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Nintendo says early sale Switch units were stolen, and everyone involved has been fired

20 Feb

Switch units in the wild may result in criminal charges for those who helped them run free.

Switch fever peaked last week when some dodgy shakycam footage showing the Switch setup menu and UI as well as a Switch unboxing video made some corners of the Internet wild with envy.

Hiphoptherobot said at the time that a retailer had supplied the Switch unit early, presumably by mistake; they even said several times that they wouldn’t be talking about the matter if they had done anything shady. Unfortunately it looks like they were taken in by someone else, as the Switch was stolen.

“Earlier this week, individuals claimed to prematurely purchase a small number of Nintendo Switch systems from an unspecified retailer,” Nintendo told IGN.

“Nintendo has determined these units were stolen in an isolated incident by employees of a US distributor, with one system being illegally resold. The individuals involved have been identified, terminated from their place of employment and are under investigation by local law enforcement authorities on criminal charges.”

The original poster of last week’s Switch videos has confirmed this includes their Switch unit. “Nintendo has the console back and I am personally not in any trouble,” they said in an update posted on posted on NeoGAF.

They also said they’d unknowingly bought a stolen Switch, and that everyone has “been very nice and reasonable” throughout the return process – but that they don’t expect to get their money back. The full thread is worth a read, although it’s light on details as the OP is understandably a bit wary of sharing too much.

Switch launches March 3. Buy it from a shop on or after that date. Anybody who offers you an early one is probably doing something dodgy.

A full Switch interface Nintendo Direct is expected this week, if the videos are pulled in the meantime and you’re dying to take a peek.

For Honor trailer reminds you it’s pretty good, in case you’ve been under a rock with your fingers in your ears

20 Feb

For Honor: it’s good. But don’t trust us, trust this promotional video.

For Honor has been generating a huge amount of buzz since its popular beta tests, and there doesn’t seem to have been any die off now that it’s actually out.

The video above is littered with accolades for the multiplayer factional brawler, which Ubisoft apparently thinks is what will convince you to invest in For Honor.

If you’re only just getting onboard now or want an edge on the competition, check out our growing For Honor guide. We’re collecting detailed character guides, with video, in addition to basic and more advanced tips.

For Honor may have a very different aesthetic to Overwatch but like Rainbow Six Siege it seems positioned to occupy a similar sort of hero-driven space, where character choice and knowing how to counter the abilities of the whole roster is an important part of high level play.

This design seems to have crept over from the MOBA space, but the immediacy of the action in games like For Honor and Overwatch mean everyone can get in and have a good time without immediately hitting a steep learning curve. It’s an interesting trend.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Kingdom Hearts 3 screens show boss fights, gameplay

18 Feb

Along with Final Fantasy 14 Fan Fest going on in Germany, Square Enix also has a presence at the Monaco Anime Game International Conference 2017 (MAGIC). Here, the company showed new images of Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Kingdom Hearts 3.


Sadly, not much was revealed on either Final Fantasy 7 Remake or Kingdom Hearts 3, but a little information is better than nothing at all.

According to Tetsuya Nomura, speaking with Gameblog.fr (thanks, Gematsu), the screenshot shown for Kingdom Hearts 3 takes place in Thebes. You also get to see the new model for the Heartless.

Nomura said the Keyblade Sora wields will also turn “into a lot of things,” thanks to its Power Form such as a shield and even chariot.

Kingdom Hearts 3 was announced in June 2013 at Sony’s E3 press conference, and it doesn’t have a release date – but we hope it lands sometime this year.


The Final Fantasy 7 Remake images Nomura showed provide a look at the combat system. He said the combat will occur with without interruption and that when using grenades, allies won’t take damage, but scenery will be partly destructible.

In the image below, you’ll see the Scorpion, which is the first boss in the game.


Nomura also said he wanted to show a video of the game, but Square denied the request, but more would be shown at a later date.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake was announced at E3 2015 for PlayStation 4, and it too is without a release date.

Portal, Half-Life 2 co-writer Erik Wolpaw has left Valve

18 Feb

Erik Wolpaw, co-writer on the Half-Life, Portal and Left 4 Dead franchises has left Valve.


