This week in gaming: More Xbox Scarlett streaming details surface, EA reveals more Origin Access Premier details, guided missiles return to Fortnite, and more!
In the spirit of keeping our readers up-to-date with what’s going on in the video game industry, the Doublejump Digest is a brief collection of the major news stories that happened in the past week. Keep an eye out for the Digest every Sunday night, and head intothe archive if you’ve missed any!
John broke out the Nintendo Switch to review Tribute Games’ port of Flinthook, a “fun, polished and crazy charming” roguelite that almost captures the same platforming perfection Spelunky captured back in 2008.
Major news releases:
Report: More Xbox Scarlett cloud console details surface:
According to a report from Thurrott, multiple sources close to Microsoft have confirmed that the technology company is developing two new Xbox systems. The first is a more traditional, high-powered console while the second is a “lower-powered device” that will connect to a new game streaming service. The second device will only compute certain things “like controller input, image processing, and importantly, collision detection” to ensure that players pay less than a conventional console system.
Microsoft has yet to comment on this latest rumour, but it should be noted that Phil Spencer recently confirmed that the company has had discussions about the shift to streaming for its games.
Origin Access’s “Premier” tier launches next week, EA shutters “On the House” program:
Speaking during the company’s first quarter earnings call, CEA Andrew Wilson revealed that Origin Access Premier is scheduled to go live before the end of next week. The new payment tier will add new company PC releases as part of users’ subscriptions, with the standard tier being rebranded to Origin Access Basic (with all existing benefits). Premier will set users back US$99.99 (approximately AU$135).
Alongside this announcement, EA quietly shuttered its “On the House” free game program and removed all mentions of it from its website and the Origin client itself. When Polygon asked the company for clarification, a spokesperson confirmed the change in a brief statement.
“Origin On the House has been retired and games will no longer be offered through the program,” the spokesperson said. “This change won’t affect any games players downloaded from the service prior to that date – those are theirs to keep forever.”
Guided missiles are returning to Fortnite: Battle Royale:
Three months after removing the weapon from the game, senior designer Andrew Bains has revealed that Epic Games is finally prepared to bring it back, albeit considerably weaker than it was.
Speaking in the latest Fortnite developer video, Bains revealed that the Guided Missile has had its movement speed, turning circle, damage and area-of-effect radius reduced, and its ammo cap is now set to 12. The considerable “nerf” is intended to position the Guided Missile as a “scouting tool” – still capable of the fun and folly it was previously associated with – rather than a match-winning weapon of mass destruction.
Epic has not revealed a specific date for the Guided Missile’s re-release as of this writing, but Bains did call it Fortnite’s “next item release”; so it can’t be far away now.
H1Z1 leaves PS4 open beta next month:
Three and a half years after its debut as an open-world zombie survival game and just two months – and more than 10 million players – after its PS4 open beta launch, Daybreak Game Company has announced that its free-to-play battle royale shooter is set for full release on August 7.
Alongside a number of performance optimisations, the full release will include two new weapons, the RPG and SOCOM Sniper Rifle; a new vehicle, the ARV, which can hold a full five-person squad and has a pop-up hatch for a single marksman; and a Season 1 Battle Pass that offers a variety of unlockable rewards across its free, premium and PlayStation Plus tiers.
Hori announces GameCube-like Switch controllers:
The new controllers are themed around Mario, Pikachu, and Zelda and feature new buttons (+, -, Home, and Screenshot) to better complement the Switch’s updated functionality. Furthermore, the controllers will use a standard USB-A port, include L/ZL/R/ZR shoulder buttons, and have texturised grips.
Former employee successfully sues Detroit: Become Human studio:
A French court has found that a former Quantic Dream employee was unfairly dismissed after resigning due to the alleged mistreatment of staff at the studio (via Eurogamer). Gamekult’s Nicolas Turcev also noted that two other employees with similar lawsuits lost their cases, with one of them appealing their case’s outcome (via GamesIndustry.biz). Quantic Dream has yet to make an official statement regarding this major decision, but it has the right to an appeal according to French law.
Notable game releases:
Mega Man X Collection 1 + 2 (PS4, Switch, and Xbox One)
The Banner Saga 3 (PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One)
Major video releases:
Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Welcome to Paititi
Square Enix and developer Crystal Dynamics give us a ten-minute look into “the largest hub ever found in a Tomb Raider game”, which includes “challenge tombs, side missions and more”.
Destiny 2: Forsaken – New Weapons and Gear:
Bungie is really trying hard to win over Guardians with another great showing for Forsaken.
The Banner Saga 3 – Launch Trailer:
Prepare yourself for the third and final chapter of Stoic Studio’s award-winning strategy RPG with this two-and-a-half minute trailer.
Assetto Corsa Competizione – Steam Early Access Program Date Reveal:
Kunos Simulazioni’s gorgeous celebration of motor racing is headed to Steam Early Access on September 12. What better way to celebrate than just over a minute of pure graphical brilliance?
Yakuza Kiwami 2 – Forbidden Romance Trailer:
Take a closer look at protagonist Kazuma Kiryu’s relationship with Detective Kaoru Sayama in SEGA’s second Yakuza remake, which is set to release in the west on August 28.
Castlevania: Season 2 – Official Trailer:
Netflix is back with another season of its surprisingly well-liked take on the Belmont vs. Dracula saga.
BlazBlue and Dragon Ball: FighterZ developer Arc System Works is celebrating its 30th anniversary with an endearing video: EventHubs
Both Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games are no longer available: Eurogamer
Forza Horizon 2 and For Honor lead August’s Games with Gold offering: Xbox Wire
Overwatch’s furious and fierce hamster hero is available now for everyone to pick: YouTube
Turn 10 Studios is planning to remove cars from Forza Motorsport 7’s loot boxes: GamesRadar
Bungie is releasing an official Destiny Grimoire lore book: Official