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EA Says Old Console Cycles Were “Painful;” New One Better

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At the Nasdaq 35th Investor Program Conference, Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen praised the mid-generation console refresh being carried out by Sony and Microsoft and condemned the old console cycles as “painful”.

The executive pointed out that in previous console cycles investors always tried to identify the peak earning period, seeing as moving from a generation to generation involved huge expenses to upgrade.

The fact that consoles were also highly customized didn’t help matters — each iteration of the Xbox and PlayStation were very different mainly as a result of being built on customized chipsets that were difficult to program for in the early years of their release.

And then there was the issue of compatibility between between cycles, which forced gamers to stop buying games for the older consoles…

According to Jorgensen, EA cut down the number of game engines from 25 to only two in a effort to control the high costs of developing for drastically different platforms, but games were still not compatible across generations.

The situation is of course different today, with both Microsoft and Sony releasing micro-upgrades more often, allowing for more compatibility of games with previous generations.

That’s to say the market now looks a lot more like a traditional PC market than the specialized console market of yore, which Jorgensen believes is “great for the industry, great for their [Sony and Microsoft’s] production, great for software costs, and great for the consumers.”

Consoles will still continue to get more powerful, making older software less appetizing, but “the whole notion that investors had of the cycle is gone away.”

What do you think about the new direction Microsoft and Sony are taking with this console generation? Was it long overdue? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Mobile Games

Minecraft Has Over 112 million Monthly Users – That’s A Lot Of Players

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Minecraft is an old game, but a lot of people still play it regularly. I mean A Lot!

Whereas most video games hit all their milestones within a year of their release, Minecraft is still extremely popular after ten years on the market.

One Chinese Minecraft player spent an entire year creating a awesome cyberpunk city that will surely amaze you.

Mojang studio head Helen Chiang revealed to Business Insider that the game has reached 112 million monthly users, outpacing all previous projections for how many people are playing the game.

For some perspective on how massive that is, consider that 112 million is over 1% of the world’s population, although we suspect that some people play over multiple devices or accounts, inflating that figure a bit.

Even so, that’s more active monthly users than Roblox, which has monthly active user base of 100 million.

Sales of Minecraft reached 176 million units in May 2019. With ray-tracing support coming to the PC version and Minecraft Earth soon to be released, expect sales to hit over 200 million units over the next few years.

These figures are made more impressive by the fact that Minecraft is not free to play. It’s a money-making machine.

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PC

In Cyberpunk 2077, Lifepaths And Optional Companions Can Change Your Playthrough

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This is a game you will gladly play more than once.

CD Projekt has shed more light on Cyberpunk 2077, giving us a better idea of what players can expect from the single-player story.

The adventure by choosing between three different lifepaths for your custom character, each with a different starting location and story background that are strongly connected with the origin story for protagonist V. You can be a Nomad, Corpo or Street Kid.

Not only do the lifepaths define how Cyberpunk 2077 begins, but they also have dramatic consequences on specific missions. A Nomad, for example, will have more street smarts than a Corpo, but he might be out of his element in a board room, unable to properly lead a conversation.

When coming up with challenges, CD Projekt thought of how the different lifepaths could solve them as effectively as possible given their unique skill set. By delivering completely new experiences, the developer intends to give players plenty of motivation to play the game multiple times.

The class you choose also impacts how quests potentially play out.  Cyberpunk 2077’s fluid class system provided designers more opportunities to make quests even more nonlinear and develop new gameplay options that can change the story.

Finally, the game features optional companions that have their own motivations. Taking them along on certain quests can greatly change the outcome .

CD Projekt promises that each quest is handcrafted and has its own storyline, ranging from short skits to epic, multi-layered missions. There won’t be any fluff material like procedural missions.

By the look of things, expect to play through Cyberpunk 2077 at least three times. The game releases on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 16, 2020.

What are you most excited to experience?

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Xbox One

Gears 5 Players Get 5 Days Of Boost, 600 Scrap As Apology For Launch Troubles

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It’s quite the way to take accountability for the errors of one’s ways.

Those who suffered through the server issues that plagued the Gears 5 Ultimate Edition early access launch were not forgotten.

The game was marred by significant matchmaking and connection problems, with every game mode — campaign, Horde, versus multiplayer, etc. — experiencing extended matchmaking times. Players were even randomly kicked with a myriad of errors.

As apology for the shaky launch of an otherwise excellent game, Gears 5 developer The Coalition gifted all player with five days of boost for all XP earnings, as well as 600 Scrap.

Scrap, in case you didn’t know, is used to craft skill cards, something players missed out on earning as a result of the game constantly disconnecting.

Did you run into any of the Gear 5 launch problems, and do you think The Coalition did enough to make it up to players? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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PC

The Borderlands Games, And Handsome Jack

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The Borderland games helped define two generations of gaming.

Most gamers know about Borderlands in one way or the other, whether in passing or because of a strong desire to become the best gun collector,. You may play it for the story, you may like the characters, or you simply want to kill everything in sight in as many different ways as possible — no matter your compulsion, each of the three Borderlands games will give you a blast!

Now, what can we say that hasn’t been said already? Will you have fun with these games? Yes, absolutely, in fact, fun turns into a rather misleading word when it comes to this franchise in particular. Will you have freedom in this game? To an extent. Many story-driven games do not have such an open concept when it comes to gameplay compared to what Borderlands puts on the board.

