Gaming

Twitch updates security for its TwitchCon event following the Jacksonville esports shooting

Twitch is today announcing changes to its security procedures for its TwitchCon event taking place in San Jose, California on Saturday, October 27th. The update follows news of the tragic shooting at an esports event in Jacksonville, Florida last month where three people died, including the shooter, and 11 were injured. Twitch said it would review its procedures as a result, and would soon have more information about what it’s doing to keep attendees safe. Today, the company shared those plans. Our highest priority at TwitchCon is attendee safety and security. We want to assure you that we are adding additional security measures on top of past event measures. We will have more detailed information on TwitchCon security in the coming days so stay tuned! — TwitchCon 2018 (@TwitchCon) Septemb...

Nintendo’s NES Switch controllers activate the nostalgia centers (and wallets) of retro gamers

The news that Nintendo would be adding NES games to the Switch as part of its paid online service had a mixed reception, but the company has completely made up for this controversial decision by releasing wireless NES controllers with which to play those games. At $60 they’re a bit steep, but come on. You know you’re going to buy them eventually. Probably next week. The controllers were revealed during the latest Nintendo Direct video news dump, alongside a host of other nostalgia bombs, like a new Animal Crossing and about a million Final Fantasy ports. But first the details of those sweet, sweet controllers. They’re definitely NES-style down to the buttons, meaning they aren’t going to replace your existing Switch Joy-Cons. So why do they cost so much? Because Nintendo. At least they’re ...

Nintendo finally announces some new games for the Switch

Nintendo is at last (at last!) bringing some new content to the Switch! Yes! In a Nintendo Direct, the company let fly a number of games and a couple of original titles. The biggest Nintendo-produced titles we had glimpses of are a new Animal Crossing in development for the Switch and Luigi’s Mansion 3. We learned next to nothing about the new Animal Crossing, other than that it’s coming in 2019, but we did get to see some gameplay from the latest chapter of Luigi’s only titular adventure in the Nintendo world. Luigi’s Mansion 3 seems to follow in the ghost-vacuuming footsteps of its predecessors with the bizarre camera angles and all. It’s also heading to the Switch stage in 2019, setting up a couple of Nintendo titles for us to look forward to next year, possibly alongside Metroid Prime ...

Fast-growing game engine startup Unity loses its CFO

Unity Technologies, the highly valued startup behind one of the most popular game development tools, lost its CFO Mike Foley last week, Business Insider (paywalled) reported. A company spokesperson confirmed the CFO’s departure, saying it was a “friendly and mutual decision between both parties,” while also noting that the company was searching for a replacement and had some candidates and hoped to announce more details soon. In a statement, Foley told TechCrunch, “I look forward to seeing Unity’s continued success under its strong leadership team.” Unity has raised north of $600 million at a valuation over $3 billion, CEO John Riccitiello confirmed to us earlier this week. In an interview at our Disrupt SF 2018 conference, Riccitiello told TechCrunch that the company’s game engine platfor...

Fortnite hits 15 million installs on Android

Circumventing the Google Play store wasn’t exactly a gamble for Epic, given the fact that Fortnite is essentially a license to print money. But even by its own standards, the game is posting some impressive numbers three weeks after hitting Android. In a blog post this week, Epic noted that the wildly popular sandbox survival game hit 23 million players on Google’s mobile operating system, spread out across 15 million APK installs. Those numbers are arriving 21 days after the title launched on the OS. This, like every other piece of Fortnite news, means big bucks for Epic. That’s especially the case here, however, given that the launch means the gaming company is cutting Google’s 30 percent take out of the equation. Along with the numbers, Epic also highlighted some of its efforts to tackl...

You can now use Alexa and Cortana to control your Xbox

You can now control the Xbox from Alexa and Cortana. Microsoft announced his morning it’s introducing a new way to interact with Xbox One using voice commands, by way of an Xbox Skill that works with both Alexa and Cortana, across platforms. The skill will allow users to launch games, adjust the volume, start and stop their broadcasts to Mixer, capture screenshots and more. For example, players will be able to say to their Echo speaker, “Alexa, start Rocket League,” and the console would power on, sign them in, and launch the game. To use the new feature with Alexa, players will first have to sign in with their Amazon account then link their Microsoft account to the skill. With Cortana, users will instead have to first sign into the Xbox they want to control, then sign in with their Micros...

