Tuesday, 8 September 2020

PS5 Announcement Coming Tomorrow, Says UK Retailer GAME

ps5

It seemed like yet another week without any significant next-gen news, especially with Sony announcing a PlayStation VR spotlight till Friday. However, with the Xbox Series S being leaked and subsequently confirmed by Microsoft, it seems that plans have changed. According to the Guildford branch of UK retailer GAME on Twitter, "PS5 have scheduled an announcement tomorrow so things are about to kick off this week."

The retailer explicitly mentions "those awaiting pre-orders", which means that Sony could be announcing the date for PS5 pre-orders very soon. While it's still unclear whether we'll learn about the release date, a price point could very well be confirmed. No word yet on the rumored mid-September event for the console but that could be coming by next week.

The PS5 is currently slated to release in holiday 2020 with several launch titles like Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Bugsnax and Godfall being confirmed. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is also expected within the console's launch window. As always, stay tuned for more details in the coming days.


Xbox Series S Confirmed, "Smallest" Xbox Ever Priced at $299

Xbox Series S

After a significant leak today, Microsoft has confirmed the existence of the Xbox Series S and its $299 price. It hyped the console as being the "smallest" Xbox ever and that it would offer next-gen performance. The company promised to share more "soon" (emphasis on the "promise" part).

While it didn't confirm the $499 price tag for the Xbox Series X or both consoles releasing on November 10th, this seems to at least give more weight to a dedicated Xbox event this month. More details on the hardware will also likely be revealed though several details, like its GPU having 20 CUs clocked at 1.550 GHz, have been leaked. Perhaps Microsoft will also announce that Xbox Live multiplayer is going free.

There are plenty of possibilities but now the ball is in Sony's court. With both manufacturers waiting on the other to reveal prices, will we see a dedicated PS5 showcase revealing the console's release date and price? A PS5 event is still rumored to be taking place in mid-September so stay tuned for potential new details.


Cyberpunk 2077 Chinese Dubbing Has Over 150 Voice Actors

Cyberpunk 2077_01

CD Projekt RED's Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be a massive experience. But even with all the details on Life Paths and branching narrative chains, not many details were provided on how extensive the voice acting could be. The Chinese localization for the game may provide some clues though.

Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad recently tweeted out some images from the Chinese localization recording sessions for the game. Dubbing will be happening in Mandarin Chinese but what's really noteworthy are the amount of voice actors and lines. Over 150 voice actors are recording with four studios involved and 10,000 person hours.

Furthermore, the number of lines seems to be around 100,000 which could make for about 15 to 20 percent more voice acting than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with its expansions. It's also higher than Divinity: Original Sin 2 which had over 74,000 voiced lines. Though CD Projekt RED has yet to officially confirm the total number of English lines, this could be a hint at how much to expect.

Cyberpunk 2077 is currently slated to release on November 19th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.


Xbox Live Multiplayer May Still Become Free – Rumor

xbox live

Back in July, VentureBeat's Jeff Grubb revealed that multiplayer on Xbox Live would be going free in the future. This means no paywalls in free to play titles or having to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold just for playing multiplayer in the latest Call of Duty. When Microsoft said there were no changes coming to Xbox Live Gold, the rumors was thought to be debunked.

It seems, however, that it was simply delayed. When asked on Twitter about what happened to Xbox Live being free, Grubb noted, "Same thing that happened to the Series X price and release date, and the Series S itself, and the Game Pass news." This essentially implies that the news was delayed and not necessarily debunked.

Time will tell of course, especially with recent leaks for the Xbox Series S, the Xbox Series X being priced at $499 and both consoles having a release date of November 10th. Rumors have indicated an Xbox event for later this month, separate from the Xbox showcase at Tokyo Games Show. Perhaps there could be a digital event or Inside Xbox episode for all of this in the coming days. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.


Nintendo Patent Shows a New Standalone Joy-Con Style Controller

nintendo switch

If a recently registered patent by Nintendo is anything to go by, they might be looking into developing and releasing new standalone Joy-Con style controllers. The patent, which was filed in may and registered recently, shows various figures of the controller, which you can view below.

While the larger design of the controller seems to be mostly similar to what a single Joy-Con stick looks like, there are some notable differences. For instance, there doesn't seem to be any connector on the controller that is generally used to connect it to the Switch. Additionally, the + and – buttons on the Joy-Con controllers also seem to be missing.

It would make sense for Nintendo to release standalone Joy-Con sticks. The Nintendo Switch Lite doesn't have detachable controllers, and owners of the handheld might find great value in individual controllers, especially for local multiplayer. Meanwhile, there have been strong rumours of Nintendo releasing a more powerful 4K Switch model next year. If that turns out to be a TV-only SKU the way the Switch Lite is handheld-only, individually sold Joy-Con sticks might be the perfect accessory for it.

Of course, as is the case with any patent, there's no guarantees that this will materialize as an actual product, and could just be a case of Nintendo protecting its ideas and technology. It does, however, give us an indication of things that Nintendo might at least be considering. Stay tuned though, and we'll keep you updated should we learn anything more.

joy-con patent


Xbox Series X Will be Priced at $499, Launching on November 10 – Rumour

xbox series x

It seems the long-in-place floodgates that have held back crucial launch information on Microsoft's next-gen consoles are finally coming down. Just recently, we saw the first leaked image of the long-rumoured Xbox Series S, and now, a new report by Windows Central has revealed more information on when the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will launch, and what their prices will be.

