The Walking Dead comic book might have ended last year, but the TV versions of the zombie franchise are going strong. The second half of the main show's current tenth series returns next month, and the spin-off Fear the Walking Dead is back for Season 6 later this year. It has now been confirmed that the second spin-off, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, will premiere in April.
AMC has announced that World Beyond will have its premiere on April 12 at 10 PM ET, immediately after the season finale of the main series. Subsequent episodes will then take The Walking Dead's weekly 9 PM slot. In addition, AMC revealed that World Beyond will only run for two seasons, as opposed to the open-ended approach of the other two series.
A new Walking Dead show was first rumored back in March, with the first teaser released in July. In November, the first footage from World Beyond was revealed in this trailer. The show will focus on younger characters who have grown up during the time of the zombies but have so far been protected from them--they are aware of walkers but have not had to interact with them prior to the events of the series. The show stars Aliyah Royale, Annet Mahendru, Alexa Mansour, and Nicolas Cantu, and Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has helmed the first episode.
As well as the three shows, there are still a trilogy of Walking Dead movies in the works. They are set to focus on Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, who was the show's main character until he left the series at the start of Season 9. So far no release date has been set for the first film, but an early teaser was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con last July. In addition, Lincoln was recently spotted doing some gun training, possibly for the upcoming movie.
In the midst of a large spate of delays, Marvel's Iron Man VR is the latest to be pushed to a new release date. Developer Camouflaj has announced that the PSVR game, previously set for February 28, will now release on May 15, 2020.
In a tweet explaining the decision, the studio said the move is to assure it can "deliver on our vision and meet the high expectations of our amazing community." It also teases that we'll hear more from the team soon.
In order to deliver on our vision and meet the high expectations of our amazing community, we’ve made the difficult decision to move Marvel’s Iron Man VR to a May 15, 2020 release. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding. You’ll be hearing from us again soon!— Camouflaj (@Camouflaj) January 17, 2020
The game was initially announced during Sony's first State of Play. It uses the VR headset to imitate Tony Stark's helmet HUD. The game aims to be "a deeply personal, and appropriately funny, narrative," according to game director Ryan Payton. Sony has not held a State of Play yet this year, but we're expecting to hear more from the company about its PS5 launch plans sometime soon--especially since the company is opting out of E3 again this year.
This is far from the only spring delay to be announced recently. Square Enix pushed back both the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Crystal Dynamics' Avengers, and CD Projekt Red has delayed Cyberpunk 2077. What was once a very crowded spring release schedule has gotten a lot less so with the reshuffling.
The Mandalorian has wrapped up its first season, and a second is on the way later this year. The star of the show has undoubtedly been Baby Yoda, the $5 million animatronic puppet that has won hearts and minds by being heartbreakingly beautiful. And now, we know that the creator of Star Wars has met the little friend.
Jon Favreau, the showrunner of The Mandalorian, has tweeted out a (slightly blurry) picture of George Lucas holding The Child. It's not captioned, but it doesn't need to be--the look Lucas is giving the puppet, and the way he's holding it protectively, is all you need to know.January 17, 2020
While Lucas, who directed the original 1997 film and the prequel trilogy, has had his issues with Disney's handling of Star Wars, it looks like he's as smitten with Baby Yoda as the rest of us.
Baby Yoda is also coming to Build-A-Bear, if you want your own. A statue of the iconic baby is also available in The Sims 4. We expect more Baby Yoda in season 2 of the show, which premiere in the fall.
AMC's Breaking Bad prequel, Better Call Saul, has been renewed for a sixth season--which will also be its last. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the final season will air in 2021, and will be made up of 13 episodes (seasons 1-5 consist of 10 episodes each.)
Season 5 will begin airing on February 23, 2020; as of right now, we have 23 episodes of the show left to look forward to. This was revealed during a panel at the Television Critics Association's press tour.
This ultimately means that Better Call Saul will be one episode longer than Breaking Bad was, although Breaking Bad also got a movie.
The show's fifth season will also bring back some iconic characters from the original series that we have not seen in some time. Showrunner Vince Gilligan revealed during the panel that Hank Schrader (played by Dean Norris) and his partner Steven Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) would return in episodes three and four of this season. "Working with Dean and Michael again was a highlight of the season," Gilligan said.
