The Xbox Streaming Service Puts 8 Xbox Ones In A Single Rack, See What It Looks Like

Microsoft is launching a new streaming service, currently codenamed xCloud, in public trials this October. The company has now shown off more of how it works and talked about the service at a high level. xCloud, or whatever name Microsoft ends up giving it, allows you to stream high-end games to your phone or presumably a variety of other internet-connected devices.

The games themselves run from datacenters that Microsoft operates around the world. In a new Fortune video, Xbox streaming boss Kareem Choudhry showed off the actual guts of the server rack that powers xCloud games. The core innards of eight Xbox One S consoles are fit into a 2U rack unit that was specifically designed for a data center.

The racks are physically located in 13 regions around the world, Choudhry said. You can see it for yourself in the video below, beginning at around 1:45.

It’s not the flashiest of reveals, but it’s neat to see the guts of how something as broad and ambitious and technically demanding as xCloud operates in a way you can see with your eyes.

Also in the video, Xbox boss Phil Spencer talks about how Microsoft does not expect cloud gaming to really take off anytime soon. Instead, the version of xCloud launching this year in public trials is seemingly being positioned as a foundation on which to build the program over the years. Spencer specifically said the groundwork being laid today will support xCloud for a decade to come.

He also talked about Microsoft’s ambition for game-streaming to reach more people around the world over time than traditional gaming has been able to thus far. The thinking is that by removing the need to buy a console, Microsoft can reach a much larger population of gamers. As Microsoft has said time and again, consoles aren’t big-time money-makers–it’s software and services that bring home the bacon. With xCloud, seemingly every phone in the world is a potential Xbox Live subscriber, and that could become an incredibly lucrative opportunity for Microsoft if it pans out.

That being said, Microsoft continues to develop traditional consoles and it will for a long time to come. Microsoft’s efforts into streaming are meant to complement the traditional console-based experience, not replace it. For Microsoft, it is all about giving people an option of how they want to play. Microsoft’s next home console, Project Scarlett, launches in Holiday 2020.

xCloud’s public trial launch in October is just ahead of when Google’s own streaming service, Stadia, is pegged to debut in November.

from GameSpot – Game News

Digimon Survive Opening Animation Released, Introducing More Characters

Bandai Namco has released the opening animation for Digimon Survive, which has been embedded below. Originally scheduled for a summer 2019 release, Digimon Survive has been delayed to 2020.

The opening animation introduces all of the major human characters for Digimon Survive, including protagonists Takuma, Aoi, and Minoru. The three are prepped to go on a trip with the rest of their class, which is composed of several other school stereotypes such as a beautiful girl who’s always on her cellphone and a delinquent-looking boy who’s just misunderstood. The class is headed to some ruins, though mysterious earthquakes in the area have caused several students to voice concern over whether it’s safe.

As the class gets ready to leave, several mysterious supernatural phenomena begin to pop up: an elderly man is surrounded by monstrous creatures, a trouble-making girl encounters snow in the midst of spring, and Takuma notices a ghost-like girl watching him from the window of his classroom. As the students leave, the ghost girl starts singing, the classroom begins to decay become overrun with vegetation, and we see the girl stroking the head of a sleeping child.

Digimon Survive is a survival strategy RPG that also incorporates visual novel elements. The game stars the aforementioned Takuma, Aoi, and Minoru who wander into a strange world and become partnered with Agumon, Labramon, and Falcomon respectively. Taking inspiration from the original Digimon Adventure anime, Survive has you shape the emotional and mental evolution of Takuma, Aoi, and Minoru, which in turn affects how Agumon, Labramon, and Falcomon digivolve. Survive also revisits the concept of what a Digimon is that was first conceived by Digimon Adventure director Hiroyuki Kakudō–that they’ve always been a part of human history and mistakenly identified as shikigami, yokai, or demons in the past.

Digimon Survive is scheduled to launch for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

from GameSpot – Game News

Target Is Offering 25% Off PS4, Xbox One Games With In-Store Pickup

Target really wants you to visit your local Target store: The retailer is currently slashing 25% off the price of select PS4 and Xbox One games when you select Order Pickup at checkout, meaning you’ll need to swing by your neighborhood Target to grab your games. This offer is available now through Saturday, July 27.

This marks the return of a popular deal that initially launched before Prime Day, about a month ago. No word yet on whether Amazon will hijack this sale like it did with the last one, but in any case, this is a pretty great opportunity to save big on new releases like Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Days Gone, and Judgment. Plus, some of these games are already discounted on top of the extra 25% off, so your savings might be even greater.

