list are a number of gaming accessories including a Tomoko Mechanical Keyboard for $38, a Redragon keyboard and mouse combo for $39, and a 4-in-1 PlayStation 4 Slim charging stand and cooling unit combo by Younik for $13.

There are a ton of deals set to be available this Black Friday at other retailers, a number of which are already alive. You can also see our full coverage of all the other Black Friday 2017 deals going on now via the links below.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Free Demo Out Now On PS4, Xbox One, PC

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 06:08

Bethesda has released a free trial for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Players can download and play the entire first level of Machine Games' critically acclaimed first-person shooter now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Those that decide to upgrade to the full version will be able to continue where it finishes, as save data will carry over.

Wolfenstein II is one of the games that will be discounted heavily as part of Black Friday. Currently, the best deals for the game are at Best Buy and GameStop, which both have it for $25--more than 50% off. Digital versions of the game are available on the PlayStation Store and the Xbox Store for $30. Head here for a full rundown of Wolfenstein II Black Friday discounts.

Bethesda recently revealed more details about the upcoming DLC packs for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The Freedom Chronicles season pass consists of four DLC expansions for Wolfenstein II, the first of which--Episode Zero--is available now for players who pre-ordered the title or purchased the season pass.

On December 14, The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe, a new mission that stars former quarterback Joseph Stallion as he "smash[es] through Nazi hordes from the ruins of Chicago to the vastness of space," will become available.

In GameSpot's Wolfenstein 2 review the game was awarded 9/10 by Kallie Plagge. "The New Colossus never lets you forget who and why you're fighting. Nazi brutality is on full display, from the blown-out, irradiated remains of Manhattan to each of the resistance members, who all carry mental scars if not physical ones.

"You're never given a chance between cutscenes, missions, and even downtime on the U-boat to lose sight of the Reich's cruelty. Wolfenstein's tense gameplay elevates this further by giving you the power to truly resist--and come out of each battle ready for another fight."

Steam Black Friday Sale Begins: Early PC Game Deals On GTA 5, Fallout 4, Shadow Of War

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 05:42

A number of retailers have launched their Black Friday 2017 sales ahead of the big day. And, just as expected, Steam's Black Friday sale has begun. Officially dubbed the Steam Autumn Sale, it runs from now until 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET / 6 PM GMT on November 28, giving you almost a full week to take advantage of sale prices on hundreds of PC games.

As is typical with big Steam sales these days, you don't have to worry about anything too complicated--there are no daily deals or eight-hour flash deals to keep an eye on. Deals are live for the full duration of the event, providing you with plenty of time to see what else you buy on Black Friday. It also makes it easy to compare prices with the ongoing Origin, Ubisoft Store, GOG, and Humble Store Black Friday sales.

Among the games you'll find on sale right now are Grand Theft Auto V for $30, Rainbow Six Siege for $7.49, Pyre for $12, Night in the Woods for $16, Kingsway for $7, Inside for $10, Rez Infinite for $15, Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition for $30, Nier: Automata for $36, a Danganronpa and Danganronpa 2 bundle for $24, and Rocket League for $10. Some of the recent releases from this fall are on sale, including The Evil Within 2 for $30, Middle-earth: Shadow of War for $36, and Divinity: Original Sin 2 for $40.49. More sales are still coming online, but there's quite the wide variety to pick from.

Deals extend beyond just games. Select hardware is also on sale--the Steam Link, for instance, is a mere $5, matching the price that GameStop will offer for Black Friday. Alternatively, you can get a bundle with Steam Link and John Wick (the movie) for $19, or a Steam Link and Steam Controller for $34.63.

Coinciding with the Steam Autumn Sale, the nomination process for the annual Steam Awards has begun. You can nominate games during the sale in various quirky categories--things like the "The World Is Grim Enough Let's Just All Get Along" and "Mom's Spaghetti" awards. You'll earn a badge for nominating a game, and completing other tasks will allow you to level it up, as outlined here. The actual Steam Awards themselves will then take place in December.

You can check out everything on sale on Steam here. For more Black Friday coverage, you can check out our list of extensive Black Friday stories below.

Skyrim: Special Edition Black Friday 2017 Ad Deals: All The Sales For PS4 And Xbox One

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 04:19

Black Friday 2017 is only a couple of days away now, and while it'll offer a wealth of great deals on some of this year's biggest game releases, many retailers will also have some slightly older titles at steep discounts. That includes The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, which you'll be able to pick up for cheap at various stores this Black Friday.

The PS4 and Xbox One versions of Skyrim Special Edition in particular will be on sale for half-off or more at some locations. You'll find the game for the cheapest price at Target, which will have it for $15. GameStop, meanwhile, will have the title for slightly more at $20, while Best Buy will sell it for $25. No deals on the PC version have been announced yet, but we'll update this story when they are.

If you'd rather avoid the crowds, you can also purchase Skyrim Special Edition at a discount digitally from the PlayStation Store and Xbox Store. Both have already begun their Black Friday sales ahead of the big shopping day, so you can download the game on PS4 right now for $20. Xbox Live Gold members will also be able to purchase it for $20, while those without a subscription will pay $24.

You can find the full list of Skyrim Special Edition deals below, which we'll continue to update as more Black Friday prices are announced. You can find the rest of our other Black Friday 2017 deals through the links at the bottom of this roundup.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition PS4/Xbox One Black Friday Deals
  • Target -- $15
  • GameStop -- $20
  • PlayStation Store -- $20
  • Xbox Store -- $24 [$20 for Xbox Live Gold members]
  • Best Buy -- $25
Black Friday 2017 Deals

Should You Replay Skyrim In VR?