It was also confirmed that Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston will not appear in this season, so don't expect to see Jesse or Walt. He also says that the end of Better Call Saul will probably be the end of the entire saga he's been telling across both series, at least for a while. Asked if it was likely to continue on in some form, he responded, "you don't want to drive it into the ground, so I would say at this moment in time, probably not."
Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman will be missed once it's all over.
Destiny 2 teased a new shirt for its store recently, with all proceeds being put towards relief efforts for the bushfires that have been ravaging Australia. The shirt, the sales of which will benefit New South Wales Rural Fire Services and WIRES wildlife rescue, is available now for preorder. It depicts a ship flying over the Australian outback. It's called "Guardians for Australia."
The shirt, which is available in men's and women's sizes, comes with a free code for a "Star Light, Star Bright" emblem, redeemable within the game. The shirt retails for $25. It will be available until February 19, and shipping to Australia is available at a rate of US$7.50.Preorder the Guardians for Australia shirt
A separate fan campaign from Destiny's ANZ fanbase is also underway, and is looking to earn AU$20,000 for the Australian Red Cross. To date, it has brought in $14,311 and climbing.
This is just one of several gaming initiatives currently raising money to help Australia. A new Humble Bundle has collected together 29 games, with proceeds going towards three different charities, and Call of Duty and Ubisoft have also gotten involved. Several auctions are running on Twitter right now under the oversight of the Game Devs For Fireys initiative.
Over at CNET, there's an extensive breakdown of what's happening and how you can help, and what you should know, about the Australian bushfires.
Google Stadia only has one exclusive game right now--Tequila Works' Gylt, which launched with the system. However, that's set to change over the first half of 2020, with Google planning on several new exclusives for the system.
"Looking at our upcoming lineup, we are tracking more than 120 games coming to Stadia in 2020," a press release reads, "and are targeting more than ten games in the first half of this year alone that will be only available on Stadia when they launch."
"We’re working with our partners to share more on those games soon," the release continues.
There's no word yet on what those exclusives could be, although it's possible that Typhoon Studios, the developer of Journey to the Savage Planet, is working on something after being bought out by Stadia. Tequila Works CEO Raul Rubio has sung the praises of developing for Stadia, so it's possible that other major studios have been courted for exclusives.
Furthermore, additional features have been promised for the next three months. These include:
- Support for 4k gaming on the Web
- Further Assistant functionality when playing on the Web
- Support for additional Android Phones
- Wireless gameplay on the Web through the Stadia controller
It's worth noting that Xbox Series X plans on launching without any next-gen exclusives; the major players on the console market are all taking noticeably different approaches right now.
As part of a CD Projekt Red press conference following Cyberpunk 2077's five-month delay, the Polish developer confirmed that it will be asking its employees to work extra long hours to finish the much-anticipated role-playing game ahead of its scheduled release in September.
During a Q&A session, CD Projekt Red was asked if the development team would need to "crunch" to finish Cyberpunk 2077. Adam Kicinski, who is CD Projekt Red's joint CEO, confirmed that he expects the team to need to work long hours to finish the game, though he said there is a plan in place to attempt to lessen the periods of crunch.
"To some degree, yes--to be honest," Kicinski said. "We try to limit crunch as much as possible, but it is the final stage. We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately."
"Crunch" is the video game industry term for working for an unreasonable and unhealthy amount of time on a project. Typically, but not always, periods of crunch happen near the end of development.
CD Projekt Red is developing Cyberpunk 2077 across its studios in Krakow and Warsaw offices. At PAX Aus in October 2019, CDPR Krakow boss John Mamais told GameSpot everyone at his studio was working "really hard," and that while the staffers can feel rejuvenated by showing the game at tradeshows, this also puts the team "in a vice, in a way."
Mamais also spoke about how CDPR's culture of hard work is not a good fit for everyone. He said CDPR does what it can to limit crunch, but this isn't always possible.
"You sacrifice some things to do that and be part of that. There are a lot of people who come into the industry that are fresh; they don't really understand what it takes to do it," he said. "So we get a lot of new guys coming in, and they go, 'Oh god, this is like too much.' But then we have other guys come in from Rockstar Games, and they're like, 'This is not even crunch!' We're doing the best we can to keep the work under control. But sometimes when you're doing some big-ass game like this, it's not always possible to do that. It takes really hard work to make it really awesome."
