Contest: Win Black Desert Prestige Edition for PS4 or Xbox One

In today's contest you can win Black Desert Prestige Edition for PS4 of Xbox One!

So this Black Desert game has been floating around for a long time, now. It started out as a Korea-only MMORPG, but word got out and now it's available here in the West! Or from wherever you're reading this. Whatever.

The game saw its official launch today, and you know how it goes -- we're not just giving away the base game, but also the Prestige Edition content! Check it all out below.

Contest: Win Black Desert Prestige Edition for PS4 or Xbox One screenshot


Review: Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Back in 2018, I talked about how much Spider-Man, as a character, meant to me.

It sounds hyperbolic, but fiction can absolutely get people through some tough times, especially if that character is particularly relatable. Okay, maybe not Spider-Man himself, but Peter Parker sure gets the job done.

The thing is, there are lots of different versions of Spider-Man that people can relate to. Now, we just got another one in Miles Morales and like the first time around, Insomniac did its job once again.

Review: Spider-Man: Miles Morales screenshot


Control's next-gen versions won't launch until 2021

There's more fuel on the fire of Remedy and 505 Games' Control: Ultimate Edition controversy. Originally, it was early adopters who were incensed that it'd require an entirely new Game of the Year-type edition of Control to access the upgraded versions for PS5 and Xbox Series X. Now it's the Ultimate Edition adopters' turn to be annoyed.

Remedy has revealed that Control's next-gen upgrades have been delayed until early 2021. Anyone who's itching to play the enhanced version on their shiny new consoles will be left waiting.

Control's next-gen versions won't launch until 2021 screenshot


Review: Fuser

Harmonix is a fascinating case study of a studio.

What was once the "Frequency/Amplitude" developer (this is how I'll always remember them) eventually made their mark on gaming with the Guitar Heroes series, followed by Rock Band. It's ironic that the folks that helped start the in-home guitar revolution ended up living longer than their creation, having been the steward of Rock Band for around 13 years now.

But Harmonix has always struggled to move out of the shadow of that success. Games like Fantasia: Music Evolved, while fun, never quite put them on the map. Before long the next Rock Band project would be announced and they'd fall back into a comfortable rhythm.

Fuser tries to do something interesting in that same rhythm space, but like several of their other ideas, it comes up short in many respects.

Review: Fuser screenshot


Ori and the Will of the Wisps just got even better with an update for Xbox Series X/S and PC

Moon Studios updated Ori and the Will of the Wisps today in preparation for the Xbox Series X/S, and I have a feeling it'll be just the kick in the pants some people needed to check out one of the year's best video games. The team calls it a "huge upgrade" for the new Xbox consoles. It's easy to see why.

Xbox Series X can pull off 4K HDR at 120FPS, and there's even a "6K Supersampled mode" that runs at 60FPS. On Xbox Series S, Will of the Wisps offers 1080p HDR at 120FPS and 4K at 60FPS. Beyond that boost, there are extra niceties like faster load times, high-fidelity audio, and "instant input response."

For anyone still struggling with lingering bugs or crashes, there are new performance and stability improvements "across all Xbox One SKUs," including extra polish "throughout the game experience."

Moon Studios updated the PC version of Will of the Wisps, too. You can dig into more graphics and audio modes (on both the super-high and low end) and benefit from some of those same stability fixes.

Funny enough, I just started playing it this week. The buzz was legit.

Release Notes for Ori and the Will of the Wisps – Xbox Series X|S and More! [Moon Studios]

Ori and the Will of the Wisps just got even better with an update for Xbox Series X/S and PC screenshot

Sackboy: A Big Adventure will only include local co-op at launch

Online multiplayer support has been a thorny issue for some games recently, and the same can be said for Sackboy: A Big Adventure. While Sumo Digital is planning to support local and online co-op by the "end of 2020," at launch, only two- to four-player local co-op will be included in the PS4 and PS5 game.

"We've made the difficult decision to delay the full online multiplayer functionality within Sackboy: A Big Adventure," design director Ned Waterhouse said today on the PlayStation Blog. "The team have been working hard to ensure that online is the very best experience it can be for players and we just need a little more time to get it right so you can enjoy it to the fullest with your friends and family."

Whenever I hear that online multiplayer is coming later (in this case, it will be added in a free patch shortly after launch), I get a little nervous. When it does show up, will it be stable? Will it need further fixes? It's also worth noting that Sackboy will have "cross-generation multiplayer" on PS4 and PS5.

This delay doesn't change my outlook either way – I'm still looking forward to Sackboy and I still think platformer fans shouldn't sleep on it – but it is a bummer for anyone planning to go the online co-op route. I have an extra DualSense controller, so I'm good to go whenever I end up getting this game.

It's not even a budget concern as much as it is a time issue. I don't have enough!

Sackboy: A Big Adventure will only include local co-op at launch screenshot

How The Legend of Zelda helped define the combat of Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

Any game releasing next week that isn't a part of the big, shiny, new console generation faces the possibility of being forgotten as the industry focuses on the next-gen tech that everyone will be talking about. It would almost seem foolish to position yourself against such gladiators. But the developers at Edelweiss think their game has what it takes to stand out. Against an onslaught of sequels about to hit game stores, they're pitching something unique with Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin.

While many games come and go from my mind, Sakuna's secured itself a nice, comfy spot in the back of my brain when I first saw a trailer for it back in 2018. I wasn't familiar with the developer's previous effort in Astebreed, but its enchanting scenery and rice farming footage made it stand out. At E3 2019, I got to try it out for myself and found it to be a charming action game with the makings of something spectacular.

At the very least, it's different from almost everything else on the market. As I found out in an interview with Edelweiss, that's one of the selling points they believe will keep it in the minds of gamers as it goes up against some heady competition.

How The Legend of Zelda helped define the combat of Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin screenshot


Are these two new Spider-Man suits cool enough for you to ditch your go-to look?

There's no topping Miles' Into the Spider-Verse suit, but Peter Parker is adding a few stylish suits to his eclectic wardrobe for Spider-Man Remastered. As if it isn't hard enough already to pick a favorite look.