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 03:00

Of its many ports over the last six years, Skyrim for PSVR marks the first time the game feels fundamentally different from the original release back in 2011. It's one thing to see the fantasy realm of Tamriel on a fresh 4K display. It's another to physically look up and see the red moon in a starry sky; to instinctively nod back to greet passing NPCs; to stare down bloodthirsty dragons while charging into battle. Seeing the same old world from a new perspective dissolves the lingering feeling that you’ve seen it all before.

The big appeal of Skyrim has always been its sense of scale. Tamriel is a world full of life, detail, and people who don't just exist for your benefit, but have lives of their own. Despite the relatively low-res representation of the world as seen through a PSVR headset, within a few minutes the pixel count fades in your mind as the illusion of presence takes hold. In VR, Tamriel feels like home, a place to embody your custom-made adventurer. It's a feeling no other version can match, and it grounds you in a land capable of instilling wonderment and dread in equal measure.

Given Skyrim's scope and diverse terrain, movement in VR can be tricky at times. You do still have the option of using a DualShock 4, but there's a nauseating physiological disconnect when using analog sticks to control movement and perspective in VR. Instead, the best way to play is with two PlayStation Move controllers. By default, you hold the left PS Move button, point at a location, and release to instantly teleport to it. Alternately, you can switch to "Direct Movement," where you tilt the controller in any direction and simply hold the left PS Move button to walk.

Your weapons are controlled naturally (swing your controller to swing your weapon), and while there's no reasonable way to account for the heft of a sword, it's hard not to get into character when the pressure is on. Magic fares best in this regard, and dual-wielding spells is a power trip unlike any other.

It's the more incidental side of Skyrim where the motion controls fare a bit worse. The gesture-based inventory management is largely unintuitive, and it's all too easy to stumble into a comedy of errors when attempting simple tasks. At best, a mistake might put you into a menu by accident. At worst, you might drop an item down a mountain. And while enveloping yourself in the upgrade menu's starry sky offers one of the more impressive moments the game, actually getting to the upgrades you want via gestures is sometimes easier said than done. And disappointingly, despite PSVR's built-in microphone, the game's iconic Shouts can't be voice controlled.

The issues with the Move being ill-optimized for the menus stand out all the more because each second spent fooling around with items is another second away from being entranced by Tamriel's sights and sounds. The second Skyrim VR drops you into that fateful carriage ride to the gallows, surrounded by frightened scoundrels, the change in perspective seems to make every little moment fresh and personal like never before. When the game goes off the rails, and you’re running for your life to escape the threat of Alduin’s dragon fire, the instant shift in urgency from “my character is in danger” to “I am in danger” grants even this classic moment a newfound level of tension.

Even with the mild learning curve of the Move controllers, wandering the countryside isn’t just a never ending hike, but an excuse to fall in love once again with the world Bethesda’s built. It's all too easy to lose track of whatever objective you had in mind, and instead aimlessly traipse through forests, follow random paths to get perfect views of the night sky, or deliberately tread into deep bodies of water to simply float face up downstream. The freezing cold of the Greybeards’ mountain feels more convincing than ever and the momentary stare-down against the wolves that hunt the paths feels personal. There is no doubt that Tamriel is the same place it's always been, but it's fair to say you've never seen it like this before.

Likewise, Skyrim is still Skyrim, with the same host of bugs and structural shortcomings that highlight just how dated the game has become. Yet, for the PSVR, there is no game as ambitious, and there's certainly no other port of Skyrim that offers what this one does. VR isn't currently the ideal way to tackle a 50-hour RPG, but this new port proves that it's a challenge worth pursuing, and shows how breathtaking the results can be.

Pokemon Go Update Out Now, Here's What It Does (Not Much)

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 02:36

Niantic has rolled out another update for Pokemon Go. The new version, 1.53.2 for iOS and 0.83.1 for Android, makes a few minor improvements to the popular mobile game, most notably if you own the new iPhone X.

Along with various bug fixes, the version 1.53.2 update optimizes Pokemon Go for the iPhone X's screen resolution. Niantic has also removed support for older devices that are still running iOS 8.

In terms of specific bugs that Niantic has addressed, the new update resolves an issue that prevented players from maxing out their Pokemon's CP. It also fixes a bug that caused error banners to remain on the screen until the app was restarted. Additionally, the new update improves load times when you open the game.

Pokemon Go players still have a few more days to catch the game's current Legendary Pokemon, Entei, Raikou, and Suicune. The three Legendary dogs will be available in their final regions until November 30, making this your last opportunity to add them to your team for the foreseeable future. This month, Suicune is in the Americas; Raikou is available in Europe and Africa; and Entei can be encountered in the Asia-Pacific region.

The latest Pokemon Go event, called the Global Catch Challenge, is also going on now for a limited time. This worldwide event tasks players with capturing an enormous number of Pokemon, with more rewards being unlocked as more Pokemon are caught. If players can capture 3 billion Pokemon before the event ends, the previously Japan-exclusive Farfetch'd will be made available around the world to catch for 48 hours. The Global Catch Challenge concludes on November 26.

Pokemon Go iOS Version 1.53.2 / Android Version 0.83.1 Patch Notes
  • Added support and made optimizations for the iPhone X screen resolution.
  • Removed support for devices running iOS 8.
  • Resolved a bug causing error banners to remain visible until the app is restarted.
  • Resolved a bug that prevented Trainers from powering up Pokemon to their max CP.
  • Improved load times when you open the app.
  • Various bug fixes and performance updates.

Avatar Sequels Will Use Pioneering Visual Effects Tech

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 01:27

James Cameron has been talking about his sequels to Avatar for many years, and they are finally in production. The director is shooting no fewer than four more movies in the sci-fi series, with the first set to arrive in 2020, and he has spoken recently about some of the technical challenges involved.

