Friday, December 2

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Gaming

The Scariest Things That Happened In Gaming In 2022

Image: Warner Bros. / Devolver Digital / Bandai Namco / Innersloth / Kotaku / Mia Stendal / Bibadash (Shutterstock)On an average day, my friends might ask me how my job is going. I’ll smile, tell them “It’s going great,” and then launch into a story about one of the most fucked up things they’ve ever heard of. And now I get to give the recap to you.Spooky season is upon us, but the chronically online gamers at Kotaku know that terrifying shit is happening in our space all the time. It’s not just the games that are occasionally horrifying—it’s also how the industry grinds humans into dust, how giant corporations are increasingly looking to put the screws to the average consumer, and how abuse of power comes as no surprise. Some of the spookiest gaming news stories this year are sad. Some of...
Gaming

Every U.S. PlayStation 2 Game Manual Is Now Scanned In 4K

Physical game manuals are hard to come by these days, especially as the industry begins to heavily lean into cloud streaming and digital-first infrastructures. But if you remember those good ole times when game boxes came with chunky pamphlets for you to peruse before jumping into your recent purchase, a games preservationist called Kirkland seeks to preserve that nostalgia for posterity by creating high-quality scans of the manuals of yore. In fact, he’s just finished uploading his complete set of U.S. PlayStation 2 manual scans.Launched in the U.S. in October 2000—22 years ago this Wednesday—Sony’s PlayStation 2 was one of the most popular consoles ever. With more than 4,000 games released worldwide and selling approximately 158 million units globally, just about everyone had a PS2. Game...
Gaming

Logitech’s Game Pass Streaming Handheld Is Too Expensive

Having a (relatively) small device that can play basically any big game on it is a cool idea, and that’s what I love about Valve’s Steam Deck. But the Deck can be a bit bulky, and its battery just doesn’t last sometimes. Plus it doesn’t work easily with Xbox Game Pass. So the idea of a new, smaller handheld dedicated to streaming Game Pass and Xbox titles sounds great! However, at $300, it seems too expensive in a world where the Steam Deck and Switch OLED exist at around the same price point. Announced today by Microsoft and Logitech, the new G Cloud handheld gaming console is a small Android-powered device built around streaming video games. 10 years ago this would have seemed like a weird idea. But today, you can stream practically every game across most platforms with enough tinkering....
Gaming

Phil Spencer Says Xbox Series Price Hikes Unlikely, For Now

Photo: JUNG YEON-JE / Kotaku (Getty Images)Sony turned a few heads when it unexpectedly hiked prices on the PlayStation 5 in the second year of the current generation of consoles. Naturally, many wondered if the same complicated economic situations we all find ourselves in would see a spike in Xbox prices as well. In a recent interview with CNBC, however, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, stated that raising the price of the Xbox Series line wouldn’t be a wise move for the company right now. He also explained that Microsoft has no plans to slow down on investing in game studios, despite the Activision Blizzard bid.While in Japan for the Tokyo Game Show, Phil Spencer appeared on CNBC to talk about Microsoft’s potential interest in acquiring more companies, how it sees itself in the Japanese video...
Gaming

MIcrosoft Bug Says Elden Rings, GTA V Available On Game Pass

Image: Elden Ring / GTA VEarlier this week, some folks checking Microsoft’s Cloud Gaming beta website noticed something weird: listings for games like Elden Ring and Grand Theft Auto V not only said they were part of the company’s Game Pass offering, but would also be playable on the cloud.Here’s a screengrab of Elden Ring’s page taken by @klobrille, clearly showing both the “GAME PASS” badge and the fact that it’s playable on the Cloud Gaming beta:Listings for Grand Theft Auto V (which has already been on the service and left) and, weirdly, Soul Hackers revealed the same thing, in that none of the games had previously been available either on Game Pass or on Cloud Gaming, but now here they were. Even weirder is the fact that none of those things had ever been announced, which you’d think ...
Gaming

