Atlus to ditch PlayStation exclusive business model after Persona 4 PC success

Persona 4 atlus

Persona developers Atlus have recently been on record confirming it is looking into changing its business model. Up until now, the majority of Persona games have bene exclusive to PlayStation platforms. However, thanks to the success of Persona 4 Golden’s PC release, this could be changing.

In an interview with NintendoSmash, Atlus acknowledges Persona 4 Golden has been a “critical success.” Due to this, the publisher is seriously considering “simultaneous multi-platform releases,” for all its major franchises going forward.

Why did Atlus go all in on PlayStation?

Persona q2 3ds atlusFor many gamers it’s difficult to understand why Atlus even subscribed to a PlayStation exclusive model in the first place. Just to be clear, Sony has zero ownership over the Japanese publisher. Equally, it is not believed Sony have ever paid to keep Persona on its signature platform.

Instead, the best reason gamers have come up with is Atlus’ head director just likes PlayStation. It was probably first put on Sony’s consoles because it was cheap to do but over time this stopped making sense. Atlus has grown into a huge company and could easily afford porting to other platforms. Especially given the extra revenue it would make in doing so.

Interestingly, there is one Persona spin-off series that has managed to escape the PlayStation trap. Persona Q is a chibi styled dungeon crawler that is instead exclusive to Nintendo platforms. Both games in this series are only available on 3DS with the latter not finding its way onto Switch despite being released in 2019.

Regardless of its past intentions, Atlus seems to be ready to ditch its outdated third-party exclusive model. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see Persona 6 and any other spin-offs in the franchise find their way onto PC, Switch, and perhaps even Xbox.

Borderlands 3 is free to play on all major platforms this weekend

Borderlands 3

Released last September, Borderlands 3 is the latest entry in Gearbox’s legendary looter shooter franchise. However, up until now there’s been a significant pay wall in the way preventing players from trying it out. Thankfully as of this weekend, anyone interested will be able to give it a go for free.

Borderlands 3 is free-to-play on every major platform it was released on this weekend. That includes PS4, Xbox One, Steam, and even Google Stadia. Unfortunately, Switch owners are out of luck as Borderlands 3 never found its way onto Nintendo’s hybrid console.

Is Borderlands 3 worth trying out?

Borderlands 3 music bossFor free? Most definitely. Even with its notable faults its still a very well made game with an interesting enough plot. It’s possible you’ll be able to power through the whole story in one weekend although that will require some serious dedication. If you’re just playing through the story normally, expect a full playthrough to take around 20 hours.

It would be best if you can find a friend or two to play along with as Borderlands 3 is designed primarily to be a co-op game. And thanks to this year’s new shared loot and level scaling systems, lower level friends will no longer have a rotten time getting killed over and over.

If you do enjoy your time with it and choose to pick it up, consider buying the DLC too. Currently there’s three released pieces of DLC: Moxxi’s Heist, Guns, Love, and Tentacles, and Bounty of Blood. The first two bring back classic Borderlands characters not featured in the regular story, like Gaige and Timothy Lawrence.

For further information be sure to check out our review of Borderlands 3. It provides an in-depth breakdown of the gameplay, narrative, and graphics. Otherwise, you can purchase the looter shooter on the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Steam, and Epic Games.

Warzone Season 5 trailer shows off new open stadium and Apex inspired train

Warzone Season 5

Activision just dropped its latest trailer showing off Call of Duty: Warzone’s Season 5 content drop. Although there have been a few teasers already, this is the first official in-depth reveal. Alongside the announcement of Shephard’s Shadow Company, the new trailer confirms that some big map changes are on the way.

Most notable is the opening up of Stadium, a central point of Verdansk that is currently inaccessible. With the beginning of Warzone Season 5 though Stadium will open up and become a new hot point for loot drops. Also, it is heavily rumored that players will be able to fire a rocket out of the top of the Stadium.

