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Starts: June 8th, 2020 at 7pm Ends: July 15th, 2020 at 11pm
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Next-Gen Games Will Witness a Price-Jump - About Time?

Recently, a leaked screenshot has gotten the gaming community scratching its head over the price of videogames. Over the years, the standard price for a console title on release is roughly $60 or $40 depending on the level of content in the game. Rumours have it that games for the next-gen consoles will make the jump to $70 - our topic to discuss today - would this be justified? Multiple opinions have surfaced over 2K's title of NBA2K21 being more expensive for PS5 compared to PS4, with the same running true for the Xbox side of things. Overall though, the consensus is that it's all very logical and I expect that 2K Games won't be the only publisher slightly raising prices.  You're probably thinking, considering how expensive the consoles already aim to be, how is a price increase for games justified?  It all comes down to the quality of the games. With the power of the next generation of consoles, developers are determined to make the most of it, but this will require new developmental technology and greater resources too. In order for this to be more feasible, a price increase is definitely a solution. However, one could easily argue that PC games have always had an increased graphical fidelity yet have been priced the same too - would that be the case there too?  Despite that argument, many also argue that 'it's about time' the prices went up a little. As a 19-year-old, I've always known that a fresh new game costs $60. As the videogame industry grows exponentially, there'll be a need for a greater influx of money to help support additional growth. I'm no wizard when it comes to economics, but it does make sense.  However, not everything on the upcoming NBA2K21 title makes sense - 2K is also charging additional costs for cross-generation support between consoles. I'm not sure if I'm on board with this one, though this is a decision which will vary depending on the publisher.  While everyone's concerned about the price of the consoles, I'd consider the games too. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! 

The Craziest Gaming Monitor Ever? - Samsung Odyssey G9

Gaming monitors, ranging from budget-friendly to wallet-murdering, often compromise certain things to prioritise others, such as refresh rate for response time or colour accuracy for Nvidia G-Sync support or any of the other parameters involved. With their new, borderline shocking, gaming monitor, Samsung looks to raise the ceiling for what is achievable in a gaming monitor.  We'll kick things off with their very own awe-inspiring trailer:  So, where do we begin?  First off, the entire whopping 49-inch panel spreads its wings in a curved manner which 'matches the curve of the human eye' and looks simply bewildering in its 1000R form factor. The panels from Samsung across all technological industries continues to top the charts with its QLED technology for maximal colour accuracy. Besides this, Samsung HDR 1000 will be supported for those colours to really pop.  In terms of performance, the widescreen will ship with a 240Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, G-Sync and FreeSync support across the 32:9. The party is all topped off with some RGB lighting at the back, characteristic of the new G Series of monitors from Samsung.  If you're curious for more details, feel free to check out the entire spec sheet here:  https://www.samsung.com/us/computing/monitors/gaming/49--odyssey-g9-gaming-monitor-lc49g95tssnxza/.  And now it's that part of the product description - the price. Hide your wallets from this behemoth, as its asking price of $1,699.99 is sure to shake your soul, unless of course, money isn't a problem for you. For a product at the very top of the market, the price skyrockets over the conventional price for a gaming monitor which is usually one-third of that. However, this instead of a triple-monitor setup makes the price somewhat more reasonable.  After that, you'll need to find a PC powerful enough to power the QLED, 32:9 display and any game you'd like to play at that width and quality too. You'll also have to check if the game supports the aspect ratio of the monitor too. 

Horizon Zero Dawn on PC - More Sony Exclusives Making the Transition?

It's an exciting time for PC gaming enthusiasts right now as Horizon Zero Dawn, developed by Guerrilla Games for the PS4, is officially available on Steam and Epic Games for PC. While some may not see this as a big deal, this move has massive implications to the potential relationship between Sony and the PC gaming market.  We'll kick things off with the following trailer:  The following upgraded features are touched upon above:  UltraWide support Unlocked framerates Dynamic foliage and improved reflections Graphical customization Benchmarking tool  All of this will be available for the former PS4 exclusive title as of 7th August 2020 on Steam and Epic Games stores with pre-orders open now.  So what are the implications?  Although this may be an initiative taken by Guerrilla Games to move their title to PC, I'm certain that they'd have to earn the permission of Sony with whom they had signed the contract for exclusivity.  This move is an opportunity, an experiment, for Sony to understand how well an exclusive Playstation title would cope on PC in terms of player-base and community support. With how powerful the PS5 looks to be, the future change from console to PC won't be as mind-blowingly different as it is nowadays. Besides this, a PC will always be able to unlock the absolute potential of any title compared to the console generation.  Bearing this in mind, should Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition find a large amount of success, this could push Sony to begin investing more in the PC gaming market. However, of course, this is all speculation.  Regardless, the PC community has begun asking for more titles, specifically the Playstation exclusive of Bloodborne which is highly reasonable. As the only title in the FromSoftware series to not be on PC, it doesn't really make sense why the move hasn't happened yet.  Let us know what you think of this idea in the comments section below? 

