Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Xbox Series S Has Been Officially Confirmed, Priced at £299

Xbox Series S Official

Following a load of leaks last night that reportedly revealed the upcoming Xbox Series S along with prices also being leaked, Xbox has now officially revealed the smaller, budget version of the next-generation console and its price.

Yesterday, we saw the design and price for the Xbox Series S through a series of leaks through what looked like a promotional video showing a far smaller Xbox design next to the chunky Xbox Series X. The case, shown in a sleek white and with a large black grill on its one side certainly looks pretty, and it also appears to be all-digital with no disc drive present in the marketing image you can find below..

Xbox hasn't revealed anything else other than the official marketing material and the price. But we do know that for $299 players can apparently expect next-generation performance in the "smallest Xbox ever." There's also the official Series S logo in the bottom right of the image.

It's certainly no lie that the leak pushed Xbox to make the announcement following a fun tweet earlier this morning of people at the company noticing the leaks that circulated last night.

More details will be apparently shared soon, and I wouldn't be surprised if those details are revealed later today or at some point this week through an official Xbox Wire blog post.

Also following in the footsteps of the leaks, Windows Central reported on the Xbox consoles and confirmed that apparently the Xbox Series X is priced at $499. Additionally, it's noted that the consoles are to launch on November 10, 2020. These confirmations come from sources to the outlet and detail that the Series S release will also cost $25 a month if paying with Xbox All Access financing.

The Xbox Series X will apparently cost $499 for $35 a month with the same financing option, of course, the Series X details have not yet been officially confirmed.

The post Xbox Series S Has Been Officially Confirmed, Priced at £299 by Ben Bayliss appeared first on DualShockers.


Super Mario 35th Anniversary Announcements Were Reportedly Scheduled for April

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

The Super Mario 35th Anniversary Direct has been, for me at least, one of the few high points of a pretty rough year. Super Mario 3D world is finally coming across from the Wii U and has additional content in Bowser's Fury. We have a new Mario Kart that allows us to race around our house, a Mario Battle Royale and most importantly Super Mario 3D All-Stars, which is coming out next week.

If a leak, as reported by Wario64 on Twitter, is to be believed however, the announcement and release dates of these games could have been very different. Taken directly from a page from Nintendo's official website, which has now been removed, is an image outlining the Super Mario Maker 2 Ninji Speedrun event.

While the speedrun event is now scheduled for later this year, the image in question reveals that it was due to take place between April 14 and April 21 this year. It also details that the 35 fastest players would win a commemorative medal, something which hasn't been mentioned since. This all means that Nintendo was intending to make the announcements a lot earlier.

Nintendo has been putting a message about COVID at the start of all of their Directs, warning that "release dates and other information presented in this video are subject to change." Although the warning has been there for a while, and rumours swirling that the pandemic has hit them hard, this is the best indication we have at just how big the impact has been.

Ultimately, while it may feel disappointing, Nintendo has put their staff's safety first during the global pandemic and that's the right decision. Super Mario 3D All-Stars is less than two weeks away, as it drops on Nintendo Switch on September 18, so we don't have too long left to wait.

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The Xbox Series S Design and Price Have Leaked

The Xbox Series S is by far the worst-kept secret about Microsoft's plans for this holiday, let alone video games in 2020. From references to its existence in code for various Windows and Xbox software, to retail units referencing it in their packaging to industry insiders and reporters talking about the console, it's been seen as a given that it would provide a cheaper alternative to the superpowered behemoths launching this fall.

Originally spotted by Brad Sams at Thurott, an image likely taken from a promotional video made to announce the features a white console that resembles the shape of the Xbox One S and Xbox One X models and the size of the Xbox Series X. Based on the image, the console doesn't appear to feature a disc drive. On top of the seemingly missing disc drive, the Xbox Series S also features a fan located in the same spot as the current Xbox consoles that's shaped like the fan on top of the Series X. The image also says that the suggested retail price for the console will be $299.

