'Black Ops 4' battle royale is free for a week starting January 17th
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 January 2019, 2:44 pm

Were you too busy playing Red Dead or Spider-Man over the holidays to give other games a look? Activision would like to talk. It's running a free, week-long trial of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's tentpole Blackout mode between January 17th and January 24th on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. If you've wondered whether or not BO4's battle royale was good enough to tear you away from Fortnite or PUBG, you'll have plenty of time to get a feel for it.

Source: Call of Duty (Twitter)

Excited and exhausted: The hours before the launch of 'Vane'
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 January 2019, 3:10 pm

By the time our Skype call connects and Matt Smith says hello, it's already January 15th at the Friend & Foe offices in Tokyo. After nearly five years of development and public promises, his studio's first original game, Vane, is out across Europe and Asia. It'll go live in the US in about six hours.

"[I'm] excited, really excited, exhausted, and kind of nervous as well," Smith said. "I think those are the main three things, but it's just -- the thing is it's kind of hard also to turn away from it. I've got other things I should probably turn my life back to, but there's this draw to continually check Twitter, even though there's nothing interesting, nothing we need to look at there, and we can probably afford to leave it alone for a couple of days and probably should just to recharge our batteries. So, I'm really nervous, and I really want to make sure everything goes well, so I'm sort of obsessively tracking things and checking things."

The real Pinkertons aren't happy with 'Red Dead Redemption 2'
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 January 2019, 12:29 pm

The Pinkertons loom large as virtual adversaries in Red Dead Redemption 2, but now they're involved in a very real legal tussle over the game. Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations has sent Rockstar Games a cease and desist notice claiming that RDR2 used the company's trademarks, including the Pinkerton's National Detective Agency badge, without permission. It also alleges that the game will "tarnish the reputation" of the trademarks by portraying the 19th century detectives as foes, according to court documents obtained by The Blast.

Source: The Blast

Orange Shirt Kid's mom is suing 'Fortnite' creators over dance
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 January 2019, 10:28 am

Epic Games is facing yet another lawsuit over the use of dance moves in Fortnite, although this one might not be so straightforward. The mom of Orange Shirt Kid, whose Random dance reached the game as Orange Justice, is suing Epic for allegedly using the routine "without consent or authorization" and thus violating his copyright and trademarks. Rachel McCumbers' son submitted the dance to Epic as part of its BoogieDown contest and initially didn't pass muster, but a wave of support (including a petition) led the developer to include it in the game regardless. There's no question that Orange Justice is his -- it even uses his catchphrase, "it's also a great exercise move." However, there are a number of reasons this case might face daunting odds.

Via: Eurogamer

Source: Variety

'Just Dance' is somehow being turned into a movie
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 January 2019, 8:29 am

Considering the lack of characters, themes or a plot, you might wonder exactly how Ubisoft's Just Dance could be made into a movie. But a Hollywood executive might see it differently: "Dancing movies make money. Video game movies make money. So a dance video game movie should make all the money!" Following that infallible logic, Sony's Screen Gems has acquired the motion picture rights to Just Dance following a bidding war, Deadline has reported.

Source: Deadline

The Morning After: An egg is winning Instagram
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 January 2019, 7:10 am

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

While we prepared for a future of self-lacing basketball shoes, an egg took over the title of 'most liked' Instagram photo. How was your Monday?

‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ director joins ‘Uncharted’ movie
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 January 2019, 7:35 pm

The long-awaited Uncharted movie has a new director. Dan Trachtenberg, known for 10 Cloverfield Lane, has joined the Uncharted project, Variety reports, taking over the helm after director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Stranger Things) stepped down due to scheduling conflicts. Levy was initially announced as the film's director back in 2016, and the following year, Sony revealed that actor Tom Holland would play Nathan Drake, Uncharted's treasure hunter protagonist.

Source: Variety

'Rocket League' supports cross-play on every console, even PS4
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 January 2019, 4:41 pm

Sony announced today that Rocket League has entered the PlayStation Cross-Play Beta program, meaning the popular game now has full cross-platform support. Players on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam PC can now team up or play against one another in all online match types, including casual and competitive modes.

