‘Oculus Ready’ PCs To Ship At Under $1,000

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‘Oculus Ready’ PCs To Ship At Under $1,000

Oculus has announced a partner program that will enable end-users to ensure that a new PC will work with Oculus Rift. Asus, Dell, and Alienware are all slated to participate.

The head-mounted display will ship in first quarter 2016, though no release date or price has been confirmed. Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has said multiple times, including to us, that buying a PC from a retailer with a retail Rift should cost users less than $1,500.

The partners will offer compatible hardware at a variety of price points that meet the minimum specifications. These will start at under $1,000 and will come with the option to bundle in a Rift.

Gear VR Ships To The Masses This November For $99

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Gear VR Ships To The Masses This November For $99

Samsung and Oculus have announced that mobile VR will be available to the public this fall. The first widely distributed Gear VR headset will land before Black Friday this November.

The head-mounted display will be compatible with all of Samsung’s 2015 flagship smartphones (Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 Edge). Pricing has been confirmed at $99.

The unit has a redesigned feel that’s 22 percent lighter. The touchpad has also been redesigned for ease of use. 

Star Wars Battlefront Beta Kicks Off October 8

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Star Wars Battlefront Beta Kicks Off October 8

The open Star Wars Battlefront beta takes you to a galaxy far, far away in just a couple of weeks. EA has announced the dates you’ll be able to help test the game’s online services.

The beta begins on October 8 and will run through October 12. During the beta, you’ll also be able to try the companion app. 

For the testing phase, you’ll need to do this on the official website. It will include the Base Command strategic card game, which allows players to earn credits for in-game Star Cards and other Battlefront items.

Maxis Studio Head Lucy Bradshaw Departs EA, Studio To Join With Mobile Division

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Maxis Studio Head Lucy Bradshaw Departs EA, Studio To Join With Mobile Division

Lucy Bradshaw, Maxis studio head, has announced her departure from EA. Bradshaw joined the publisher in 1997, and was most recently promoted to senior vice president by CEO Andrew Wilson in 2013.

“I've had a wonderful journey at EA and Maxis, filled with amazingly creative people, unforgettable experiences and an inspiring community of players and creators,” Bradshaw writes. “I have the highest regard for EA's leadership today, their vision and their focus on putting players first. I leave knowing that Maxis is in great hands with a leader and teams who are full of respect for our players, passion for our games, and new ideas to bring to the world of Maxis gamers. I look forward to seeing what's next from these incredible teams, I’ll certainly be playing.”

Bradshaw’s departure means a leadership change at the studio and for Maxis. Rachel Franklin, who has been the leader of the Sims Studio and face of The Sims 4 at press conferences and trade shows, will take over leadership of all Maxis projects.

Activision Announces $3 Million Call Of Duty World eSports League

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League of Legends, Dota 2, and Smite (among others) have their own competitive leagues. Today, Activision has announced that Call of Duty players, pro and amateur alike, have a new place to play.

The publisher has created the Call of Duty World League, with a $3 million prize pool. The league will be split into a traditional Pro Division with local competitions in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. These start in January 2016 and will lead to a championship in the fall.

Amateur players can begin their quest for pro status in the Challenge Division. Teams will be able to participate in local LAN events and earn a berth in the championship.

October Games With Gold Features Telltale And War Stories

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October isn’t far away (as the omnipresence of pumpkin spice already alerted you). That means we’re looking at a new round of Xbox Live Games with Gold.

On Xbox One, you can nab Valiant Hearts: The Great War throughout October. Starting on October 16 (and running through mid-November), you’ll be able to nab the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead.

On Xbox 360, you can check out Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes from October 1 through 15. Beginning on October 16, last-gen players will also be able to snag The Walking Dead Season One.

Report: BioShock Removal From iOS App Store Leaves Owners Out In The Cold

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When 2K released BioShock for iOS devices, it made a big push to show what it was capable of on mobile devices. Now, that ambitious port has been pulled from the iOS App Store.

The difference between a removal like we saw with Square Enix’s The World Ends With You (now restored) and BioShock is that the latter is gone entirely. That means those that own it reportedly can’t re-download it to new, fully updated devices or legacy hardware.

That point is important, because while BioShock has had problems on more recent iOS versions, it could still run on older operating systems. We’ve reached out to 2K for clarification and, hopefully, some guidance about whether the game will return for sale (or at least be re-listed for those that already own it). We’ll update should we receive a response.

Rise Of The Tomb Raider Is Likely To Include In-App Transactions

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Rise Of The Tomb Raider Is Likely To Include In-App Transactions

During my three-hour preview of Rise of the Tomb Raider that took place last week, I spent time exploring some of the wide open environments. As in the 2013 reboot, each of these has challenges associated with them, offering an XP reward for completion.

In one area, I happened to shoot down a hanging incense burner. This triggered a pop-up alerting me that it was tied to a challenge.

I spent time hunting down all seven to see what would happen. I was expecting a simple experience reward. What happened hinted at an unrevealed plan that might include microtransactions.

See Star Wars Episode VII's Planet Jakku In A New 360 Degree Video Experience

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Planet Jakku is one of the few Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens locations that we've gotten a good look at. The latest peek at the planet comes from a 360 degree video posted on Star Wars' Facebook page.

You can find the video here, which is a fly-through of the planet and the remains of a giant war that dropped both Rebel and Empire ships on the planet's surface. You can drag the video to look in any direction to take in all the sights.

Jakku and the battle that dropped all the debris on the planet will be part of the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront. DICE has released some art from the level, which you can see here.

The Original Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee Is Free On Steam For A Limited Time

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If you've never played the original Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, but always wanted to, you no longer have an excuse.

The PC version of the game, by way of Steam, is available to download and keep for free for a limited time. If you want to grab the game, you have until the morning of September 24 to do so free of charge.

The game originally released in 1997 for the PlayStation and is considered to be a classic by many. The game was recently remade in HD for current consoles with Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty. You can find our review of that version of the game here.