Call of Duty: WWII's latest limited-time event has been announced for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and it looks like a big one. Called The Resistance, it's free and adds a bunch of new game modes and gear, as well as a new Division.
The highlight of the event is the new Division, also called the Resistance. As with the other Divisions, it functions as a playable class, with class-specific abilities and perks. This Division's strengths are close-quarters combat, and its perks include a Pistol Tactical Knife, the ability to scramble nearby enemy mini-maps, and a mini-map symbol showing the direction of nearby foes.
The event also marks the return of the Prop Hunt game mode to Call of Duty. It's similar to hide-and-seek, where one team takes control of inanimate objects and attempts to blend in and avoid the hunting team. You can also try out Demolition, a game mode similar to Search and Destroy, except with respawning turned on.
Finally, The Resistance also includes new weapons and gear. The Volkssturmgewehr assault rifle, the Orso SMG, and the Combat Knife can all be acquired by completing Orders. In addition, players can snag a free Resistance supply drop every week until the end of the event.
The event begins on January 23 and runs through February 27, and it coincides with the launch of the game's first DLC pack (also called The Resistance) on January 30 on PS4. The DLC will come to other platforms later on. The pack includes three new multiplayer maps, a new War Mode map, and a new Zombies map. In other news, Call of Duty: WWII recently received a new update that buffs the sawed-off shotgun.
As more time passes since the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, several discussions about events in the film are taking place. Thankfully, director Rian Johnson seems to be addressing many of them head-on. Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi follow.
Days after explaining why he chose not to feature the Knights of Ren in the movie, Johnson is now sending a message to those who think Luke Skywalker projecting a vision of himself to fight Kylo Ren makes no sense in the Star Wars galaxy. As it turns out, not only does it make sense, but the director had the books to prove it.
In a series of tweets, Johnson went to his own personal library, where a copy of The Jedi Path is kept. The book, written by Daniel Wallace, is a guide to Jedi history and powers written for Lucasfilm. It's essentially a real-world version of the sacred Jedi texts. In it is a passage about doppelgangers.
👀— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) January 19, 2018
In full, the passage reads, "Doppelganger, or Simulfuturus, permits a Jedi to create a short-lived duplicate of himself or herself or an external object that is visually indistinguishable from the real item. Those who have perfected the ability can create phantoms of any person of their choosing or trick an enemy into seeing more objects, such as droids, than are actually present."
Clearly, Johnson did his homework when it came to crafting the script to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As for whether it changes how fans view the film is up to them. The director continuing to discuss the film a month after release just goes to show how important the subject matter is to him, though.
Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon launched for 3DS back in November, marking the mainline series' swan song on Nintendo's dual-screen handheld. As it did for the original Sun and Moon versions, The Pokemon Company is continuing to support the pair in the months following their release with free items and Pokemon. The company has a lot of giveaways lined up for 2018, which it has dubbed the Year of Legendary Pokemon, though those certainly won't be the only freebies players can expect to find this year.
We've rounded up all of the free distributions currently running for Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon below, many of which are also open to Sun and Moon players. We'll be updating this list as more giveaways are announced, so check back often to see what free items and Pokemon you can get. In the meantime, you can learn more about the latest Pokemon games in our rundown of everything new in Pokemon Ultra Sun And Ultra Moon. We also break down the differences between Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, if you're still unsure of which version to pick up.
Dialga/Palkia -- Feb. 2-28
Kicking off the Year of Legendary Pokemon are the Space and Time Pokemon, Palkia and Dialga. The two are being distributed in the US at GameStop from February 2-28, while UK residents can pick them up from participating Game stores. The Legendary you receive will depend on which version you have: players with either Sun or Ultra Sun receive Palkia, while those playing either Moon or Ultra Moon get Dialga. You'll need to redeem your download code by May 23 to claim the Legendaries.
Unlike most other gift Pokemon, the Mythical Steel/Fairy-type, Magearna, is not available through the Mystery Gift feature, but via a QR code, which is compatible with Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon. After defeating the Elite Four and completing the main story, you can use the QR Scanner to scan the code below. Once you've done that, visit the Antiques shop in Hau'oli City and pick your Magearna up from the deliveryman waiting there.
Celebi -- Ends Sep. 21
Players who purchase either Pokemon Gold or Silver from the 3DS Eshop by September 21, 2018 will receive a bonus download code for the Mythical Pokemon Celebi. The code can be redeemed in Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, or Ultra Moon. We've outlined the steps you need to take to find and redeem the code here.
While 2017 was packed with an assortment of amazing games, 2018 is primed with its own roster of exciting games, including heavy hitters like Red Dead Redemption 2, Anthem, God of War, Kingdom Hearts III, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and much more. To help you keep track of all the games coming out, we've compiled the release dates of all the biggest ones confirmed to come out in 2018 so far.
