Out of nowhere, Blizzard introduced a public test realm (PTR) last fall for its 15-year-old game Warcraft III. PC fans of its current best-sellers like Overwatch play on PTRs to try out new features before they're released to everyone, so creating one for an old title clearly implies greater plans. Today, as was rumored, we know what those are: A new gameplay patch and a tournament at the end of February featuring top players from the game's heydey to the present.
It's been three years since Snowman, a tiny independent studio based in Toronto, launched Alto's Adventure on iOS devices. Back then, Snowman was three people -- Ryan Cash, Harry Nesbitt and Jordan Rosenberg -- and Alto's Adventure was their first real game. They didn't know what to expect when they published it on the App Store for $2.99 in February 2015, but the team hoped for the best.
Discord has become something of a gaming chat-app phenomenon lately, partnering with Spotify for in-chat soundtracks, adding video chat and screensharing and bringing verified official game channels to its service. Now the company plans to expand into the eSports realm by partnering with quite a few teams, including Team Liquid, DreamHack, and almost every Overwatch League team out there. The program launches February 22nd on the company's verified servers and will let team members and fans chat, share news and discuss upcoming matches.
If you're looking to squeeze a little more out of Super Mario Odyssey, then Nintendo's got something that'll brighten your day. The company has released a small update to the Switch title, named Balloon World, that includes a new mini-game, plus additional outfits and camera filters. All you need to do to access it is finish the main story, and then search for Luigi in each kingdom and strike up a conversation.
If you were looking forward to Bungie tackling the laundry list of Destiny 2 issues in short order, you'll have to be be a little more patient. The studio has delayed the implementation of a handful of features that were slated to arrive between now and May. Most notably, a sought-after revamp of the equipment mod system won't make it for May. Don't like the seemingly endless wave of redundant or ineffective add-ons? You'll have to wait a while longer.
The Overwatch League is blowing up and Twitch wants to make some extra money off its exclusive streaming partnership. To encourage viewership, you'll be able to earn Overwatch League Tokens (what you use to buy League skins). You'll pick up one token per live map finish, and a "percentage" of viewers of the "conclusion of the final map" during a live 'cast will randomly win 100 tokens.
In the early days of computing, local storage and processing weren't actually a thing. Instead, your individual computer acted as a terminal, pulling data from a central processing server. Well, the French startup Blade likes it that way and has released a similar system but with a 21st-century twist. Its cloud-computing system, dubbed Shadow, can impart the performance of a $2,000 high-end gaming rig onto any internet-connected device with a screen. And now the company is bringing Shadow to California.