Greetings NAGonos, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have Microsoft discussing their next-gen-but-actually-still-current-gen console, Overwatch dataminers uncover an interesting clue as to the game’s direction, Nvidia releases a new budget card to take on AMD, Sony comes under fire for their refund system, Pokemon GO dev Niantic starts swinging the banhammer and No Man’s Sky promises to right their wrongs. All that, some videos, and highlights from the week, after ye olde jump.
Microsoft talks Project Scorpio
The console war is heating up, with both major players deciding to put out hardware updates to support the likes of 4K and VR. Microsoft’s own superpowered Xbox One, known currently as Scorpio, is still somewhat of a mystery.
This week however Aaron Greenberg shared a little more insight on Microsoft’s philosophy – starting with the question of what constitutes a console generation.
“For us, we think the future is without console generations,” he said. “We think that the ability to build a library, a community, to be able to iterate with the hardware–we’re making a pretty big bet on that with Project Scorpio. We’re basically saying, ‘This isn’t a new generation; everything you have continues forward and it works.’ We think of this as a family of devices.”
Greenberg also confirmed that all Xbox One games would be compatible, but emphasised that compatibility is a goal that extends to hardware as well. This was also explained back in June by Microsoft’s Dave McCarthy.
“That term of an upgrade is gone. We are wiping out those generational boundaries. As a gamer, it’s pretty cool. Because then I know the games I buy and play today and the controllers I use today are going to work on that machine of tomorrow. And that’s the real major step-change.”
As for specifics – Microsoft hasn’t given us much beyond what was learned at E3.
Overwatch may be getting a free trial
With the latest patch hitting the PTR as Overwatch heads into Season 2, dataminers have uncovered some interesting strings of info – specifically, three lines that specifically refer to a “free trial”.
The obvious conclusion here is that Blizzard is considering putting in a free trial option for gamers still on the fence about jumping into Overwatch – or those who haven’t considered it at all (madness).
This would be in line with trials they’ve put in for their other games – Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft all have trial options. Judging from the strings, players won’t be able to play Competitive modes, with other restrictions on characters or maps possible as well.
It seems like a good idea to me, there’ll likely be more than a few converts.
Nvidia releases a smaller, less powerful GTX 1060
Nvidia looks to be competing directly with the Radeon RX 480 4GB, by making a smaller GTX 1060 that comes with 3GB of RAM (as opposed to 6GB on the standard card) and a lower pricetag of $200.
The cards also have less CUDA cores and one less microprocessor, but with the same clockspeeds and 192-bit memory bus.
It’s an attractive option for those building on a budget, but the 3GB video RAM does cause some concern in terms of possible bottlenecking – particularly with future titles. As many have pointed out, many current titles running at 1080p already use over 3GB of RAM.
It may be worth just shelling out the extra for the 6GB standard 1060.
Sony’s shoddy refund system criticised by unhappy No Man’s Sky buyers
The heavily hyped No Man’s Sky has generated an absurd amount of hype, and many players have been disappointed post-release, with the game either being not what they were expecting or feeling that certain promises weren’t delivered on.
This caused several PS4 owners to make use of the PS Store’s refund option, which like Steam promises users a 14-day money back guarantee. Except unlike Steam, it isn’t quite that simple.
Disgruntled customers have been told by Playstation support that should they choose to refund the game, they’ll never be able to buy or play it again. This has naturally upset those who feel like they may want to come back to it several patches down the line, if the issues they have with the game have been resolved.
It’s an unintentionally draconian policy that has players feeling scared to exercise their option to refund, in case they change their mind later down the line.
Sony responded saying that this isn’t true and players can repurchase at a later time – but this doesn’t explain why their own support staff don’t seem to think so.
Konami announces new Metal Gear, gets crucified
Konami announced a new Metal Gear title at Gamescom this week, with the corpse of Hideo Kojima’s franchise not even cold yet.
This was always going to inspire an angry mod so soon after Kojima’s dismissal (with many likely considering a Metal Gear without Kojima’s involvement a sacrilege in the first place), but things only got worse when the storyline was revealed.
I won’t go into details, but all you really need to know is it involves going through wormholes to kill zombies. Yeah. It’ll be interesting to see how this one sells, it’ll be a good test of how many copies you can ship of a garbage game based on franchise power alone. Okay, to be fair, maybe it won’t be garbage.
Yeaaaaaah it’s gonna be garbage.
Pokemon Go drops the banhammer
Apparently people cheat at Pokemon GO. In other news, people are still playing Pokemon GO. I don’t really know how you cheat at a non-game such as this one, but the internet, not unlike life, finds a way.
Niantic has responded to multiple complaints from grumpy players who wish they knew how to cheat, and have taken action.
“After reviewing many reports of in-game cheating, we have started taking action against players taking unfair advantage of and abusing Pokémon Go. Moving forward, we will continue to terminate accounts that show clear signs of cheating.
“Our main priority with Pokémon Go is to provide a fair, fun, and legitimate game experience for all players. If our system has determined that you cheated, then you will receive an email stating that your account has been terminated.”
Haha GG noobs! Them Snorlaxes are mine!
No Man’s Sky is fixing stuff guys, promise
The news is once again dominated by No Man’s Sky this week, mostly about how broken it is.
If you’re a PS4 or PC player there’s a big patch on the way this week apparently – developer Hello Games says it will “help to improve the experience further for players”. This is in addition to another patch that will “fix the most urgent and critical issues for all our players”.
If you’re an Xbox One player then move along, nothing to see here.
The developer assured everyone they’re working “literally around the clock” to resolve critical issues. Well that’s great, maybe try do that before you ask people for their money? How much can one man complain about games being broken on release? Tune in next week to find out.
Let’s start things off light-hearted with this quirky pirate sim, Sea of Thieves, fresh out of Gamescom.
Then things get a little more serious with Ubisoft’s multiplayer medieval duel, For Honor.
Bethesda shows off more Dishonored 2 gameplay with this Gamescom trailer.
Finally, have a look at this Gamescom presentation for Kingdom Come: Deliverance, which shows off some of the game’s stealth aspects which haven’t been seen previously.
Best of NAG
Have you seen this Nuka-World trailer for Fallout 4? Theme parks terrify me enough without being creepy and abandoned. Anyways I watched it and now I’ve been awake for six days.
For a palate cleanser, have a listen to this week’s NAG Online Podcast.
The Asus Rampage V10 looks, like, unreasonably big for a motherboard. That’s my full review, for one that doesn’t suck, go check out Neo Sibeko’s in-depth look here.
Finally, Miklos tears himself away from The Witcher 3 and Star Wars fan-fiction long enough to review PS4 platformer Bound.