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Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding World Record Uncovers Problem With the Game

Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding World Record Uncovers Problem With the Game

  • Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima has achieved two Guinness World Records.
  • Kojima is the most followed video game director on Twitter and Instagram.
  • However, the records may reveal a problem with Death Stranding.

The Guinness World Records Twitter account announced that Death Stranding director Hideo Kojima is now a two-time world record holder. Kojima, who also created the Metal Gear Solid series, is officially the most followed game director on Twitter and Instagram.

On Twitter, Kojima has 2.8 million followers on his English account, while his Japanese account has 814,500 followers. On Instagram, Kojima has 931,000 followers. Cliff Bleszinski, another popular game director, has just 618,700 followers on Twitter. God of War game director Cory Barlog has just 156,300 followers on the site.

Kojima’s career in the games industry began in 1986, and he has been popular from then on. However, Kojima’s following on social media has really grown since announcing Death Stranding in 2016. Posts from the developer range from character and casting announcements to new Death Stranding trailers and a look at the development process for the game. There have also been new posters and images with clues for fans to try and understand.

These posts have done great things for Kojima’s follower counts, but they may reveal a major problem with Death Stranding. Several of the negative Death Stranding reviews and player criticisms of the game have said that it doesn’t have much gameplay and what gameplay it does have isn’t entertaining. The game doesn’t reach the expectations that fans had for it, which had been set because of posts like those shared on Kojima’s social media.

Source: TwitterSource: Twitter

What the record confirms is that many fans were more excited about what Kojima was posting on social media than they are about the game now that it has been released. In tweets, players have suggested that Kojima should have called the game a walking simulator when revealing more about it. That wouldn’t have helped the developer reach these records, though, which means that the social posts did what they were meant to.

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

Last modified: November 13, 2019 00:25 UTC

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Google’s Impressive Launch Lineup Gives Stadia a Fighting Chance

Google’s Impressive Launch Lineup Gives Stadia a Fighting Chance

  • Google has announced the Stadia launch lineup of games and it isn’t half bad.
  • Among them are Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and the first Stadia exclusive, Gylt.
  • Will they be enough to tempt early adopters to the platform?

A week away from the release of Google’s first proper foray into gaming, the tech giant has unveiled the lineup of games coming to Stadia at launch.

With much still up in the air as to the viability of the platform, notably in terms of performance and latency concerns, this more than respectable roster may very well give Stadia a fighting chance.

Source: Google

Google Stadia Launch Lineup

From Nov. 19, a Stadia subscription grants access to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2 The Collection, Gylt, Just Dance 2020, Kine, Mortal Kombat 11, Red Dead Redemption 2, Samurai Shodown, Thumper, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition.

The jewel in the crown is unquestionably Red Dead Redemption 2. Without it, a lackluster veneer would coat the lineup and Google has done well to secure Rockstar’s blessing. We imagine the Stadia version resembles the recently launched PC version but backed by Google’s beefy server hardware setup.

Google says;

We’re launching Stadia with 12 carefully-chosen games on day one, and an additional 14 will be available by the end of the year. There’s something for everyone here: a library of superb, critically-acclaimed titles spanning multiple genres and age ratings.

And, we are hard-pressed to disagree. The company has done well to ally acclaimed AAA titles with a few choice indies thrown in, alongside the first Stadia exclusive Gylt from the Spanish studio responsible for the excellent Rime, Tequila Works.

Source: Rockstar Games

Can Old Games Tempt Early Adopters?

The only real gripe is that many of these games are at best six-months-old (except for Kine, which released last month), if not older. And much the same can be said for the fourteen titles set to join the roster before the close of 2019. These include Borderlands 3 and Metro Exodus. Great games in their own right, but not exactly new.

Aside from the unproven performance, there’s another major hurdle to Stadia’s success – the cost of games alongside a monthly subscription. Whether this launch lineup can tempt users to part with their cash will have a long-lasting effect on how the cloud streaming platform fares moving forward. Shipping troubles may also play their part.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

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Google Ruined the AR Dream – Apple & Pokemon Raised It from the Dead

Google Ruined the AR Dream – Apple & Pokemon Raised It from the Dead

  • Augmented reality used to be one of the tech industry’s hottest fads, until the Google Glass squashed that dream.
  • However, Apple and Valve seem to be working together on new AR tech.
  • Meanwhile, Pokemon Go creator Niantic has made some pretty impressive AR software advancements.

Back in the day, we used to think that augmented reality was the future. Everything from phone games to the Nintendo 3DS attempted to hop on the AR bandwagon. For a little while, it seemed like the world would soon be entirely overlayed with sci-fi graphics.

We can probably thank Google Glass for ruining that particular dream. Turns out, it’s no good having a groundbreaking piece of technology if it makes you look like a prat.

Apple + Valve = Every Nerd’s Fantasy

Apple is reportedly hopping back on the AR bandwagon, with a little help from Valve. | Source: hurricanehank/Shutterstock.com

Well, the dream was somewhat rekindled lately when information about an Apple and Valve AR partnership leaked.

