If you’re going to E3 this year, consider bringing your Nintendo Switch along. The company announced it will be giving out collectible pins to anyone seen playing their Switch in and around the convention center during the event.
According to the announcement, the pins will be handed out by roving Nintendo reps while supplies last. These are made exclusively for E3, so they’ll be hard to find outside the convention center. Pins are a frequent giveaway item at booths, and this is likely to be in high demand among the attendees. Plus, bringing your Nintendo Switch is a fine way to pass the time while you wait in lines.
Public-facing promotions like this are part of the changing face of E3, as it becomes a hybrid between an industry press show and one made for consumers. Last year the convention opened its doors to the public for the first time, a trend that is repeating this year. Nintendo has been leaning into taking its messaging directly to fans for years–first by ending its stage presentations in favor of pre-filmed showcases, and then by hosting exhibition tournaments. This year the focus is Super Smash Bros, complete with its own tourney.
E3 2018 will take place June 12-14 in Los Angeles. Most of the big announcements will be packed into the days prior with press conferences from EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Square Enix, Ubisoft, and Sony all spread out across Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Nintendo’s showcase will debut Tuesday morning, just hours before the show opens.
Fortnite has taken the gaming world by storm, and now Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto parent company Take-Two Interactive has responded yet again to the game’s success. During an earnings call today, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick doubled down on what he said before: you don’t become an industry leader by following what other teams have done before you.
Speaking to analysts, Zelnick said he doesn’t expect his studios–2K Games and Rockstar Games–to follow in the footsteps of Fortnite and PUBG.
“I think if one changed one’s business to follow other people’s big hits, you’d be constantly playing catch up,” he said. “And to say you wouldn’t be in second place is an understatement. You might remain in last place. So it’s our job to innovate, and more often than not that has driven our success.”
Previously, Zelnick spoke about how Take-Two is certainly aware of Fortnite’s success, he would rather have his studios push forward with new ideas instead of being “derivative” of something that came before. Rockstar is dipping its toes in the battle royale space with GTA Online, which added a battle royale mode called Motor Wars in 2017. And just this week, Rockstar added another battle royale-inspired mode called Trap Door.
Zelnick added that what Fortnite’s success shows is that some of the most successful games are the ones people don’t see coming. As an example, Zelnick pointed out that some industry-watchers said Red Dead Redemption wouldn’t succeed because Westerns had fallen out of favour. But of course, that game was a smash hit, and the sequel due this year is expected to be a massive success as well.
“Maybe the biggest learning [from Fortnite] is just the reinforcement of the fact that big hits by their very nature are unexpected. What drives a big hit is innovation not derivation,” he said. “That’s what we’re proud of around here. When we put out Red Dead Redemption, the conventional wisdom was that western titles do not work in the video game business–and Red Dead Redemption was a big hit and we have extremely high expectations for Red Dead Redemption 2.
“So I think the fact that Fortnite surprised everyone, particularly given where Fortnite came from–after all, what is now in the market is based on a prior release that did not perform all that well. It’s just a reflection of the fact that if you innovate and give consumers what they want, you can get an extraordinary result. And while we would love to corner the market in hits, and we certainly see it as our job to do so, we don’t have all of the hits and we shouldn’t expect to.”
As Zelnick alluded to, Fortnite began its life as a paid game called Fortnite: Save the World, with the free-to-play Battle Royale iteration coming years later.
Also during the call, Zelnick said another thing Fortnite has made clear is that free-to-play as a business model has been “transformative” for gaming and helping to increase the reach of gaming overall.
“The free-to-play revolution, if you will, whether that’s mobile or fixed, has been transformative for the business,” he said. “It’s massively increased the size of the business. There are a lot people who think Fortnite has welcomed into our industry people who didn’t previously play video games. Some of that is anecdotal; it’s hard to know, but I think some of that is right. This is all good news.”
