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Console gaming thread
https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/04/t...developer/

Quote:The Xbox One loses another exclusive third-party developer
As Remedy goes multi-platform, Microsoft's exclusive slate looks worse and worse.

When we've reported on the PS4's sales lead over the Xbox One in the past, we usually point out that the deficit only really matters insofar as it discourages developers and publishers from sticking with Microsoft's smaller audience. These days, we're seeing more and more signs of this effect coming to pass for console games both large and small.

Today's sign of Microsoft's trouble attracting exclusives comes from Remedy Entertainment. The Finnish company previously known for Xbox exclusives like Quantum Break and the Alan Wake series has announced that its next game, codenamed P7, will "release... on a wider range of platforms," including the PS4. Remedy's last game on a Sony system was 2003's Max Payne 2 for the PlayStation 2.

That's just one company, sure, and Remedy isn't giving up on the Xbox One entirely. But it follows comments from Crytek that the Ryse: Son of Rome developer was disappointed in the sales of the Xbox One launch exclusive (though that comment did come when the system was much younger). It's also indicative of a wider trend we're seeing, where Sony seems to be attracting much more exclusive software for its console than Microsoft.



Adam knew he should have bought a PC but Eve fell for the marketing hype.

Homeopathy is what happened when snake oil salesmen discovered that water is cheaper than snake oil.

The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it. -- George Carlin
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Meanwhile, Xbox Scorpio appears to be bringing the heat: https://www.neowin.net/news/forzatech-sh...ct-scorpio
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Xbox Scorpio will support variable refresh rates and FreeSync 2: http://techreport.com/news/31728/project...mi-2-1-vrr
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https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/24767...ic-edition
Quote:It almost seems like Nintendo is a little resentful of the NES Classic Edition’s success. Everyone is supposed to be buying the Switch and picking up new games, not playing games from 30 years ago on a $60 console. I would not be surprised if Nintendo ended up bringing some version of the NES Classic Edition back in the future, because it really is a money printing machine. People have shown they’re willing to pay considerably higher prices for the mini console. Maybe Nintendo could justify a price bump with more games. In the meantime, get ready for a big price spike on existing NES Classic Edition units.
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http://www.tomshardware.com/news/problem...34294.html
Quote:Mario Kart 8 Deluxe might be a victim of its own success. Nintendo announced earlier today that it sold more than 459,000 copies of the game on its launch day, making it the fastest-selling Mario Kart game in history. But that popularity might come at a cost: Many players have taken to Reddit and other forums to complain about the game's online multiplayer. That's bad news for both Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the Nintendo Switch.

We've noticed connectivity issues ourselves. The most common are a notification in the game's multiplayer lobby that "a communication error has occurred," a bug that makes the same items appear many times in a row, and abrupt changes in other players' locations. These issues have occurred several times since the game's April 28 launch--and, at least in our experience, they appear to be getting worse instead of better.

Other players have complained about lag and issues with the game's hitboxes. This makes it hard to use items--many are based on hitting other players with projectiles--or play in the game's new Battle Mode. The latter is especially problematic because the new and improved Battle Mode is one of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's biggest changes from its Wii U predecessor, Mario Kart 8. It's not the only change--Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also includes new modes, extra characters, and all of the first game's downloadable content--but it's one of the best reasons to upgrade to the new release.

The issues also raise questions about the Switch's online service. Many of the console's games currently focus on single player campaigns or local multiplayer; Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the first big release to stress Nintendo's online capabilities. There was the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire in March, but that was expected to have problems. Many of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's players are unlikely to have those same expectations. After all, they paid a full $60 for a game with online multiplayer; it's not like they installed a free demo that was explicitly made to stress test Nintendo's servers ahead of a real launch.