It was also confirmed during the Q&A that the Cyberpunk 2077 delay has shifted other projects back as well, as the Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer game will now release in 2022 at the soonest. Additionally, although Cyberpunk 2077's new September 17 release date is closer to the releases of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, CDPR still has no plans to support those systems.
CDPR also confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 has been playable from start to finish for months, but "there's still work to done," which is why the company's board of directors unanimously voted for the delay.
"Night City is massive--full of stories, content and places to visit, but due to the sheer scale and complexity of it all, we need more time to finish playtesting, fixing, and polishing," the company said. "We want Cyberpunk 2077 to be our crowning achievement for this generation and postponing launch will give us the precious months we need to make the game perfect."
Kicinski clarified during the Q&A that some parts of Cyberpunk 2077 were on schedule while others were not. He added that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the game, only that the studio needs more time for polishing and other efforts related to the size and complexity of the project.
The executive also confirmed during the Q&A that the Cyberpunk 2077 development team was only informed of the delay "minutes" before the official announcement came through.
This is not the first time that CDPR may be crunching on one of its big releases. In 2014, the company was aaccused of crunching for more than one year to finish The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Watchmen, the HBO series that followed on from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' iconic graphic novel, was our favorite television show of 2019. The show, which remixed parts of the original comic and proved incisive and intelligent in its examination of superhero mythology, race, gender, and the world Moore created, was a triumph both critically and commercially.
However, it looks as though a second season is unlikely, with showrunner Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers,) standing by comments he made shortly after the season wrapped.
On the official Watchmen podcast back in December 2019, Lindelof said that it was "unlikely" that he would make a second season, although he seemed open to the notion that a good idea might come to him. This apparently has not happened yet, and Lindelof has reaffirmed to USA Today that he currently has no interest in doing a second season, having told the story he wanted to tell.
Lindelof reportedly said that he has given HBO his blessing to move ahead on a second season without him, but the channel's programming chief, Casey Bloys, said that this was unlikely to happen. "It would be hard to imagine doing it without Damon involved in some way," he said.
However, it sounds like he's interested in whatever Lindelof's next project turns out to be. "We’re very proud of Watchmen, but what I’m most interested in what Damon wants to do." Bloys says that if Lindelof changes his mind, or wants to approach Watchmen as an "anthology" series akin to True Detective or Fargo, HBO would be keen.
While some viewers might despair over the lack of resolution to the seeming cliffhanger at the end of the series, it's worth noting that Lindelof has said that, in his mind, it's unambiguous what happens next.
The fifth and final DLC character included in Super Smash Bros Ultimate's Fighter Pass, Byleth, has been announced, and fans are already wondering who will come to the second Fighter Pass. During the Byleth announcement, Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai confirmed that six more fighters will join the game by December 2021. Sakurai, who receives a lot of requests, wanted to make something clear--the six fighters have already been chosen, and there's nothing to be gained from sending him requests.
"Of course, like last time, the contents will remain unknown for now," Sakurai said, and apologized for asking fans to buy the Fighter Pass without knowing who was coming to the game. Sakurai addressed the inevitable tweets he will receive about the next lot of fighters, asking for a reprieve.
"The new additions have already been decided," Sakurai said. "Even if I receive many requests regarding potential candidates on Twitter, I'm afraid it would be very hard to consider them. But I still hope you'll look forward to it."
With this in mind, we can start speculating over who the new fighters will be. Rayman? Crash Bandicoot? Steve from Minecraft? Master Chief?
Fighters Pass Volume 2 will be available to purchase on January 28, although we won't know the first new fighter it will add until later.
The top-selling games of 2019 and the entire decade have been revealed for the United States, and there are no surprises.
As expected, Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare finished the year at No. 1, according to sales charts released by the NPD Group on Thursday. Call of Duty games are typically the year's best-sellers, with the exception of when Rockstar puts out a game. For example, the only times in the past 10 years when Call of Duty was not No. 1 was in 2013 and 2018, when Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 were released.
Rounding out the top five for 2019 were NBA 2K20, Madden NFL 20, Borderlands 3, and Mortal Kombat 11. Respawn's new Star Wars game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, ended 2019 at No. 6. You can see the full Top 10 chart below.
