YouTube announced today that it is moving forward with a streaming service for live television, simply called YouTube TV, that will provide a mix of cable and broadcast channels to subscribers for $35 a month.
The TV service, which won’t feature content from AMC or HBO, will also not give subscribers access to all of YouTube’s exclusive series on YouTube Red, according to Recode. All four major broadcast networks — NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC — have signed on to be included in the service, along with a few of cable channels.
The push to live TV comes just one year after YouTube launched its exclusive streaming service, YouTube Red. The service features original series from top content creators and costs $9.99 a month. One of the biggest YouTube personalities, PewDiePie, had one of the first series on Red, Scare PewDiePie, but the show was canceled following a controversy involving anti-Semitic videos.
YouTube’s move into the live television sphere is just another push toward cord cutting from digital content companies. At $35 a month, YouTube is on the cheaper end of the subscription plans, but not by much. PlayStation Vue begins at $40 for 45 channels, while DirecTV Now’s cheapest plan costs $35 a month. Hulu’s recently announced live TV package will cost less than $40.
YouTube TV doesn’t have a specific release date at this time, but will be available by spring.
“It’s important to us that Xbox Game Pass provides an enjoyable and seamless experience,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon. “Right now, we’re focused on launching Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One consoles and look forward to bringing the service to the broader Xbox community later this spring.”
Microsoft is moving into the world of Netflix-style game subscriptions with Xbox Game Pass, a monthly service coming this spring that will give you a selection of games you can download and play on your Xbox One for $9.99 a month.
The service will include “over 100 games,” including Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16 and SoulCalibur II.
“One of the best things about Xbox Game Pass is that you can discover and download the full titles directly on your Xbox One,” the official post states. “That means continuous, full-fidelity gameplay without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues. In addition, all Xbox One games in the catalog — and related add-ons — will be available to purchase at an exclusive discount for Xbox Game Pass members, so you can make the games you love part of your permanent library to play whenever you want. Every month new games will cycle into the subscription with some cycling out, giving you a constantly updating library of games.”
Any game you buy through the service will be sold to you at a 20 percent discount.
An alpha preview of the program begins today with “a very limited” number of games, and Xbox Live Gold subscribers will get first crack at the program this spring. It also sounds as if the service may be available, at least in part, on the PC.
Studio Wildcard will officially launch a new program for modders. Every month, 15 modders will receive a $4,000 stipend for their work.
Jeremy Stieglitz, Studio Wildcard’s lead designer, lead programmer and co-creative director on Ark: Survival Evolved, told PC Gamer that the program will select 15 modders and pay them a monthly stipend of $4,000. He said, “The hope is that with this kind of stipend, these authors, who really are hobbyists and have day jobs so they can’t really afford to spend as much time as they’d like on modding, that this will let them spend more time on modding, and ideally, hopefully, take some of these mods to completion.”
This isn’t the first time studios have attempted to find a way to compensate modders for their work. In 2015, Valve and Bethesda launched a paid mods program for Skyrim, where mods would be available for purchase. That program ended after less than a week, with Valve employee Aldon Kroll saying, “We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid. … But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim’s workshop. We understand our own game’s communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating.”
One of the problems cited during the brief window of time that Skyrim’s paid mods were available were that mods were available for sale that reused assets from other modders. This is a shitty thing to do when mods are free, but when money enters the equation it gets dicier. When asked about the potentiality for those kinds of headaches, Stieglitz said, “if there’s some dispute, technically it’s up to the modder to deal with that, at that point.”
This July, Square Enix is teaming up with the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo, Nagasaki, to bring Bahamut Disco, the first VR attraction that doesn’t require the use of head-mounted displays.
The attraction will throw players into what they’re calling an intense “450-degree” video space, where they’ll need to move with the rhythm of sound and light as part of the “Body Sensation Music Attraction” that is Bahamut Disco. Together with up to four players, the attraction offers an experience that is out of this world in a dynamic space.
With this attraction not requiring a head-mounted display, Square Enix says that it’ll offer a completely new play-style for VR, and it’ll also be simple and safe enough for children to enjoy.
No further details were shared other than its basic gameplay that involves moving your body along with the music as part of a rhythmic VR attraction, but it’ll feature a Bahamut created by Square Enix in an RPG world created for the VR space.
Bahamut Disco will pre-open in Japan on July 1 and will have its grand opening on July 15, 2017 at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo, Nagasaki.
Twitch announced today it’s partnering with a variety of developers and studios, including Ubisoft and Telltale Games, to sell games directly to players via Twitch streams.
Viewers will see a button giving them the option to purchase the game just under the main window on a streamers’ page. It can be seen in the photo below. As an extra incentive, when viewers purchase a game through a streamer’s page, the streamer will get five percent of the sale and the viewer purchasing the game will receive a free Twitch Crate. Crate’s come with randomized items that are tailored to specific Twitch streamers and allows the owner of said crate to drop exclusive emotes, chat badges and “Bits for Cheering” while watching that streamer.
Games purchased via Twitch can be played via the company’s desktop app or through existing developer and publisher-owned services like UPlay, according to a press release. It appears that games downloaded through Twitch won’t be available to be played through services like Steam, but Polygon has reached out for clarification. Valve isn’t listed as one of the developers teaming up with Twitch. As a result, Valve-owned games, like Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive, two of the most popular games broadcasted via Twitch, will not be available to purchase via the streaming service. Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends, is also not listed as a participating studio.