Following the initial report, multiple industry analysts, reporters and insiders have taken to Twitter to confirm the leak's credibility, including confirmation that the design is real and that the Series S won't feature a disc drive.

Following confirmation from multiple sources across the board, another video of the device has seemingly hit Twitter.

It's been known for a long time that if the Series S did exist that it would be a far cheaper alternative to the presumably-hundreds-of-dollars more expensive Xbox Series X. What's interesting is just how cheap the device really is. While Sony has a version of the PS5 that also doesn't have a disc drive, it's not likely to be as cheap as the Series S seems to be.

The post The Xbox Series S Design and Price Have Leaked by Charlie Wacholz appeared first on DualShockers.


Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory: What Did Tetsuya Nomura Say in the New Japanese Interviews? Too Much For One Title

Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory let it go feature

Square Enix published an official interview for Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory on the Japanese PlayStation blog on September 7. Simultaneously, our Japanese peers at Famitsu, Dengeki Online, and 4Gamer published similar interviews. The Japanese interviews are with Melody of Memory Game Director Masanobu Suzui of Indies Zero, Game Producer Ichirou Hazama of Square Enix, and Kingdom Hearts Series Director Tetsuya Nomura. Our own interview is live here with some tidbits and details on the game's development. The main brunt of the interviews overlap with each other, however, some of them had pretty interesting tidbits.

We've read the Japanese interviews, and translated below the new details we learned through them.

In the Japanese interviews, Tetsuya Nomura was most notably asked about the game's story and Kairi's memories. Nomura never directly answered. However, he mentioned Melody of Memory will have a different way of telling its story compared to other Kingdom Hearts games. Nomura was also asked questions regarding the title "Melody of Memory", its abreviation MoM, and if it's hinting at the Master of Masters or not. He didn't really answer that either:

PS Blog: "Kairi's memories were never revealed. If the game looks back on everything that happened until now, will that include Kairi's memories?"

Tetsuya Nomura: "In the Kingdom Hearts games so far, the story develops as you play the game… That's not how it goes in this game. You'll be able to confirm what I mean once you try out the game yourself."

PS Blog: "A lot of fans are expecting this game's story to be closely related to Kairi's memories".

Tetsuya Nomura: "That's just as planned (laughs)".

PS Blog: "Many fans also believe the Master of Masters will appear in this game because of the title. There's also someone with a black coat in the trailer".

Tetsuya Nomura: "That's also just as planned (laughs). Actually, I hesitated a lot for the title. Because I didn't want it to be so similar to Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories. But not other title would fit better, so I at least used "Memory" instead of "Memories" (laughs)".

Tateuya Nomura also mentioned he wrote the script for the World Trip mode, the main mode of Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory. When asked about whether Melody of Memory takes place after Kinghom Hearts III or not, he only mentioned there's a short Episode showing what happened before the Remind DLC.

Masanobu Suzui also said the game's development is "pretty much over and in its final checks".

He also gave us the number of Worlds in Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory:

Masanobu Suzui: "There are 16 Kingdom Hearts Worlds, 31 Disney Worlds, and 33 "Dark Hole": places with only boss songs."

Masanobu Suzui also added that simply clearing the main mode of the game, the World Trip mode without doing any optional content will take you around ten hours. He further added they have no plans to make DLC for Melody of Memory, and how it shows they're confident it's a full-fledged game that will keep players occupied for a while as is.

Lastly, Tetsuya Nomura teased the future of the series following Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory:

Famitsu: "The Dark Seeker arc ended with Kingdom Hearts III. However many questions are still left unanswered. The Secret Movie also brought up new developments. What can we expect for the future of the Kingdom Hearts series?"

Tetsuya Nomura: "Kingdom Hearts will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022."

Famitsu: "Yeah."

Tetsuya Nomura: "So… we're working on things as we get closer to it (laughs). I'm already thinking about the next game following Melody of Memory and the Kingdom Hearts team is already working on something new. Also, Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory was made before we started working on the next game, so the main staff helped working on it too. I'm not sure yet what we'll be able to announce and when, but I'm sure it'll be surprisingly amazing, so look forward to it".