It’s worth noting some of the games included in Target’s sale can be found cheaper online elsewhere, such as Kingdom Hearts 3, which is only $20 at Amazon; Red Dead Redemption 2, which is still $30 at Walmart; and God of War, which is $20 at Walmart. So consider double-checking the price elsewhere first, as you may find some of these games cheaper and eligible for free shipping at other retailers.

To make your job easier, we’ve gathered some of the best deals worth claiming (and driving to Target for) below. Please note prices shown reflect the full discount with the additional 25% off applied, and both PS4 and Xbox One versions are available except where noted (in some cases only one version is cheaper). Availability may also vary by store. You can check out the full list of titles at Target.

See all games eligible for 25% off with Order Pickup

from GameSpot – Game News

Fortnite 9.41 Content Update Adding A Storm-Tracking Rifle

Season 9 of Fortnite may be winding down, but developer Epic Games still has some more new content in store for the hit battle royale shooter before Season 10 officially arrives. On the heels of the big monster-robot showdown that took place this past weekend, Epic will be rolling out the game’s 9.41 content update, which will add another new weapon to Battle Royale mode.

The 9.41 content update is scheduled to go live on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices tomorrow, July 23, at 5 AM PT / 8 AM ET / 1 PM BST. Epic will release the full patch notes for the update once it is available, but we got a glimpse at a new item coming courtesy of the in-game news feed: the “weather-tracking” Storm Scout Sniper Rifle.

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As previously mentioned, a big world event took place in Fortnite on July 20. The giant robot that was being assembled in Pressure Plant was completed and did battle with the giant monster that was lurking beneath Polar Peak. The robot lost one of its arms in the ensuing clash, but it managed to ultimately defeat the monster using a giant sword, whose hilt was disguised as a statue in Neo Tilted. If you missed the event, you can watch a recording of the giant monster-robot battle here.

Season 9 of Fortnite ends August 1, according to the game’s official website, which means there’s still a little time left to complete any outstanding challenges from this season and unlock the last few remaining Battle Pass rewards. If you need help mopping up some of this season’s missions, we’ve put together tips and guides for all of the trickier ones in our complete Fortnite Season 9 challenges roundup.

It’s still unclear what repercussions the giant monster battle will have for Season 10 of Fortnite, but we do know the game’s minimum PC requirements will be changing as of next season. Starting with Season 10, the PC version of Fortnite will require a graphics card capable of running Microsoft DirectX 11. As Epic explained:

“While a DirectX 11-capable graphics card has always been one of Fortnite’s system requirements, we’ve kept support online for players with older graphics cards–so they could keep playing! However, when Season 10 begins, Fortnite will no longer be compatible with these older graphics cards. This allows us to focus our development and testing efforts to further optimize the Fortnite experience for all players.”

from GameSpot – Game News

PS Classic On Sale For $20 At Best Buy (US)

The PlayStation Classic didn’t impress many fans when it released in December 2018, and its price quickly dropped from $100 to $60 USD less than a month after it hit the market. Ever since, Sony’s retro console has continued to drop in price and hit what may be its lowest price yet, $20, during Amazon Prime Day 2019. Now, it seems Best Buy has decided to keep that deal going, as the retailer has once again dropped the price of the PlayStation Classic to $20 this week.

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See PS Classic at Best Buy

PlayStation Classic launched following the massive success of Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classics, but failed to capture the same level of hype due to several disappointing aspects of the mini console, such as its limited quantity of games and sub-par graphics. “The debate over the selected games aside, using the PS Classic feels like partaking in a rough recreation of the original PlayStation experience,” wrote GameSpot’s Peter Brown in his PS Classic review. “And if you’ve spent any time with Nintendo’s Classic consoles, you’ll see the user experience here for what it is: just good enough. The PS Classic doesn’t feel like a celebration of PlayStation’s formative years the way Nintendo’s systems do. Nor is it a smart adaptation of a capable emulator working behind the scenes.”

That said, $20 is a considerably lower asking price than $100 or even $60. For fans of the original PlayStation and its games, such as Tekken 3, Metal Gear Solid, or Resident Evil, the PS Classic might finally be worth it. In addition to the mini console, you’ll also receive an HDMI cable, two wired controllers, and a virtual memory card. Check out the full list of pre-loaded games included below.

PlayStation Classic game list

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mr Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil Director’s Cut
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

from GameSpot – Game News

Wolfenstein: Youngblood Devs Discuss The Game’s Origins And The Series’ Political Voice

Following Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Machine Games’ reboot series is going through some significant changes in the next spin-off. In Wolfenstein: Youngblood, the emphasis is still on slaying Nazis and their scumbag allies in gruesome fashion, however, it moves away from the linear, story-driven style of previous games, and instead leans closer to an open-ended co-op shooter. Now focusing on the hero BJ Blaskowitz’s twin daughters as they dismantle fascist, white supremacist rule in 1980s France, you and a partner have greater control in choosing the next stop on your violent warpath.

