Blog Archive

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Contest: Spoop your pants with Darksburg on Steam

In today's contest you can win horror roguelite title Darksburg for Steam!

It's finally October, which means I get to feature lots of fun Halloweeny titles all month long! Or until I run out. Whichever comes first.

Today, I've got a fun one! Meet Darksburg, a fun roguelike Gauntlet-esque title which just launched out of Early Access. We've got some Steam copies available, so start off your Halloween season with a bang!

Contest: Spoop your pants with Darksburg on Steam screenshot

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What's in your wallet? It could be Razer's light-up card

Razer is no stranger to making products that are mobile. Its line of gaming laptops is highly regarded. A few years ago, Razer introduced its own smartphone. The newest venture will fit right alongside the phone as something people use all the time.

Razer and Visa have partnered up to introduce a prepaid payment method called the Razer Card. It functions just like any other prepaid card, in that you load it up with cash in order to use it. There are three versions of the Razer Card: a digital version that makes use of a Razer cash app; a physical standard card; and a physical premium card that features a light-up Razer logo.

Because you're all wondering (and because the easy reference is there): No, it's not RGB.

There's incentive to pick up the Razer Card outside of general brand allegiance. This card offers 5% cash back on items purchased through Razer's store, and 1% cash back on all other purchases (uncapped). There's also the opportunity to earn rewards (and this is very vaguely phrased) "based on tasks and everyday transactions." It's more aggressive for beta members, as they get 10% back on store purchases along with the chance to earn $2,000 worth of Razer gear.

It's not the best card on the market, but it's not aimed at adults with established credit. Razer's Fintech arm is trying to establish the world's first global youth bank and the Razer Card is a major part of those plans. With that in mind, unlimited 1% cash back on a prepaid debit card is about as good as it gets.

However, this isn't something most of you can just jump into -- at least not yet. The Razer Card beta is currently only available in Singapore and only open to 1,337 participants. The beta is expected to last three months before the program becomes more widely available. That being said, there are no firm indications when (or even if) the Razer Card will expand outside of Singapore. It's your best bet if you really need an ostentatious card in your wallet, though.

Razer Fintech and Visa Unveil New Prepaid Card to Transform Digital Payments Experience for Youths and Millennials in Singapore [Razer]

What's in your wallet? It could be Razer's light-up card screenshot



You can play Overwatch for free next week with Nintendo Switch Online

If you've had your fill of Super Mario Bros. 35,  heads up: Nintendo is rolling out another one of its infrequent Nintendo Switch Online membership perks. For a limited time, Overwatch will be free to play.

To partake, just grab Overwatch from the eShop and play as much as your schedule allows between October 13 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific and October 20 at 11:59 p.m. This Nintendo Switch Online Game Trial contains the "entire game," so you'll want to set aside 12GB for the download. Progress carries over.

I imagine most of us know how we feel about Overwatch by now, but if you're curious about the game at large – or you just want to see how the Switch version in particular handles itself – go do your thing.

It's honestly bumming me out how disconnected I feel from Blizzard right now. I hope Diablo IV is good.

@NintendoAmerica [Twitter]

You can play Overwatch for free next week with Nintendo Switch Online screenshot



Watch Dogs: Legion has a BattleBots-like robo-spider deathpit mode

There are about a dozen possible takeaways from Ubisoft announcing Watch Dogs: Legion's post-launch content plans. Maybe you'd like to focus on the fact that some is free and some is paid-for. Or, you might zero in on the fact that the protagonists from the first two games show up in the story DLC.

Me? I'd like to shine that spotlight on the unlicensed BattleBots multiplayer mode.

Soon after launch, Watch Dogs: Legion is getting a PvP mode called Spider-Bot Arena. It's an eight-player deathmatch where everyone takes control of a mechanical arachnid. Hop, shoot, and destroy. What a tangled web we weave.

That's just one reveal in this very detailed video. Let's tackle the rest in bullet-point style:

Watch Dogs: Legion has a BattleBots-like robo-spider deathpit mode screenshot

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Tomorrow's Nintendo Treehouse Live is all about Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Nintendo is streaming a fresh Treehouse Live segment tomorrow, October 7, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific. There's no mystery this time: the show will cover Pikmin 3 Deluxe and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.

The former is a "deep dive" and the latter is an update covering "a new stage" and "gameplay details."

508 people are already waiting. (Is anyone else weirdly fascinated by these numbers on YouTube?)

The last Nintendo Treehouse Live presentation – the one with Paper Mario: The Origami King and Bakugan of all things – struggled with technical hiccups and cross-talking. There's room for improvement. And as far as games go, Pikmin and Hyrule Warriors are a nice duo. I want 'em both.

These aren't system-defining titles by any means, but I'm stoked to have them this year. Given that they're releasing on October 30 and November 20 respectively, I hope Nintendo doesn't hold back.

Remember Nintendo Direct days? I miss them!

@NintendoAmerica [Twitter]

Tomorrow's Nintendo Treehouse Live is all about Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and Pikmin 3 Deluxe screenshot



Former Borderlands and Torchlight devs establish studio for next-gen RPG

ProbablyMonsters, a company that scouts and establishes game development studios, has announced that it is in the process of putting together a brand new team. This as-yet-unnamed outfit is staffed by developers who have previously worked on popular franchises such as Borderlands and Torchlight.

Among the key players included in this new venture are Runic Games founders John Dunbar and Marsh Lefler, Borderlands level designer Patrick Blank, and former Perfect World developer Allen Fong. As a unit, these four individuals had instrumental roles in the production of 2009 fantasy RPG Torchlight.

The new studio is the third company to be established under the ProbablyMonsters umbrella, following Cauldron Studios and Firewalk Studios, and is already in the early stages of preparing its first title: a co-op RPG developed for next-gen platforms. ProbablyMonsters states that the new studio already has a workforce of over 150 people. The team are planning to move into new headquarters in Washington once it is deemed safe to do so, given the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

ProbablyMonsters establishes third studio [Gematsu]

Former Borderlands and Torchlight devs establish studio for next-gen RPG screenshot



You'll need to wear headphones for PS5's 3D audio

3D audio isn't at the top of my mind for PlayStation 5, but a PlayStation Blog post today reminded me about Sony's push for more immersive audio, and there's an important note worth touching on.

