Category Archives: Gaming

Legendary Pokémon and EX Raid Battle Field Test Added to Pokémon GO



Niantic announced that three Legendary Pokémon, and an EX Raid Battle Field Test are being added to Pokémon GO. The Legendary Pokémon will be available for a limited time, and the EX Raid Battle Field Test will be available only to those who are invited to participate.

As of August 31, 2017, three Legendary Pokémon have been added to Pokémon GO. These newly added Pokémon can be obtained via Raid Battles. All three Legendaries come from the Johto region, and all will be available from now through September 30, 2017.

  • Raikou is an Electric-type Legendary Pokémon and can be battled throughout the Americas.
  • Entei is a Fire-type Legendary Pokémon and can be battled throughout Europe and Africa.
  • Suicune is a Water-type Legendary Pokémon and can be battled throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

On September 30, all three of these Legendary Pokémon will move to a different location and be available for Trainers to battle with friends until October 31. They will make their final stop in the last remaining location on October 31. Raikou, Entei, and Suicune will be available for this limited time period, so be sure to battle against them when they arrive at Gyms near you!

In addition, Niantic has begun an EX Raid Battle (which used to be called Exclusive Raid Battle) field-testing phase at select Gyms. During this test, they will be making periodic adjustments to EX Raid eligibility requirements, frequency, times, locations, and durations.

The first EX Raid Passes will be sent out soon. Those who are invited will have an opportunity to try out the new system as early as September 6, 2017.


Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition Available for Pre-Order



Microsoft announced that Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition, is now available for pre-order. Limited quantities are available. Microsoft suggests that those who are interested “Get it before it’s gone forever”. Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition costs $499.99, and will be available on November 7, 2017.

The Project Scorpio Edition features a custom design and vertical stand. The console, and the controller, each have a limited edition Project Scorpio badge on them. Every Xbox One X Project Scorpio console has a unique serial number.

Memory and Storage:

  • 8GB Flash Memory
  • 1TB HDD Internal Storage
  • 12GB GDDR5 at 326 GB/s

Video Capabilities:

  • 4K UHD Blu-ray Optical Disc Drive, HDMI
  • HDMI 2.0b (out), 2160p @ 60Hz, AMD FreeSync
  • HDR10 Support

Audio Components:

  • DTS 5.1
  • DOLBY Digital 5.1, TrueHD with Atmos
  • PCM 2.0, 5.1. 7.1

Wireless Capability

  • WiFi – Dual band wireless Wi-Fi Direct for home networks
  • IR – IR Blaster Send and receive signals

Connectivity

  • Power Port
  • 1 HDMI Ports (1 HDMI 1.4b in, 1 HDMI 2.0b out)
  • 3 USB 3.0 Ports
  • IR Out
  • S/PDIF
  • Ethernet Port

 


Mass Effect: Andromeda Announced End of Single-Player Updates



Mass Effect: Andromeda was created by Bioware (which was acquired by Electronic Arts). The Mass Effect Andromeda Team has sad news for people who enjoy playing the game solo. They are not going to release any more single-player or in-game story content.

A brief update on the Mass Effect: Andromeda website explains a change to the game.

Early in development, we decided to focus Mass Effect: Andromeda’s story on the Pathfinder, the exploration of the Andromeda galaxy, and the conflict with the Archon. The game was designed to further expand on the Pathfinder’s journey through this new galaxy with story-based multiplayer missions and we will continue to tell stories in the Andromeda Galaxy through our upcoming comics and novels, including the fate of the quarian ark.

Our last update, 1.10, was the final update for Mass Effect: Andromeda. There are no planned future patches for single-player or in-game story content.

The Mass Effect Andromeda team says that their multiplayer team will provide details of their ongoing support and upcoming content, including new multiplayer missions, character kits, and what’s in store for N7 Day.

It appears that those who want to continue playing Mass Effect: Andromeda will not be able to play it as a single-player game, and must switch to multiplayer instead (if they would like to see new content). Ars Technica reported that Bioware says the multiplayer modes will receive more “story-based APEX missions.”


Blizzard Entertainment Released StarCraft: Remastered



Blizzard Entertainment has released StarCraft: Remastered.  It is described as “Blizzard Entertainment’s lovingly crafted upgrade of the real-time strategy classic and its legendary expansion “Brood War”. Blizzard announced StarCraft: Remastered in March, saying the game would be out “later this summer.” You can purchase StarCraft: Remastered for $14.99 USD.