The NPD Group also released a ranking of the top-selling games of the decade, and Grand Theft Auto V unsurprisingly comes out on top. Call of Duty games also dominated the charts for the past decade, while Red Dead Redemption 2 and Minecraft made it into the top 10 as well. You can see the full top-selling games of the decade chart below.
For the full year of 2019, total spending on video games--covering hardware, software, and accessories--reached $14.6 billion, which is down 13 percent. Video game sales specifically fell nine percent to $6.6 billion. The Nintendo Switch was the only system that grew during 2019.
Dollar sales of tracked video game software declined 13 percent in December compared to a year ago, to $1.1 billion, while annual sales dropped nine percent to $6.6 billion. Declines were experienced across all platforms in December, while Switch was the only platform with gains for the year.
Spending on hardware in 2019 fell by a substantial 22 percent, to $3.9 billion. The Switch grew in 2019 but it was not enough to offset the downturn in PS4 and Xbox One sales. That is to be expected, given those systems are relatively older; both Sony and Microsoft are launching next-generation consoles this year. The Switch was the best-selling home console of 2019.December 2019 Best-Selling Games (US Only)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- Madden NFL 20
- NBA 2K20
- Luigi's Mansion 3*
- Pokemon Sword*
- Mario Kart 8*
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
- Pokemon Shield*
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- NBA 2K20
- Madden NFL 20
- Borderlands 3
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
- Kingdom Hearts III
- The Division 2
- Mario Kart 8*
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Call of Duty: WWII
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
*Digital sales not included
DC's next big comic book movie, Birds of Prey, is poised to have a big-time opening weekend at the box office. Deadline reports that the film is tracking to make between $49 million and $55 million for its opening weekend in the US in early February.
The site reports that Birds of Prey is expected to perform well with the under 25 crowd, which is to be expected. Interest is also reportedly high among young women.
Birds of Prey isn't expected to break any big February records, however, as Black Panther ($202 million) currently holds the record for best February domestic opening of all time. Deadpool ($132.4 million), Fifty Shades of Grey ($85.1 million), The Passion of the Christ ($83.8 million), and The Lego Movie ($69 million) follow as February's other top historical earners.
Birds of Prey reportedly carried a $97.1 million budget, and that's before marketing expenses are factored in.
Birds of Prey stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, reprising her role from 2016's poorly received but Oscar-winning box office juggernaut Suicide Squad. She stars in the movie alongside Jurnee Smollet Bell (Black Canary), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Huntress), and Rosie Perez (Renee Montoya). They are teaming up to rescue a young girl from Ewan McGregor's evil Black Mask.
According to Robbie, Birds of Prey is nothing like the new Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix because it tells a story that is less grounded in reality. The movie opens in the US on February 7.
Birds of Prey & DC News
Birds Of Prey will be followed by Wonder Woman 1984, which is set to hit theaters in July 2020. The first trailer for that was released in December, and some new images were revealed recently. There are also 2021 dates for the standalone Batman movie and James Gunn's Suicide Squad reboot, while Aquaman 2 will come to theatres in 2022.
For more, check out GameSpot's guide to the biggest upcoming movies of 2020.
Taika Waititi, the director of Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit, could direct a new Star Wars movie for Disney, according to a report. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Disney has approached the director to direct a new Star Wars movie, though there are many unanswered questions about it.
The exact nature of extent of the discussions is unknown. Also a mystery is whether or not this movie would be separate from the one being produced Marvel boss Kevin Feige. It appears to be early days, as THR appears to be confirming that discussions are underway but specifics are unknown.
The Rise of Skywalker, which recently crossed $1 billion at the box office, is said to be the final entry in the Skywalker Saga. The series is now taking a little break before returning in 2022, and it appears Waititi could be part of the franchise's future. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is also working on a new Star Wars trilogy of his own. Game of Thrones creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff were developing their own Star Wars movies before quitting to work for Netflix instead.
Waititi is no stranger to Star Wars, as he directed the final episode in The Mandalorian's first season on Disney+. He also voiced the droid IG-11. His latest movie, Jojo Rabbit, picked up six Oscar nominations this year, including Best Picture.
Waititi is currently working on the low-budget movie Next Goal Wins for Fox Searchlight, before moving on to Thor: Love and Thunder, which is releasing in November 2021. He is also attached to a new Akira movie for Warner Bros.