A little while ago, Apple had supposedly stopped production on their AR device. Now, it turns out they’ve shifted their production to another company, reportedly Valve. If true, it means that we might be receiving a piece of AR tech with the design philosophy of Apple and the software resources of Valve.

Apart from being a nerd fantasy, this product could potentially bring wearable AR tech to the masses.

Initially, the device was being designed as primarily an iPhone accessory. While this still may be the case, color me skeptical that things haven’t changed. With Valve on the team, it’s unlikely that this AR tech will just relay screen notifications.

Pokemon Go Creator Teases Amazing AR Advances

Hardware advancements haven’t been the only major leap forward.

Niantic, creators of Pokemon Go, have been making some pretty huge strides forward in AR software. With their neural network, it is now possible to bring occlusion into the mix. For those not technically inclined, it basically means making stuff disappear when it’s behind something.

Sure, it might not sound amazing, but it’s another step closer to immersive AR:

They also showed off their new real-time AR multiplayer gaming, which has some pretty crazy potential all on its own (beyond its inclusion in Pokemon Go).

Imagine wearing AR goggles, meeting up with friends, and being able to play laser tag in your local park. All with hyper-immersive graphics. That alone should be enough to get you excited.

All that we need now is for Apple’s new AR product to come out and not look totally ridiculous, which shouldn’t be too hard considering how much money they have to put into the design.

It would also help if the release of the product helped Google to get over the crippling fear of AR that Google Glass thrust upon them. For now, it seems like wishful thinking, but with so many advances happening in AR right now, it’s hard not to imagine the possibilities.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Last modified: November 10, 2019 17:33 UTC

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What’s Sony Planning With Obscure New PlayStation Cartridge Patent?

What’s Sony Planning With Obscure New PlayStation Cartridge Patent?

  • Sony files patent for PlayStation cartridge in Brazil.
  • Resembles chunky Nintendo 64 cartridges.
  • Is Sony planning a new handheld device to rival Nintendo Switch Lite?

Sony Interactive Entertainment filed a patent for what appears to be a PlayStation cartridge patent with the Brazilian INPI patent body on Nov. 5.

PlayStation Cartridge Patent

The news comes courtesy of Dutch site LetsGoDigital, the same publication responsible for uncovering the PlayStation 5 dev kit registered via the same office back in June. That specific rumor turned out to be accurate, so we can take this one with a degree of credibility.

The cartridge design was registered by the same person as the PS5 patent, Senior Art Director at the Corporate Design Center of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Yujin Morisawa. Morisawa has had a hand in most of the PlayStation products in the past 15-years, which suggests the cartridge is somehow linked to the brand.

Sony filed a patent for this cartridge design. | Source: INPI ((Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial) Brasil

The registration comes with one illustration that shows a chunky rectangular block reminiscent of the Nintendo 64 cartridges. There seems to be a device connection point near the bottom. As well as an indentation near the top that is presumably for game title/art labels.

Sony registered the cartridge as an electronic game accessory, but beyond that, there’s very little to go on.

A New Handheld Console?

Sony has pushed out four (nearly five) iterations of its standalone PlayStation home console, but none of them have ever employed cartridge-based media in any shape or form. As such, we’re at odds to understand how Sony plans to incorporate the cartridges into the PlayStation 5 eco-system. Especially, as we already know it will feature a Blu-Ray disc drive.

As such, a new device seems the most likely contender. But, once again, we can throw a few spokes in the wheels of that possibility. Sony used physical cartridges in the PlayStation Vita (before ceasing production earlier this year), but explained several times that it was moving away from handheld consoles. The gaming giant stated the advent of mobile gaming and the lackluster response to the Vita as obstacles.

Spurred on by the success of Nintendo Switch Lite, is Sony planning to return to the handheld market? Or, are we in the midst of some bizarre trolling ploy on Sony’s part?

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

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Kojima Plans to Make Movies and We All Know They’ll Be Insane

Kojima Plans to Make Movies and We All Know They’ll Be Insane

  • Hideo Kojima has announced his intention to make movies.
  • Any movies Kojima makes are going to be as bonkers as his games are.
  • No matter how bad they end up being they’ll likely make tons of money.

Famed director of cinematic games, Hideo Kojima, finally revealed recently that his studio Kojima Productions would eventually start making movies. It all came out thanks to a BBC documentary into the making of Death Stranding. As well as saying that he would start making films Kojima said:

“If a person can do one thing well, then they should be able to do anything well.”

Oh dear.

Apart from the obvious fact that making good films doesn’t mean you’ll make good games and vice-versa, we should probably all stop and take a minute to think about what this means.