Be sure to check back often as we update this article with more release dates or any potential changes to any of the dates below. And if you're eager to figure out the release dates from games last year, you can also reference our feature on the game release dates of 2017.
|The Escapists 2||Switch||January 11|
|Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition||PS4, PC||January 16|
|Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory||PS4, Vita||January 19|
|Kirby Battle Royale||3DS||January 19|
|Lost Sphear||PS4, Switch, PC||January 23|
|OK KO: Let's Play Heroes||PS4, Xbox One, PC||January 23|
|The Inpatient||PSVR||January 23|
|Velocity 2X: Critical Mass Edition||PS4, Vita||January 23|
|The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia||PS4||January 25|
|Dragon Ball FighterZ||PS4, Xbox One, PC||January 26|
|Monster Hunter World||PS4, Xbox One||January 26|
|Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT||PS4||January 30|
|Railway Empire||PS4, Xbox One||January 30|
|EA Sports UFC 3||PS4, Xbox One||February 2|
|Shadow of the Colossus||PS4||February 6|
|Dragon Quest Builders||Switch||February 9|
|The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia||PS4||February 9|
|Dynasty Warriors 9||PS4, Xbox One, PC||February 13|
|Kingdom Come: Deliverance||PS4, Xbox One, PC||February 13|
|Owlboy||PS4, Xbox One, Switch||February 13|
|Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology||3DS||February 13|
|Secret of Mana||PS4, PS Vita, PC||February 15|
|Bayonetta 2||Switch||February 16|
|Metal Gear Survive||PS4, Xbox One, PC||February 20|
|Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus||Switch||February 22|
|Payday 2||Switch||February 27|
|Bravo Team||PSVR||March 6|
|Devil May Cry HD Collection||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 13|
|The Crew 2||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 16|
|Attack on Titan 2||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||March 20|
|Sea of Thieves||Xbox One, PC||March 20|
|Yakuza 6: The Song of Life||PS4||March 20|
|Valkyria Chronicles 4||PS4||March 21|
|A Way Out||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 23|
|Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom||PS4, PC||March 23|
|Far Cry 5||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 27|
|MLB The Show 18||PS4||March 27|
|Agony||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 30|
|We Happy Few||PS4, Xbox One, PC||April 13|
Below you can find a list of the biggest games that don't have explicit release dates but are confirmed to release sometime this year. There are also games listed that we expect to launch in 2018. We'll be moving each of these games into the release date sections above as soon as official dates are announced.
|Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Anthem||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Code: Vein||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Crackdown 3||Xbox One, PC|
|Darksiders 3||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Detroit: Become Human||PS4|
|Dragon Quest XI||PS4, Switch, 3DS|
|Final Fantasy XV||PC|
|God of War||PS4|
|Jurassic World Evolution||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Kingdom Hearts III||PS4, Xbox One|
|Kirby Star Allies||Switch|
|Left Alive||PS4, Xbox One|
|Metro Exodus||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire||PC|
|Project Octopath Traveler||Switch|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Sea of Thieves||Xbox One, PC|
|Shenmue III||PS4, PC|
|Skull & Bones||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|State of Decay 2||Xbox One, PC|
|Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch|
|Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes||Switch|
|Valkyria Chronicles 4||PS4, Xbox One, Switch|
|Vampyr||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|The Walking Dead Season 4||TBA|
|The Wolf Among Us: Season 2||TBA|
|World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth||PC|
When The Last of Us launched back in 2013, Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann established themselves as effectively the face of developer Naughty Dog. Together, they went on to lead development of Uncharted 4, further cementing their reputation as a directorial duo. But Straley left the studio after the game launched--and now we know why.
Appearing on Kotaku's Splitscreen podcast, Straley revealed that his departure was due to the stresses and pressure of Uncharted 4's development. It was the first time that a project had felt more like an obligation to the team and company, rather than a passion project for himself.
"Uncharted 4 showed up and it was like, I guess there's a difference between doing something for yourself which feels passionate--and I had my own theories that I was trying to expand upon between Uncharted 1, 2, and The Last of Us--and then Uncharted 4 became more like, 'How do I do this for the team and for the company?'" he said.
Straley and Druckmann also had a relatively short timeframe to work on Uncharted 4, which further contributed to Straley's feeling of burnout. They only had two years to work on the game; for comparison, their work on The Last of Us began in 2009, four years before its release.
"We needed to get the game out the door, and we needed it to be something good, so that it didn't put a mark on the Naughty Dog name," he said. "I felt like, I guess in hindsight I took on that role more for the team than for me personally... Two years to create that beast, that then became the hardest project [I had worked on]."
He explained that his break and later departure from the studio had "nothing to do with Naughty Dog, nothing to do with games." Instead, his thought after Uncharted 4 launched was, "'Oh my god, it's time to take a break. It's just time to step away.'"
Straley hasn't announced what he's working on, but he's expressed excitement to continue the creative process. Neil Druckmann, meanwhile, remains at Naughty Dog and is leading up development on The Last of Us: Part II.
This week's selection of PSN deals may have seemed rather slim, but those aren't the only discounts you can find in the PlayStation Store right now. Sony has now kicked off another limited-time flash sale for PS4, PS3, and Vita, giving you a chance to pick up some great games on each platform for cheap.
As is typically the case, most of the deals are reserved for PS4 players. PaRappa the Rapper Remastered and LocoRoco Remastered are each $4.94, LittleBigPlanet 3 is $5, Life Is Strange Complete Season is $5, Mirror's Edge Catalyst is $5, Unravel is $5, Psychonauts is $4, Octodad: Dadliest Catch is $3, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 is $4.54, The Escapists is $5, Broforce is $3.74, Goat Simulator is $4, The Jackbox Party Pack 3 is $5, Transistor is $5, and Bastion is $3.74.
On PS3, players can get DMC: Devil May Cry for $5, Tomb Raider for $2, Sleeping Dogs for $2, Battlefield Hardline for $5, Just Cause 2 for $3, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II for $5, DuckTales Remastered for $4.49, Pac-Man Championship Editions DX+ for $4, and Resident Evil: Revelations for $5. Vita owners can get Crypt of the NecroDancer for $3, Laser Disco Defenders for $5, Hotline Miami for $4, and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number for $4.49. All of those games are also playable on PS4 thanks to Cross-Buy.