Widely regarded as one of the most influential strategy games of all time, StarCraft and Brood War tell the story of the first interstellar war between three distinctive factions: the Earth-born terrans, psi-powered protoss, and hive minded zerg. StarCraft: Remastered lets players reexperience the saga of iconic characters like Jim Raynor, High Templar Tassadar, and Kerrigan, through upgraded 4K visuals, enhanced audio and music, and new illustrated story interludes.

StarCraft: Remastered provides players with an arsenal of new updates and features including:

  • Full graphical upgrade of the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War expansion
  • Widescreen UHD support for up to 4K resolution
  • Matchmaking and leaderboards
  • Player profiles that track individual statistics
  • Cloud saving for campaign progress, hotkeys, and replays
  • Improved high fidelity music and sound
  • Ability to switch between Remastered and the original StarCraft with the click of a button

StarCraft: Remastered is available now for Windows and Mac PCs. It is available in English, Brazilian Portuguese, Latin American Spanish, French, German, European Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean, Japanese, and simplified and traditional Chinese.


Overwatch League Adds Two New Teams



The Overwatch League is the first major global professional esports league. Overwatch was created by Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision-Blizzard). Previously, The Overwatch League announced the first seven teams.   Now, they have announced two additional teams.

The two newly announced teams include:

  • Jack Etienne, founder of esports organization Cloud9 (London)
  • Stan and Josh Kroenke, owner of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (Los Angeles)

The original announcement of team owners included:

  • Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots (Boston)
  • Jeff Wilpon, Co-Founder and Partner of Sterming.VC and COO of the New York Mets (New York)
  • Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals (Los Angeles)
  • Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming (Miami-Orlando)
  • Andy Miller, Chairman and Founder of NRG Esports (San Francisco)
  • NetEase (Shanghai)
  • Kevin Chou, Co-Founder of Kabam (Seoul)

The Overwatch League now includes teams from Asia, Europe, and North American – including two teams for Los Angeles. The official player signing window started on August 1, 2017, and will end on October 30, 2017. All Overwatch League teams will be able to sign players to contracts during that timeframe, including teams that join the League during the signing window.


Twitch Collaborates with Blizzard Entertainment



Twitch announced that they are collaborating with Blizzard Entertainment again to bring players a Legendary Loot Chest for Heroes of the Storm. This is not the first time the two companies have collaborated in this way.

In June, the offer was a Golden Loot Box for Overwatch for current and new Twitch Prime members.  That offer is valid through August 20, 2017.  In addition, there is another offer for Overwatch players who have Twitch Prime.

From August 10th – September 10th, Twitch Prime members will receive five Loot Boxes* for Overwatch.  Then, in October, Twitch Prime members will receive five more Loot Boxes containing skins, emotes, highlight intros, and other in-game items to customize your heroes.

The asterisk leads to: Offer valid only in regions where Twitch Prime is available.  Must own Overwatch to redeem. Loot Box does not include any seasonal event items.  Content of Loot Box is random.  Each Blizzard account may only redeem one code per promotional item.

At the time, Twitch stated that similar promotions would be coming in the months ahead for Heroes of the Storm players and for Hearthstone players. The Heroes of the Storm offer is valid right now.  From August 17 to October 10, anyone who links their Amazon Prime account to their Twitch account will receive one Legendary Loot Chest that contains at least one Legendary item for Heroes of the Storm.

Players who are not currently a Twitch Prime member can sign up for a free Twitch Prime trial.  Those who get Twitch Prime also get the benefits that come from Amazon Prime, including streaming movies and TV shows to ad-free viewing of your favorite Twitch streamers.


Discord Started Testing Video Chat and Screen Share



Discord announced that it has started testing its video chat and screen sharing with 5% of desktop users that had registered before August 9, 2017. They were doing a test run that rolled out over the day.  It is unclear how long the test run will continue.

Discord is a voice chat service. It explained that it needs a test run on video chat and screen sharing before it can release these features to everyone for two reasons.

One reason is because, compared to voice data, “video data is a behemoth” and transmitting it takes way more bandwidth. Discord is doing this beta test to see how their servers handle the increase in bandwidth. They said they could launch it for everyone, but that it would “most likely nuke our own servers and then nobody gets to use it.”