In an interview with Collider, Cameron revealed that a lot of the first two sequels will be set in and around water. Many the cast are playing Na'vi, the alien inhabitants of the planet Pandora, who are filmed using motion-capture technology. As Cameron explains, mo-cap has never been used underwater before, and his VFX team have had to develop some pioneering methods to make it work.

"It's never been done before and it's very tricky," he said. "Our motion capture system, like most motion capture systems, is what they call optical base, meaning that it uses markers that are photographed with hundreds of cameras. The problem with water is not the underwater part, but the interface between the air and the water, which forms a moving mirror. That moving mirror reflects all the dots and markers, and it creates a bunch of false markers.

"It's a little bit like a fighter plane dumping a bunch of chaff to confuse the radar system of a missile. It creates thousands of false targets, so we've had to figure out how to get around that problem, which we did. Basically, whenever you add water to any problem, it just gets ten times harder. So, we've thrown a lot of horsepower, innovation, imagination, and new technology at the problem, and it's taken us about a year and a half now to work out how we're going to do it."

The first cast image from the Avatar sequel was revealed in September. Although specific plot details about Avatar 2 are scarce, producer Jon Landau did explain that the young cast would help shift the tone of the movie. "We never had this youthful element before, and that brings a different kind of energy to the film," he said. "They represent the future generation of Pandora and play a very significant role--not just in this movie but throughout all the movies."

The first Avatar sequel is set to hit theaters on December 18, 2020, with the next ones arriving on December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024, and December 19, 2025.

Blizzard Black Friday 2017 Game Sale: Overwatch, WoW, And More Discounted On PC

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 23:35

Like every other retailer and video game publisher out there, Blizzard is hosting a sale for Black Friday 2017 and offering discounts on all of its most popular games. Whether you've got your eyes on newer titles like Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, or older releases such as World of Warcraft, there's a price discount worth considering. Those that want to grab some apparel from the Blizzard Gear Store will also be able to get some money off. These discounts will last until November 27.

First up is Overwatch, which Blizzard is offering for half-price. This means that you can pick up the standard version of Overwatch for $19.99. Meanwhile, the Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition is available for $29.99 and includes 10 loot boxes, five hero skins, and in-game skins based on other Blizzard franchises.

On the World of Warcraft front, you can pick up the base game for $9.99. The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, and Warlords of Draenor expansions are also on sale for $9.99 each. Those looking for the more recent World of Warcraft: Legion expansion can get the standard edition for $24.99 or the Digital Deluxe version for $44.99.

In Heroes of the Storm there will be discounts on bundles, skins, Heroes, mounts, and Stimpacks. The Legend Bundle will be available for 3500 gems (a saving of 31 percent) on "combined purchase of Jaina, Li-Ming, D.Va, Muradin, and Diablo." This bundle also includes legendary skins for "Abyssal Dreadlord Jaina, First Ascendant Templar Li-Ming, D.Va the Destroyer, Mauradin Marudin, and Nightmare Prime Evil Diablo." You'll also score an Angry Cloud mount in the pack.

Skin bundles for Heroes of the Storm will also be available for 900 Gems, and will include Oni Genji, Skeletal Raven Sylvanas, Dark Auriel, Blackrock Garrosh, Shadow Priestess Tyrande, Dark Seraphim Tyrael, Deadwalker Warmatron Cassia, Dominion Elite Agent Nova, Ashen Hellflame Nazeebo, and Black Grand Marshall Uthe.

Additionally, Gul'dan, Tracer, Butcher, Greymane, and Morales are half off until November 28 as part of the Heroes sale. In terms of skins, Apothecary Morales, Gold StormPunk Kael'thas, Jasper Frostlord Rexxar, Emberlord Zul'jin, Sakura Auriel, Neon Spectre Tracer, Tangerine Mad Martian Gazlowe, Sharkmouth D.Va, Raider Rexxar, and Enraged Butcherlisk are also 50 percent off until November 28. As are the Nimbus Cloud, Neutron Space Lord's Starbreaker, and Felsaber mounts. 360 Stimpacks are 6000 Gems, which represents a 33 percent discount.

Finally, the Blizzard Gear Store is holding Flash Sales and Daily Deals on shirts, leggings, and more until November 24. According to Blizzard it will have "a few brand-new items launching" on November 27 for Cyber Monday. You can check out all of our Black Friday coverage through the links below.

Black Friday 2017 Deals

US Senator Calls Star Wars Battlefront 2's Loot Boxes "Predatory"

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 22:00

United States politicians representing the state of Hawaii have condemned the use of loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefront II, describing it as a "predatory practice" that can take advantage of vulnerable people. In a press conference, state representative Chris Lee said he was taking action in order to "ensure future protections for kids, youth, and everyone [else]."

"This game is a Star Wars-themed online casino designed to lure kids into spending money. It's a trap," he said. "This is something we need to address to ensure that particularly kids who are underage, who are not psychologically and emotionally mature enough to gamble--which is why gambling is prohibited under [the age of] 21--are protected from being trapped into these cycles which have compelled many folks to spend thousands of dollars in gaming fees online."

Star Wars Battlefront II allows players to purchase loot boxes that contain rewards capable of impacting gameplay. It's also possible to unlock some of the Star Wars franchises most iconic characters quicker by purchasing these. Crucially, the rewards contained in the boxes are randomised, leading many to draw comparisons to gambling.

According to Lee, legislation that could change the way games with loot boxes are sold is being looked at in Hawaii and other states.

"We're looking at legislation this coming year which could prohibit sale of these games to folks who are underage in order to protect these families, as well as prohibiting different kinds of mechanisms in those games," he explained. "We've been talking with several other states as well [and] legislators there are looking at the same thing. I think this is an appropriate time to make sure these issues are addressed before this becomes the norm for every new game."