Warzone Season 5 is here

Warzone Season 5 trailer On top of the stadium update Warzone players can expect a new way to get around Verdansk. Coming alongside the Season 5 update is the long-awaited train. It will work similarly to Apex Legends’ where the train speeds around the perimeter of the map. Also, it will feature a ton of loot making it an appealing landing spot for those looting for early gunfights.

The train tracks themselves were actually added at the start of Season 4 but were simply cosmetic. Thankfully, this update will change that and should help speed up the general flow of Warzone’s gameplay.

As for new guns, It is all but confirmed that both the AN-94 assault rifle and APC9 SMG will be coming with Season 5. The former is a 5.45 caliber rifle that can supports an 1800 round per minute 2-round burst fire mode. The latter is another fast firing personal defense weapon comparable to the P90 and MP7.

Finally, an old favorite looks likely to return. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s R700 sniper has been found in the game files. A fully functioning version is in the files of Modern Warfare and is likely to be added half-way into Season 5. It is expected to a high caliber designated marksman rifle.

Overwatch tank Orisa was close having teleportation as her ultimate

After some questionable experimentation with Moira’s kit as of late, Blizzard have come under fire from some fans. There are concerns about how the developer is mis-judging the state of the game and not understanding what players want. And if recent news about Orisa is anything to by, this might be true.

In a recent Reddit Q&A lead hero designer Geoff Goodman responded to some interesting questions. One of which was inquiring about how many unused hero concepts Blizzard have lying around. Whilst also explaining the general process his team goes through in designing a hero, it’s his comments on Orisa that have caught the attention of many.

Orisa was almost even scarier

Bastion ultimate

It turns out that Orisa’s first concept featured a teleportation ultimate ability. When used it would allow her to teleport anywhere on the map in a drop pod of sorts. Coupled with her halt ability this could have made for some crazy flank plays in the right hands.

To be fair to Blizzard, this was in the very early stages of her development. Goodman himself even goes on to say that his team “didn’t have a character yet,” but was rather just trying out ideas. Also, it’s not exactly worth getting up in arms over. Blizzard try wild ideas all of the time and many don’t see the light of day.

Case in point, Bastion’s original ultimate was a remote mine that, when detonated, would spray explosive in all directions. Given Overwatch’s shift toward mobility and away from builders, this wouldn’t have aged well.

Thankfully, neither Bastion nor Orisa received either of these wild changes. Overwatch may have its problems but at least Blizzard usually knows where to draw the line. That is as long as a certain Swedish knight isn’t involved. But that’s a topic for another day.

The next Call of Duty just got leaked thanks to a packet of Doritos

Doritos

Leaks about the next Call of Duty game have prevalent over the last couple of months. And yesterday we saw the biggest and most reliable leak yet. As part of a Doritos’ advertising campaign, a packet spread online references the next CoD installment.

As revealed by the leak, the next Call of Duty will most likely be called Black Ops: Cold War. Although it is a bit of a mouth full, the branding make sense. The Black Ops franchise is huge and with the success of the Modern Warfare reboot, a similar approach seems sensible. As for the Cold War part, the original Black Ops released in 2010 was also set in the Cold War.

What have Doritos revealed?

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War crossbow

It’s not just the game’s name that has been leaked. The promotion itself features a competition that starts October 5. Given that Modern Warfare was released at a similar time, October 25, this could hint at Cold War’s release date.

Although the source hasn’t been officially verified, it does seem reliable. Doritos and Activision have ran annual partnerships for several years now. The idea being that if you want to get the edge on your opposition, you can purchase Doritos for some double XP.

The same promotion is usually matched by both Monster Energy and Mountain Dew. This means you should have plenty of choice if its something you’re interested in. Regarding the double XP, the small print suggests it’ll be limited to 1 hour per day and 40 hours total.

This leak follows a successful datamined that revealed the name of several multiplayer maps. Amongst these were Black Sea, KGB, Miami, Moscow, and Tank. A handful of campaign missions were found too such as Stakeout and Revolution. Either way, it shouldn’t be long until Activision confirms if this Doritos leak is real.