There's also the question of how Nintendo plans to charge for an online service that can't handle a single (albeit quite popular) game. Nintendo hasn't revealed much about this service--much like how it hasn't shared details about the Virtual Console--but it has repeatedly said that the Switch's online features would be free only until Fall 2017. By then, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, and Splatoon 2 will have all debuted with online components.
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Problems like this can harm the service's public perception before it's even officially revealed. But it's worth noting two things: Many games suffer from online issues when they debut, and the people complaining on message boards could simply belong to a vocal minority. We reached out to Nintendo to learn more about what's causing these problems and how widespread they are and will update this post if the company responds.

https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/24858...llion-sold
Nintendo are absolute anti-consumer asshats.
Quote:Most companies, having unexpectedly stumbled into an extremely popular product, would gear up for production, hire more people, increase supply, and ride the revenue train for as long as they could. Nintendo is not most companies. According to Reggie Fils-Aimé, the company killed the NES Classic Edition after selling 2.3 million units, because it had a lot of other stuff to do.

“We had originally planned for this to be a product for last holiday,” Fils-Aimé told Time. “We just didn’t anticipate how incredible the response would be. Once we saw that response, we added shipments and extended the product for as long as we could to meet more of that consumer demand.”

This is an absurd justification. Nintendo isn’t a fly-by-night startup struggling with its production chain or a cash-strapped newcomer in a crowded market. Despite the Wii U’s complete failure and the 3DS’ waning sales, the company reported $2.4 billion in profits through 2016. Nintendo has longstanding relationships with manufacturers and there’s no conceivable way that the company simply ran out of manufacturing funds — which makes Fils-Aimé’s follow-up comments all the more ridiculous. Having sold 2.3 million consoles in just under six months (a sales rate which absolutely dwarfs the Wii U’s throughout 2016), Nintendo decided it had sold enough hardware.
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The consumer-hostile decision to kill the NES Classic Edition could have been driven by a desire to bring NES games to the Switch. Nintendo has made a bundle of money selling the same titles on various iterations of its consoles. It might have been killed because Nintendo wants to issue an SNES Classic this holiday season, and doesn’t want the NES Classic cutting into that market. (In theory, Nintendo could offer both consoles on the same silicon.) Alternately, Nintendo may have killed the Classic because it didn’t want the platform cutting into Switch sales. After all, Nintendo wants you to buy its latest platform to keep you engaged — there aren’t new NES games coming out and selling you a Classic doesn’t keep you plugged into the Nintendo ecosystem.

But regardless of the specific reason, the net result is that would-be customers who spent months attempting to buy an NES Classic for something less than the hundreds of dollars they were selling for on eBay got shafted. That’s reason enough to avoid these nostalgia bombs in the future.
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http://www.tomshardware.com/news/hori-he...34617.html
Quote:Gaming headsets are supposed to be relatively simple products. You put them on your head, plug them into your gaming device of choice, and then you have all the benefits of headphones and microphones with about half the hassle. But that's not how the new Splatoon 2 headset works.

Nintendo revealed the headset via Splatoon's official Twitter account. It's made by Hori, a third-party manufacturer, and it does what pretty much every other gaming headset does. You'll be able to hear the game's charming soundtrack, listen for approaching Inklings who want to cover you with their ink, and communicate with your teammates to come up with the most effective plays. That is, of course, if you have a smartphone.

Why? Because that's how the Nintendo Switch's chat function works. The console itself doesn't allow you to communicate with anyone; you're going to have to download a companion app for your smartphone whenever Nintendo's paid online service debuts. Reasons for that decision aside--maybe Nintendo wants to protect kids, maybe it just has no idea how online services work--the result is a weird setup that nobody should fuss around with.


The diagram above shows how the headset works. First you have to plug it into your Switch, which will allow you to hear the game. Then you have to plug it into your phone, which will allow you to hear your teammates. Combine them and voila! Three cords between three devices gives you all the functionality you'd normally get from a single cord plugged into two devices. But the fun doesn't stop there, folks.

No, it ends with us wondering how you're supposed to use this headset when you're playing Splatoon 2 on a TV. The entire point of the Switch is that it allows you to move between TV- and handheld-based gaming with minimal frustration. But neither the bundled Joy-Con controllers nor the separate Pro Controller have any headphone jacks--the only way to connect this device to your Switch is to use the console's headphone jack.