State representative Sean Quinlan emphasised that Star Wars Battlefront II is a game that he believes is being marketed at young players. "[It's] a AAA title that's being released by the world's largest gaming studio, and it has the most popular intellectual property in the world attached to it, and it's marketed squarely at children."

A video of the press conference was posted on Reddit (and you can watch it above). Lee later responded to comments on Reddit and compelled readers to support the effort by "calling and emailing your own state legislators and asking them to act."

He added: "These kinds of loot boxes and microtransactions are explicitly designed to prey upon and exploit human psychology in the same way casino games are so designed. This is especially true for young adults who child psychologists and other experts explain are particularly vulnerable. These exploitive mechanisms and the deceptive marketing promoting them have no place in games being marketed to minors, and perhaps no place in games at all."

On November 21, French Senator Jerome Durain penned a letter to the independent agency, ARJEL, noting worry among the gaming crowd that microtransactions such as those in Star Wars Battlefront II could have a "deleterious" effect on the video game industry.

Battlefront II is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Much of the news cycle around the game has been focused on its microtransaction system, which, though removed for now, is coming back at a later date. Management at Disney was reportedly displeased with the negative response around the game, which comes just a few weeks before the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Xbox Game Pass $1 For Black Friday; Square Enix Porting Old Games To Switch? - GS News Roundup

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:00

The Australians are back, and they’re almost well-rested! Thanks to Kallie and Justin for filling in yesterday, but now Jess McDonell and Dan Crowd are here to give you the lowdown on all today’s video game news!

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Is Out Worldwide

What a nice surprise! The mobile version of Nintendo’s life simulator is finally available worldwide, and a day earlier than we expected it to be! The game launched in Australia last month, and contrary to what the losers in the video say, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a good Animal Crossing game that at least one of us still plays. Find out more about it in today’s episode.

Xbox Game Pass Gets Very, Very Cheap For Black Friday

Did you pick up some kind of Xbox One console recently? If you’re not already deeply entrenched in the Xbox ecosystem, the Xbox Game Pass subscription service is a great way to get instant access to over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. And, thanks to Black Friday sales, you can get a subscription for one dollar. That’s almost like no money at all! Get the lowdown on some of the new games you can play with the service, as well the details of the deal the video above.

Square-Enix Has Big Plans For Nintendo Switch

During a recent financial results briefing, the Final Fantasy company dropped some interesting tidbits on their future plans for Nintendo’s wildly popular Switch console. Square-Enix’s president mentioned that the Switch made it easy for them to leverage their back catalog, they want to be proactive in creating new IP for it, and much more. Watch the vid for even more info!

What did you think about today’s news? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and we’ll see you tomorrow. For more on today’s stories, you can also visit the links below:

Watch New Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer, "Tempt"

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 11:11

While it's only been about a week since the last new trailer dropped for Star Wars: The Last Jedi--and that came after a pair of new trailers at the end of October, Lucasfilm has put out yet another new trailer today. Titled "Tempt," this trailer shows off quite a bit of footage audiences have seen before as well as a new bit at the end. At least that's what a colleague in the office told me.

In an active attempt to avoid spoiling myself for the upcoming movie, I haven't watched any of these trailers. I'm trying to avoid the video embedded above this story as well. But I know that some people like to watch these trailers; that's fine, I'm not judging you. I'll probably go back and watch all of the trailers too. After I've seen the movies. Yes, I understand that's weird.

Facts around the movie that I have not avoided include: its release date (December 15), the fact that it's directed by Rian Johnson, and that it stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, and Andy Serkis. The movie is expected to have a huge opening weekend at the box office with early projections putting it over $215 million just in the US in its first three days. I'm probably part of the problem there; I've already bought tickets for three showings.

And in other Star Wars news, it was revealed recently that Johnson will write and direct a new Star Wars trilogy, but they won't event start production until the current trilogy ends in 2019.

Square Enix CEO Talks Nintendo Switch

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 10:32

Square Enix's president, Yosuke Matsuda, has commented further on the Final Fantasy publisher's efforts for Nintendo Switch and creating new IP, among other things. As part of the company's latest earnings report, Matsuda said the Switch has been "rapid uptake," which the company is of course excited about.

Matsuda added that Square Enix wants to be proactive when it comes to supporting the hybrid system. "We intend to be proactive in our development efforts given that it's a platform that is well suited to the mid-sized titles at which we excel," the executive said (via Gematsu).

Also in the presentation, Matsuda said Square Enix is looking at the Switch as a potential place to bring new IP and reboots of older titles.

"We base our development resource allocations on the unique attributes of each platform," Matsuda said. "In particular, Nintendo Switch makes it easier for us to leverage our back catalog of assets and expertise, so we want to be proactive in creating new IP and rebooting past titles for that platform."

Indeed, the Switch has been selling well since it launched in March. It has sold 7.63 million units as of the end of September. It's been flying off the shelves at GameStop, which just today reported that Switch sales helped the retailer to a strong quarter.

What kind of support would you like to see Square Enix give to the Switch? Let us know in the comments below!

Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X, And Call Of Duty: WW2 Help GameStop Have Strong Quarter

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 09:31

Following the news that GameStop CEO Paul Raines had stepped aside due to the reoccurrence of a health issue, the video game store reported earnings for its third quarter ended October 28. Total sales rose 1.5 percent to $1.99 billion, while profit was $59.4 million, as compared to $50.8 million during the same period last year.

Hardware sales at GameStop for the quarter rose by 8.8 percent, driven by demand for the Nintendo Switch. Management said it expects demand to continue to outpace supply for the hybrid console this holiday, adding that it's working closely with Nintendo to get more units in stores. The Xbox One X launch was also a bright spot, GameStop said, noting that it sold through its "market-leading" allocation right away.

