Oct. 22, 2021

Dbrand fixed the PS5, again! - GWS#057

Who would have thought that a company like dbrand will actually make the PS5 right again twice! On to more serious drama, MercurySteam has been getting a lot of flack for not crediting some of their staff in Metroid Dread as well as alleged toxic work environment.


Dbrand designs a better PS5

https://www.theverge.com/22733642/dbrand-new-ps5-darkplates-sony-legal-threats

https://dbrand.com/shop/special-edition/ps5

https://www.reddit.com/r/dbrand/comments/q94jua/darkplates_are_dead_thanks_sony/

Dbrand launched Darkplates in February, which are matte black versions of the PS5's faceplates, for $59.

They taunted Sony and said "Go ahead, sue us", which they did, and dbrand was forced to remove the Darkplates from their website on October 16th and posted about it on their subreddit (in a very typical dbrand manner).

Sony claimed that dbrand has infringed on the PS5 protected product design and has sold the Darkplates without their permission.

While the button shapes that are engraved inside the PS5 faceplates have been replaced with shapes of the Illuminati Pyramid, Radiation Hazard sign, Skull & Crossbones, and Angry Robot Head, the shape of the plates themselves have not changed, and Sony has actually been issued a patent in Canada for the shape a couple of months after the Cease & Desist was sent.

Dbrand suspects that the reason Sony wanted to shut down Darkplates is because they are planning to sell their own matte black faceplates for the PS5 or are working on a licensing model.

A few days after discontinuing Darkplates, dbrand announced Darkplates 2.0, which look different from the original plates by have the excess popped-collar part cut off as well as including a vent next to the PS5 fan.

They are available in matte black, retro gray, and white, and have been in development since September. They cost $69 and at the time of writing, they sold out through 2 waves and the third wave will ship in January.

They also released custom LED lightsrips and will continue to sell the middle skins.

Dbrand believes that since this is a brand new design, then they are not infringing on Sony's property. However, they are still expecting them to sue.

In a typical dbrand fashion, the Darkplates 2.0 page has a lot of messaging blatantly addressing the lawsuit, such as the tagline "checkmate, lawyers" and describing the new plates as "not Illegal" and asking people to "fund [their] legal defence".

 

The drama behind the development of Metroid Dread

https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2021/10/metroid-dread-staff-say-theyve-been-left-out-of-the-games-credits-mercurysteam-responds

https://vandal.elespanol.com/noticia/1350748602/exempleados-de-mercurysteam-que-trabajaron-en-metroid-dread-no-aparecen-en-los-creditos/

While Metroid Dread has been positively reviewed and even outsold Far Cry 6 in Japan during the launch week, the studio MercurySteam has been getting some negative attention.

It was revealed that some people who worked on the game and have left the studio before the game's launch were not credited.

This was covered by the games news publication Vandal, a Spanish video game website, who gave light to this issue.

3D artist Roberto Mejías posted on LinkedIn stating that he has worked on the game for 8 months and questioned why his name didn't appear in the end credits. Another person told Vandal that they've worked on Metroid Dread for 11 months, and called the whole situation "a very ugly practice".

MercurySteam's representative told Vandal that the company policy to list the names is to credit people who worked on a project for at least 25% of the development time, but there are exceptions when someone has made exceptional contributions.

Since the game took 4 years to make, that would explain why those ex-employees were not credited in the final product.

https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2021/10/metroid-dread-studio-hit-with-allegations-of-poor-organisation-and-management

After talking to multiple former employees, Spanish website Anait Games has revealed the management and organization issues as well as a "negative, stressful culture at MercurySteam"

There were 'overscope' issues where Nintendo would review progress on the game and make various cuts due to supposed bottlenecks in the art pipeline.

One programmer has called the development as chaotic, as the programming lead and the game director would contradict each other many times.

An artist said that the atmosphere was constantly bad and very tense ad that workers were not trusted or valued.

Workers would be punished by various ways from isolation or changing the group or sudden dismissal.

A programmer described unsafe anti-COVID measures, not being able to work remotely, and said that the "pandemic has not been well managed. It was total and utter chaos,"

There are more people not credited but are afraid to speak up because of fear of their careers being affected if they did.

https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2021/10/nintendo-aware-of-crash-error-near-the-end-of-metroid-dread-says-its-working-on-a-fix

There is a game-breaking bug that occurs near the end of the game which forces the game to shut down.

It is triggered if a player destroys a door while a map marker is displayed for that specific door on the map. An error message pops and the game shuts down

The developers messaged that a fix will be out by the end of the month.

 

God of War is gracing the PC

https://www.pushsquare.com/news/2021/10/ps4-exclusive-god-of-war-releasing-on-pc-in-january

Sony has confirmed that a PC version of the 2018 God of War will be available on January 14th.

It's developed at the in-house Santa Monico Studio

The game can run natively at 4K and uncapped framerates.

There will also be support for Nvidia's DLSS solution as well as Reflex for super-low latency.

Ultra-wide 21:9 monitors will be supported, too.

F: They are finally getting their moneys worth from the Nixxes acquisition from 1st of July.

https://www.pushsquare.com/news/2021/10/god-of-war-sales-hit-a-staggering-19-5-million-copies-on-ps4

The game has sold 19.5 million copies on the PS4

 

Halo Infinite PC details and a limited-edition graphics card

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2021/10/21/halo-infinite-the-great-journey-on-pc/

A PC Overview video was released to go through how Halo Infinite was developed for the PC.

They reiterated that the game is not a port, but developed from the ground up to be a great game for PC.

They focused on PC-centric options in the menu from controls, graphics, and accessibility options, such as setting a minimum FPS or focusing on graphic fidelity.