Apart from the Amazing suit, which Insomniac previously spoke about, Spider-Man Remastered will also add the all-new Arachnid Rider suit and the Armored Advanced suit. You can see them in the gallery below. The Arachnid Rider, in particular, is worth inspecting up close. Zoom in. Check out that detailing.

Even if you're skipping the PS5 remaster, you'll still be able to wear these suits in the original PS4 version of Spider-Man – we just don't know how long the timed exclusivity period will last.

Personally? I'm down for Miles Morales asap, but Spider-Man Remastered isn't a priority.

@PlayStation [Twitter]

Are these two new Spider-Man suits cool enough for you to ditch your go-to look? screenshot


Review: Astro's Playroom

We've gotten to the point where Astro Bot is now a series and I am here for it.

The little Sony mascot that could originally starred in 2013's Playroom, before it catapulted into stardom with Astro Bot Rescue Mission: a fully-fledged platformer for PSVR. Now it's out of the VR realm and ready for action once again as, in part, a taster for a new piece of tech.

Review: Astro's Playroom screenshot


We should've seen it coming: The Medium delayed into 2021

What crummy fortunetellers and soothsayers we are. We couldn't even predict The Medium's delay before it happened.

The Xbox Series X launch-window lineup took a not-insignificant hit as Bloober Team's new horror game The Medium got pushed back into early 2021. Originally scheduled for December 10, 2020, it has been delayed until January 28, 2021. That's a seven-week setback.

We should've seen it coming: The Medium delayed into 2021 screenshot


Review: PlayStation 5

Sony certainly killed it with the PS4, didn't they? I mean, Microsoft handed them the "W" on a silver platter as soon as that draconian DRM presentation hit.

But something remarkable happened: Microsoft fought back. Instead of throwing in the towel, they made strides in the backward compatibility arena that no publisher had done before. All the while, Sony crafted killer exclusive after exclusive, fighting the good fight with the thing that matters most: games. Sony had to work to sell those 112-million-plus units and take a coveted spot in the "top five all-time best-selling console" list.

This generation, after all of the groundwork laid by Microsoft, we're poised for a fairer fight. But Sony is really coming in swinging yet again with the PS5.

[As this is our second of the two major console reviews, here's a quick side note. We've made both articles fairly uniform, so you can compare and contrast them together. You can find our PS5 unboxing article here.]

Review: PlayStation 5 screenshot


Wow, Konami actually killed P.T. on PS5

Konami has already gone to great lengths to scrub P.T. from existence, that much is well-documented. Following the cancelation of Silent Hills, P.T. was abruptly pulled from the PlayStation Store and unable to be downloaded ever again. The only way to play P.T. was to already have it on your PS4's hard drive.

Now, Konami has made sure the beloved playable teaser's ghosts remain in the past. After some will it/won't it discussion over P.T. living on through PS5 backward compatibility, it seems as though Konami has delivered the coup de grâce.

Polygon reports that P.T. can't be transferred from a PS4 to the PS5's SSD storage. Because of this, it's not supported through backward compatibility.

Here's what's weird though: Polygon also reports that P.T. worked on the PS5 at one point. In late October, Polygon did a data transfer and played P.T. from the beginning. It was perfectly playable. However, after a factory reset, the transfer couldn't be initiated again. The functionality was removed sometime in the few days leading up to this morning's PS5 review embargo.

Sony points the finger at Konami and calls this "a publisher's decision." Konami had told us in the past that P.T. wouldn't work on PS5, but the logic behind that statement seemed shaky. Konami said that P.T. wasn't PS5-compatible because you could no longer download it from the PlayStation Store. We had already known that. It seemed to reason that anyone who simply transferred the files would be all set.

Not so, and it's entirely because Konami is hellbent on making sure P.T. dies. At this point, it's probably best to not even try the transfer just in case something happens to the file on your PS4. Someone needs to preserve history because Konami's actively trying to erase it.

P.T. is not playable on PlayStation 5 [Polygon]

Wow, Konami actually killed P.T. on PS5 screenshot

Review: No More Heroes & No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

Despite some earlier attempts at the hobby, I've come to accept that I am not a game collector. I don't have it in me to buy a game with the intention of keeping it forever. I'd rather play it and trade it than keep it on a shelf. However, a few games have warranted return visits over the years, such as my annual trek through Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, for instance, or the occasional dip into the post-game of Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies. Thus, I keep a small binder on my shelve to house those old games.

No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle have their own page in that old game binder. Every few years, I find myself gravitating back toward them, usually when I need to let out a lot of anger by cutting some fools in half. But I think now is the time for me to give those old games up for good. Not because I'm over them, but because the Switch ports for both games are so much better than the originals.

Review: No More Heroes & No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle screenshot


Shenmue III will finally arrive on Steam in just a few weeks

Out of nowhere, Shenmue III was ensnared by the siren's song of the Epic Games Store. Met to an outcry by tons of backers who felt bamboozled by the near zero hour change (just months before it actually launched), Ys Net and Deep Silver maintained course and kept the exclusivity intact. Until now, that is.

It looks like Epic's exclusive deal is up. We already knew as much, but over on the game's Kickstarter page, it is now fully confirmed that Shenmue III is coming to Steam on November 19. Ys Net says that if you "opted in" to Steam back in late 2019, you're now able to claim your code. A year later. As a reminder, you can check out the full list of PC requirements below.

For Shenmue III, more platforms in any capacity, even within the PC subgroup, is a win. It's still only available on the PlayStation console family, so folks who were holding out for the Steam edition can finally partake. It's also great news for everyone who pulled out of the Kickstarter campaign entirely, as you can casually pick it up on the storefront of your choice going forward.

Steam release announcement [Kickstarter]

Shenmue III will finally arrive on Steam in just a few weeks screenshot


Destruction AllStars shows off its 2 fast 2 furious PS5 action

PS5 fans are finally getting some details and extended footage taken from the brand new platform exclusive Destruction AllStars, in development at Lucid Games and WuShu Studios. Publisher Sony Interactive has released an extended trailer for the over-the-top and super-kinetic racing title, along with more details regarding AllStar's concepts and modes.