Game sales also rose during the quarter, by 5.4 percent, thanks to a "strong title lineup," GameStop said. The retailer added that Call of Duty: WWII sales are up by a massive 64 percent compared to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare last year on a dollar basis. Separately, Activision announced that Call of Duty: WWII sales doubled those of Infinite Warfare's over its first 10 days, so growth at individual retailers like GameStop is to be expected.

GameStop's digital sales were also a bright spot, rising 11.9 percent; this does not include revenue from Kongregate, the mobile/social game developer that it sold in July. The company's Collectibles business grew by the largest margin, rising 26.5 percent, thanks in part to the "continued expansion of licensed merchandise" in the US and abroad. For the full fiscal year, GameStop said its Collectibles business remains on track to amount to as much as $700 million.

Some soft spots for GameStop in the quarter included the pre-owned business, which saw its sales decline 2.4 percent. Additionally, revenue in GameStop's Technology Brands division dropped by 10.2 percent, due to the fact that Apple's iPhone X launched later than expected, GameStop said.

GameStop is currently holding an earnings call where it is discussing these results and answering questions from analysts. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more.

In other news, GameStop has announced its Black Friday deals--and the retailer has some of the best offers out there this year. You can see a roundup of the best deals here.

Disney/Pixar's John Lasseter Takes Leave Of Absence In Wake Of Sexual Harassment Allegations

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 09:11

In a memo to his staff, John Lasseter announced he's taking a leave of absence from his role as the head of Disney Animation. The move comes as The Hollywood Reporter published a story detailing alleged sexual misconduct by the executive.

"I deeply apologize if I have let you down. I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form," the memo reads. "No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected." Lasseter says he is stepping away for a "six-month sabbatical," after which he hopes to return to the company.

As reported by THR, sources allege that conduct by Lasseter led to Parks and Recreation alum Rashida Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack departing Toy Story 4, which they were scripting. According to the report, Lasseter made an "unwanted advance." Jones and McCormack did not comment on the matter.

However, that is just one of several accounts of Lasseter's behavior, which is alleged to include hugging, "grabbing, kissing, [and] making comments about physical attributes." Variety followed with a report of their own, with former employees claiming the company's culture is "toxic" and "sexist" for females.

Lasseter is one of the co-founders of Pixar, who was named head of Walt Disney Animation Studios when Disney bought the company in 2006. In addition to executive producing nearly every Pixar film, he has also served as director on Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life, Cars, and Cars 2.

You can read Lasseter's full memo below.

I have always wanted our animation studios to be places where creators can explore their vision with the support and collaboration of other gifted animators and storytellers. This kind of creative culture takes constant vigilance to maintain. It's built on trust and respect, and it becomes fragile if any members of the team don't feel valued. As a leader, it's my responsibility to ensure that doesn't happen; and I now believe I have been falling short in this regard.

I've recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me. It's never easy to face your missteps, but it's the only way to learn from them. As a result, I've been giving a lot of thought to the leader I am today compared to the mentor, advocate and champion I want to be. It's been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable. That was never my intent. Collectively, you mean the world to me, and I deeply apologize if I have let you down. I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form. No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected.

In my conversations with Disney, we are united in our commitment to always treat any concerns you have with the seriousness they deserve, and to address them in an appropriate manner. We also share a desire to reinforce the vibrant, respectful culture that has been the foundation of our studios' success since the beginning. And we agree the first step in that direction is for me to take some time away to reflect on how to move forward from here. As hard as it is for me to step away from a job I am so passionate about and a team I hold in the highest regard, not just as artists but as people, I know it's the best thing for all of us right now. My hope is that a six-month sabbatical will give me the opportunity to start taking better care of myself, to recharge and be inspired, and ultimately return with the insight and perspective I need to be the leader you deserve.

I'm immensely proud of this team, and I know you will continue to wow the world in my absence. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and look forward to working together again in the new year.

John

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Black Friday 2017 Ad Deals: All The Sales For PS4 And Xbox One

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 09:07

Black Friday is the best day of the year to find discounts on tons of games, consoles, and accessories, and this year, retailers will offer some very enticing discounts on many of 2017's biggest releases. Among the games that will be on sale at various stores is Bethesda's acclaimed new shooter, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

Despite only launching a couple of weeks ago, Wolfenstein II for PS4 and Xbox One will be 50% off (or more) at various retailers this Black Friday. The best deal in terms of price can be found at Best Buy and GameStop; both chains will have the game for $25. Walmart will sell the shooter for a couple of dollars more at $29, while Target will have it on sale for $30. No sales have been announced for the PC version just yet, but we'll update this story when they are.

You'll also be able to pick up a digital copy of Wolfenstein II at a discount ahead of Black Friday. Both the PlayStation Store and Xbox Store have the standard game on sale now for $30, while the Wolfenstein II Deluxe edition, which includes the Freedom Chronicles season pass, is available for $40. You can also pick up Wolfenstein: The Two Pack--which includes The New Order and its prequel, The Old Blood--from both digital stores for $15.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus launched in late October to critical acclaim. In GameSpot's Wolfenstein II review, critic Kallie Plagge awarded the game a 9/10 and said that "satisfying Nazi-killing action bolsters its completely bonkers storyline in a way that only Wolfenstein can achieve."

You can find the full list of Wolfenstein II deals below, which we'll continue to update as more Black Friday prices are announced. For our complete coverage of all the other Black Friday 2017 deals, be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this roundup.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus PS4/Xbox One Black Friday Deals
  • Best Buy -- $25
  • GameStop -- $25
  • Walmart -- $29
  • Target -- $30
  • PlayStation Store
    • Standard edition -- $30
    • Deluxe edition -- $40
  • Xbox Store
    • Standard edition -- $30
    • Deluxe edition -- $40
Black Friday 2017 Deals

After Brain Tumor Removal, GameStop CEO Steps Aside As Health Issues Return

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 08:55

GameStop CEO Paul Raines has stepped down, at least temporarily, from his role as the video game retailer's top boss, due to a "reoccurrence" of his health issues. The retailer announced this today in a press release, saying Raines is seeking treatment for a previously disclosed medical issue. In August 2014, GameStop confirmed that Raines had a tumor removed from his brain. At the time, doctors said he was expected to make a full recovery.

