Witcher III: The Wild Hunt is coming to Nintendo Switch

When Witcher III: The Wild Hunt was released a few years ago, everyone lost their minds over how great it was. Because my aging 2015 MacBook Pro lacked the guts to even consider running it, I never had the opportunity to take the game for a spin. It looks like the Nintendo Switch--the best port machine ever created--will finally give me a chance to step into Geralt of Rivia's shoes.

From Nintendo:

The Complete Edition contains every piece of downloadable content released for the game, including two massive story expansions: Hearts of Stone & Blood and Wine. It's the perfect opportunity to enter this world for the first time or relive the adventure — on the go! Coming to Nintendo Switch in 2019.

The lack of a firm date for the game's release sucks, but it's not surprising. I suspect it'll be pushed out once the port is damn well good and ready. Being as I've gone this long without playing the game, I suspect I'll survive a little while longer without it.

Image via Flickr, courtesy of BagoGames Read the rest

My On-the-go gaming set-up

Mostly for use during extended camping trips in my Volkswagen camper, I'm running a docked Nintendo Switch and 13.3" 1080p IPS monitor all off of power banks.

Spare me the horseshit about how awful it is I or my kid might play video games inside our camper van while camping. We like to play video games and we're spending a lot of time in our Westy this summer. I wanted my kid and her cousins to be able to play Mario Kart. I like to play Fortnite. This system is getting us hours and hours of playtime.

Nintendo is sensitive to the order in which these devices are plugged together. Failure to follow the correct order frequently results in starting over. I plug a stock Nintendo power supply into this 20,000 mAh AC Outlet bearing power bank. The power bank is rated to 100W and has some internal fans to cool down if it gets too hot. Thus far the Nintendo doesn't force it to cool very often. The Nintendo USB-C power supply evidently will draw a max of 39W and this battery should be more than capable of providing hours and hours of power. Playtesting has shown it to run down about 10% in an hour.

I plug the Nintendo power supply into a Nintendo Switch dock. I then plug an HDMI Cable into the dock. The other end of the cable connects to my 13.3" 1080p IPS display. I use an HDMI to HDMI-mini cable that came included with the monitor. Read the rest

Xbox-branded deodorant and other personal hygiene products

Microsoft and Unilever's Lynx brand have partnered on a line of Xbox personal hygiene products including deodorant, body spray, and shower gel. Whatever gets them to use it, I say. Unfortunately for now, the products will only be available in Australia and New Zealand. From Gamespot:

The official description is simply delightful:

"Lynx Xbox is a fresh scent of pulsing green citrus, featuring top notes of kaffir lime and winter lemon, aromatic herbal middle notes of mint and sage, and woody bottom notes of patchouli and clearwood. Containing a range of natural essential oils, the Xbox Lynx range comes with a sleek new look and features a body spray, deodorant, and shower gel."

Xbox ANZ boss Tania Chee said in a statement that users can spray or wash themselves with Xbox Lynx to "power up" before heading out the door in the morning.

Read the rest

Stephen Colbert plays D&D with Matt Mercer for Red Nose Day

There are so many things to love about Stephen Colbert. For me, his unapologetic nerdiness is high on that list. His obviously large and tender heart is, too. These two impulses come together in this Critcal Role video, done as a fundraiser for Red Nose Day, dedicated to the fight against childhood poverty in America.

In the 52-minute one-on-one D&D adventure, Matt Mercer does a masterful job of taking Stephen, as the half-elf bard, Capo, and his bee sidekick, Eric, on a harrowing adventure in search of the Crimson Sphere of Generosity.

Besides the fun D&D adventure and the do-gooder intent of the episode, we also get to see Stephen play D&D for the first time in some 30 years. His joy and sense of wonder are palpable. He even has to stop to tell Matt how much he's freaking out as childhood memories of playing with friends overwhelm him. "I can feel the chest hairs growing as we speak," he jokes. At one point, Stephen laughs at one of Matt's colorful descriptions of a gory encounter with an undead beast. "I haven't heard the word ichor in over 30 years."

