Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Oculus Quest 2 Launches October 13, Starts at $299

Oculus Quest, Facebook, VR

Today's Facebook Connect event was full of big announcements from the social media giant. However, the biggest reveal was the new Oculus Quest 2. News of the headset's existence has been leaking all over the place for the last few weeks, but today's confirmation included a staggering revelation. Not only is the upgraded headset everything the leaks said it would be, but it also is starting at just $299.

That price reduction is massive. This means scores of new players can hop in at a cheaper cost. Making VR something more people can get into will only make it better. After all, high-quality content won't come if the userbase isn't there. By coming in at under $300, Facebook and Oculus should grow that base by leaps and bounds.

Now, you're probably wondering exactly what you're getting if you haven't kept up with the leaks. This is a more powerful headset with a crisper display. For now, the refresh rate is only 72 hertz, but a later update will bring that number up to 90 hertz. On top of all that, the headset is 10% lighter than the original Quest.

The $299 model comes with 64 GBs of storage, while the $399 model brings a beefy 256 GBs. One hang-up for some people is that the headset will require a Facebook account to use. Soon, that will be a requirement for all Oculus Quest users, but this version will require it out of the gate. Whether or not you're comfortable with having a Facebook account is, of course, up to you.

Maybe best of all, you don't have to wait much longer to pick up a new headset. Oculus Quest 2 will be available on October 13. Pre-orders should go live soon, so keep your eyes out if you want to make sure you get one. With how popular the first Quest was, I wouldn't be surprised if these sold out quickly.

The post Oculus Quest 2 Launches October 13, Starts at $299 by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.

PS5 and Xbox Series X Pages Appear on StockX, Price Gouging to Come Soon

PS5 Xbox Series X PlayStation Controller August Price Reveal

If you've ever found yourself looking to pick up a hot new pair of sneakers or other popular collectibles, there's a good chance that you've found your way over to StockX at one time or another. The resale site that specializes in streetwear has become a go-to spot for many who are collectors of hard-to-find items, but it's also seemingly setting up for the advent of next-gen consoles, too.

Placeholder pages for both the PS5 and Xbox Series X appeared over on StockX recently ahead of pre-orders for each next-gen platform going live. While sales for either console haven't started occurring on StockX just yet, this is another major indicator that the re-sale market is surely going to be spicy once pre-orders do begin happening.

For those not familiar with how StockX works, it's a secondhand site that only allows the re-sale of new items. After products from the seller are sent to the company's HQ to be verified as real by a professional, it is then shipped out to the buyer of said item. The prices on StockX for all items work sort of like the stock market, with the average sale price typically fluctuating over time as both buyers and sellers find the sale value that each feels comfortable with

The reason I'm even calling attention to this is because, if you end up missing out on the first wave of pre-orders for either the PS5 or Xbox Series X, StockX will be a good site to keep an eye on to see how far people will go to gouge others for the consoles. It's a really good way of following the re-sale market and finding what most people are asking for of each next-gen platform. There will be a long sale history showing you how the market itself has developed and will give you a good idea of how much/how little you should pay if you end up looking to buy one of these consoles at re-sale.

That being said, this is something I still wouldn't personally encourage you to do. It's always better to buy each platform at their normal retail value. If you can't pre-order one of these consoles right away, just be patient. You'll surely be able to find one elsewhere if you give it enough time.

Xbox Series X pre-orders are set to go live next week on September 22. The PS5 still doesn't have a price or release date just yet, but we should be learning more later today.

The post PS5 and Xbox Series X Pages Appear on StockX, Price Gouging to Come Soon by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.

Nintendo Switch Online Subscriptions Top 26 Million, Plans to Enrich the Service


Today is yet another busy day for Nintendo fans. Alongside the announcement of a Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Presentation that's happening tomorrow, the company released its Corporate Management Policy Briefing. The briefing, which is aimed at investors, was packed full of details of how Nintendo has performed so far this fiscal year.

One of the key details of the briefing that was how the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service is performing. The service, which launched almost two years ago to the day, is now sitting an impressive 26 million paid members as of this month. With the Switch sitting at around 56 million units sold, the subscription base is now just below 50%.

The online subscription service has seen a huge spike following the launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. A paid membership is required to play any of Nintendo's titles online and with the popularity of New Horizons, coupled with the fact a large percentage of the game's social features requiring online play, it's little surprise to see it having such a positive impact on Nintendo's numbers.

Nintendo Switch Online

As well as granting players access to online play, the service contains access to a library of both NES and SNES titles. The catalogue of games is constantly growing and Nintendo just announced their next batch of arrivals — these include Donkey Kong Country 2 and Mario's Super Picross.

