Sony announces the PlayStation Classic, its own mini retro console

If you’re the kind of person who has two beers and regularly launches into the same 20 minute-long ode to the original PlayStation for playing a seminal role in the maturation of gaming as an art form, well, do we have some news for you. Sony just announced its intentions to give the PlayStation the (winning) Nintendo Classic treatment with a tiny to-scale version of the PS1 called the PlayStation Classic. The teeniest new console is scheduled to hit shelves on December 3, retailing for $99.99. Like Nintendo’s wildly popular SNES and NES Classics that paved the way, Sony’s PlayStation Classic will come pre-loaded with a cache of well-loved games. The PlayStation Classic’s lineup will feature 20 classic games, including Final Fantasy VII [editor’s note: hell yeah], Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms.  “Almost 25 years ago, the original PlayStation was introduced to the world. Developed Read the full article…

Nintendo is offering an exclusive Fortnite bundle with the Switch

Fortnite has taken the world by storm. In fact, the game is so popular that Epic has released versions for PC, Xbox, PS4, iOS, Android and the Nintendo Switch, making the game about as accessible as possible. The popularity of the game stems from the general popularity of the Battle Royale genre and popular streamers like Ninja, who have made the game so much fun to watch. But it also comes from the fun, and often fleeting, skins, dances and pick axes the game offers in its Item Shop. On October 5th, folks interested in the Switch can pick up some extra Fortnite swag. It’s a bundle royale! A #NintendoSwitch #Fortnite bundle including special in-game items and 1,000 V-Bucks will make the jump into stores on 10/05. https://t.co/5049PRWbjr pic.twitter.com/qoraUQA5DO — Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 18, 2018 Nintendo is releasing a bundle that will include an exclusive Fortnite skin, glider Read the full article…

Old media giants turn to VC for their next act

The Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 eras weren’t kind to the world’s largest media conglomerates, throwing their business models into question, creating whole new categories of content consumption, and bringing online competition to subscription and ad pricing. Many of the media giants from the 1990s and early 2000s remain market leaders with multi-billion dollar valuations, however, and have become active investors in startups as a tactic to help themselves evolve. Of the traditional media companies that have committed to corporate venturing, there are two distinct strategies: those whose investing seems to be about replacing the historic classifieds section of newspapers and diversifying into a range of consumer-facing marketplaces, and those whose investing is concentrated on capturing an early glimpse (and early equity stake) in startups reshaping media. Replacing Classifieds, Investing in Marketplaces Mathias Doepfner, CEO of Axel Springer. The company’s startup accelerator is one of the most active in Europe. Read the full article…

Sony is launching a PlayStation Classic console this December loaded with 20 games

Sony is following in Nintendo’s footsteps and bringing back its original PlayStation console nearly 25 years after its initial release as a miniature gaming device called the PlayStation Classic, the company announced today. The device will cost $99.99 ( €99.99 / 9,980 yen / £89.99) and, similar to Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classic consoles, will come pre-loaded with 20 “genre-defining” titles, including Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3, and Ridge Racer Type 4. The device will launch globally on December 3rd. In addition to a standard mini-PlayStation, buyers will also get two classic PS1 controllers for games that support local multiplayer when they purchase the bundle. We don’t yet have a full list of games, but Sony’s press release confirms… Read the full article…

Nintendo Switch Online launches today — here’s how to join

Nintendo Switch Online is scheduled to launch later today, September 18th, shortly after 11PM ET / 8PM PT. Once it arrives, the free online gaming that Switch owners have enjoyed since the console’s launch will come to an end. To enjoy the same games online, you’ll need a subscription to the service. Thankfully, buying into the service doesn’t cost very much, and it will grant you access to more than just online gameplay. You’ll also be able to chat with friends via the Switch Online app, back up your precious game saves to the cloud (though there are a few caveats), and play a growing collection of retro NES games online or with a pal locally. Those games require an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription if you want to keep… Read the full article…

Fortnite is not the biggest game on YouTube this year

This year, it’s felt like Fortnite has taken over the world: seemingly every teen is playing it, big sports events always have stars doing in-game dances, and even Drake likes to drop onto the island from time to time. When it comes to video content, some of the most circulated and widely talked-about gaming clips tend to be wild plays or funny Fortnite moments. But, don’t let the hype deceive you: Fortnite hasn’t actually overtaken every corner of the internet. Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s director of gaming content and partnerships, does admit that battle royale games, in general, have been exploding on the platform, thanks to the likes of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Call of Duty’s recent Blackout mode. Despite that, none of these games… Read the full article…

Do Japanese Games Now Occupy the Space Between Indie and AAA?