Developers like Ubisoft, Telltale Games, Digital Extremes, Hi-Rez Studios, tinyBuild, Paradox Interactive, Trion Worlds and Vlambeer will participate in the new sales initiative. When games are sold via stream, the developer will take 70 percent of the profit and Twitch will take 25 percent.
You might think that all this “totally softcore space porn” business was just a bit of harmless fun, but Flynn’s comment is apparently being taken seriously enough that he returned to Twitter to clarify the situation.
Sorry, I gave the wrong impression. We have strong characters, great gameplay, romances, and more, all dealing with mature themes. https://t.co/GAy6ZIzIPC
Good to know. I was starting to worry that Mass Effect: Andromeda would be nothing but Krogan banging and scanning for minerals.
We’ve had quite the deluge of Mass Effect: Andromeda news tidbits this past week—so much so we decided to create this handy centralised hub to keep on top of it all. Among the juicy stuff is details on the incoming space action role-player’s system requirements, our hands-on impressions, and the fact that Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer lends her voice to a central character.
We already know the ‘banging’ in Mass Effect: Andromeda will be plentiful and good, however BioWare’s Aaryn Flynn has now dubbed it “totally softcore space porn.”
That’s following the game’s retail listing which, although as yet unconfirmed by the ESRB, has been bumped from containing ‘partial nudity’ to ‘full nudity’ as part of its provisional M rating (for blood, strong language, strong sexual content and violence). Flynn, the developer’s general manager, celebrated the news on Twitter:
Toyota’s latest Japanese commercial for its C-HR subcompact crossover invades the world of video games to showcase testimonials from the stars Capcom’s landmark arcade fighting game Street Fighter II.
Fighting game enthusiasts will recognize many winking references to the 1991 arcade classic and Queen fans will enjoy an accompanying rendition of Keep Yourself Alive, making for an effective promotion of the vehicle’s promised crossover appeal.
The 2018 Toyota Coupe High-Rider, originally intended to launch as part of the company’s Scion brand, debuted in Japan at the end of 2016 after appearing at the Geneva Motor Show and the Los Angeles Auto Show. The four-door vehicle promises to bridge the gap between compact cars and SUVs with a slim profile and features like a seven-inch display screen placed on its dashboard.
While the C-HR’s latest commercial doesn’t exactly showcase the vehicle’s finer points, Street Fighter II‘s competitors are obviously fans of Toyota’s new approach. Series mainstay Ryu is seen hopping into the C-HR at the commercial’s outset for a trip around the world, seemingly in a bid to make competing brawlers jealous of his new purchase.
The Amazing World of Gumball is one of Cartoon Network’s lesser known shows, but it has developed a cult following for its witty, often surreal and reference-heavy humor.
In one of the show’s newest episodes, “The Console,” main character Gumball Watterson and his siblings are forced to play their way out of a fantasy role-playing game after Gumball is given a cursed console. Together, Gumball, Darwin and Anais have to make their way through town, breaking into neighbors’ houses and collecting items as they go. In order to make their way out of the virtual world, they have to power up enough to take on the final boss.
At one point, Gumball, Darwin and Anais come across an “awkwardly placed shrub” in the middle of a sidewalk. Instead of just walking around it, they have to try out an assortment of tools to destroy it. After obvious weapons like an axe and chainsaw are deemed too ineffective, Gumball calls out just how preposterous the entire ordeal is. The scene in question can be seen in the GIF below, which was captured from a YouTube video uploaded by Denss the Princester.
There aren’t any dang details about it but, at some point this year, we’ll get the chance to watch somebody from Castlevania’s Belmont family fighting bloodsuckers.
Netflix has been holding an event today where it’s announcing the bulk of its upcoming programming slate. Nestled in the press release was this:
Castlevania Season 1, Part 1 Coming to Netflix in 2017
This is literally all we know for sure at the moment, but the project is likely the same one that’s been reported as being in development from Frederator Networks (Adventure Time) and producer Adi Shankar, who was behind that gritty Power Rangers short back in 2015. On an episode of the Nick Animation podcast late last year, Seibert said that Frederator was ramping up on an unnamed video game project. His words, as per Slashfilm transcription:
We have a project right now that we’re doing that needs to go unnamed, based on one of the most world-famous video games of the last 30 years, that we’ve had in our shop for 12 years without being able to get it started. But there were great characters and a great story, and eventually we got it going.
Videogames have bugs. This is a fact of life. Some are obvious and easy to squash, and others are a little trickier to nail down. And then there are bugs like the one Valve fixed yesterday in Team Fortress 2. According to this Engadget report, it was around for a full decade—since TF2 was released in 2007—before it was noticed last month by TF2 Classic developer Nicknine, and reported by Redditor sigsegv_.
The bug occurred when a player selected the Scout, Heavy, or Sniper as their first class upon joining a server. After that, switching to Soldier, Pyro, Demo, Engineer, Medic, or Spy on the same server would leave their local and server-side animations slightly out of sync. It worked the other way as well: Beginning as Soldier, Pyro, Demo, Engineer, Medic, or Spy, and then switching to Scout, Heavy, or Sniper would have the same effect.
It sounds harmless enough, but the practical impact was most definitely not. As you can see in the video, the mismatch between local and server-side hitboxes meant that shots that should have hit sometimes would not. And once it happened, players were stuck: Switching back and forth wouldn’t clear the error, nor would dying or going to spectator mode.