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Halo: Reach on PC may have 60FPS cap at launch

By: Derek Strickland | Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 13 hours ago

343i has two weeks to fix some pretty big issues with Halo: Reach on PC, and if they can't, the game might not hit promised high-end performance targets.

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Right now Halo: Reach on PC is locked at 60FPS for its beta testing flights. But it could stay that way when Reach launches in December, possibly even for an undetermined time after release. In a recent forum update, 343i's Tyler Davis says the team's work will carry over long after Reach's release with "more improvements beyond launch."

He also said the team still isn't happy about Reach's frame rates:

"In the current flight, we were able to further test our experimental implementation and the feature does not meet our quality expectations. From our learnings we're currently investigating and working on fundamental improvements. When we have a solution that meets our quality bar we will first flight it with the community before releasing it more broadly."

Continue reading 'Halo: Reach on PC may have 60FPS cap at launch' (full post)

Nintendo first-party games make up 75% of all Switch game sales

By: Derek Strickland | Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 14 hours ago

Nintendo platform holders are mostly buying first-party games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Mario Maker 2, and Link's Awakening over third party games.

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Surprising absolutely no one, consumers buy Nintendo hardware specifically to play Nintendo games. The company's recent 2H'19 financials highlighted the continuing trend, showing that Nintendo's first-party games made up 75% of total software sales during the six-month period. Nintendo managed to sell roughly 58.54 million Switch software units in 2H'19, of which 43.90 million were first-party titles.

Nearly all of Nintendo's major first-party games have made it big on the Switch, especially newer titles. Super Mario Maker 2 has sold 3.39 million units so far, and others like Link's Awakening moved 3.13 million and Fire Emblem: Three Houses moved 2.29 million copies.

Continue reading 'Nintendo first-party games make up 75% of all Switch game sales' (full post)

Nintendo's digital earnings surge 83% to $663 million

By: Derek Strickland | Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 15 hours ago

Nintendo is making big strides towards digital-based revenues, propelled by game sales, services, and add-on content.

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Nintendo's recent financials show a huge surge in digital earnings. The company made 71.6 billion yen ($663.45 million) from digital in the first six months of Fiscal Year 2019, up a tremendous 83% year-over-year. Nintendo attributes this big jump in digital revenue to strong Switch Online subscriptions, massive add-on sales like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's fighter pass, and more direct consumer spending on digitally-delivered games.

Interestingly enough, the digital still isn't the preferred method consumers actually use to buy games. Retail box sales still hold the lion's share of Switch game sales. Only 36.2% of Nintendo's total 58.54 million software sales in 2H'19 were from digital--the rest were from physical sales.

Continue reading 'Nintendo's digital earnings surge 83% to $663 million' (full post)

Microsoft might've just killed Stadia

By: Derek Strickland | Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 2 hours ago

Microsoft's Project xCloud might've just killed Stadia before it even released.

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Google's new Stadia game streaming service is kind of a confusing mess right now. Google doesn't really know what it's doing. Stadia requires a $10 monthly sub at launch, forces users to buy their own games separately, is missing lots of key features like save state sharing at launch, and needs a mobile app to change basic settings. You'll also have to buy a Chromecast Ultra to play on your TV, and PC gaming is limited to 1080p 60FPS. It has a lot of hooks and gamers are dubious.

Microsoft's competing service is totally different. Project xCloud basically does everything Stadia does, but it'll include a pool of games for a set monthly fee, complete with total Xbox account integration. But it's the newly announced features that've basically just snuffed Stadia out before Google's service had a chance to compete.

Continue reading 'Microsoft might've just killed Stadia' (full post)

Project Scarlett to hit 1080p 120FPS gaming

By: Derek Strickland | Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 6 hours ago

Microsoft's powerful next-gen Project Scarlett console will focus more on frame rates and speed than resolution, delivering up to 120FPS in specific games.

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Project Scarlett is shaping up to be quite beastly. Reports say the next-gen Xbox will beat PlayStation 5's onboard specs, but on paper the systems seem quite similar: They both have a high-end AMD SoC with a Zen 2 CPU and Navi GPU, a super-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD, raytracing support, 8K resolution support, and high FPS gaming. But Microsoft promises it's going all out with Scarlett's power.

So what kind of in-game performance can we expect from Project Scarlett? No exact resolution and FPS matchups have been explicitly confirmed (there's no 4K 60FPS selling point yet like with the Xbox One X, for example), but Microsoft says Scarlett can hit 120FPS, which is likely for 1080p resolution. We should also expect native 4K gaming without upscaling like with the Xbox One X.