Destruction AllStars will see a madcap roster of dynamic and charismatic characters battle it out in vehicular warfare - the fender-bending impact of games such as Destruction Derby and Twisted Metal mixed with the personality of Overwatch, so to speak. Some of the modes available at launch will include the free-for-all chaos of Mayhem, the grand theft auto action of Carnado, zone-capturing team game Stockpile, and finally the battle royale action of Gridfall.

Racers will also be able to hone their death-defying driving skills in a deep training mode, and bag themselves in-game rewards in a series of single-player challenges. For artistic types, Destruction AllStars will also boost customization options, allowing players to change up their racer and vehicles looks to nail that crowd-pleasing color schemes - a must-have given AllStars' vivid rainbow aesthetic.

You can check out the trailer below. It has to be said that Destruction AllStars doesn't seem to have captured many eyes out of the gate - not helped by receiving an unfortunate delay before it even got the green light - but I still think it's worth keeping an eye on, especially for those who - like myself - tend to forget that the brake button even exists.

Destruction AllStars launches in February as a PlayStation Plus game.

Destruction AllStars shows off its 2 fast 2 furious PS5 action  screenshot

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends headed west on PS4 and Switch November 17

ININ Games has announced that retro-infused release Bubble Bobble 4 Friends: The Baron is Back is headed west later this month. The multiplayer take on the classic single-screen platformer will arrive on PS4 and Nintendo Switch on November 17.

Additionally, players who own the vanilla edition of Bubble Bobble 4 Friends will receive a free download the same day adding the new Baron is Back content free of charge. Bubble Bobble 4 Friends includes over 200 stages of classic arcade action and features four-player co-operative play, online scoreboards, and the return of terrifying villain Baron von Blubba. As a bonus, Taito's original 1986 edition of Bubble Bobble is also included as part of the package.

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends headed west on PS4 and Switch November 17 screenshot


Godfall will unleash high-fantasy warfare November 12

We are just six days away from the launch of Gearbox's epic fantasy adventure, Godfall. The publisher has released a final launch trailer emphasizing the third-person adventure's lush locations, amazing effects, and hard-hitting, ground-shaking combat.

As one of the last of an ancient party of warriors known as The Valorian Knights, players must battle through the elemental realms on an almost foolhardy quest, facing impossible odds en route to a showdown with the mad god, Macros, who has violently conquered the realm of Aperion, leaving it on the precipice of total extinction.

Already skilled in hand-to-hand combat, the Valorian Knights are able to enhance their armor, weaponry, and skills with the use of "Valorplates," Zodiac-inspired relics which add buffs and effects when applied to your protagonist. Fine-tune your knight as befits the realm, and then you can start dishing out the vengeance to everyone standing in your way.

Godfall launches on PC via Epic Games Store on November 12. It will launch on PS5 in Japan, Canada, and North America, with most other territories following one week later on November 19. Various special editions are also available to pre-order.

Godfall will unleash high-fantasy warfare November 12 screenshot


After ages of allowing it, Blizzard is taking steps to end 'multi-boxing' in World of Warcraft

For years, some dedicated World of Warcraft players have been "multi-boxing," a term that refers to utilizing multiple accounts and machines to play several (or droves of) characters at once.

In the before-times, this was commonly known as "dual-boxing," when players would have two PCs (or a laptop and PC) next to them, allowing two characters to quest together. But over time multi-boxing became a cottage industry for gold farmers, altering the course of Auction House prices and in some cases, the open world experience. Now, Blizzard is taking a stand before the launch of the Shadowlands expansion.

In the innocuously titled post "Policy Update for Input Broadcasting Software," Blizzard directly calls out "third-party input broadcasting software, which allows a single keystroke or action to be automatically mirrored to multiple game clients," using the term "multi-boxing" by name. Blizzard says that this is now an "actionable defense," and will start warning users before suspending/banning them if they detect this activity. They couldn't have put it more plainly: "We strongly advise you to cease using this type of software immediately to maintain uninterrupted access to World of Warcraft."

As someone who has played WoW since the start, this was a long time coming. Although I've known many people with multiple accounts, multi-boxing has always been sort of a grey area, and has gotten much worse in recent years (particularly during Legion into Battle for Azeroth) as software has made it easier to have armies of bots running around.

Policy Update for Input Broadcasting Software [] [Image source]

After ages of allowing it, Blizzard is taking steps to end 'multi-boxing' in World of Warcraft screenshot

Have a slice of Persona 5 cake along with your Persona 5 tea

You might remember we recently reported on an eclectic range of Persona 5-themed teas, which are launching in Japan this December. Well, it looks like your Phantom Thieves tea-party is almost all set to go, with the arrival of this new range of Persona 5-branded cakes, on their way from Japanese patisserie Priroll Bakery.

Returning after a successful run in the 2019 holiday season, these Persona 5 Christmas Cakes come packed with strawberries and one of two flavors of cream: chocolate or vanilla. This would immediately discount them as "Christmas Cakes", here in the UK, where said seasonal dessert is generally a sad-ass fruit cake covered in bland hard frosting.

Have a slice of Persona 5 cake along with your Persona 5 tea screenshot


The PS5 comes with 667.2GB of usable space out of the box, pre-installed Astro's Playroom takes up 10.98GB

Now that the PS5 embargo has ended, we can finally talk about (most) of the inner workings!

Amid numerous leaks, one of the big questions we're here to answer is "how much SSD space is available on PS5 by default?" The answer? 667.2GB. By comparison, the Xbox Series X has 802GB of usable SSD space

The PS5 comes with 667.2GB of usable space out of the box, pre-installed Astro's Playroom takes up 10.98GB screenshot


Warframe will make its next-gen debut on PS5 first

The most frequent I've asked in my various talks with the developers of Digital Extremes is, "Do you have any information on the next-gen versions of Warframe for me?" As the world crept closer to the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, I kept at it, dying to know how a game that looks so good on the Switch would look with the power of next-gen technology.

But they never had an answer for me. "Nothing to announce on next-gen platforms," they'd say. In fact, they'd act like it wasn't even in their plans. After getting shut down multiple times, I thought maybe Warframe wouldn't see enhancements for next-gen consoles until a few months after release. Turns out, I thought wrong.