Fortnite’s Android installer shipped with an Epic security flaw

Google has clapped back in tremendous fashion at Epic Games, which earlier this month decided to make the phenomenally popular Fortnite available for Android via its own website instead of Google’s Play Store. Unfortunately, the installer had a phenomenally dangerous security flaw in it that would allow a malicious actor to essentially install any software they wanted. Google wasted exactly zero time pointing out this egregious mistake. By way of a short explanation why this was even happening, Epic explained when it announced its plan that it would be good to have “competition among software sources on Android,” and that the best would “succeed based on merit.” Everyone of course understood that what he meant was that Epic didn’t want to share the revenue from its cash cow with Google, wh...

Epic Games just gave a perk for folks to turn on 2FA; every other big company should, too

Let’s talk a bit about security. Most internet users around the world are pretty crap at it, but there are basic tools that companies have, and users can enable, to make their accounts, and lives, a little bit more hacker-proof. One of these — two-factor authentication — just got a big boost from Epic Games, the maker of what is currently The Most Popular Game In The World: Fortnite. Epic is already getting a ton of great press for what amounts to very little effort. Son: Do you know what two-factor authentication is?Me: Uh, yeah?Son: I get a free dance on @Fortnitegame if I enable two factor. Can we do that? Incentives matter. — Dennis (@DennisF) August 23, 2018 The company is giving users a new emote (the victory dance you’ve seen emulated in airports, playgrounds and parks by kids and t...

Watch Nvidia unveil the RTX 2080 live right here

Nvidia is taking advantage of the Gamescom in Germany to hold a press conference about its future graphics processing units. The conference will start at 6 PM in Germany, 12 PM in New York, 9 AM in San Francisco. [embedded content] Just a week after the company unveiled its new Turing architecture, Nvidia could share more details about the configurations and prices of its upcoming products — the RTX 2080, RTX 2080 Ti, etc. The name of the conference #BeForeTheGame suggests that Nvidia is going to focus on consumer products and in particular GPUs for gamers. While the GeForce GTX 1080 is still doing fine when it comes to playing demanding games, the company is always working on new generations to push the graphical boundaries of your computer. According to Next INpact, you can expect two di...

Zendesk introduces support bot for Discord gaming community

The Discord gaming community boasts 150 million members and 46 million active monthly users, who spend their days chatting about games, finding people to play with and looking for advice on how to resolve issues. Up until now, game publishers have had to monitor public discussions looking for people who need help or relied on expert users to assist them, but that’s about to change with Zendesk’s new Discord support bot. Zendesk VP of product and platform, Luke Behnke, says they count a fair number of gaming companies as customers, and they have been looking for a way to have more direct communication with Discord users right where they play. With the Zendesk-Discord integration, users can request help by typing /support, and then the nature of the problem. This activates the Zendesk bot an...

Here’s where to sign up to get Fortnite for Android

Fortnite’s journey to Android has been a complicated one. A few months back, Epic Games promised to bring the wildly popular survival sandbox title to the mobile OS, but only after side stepping the traditional process for doing so. Fittingly, while it now appears to be live for Android, the process of actually getting the game is, well, complicated. If you want to get started, you’ll need to sign up for a beta of the game. That’s right, while the title has been up and running on any number of other platforms (including its three-day head start on Samsung devices), it’s still in beta on Android. Give Epic your email address, and they’ll send you an invite…”as soon as you can play.” [embedded content] How soon is that? Well, there appears to be a waiting list at the moment. How long all of ...

Twitch is closing its Communities

Say goodbye to Twitch’s Communities. The game-streaming service says it’s soon killing off this still relatively new addition to its site in favor of implementing a tagging system instead. With the changes, users will be able to filter streams by tags within a directory or across different games on the Browse page, in order to better find the sort of streams they want to watch. The closure of Communities and addition of tags is being planned for mid-September, says Twitch. Twitch launched Communities just last year, with the goal of better catering to users’ unique interests. For example, different types of gaming, like retro, or different activities, like speedrunning, could then have their own community. There are also communities centered around titles like Fortnite Battle Royale, PUBG,...

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