When playing on an ultrawide monitor, you get to see more on the right and left sides instead of scaling the game and seeing less from the top and bottom. HUD elements and menus are also adapted to wide aspect ratios.

Since the advanced graphics settings were developed with PC in mind, the console version will be getting things such as slider instead of on/off toggles and other settings that typically aren't available on consoles. You can also have triple key bindings.

They boast some of the lowest latencies in the industry.

There will be crossplay between Steam, Windows Store, and consoles. There will also be multiplayer progression across all platforms.

Ranked games can be played depending on the controller choice; mouse and keyboard, controllers, or both.

You can deploy a LAN server on PC and have other players on PC or consoles join your game.

They partnered with Razer to integrate the game with Razer Chroma RGB where the lights will react to actions happening in the game

They also partnered with AMD, and announced a limited edition Halo Infinite AMD Radeon 6900XT graphics card. They will not be going on sale, but will be available through multiple opportunities for fans to get their hands on them.

 

Uncharted movie gets its first official trailer after 10 years

https://youtu.be/eHp3MbsCbMg

Coming out exclusively in movie theaters on February 18th

Mark Walberg plays Skully, who in the games is a wise-ass, cigar smoking, thief. He is anything but that in the movie

Tom Holland plays a young Nathan Drake, who mentions about his brother Samuel (Sam) which is a reference to his fleshed out back story in Unchartered 4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n02C8cK2TuI

There is a scene in the trailer that shows Nathan hanging off of a plane. This is a reference to Unchartered 3: Drake's Deception.

F: I am sure there are other tiny references that will show up the more I watch the trailer

 

Elden Ring gets delayed

https://www.reddit.com/r/Eldenring/comments/q9ibcs/reupload_of_the_27_second_gameplay_leak_youtube/

https://www.pcgamer.com/27-seconds-of-elden-ring-gameplay-footage-has-leaked/

A 27 second video of gameplay gets leaked.

It shows the tree in the trailers and the character just jumping and moving around the world.

Jumping is not typical in a souls game. Except sekiro.

Afterwards the developers delayed the game release for a month.

New release date Feb25th 2022

 

People really don't like Nintendo's Switch Online 'Expansion Pack'

https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2021/10/nintendo-switch-online-expansion-pack-release-date-and-pricing-revealed

https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2021/10/random-uh-oh-nintendos-switch-online-expansion-pack-overview-trailer-is-generating-a-lot-of-dislikes

https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2021/10/happy-home-paradise-unveiled-for-animal-crossing-new-horizons-paid-dlc-or-in-nso-expansion-pack

Nintendo announced their Online Expansion Pack in September and revealed last Friday in the Animal Crossing Direct that it will also include the Happy Home Paradise DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

The expansion pack launches on October 25th and the Animal crossing DLC will launch on November 5th.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer will cost $24.99 on its own.

A 12-month single user membership for Nintendo Switch Online and the Expansion Pack will cost new customers $49.99, while the family pass for up to 8 users will cost $79.99.

A standard Nintendo Switch Online individual membership costs $3.99, $7.99, or $19.99 for 1, 3, and 12 months, while the 12-month family membership costs $34.99.

Existing Nintendo Switch Online members who wish to upgrade will get a "pro rated discount depending on the number of days remaining in [their] current membership"

At t he time of writing, The overview trailer of the Expansion Pack on YouTube has been viewed around 950K times and has gotten 16K likes versus 87K dislikes.

Leaker Emily Rogers has suggested that the reason the new tier is so expensive is because of licensing costs of non-Nintendo games and game libraries.

F: Nobody expected them to drop the details during the direct. However there is a huge backlash to how expensive it is.

 

Xbox and Chill

https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/15/22727969/xbox-series-x-mini-fridge-price-release-date

https://www.purexbox.com/news/2021/10/xbox-series-x-mini-fridge-pre-orders-open-next-week-arriving-this-december

https://www.purexbox.com/guides/xbox-mini-fridge-how-to-pre-order-price-release-date-and-more

Available for preorder in the US,UK and Europe on October 19th for $99.99

Will be sold in Target, in the US, and in Game, in the UK.

This started off as a meme and Microsoft took it and made it into a thing. It was teased back in E3 this year after defeating Skittles in a Twitter poll.

The Mini Fridge has two shelves inside the door and it can hold up to 12 cans of drink.

It has a USB at the front to charge devices.

They called it the worlds most powerful mini fridge with Xbox velocity cooling architecture.

https://www.purexbox.com/news/2021/10/video-xbox-exec-provides-a-closer-look-at-the-series-x-mini-fridge

It can also fit a real Xbox Series X

T: Please don't do this

https://www.purexbox.com/news/2021/10/of-course-the-xbox-mini-fridge-is-already-being-resold-at-ridiculous-prices

The Mini Fridge has been sold out already and are being listed on eBay for around $300.

GM of Microsoft Studios marketing group Aaron Greenberg has stated that most units will be sold in-store in December

https://www.purexbox.com/news/2021/10/microsoft-promises-more-xbox-mini-fridge-supplies-are-on-the-way

Aaron has also stated that this is not a limited edition product, and that more inventory will be coming next year and they will be looking to increase supply and available markets in 2022

 

Xbox announces 512GB and 2TB expansion cards

https://www.purexbox.com/news/2021/10/xbox-reveals-new-512gb-and-2tb-seagate-expansion-cards-for-xbox-series-xs

512GB version will cost $139.99 and will launch mid-November with pre-orders available today.

2TB version will cost $399.99 and will launch early December with pre-orders available in November.

They will be available in all Xbox Markets