Overwatch’s competitive mode may be again this month (up to date)

Replace: blizzard corrected itself this morning, announcing that competitive mode may be coming later this month, not July.

formerly, tweets from the legit Overwatch account (spotted via Eurogamer) screen that aggressive mode has slipped into mid-to-late July.

 

Authentic: The decision to cut competitive play from the Overwatch open beta, and the whole launch of the game, turned into approximately as closing-minute because it gets. but it sounds like it won’t be gone for lengthy: sport Director Jeff Kaplan said in a Q&A video posted nowadays on fb that he hopes to have to have the mode again next month.

“competitive mode is the modern awareness of the Overwatch crew, and it is the most improtant issue for us to feature to the game right now,” Kaplan says inside the video, beginning at around the 9:00 mark.

“Our first massive content update for Overwatch will be competitive mode. I don’t want to vow an genuine date, because i’m certain something date I say right now might be incorrect,” he maintains. “My difficult dedication, or ‘no longer-commitment,’ could be someday in the direction of the give up of June—center to quit of June. We need to have competitive mode in. We have already got it in internally, in reality we have been gambling it this weekend and we are starting to get a feel for it.”

Kaplan stated changes to aggressive mode will encompass lengthened seasons, so that it will likely run for round three months instead of the one month in the beginning deliberate, and a reduction inside the frequency of unexpected dying. more records will be discovered as competitive mode comes closer to re-release; Overwatch, bear in mind, may be live world-extensive simply over an hour from now.

Activision confirms a “new, innovative” Call of Duty from Infinity Ward will arrive in 2016

activision, call of duty, treyarch, infinity ward, sledgehammer games, activision blizzard, call of duty ghosts, earnings report, call of duty 2016

Activision Blizzard released its quarterly financial report last week, and it didn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn that Infinity Ward will launch a new Call of Duty game this holiday season. Activision did say, however, that this will be a new “ innovative” entry into the long-running franchise – not a word usually associated with Call of Duty.

There’s been a Call of Duty game released every year since Call of Duty 2 in 2005. The development of the titles was split between Infinity Ward and Treyarch on an alternating yearly basis but the franchise moved from a two-year to a three-year development cycle in 2014, with Sledgehammer Games joining the other two studios as a lead developer.

It will be Infinity Ward’s first Call of Duty game since 2013’s CoD: Ghosts, which was the first game in the series to appear on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The developer knows it has a lot to live up to – last year’s entry, Black Ops 3 from Treyarch, was thebest selling game of 2015.

We don’t know what the upcoming game will be about; it could be a new Ghosts or Modern Warfare, but Infinity Ward did post a tweet mentioning “reaching new heights” last month that included a picture of an astronaut. Could this hint that the game will be set in space (like the brief section that appeared in Ghosts)? It could explain why Activision is using the term “innovative.”

Activision reported that its quarterly and yearly sales were down last year. The company’s adjusted revenue for the quarter was $2.12 billion, down from $2.21 billion from the same period a year earlier and below its forecast of $2.15 billion. Total revenue for the year was $4.62 billion, compared to the $4.81 billion it made across all of 2014.

The company said that two of its expected big-earners, Skylanders Superchargers and Guitar Hero Live, performed weaker than it anticipated. Activision blamed this on greater competition in the toys-to-life genre and the “casual audience’s shift to mobile devices.”

Fallout 4 Crowned Game of the Year at D.I.C.E. Awards

Fallout 4 Crowned Game of the Year at D.I.C.E. Awards

‘Fallout 4′ wasted the competition at the D.I.C.E. Awards.

Bethesda Softworks’ role-playing video saga set in a post-apocalyptic Boston won the game of the year prize at the 19th annual awards. ‘Fallout 4’ was also honored with trophies for outstanding achievement in game direction and as a role-playing game of the year, while its spin-off app ‘Fallout Shelter’ was selected as mobile game of the year.

The D.I.C.E. Awards – which stands for design, innovate, communicate and entertain – honor outstanding achievements in games and are determined by votes from members of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the International Game Developers Association.

‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,’ CD Prokjekt Red’s sprawling fantasy role-playing sequel, picked up awards for outstanding achievement in story, technical achievement and game design.

The ethereal platformer ‘Ori and the Blind Forest’ from Moon Studios gathered honors for outstanding achievement in animation, art direction and original music composition.

Psyonix’s ‘Rocket League,’ the indie title that merges soccer-like gameplay with vehicle combat, scored for sports game of the year, outstanding achievement in online gameplay and the D.I.C.E. Sprite Award, which honors games crafted with limited resources.

The multiplayer sci-fi shooter ‘Star Wars: Battlefront’ from Electronic Arts studio DICE earned a pair of trophies for action game of the year and for outstanding achievement in sound design.

Other winners included ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ for outstanding achievement in character for Lara Croft, ‘Super Mario Maker’ as family game of the year, ‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’ as adventure game of the year, ‘Mortal Kombat X’ for fighting game of the year, ‘Forza Motorsport 6’ as racing game of the year, ‘Helldivers’ as handheld game of the year and ‘Heroes of the Storm’ as strategy/simulation game of the year.

The late Nintendo executive Satoru Iwata was honored with the ceremony’s lifetime achievement award, while ‘Metal Gear Solid’ creator Hideo Kojima was inducted into the interactive academy’s hall of fame.

The ceremony capped off the three-day D.I.C.E. Summit. The industry gathering featured talks from such luminaries as ‘Metal Gear’ creator Kojima, ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ writer Rhianna Pratchett and ‘Civilization’ creator Sid Meier.

Doom Collector’s Edition Listed for India on PS4 and Xbox One

Doom Collector's Edition Listed for India on PS4 and Xbox One

Earlier in the month, video game publisher and recent Dice Game of the Year winner Bethesda announced that first-person shooter Doom is slated for a May 13 release date. It also announced the Doom Collector’s Edition as well. Indian retailer Games The Shop has finally it listed on its site with the price marked as “TBA”.

To jog your memory, this version of the game costs $119.99 in the US (around Rs.8,100). With it you get a 12-inch statue of one of the game’s demons- The Revenant (not to be confused with the Oscar contender of the same name). There’s an an LED-lit base that features a slow moving turbine.

Unlike Bethesda’s special edition for Wolfenstein: The New Order, you get the game and that too in an exclusive metal case. The Doom Collector’s Edition has been made in partnership with noted collectible maker TriForce so the quality should be on the sturdier side. There’s no PC version on Games The Shop though. Only PS4 and Xbox One. Odd considering the franchise is known for its PC roots.

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Nonetheless, this isn’t the first time Games The Shop has listed a special variant of a game from Bethesda before announcing on a price at a later date. Last year, it had the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition up almost a month and a half prior to release with pricing finalised barely three weeks before it was due on the shelves. We’re guessing the same tactic is being followed to gauge pre-order interest before zeroing on a specific price.

But if you’re looking to save up, expect to have around Rs. 12,999 at the very least. This is because both the Doom Collector’s Edition and the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition share the same price of $119.99 and 119.99 Euros in the US and Europe respectively. This resulted in Fallout 4’s special edition being pricedat Rs. 12,999. Safe to say, the price of the Doom Collector’s Edition would be in striking range of what the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition was in India. Much like it, expect to pre-order it via net banking, debit or credit card instead of cash on delivery. Ostensibly to cut down fraudulent orders.

Although it retails for $120 (around Rs. 8,100) in the US, that doesn’t count the cost of shipping and weight if you were looking to import it. Even if you get a relative or friend to bring it in, the contents are bound to raise a few eyeballs at customs. A cursory check at our Amazon US pre-order of the Doom Collector’s Edition with shipping to India works out to almost the same price of Rs. 12,999 without factoring customs, making local availability cheaper by at least 30 percent if it’s priced inline with the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Update Insults Turkey, Causes AMD Video Cards to Crash

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Update Insults Turkey, Causes AMD Video Cards to Crash

It’s no surprise that a large part of the resurgence of PC gaming is due to Valve and its digital storefront Steam. And while the company was once known for its fantastic first-person shooters such as Half-Life and Team Fortress, these days it’s known for Steam.

