Wednesday, October 5

Tag: Microsoft

Gaming

Controversial Executive Steps Down From Call Of Duty Publisher

Screenshot: CBS Viacom / KotakuIn a past life, Frances Townsend defended the legal basis for the torture method called waterboarding during George W. Bush’s war on terror. In a more recent one, she helped lead Activision Blizzard’s initially tone-deaf response to a major sexual harassment lawsuit by the state of California. Now she’s stepping down as the Call of Duty publisher’s chief compliance officer after less than two years in the position.CEO Bobby Kotick announced the move to staff in an email on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reports. Despite stepping down from the position, Townsend will still remain an official advisor to Kotick and to Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors, over which Kotick presides. This shift in the company’s governing structure comes as Microsoft tries ...
Gaming

17-Year-Old Suspected GTA 6 Leaker Has Been Arrested

Image: Rockstar GamesToday, London City Police announced they had arrested a 17-year-old from Oxfordshire Thursday evening. While the police have yet to confirm why, it’s been reported that the teen was arrested in connection with the recent Uber and Grand Theft Auto VI leaks. The suspect remains in City Police custody at this time.As reported by The Desk and reporter Matthew Keys, the arrest of the suspected 17-year-old GTA hacker by police in the United Kingdom was part of an investigation being conducted by the FBI and the UK’s Cyber Crime Unit. It had previously been reported that the FBI was likely looking into the recent hacks at Uber and Rockstar Games. A source told The Desk that the teenager is being held on numerous charges, including conspiracy to attack at least two different ...
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

Call Of Duty Remains On PlayStation A Few More Years

Sony gets “several more years” of joint custody over Call of Duty with Microsoft.Photo: Activision / Kotaku / Barone Firenze (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)Good news PlayStation Call of Duty players: Microsoft says you get to have “several more years” of playing the shoot-bang game on your Sony console. According to The Verge, earlier this year Microsoft’s Xbox boss Phil Spencer made that commitment to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan in a written letter saying that Call of Duty wasn’t going to disappear off the PlayStation storefront anytime soon if Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is approved by regulators.“In January, we provided a signed agreement to Sony to guarantee Call of Duty on PlayStation, with feature and content parity, for at least several more years beyond the current S...
Gaming

Tencent And Sony Acquire 30% Of Elden Ring Maker FromSoftware

Image: FromSoftwareElden Ring wasn’t just a hit with fans of FromSoftware’s notoriously difficult action-RPGs. Today Tencent Holdings and Sony announced they’ve acquired 30% of the Souls-series developer’s shares, split in favor of Tencent. FromSoftware is expected to gain $260 million from the arrangement.Today’s announcement from FromSoft’s parent company Kadokawa revealed that Sony and Tencent are acquiring 14.09% and 16.25% of FromSoft, respectively. The statement indicates that Kadokawa wants FromSoftware to be able to expand its development efforts; Kadokawa sees the “enhancement of capabilities for the creation, development and deployment of [FromSoft] game IP as one of the [Kadokawa] Group’s highest priorities.”One of the aims is to give FromSoft the resources needed to grow Elden ...
Gaming

AI Generated Art Is A Copyright, Ethical And Working Dystopia

It’s August 2022, and by now you’ve no doubt read (or more likely seen) something about AI art. Whether it’s random jokes made for Twitter or paintings that look like they were made by actual human beings, artificial intelligence’s ability to create art has exploded onto the scene over the last few months, and while this has been great news for shitposts and fans of tech, it has also raised a number of important questions and concerns. If you haven’t read or seen anything about the subject, AI art—at least as it exists in the state we know it today—is, as Ahmed Elgammal writing in American Scientist so neatly puts it, made when “artists write algorithms not to follow a set of rules, but to ‘learn’ a specific aesthetic by analyzing thousands of images. The algorithm then tries to generate n...
Gaming

Sony’s Death Stranding Comes To PC Game Pass Next Week

Screenshot: 505 GamesIn a most peculiar state of affairs, PlayStation console exclusive, Death Stranding, is coming to Microsoft’s PC Game Pass. Subscribers to the latter service will soon be able to fall over on a hill for no additional cost.The news was announced by Microsoft via a neat tweet, showing a Sam “Porter Bridges”-a-like carrying a metal case across an airfield, sporting a sticker boasting “DEATH STRANDING - PC GAME PASS - AUGUST 23, 2022.”2019's Sony-published wobbly-man simulator has been available on PC for a couple of years, ported across eight months after its original release. That was via Italian publisher 505 Games, and it’s this company that has made the deal with Kojima Productions to see the game arrive on PC Game Pass.Despite 505 also releasing a PC version of the D...
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...