Any Warframe players planning on picking up a PS5 will be happy to know Digital Extremes has confirmed the looter shooter will launch this year on the console with an Xbox Series X/S version planned for sometime after. If you like the look of the game on your PS4 already, get ready to see just how much better it can be.

Warframe will make its next-gen debut on PS5 first screenshot


Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night launches on iOS and Android next month

NetEase Games has announced that the mobile version of Koji Igarashi's Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is almost good to go. The Gothic adventure title, shrunken down into pocket-sized form, will launch on the iOS and Android platforms in December, priced around $10.

Developer ArtPlay has managed to squeeze the entire kingdom of Hellhold, complete with all of its post-release DLC into the mobile port, claiming that it has made "no compromise" on visual quality of graphical fidelity. Bloodstained for mobile will utilize an overhauled interface and control scheme, complete with redesigned icons to benefit the reduced screen size. Ain't technology grand?

You can check out a new trailer for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on mobile below. In other recent news, Team IGA announced that boss character Bloodless will be added to the playable roster on all platforms at some point in the coming weeks.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night launches on iOS and Android next month screenshot


Contest: Win DIRT 5 Amplified Edition for PS4, Xbox One, or Steam

In today's contest you can win DIRT 5 Amplified Edition for PS4, Xbox One, or Steam!

No disrespect here, but man how does a game called "dirt" sell so many copies? It's crazy! You've gotta have some cajones to name your game after stuff you swish off your feet after walking around outside.

Well, DIRT 5 is upon us, so you know what that means -- contest time! We're giving away the Amplified Edition, which includes all post-launch DLC and other goodies. I'm also going on a technicality on this one, but since the game has a free upgrade to PS5/Xbox One Series S/X (God I hate typing that), you're technically getting the next gen for free, too!

Contest: Win DIRT 5 Amplified Edition for PS4, Xbox One, or Steam screenshot


Fill the Dungeon Keeper void with Dungeons 3 while it's free on the Epic Games Store

It's no Dungeon Keeper, but if you're in the mood for efficient base management and capital e-Evil, you may wanna grab Dungeons 3 for PC while it's free to claim for one week on the Epic Games Store.

Wait, wasn't this supposed to be something else? You're right – nice attention to detail.

Before a last-minute switch, this freebie was going to be Wargame: Red Dragon. I remember because the game's name kicked off a recurring "all things Hannibal Lecter" chat with Chris and Brett. Without fail, one of us will say something every few weeks to trigger it and we end up talking about the good doctor for way too long. The chat inevitably ends in us rattling off iconic scenes from Red Dragon.

Before you dwell on other matters, please take a moment to remember Edward Norton's bleached hair.

Next week, the Epic Store will have The Textorcist for free. It's a loosely "educational" typing-action game about banishing demons and a whole lot of other nonsense. I'll circle back on November 12.

Fill the Dungeon Keeper void with Dungeons 3 while it's free on the Epic Games Store screenshot

This Spider-Man: Miles Morales commercial has me all keyed up

Ever feel as though life has hurtled you helplessly through the air, leaving you to plink off of a taxi cab and go crashing into an electrical box? When you're down and out, just say to yourself "Remember, I'm Spider-Man.*"

Sony has produced a 30-second TV ad for Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and let me be perfectly succinct here: It gets the job done. It's devilishly simple. Just a lot of web-slingin' and ass-kickin'. That's what you want from a Spider-Man game and it's also what you want from a Spider-Man commercial.

Anyway, watching this will probably get you geared the hell up for next week. Seven more days until PS5 is here, and seven more days until a new Spider-Man game. Hell yes, it's the most wonderful time of the year.

*Probably only works if you're actually Spider-Man

This Spider-Man: Miles Morales commercial has me all keyed up screenshot

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater gets a big update that makes it way more replayable

I blazed through Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 back in September (which [counts on fingers] was 34 years ago now) and quickly found myself out of stuff to do. That's because the original games let you play through the tours with each individual skater. The remake, however, aggregates all the goals so that they only need to be accomplished once across the whole roster of skaters.

That's changing tomorrow. Developer Vicarious Visions is adding a Solo Tours mode where goal and medal progress resets for each skater. Now the full game can be played over and over again. The original version is splintering off to something called "Crew Tours" where players can complete all the game's objectives across as many skaters as they want.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 was already an incredibly challenging and time-consuming completion, but it's going to get significantly tougher. This update also adds more than 100 challenges across 10 challenge sets. They touch on all corners of the game -- solo play, multiplayer, create-a-park, comboing, etc -- and should keep the hardcore community grinding even longer. On the one hand, it'll be good for stocking up on XP and cash; on the other, knocking everything out is even more intimidating now.

Lastly, THPS is getting some create-a-skater items that are Crash Bandicoot-themed. A new deck, three hats, and nine shirts are up for grabs as part of the free update. Some of the stuff is shown off in the video above.

Activision has been steadily supporting THPS 1 + 2 with new features in the two months since it launched. Last month, it was a bunch of social and party features. The Solo Tours update drops on November 6 and similarly goes toward making it a much more robust game. But, you know what'd go toward making it, like, way more robust? The Tony Hawk 3 DLC that everyone desperately wants.

Solo Tours, New Decks and Create-A-Skater Crash Swag Highlight Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 November Update Dropping Tomorrow, November 6 [Activision]

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater gets a big update that makes it way more replayable screenshot

Xbox Series X and PS5 will be (very briefly) back in stock at Walmart on launch day

Is it better to know precisely when to show up for a pre-order, or do you prefer having little to no notice before they go live, forcing everyone to uniformly scramble? If you've tried to get your hands on an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 over the past couple of months, I'm sure you have a stance on this topic.

Walmart will have another batch of consoles in stock on their respective launch days: November 10 (Xbox Series X) and November 12 (PS5). You'll need to try your luck online again with the internet at large, though – there aren't going to be any in-store launch-day orders due to, well, you know.

These are the specific start times. (Don't tell the bots.)

Xbox Series X ($499) and Xbox Series S ($299)

PlayStation 5 ($499) and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition ($399)

Remember when Walmart went rogue and kicked off PS5 pre-orders early? It's tough to forget!

I'm curious to see how this shopping experience compares. It's also worth reminding that the cheaper PS5 Digital Edition will probably be much trickier to secure than the model with a disc drive.

