In this week’s top gaming news, Sony and Facebook dip out of PAX East and GDC due to coronavirus concerns, Hasbro is bringing back the ‘90s with Tiger Electronics, and Google Stadia is looking to pick up steam by bringing the service to 18 new smartphones.
Sony and Facebook pull out of PAX East, GDC 2020 over coronavirus concerns
CNBC, VentureBeat, Polygon, and more report that Sony and Facebook have pulled out of both PAX East and GDC 2020 following growing concerns over the coronavirus. In an official blog post, Sony explains that while it is disappointed to have to cancel participation at the events, the health and safety of its employees is the company’s “highest concern.” BGR was discontent with Sony’s decision to back out due to the company also not participating in E3 2020 or releasing any details about its own event, leaving interested consumers in the dark about the highly-anticipated PS5. Attendees at PAX East are also understandably disappointed, as Sony was set to give the first public hands-on of The Last of Us Part 2 at the event.
Hasbro to relaunch Tiger Electronics handheld games
Hasbro is bringing back a staple from the ‘90s: the Tiger Electronic LCD video game system, a small portable handheld offering one single player game per device. Launching this fall, models will feature classic games like The Little Mermaid, Transformers: Generation 2, X-Men Project X, and Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The Verge, NY Post, and VentureBeat noted the nostalgic device will appeal to Millennials and make an interesting gift to gamers who may have once owned the original versions. Engadget, on the other hand, noted that due to the nostalgic appeal, these devices are intended for a niche market and will not be popular with kids and teens who already have devices such as a Nintendo Switch or iPad.
Google brings Stadia support to 18 additional phones
Stadia took a step forward this week by expanding its reach beyond Google-owned devices. Support for 18 new phones, including ASUS, Razer, and a multitude of Samsung Galaxy models will be implemented by the end of this week, reports Neowin. Despite the advancement, Gizmodo and Android Police expressed disappointment over the service not being available for additional smartphones, such as LG and iOS models, especially in comparison to Microsoft’s xCloud and Nvidia’s GeForce Now, which are available for all Android devices. Engadget made note of Stadia’s steady advancements since launching last November, but warned users to take Stadia announcements with a grain of salt: “It feels like there’s an asterisk after every bold claim Google makes about Stadia, adding invisible barriers to a system that’s supposed to be borderless. Seriously — there are literal asterisks in every line on the Google Stadia homepage, and half the site is just footnotes.”