Former Valve employee and fellow co-writer Marc Laidlaw revealed Wolpaw’s departure on Twitter when he saw the man himself’s workplace update on Facebook.

It was also reported at the time Valve writer Jay Pinkterton had also left, but that was not the case. He’s still there, per PC Gamer.

Wolpaw started out as a writer for the Old Man Murray video game commentary site, which he co-founded with Chet Faliszek, also a Valve employee. Along with co-writing Portal, Left 4 Dead and Half-Life titles, he was also a co-writer on the original Psychonauts when he worked at Double Fine and is currently writing for Psychonauts 2.

A reason for Wolpaw’s departure hasn’t been provided.

These Horizon: Zero Dawn videos provide a visual recap of combat, exploration, more

17 Feb

Horizon: Zero Dawn releases in less than two weeks, and if you need something to scratch your itch in the meantime, Sony has you covered.

Four new videos for Horizon: Zero Dawn have been released, the first of which is a look at exploration. Aloy will be able to travel the various frontiers, find artifacts and discover ancient mysteries in the process.

The video above takes a look at some of the Machines players will come into contact with – some of which they will have to battle.

In this video, more combat is shown along with Aloy’s tracking ability.

The final video focuses on Aloy, both past and present, along with a look at some of the various NPCs.

While the majority of what’s shown in the videos have been revealed before, each are still a quick reminder of what Horizon: Zero Dawn has to offer come the end of the month.

If you want to catch up on everything we know about it, be sure to give our page hub a click.

The PS4 exclusive will be released on February 28 in North America and on March 1 in Europe for both the standard console and PS4 Pro.

Enjoy the short videos and look forward to more Horizon: Zero Dawn goodness from us closer to release.

Horizon: Zero Dawn day one patch is only 250MB

17 Feb

If you’re getting the disc version of Horizon: Zero Dawn you won’t have to waste too much time grabbing update files.


Horizon: Zero Dawn developer Guerrilla Games has confirmed that the game will have a day one patch.

Don’t fret, though, because the size of the patch is very small compared to many of today’s games. The studio confirmed in a tweet that Horizon: Zero Dawn’s day one patch is only around 250MB.

Guerrilla also said that more details about what’s actually in the patch will be shared at launch.

Horizon: Zero Dawn is out February 28 in the US, March 1 in the UK and Europe for PS4.

Pokemon Go’s big update is rolling out now, so you can get your hands on over 80 new Gen 2 ‘mon

17 Feb

Pokemon Go developer Niantic produces a heck of a lasso and ropes you right back in.


A Pokemon Go update is rolling out now on Android (0.57.2) and iOS (1.27.2), so check Google Play and the App Store to see if your region is ready to rock the new content, which includes more than 80 new Pokemon.

This is the big Pokemon Go update Niantic revealed earlier this week, and represents the first major expansion of catchable Pokemon since the app launched in July 2016.

The new Pokemon are Generation 2 beasties, first found in the Johto region. Some of them come in gender variations, so be sure to grab them all.

There are some other cool changes to Pokemon Go in this update, including increased rewards when catching evolved Pokemon and new night mode map and music.

Here are the full patch notes for the Pokemon Go Gen 2 update:

  • Over 80 additional Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region can be caught.
  • Gender-specific variations of select Pokémon can be caught.
  • Added new encounter mechanics.
  • Added Poké Ball and Berry selection carousels to the encounter screen.
  • Added two new Berries.
  • Added new avatar outfit and accessory options.
  • Added new night-mode map and encounter music.
  • Added bonus Candies for catching Evolved Pokémon.
  • Implemented Apple Watch connection stability improvement.
  • Various bug fixes.
  • Minor text fixes.

We’re livestreaming For Honor – join us for some brutal, bloody action

16 Feb

Join us as we livestream some glorious For Honor gameplay.

Watch live video from vg247 on www.twitch.tv

Today, Shabana is starting from scratch, so be prepared to get a look at the tutorials before she heads into the campaign.

Because of this, I have no idea which faction she will choose, but I’m crossing my fingers for the Berserker because chaotic and brutal viking are my thing. In games, obviously.