Machine Games executive producer Jerk Gustafsson recently spoke with GameSpot about the making of the standalone co-op focused spin-off. In addition to detailing the collaboration with Dishonored dev Arkane Studios, he elaborated on what the move to the 1980s means for the series timeline. Also, in light of the current political climate, he shared his thoughts on the changing reception of Wolfenstein at large, and how the series grapples with politics.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.

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Can you walk us through the origins of Youngblood? On the surface, it looks like a standalone game in the vein of The Old Blood, but there seems to be a lot more going on than what people are expecting.

Jerk Gustafsson: Yeah, there was a little back and forth on what we should do after New Colossus, to be honest. Initially, we talked about doing a smaller thing in between our bigger games like we did with The Old Blood, but when we got this opportunity to work with Arkane Studios, and we decided to go bigger. As you know, Arkane Studios released the Death of the Outsider in Fall 2017 and then we released The New Colossus after that. We talked with the guys over at Arkane and we decided to do something together. It was a collaboration for the game, but to also learn from each other and gain more experience as developers. So, I think that’s where we decided to go a little bit bigger, do co-op, and have a little bit more of an open-ended structure with Youngblood.

It was all about trying to broaden our experience a little bit. It’s similar to the Cyberpilot VR game. To some extent, we’re trying to work a little bit outside our comfort zone. We have been doing the single-player, very heavily story-driven experience for a while now. So it’s been a long time with this. We feel very comfortable with what we’ve done after all these years, of course, but it was exciting for us actually to do something different.

Would you say that this is a bigger game than The New Colossus?

That can be a difficult question to answer. I would say in terms of gameplay time, yes, it probably is bigger. There are more things you can do now compared to the previous games, and I’m pretty sure players will stay in the game for a longer period of time. It is bigger in terms of content, in that sense, but the story and the main campaign itself had to be tighter. Not only with the cutscenes, but also in tone. When I look at people playing, and when I play myself, we are at a higher number [of hours] now than where we were with The New Colossus. So yes, it probably is bigger.

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With the focus on co-op and open-ended structure, was it a challenge trying to set expectations for fans? Especially since Youngblood won’t be released at full price.

Yeah, we did have some concerns regarding that. In the beginning, we had planned to just do something in between, but it turned out to be bigger than we expected. The price for this game was also a result of the development time, as it was shorter [than previous games]. The fact that I have been able to together with the guys at Arkane as well, and that we have been able to produce so much content in this, in this short period of time is an amazing and accomplishment from our teams.

Though the story in the campaign is a bit shorter, the gameplay experience is, at least what we have seen, bigger than New Colossus. So with the game we have now, I don’t know if we would have set that price if we knew what it’s going to be. So it’s a bit hard to answer at this. But I’m very happy that we can do it because it is great value for your money, and especially with the buddy pass, where you can play with your friend completely for free. You will get a lot out of this game and I really hope that people will enjoy it.

Working with Arkane Studios must have been exciting, as they have a clear strength for making immersive sims that have some very sophisticated level design. Was this experience sort of eye-opening for you?

Yeah, I think so. But it also goes both ways as well. I think this game gave us the opportunity to learn a lot from each other, and their level design and their expertise within the field is really, really strong. We have grown on it from this, it definitely helped us to become a better game developer. We have a lot more that we can improve upon for the future, but they have allowed us to take that next step in terms of level design specifically. Arkane Studios have contributed [to] several aspects of the game and they are a great team. So I am extremely honored that we had the opportunity to work with them. I’m very happy with the result.

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Speaking to the larger Wolfenstein series, it’s been interesting seeing how people react to it due to the current political climate in the states. As it’s a series about fighting nazis and the larger influence of fascism, it’s always been political. In light of the reception that The New Colossus had, did you and the developers feel inclined to cover this topic on a deeper level?

Well, I can’t really say that it hasn’t affected us, because it has. The game is definitely political when you have Nazis, but we have always tried to stick with the timeline that we had envisioned [beginning with The New Order]. We have this Wolfenstein timeline, the lore of it, and we want to stick to that as much as possible. Even though I agree that it becomes more political in many ways due to real life, we never set out to do a political statement in any way. I get this question a lot and I read some comments [from readers] after an interview, and I said the same thing that I’m saying to you now. Though one comment I saw on a feed was like, “why can’t you just say that you hate white people?” For me, we have to also understand and accept that there are people that will react like that. We will continue to see these type of comments, but for me, there’s no logic to them in any way.

