In our world of ubiquitous broadband and online multiplayer, couch-based co-op gaming isn't the first consideration for most development studios. For the folks behind Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers, Battleblock Theater and now Pit People, however, being able to play with other people on the same screen has always been a priority.
High-fidelity audio is typically meant for the most extreme music geeks -- people who have expensive DACs (digital-to-analog converters), huge speakers and crazy headphones. You've probably seen (and rolled your eyes at) those folks extolling the virtues of 24-bit audio on message boards and comment sections around the web. With its latest gaming headphones, the Arctis Pro line, SteelSeries is hoping to aiming to make that high-end audio experience something everyone can enjoy.
Nintendo Switch owners have a new system update awaiting them, and the release notes reveal what 5.0.0 is bringing along. While previous updates have smoothed out some rough edges for transferring saves and assisting with voice chat, this one's highlight addition is the ability to suggest Nintendo Accounts based on your Twitter and Facebook friend lists (assuming you've linked them and are over 13 years old). There are also 24 new Arms and Kirby user icons, and if you purchase a game from your PC or phone it will start downloading onto the system faster, even if it's asleep.
Weeks after laying out this year's plan for Hearthstone, Blizzard has announced the first expansion of 2018: The Witchwood. Once it lands, the Year of the Raven will begin -- and all of 2016's cards will be retired from the main Standard format. The haunted forest-themed set will introduce 135 cards and several card types that introduce new styles of play. And like the last two content additions, players will get solo content for free. The announcement didn't give a release date, but if the last two years are any indication, The Witchwood will likely drop next month.
Overwatch League player Felix "xQc" Lengyel has been suspended twice for using both homophobic and racist slurs, and he's now bowing out entirely. Dallas Fuel and Lengyel have announced that they've "mutually agreed to part ways" in the wake of his conduct. It was in the "best interest" of both sides to release Lengyel before his contract expired, team owner Mike Rufail said. Lengyel's latest suspension won't let him play or practice with any team during Stage 2 of the League's inaugural season, and letting him go now lets the Fuel sign others during the transfer window while giving Lengyel a chance to sign with someone new.
Unless you hate fun, Microsoft's best division is far and away its Research group, which has given us the nearest thing to a Holodeck, a live-action version of Minecraft and much more. Microsoft's gang of crazy researchers is at it again, showing off a bunch of new controllers for augmented and virtual reality. They're strictly experimental for now, but show a lot of potential for making AR and VR more fun and useful.
Multiple pro sports leagues have already welcomed eSports with open arms, but what about the NHL? Where's the official hockey tournament? Don't worry, it's almost here. The league is launching the NHL Gaming World Championship, a global tourney that pits players against each other in the PS4 and Xbox One versions of EA's NHL 18. Register and you can compete in qualifiers that start March 24th, with the top eight players from each region competing in-person at events throughout May. The championship proper takes place at Esports Arena Las Vegas on June 19th, and the winner will take home "their share" of $100,000.