Shacknews - David Craddock

Nintendo's Switch "Nindies" Showcase is a Direct-style livestream event designed to show off indie games coming to the company's portable console, per a tweet by Nintendo of America. The event begins on February 28 at 9:00 a.m. PT, and will cover a variety of games that will be available through the Switch eShop.

Although Virtual Console is on hold until further notice, Nintendo announced earlier today that the eShop will be up and running on launch day—next Friday, March 3. Nintendo teased that over 60 indie games will release on the eShop over 2017. Games that will be showcased during the Nindies Direct (and on sale as of launch) include Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Edition, a compilation of the original game and its two expansions, which will be sold separately; and FAST RMX, a racer that features local and online multiplayer.

According to Nintendo, you'll need to download a day-one system update for Switch in order to access the eShop.

Shacknews - Donovan Erskine

A new patent filed by Sony Entertainment suggests the development of a new HTC Vive-like virtual reality tracking system. The device is described as operating like a sonar, tracking the player’s movements based on lights and mirrors (via GamesIndustry.biz).

The current PSVR system is usually criticized for not allowing much mobility for its users. A device like the one mentioned in the patent application would provide a much more immersive experience. The new device would also make the PSVR more of an accurate system, likening it closer to the Vive and Oculus.

It’s important to remember that a company filing an app for a patent isn’t a 100% guarantee that the new tech will come to fruition. PSVR initially launched in fall 2016.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Nintendo's Virtual Console service will not be available when Nintendo Switch launches next Friday, March 3. Virtual Console has been a staple of Nintendo systems since the Wii's release in November 2006. The eShop, however, will be online on day one.

"Virtual Console games will not be available on Nintendo Switch at launch. We will share more information in the future," Nintendo announced in a press release highlighting indie games such as Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Edition that will be available on March 3 on the eShop.

The Virtual Console joins a laundry list of features that Nintendo will not have ready for the Switch on release day. A Web browser and video streaming through Netflix and similar services will be switched (AHEM) on at a later date.

Rumors abound that Nintendo will add GameCube titles to the Virtual Console when it finally goes online, rounding out the deep catalog of NES, SNES, and N64 games that have bolstered the service for years.

Nintendo also announced—in a roundabout way—that users will not be able to share games across multiple consoles, although that feature may be addressed later too.

Shacknews - David Craddock

If you plan on buying multiple Nintendo Switch units for your household when the console goes on sale next Friday, March 3, you'd better be prepared to shell out for multiple copies of the games you want to play with family. While Switch eShop purchases will be tied to your Nintendo account, you can only log into that account on one console at a time.

"Currently we don't have a system like that in place for Nintendo Switch," said Nintendo's Entertainment Planning & Development General Manager Shinya Takahashi, "but we haven't made any final decisions about how we would approach that going forward in the future, so unfortunately I can't provide any concrete answer for you right now."

The answer was recorded by YouTuber CrazyDopetastic at a recent 1-2-Switch preview event at the Nintendo World store in New York City (via Ars Technia). An attendee had asked Takahashi if he would be able to buy digital games from the eShop once and let his kids play them on different Switch units. The implication seems to be that while digital purchases are tied to a Nintendo account, the accounts themselves are locked to hardware.

Both PS4 and Xbox One allow you to download game to the same account on multiple consoles, as long as your account isn't logged in from more than one device. So you can download a multiplayer game on one console, then let another user with access to your account download the game onto their account and play together.

Whether or not Nintendo adds sharing functionality to Switch in a future update, the console will be lacking several digital features at launch. A Web browser will be added later, as will video streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu.

Shacknews - John Keefer

If you haven't tried Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare multiplayer yet, now is a good time to try it on Steam since it's free.

Infinity Ward and Activision are running the free weekend from now until 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET on Monday, February 26. All modes, equipment and gear are available, with no level cap. Unfortunately, this is just for multiplayer. Zombie mode will not be included.

The free weekend coincides with a Steam sale for the game, with 50% off the standard edition, 33% off the Digital Legacy Edition which includes Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, and 25% off the Digital Deluxe version which include Modern Warfare Remastered, along with the Call of Duty Infinite Warfare season pass.

The Sabotage DLC for the game just hit late last month, adding four new multiplayer maps.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Leaving out split-screen co-op capability in Halo 5: Guardians was a rather controversial decision for developer 343 Industries, a mistake it plans not to make in the future.

"When we didn't put split screen in Halo 5, it was incredibly painful for the community and for us," 343 General Manager Bonnie Ross said at a presentation at DICE 2017 (via GameInformer). "I think it erodes trust with the community, as the community is a part of our world building."

Ross said that it has learned for the decision. "For any FPS, we will always have split screen support going forward," she said.