As Sony Interactive Entertainment's Isabelle Tomatis explains it, "you'll be able to experience [PS5's Tempest 3D AudioTech] with the headphones that many of you already own, either through USB connection to the [PlayStation 5], or by plugging your headphones into the DualSense wireless controller's 3.5mm headset jack." Put another way, you won't need to buy the new Pulse 3D headset.

Beyond supporting headphones, Sony is "in the process of working on virtual surround sound through speakers that are built into TVs." This feature won't be ready in time for the November 12 launch, but "engineers are hard at work on bringing it to PS5 in the future" and they're "extremely excited."

What does it sound like, though? Back in September, several game developers spoke about 3D AudioTech, and across the board, they cited better "situational awareness" as one of the leading perks.

"It's almost as if 3D AudioTech was made specifically with horror games in mind," said Resident Evil's Jun Takeuchi. "It used to be that in order to get that spatial audio, players would have to invest a lot of their own time and money. Now, just putting on a headset, they can get a full 3D audio experience."

"Audio is a key feature to really push the next-gen experience."

Experience PS5's Tempest 3D AudioTech with compatible headsets at launch, TV Virtual Surround Sound coming after launch [PlayStation Blog]

You'll need to wear headphones for PS5's 3D audio screenshot



Blair Witch in VR is gonna be a big nope nope nope nope hell nope from me

It's tough to imagine a pop culture adaption for VR that's better suited than The Blair Witch Project. A movie seen entirely through a shaky first-person perspective fits perfectly into VR's wheelhouse of immersive shaky first-person perspectives. It's a match made in heaven, but only if heaven has abandoned hell cabins full of ritualistic murder. It probably doesn't.

Bloober Team's Blair Witch is being brought to the new Oculus Quest later this month. Blair Witch: Oculus Quest Edition is an adaption that adds a bunch of VR functionality to last year's game. Bloober goes so far as to say it's "rebuilt."

Here's the list of bullet-pointed new features from the press release:

Blair Witch in VR is gonna be a big nope nope nope nope hell nope from me screenshot

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Microsoft seems to be bundling a bunch of Bethesda's best games together on Xbox Series X

Microsoft has owned Bethesda for two weeks now -- at least that's how long it has been since the announcement -- and we're already seeing the effects of the new leadership. (In actuality, maybe Bethesda does some or all of this on its own, but it's too tempting to ascribe all developments as Microsoft's mandate from up high.) It seems like one of the first moves, apart from getting Doom Eternal on Game Pass, is to group together a bunch of last-gen games into high-value bundles.

Thanks to another ESRB leak (and this is really too easy lately with the "Recently Rated Games" tab), we've learned of two upcoming Bethesda bundles for Xbox Series X. One is The Arkane Collection which features four games. The most likely candidates are Dishonored, Dishonored 2, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, and Prey.

There's a similar situation with MachineGames' recent projects. There's a Wolfenstein Alt History Collection which also bundles four games. Those have to be Wolfenstein: The New Order, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Wolfenstein: Young Blood.

Assuming a $60 price point, that's a whole lot of video game in each collection. Or, thinking optimistically, maybe Microsoft is bundling these to add to Xbox Game Pass all together. None of this has been formally revealed yet, so we'll have to wait to find out what Microsoft's intentions are. But, as misguided as Bethesda has seemed with properties like Fallout, the games mentioned in these lists make up some of the publisher's best efforts over the past 10 years or so. They're fine candidates for the bundle treatment.

The Arkane Collection, Wolfenstein Alt History Collection [ESRB]

Microsoft seems to be bundling a bunch of Bethesda's best games together on Xbox Series X screenshot



PS5 pack-in Astro's Playroom will take several hours to beat

Astro's Playroom may very well be the first PlayStation 5 game I end up playing.

Not only is the breezy vibin' platformer free, it's coming pre-installed, so while some of us are waiting for Demon's Souls or Spider-Man: Miles Morales to finish downloading, it'll be calling our names. On the flip side, won't it just be a fleeting experience? After all, it's a pack-in meant to demo the DualSense.

In an interview with Famitsu, Astro's Playroom creative director Nicolas Doucet said there are four worlds with lots of collectibles and it should take players around "four to five hours" to finish the game. If you're looking for more mileage, there's going to be a time attack mode with online rankings, too.

Doucet described Astro's Playroom as a PlayStation homage and said some of the references might go over younger players' heads. I'm expecting a decent-sized feel-good adventure. Sounds great!

My only question: can we get a PS5 sequel to Astro Bot Rescue Mission for the new PlayStation VR?

[Via @Nibellion]

PS5 pack-in Astro's Playroom will take several hours to beat screenshot



Monster Hunter Rise has separate solo and co-op quests, and cutscenes can be skipped

I've liked pretty much everything I've seen of Monster Hunter Rise so far (not that we've seen that much yet), and after a recent round of press interviews, my optimism still feels warranted. A cool, distinct, modern Monster Hunter game designed with Nintendo Switch in mind? It'll complement Iceborne well.

We learned a bunch of details about Rise today, a handful of which I wanted to recap.

Speaking to Eurogamer, producer Ryozo Tsujimoto said that Monster Hunter Rise has been cooking for "about four years in total." Monster Hunter Generations director Yasunori Ichinose had "a bit of time off" before Capcom tasked him with devising the next portable Monster Hunter title, and Capcom needed to get its "ducks in a row" with the RE Engine, "which at the time [pre-RE7] had not yet been released."

In an interview with IGN, the duo said that story cutscenes in Rise can be skipped (a longstanding thorn in Monster Hunter: World players' sides), and instead of blending everything together for solo play and co-op like in World, there will be separate single-player and multiplayer quests similar to prior Monster Hunter games. In other words, there are going to be different village quests and gathering hub quests.

As far as game-feel, "there are elements from Generations and from World, but, [Rise is] going to have its own unique, new things as well. Some of which we are not allowed to talk about yet."

Speaking to RGJ, Ichinose confirmed that Rise "will have scaling based on the number of players," and players "will not be required to reach a certain progression in the story in order to play quests together at the gathering hub." Tsujimoto also noted that event quests will be downloadable "using the same classic system" as Generations Ultimate "since not everyone will be online all the time" on Switch.

Lastly, the same 14 weapon types are back again and there's motion control support for aiming.

