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Microsoft to gradually shut down Xbox Fitness

Microsoft to gradually shut down Xbox Fitness

Microsoft today announced plans to shut down the Xbox Fitness digital workout service.

In a post on the official Xbox blog, Microsoft's Erica Bell wrote that the company will "scale back [its] support for Xbox Fitness over the next year," starting today.

Even now, Xbox Fitness content is unavailable for purchase, while already-purchased content will become inaccessible on June 30, 2017.

The service will cease being free with Xbox Live Gold as of December 15th, and the programme will shut down completely on July 1st, 2017.

Microsoft's decision to shut down the service continues a gradual cancellation of the full-spectrum home media plan that defined the original Xbox One vision.

News

Oculus pulls about-face on Vive-blocking DRM

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Oculus pulls about-face on Vive-blocking DRM

Virtual reality firm Oculus has removed the hardware check that disables competing VR headsets from playing games designed for its hardware.

May's 1.4 software update introduced a check that broke fanmade driver Revive, which translated Oculus VR calls into OpenVR, allowing Rift-exclusive games to run on HTC's Vive headset.

The 1.5 update, released today, removes that DRM check, and Oculus confirmed to Ars Technica that it "will not use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future."

News

Whore of the Orient probably won't ever release – producer

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Whore of the Orient probably won't ever release – producer

Questionably-titled L.A. Noire spiritual successor Whore of the Orient will likely never release, according to producer Derek Proud.

Speaking on the GameHugs podcast, Proud said that though the team "fought to keep that project alive," he doubts it will ever see the light of day.

"That was one of the games and one of the studios I kind of left right at the bitter end. When we got wrapped-up."

News

New Sonic game announced for series' 25th anniversary

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New Sonic game announced for series' 25th anniversary

Sonic the Hedgehog will return in a new video game in 2017, says Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka.

Iizuka confirmed the existence of the game yesterday during a 25th anniversary celebration for the character.

Sonic first emerged in Sega platformer Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991, before appearing in dozens of games on a multitude of platforms.

News

Destiny to leave previous-gen consoles behind

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Destiny to leave previous-gen consoles behind

Destiny players on previous-gen consoles will soon miss out on more than just the Rise of Iron expansion, Bungie says.

Starting in August, only new-gen consoles will receive content updates and events for the online shooter, such as Iron Banner, Trials of Osiris, and Live Events.

Previous-gen players will still be able to take part in daily and weekly missions, strikes, and Crucible playlists; raids; boss challenges; Prison and Challenge of Elders; and weekly Gunsmith activities.

News

Brexit result threatens to destabilise UK games industry

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Brexit result threatens to destabilise UK games industry

The results of the United Kingdom's "Brexit" referendum, in which voters chose to leave the European Union, could have dire ramifications for the UK's video games industry, according to trade groups.

World markets lost over US$2 trillion in one day, the British pound dropped to its lowest value in over 30 years, and prime minister David Cameron announced his resignation after Britain voted 52% to 48% to leave the union.

But the games industry stands to lose the most from lost economic and diplomatic ties to the EU, which are vital to studios' digital international collaboration and international sales.

News

Lawsuit accuses Valve of enabling illegal CS:GO gambling

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Lawsuit accuses Valve of enabling illegal CS:GO gambling

A lawsuit has been filed against Valve Software that accuses the Steam platform-holder of enabling an "illegal online gambling market" via Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

The suit, filed for CS:GO player Michael McLeod, claims that Valve "knowingly allowed, supported, and/or sponsored illegal gambling by allowing millions of Americans to link their individual Steam accounts to third-party websites."

It refers to websites like CSGO Diamonds and CSGO Lounge, where players can bet on match outcomes using weapon skins.

News

TinyBuild-G2A feud sees ultimatums from both sides

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TinyBuild-G2A feud sees ultimatums from both sides

A disagreement between indie game developer TinyBuild and grey-market digital game key reseller G2A has escalated, with both entities issuing ultimatums.

The fiasco began earlier this week, when TinyBuild accused G2A of facilitating a black market of stolen game licenses and costing the studio US$450,000 in lost revenue.

G2A responded with a statement in which it demanded TinyBuild "provide their list of suspicious keys within 3 days from the date of [the statement's] transmission."

News

Hi-Rez Expo to feature Smite World Champs, Paladins debut

Hi-Rez Expo to feature Smite World Champs, Paladins debut

Developer Hi-Rez today announced the Hi-Rez Expo, an all-new event to host tournaments of the studio's competitive games.

HRX 2017 will encompass the Smite World Championships, the PC component of which boasts a prize pool of US$1m. An Xbox championship will make its debut, and its prize pool will total US$150,000.

Both tournaments will feature contenders from Australia and New Zealand – players qualify via the Oceania Pro League 2016 Season, a league that offers an AU$100,000 prize pool.