It’s also possible we’ll see some multiplayer later on. Wish her well.

If you’re playing For Honor and need some tips, give our guide a read.

For Honor is one of the first big releases for the year, and arrived on PC, PS4 and Xbox One this week.

A new Mass Effect: Andromeda trailer lands tomorrow and the focus is on weapons and skills

16 Feb

Those looking forward to Mass Effect: Andromeda will be pleased to know a new video will be released tomorrow.

According to Bioware, the Mass Effect: Andromeda video will provide an extended look at weapons and skills, as teased above.

The studio has previously touched upon weapons, but only slightly. It said players will be able craft melee weapons and others, such as a plasma rifle, by scavenging alien tech and researching how it works. They can even give their crafted weapons names.

Skills, as noted above, will also factor into the trailer. Hopefully, we’ll be provided with a look at the various builds, as we are especially interested in the “pyromaniac build.”

Mass Effect: Andromeda releases for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on March 21 in North America, and March 23 in Europe.

EA Access members will be able to play Mass Effect: Andromeda early for a limited time, starting on March 16. The trial lasts 10 hours and all progress will carry over into the full game when it releases.

The game can also be pre-loaded on March 17 starting at 10am PT/1pm ET/6pm UK.


Play Rocket League, NBA 2K17 free and get online without an XBL Gold sub all weekend

16 Feb

Microsoft is hosting another free multiplayer weekend, and if that’s not enough for you, Rocket League and NBA 2K17 are also free to download a play for the duration.

The free weekend starts today and runs through Sunday, February 19. Starting today you can also download both NBA 2K17 and play as much as you like until the aforementioned date.

Plus, Rocket League is also on sale this week for 25% off at £12/$15, which is a good incentive to pick it up if you liked it during the free trial. NBA 2K17 is also on sale for $20 off, so it will run you $39.99/£35.74 instead of $59.99/£54.99.

If you are unfamiliar with the free multiplayer weekends, it’s exactly as it sounds. You can play online without an Xbox Live Gold subscription whether you own an Xbox 360 or Xbox One.

So, if you own a game with a multiplayer component, hop online with your friends and shoot things, solve puzzles, kill orcs or what have you all weekend long.

Overwatch Competitive Play Season 3 ends next week, here are your rewards

16 Feb

We now have an end date for this season of Overwatch Competitive Play, and a few details about rewards.


Blizzard has announced that Overwatch‘s third season of Competitive Play will come to an end at 4pm PT on February 21 (12am GMT February 22). As expected, Season 4 is set to kick off a week later, on February 28 at the same time.

In a blog post, the developer confirmed that anyone who finished their placement matches during Season 3 is eligible to get a special spray and player icon.

These will be given out at the end of the season, and you’ll see them on your next login. If you’re among the top 500 players on your platform in your region, you’ll be getting an extra icon and an animated spray to go along with the standard rewards.

Season 4 may bring some changes based on feedback, and Blizzard will reveal more in the coming days. For now, you can take a look at Season 3’s Skill Rating to Competitive Point breakdown below:

  • SR 1-1499 (Bronze): 100 CP
  • SR 1500-1999 (Silver): 200 CP
  • SR 2000-2499 (Gold): 400 CP
  • SR 2500-2999 (Platinum): 800 CP
  • SR 3000-3499 (Diamond): 1200 CP
  • SR 3500-3999 (Master): 2000 CP
  • SR 4000-5000 (Grandmaster): 3000 CP

PlayStation Now service on PS3, Vita, various TVs will be discontinued in August

15 Feb

Sony has announced it will discontinue the PlayStation Now service on PS3, Vita, and a number of TV models.


According to the company, after “thoughtful consideration,” it has decided to shift focus and resources to PS4 and Windows PC to “further develop and improve the user experience on these two devices.”

As of August 15, 2017, PS Now users will no longer be able to access the service on the following devices:

  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV
  • All 2013, 2014, 2015 Sony Bravia TV models
  • All Sony Blu-ray player models
  • All Samsung TV models
  • 2016 models of Sony Bravia TVs (on April 1, 2017)

All of PS Now games saves stored in the cloud are still accessible on both PS4 and PC.