Monster Hunter Rise looks like it'll be the best of both worlds [Eurogamer]
Monster Hunter Rise's Skippable Cutscenes and 8 More New Details [IGN]
Monster Hunter Rise Q&A: Devs talk separate campaign, gear designs and more [Reno Gazette Journal]

Monster Hunter Rise has separate solo and co-op quests, and cutscenes can be skipped screenshot



Lock 'n' load for the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta

Activision has dropped a rat-a-tat-tat trailer for the incoming Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta, which will be unleashed on PS4, PC, and Xbox One over the next two weekends.

The beta will give CoD fans the opportunity to check out the newest entry in the billion-dollar shooter franchise. This year's entry sees the action relocated to the 1980s, as a shadowy CIA unit attempts to track down an alleged soviet spy known only as "Perseus," whose actions could bring about death and destruction on a global scale. (As opposed to the actions of your characters, who will bring about death and destruction on a more localised scale.)

Lock 'n' load for the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta screenshot

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(Update) Mortal Kombat 11 passes 8 million sales mark, news teased for this week

[Update: NetherRealm Studios has released a short teaser video ahead of its announcement. The video features a Tarkatan running through a forest in panic, which then cuts to an October 8 date. The video is accompanied by the succinct message "They Are Koming". You can check out the tweet at the foot of the article.]

NetherRealm Studios head Ed Boon has proudly announced that the latest entry in the super-gory Mortal Kombat franchise has sold over eight million copies since its spring 2019 launch, making Mortal Kombat 11 the latest in a series of MK releases to set sales ablaze.

"After 8 million (and kounting) MK11 games sold we're not done yet," said Boon on Twitter. "Stay tuned to see what's next for MK11 this week! #KombatKontinues"

The tease will definitely perk up the dedicated MK 11 community, who have been voicing frustration with the bloodstained one-on-one fighter. While nobody can accuse MK 11 of lacking in DLC kontent - given the first Kombat Pack and the Aftermath expansion - MK 11 still suffers from a slew of irritating gameplay issues, from the continued lack of a Wi-Fi filter, to erratic hitbox problems and instances of unreliable links.

While the loudest of the MK kommunity clamour incessantly for the return of the villainous Mileena, MK 11's dedicated players, still grinding away at Kombat League and entering various online tournaments, are more concerned about MK 11 on a base level, and are hoping to see changes made to the actual gameplay itself as the title enters the new year.

It's not impossible, however, that this news will simply turn out to be the announcement of a next-gen port announcement (especially given that "#KombatKontinues" hashtag). If so, would Warner Bros. Games have it in them to offer free upgrades to the kommunity? Given the amount of money dedicated fans have poured into the title over the past year, I'd hope so.

Whatever the intriguing news, we'll be sure to let you know as soon as we hear.

Mortal Kombat 11 is available now on PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

(Update) Mortal Kombat 11 passes 8 million sales mark, news teased for this week screenshot

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Review: Super Mario Bros. 35

Super Mario Bros. for the NES wasn't my first game, but it was the first cartridge I ever owned. I treated it like a sacred talisman.

In between Duck Hunt bouts, I made it my mission to memorize the ins and outs of each and every level. Eventually, I got to the end. That simplicity couldn't have come at a more perfect time in my life.

Games have changed a lot in the last 35 years or so, which makes it tough to really dig into Super Mario Bros. 35's streamlined veneer. But it sure is fun in short bursts.

Review: Super Mario Bros. 35 screenshot

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Absolute legend and Jet Set Radio composer Hideki Naganuma muses on how he 'tried to be an employee of Nintendo twice'

I still hear Hideki Naganuma jams randomly in my head to this day. While the first Jet Set Radio was an absolute classic, I can't tell you how many hours I spent playing Jet Set Radio Future. I have that entire game memorized.

Hideki Naganuma would go on to score and work on several more marquee Sega games before leaving the publisher in 2008 (but still occasionally freelancing for the House that Sonic Built). But as it turns out, he had big plans to make his mark on Nintendo: plans that didn't pan out.

Amid recent calls on Twitter that Naganuma should have worked on the Splatoon soundtrack (which takes many cues from the composer), the man himself addressed the situation fairly plainly, stating: "To tell the truth, I tried to be an employee of Nintendo twice in the past, after I left Sega. But I didn't pass. They said that there's no position that I can display my ability to the full. That's the reason why Splatoon didn't need my music, lol."

Could you imagine that team-up? Still, Naganuma seems to be leading his best life if his lively Twitter account is any indication, and is working on a Jet Set Radio-like game at this very moment.

Hideki Naganuma [Twitter] Thanks, Frank!

Absolute legend and Jet Set Radio composer Hideki Naganuma muses on how he 'tried to be an employee of Nintendo twice' screenshot

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Review: Mafia: Definitive Edition

This story takes place a long time ago and most video games don't age like fine wine. The rare, great ones do but most don't. The ones that are merely good have a shelf life before they turn. Playing an open-world shooter from 2002 leaves about the same taste in your mouth as chewing the bubblegum that came with 1950s baseball cards.

Mafia: Definitive Edition is a prime example of how those good games can have great foundations. A lot of all-timers like Final Fantasy VII, Link's Awakening, and Resident Evil 2 have gotten the remake treatment lately, and no one is surprised when they're excellent the second time 'round. Mafia, which had to live in GTA III's shadow back in 2002, gets its first chance to be truly excellent in 2020. 

Review: Mafia: Definitive Edition screenshot

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Danganronpa's Kazutaka Kodaka reflects on his crazy creation in 10th anniversary interview

One of the wildest, weirdest, and most bizarrely morbid gaming franchises of the past decade has, without a doubt, been Spike Chunsoft's Danganronpa series. As celebrations continue for the visual novel/RPG franchise's 10th anniversary, the man behind the madness - Kazutaka Kodaka - has shared some of his thoughts on his cute culling creation.

In a new video interview, curated by documentary makers Archipel, Kodaka discusses some of the influences and ideas behind the creation of Danganronpa and its many sequels and spin-offs. Kodaka talks of his love of Koshun Takama's notorious novel Battle Royale, as well as his appreciation of the works of film director David Lynch. Checks out so far.