Within the briefing, Nintendo states that the "consumer base has quickly adopted this service" before explaining what the future holds. They say:

"Going forward, we want to further contribute to consumer satisfactuion while ensuring the long-term vitality of our platform by releasing attractive titles and enriching the Nintendo Switch Online service."

As well as confirming their impressive online subscription numbers, Nintendo also revealed that there are now over 200 million registered Nintendo accounts worldwide, owing a lot to Mario Kart Tour. They also shared that alongside the upcoming Super Mario Movie, they have "multiple other visual content expansion projects," in the works.

The post Nintendo Switch Online Subscriptions Top 26 Million, Plans to Enrich the Service by Sam Woods appeared first on DualShockers.

Cyberpunk 2077 PC Specs to Seemingly be Revealed in Upcoming Night City Wire Stream

cyberpunk 2077

One of the most-requested pieces of information that many Cyberpunk 2077 fans have been asking for within the past few weeks has involved the game's PC specifications. Despite being so close to launch, CD Projekt Red still hasn't divulged the recommended and required specs that those on PC will need to run the game. Luckily, it seems as though we're finally about to get our answer.

Mentioned via the official Cyberpunk 2077 Twitter account today, CD Projekt said that the game's upcoming Night City Wire stream, which is set to transpire this Friday on September 18, will no longer be showing off an in-depth look at the creation of the score for Cyberpunk. However, in its stead, CD Projekt Red it will "have some cool news that many of you request. Or should we say… *require*?" The tweet is clearly a hint at the requirements for the PC iteration of the title.

As for the requirements themselves, CD Projekt Red hasn't currently hinted at to what they could have in store, but considering the game will be hitting next-gen platforms eventually and will also boast ray tracing capabilities, those with beefy setups will surely be able to get a lot out of Cyberpunk 2077 on PC. If you haven't updated your own rig in quite some time, this might be a good game to finally convince you to do so.

Cyberpunk 2077 is set to hit PS4, Xbox One, and PC later this fall on November 19, with other iterations for PS5, Xbox Series X, and Stadia coming about down the road. As for this week's Night City Wire stream, it's set to kick off Friday at 12:00pm EDT/9:00am PDT.

The post Cyberpunk 2077 PC Specs to Seemingly be Revealed in Upcoming Night City Wire Stream by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.

WRC 9 Review — A Rewarding, Hardcore Rally Simulation


KT Racing's latest attempt in simulating one of the toughest racing segments in the world has resulted in a rewardingly challenging experience where the more you play, the more you love it.

Driving an agile car at high speed on a narrow, slippery road designed with many hairpin cuts and corners covered by snow, gravel, or rain might be the simplest definition for rally racing, but when it comes to the action, you get to understand that it's more than just driving.

The reason why I think of WRC 9 as one of the greatest rally simulations of this year is the fact that it teaches you how cruel a rally tournament can be when a very small mistake costs you a lot. With F1 2020, this year has already been a favorite one for me in the case of racing simulations, and with WRC 9, it's even better now. If you know nothing about Rally and its rules, it doesn't matter. You will fail dozens of times, but you will also learn dozens of tricks to avoid failure as well.

WRC 9 never gets easier, not even on the lowest difficulty levels. It's you who needs to master his/her own skills to beat the opponents. As you may know, rally is a race against time. You aren't supposed to overtake the rivals directly on the road. It's the overall time that determines the winner. So, there is an unintentional scripted AI system in here. Simply put, there's no encounter between you and an AI-controlled opponent. It's a race between you and yourself. You want to be the champion? You need to beat your own records again and again.

WRC 9 Night Mode

The difficulty system branches into two parts: the first one adjusts the records hit by opponents and the second one adjusts the impact of car damages. The destructibility of cars and its impact on the vehicle is undeniable. Sometimes you may reach a great record on a track, but it wouldn't be worth it if you damage your car more than a certain amount. Repairing cars in the middle of a tournament has some limits, and if you go beyond those, you will earn a penalty in your overall time. So, it's a challenge to spend your limited repair points in a way that benefits you the most.

After an initial test at the beginning of the game, there are two options to start your career. The first option is WRC Junior, which is the shortened version of a full rally season, which has less powerful cars and easier track roads. On the other hand, you can choose to take part in three WRC seasons with a full list of locations, complicated track roads, and hard-to-beat opponents.

There's no complaint about the handling of the cars. Each manufacturer is skilled in a particular area that directly affects your skill-tree. Other than that, each car feels different which makes it take a bit of time to get the hang of in the career mode. Participating in a historical race or a manufacturer's tryout during your optional events is a great opportunity to understand how uncomfortable it feels when you drive with a different car for the first time. And it's not a bad thing. It's exactly the way it should be.

