Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

If you've got a console you're looking to trade in, GameStop is willing to give you a little something extra for it. Until tomorrow, GameStop is running a "Fund Your Holiday" campaign where they'll give you an additional $50 for your console trade-ins.

Trade-in consoles have to be in "full working condition" to receive the extra $50, and this offer doesn't stack with any other promotions GameStop may be offering. If your console fits the bill, you will receive the additional $50 on a gift card.

Only the following products are eligible for the "Fund Your Holiday" trade-in promotion:

  • Video Game Platforms
    • Xbox One
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation VR
    • Wii U (32GB model only)
  • Apple Devices
    • iPhone 6
    • iPhone 6 Plus
    • iPhone 6s
    • iPhone 6s Plus
    • iPad Mini 2, Mini 3, and Mini 4
    • iPad 4
    • iPad Pro
  • Android Devices
    • Samsung Galaxy S5
    • Samsung Galaxy S6
    • Samsung Galaxy S7

Trade-in values range widely but expect already 25-30% of the MSRP plus $50. So the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have a trade-in value of $125, and with the $50 promotion you'd end up getting $175 all told.

If this offer appeals to you, then act fast. The GameStop "Fund Your Holiday," campaign ends tomorrow.

Shacknews - John Keefer

After almost two years of waiting, It appears that Elite Dangerous will be coming to PlayStation 4 in Q2 of next year.

Frontier Developments' CEO David Braben made the announcement in the official forums. "When Elite Dangerous arrives on PlayStation 4 next year, we’re bringing the full game with everything in our ‘Horizons’ season of expansions included," he said, adding that the players will be arriving at a crucial time in the story. "Two giant superpowers are on the edge of war, and there are hints of a nascent alien threat that may emerge as a quite real one any time now… We’re excited to let PlayStation 4 players jump aboard at this critical moment for our galaxy."

As for the specifics of the PS4 conversion, players will be able to use the DualShock 4's touchpad to help in navigation on the Milky Way map, as well as adding four customizable "hotkeys" on the touchpad. The wireless DualShock 4 will also allow quick tracking of enemies with motion-based headlook controls. The game will also be optimized for the PS4 Pro.

Braben promised more details in the coming months about how the game would work on PS4 and what other differences there will be from the Xbox One and PC versions of the game. Xbox One players the game last October, and Season 2 Horizons in June.

Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

Ubisoft has been fighting off a takeover by Vivendi for the better part of a year now. It seems like it may have only delayed the inevitable though. Vivendi has revealed that it now owns 25% of Ubisoft stock and 23% of its voting rights.

It's increasingly obvious that Vivendi has designs on acquiring the leading AAA video game publisher/developer. Late last year Vivendi only owned a 10% stake in Ubisoft. By June 2016 it had doubled that amount to 20%. Last month they crossed 24%. Under French law, if Vivendi is able to acquire 30% or more of Ubisoft's stock, it must make an offer to buy the company.

Vivendi has filed a declaration with French securities regulator Autorité des Marchés stating its intentions for the coming six months. Vivendi said it's considering acquiring even more of Ubisoft's stock if market conditions are favorable. However, it also stated that it's not planning to launch an offer to buy or take control of Ubisoft.

Actions speak louder than words though. Vivendi has requested that Ubisoft reorganise its board of directors to ensure that Vivendi's representation on the board in consistent with its percentage of stock. Vivendi claims that it desires to work alongside the Ubisoft team, but Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot isn't convinced.

Guillemot believes that Vivendi is attempting to acquire control of Ubisoft much like it did Gameloft earlier this year. Guillemot might have more than a professional stake in this fight. Gameloft was also run by the Guillemot family, so Yves may feel as though this takeover attempt is personal.

Guillemot has stated that he will fight to preserve the publisher's independence. Ubisoft developers are feeling the heat as well, stating that they can't live with the threat of a Vivendi takeover. Whether or not Vivendi will end up taking over Ubisoft will likely play out in the next six months if it continues to acquite Ubisoft stock at its current rate.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Shigeru Miyamoto and The Roots crew performed the Mario theme on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Please take a look.

Jimmy Fallon Played Super Mario Run and Nintendo Switch on the Tonight Show Last Night. Check it out!

Watch the Super Mario Run Ad, too!

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon played host to a few gaming experiences this evening. Reggie Fils-Aime guided him through a play session of Super Mario Run on iOS, as game director Shigeru Miyamoto sat in the audience watching the display. Fils-Aime also announced during the session that a Super Mario Run demo will be available at Apple stores starting tomorrow (December 9).

But that wasn't all. The company also took the opportunity to show off the upcoming Nintendo Switch, with a brief demo of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. As Fils-Aime noted, this was the first time the game running on Switch had been broadcast to TV, and the titular switch from console to handheld looked pretty seamless. Take a look.

Shacknews - David Craddock

According to Let's Play Video Games, a website with a reputation for breaking accurate Switch rumors, Bandai Namco and FromSoftware have a build of Dark Souls 3 running on Nintendo's upcoming platform.