You can find the full list of game discounts on the PlayStation Store. The flash sale will only be available until 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET on January 22, giving you only a couple of days to take advantage of these deals. PS Plus subscribers can also now pick up January's free PS Plus games, which include Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Batman: The Telltale Series, Uncanny Valley, and Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness.
With Destiny 2's latest Faction Rally underway, the mysterious merchant Xur has reared his unsettling face once again on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. He has a selection of Exotic items for sale, as always, along with a special Engram and a way to boost your chances of securing additional Exotics. Here's exactly what Xur is selling this week and where to find him.
With this week's Flashpoint on Mercury, Xur has taken up residence on the Tower, where anyone (DLC owner or not) can find him, provided they've finished the campaign. He's in his usual spot on the right side of map, just behind where the Dead Orbit Faction is set up. A staircase just behind that area will lead you right up to Xur.
In terms of items, Xur as always offers the Fated Engram. Although pricey at 97 Legendary Shards, this is guaranteed to reward you with an Exotic you don't already own. The Three of Coins is another option and will boost the likelihood of obtaining an Exotic item drop for four hours. Each class gets one piece of (non-Curse of Osiris) Exotic armor, while the weapon up for grabs is the Tractor Cannon. This Exotic Shotgun, which resembles Portal's Portal Gun, is worth the price of admission alone for its ability to hilariously knock enemies back (and right off the level, if you're positioned correctly). Here's everything for sale:
Xur will have all of this for sale from now until the weekly reset on January 23. That's also when the current Faction Rally--the first of Season 2--runs until. Despite what players assumed, you can't actually obtain any of the new Faction weapons right now, prompting an apology from Bungie for not being clearer about how the event would work. There is, however, other new items to obtain; you can see all of the new Faction Rally gear in our gallery.
Den of Thieves, the new heist movie starring Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, O'Shea Jackson Jr., and 50 Cent, hits theaters today, January 19. GameSpot can now reveal a new clip from the Los Angeles action movie that shows Butler and Schreiber's characters having a tense talk. These two are on a warpath, it seems, and the back-and-forth in this scene is fun to watch.
You can check out the full clip for yourself in the embed above.
GameSpot's Michael Rougeau praised the performances of Butler and Schreiber, calling Den of Thieves a "gritty, realistic, and engrossing LA heist movie," albeit with some flaws. You can read GameSpot's full Den of Thieves review here.
For lots more on Den of Thieves, check out GameSpot's interview with another star, Ice Cube's song, O'Shea Jackson Jr., who spoke to us about his ambition to work in video games. Additionally, 50 Cent told us that he wants to make another video game following 50 Cent: Bulletproof and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand--and he has some ideas.
Remember We Happy Few, the BioShock-inspired survival game that entered Early Access back in 2016? Developer Compulsion Games is still working on it, but today it announced that the game's full launch has been delayed until Summer 2018.
Compulsion revealed that the game is now content complete, but it needs a bit more polish and refinement before it's ready to be released. Specifically, the studio is working on implementing "major improvements" to the beginning of the story for Arthur, one of the playable characters in the game.
We Happy Few's producer, Sam Abbott, explained, "There are these moments that are memorable, very funny, and super weird and we're really excited to show you all. But we felt that the first two hours of Arthur's story just didn't live up to those moments, meaning that the game didn't start as well as it should."
In addition, Compulsion addressed feedback from fans who said that the game's Early Access price was too high. The Early Access version has been available to anyone who pre-purchased the game on Steam. Since it's essentially a preorder, Compulsion set this version at $51, the price it expects the final game to cost; as a result, some fans complained that it was too high of a price for an unfinished game.
In response, Compulsion is offering refunds to all Steam players, regardless of playtime. In addition, it is disabling the pre-purchase option on Steam at the end of January and will re-enable it when the game is closer to launch. You can learn more about the current state of the game in Compulsion's developer update video above.
We Happy Few will be available this summer on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. In the game, you assume the role of one of three characters who refuses to take their hallucinogenic "happy pills" and has to somehow break out of the town. Check out some gameplay from We Happy Few in the embed at the top of this article.
Arc System Works' highly-anticipated fighting game, Dragon Ball FighterZ, is almost here. The cel-shaded 2.5D fighter follows a 3v3 format similar to Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and it's packed with Easter eggs and references for Dragon Ball fans to find. Here, we're collecting all the details you need to know about Dragon Ball FighterZ, from the release date to gameplay, tips, and more.
We'll continue to update this feature with the review, guides, and more as they're published, so stay tuned!
Dragon Ball FighterZ releases on January 26 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
The roster primarily includes Dragon Ball Z characters, though there are a few introduced in the recent Dragon Ball Super--including Goku Black, Beerus, and Hit--and an entirely new character, the mysterious Android 21, who is locked behind completion of the story mode.
Dragon Ball FighterZ includes a new story mode that takes place after the end of Dragon Ball Z and sometime during the events of Dragon Ball Super. The new character, Android 21, seems to play a major part in the story.
Note that in any mode, you can opt to use either the Japanese or English voice acting.
The Dragon Ball FighterZ CollectorZ Edition includes a seven-inch Goku statue with a manga-inspired art style, an exclusive steelbook case, three art boards, and the game. Those who pre-order the game will get codes to unlock Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta in-game.
Dragon Ball FighterZ's PC requirements are relatively modest, good news for those with older PCs.
Now in its second week, the first season of Overwatch League has been steadily making progress. While it's still very early on, and many of the teams are trying to find their groove, we've already seen some impressive performances from the Seoul Dynasty, London Spitfire, and the Houston Outlaws. As a reminder, each team will play a minimum of two games per week while the two most successful teams in each division will compete in title matches at the end of each five-week stage. There are four stages total in the regular season. With the conclusion of each match, this page will be updated with the results.