WRC 9 Gameplay

During the season, you should handle your crew and your skill points in order to have a better understanding of what awaits in each rally session and how you should prepare. There are four different skill-trees that each expand your abilities in a certain area. You can unlock new positions at your crew or strengthen the existing ones to get new events, detailed weather forecasts, veteran mechanics, experienced agents, and more. But if you value your car more than other things, you can start upgrading the manufacturer's car in different ways. You should also keep an eye out for your own reputation if you want to get better offers from top manufacturers.

The managing section in WRC 9's career mode is a worthy feature, but it still needs more depth. It doesn't really give you huge control over everything, likely because you are only a driver of a manufacturer, but this mentality doesn't work out well. Nowadays, every career mode in the sports genre allows you to be the general manager of your team while playing a direct role in matches or races. Of course, it's not realistic most of the time, but that doesn't matter when it gives the player a lot of options to customize their career the way they want.

So, I think WRC 9 lacks a MyTeam-style mode where you would be able to set up your own team, recruit new drivers, and take part in the tournaments. Without such an improvement, the managing board in WRC 9 doesn't feel much different when compared to WRC 8.

WRC Intro

When it comes to graphics, WRC 9 doesn't look like a late 8th-gen title, but it's still a good looking game. I mean, there's nothing about visuals in WRC 9 that are jaw-dropping as it lacks a realistic look when it comes to the cockpit view of the car, but it's not that important. During a race, you are so concentrated on your driving that you can barely pay attention to anything other than the road, and barely listen to anything other than the rally navigator's voice.

Oh, and I said rally navigator. WRC 9's biggest miracle for me is the fact that I knew nothing about what the rally navigator's details meant. As I kept playing the game more while listening to his navigation, though, I learned what he meant more quickly than I would've ever expected. Definitely, it's admirable that the developers have built the track roads precisely enough that it completely matches the navigation.

For the fans of the official rally championship tournament, WRC 9 is likely a must-play title as it doesn't have anything bad enough to keep you from buying it. But for newcomers, I have to admit that you need to have some grit if you want to play the WRC series for the first time. It really requires a very high level of concentration while playing. If you are not in the mood for this style of play, you may want to just skip WRC 9.

The post WRC 9 Review — A Rewarding, Hardcore Rally Simulation by Mehrdad Khayyat appeared first on DualShockers.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time Demo Out Now for Pre-orders

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Crash Bandicoot fans' wait for more of their favorite platformer is about to over. The game launches on October 2 for PS4 and Xbox One. However, if you've decided to pre-order Crash 4 you can download the demo right now. It lets you play three levels from the campaign to give you an idea of what's in store for you in a few weeks. Check it out below.

Between Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 Activision has seemingly become a big fan of this marketing tactic. This makes back-to-back releases that the company has released a demo to pre-orders. It's an interesting move considering that many players use demos to decide if they want to buy the game. In these cases, you've already done that, so it just serves to make people feel FOMO and make the pre-order.

If Tony Hawk is anything to go by, it's been successful. That game has sold gangbusters in its first few weeks on the market. Of course, it certainly helps that the game is phenomenal. Hopefully, for Crash fans, this release fares similarly.

Either way, get out there and give the demo a download if you've already pre-ordered Crash 4. Personally, I wouldn't change my pre-order habits just to play a demo. So, if you're like me and never pre-order, it's probably not worth doing it here, even if you are a massive Crash Bandicoot fan. After all, it's only two weeks until release.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time comes to PS4 and Xbox One on October 2.

The post Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time Demo Out Now for Pre-orders by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.

Overcooked! Developers Team 17 Add Assist Mode in the Name of Accessibility

Overcooked Accessibility

Anyone who's played either of the Overcooked! games understand the struggle that is inherent in the game's design. Players often have to replay levels to get the proper amount of stars to proceed because they weren't able to be as efficient as the game wanted them to be. Despite the need for stars, the game throws every obstacle it can find in the player's way to prevent them from getting them. However, all that will change in the upcoming Overcooked! All You Can Eat with the inclusion of an accessibility menu.

In a trailer posted on the official Team 17 YouTube channel yesterday, Overcooked! All You Can Eat is making accessibility the goal of the upcoming remaster. The video lists off features including an assist mode that increases the round timer, the received score, and the recipe time, as well as an accessibility menu that allows players to tailor the experience for themselves and their needs.

A blog post on the Team 17 website goes into more detail about what each of the accessibility features mentioned in the trailer actually do. For color-blind options, player characters aren't just determined by which color circle they're standing in, but now each different player stands in a different shape as well. The game features a dyslexia-friendly text option as well as scalable U.I. for all text and menus.