We also learn more about the origins of Stephen's gaming past. He was a Metamorphosis Alpha player before D&D and he got in on D&D early. He even says that he went to GenCon the year that the first AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide was released. And he admits that he still has his friend's copy (they got switched at the con) which was signed by Gary Gygax. Read the rest

Gen Xers, and their kids, play Fortnite together

Fortnite Over Forty has become a booming little community of mature video game enthusiasts who are positive, supportive and inclusive. Mostly we play Fortnite.

A while back some friends and I were looking to play squads in Fortnite that were not populated by random children screaming terrible slurs at us. I am sure the kids are no more friendly to one another, but playing outside a group of trusted friends seems a sure path to learning the latest colloquial epithets. We gave up on random squads and posted here, on Boing Boing.

Now, almost any time I'd like to play Fortnite with some really friendly, completely supportive folks, there is probably a squad or two of players from Fortnite Over Forty online. We have a solid contingent of EU/UK players, NA-East and NA-West going. The Discord is community monitored and other than kicking out SPAMMERS, we've never had a single issue I know of. We take our aggression out on the opposing teams. Many of the parents in the group have gotten comfortable enough that we will sometimes use our children to fill squads or act as ringers. The kids are all super polite and often comically talkative.

There seems to be a solid dislike of the banana skin, however, which has me worried.

No one checks ID, if you'd like to play duos or squads with positive folks, jump on in! Read the rest

Riot Games employees walk out to protest forced arbitration for sexual harassment lawsuits

'League of Legends' developers and others at Riot Games walked out of work en masse on Monday, protesting the company's use of forced arbitration to settle sexual harassment lawsuits. Read the rest

Donald Bell reports on the DIY game goodness from the alt.ctrl showcase at GDC

Our friend Donald Bell put together an excellent little tour of some of the game designs from the alt.ctrl showcase at last week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

And here's a handy link list that Donald provides to the game projects covered:

HELLCOUCH: A Couch Co-op Game (Carol Mertz, Francesca Carletto-Leon) Continuum Bacterium (HNRY) Machinaria (Black Mamba Studio) HOT SWAP: All Hands On Deck (Peter Gyory, Clement Zheng) More details on Mechamagnets More on Alt.Ctrl Game highlights of Alt.Ctrl 2018 Make: Coverage of Alt.Ctrl 2019 Read the rest

DIY: Video game cartridges laser-carved in wood

“I originally only made NES/SNES cartridges out of wood. Someone kept on bugging me to make him a Soul Reaver cartridge, so I eventually made him one. This was made out walnut, cherry and poplar using a laser engraver.” Read the rest

'Verizon Gaming' cloud-based games service coming soon to Android

'Verizon Gaming' is coming soon to Android, and a beta is already running on the Nvidia Shield, per a report from Chris Welch at Verge. Read the rest

This live action Super Smash Brothers video is the best thing you'll see all day

There are few things finer in 2018 than being able to hunker down with a few friends, in person or online, and beat the living crap out of each other over the course of an hour playing Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. For those without a Nintendo Switch, this live action video featuring professional stunt actors beating each other down Super Smash style is the next best thing. Read the rest

Police: kids are being preyed upon by sextortionists while playing Fortnite

In what feels like the one billionth installment of We Can't Have Nice Things, some pervy asshole's been creeping on Fortnite-playing minors. Over the past few weeks, according to police from the Quebec, Canada area, a number of parents have stepped forward to complain that their kids were asked, in-game and via Instagram, to fire over nude photos of themselves. The payoff: ways and means of advancing their in-game prowess. Once the prick had their hands on the pics, the kid that sent them would be threatened: send more or the ones that the pederast already had would be plastered all over the internet.

From The CBC:

Four cases have been reported in the past few weeks, according to police.

In three of those cases, minors were threatened, and in one, the victim sent personal photos to the cyber-predator.

Sgt. Jean-Luc Tremblay with the Richelieu Saint-Laurent police said the predator, or predators, tried to infiltrate groups of friends by offering them a chance to advance their game in exchange for providing revealing photos.

Police are working with school boards in the area to disseminate information about the sextortion.

Being a kid is already difficult enough without having to endure this kind of horse shit. Parents need to be on their guard and kids need to be educated in how to avoid these greasy shits online. It's a mantra that too many people have had to type too many times.

