Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has revealed Batman: Return to Arkham will no longer launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on July 29.

The announcement was made by Warner Bros. representative Steve Grayson on the company’s official forums. The reason for the delay was to give Virtuous Games additional time to deliver a more polished Batman experience.

As a result, Batman: Return to Arkham no longer has a release date. “We know this is disappointing news, but we feel the extra time will allow the team to create the best gaming experience for our fans.” Grayson writes.

This isn’t the first time the Batman: Arkham series has had issues with its development as the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight was poorly optimized, which took several months just to get the game at a playable state on the platform. While delaying Batman: Return to Arkham in hopes to improve its experience is a step in the right direction, not having a new release date has us a bit worried for its future.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Anyone who has a PC, especially with an older Windows operating system, has experienced the incessant pop-ups asking you if you want to upgrade to Windows 10. In some cases, users have reported that the OS will try to install itself without approval. Even tech-savvy writers have gotten caught up in the hard-sell tactics Microsoft has instituted to force an upgrade, making it almost impossible to say no.

Well, Microsoft has gotten its wrists slapped by a California court, ordering the tech giant to pay $10,000 to Sausalito-based travel agency owner Teri Goldstein, who reported that an aborted install of the OS slowed her work PC to a crawl and caused hurt her company. She sued for a new computer and lost wages after MS support was unable to help her. She won her case, with Microsoft choosing not to appeal to avoid further litigation costs, but denied any wrongdoing.

“I had never heard of Windows 10,” Goldstein said. “Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update.”

While the fine is essentially pocket change for Microsoft, the ruling could have further ramifications if others decide to follow Goldstein's suit. While some business sectors may be able to avoid an upgrade, Microsoft is already making it nearly essential for gamers to install Windows 10 if they want to play any of the latest Xbox One games using Play Anywhere. Even newer PC games are going the Windows 10 route, as developers eschew the older Windows 7 and 8.1.

Of course, that could be moot come July 29, when the free upgrade ends and Microsoft begins charging for the OS. The reviews have been good, and folks may finally give in as opposed to having to shell out extra bucks when a game they really want only uses Windows 10. 

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Sony will be cutting ties with Ustream on August 1, 2016, and as a result, PlayStation 4 owners won’t be able to use a number features from the service.

The features that will be terminated include the ability to broadcast gameplay to Ustream and viewing Ustream broadcasts from “Live from PlayStation” on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and the PlayStation App.

As a result, PlayStation 4 owners will now only be able to broadcast their gameplay on YouTube, Twitch, or dailymotion while also being able to view broadcasts from these services.

Considering the rise of both Twitch and YouTube Gaming, it’s surprising Sony didn’t stop Ustream support sooner to further improve customer experience on more popular services. Now let’s see how long it takes Sony to kick dailymotion to the curb in favor of just Twitch and YouTube support.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Microsoft has yet to officially reveal its lineup of free games Xbox Live Gold members could download for free in July, but that hasn’t stopped an alleged leak of next month’s games from popping up online.

According to NeoGAF member ekim, July’s Games with Gold lineup includes The Banner Saga 2 and Tumblestone on Xbox One, while Xbox 360 owners will be able to download Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and Tron: Evolution for free.

The Banner Saga 2 was originally expected to release on consoles on July 26, which makes its availability on July 1 a bit of a surprise. It could be possible Stoic and Versus Evil struck a deal with Microsoft in order to offer the game ahead of its original release date.

As of now, take this information with a grain of salt until Microsoft makes its official announcement, which we hope takes place later today.

Shacknews - Cassidee Moser

Virtual reality is still very much in its unrealized infancy, but there are still a handful of inventive new developments in the technology that provide a glimpse of what might be possible in the future. From motion controllers to treadmills built to move in any direction, here are a handful of the most unique and promising VR peripherals both available and on the horizon.

Oculus Touch

The Oculus Touch is the motion controllers used in conjunction with Oculus' headset. 

Oculus Touch is basically the dream of the early days of the Nintendo Wii. Built to frame a user’s hand neatly, the Touch consists of two controllers in each hand with face buttons and trigger bumpers. It’s tracked using infrared LEDs and a wireless sensor, and the motions a player makes in real life are delivered with 1:1 accuracy in-game.

Using this tech brings real-life motions into the game, which in turn affords games and game designers to think beyond mere buttons and analog sticks when developing a project.  