While some of the humor and fun of Overcooked! comes from the struggle and challenge, these options are being put in place to allow for all types of players to enjoy the game. Team 17 says, "we wanted to make sure that Overcooked! All You Can Eat has options to allow for a less chaotic co-op cooking experience where desired!"

Make sure to check out our review of Overcooked! 2 by DualShockers' Logan Moore as well as this guide on how to get a three-star rank on every level.

The post Overcooked! Developers Team 17 Add Assist Mode in the Name of Accessibility by Peter Hunt Szpytek appeared first on DualShockers.

Xbox Series X and S Pre-Order Timing Revealed

xbox series x

Microsoft announced last week that both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles would become available for pre-order next week on September 22, but wasn't divulged was the specific time in which each platform would go up for sale on retail sites. Fortunately, it seems as though that lingering question has now been answered.

Over on the official retail website for Target, the page that lists both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S claims that sales will begin at 11:00am EDT on September 22. Assuming that this time ends up being true (which it very likely is), this will then surely be the time that both next-gen platforms go up for sale at all retailers.

In fact, everyone's favorite follower of gaming deals over on Twitter, @Wario64 has said that he has heard that other retailers, such as GameStop, will be opening up early on the 22nd at this same time. As such, this is surely the finalized time in which the new consoles go up for sale. Microsoft will surely verify as much later today you'd have to imagine as well.

It has taken a long time to get to this point, but if you're looking to snag an Xbox Series X or S model next Tuesday, you better have your wallet at the ready. As for the PS5, there's a good chance that we might finally learn later today when Sony's next-gen platform will become available later this year as well.

The post Xbox Series X and S Pre-Order Timing Revealed by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.

Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster Rumors Grow With Retailer Listing for PS4, Xbox One, and Switch

Mass Effect

Since the original trilogy concluded in 2012 with Mass Effect 3, fans of BioWare's sci-fi RPG series have been clamoring for an HD remaster of the complete trilogy for years. Speculation has always grown that, eventually, EA will succumb to fan wishes and release a remastered collection of the series, with a new retailer listing throwing more fervor onto the potential of a Mass Effect remaster.

Users on social media discovered that a store listing for a Mass Effect Trilogy Remastered collection appeared on Portuguese retailer Gaming Replay, though the listing was swiftly removed after being uncovered. You can check out a screenshot of the listing below:

According to the information that was listed on Gaming Replay, the Mass Effect Trilogy Remastered collection is planned for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch and scheduled for release in October 2020. Additionally, the collections are priced at 59.99 € each on PS4 and Xbox One, while the Switch version is priced at 49.99 €. The listings also feature placeholder box art for each version with the logo from the Mass Effect Trilogy collection that was previously released for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

Given that neither Electronic Arts or BioWare have officially confirmed or announced a remaster of the complete trilogy, obviously this all should be taken with a healthy amount of salt. Rumors around a remastered version of the trilogy have persisted for some time, and nothing concrete has come yet from either the publisher or developer. However, earlier in the year there was some speculation that EA has plans to announce an upcoming HD remaster, lending to rumors that we might finally get to return to BioWare's acclaimed trilogy at some point on modern hardware.

The post Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster Rumors Grow With Retailer Listing for PS4, Xbox One, and Switch by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.

Twitch Plays Microsoft Flight Simulator Managed to Avoid Disaster

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Crowdplaying games is a tradition on Twitch, and over the past several years we've seen numerous livestreams where players collectively tried to take on challenging games simultaneously. From the phenomenon of "Twitch Plays Pokemon" to more challenging games like Dark Souls, Twitch has proven its community is up to the task of trying to finish games with thousands of players at a time. Of course, it was only a matter of time before its sights were set on Microsoft Flight Simulator, but surprisingly, things didn't end up in disaster like you might have expected.

Game developer Rami Ismail set up a "Twitch Plays" version of Microsoft Flight Simulator, which allows players to input commands for the game through the chat in Twitch. Given the complexity of Microsoft Flight Simulator and managing to successfully land a plane, one might have expected things to go awry pretty quickly. However, it seems like the Twitch experiment led to a successful, safe landing, which you can check out in the stream VOD below:

Since its release last month, Microsoft Flight Simulator has taken off (no pun intended) with players thanks to its in-depth flight controls and surprisingly detailed and accurate maps of locations around the world. Several players have used the flight sim as the change to explore different locations around the world, especially in light of the situation around the coronavirus pandemic and being unable to travel. Additionally, the game's real-time weather mapping has allowed to see firsthand some devastating weather impacts in the world, such as Hurricane Laura in the south and the wildfires unfolding across the west coast of the US.

Microsoft Flight Simulator is available now on PC, and will also be coming to Xbox Series X and Series S at a later date.

The post Twitch Plays Microsoft Flight Simulator Managed to Avoid Disaster by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.

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