So it’s a hard question even though I have answered it so many times. I still don’t really know exactly what to say, but we want to make an entertaining game, and we want to tell a story about fighting this absolute evil in the world, and that evil is represented by the Hitler regime and the Nazis. That’s where we are basically.

I think a lot of it has to do to the fact that The New Colossus released at such a different time compared to The New Order. I wonder if certain scenes would have landed as hard as they did if it came out three years earlier or if the political climate was different.

Yeah, it was a huge difference, actually. There were so many discussions and so many talking points around that at the time, and the timing was the reason for that as well. So, yeah, absolutely, and I think the way it affected us. It never happened in that way for New Order, as an example. So that was a big difference for us. Absolutely. That’s what I mean by when I say that it definitely has affected us in ways. But we still really try to do our thing. We have our timeline, we have our storyline that we want to follow and we are trying to stick to that as much as possible. I don’t think Youngblood looks different based on that. I can’t say that for certain of course, but I think it would look the same even if we have done YoungBlood after New Order, for instance. I think it’s more of a thing that affects us on the side.

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What’s really interesting about this particular take on Wolfenstein is that it has such a strong emphasis on story, despite having its roots in classic FPS design that featured very little narrative. We see a lot of these moments in the last two games that really hit hard and that can surprise, particularly the scene with an extremely unflattering look at Hitler in New Colossus. Will we see him back again in Youngblood?

Actually, Hitler is already dead in Youngblood. This is also part of the entire timeline, and it’s actually what we were thinking about and when we wrote the story for Youngblood as well. We asked ourselves if we should mention that Hitler is dead, or that BJ had already killed Hitler. There is a story to tell about that. When you look at the games that have been released over the years within the Wolfenstein universe, BJ has already killed Hitler once back in the early nineties, so it’s something that has been established in that timeline. It’s another story we can tell in the future [for our timeline] if we get the opportunity. As for Youngblood, he’s not alive anymore in the 80s–he is dead. But I’m really happy that you liked that scene. That was a tough scene to work with. It took a long time for us to get that together.

Looking back on The New Colossus, what were some of the big lessons you learned from that game on a gameplay level, and how did you want to try and do things differently for Youngblood?

Oh yes, one of the big things we were not really prepared for when it came to the feedback was in regards to the difficulty of the game. We had a few places where the difficulty spikes were just too hard. We do have a lot of difficult, challenging levels, and I myself I really appreciate games that can offer that, but one of the things about New Colossus that I wish I could go back and redo was to make sure that it was a little bit more even. It’s a little bit too much, and it really shows. We didn’t have the opportunity to react as fast enough to it. And I think we have a lot there when it comes to the work for Youngblood, hopefully at least.

I think that I would, of course, point to the core of Youngblood. It comes with so many things and since the core forced us to think differently [with the level design and co-op], we actually have managed to tackle that. It’s not only about the core as well, because the core also led us to add AI combined which was also a great challenge for us. So in combination with the things we’re doing with the more open-ended structure and the progression in general, it’s a lot of changes that we have done outside of our comfort zone. I’m very proud that we have accomplished in this much in such a short time.

from GameSpot – Game News

Xbox One S (With Disc Drive) On Sale For $175 With Free Shipping

With Project Scarlett launching late next year, the Xbox One is nearing the end of its lifespan, which means current Xbox models are slowly starting to dip in price. If you’ve been looking to pick up an Xbox One S for yourself or someone else, now may be the best time to do it (at least until the holidays), as it’ll cost you only $175 to pick up the console this week if you claim MassGenie’s latest Power Deal. From now until July 29 (or until the deal sells out), the Xbox One S will be discounted at that price, and only 200 units are available as part of the deal, so don’t wait if you’re interested.

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See Xbox One S deal at MassGenie

In case you’ve never ordered anything from MassGenie before, here’s how it works: Either click the Power Deal button on the product page (ignore the countdown clock; it resets every 24 hours) or hit the button above. You’ll be asked to either log in or create a free account (there’s no guest checkout for Power Deals). After that, you’ll be redirected to checkout to fill out your billing and shipping information, and you’ll see promo code MXBOXOS1TB automatically applied, dropping the price to $175.

That discount puts it a full $75 cheaper than the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which is essentially the same console without a disc drive to play physical discs. The Xbox One S supports HDR and 4K video streaming (assuming you have a 4K TV), although games played on the Xbox One S will be displayed in upscaled 4K rather than native 4K, the latter of which is limited to the Xbox One X.