Danganronpa's Kazutaka Kodaka reflects on his crazy creation in 10th anniversary interview screenshot

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Your Game of Thrones digital board game session will probably have a better ending than the show

Game of Thrones is still a phenomenon, even if the show and the extreme delay of the book series has sullied its good name a bit.

There will probably be endless amounts of board games as long as that license is floating around, and it would be wise of any of those properties to downplay similarities between the show and play up the literary universe. That's exactly what this new digital board game is doing, due out today from Asmodee Digital. They're even proudly advertising it as "based on the novels."

The gist? You'll muck about for 10 rounds with both options for "diplomatic and combative" strategies, attempting to claim as many structures as possible: a sort of more-violent Carcassonne. It's an adaptation of the popular 2003 board game from FFG, which is now in its second edition (released in 2011).

Although the player count has waxed and waned with expansions, the digital edition is aiming for six players simultaneously, with matchmaking and AI components. You can get a load of the gist via the trailer below.

A Game of Thrones: The Board Game - Digital Edition [Steam]

Your Game of Thrones digital board game session will probably have a better ending than the show screenshot

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Nintendo reminds us that Diddy's Kong Quest is one of the sneakiest titles in gaming history

In the...oh I want to say, hundreds of hours I played and replayed Donkey Kong Country 2, I never gave its subtitle a second thought.

"Diddy Kong's Quest." Yeah, that sounds right. Perfect actually. No one corrected me. Not my cousin that was visiting from out of state, during our eight-hour session with the game. None of my friends or family members, either. Years later I would come to recognize that it was "Diddy's Kong Quest," a clear play-on-words for "Diddy's Conquest," given that he was the new star of the sequel.

Our own Jordan Devore and I periodically muse on how amazing Donkey Kong Country is and still, to this day, joke about how this tripped us up at one point in our lives. So why am I bringing this up decades later? Well, Nintendo just released the game on Switch, and they had a fun little time tweeting about the aforementioned phenomenon.

At this point, the correct title has safely entered "Sinbad Genie Movie" and "Berenstain Bears" territory. I doubt many people are going to die on that hill anymore: knowingly pronouncing it incorrectly. But it's fun to see Nintendo poke fun at it, years later, now that we know the truth.

Nintendo UK [Twitter]

Nintendo reminds us that Diddy's Kong Quest is one of the sneakiest titles in gaming history screenshot

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We might not be getting the new Smash amiibo trio until late 2021

Did you miss all of the recent amiibo news? Well here's a full list, and a brief recap.

Joker and Hero were just recently released worldwide, kicking off the Smash Ultimate DLC amiibo run. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is also getting two figures (Cat Mario + Cat Peach), due in February of 2021, which were put up for pre-order weeks ago.

Monster Hunter Rise is getting three figures, which were available to pre-order in-store at GameStop and are now listed online with priced-gouged shipping as of this past weekend. Oh, and a trio of amiibo (Banjo/Terry/Byleth) were revealed as part of the Smash Ultimate + Minecraft festivities. About that last one.

While Nintendo did not release cold, hard info on their dates during the stream, they did tweet out recently that the figures were due in "fall 2021." That tweet has since been deleted, but was immortalized on Twitter, and is still available on the Nintendo of Canada account. We've reached out to Nintendo for confirmation, but given that they did mention that their pipeline was impacted, that date could be accurate. The wait continues! 

Note that after these three, we need figures for Min Min, Steve and four more fighters to complete the full Smash set. Using fall 2021 as a guide, amiibo might live on until at least 2022, even if the line is on life support.

Nintendo of America [Twitter via theprinceofiris]

We might not be getting the new Smash amiibo trio until late 2021 screenshot



Zelda: Breath of the Wild's Purah and Robbie will assist Link and Zelda in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

In the lead-up to Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, I've spent a lot of time recounting my journey through its The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, trying to figure out which character from that game could make an appearance in this new one. Since its announcement, Robbie has been at the forefront of my mind. This eccentric inventor played a pivotal role in my victory over the Calamity Ganon with the Ancient Arrows I'd get from his Akkala Ancient Tech Lab.

I've been waiting for him to make an appearance in a trailer, and just this morning, Nintendo and Koei Tecmo dropped a new, quick snippet of the upcoming Musou showcasing Robbie and Purah, another Sheikah scientist who, admittedly, I forgot existed.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild's Purah and Robbie will assist Link and Zelda in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity screenshot

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Destructoid wants to know: What's your dream gaming contest prize?

Questions for you. Let's say, you know ... hypothetically, Destructoid will be giving away a $3000-$5000 giveaway this holiday season.  What would the ideal prize be?

An RTX 3090, PS5, and Xbox? Maybe one of those newfangled 120Hz 4K TVs?Would you take it as unreleased gear, or take the cash (or have the option to decide later?). Would you rather see us give away something else instead?

Are contests where one-winner-takes all more interesting to you, or are you more likely to care if there's 20 winners and the prize is less fabulous but easier to win?

What would you be willing to do to win it? Inquiring marketing lords want to know! 

Holler. Especially if you participated in another contest somewhere else recently, what advice would you give a person in the position to potentially make one person's wildest dreams come true?

Destructoid wants to know: What's your dream gaming contest prize? screenshot



Genshin Impact hits 17 million downloads, could score $100 million in revenue by the end of October

Genshin Impact seems to be a huge success from studio miHoYo, having already cleared the 17 million download mark according to mobile industry tracker App Annie.

17 million downloads is a feat all on its own, but according to analyst Daniel Ahmad (whom a lot of you know as "ZhugeEX"), the game is "on track to gross more than $100 million across all platforms by the end of this month." Ahmad says that the game is most popular in the US, Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia, and that "over 300 people" worked on the game across the span of four years, culminating in a $100 million budget.

The free-to-play RPG greatly benefits from a laid back microtransaction and gacha structure, which essentially allows players to run through the game's entire multi-chapter storyline without spending any money (with the option to run gacha pulls for new characters and weapons). While gacha is enough to scare away droves of people, Genshin Impact is getting high praise from a lot of folks within the industry, leading to a long tail via good word of mouth.

For more information on Genshin Impact you can read our review; or listen to our own CJ Andriessen's thoughts on the latest episode of Podtoid around the 14-minute mark.