Purportedly, a small team inside FromSoft has been working on the port for a few months and have attained "a level of performance they are happy with."

LPVG stressed that work on the port could be nothing more than experimentation by the developers to put Nintendo Switch through its paces, and that FromSoftware wants to see how Switch performs at retail before committing.

However, FromSoft's and Bandai Namco's logos appeared on Nintendo's early list of confirmed third-party publishers. On top of that, LPVG's source claims that both studios are toying with the idea of releasing a Dark Souls trilogy on Switch, as well as Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

The idea would be to launch the collection on all platforms simultaneously, complete with their respective DLC expansions. (Presumably, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin would be the version of the second installment bundled in the compilation.)

Craddock's Corner: For me, this is the most exciting Switch-related news yet. No Dark Souls has found a home on Nintendo hardware thus far. In a two-firsts-for-the-price-of-one special, a collection on Switch would carry the distinction of being the first handheld incarnation of the series. Dark Souls in my pocket, available to play anywhere, anytime. The very thought has my jam-packed schedule ducking for cover until 2018.

Shacknews - David Craddock

"Free Update 5" for id Software's Doom reboot adds a number of features to multiplayer and SnapMap modes, and computer-controlled opponents top the list.

Bots come with some limitations. You can only play against them in Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes, and on the lineup of multiplayer maps that shipped with the game.

Even so, the addition of bots should satisfy players interested in getting the hang of deathmatch strategies and maps before going online.

"Infernal Run" is a brand-new multiplayer mode. Two teams vie for control of a ball—shaped like an eyeball that makes icky squishy noises—that they have to deliver into the enemy's goal.

Other changes, such as the maximum level cap being raised to Echelon 11 and extensive tweaks to SnapMap, are detailed in the patch notes found below. 

Multiplayer

  • Added new game mode, Infernal Run
  • Teams fight to obtain the ball and score in the opponent’s goal
  • Added Bots for multiplayer
  • Bots are available on original multiplayer maps in Team Deathmatch and Deathmatch game modes
  • Increased the maximum level cap to Echelon 11, level 50
  • Added the Doom Marine Armor (Praetor Suit) as unlockable perk for achieving maximum multiplayer level cap
  • Resolved an issue where rapid controller input caused unusually high shotgun damage

SnapMap

  • You can now play as the Doom Marine in Praetor Suit Armor
  • Added over 30 Lazarus Lab-themed modules
  • Added Lazarus Lab-themed props
  • Improved Object Limits
  • Persistent Integer variables that can be passed between missions within a campaign
  • Save and restore your health/armor/ammo/weapons/equipment/max weapon slots/inventory
  • Added the ability to Get and Set Score
  • You can now access the Leaderboard Score in the HUD
  • Added new (first-person view) Player Camera Entity
  • Added camera rumble FX and sounds
  • Added new player modifiers
  • Ledge grab time, power-up time, barrel damage, equipment cool down
  • Plasma weapon mastery
  • Additional single-player Interactables
  • New single-player styled Objective HUD
  • Added single-player Compass
  • General single-player consistency pass on HUD
  • Added more POI options
  • Show distance, show on compass
  • Updated victory and post-match summary screens
  • More interactable and customizable GUI
  • Added animated Echo Events
  • Added new FX/hazards
  • Added % encounter complete listener to encounters
  • Ability to remove AI from finished encounters and events
  • Ability to remove unspawned AI from the AIC
  • Added ability to turn off bobbing on pickups to place them however you want
  • Editor improvement to hide/show types of objects
  • Editor improvement to lock rotation when moving objects
  • Editor improvement to disable snapping of objects to the floor
  • Added armor Customizations and Taunts
Shacknews - Cassidee Moser

There are plenty of ways to celebrate the many holidays popping up around Thanksgiving through early January, including playing new content appearing in many video games across all platforms. Here’s a list of games with planned updates coming around the holidays. We’ll continue updating this piece as more updates and expansions become available.

Pokemon GO

Although it has yet to be confirmed by developer Niantic Labs, an internal Starbucks Memo suggested a new holiday update for Pokemon GO was incoming and would introduce over 100 additional Pokemon into the augmented reality game. Additionally, many Starbucks Locations are expected to become new PokeStops and Gyms to coincide with a new featured beverage they’re about to unveil. This update is supposedly targeted for release on December 8, so stay tuned.

Hearthstone

The boards of Hearthstone have been decorated for Winter Veil, the adjacent holiday of the Warcraft world. Additionally, characters now greet you with varying tidings to match the in-game holiday. We’ll probably see more events and updates as the month continues, so stay tuned for updates. Until then, feel free to check out our Mean Streets of Gadgetzan card reviews.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

Garden Warfare 2 is set to introduce new legendary fighters, online splitscreen play, coins, and festive holiday character customization options in its new Frontline Fighters update. This update is free for all players.

