Sony Europe--of which Sony Australia is a branch--has today faced charges from the Australian Competition And Consumer Commission (ACCC) for misleading customers about their consumer rights. The Federal Court of Australia has hit Sony with $3.5 million AU (about $2.4 million US) in penalty charges "making false and misleading representations on its website and in dealings with Australian consumers about their Australian Consumer Law (ACL) rights."
The court found that Sony Europe had misled four customers after they purchased games described as "faulty" through the PlayStation Network. Sony informed customers that they were not entitled to a refund if the game had been downloaded, or if 14 days has passed since purchase, which is not in line with Australian consumer laws.
Proceedings for this case began one year ago, and there's precedent for similar cases in Australia, such as the 2014 case against Valve.
Metal Slug, SNK's long-running scrolling shooter series, is due to make a comeback in 2020. The Korean site Inven (which we learned of via Siliconera) has said that SNK CEO Jeon Se-hwan has announced that the series will release new games on console and mobile this year.
The new console Metal Slug game will reportedly be a traditional action experience, much like past entries in the series. The mobile title, which is apparently 80% along in development, will be a "card-type" mobile game. It is being developed for iOS and Android.
Both games are in development at SNK. The report also suggests that a third game, also for mobile, is being developed at TiMi Studios, a subsidiary of Tencent. No screens or further details are available for any of these games at this time.
The United States is currently in the midst of its first economic recession since 2009, but despite that perceivable economic crisis, Microsoft (and Sony for that matter) remain on track to launch their next-generation consoles this year. Xbox boss Phil Spencer spoke about this in a recent interview with the BBC, saying Microsoft wants to make Xbox as affordable as possible this year. Additionally, Spencer said the company's overall goal is not to sell the most consoles this year but instead to get people to sign up for its services.
"It looks like we're moving into a period of of massive economic uncertainty," Spencer said. "The thing I'm probably focused on the most is the macro-economic environment. We see the impact of people getting furloughed and layoffs. It's tough."
Gaming is a "leisure activity," Spencer pointed out. People don't need to play games. But they need to eat food and pay rent, he pointed out. Spencer said Microsoft is keeping this in mind for its next-generation strategy.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has taken the world by storm, and has meant a lot to many who have been stuck in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Danny Trejo, the iconic actor who starred in Machete and has featured in Predators, Breaking Bad, and much more, has been putting time into the game too--and now you can take a video tour of his island.
The video, which is part of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story writer Gary Whitta's "Animal Talking" series, gives us some insight into Trejo's island home. He sports a very modest one-room house, and is still on the first iteration of Nook's Cranny, but he's also earned the building permit and has put up roads and fences. For the record, he loves the Nooklings: "They keep giving me money."
Trejo, a famous cinema hardass, releases several butterflies from his pockets during the video, and when asked if he has any grudges against the animals on his island, he responds "they're all really good neighbors." He says that he makes most of his money from fishing and catching bugs.
Dirt 5, which was announced during Microsoft's first Xbox 20/20 presentation, will feature two big names from the world of video game voice acting, and they'll be voicing rival racers. In a new forum post detailing the game's campaign, Codemasters has announced that the game will feature Troy Baker (Joel in The Last of Us) as Alex Janicek, the mentor to the player character, and Nolan North (Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series) as Bruno Durand, Janicek's rival.
Eventually the two characters will race one another, as Codemasters promises that "the fallout from an epic race between these two icons lays the foundation for you to create your own legacy in the sport." You'll be able to choose your path through the game's campaign, which is split into five chapters, and in each one you'll be able to choose which events to take part in. You'll be able to race through every event, if you want--there are 130 in total, split between nine different racing types.
Codemasters released some screenshots of the campaign menus, as well as two new shots of in-game car models--you can view them below.
The director of the action-heavy Chris Hemsworth Netflix movie Extraction, Sam Hargrave, has come aboard The Mandalorian Season 2 as a second unit director.
Hargrave told Collider that he was brought on to "bring a little extra perspective" and "add a few things" for Season 2 of the Star Wars TV show. Hargrave previously worked on movies like Suicide Squad, Deadpool 2, and both Avengers: Endgame and Infinity War. He said in the interview he brought his experience and expertise from these movies to The Mandalorian Season 2.
"You know, it was just to bring a little extra perspective, add a few things; things I've learned while working on superhero movies, little tricks which make the performances easier and using visual effects to enhance certain things," he explained. "Just bringing a little bit of experience and knowledge to where we could take it to another level and up the ante. The next season is really, really cool. The way the story arcs is really cool. So we tried to have the action represent that and take it to the next level. I think we did that."
Microsoft's Halo development team, 343 Industries, is taking a stand against racism. In a statement posted on social media, the developer said the studio "stands united with our black colleagues, friends, players, and communities in the fight against racism. We emphatically believe that Black Lives Matter."
343 is putting its money where its mouth is, too. The company announced that it will donate 100 percent of the revenue from all Halo 5: Guardians microtransaction sales between June 19 and July 19. The money will be given to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The Last of Us: Part II writer and director Neil Druckmann has reflected on the leaks of the much-anticipated game that's finally launching on June 19 for PS4. Speaking to Eurogamer, Druckmann summed it up succinctly. "They sucked," he said of the leaks.
Druckmann said it was disappointing that something he and his team worked so hard on for so long made its way into the public ahead of time, but it wasn't uncharted territory for Naughty Dog. The ending to the original Last of Us game also leaked, while robbers stole a truck carrying copies of Uncharted 4, and spoilers leaked online. Leaks might be sad and unfortunate for the developers, but Druckmann doesn't sound too worried because nothing can compare to getting your hands on the game itself.
"That didn't take away from anything at the end, because nothing compares to playing it," Druckmann said of the leaks of Naughty Dog's earlier games. "Nothing compares to being Ellie and feeling those moments, not just in cutscenes, but in gameplay, conversations, the music and the emotional effect that has on you. And the story was constructed in such a way that it's really not about twists and turns. It's about slowly ratcheting the crank and feeling the tension with the choices the characters make."