As per the report, the Xbox Series X will cost $499, while the Xbox Series S will cost $299 (which is the price that the aforementioned recent leak mentioned as well). Microsoft have also made it abundantly clear that they're going to be pushing the Xbox All-Access financing plan as an option for those looking to purchase their new consoles. Windows Central's report reveals details on that as well, mentioning a $25 per month plan for the Xbox Series S and a $35 per month plan for the Xbox Series X.

Additionally, the report also mentions that Microsoft will be holding a press event soon (which falls in line with previous reports), where they will officially unveil the Xbox Series S at long last, and confirm the pricing and launch details for both consoles. The Series S' specs will likely also be shared, but they have previously been leaked- read more on that through here.

The report also claims that both the next-gen consoles are reportedly primed to launch on November 10.


RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 is Probably Coming to the Switch

rollercoaster tycoon 3

The PC community has had a long-standing love affair with Frontier Developments' 2004 amusement park management simulator RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, and it seems like the game might soon be coming to the Nintendo Switch as well. That makes sense. Like so many other games, it's perfect for the Switch.

What's interesting is that the game hasn't officially been announced for the Switch. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition did, however, recently receive an update on the eShop, and has actually been in the eShop's database since September 1 (via @NWPlayer123 on Twitter). Unlike retailer listings or other similar leaks, this one pretty much cements the game's arrival on the Switch, seeing as it's been found in the eShop itself.

An official announcement is likely coming soon, so stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, this isn't the only game by Frontier Developments coming to the Switch. Jurassic World Evolution will also be launching on Nintendo's hybrid system in November.


Xbox Series S – First Image Leaks, Estimated Price is $299

xbox

There's been no shortage of Xbox Series S leaks and speculation these past few months, and though Microsoft are yet to officially unveil it still, it seems our first look at the weaker and cheaper next-gen Xbox SKU has gone live already. Brad Sams of Thurott, who has accurately leaked information on the Xbox Series S (or Lockhart) over a period of roughly two years now, recently published a video, showing us our first look at an image of the console. 

It has a tower design similar to the Xbox Series X, but also has several noticeable differences. It looks less bulky, it has a giant vent right on the front (probably for cooling purposes), and it's white (as opposed to the Series X's black colour). Additionally, notably, the console also lacks a disc drive. 

Another crucial piece of information that Sams shares in his video is that the console's current estimated retail price is $299, which is an excellent price for a new next-gen console. Of course, this price is still subject to change and not exactly official (as Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad points out on Twitter), but $299 would be a very competitive price, if it turns out to be accurate. 

Again, Microsoft are yet to officially announce this, but it seems like that announcement won't be too far away. Recent reports have suggested that official details on the Xbox Series S will be coming before TGS 2020, which kicks off later this month.

The Xbox Series S' specs have also been previously leaked. Read all about them through here.


Assassin's Creed Valhalla's ESRB Rating Promises Brothels And Shrooms

Assassin's Creed Valhalla_04

It's time to once again return to the world of Assassin's Creed with Valhalla. As always, it will also come with a new historical setting (with a fair share of mysticism on the side), and this time around it's all about the time of the vikings. And well, it seems at the very least, you'll be partying like a viking, too.

The game's ESRB rating shows some new details, including some spicy stuff. Apparently, the game will take you to a brothel, or brothels, at some point as part of a mission. But the real fun is the mention of your character taking some shrooms. Apparently, at some point you'll consume some magic mushrooms, which will reflect in some sort of drug trip with distortions. It's unclear if this is a thing you can just regularly do, and constantly take these shrooms, or part of a story sequence. Either way, it seems the game is promising some wild times.

"This is an action-adventure game in which players assume the role of a Viking mercenary (Eivor) who travels through England to forge alliances, lead raids, and defeat rival clans/rulers. Players explore open-world environments, perform missions (e.g., hunting for items, battling enemies), and use stealth to discreetly kill human targets. Players also use swords, axes, arrows, and siege weapons to kill multiple enemies (e.g., soldiers, mythic boss characters) in frenetic melee-style combat. Combat is highlighted by screams of pain and frequent blood-splatter effects. Some weapons allow players to decapitate enemies; zoomed-in sequences depict victims' bones, organs, and muscles getting damaged by players' blade. The game contains some sexual material: a mission taking place in a brothel; topless women straddling men; a character agreeing to "lay with" a man (kissing is depicted before the scene fades to black). A handful of sequences depict screen distortion/discoloration and impaired movements after players' character consumes mushrooms or inhales mushroom-based fumes (dialogue states, "I may still be buzzing from these mushrooms."). Players' character can also engage in a drinking contests; later sequences depict the character stumbling as the screen tilts and blurs. The words "f**k" and "c*nt" appear in the dialogue."

Assassin's Creed Valhalla will release on November 17th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia, with PS5 and Xbox Series X versions also confirmed. We got to sit down with the game's Narrative Director to talk about various aspects of the game, which you read in full through here.


Kingdom Hearts Director Confirms Team Is Already Working On Next Title In Franchise

There have been a lot of ongoing narratives in the gaming industry, but none are quite as winding and strange as the Kingdom Hearts series. Beginning on the PS2, the series has continued on for almost 2 decades now, with Kingdom Heart 3 being a much anticipated conclusion, or so some thought, last year. But more games are on the way, and today we know a little more details on at least one.

In an interview with Famistu, series Director Tetsuya Nomura confirmed that his team was hard at work on the next game in the series. He didn't offer any details, only that the next title would be a "surprise." Thanks to Twitter user Audrey below for providing translations.

The next game in the series is set to come November 13th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memories. The next game after that, whatever form it'll ultimately take, seems to be aiming for 2022 for the series 20th anniversary, so most likely we'll hear something about it next year if that stays steady.


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