Star Wars Battlefront

It’s not outright holiday-themed, but the new Star Wars Battlefront DLC includes the map of Scarif, the tropical planet debuting in Star Wars Rogue One this month. For many (myself included), Star Wars is quickly becoming a great way to celebrate the holiday season, so we’re looking forward to this tie-in, much like we did the map of Jakku coinciding with The Force Awakens’ release last year.

Overwatch

Overwatch’s holiday event was teased yesterday on Twitter, so we’re still waiting to hear exactly what will be offered in their eventual update. It’s likely we’ll see a lot of what they’ve done in previous holiday-themed events, like new costumes, sprays, emotes, map, and custom holiday decorations in the currently-existing maps.

Overcooked

One of the best cooperative games of the year was just updated with free Christmas-themed DLC adding new dishes, 8 new winter levels, two new chefs, cute Santa hats for every character, and a flamethrower as a new way to cook dishes.

Destiny

Destiny players can celebrate the holidays with the upcoming event called The Dawning. This event introduces a number of new features, including the Icebreaker weapon, exotic quests, the return of Sparrow Racing League, and Strike scoring.

Slayaway Camp

The strategy slasher game Slayaway Camp has a big holiday expansion called Santa’s Slay. Available for $1.99, the update includes 25 new levels set in the North Pole, new exclusive killers like the Krampus, Santa Skullface, Gremling, and Jill Frost, themed wallpapers and avatars, and new holiday music.


Sales to Look Out For

Steam Holiday Sale

Steam has a big sale every year on its catalog of games, so be ready to spend well-intentioned Christmas shopping money on games you’ll probably never get around to playing.

 

Shacknews - David Craddock

Ubisoft announced a partnership to populate Dubai's IMG World indoor theme park with characters from its most popular franchises.

"As part of our strategy to expand our video game brands into other forms of entertainment, Ubisoft is thrilled to partner with IMG Worlds, owner of the world's largest indoor theme park, to bring our game franchises to life in the fast-growing tourist destination of Dubai," said Jean de-Rivières, vice president of location-based entertainment at Ubisoft Motion Pictures via a press release.

"By joining IMG Worlds of Legends, Ubisoft will introduce its world-renowned brands Assassin's Creed, Just Dance, and Rabbids to new audiences while creating new ways for fans to interact with their favorite game franchises."

Ubisoft's characters will run amok in IMG Worlds of Legends, IMG World's newest theme park projected to open in 2020. The park will span two million square feet demarcated into zones, each themed after a different property.

A mockup of IMG's Worlds of Legends. Image courtesy of The National.

In addition to Ubisoft properties, other zones will feature Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Power Rangers, Pokemon, and Barbie, among others.

"This is the largest IP-branded announcement of its kind. We have more brands under one roof than any other park has," IMG chief executive Leonard Otto told The National.

Worlds of Legends will connect to IMG's Worlds of Adventures park by way of a skybridge. Guests will be able to buy a pass that will allow them to visit both.

Ubisoft's partnership with IMG Worlds could be considered a dry run for its larger undertaking. In September 2015, the publisher/developer announced development of a "next-generation" theme park to be based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—another move by the studio to broaden the appeal of their franchises outside of the videogame industry.

Just recently, Nintendo discussed its partnership with Universal Studios to open theme parks at Universal Studios locations in Hollywood, Orlando, FL, and Japan.

[Source: The National]

Shacknews - David Craddock

Rocket League's newest update goes live at 5:00pm Eastern / 2:00pm Pacific for all platforms, and the Starbase Arc map announced during the Game Awards tops a long list of changes and features added to the game.

Psyonix put together a small documentary on Starbase Arc, and goes into detail on how the arena was conceptualized and built.

Starbase Arc is only the tip of the iceberg. Psyonix broke down the rest of the changes and additions, which include a Custom Training mode that lets you practice specific shots and scenarios, and support for Steam Workshop.

Outside of free content, the Vulcan car can be purchased for $2.

  • Steam Workshop Support: Allows Unreal Engine 3 UDK users to create custom levels for the game via a Steam Workshop Uploader Tool. Find more information here.
  • Arena Preference Selector: Highly requested feature allows players to "Like" or "Dislike" Arenas in the game to increase or decrease odds of playing on them again in online matches.
  • "Champion Series IV" Crate: The popular Champion Series continues with all-new exclusive garage items to help support Psyonix esports initiatives. Potentially unlock a new Import Battle-Car, animated Decals, Exotic Wheels, Black Market surprises, and more.
  • Two Variant Arenas: "Wasteland (Night)" and "Utopia Coliseum (Snowy)" dropping into Exhibition and Private matches plus all ranked playlists.
  • Redesigned SARPBC Vehicles: Free visual redesigns for the veteran Battle-Cars "X-Devil" and "Gizmo"
  • New Colorblind Mode: New "Color Blind Mode" is available in the "Options" menu, adding high-contrast orange and blue shades along with high contrast nameplates.
...