Genshin Impact [App Annie via Twitter]

Genshin Impact hits 17 million downloads, could score $100 million in revenue by the end of October screenshot



This Yakuza: Like a Dragon trailer is absolute madness

While no one can ever accuse the Yakuza franchise of not having its fair share of off-the-wall moments, (suplexing a bull? underground castle? anybody?), the newest entry in the JRPG franchise, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, looks to dial the chaos up to eleven and yank off the knob.

Sega has released a new trailer for the incoming sequel, titled "The Quest Begins," which sees new hero Ichiban Kasuga and an army of friends, associates, and hangers-on engage in a cavalcade of craziness across the iconic city of Kamurocho. Knights in shining armour, mad phone skills, high-speed food delivery, baseball bat attacks, angry lobsters, heavy metal performances, and goat-headed cinema patrons are among the insane sights appearing in this 100-second montage. You have to see it to believe it.

This Yakuza: Like a Dragon trailer is absolute madness screenshot

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Sony's Jim Ryan expects PS5 to have a more successful first fiscal year than PS4

Speaking in an interview with Korean outlet Naver, PlayStation President and CEO Jim Ryan has stated that Sony is confident that its upcoming next-gen platform, PlayStation 5, will have a more successful first fiscal year than that of current gaming platform, PlayStation 4.

Launching in November 2013, the PS4 console would go on to sell around seven million units by the end of its first fiscal year, April 2014. Ryan's comments suggest that Sony is confident that it will exceed this number between the launch of PS5 in November 2020 and the end of its first fiscal year in April 2021. While that suggests a staggering amount of units of a very expensive piece of hardware, no doubt Ryan will have taken global pre-order estimates and Sony stock numbers into account before making the bold statement.

Elsewhere in the interview, Ryan also defended the controversial rise in video game prices, which will see some PS5 titles retail for around $70 in the U.S. and a comparatively higher £70 in the U.K. Ryan placed an emphasis on both "value" and the next-gen capabilities of PS5 games as a fair trade-off against the increased price-tag.

"It is difficult to talk about the overall game market or other game consoles, but I think the value is obvious in the case of the PS5," said Ryan. "We'll excite fans around the world with the best exclusive games on the market today and deliver a truly next-generation device experience that will captivate them."

At £70 a pop, you'll be captivating me when the sales hit.

PS5 launches November 12 in The U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea. It will follow in all other territories one week later on November 19.

Sony expects PS5 to sell more than 7m units by April [GamesIndustry.biz / Naver]

Sony's Jim Ryan expects PS5 to have a more successful first fiscal year than PS4 screenshot



Contest: Win Ys Origin for Nintendo Switch

In today's contest you can win Ys Origin for Nintendo Switch!

I think the title of this one is misspelled. I could be wrong, but it looks like it's missing a letter in there. I'd fix it, but management told me to stop pestering developers with my unsolicited advice, so I guess I'll just sit here and suck it up.

Ys Origin recently hit Switch, so win yourself a copy of this classic RPG!

Contest: Win Ys Origin for Nintendo Switch screenshot

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Crash Bandicoot 4 is almost certainly coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X

Crash Bandicoot 4 is ripping a hole in the fabric of time and launching on next-gen consoles. Probably. Also, that's vastly overselling the situation.

The long-awaited Crash Bandicoot 4 released last Friday on PS4 and Xbox One. Given the proximity to PS5 and Xbox Series X launches, it left some wondering why Activision didn't just wait and get next-gen versions out too. That's almost assuredly going to happen at some point.

There's a new ESRB rating for Crash 4 on Xbox Series X. It's perfectly legitimate -- all you have to do is search for the game or click the "recently rated games" tab. There's no listing for PS5 but you'd have to reasonably assume it's coming to Sony's console too.

Seeing as Activision hasn't yet confirmed the next-gen ports -- probably because the publisher is focused on getting current-gen launched before promoting another version -- we don't know what sort of enhancements Crash 4 will have on PS5 and Xbox Series X. There's a good chance it'll feature settings that prioritize performance or resolution.

That isn't even the extent of the ports that we're expecting to see. There's still a lingering rumor that Crash 4 is set to receive a Switch version. It all seems perfectly viable to be honest.

You can't be faulted for waiting, but you should check out Crash Bandicoot 4 at some point. It's evidently quite excellent, a true return to form for a series that has gone (mostly) dormant for far too long. Not all mascot platformers age this gracefully.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time [ESRB]

Crash Bandicoot 4 is almost certainly coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X screenshot



It's going to be very tough to get a Nvidia RTX 30 card before next year

Shortages of Nvidia's new RTX 30 series GPU are expected to last significantly longer than each card's launch window. It has been incredibly tough to get an RTX 3080 or 3090 at MSRP. That's not going to change anytime soon.

During a Q&A session with press (and as reported by Tom's Hardware), Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said that he "[believes] that demand will outstrip all of our supply through the year." That means RTX 30 cards probably won't be widely available until sometime in 2021 at the earliest.

In an economics spin for the ages, Huang explained that "The 3080 and 3090 have a demand issue, not a supply issue. The demand issue is that it is much much greater than we expected -- and we expected really a lot." When supply can't meet demand and shortages ensue, it really seems like a supply issue.

Things don't look much better for the RTX 3070 either. Nvidia recently pushed that release back to October 29 in order to get more cards on shelves at launch. From a price-to-performance approach, the 3070 (which retails for $500) is expected to be the best value of the three 30 series GPUs. There might be more 3070s available at launch but demand will also be highest. That pesky "demand issue" will rear its head and cause shortages here too.

As expected it's not going to be easy to give Nvidia your money to adopt the Ampere architecture. Either you have to be lucky or you have to be patient. Or you have to fork over a ton of cash to scalpers. Don't do that last one. Just accept that you'll probably have to wait until 2021.

Nvidia CEO: GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 Shortages To Last Until 2021 [Tom's Hardware]

It's going to be very tough to get a Nvidia RTX 30 card before next year screenshot



Disc Room isn't just about staying alive inside arcade deathtraps

Disc Room is an action-survival game from a crew of talented indie developers, and for me, that would've been enough – but there's also a deeper layer to uncover. It's not just a bunch of rooms.

This narrated trailer is our best look yet at Disc Room, one that goes beyond the surface-level to show the game's secret sauce. I like the sound of obtuse puzzles and brainy exploration in an otherwise straightforward arcade game. It's a simple concept, but there's a chance to subvert expectations.