On occasion however, the company will develop and publish the odd game or two such as Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. While the former got a massive rehaul, the latter just received a new update called Operation Wildfire.

The update brings a slew of content to the long-running competitive shooter, and it isn’t without controversy. For starters, one of the community created maps that comes with it has been deemed racist and insulting by its Turkish players. The map, called Mikla was subject to grievances galore. Avid Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players flocked to Reddit to express their outrage.

“I’d like to start with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. I think you have no idea what he means or how much he is respected in our country. You may understand this condition better with your love and adoration for Abraham Lincoln in mind,” commented a Redditor by the name of caglarus. “I think it would hurt a lot of people if we had changed his photo with another man’s and write nonsensical words by distorting the letters of his name. Disrespecting the most important person of our heritage and founding father of our country like this is dishonouring Turkish people. I, myself, will never forgive this.”

Defacing a renowned Turkish historical figure, President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk aside, the map is home to many an inaccuracy and stereotype. All of it appears to be made in an attempt at humour. Albeit a rather poor one.

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“In addition to these hate crimes, every corner of the map is full of racism examples insulting Turkish culture. In some sections of the map there are pictures of penis on some cans. I still cannot believe Valve published this map like this,” the post continues. “Also, on some signboards there are writings which say ‘you can ride donkeys as a family,’ ‘you can have gunfights and that is fun for the entire family’. This is seriously horrible. Every single thing that can be counted as racist slurs which can be said to a Turk on Steam is told in the map. I want you to know this, in Turkey or in any cities of her [sic] we do not ride donkeys or have gunfights as a family. These are considered as criminal and they are not fun for anyone.”

At the time of writing this, Valve has removed the map from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Steam Workshop. However it’s still listed on the game’s website (pictured above). Valve is yet to comment as to exactly why. Given the company’s past behaviour, we wouldn’t hold out for a statement. The fact that Mikla was included in an official update indicates that someone in the company may have at least gone through the map once before green lighting it to be a part of Operation Wildfire. It appears that this wasn’t done thoroughly enough.

This isn’t the only issue with Operation Wildfire. Those running Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on AMD video cards have reported frequent crashing. The only solution seems to be to reduce in-game graphic settings to the bare minimum. Even then seems to simply prolong the inevitable crash. Be it high-end GPUs like the Fury X or low-end chips such as the R9 270x, the game is nearly unplayable after the latest update.

The shoddy content moderation and poor performance for PCs with AMD video cards possibly implies a rushed development and production pipeline for Operation Wildfire. Odd considering that at one point in time, Valve was one of the few companies notorious for not launching a game until it was deemed, in its eyes, as perfect.

PS4 Online Multiplayer Free This Weekend

PS4 Online Multiplayer Free This Weekend

Though the PS4 is dominating sales records, it appears that it doesn’t have as many of its owners playing online multiplayer as Sony would like. In order to tempt them, the company is offering free online multiplayer access for all its US customers this weekend.

“Free online multiplayer access begins Friday, February 19, at 12:01am Pacific [Friday, February 19 1:31pm IST] and runs to Sunday, February 21, at 11:59pm Pacific [Monday, February 22, 1:29pm IST]. Hop on to PSN during the free weekend with your favourite multiplayer game — no membership commitment is required during this period,” wrote Andy Lum, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America on the PlayStation US blog.

And while it might seem that non-US residents will be locked out of this offer, this is not the case. All you need is a US PSN account. How do you create that? We’re glad you asked. This guide explains what you need to do in order to make one. Extremely useful for taking advantage of promotions like this.

It’s a brave move from Sony, putting online multiplayer for free this weekend. Reason being, its network has had its fair share of issues over the past few months that have ensured its reputation is anything but reliable.

But with a high profile online-dependent title like Street Fighter V hitting the shelves both digital and physical this week, it’s no surprise that Sony wants to get as many people online as possible. After all, it’s a console exclusive to the PS4.

Xbox One February Update Finally Available to Download

Xbox One February Update Finally Available to Download

The February update for Xbox One and the Xbox app (for Windows 10), announced last month, is now finally available for everyone to download.

