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Microsoft Details August Xbox One Update

The Xbox One is on track for another monthly update. This time out, some frequently requested features will be added to the ever-evolving platform.

Your friends list will get a larger presence on the home menu, with activity, trending titles (so you know if you really should pick up that multiplayer game), and achievement leaderboards. Friends listings will now show the last time they were online. The activity feed will also get an overhaul, with the inclusion of text updates, “like” and comment features, game clip sharing, and more.

Controllers will now have a low battery notification (replacing the shifting ring of light from the Xbox 360 controller). This will pop up on screen when you need to recharge or swap batteries.

Those that use their Xbox One for video will likely be pleased to know that notifications can now be turned off during viewing. And, if you’ve been waiting for 3D video playback, you’re in luck. 

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If you’re in the preview program, updates should be rolling out shortly. Everyone else can look forward to these features in August.

[Source: Major Nelson]

 

Our Take
I love that Microsoft is both open about its communication with regard to updates and continues to stick to the monthly schedule. Each of the updates has improved the Xbox One experience, and it’s great to not have to wait for major fall and spring distributions anymore.

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Smash Bros. Director Masahiro Sakurai Details Newcomer Robin’s Fighting Style

Robin, of Fire Emblem fame, attacks with a destructible sword a magical tome that changes powers.

Robin, alongside Lucina (who was also recently detailed), was revealed on Monday morning. Sakurai wrote on the Miiverse about Robin and his/her sword, "The Levin sword can be activated by using smash attacks – you can even activate these moves in midair! However, just like in the original game, the Levin sword can be used only a limited number of times before it breaks, at which point it takes some time to regenerate. When the Levin sword is unavailable, Robin fights using the bronze sword."

Sakurai also spoke specifically about Robin's tome writing, "The way Robin launches Arcfire is kind of crazy – he or she calls down a bolt of flame from above, then launches a pillar of fire! By the way, Robin’s tome changes with each special attack." You can see Robin throwing some fire with the tome at Captain Falcon in the image below.

For more on Super Smash Bros., check out some Pac-Man's referential taunts, new details about Lady Palutena, Mario's impressive new duds, the newest Pokémon fighters, a new Pac-Man stage, some more details about the inclusion of the Miis, reveals of Luigi's final smash, a Lumiose City stagea new Animal Crossing stageDiddy Kong, the Mother Brain assist trophythe Waluigi assist trophy,LucarioZelda, the Skull KidMarthSonic, a redesigned Ray Gun, and the 3DS Mii Plaza.

You can also check out our time with the game at E3 with the Wii Fit Trainer and Greninja.

[Source: Super Smash Bros., Miiverse]

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New Screens And Details Emerge For Mega Sableye In Pokémon Alpha Sapphire And Omega Ruby

The official Pokémon website has been updated with some new images and some new details about Sableye and its Mega Evolution.

Sableye has been appearing in the Pokémon games since the original Ruby and Sapphire, but during E3, it was revealed it will be able to Mega Evolve in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

Here's Mega Sableye's description on the Pokémon site:

Sableye has concentrated all of the energy from its Mega Evolution into the red jewel on its chest, which increases in size and detaches from its body. This enlarged jewel boasts incredible hardness, and it is said that no attack can even make a scratch on it!

When Sableye Mega Evolves, its Defense and Sp. Attack stats both get big boosts. Its Speed stat does decrease slightly, perhaps because of the weight of its huge jewel. Thanks to its Magic Bounce Ability, any moves that affect only stats or status conditions will be bounced back at its attacker.

For more on Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire head here and here for a few predictions about the upcoming remakes. You can check out some more Mega Sableye images in the screen gallery below.

[Source: Pokémon, via Siliconera]

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Telltale Promises Game Of Thrones Details After E3

Telltale's Game of Thrones game is a mysterious project, and it will continue to remain so through E3.

Telltale's director of PR, Job J. Stauffer, tweeted about the game in an effort to temper expectations for next week.

