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Shacknews - Steve Watts

While the Xbox One turning on with the sound of your voice made for an impressive stage presentation, it didn't take long for the Internet to notice: doesn't that mean it's listening all the time? Today, in a bevy of new information that also included online checks and game licensing, Microsoft attempted to put fears at ease with more detail about the new Kinect's privacy settings.

In a detailed announcement, Microsoft stated that you'll personalize your Kinect during start-up. That will let you pick which settings are on from the start, and you can turn the sensor on, off, or pause it. When the Kinect is off, Microsoft says, it's only listening for the command "Xbox on," but you can disable that feature as well. When the Xbox One is in use, Microsoft is careful to note that it's not recording or uploading any conversation. Finally, you can use other inputs if you just want to turn off or pause the Kinect.

Concerning personal data, Microsoft claims that nothing will leave your Xbox One without explicit, expressed permission. It uses examples like a fitness game measuring heart data or a card game that views your face to determine the strength of a bluff.

This is all much more specific than the information we heard late last month, which simply promised privacy settings without going into detail.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Almost as soon as the Xbox One announcement ended, we started hearing contradictory tales from Microsoft regarding the system's connectivity requirements. The last two weeks have apparently given the company a chance to get its messaging straight, as it finally clarified today just how often the system needs to check in.

As confirmed on the official site the system will require an online check-in every 24 hours on your primary console. If you're accessing your game library on someone else's system, that window gets narrowed to every hour. The page warns: "Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies."

This is similar to what Phil Harrison told Kotaku, which apparently let the cat out of the bag early. Microsoft quickly told Polygon he was merely describing "potential scenarios."

More mundane details include the recommended connection speed (1.5Mbps), and the ability to sign in and install games from your friend's house to play them there. That's certainly convenient, but the one-hour check-in time might make it less welcoming.

Shacknews - Steve Watts
Steam announced a new "Family Sharing" feature today, and is accepting beta applications to test it. When it launches fully, close friends and family will be able to play one another's games, while still earning their own achievements and saving their individual progress through the cloud.
Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada took the stage during tonight's Evolution Championship Series event to announce a new game in the works. And as rumored earlier this morning, it's Tekken 7, the next game in the acclaimed fighting game series.


Harada revealed the new trailer in front of a captive audience, revealing that Tekken 7 would indeed be the final chapter in the Tekken saga. And as previously rumored, the trailer confirmed that it would be built with Unreal Engine. More information is promised for San Diego Comic-Con.


Check out the full trailer below.


Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

The summer dry spell continues, as the list of new releases remains pretty slim. The main draw may very well be the reissue of Shantae: Risky's Revenge, the new Abyss Odyssey, and Neil Gaiman's debut gaming venture, Wayward Manor, on PC, but there isn't a whole lot to get excited about beyond that.


PC



  • Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut (download - $15)

  • Wayward Manor (download)

  • Abyss Odyssey (download - $15)

  • Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers (download - $10)

  • Light (download)

  • Aperture Gun: The Paintball Testing Initiative (download, Portal 2 required)


PlayStation 4



  • Crimsonland (download)


Xbox One



  • None


Xbox 360



  • None


PlayStation 3



  • None


Wii U



  • None


PlayStation Vita



  • None


Nintendo 3DS



  • None

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Capcom held a panel during Evo 2014 to discuss all things Street Fighter and that included upcombing balance tweaks for the game's existing characters and characters that debuted in Ultra Street Fighter 4.


Peter 'Combofiend' Rosas revealed that the game's Edition Select will soon be available online in unranked modes. This is the feature that allows players to select their favorite version of characters from across the full Street Fighter 4 line, such as 'SF4' Sagat and 'Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition' Yun.


Those looking to better train their fighters can also utilize the 'delayed standing' option to Training mode, to help prepare them for human players that take advantage of delayed wakeup tactics.


Rosas also acknowledged that the initial character balance process for Ultra Street FIghter 4 was fully done through fan feedback, with over 24,000 comments collected from players worldwide. He added that it was the first time a Street Fighter game was influenced by feedback from Western nations, with a balance team specifically assembled to collect feedback from North and South America and Europe. With that in mind, he also acknowledged that balance work isn't finished yet, citing issues with Yun, Seth, and DeeJay, in particular.