During an interview with GameSpot, the developers at Blizzard, which includes game director Jeff Kaplan and league commissioner Nate Nanzer spoke about their hopes for what the Overwatch League can do to change esports. Be sure to check out our talks with the team behind Overwatch, and for more coverage of their new competitive league.
When: Here is the schedule for the second week of the first stage, which runs from January 17 to January 20.
Here are the details on where, when, and how you can keep up and follow your favorite teams during this second week of the Overwatch League regular season. In the meantime, you can start getting your hands on new Overwatch League skins in-game.
How and Where: Simply go to overwatchleague.com where live matches play out through an embedded Twitch livestream. Past matches will be archived under the site's Videos tab. You can also catch the matches directly on Twitch.com and at mlg.tv.
You can track your favorite teams, keep up with league news, and set alerts using the Overwatch League app. You can even customize spoiler settings so you can watch completed matches without knowing the outcome in advance.
The Overwatch League and Twitch are also developing innovative rewards and other programs for fans, which will bestow the league’s most steadfast viewers with unique Overwatch League in-game items with exclusives. More details about insider content and additional rewards for the biggest fans, as well as Cheering with Overwatch League Cheermotes, will be announced as they become available. The matches will be broadcast on multiple channels with three different languages: English, French, and Korean.
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's previous two video games, 50 Cent: Bulletproof and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, are two of the most fascinating licensed games ever made. Naturally, the rapper, actor, and producer has ideas for a third game--which he'd be willing to make, as long as it's "unique."
"Definitely I'm interested," 50 Cent told GameSpot during an interview to promote the new movie Den of Thieves. "I may do something based on the concept that I developed for Tomorrow, Today."
First revealed last summer, Tomorrow, Today is an upcoming show on Starz (where 50 Cent already stars in and executive produces the show Power) reportedly about a veteran who gains super powers after being experimented on by a mad prison doctor. Little is known about the show besides that synopsis, however.
"It's definitely a cool idea," 50 Cent said. "And it gives people the ability to do things that they wouldn't be able to do."
He said whatever shape his next game takes, "you have to be extreme."
"I just have to find the right concept," he continued. "Everything I touch, I want to be unique. I want it to be special. And I put thought into it, because those things will be here longer than I would...when I come up with [another game], I want to make sure it's something we enjoy for a long time."
Pokemon Go developer Niantic recently announced a new recurring event for the game called Community Days, which will be held every month and give players a chance to snag double bonuses and exclusive Pokemon. The inaugural Community Day event takes place this Saturday, on January 20, for players around the globe.
Unlike the Pokemon Go Fest and Safari Zone events that Niantic held in the US and across Europe last year, Community Days aren't situated at a specific location, but rather occur at a designated time, encouraging players to meet at local parks and other public places during that window to catch Pokemon together with other players. Saturday's Community Day takes place at the following times:
Players will be able to earn double XP and other bonuses during the event, while Lure Modules will last for an extended three hours. Most notably, each Community Day will feature a special Pokemon that will only be available to catch for a few hours. These rare monsters will know a move they can't typically learn in the game. During this month's Community Day, players will have a chance to capture a Pikachu that knows Surf, just like the one you could obtain in the classic Pokemon Yellow.
In addition to the Community Days event, this month saw the arrival of a new Pokemon Go Legendary: Kyogre from Pokemon Sapphire. Kyogre marks the second Gen 3 Legendary to be added to the game, following Groudon, which was available from December to January 15. Kyogre will appear in Raid Battles at certain Gyms until February 14.
Niantic recently rolled out new updates for Pokemon Go that introduced an improved AR mode and a weather system. However, the developer also announced it will soon drop support for some older iOS devices such as the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c. Those will no longer be compatible with Pokemon Go beginning February 28.
2018 is here, and January is bringing with a variety of new content to streaming services. Amazon has announced all of the movies and TV shows coming to Prime Video this month--and there is some great content coming to kick off the New Year. [Update: Due to the shutdown of Anime Strike, Amazon Prime Video is also now home to some of its anime content.]
The 10th season of the BBC's sci-fi show Doctor Who arrived on January 1, along with Darren Aronofsky's chilling drama Requiem for a Dream. Also now out is Sam Mendes' Oscar-nominated (and very sad) movie Revolutionary Road and David Fincher's thriller Zodiac. Quentin Tarantino's first movie, Reservoir Dogs, also came to Amazon Prime on January 1.
Coming on January 12 is the first season of the Amazon Original show Electric Dreams, which stars Bryan Cranston, Anna Paquin, Timothy Spall, and Steve Buscemi. At the end of the month, you'll be able to see the new 2017 entry in Vin Diesel's xXx franchise, The Return of Xander Cage. You can see Amazon Prime's full lineup below, as rounded up and compiled by GameSpot sister site CNET.
Looking for a way to ring in the new year that involves little more than your couch and a TV? Luckily for you, the start of a new month means new movies and TV shows added to several streaming services--including Hulu.
In terms of movies, there are a number of standout titles being added to the streamer, but none quite as excellent as both films in the Bill & Ted series. Both Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey arrive on January 1, along with movies like Zodiac, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Karate Kid 1-4, and Grizzly Man.
For TV, new seasons of Fear the Walking Dead, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Homeland all arrive. January will also see the addition of many cooking shows, with new episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay, Cupcake Wars, and Great Food Truck Race among the titles arriving.
