Oculus Quest and Rift S now shipping

Facebook -owned Oculus is shipping its latest VR headgear from today. Preorders for the PC-free Oculus Quest and the higher end Oculus Rift S opened up three weeks ago. In a launch blog Oculus touts the new hardware’s “all-in-one, fully immersive 6DOF VR” — writing: “We’re bringing the magic of presence to more people than ever before — and we’re doing it with the freedom of fully untethered movement”. For a less varnished view on what it’s like to stick a face-computer on your head you can check out our reviews by clicking on the links below… Oculus Quest Review: Oculus Quest could be the Nintendo Switch of VR TC: “The headset may not be the most powerful, but it is doubtlessly the new flagship VR product from Facebook” Oculus Rift S Review: Facebook’s Oculus Rift S is barely an upgrade TC: “It still doesn’t feel like a proper upgrade Read the full article…

Xbox chief lays out gaming inclusivity commitment, calls on industry to adopt ‘fierce urgency for safety’

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox at Microsoft. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy) Microsoft wants to stamp out toxicity, harassment and abuse in gaming, and it called on fellow tech giants to help out. Xbox chief Phil Spencer outlined Microsoft’s commitment to make gaming a more welcoming environment for the more than 2.6 billion gamers around the world in a blog post Monday. Spencer mentioned tech giants Apple and Google and urged them to follow suit as the companies prepare to release cloud game streaming services. Microsoft’s new Project xCloud service, as well as new offerings from Apple and Google figure to increase the gaming population. “The gaming community continues to grow rapidly, and the imminent roll-out of new game services such as Apple Arcade, Google Stadia and Microsoft’s Project xCloud, will make gaming available to even more people worldwide,” Spencer wrote. “Our industry must now answer the fierce urgency to Read the full article…

Sony demonstrates fast PlayStation 5 load times, hints at cloud gaming future

Sony isn’t holding its usual E3 press conference this year, but the company has been gradually revealing parts of its next-generation PlayStation console. The PlayStation 5 will support 8K graphics, 3D audio, SSD storage, and backwards compatibility with existing PlayStation 4 titles. That SSD storage should boost load times significantly, and Sony offered up some clear demonstrations of exactly that today. During a Sony investor relations meeting (PDF), the company demonstrated PlayStation 5 load times using Spider-Man to load cities and rapidly navigate throughout them. While the PS4 takes around eight seconds to load a Spider-Man level, the PS5 (identified simply as next-generation) does the same in less than a second. The PS5 can… Read the full article…

Faze Clan and Tfue’s legal dispute could reshape e-sports and YouTube contracts forever

A new lawsuit filed against Faze Clan, a popular e-sports organization and YouTube network, by one of the internet’s most popular personalities is shaping up to be a milestone moment for online content creators. Turner “Tfue” Tenney is one of the most prominent Twitch streamers in the world, having catapulted to the upper echelon of online creators thanks to his prolific Fortnite playing and consistent performance in the game’s competitive circuit. But a new lawsuit filed by Tenney’s lawyers today alleges that his employer, Faze Clan, has taken financial advantage of him by way of an exploitative contract and unlawful behavior on behalf of Faze’s management. The lawsuit states that Faze has deprived Tenney of certain business… Read the full article…

Xbox chief Phil Spencer outlines plans for fighting toxicity in gaming

Microsoft’s Xbox chief Phil Spencer says he’s acutely aware of the problems the gaming industry faces from a cultural perspective — issues like toxicity, abuse and harassment, and exclusionary attitudes that can keep gaming’s benefits from spreading beyond its most hardcore, traditional demographic. So today, Spencer says Microsoft is launching an industry-wide initiative to combat these issues by sharing solutions and technology and committing itself to aggressive enforcement. “First, gaming is for everyone. No one group ‘owns’ gaming. Instead, whether you’re new to gaming or are a diehard e-sports fan, you are welcome to play and welcome to all the fun and skill-building that comes with gaming. In this way, when everyone can play,… Read the full article…

PS5 Loading Time Demo Reportedly Revealed

A new video posted by Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki may have given us our first look at the potential power of the PlayStation 5. Mochizuki Tweeted out the video, saying this was “Sony’s official video comparing performance of PS4 Pro vs next-gen PlayStation.” The video compares the loading times and performance of Marvel’s Spider-Man between a PS4 Pro and the potentially named PS5, and it is nearly identical to the description given in Wired’s interview with PS5 lead architect Mark Cerny that revealed the first details of the next-generation PlayStation. Read the full article…

Making Sense of Call of Duty’s Development Drama

On this week’s Xbox show, Sony and Microsoft announced a partnership. Yes, you read that right! We talk about their mutual cloud-gaming initiative. Plus: Call of Duty’s development gets thrown into turmoil for next year, so we examine what effect it will have on the future of the franchise. And did Ubisoft just announce Splinter Cell or were they just “joking”? All that and more on this week’s Unlocked! Subscribe on any of your favorite podcast feeds, or click here to grab an MP3 download of this week’s episode. For more awesome content, check out this month’s episode of IGN Unfiltered, featuring a rare, in-depth interview with Too Human, Eternal Darkness, and Legacy of Kain developer Denis Dyack: Read the full article…

Review: ‘Swag and Sorcery’ from tinyBuild is a lot of things, but mostly it’s about the grind

tinyBuild, headquartered in Bellevue, Wash. and Amsterdam, is a development studio and publishing house dedicated to bringing out video games that are just plain weird. You can’t really accuse tinyBuild of chasing trends, being derivative, or winking at the camera. Many of its games are cheap, unique titles— Clustertruck, Rapture Rejects, Hello Neighbor, No Time to Explain — that often feel like dispatches from an alternate universe where they somehow make sense. Swag and Sorcery, from the same studios that created tinyBuild’s Punch Club and Graveyard Keeper, is a self-parodying attempt to streamline the modern computer role-playing game down to its base elements. There’s a village, there are a few areas outside of it that are full of monsters and loot, you’ve got a (goofy) quest from a (senile) king, and you have a crew of up to eight brave, idiosyncratic adventurers. At the start of the game, those adventurers Read the full article…

Alt-Frequencies is an interactive audio drama about government conspiracy and time travel

Time waits for no one, but occasionally, it does get stuck in a loop. So goes the premise of Alt-Frequencies, a new audio mystery in which players skim radio stations to uncover a government conspiracy. Alt-Frequencies is the latest game from Accidental Queens, creator of A Normal Lost Phone and Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story. Its latest tale — available now for mobile and PC — posits that our lives may be stuck in a never-ending time loop initiated by government officials. We just don’t know it yet. In order to expose the truth, players listen to different radio broadcasts, record relevant information, and send it back into the airwaves. It’s an interesting idea executed simply: swiping left or right will allow you to browse… Read the full article…

Game of Thrones Fans Spot Water Bottle in Series Finale

Spoiler Warning: spoiler for the series finale of Game of Thrones ahead. Eagle-eyed Game of Thrones fans spotted a plastic water bottle that accidentally made it into a shot of the series finale. The water bottle, which can be seen in the image below, was seemingly found by Twitter user @bethisloco and was soon spotted by several others. It appears in a brief shot as Tyrion is taken in shackles to the remaining heads of the great houses to decide his fate. The water bottle can be seen peeking out just behind Samwell Tarly’s leg while he’s sitting down. Read the full article…