Originally, Xbox chief Phil Spencer had said back in 2015 that split-screen was not included because everyone was playing co-op online and not sitting on the couch with friends. "We see the robustness of what Xbox Live is today and where people are playing across Xbox Live -- you at your house, me at our house," he said at the time. "We know that's the vast majority of the co-op play. With Halo 5, the team really wanted to focus on making that experience great, both visually on the screen that you're looking at, and all the systems in place."

Shacknews - John Keefer

NetherRealm Studios has released a new story trailer for the upcoming Injustice 2, this one focusing on the single-player campaign and some of Superman's motivations leading into the game.

"Every villain is the hero of his own story" is the theme of the Shattered Alliances trailer, which has the lines blurred between good guy and bad. Superman has been grabbing more power, and the trailer ends with "The Regime Will Rise.". This video is labeled as Part 1, so we can expect a follow up in the next week or so offering more details. 

Cyborg is shown in this video, and has been officially revealed as the next playable character in the game. Last week, a mobile version of the game was released in the Philippines, and gameplay showed Cyborg and Scarecrow as playable 

Injustice 2 has slowly been unveiling new heroes that will be joining the fight. Catwoman, Cheetah and Poison Ivy got a debut last week,

The game is scheduled for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on May 16.

Shacknews - John Keefer

When you get sent to prison, you probably want to forget about it when you get out. In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Adam Jensen did  Now the new DLC just released for the game makes him relive his life of crime.

A Criminal Past expands a bit on Jensen's story before the events of Mankind Divided. It focuses on his first mission as a TF29 agent, as he is sent into a high-security prison for augmented felons to make contact with an undercover agent who has been marked for death. In the end, he wishes he had done things differently.

The DLC run $11.99 if you don't have the season pass. It is the second story-based DLC for the game, with the first one, System Rift, coming out in early October. 

Shacknews - John Keefer

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was re-introduced to fighting fans on the PlayStation 4 in December, but PC and Xbox One players had to wait to get their hands on the game. The good news is that wait will be over on March 7.

The game, which was originally released in 2011 on previous gen consoles, will run for $24.99 and is already available for pre-order on Steam. Microsoft started pre-orders for the game earlier this month. Players can pre-download it, but it won't be playable until March 7.

Featuring a total of 50 characters from the Marvel and Capcom universes, the game will also have all the previous DLC, run in full HD 1080p resolution at 60FPS, and come with a digital art book.

If you are going to play on PC, here are the specs you will need:

Minimum:

  • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 2.4 GHz, or better
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX260, or better

Recommended: 

  • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad 2.7 GHz, or better
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 560, or better

Both setups will require Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, at least DirectX 9.0c, a broadband internet connection. 16 GB available storage, and a Direct X compatible sound card. If you play with a controller, a Xbox 360 PC controller is recommended.

Capcom has been pulling some of its older games out of retirement and giving them a remaster treatment to reinvigorate the dormant IPs. Ultimate Marvel vs, Capcom 3 recently won the battle for addition to EVO 2017, as fans voted with their wallets by donating money to charity.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Blizzard is making several changes to Hearthstone with the upcoming 7.1 update, and we've learned of yet another area that will be undergoing some serious revision: Arena Mode. The changes include one major format change, and several smaller balance tweaks that should have a big impact on the mode.

Starting with the next game update, Arena will switch from Wild to Standard format. In an update, Blizzard said this is to help players have a greater degree of control over card synergies. Arena Mode lets players draft a deck by being presented with choices between three cards. As the card pool grows, the chances of drafting two or more cards that work well together gets less likely, so shifting to the more limited Standard mode will increase the odds of drafting a decent deck. Standard limits card choices to the last two seasons of expansions, plus Basic and Classic sets.

In addition to that, Blizzard will be changing the frequency of card distribution for your draft. Common cards were making up almost 80% of all the cards drafted, and so the team will be tapering that off and making Rare, Epic, and Legendary cards show up more often. Classic cards will also show up less frequently. Two particular common cards, Abyssal Enforcer and Flamestrike, will have their instances cut back severely, since they're powerful removal tools exclusive to their own classes.

Spells will also get a frequency boost in Arena drafts, since Blizzard says a lack of spells tends to reward whichever player can push minions out faster. Having more spells, and therefore more removal options, will make it easier to punish an opponent who's overextending. 

Finally, in some good news for long-time card collectors, golden cards will show up in Arena. It will be limited by the cards that are actually part of your collection, so if you have one golden copy, you only get a golden version for the first card. If you own two, however, every copy of that card in the draft will be golden. Arena is the only mode in Hearthstone that regularly allows you to hold more than two copies of any card.

All this comes in addition to already-announced ladder changes and nerfs to major staples within the Hearthstone meta. It's all due to come in an update in late February, so we can likely expect a release announcement soon.

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