GameStop co-founder Daniel DeMatteo will take over as interim CEO. DeMatteo served as GameStop's CEO and other high-level executive positions dating back to the '90s and also sits on GameStop's board of directors.

"We continue to send our best wishes and strong support to Paul and his family," DeMatteo said. "The Board of Directors has tremendous confidence in GameStop's executives and the management team's ability to effectively run the business with the Board's support."

Regarding Raines' brain tumor, GameStop said in 2014 that it was discovered "very early," and that doctors believed he had a "very good" chance to make a full and complete recovery. Raines underwent preventative chemotherapy after the surgery.

This announcement comes on the same day that GameStop will report earnings for its latest quarter. We'll report back with more details in the coming hours.

Xbox One's Netflix-Style Game Pass Service Adding These 7 Games In December

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 08:38

Microsoft has announced the next wave of Xbox Game Pass titles. Coming on December 1 to the Xbox One service are seven games, including some big names like Gears of War 4 and the original Mass Effect. When Gears of War 4 is added, it will mean that every Gears of War game is now in the Xbox Game Pass library. The others include Gears of War 1-3, along with Gears of War: Judgment and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition (which is a remaster of the first game).

The other five additions for Xbox Game Pass on December 1 are Darksiders: Warmastered Edition, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter, This War of Mine: The Little Ones, Mega Man 10, and Casey Powell Lacrosse 16.

To encourage people to sign up, Microsoft has cut the price of a one-month Game Pass membership to just $1 for new subscribers. This promotion runs until November 27. After your first month, you'll have to pay $10 per month to continue. Alongside this, Microsoft is offering one-month Xbox Live Gold memberships for just $1 if you're a new subscriber.

In other Game Pass news, Microsoft will launch the service in Korea on December 1, becoming the 40th market where you can use Game Pass. There are more than 100 games (including backwards-compatible Xbox 360 titles) in the Game Pass library, including Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Halo 5, and Sunset Overdrive. You can see a full roundup of all the Xbox Game Pass titles here.

Xbox Game Pass December Titles (Available December 1):
  • Casey Powell Lacrosse 16
  • Darksiders: Warmastered Edition
  • Gears of War 4
  • Mass Effect
  • Mega Man 10
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter
  • This War of Mine: The Little Ones

For more on Xbox deals, you can check out GameSpot's roundup of all the best Xbox Black Friday deals here.

Harley Quinn Animated Series For Adults In The Works On DC Streaming Service

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 08:11

DC Entertainment has ordered a third series for its upcoming streaming service. A Harley Quinn animated series geared toward adult audiences is in the works from Warner Bros. Animation.

According to Deadline, Warner Bros. has ordered a 26-episode first season of the series, which will join the already announced revival of the animated series Young Justice series and a live-action Titans show. Harley Quinn, which is the tentative title of the series, will follow the one-time girlfriend of The Joker after she's finally left the clown prince of crime and is attempting to establish herself as Gotham City's criminal queenpin.

Thus far, the role of Harley has not been cast. However, Deadline reports that Margot Robbie, who played the character in Suicide Squad, is likely to be approached to reprise her role. Additionally, Poison Ivy is expected to play a major role in the cartoon, alongside a host of other characters from the DC Comics universe.

The project is being executive produced by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey. The trio previous collaborated on the short-lived DC live-action comedy Powerless, which ran for 12 episodes. Halpern and Schumacker served as showrunners on that series.

Harley Quinn was first introduced to the world on Batman: The Animated Series. After making the jump to the big screen in Suicide Squad, there have been a few films starring the character that are believed to be in various states of development, including an adaptation of the Gotham City Sirens comic book and a film that centers on Harley and Joker.

While no date--or even a name--has been confirmed for the upcoming DC streaming service, it's expected to debut sometime in 2018. However, it remains to be seen whether the Harley Quinn animated series would premiere at launch.

Newegg Black Friday 2017 Deals For Video Cards, Gaming Monitors, PC Hardware, And Consoles Are Live

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 07:47

Newegg has launched its Black Friday sale that'll be going on until Saturday night (November 25, 11:59pm PT). Over 3,000 items are part of the sale which range from video cards and processors to game consoles and headsets. With so much stuff discounted, we wanted to highlight some of the standouts. Take note that some of these items will sell out and temporarily be out of stock as the Black Friday sale goes on.

First thing to highlight are video cards. With their recent fluctuation in price, it's hard to find good deals, but a few sales on cards are worth considering. You can get your hands on an EVGA GTX 1060 (3GB, single-fan) for just $180, the Zotac Mini GTX 1060 (6GB) for $240 or a MSI GTX 1060 (6GB) for $250. For those set on AMD cards, look to the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 570 at $210 or the MSI Gaming X RX 580 at $240, both of which have 4GB of VRAM. At the high end, Gigabyte's GTX 1080 at $500 tends to be a good deal considering that card's MSRP is $550.

Great deals are abound for processors and AMD fans should be hyped up to upgrade. The quad-core Ryzen 5 1500X is only $165 and the eight-core Ryzen 7 1700 is at $270. Overclockers might want to look to the Ryzen 7 1800X that's just $320. Those that want to build or upgrade a workstation PC should look at the 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X for $800. Intel users on the Z170/Z270 chipset can get the best consumer-level CPU in the Core i7-7700K for $290.

