Shovel Knight will dig into the Xbox One in April with the Battletoads

Shovel Knight won’t just be debuting on PlayStation platforms this April. The paladin who wields a gardening instrument of justice will also make his way to the Xbox One next month. And he’s not coming alone.

Microsoft and Yacht Club Games have confirmed that the Xbox One (and Windows 10) version of Shovel Knight will include a cameo appearance from the Battletoads. Zitz, Pimple, and Rash have taken a hiatus from the game world for too long, and it’s great to see them back in the spotlight. It’s unknown how they’ll feature in the game, but if it’s anything like Kratos’ planned cameo, they challenge Shovel Knight to a miniboss fight.

The new-generation version of Shovel Knight is currently playable at this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and will also be available at this weekend’s PAX East expo in Boston.

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MS opens up Windows 10 Store to ID@Xbox program with 17 games including Shovel Knight/Battletoads crossover

Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 a platform for gaming, and to do that, they plan to open the Windows 10 Store up to independent game developers through their ID@Xbox program. The first batch of ID@Xbox games through the Windows 10 Store will include 17 titles. Some of these games are currently available (or will be available soon) for the PC through Steam or other download services, but many of them will be brand new to the platform when Windows 10 launches later this year.

However, the biggest news to come out of this announcement is that the Battletoads will return in one of these ID@Xbox games. Zitz, Pimple, and Rash won’t be starring in their own adventure (yet), but they will provide assistance to Yacht Club’s Shovel Knight when his eponymous game appears on the Windows 10 Store. The Behemoth confirmed that their next project, Game 4, will also appear on the Windows 10 platform, putting an end to its previously announced Xbox One exclusivity.

Many ID@Xbox titles on Windows 10 will provide cross-platform multiplayer with their Xbox One counterpart (if they have an Xbox One counterpart) and the developers interviewed in the Microsoft-produced video above seem very happy with the ease of the development environment.

The rest of the games that comprise ID@Xbox’s “tip of the iceberg” on Windows 10 can be found after the break.

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Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a standalone prequel to New Order and it’ll be out this May

Wolfenstein: The New Order was one of 2014’s most interesting surprises. MachineGames brought the franchise back from the brink of obscurity and completely knocked it out of the park. So I’m quite pleased that the developer (and publisher Bethesda Softworks) have announced a standalone prequel known as Wolfenstein: The Old Blood.

The Old Blood will take players back to the waning days of World War II and one of B.J. Blazkowicz’s final missions. The famed Nazi fighter will have to venture back to Castle Wolfenstein in search of a missing map in this digital download for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One (which has been priced at $19.99). You can read more about Blazkowicz’s mission here or watch the debut trailer above, which excellently apes the style used by movie trailers in the post-war period.

The year is 1946 and the Nazis are on the brink of winning World War II. In an effort to turn the tide in the Allies’ favor, B.J. Blazkowicz must embark on an epic, two-part mission deep within Bavaria. Part one of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – “Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves” – pits B.J. Blazkowicz against a maniacal prison warden as he breaks into Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to steal the coordinates to General Deathshead’s compound. In part two – “The Dark Secrets of Helga Von Schabbs” – our hero’s search for the coordinates leads him to the city of Wulfburg where an obsessed Nazi archaeologist is exhuming mysterious artifacts that threaten to unleash a dark and ancient power.

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood will be available on May 5, but if you’re attending PAX East this weekend, Bethesda’s Pete Hines and Matt Grandstaff will host a gameplay walkthrough at the Twitch booth. If you’re not attenting PAX East, you can still view a livestream of the event at Twitch.TV/twitch on both Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 at 10:30 AM (Eastern Time).

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Xbox Store Today: ScreamRide, Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2, Shiftlings


Are you ready to scream your head off this week? I hope so, as Microsoft and Frontier Developments have added ScreamRide to the Xbox Games Store on both the Xbox One and Xbox 360. This coaster creator comes from the same team responsible for RollerCoaster Tycoon and Thrillville, so there’s definitely going to be more to ScreamRide than a bored teenager pulling a lever and asking you to keep your arms and legs inside the car at all time.

Also available this week is the Xbox One and Xbox 360 launch of “Contemplation,” the second episode from Resident Evil Revelations 2. Capcom has plans to complete this chapter of the Resident Evil saga in a timely manner as the remaining two episodes should launch next week and the week after, respectively.

Finally this week, Sierra will add the Xbox One game Shiftlings to the Xbox Games Store. Shiftlings is a colorful platformer that stars a pair of space janitors who are attempting to fix all the broken gadgetry in the universe.

More information on all of this week’s new releases can be found after the break.