Tetsuya Nomura already teased 2 more Kingdom Hearts projects when Melody of Memory was first announced.

In an English interview, we also learned that there are currently no plans to port past Kingdom Hearts games to Nintendo Switch. An event celebrating Melody of Memory will also be held this November in Union Cross.

Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory will launch on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on November 13. The game will be out two days earlier in Japan, on November 11. You can preorder it on Amazon to support DualShockers.

The post Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory: What Did Tetsuya Nomura Say in the New Japanese Interviews? Too Much For One Title by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.


Kingdom Hearts Director Tetsuya Nomura Comments on The Possibility of Switch Ports

Kingdom Hearts

Many publications including yours truly recently released interviews with Kingdom Hearts Series Creator and Director Tetsuya Nomura as well as Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Masanobu Suzui and Producer Ichirou Hazama regarding details of the upcoming title as well as the series at large moving forward. Melody of Memory will be the first game in the franchise making its way to the Nintendo Switch and, according to Nomura, we likely won't see any previous entries making their way to the platform.

In an interview with Nintendo Enthusiast, Nomura explained that there are no plans in motion to getting any older titles to the Switch. In the past, developer Square Enix looked into porting them to the Nintendo console but decided against it because they found too many technical hurdles. With Kingdom Hearts being my favorite video game franchise this is disappointing to hear, but it does make sense to a degree. While we don't know the specific difficulties it is a possibility that the issue is memory storage, specifically on the Nintendo Switch cartridge.

Each cartridge can have 8, 16, or 32GB. We've only seen a few titles use the 32GB cartridge as those are notoriously expensive compared to the other two options. The Witcher 3 and L.A. Noire are two of these games known for utilizing 32GB cartridges. Even so, only 29.8GB can be used, and based on the PlayStation listing of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 Remix, it could take almost 48GB to get the collection on Switch. There would likely be some cutbacks that would lower the storage size but seemingly not low enough to get to the required amount.

Again there is no confirmation as to whether or not that is the specific problem, but based on what we know, memory could play a factor. At the very least the Kingdom Hearts franchise is available on both PlayStation and Xbox giving players numerous options to jump into the series for the first time.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory will release on November 13 later this year on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. You can pre-order it right now for PS4 and Switch on Amazon.

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Latest Horizon Zero Dawn PC Patch Further Addresses Crashes

hoirzon zero dawn

Since launching on PC in August, Horizon Zero Dawn has seen several patches to address several performance issues players have been having. Moving to an open platform was always going to introduce issues like these. After all, it's near-impossible to account for every type of PC configuration. Doubly so when working in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. That said, you have to respect how hard the team at Guerrilla Games is working to deliver a quality product for everyone.

While this patch continues the team's focus on cleaning up Horizon Zero Dawn's technical issues, that's not all that's been updated. The team has also provided several improvements to other areas. HDR has been tinkered with. Mouse controls and aiming received fixes. They've even done some work on cutscenes, among other things.

That said, the crash and performance problems are at the forefront. Of course, not everything is working as intended, but it's slowly getting there. In this update alone, the team has fixed ten different crash issues. So, while there is still work to be done, Guerrilla has more than demonstrated that they'll get it done.

Horizon Zero Dawn is available now on PC and PS4. The PC version looks absolutely stunning. If it doesn't have you excited for what Horizon Forbidden West will look like on PS5, I'm not sure what will. Of course, that game isn't coming until next year. However, that won't stop fans from dreaming about what Guerrilla's sequel can be. Hopefully, we see more by the end of the year.

The post Latest Horizon Zero Dawn PC Patch Further Addresses Crashes by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


Ion Fury Expansion Is Even More Fast-Paced, Classic FPS Action

Ion Fury

Ion Fury is a throwback to classic FPS games. The Build Engine game from 3D Realms and Voidpoint was hit when it released on PC last year. Since then, it's come to Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. And now, the dev team is set to drop a brand new expansion. While we don't yet have a firm release date or even a name, we do have a teaser. Give it a watch below.