Microsoft Schools Sony On How To Better Run PlayStation Plus

Image: Sony / Microsoft / KotakuThat treasure trove of a document filed by Microsoft to the Brazilian competition authorities on Tuesday, in response to Sony’s objections to its efforts to buy Activision Blizzard, contains another absolute gem. In it, Microsoft took time out to tell Sony just how it could (read: should) better run its revamped PS Plus service such that it wouldn’t need to worry so much about competition like, say, Xbox Game Pass.As Kotaku reported earlier, the document—sent as part of one of the many international competition enquiries into Microsoft’s attempt to purchase Activision Blizzard—accuses Sony of creating deals with publishers that prevent games from being allowed to appear on Game Pass, which it cites as an example of Sony’s own competitive behavior. This is ac...
Gaming

Game Pass Vs. The New PS Plus, The Comparison We Had To Make

Image: Sony / Microsoft / KotakuTwo months ago, Sony reimagined PS Plus, its longtime membership program for PlayStation owners. Now, it looks a whole lot like Microsoft’s Game Pass: For roughly the same amount of money, both offer access to a Netflix-style games-on-demand library. Obviously, we had to stack the two services up against each other.PriceGame Pass is available as a subscription for console, PC, or both. The two separated tiers cost $10 a month. Xbox Live Ultimate, which joins the two and provides access to the EA Play Library (a similar games-on-demand service) and Xbox Live Gold, costs $15 a month. There is no way to pay for multiple months or a year up front at a tiered markdown (at least officially).PS Plus is also available for a subscription, but it gets very complicated...
Gaming

Sony Hiring Emulation Engineer Suggesting Hope For PS3 On PS5

Image: SonyA new job ad, reported by PlayStation Lifestyle after being spotted on ResetEra, strongly suggests that Sony might be trying to hire an engineer to get its PS3 emulation sorted. There’s also rumor of getting old PS3 peripherals working on the new machine. Which would all be such a relief.If you have partaken of Sony’s relaunched PlayStation Plus for the PS4 and PS5, you’ll have noticed that when exploring the 400+ games in its extensive archives, everything on PS3 has to be streamed. And oh man, the streaming sucks.The PS5 has, so far, been incapable of running PS3 emulation, which makes for a massive bummer when it comes to missing out on that entire generation of games on modern machines. The rebooted PS+ offers the option to download games from the PS1, PSP, PS2, PS4, and of ...
Gaming

Dude Builds A Working Xbox Series X That’s Over Six-Foot Tall

What is this, a series now? One guy builds a tiny little PS5 so someone else has to go out and build an enormous Xbox Series X?(Obviously not, it’s just weird we’ve got two of these kind of things in one week!)Michael Pick, aka The Casual Engineer, was inspired by Microsoft’s own attempts at turning the Xbox Series X into a fridge, but then equally frustrated that the larger novelty console didn’t actually work as a console anymore. So he set out to make something even bigger, and this time, build something that was still a functional video game console.The result? This enormous Xbox Series X that stands over 2m (6'5") tall and 1m (3') wide. And OK, while this took less hardware sorcery than shrinking a PS5 into a case that was only one inch wide, there’s still an impressive level of craft...
Gaming

Microsoft Claims 50 Games Coming To Xbox In 2022 And 2023

Microsoft aired this graphic during its annual Xbox press conference.Screenshot: Microsoft / KotakuSix months into the year, Xbox’s release calendar is looking slim. Fresh off the heels of an absolutely banger 2021, Microsoft hasn’t released a single first-party tentpole in 2022. But that’s all set to change, Microsoft assured viewers today during its big splashy marketing showcase about big splashy games on the horizon.Halfway through today’s show—which offered long-awaited gameplay reveals for feverishly anticipated games like Starfield and Redfall—Xbox boss Phil Spencer showed off a graphic indicating 50 new games would come to Xbox within the next year. Xbox’s official social media feed tweeted out a slightly altered version of the graphic after the showcase ended:There are some minor ...