In retrospect, I almost miss waiting in lines. Almost.

Xbox Series X and PS5 will be (very briefly) back in stock at Walmart on launch day screenshot

Review: Borderlands 3: Designer's Cut

So Borderlands 3 is getting more DLC. Who could have guessed!

Operating in a sort of middle-ground between a full live-service game and a complete looter shooter, Borderlands 3 gave us four premium DLC packs that each focused on a new zone and storyline. But for the second season pass (which you can buy right after second breakfast), they're doing things a little differently.

So far, a little too differently.

[You can find all of our previous Borderlands 3 reviews here: the base game, Moxxi's Heist, Guns Love and Tentacles, Bounty of Blood, and Psycho Krieg.]

Review: Borderlands 3: Designer's Cut screenshot


Monster Hunter World: Iceborne will unlock 'virtually all event quests' in early December

Fatalis may be behind us – well, some of us – but Capcom isn't done updating Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. The next drop is coming in "early December," and it'll permanently open up "virtually all" event quests. You won't need to worry as much about schedules and the simmering stress of missing out.

Once update 15.10 is released, there will be a two-week rotation for the Astera and Seliana Fests. Iceborne will also bounce back and forth between Kulve Taroth and Safi'jiiva every two weeks.

In arguably even sweeter news, the multiplayer-centric Safi'jiiva Siege is about to give solo players a fighting chance – the quest can be scaled down to one or two hunters once the update kicks in.

And just like that, Iceborne shot up to the top of my gotta-try-it-on-PS5 list.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne will unlock 'virtually all event quests' in early December screenshot

Commandos 2 HD Remaster brings the battle to Nintendo Switch December 4

Kalypso Media has announced that Yippee Entertainment's remaster of classic PC stealth title Commandos 2 will come crawling through the bushes and onto Nintendo Switch on December 4, following on from its previous release on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.

Commandos 2 HD Remaster features all of the strategic action from Pyro Studios' 2001 release Commandos 2: Men of Courage, revamped with improved visuals, a new interface, and an overhauled control scheme. Players guide a small squad of military specials on a series of assassination, theft, espionage, and sabotage missions deep in enemy territory.

Outnumbered and outgunned, players must rely on expert planning, on-the-spot adaptation, and each squad member's various skills in order to pull off the perfect operation and get out from behind enemy lines unharmed. It's no picnic, and notoriously one of the trickiest and most intense stealth titles ever released. You can check out a new trailer for the Switch release below.

It should be noted that the remaster removes all references to the Nazis, all depictions of the swastika, and all depictions of the Japanese "Imperial Sun" insignia from the campaign. Kalypso Media has stated that it voluntarily took the decision to remove these elements, stating that "We do not want to encourage racism, discrimination or exclusion with our games."

Commandos 2 HD Remaster launches on Nintendo Switch December 4.

Commandos 2 HD Remaster brings the battle to Nintendo Switch December 4 screenshot


PlayStation 5 won't have expandable SSD support until a future update

It's very easy to add more SSD storage to your PlayStation 5. It's not quite as simple as the Xbox Series X letting you pop an expansion card into a slot in the back, but it's not too intimidating. Sony's teardown video of the PS5 revealed that removing the side panels allows access to an M.2 slot for installing your own PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD. Unlike Xbox, it won't require a proprietary drive.

However, that's not all good to go on November 12. In a statement to The Verge, Sony confirms that the M.2 slot is useless at launch. "This is reserved for a future update," Sony comments. 

There's no specific window as to when PS5 will support expandable SSD storage. The Verge says it's because these NVMe SSDs need to be fast (hitting more than 5.5GB/sec of bandwidth), thin enough to fit into the SSD bay, and compatible with Sony's I/O controller. It's unclear if Sony has started testing yet.

However, PlayStation's Mark Cerny had sort of set the expectation that SSD expansion wouldn't be included at launch. Back in March, he posited that it'd probably come "a bit past" launch. We don't know how far past November 12 we're looking at, though.

That's not to say the PS5 doesn't have any expandable storage. It still supports USB HDD storage right away. That won't deliver the next-gen speeds that both PS5 and Xbox Series X are using as major selling points, but at least it's a place to keep your games without uninstalling them altogether. But, for a big add-on SSD that makes good on all the PS5 promises of super fast loads, you'll have to wait a little longer.

Sony confirms the PS5 won't support SSD storage expansion at launch [The Verge]

PlayStation 5 won't have expandable SSD support until a future update screenshot

Review: Xbox Series X

It's no secret that Microsoft was fighting an uphill battle with the Xbox One. The initial announcement of the draconian DRM strategy did not go over well, with Sony and the gaming community at large taking every opportunity to dunk on it. But over time, the console landscape shifted dramatically. Microsoft, along with Phil Spencer, completely changed the conversation.

Xbox Games with Gold provided players with permanent copies of 360 games. Microsoft extended its hand to other publishers, opening the floodgates for cross-platform play while Sony opposed the program for another year, only relenting for certain big-ticket games. Xbox Game Pass utterly shifted the landscape of "generations," becoming the first major successful "Netflix for games" concept.

That philosophy extends to the Xbox Series X family.

[Since this is our first of the two new hardware reviews, here's a quick side note. We've made both articles fairly uniform, so you can compare and contrast them together when the PS5 review hits. You can find our Xbox Series X unboxing article here.]

Review: Xbox Series X screenshot


Fallout 76's next battle pass adds allies as rewards

In its first two seasons, Fallout 76's battle passes have looked mostly the same. Some cosmetic decorations, some microtransaction currency, some boosts -- it's all a bunch of stuff that Fallout players want but don't necessarily need. Next season is going to raise the stakes a bit.

As part of a developer overview of the upcoming Steel Dawn expansion, Bethesda has confirmed that Season 3 will add allies to the list of rewards. There are two who are eligible to join your C.A.M.P. There's Solomon Hardy who's a Brotherhood of Steel medic, and there's Yasmin Chwdhury who's a chef. They're both permanent cast members for anyone who unlocks them.