The panel also discussed what's happening with the Capcom Pro Tour, refining what was originally created a year ago at this same Evo event. The goals include increasing the production of live streams, increasing prize pools, and spreading through the course of the entire calendar year. All of the official events will, of course, lead to the annual Capcom Cup.


There is no current date for when the next set of USF4 changes will be ready, but they are expected to come soon.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Ed Boon took the stage at this year's Evo, following the Injustice: Gods Among Us finals, to reveal the latest character for Mortal Kombat X. And it's a returning familiar face, because Raiden is back and ready to bring the thunder once more!


Raiden's familiar moves are all in place, including his lightning traps and teleports. The gameplay video that debuted in front of a captive Evo audience also showed off some of Raiden's different play styles. ANd of course, there was a new Fatality on display, as Raiden grabbed his opponent's head and shocked it until his eyeballs literally popped out of his head. He then ripped the head off its shoulders, tossed it in the air, and blew it up with a lightning shot.


Check out the shocking gameplay below!


Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

The anime-riffic fighting game, Skullgirls Encore, will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Vita and will bring along with it some new characters. Developers Lab Zero Games and Autumn Games held a panel at this year's Evo Championship Series event and discussed the upcoming new versions of the game, while also revealing some additional plans for the future. Prior to the panel, Lab Zero had been passing out cards near their booth, noting that the game would make the formal jump to Sony's remaining platforms and introduce some new fighters, with the Egyptian warrior queen Eliza prominently mentioned.


Eliza was the first DLC character voted on by crowdsourcers during the game's initial Indiegogo campaign. Her specials are all Egyptian themed, including several that see her skeletal form emerge from her sarcophagus to perform a series of hits. This form is also used to perform the character's special, which launches the opponent into the air for a punishing combo. The character is currently awaiting a voice actress, since she will utilize more than one voice. Once her dialogue is recorded, Eliza should be good to go.


The next two characters on the docket are Beowulf and Robo-Fortune, with Lab Zero noting that animation on those characters will begin shortly after Evo. The former will utilize pro wrestling-themed moves, including literal Sweet Chin Music and chair smashes. The latter will be a robotic version of the existing Ms. Fortune, utilizing some of that character's move and adding in some of her own, like a robo-tail whip and bazooka cannon shots. In fact, the android can come apart and reassemble herself as part of her move set, even going so far as to self-destruct on top of opponents for massive damage. The developer did point out that these moves are currently in the concept stage and are subject to change before release.


The team also illustrated some bugs currently plaguing the game, including some pesky infinites, before stating that these issues would be fixed with the game's next patch. That patch will deployed soon. No release date has been given for Skullgirls Encore on PS4 or Vita, but those version are also expected to release soon.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

With summer in full swing, Chatty is catching up with some of the best games from recent weeks. That includes Divinity: Original Sin, which Sapiens is happily running through on the recommendation of fellow Chatty posters. I'm also tossing in the opening minutes of The Wolf Among Us, which offers but a mere taste of the final episode, in case you need some motivation to catch up with Telltale's story. And wtf242 continues his efforts to master the game of Hearthstone, showing improvement with each passing day.


Here's a compilation of some of the best Shacknews Twitch highlights for the week of July 12, 2014.


Warning: Some clips may contain NSFW language.




The Wolf Among Us


Telltale wrapped up its adaptation of Bill Willingham's Fables universe and it was quite wonderful. And episode five only clinched the story's brilliance, so I took it upon myself to take a look at the final episode's opening minutes. They not only recap the story (though it's my own personal story. Your choices will vary), but also give a glimpse into what's to come in the game's climactic confrontation. It should serve as a good motivator to get stragglers jumping in, because this story is not to be missed.


Watch live video from EyeCarumba on TwitchTV




Diivinity: Original Sin


No game has quite captured Chatty's imagination in recent months quite like Divinity: Original Sin. The old-school RPG from Larian Games is harkening back to what everyone loves about classic RPGs of a bygone era, but also doing more than enough to stand out as a great modern RPG, as well. Sapiens offers a nice look at one small example of what makes the game a blast, as you can watch him stack some barrels.