Fallout TV Series In the Works - Confirmed by Amazon Studios!

A Fallout TV series is officially underway and is being worked on through an epic collaboration between Amazon Studios and Fallout. All of this was revealed in a trailer published on Twitter as viewed below:  #PleaseStandBy. @Fallout @BethesdaStudios #KilterFilms pic.twitter.com/IEDr7AkVvD — Amazon Studios (@AmazonStudios) July 2, 2020 Announced as an Amazon Original, meaning that it will only be made available to Amazon Prime subscribers. The studios of Kilter Films and Bethesda Games Studios have both publically revealed their involvement in its production. Kilter Films are mainly known for their production of Westworld and Person of Interest - both being critically acclaimed television series. The same producers will be on board for the Fallout TV series.  For those who don't know, Fallout is a very popular action RPG set in a post-apocalyptic era following a nuclear fallout. With an aged aesthetic, despite the failure of Fallout 76, the series has found success with earlier titles as supported by the developers of Bethesda. Until now, the titles haven't had the chance to branch out to something greater - take The Witcher series for example by CD Project Red and its success as a series.  Will the Fallout TV series be successful? Personally, I believe that the biggest challenge will come in developing an enticing and interesting story. The games are known to be large, arid and vacant wastelands - especially Fallout 76 which launched without a single NPC insight. On the other hand, features such as the Fallout suit, crafting epic weapons and fighting radioactive beasts should be present to please the gaming community and have them on board.  Of course, they need to go beyond the games and develop ideas which complement and add to the series instead of copying and implementing more of the same. Although I'm no fan of the Fallout series, this is a massive opportunity to revive the community following the bomb of Fallout 76 and to also set up the next title for success. 

Ubisoft's New Battle Royale - Hyper Scape

The battle royale scene is beginning to reach a point of saturation, especially after Call of Duty: Warzone as every developer tries their best to target different niches within the same community. Personally, however, I believe the genre is far from done when it comes to introducing new games with original ideas as exemplified by Hyper Scape from Ubisoft.  Earlier this week, the new title enjoyed an initial release as it invited multiple personalities and media outlets to try out the game and its special mechanics. Ubisoft has attempted to be as creative as possible here, by offering unique takes on death, gunfights, movement and winning. One thing everyone has agreed on so far is the emphasis on aggression.  In terms of gameplay, from what I've been able to see, I'll have to agree with Gamespot's opinion of the game as being similar to arena shooters such as Quake. Insofar that gunfights are all about precision, movement and simply, overall skill and position. This is definitely refreshing compared to the likes of other titles such as Fortnite and Warzone were aggression is heavily punishable.  The arsenal of weapons is also similar to the arena shooter genre, with rocket launchers, snipers, machine guns and pistols to then complement the simplistic and futuristic environment together with the cosmetic design of avatars.  To encourage further speed, item gathering is uncomplicated - a tier system has not been implemented, where instead players hunt for Hacks and upgrades to these Hacks as abilities which can change the outcome of a gunfight. Teleportation, speed boosts and others have been revealed to strategically step up the gameplay.  All of this will come into play at the end of the game, where winning involves holding onto a crown for a total of 45 seconds while thwarting off enemies who know your precise location. Again, speed and aggression once again.  So, if you're looking for an intense and quick battle royale experience, I'd say that Hyper Scape is worth a try. As a part of the genre, the title tackles many parts of it in a very original manner and I'd say hopes are high as the title received over 450,000 within an hour of Twitch.  Sadly, the only way to play it right now is through Beta Drops as it's in closed beta access. Full release is planned for the end of 2020.  Will this battle royale take flight? We'll have to wait and see.  

Fortnite Finally Leaves Early Access - What's the Difference?

