This fortnight in gaming: Sony talks PlayStation 5, Microsoft unveils a new Xbox, Riot Games courts more controversy, and more!
In the spirit of keeping our readers up to date with what’s happening in the video game industry, the Doublejump Digest is a brief collection of the major news stories from the past week. Keep an eye out for the Digest every Sunday night, and head on into the archive for news from weeks gone by!
Speaking with Wired, PlayStation 4 Lead System Architect Mark Cerny revealed details about the hardware that Sony is planning to include in its next system. He explained that the media giant is renewing its partnership with chip manufacturer AMD for a new processor that will offer real-time ray tracing support for both lighting and audio. Furthermore, Cerny also noted that Sony will maintain its push behind virtual reality by ensuring that “the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console”. One major hardware upgrade that should have all players excited is the implementation of a solid-state drive (SSD) for storage, with Cerny demonstrating – on a very early development unit – how the new storage hardware has reduced fast travel load times in Marvel’s Spider-Man from 15 seconds to just 0.8 seconds. Given the new system’s similar processor architecture to that of the PlayStation 4, Sony plans to maintain backwards-compatibility for existing PS4 games and to also support physical game discs.
Microsoft finally unveils discless Xbox and Game Pass Ultimate:
Following months of leaks, Microsoft has finally unveiled the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition that eschews an optical disc drive in favour of a larger hard drive and lower price point than the standard console. While the company has not announced Australian pricing as of this writing, it did confirm that it will bundle Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, Forza Horizon 3, and Sea of Thieves with the system. Microsoft has also confirmed that it will offer Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold as a combined subscription named Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, but it stopped short of announcing Australian pricing.
Report: Riot Games says employees can’t sue company in regular court:
Kotaku has reportedly gained access to legal motions given to a pair of female Riot Games employees from their employer explaining that both waived their right to regular court trials against the company when they signed their employment contracts.
“Said clauses force staff to take their complaints to private arbitration, an extra-legal system without a jury or a judge, rather than pursuing legal action,” Kotaku explained. “In these instances, employees are much less likely to hold employers accountable for bad behaviour.”
When asked for a comment on this development, Riot Games emailed a statement
BioWare delays major Anthem updates:
Anthem Lead Producer Ben Irving and Head of Live Services Chad Robertson took to the game’s official subreddit to tell players that the developer has opted to delay several key features including a “Mastery System” and “Guilds”.
“We have been prioritizing things like bug fixes, stability and game flow over the new features of Act 1. We set aside time for this work, but the reality is there are more things to fix and improve than we planned for,” the pair rote. “While this is the best thing to do for the game, it means some items from the calendar will be delayed.”
The pair also revealed that the studio is planning to set up a PC-only test environment (tentatively titled a “Player Feedback Environment”) for select players to preview upcoming “major features” before they are implemented in the live game.
Blizzard adds “Workshop” mode to Overwatch:
The company announced the news late last week and explained that the new mode allows players to create even more customised game types using “simplified game scripting”.
“Within the Workshop, you’ll create a Script to add Rules and unique play Conditions on top of the established Overwatch game modes you already know and love,” the company explained. “Rules can do many things, like change how a hero’s movement and abilities work, modify how players are damaged or healed, or even display text under certain circumstances.”
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES:
Days Gone (PS4)
Mortal Kombat 11 (PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS:
Fortnite Battle Royale – Fortnite X Avengers: Endgame Trailer:
The biggest video game and movie of the decade are joining forces? Why the hell not!
RAGE 2 – What is RAGE 2:
Good question, Bethesda.
Mortal Kombat 11 – Official Launch Trailer:
The leader of fighting game storytelling is back!
Borderlands – The Story So Far…:
Damn, can you believe that this game is ten years old?
Borderlands 2 – The Story So Far…:
And this one’s seven years old?
Overwatch – Developer Update | Storm Rising:
Workshop isn’t the only thing on players’ minds.
Capcom Home Arcade – Trailer:
What better way to celebrate your company’s history than with a playable version of your logo.
Transport Fever 2 is the newest tycoon simulator on the block:
Good Shepherd Entertainment and developer Urban Games announced the game earlier this week as a follow-up to both Train Fever and Transport Fever with three new story campaigns, gameplay improvements, modding capabilities and dynamic environments. It gives players access to “more than 150 years of transportation technology and history” with which they can work to maximise their profits as they build their transportation empire.
Transport Fever 2 is scheduled to be released towards the end of this year, on Linux, Mac and Windows – all via Steam.
The Swords of Ditto is coming to Nintendo Switch, with an expansion in tow:
Devolver Digital and developer onebitbeyond have announced that their Zelda-esque adventure RPG will arrive on Nintendo’s handheld powerhouse on May 2 – a little more than a year after its original release on PC and PS4. The Switch version will come bundled with the brand new Mormo’s Curse expansion, which includes new locations, bosses, enemies and weapons for you to play around with and also removes permadeath.
Mormo’s Curse is set to release free of charge on May 2, and will be bundled with the Switch version at launch.
LevelHead has entered Early Access on Steam:
Originally revealed during a Nindies showcase late last year, Butterscotch Shenanigans has finally pushed its level-building platformer into Steam Early Access, in which players can play through the campaign and the game’s level-building mode. It’s available on Windows PC right now for US$19.99/AU$28.95, and players can expect a Switch release – presumably alongside the game’s full release – later this year.