This isn't Hori's fault. The company had to work with what the Switch offered, and the reality is that Nintendo simply didn't make the console with online communication in mind. Not that any of this is new. The Switch still doesn't have access to common online services like Netflix, it still relies on friend codes for multiplayer, and despite wanting to charge for online play, bugs abound in the Switch's biggest online game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Splatoon 2 is set to debut on July 21. Nintendo hasn't yet said anything about this headset outside of Japan, so if you're willing to deal with all its compromises to get a little bit of an edge over your opponents, you might end up having to import it yourself.
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http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nintend...34630.html
Quote:If you own a Nintendo​ Switch, chances are good that you're taking advantage of its online services. For now, playing with others online is free, but Nintendo plans to charge users for it soon. Last night, it revealed more details about pricing as well as some of the features that come with a paid subscription.

Nintendo still didn't specify a date for the start of its paid service, but we do know that it will launch sometime in 2018. Initially, the plan was to start the service this fall, but it was pushed back for reasons unknown. When it becomes available, you'll have three payment options​: You can pay $4 for a one-month membership, $8 for three months, or $20 for a full year.

As a subscriber, you’ll benefit in other ways than just the ability to play online. For instance, you'll have access to a new app on your smartphone, which will be available this summer, that will let you invite friends to play, enable voice chat, and set appointments to play at specific time. You'll also get deals on purchases in the Nintendo eShop, but the company didn't provide specifics on the discount percentage. Finally, you’ll also get to download some classic titles in the new “Classic Game Selection,” although Nintendo said that name is subject to change before the service starts. It’s not clear as to how many games will be available to download from this list, but Nintendo revealed three titles as part of the collection: Dr. Mario, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Balloon Fight.

If you choose not to pay the subscription, you’ll still have access to Nintendo’s eShop, as well as the ability to add new friends, manage your friend list, share screenshots, and access to the Parental Controls app on the Switch.
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https://www.neowin.net/news/project-scor...n-november
Xbox Scorpio now has an official name: Xbox One X. Coming in November for $499.
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http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-how-microso...s-to-a-pc/
https://www.techpowerup.com/234268/xbox-...heir-money
I'm not sure if I can agree with them. Aren't these the same arguments that were dragged out for the PS4 and Xbone?
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http://www.tomshardware.com/news/xbox-on...34758.html
Quote:Microsoft is setting itself up to embrace mixed reality on the Xbox platform, but it’s also taking a cautious approach to the concept. Whether this is a wise wait-and-see move, or an indication that Microsoft just hasn't been able to figure our VR and MR on the Xbox yet, or something else, the news from E3 is that there is no VR-on-the-Xbox news.
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https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/25078...xbox-one-x
Quote:Once upon a time, if you wanted to play multiplayer on a game console, you had to do it with a common television and multiple controllers. This worked plenty well, if you had the right setup — I spent more than a few nights at college slugging it out against friends in Mario Kart — but local multiplayer on a common screen has been superseded by remote multiplayer across multiple consoles in many titles.

Whether one option or the other is “better” is a topic best evaluated on a game-by-game basis, but plenty of gamers have wished for more cooperative or split-screen options when playing. Now, according to Microsoft’s E3 show, some of those options are coming back to the Xbox One. Marketing director head Alex Penello confirmed in a tweet that these options would be available across all four Xbox platforms (the first Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One / One S, and the upcoming Xbox One X).
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Penello also implied that some Xbox games could get a graphical upgrade when they are updated and ported to the newly backwards-compatible Xbox One. “If you saw Crimson Skies on the screen today, it looks great,” he said. “We’re not talking in detail right now, but the team has some tricks up their sleeve, and I think when the OG Xbox games show up, people are going to be very impressed.”

Microsoft has previously offered some details on how the Xbox One X could deliver improved visuals on existing Xbox One games at 1080p, including better antialiasing support via supersampling. Trying to update 16 year-old games to look like their best selves would be a tall order, however. Not only will these games be running at much higher resolutions and on much larger screens than they were designed for, the Xbox launched at a time when CRTs, not LCDs, were still the primary screen technology available on the consumer market.

