Tagged: gaming

‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ is on sale for $19.99 on Steam right now

In celebration of an impressive milestone, PUBG Corp. is slashing the price of its mega-hit battle royale shooter by 33%. The company announced on Tuesday that over 400 million players have played PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds across all platforms since the game launched. 227 million of those players log on every month, and to add to that total the price of the game is dropping from $29.99 to $19.99 on Steam for the first time.

Fortnite has been dominating headlines for the past several months, but as the numbers exhibit, PUBG is still a huge powerhouse. There’s no telling when the price will drop this low again, so if Steam is your platform of choice and you want to see what all the fuss is about, you might want to take advantage of this deal.

In addition to the low price, another great reason to jump in to PUBG this week is because the new Sanhok island map is officially launching on June 22nd. If you’re more accustomed to the fast-paced craziness of Fortnite, Sanhok offers a significantly smaller playing field than the game’s other maps, which means you’ll spend more time battling and less time roaming around the map, trying to stay inside the circle as it shrinks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKEPMAdzwE0

The deal has already started and lasts until July 5th, so if you want to see why 400 million other players have already bought the game, you can join in on the cheap for the next two weeks or so.

New Xbox Avatars rolling out to Xbox Insiders this week

We were so impressed by the massive catalog of games that Microsoft showed off at E3 2018 this year, we almost forgot that team Xbox has an interesting non-gaming feature in the works as well. On Monday afternoon, Xbox Insider team lead Bradley Rossetti announced on the Xbox Wire that Xbox Insiders will finally be able to go hands on with the Xbox Avatar Editor that the company revealed last year. The rollout begins later today.

This won’t be a full release, but rather a beta for the Xbox Avatar Editor, letting Insiders get a head start on creating their own custom Xbox Avatars. The editor app will include “a selection of customizable appearance and closet items in each category,” with additional accessories, clothing, and more set to be unlocked regularly.

As Rossetti explains, the new Xbox Avatars include “an unprecedented amount of inclusive customization options,” from a wide range of body types to gender-neutral clothing that can be placed on any avatar. And the new editor gets granular as well, allowing you to customize fingernails, limbs, makeup, nose rings, and even moods.

The editor also features a color wheel with over 16 million color options which can be applied to virtually everything on your avatar, from skin tone to hair to wearables and more. With so many color options, you’ll almost certainly never be able to find the exact shade again, but all your recent colors are saved under “My colors.”

Once you’ve created an avatar you’re satisfied with, you can head to the Photobooth in the editor to take a picture of your avatar that you can use as your Gamerpic. As you’d expect, there are plenty of poses to choose from.

Microsoft still hasn’t announced a release date for Xbox Avatars, but the Xbox Avatar Editor beta should begin rolling out to Xbox Insider Alpha and Alpha – Skip Ahead members by 12:00 PM PDT.

Some of the best PS4 games of all time are being discounted to $20

Whether you just bought a PS4 after the excitement of E3 2018 or have owned one since launch day, there’s a good chance that you’ve missed out on some of the console’s best titles. Sony has done an incredible job with its first-party studios and recruiting third parties to bring games to its platform, meaning very few of us have the time or resources to play them all. Thankfully, many of those games are about to have their prices slashed permanently.

On Tuesday, Sony announced a new program called PlayStation Hits, which will include a wide variety of games, all priced at $19.99 on the PlayStation Store as well as in select retail stores. PlayStation Hits will also come to Canada, though prices will vary, starting at $19.99 CAD in stores and on the PS Store as well.

Sony will continue to add to the Hits lineup throughout the PS4’s life cycle, but these are the first 15 titles:

  • Bloodborne
  • Battlefield 4
  • Doom
  • Driveclub
  • Infamous Second Son
  • Killzone Shadow Fall
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • LittleBigPlanet 3
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience
  • Project CARS
  • Ratchet & Clank
  • Street Fighter V
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Yakuza Kiwami
  • Yakuza 0

That’s a healthy mix of recent blockbusters, launch titles, M-rated shooters, and kid-friendly adventures. Sony is clearly painting with as broad a brush as possible for its initial offering. Some of the games are already $19.99 on the PlayStation Store, but the program officially kicks off on June 28th. You’ll be able to distinguish the PlayStation Hits from standard games on store shelves by the red packaging that says “PlayStation Hits” on it.

Sony is blocking ‘Fortnite’ cross-play because of money, says former Sony boss

Despite an impressive showing at E3 and continued success with the PS4, Sony has been in the doghouse this week after Nintendo Switch owners discovered that the Epic Games accounts connected to their PSN accounts couldn’t be used on the Switch. Fortnite, which just arrived on Switch last week, supports cross-play between consoles, including Xbox One and Switch. But Sony has refused to participate, locking Fortnite accounts to PS4 consoles.

This hasn’t gone over well with anyone, and Sony’s response might have made things worse. Rather than committing to finding a way to reach an agreement with Microsoft and Nintendo, Sony bragged about how many PS4s it has sold and reminded everyone that they could still cross-play with Fortnite players on mobile and PC.

Whether or not anything will be done to address the issue remains to be seen, but former Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley chimed in on Monday evening to give his two cents on the matter:

https://twitter.com/j_smedley/status/1008846744883363840

In a follow-up tweet, Smedley explained that “when I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money.” He continued: “They didn’t like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a Playstation. simple as that. dumb reason, but there it is.” This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise — a business is making decisions based on money — but now we’re hearing from a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

That a former high-level Sony executive is commenting on this at all is somewhat surprising, but he genuinely seems to believe that with enough pressure, Sony will eventually cave and change its policy.

World Health Organization decides video games can be addictive, creates incredibly vague diagnosis

Video games are an incredibly popular pastime for millions of people of all ages, races, and genders. When I was a kid in the late 80s and early 90s, parents and teachers blamed “too much gaming” for poor report cards or the lack of a sun tan. It was harmless fun, and it’s easy to argue that it still is, but the World Health Organization (WHO) now believes that gaming can actually become an addiction. Or something.

In its latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases, ICD-11, the group has penned an entry for what it calls “Gaming Disorder.” The condition is vaguely described, and honestly not all that helpful.

The group describes the disorder thusly:

Gaming disorder, predominantly online is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’) that is primarily conducted over the internet and is manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

WHO has entries for both online and offline gaming disorders, which vary only in the specification of whether or not the game has online multiplayer or not. Gaming disorder is listed under the section of “Disorders due to addictive behaviors,” and sits alongside Gambling Disorder.

Put simply, the idea here is that if gaming is taking over someone’s life it’s probably a bad thing. That’s perfectly fine, and makes a lot of sense in the context of other related disorders like gambling addiction, but the language used is so vague that it could include just about anyone who plays games on a regular basis.

Specifically, the second listed criteria of gaming taking “precedence over other life interests and daily activities” seems like a very wide net to cast. Did you play a few matches of Fortnite and put the dishes off until tomorrow? Well, maybe you’re an addict. The same could easily be applied to someone who binges Netflix shows or even book lovers who simply can’t put a good story down.

Moderation is important in all aspects of life. Calling in sick to work or ditching a social commitment because you’d rather pursue your hobby can have big consequences, but unless it becomes a chronic habit it’s probably safe to throw yourself into a good game if the mood strikes.