Finally, after releasing in July of 2017, three years ago, the battle-royale of Fortnite has officially abandoned the tag of 'Early Access' in its home screens across its game modes. With this change, Epic Games has also announced multiple other new projects on the horizon, mainly pertaining to the 'Save the World' game mode. Read on to learn more!  Of course, it's no coincidence that this change is taking place exactly three years later - this is all part of the development plans for the innovative battle-royale. For the most part, the update all revolving around the fact that 'Save the World' will not ever become free-to-play despite Epic Games' hints that it one day would. The PvE Co-Op experience, one could say, has been overshadowed by battle-royale for its entire existence.  Today we’re bringing Save the World out of Early Access and have decided that it will remain a premium experience rather than going free-to-play. Development of new content will slow down after this official release, but the adventure doesn’t end here for Save the World. To add to the game mode, 'Ventures' are being introduced by Epic Games. It's all quite vague but it seems to be a form of endless variants which look to make each experience unique when attempting the 'Save the World' game-mode. As you can imagine, this new feature is targetted to maintain player-base retention.  Long term replayability is the key motivation behind our next major feature, Ventures. Ventures is a new season-long excursion that takes place in a seasonal zone with new and unique modifiers to tackle. Each Venture season brings in a path of continued progression and fresh seasonal levels to climb. Multiple other pieces of content, such as Frostnite and Dungeons have been announced exclusively for Save the World through rotations. For the entire announcement, it's viewable here.  All-in-all, it's crystal clear that Epic Games is pushing a premium product of the game, finally developing it further after basically three years of prioritising the battle royale side of the title. And to answer the question in the title - no - removing the 'Early Access' label doesn't really change anything here.   Let us know in the comments section if you'll be playing Save the World anytime soon!

FIFA 21 - All the Details So Far!

Another year, another FIFA title from EA in their sports simulator genre. Namely, FIFA 21 looks to continue embracing the successful formula which has driven the series forward across almost all console generations, including the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X. Read on for all the details about the upcoming title.  Has the Release Date Been Delayed due to the Pandemic?  Happily, only very slightly. While the community usually expects the yearly FIFA title around sometime in September, the delayed release date of October 9th seems harmless and not too painful at all. This initial release date is true for the platforms of PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One - for next-gen consoles, a separate release date will be announced shortly afterwards.  EA has been incredibly reasonable here as anyone who purchases a current-gen version of FIFA 21 will be receiving a free copy of the next-gen version to reward player initiative and not punish it. Do note, for anyone interested, that the title will also be available on Google Stadia.  Is it worth buying a next-gen copy? Simply put, find the answer in the trailer below, being part FIFA 21 and part Madden 21:  It looks great, obviously, but I'm not one to make purchase decisions from cinematic trailers - I'd wait for the release to know what it actually looks like on both PS4 and PS5 for example.  Then, there are the Nintendo Switch gamers amongst you. Naturally, FIFA21 will not be as pretty on a Nintendo Switch compared to the next-gen console.  On the other hand, PC gamers have the upper hand here when it comes to performance.  What's new?  With simulation titles such as Gran Turismo, FIFA and Madden, it continuously becomes a challenge to innovate with every new title's release. FIFA has oftentimes been accused of recycling the same game with a slight improvement in graphics. What does FIFA 21 offer?  Career Mode New gameplay changes Pro Clubs FIFA 21 Ultimate Team  VOLTA Football  At EA Play last month, not much was said, but the game is planned to be showcased in August and the above features will be elaborated upon.  Right now, preorders are open for anybody certain over their purchase. Let us know your thoughts on FIFA21 in the comments section below!

Riot Games Announces Six Yearly Agents for Valorant!

Riot Games continues to give the community more things to discuss with regards to VALORANT and its exciting future as a competitive title. An important aspect of a competitive title, without a doubt, is about keeping it fresh. That's why we're excited to cover Riot Games' announcement that they'll be planning to release 6 VALORANT agents every year!  This comes straight from the mouth of Anna Donlon, an Executive Producer behind the new title. Below find the 'Dev Diary', which we can then discuss:  The following is a list of exactly every promise confirmed in the above video:  Expect mutliple quality-of-life improvements in the next few months, together with UI, bugfixes and balance changes  Protection of streamers  'Episodes' run for roughly six months and consisting of three 'Acts' where each of which lasts for two months  A new agent will be released for each Act, meaning that six agents a year should be released  Players will begin to understand the underlying story through the Acts Each Act will also offer its own Battlepass, with skins and cosmetics  Big changes are likely to occur at the start points of Episodes - new maps and features  A promise to strengthen anti-cheat and to target in-game discrimination  None of these are concrete facts for now - the developers are still heavily reliant on user feedback in this early stage of the game and are open to suggestions.  All-in-all, it's all looking incredibly promising in general. The community is ecstatic and completely on board as evident in the comments section of the YouTube video. Riot Games are doing their utmost to lay down the foundation so that the community may grow and of course, a competitive environment may do so too.  The future of VALORANT continues to aim high and promise a lot - let's hope that these promises are kept and that everything goes smoothly! It's already quite impressive to see how much they've worked on from their own homes.  Let us know what you think of the promised changes in the comments section below! 

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