The map screen makes me hopeful. We'll see how it turns out for PC and Switch on October 22.

Disc Room isn't just about staying alive inside arcade deathtraps screenshot

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Podtoid kicks off October with Super Mario 35, the Monster Mash, and the beautiful Genshin Impact

October is here and that can only mean one thing: terrible novelty songs on the radio. There are several Halloween songs out there, but obviously, the most well-known is "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett. But is the song "Monster Mash" about a song called "Monster Mash" or a dance called "Monster Mash?" Or is it both? Or does it not matter because this is the type of argument you should only have if you're high?

That's one of the topics on this episode of Podtoid. CJ, Chris, Dan, and Occams come together to talk Genshin Impact, Super Mario 35, Inframan, granny getaway drivers, and Mafia: Definitive Edition. All that, plus we answer your listener questions, on Podtoid Episode 461.

Podtoid kicks off October with Super Mario 35, the Monster Mash, and the beautiful Genshin Impact screenshot

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All of Starbreeze's eggs are in Payday 3's basket

Payday 3 really needs to work out. If it doesn't, Starbreeze's years-long struggle to survive will probably end in tragedy.

The decline of Starbreeze has been well-documented at this point. A liquidity shortfall, organizational reconstruction, layoffs, some offloaded assets (like publishing rights and development studios) -- it has been a trying couple of years for the Swedish publisher.

That's why it's impossible (or at least negligent) to talk about Payday 3 without mentioning the stakes. But, Payday 2 was -- and still is -- so successful that Starbreeze secured funding for Payday 3's development without the need to rush it out the door. In fact, this is the first official update about Payday 3 in a long time:

All of Starbreeze's eggs are in Payday 3's basket screenshot

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Knight Fever could top Slime Climb as my favorite racing level in Fall Guys

Knight Fever is one of the new Season 2 levels lined up for Fall Guys. It's a meat-grinder of a race with swinging axes, rolling spike-covered walkways, and drawbridges that have a mind of their own.

It's in the spirit of my favorite Fall Guys levels – Dizzy Heights, The Whirlygig, and the all-time cruel Slime Climb – so I hope to see it pop up a bunch. While other game types tend to have downtime once you learn the ropes, the thrill of hoofing it with a floppy horde hasn't lost its initial excitement.

The little victories matter too. If you take first place in a race, regardless of how poorly you fare in future rounds, you're gonna feel great in that moment. Surviving as a group is nice, but it just isn't the same.

Along with other new levels, Knight Fever will begin appearing in Fall Guys on October 8.

Fall Guys Season 2 Exclusive: New Level Knight Fever Revealed [IGN]

Knight Fever could top Slime Climb as my favorite racing level in Fall Guys screenshot



Godfall won't let you play offline in single-player

Even if you're playing Godfall alone, without a co-op assist, you'll still need to be online – hopefully your connection is stable and the servers aren't hammered into submission during the PS5 launch window.

The online-only caveat was spotted on a PlayStation listing and confirmed by Counterplay Games.

Not that I've been paying much attention to Godfall – I really, truly haven't – but this detail could be easily missed by players who want another early PS5 game and land on this one. It's worth highlighting.

Other action-RPGs have forced players to maintain an internet connection to keep things fair for everyone, but in this case, where players are fighting the AI with decked-out character builds in PvE battles instead of facing each other in PvP skirmishes, it's hard to accept. It just feels limiting.

I do like the note that Godfall isn't a "service game," though – nice little bullet point.

[Via VG247]

Godfall won't let you play offline in single-player screenshot



A look at Cyberpunk 2077's map shows that last year's leak was accurate enough

All this time, we've been gettin' jazzed for Cyberpunk 2077 without knowing the lay of the land. Sure, it's all in Night City, but what's where and who's why were all complete mysteries. We had more questions than Linda Ellerbee (three of you will get that one).

Now, on the day that Cyberpunk 2077 went gold, we finally have a confirmed glimpse at the map of Night City. It's not all that detailed, only providing major roads and the general outline of the city. And it's not all that interesting, as the names of regions don't do anything to tell us what makes those areas special. But damnit, it's a map!

Bask:

A look at Cyberpunk 2077's map shows that last year's leak was accurate enough screenshot

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Guess who's back on top of the UK Charts?

Death, Taxes, and Crash Bandicoot being a smash success in the UK. Yes, of no surprise to anybody, Activision's Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time has debuted in the top spot of the UK Charts, dethroning Nintendo's retro compendium Super Mario 3D All-Stars.

The mad marsupial just pipped Electronic Arts' Star Wars: Squadrons to the number one slot, with only around 1,000 physical copies between the two new releases. Never bet against Crash, as many of you will remember when Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy ruled the roost - for what seemed like forever - back in 2017.

Elsewhere in the charts, 2K Games double-whack of Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia Trilogy still hold Top Ten places at numbers nine and ten respectively, while Minecraft and Minecraft Dungeons have captured numbers eight and seven. Nintendo's social sim Animal Crossing: New Horizons sits comfortably at number four, having retained its Top Ten standing since its initial launch back in March.

Guess who's back on top of the UK Charts? screenshot

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Japanese PS5 players will have to get used to hitting the X button to 'confirm'

Sony is making a profound user-experience change to the PlayStation 5 in Japan, the kind that will bug the absolute hell out of players who have gotten used to things being a certain way since the PS1.

Unlike its predecessors, the PS5 will default to the Circle button being "cancel" and the X button being "confirm" in all regions. That's fine for Western players – no change here – but in Japan, where the functionality of the two buttons is being swapped after decades, it's going to be such a nuisance.

As reported by Kotaku, a representative of Sony said this control change for PlayStation 5 is meant to keep button settings consistent across all countries and also make things easier for game developers.

It's going to take a while to unlearn years of muscle memory, but personally speaking, I've adjusted to some bizarre controls in my time. Just don't make me play with an inverted camera and we're good.

We haven't yet seen the PS5 UI or settings – frankly, there's still a ton we don't know about this console – and it's unclear if Sony will offer a system-level option for players to remap the controls. I'd hope so.

It's going to be extra jarring for players jumping from backward-compatible PS4 games to PS5 games.

