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Tuesday, 17 November 2020

PS5 Gets First Post-Launch Firmware Update

ps5

After a lot of anticipation, the PS5 launched last week (in select regions, anyway). By and large, the system itself has been warmly well-received, you can see how we felt about it through here. However, like all launches, there were some issues. Some users reported having problems with the sleep mode, external hard drives, and there seems to be a nasty bug that basically will not allow you to download updates to games. Well, the first post-launch firmware update is here, but god only knows what it actually does.

The firmware update brings the console up to 20.02-02.25.00 and is only 868MB of data. If you're familiar with the PS4, unfortunately, you're probably also familiar with Sony's vagueness in a lot of patch notes, and for the first PS5 one it is only "improves system performance," so the beloved stability updates seem to be back. As of now Sony hasn't commented on any of the reported issues so whether this update does anything to address all of that is anyone's guess.

The PlayStation 5 and the new update are available now in some regions with a full international rollout coming later this week on the 19th.


Trine 4 Story DLC, "Melody Of Mystery," Comes Spring 2021, Gets Teaser Trailer

Trine 4

After Trine 3 was something of a disappointment, an experiment of sorts that went wrong you could say, Frozenbyte Games went back to the basics for Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince. The game was a success, we enjoyed it, and seemed to get the franchise back on track by going back to its roots, and it's not done just yet, as more story DLC is coming.

It was announced that a new DLC add-on would be coming to the game, entitled Melody of Mystery. It involves the cast going back to the Astral Academy to investigate why all the students have fallen into a mysterious enchanted sleep. It'll have six new levels that will include new puzzles and abilities. Alongside the announcement came a brief teaser, which you can see below.

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC. Melody of Mystery will release on all platforms in Spring of 2021.


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Developers Share Behind The Scenes Videos For One Year Anniversary

star wars jedi fallen order

It was over a year ago now that EA and Respawn Entertainment released Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It was the first single player focused Star Wars game in a long time, and seemed to be pretty successful with talk of it being a new franchise. Now in honor of that one year anniversary, some developers that worked on the game are sharing some interesting behind the scenes videos of what Jedi looked like before hitting store shelves.

Over the course of the last few days, some key members of the development team shared some videos of the game while it was still in production. You don't often see these types of videos, so it is a very neat way to show the late stage process of that development. You can check them all out below.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia. The PS4 and Xbox One versions are, of course, also playable on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. The game is also now available now on EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.


Crusader Kings 3 Has Sold Over 1 Million Copies

Crusader Kings 3

Paradox Interactive have always been masters of the strategy genre, and in the grand strategy space in particular, Crusader Kings has always been among their most impressive efforts. Earlier this year, however, Crusader Kings 3 came along and surprised people with just how spectacular and expansive it was- and its universally strong critical reception has been reflected in strong sales as well.

In the company's recent quarterly report, while speaking about the game's critical and commercial performance, Paradox Interactive CEO Ebba Ljungerud revealed that the game has sold over 1 million units since its launch in September. Given the fact that Crusader Kings 3 is also available as part of the Xbox Game Pass catalog on PC, that number becomes even more impressive.

Currently, Crusader Kings 3 has a Metacritic score of 91, which makes it one of the highest rated games of 2020, and one of the top rated PC games, alongside the likes of Microsoft Flight Simulator, Hades, and Half-Life: Alyx.

Crusader Kings 3 is currently available for PC via Steam and Xbox Game Pass for PC.


World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Launch Cinematic Hypes up the Upcoming Expansion's Release

world of warcraft shadowlands

The absolute institution known as World of Warcraft is still going strong, and will continue to grow stronger still. Its eighth major expansion, Shadowlands, may have suffered a short delay, but it will soon be out for all WoW players, bringing with it some major new changes and content additions.

To celebrate the expansion's upcoming launch, Blizzard have released a new launch cinematic- which, in true Blizzard fashion, is all sorts of epic. From the splendour of the Bastion to the decrepit depths of the Maw, the trailer gives us a look at the environments of the fabled and titular Shadowlands, which will serve as our primary playground in the upcoming expansion. Take a look below.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands launches on November 23, bringing new zones, a new raid and dungeons, endgame activities, new factions, a new levelling system, and more. You can learn all the crucial details about the expansion through here.


Microsoft Says Announcement Regarding Prices of First Party Next-Gen Games Will be Made "In Due Time"

xbox series x xbox series s

Next-gen prices going up from the $60 price that has been the standard for over a decade has been a pretty hot topic of conversation these last few months. With the likes of Gearbox, Activision, Take-Two, and Sony having taken steps towards the same (hell, Sony even considered raising the prices to above $70), the question of when or if other major publishers will do the same has been asked often.

As a platform holder, Microsoft's stance on the same is a crucial one- so where exactly do they stand on pricing for games on the Xbox Series X/S as far as their first party games are concerned? Well, according to Xbox CFO Tim Stuart, who recent spoke about this at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment conference (via Seeking Alpha), that's something that the company will talk about in due time- but not just yet.