You can take a look at all of the Hulu additions for January below. You can also see everything Netflix is debuting during the first month of the new year.
If you're in need of new shows and movies to stream this week, Netflix is ready. The streaming service is adding quite a bit of content for the week, including your first taste of 2018 Winter Olympics programming.
While the Olympics don't kick off until February 9, NBC is debuting a two-part special, 2018 Olympic Winter Games Preview: Meet Team USA & Go for the Gold. The specials--which are available now--will only be streaming for a limited time, getting removed from Netflix at the conclusion of the games. In them, you'll get to know the athletes on Team USA and their stories leading into the Olympics.
If the winter games aren't something you're interested in, though, there's still plenty to watch on Netflix. New seasons of Friday Night Tykes, Grace and Frankie, and Trolls: The Beat Goes On all arrive this week, along with movies like Dallas Buyers Club and Wild Hogs.
There's plenty more arriving on Netflix this week, which you can see below. Additionally, you can take a look at everything coming and going on the streaming service in January.
Apple found itself facing some unwanted attention last year when it was revealed the company throttles performance of older iPhones to compensate for battery degradation. Although it has a reason for this setup, the secrecy surrounding it--knowledge of it only became public after a third-party group's report--understandably caused a great deal of consternation among consumers. Soon, however, the so-called feature will become an option you can toggle off.
The system in question was implemented as part of iOS 10.2.1 in 2016 and affects the iPhone 6, 6s, SE, and, more recently, 7. Essentially, it slows the speed of iPhones as their batteries age. This is because performance spikes can require more power than an old battery is capable of providing, which can result in a phone shutting down completely. Apple's solution to avoid this issue is to slow the phone down.
Apple acknowledged the initial report of performance-throttling and apologized. CEO Tim Cook has now addressed the subject in an interview with ABC News, denying that the feature was completely hidden but admitting it could have done more to inform users about what was going on. "When we did put it [the software update] out, we did say what it was, but I don't think a lot of people were paying attention," he said. He later added, "Maybe we should have been clearer, as well."
More importantly, Cook revealed that, following a future update, the feature can be disabled. Although he wouldn't suggest users do so, he said, "If you don't want it, you can turn it off."
There's no word on when this option will be added. In the meantime, users can take advantage of a discounted battery replacement, which will help to circumvent the need for performance-throttling. For 2018, Apple has dropped the price of battery replacements to $29, down from $79.
Niantic has rolled out a new update for Pokemon Go. The patch, version 1.59.1 for iOS and 0.89.1 for Android, is a fairly minor one and doesn't introduce any major new features to the mobile game, but it does make a number of quality-of-life improvements.
Along with an assortment of unspecified bug fixes, the new update adds the ability to sort the Pokedex by region. Niantic has also improved incubator sorting and "the way Pokemon scale throughout the map." Finally, the update resolves an issue that caused the Pokemon selection screen to scroll back to the top after you evolved or transferred a Pokemon.
You can read the full patch notes for the latest Pokemon Go update, courtesy of the game's official website, below. This will likely be one of the final updates certain iPhone users will be able to install, as Niantic has announced it will soon end support for some older iOS devices. Beginning February 28, Pokemon Go will no longer be compatible with iPhones and iPads that can't be updated to iOS 11, such as iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c.
Niantic recently announced a new, monthly event for Pokemon Go called Community Days. The inaugural Community Day takes place this Saturday, January 20, and unlike the Pokemon Go Fest and Safari Zone events, it's available to players around the world. Each Community Day will feature a special Pokemon that knows a move it isn't typically capable of learning; during Saturday's event, players will have a chance to catch a Pikachu that can use Surf.
A new Legendary Pokemon is also now available in Pokemon Go. From now until February 14, players can encounter Kyogre in Raid Battles at Gyms. Similarly, The Pokemon Company announced a year-long series of distributions for Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon called the Year of Legendary Pokemon. Each month, players will be able to receive a free Legendary in the 3DS games.
Activision is in need of a new chief executive officer. Eric Hirshberg, who has served as Activision Publishing's CEO since 2010, will part ways with the company in March, Activision has confirmed.
As first reported by GamesBeat, Hirshberg recently informed Activision staff of his decision to leave. He'll stay on in his role through the end of March, when his contract expires, although the hunt for a successor has reportedly already begun.
"Serving as Activision's CEO has been an honor and a thrill," Hirshberg said in a statement shared with GameSpot. "This is an amazing company, one which routinely delivers epic experiences for our fans on a scale that no one else can. I have nothing but admiration for the incredible team I have had the privilege to lead. And I have nothing but appreciation for Bobby [Kotick, Activision Blizzard CEO] for giving me this transformational opportunity, and also for having the vision and conviction to champion a creative person for a leadership role on this scale."
Kotick also addressed Hirshberg's impending departure, saying, "During Eric's tenure we've had historic performance and great successes. He is an inspiring leader, and we will all miss his creativity and tenacity very much. He is leaving the team, the franchises and the business in a great place, and he goes with my full support and appreciation."
Prior to his current role, Hirshberg worked at marketing firm Deutsch LA; it's unknown what his future plans are. As CEO, he led Activision Publishing, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, the broader company run by Kotick. Although Activision Blizzard has faced a number of criticisms, it's taken major strides from a business standpoint during his time with the company, as its stock price has risen from about $11 in September 2010 to $70 now. A large part of that is due to the success of the Destiny and Call of Duty franchises, the latter of which has been the top-grossing console franchise worldwide in eight out of the last nine years. Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2 specifically were the top-grossing games in North America last year.
