Nostalgia is massively lucrative, and it looks like Nintendo will continue stirring up millions of consumers with a Nintendo 64 Classic Edition in 2018.
Nintendo today filed a very interesting and instantly recognizable trademark in the European Union Intellectual Property Office that shows the Nintendo 64's iconic controller. As the graphic is quite similar to previous visual trademarks used in previous Nintendo "mini" consoles, it's very likely to represent a future Nintendo 64 Classic Edition micro-console to be released sometime in 2018.
Both the NES Classic Edition and the upcoming $79.99 SNES Classic Edition micro-consoles feature a distinctive controller logo on the top of their boxes. We've included a few side-by-side comparisons to illustrate.
AMD has taken its next-gen Radeon RX Vega onto the road, landing in Budapest first. AMD is showing off its new GPU architecture to gaming fans, teaming up with ASUS to show off AMD/ASUS products.
The company has since shown off its new logo/branding for Radeon RX Vega, testing RX Vega with AMD's own Ryzen 7 1800X processor and Battlefield 1 at 3440x1440 on a beautiful FreeSync-powered UltraWide display. There was also another gaming PC next to it running NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 (and not the GTX 1080 Ti) pitted against Radeon RX Vega.
The GeForce GTX 1080 powered gaming PC had the same 34-inch display and native 3440x1440 resolution, but was a G-Sync panel, compared to the RX Vega powered PC and its FreeSync Display. Both monitors were covered so you couldn't tell the difference between the systems, making it a blind test.
AMD didn't have FPS counters on the machines, but Szunyogg said on Reddit:
- The AMD rep guy was asked and he said it's a GTX 1080 non Ti against the RX VEGA
- We were given 2 systems with an RX and a GTX to play BF1 on.
- They do use free- and g-sync and yes there were no fps counters. From my experience there were no fps drops on any of the systems.
- There was a little hiccup, but they resolved it in an instant and from my experience and many others the difference was unnoticeable. Mind you we were not told and are not going to be told which setup is which.
AMD will taking Radeon RX Vega to Portland and LA next, hitting PDXLAN between July 21-23 and LA for SIGGRAPH on July 30.
I had a NES back in the 80s and had never heard of Stadium Events until now, but TIL that it's one of the most rare NES games in the world.
So much so, that a sealed copy of Stadium Events was sold to a private buyer for a huge $41,977. The seller went for a traditional auction on eBay but the person who won didn't end up paying, so the seller contacted the "serious buyer" who coughed up the massive $41,977.
This isn't the first time that copies of Stadium Events have been sold, with a sealed copy being sold in 2015 for $35,100 and another sealed copy in 2010 sold for $41,300.
Stadium Events was released in very limited copies in 1987 when it was paired with the Family Fun Fitness pad, and is one of the first exercise games.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is fast becoming a household name in PC gaming, and has rocketed to success in just months. Big-name publishers like Ubisoft are taking notice, but the French games-maker says it doesn't feel threatened by PUBG's big chicken dinner wins.
Bluehole's early access battle royal PUBG is an early access sensation: the game raked in $100 million in revenues with 10 million copies sold on Steam in just 3 months time. Thanks to the new Facebook streaming deal, the game's playerbase continues to grow--in fact PUBG just surpassed Rockstar's GTA V titan in peak players on Steam.
Ubisoft has taken note of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and its massively engaged playerbase, and despite the strong numbers, the publisher isn't perturbed. Company CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot affirms that Rainbow Six: Siege is still doing very well, and in the call he announced R6 had 30 million registered users at the end of June. At the same time, however, Mr. Guillemot says that PUGB elements could be adapted into Ubisoft-published games like The Division and Rainbow Six: Siege.
"PUBG is doing fantastic on Steam. Having said that, what we saw on Rainbow Six is that it continues to grow and the time spent on the game is increasing. so we don't see any competition from that game. But we 're looking at what those guys are doing and it's the type of gameplay that's very interesting. Maybe you'll see [something similar] in the DLCs we do in some of our games in the future. It's an interesting type of experience," said Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot during the Q1 company call.
Bethesda is unloading tons of value for current and potential DOOM players, starting with free multiplayer DLC, a MP overhaul, a price cut, and last but not least, free weekends.
If you've yet to pick up id's new explosively gritty, demon-smashing, skull-crushing, rip-and-tear shooter DOOM, then Bethesda is making it worth your while. The publisher today launched DOOM's v 6.66 update, a big 30GB+ update that makes all multiplayer DLC for all owners of the game--the season pass has been abolished!--and gears the game up for free weekends.
Also included in the aptly-named 6.66 update is a considerable overhaul to the game's fast-paced multiplayer, including a complete revamping of the progression system--unlockable items are now gated behind EXP progression rather than being randomized.