"I think we're not making specific announcements on first-party pricing yet. So we'll do that sort of in due time," Stuart said. "But again, if — I think if publishers can find a price point that works for their audience, defines a price point that works for the maximization of, I'll say users and revenue, because you want to drive engagement. I talk about engagement equals currency a lot. Engagement is the ability for you to drive wholesale monetization, to drive activation of your content, to drive sort of hours in your service."

"I think we'll look at publishers to make the right decision for their content," he added. "If they can drive a premium price point or a higher price point, I think that's warranted. And I'd say, your point is exactly right. Prices have not gone up in — what, for a couple of generations now, so it's not unheard of to see things like this going on."

Stuart also brought up something that many developers, publishers, and analysts in the industry have brought up- that production costs are bound to go up, and that that may invariably lead to higher prices as well.

"Content creation costs go up," he said. "And these publishers and content creators, including ourselves, want to make sure you're driving the right gross margin profiles, the right earnings profiles of what it takes to build these new, awesome, amazing games. And you want to make sure you have a good top line to support that."

Microsoft's stance on the matter is going to be particular interest, given their investment in Xbox Game Pass. Xbox's own Aaron Greenberg has talked about the same in the past, having wondered if game prices matter that much if they're included in Game Pass subscriptions as well.

Meanwhile, the likes of EA and Capcom have remained on the fence about the issue, and seem unwilling to decide either way for now.


Destiny 2: Beyond Light Raid Won't be Delayed

Destiny 2 Beyond Light - Deep Stone Crypt

Destiny 2: Beyond Light released last week and it's been having its fair share of issues. Exotic grenade launcher Witherhoard was disabled due to a bug with its damage over time. Moon bounties were disabled as well while Trials of Osiris was delayed to November 27th due to "issues." Players have also discovered ways to delete raid bosses using Stasis Supers but that doesn't mean Bungie is looking to delay the launch of its Deep Stone Crypt.

Community manager dmg04 said on Twitter that there are currently "no plans" to delay the raid. "Team is investigating alternate fixes to that pesky Stasis bug which will prevent harm to the World First race. We'll have updates later in the week on what to expect." Deep Stone Crypt opens on November 21st and will have the Contest Mode modifier active for the first 24 hours.

Bungie will also take more time to call the winner of the World First race to ensure no foul play has taken place. How it will deal with Stasis causing unintended amounts of damage to bosses remains to be seen. But it could also mark this is as an exploit and threaten to disqualify players who use it. We'll have to wait and see.

Stay tuned for more details in the meantime. Destiny 2: Beyond Light is currently available for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Google Stadia.


Cyberpunk 2077 Ships on Two Blu-ray Discs for PS4

cyberpunk 2077

With many of the major game releases out of the way, all eyes are on CD Projekt RED's Cyberpunk 2077. The highly-anticipated FPS/RPG was delayed to December 10th and a new Night City Wire episode has been scheduled for November 19th. However, a Reddit user whose company allegedly handles marketing for the game posted images of promotional material, providing some new details.

These include the box art, which indicates two Blu-ray discs for the PS4 version and a minimum file size of 70 GB. Physical copies also include access to digital content, a game map, post cards, stickers and a world compendium. Suffice to say, it likely won't be facing another delay.

Cyberpunk 2077 is currently in development for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Google Stadia. It will also support Xbox Series X/S and PS5 when it launches in December, though full-fledged next-gen upgrades are coming later. Stay tuned for more details and updates especially with Night City Wire coming up.


Call of the Sea Releases on December 8th, as Per Microsoft Store Listing

Call of the Sea

Remember Raw Fury's Call of the Sea, the first person adventure mystery announced way back in May? Announced for Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC, it was slated to release this year. Thankfully, unlike Twelve Minutes, it hasn't been quietly delayed – a Microsoft Store listing indicates that it will launch on December 8th.

The story is set in 1934 with Norah venturing the South Pacific to a mysterious island to find her husband. As she explores various ruins and other mysteries, Norah will have to investigate various clues and eventually discover the truth. Along with running at 4K, Call of the Sea will have support for ray-tracing, Smart Delivery and 120 FPS.

Of course, it's also coming to Xbox Game Pass, though whether PC subscribers can also get their hands on it remains to be seen. Expect an official announcement on the release date from the publisher soon. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.


Overwatch Priority Passes Coming Soon

Overwatch Tracer

Ever since Overwatch introduced Role Queue, the matchmaking times have been pretty lopsided against Damage players. In another effort to correct this, director Jeff Kaplan has announced an upcoming Priority Pass system. As detailed in the latest Developer Update, the idea is to enter the Open Queue and complete matches to receive passes.

These passes can then be used in the Competitive Role Queue to provide faster matchmaking for your desired role of choice. While Priority Passes will be earned on completing Open Queue matches, you'll receive more after winning matches. Players can bank up to 40 passes when the system goes live though it will be tuned further as time goes on.

The Priority Pass will hit the Public Test Server soon for fixing any bugs but the development team is keen to release it for live servers and garner feedback. Stay tuned for more details on its release date in the coming weeks. A new challenge event, Symmetra's Restoration, will be going live in the meantime and offers new cosmetics to unlock.


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