TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST: APRIL 6

A new feel for gaming with revamped Sony PlayStation controller
Sony unveiled what The Verge calls “the biggest departure for Sony’s controller design in its over 25-year history” with the new DualSense controller for the upcoming PlayStation 5. The key selling point of the new controller is in the name, states GamesRadar+, as the controller is meant to strengthen the player experience by tapping into a player’s sense of touch. Looper claims hardware improvements of the DualSense, such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, promise a strong immersive experience that will further bring games to life. Inverse was skeptical of the design, however, noting that the lack of rear paddles – a “widely expected feature” – may indicate Sony is working on a “DualSense Pro” version of the controller, similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Wireless Controller series.

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TRIPLE POINTS OF INTEREST: MARCH 30

Amazon pushes into making video games, not just streaming their play
In a New York Times exclusive,  Amazon confirmed that it is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into becoming a leading creator and distributor of video games. The company plans to release a big budget game (a sci-fi shooter called Crucible) in May, and is also developing a cloud based gaming platform called Project Tempo. Amazon has named its gaming wing Relentless Studios, headquartered in Seattle. This is Amazon’s biggest investment in original entertainment since starting to produce streaming series and films.Some outlets such as TheNextWeb and 9to5Google note that this year’s sluggish rollout of Google Stadia puts Amazon in an advantageous position, especially with its powerful cloud infrastructure.

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TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST: MARCH 23

eSports takes on COVID-19
Overwatch, Call of Duty, League of Legends, and many more esports leagues have canceled physical competitions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but have since turned to online events. The decision to go all-digital this year provides the esports industry with an opportunity to increase viewership and widen fanbases, explains The Verge, as more people than ever before are turning to digital entertainment to pass time while on lockdown. There’s “something for everyone” in the world of esports, explains ESPN, and notes that fans of traditional sports who may be unfamiliar with online video game competitions can find enjoyment in the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, Dota 2, and more. 

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TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST: MARCH 16

All you need to know about the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5
Microsoft and Sony unveiled hardware specifications for the upcoming Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 through digital presentations this week. Screen Rant explains that the Xbox Series X is shaping up to be the more powerful of the two, but the PlayStation 5 will be faster. Engadget, on the other hand, notes that players can “rest a bit easy” since both consoles will offer similar levels of performance. The Verge, CNN, and CNET have breakdowns of the specifications.

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TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST: DECEMBER 2

In this week’s gaming news, YouTube looks to make its platform more transparent for gaming content creators, Riot Games releases plans to produce “completable” games, and Facebook looks to the future of its VR platform by acquiring Beat Saber developer Beat Games.

YouTube changes online content rules, relaxes restrictions on violence depicted in gaming content
YouTube altered its content guidelines this week to relax restrictions on depictions of violence in video game content. Under the updated guidelines, content creators can show gameplay that contains “simulated” or “scripted” violence without an age-restriction label, enabling more viewers to access content. In a recent post on Twitter, Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s global head of gaming and virtual reality, explained that the decision was made to ensure gaming creators have “full transparency” around the content they create for the platform. Age restrictions will remain in place, however, for videos that focus solely on gore or violence. Variety, Engadget, Kotaku, and more reported on the news.

Riot Games ventures into video game publishing with Riot Forge
Greg Street, vice president of IP and entertainment for Riot Games, took to Twitter this week to announce the company’s foray into indie game publishing. Called Riot Forge, the new publishing arm will partner with outside studios to create single-player, story-driven games within the League of Legends universe. In a statement to The Verge, Leanne Loombe, the new head of the publishing label, stated that the company is seeking partnerships with studios who are already established and have a “unique identity.” These studios will assist in building the company’s library of “completable” games, which Loombe explained is something Riot Games is not traditionally experienced in. The publishing label’s first game will be revealed during The Game Awards this month. GameSpot, PC Gamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, and more weighed in on the news.

Facebook acquires Beat Saber developer Beat Games
Beat Saber, the popular virtual reality rhythm game, became a part of the Oculus Network this week after Facebook bought developer Beat Games for an undisclosed price. Under the Oculus Network, Beat Games will continue to operate as an independent studio, but the added support from Facebook will assist in content updates for the hit title, including more music, modes, and social features. The acquisition is a stepping-stone for the Oculus Network, notes TechCrunch, as Facebook is shifting its gaze to hone in on cross-platform, high-profile studios instead of indie exclusives. VentureBeat was intrigued by the acquisition and stated, “I believe Facebook has a plan here to make itself a more necessary part of of VR and AR, and its realization is on the horizon.” Outlets such as Polygon, Gizmodo, and more wrote about the news.