Information about these allies was the rare detour from talking about everything to do with the upcoming Brotherhood of Steel-focused expansion. Let's bullet-point some of the major details:

Fallout 76's next battle pass adds allies as rewards screenshot


Demon's Souls has a much prettier character creator but you can still make a hideous hero if you want

Apart from nailing Demon's Souls' pretty new PS5 sheen, Bluepoint and SIE Japan Studio have gone to "great lengths to recreate every feature of the original game." When it comes to the character creator – the tool that lets us make horrible monster people and then hide their faces with helmets – the developers are adding "many more customization options than you'll remember from the PS3 game."

There are "up to 16 million permutations" for player-created characters, according to creative director Gavin Moore. The avatar examples posted today on the PlayStation Blog look surprisingly good, to the point where some of them don't immediately scream Souls, but I'm not complaining. Not at all.

The remake's heightened visuals carry over to the character creator, and with old and new settings to tweak, the highs are going to be higher – cooler than ever – and the lows are bound to be absurd.

Bring on the ugly-as-sin protagonists. I want to see a flood of posts on November 12.

The PlayStation Blog post also previewed a few screenshots taken from the all-new photo mode (it's similarly very pretty) and reiterated a cool detail: you can leave photo filters on in regular gameplay.

One filter adjusts the "brightness, contrast, and color levels to closely resemble those of the original PS3 game, for those who may prefer that classic look." It may not be perfect, but the effort shows.

First look: Demon's Souls character creator and Photo Mode [PlayStation Blog]

Demon's Souls has a much prettier character creator but you can still make a hideous hero if you want screenshot


Here's how to access Borderlands 3's new Arms Race DLC

Borderlands 3 is getting a fancy new DLC pack in a few days.

Okay so maybe it's not so fancy (it's some skill trees and a new mode), but it isn't abundantly clear how to access the Arms Race gametype at first: especially if you miss out on the quick prompt or your quest log is buried with unfinished jobs.

Here's how to find it on Sanctuary 3.

Here's how to access Borderlands 3's new Arms Race DLC screenshot


Rainbow Six Siege teases Operation: Neon Dawn defender Aruni

Ubisoft has teased the next operator heading to its twitchy multiplayer shooter Rainbow Six Siege. Arriving as part of the upcoming Operation: Neon Dawn event, Aruni will be the latest in a long line of  door-kickers to join Siege's expansive roster of counter-terrorist operatives.

Rainbow Six Siege teases Operation: Neon Dawn defender Aruni screenshot


Nintendo Download: Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

We're so close to the next generation: but Nintendo doesn't care!

For them, "next-gen" arrived three years ago, but truthfully, Nintendo kind of skates around the idea of "generations" anyway. They do what they do, they (generally) sell a ton of consoles and first-party software, then they do their own thing yet again. The Switch has been executing that strategy to aplomb with strong hardware and software sales.

Speaking of software, this week sees the release of Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin and Fuser on November 10. The third-party support for the Switch continues, while Nintendo itself is gearing up for a major release soon enough with Age of Calamity on November 20. Soon!

Here's a full rundown of everything else:

Nintendo Download: Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin screenshot


EA shares next-gen upgrade plans, including better visuals for Star Wars: Squadrons on Series X compared to PS5

We're nearly there!

Just seven more days until the next-gen arrives and we can start calling it the "current-gen." I'm going to milk the phrase "next-gen" as often as I can, so look forward to that in the next week or so. EA knows we're pretty much at the gates of next-gen (got ya) too, so they've shared their next-gen (got ya again) plans with the world today. Here's a rundown.

EA Sports are coming back according to the publisher, who notes that UFC 4, NHL 21, Madden 21 and FIFA 21 will run like they do on either Xbox One X or a PS4 Pro for now; while Madden and FIFA will get "next-gen upgrades" on December 4 for free. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered, despite coming out so close to the generational leap, will also follow a similar path of running "like the Xbox One X or the PS4 Pro."

Sims 4, however, will get "faster loading and smoother framerates" on next-gen systems. Apex Legends will run at 1440p on next-gen systems, with "more formal enhancements planned for next year." Star Wars Squadrons will also see an upgrade, running at 2160p and 60 FPS on Series X with the "visual quality" setting and 2160p and 120 FPS on the "performance" setting. PS5 statistics for Squadrons were not provided, though it will "run with improved lighting and the same resolution and framerate as the PS4 Pro."

It feels like a lot of publishers are giving us this news down to the wire. The disparate nature of some of the numbers here when comparing the Series X and the PS5 really remind me of the launch of the last console era: where Microsoft was clowned on for having slightly lower resolution. The cycle will continue, I guess.

Backward Compatibility [EA]

EA shares next-gen upgrade plans, including better visuals for Star Wars: Squadrons on Series X compared to PS5 screenshot

Sony reveals that launch PS5 sales will be 'online,' says not to camp out or line up at retail

This is coming in hot, but Sony is warning fans not to expect physical PS5 sales this year. Meaning: the typical "camp out for your next-gen system" routine is right out in 2020.

Sony's content communications senior director Sid Shuman shared the news this morning, explaining that "in the interest of keeping our gamers, retailers, and staff safe" amid the pandemic, they are "confirmation that all day-of launch sales will be conducted through the online stores of our retail partners." "Don't plan on camping out or lining up at your local retailer on launch day," Sony re-iterates. "Be safe, stay home, and place your order online."

So what happens if you pre-ordered a console at a store already? Sony says that "you should still be able to do so," at a "designated appointment time, under the retailer's safety protocols." They state that you should confirm this directly before the day of.

As we rush headlong into winter and the shopping season, this move is completely expected: we suspect a lot of other retailers and manufacturers alike will follow suit. Except GameStop, maybe.

PlayStation 5: Launch Day Ordering Update [PlayStation Blog]

Sony reveals that launch PS5 sales will be 'online,' says not to camp out or line up at retail screenshot

Here's an exclusive look at the upcoming Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends decklists

The Commander gametype has really taken off in Magic: The Gathering in recent years, no doubt due to its accessibility and the excitement of playing as a "hero," which standard Magic play can often lack.

In very basic terms, Commander games allow players to take one card that doubles as a "commander," that can be casted at any time via the "Commander Zone." There are also some deckbuilding nuances involved, but preset decks like the upcoming Commander Legends packs take care of that step for new players.

