Bidding begins on ‘Nintendo Play Station’ prototype

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Bidding begins on ‘Nintendo Play Station’ prototype

Bidding has begun on the Super NES CD-ROM System — the fabled prototype of Sony and Nintendo’s ill-fated collaboration — with the opening offers now at more than $30,000. It is, to say the least, expected to sell for much more when the auction ends next month.

The unit in question is the only known surviving prototype of the 200 believed to have been made. It’s owned by Terry Diebold, a retired employee of the Advanta Corporation, a company whose CEO was once Olaf Olafsson — the CEO of what was Sony Computer Entertainment when the prototype was made. Diebold acquired the console, colloquially known as the “Nintendo Play Station,” in a lot of other items when the company went bankrupt in 2009.

Sega brings Sakura Wars to PS4 in April

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Sega brings Sakura Wars to PS4 in April

Sega’s Sakura Wars series has been running for more than 20 years, but of the six main games in the series, only one has been officially released in North America, 2005’s Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love. In April, the sixth main Sakura Wars game — a soft reboot of the series simply titled Sakura Wars — will become the second.

Sakura Wars will be released on April 28 for PlayStation 4, Sega confirmed on Thursday. The game combines action-role-playing elements with dating sim and visual novel gameplay. In an alternate-history, steampunk version of 1940s Imperial Tokyo, players take on the role of Seijuro Kamiyama, the captain of a squad of struggling theater performers who also happen to serve as Japan’s defense force. Those five performers pilot steam-powered mechs called Spiricle Striker and protect Tokyo from demons.

PUBG Arcade Mode adds team deathmatch, with eight-player teams on smaller maps

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PUBG Arcade Mode adds team deathmatch, with eight-player teams on smaller maps

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ Windows PC version gets a new patch on Feb. 19, which will add arcade-style gameplay. The first arcade mode will be a take on classic team deathmatch featuring respawns. The update will also tweak thrown weapons, among other improvements. The full patch notes are included below, and are available on the PUBG Corp. website.

The biggest change is the new arcade mode, which aims to get players into the action a lot faster than the traditional battle royale mode. The eight-on-eight engagements will take place on seven different maps, each one curated from a section of existing battlefields. Respawns are unlimited, there are no knockdowns, and friendly fire is off. Rounds last 10 minutes or 50 kills, making them well less than half the time of your average PUBG session.

Fortnite boss Tim Sweeney explains his controversial politics in video games remarks

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Fortnite boss Tim Sweeney explains his controversial politics in video games remarks

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney this afternoon sought to clarify controversial statements he made about the role of video games in today’s divisive political climate.

Delivering the DICE summit keynote in Las Vegas this morning, Sweeney said that games were a valid medium for making political statements. He referenced Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird as a work of art that contained messages that “makes people think about things.”

Activision Blizzard pulls all its games off Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service

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Activision Blizzard pulls all its games off Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service

Nvidia’s streaming service, GeForce Now, got some positive buzz when it finally came out of beta last week after years of testing — especially compared to last fall’s lackluster launch of Google Stadia. But if its library keeps hemorrhaging games, it will likely have a tough time getting people to sign up for subscriptions.

Without any warning, Nvidia announced in a forum post on Tuesday afternoon that Activision Blizzard was yanking all of its games off of GeForce Now. The list — which amounts to 20 titles — includes 10 different Call of Duty games from 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare through 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, along with other Activision-published games such as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and beloved Blizzard titles like Hearthstone and Overwatch.

Call of Duty developer apologizes for Modern Warfare’s massive patches

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Call of Duty developer apologizes for Modern Warfare’s massive patches

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s title updates are getting a little out of hand.

The latest one clocked in between 51 GB (PlayStation 4) and 68 GB (PC and Xbox One). That may not be larger than the game itself (130 GB). But with a 53 GB update two weeks ago, followed by an even larger one now, plenty of players are grumbling queries as to why these patches have to be so freakin’ large, even if this one is kicking off the game’s season 2 of content.

Mass Effect lead writer joins ex-BioWare vets at new Wizards of the Coast studio

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Mass Effect lead writer joins ex-BioWare vets at new Wizards of the Coast studio

Wizards of the Coast’s new game development studio, Archetype Entertainment, has landed another former BioWare veteran: Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer on Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 and senior writer on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Karpyshyn worked at BioWare for more than 18 years, according to his LinkedIn profile, and is joining his former colleagues James Ohlen and Chad Robertson at Archetype. On his personal website, Karpyshyn said the young studio reminds him of BioWare’s “early days.”

We drew Sonic fan art with Sonic’s voice actor

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We drew Sonic fan art with Sonic’s voice actor

I’m going to level with you: I was very nervous about interviewing Ben Schwartz on camera, because he’s a writer, actor, and improv performer with 20 years of experience, and I am but a humble gamer.

But we have something in common, and that’s Sonic the Hedgehog. Ben Schwartz is voicing the big-screen debut of Sega’s legendary mascot, and I’ve spent several hundred hours of my life drawing the famous fast ’hog. So when we sat down to chat with Schwartz about his new film, we guided him through the rite of passage that is the drawing of Sonic fan art.

Company of Heroes coming to iPad on Feb. 13

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Company of Heroes coming to iPad on Feb. 13

Company of Heroes has had a long and eventful life. The hit strategy game was originally released in 2006 on PC, followed by a failed free-to-play version, and a 2013 sequel that wasn’t quite as well received as the original — there was even a Company of Heroes board game. But this week, the original Company of Heroes will be released once again, this time for iPad.

The iPad version of the game — coming Feb. 13 — is a remake of the original game, featuring updated visuals, and a redesigned control scheme specific to iPad. It will feature both the original game’s campaign, and its Skirmish mode.