The other reason they needed a test run was because there are likely bugs, crashes, and other issues that Discord was unable to catch themselves. This should be obvious to anyone who has used and/or tested a beta version of something.

Those who got into the test run were able to start video calls with anybody – including people who were not in the test run. Discord warned that there was a possibility that they would have to suddenly turn off video calls during the test.

Discord made it clear that they are at least a month out from considering a full launch of the video chat and screen share features. Those who want to know more about how those features work can check out a brief tutorial that Discord added to their post about the test run.


Niantic Reveals Details About the Pikachu Outbreak



Niantic has announced more details about the Pikachu Outbreak event. It started on August 9, 2017, and will continue through August 15, 2017. The Pikachu Outbreak will take place in Yokohama, Japan.

The event started yesterday with a boat-full of Pikachu and a 17-meter long airship that has Pikachu artwork on it. A Pikachu’s Walk event will happen “from time to time”. It involves 20 Pikachu taking a leisurely walk.

There will be a Pikachu Carnival Parade on August 14, 2017. It is a one-time, standing-only, event that will include more than 100 Pikachu. People who want to watch are encouraged to wear something yellow or their own Pikachu-related items.

During the Pikachu Outbreak, Trainers will be able to explore two special Kanto and Johto-themed parks. At Red Brick Park, Trainers will more frequently encounter Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region in the Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue video games. Meanwhile, Trainers in Cup Noodle Museum Park will be more likely to find Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region in the Pokémon Silver and Pokémon Gold video games.

In addition, Trainers will have the opportunity to encounter some Pokémon that are rarely encountered in Japan, including Mr. Mime. Spinning the Photo Disc at the PokéStops found at each park may award Trainers with special 2km Eggs with the potential to hatch a greater variety of Pokémon than usual.

On the last day of the Pikachu Outbreak, there will be a “Water Carnival” Super Soaking Splash Show, which includes water cannons and uses up to two tons of water. Pikachu and various performers will be there. Spectators may get completely soaked (depending on the viewing spot). Spectators are recommended to safeguard their mobile phones and other electronic devices from being exposed to water.


Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Free Weekend with Xbox Live Gold



All Xbox Live Gold members can enjoy Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – The Ultimate Evil Edition for free as part of Xbox Live Gold Free Play Days. In order to take advantage of this offer, you must be an Xbox Live Gold member.

It’s being called a “Free Weekend”, but the offer actually lasts a total of 5 days. It started on Thursday, July 27, 2017, and will continue through Monday, July 31, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One markets will get a special opportunity to fight back against the hordes of evil. During this time you can also purchase Diablo III: Eternal Collection, the latest version of Diablo III that includes the new Necromancer class and all content from Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition, from the Xbox Store at 35% off to continue playing after Xbox Live Gold’s Free Play Days concludes.

If you give the game a try, and later decide to come back to it, your saved progress and earned achievements will remain. In other words, you won’t lose the progress you made.

The Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition contains both Diablo III and the Reaper of Souls expansion set, together in one volume. You can choose to play as a Crusader, Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Monk or Wizard. You can download Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition by clicking on the Gold Member area on the home dashboard or downloading directly from the Xbox Store.


Legendary Pokémon GO Bonus Unlocked at Pokémon GO Fest



The Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago is over. Players at the event, and around the world, worked together and have successfully unlocked in-game bonuses for the entire Pokémon GO community.

As a result, the following rewards will last through Monday, July 24, at 5:00 PM PDT:

  • Double Stardust
  • Double Candy
  • Double XP
  • Increased Pokémon encounters
  • Reduced hatching distance
  • Reduced buddy distance

There are three teams in Pokémon GO: Instinct, Mystic, and Valor. The number of Pokémon that each team caught during the Fest was tallied up. The winner was Team Mystic. As a result, the first Legendary Pokémon to “enter the real world” is Lugia. Articuno, another Legendary Pokémon, will join Lugia in Raid Battles.

If you want to obtain a Lugia, or an Articuno, you need to do some Raid Battles. Look for Legendary Pokémon Eggs appearing at Gyms near you. I haven’t personally tried to do this yet, but it appears to be a difficult thing to do. Kotaku reported that some Pokémon GO players are having trouble trying to catch these two newly released Legendary Pokémon.

Niantic says that it will release more Legendary Pokémon “soon”. They will release Zapdos and Moltres, which are Pokémon that relate to Team Instinct and Team Valor.