Telltale's E3 presence and focus leading into summer will be on Tales from the Borderlands. Telltale's Game of Thrones game was revealed during VGX last year, and we haven't learned too much since – other than the fact that George R.R. Martin's personal assistant may be involved with development.

[Source: @jobjstauffer]

 

Our Take
We've got plenty to play from Telltale at the moment (Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us), and Game of Thrones on TV (for another few episodes) so I don't mind waiting a little while for more details.

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Informational Video Details The History Of The Game Boy Color And Advance

The Did You Know Gaming YouTube channel looks deeper into the legacy of the Game Boy line of handhelds.

Last week the channel looked at the original Game Boy, and this week it is looking at the Game Boy Color and the Game Boy Advance. You'll learn surprising details like before the announcement of the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo hinted at cellphone and modem compatibility for the device, but it never saw fruition. You also see strange add-ons like the Game Boy sewing machine, and a sonar pitched to fisherman for finding fish underwater using the Game Boy.

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You can check out other videos from the Did You Know Gaming channel covering Team Fortress 2, Harvest Moon, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, the history of the Nintendo 64, and the PlayStation by hitting the links.

[Source: Did You Know Gaming on YouTube]

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Nintendo Direct reveals a plethora of new details regarding Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 is coming out one month from today, and to celebrate its impending release, Nintendo made a Nintendo Direct video that revealed many new juicy tidbits about the title.

I can't wait to play as these rambunctious Koopas

Here are some key announcements made regarding Mario Kart 8:

Bonus Game Promotion – fans buying Mario Kart 8, either through retail or the eShop, will be eligible to receive a free download code for one of ten free games (in the UK; the offer goes down to one of five games in the U.S., because I CAN’T EVER BE HAPPY). All one has to do to gain eligibility is register an accompanying Club Nintendo PIN code of the game with Club Nintendo between May 30th and July 31st. This offer also applies to Club Nintendo PIN codes included in the Mario Kart 8 Limited Edition game and Mario Kart 8 Premium Pack – Special Edition hardware bundle. A list of the ten games eligible for the promotion and more details regarding the bonus can be found here (the U.S. promotion info can be found here).

Online Multiplayer – up to 12 peeps can race together online in Mario Kart 8, with four ways to find opponents (Global, Regional, Friends and Rivals, and Tournament). Wanna talk to your buddies during the race? Too bad; gamers can only chat up their friends in the lobby area before the race using the GamePad microphone. Players can create public or private tournaments while setting dates, times, and rules, and race against ghost data from friends or the top 10 worldwide racers (beating any ghost from the Mario Kart 8 development team will net you a special Miiverse stamp).

Mario Kart TV – this in-game channel contains Highlight Reels where players can view the races and tournaments they take part in, with rewind and slow motion replay. Gamers can also comment on the most popular Highlight Reels, as well. If you have a Google account, you can upload your races directly to YouTube from within Mario Kart TV or post them to Miiverse (TECHNOLOGY).

New Items – if you are like me, you absolutely despise Blue Shells. It looks like our savior from these monstrosities has come in the form of the new Super Horn, which blows away items, shells, and other drivers, so you can finally maintain your lead instead of coming up with 100 new curses after getting hit with a Blue Shell for the umpteenth time. Also being introduced is the Crazy Eight, a swirl of eight different items that gamers can use one by one.

New Racers – two new ladies join the Mario Kart fray: Pink Gold Peach and Baby Rosalina. Pink Gold Peach is a heavyweight who shines with a golden light, while Baby Rosalina seems to have been added only to round out the other baby characters, which should be creating a time paradox since they race with their older selves. Once again, players can use their Miis as a playable character, making the total amount of racers a nice, round 30.

Details regarding bundles can be found here and here (the U.K. keeps getting better bundles, dammit), while the spankin’ new Mario Kart 8 website can be found here. Check out a New Features trailer below, as well as the Mario Kart 8-flavored Nintendo Direct in its entirety. The game is looking wonderful to me, with its robust features; what do you guys think?