It’s also worth mentioning you can currently get a $50 Xbox gift card for only $42.50 at MassGenie now through July 31 (or until sold out). You’ll receive the digital code via email, and it’ll also be the tracking ID in your order history. The gift card can be used on digital games, movies, TV shows, and more on Xbox and Windows.

These deals come on the heels of Amazon Prime Day, which offered a wide range of Xbox One deals last week (although this is still one of the best prices on a standalone Xbox One S we’ve seen). If you’re interested in an Xbox One X, you can still get one for only $314 for a limited time at Google Express. Plus, be sure to check out more leftover Prime Day deals still available.

from GameSpot – Game News

Overwatch Confirms Sigma Is Hero 31 With Story Teaser

Overwatch has been teasing an impending announcement, and all signs pointed to it being Sigma, the rumored Hero 31. That has been confirmed today, with a story trailer that sheds more light on the mysterious scientist.

Hero 31 is indeed Sigma, though “hero” is a pretty loose term. The trailer makes him seem downright supervillainous, complete with an ambitious experiment gone horribly wrong. It isn’t long before Sigma’s mind is severely disturbed and he’s monologuing about harnessing the power of the universe. It seems like a safe guess that he’s not exactly on the side of the good guys.

The trailer didn’t indicate when exactly we’ll see Sigma become a playable character, but the wait between the story trailer for Baptiste, the last hero to join the roster, and when he became playable was very short. That means Sigma’s arrival could be imminent.

Meanwhile, Blizzard is testing a new Role Queue feature that revises competitive matchmaking. Rather than simply pick a hero, you pick a role type and you’re matched into a game with two of each type. The feature will roll out into a beta on August 13. The game is also hosting its ongoing Summer Games event, with special summer-themed cosmetics and skins.

from GameSpot – Game News

Pokemon Go’s One Piece Crossover Event Now Live

Pokemon Go‘s July Community Day may be over, but a new event is now underway in the hit Pokemon mobile game. Right now, players around the world can catch a Pikachu wearing a straw hat as part of a special One Piece collaboration event, but you’ll need to act quickly, as the Pokemon will only be available for a limited time.

The special straw hat Pikachu will appear in the wild until 1 PM local time on July 29. Additionally, Niantic will be offering matching straw hat avatar items for your trainer through the in-game Style Shop. Meanwhile, players in Japan will be able to visit statues of Luffy and other One Piece characters across Kumamoto Prefecture, which will serve as special PokeStops. You can read more details on the official Pokemon Go website.

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In addition to the One Piece collaboration event, Armored Mewtwo is still appearing in Raid Battles around the world for a few more days. The Legendary Psychic Pokemon will serve as a five-star Raid boss until July 31. This version differs from a standard Mewtwo in a few ways. Not only is it donning the armor it wears in the new Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution movie, it also boasts different stats and a different movepool than a typical Mewtwo.

In other Pokemon Go news, Niantic recently rolled out a new update that completely overhauled the game’s appraisal system. Now when you appraise a Pokemon, you’ll see details about when and where you captured the monsters, as well as a clear overview of its Attack, Defense, and HP stats, with a one- to three-star rating signifying its overall potential. You can see the full patch notes for the update on the App Store.

Intriguingly, the patch notes for the newest Pokemon Go update also mention Team Rocket, suggesting the villainous team will begin appearing in the game soon. It appears players will be able to battle Team Rocket grunts and capture the “Shadow” Pokemon they leave behind. It’s unclear how this will work in Pokemon Go, but a similar mechanic appeared in Pokemon Colosseum for GameCube, which tasked players with rescuing dark Shadow Pokemon from villains and then “purifying” them by using them in battle.

from GameSpot – Game News

New Plants Vs. Zombies Shooter Announced For PS4 And Xbox One

Just days after EA quietly announced Plants Vs. Zombies 3, the publisher has now begun whispering about what looks to be a new Garden Warfare. Over the weekend the company sent out invites to a playtest for a “new PvZ shooter” codenamed “Picnic.”

“You are invited to participate in the new PvZ shooter (codename Picnic) playtest on Xbox One or PS4,” said EA’s email, which was sent to a GameSpot employee, among select other members of EA’s playtesting program. “Made by the team that created PvZ: Garden Warfare, the Picnic closed alpha will give players a first glimpse into the new game.”

EA has previously listed a new Plants Vs. Zombies shooter for release this fall. Another mainline PvZ game was announced a few days ago, too: Plants Vs. Zombies 3 is currently in the pre-alpha testing phase, though a final release date has not been confirmed.

The first Garden Warfare spin-off launched for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC in 2014, five years after the original Plants Vs Zombies was first released. A sequel then followed in 2016.

from GameSpot – Game News