Watch live video from SapiensTV on TwitchTV


Hearthstone: Heoes of Warcraft


Hearthstone is an easy game to learn, but incredibly difficult to master and perhaps nobody knows that more than Chatty's wtf242, who has been among the most vocal posters in regards to how to get better at the game. He's taken a lot of people's advice to heart and has gradually started to improve his game. So we're featuring one of his ranked matches, as he takes Malfurion the Druid out for a spin and finds himself in a very close match. And anyone that has participated in these kinds of matches knows that he can only get better from here.


Watch live video from Wtf242 on TwitchTV




For more highlights and live streams, check out the full list of Shacknews Twitch channels.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

We're deep in the summer doldrums now, but there's still a lot to get excited about if you're looking to fill up your PC backlog. There are a number of great games to check out and a lot of them are going for pretty cheap. So be sure to check out Goat Simulator on Steam, the full Civilization V pack on Amazon, the Sega sale on Get Games, the 2K bundle on Humble Bundle, and a whole lot more.


Here's our selection of this weekend's PC deals:


Amazon




Bundle Stars


Pay $4.99 for Magicka and all of its 21 DLC packs. They activate on Steam.


Or pay $3.99 for Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword, Project Aftermath, Explodemon, Velocity Ultra, Electronic Super Joy: Groove City, Influx, Imperial Glory, and Praetorians. All activate on Steam.


Or pay $3.99 for Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, Alien Rage: Unlimited, Disciples III: Reincarnation, Deadly 30, Fearless Fantasy, Muffin Knight, Street Racing Syndicate, I Am Vegend - Zombiegeddon, Iron Grip: Warlord and the Scorched Earth DLC. All activate on Steam.




GameFly Digital


Use the code JUL20OFF to get 20% off purchases over $9.99. If you're across the pond, use UKMAY20OFF.



  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted [Origin] - $4.99 (75% off)

  • Need for Speed Ultimate Digital Collection [Origin] - $7.49 (75% off)

  • Other Need for Speed games can be found on sale here.



GamersGate



  • NBA 2K14 [Steam] - $7.50 (75% off)

  • Spec Ops: The Line [Steam] - $7.50 (75% off)

  • Other games in GamersGate's 2K Greatest Hits promotion can be found on sale here.

  • Total War: Rome II [Steam] - $20.40 (66% off)

  • Empire: Total War Collection [Steam] - $8.75 (75% off)

  • Other games in GamersGate's Total War Weekend promotion can be found on sale here.



GameStop




Get Games




  • GET LOADED with this month's Get Games special! Pick from Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, Alien Rage, Dogfight, Alan Wake, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, Darksiders, Gothic 3, Red Faction Guerrilla, Red Faction Armageddon, Wooden Sen Sey, Sang Froid: Tales of Werewolves, Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut, Just Cause 2, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, and Dungeon Siege III. Get any two for $10.

  • Thief [Steam] - $10.19 (66% off) (Other Thief games on sale here)

  • Total War Grand Master Collection [Steam] - $41.24 (75% off) (Other Total War games on sale here)

  • Typing of the Dead: Overkill [Steam] - $6.79 (66% off) (DLC also on sale here)

  • Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed [Steam] - $6.79 (66% off)

  • The Cave [Steam] - $5.09 (66% off)

  • Other games featured in Get Games' Sega Summer Sale can be found here.



GOG




Green Man Gaming


Use the code EEKC1D-0FTUGV-M8G5ZN to get 20% off a minimum purchase of $10.


Humble Bundle




Humble Bundle


Pay what you want for BioShock, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, and Darksiders II. Pay more than the average $7.81 to also get BioShock 2, Mafia II, and Spec Ops: The Line. Pay $20 or more to also get BioShock Infinite and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. All games work with Steam.


Or pay what you want for Windforge, Stacking, ReignMaker, Paranautical Activity (Early Access), and a Strife closed beta key. Pay $6 or more to get Darkout, Signs of Life (Early Access), and 30-Day premium access to Curse. Pay $10 or more to also get Lifeless Planet and Edge of Space (Early Access). Most games work on Steam.



  • The Humble Store is offering daily deals on DRM-free titles. VIsit their storefront for the full list of the day's sales.



Indie Royale


Pay $2.99 for Chronology, Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren's Call, The Book of Legends, Guns n Zombies, Quest of Dungeons, and Jones on Fire. Pay $6 or more for a bonus soundtrack. All of these games work on Steam, except Jones on Fire.


Steam


As well as regular discounts, Steam has a couple of additional weekend deals.



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