Waititi is known for his comedy and irreverence--I mean, have you seen What We Do In The Shadows?---so it would be really interesting to see what he could do in the Star Wars universe on the big screen.
In its nearly six years of activity, Elder Scrolls Online has grown from another online game that struggled to find its footing, to a satisfying, content-rich MMO that offers an unusual amount of freedom to explore. With more updates opening up the familiar locales of the land of Tamriel, such as Morrowind and Elsweyr, developer ZeniMax Online Studios is preparing the next major expansion that seeks to rekindle a sense of nostalgia for a certain northern region from Elder Scrolls lore.
Revealed during Bethesda's ESO 2020 livestream, Bethesda VP of Marketing Pete Hines and creative director Rich Lambert detailed the upcoming season of content known as the Dark Heart of Skyrim. Launching on May 18 for PC (consoles will get the update on June 2), the land of Skyrim, quests, and loot will be open for players to uncover. Like last year's Season of the Dragon, new events will be added throughout 2020, expanding the new region and its lore. During the livestream, the creative director stated this about the resivit to Skyrim: "We felt it was important to offer something familiar, but we very much wanted to forge our own path with Skyrim."
Set 900 years before the events of Elder Scrolls V, the Skyrim of ESO isn't exactly the same as it was in the previous game. While familiar places like Solitude, Dragon Bridge, and Morthal are back, the entire region has been corrupted by the influence of vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural forces, which gives it more of a gothic and macabre aesthetic. Closing out the cinematic trailer was a brief glimpse of a massive underground fortress home to the coven of vampires--the dark heart of Skyrim. Starting off the season will be a special prologue quest that's available to all players, setting the stage for the new adventures in Skyrim.
Encompassing the Dark Heart of Skyrim season are four substantial updates. The first two, Harrowstorm and Greymoor, will be available at launch. Harrowstorm focuses on new dungeons and world events to take part in, tasking you and your party to face off against hordes of vampires other monsters. The Greymoor questline is the most substantial form of content to take part in, which is the main questline in Skyrim. According to Bethesda, the narrative in Greymoor will be the darkest one of the series, revealing the grimmer aspects of the land of Skyrim, why it attracts such supernatural forces. Later in 2020, two more updates focusing on additional story and dungeons will close out the Dark Heart of Skyrim season.
A returning location that players will be able to explore is Blackreach, the massive underground cavern from The Elder Scrolls V. According to the developers, the subterranean networks makes up over 40% of Skyrim's size in ESO. In addition to the new land to explore and quests to follow, the Dark Heart of Skyrim season will also introduce a suite of new quality-of-life updates, activities, and new features. For instance, one new side-activity is the Antiquities system, allowing players to hunt for lost relics from around the world to buff their characters and party with new mythic items that have unique properties. While exploring Skyrim, you can also take part in Harrowstorm world events, which has you and your group battle waves of foes.
No doubt, the big standout with this upcoming season is the prospect of returning to Skyrim. Released almost nine years ago, the Elder Scrolls V still remains one of Bethesda's most well-loved games, so getting to explore the region in an MMO presents an interesting way to re-experience the lore and iconography of the region. In the years following ESO's initial release, the MMO was updated to allow for more open-ended exploration of the world that will scale to your level and party-size. For players looking to jump into ESO for the first time, you can even start a new character in the region of Skyrim, letting you explore the land right from the outset.
For more info on what's new with Elder Scrolls Online, including what to expect in Skyrim and the larger season of content in Dark Heart of Skyrim, be sure to check back with GameSpot.
Bungie has released a new patch for Destiny 2 that addresses a number of the troubles that have faced the Season of Dawn since its launch a few weeks ago. The new patch, Hotfix 126.96.36.199, is now live in the game and fixes a few key troubles, like players' inability to interact with the EDZ Sundial obelisk.
Patch notes for the hotfix are live on Bungie's website, which detail a short list of changes to the game that mostly remove bugs and make minor but meaningful adjustments. The EDZ bug is probably the biggest one--previously, Guardians had to repeatedly enter the area that includes the obelisk in an attempt to get the prompt to appear that allowed them to interact with it. The patch also fixes a weekly Gunsmith calibration bounty, which hasn't been available since the start of the season.