That VideoGame Blog

Sony Details Tomorrow’s PlayStation 4 Update Version 1.70

The PlayStation 4 is updating to version 1.70 tomorrow, and Sony has offered some additional details on what to expect.

The biggest addition that comes included with 1.70 is the ShareFactory, which adds a whole suite of additional options for editing your captured gameplay footage. The video below showcases some of the editing application's assorted tools. Along with being able to cut and move clips around, you will also be able to add transitions, text, stickers, music (which is included, or you can import your own), and commentary using the camera. Assorted themes will also be available for the editing suite. In the video, we see an Infamous: Second Son themed pack. After editing your video, you can export it to a flash drive for uploading wherever you want online.

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Aside from ShareFactory, you can expect a number of other changes like automatic pre-downloads, the ability to turn off HDCP for expanded capturing options, live HD broadcasting and archiving support, options for your controller like dimming the light, as well as the ability to use the touch pad to type on the keyboard. Friends lists, trophies, alternative payment options in the store, and added voice commands are all also part of the update. PlayStation Plus subscribers will also now have a representative icon on their IDs. You can find more details here.

Though a time frame wasn't offered, Sony also detailed some updates related to Vita version 3.15 and PlayStation App version 1.70. The Vita update will make it easier to connect the handheld to a PlayStation 4 while the mobile app will receive an update to offer more push notifications at your discretion.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

 

Our Take
This is a large update with lots of cool added options, but I think the one I am most excited about is the ability to use the touchpad to type. It was something I was surprised wasn't there to begin with.

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Details revealed for The Last of Us: Grounded Bundle DLC

The final DLC pack for The Last of Us will be arriving sometime soon, and will include a whole bunch of singleplayer and mutliplayer goodness, as well as new trophies.

The “Grounded Bundle” will include an all-new “Grounded” difficulty, which Naughty Dog says “might be one of the most difficult trophies you’ll lever earn”. Also included are 4 multiplayer maps, 4 weapons, and 8 skills (split into two skill packs). Naughty Dog has also stated that all players will be receiving a new weapon for free called the “Full-Auto Rifle”.

The entire “Grounded Bundle”, which includes all of the above content, will be included in the Season Pass, which can be purchased for $ 19.99. If buying the Season Pass isn’t really your cup of tea, then the map, weapons, and skill packs can be purchased for $ 9.99, $ 5.99, and $ 3.99 (each pack) respectively.

No release date has been given for this DLC, but Naughty Dog will be demoing it through a live stream on their Twitch channel on April 18th. More info can be found at the official PS blog post.


That VideoGame Blog

Metro Redux confirmed, more details before E3

Metro Redux for next-gen consoles has been confirmed by publisher Deep Silver, following a leak this morning on an Italian forum reported by AllGamesBeta, but the publisher did make a few addendums to the admission.

“What you saw leaked was taken…
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Deep Silver Confirms New-Gen Metro, More Details Before E3

If you’ve been holding off on playing Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, your patience might pay off. Deep Silver has confirmed that new-gen versions of 4A Games post-apocalyptic tales are in development.

The publisher chose to reveal the project following a leak over the weekend on Italian site Everyeye. The information suggests the title Metro Redux, implying updates to the existing Metro titles. “We're not quite ready to reveal 4A Games' first next-gen console project, but we will be making an announcement this side of E3,” Deep Silver posted on the official Metro website while confirming the existence of Metro Redux.

The publisher also states that the material shown was from an outdated internal presentation and that the reality “is a lot more exciting.” For more on Metro, check out our review of Metro: Last Light and our GDC interview with Deep Silver CEO Klemens Kundratitz, during which we spoke about 4A Games at length.

[Source: EnterTheMetro, Everyeye]

 

Our Take
As great as the Metro games are on console, they are that much more stunning on PC. A new-gen update will do 4A Games’ impressive visual work justice. 

As for Deep Silver confronting a leak head on? I approve. I like playing games but not so much “playing games.”

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