Sony Is Changing The Confirm And Cancel Buttons In Japan And Folks Aren't Happy [Kotaku]

Japanese PS5 players will have to get used to hitting the X button to 'confirm' screenshot



Pikmin 3 Deluxe trailer gets you reacquainted with your plant pals

Nintendo has released a cute new trailer for its upcoming Switch release Pikmin 3 Deluxe, offering series newcomers a crash course in identifying the strange, plant-like, do-gooders.

The short overview spotlights the adorable little rascals as they follow the perpetually surprised Alph on his escapades throughout PNF-404. As explained in the video, Pikmin are a colourful species that are plucked from the undergrowth by our heroes before being directed to perform a number of tasks - from gathering sources and removing barricades, to building bridges and even cultivating more of their kind.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe trailer gets you reacquainted with your plant pals screenshot

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The next big Minecraft update is Caves and Cliffs, here's some details

Minecraft Dungeons isn't the only title in the series that will see big changes in the future, as this past weekend's Minecraft Live stream confirmed that the original classic is getting a fairly massive update.

Although the next Minecraft patch has been in the works for a while, it now has an official name: Caves & Cliffs, and it does exactly what it says. Both caves and mountainsides will get significant biome upgrades, with the former seeing multiple new varieties (lush/dripstone). Crystals, telescopes, bundles, sculk sensor blocks and a new warden mob are all part of the update as well.

As for the mountain enhancements, we're getting a new mountain goat animal, on top of copper (which will turn green over time to sort of "age" your game). The axolotl and glow squid mobs will also be added at some point.

For those of you who regularly play Minecraft, a few components of Caves & Cliffs are fairly huge in nature. With more variety in the map overall, it adds a ton of replay value in terms of endlessly exploring and recreating adventure maps. I'm most excited about the lush and dripstone mechanics given my penchant to endlessly dig as one of the first things I do in any new map.

Minecraft Live The Recap [Minecraft.net]

The next big Minecraft update is Caves and Cliffs, here's some details screenshot

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What do you think of this Monster Hunter movie teaser?

It has been well over two years since Sony officially announced it was producing a motion picture based on Capcom's legendary Monster Hunter franchise. Since that announcement we've seen stars Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa added to the cast, a plot outline, and even a whopping great sword. But we've yet to see any actual monsters... until now.

Sony Pictures has released a very brief teaser trailer for Paul W.S. Anderson's Monster Hunter, which gives us our first glimpse of action as Lt. Natalie Artemis and her non-specific military squad encounter the frightening horned giant known as the Black Diablos. Deciding that negotiation is not an option, Artemis and crew throw a little lead in harm's way, ending the preview. 

What do you think of this Monster Hunter movie teaser? screenshot

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Minecraft Dungeons is getting 20 new difficulties and cross-play

Minecon isn't happening live in Orlando, Florida this year, but it did happen this past week in livestream form. In addition to revealing a bunch of new developments for Minecraft proper, our old dungeon crawler friend Minecraft Dungeons got a few updates: several of which should help people get back into the game if they're on a break.

First up, cross-play is finally coming in November. While it's been teased for some time since it released this past May, we finally have a window for when it'll be arriving. When it does hit, it'll be free for everyone. The feature was dramatically shown off on the aforementioned stream, with the below image indicating players signified with red for Nintendo Switch, light blue for PC, dark blue for PS4, and green for Xbox One.

Following that, a December update will add "Apocalypses Plus" into the mix, which adds "20 new difficulties" as well as "new enchantments and items." In tandem with that free patch, you can also opt for the Howling Peaks DLC, which adds the Tempest Golem boss into the game as well as the icy mountainside biome. I still come back to this one from time to time, so a combo of DLC and free updates should help suck me in even further.

Minecraft Live Recap [Minecraft.net]

Minecraft Dungeons is getting 20 new difficulties and cross-play screenshot

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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered coming to PC and consoles next month

One of the most popular entries in the Need for Speed franchise is getting ready to excite road-racers all over again, as Electronic Arts and Criterion Games have finally announced that Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is coming to PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in November.

Originally released back in 2010 on PS3, PC, and Xbox 360, NFS: Hot Pursuit takes the gloss and sheen of the long-running racing franchise and applies it to a super-dramatic knock-down, drag-out road rager. Players can choose to hit the tarmac in a selection of high-performance roadsters, while others chase them down and take them off-road in several souped-up police cruisers, armed with a bevy of hi-tech gadgets and weaponry.

You can check out a cheesy-ass trailer, that doesn't feature nearly enough gameplay footage, below.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered coming to PC and consoles next month screenshot

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Here's a link to old Mario 1 maps so you can win at Super Mario Bros. 35

Having played Super Mario Bros. 35 quite a bit this past week, I was thankful that I had already grown up on the original Mario Bros.

Not only are you required to win on pure skill in Mario 35, but it also helps to understand the various nuances of the game's battle royale format; on top of the layout of the maps themselves. Which, mind, are modeled after the NES originals. That's where this particular site comes in handy.

Created by Rick N. Bruns, these maps not only showcase hidden power-ups (by displaying which blocks hold which items), but pipelines as well: so you can judge which path is more strategically sound in the heat of the moment. Do you need coins? Or perhaps a bit more time from clearing out enemies? The choice is much easier if you actually know where the beaten path leads.

Give the site a go if you're having issues finding clutch fire flowers!

Super Mario Brothers Map Select [NES Maps]

Here's a link to old Mario 1 maps so you can win at Super Mario Bros. 35 screenshot



Netflix already making plans for a third season of The Witcher

Though we are yet to receive the second season of Netflix hit TV series The Witcher, it seems that the streaming service is already preparing further seasons of sexy-slaying action for Geralt and chums.

The Witcher fansite Redanian Intelligence has noted a recent listing on the Writer's Guild of America West database, which suggests that a third season of the book and video game adaptation is on the cards, with a (very) tentative release window of 2020-2021. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich is also on board to continue her work on the smash hit series.

Netflix already making plans for a third season of The Witcher screenshot

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Ghost of Tsushima's wild free co-op mode and New Game+ are out in just a few weeks

We've seen it teased, and now it's a reality: Ghost of Tsushima's Legends DLC is coming on October 16.

When it hits the PS4 it'll be free, coupled with version 1.1, which also ushers in the long-awaited New Game+ mode. Sony says that the idea of Legends' co-op functionality went hand and hand with the motif of "warriors standing together, ready to fight as a team" from old samurai cinema. Legends will be playable in both "story mission" form for up to two players, as well as a four-player survival mode. Sony is also teasing a "raid" in the "weeks following launch," that's described as an "epic three-part adventure that will require excellent teamwork and communication."