Hotfix 188.8.131.52 also makes some fixes to things that were actually working out in players' favor. Bungie has reduced the amount of damage the Exotic bow Wish-Ender does with its Broadhead perk. Throughout the Season of Dawn, Wish-Ender has been doing a ton of extra damage, which has made it a go-to weapon for killing primevals in Gambit matches. The hotfix also fixes Telesto, which would dish out additional Special ammo when paired with the Heavy Handed seasonal mod.
Check out the full list of changes and fixes below. You might also want to check out our Corridors of Time guide, following the work of the Destiny 2 community to solve a new secret quest that was added to the game this week.Hotfix 184.108.40.206 Patch Notes:COMBAT SYSTEMS
- Fixed an issue where Wish-Ender's Broadhead perk was dealing more damage than intended
- Equipping both a Fusion Rifle Scavenger mod and a Linear Fusion Scavenger mod will no longer cause Heavy ammo to be gained from Special ammo boxes
- Using Telesto with the Heavy Handed obelisk mod will no longer generate unintentional extra Special ammo
- Fixed an issue that would cause the EDZ Obelisk interact component to despawn
- Fixed an issue that could cause the Sundial reward currency to be issued to players twice
- Eververse waypoint notification has been disabled
- The Season 9 Seasonal Starter Bundle will no longer appear as owned for players who bought the Season 8 Seasonal Starter Bundle
- Gunsmith weekly destination bounty will be re-enabled and properly rotate weekly (instead of daily)
- Crucible daily bounties will now rotate daily
Pokemon Go's January Community Day is coming up this weekend, but that's not the only event to look forward to soon. Niantic has announced the Legendary Pokemon Latios and Latias will return for a limited time next weekend for a special Raid event.
Beginning at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET on Friday, January 24, the two Legendaries will appear around the world in five-star Raids, giving you another opportunity to catch them. Latios and Latias will leave the game again at the same time on Monday, January 27. You can read more about the event on the Pokemon Go website.
Latios and Latias are both Dragon/Psychic types, meaning they're each weak to Ice, Dark, Fairy, Ghost, and Bug Pokemon, so you'll want to bring along monsters like Mamoswine, Tyranitar, and Togekiss when challenging them. Other Dragon types also have an advantage, particularly Dragon Legendaries like Rayquaza.
In the meantime, Pokemon Go's January Community Day takes place this Sunday, January 19. The featured Pokemon this month is Piplup, the Water starter from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, and if you can evolve it all the way into Empoleon up to two hours after the event ends, it'll learn the powerful Water attack Hydro Cannon.
Pokemon Go News
While Microsoft's xCloud game-streaming service remains only available as part of a limited test, the company is expanding its other new streaming offering. Microsoft announced today that Xbox Insiders in every country where Xbox Live is available can now test the console-streaming program that begun its limited beta rollout last year.
Console streaming allows players to stream the Xbox One games they already own to their Android phone or tablet from their console. This is done over Wi-Fi while at home and through your mobile data plan if you're playing on the go.
The service requires a strong connection of 5 GHz Wi-Fi or mobile data connection at 10 Mbps down / 4.75 Mbps up. Since it's a beta, only three titles are available to stream: Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, and Sea of Thieves.
More details about console streaming can be found on Microsoft's website.
"We view the public preview as an important step in our journey to deliver game streaming to Xbox players around the world! We are learning from Xbox Insiders like you whenever you participate in these new technologies," Microsoft said.
The Xbox Insider program is free and available to everyone--you can sign up here. Once you're accepted into the program, you can get started with the console streaming preview by following the instructions posted below, as written by Microsoft.
As for the Xcloud game-streaming service, this is a Netflix-style streaming service that allows users to stream games wherever they are over the internet. Microsoft is currently testing this in the US, UK, and Korea, with support for other parts of the world to come later.Xbox Console Streaming Startup Guide:
- You must be an Xbox Insider, in a supported region, with an Xbox One console enrolled in an Xbox One Update Preview ring to participate in the preview. Additional requirements:
- A phone or tablet running Android 6.0 or higher, with Bluetooth 4.0 (mobile data charges may apply)
- A Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One Wireless Controller
- A Microsoft Account with Xbox profile, and high-speed Internet (ISP fees may apply)
- While not required, we recommend a controller mount for those gamers testing on a phone
- Download the Xbox Game Streaming (Preview) app from the Google Play Store.