Hopefully, those responsible will have left enough digital breadcrumbs to be tracked down and dealt with--quickly. Read the rest

Game strategy guide publisher Prima is no more

Gamers of a certain age remember what it was like to walk into Game Stop or Electronics Boutique, pick a game, then be tempted by the siren call of a Prima guide at the front counter. Before the Internet offered walk-through videos Twitch streams and online guides, the guides churned out by Prima were one of the best ways to enrich/ruin your gaming experience with all of the hacks, loot locations and maps required to play every game in your library from soup to nuts. Sadly, after years of service to gamers and scads of books, Prima's calling it a day.

From Kotaku:

Thanks to the rise of sites like GameFAQs—and major gaming publications like IGN commissioning their own online guides, which bring in monstrous amounts of traffic—print strategy guides have struggled for years now. In 2015, Prima purchased and swallowed its biggest competitor, BradyGames, and has been consistently churning out guides for both print and the web, but it wasn’t enough to survive what the company called “a significant decline” in the world of print video game guides.

I feel a lot of nostagia for Prima's dead tree guides, but they've honestly have had their day. Books were fine back in the days before updates, expansion packs and patches. But as games have become more dynamic, the books became far less useful and were often out-of-date within weeks of hitting store shelves.

Image via Custom Tombstone Maker Read the rest

Review: Diablo III for Nintendo Switch is the best way to play this much-loved game

Blizzard games have staying power. They're incredibly well crafted and designed to run on a wide spectrum of Windows PCs and Macs, both low powered and high. New content? They're all over it. I can't think of a single one of their titles that hasn't received multiple updates, oft-times for free, in the past decade.

I played Diablo III on my Mac. When it came out for PS3, I played it there, too. It's a game that I return to time and time again, not because it is particularly challenging, but because of the grind: there's always something new to find--a new piece of gear that'll give the character that you're playing a slightly different way to play. So, when I tell you that Diablo III Eternal Collection for Nintendo Switch is pretty much the same deal as Diablo III played on any platform, you'll understand that what I actually mean is that it's great.

I've always preferred playing Diablo III with a game controller over a mouse and keyboard. I like that a wee flick of the right thumbstick will send my hero rolling out of the way of danger. This was one of the first things I tested when I loaded up the copy of the game that Blizzard sent to me last week. The thumb-flick works with the Switch. The rest of the game's controls are similar to what I remember from my PS3 as well. You can't remap your controller's buttons, but your powers and attacks are laid out well enough in the game that it's not a hassle to use them, arbitrary or not. Read the rest

Watch this journalist uncover how games mess with his brain

There's a lot of text out about how, for better or worse, playing computer games will mess with your brains. Instead of adding to the pile of words already scrawled on the subject, WIRED's Peter Rubin took it upon himself to work up a video that examines how gaming messes with his brain in particular. Read the rest

Video game catalog from 1996 is a wonderland of gamer nostalgia

If you weren't a kid or a nerd in the '90s, these video game advertisements might look strange. Read the rest

How to modify your Nintendo Switch game case to hold up to 24 games (cheap gamer tricks)

“I modified a standard Nintendo Switch game case to hold up to 24 games,” says IMGURian MrJspeed, who provides a killer step-by-step HOWTO for gamers who'd like to try this instead of buying a multi-game carrying case. Read the rest

Sony to retire PS Vita in 2019

We've come to the end of an era in portable gaming: according to Engadget, Sony has announced that they'll cease producing their handheld PS Vita in Japan, next year.

At the 2018 Tokyo Game Show, Sony has announced the birth of a new product and what could possibly be the final nail in the coffin for another. Sony Interactive Entertainment SVP Hiroyuki Oda has revealed that the company will cease PS Vita's production in Japan sometime in 2019. Further, he said the electronics/gaming giant has no plans to create a successor, echoing Shuhei Yoshida's revelation way back in 2015 that Sony doesn't see a market for a follow-up to the handheld console.

That it's not going to be produced for the Japanese market any longer is likely the final nail in the PS Vita's coffin. Japan was the nation where the handheld was most popular. If it's dead there, it'll soon be dead everywhere else as well. I for one am sad to see it go. I have a large library of PS Vita and PSP games that I still enjoy goofing on, from time to time. The size of the PS Vita and its performance made it an enjoyable piece of kit, for me. I ran out to buy one as soon as it became available in Canada and never regretted the decision.

Image via Wikipedia Read the rest

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