The Halo Infinite reveal has some fans concerned over its sub-par visuals

Halo Infinite

Microsoft’s big announcement in its Xbox Games Showcase was the official unveil of Halo Infinite. Infinite is the upcoming mainline Halo game set to release alongside the Xbox Series X. However, when fans finally got to see it there were some serious questions about its visual fidelity.

Screenshots from the reveal have been shared countless times on Twitter emphasizing its rough edges. Many of the NPCs and environments look a little too simplistic and even plain ugly at times. The new brutes in particular were so bad that it’s turned into a global meme.

The justification for Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite Masterchief

To 343 Industries’ credit, this new visual design isn’t completely unjustified. Many fans felt Halo 4 and 5 abandoned the iconic look that earlier Halo games had. To counter-act this, Infinite is supposed to look more simplistic and streamlined, just like the original trilogy.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t received overly well. After all, Microsoft had hyped Halo Infinite up to be the standout game in its next generation catalogue. So, when all it had to show was something that probably could have ran on the Xbox One X, fans were understandably disappointed.

Equally, to rub salt in the wound, it turns out the gameplay we saw wasn’t even on an Xbox Series X. Instead, the demo was showcased on a PC with similar specs to Microsoft’s next gen console. Even though Xbox Marketing GM Aaron Greenburg assures the experience is similar to the real thing, it isn’t a great look.

Thankfully, there is still time for Microsoft to turn things around. Halo Infinite is very much a work in progress and with several months still to go, the visuals could improve. Also, the stream was capped to just 1080p and therefore may have not been representative of the true 4K graphics. Only time will tell as to if Infinite will succeed or flop.

You can no longer purchase 12 months of Xbox Live Gold membership

Xbox Live

As spotted by TechRadar, Microsoft has made an unusual change to its long-standing membership model. For the first time since Xbox Live debuted in 2002, gamers can no longer purchase 12 months of Gold membership at once. However, options to buy both one month and three months are still available.

Microsoft itself didn’t give too much information with this, simply providing a generic statement when questioned. An unnamed spokesperson said, “Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online store.” The lack of an explanation as to why is somewhat concerning as it suggests the American tech giant might be hiding something.

The Xbox Live annual package is dead

Xbox Live Gold membership

The most likely reason for this decision is that Microsoft is planning some kind of change for its online services. As for what this could be is difficult to guess but it could have something to do with Project xCloud.Project xCloud is a cloud streaming service currently in beta testing. The idea is that you’ll be able to use it to stream your favorite Xbox games on any device regardless of specs. In other words, via the power of Wi-Fi or mobile data, you could be playing the next Forza Motorsport game at 4K settings on your phone.

What if Microsoft was planning to integrate xCloud into the existing Xbox Live Gold membership. It’s possible that doing so could result in a price hike down the line. Perhaps the 12-month fee was too steep, so it is adapting its business model to seem more appealing.

Of course, that is purely speculation and should be taken as nothing more. Until Microsoft gives us more details on both the Xbox Series X and the future of Xbox Live, we can’t know for sure. Considering dropping a comment below and let us know what you think about this change.

Microsoft is cutting the Xbox One X to make room for the next generation

After just two years of service Microsoft is already set to cut the Xbox One X from it production library. In an interview with the Verge, a Microsoft Spokesperson confirmed the American tech giant is solely focused on its next-gen console. To make room for the Xbox Series X, both the Xbox One X and Xbox One S digital will no longer be manufactured.

However, the spokesperson did reassure fans that the standard Xbox One S will still be supported. So, going back and playing any Xbox One games should be easy enough. Equally, we already know that the Xbox Series X will support backward compatibility. So, you probably won’t need your Xbox One anyway once the Series X drops.