Take-Two already has a substantial free-to-play business through games released in China and through its relatively recent acquisition of mobile game studio Social Point. While free-to-play is an important part of Take-Two’s business, Zelnick stressed that big-budget, narrative-driven, and highly polished juggernauts like GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2 remain “terribly important” to Take-Two as a business.
In other Take-Two news, the company announced today that a new game from 2K–potentially a new Borderlands or BioShock–has been delayed. 2K will be at E3 2018 next month, but as of yet we don’t know what the company plans to show off or discuss at the event.
With just a few hours to go before Activision is set to formally unveil Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, what appears to be the game’s box art has leaked online.
CharlieIntel spotted the art, which shows three characters, including one in the middle who appears to be wearing some kind of exo-suit. The character in the middle bears some kind of resemblance to former San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson before he cut his hair.
…Box Art for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 LEAKED pic.twitter.com/uFcg6N4SX3
— charlieINTEL.com @ #BlackOps4 Reveal (@charlieINTEL) May 17, 2018
All should be revealed soon, as Activision will officially reveal Black Ops 4 during an event scheduled for 10 AM PT on May 17. The event will be streamed live and you’ll be able to watch the entire thing here on GameSpot. We will of course also have a full rundown of all the big news as it is announced, so keep checking back for more.
Black Ops 4 launches on October 12 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Following a leak earlier this week, Microsoft today officially announced a new Xbox controller designed for people with limited mobility. The Xbox Adaptive Controller, as it’s called, will launch later this year priced at $100 US.
In a blog post, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the new Xbox One and PC controller takes into consideration the needs of gamers who may not be able to hold a controller for a long time or reach all the triggers and buttons. “On our journey of inclusive design, we have taken a wider view of our fans and a more inclusive approach to designing for them,” Spencer said.
“By taking an inclusive design approach and considerations of gamers who might not be able to reach all the bumpers and triggers or hold a controller for an extended period of time, for example, we were able to design a controller that provides a way for more fans to enjoy gaming,” Spencer added. “On our journey of inclusive design, we have taken a wider view of our fans and a more inclusive approach to designing for them.”
Microsoft designed the controller in collaboration with The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged. “We worked closely with them and directly with gamers who have limited mobility to assist in our development. Our goal was to make the device as adaptable as possible, so gamers can create a setup that works for them in a way that is plug-and-play, extensible, and affordable,” Spencer said.
The controller has two big buttons built in that can be reprogrammed to work as any of the inputs on a standard controller using the Xbox Accessories app. Additionally, the Xbox Adaptive Controller supports external inputs from a range of third-party manufacturers, including PDP, Logitech, and Quadstick (you can see a full list here).
Spencer went on to say that Microsoft has been working on the Xbox Adaptive Controller for “years” already–and it may not be the last piece of kit that Microsoft creates with inclusivity in mind. “We realize that this is only one step along our journey of inclusive design and that we have more work ahead,” Spencer said. “This has been a passion project for people around the world, both inside Microsoft and beyond.”
The Xbox Adaptive Controller will be sold exclusively through the Microsoft Store. Microsoft will announce more details about the controller during E3, while pre-order availability details will also be shared in due time.
For more on the Xbox Adaptive Controller, check out the video above and read the full blog post on the Xbox Wire. You can also read this story from GameSpot sister site CNET in which editor Ian Sherr goes inside Microsoft’s design lab to find out how the controller was made. Further still, you can check out CNET’s video above to hear Spencer speaking directly about the Xbox Adaptive Controller and Microsoft’s social responsibility to help support gamers.
Google announced the Android P Beta, a major OS update at the I/O 2018 event earlier this week and for the first time the public beta is available to non-Pixel devices as well including the Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6 and Essential PH‑1. The main force behind this move is Project Treble.
Qualcomm already announced that it has teamed up with Google with an aim to support fast commercial availability of Android. Android P Beta provides an opportunity for developers and early adopters around the world to try the latest Android release, test their apps, and provide feedback back to Google. This was a combined effort of Google, silicon manufacturers (SM), device manufacturers (OEMs), and carriers.