Microsoft is absolutely capable of tweaking game presentation and assets to improve the final output compared with what we saw in 2001. But it’s not clear if the company will simply do this via some filter presets, or if it’ll actually update game assets to improve how games look and feel.
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https://www.neowin.net/news/seagate-laun...r-xbox-one
Quote:Seagate has launched its new Game Drive Hub for Xbox which comes packed with 8TB worth of storage. The hub also comes with multi-purpose USB support for gamers with large game libraries that need “peak game storage capacity for today’s most advanced games.” The drive was designed and tested in collaboration with the Xbox so it will fit right in, and is compatible with any console in the Xbox One family (Xbox one, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X).
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The device has enough room to store around 200 Xbox games, any extra space sitting idle will also be able to store save data and downloadable content. The two USB 3.0 ports on the front of the device can be used to charge controllers and mobile devices, and connect peripheral accessories to the console. The fast USB ports provide users full gaming performance, as though data was being read from the console’s internal hard drive.

You’ll be able to pick the Seagate Game Drive Hub up from select Seagate resellers later this month for an MSRP of $199.99.
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https://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-we...xbox-one-x
Quote:Microsoft's latest console, the Xbox One X, has been making the headlines for the past couple of days. Touted as the "world's most powerful console", the gaming beast allows players to enjoy their games in "true 4K" at high performance. Support for mixed reality is planned for 2018 as well.

But while many may see it as a competitor to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro, that was announced last year, Microsoft disagrees.

In a detailed interview to Eurogamer, Microsoft's Xbox head Phil Spencer explained how he saw the PlayStation 4 Pro as a competitor to the Xbox One S, rather than the Xbox One X.
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Xbox One X is using a vapor chamber cooler: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/xbox-on...34787.html
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https://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-is...ss-for-pcs
Quote:While the PC was once the king of AAA gaming, with the advent of consoles, PCs have often become an afterthought for game developers and publishers in recent years. Microsoft has been working on changing that in past couple of years with its Cross play and Play Anywhere initiatives and making a larger effort to include PC compatibility for Xbox exclusives.

In that vein, the company may also be looking at other exciting new features to bring greater parity between Xbox and PC. In a recent interview, Xbox head Phil Spencer indicated that he would want PCs to be able to emulate Xbox games, at least those intended for the original Xbox. While he was pessimistic regarding the same being true of the Xbox 360 due to its PowerPC architecture, he emphasised that given the Xbox, Xbox One, One S and One X all share a x86 architecture, it should be technically possible to emulate their experiences on a PC, especially the original Xbox.
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Of course, while he did mention the technical feasibility of the same being true of the latest generation of consoles, he seems cautious about extending his designs to incorporate those, possibly due to such a feature cannibalising Xbox sales, if it was ever made available.
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https://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-xb...ling-games
Quote:While many believed the price tag to be too steep, keeping in view that Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro costs $399 - and ignoring the fact that it's underpowered compared to the Xbox One X - it appears that Microsoft won't be making a profit off of selling its latest piece of hardware at all.

Talking to Business Insider, Microsoft's Xbox One head Phil Spencer revealed that the company isn't expecting make money from selling Xbox One X units. Instead, it's banking on getting profit from selling games.
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Spencer didn't go into details as to whether the Xbox One X will be sold at a loss or if costs are being balanced out exactly, it isn't all too surprising that solely selling the company's latest console won't be the source of revenue. As we saw at E3 this year, the Xbox One X packs considerably powerful internals, including 12GB of GDDR5 RAM, an SoC with 7 billion transistors, and a custom-made AMD CPU. And with having the power to run "true 4K" games, along with being the smallest Xbox yet, there is no doubt that it's expensive to construct.

But while Microsoft is hoping to make money from selling games and services, many people - including our readers - have complained about the lack of exclusives on the console. That said, the company did announce a diverse range of titles, that will "run great" on the Xbox One X, so it will be interesting to see if that becomes a selling point for Microsoft's latest console.
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https://www.neowin.net/news/xbox-head-la...tform-play
Quote:While the Microsoft executive tried well to maintain a professional and calm composure, he seemed visibly offended by Sony's comment. He emphasized that player safety was a top priority for Microsoft, and Jim Ryan's comments implied otherwise, which he noticeably found insulting.

In fact, many of our readers found Sony's reasoning absurd as well. Both Sony and Microsoft have stated that "the door is open" for cross-platform play, however, the former's executive has noted that no active conversations are going on at the moment.
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https://www.neowin.net/news/sony-executi...fires-back
Quote:Now, it appears that the same Sony executive is at it again, making a statement that not only takes a shot at Microsoft, but may also be damaging to the image of Sony itself.