HTC Vive Controllers

Vive's controllers are like Oculus Touch so far as they use similar ideas of motion control to implement interactivity within the game world. However, the Vive offers a few more options not found in the Oculus Touch, including touch-sensitive controls capable of measuring squeezing. They're widely favored, although it should be noted the Vive is significantly more expensive than the Oculus, which may be why its controllers offer a bit more by way of functionality. 

PlayStation Move

The Move controllers have been re-purposed from the PS3 era. 

Remember those old remotes with clown noses that released during the PlayStation 3 era when everyone was chasing the motion-controlled success of the Wii? Yes, the infamous Move controllers are making a comeback as a playable add-on option for exclusively PSVR games, particularly the ones releasing soon on PlayStation 4. The great news here, though, is that you finally have a reason to bust those things out again.

Like the Oculus Touch, the PlayStation Move allows for new options in controls, particularly for games implementing sporty or adventure-driven ideas and mechanics.

PlayStation VR Aim

The Aim is an all-new gun peripheral for PSVR. 

Like the Sharpshooter Move peripheral from the PlayStation 3 days, the PlayStation VR Aim is an all-new piece of tech meant to simulate the feel of a gun in the player’s hands. We saw this used for the all-new Farpoint PSVR demo at E3, giving players a way to feel more absorbed into their environment within a first-person shooter.

It uses the same technology as the Move, albeit with a more streamlined and sleek design than we previously had during the previous console generation. First-person games--particularly shooters--are obvious choices for VR games thanks to the first-person perspective a player adopts, so it makes sense to retool and repurpose technology to create a peripheral aimed exclusively with this in mind.

3D Rudder

The Rudder attempts to solve the awkwardness in navigating virtual worlds using only an analog stick. 

One of the challenges of playing video games in VR is knowing how to manage a player’s movement. It’s possible to use a gamepad to control the basic forward, backward, and sideways movements in a first-person game using the same analog stick input of a console or PC, but doing so robs the experience of the truly natural feel so many want to see translated into their play.

The 3D Rudder aims to fix this issue by providing a peripheral controlled solely by the feet. By placing one’s feet on a circular pad while seated, the 3D Rudder allows for movement in virtually every direction by simply depressing on the foot pedal. It isn’t necessarily the 1:1 feedback of moving feet along a path, but it’s an alternative that offers a bit more realism than pushing on an analog stick.

Virtuix Omni

The Omni treadmill offers 360 degrees of movement. 

Like the 3D Rudder, the Virtuix Omni is a product attempting to solve the issue with movement in a VR game. But, instead of merely being a pedal one controls with their feet, this actually simulates in-game movement on an omni-directional treadmill capable of moving in 360 degrees.

It isn’t without drawbacks, however. The Virtuix Omni is an expensive and large piece of tech, especially for a new gaming format still working to find its feet. By virtue of being a peripheral dependant on the user being active throughout the entire time playing, it also risks causing someone to cut their time with a game short due to fatigue or--in the worst case--injury. Still, it’s by far the most realistic option available at the moment for people who want to truly feel they’re walking and running inside a virtual world.

Reactive Grip Motion Controller

The Reactive Grip makes shooting and first-person interactions feel more believable. 

The Reactive Grip Motion Controller does what other peripherals haven’t yet attempted: it actually gives weight and realistic form to the in-game objects held within a player’s hand.

Using several panels built into the handle, this controller simulates the resistance and pressure appropriate for whatever item is currently being held within the game. The proper amount of tension is felt against the palm when holding a sword, and even basic motions like swinging something in your hand will react with proper pressure being felt through the handle. Basically, it’s taking the ideas of the Oculus Touch and moving them a step forward to actually feel a sense of weight inherent in usable objects held in the player’s hand.

Unlimited Hand

The Unlimited Hand can simulate the "feel" of touch in VR. 

The Unlimited Hand is arguably one of the most promising pieces of tech within the VR space. A sensor worn on the forearm, the UH can detect and emit a number of signals to transfer into the game.

First, it’s capable of finger-tracking, meaning people can move their individual fingers and see those same exact movements replicated in VR.

Even more impressive is the amount of haptic feedback the Unlimited Hand can produce. It is capable of emitting pulses to physically communicate impacts, blows, and even simulating the “feel” of certain objects to give in-game actions a bit more weight and context. Like the Reactive Grip, the Unlimited Hand’s main function is simply to make one’s hands feel more absorbed into the VR space than before, taking us one step further into the VR technology innovation arms race.  