Source: Sony

'Battlefield V' does a better job of explaining why you died
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 January 2019, 12:52 pm

The latest Battlefield V update might not include a truckload of content, but it could still have a dramatic impact on how you play the game. The initial Chapter 2: Lightning Strikes update has arrived, and it makes significant changes to the "death experience" to clearly explain why you died. There's now a camera that tracks your killer, and you'll see their name in the game world when they take you down. It should be clearer when you're under threat, too -- tracer rounds should consistently appear as if they're coming from the shooter, and directional damage indicators are more accurate. These sound like simple changes, but they could make a huge difference for Battlefield newcomers (who may be frustrated with seemingly arbitrary deaths) as well as veterans hoping to learn from their mistakes.

Source: Battlefield (1), (2)

The Morning After: Gaming laptops got weird at CES
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 January 2019, 6:30 am

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Sure, CES is over, but we're not done talking about everything we saw in Las Vegas. Of course, there is a lot of other news to recap from this weekend, too, including a glitchy Fallout 76 secret and layoffs at SpaceX.

Soulja Boy's latest sketchy console looks like a PS Vita
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 January 2019, 7:15 am

Soulja Boy is shrugging off possible legal threats from gaming giants with another rip-off console. In the wake of his ill-fated Nintendo emulator swag, his latest attempt at plagiarism marries the design of a PS Vita with the specs of a PlayStation Portable (a 480 x 272 resolution on a supposed "HD" screen is just the tip of the iceberg). It's probably only a matter of time till Sony tells Soulja -- real name DeAndre Cortez Way -- to pull the plug or face legal action.

Source: SouljaWatch

Switch Online code hints at potential SNES game additions
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 January 2019, 5:33 pm

To date, Nintendo has handed out NES games as bonuses with Switch Online subscriptions. But what about SNES titles? Thanks to some code sleuthing, you might have a hint of what's in the pipeline. Twitter user Kapu claims to have found references to 22 SNES games in Switch Online's code strings, many of them must-haves for fans. Mario is unsurprisingly well-represented with Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart and Super Mario All-Stars in the mix.

Source: Kapu (Twitter), Pastebin

Epic's updated game store refund policy matches Steam
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 January 2019, 3:57 am

The Epic Games Store wasn't all that refund-friendly on launch. You could only ask for two refunds in an entire year (albeit after unlimited hours of play), and you had to submit details like your IP address in a support ticket to have a hope of getting your money back. It should be easier from now on, at least. According to Epic's Sergey Galyonkin, the company has updated its refund policy to allow unlimited refunds as long as they're within 14 days of purchase and with less than two hours of play time. You still have to submit a support request for now (there's a "self-service" option coming), but you no longer have to provide a bevy of information so long as the refund meets the criteria.

Via: Rock Paper Shotgun, GamesIndustry.biz

Source: Sergey Galyonkin (Twitter), Epic Games

'Fallout 76' players found a secret developer room
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2019, 8:08 pm

No, Fallout 76's troubles aren't over yet. Gamers have discovered that the online RPG has a developer room where you can find virtually everything in the game, including unreleased items like special power armor. It even includes the game's lone humanoid non-player character, a hapless target named Wooby. It's not hard to find the general location, although getting in reportedly requires less-than-legitimate methods.

Via: Eurogamer

Source: Reddit (1), (2), PolterGeist (YouTube)

Gaming laptops are getting wonderfully weird in 2019
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2019, 1:30 pm

The gaming laptop renaissance is upon us. For the past few years, they've been getting thinner, lighter and more powerful, thanks to NVIDIA's 10-series Max-Q graphics cards. But this year at CES, they got truly weird and wild. Alienware's Area 51m lets you swap out its CPU and GPU, like a proper desktop! ASUS's ROG Mothership is basically an all-in-one PC masquerading as a notebook. And Acer's Predator Triton 900 has one of the craziest hinges we've ever seen.

CES 2019: In pictures
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2019, 9:00 am

As we wrap up our reportage from this weeks Vegas showcase. According to CES, roughly 180,000 attendees hit the halls. In the thick of it all was photographer Will Lipman and our team of editors. Here, we try to capture some of the coolest highlights, some of the spectacle, and none of the queueing, toilet searching and taxi flagging.

