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News

China ends 15-year game console ban

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China ends 15-year game console ban

After fifteen years, China has finally lifted its ban on the manufacture and sale of video game consoles, according to a statement from the Chinese MInistry of Culture.

The ban was instigated in 2000, thanks to the government feeling that consoles and their in-game worlds would be harmful to the development of the nation's children.

Early signs of change emerged last year, with China allowing console manufacturers to do business in Shanghai's 11-square-mile "free trade zone" - with a great many restrictions, including mandatory inspection of every single console.

With the restrictions scrapped, a market of a billion-plus people has opened up for the likes of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo - if they can get past an entrenched PC-dominated gaming culture.

Meanwhile, Chinese consumers can now experience the pleasures of comparing barely-distinguishable tech specs between different console releases that Westerners have enjoyed for years.

News

Smite reaches 10 million players smitten

Smite reaches 10 million players smitten

Hi-Rez Studios' multiplayer online battle arena Smite has passed ten million players, according to the developer.

But ten million is still a far cry from the reigning champion of MOBAs, League of Legends, which boasts 67 million players per month.

Unlike LOL and fellow competitors Dota 2 and Heroes of the Storm, Smite is played from a third-person perspective, which makes for faster and more personal combat, with aiming required for much of its gameplay.

News

"Massive" update hitting Splatoon August 6

"Massive" update hitting Splatoon August 6

Nintendo's breakout third-person shooter Splatoon is set for a significant free software patch, due August 6th.

The update introduces two new matchmaking options, which enable players to play in ranked matches in squads made up of friends, rather than randomly-selected players.

Regular and Ranked modes see level caps raised from 20 to 50, and ranks raised from the previous maximum of A+ to S and S+.

News

Street Fighter V beta suspended due to server issues

Street Fighter V beta suspended due to server issues

The PS4 beta of Street Fighter V has been postponed indefinitely due to crippling server issues.

Launched on July 23 as a preorder incentive, the beta saw players struggling to connect to Capcom's servers, making the game difficult or impossible to play.

Capcom pulled the beta, apologising and noting that "the issues we faced were more severe than we were prepared for," and that "the best course of action would be to take the servers offline for extended maintenance."

News

Steam password security exploit discovered, fixed

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Steam password security exploit discovered, fixed

A potentially serious hole in Steam's security was discovered, and patched, this past week.

The exploit allowed nefarious individuals to access any user's account with only their username, provided they didn't use the Steam Guard two-factor authentication system.

A worryingly simple breach, it involved requesting a password reset, but simply clicking continue rather than entering a verification code.

News

The Witcher 3's final free DLC is New Game Plus

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The Witcher 3's final free DLC is New Game Plus

New Game Plus is coming to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, according to the game's official Twitter account.

It is unclear as yet how NG+ will operate in The Witcher 3, but given that the announcement image features a literal pile of weapons and armour, it seems likely that players will be able to carry their gear over into the mode.

New Game Plus, which enables players to replay missions with a powered-up version of their character, has been a popular addition to games like Dark Souls, the Batman: Arkham titles, and Dead Space.

News

New Doom is all about speed

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New Doom is all about speed

The new Doom is all about movement and speed, says Id Software.

During Id's Doom panel at Quakecon over the weekend, the developers stressed the importance of movement to the game's success.

According to art director Hugo Martin, players should "feel like Bruce Lee with a shotgun on a skateboard."

News

PS4 gets officially licensed keyboard/mouse controller

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PS4 gets officially licensed keyboard/mouse controller

The PS4 is getting a new controller that simulates keyboard and mouse controls, courtesy of arcade stick manufacturer Hori.

The Tactical Assault Commander 4 controller maps all the DualShock 4's controls onto a compact version of a keyboard and mouse, laid out in a traditional WASD pattern.

In order to approximate the varying angles of analog sticks, "quick" and "walk" buttons are also included.

News

Razer acquires Ouya software assets and 15 employees

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Razer acquires Ouya software assets and 15 employees

Gaming peripheral company Razer has purchased Ouya’s software assets, along with its technical and developer relations teams.

The acquisition took place last month, and included Ouya’s content catalogue, software assets, online store, and the Ouya name. It didn't include the console or controller.

About 15 Ouya employees will be working for Razer under the deal, but Ouya founding CEO Julie Uhrman won’t be one of them.

Tuesday 28 July

Smite reaches 10 million players smitten
News
Smite reaches 10 million players smitten
The MOBA up-and-comer hits a big milestone.
"Massive" update hitting Splatoon August 6
News
"Massive" update hitting Splatoon August 6
New game modes, new weapons, higher level cap.
Street Fighter V beta suspended due to server issues
News
Street Fighter V beta suspended due to server issues
At least it's only the beta.
F1 2015 rolls in underweight and with technical issues
Review
F1 2015 rolls in underweight and with technical issues
Gentlemen, restart your engines!
China ends 15-year game console ban
News
China ends 15-year game console ban
The world's largest market opens up.
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Steam password security exploit discovered, fixed
News
Steam password security exploit discovered, fixed
Always use two-factor authentication.
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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Reckoning DLC gameplay trailer
Trailer
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Reckoning DLC gameplay trailer
Fourth DLC pack hits next month.
The Witcher 3's final free DLC is New Game Plus
News
The Witcher 3's final free DLC is New Game Plus
Geralt grumbles again.
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New Doom is all about speed
News
New Doom is all about speed
Runs at 1080p/60fps.
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Ascendant – PS4 trailer
Trailer
Ascendant – PS4 trailer
A brutal 2D beat-'em-up.
PS4 gets officially licensed keyboard/mouse controller
News
PS4 gets officially licensed keyboard/mouse controller
Just in time for Black Ops III.
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Dead In Bermuda trailer
Trailer
Dead In Bermuda trailer
A survival management game with RPG and adventure elements.
Everspace – Greenlight UE4 gameplay trailer
Trailer
Everspace – Greenlight UE4 gameplay trailer
Coming to Kickstarter August 6.

Monday 27 July

Journey on PS4 eclipses its sibling
Review
Journey on PS4 eclipses its sibling
Lauded PS3 title gets a new-gen touch-up.
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Rare Replay pre-order trailer
Trailer
Rare Replay pre-order trailer
30 years of Rare releases.
Victor Vran launch trailer
Trailer
Victor Vran launch trailer
An ARPG with a focus on skill.
Fallout 4 perks and companions detailed
News
Fallout 4 perks and companions detailed
More tidbits out of QuakeCon.
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Snippet
Fallout Shelter is coming to Android next month
New features coming, too.
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Friday 24 July