Alongside the new Blizzard World map, Overwatch will soon receive a variety of new cosmetic items and an update to loot boxes. Blizzard has begun to reveal the new items that are coming, including new sprays and now a Legendary skin.
As showcased in the brief video below, Pharah receives a new Legendary skin next week. This one leans heavily into her Egyptian ancestry, overhauling the look of her armor and, most strikingly, her helmet, which is now adorned with a snake. (That explains the skin's name, Asp Pharah). Alongside this skin, Blizzard is also adding new sprays, which can be seen at the bottom of this post. These take the form of cute-looking illustrations of the game's roster of characters.
Only 5 more days until our cosmetics update arrives in Overwatch! Join us as we count down to their release with new item reveals every day.— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 18, 2018
Today's reveal: ASP PHARAH (Legendary Skin) pic.twitter.com/hDROJPh8WZ
Blizzard plans to continue revealing new items each day until the update arrives on Tuesday, January 23. In addition to all of these new cosmetics being released, we'll also likely see the change to loot boxes that game director Jeff Kaplan teased previously. This will see the addition of a "ton of new content" to the base loot box, meaning you'll be able to unlock things at your leisure, rather than through time-limited event loot boxes.
Kaplan also announced that a Lunar New Year event, the Year of the Dog, is coming in the near future. This year will also see the return of the Uprising event with some changes, and new characters are also on the way, although no time table was set for when we might see those.
As noted above, also arriving next week is Blizzard World. This map takes the form of an amusement park for Blizzard's games (outside of Overwatch), with areas themed around Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft. Like the cosmetic update, this launches on January 23 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Only 6 more days until our cosmetics update arrives in Overwatch! Join us as we count down to their release with new item reveals every day.— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 17, 2018
Today's reveal: NEW HERO SPRAYS
🎨 by @tinysnails pic.twitter.com/D4JgG7eYqq
Nintendo enjoyed a great deal of success throughout 2017 thanks to Switch, and that didn't change during December in the United States. Ahead of NPD Group publicly releasing its sales report for the month, Nintendo has shared some figures from it that paint a positive picture for not just Switch, but 3DS as well.
Switch was December's best-selling game system in the US, with 1.5 million units sold during the NPD's reporting period (which covered a total of five weeks). Life-to-date sales for the console now stand at 4.8 million in the US alone; Nintendo's press release reiterated what it claimed recently about how this makes Switch the fastest-selling system ever through its first 10 months.
As for 3DS, combined sales across the "3DS family," which includes the 2DS, reached 750,000 during the December report period. That was an increase of 27% compared with December 2016, and it marks the system's best-selling month in the US since December 2014. US lifetime sales for the 3DS family now stand at 21 million.
Nintendo also noted that combined sales for Switch, 3DS, and SNES Classic Edition were 2.6 million in December, meaning the classic micro console sold roughly 350,000 units. The three represented more than 50% of total hardware sales during the month.
On the software side, Nintendo also highlighted its platforms' games that cracked the NPD's sales charts. When looking on a per-game basis (meaning different versions of multiplatform games are counted individually), Super Mario Odyssey was No. 3 during December, while Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was No. 4, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was No. 9, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon were Nos. 13 and 14, and Splatoon 2 was No. 16. Earlier this month, Nintendo discussed the high attach rates of some of its first-person Switch titles, revealing that Super Mario Odyssey is the system's top seller in the US.
We'll have more on US sales during December once the NPD shares its full report. In the meantime, you can read all about Nintendo's surprising new cardboard-based Switch game, Nintendo Labo.
A bunch of new games are now available for Nintendo Switch. This week is another fairly busy one for Nintendo's hybrid console; 16 titles launch for the platform over the course of the week, including an acclaimed RPG and the first batch of DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
As per usual, the bulk of this week's releases arrive in the Eshop on Thursday, January 18, and they're headlined by Darkest Dungeon, the well-received Lovecraftian roguelike by developer Red Hook Studios. Darkest Dungeon originally released for PC, PS4, and Vita in 2016 and has players recruit a team of explorers and lead them through horrific dungeons. Switch owners can also purchase Darkest Dungeon's two DLC packs, The Crimson Court and The Shieldbreaker, separately or together with the base game in the $35 Ancestral Edition bundle. Another expansion for Darkest Dungeon, The Color of Madness, is set to arrive on all platforms later this year.
In addition to Darkest Dungeon, Thursday's releases include two classic Arcade Archives games, Power Spikes II and Double Dragon; the retro-style tactical RPG Ambition of the Slimes; the Zelda-like adventure game World to the West; and the puzzle-platformer Qbik. Switch owners can also download free demos for Implosion and League of Evil. Rounding out this week's releases on January 19 is a trio of titles: the puzzle/adventure game Vesta; the fast-paced puzzler Nuclien; and the physics-based puzzle game Baseball Riot.
In addition to this week's new titles, Thursday marks the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 2's first major DLC pack, which is only available as part of the game's $30 expansion pass. The DLC launched at 9 PM PT / 12 AM ET and gives pass holders a handful of helpful items, as well as the following new quests to complete:
You can see the full list of this week's Switch releases below. Next week is also shaping up to be another busy one, as the next classic-inspired RPG from I Am Setsuna developer Tokyo RPG Factory, Lost Sphear, is scheduled to release for Switch (as well as PS4) on January 23. Players can already download a demo of that game from the Eshop.