- The app will guide you through setup on your enrolled Xbox One. This includes a test to ensure your home network, console and controller are ready for Xbox Console Streaming:
- The network test ensures your console’s network connection and setup meet the minimum requirements:
- NAT type: Open or Moderate
- Upstream bandwidth: At least 4.75 Mbps required, 9 Mbps preferred
- Network latency: 125 ms or less required, 60 ms or less preferred
- Console settings: Power setting must be Instant-on
- For help improving your console’s setup, visit the Xbox Support website
- For additional support, check out the Game Streaming Support Hub, or visit the Xbox Insiders Subreddit
- The network test ensures your console’s network connection and setup meet the minimum requirements:
Even if you haven't played Pokemon Sword and Shield yet, you might have seen Ball Guy somewhere on the internet. The mysterious Poke Ball mascot was the cause of some debate when the games launched--is he weird, or is he a friend? Back then, I defended Ball Guy. He gives you free Poke Balls, I reasoned. He's nice. He just wants to help out. Who cares if his outfit is weird and he has no known origin?
For far too long, I considered Ball Guy a friend. Not anymore. Ball Guy is my enemy. He sucks, actually. He really sucks. He is the bane of my existence.
I'll admit that during the main story, Ball Guy appears good. He's supportive. He's always there for you, at every Gym. He gifts you various ultra-rare Poke Balls so you can catch your favorite monsters in... cool balls. But when you become Champion, his disposition changes.
See, after you beat the game, you're allowed to call a rematch Champion Cup in Wyndon whenever you want. You battle three people, mostly Gym Leaders, and it takes a bit of time, but it's a decent way to make some money. It's also the only way to get an item I really need: the Flame Orb. Why I need a Flame Orb is not as important as the fact that it is incredibly useful, incredibly rare, and only available at the mercy of Ball Guy, who gives you a prize when you complete the tournament.
Each day, the first prize you get for completing a rematch cup is a Wishing Piece. It is guaranteed, and it resets every day. Ball Guy comes out and hands it to you like it's worth something--it's not. They are easy to buy in the Wild Area for Watts. I don't need them, and I don't want them. But I get one every single day, just so I can grind more Champion Cups on the off chance he'll give me what I want.
Yesterday, I did around 10 Champion Cup rematches. I did not get a Flame Orb. I did get some Dusk Balls (which you can buy easily) and some Ultra Balls (which you can also buy easily). I also got 100 Poke Balls, twice. And when Ball Guy gives you 100 Poke Balls, that's when he shows his true colors.Betrayal.
Before he reveals your absolute garbage prize, he gleefully does the universal sign for mocking others' pain: He animatedly wipes fake tears from his permanently smiling ball face, as if to say "Aww, did the baby want a Flame Orb?", and it goes on for a couple of seconds. He then reveals that he's giving you 100 Poke Balls, which are useless to you. Selling them nets you pennies. You don't catch Pokemon with Poke Balls anymore. But here they are. Guess you better grind this tournament out again, sweetie.
I will do it again today. I will get a Wishing Piece. I will keep running the stupid Champion Cup until I get my Flame Orb. And when I get it, I will never speak to Ball Guy again. He's burned me too many times.
Oculus's media-viewing VR headset, the Oculus Go, has been discounted since Black Friday, but now you won't have to worry about that price going back up. The Facebook-owned company announced that the Oculus Go's new regular price is $149 for the 32GB version and $199 for the 64GB option. Previously, Oculus Go went for $199/$249.Oculus Go VR headsetOculus Go | $149 (32GB) / $199 (64GB) See at Amazon
Now before you jump on the Go, there are some things you need to know. For one, it's not a gaming VR headset (and definitely won't be compatible with the upcoming Half-Life: Alyx). It can play games, but the vast majority of the Oculus games library does not work with the Go. Some of the games it can handle include Thumper, Please Don't Touch Anything, and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. These are all great, but if you want to buy a VR headset with any interest in playing games seriously, then you should look at the Oculus Quest instead.
Instead, the Go's main focus is viewing media, such as YouTube, Netflix, and Prime Video. Since it's an all-in-one headset, it's easy to take on a flight or in a vehicle and watch your movies or shows on a big VR screen. You can check out all of the games, apps, and experiences compatible with the Go at Oculus.
