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Halo: MCC Season 5 of content lands with new Halo 3 and Reach unlocks
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Halo: The Master Chief Collection's journey to PC completed with the arrival of Halo 4 late last year, but 343 Industries isn't finished with updating the game across all platforms just yet. Today, the studio launched the fifth season of content for the multi-game collection, delivering a range of new cosmetic unlocks aimed at Halo 3 and Halo: Reach along with a lightweight MCC update.
Halo: MCC Season 5 is dubbed Anvil and its battle pass has 100 unique new items for customizing player armor, weapons, and nameplates. These include armor pieces from the Halo Online project finally being implemented to Halo 3 and the cut GRD helmet over to Halo: Reach. The timed seasonal challenges this time offer some interesting rewards as well, including the humorous 'Mister Chief' helmet.
The free battle pass requires Season Points for unlocking this content as usual, which can be earned from simply ranking up by playing any of the included Halo experiences, as well as completing challenges that refresh daily, weekly, and across seasons. Moreover, all content from battle passes remains a part of the collection even after a season ends, letting players go back and unlock content from previous rounds.
Today's Halo: MCC update is related to the cosmetic side as well. Players will now find a new toggle in the options menu for disabling or enabling the new skins being added to Halo 3, letting those who prefer the original experience keep it that way. The game already had a similar toggle set up for the new Halo: Combat Evolved skins.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection Season 5 Anvil is now available for all PC (Steam and Microsoft Store), Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S players. The size of the update will be around 258MB on Steam, 6.3GB on the Microsoft Store PC version, and up to 9.9GB for Xbox consoles.
EA forms new studio 'Full Circle' for the next Skate title's development
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Following years of fan requests for a new Skate, Electronic Arts finally confirmed last year that the popular skateboarding franchise is returning. The title now has a studio attached to it, with EA today unveiling Full Circle, a brand new game development studio set in Vancouver that is focused solely "on the next evolution of Skate."
Full Circle has gained Daniel McCulloch as its general manager, who has previously worked at Microsoft heading Xbox Live. “The fans wished Skate back into existence, and we want them to feel involved in the process from development to game launch and beyond," said McCulloch in a statement to VentureBeat. "We want them to feel like they are a part of Full Circle."
As the original announcement stated in June of last year, core developers from previous installments, Cuz Parry and Deran Chung, are attached to the game as designers. Currently, there is a large number of open positions available at Full Circle, with the studio looking for engineers, designers, animators, coordinators, artists, and other talents based in Vancouver as well as various parts of the U.S.
"We’re all about having fun and making great games that people want to play with their friends," added McCulloch. "And, we’re looking for more developers to help us build compelling worlds for players to explore."
The new Skate entry does not have release platforms, a launch window, nor a definite name attached to it yet. Considering the studio is still being populated, it will definitely be some time before the game materializes.
European consumer organization files complaint against Nintendo for Joy-Con drift
by João Carrasqueira
It's been almost four years since the Nintendo Switch made its debut on the market, but complaints about the console's Joy-Con controllers show no signs of stopping. Today, BEUC, the European consumer organization, has filed a formal complaint to the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities in the EU against the Japanese giant for premature obsolescence of its hardware.
As you might expect, the issue lies in what's become known as Joy-Con drift - when the analog sticks in the Joy-Con controllers start registering inputs without any actual interaction from the user, causing characters to move on their own. BEUC states that this flaw makes the console "unusable".
BEUC has worked with a number of consumer associations around the European Union, which started investigations a few months ago, and has received over 25,000 complaints from customers in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Greece. According to consumer reports, 88% of cases of Joy-Con drift happen within two years of buying the console.
BEUC's Director General, Monique Goyens, said:
Nintendo has yet to fully acknowledge that something is wrong, so the organization claims that consumers are being misled by omission of key information, based on the EU's Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. BEUC urges Nintendo to fix the issues as quickly as possible, as well as inform consumers of the limited longevity of the Joy-Con and repair them for free until the issue is fixed. Nintendo has already been offering free repairs in some regions for a while now, despite not making any announcements regarding fixes or changes to the Joy-Con's design.
Xbox Live now has 100 million active monthly users, Game Pass has 18 million subscribers
by Sylvester Addo
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the earnings for the second quarter of the firm's 2021 fiscal year today, which show that the company brought in $43.1 billion in revenue spurred by gaming, office and the cloud.
The demand for gaming saw Xbox earnings go up by 51 percent. This also includes Xbox content and services such as Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass, which saw an increase of 40 percent in revenue. The company also recorded a few firsts; exceeding $2 billion in revenue from third-party titles and surpassing $5 billion in gaming revenue for the first time.
Microsoft also shared that the Xbox Series X and Series S launch was the most successful in its history, with "the most devices ever sold in a launch month".
Nadella announced that Xbox Live now has more than 100 million monthly active users and Xbox Game Pass has 18 million subscribers. This shows Xbox Game Pass growing by about eight million subscribers in under a year with the company announcing it had over 10 million subscribers in April last year.
The growth can be attributed to the company's transformation of gameplay with cloud gaming being an example. Another significant factor is the ongoing COVID-19 situation in which people have found themselves spending more time at home, relying on digital forms of entertainment.
By Jay Bonggolto
Plex announces Arcade game subscription service for $4.99 per month
by Jay Bonggolto
Plex announced today a new game subscription service that features a whole library of retro games. The new game streaming called Plex Arcade will cost $4.99 per month.
Subscribers can play games on iOS, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Windows, macOS, and Android devices. Plex says it plans to add support for more platforms in the future.
For the new game subscription, Plex has teamed up with Atari whose titles such as Centipede, Lunar Lander, and Motor Psycho, among others, will be available to customers. The company also partnered with Parsec whose technology helps to improve the players' gaming experience by reducing latency.
To start playing retro games, you will need a Plex Media server version 1.21.2 or newer on Windows or macOS. You also need to connect your Parsec account to your Plex account. Supported controllers include any Bluetooth or USB game controller, although Plex recommends a Sony DualShock 4 or Xbox One controller for best performance.
Arcade is available starting today and you can sign up here. For Plex Pass subscribers, the service will cost only $2.99 per month. There's also a seven-day free trial if you want to test the game subscription first.