Kojima’s Plotlines are Insane

In case you aren’t aware of any of Kojima’s previous works (how?) let me remind you of a vague overview of some plot points from the Metal Gear Solid franchise. A trio of rapidly aging clones is created of a mercenary/terrorist who may or may have had a robot arm in the 80s. Actually he definitely didn’t because SPOILER ALERT he also brainwashed someone else into being him for a bit. One of said three clones has to sneak around an island-based, fighting a psychic Russian, an Alaskan Shaman, and a cyborg ninja. His main ally was a nerdy scientist who wet himself.

That description might sound like a lot, but that’s mostly taken from 1 game. Things that happen in other games get even more insane, and only more so as Kojima’s career has progressed. Can you imagine a 3-hour long exposition dump supported by the oddest cast imaginable? Because that’s exactly what a movie written and directed by Kojima is going to be.

And yet They’ll Be Insanely Succesful

The other thing you can be sure of with Kojima’s first movie is that it is going to make insane amounts of money. Even if the script is all painful, pretentious analogies to consumerism and overblown exposition, Kojima is still going to make money. It won’t even matter how bad the reviews are. Kojima will walk away as a winner.

While Kojima’s work is universally bonkers, it’s also usually pretty fun and ridiculous. Sure Metal Gear Solid had like 3 hours of cutscenes where people sat around talking about political intrigue, DARPA and stolen nuclear weapons. It also had a scene filled with diarrhea jokes because why not have that scene?

Any movie written by Kojima is liable to have that same blend of complete insanity and humor. The main problems are that he thinks he is good at films because he makes games, and that without the ‘game’ part of his stories to keep things interesting they’re liable to just devolve into ramblings about conspiracies and everyone will fall asleep.

Source: PlayStation

What the Future Holds

With Kojima finally making the move into film-making we could be seeing a brave new world. A world where artistry is no longer constrained by the medium. A world in which famed directors can make the transition from movies to games and vice-versa with no problems.

Actually, scratch that. Just because you’re good at one medium doesn’t mean you will be at another. In fact, if Kojima goes into films thinking he knows what he is doing, then his first movie is going to suck. Trust me, film-making is tough and completely unlike making games. Unless Kojima plans on just stapling together all of the MGS cutscenes into a movie, then the world is in for a treat when his first film releases.

If you need any further proof just look at Death Stranding’s most common criticism. The fact that it was as boring as all sin. This doesn’t necessarily bode well for a Kojima movie, dull, and loaded with exposition and tropes.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Last modified: November 8, 2019 10:30 UTC

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Is Nintendo Trying to Trick Its Customers for Black Friday?

Is Nintendo Trying to Trick Its Customers for Black Friday?

  • Nintendo has released their Black Friday deals for 2019.
  • This deal may be a bit familiar to those who shopped for a Switch last year.
  • The included model is actually the older one with poor battery life, which Nintendo does not make clear.

Black Friday is approaching, which means deals from every corner. From gaming to books everything goes on sale for rock-bottom prices, and American citizens all over the country try to kill each other for them. What a wonderful time of year.

It’s not all happiness and sunshine though. Nintendo appears to be trying to fool their potential customers with their latest Black Friday offering. It might be worth looking at the fine print before investing in a Switch bundle this year.

The deal being offered is the exact same one as last year. | Source: Business Wire

The Problem With the Switch Black Friday Bundle

The big issue with the Switch bundle isn’t immediately apparent. As advertised in many outlets recently, you will soon be able to get your hands on a Nintendo Switch console and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for $299.99. The Nintendo premium is coming into play yet again, as this is the same exact deal offered on the console for last Black Friday in many places.

That’s not the real issue though. The real issue is that if you look closely, you’ll find out that this deal includes the previous model version of the Switch. The one with  2.5 – 6 hours of battery life. If you’re unaware, the Switch recently had a model revision that took the battery life up to 4.5 – 9 hours instead.

It basically seems like Nintendo is trying to unload its inferior stock onto consumers without actually lowering the price at all. Talk about your shady sh*t.

It’s All in the Fine Print

Possibly the worst part about this entire situation is that it’s not even made clear. The only place which does make it obvious is the fine print of a press release. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the release, you’ll see an asterisk from Nintendo themselves.

*Includes original Nintendo Switch model HAC-001. Battery performance ranges from 2.5 to 6.5 hours. For more information, see support.nintendo.com/switch/battery.

If I were you, I’d just plumb for a Switch Lite. They cost around $200 and have dramatically improved battery life, without having to worry about checking the fine print. Considering that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is only about $60, that’ll still be cheaper.

Nintendo Act Like Monsters

This dodgy deal really is the height of skullduggery from a company more than willing to screw over their customers. Nintendo seem to be getting progressively worse and worse for their consumers. Their online services are a complete joke, they’re constantly producing crappy, micro-transaction-riddled mobile games, and they refuse to accept responsibility for their Joy-Con screw-up.

Worse than anything they do it all with a non-threatening smile on their face, claiming to have their customers’ best interests at heart. My main retort to that would have to be: What sodding heart?

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

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