In addition to snagging exclusive full decklists for the new Legends sets (scroll down for those!), I had the chance to speak with Magic senior designer Gavin Verhey about a few of the finer points of the Commander scene, to really drill down into why Commanding is so enduring.

Here's an exclusive look at the upcoming Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends decklists screenshot


Nintendo Switch has sold 68.3 million units worldwide

Nintendo has released its latest financial earnings report, which reveals that the developer/publisher sold an impressive 6.86 million Nintendo Switch consoles in the quarter ending September 2020. This pushes the global lifetime sales of the hybrid platform past the 68.3 million mark.

In addition, just under 50 million games were sold on the platform during the summer season, with worldwide lockdown legislation no doubt playing a part in the surge of in-home gaming. Accounting for the boosted sales, Nintendo has altered its forecast for the current fiscal year, raising its initial target of Switch hardware sales from 19 million to 24 million, a prediction that the company was hesitant to make earlier in the year.

2020 has been a good year for the Switch platform, with steady hardware sales alongside the launch of successful new titles such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and Paper Mario: The Origami King. As Microsoft and Sony prepare their powerful next-gen hardware for 2021, the Nintendo Switch will occupy a cozy spot where it will continue to be enjoyed by millions upon millions of video game fans worldwide.

Nintendo Consolidated Financial Highlights [Official]

Nintendo Switch has sold 68.3 million units worldwide screenshot

(Update) The free Marvel Avengers 'appreciation' rewards are now live

[Update: Make sure you log in by 10AM PT today (November 5) if you still want them!]

If you still play Marvel's Avengers, you should probably log in between now and November 5 (10AM PT) so you can grab this "Player Appreciation Package," that some might see as an apology package for delaying next-gen upgrades and new content.

In short, you're getting: 1500 credits, 7000 units, 250 upgrade modules and 20 DNA keys. That amount of credits is just enough for a legendary skin for your favorite character. Currencies! Can't live with them, live service games can't live without them. As someone who still plays Avengers from time to time: I definitely could have lived with a few less currencies in this one, as Crystal Dynamics, like Bungie before it, still has a long ways to go until they nail down a fun live service game loop.

Hell, even if you don't play Marvel's Avengers but own the game, you should probably log in just in case to claim those items anyway for future use. You never know, Crystal Dynamics could completely overhaul the game one day and you'll be glad you had those extras. Or, they could combine multiple currencies and devalue this set of rewards.

Who knows! Live service games are wild in 2020 and beyond.

Avengers War Table [Square Enix] [Image from VGphotomode on the Marvel blog]

(Update) The free Marvel Avengers 'appreciation' rewards are now live screenshot

Let us dance! Mileena returns in Mortal Kombat 11 gameplay trailer

NetherRealm Studios has released the long-awaited, highly anticipated gameplay trailer for the TRUE Outworld Kahnum - that minx of mischief, the sultry sai-thrower, the teleporting Tarkatan, and the source of a thousand and one abominable death threats. It's Mileena, of course.

Making her debut in 1993's Mortal Kombat II, Mileena is the pseudo twin-sister of Kitana, created in the Flesh Pits of evil sorcerer Shang Tsung in order to provide Shoa Kahn with the bloodthirsty daughter he so desired. Mixing her sister's DNA with Tarkatan blood gives Mileena her sister's stunning beauty, mixed with the razor blade smile and feral aggression of the Tarkatan race.

Rising above her status as a mere "experiment," Mileena would go one to become ruler of Outworld following the death of Shao Kahn, before meeting a gruesome end at the hands of the Outworld Rebellion, led by Kotal Kahn and the sly D'Vorah. Having found her way back into the world of the living thanks to Kronika's time shenanigans, Mileena is out on her own... and out for revenge...

Let us dance! Mileena returns in Mortal Kombat 11 gameplay trailer screenshot


Sales of first-party Nintendo Switch games keep soaring, as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe nearly shifts 30 million units

Nintendo just gave us an update of their top 10 best-selling Switch game list, and it's a doozy! Although not a whole lot changed per se, the rich just keep getting richer as Nintendo continues to sell through a ton of software.

The last update was through June 30, 2020, but now we have a better idea of how several titles are selling through as of September 30, 2020 thanks to a new report this morning. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has pushed all the way up to 28.99 million units sold, a roughly 2.2 million increase since the June 30 report. It's still the crown jewel of the Switch and refuses to give up its throne.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons however is nipping at its heels, commanding a powerful 26.04 million units sold as of the end of September, a nearly four million unit increase since the last period. Smash Ultimate also sold a little over a million more units to hit 21.10 million, while Zelda sold nearly a million more, a testament to its pedigree and long word of mouth tail (my wife just started playing Breath of the Wild recently, so I've seen it first-hand!).

Pokemon Sword and Shield hit the 19 million mark with around .8 million more units sold, while Mario Odyssey peddled nearly a million more copies in that same period. Let's Go Pikachu saw one of the smallest gains with just .29 million more units, with Super Mario Party seeing gains of .16 million units, and Splatoon 2 increasing by roughly .5 million. New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe is hanging on to that number 10 spot with 8.32 million units sold, a roughly .9 million unit increase from the June 30 report.

What does this all mean? Well, first-party Nintendo games, which rarely, if ever, go down in price, are still crushing it. I wonder if we'll see another game creep up on New Super Mario Bros. in the next six months. You can find the full list below!

IR Information [Nintendo]

Sales of first-party Nintendo Switch games keep soaring, as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe nearly shifts 30 million units screenshot


Super Mario 3D All-Stars has already sold more than five million copies

While there are still many questions as to why Nintendo would limit the availability of Super Mario 3D All-Stars to just six months, there's no denying it's been an effective sales tactic. After seeing big preorders and demand for the game back in September, we finally got a look at just how successful its launch was. Today, Nintendo revealed the game has sold 5.21 million copies worldwide since its release.

Its success is just one of the highlights from Nintendo's most recent quarterly statement. Paper Mario: The Origami King also proved to be a hit, moving 2.82 million copies since launching in July. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is also still showing its legs, selling nearly four million units in just the last quarter. According to Nintendo, 20 different games have sold more than a million copies on Switch in just this fiscal year.