In what appears to be another jab at Microsoft, Sony's Jim Ryan has stated in an interview that he doesn't believe that indie games are as relevant as they were before. His statement reads as follows:
Quote:One of the things we have realized is that these video collages of ten indie games shown in a minute, is almost meaningless. Nobody can really learn anything about the games in that sort of time. It is almost viewed as wasted time.

There was a time and a place, in the early stages of the life of PS4, to make statements. It was more about making a statement that we are serious about the indies, and that we are doing this and that with the indies.

[...] It was just good to talk about in 2013/2014. It is less relevant now. We have VR to talk about now, for example.
It is important to note that at E3 2017, Microsoft showed off trailers for no less than 42 upcoming games, many of which were indie titles.

The statement from the Sony executive does not only imply that most of Microsoft's conference can be "almost viewed as wasted time", but could also be damaging to the image of Sony itself. This is due to the fact that the platform boasts many popular indie titles that have elevated various genres to new heights, including Rime, Limbo, Inside, and Don't Starve, among others.

Understandably, many Microsoft executives have taken offense to the statement, with the director of ID@Xbox program, Chris Charla, stating that:
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All in all, it'll be interesting to see how indie developers respond to Jim Ryan's controversial statement, as not only does it target Microsoft's E3 showing, but takes aim at the efforts of indie developers as well.
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I don't know how M$ and indies could take any sort of offense from the reported remarks.

Sony simply said that indie games aren't really relevant to their E3 presentations at the moment, that they have other games/ideas they want to spend the time on instead.

They didn't say indie games themselves aren't relevant to the console games market, just that they aren't relevant to their E3 presentations.
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The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it. -- George Carlin
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https://www.neowin.net/news/developer-of...r-backlash
I think Sony is out to trash talk Microsoft. First their refusal to do cross-play with Microsoft, and now this. Quantic Dream is one of Sony's own developers.
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https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/25130...erformance
Be sure to read the analysis.
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https://www.neowin.net/news/according-to...ll-2-at-6k
Quote:While we probably won't get a clear answer until the titles become available to the public in the winter, one member of Respawn Entertainment has chimed in on the experience with the Xbox One X.

According to a NeoGAF forum post, although the Xbox One X outputs at 4K, there are times when Titanfall 2 can actually render higher. Naturally, this isn't a scenario that is a constant occurrence, but it is still impressive to hear that the upcoming Xbox console can render the title at 3200p, which is a little above 6K resolution. Of course, every game will be different depending on how much load is being put on the GPU.
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https://www.neowin.net/news/the-xbox-one...-same-game
Quote:It has been a couple weeks since the announcement of the Xbox One X at E3 2017. While there are a lot of details that are available on the console and some of its games, there are still some finer ones that haven't been disclosed.

According to the online publication Stevivor, the upcoming console will be the only model that can download 4K assets for compatible games. The download of assets is apparently tied to the console and not simply in terms of output resolution. That means that even with you have an Xbox One S hooked up to 4K display, it will still be downloading the 1080p assets and up-scaling them.
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https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/25170...ne-markups
Quote:When Nintendo announced the NES Classic Edition last year, fans salivated at the thought of top-notch emulation for 30 classic titles, with the potential to add more games once modders took the machine apart to see what it could really do. Then, when Nintendo said it was going to ship more systems in the wake of overwhelming demand that the company, whose product sales projection department is apparently staffed by 19th-century employees who still think the real money is in playing cards, it only did enough to keep the eBay markup down to “just” two to three times the base system price.

After all that, once Nintendo announced it was canceling the NES Classic despite selling more of them in six months than it had managed to ship of its unwanted Wii U, prices shot up on eBay. And scalpers learned something very, very useful: Nintendo, thanks to utter mismanagement and a willingness to lie to its customers, could make them a whole heap of money.

Already, the new Super NES Classic Edition, which was just announced yesterday, is selling out for “guaranteed” preorders from online retailers at prices as high as $389, Ars Technica reports (the median price is just $199, which I suppose is something). Scalpers have been playing other tricks, including one in the UK which listed the system at $249, then “reduced” the price to $199 to get a “20% off” badge from eBay.
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