As expected, the Ion Fury expansion teaser is fast-paced and full of explosions. While we might not know much about what's being added with the update, it's safe to say that a grenade launcher will heavily feature. The teaser also has a few other weapons, including a minigun, but otherwise, it's hard to take too much away from the teaser.

That said, if the team can continue to nail the feel of old-school FPS games, this expansion will be a success. The hope is that they go really big and deliver something that completely changes the game. They certainly have a chance to get fans' blood pumping with some high-quality content.

Ion Fury is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The expansion is set to launch at some point in 2021. It's a great time to be a fan of old-school FPS games. Between this and the impending early access launch of Brutal Force, there's soon to be plenty to play. And, with a Doom Eternal expansion dropping next month, there's quite literally something for everybody.

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Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Interview — Directors Talk Development and In-Game Secrets

Who else had a new Kingdom Hearts console game on their 2020 bingo card this year? We certainly didn't, and the reveal of Melody of Memory caught us by surprise in its early teases and later reveal. Taking some of the most popular elements from the Theaterythm series, the spin-off is a departure from Kingdom Hearts 3 sporting an action rhythm gameplay scheme and online modes.

DualShockers got an opportunity to sit down with Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory's Director Masanobu Suzui and Producer Ichirou Hazama to discuss some of our burning questions: notably, if this new game will point to where the mainline story is heading, what new songs we can expect, and what impact they hope that gameplay will bring to new and returning Kingdom Hearts fans, alike.


DualShockers: Can you tell us what sparked the first idea or inspiration that went into making KH: MoM? Is it an idea you had for the series for a long time?

Masanobu Suzui: Hazama-san and I were working together to create these rhythm action game series called Theaterythm. That series had been producing titles over the span of eight years, and they had expanded from the Final Fantasy series to Dragon Quest and now we are expanding to the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

Because there are so many songs that have made an impression on players' hearts, we were very interested in the idea.

At the team, we tried to develop a plan to create a game and presented it to Nomura-san. At the time, we weren't able to move forward with the project and the idea remained up in the air. Disney took notice of it after a few years and they re-approached Nomura-san, saying, "Would we be interested in making a rhythm action game using the Kingdom Hearts franchise?"

Nomura-san felt perhaps it was an appropriate time to do something like this, so that is how the project came to life.

DS: The Kingdom Hearts games have always had a strong connection to music. Which pieces of music or songs did you personally feel most passionate about including to represent the series in MoM?

MS: In terms of choosing which songs, for any Kingdom Hearts title — any song really got you to the edge of their seats. There are many songs that are very emotionally moving and some parts people would cry over. It has a lot of great songs that taps into the players' emotions. As a player myself, there are a lot of songs, phrases, and melodies that ring true and are very impressionable. It wasn't so much a focus on any individual piece… more like it was hard choosing. There is a limit to how many songs we can include in the game, so selecting the songs was the bigger challenge.

DS: It was initially announced that KH: MoM would feature over 140 songs. Will that include any remixes/new interpretations of past KH music? Are there any brand new songs?

MS: When you open up the title screen, you will hear a newly-arranged track for a Kingdom Hearts song. Another thing to look forward to is during the staff roll, you will hear another newly-remixed song. In terms of the actual songs that you will be playing through in the game, those will all be the original tracks. The reason we are doing that is because the point of the game is to walk you through the experiences of the various titles within the franchise and bring back those memories — "Melody of Memory."

We have so many songs to choose from and work with that we deliberately chose the original versions to incorporate into this game.

DS: Speaking of, would you say Melody of Memory is a good entry point for those who didn't play the Kingdom Hearts series in the past?

MS: You hit the nail right on the head; it is unmistakably going to be a great introduction into the Kingdom Hearts series. Even as I was creating it I felt that revisiting some of the previous titles really jogged my memory. I even took a look at the remixes as well, and I've realized how long it's been since I've played it for the first time.