Google says that this process is technically challenging and requires aligning the schedules between the industry partners. To reduce the difficulties in the process, Google launched the Project Treble as a part of the Android Oreo, and this is where Google’s partnership with Qualcomm comes into play which is the most important aspect in making a smartphone.
For any Android phone, the Android software version is based on a SoC with the proper software support for it which is referred to …
Tencent’s current sensation; PUBG within no short time has gained best community building app in the world. Player’s main goal in the game is to survive till the end while staying within the circle and killing opponents.
While the game is brilliant by all means; it is no doubt that players lose control while playing the game thanks to the touchscreen displays. This is why users have been relying on Android emulators Now to address the issue, Tencent has released an in-house emulator called Tencent Gaming Buddy. This lets you jump right into the PUBG mobile directly from PC.
In order to not split the user base, Tencent Gaming Buddy will only matches you against other players using the emulator. The gameplay is more or less the same, but you can now map mouse and keyboard. You can switch back and forth from the direct controls to navigating with your mouse by using the tilde button.
Since the emulator is new, the frame rate is not the best and only plays under 60fps, reducing the graphics to medium makes the gameplay much more acceptable. You can download the PUBG Tencent Gaming Buddy Android emulator for PC from here.
Consistent updates to the Android ecosystem have been a major setup for Google since a few years now and it looks like Google is making sure it solves the problem to a certain extent at least. The company’s Project Treble made sure that updates are easier and for the first time, the beta version of the next major OS update is made available outside of Pixel devices.
And now Google is setting up requirements to OEMs to roll out Android security patches regularly. At the Google I/O 2018 event, the company in the “What’s new in Android security” segment revealed some new changes coming to the Google’s security policy which effectively require OEMs to roll out security patches. While Google is rolling out security patches updates to Pixel devices, OEMs push out updates to some extent, but it always remained optional in long run.
It is unclear at this moment what Google specifically requires this change, as it just mentioned that the updates will need to be “regular.” It is also likely that Google might not be expecting these updates on a monthly basis. Hopefully, this change encourages OEMs to be more timely about the security patch updates once the changes are put in place. Like with …
Opera has rolled out a new update to its Android app bringing the version number to 46. This update brings features like themes, night mode, private tabs notifications and more.
With Themes, users can now browse with the personalized look, tweak the color theme and join the dark side or the light. These new themes are found in the settings menu. It also brings the much-needed night mode making it even more convenient to read late at night. The experience is less eyestrain and more comfortable reading in the dark with the new night mode.
Most importantly, if you are using our private tabs, there will now be a small ghost as a reminder of these open private tabs in the notification tray. Tapping this notification will close all your private tabs, the functionality is similar to Chrome’s incognito mode. Now you can copy, paste and QR-code scanning and is now available with one tap from the address bar.
There is now also a QR code scanner. Just tap the icon found on the right side of the address bar instead of manually entering the address. Now you can now turn off trending searches suggestions if you don’t like seeing them. The new update is gradually rolling …
OnePlus has rolled out new Open Beta update for its OnePlus 5 and 3 series smartphones (Beta 10 for OnePlus 5, Beta 8 for OnePlus 5T, Beta 36 for OnePlus 3 and Beta 27 for OnePlus 3T) that brings latest May 2018 Android security patch as well as new offers for Launcher, OnePlus Switch and Group MMS support.
Updated Android security patch to May
Added Toolbox Card in shelf
Added Hidden Space in app drawer
Added support for editing dynamic icons(weather,clock and calendar)
Optimized user interface for backup & restore
Optimized logic for time remaining
General bug fixes and stability improvements
Added Group MMS
The update is about 108MB in size for OnePlus 3 and 3T and 348MB for the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T. If you’ve already flashed a previous Open Beta build, you will receive this update via OTA. If you haven’t, you will need to flash this manually by downloading it from downloads.oneplus.com.