Sony said if customer wish to discontinue their subscription, be sure to disable auto-renewal in the account settings so the subscription ends by April 1 on the 2016 Sony Bravia TVs, and August 15 for the other devices.

The notice was posted for both North American and European customers.

Certain “childish” Valve members are to blame for Half-Life 3 teasers and rumours

15 Feb

Some Valve employees are purposely dropping Half-Life 3 references to mess with people.


During a recent interview session at Valve’s HQ, questions about Half-Life 3 were naturally brought up. According to the developer, though, not every Valve screenshot you see with the “3” logo is a reference to Half-Life 3.

Venture Beat brought up the most recent picture that sparked the discussion once again.

In the photo, as you can see, there’s an Half-Life icon with the number 3 attached to it. The app is called “W3”, but that’s about it. This obviously means Half-Life 3 is in development, at least that’s what people like to think.

“It’s news to us that the picture is out, but it’s also news that this icon is on the screen,” Valve’s Greg Coomer said, before shutting the whole thing down.

“Honestly, those icons have floated around this office for quite a while. None of us are going to be able to tell you what that is or why that’s there.”

But what about that one GDC where Valve employees wore Half-Life 3 t-shirts? According to Gabe Newell, this was also a hoax.

“Some of the more childish members of our company have worn Half-Life 3 t-shirts to GDC,” said Newell.

Well, there you have it, Half-Life 3 is both alive and dead.

A new 2D Zelda game on Switch is “definitely a possibility”

15 Feb

Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has talked about the possibility of the 3DS Zelda team creating a new 2D experience for Switch in a new interview.


Speaking with Game Informer, Aonuma was asked if the team behind the 3DS Zelda titles, the amazing A Link Between Worlds and so-so Triforce Heroes, would be brought in on the next big Zelda game to expedite development, since Breath of the Wild took such a long time.

Aonuma says that this is unlikely to happen. “The 3DS team and the Wii U team have different approaches to game development, so I don’t necessarily want to combine them and have them think together, but rather have each think about what they can bring to Nintendo Switch from their own perspective.”

When asked directly if this meant the Switch may receive a 2D Zelda game in the future, Aonuma said that this was “definitely a possibility”.

“There are definitely good things about the 2D world and the playstyles of the 2D world,” he told Game Informer. “There are a lot of fans who enjoy that style … For the 3DS team, I am trying to make them think in a more evolved 2D-style approach.”

This isn’t solid confirmation, of course, but it sounds like a distinct possibility. The next Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, hits the Wii U and Switch on March 3.

Don’t mind the $30 price tag – this is the best Humble Bundle in years

13 Feb

This Humble Bundle has so much good stuff in it it simply won’t fit in a headline.


Humble Bundle and a broad swathe of developers and creators have come out swinging with an amazing collection of excellent games, ebooks and audiobooks.

Called the Humble Freedom Bundle, all proceeds from the scheme will go to the American Civil Liberties Union, the International Rescue Committee and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières – rather than funnelling back to developers and organisers at the buyer’s discretion, as is usual. You can still choose which charity gets your dollars if you like, and you can read more about each over on Humble Bundle to help you make up your mind.

Additionally, Humble Bundle will match donations up to $300,000, so it’s not just acting as a vehicle for creator generosity here.

“We humbly remember that the United States is a nation of immigrants, and we proudly stand with developers, authors, and charities that champion liberty and justice for all,” organisers wrote.

But hell, forget politics for a moment and just look at how great this Humble Bundle is in terms of games. For just $30, you get:

  • The Witness
  • Stardew Valley
  • Subnautica
  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered
  • Overgrowth (Early Sccess)
  • Nuclear Throne
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch
  • Invisible, Inc
  • Super Meat Boy
  • World of Goo
  • Mushroom 11
  • No Time to Explain Remastered
  • The Stanley parable
  • Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
  • Super Hexagon
  • Guacamelee!
  • Super Turbo Championship Edition
  • The Swapper
  • Thirty Flights of Loving
  • Spirits
  • Human Resource Machine
  • 2064: Read Only Memories
  • A Virus Named TOM
  • 7 Grand Steps: What Ancients Begat
  • Mini Metro
  • Retro Game Crunch
  • Tower of Guns
  • Waking Mars
  • Song of the Deep
  • Monster Loves You
  • AI War: Fleet Command
  • Sproggiwood
  • Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora Deluxe
  • Secrets of Rætikon
  • Girls Like Robots
  • Ellipsis
  • Streamline (Early Access)
  • Ninja Pizza Girl
  • Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball

There are very few games on that list that aren’t worth $30 on their own, and together they represent a beautiful slice of the best of the indie scene over the past few years. As you’ll see when you click through, the Humble Freedom Bundle also includes a selection of comics, prose and audio books.

All games are redeemed on Steam for PC, with several DRM-free, Linux and Mac options available. All eBooks and audiobooks are offered in DRM-free formats.

Well? Go take advantage! It may be a little more than you usually budget for Humble Bundles, but it’s got a lot more content to make up for that. Don’t miss out.

GTA 4 may have a better frame-rate on Xbox One, but you’re probably better off playing on Xbox 360

13 Feb

GTA 4 on Xbox One backwards compatibility is quite a peculiar thing.

Last week, the Xbox 360 version of GTA 4 became playable on Xbox One thanks to the console’s backwards compatibility.

As is usually the case with backwards compatible games, the transition doesn’t always result in a performance improvements. Thanks to outlets like Digital Foundry, though, we get to actually find out if Xbox One is the best way to play the game.

The case of GTA 4 is complicated, as the site’s recent analysis revealed. According to Digital Foundry, though raw frame-rate has improved, this may not be such a good thing.

You can expect up to a 5fps increase in some spots, but it’s the frame-pacing issue that sours the experience. Xbox One delivers new frames at a rate very different from the Xbox 360 version’s, and much later than the standard 16ms and 33ms intervals.

“It feels choppier and more uneven, while controller latency – hardly one of the game’s strongest points on original hardware – sometimes feels significantly laggier on Xbox One. In certain areas, frame-pacing seems to normalise but by and large, in-game performance seems less stable,” the site noted in the analysis.

Although these observations only apply to the main GTA 4 campaign for now, not including the Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and Damned, something doesn’t feel quite right.

“As things stand, GTA4 is one of a small number of back-compat titles that we’d prefer to play on Xbox 360 instead, and we hope that the back-compat team goes back to take a closer look at the frame-pacing issues here,” the site concludes.

The DLC add-ons will be tested later, but for now, things don’t look promising.

For Honor beta players, did you see this Mortal Kombat Easter Egg with your own eyes?

13 Feb

For Honor throws in a cute reference to Mortal Kombat. Did you catch it?


For Honor has been all over our social feeds this weekend as beta testers show off their executions and clutch victories.

Here’s something a little bit different, though: Redditor Lacront found what must be a Mortal Kombat reference tucked away in one corner of a For Honor map.

See those two figures on the bridge in the distance? Notice that one of them is on fire? You may remember this scene from the background of the Pit stage in Mortal Kombat 2. The firey figure is Blaze, a character from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and Mortal Kombat: Unchained, who has made a series of cameos and appearances in other franchise titles, including Mortal Kombat X. The other is generally referred to as Hornbuckle. Clearly, someone on the For Honor team is a NetherRealm fan.

For Honor launches Tuesday on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. We’re expecting it to be pretty mega; 3 million people played the For Honor beta.

In For Honor, players select from a range of unique units spread across Knight, Samurai and Viking factions and battle it out in various multiplayer modes. It has an almost MOBA-like aspect with its emphasis on particular roles, something like Ubisoft stablemate Rainbow Six Siege. Let’s hope Ubisoft throws just as much love and support at For Honor.

The Battlefield 1 February update is coming next week

11 Feb

The winter update for Battlefield 1 will be released next week, according to DICE.

battlefield_1_they_shall_not_pass (10)

While the notice didn’t include information on what was contained in it, due to being a tweet and all, it’s expected the update will contain content currently available on the Battlefield 1 Community Test Environment.