Nintendo today launched its hotly debated Nintendo Switch Online smartphone chatting app, and it's just as bad as you predicted.
The Nintendo Switch has two major online-based first-party games: ARMS and Splatoon 2. Rather than allowing players to easily hook up third-party headsets directly to the Switch, or into the Switch's Pro or JoyCon controllers, the company has taken a more confusing integrated approach: by forcing users to download an app to their phones for voice chatting. The app, which is required to chat with friends in parties in online games like Splatoon 2, launched today to strong frustration from the community.
Splatoon 2 isn't yet available, so only games press currently have full functionality of the app. And from what we're hearing it's quite awful, and Switch owners aren't happy. According to Forbes' Paul Tassi, the app is marred with a litany of problems including: the phone's screen must stay on to chat, you can't chat with friends when the app is minimized so say goodbye to communication while you answer a phone call, and, of course, there's real issues of battery drain considering the phone's screen must stay on and connected to the internet at all times to work.
Ubisoft's move to future-proof its games and embrace the digital market is paying off big as the French games-maker reports big earnings despite not releasing any new games.
In the last few years Ubisoft has transformed from a company that relies strongly on game sales into a massively profitable business whose games now make money long after their initial sale. This paradigm shift made Ubisoft one of the most interesting companies to cover, and now the European titan has created a billion-dollar empire with strong recurring revenues. Case in point: Ubisoft just made 202.1 million euros ($232.71 million) in its first quarter 2017 without releasing a single new game.
In the first quarter of FY18, Ubisoft pulled in total sales of 202.1 million euros ($232.78 million), up 45.2% year-over-year since Q1'16. Total Q1 sales exceeded Ubisoft's 170 million euro target by 18.88%. The company reports that digital is making up more and more of its total sales revenue, and for Q1'17 digital accounted for a staggering 80.4% of sales, or 164.2 million euros ($189.07 million). Microtransactions, season passes, DLC, and in-game purchases continue earning big for Ubisoft: the games-maker earned 83.1 million euros ($95.69 million) in the first quarter, with PRI (player recurring investment) up an impressive 73.4% over last year's first quarter. In fact, these digital in-game purchases made up 41.1% of total sales in the first quarter.
I've included an extensive breakdown of graphs to illustrate Ubisoft's growing success in the digital games segment.
PC peripherals-maker Razer hopes a new IPO will raise the company's valuation to as much as $5 billion.
After 12 years of being private, Razer currently plans to go public with its shares with an IPO. The company will open its shares in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, China, this October, sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg. The Singapore-founded American company is most known for its vibrant PC gaming products including keyboards, mice, and headsets, as well as premium-priced laptops like the Razer Blade.
With its IPO, Razer aims at a valuation of anywhere between $3 billion and $5 billion. Sources say the launch in Hong Kong is no mistake: the company is pursuing China's massive $27 billion games market, which is largely set on the mobile games segment. The company has already made its mark within the massively lucrative region with its first retail store based in Hong Kong.
Blizzard is taking a page out of Valve's playbook to fund StarCraft II eSports tournaments.
With its new War Chest initiative, games titan Blizzard is essentially mimicking Valve's unique interactive Battle Pass monetization program to raise money for competitive StarCraft II competitions. War Chest essentially allows StarCraft II players to purchase cosmetic skin packs via in-game microtransactions and earn exclusive rewards while taking part in an engaging marketing campaign.
Blizzard notes that 25% of all War Chest purchases go directly to StarCraft II eSports ventures. Official pricing of the skins remains unknown, and Blizzard will add the first $200,000 raised via War Chest to the BlizzCon 2017 tournament pool making a total prize pool of $700,000.
It'll be interesting to see how well this initiative goes, and how much revenue Blizzard can rake in to fund more eSports ventures and future productions and events.
The developers at Vicarious Visions have played some mind games with old-school Crash fans.
If you've played the new Crash Bandicoot remaster, you're probably having a tough time with the jumps. Thankfully we finally know why. It's not just you: Crash isn't jumping right, and his jumps really are off. These aren't the old-school PlayStation games you remember just updated fancy graphics, the devs at Vicarious Visions finally admitted, but a new game with an altered physics system.
"Many fans have picked up on the fact that Crash's jump isn't quite the same as it was, particularly in the first game, Crash Bandicoot," the dev team said in a recent Activision blog post. "The reason for that is because we want the best experience for all players, and Crash's handling falls into this category. We spent a lot of time studying the three titles and chose the handling from Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped as our Trilogy's starting point. An increased precision is now required in the first game, which makes the gameplay experience different."