Continue reading 'Project Scarlett to hit 1080p 120FPS gaming' (full post)

Age of Empires IV has next-gen unit-AI, and is 'designed for 4K' on PC

By: Jak Connor | Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 8 hours ago

Following the gameplay reveal of Age of Empires IV, Microsoft and Relic Entertainment have released a behind the scenes video detailing the development of the title. Let's dive in.

The above video shows Game Director Quinn Duffy, Art Director Zach Schlappi, Creative Director Adam Isgreen, Community Manager Eliot Hong and General Manager Shannon Loftis describing all of the new aspects that will be arriving in Age of Empires IV. Its mentioned that Age of Empires IV's game resolution is "designed for 4K", meaning the game is going to come with a next-gen graphical upgrade when compared to its predecessors.

The developers also claim that they are "doing things that no other RTS has done before" in terms of how AI responds to players. They go into further detail, saying that the AI "are actually people with voices, character, and personality". This same upgrade in AI goes for combat as well; sometimes the AI will go offensive, and sometimes it will go defensive forcing players to come to it. These multiple strategies are designed to keep players on their toes.

Mass Effect wishlist: What we want to see in Mass Effect 5

By: Derek Strickland | Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 10 hours ago

BioWare is working on a new Mass Effect game, and lucky for us, it's a long ways away. That gives gamers plenty of time to tell BioWare exactly what they want from the next sci-fi chapter.

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Now that BioWare is in very, very early stages of dev on the next Mass Effect, we thought it prudent to share our wishlist for Mass Effect 5 (or whatever the new game is called).

Mass Effect has lost its way over the years. The original trilogy is excellent, but Andromeda fell short in many ways--while also reinvigorating the franchise in others. Andromeda was jarring and awkward in execution, but also pushed some new barriers and evolved the series. Our wishlist is predicated on the best elements from both the trilogy and Andromeda, and assumes the next chapter will be based heavily around Andromeda's basic framework. We also toss in a few ideas of our own, mainly centered around the potential live service features.

Continue reading 'Mass Effect wishlist: What we want to see in Mass Effect 5' (full post)

New Mass Effect game in the works, but it's a long ways off

By: Derek Strickland | Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 11 hours ago

BioWare's Mike Gamble is leading development of a new Mass Effect game, sources tell Kotaku.

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It's not exactly a secret that BioWare is working on a new Mass Effect project. The studio has teased it repeatedly over the last few months:first on N7 Day in 2018, then in February 2019, then again in September, and only a week or so ago BioWare said it has "many more Mass Effect ideas and stories yet to tell."

But now we have a bit of concrete information. The new Mass Effect game is currently in extremely early planning phases of development at BioWare's main Edmonton branch, and we shouldn't expect it for a very long time. BioWare's next project in line is Dragon Age 4, and even that game is pre-production and EA doesn't expect it to ship until 2022 or thereabouts.

Continue reading 'New Mass Effect game in the works, but it's a long ways off' (full post)

BioWare plans to save Anthem with The Taken King-style expansion

By: Derek Strickland | Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 15 hours ago

BioWare isn't giving up on Anthem, and plans to roll out big updates to turn the game around.

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Anthem is far from dead--at least at BioWare. The game has been lambasted by its playerbase for months after release, and seems to barely have a pulse when it comes to active players. As a live service game, Anthem failed. But BioWare wants to right the ship with a huge expansion that systematically overhauls loot, skills, and most importantly, the online elements.

The ambitious shooter-looter will get a huge The Taken King-style update to revamp Anthem's soft spots, sources close to BioWare tell Kotaku's Jason Schreier. The idea is to radically change and streamline gameplay (not unlike No Man's Sky's huge NEXT update) to make Anthem less jarring and awkward. In many ways, BioWare wants to finish Anthem and reach its full potential.

Continue reading 'BioWare plans to save Anthem with The Taken King-style expansion' (full post)

Minecraft Dungeons will release on every platform in April, 2020

By: Jak Connor | Gaming | Posted: 3 days, 4 hours ago

During Microsoft's XO19 event, the publisher officially revealed when Minecraft Dungeons would be released on all platforms.

The above release date announcement trailer has been uploaded to the official Xbox YouTube Channel. The trailer doesn't really show that much at all, besides the official release month for Minecraft Dungeons. Microsoft will be debuting developer Mojang's next game sometime in April 2020. It will be arriving on the PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC all at the same time.

For those that don't know what Minecraft Dungeons is, the game will introduce players to a new range of nasty mobs, some sweet multiplayer dungeon-crawling action, new items, personalizations for characters, quests and more. This will mark the first game Mojang has developed since the original Minecraft. If you are after more information about Minecraft Dungeons be sure to check out the other trailer here.