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Sony improves Project Morpheus virtual reality headset ahead of 2016 launch


Hot on the heels of Valve’s announcement of their Vive virtual reality headset, Sony has stormed the stage at this year’s Game Developers Conference with a brand new version of their Project Morpheus. Like Valve, Sony is ready to vaguely talk about a release date and they confirmed that Project Morpheus will be available in the first half of 2016. Their latest prototype also includes a number of improvements over the previous publicly-displayed version:

  • OLED Display: In exchange for the 5-inch LCD, the new Morpheus VR headset is equipped with a 5.7-inch 1920 X RGB X 1080 resolution OLED display. This new screen expands the field of view and enables low persistence, removing motion blur.
  • 120hz Refresh Rate: The previous refresh rate spec has been doubled for this new prototype, which means games for Morpheus can be rendered at 120fps. When combined with the OLED display’s high refresh rate and the power of PS4, Morpheus is able to output amazingly smooth visuals.
  • Super Low Latency: We know how critical low latency is to delivering a great VR experience, and we’ve reduced latency to less than 18ms, about half of what the first Morpheus prototype had. Low latency is critical to deliver a sense of presence, at the same time making the VR experience comfortable to players.
  • More Accurate Tracking: To make positional tracking more precise, we’ve added three LEDs to the headset (one on the front and two on the side) for a total of nine LEDs to support robust 360° tracking.
  • User-Friendly Design: We’ve made the Morpheus VR headset easier to put on and take off, with a single band design and quick release button. The headband supports the weight of the unit on the top of your head, so there is no pressure on your face. Other components have also been adjusted and configured to make the headset lighter, so that players do not find the headset cumbersome or uncomfortable to use.

Sony was not ready to discuss a price point for Project Morpheus, but they were all too happy to show off a new tech demo known as “London Heist.” The title couldn’t be more descriptive as the demo drops players into the middle of a heist in the heart of London that quickly devolves into a shootout. Polygon‘s Ben Kuchera was incredibly complimentary about the demo in his preview. Hopefully something like it is development for Project Morpheus’ launch next year.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

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PS4 Sales Update: 20.2 Million Consoles and Counting


In a short announcement, Sony has announced that more than 20.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles have been sold as of March 1, 2015. After 15 months on the market, the PS4 is already a quarter of the way towards matching the PS3’s lifetime sales total of more than 80 million consoles.

“We are so grateful for the enormous support from PlayStation fans worldwide, and we are truly humbled that gamers around the globe have continued to select PS4 as the best place to play,” said Andrew House, the President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver unique and interactive entertainment experiences powered by the network and the PS4 system’s deep social capabilities.”

The PS4’s sales milestone also puts it well ahead of this generation’s other consoles. Microsoft hasn’t announced hard sales numbers in nearly a year, and current estimates place the Xbox One’s userbase in the vicinity of ten million consoles sold. Nintendo is most likely in third place in the eighth generation horse race as the consolemaker confirmed last month that they’ve sold 9.2 million Wii U consoles.

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PS Store Today: Helldivers, RE Revelations 2: Episode 2, Zombie Army Trilogy, more

Sony kicks off their eight-week Spring Fever promotion with Helldivers, a top-down shooter set in a dystopian future where players are tasked with defending mankind from a horde of alien invaders. It sounds like a good time will be had by all. And I do mean all, Helldivers is a Cross-Buy title compatible with the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita.

Also available this week is the PS3 and PS4 launch of “Contemplation,” the second episode from Resident Evil Revelations 2. Capcom has plans to complete this chapter of the Resident Evil saga in a timely manner as the remaining two episodes should launch next week and the week after, respectively. If Resident Evil doesn’t have enough zombie Nazis for your taste, then prepare to square off against undead Hitler in Rebellion’s Zombie Army Trilogy, which will also be released for the PS4 this week.

Something slightly less horrifying will be available for PS4 and Vita owners as OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood will take the side-scrolling skater off the streets and onto the set of a blockbuster film. Can you skate on top of the Olliwood sign? Yes, yes you can. Finally this week, La-Mulana EX will make Vita owners very happy as the cave exploration title will appear on Sony’s handheld in its most complete edition yet.

More details about these games (and a few more new releases) can be found after the break. A full rundown of this week’s new game add-ons and discounts can be found at the PlayStation Blog.

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September 1 release date for MGS5: Phantom Pain leaked ahead of big announcement


It’s hard to believe that news this big would just sneak out of Konami, but it looks like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be released on September 1. The news comes courtesy of a a behind-the-scenes interview with Hideo Kojima that IGN accidentally published a day earlier than planned. Several sites (including Game Informer) peeked at the video before it was pulled and shared the good news with the world.

Kojima had a few other interesting tidbits to share in the video including the fact that Snake will be more of a “silent protagonist” in The Phantom Pain. If that’s true, then why hire Kiefer Sutherland? Rather than expound on that puzzling question, Kojima reiterated (again) that The Phantom Pain will be his last time directing a Metal Gear Solid game:

“I always say this will be my last Metal Gear, but the games in the series I’ve personally designed and produced: Metal Gear on MSX, Metal Gear 2, Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, 3, 4, and Peace Walker, and now Metal Gear Solid V are what constitute a single Metal Gear saga,” he says. “With Metal Gear Solid V, I’m finally closing the loop on that saga. In that sense, this will be the final Metal Gear Solid. Even if the Metal Gear franchise continues, to me, this is the last Metal Gear.”

Konami acknowledged the leak on Twitter, but they also promised players that more Metal Gear-related announcements will be made tomorrow (at 12:00 PM Eastern Time) when their countdown expires.

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