A prototype of the Kinect/Leap motion tech implemented in a headset. 

Developers have also been using the tech found within the Kinect and Leap motion control methods and combined them for the purpose of hand tracking, although this is not widely available as a solid product at this time.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Steve Watts, Cassidee Moser, David Craddock, Joshua Hawkins, Greg Burke, Joe Tirado and Asif Khan share their Day 1 E3 experiences. Asif also announced the new Shacknews slogan, "Do it for Shacknews". 

For more great videos, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews on YouTube.

You can also find our replay on our official Shacknews Twitch Channel.

Check out all E3 2016 Booth Interviews and Stream replays on our Official Shacknews E3 2016 YouTube playlist.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Speaking with members of the Associated Press (via GameSpot) acclaimed producer and director Shigeru Miyamoto dispelled some of the mystery surrounding Nintendo's forthcoming NX console... by stirring up more mystery.

Codename NX has been the talk of the industry for a couple of years, since Nintendo's Wii U was deemed a commercial failure. The company announced that NX would ship in March 2017 alongside The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for both Wii U and NX. Given the timeline, it made sense for Nintendo to pull back the curtain on NX at this year's E3. But it didn't, and Miyamoto attempted to clarify why.

"In terms of NX, there's an idea that we're working on," Miyamoto told the AP, speaking through a translator. "That's why we can't share anything at this point, and I don't want to comment on the other companies. If it was just a matter of following advancements in technology, things would be coming out a lot quicker."

Nintendo has taken a shellacking over the past two generations for turning out underpowered hardware. In the Wii's case, that lack of horsepower translated into tens of millions of sales. For the Wii U, it didn't. New rumors suggest that NX may clock in under Sony's PS4 Neo upgrade and Microsoft's Xbox Scorpio. Even so, the company never fails to generate buzz around its experiments, for that very reason: it experiments.

Whatever the NX ends up being—a console/handheld hybrid; a platform that lets you play Nintendo's remarkable back catalog as well as new games on a wide range of hardware; an AR- or VR-friendly machine—the idea Miyamoto-san alluded to will be something bold and new, and decisively different than the norm. That's reason enough to get excited.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Shacknews Day 1 coverage of E3 2016 continued with an interview with  Lou Studdert, from Activision. It was great to have Lou stop by our booth on the show floor of E3 2016 to talk about Skylanders.

For more great videos, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews on YouTube.

You can also find our replay on our official Shacknews Twitch Channel.

Check out all E3 2016 Booth Interviews and Stream replays on our Official Shacknews E3 2016 YouTube playlist.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Speaking with members of the Associated Press (via GameSpot) acclaimed producer and director Shigeru Miyamoto dispelled some of the mystery surrounding Nintendo's forthcoming NX console... by stirring up more mystery.

Codename NX has been the talk of the industry for a couple of years, since Nintendo's Wii U was deemed a commercial failure. The company announced that NX would ship in March 2017 alongside The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for both Wii U and NX. Given the timeline, it made sense for Nintendo to pull back the curtain on NX at this year's E3. But it didn't, and Miyamoto attempted to clarify why.

"In terms of NX, there's an idea that we're working on," Miyamoto told the AP, speaking through a translator. "That's why we can't share anything at this point, and I don't want to comment on the other companies. If it was just a matter of following advancements in technology, things would be coming out a lot quicker."

Nintendo has taken a shellacking over the past two generations for turning out underpowered hardware. In the Wii's case, that lack of horsepower translated into tens of millions of sales. For the Wii U, it didn't. New rumors suggest that NX may clock in under Sony's PS4 Neo upgrade and Microsoft's Xbox Scorpio. Even so, the company never fails to generate buzz around its experiments, for that very reason: it experiments.

Whatever the NX ends up being—a console/handheld hybrid; a platform that lets you play Nintendo's remarkable back catalog as well as new games on a wide range of hardware; an AR- or VR-friendly machine—the idea Miyamoto-san alluded to will be something bold and new, and decisively different than the norm. That's reason enough to get excited.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Shacknews Day 1 coverage of E3 2016 continued with an interview with Taylor Kurosaki and Jamie Gray Hyder, from Infinity Ward. It was great to have them stop by our booth on the show floor of E3 2016 to talk about Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

For more great videos, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews on YouTube.

You can also find our replay on our official Shacknews Twitch Channel.

Check out all E3 2016 Booth Interviews and Stream replays on our Official Shacknews E3 2016 YouTube playlist.

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