With all of the music incorporated the game, there are parts where you are taking a look at cutscenes from the previous titles and you have the narration done by Kairi walking you through the memorable scenes. It really will give you an idea of what the story's narrative is. I felt it was a good condensed, enriched experience that brings emotional weight. I think people playing Kingdom Hearts for the first time will really get a taste of that experience.

We had some developers on the team who are new to the series play the game, and they themselves were very excited about the tracks chosen. It was a great experience for them as well. They felt after playing the music portion of it, they became interested in some of the older titles and wanted to experience it in full. So we are hoping that will be conveyed to the players as well and will allow for people to get interested and learn more deeply about Kingdom Hearts titles.

DS: What was the process like of deciding which Disney Worlds would be included in MoM?

MS: With the gameplay of Melody of Memory, we have this mode called "World Tour" which you are going through the different stages and worlds. We tried to follow along with the story and the narrative of the Kingdom Hearts series. We made sure to go to areas where there was a boss fight in the specific world. We also tried to choose as many Disney worlds as possible, but we had to take into consideration where players were able to go when playing the original games.

We're hoping that it won't feel like a rush through a collection of the entire series, but it feels robust.

DS: What were the biggest challenges in trying to implement the mechanics and gameplay of KH into a rhythm game experience?

MS: One of the few things that come to mind, we tried to reconstruct the Kingdom Hearts gameplay experience in a 3D environment. One of the things we focused on was character movements.

Specifically how the characters move and their motion set. In the original titles, Sora swings his Keyblade in a very smooth movement. When you are fitting that for a rhythm game, you want to hit the button and react immediately to hit your enemies. Our challenge was how do you make it look like the movement from a Kingdom Hearts game but still have that kind of mechanic incorporated.

We took a style that is utilized a lot in Japanese animation where you deliberately adjust the keyframes so the animation gets the 'exact hit.' That way we have that sort of button mechanic work properly, but Sora will move exactly like in a mainline Kingdom Hearts game. We worked very closely with the Kingdom Hearts team on the console games to get the movement right, and we tried to do that with all the characters.

DS: Will dual English/Japanese audio be a possibility for the release of Melody of Memory?

Ichiro Hazama & MS: It's already set, so if you buy the Japanese version of the game you will get the Japanese audio. If you get the overseas version, you get the English voice. I'm afraid we won't have dual-language functions.

DS: Will the online mode include rankings to keep track of the best players?

MS: It's a bit unusual; we've seen Birth by Sleep do an ad-hoc multiplayer in the past, but it is unusual. It takes inspiration from the Theaterythm series. Curtain Call had the online competitive mode. It's been about six years since the release of Curtain Call and people still love playing with each other. Fans would get together and do tournaments where they would utilize these online features and play against each other. We wanted to incorporate that with Melody of Memory as well.

With this rhythm action game and following the overarching story of the Kingdom Hearts series, that is the main component of this game and we are trying to rekindle that spark of nostalgia. We believe that the fans are going to want to revisit these songs over and over again, and that's why we thought it would be a good idea to incorporate this online mode to allow for competitive play.

A quick overview of the online mode is you go in with two players and each of you will pick a song that you want to play. One of the songs get picked. So you play through the song together, and as you're playing you are trying to sabotage the other player so you can get the higher score. You have these little tricks that you will try throwing at your enemies. Whoever gets the higher score will win that round, and will be awarded a card. The game is best 2 out of 3, so whoever wins two cards will win — and their ranking will go up. Players will be trying to rank up throughout.

We're hoping that being able to play these songs over and over again will allow for good replayability.

DS: Overall, Melody of Memory looks like it has an easygoing atmosphere, compared to the previous game in the series, Kingdom Hearts 3, which was a story climax with a strong, serious atmosphere.

Is Melody of Memory supposed to be some sort of a breather before going back into more serious themes? Or can we expect serious story developments to happen in Melody of Memory?