Destiny 2's latest Faction Rally event is a significant one, as it is the first to take place since Season 2 kicked off with the release of the Curse of Osiris DLC expansion. As a result, it features the addition of new gear and items for players to get their hands on, but it turns out that exactly what can be obtained right now isn't what players had assumed. [Update: Bungie has now further addressed the matter, admitting, "This was on us. No excuses." It also addressed complaints about Faction Tokens.]
Despite the addition of multiple new Faction weapons, players found they couldn't be obtained through Faction Engrams. Following a day of confusion, Bungie has confirmed exactly what's available during the current event, and it turns out that a number of new weapons won't actually arrive until subsequent Season 2 Faction Rallies.
In a post on its forums, Bungie explained that there are five new weapons for each of the three Factions. "These weapons become available over the course of the season, and cannot be earned through Faction Engrams immediately," it said. In other words, none of them are available right now by cashing in Faction Tokens, as players assumed they would be. The only one of the weapons that will be available during the current event is one of the Faction-specific auto rifles pictured below, which will be for sale during Victory Week beginning on January 23.
Those auto rifles, known as the Winner's Offering, will then rotate to a new set of weapons during the second Faction Rally of Season 2. The auto rifles will be added to the Faction Engram for that event along with one other weapon. During the third and final Faction Rally of the season, the Winner's Offering will rotate again to another new set of weapons, while the second Winner's Offering set and another weapon will be added to the Faction Engram. "This brings the total to four weapons within the Faction Engram, and a final Winner’s Offering for Factions to compete for over the course of the event," Bungie said.
The revelation hasn't gone over with at least a hardcore segment of fans, who want to be able to obtain all of this immediately. Some have noted this provides little incentive to participate in Faction Rallies until the final one of the season, as you're more likely to obtain previously available gear currently.
Faction Rally is the first big event of the year for Destiny 2, with the first Iron Banner of Season 2 set to arrive on January 30. That's also when we'll see the release of Masterwork armor, with numerous other additions and changes--including those to Eververse and quality-of-life improvements--still to come.
Microsoft has rolled out a new batch of game discounts for Xbox One and Xbox 360. A big selection of titles are on sale for both platforms this week, and you don't need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to take advantage of most of them.
As per usual, the bulk of this week's deals are available on Xbox One, but only a handful of discounts are reserved for Xbox Live Gold members. Those with Gold can pick up the ever-popular Grand Theft Auto V for $30 / £27.50, while an assortment of microtransaction bundles for the game are also on sale for Gold subscribers. Additionally, Halo 5: Guardians Digital Deluxe Edition is $30 / £21, L.A. Noire is $30 / £26.24, Slender: The Arrival is $2 / £1.60, Defunct is $10.49 / £8.74, and Feral Fury is $2.50 / £2.
On top of those games, a range of great titles are discounted as part of this week's big Spotlight sale, which is available to all Xbox One owners. Far Cry 4 is $16 / £12.50, Far Cry Primal is $15 / £12.50, Inside is $10 / £8, Limbo is $2 / £1.60, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty Deluxe Edition is $5.25 / £4.20, Octodad: Dadliest Catch is $3.75 / £3, Broken Age is $6 / £4.80, Tacoma is $10 / £7.49, Superhot is $15 / £12, Rime is $18 / £14.39, Dear Esther: Landmark Edition is $4 / £3.20, The Sexy Brutale is $10 / £8, and What Remains of Edith Finch is $13.39 / £10.71.
On Xbox 360, Gold members can get Red Dead Redemption for $9 / £7.49, which is also playable on Xbox One thanks to backwards compatibility. Additionally, the game's Undead Nightmare expansion is available for $5 / £3.37. All 360 owners, meanwhile, can find discounts on various Far Cry titles and DLC, including Far Cry 4 ($12 / £4), Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon ($6 / £4), and Far Cry 2 ($6 / £2.69), which was just added to Xbox One's backwards compatible library.
The above deals will only be available until 3 AM PT / 6 AM ET on January 23, giving you a week to take advantage of them. You can find the full list of this week's Xbox game discounts on Major Nelson's blog.
Update: Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is now free on PS4 as well as PS Vita in the US. However, you may have to 'purchase' the game on PS4 and PS Vita separately, since it is not normally part of Sony's Cross-Buy scheme. The below text has been altered to reflect the change. Original story follows.
It's the start of a new month--and a new year--which means more free games are now available for PlayStation Plus subscribers. January's allotment of free PS Plus games are out now on the PlayStation Store, meaning that titles like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Batman: The Telltale Series have temporarily dropped to the low, low price of free for paying subscribers.
Mankind Divided is the headlining PS4 freebie this month. The dystopian cyberpunk role-playing game casts you as Adam Jensen and tasks you with catching a terrorist group, which you can do by being a stealthy detective or a tech-enhanced killing machine, or some mixture of both.
As for Telltale's Batman game, this is the first season of the story and puts players in tricky situations as both Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego. The decisions you make will have some consequence on the relationships around you, and the overall story.
Other PS4 freebies in January include the wacky and fun party game That's You! (if you're outside of North America) and StarBlood Arena (which requires PlayStation VR). Additionally, PS Vita's free games, Uncanny Valley and Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness, are both free on PS4, too. You may have to 'purchase' Psycho-Pass on PS4 and PS Vita separately, however, since it is not normally part of Sony's Cross-Buy scheme. Note that in Europe and Australia, Psycho-Pass is only free on PS Vita, not PS4. Finally, PS3 owners get Sacred 3 and The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 for free.
You can see January 2018's full PS Plus lineup--covering PS4, PS3, and Vita--below, or you can claim them on the PlayStation Store.