There is some new stuff with the latest Xbox One system software update that wasn’t revealed earlier. This includes a code shortcut, improved friend suggestions, and an updated Xbox Accessories app among others. You will also be able to program the keys on your Chatpad to do anything from a given list, after plugging it into your Xbox controller.

The new code shortcut is meant to help gamers redeem 5×5 codes faster than ever before. Just head over to “Store” on the Xbox dashboard and click on the new “Use a code” shortcut to enter any codes you may have.

The Community area on your console will now have a Friend Suggestions area, meant to help you find people you might already know or the best content creators on the platform. These are built in a way that resembles Facebook’s friend suggestions and Google Now’s news recommendation feature. Not only will you shown be their gamertag, real name (if publicly visible), and gamerpic or Xbox Avatar, but Microsoft will also provide a reason for the suggestion.

Following that, the Xbox Accessories app on your console and Windows 10-enabled machine will allow you to easily modify your Xbox Elite controller. You can quickly jump between profiles, or fine tune the intensity of thumbsticks’ sensitivity.

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Plus, the Trending section is getting a visual makeover. It will contain the most popular topics across the Xbox Live service at the top, and a mixture of popular videos, screenshots and achievements after that. “Consider friending or following publishers of content that you would like to see more of,” Mike Ybarra, Xbox’s director of program management said in a blog post. The section will be getting its own landing page to facilitate all of this which can be accessed from the right of the Community tab on the console and inside the left menu of the Xbox app.

To sum it up, these are the changes for the Xbox app on Windows 10. Apart from the avatar store updates, you will have access to the latest news via the Xbox News posts in your feed, the Xbox Accessories app to customise your Xbox Elite controller, a dedicated landing page for trending stuff and an improved display for friend suggestions.

All of this is in addition to updates for your console that were announced last time around:

  • The ability to see the people in a party before you join
  • Revived Gamerscore Leaderboard shows who has had the biggest rise or drop over the last 30 days
  • Updated “Avatar Store” available from the Xbox Avatars app on your console or Windows 10 PC will allow you to see new items on your avatar in real-time
  • Reorder pins on home page as you wish
  • Pins available even when you’re offline
  • Xbox activity feed will notify you of new posts when you open it up
  • Launch friends’ Twitch broadcasts from Game Hub
  • Hide games from ‘ready to install’ list you don’t want to see

What do you make of these changes to the Xbox One and Xbox app? Tweet to us @Gadgets360 with #XboxUpdate or let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Coleco Chameleon Will Run All Atari 2600 Games

Coleco Chameleon Will Run All Atari 2600 GamesAnnounced back in December, the Coleco Chameleon is headed to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter next week. But a prototype was showcased during the annual Toy Fair event in New York City this week, and the biggest news was the company getting the rights to the entire Atari 2600 collection. Highlights of the 1980 Atari console include Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Pitfall! among others.

The Coleco Chameleon has also got the option to build new games based on the intellectual property it got from Atari, reports Engadget. The modern-day cartridge-based system is being made a company called Retro Video Game Systems (RVGS), and they have also managed to run games belonging to SNES, Intellivision, and ColecoVision on their new platform.

And because the Chameleon is ARM-based and runs on a FPGA (field-programmable gate array) circuit chip, it goes one step ahead of software emulators and “imitates the hardware” as well. As for the look of the hardware, it has been moulded after the Atari Jaguar, the patents to which have been part of the public domain since the 1990s after Hasbro Interactive bought out Atari.

The Coleco Chameleon will be equipped to play 8, 16, and 32-bit games, which the company believes is a growing genre in today’s gaming landscape. Games such as Jim Power, Apocalypse 2, and Legend were played by attendees at the Toy Fair. Surprisingly, this isn’t the first attempt by RVGS president Mike Kennedy to bring back the retro.

He has already undergone a highly unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in September last year, with the same hardware but without the Coleco branding. Asking for $1.95 million (approx. Rs. 13.4 crore) in funding, the campaign managed to raise just 4 percent of the total required, in part due to the high asking price of $299 (approx. Rs. 20,000) per system.

