New Pokémon Snap brings the N64 classic to the Instagram era

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New Pokémon Snap brings the N64 classic to the Instagram era

When the original Pokémon Snap was released, the promising young Pokémon photographer of that game, Todd Snap, was still using rolls of film on his island expedition. Consumer-grade digital cameras were still relatively new in 1999, so Todd and Professor Oak were constrained by the technology of the time. Whatever pics Todd took on his trip were the final product.

That’s no longer the case with New Pokémon Snap, which will embrace the digital photo-editing tools of smartphones and apps like Instagram. And with the ability to share your New Pokémon Snap photos online, the act of Pokémon snapping will be more social than ever before.

Warcraft and StarCraft co-creator Chris Metzen is building a new world in D&D

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Warcraft and StarCraft co-creator Chris Metzen is building a new world in D&D

Chris Metzen and Mike Gilmartin are former Blizzard Entertainment executives who helped to bring the worlds of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft to life. In 2020, after Metzen wrapped a 22-year stint at Blizzard, they announced a new company called Warchief Gaming. Now they’re ready to announce the company’s first project.

Together with lead developer Ryan Collins, a former game designer on Hearthstone, they’re turning Metzen’s homebrew Dungeons & Dragons campaign — one that began with his childhood friends in the 1980s — into a version compatible with the modern 5th edition of D&D. Warchief’s setting is called Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent. The first sourcebook, titled Worldbook: Lawbrand, will be brought to life through crowdfunding.

Former Rainbow Six Siege creators are making a new game for Amazon

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Former Rainbow Six Siege creators are making a new game for Amazon

Despite its past setbacks, Amazon is still trying to break into gaming. The company is opening up a new game development studio in Montreal, led by some of the creative talent behind Rainbow Six Siege, it announced on Tuesday.

The new studio will include head of production Luc Bouchard, creative director Xavier Marquis, head of production Alexandre Remy, and content director Romain Rimokh, who all worked previously on Ubisoft’s tactical shooter, Rainbow Six Siege. Unsurprisingly, with a team that’s heavy on multiplayer experience, the new Amazon studio’s first game will be an “online multiplayer title based on new IP.”

Xbox Live is getting a new name

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Xbox Live is getting a new name

After over 18 years, Microsoft will soon rename Xbox Live. The service will be called Xbox network. Some of the earliest mentions of the name change came from beta testers of Xbox’s new dashboard, however Microsoft has since confirmed the changes itself.

In a statement to The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “‘Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement. The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold Memberships.”

Report: New Nintendo Switch model to use upgraded Nvidia chip with DLSS

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Report: New Nintendo Switch model to use upgraded Nvidia chip with DLSS

The next iteration of Nintendo’s Switch hardware will included an upgraded Nvidia chip and support the chipmaker’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. That feature will allow the upgraded Nintendo Switch to output 4K visuals when docked and plugged into a TV, the report says.

The new Switch, which has not been officially announced by Nintendo, will reportedly include a 7-inch OLED screen with 720p resolution, and could cost upward of $399.99, analysts told Bloomberg. The current version of the Nintendo Switch sells for its original launch price of $299.99, while the Switch Lite (pictured above) sells for $199.99.

Pokémon Go developer Niantic making Pikmin AR game for Nintendo

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Pokémon Go developer Niantic making Pikmin AR game for Nintendo

Pokémon Go and Ingress developer Niantic is working with Nintendo on new apps that will combine real-world augmented reality (AR) technology and Nintendo’s stable of characters. The first game coming as part of the partnership is an AR game based on Pikmin.

Nintendo said in a news release Monday that Niantic’s take on Pikmin will feature gameplay that will “encourage walking and make the activity more enjoyable.” The app will launch in 2021. It’s being developed by Niantic’s Tokyo studio, which was established in 2018.

Sega’s cute mini arcade cabinet is heading west

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Sega’s cute mini arcade cabinet is heading west

In the past two years, Sega has triple-dipped on miniaturized gaming nostalgia with the Sega Genesis Mini, the (bizarre) Game Gear Micro, and the Astro City Mini — a tiny version of the company’s enduring arcade cabinet. Thanks to Limited Run Games, the Sega Astro City Mini is heading west after its release in Japan this past December.

Limited Run Games will open orders for the Sega Astro City Mini on Friday, March 26 at 10 a.m. EDT. The cabinet costs $129.99 (close to its original price in Japan of 12,800 yen), and Sega enthusiasts can also purchase a matching gamepad for $27.99 and an arcade style kit — which includes a base, miniature stool, and top board — for $39.99. It appears that Limited Run Games is not selling the Sega Astro City Mini arcade stick (which sold for 12,800 yen in Japan) that Sega released last year.

Steam Remote Play now lets you invite friends with a URL

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Steam Remote Play now lets you invite friends with a URL

Steam Remote Play, a wonderful tool for pandemic-era gaming, is now a lot easier to use. Valve Corp. announced today that players can invite anyone to play with them using just a URL.

For those invited to play, no Steam account is necessary — but they do need to be using either the Steam client (on Linux, MacOS, or Windows PC) or the Steam Link app (Android or iOS). Only the host needs to own the game and have it installed. Guests play along over the Internet as if they were on a friend’s couch with them.

Report: PS3, PS Vita stores will close for good this summer

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Report: PS3, PS Vita stores will close for good this summer

A report published Monday said the PlayStation Store for Sony’s PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and the PlayStation Portable will close for good in July and August, making digital copies of games for those platforms unavailable for purchase from then on.

TheGamer, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said the PS3 and PSP stores will close on July 2, and the PS Vita’s storefront will shut down Aug. 27. Polygon reached out to Sony representatives for additional information; no reply was made at publication time.