Steam introduces chat filtering to weed out slurs, profanity

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Steam introduces chat filtering to weed out slurs, profanity

Valve is working on a text and chat filtering feature for Steam that will allow players to control what comes to their attention when playing popular online multiplayer games.

Steam Text & Chat Filtering is available now, in a beta version, through Steam Labs. Valve Corp. said the tool was built on the chat filtering Steam already developed for games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2.

Hitman 3’s next-gen upgrade will be free

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Hitman 3’s next-gen upgrade will be free

Hitman 3 launches Jan. 20, 2021, and buyers of the either current-generation console version will get the upgraded PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X version free, developer IO Interactive announced Thursday.

The game’s release date is for all six platforms: PS4, PS5, Stadia, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. The free upgrade applies to digital versions of the game bought through the PlayStation Store or the Xbox Games Store. Owners of the PS4 version will be able to download the PS5 version, while Microsoft’s Smart Delivery program will give Xbox customers access to both versions.

Microsoft Flight Simulator players are chasing Hurricane Laura

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Microsoft Flight Simulator players are chasing Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura is a catastrophe. The storm made landfall on Wednesday night as a Category 4 hurricane, and has already killed at least one person. Residents of Texas and Louisiana unable to evacuate have been hit hard. But as the storm is making its way inland from the Gulf of Mexico, people are tracking its progress up close inside Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Flight Simulator includes a live weather system, which is basically modeling Laura inside the game world. Microsoft partnered with Swiss meteorological service Meteoblue, dividing the in-game world up into 2 million 100-square-mile chunks, each with its own simulated weather system based on real-world data. The result is something quite remarkable.

Xbox Games With Gold free games for September include The Division, de Blob 2

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Xbox Games With Gold free games for September include The Division, de Blob 2

Xbox Live Gold subscribers and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will get four free games in September as part of the Xbox Games With Gold program. Next month’s games will roll out on Sept. 1 with Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division for Xbox One and THQ Nordic’s de Blob 2 for Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Coming later in September are point-and-click adventure game The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 and LucasArts’ original Xbox shooter Armed and Dangerous. Here’s September’s lineup for Games with Gold:

Halo veteran returns to the series to help finish Halo Infinite

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Halo veteran returns to the series to help finish Halo Infinite

Now that Halo Infinite has been delayed out of the Xbox Series X’s launch lineup, developer 343 Industries is bringing in a veteran of the series to help shepherd the game to its new 2021 release. Joseph Staten — one of the developers responsible for the original Halo trilogy’s characters, story, and cutscenes — is returning to the franchise as project lead on the Halo Infinite campaign, 343 announced late Wednesday.

Bloomberg originally broke the news of Staten’s return on Wednesday night, and 343’s official announcement was published less than an hour later on Halo Waypoint.

Watch Gamescom’s Opening Night Live stream here

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Watch Gamescom’s Opening Night Live stream here

The annual Gamescom gaming convention kicks off Thursday with Opening Night Live, a livestream that promises world premiere trailers and new announcements. Hosted by Geoff Keighley, Gamescom Opening Night Live starts Thursday, Aug. 27, at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT.

The Opening Night Live stream, which will run about two hours, will feature content from 18 publishers and developers. Confirmed publishers include 2K, Activision, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Blizzard Entertainment, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Warner Bros. Games, and Xbox Game Studios. New looks at Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Fall Guys, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, and Doom Eternal are promised.

Fortnite’s new season brings in Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine, and the Marvel Universe

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Fortnite’s new season brings in Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine, and the Marvel Universe

For Fortnite’s newest season, Epic and Marvel have united to bring some of the biggest heroes and villains from the Marvel universe to the Fortnite island to fight in the Nexus War.

Unlike most Fortnite seasons, this one comes with backstory for the entire theme and season. Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds and one of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful villains, is heading to the Fortnite island intent on consuming it, and Thor has gathered a team of heroes and villains so stop him. This is where the season’s launch trailer picks up, introducing us to each of the Marvel characters that will be joining Fortnite this season.

Fortnite’s Marvel season debuts in new trailers, battle pass detailed

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Fortnite’s Marvel season debuts in new trailers, battle pass detailed

Fortnite’s new season has finally arrived and after a week of comic-prequel teasers, we finally have confirmation of that season 4 is all about bringing the Marvel Universe to the Fortnite island, thanks to the season’s first trailer. The trailer dropped at 2 a.m. ET on Thursday, the same time that the game began maintenance for the season’s first patch.

The trailer opens with brief snippets of heroes like Iron Man, She-Hulk, and Wolverine as they’re transported from their worlds to the Fortnite island. Each of these small scenes includes some impressive action, in a slightly more realistic style than we’ve seen with previous Fortnite cinematics.

Sony offering limited PS5 pre-orders directly from its website

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Sony offering limited PS5 pre-orders directly from its website

Sony will let a select group of customers pre-order a PlayStation 5 directly from the company through its website. A “limited quantity” of PS5 consoles will be available for pre-order through the offer, which will be extended to “existing consumers” who register on PlayStation.com.

Pre-orders through Sony’s PlayStation Direct store will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis, and registrants will be informed via email if they’ve been selected. According to a PS5 pre-order FAQ posted by Sony, that selection process is “based on previous interests and PlayStation activities.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s next-gen upgrade path is complicated

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s next-gen upgrade path is complicated

This year’s Call of Duty game will be available on both current-gen consoles (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) as well as next-gen consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X). The good news is that Activision and developers Treyarch and Raven Software will support cross-generation cross-play for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Less comforting is the somewhat confusing upgrade path that Call of Duty players may face if they plan on purchasing Black Ops Cold War on a current-gen platform this November and later upgrading to the next-gen version.

Black Ops Cold War will be available in both physical and digital forms on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. (The game is also coming to Windows PC, where it will be sold digitally through Battle.net.)