In GameSpot sister site CNET's Oculus Go review, senior editor Scott Stein wrote, "Oculus Go is VR for the masses: A self-contained, standalone virtual reality headset that's portable, affordable and delivers a great experience for the price."
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The next big streaming service, NBCUniversal's Peacock, will be launching in a few months, combining multiple networks and movie studios. Movies, TV series, news, sports, and originals will all be content you can stream from home. Now, we know the launch date and the pricing model for the service.
During the Peacock investor meeting, chairman of NBCUniversal Steve Burke opened discussing what type of platform the new streaming service will be. He noted that Peacock will fit into an ad-supported business model with premium content, much like an ad-supported Hulu--something Burke did not mention during the opening of the presentation.
As for the launch of Peacock, Comcast subscribers will get it first, as it begins to roll out on April 15, and it will be included at no additional cost. In July, all tiers for the streaming service will be launched nationwide on multiple platforms, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics coverage. The service will arrive internationally at a later date.
Later, chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Enterprises Matt Strauss announced that Peacock will be available free. However, there will be various tiers for customers to choose from, which you can see below.Peacock tiers and cost:
- Free: 7,500 hours of ad-supported programming. Includes current seasons of TV shows, movies, TV classics, news and sports, Hispanic, streaming channels, and more.
- $5 a month: 15,000 hours of ad-supported programming. Includes everything in previous tier, plus original series, 4K/UHD viewing, premium moves, full tent-pole series, and more.
- $10 a month: Everything in previous tiers, without ads.
It's important to note that original series are not included in the free tier, so don't expect to watch that Saved By The Bell revival, unless you plan on paying for the service. Additionally, the $5 tier will be bundled free for Xfinity, Xfinity Flex, and Cox customers. As far as ads go, users will be limited to five minutes of ads per hour, and that is less than traditional network and cable TV, which is around 16 minutes per hour.
One video presentation showcased the many movies and shows that will be a part of Peacock from TV hits like The Office, Parks & Recreation, Saturday Night Live, Murder She Wrote, Xena: Warrior Princess, and more. Additionally, movies like Shrek, Minions, and Fast & Furious were shown as well. Reality TV was also highlighted, with shows like WWE's Total Divas appearing, a USA Network property, which falls under the NBCUniversal umbrella.
In addition to VOD programming, including movies, TV, and original content, Strauss said "daily, current, and even live content will be streamed." So you may be able to watch the news, as it airs on the network, on Peacock.
At the time of this writing, the release date for Peacock had not been revealed, but we'll keep you updated as more is revealed at the investor meeting.
Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed--pushed to a new release date on September 17. The game is still scheduled to launch for Xbox One, PS4, and PC with a version for Google Stadia planned as well. However, despite the new launch date being much closer to the scheduled release window for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, CD Projekt Red currently has no plans to develop Cyberpunk 2077 as a cross-generation game.
"As of right now, Cyberpunk is heading for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the PC. Nothing has changed in regard to those plans," CD Projekt Red CFO Piotr Nielubowicz said on a teleconference call held to address questions about the new release date.
"We are going with the same plans that we set," CD Projekt Red joint CEO Adam Kiciński reiterated. "[Cyberpunk 2077] was always designed for [PS4 and Xbox One]. We are thinking about the next generation, but for now, we are focused on the current generation. That plan is still valid."
That said, in a previous financial report, according to Wccftech, Kiciński said, "If there is an opportunity for us to launch Cyberpunk for another generation, we would want to do this probably." So there's still a fairly strong possibility of Xbox Series X and PS5 versions of Cyberpunk 2077 being made, even if there are no plans to do so right now.
CD Projekt Red isn't worried that it is releasing the game when newer, more powerful consoles are available, even during one of the busiest times of the year for game launches. "We believe that our game--a big single-player RPG with a great story--will find its place in the market regardless of the date," CD Projekt Red board member of SVP business development Michał Nowakowski said.
"There's always something happening no matter what time of the year you're looking at. The games industry is not an industry where you can say that any given month is safer for whatever reason. So in that regard, we don't see September as more threatening than April or June," Nielubowicz added.
Though, obviously, no scheduled release date for a video game is set in stone, CD Projekt Red is confident that Cyberpunk 2077 will hit its new release date and not need to be delayed again. "Yeah, we pretty much know and understand what aspects of the game still require work," Nowakowski said.