If you ask someone who grew up in the 90s to describe their childhood, there’s a good chance they’d begin listing the epic worlds and stories they experienced in video games and animated series from Japan. In the era we’re talking about, you had the sprawling world and memorable dungeons of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the sudden murder of your party member and main healer Aerith in Final Fantasy VII, Psycho Mantis hauntingly reading the save data on your console in Metal Gear Solid, and encountering your first undead in the Spencer Mansion in Resident Evil. Elsewhere it was watching Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion late at night, or tuning in early before school to catch the adventures of Goku, Ash or Naruto. Read the full article…

PlayStation Classic Announced and Dated

Sony has announced the PlayStation Classic, which will come with 20 pre-loaded games and be released December 3 at an MSRP of $99.99 USD ($129.99 CAN, $149.99 AUD). Sony’s very own mini retro console will come with Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3, Wild Arms, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, and other ‘legendary titles,’ which will be announced before the year’s end, all in their original format. The PlayStation Classic is approximately 45% smaller than the original PlayStation, and Sony has emulated the original packaging as much as possible. Each unit will come with an HDMI and USB cable, and two original (pre DualShock) controllers, though you will have to buy a compatible USB AC adaptor, not included, to use the console. Read the full article…

Destiny 2: Forsaken Review

Destiny 2: Forsaken is everything I could have hoped for in an expansion to Bungie’s shared-world shooter – and more. With impressive cutscenes, including the gut-punch death of Cayde-6, it adds drama and a darkness that keeps me motivated. The raid offers intricate challenges and larger-than-life bosses to destroy for any team brave enough to face them for a chance at great rewards. Stunning new locations, like the Dreaming City, keep me in awe while hunting for secrets and a plethora of incentivisation improvements to the Power Level grind make Destiny 2 feel like the game I fell in love with again. This quest for vengeance, which begins with a grandiose prison-break sequence filled with witty wisecracks, introduces you to new friends like an overweight Fallen crime boss named Spider and returning faces like fan-favorite Petra Venj. Each brings a welcome voice that adds a new mystery to the universe Read the full article…

Loot boxes face scrutiny from an international coalition of gambling authorities

The world of online gaming is changing so quickly that players, developers, publishers and regulators are all scrambling to keep up with each other. Case in point: loot boxes, randomized in-game rewards that may or may not have monetary value or be purchasable with real money, are after years of deployment only now being scrutinized globally for being what amounts to thinly veiled gambling. A suggestive new study from British researchers and a just-announced coalition of governments are the latest indicators that the loot box phenomenon and its derivatives likely won’t continue to be the wild west they’ve been for the last few years. Many factors have led games to resemble services or channels more than pieces of entertainment with a start and end. And that in turn has changed how these games are monetized. As an alternative to a $60 up-front cost or a $10/month subscription, a game may Read the full article…

Lego designer combines Nintendo Labo form with Lego functionality

Although Nintendo’s Labo kits come with pre-cut cardboard and step-by-step instructions showing you how to make every fold, at its core, it’s a platform that leaves room for other interpretations and open-ended possibilities. And if anyone can get the most out of a platform that was made to be tinkered with, it’s a Lego designer. Industrial designer Vimal Patel first made headlines with his Nintendo Switch accessories like his Lego kickstand and steering wheel controller mount back in April. Now, he’s back with another video that shows him remixing the Nintendo Labo Variety kit with Lego. Patel’s experiments include using Lego to make sturdy piano keys, a fishing rod, and motorbike handlebars, as well as a controller variant that lets… Read the full article…

The Xbox 360 controller’s Xbox button masterfully solved the wireless multiplayer problem

In today’s digital age, it sometimes feels like hardware has taken a back seat to the software that drives out devices. Button of the Month will look at what some of those buttons and switches are like on devices old and new to appreciate how we interact with our devices on a physical, tactile level. Xbox button (Xbox 360) There are many baffling design decisions on the Duke, the original Xbox controller. The main one is that the giant Xbox logo in the middle doesn’t actually do anything. It’s the anti-button: big, glossy, attention-grabbing, and completely useless. Microsoft eventually fixed the Xbox button on the next generation of the controller for the Xbox 360, featuring it as a central part of its design: a 3D button emblazoned… Read the full article…

Bad North is a scaled-down RTS that’s perfect for the Switch

Real-time strategy games and consoles typically don’t go well together. The genre is all about managing a lot of different jobs very quickly, and, typically, the best way to do that is with a mouse and keyboard. But Bad North, which launched last month, goes against this conventional wisdom. It pares back the genre to its bare essentials, creating something that’s streamlined and approachable instead of overwhelming. It’s the rare RTS that works well with a controller. “We’ve made a conscious effort to resist adding a lot of complexity to the game,” says Oskar Stålberg, one half of Bad North developer Plausible Concept. The first thing you’ll notice about Bad North — or maybe the second, after its cute and clean visuals — is that it… Read the full article…