Microsoft says farewell the Xbox One X

xbox series xThis decision makes sense when you think about it. The Xbox One X is the enhanced version of the original console designed to support 4K gaming. However, once the Xbox Series X drops the former will effectively become an inferior version of the latter. Rather than supporting an outdated console, it would be better to go all in on its next-gen platform instead.

Interestingly, reports around the industry suggest the Series X won’t be Microsoft’s only next-gen console. In fact, it seems likely that a cheaper, less powerful alternative is in the works. Rumored to be called the Series S, it would offer an option to upgrade for gamers who don’t want to cough up the Series X’s full fee.

That would certainly be an understandable decision too. Although an exact price tag hasn’t been announced, it’s possible the Series X could cost over $500. If so, a cheaper alternative may be necessary to keep the Xbox brand’s mass appeal.

Be sure to keep an eye out as the Xbox Series X is expected to drop sometime this year. It should be interesting to see which between the Series X and PlayStation 5 come out on top. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you think this is Microsoft’s generation to lose or if Sony are the favorites.

A NES game just sold for $114,000, making it the most expensive game ever

NES game

It’s not exactly every day that you go out and purchase a video game for six figures. But in the case of a recent auction over at Heritage Auctions, that’s exactly what happened. An NES copy of the original Super Mario Bros. was purchased for a staggering $114,000.

That might sound like a lot of money for a game. And that’s because it is. But there are a few reasons why it went for so much. For one, this particular copy is in immaculate condition. It was graded 9.4 out of 10, suggesting it still looked near brand-new.

An expensive NES game

Otherwise, it also features a cardboard hangtag, a now obsolete form of packaging popular before the use of plastic wrapping. As you can imagine, most owners would have immediately disposed of this. Having a copy of a game that old with its tag completely untouched is extremely rare.

Super Mario Bros. wasn’t the only NES game to go for a lot of money this week either. On the same day, a copy of the now iconic Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out went for $50,000. Clearly, the most dedicated of collectors are willing to pay a lot for the rarest of games.

In many ways, this sale has a strange comedic undertone to it. After all, the original Super Mario Bros. is one of the best selling games ever made. Bundles included it has sold over 40 million copies worldwide since its release in 1985.

If you’re not one for rarity and just want to experience perhaps history’s most memorable platformer, you can do it for a lot cheaper than $114,000. In fact, a copy of an NES cartridge for Mario will usually cost less than $20 on eBay. Alternatively, the Famicom emulator that comes with Switch Online is $20 a year.

Sony has purchased a $252 million stake in Epic Games

Epic Games

Japanese technology giant Sony has today confirmed it has purchased a $252 million stake in Epic Games. This decision was made so that it could work closer with Epic Games on the development of its upcoming game engine, Unreal Engine 5.

$252 million dollars might sound like a lot of money, because it is, but Epic is a huge company. That large sum of money is only enough for a mere 1.4% stake. Current estimations place Epic Games’ valuation at a staggering $18 billion. The North Carolina based studio has come a very long way since the days of developing Gears of War for Microsoft.

What this means for Sony

Epic Games Fortnite gameplayTruth be told, not all that much. Owning such a small percentage of Epic Games doesn’t give Sony much power. It’s unlikely it will be able to impact any major decisions made in-house. However, it could make collaborations between the two companies a little easier since they’re working towards the same goal.

We do know that the Unreal Engine 5 was rewritten to function on the PlayStation 5. Supposedly, the PS5’s SSD is so fast that the first instance of Epic’s new game engine wasn’t optimised to support it. Since then reworks have taken place to make the most out of next-gen technology.

From a financial point of view, it’s hard to find a fault in Sony’s logic. When it comes to game studio’s worth investing in, Epic Games is probably top of that list. Fortnite alone has become a global success on a level that I doubt anyone could have foresaw.

A report from last month showed that the popular battle royale was making Epic over $300 million every month. At the rate of growth Epic has seen as of late, even if this deal doesn’t work out Sony could easily flip its shares for a nice profit. This is a win-win for everyone involved.