Memory is the third key component to a gaming PC and while prices have remained relatively high, a few good sales standout. G.Skill is offering 8GB Ripjaws V DDR4 RAM for $70 and dual-channel 8GB Ripjaws V DDR4 RAM for $75. Those on an older platform can look to 8GB of Patriot Viper DDR3 RAM priced at $51. For higher capacity, look to 16GB of ADATA XPG DDR4 RAM at $137; and if you want to get fancy, 16GB G.Skill TridentZ RGB DDR4 RAM for $160 should be on your radar.

You can't forget about storage drives in a gaming PC. Solid-state drives are highly recommended these days, and you can get a 120GB Patriot Burst SSD for $40, a 500GB Samsung 850 Evo SSD for $150, or a 1TB Crucial MX300 SSD for $238. If you need higher volume storage, the 5TB Toshiba X300 HDD is $120, 6TB WD Black HDD is $200, and the huge 12TB Seagate BarraCuda Pro is $460 (all three run at 7200 RPM).

Plenty of sales on monitors are live, and cheaper ones like the Acer GN276HL (27-inch, 144Hz, 1080p) for $190 or the BenQ GW2765HT (27-inch, IPS, 1440p) for $230 are both great deals. The LG 27MU58 (4K, FreeSync) at $300 is the best value for a 4K monitor at the moment. Curved monitors are also available for cheap: the LG 29UM69G (29-inch, FreeSync, IPS, 21:9, 1080p) is $200, MSI Optix G27C2 (27-inch, 144Hz, 1080p) is $230, and the Samsung C32H711 (32-inch, FreeSync, 1440p) is $400. If you want to ball out, the Asus ROG PG348Q (34-inch, IPS, 100Hz, 21:9, G-Sync, 1440p) has all the specs you could ask for at $920.

If you don't want to go through the hassle of piecing a PC together, plenty of great pre-built gaming PCs are also available. Every rig here comes with Windows 10 Home (64-bit) installed as well. At the low-end, CyberpowerPC's Game Master 2009 (Ryzen 5 1400, 8GB RAM, GTX 1050) can be snagged for $590. For a step up, look to the CyberpowerPC Game Master 2021 (Ryzen 7 1700X, 8GB RAM, GTX 1060) for $800 or the iBuyPower NE770RAi (Core i7-7700, 8GB RAM, GTX 1060) for $900. If you can shell out the big bucks for a high-end rig, look to the ABS GT1 (Core i7-7700, 16GB RAM, GTX 1070) for $1200 or the CyberpowerPC Xtreme S780 (Core i7-7700, 16GB RAM, GTX 1080) for $1300.

PC gamers on the go can check out the following laptops: MSI GL62M 7RDX 15.6-inch (Core i5-7300HQ, 8GB RAM, GTX 1050) at $600, MSI GS Stealth Pro 15.6-inch (Core i7-6700HQ, 16GB RAM, GTX 1060) at $1050, or Asus ROG G752VS 17.3-inch 120Hz G-Sync (Core i7-7820HK, 16GB RAM, GTX 1070) at $1780.

When it comes to peripherals, a handful of gaming headsets, keyboards, and mice jump out. The Plantronics Gamecom 318 for $13 and Rosewill Nebula GX10 for $19 are super cheap options. The HyperX Cloud Revolver is highly regarded and is priced at $90. The wireless SteelSeries Siberia P800 7.1 headset is going for $180. For straight-up headphones, the Philips SHP9500S provide great sound quality for just $48.

Cheap gaming keyboards like the Nixeus MODA v2 (non-Cherry Brown switch) for $40, the tenkeyless Corsair Vengeance K65 for $50, the Logitech RGB G410 for $50, and the G.Skill RGB KM570 for $80 are all deals worth looking at. The G.Skill Ripjaws MX780 mouse and Nixeus Revel mouse (with a mouse pad) are both $30.

Console gamers shouldn't feel left out as Newegg has a few bundles and accessories on sale. The PlayStation 4 Slim (1TB) goes for $200 and the PlayStation 4 Pro (1TB) is $400. Many Xbox One S bundles are available, like the 500GB Xbox One S with Forza Horizon 3 (and Hot Wheels DLC) for $230 or with Battlefield 1 and an extra controller for $250. A 1TB Xbox One S with Assassin's Creed Origins and Rainbow Six Siege or with Battlefield 1 Special Edition goes for $300. PlayStation VR goes for $200 and all colors of DualShock 4 controllers are $40.

We summarized all our highlights in a list below. There are so many PC components, accessories, peripherals, and displays on sale at Newegg, so be sure to seek out specific items you're looking for on their site. Newegg isn't the only place to look when it comes to gaming hardware; check out our extensive coverage for all things Black Friday:

Newegg Black Friday 2017 DealsVideo Cards
  • EVGA ACX 2.0 (Single-fan) GeForce GTX 1060 3GB -- $180
  • Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 570 4GB -- $210
  • ZOTAC Mini GeForce GTX 1060 6GB -- $240
  • MSI Gaming X Radeon RX 580 4GB -- $240
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1060 6GB -- $250
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB -- $500
Processors
  • AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 4-Core CPU -- $165
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1700 8-Core CPU -- $270
  • Intel Core i7-7700K Quad-Core CPU -- $290
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X 8-Core CPU -- $320
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16-Core CPU -- $800
Memory (RAM)
  • 8GB (2x4GB) Patriot Viper 3 DDR3-1600 -- $51
  • 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-2666 -- $70
  • 8GB (2x4GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-2400 -- $75
  • 16GB (2x8GB) ADATA XPG GAMMIX D10 DDR4-2400 -- $137
  • 16GB (2x8GB) G.Skill TridentZ RGB DDR4-2400 -- $160
Storage Drives
  • 120GB Patriot Burst SATA III SSD -- $40
  • 500GB Samsung 850 Evo 2.5" SATA III SSD -- $150
  • 1TB Crucial MX300 SATA III SSD -- $238
  • 5TB Toshiba X300 7200 RPM HDD -- $120
  • 6TB Western Digital Black 7200 RPM HDD -- $200
  • 12TB Seagate BarraCuda Pro 7200 RPM HDD -- $460
Gaming Monitors
  • Acer GN276HL 27-inch 144Hz 1080p -- $190
  • LG 29-inch FreeSync IPS Ultrawide (21:9) 1080p Monitor -- $200
  • BenQ 27-inch IPS 1440p Monitor -- $230
  • MSI Optix 27-inch Curved FreeSync 144Hz 1080p Monitor -- $230
  • LG 27-inch FreeSync IPS 4K Monitor -- $300
  • Samsung 32-inch FreeSync 1440p Quantum Dot Monitor -- $400
  • Asus ROG 34-inch Ultrawide (21:9) G-Sync IPS 100Hz 1440p Monitor -- $920
Pre-built PCs
  • CyberpowerPC Game Master 2009 (Ryzen 5 1400, 8GB RAM, GTX 1050) -- $590
  • CyberpowerPC Gamer Master 2021 (Ryzen 7 1700X, 8GB RAM, GTX 1060) -- $800
  • CyberpowerPC Xtreme S780 (Core i7-7700, 16GB RAM, GTX 1080) -- $1300
  • ABS GT1 (Core i7-7700, 16GB RAM, GTX 1070) -- $1200
  • iBuyPower NE770RAi (Core i7-7700, 8GB RAM, GTX 1060) -- $900
Gaming Laptops
  • MSI GL62M 7RDX 15.6-inch (Core i5-7300HQ, 8GB RAM, GTX 1050) -- $600
  • MSI GS Stealth Pro 15.6-inch (Core iy-6700HQ, 16GB RAM, GTX 1060 -- $1050
  • Asus ROG 17.3-inch 120Hz G-Sync (Core i7-7820HK, 16GB RAM, GTX 1070) -- $1780
Headsets / Headphones
  • Plantronics Gamecom 318 -- $13
  • Rosewill Nebula GX10 -- $19
  • Philips SHP9500S Headphones -- $48
  • HyperX Cloud Revolver -- $90
  • Steelseries Siberia P800 Wireless with Dolby 7.1 -- $180
Mice and Keyboards
  • G.Skill Ripjaws MX780 Mouse -- $30
  • Nixeus Revel Mouse and Type-R Mouse Pad -- $30
  • Nixeus MK-BN15 MODA v2 Mechanical Keyboard (non-Cherry Brown switch) -- $40
  • Corsair Vengance K65 Tenkeyless Mechanical -- $50
  • Logitech G410 Atlas Spectrum RGB -- $50
  • G.Skill KM570 RGB Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Speed Silver switches -- $80
Game Consoles
  • PlayStation 4 Slim (1TB) -- $200
  • PlayStation 4 Pro (1TB) -- $400
  • Xbox One S (500GB) with Forza Horizon 3 and Hot Wheels DLC -- $230
  • Xbox One S (1TB) with Assassin's Creed Origins and Rainbow Six Siege -- $300
  • Xbox One S (1TB) with Battlefield 1 Special Edition -- $300
  • Xbox One S (500GB) with Battlefield 1 and extra controller -- $250
  • PlayStation VR -- $200
  • PS4 DualShock 4 Controllers (all colors) -- $40

Destiny 2 Curse Of Osiris Adds New Weapon Quests And Strike Story Missions

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 07:32

Bungie has further detailed Destiny 2's upcoming Curse of Osiris expansion. During the second of three livestreams, it shared more information about the activities that players will be able to take part in on the new planet of Mercury, some of which were first alluded to recently.

As part of last week's tour of the new Lighthouse area, we saw a new hand cannon and a wall that tracks your progress through post-campaign quests, which allow you to unlock various new weapons. These are called Lost Prophecies, and they start out by acquiring a Prophecy Tablet from Brother Vance. Lost Prophecies function as quests, requiring you to fulfill certain requirements to advance. The one we saw during the stream called for you to acquire new Curse of Osiris items with some particularly ridiculous names: Concentrated Radiolarian Culture and Advanced Paradox Amplifier.

Rather than have these be things you randomly obtain, you can look at the details of the Tablet to see precisely how to acquire them. In one case, they were obtained by completing Public Events, such as Curse of Osiris's new one. The other was earned by playing Crucible matches, completing Strikes, or completing Heroic Adventures (more on those below). With these items in your inventory, you can consume them to complete the quest. At this point, you return to Vance, turn it in, and then head to the Forge (also located in the Lighthouse) to create your new weapon--you can see one below. A nearby wall allows you to see how many of the new 11 weapons you've obtained.

The aforementioned Heroic Adventures are new, more difficult versions of Adventures. Adventures can also now have modifiers, allowing them to be different each time you play one, not unlike how the Nightfall shifts from week to week.

Another adjustment involves Strikes. We already know the Heroic Strike playlist is returning, but the new Strikes in Curse of Osiris--there are two--will be better integrated into the story. They'll essentially function as standard story missions as you work your through the campaign, rather than existing as a sort of disconnected component. You'll be able to play them on your own without having to resort to matchmaking, but modified versions will also be available for regular play with others.

There are still more details to come about Curse of Osiris as part of one final stream on November 29. The DLC then releases for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on December 5, coinciding with an update that adds PS4 Pro and Xbox One X enhancements to Destiny 2. For more, you can check out our thoughts on Curse of Osiris; we've found Mercury underwhelming so far.

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