The holidays may be over, but you can still find plenty of deals on games if you're looking for something new to play. Many digital storefronts are holding New Year sales to usher in 2018, and that includes the Humble Store, which has now kicked off its annual winter sale.
Humble's winter sale runs until January 25 and offers discounts on tons of great PC games. Destiny 2 Digital Deluxe Edition is $75, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is $30, Ark: Survival Evolved is $36, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is $24, Tekken 7 is $25, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is $30, and Elex is $33.49.
There are also a number of great older games on sale. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Game of the Year Edition is $20, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is $20, Rocket League is $12, Doom is $15, Dishonored is $2.49, Wolfenstein: The New Order is $10, and Undertale is $5. Some other noteworthy discounts you can find right now include:
You'll have until 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET on January 25 to take advantage of the above discounts. Many publishers such as Ubisoft and Bethesda are also holding separate sales in the digital store, giving you a ton of options to choose from. You can find the full list of discounted games on Humble's website.
It's just past the middle of the month, meaning two more free Xbox games for January 2018 have gone live on the Microsoft Store. Xbox One owners with an active Xbox Live Gold subscription can pick up both titles, while one of them is also playable on Xbox 360.
On Xbox One, it's the zombie-slaying action game Zombi that's free, which is the updated version of Wii U launch game ZombiU. Those on Xbox 360 can pick up co-op action game Army of Two, which is also playable on Xbox One through backwards compatibility.
Previous Games With Gold titles Back to the Future: The Game and Tomb Raider: Underworld have now gone back to their regular price, although The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III will be free all month long.
You can see the full January 2018 Games With Gold lineup below. February's games have not been announced as of yet, but we'll report back as soon as they are.
Grand Theft Auto V's latest multiplayer update is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and, as usual, it adds a new car and multiplayer mode. In addition, there are some sales on in-game items and new bonuses.
This week's featured vehicle is the Grotti GT500, a sleek sports car that has a bit of a classic, muscle-car look to it. "Contemplate how stunningly attractive this car makes you look," its promo poster declares.
The new multiplayer mode, meanwhile, is an Adversary mode called Air Quota. Up to four teams and 16 players face off and transform through a series of aircraft, from helicopters to jets to jetpacks. Air Quota awards Double GTA$ and RP from now until January 22.
There's a handful of good discounts on in-game upgrades and items, too. This week features sales on Facility upgrades, including styles, graphics, and a security room upgrade (all 25% off). The Buckingham Pyro and HVY Nightshark vehicles are also 25% off.
Finally, this week's Premium Stunt Race is Plummet, which is locked to Supers. The featured Time Trial is Tongva Valley. As always, the top three finishers in the Stunt Race will get extra GTA$ while everyone will earn Triple RP. If you beat the par time in the Time Trial, you'll get bonus GTA$ and RP.
In other GTA V news, the game shows no sign of slowing down. If anything, it's doing better than ever: Rockstar recently revealed that GTA V Online had its biggest year ever in 2017.
Following a relatively brief maintenance period, Epic Games has released the new 2.2.0 update for Fortnite on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. As detailed previously, it deals primarily with Battle Royale, adding a newly updated version of the map, pre-game voice chat, and more.
Updates to the map are the most significant component of the patch. New areas have been added, primarily to the western half of the map, which had been somewhat sparsely populated before now. This includes a new city section and underground mines. Existing areas also receive a makeover, with Epic providing more differentiation between the various biomes. As lead systems designer Eric Williamson said recently, "The swamp feels swampier, the mountains feel more mountain-y. Really, the different areas of the map feel more unique."
Epic has also rolled out a new level-streaming system. Although it doesn't directly have an effect on gameplay, Epic says it "enabl[es] a richer map and improved performance." Load times on consoles have been "greatly reduc[ed]" and there should be less hitching in general. A variety of visual improvements have also been implemented, with new water and grass/foliage effects now in place.
Other new features include the addition of voice chat in the pre-game lobby, an update to the killfeed to show the distance on sniper rifle kills, and a revamped version of the Scoped AR's sight. Another key change, the removal of friendly fire, was implemented recently, although it may only be a temporary measure as Epic evaluates what impact it has on the game.
PS4 had tons of triumphs in 2017, with platform exclusives like Persona 5 and Horizon Zero Dawn gaining critical acclaim and legions of fans. It looks like it's full steam ahead for Sony in 2018, with many more PlayStation 4 exclusives on the books. To get a look at some of the gameplay that's in store for the coming year, check out the video above.
As far as blockbuster releases, Spider-Man is set to be one of the biggest for the console in 2018. The game will be packed with lots of physics-defying action that promises to be a delight for fans of the series. God of War will be back, with this entry into the series taking Kratos to a land dominated by Nordic gods and monsters. Another epic title, PS2's Shadow of the Colossus, will get a remake on PlayStation 4.
Detroit: Become Human is coming this year, too. The new project from Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream and director David Cage allows you to shape the outcome of the story based on your choices during calm and intense scenes. The game will explore the relationships between people and artificial intelligence in a world where robots look and sound exactly like humans. If you're in the mood for something straight up scary, instead, survival horror game Days Gone, about a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic world, is coming this year.
There are many other PS4 exclusives due out in 2018, like Yakuza 6, Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory, and several PSVR titles like The Inpatient (the prequel to Until Dawn) and Golem. For all the PS4 exclusives, check out our gallery of all the PS4 exclusive games confirmed for 2018 so far. There are also tons of multi-platform games to look forward to, and you can check out our list of the most anticipated PS4 games to get a sense of everything coming to the system. For a cross-platform look at the games we're most excited about, read our story about the 20 biggest games to play in 2018.