The overall concept of Melody of Memory is to look back at what's happened so far, so through the game you will see a mix of serious and lighthearted moments. There's also another element that will be a big part of the plot — and we don't want to spoil it — with some newly included scenes that you may have seen in the trailer.

They might not be as robust as a Kingdom Hearts game, but we do have something prepared to give that sort of surprise that is unique to the series. And it will give you a glimpse into what's going to come next. We hope that players look forward to it.


Editor's Note: The interview above has been lightly edited for readability.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory will release on November 11, 2020 for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. Keep an eye on DualShockers closer to launch when we will have some more news and a review to share.

The post Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Interview — Directors Talk Development and In-Game Secrets by Lou Contaldi appeared first on DualShockers.


Minecraft Adds Full PSVR Support Later This Month

Minecraft Bedrock update

This week, Sony is showcasing some brand new games for PSVR. To start things off, the team announced Minecraft VR is coming to the system later this month. The update comes free to everyone who owns Mojang's baby and supports the entire game. While maybe not the most mind-blowing of announcements, it's going to be fun experiencing Minecraft in full 3D.

The PSVR update for Minecraft might not anything outside of VR support, but that's not too surprising. After all, just doing the work to get VR added isn't a small effort. Plus, Minecraft Live is set to stream on October 3. It's going to be a busy month for the team at Mojang.

It will be fun to see what the team adds to Minecraft at that event, especially with them already announcing this. You have to assume PSVR support would have made for a big announcement on the live stream, so it leaves you wondering what else they have to announce. So far, all we know is that fans will be able to vote on a new mob. Otherwise, fans are just waiting to see what's next.

Minecraft is available now on pretty everything outside of your toaster. The VR update hits PSVR later this month. Sony is planning to announce new VR titles for PSVR all week. So, make sure to stay tuned for further updates. And, if you already own the headset, make sure to check out the store. PSN is running a nifty sale starting September 9.

The post Minecraft Adds Full PSVR Support Later This Month by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


Tales of The Rays Newest Collab Is A Crossover With Hack//GU

hackGU Tales of the Rays collab 2

Bandai Namco revealed a crossover event with Hack//GU in Tales of mobile game Tales of the Rays. A pretty cool trailer was published for the occasion, detailing the collab event and teasing more to come.

This the first collab event for Tales of the Rays this Fall 2020, and will be happening sometime in September. Both Haseo (voiced by Takahiro Sakurai) and Atoli (Ayako Kawasumi) are joining Tales of the Rays as playable characters.

hackGU Tales of the Rays collab 3 hackGU Tales of the Rays collab 4

Malik from Tales of Graces, Emil from Tales of Asteria, and Rose from Tales of Zestiria will also get new versions where they cosplay as Dot Hack characters. Typical move for these kind of mobile game collab events.

A Fall 2020 Wedding Event was also teased in the trailer. Four characters will receive new wedding dresses versions. They'll be revealed later.

Tales of the Rays is currently in its third part, subtitled Fairy's Requiem. Bandai Namco revealed that for the 4th part, Last Cradle, the game will introduce a brand new theme song, titled I Believe, by BoA. It's the first time BoA is making a Tales of theme song since Tales of Graces opening theme Mamoritai (White Wishes) in 2009. A short sample of the theme song can be heard at the end of the trailer. The Tales of the Rays Fairy's Requiem x Hack GU collab reveal trailer is included below.

Tales of the Rays September 2020 New Characters (Hack//GU) Trailer

Tales of the Rays is a mobile game only available in Japan needless to say. There was an English version but it obviously closed down.

CyberConnect2 is currently working on a PS4 game adaptation of Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) coming in 2021.

The latest console Tales of game, Tales of Arise, was initially planed for 2020 but got indefinitely delayed. However, it might be back sooner than we think, perhaps in early 2021, as the game was recently rated in Australia.

The post Tales of The Rays Newest Collab Is A Crossover With Hack//GU by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.


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