Promising better pricing – at $135 (approx. Rs. 9,300) for early backers and $150 (approx. Rs. 10,300) thereafter – and developing partnerships with companies of other famous retro devices, Kennedy and RVGS are hoping they will have better luck this time around. The Kickstarter campaign begins next Friday.

Motion-Controlled Video Games May Improve Your Sports Skills

Motion-Controlled Video Games May Improve Your Sports Skills: Study

Motion-controlled video games that require players to use their own bodies to control the movements of the video game’s avatar may help boost skills when players compete in the real world, says a new study.

Participants in the study who played 18 rounds of a video golf game that used a motion controller to simulate putting did significantly better at real-world putting than a group that played a video-game with a push-button controller and better than participants who had no video game training, the researchers said.

“What we can infer from this is that the putting motion in the game maps onto a real putting behavior closely enough that people who had 18 holes of practice putting with the motion controllers actually putt better than the group that spent 45 minutes or so, using the push-button controller to make putts,” said one of the researchers Edward Downs, associate professor of communication at University of Minnesota-Duluth in the US.

The researchers found that players who used the push-button video-game controller — a form of symbolic rehearsal – actually did worse in the real-world putting exercise than the other groups.

The findings, published the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, suggest that motion-controlled video games, as well as future virtual reality devices, such as Oculus Rift, are turning video games into simulations.

“It seems to us that we have crossed an evolutionary line in game history where video games are no longer just video games any more, they have become simulators,” Downs said.

“These games are getting people up and physically rehearsing, or simulating motion, so we were trying to see if gaming goes beyond symbolic rehearsal and physically simulates an action closely enough that it will change or modify someone’s behaviour,” Downs added.

Why WWE 2K16 May Shape the Future of PC Retail In India

Why WWE 2K16 May Shape the Future of PC Retail In India

As we reported, wrestling game WWE 2K16 is coming to PC next month. And while it’s nice to see the game grace other platforms that aren’t the PS4 or Xbox One, it’s not coming in a form that many Indian PC gamers might find palpable.

Usually a retail release would imply that the disc would be available for purchase at a store. However itappears that all you will get when you buy WWE 2k16 at your local game outlet is a box with a Steam code.

“This is not anything new to be honest,” a game store employee explains. “The publisher [2K Games] did this with their basketball game [NBA 2K16] as well.”

It’s puzzling considering the company’s other titles like Borderlands 2, XCOM 2, and even the upcoming Battleborn will be available for PC on disc. In the past publishers like Valve have taken a similar approach to retail, forsaking optical media for printed codes. This could be worse – Electronic Arts for example, stopped releasing PC game discs for the region altogether and it doesn’t sell printed codes either, forcing you to use its Origin digital storefront.

With simply a box holding a Steam code being all you get at retail, on the surface it seems like a poor deal for many a PC gamer. Even more so when it’s available on Steam for Rs. 890. This makes buying it at a store more expensive by Rs. 109. Having said that, there’s more to it.

“Have you looked at Steam’s payment options?” an industry insider counters our question with one of his own before answering it himself. “It’s still pretty bad. A lot of cards and methods aren’t supported yet.” This is a valid point.

When you consider how poor Steam’s support has been for payment methods, having WWE 2K16 available at retail as a code seems like a way to circumvent that. The WWE franchise is huge here as is organised retail. Boxed PC games are still a big deal in India as well. This is one of the handful of markets where a physical product still matters. But this alone does not warrant the cost of production of DVDs needed for a minimum order quantity we’re told.

It’s a compromise of sorts that allows game stores to survive, while ensuring Steam has maximum reach and the publisher, lower costs in catering to a nation that’s WWE crazy.

Smarter retailers though, are taking advantage of this, bundling in tangible freebies like T-shirts to sweeten the deal. Given the response to pre-order paraphernalia in the past, it’s a canny way to ensure die-hard fans have a reason to not buy it digitally.

It also marks an interesting point in game retail and distribution in India. If WWE 2K16 manages to meet sales expectations, you can bet that others would follow suit. Namely forsaking discs altogether for a box with printed digits and hopefully, a little something extra.