DICE confirmed back in January  it was working on a new update for February. It’s said the update won’t include new content, just changes and improvements.

Invites to the Battlefield 1 CTE went out at the end of January, providing testers with early access to forthcoming balance changes, fixes, new features, etc. before being released to the general public.

Participants are likely testing  the They Shall Not Pass DLC as well, which comes with a new Elite Class, tank, a new stationary weapon, the Frontlines game mode and more. It’s out in March.

Once DICE provides a release date and more information on the February update, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Valve to replace Steam Greenlight this spring with new Steam Direct service

10 Feb

Valve has announced it’s replacing Steam Greenlight with a more streamlined service called Steam Direct.


In a news post on Steam, Valve said it will launch the new service in spring, but will continue to allow Greenlight titles to be added up to two weeks before Steam Direct goes live. In other words, the company will continue giving titles the green light which have sufficient community interest until the upgraded service goes live.

“After the launch of Steam Greenlight, we realized that it was a useful stepping stone for moving to a more direct distribution system, but it still left us short of that goal,” reads the post. “Along the way, it helped us lower the barrier to publishing for many developers while delivering many great new games to Steam.

“Greenlight also exposed two key problems we still needed to address: improving the entire pipeline for bringing new content to Steam and finding more ways to connect customers with the types of content they wanted.

“We want to make sure Steam is a welcoming environment for all developers who are serious about treating customers fairly and making quality gaming experiences. The updates we’ve made over the past few years have been paving the way for improvements to how new titles get on to Steam, and Steam Direct represents just one more step in our ongoing process of making Steam better.

“We intend to keep iterating on Steam’s shopping experience, the content pipeline and everything in between.”

Developers of projects which weren’t greenlighted will be invited to use the new service and provide an app fee if still interested in bringing the product to Steam. The publishing fee for Steam Direct is still up in the air, but the company said it will run at least $100 and could hit as high as $5,000. Valve said there are “pros and cons” to both ends of the monetary scale, so it is in the process of gathering more feedback on the matter.

Valve said this will also “decrease the noise in the submission pipeline,” which will help Steam users find more quality titles from independent developers.

With Steam Direct, smaller developers will no longer need to have enough community interest in order to put their game on Steam. Instead, they will fill out forms “similar to the process of applying for a bank account,” submit the game and pay the aforementioned “recoupable application fee” for each new title to be distributed.

Those who have already paid the current Greenlight Submission Fee, and their title hasn’t been greenlit will be offered a refund.

You read up on more of the changes coming through the respective links.

Over 100 Greenlight titles have made at least $1 Million each since Steam Greenlight launched in August 2012.

The Sloth Talisman in Nioh is so broken, it makes boss fights a joke

10 Feb

What if you could slow the attacks of Nioh’s toughest enemies and bosses way down? Well, you can!


The Nioh community is slowly beginning to understand the game’s various mechanics, and everyday, we keep running into one more thing the game doesn’t tell you about that’s actually very useful.

If you’re playing Nioh, you’ll know that you can prepare magic spells, called Onmyo, the same way you could Ninjitsu. One such Onmyo skill is called Sloth. When cast, Sloth will slow down your enemies’ entire movesets by like 50 percent.

What’s more, Sloth actually works on bosses. A lot of Nioh bosses are very aggressive, but this skill makes them much more manageable, as you’re about to see. In the video, YouTuber FightinCowboy demonstrates how powerful/broken this Talisman is.

As described in the video, you won’t be able to unlock the skill from the get-go. Instead, you’ll need to first reach the game’s second region. After finishing The Ocean Roars Again mission and completing The Way of Onmyo: Adept training mission, Talisman: Sloth becomes available.

You’ll need a total of six Onmyo skill points, because you’re going to have to unlock the skills that precede it in the skill tree. After that, you’ll be able to prepare it at Shrines the same way you would any other skill.

It’s amazing how a boss like Hino-enma, one of the most in-your-face bosses, becomes so trivial to fight using Sloth.

If you’re looking to get even better at Nioh, our tips page is not a bad place to start. We’re constantly adding to our Nioh guides, too, so keep an eye out.