This franchise offers plenty of aspects that help to create the feeling of freedom – from 4 playable heroes to millions of usable weapons, to how you approach the fight – and even with these in mind, Borderlands games cannot be regarded as an open-world release; and it’s for the better. The compact stories that go from title to title give a sense of roundness, and this feature is often lacking in the more open-ended titles.

Borderlands

Let us start at the beginning: Borderlands was released in 2009, almost a decade ago. And it still holds up! With the engaging story, hordes of enemies and the continuous race towards the prize, Borderlands carved out a place for itself in the hearts of many fans. There are at least two amazing, title-defining features in this one. First one is the art-style, exceptionally unique to Borderlands games.

Borderlands Vibe & Style

It might seem inconsequential at first gaze, but when most releases in the gaming industry try to polish their graphics, thus making them look as smooth as a movie scene. There’s something refreshing to see an echo of a comic-book style, accompanied by the whimsical details and outlines, all seemingly coming back to life right from your first glance. This original style became as much of a staple in Borderlands as the weapon system.

RNG Weapons 

And even the first Borderlands game had a fair share of weapons! This brings us to the next defining element of the series: random weapon generator. The famed and beloved feature has become the main talking point when it comes to Borderlands games; there’s nothing more bonding than gathering your friends, grabbing a cup of coffee, and comparing which one of you was the most blessed by the RNG gods!

The More – the harder

The first Borderlands also offer a solution to the players who beat the game but still want more. To put it simply, the game raises the difficulty with each playthrough; so if you thought you will get to mow down the enemy and laugh at how pathetic they are, you will instead get to mow them down and laugh at how they are no challenge to you even when almighty. Borderlands games engine boosts them even further! And this rise in difficulty is applied to the whole system in general – your quests and DLC content also climb the ladder the more you play – endless fun!

Borderlands 2

The second addition to the series also keeps much of the same charm – only now you add a concrete villain in the mix. So, each time you shoot at some cannon fodder, you can imagine that smug face, till finally, you can put a bullet – or a dozen – in it too! The number of playable characters increased as compared to the first instalment of Borderlands games, so you can freely adjust the gameplay to your style. The greatly beloved sense of exploration returns, as some of the missions in Borderlands 2 now have multiple ways it may be resolved. 

Weapons for Practicality

But the greatest change from the first is (once again) weapons system. While the randomness remains, there’s also the differentiation between the manufacturers of the guns. Depending on who made your weapon, its stats and features will be different. Thus, keeping a close eye on your loot and weighing your options is important here – or you can always just pick the biggest gun and see where that gets you!

Borderlands The Handsome Jack

Borderlands games also offer an extensive insight into the backstory of the villain from Borderlands 2, Jack. The game, wonderfully titled Pre-Sequel, follows him and his companions on their journey to become the tyrant… or gain vengeance of the evil Colonel, whichever comes first. The game employs many of the same systems as the second game in the series, but with a few minor additions. Basically, it’s a great continuous play when put together with Borderlands 2.

Borderlands 3

And this brings us to the latest instalment to the famed Borderlands games! Well, the following iteration is still in the works, but it still counts, probably even more. Borderlands 3 will feature 4 new playable characters, many of the previously known faces will return as NPCs (as is the tradition for the series by now), and the game boasts with the chance to travel outside of the enemy-infested Pandora as here, you’ll battle a horrendous cult and its leaders.

Genre-defining

The combat system has been adjusted in accordance with the previous games’ success and many of the previous issues will now give players ‘longer’ fighting chance as NPCs can revive them and vice versa. Also, weapons will have an alternate fire mode, so imagine the possibilities with this one! The newest from Borderlands games, also adds new vehicles, new environments, new goodies and a lot more. It’s quite a paradise for the shoot-and-loot genre fans, truly. So, just ask yourself this: what more could you expect from a genre-defining shooter series? Nothing but excellence.

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E3

New Xbox Is Four Times More Powerful Than Xbox One

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It’s true — the new Xbox releases in 2020 with Halo and is leaps and bounds more powerful than the Xbox One.

The earlier leaks regarding the next-generation Xbox console’s power, release date and launch game were true.

At E3 2019, Microsoft confirmed that the new Xbox — codenamed “Project Scarlett” — sources its computing power from an Advanced Micro Devices chip that makes it four times more powerful than the Xbox One X.

It is able to show up to 120 frames per second (twice the speed of the average TV) and features a solid-state drive that allows games to load much faster than on older mechanical hard drives.

The new Xbox will be released during the 2020 holiday season, with Halo: Infinite as a launch title.

It is shaping up to give the PlayStation 5 a serious run for it’s money. Are you excited? What do you hope for?

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E3

Halo: Infinite Releases With New Xbox, Watch The E3 Trailer

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Fans of Halo might shed a tear or two while watching the latest trailer.

E3 2019 brought us a new trailer for Halo: Infinite, as well as a release window for the game.

The sci-fi first-person shooter sees the return of Master Chief, and it takes the Halo franchise in” ambitious, unexpected directions.”

Seeing master chief resuscitated back to life to “finish the fight” will surely make quite a few hardcore Halo fans shed a tear. Watch the trailer and let us know what you think in the comments below…

Halo: Infinite will be released during holiday 2020 as a lunch title for the new Xbox console (AKA Project Scarlett).

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