Leaks reveal cloud-based 'Verizon Gaming' service
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2019, 8:41 pm

Verizon probably isn't the first name that'll come to mind when you think of video games, but the carrier apparently has big gaming plans for the future. According to The Verge, the company is working on and is already alpha testing a cloud gaming service à la PlayStation Now called Verizon Gaming. Based on the forum posts and emails The Verge saw, Verizon has been recruiting testers for a while now, giving qualified applicants a free NVIDIA Shield TV, where the service is already up and running with 135 games, and an Xbox One Controller, which works with the platform. Testers also get a $150 Amazon gift card as a reward.

Source: The Verge

The ‘Minecraft’ movie will now be directed by Peter Sollett
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2019, 3:55 pm

The Warner Bros. Minecraft movie has a new director... again. Variety reports that Peter Sollett is now on board to write and direct the long-awaited movie, which was at one point supposed to be released in May of this year. However, production has hit delays, due in part to director switchups. Previously, Rob McElhenney (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) was set to direct the film, but he left the project last August. And he had taken over from Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) who dropped out in 2014.

Via: Variety

How a hackathon helped build the Xbox Adaptive Controller
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2019, 5:00 pm

A small crew of designers pieced together the first prototype for the Xbox Adaptive Controller three years ago, at Microsoft's annual internal hackathon. The event invites employees to work on experimental or pet projects and present them to colleagues for feedback, and a handful of developers were interested in building a gamepad for people with limited mobility.

'Red Dead Online' gets a 32-player battle royale mode
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2019, 12:42 pm

Rockstar continues to expand the Red Dead Online beta, and its latest update will seem particularly familiar. The studio has added a Gun Rush mode that's effectively a one-for-one parallel to the battle royale modes you see in Fortnite, PUBG and numerous other titles from the past two to three years. You or your team have to scrounge for weapons while fighting to remain the last one standing in an ever shrinking play area. If there's a major difference, it's the scale -- with a maximum of 32 players, you'll probably finish rounds sooner than you would in the 100-player brawls that define other battle royale titles.

Source: Rockstar Games

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' hits the Nintendo eShop
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2019, 10:31 am

Nintendo has given another stellar Wii U title the deluxe Switch treatment in the hopes that more people will play it on a system that's actually popular. We're talking about New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, which is available today on the Nintendo eShop for $60. That may seem a bit steep for those who already played through the colorful, 2D side-scroller the first time round, but Nintendo fans are probably used to paying full price for the same game by now. And if it's anything like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it should be worth your time.

Source: Nintendo

Sony's takes a different tack at CES 2019
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2019, 8:00 am

Sony's CES was a different one to previous years. The company's new strategy seems to focus on its prowess in movies and music to elevate its products. That made for an unusual press event, but Sony has a plan. Head of Communications, Cheryl K. Goodman elaborates on how the company wants to make all the moving parts work together, whether that's cameras, OLED TVs, mobile, PlayStation or everything else.

Goodman is joined by a second guest, robo-puppy Aibo, who's celebrating its first birthday since its reinvention. We talk upgraded robot pets and what's next.

The Morning After: Best of CES / Want to see a Starship?
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2019, 6:30 am

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

We're preparing to wrap things up in Las Vegas and head home after a long week at CES. Before we go, we'll leave you with the Best of CES and a few more things we saw on the show floor. Congratulations to all our winners!

Final Fantasy X, X-2 and XII come to the Switch this April
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2019, 5:31 am

If you've wrapped up Octopath Traveler and are patiently waiting for Dragon Quest XI to reach the Switch, good news: Square Enix has a bunch of classic JRPGs heading to Nintendo's portable-console hybrid. The remastered versions of Final Fantasy X and X-2, which came to the PlayStation 3 and Vita in 2013, will be available for Switch owners on April 16th. They'll be joined by Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, which was remastered for the PlayStation 4 in 2017, on April 30th. All three are hefty role-playing games that should keep you busy for weeks, if not months.

Source: Nintendo (Twitter)

Unity, Improbable and Epic Games are squabbling in public
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 January 2019, 11:28 pm

What a day.

Unity, Improbable and Epic Games have been wrapped up in a bizarre and unnecessarily public dispute about terms of service, and the future of games that run on a much-hyped platform called Spatial OS.

The quarrel started this morning with an Improbable blog post titled: "Unity's block of SpatialOS."

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