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Windows 8 success kid header

Windows 8.1 Update has barely been out for less than a month and already Microsoft is working on the next major update which will bring a number of features to all platforms, not least of which is the return of the Start Menu on desktop and laptop platforms where the owners elect to use it. Microsoft has not yet announced when this will be released but very early rumors suggest that this next feature update will launch in September of this year – right around the same time that the Xbox One launches in Japan. There’s more to it than that, though, as the rumors suggest a complete shift in the way that Microsoft changes tacks with how it develops Windows as a whole.

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We might be getting ahead of ourselves, but it appears as if the first image of this year’s Call of Duty has answered a number of questions. For months now the Internet has been speculating whether or not Sledgehammer Games’ 2014 iteration of Call of Duty would feature people or badgers. If you recall, rumours regarding the prospect of militarised badgers snatching the starring role in this year’s CoD first started at last year’s EGX show in London. This first image of the game now leaves that rumour open to more fervent speculation: are these player characters, or are they enemy models that the badgers will be mauling?

It has also been confirmed that chin straps will form an integral part in soldier equipment. For years now the Call of Duty franchise has featured a wealth of historically accurate chin straps. However, it appears as if Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty will allow players to choose between the tried and tested chin-strap-and-helmet combo, or the more casual soldier beanie, which simultaneously imbues the player character with an air of roguishness and tendency to give safety concerns the finger. There have also been rumours of more powerful chin straps becoming available via Killstreak perks.

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Nintendo’s gaming might has waxed and waned over its 31 years in the gaming industry — but there’s one category of gaming that it can say, with absolute confidence, that it has owned completely and utterly, and that’s the handheld gaming market.

That dominance would be born under the glare of an olive-green sunrise, with the arrival of the Game Boy on the 21st April, 1989 in Japan. It was, for many gamers, the dream personified — gaming was now possible anywhere. Admittedly, this was if you liked stomping on Goombas or piecing together falling blocks of various geometries, but it was a start.

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Dragon Age Inquisition

And just like that, I think I might have to finally relinquish and get into the Dragon Age series, because this new trailer for Inquisition does an outstanding job of making the third game look very, very appealing.

BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts have released this new story trailer alongside the announcement that the game will launch on 07 October. That’s the only date provided so far, and it’s unclear whether that’s a worldwide release date or just the US date. We’ll update as soon as we know.

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Ubisoft just released a neat little company fact sheet providing a handful of interesting odds and ends about the third biggest publisher in the world. One of those interesting bits of info regards the Assassin’s Creed IP, which has sold 73 million units worldwide since it debuted in 2007. The second biggest IP in Ubisoft’s stable? Just Dance, with 48 million units sold worldwide. THAT is why we get a new Assassin’s Creed every year – it’s pretty much Ubisoft’s money printer.

Source: Ubisoft

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Codemasters’ GRID series holds a special place in a lot car fanatics’ hearts. Sure, GRID 2 didn’t exactly push all the right buttons, but the franchise remains something many people are excited about. Rumours regarding a third entry into the series have been swirling for a while now, and Codemasters has just put those rumours to rest with the reveal of GRID Autosport, a new entry in the franchise heading to PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Codemasters has a lengthy post over on their blog in which they discuss how they’ve approached development of GRID Autosport. They’ve taken much of the criticisms levelled at GRID 2 and built a game that is “inspired by you guys, our core community”.

That means a return to what made the original Race Driver: GRID so appealing. “If GRID 2 raced off into a more narrative-led world of racing with more accessible controls, it’s clear that for many of you, that wasn’t what you wanted or expected from GRID 2.”

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A recent study conducted by the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, has used StarCraft II to demonstrate how our cognitive performance deteriorates once we reach the age of 24.

The study measured the performance of over 3,000 gamers ranging in age from 16 to 44, and found that there was a considerable slowdown in reaction time among those in the 24-and-over group – a factor that seems to increase as the individual gets older.

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Right then, we’re up to high profile Naughty Dog departure number three in less than two months. Nate Wells, the lead artist on The Last of Us, has just revealed that he bowed out from Naughty Dog in early April. He’s taken up a position with The Unfinished Swan development team Giant Sparrow.

Back in March, Unchartered 4 creative director and lead writer Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog to join EA’s Visceral Games in heading up development of a new Star Wars title. After Hennig’s departure, Justin Richmond (who filled the position of game director for Uncharted 4) followed suit and left to join Riot Games.

Interestingly, writer and actor Todd Stashwick has been dropped from Uncharted 4. He was down to do voice-over work for the game; his voice can be heard in the game’s reveal teaser, which had him pegged as a major new character in the franchise. Stashwick revealed that he would be helping Hennig on the new Visceral Games Star Wars project. Perhaps that didn’t sit well with Hennig’s previous employers, because Stashwick has revealed that Naughty Dog has chosen to “recast my role”.

Sources: Polygon & IGN

valve-logo

If you NAGlings reading this are one of the millions of gamers currently using Steam, please pay attention. A security workaround has been discovered in Valve’s Steam Guard software that allows unauthorised access to your Steam account. Although the workaround is not a hack into Valve’s Steam client or its online services, it is a phishing attack that requires you to upload a file to the attacker pretending to be Valve. Hit the jump for more information.

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easter bunny

Hello once more NAGykees, and thanks for coming back for this Easter special This Week In Gaming. Why is it an Easter special? Because today’s Friday, not Saturday. Yeah, that’s it basically. Also there’s an Easter bunny up there, so I suppose there’s that. Anyway, this week we have some exciting news for people who like to take extended “bathroom” breaks at work, some internal gossip on Titanfall dev Respawn Entertainment, some facts on Steam that will make you feel less lonely, and Microsoft is making a new game. Maybe. There’s other stuff too, but it’s a long weekend and this summary is long enough to not look too suspicious to the editors – at a glance, anyway. So, stuff your face with chocolate and hit the jump.

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