Accessing the mode is as easy as talking to a new NPC: Gyozen the Storyteller. From there, you'll select a Legends-specific character and class up, just like a classic RPG. There's Samurai (sustained melee), Hunter (ranged), Ronin (support) and assassin (burst melee damage). Cosmetics are confirmed and are "all unlocked through gameplay without any microtransactions." New Game+ teases a new Ghost Flower item, which can be given to another new NPC for extra armor dyes and vanity gear exclusive to New Game+.

Honestly, Ghost felt complete as-is, but this is really taking the cake. A free raid? I'm so in. This is the sort of stuff that live-service games often fumble with: but as free DLC for a premium title, it feels like a welcome extra.

Ghost of Tsushima: Legends and New Game+ out October 16 [PlayStation Blog]

Ghost of Tsushima's wild free co-op mode and New Game+ are out in just a few weeks screenshot



Inti Creates says that Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon sold 600,000 copies, with 'more than 50%' sold on Switch

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is pretty good! So is the sequel. But as it turns out, Inti Creates says that the first game sold pretty well too.

Speaking to Nintendo Everything, Inti Creates has confirmed that the game has sold "over 600,000 copies." Studio CEO Takuya Aizu explains that the boost is "in part powered by the release of [the sequel]." Aizu also states that "more than half of those sales" are from the Switch edition. Quite the feat given that it was also released on every other major platform.

Note that Curse of the Moon came out in mid-2018, so it has some long legs if it's just now reaching that milestone. While it was available on PC, 3DS, PS4, Vita and Xbox One in addition to the Switch, the sequel shored up some of those platforms, only appearing on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch.

It makes perfect sense that if there is more of a global saturation of Switch users in 2020, folks who picked up the second game on the platform would mosey on over to the original.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 1 has sold over 600,000 copies, more than 50% on Switch [Nintendo Everything]

Inti Creates says that Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon sold 600,000 copies, with 'more than 50%' sold on Switch screenshot



ShopTo is the latest retailer to state it will not be able to fulfill all launch day pre-orders for next-gen consoles

Online retailer ShopTo has contacted a segment of its PS5 and Xbox Series X/S pre-order customers to inform them that they will not receive their console of choice come launch day.

The retailer sent out the emails, (as seen by Eurogamer), to a selection of its customers in the last few days, explaining that the company had received its shipment allocation for the much sought-after hardware, with an allocation number lower than the total number of registered pre-orders.

"We have received the allocation details from Sony and, unfortunately, we regret to inform you that we will not be able to fulfil your pre-order on day one/release date," reads the email. "Sony may notify us of additional stock with extra allocation for day one and you have already reserved your place in the queue. Some customers may cancel their pre-orders and that may allow yours to be next in line." A day later, VGC reported that a similarly worded email had been received by some Xbox Series X/S pre-order customers.

ShopTo is not the only retailer to warn next-gen customers that their respective orders might not be filled for launch day, as retail giant Amazon has also contacted some shoppers with similar stock allocation issues, following the frenzied and chaotic pre-order process that took place for both platforms.

While this situation has proven inevitable with almost all next-gen hardware launches over the past two decades, it's still a frustrating scenario for parents and those hoping to give the consoles as holiday gifts. From my own experience in console retail, management has always taken the stance of "Just take all orders possible and we'll sort it out later." It seems that the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X is set to be no exception.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch November 10. PS5 launches November 12 in The U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. It will follow in all other territories one week later on November 19.

ShopTo is the latest retailer to state it will not be able to fulfill all launch day pre-orders for next-gen consoles screenshot



Call of Duty: Mobile rakes in $480 million in first year of release

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the launch of Call of Duty: Mobile, a look at the statistics for the pocket-shooter show that, even in its handheld form, Activision's bombastic franchise still succeeds at pulling in the punters.

Call of Duty: Mobile rakes in $480 million in first year of release screenshot

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Review: Spellbreak

Have you ever had a game that just clicked with you right off the bat? You play one game, one level, one match, or one round, and its charms impress you enough that you're in, no questions asked?

Spellbreak is the first game in a long time to click with me like that. I decided to try it out on a whim and found myself ignoring the alarm on my phone that tells me to go to sleep just so I could get in another round or two. I was immediately and legitimately hooked. The battle system is spectacular, and I just wanted to keep playing until my eyes would refuse to stay open.

The more I played, the better I got, and soon enough, I realized this might be the perfect battle royale for me. And it really could be if everything else about it wasn't so goddamn dull.

Review: Spellbreak screenshot

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Genshin Impact could use a few adjustments on mobile

Genshin Impact spent most of its time leading up to release as that game people couldn't talk about without mentioning The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Now that it's out, the similarities and differences between the two titles have become clearer. Genshin Impact has a similar scope to Breath of the Wild, a similar if-you-can-see-it-you-can-climb-it open-world, gliding mechanics, recipes, stamina meter, and fast-travel towers, to name a few. However, it's the differences between the two titles that really illustrate how Genshin Impact is not just a Legend of Zelda clone. 

Spend a few hours with Genshin and you'll understand how the two titles differ. That feeling of freedom that permeates throughout Breath of the Wild just isn't here, as Genshin Impact follows a more traditional, story-driven path forward. It has multiple characters you can switch between on the fly, each playing a bit different than the next. And, of course, the biggest difference between the two is Genshin Impact is free-to-play and available on mobile, which is how I've personally been enjoying the world of Teyvat.

Genshin Impact could use a few adjustments on mobile screenshot

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Review: Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Crash Bandicoot is a legend in my household.

As a kid, I couldn't get enough of the 'lil furball, whether it was via the classic platforming series or Crash Team Racing. When I met my wife, as luck would have it, we would both share a love for Crash-related games, and spent much of our early dating years toiling away taking turns with the trilogy or engaging in late-night Crash runs.

Witnessing the series slowly slip away from Sony's grasp and into the state of irrelevancy was tough. That all changed in recent years with the N. Sane Trilogy and now Crash 4 thanks to the tireless efforts of developmental stewardship from Vicarious Visions and Toys for Bob.

Review: Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time screenshot

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