Consolidated Financial Highlights [Nintendo]

Super Mario 3D All-Stars has already sold more than five million copies screenshot

Steam makes beta testing a lot easier for developers and players

Large-scale closed playtesting seems like something that can be kind of a pain in the ass to arrange. Developers are generally left to select hundreds or thousands of players, and distribute unique keys to each of them individually.

Steam is streamlining that whole process. Today, Valve introduced Steam Playtest which is a revamping of how beta testing works on Steam.

Here's how it works: Players request access to a playtest from the game's store page. Then they're placed in a queue that the developer has control over. They can choose how many people are in the test and how many more to grant access to. There also seems to be functionality for manually adding individual users.

It's quite simple, but this isn't something that needs to be overly complicated. Playtest seems like it'll cut down on the hassle of getting people into a beta, especially when you consider that studios no longer have to manage key distribution. That implementation alone should leave a lot of developers eager to give Playtest a shot.

Steam Playtest: Invite Players To Test Your Game [Steam]

Steam makes beta testing a lot easier for developers and players screenshot

Dontnod is working on five unannounced games

A half-dozen. Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six. That's now many games Life is Strange developer Dontnod Entertainment has in production right now.

That ambitious tidbit came from a GamesBeat interview with Dontnod CEO Oskar Guilbert. "Our studio is growing, with six games in production now," Guilbert said. Twin Mirror launches on December 1, and that almost certainly counts as "in production." Apart from that, all of Dontnod's projects are unannounced.

It helps that Dontnod has significantly ramped up its staffing. The developer opened a new studio in Montreal where some key Life is Strange creators will focus on a new narrative-oriented property. Between Paris and Montreal, Dontnod will have approximately 300 employees.

Dontnod's trajectory is similar to that of Telltale's, episodic games and a whole lot of 'em. Guilbert tells GamesBeat that it's important to learn from Telltale's mistakes and avoid the same outcome. "We don't want to stick to the same thing ever time," Guilbert states. "We innovate. We are reinventing ourselves in terms of quality, mechanics, and technology. Finding new ways of telling stories is really important." With five unannounced games lined up, that's a lot of opportunity to find those new ways.

Dontnod expands with back-to-back games and a new studio in Montreal [GamesBeat]

Dontnod is working on five unannounced games screenshot

Apart from faster load times, Sea of Thieves will get a bump to 60FPS on Xbox Series X and S

Sea of Thieves might not be your first order of business on Xbox Series X/S, but the next time you're in the mood for swashbuckling, you'll benefit from some noticeable visual and performance gains.

As confirmed by Rare today, Sea of Thieves will reach 4K/60FPS on Xbox Series X and 1080p/60FPS on Xbox Series S. As expected? I'd say so. I think we're bound to see similar results elsewhere.

That said, the real win – the thing I'm most excited about for backward-compatible games, in general – is spending less time waiting to actually start playing. Both consoles will "lead to significantly reduced load times" for Sea of Thieves, according to Rare. The current slowness is a widely-held gripe.

Backing that claim up with some real-world testing, in its pre-release coverage, The Verge clocked the game's load time as 20 seconds on Xbox Series X and 1 minute and 21 seconds on Xbox One X.

"This optimized version of Sea of Thieves will be available to all players with Xbox Game Pass alongside the launch of both consoles [on November 10], and via Smart Delivery for existing owners," said Rare.

When this game first released, I wasn't sure it would still be kicking in 2020. What a turnaround.

Sea of Thieves on the Next Generation of Consoles [Rare]

Apart from faster load times, Sea of Thieves will get a bump to 60FPS on Xbox Series X and S screenshot

Only 364GB of the Xbox Series S' 512GB SSD is actually usable

Anyone who buys an Xbox Series S will probably find themselves scrambling for extra storage before too long. Or, they'll have to resign themselves to a life of installing and uninstalling a bunch of games.

Now that next-gen consoles are making their way into the wild, we're getting some consumer reports on exactly what we can expect out of the box. Reddit user spead20 was lucky enough to find that their Xbox Series S showed up a week early. Can't complain about that!

Someone asked them how much usable storage the Xbox Series S has out of the box. Spead20 confirmed that 364GB of the console's 512GB SSD is actually usable after system updates are applied. That's 71 percent of an SSD that's already fairly small.

The options are to pony up for the 1TB proprietary SSD, make use of an external USB HDD that doesn't offer game optimizations, or to simply juggle installs. A silver lining is that Microsoft previously confirmed that install sizes will be about 30 percent smaller on Xbox Series S because it won't require 4K texture packs.

But, to frame this against the file size of one of this year's surefire most popular games, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a 136GB install. When we're working with these kind of numbers, you can see how it'll turn into a problem pretty quickly.

Received it 1 week early!! From the source (Canada) feeling really lucky! Hope all of you receive it soon! [reddit]

Only 364GB of the Xbox Series S' 512GB SSD is actually usable screenshot

Make sure to grab Borderlands 2's Commander Lilith DLC on Nintendo Switch while you can

I spent a surprising amount of time with Borderlands 2 on Nintendo Switch this year, and while I've had my fill – enough to the point where I might not ever revisit this game – sure, I'll take a moment to claim the Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary DLC while Take-Two is still giving it out. Just in case.

You can do the same if you own Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (that's the two-game bundle) or Borderlands: Legendary Collection (the compilation with three games). The Commander Lilith DLC is free to claim until December 3, 2020, and you can find it listed on the Nintendo eShop – I'd link it if I could.

Once it's installed, how do you access the quest? Hit up a Fast Travel station at level 30 or higher and look for "Fight for Sanctuary." Aside from new guns (including the Effervescent rarity tier) and more bosses, areas, and enemy variants, there's also a new level cap: it's bumped from level 72 to level 80.

A word of warning: I've seen some players report that the DLC is crashing Borderlands 2 (especially the comments on the YouTube trailer embedded above), so it's probably worth waiting for the all-clear.

Otherwise, in general, Borderlands 2 is pretty good on Switch (if you're still into it).

Make sure to grab Borderlands 2's Commander Lilith DLC on Nintendo Switch while you can screenshot