Newsfeeds

Slashdot: Games Slashdot: Games
  • Ask Slashdot: Should Microsoft Make an Xbox Phone?
    dvda247 writes: Since there's the Nintendo Switch and previously there was the Sony PSP (Playstation Portable), should Microsoft make an Xbox Phone? There are already 'gaming phones' like the ASUS ROG Phone 2, but should Microsoft jump back into the smartphone game to make a phone running Android that is focused primarily on playing Xbox One games? Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Play Anywhere would be huge selling points to make an Xbox Phone. What are your thoughts?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Microsoft Contractors Listened To Xbox Owners in Their Homes
    Contractors working for Microsoft have listened to audio of Xbox users speaking in their homes in order to improve the console's voice command features, Motherboard has learned. From a report: The audio was supposed to be captured following a voice command like "Xbox" or "Hey Cortana," but contractors said that recordings were sometimes triggered and recorded by mistake. The news is the latest in a string of revelations that show contractors working on behalf of Microsoft listen to audio captured by several of its products. Motherboard previously reported that human contractors were listening to some Skype calls as well as audio recorded by Cortana, Microsoft's Siri-like virtual assistant.

    "Xbox commands came up first as a bit of an outlier and then became about half of what we did before becoming most of what we did," one former contractor who worked on behalf of Microsoft told Motherboard. Motherboard granted multiple sources in this story anonymity as they had signed non-disclosure agreements. The former contractor said they worked on Xbox audio data from 2014 to 2015, before Cortana was implemented into the console in 2016. When it launched in November 2013, the Xbox One had the capability to be controlled via voice commands with the Kinect system.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Sony Buys Spider-Man Developer Insomniac Games
    Sony has purchased the California-based game studio Insomniac Games, best known for last year's Spider-Man on PS4, which sold 13.2 million copies. Sony says Insomniac will become an exclusive PlayStation developer. Kotaku reports: Founded in 1994, Insomniac remained independent for 25 years, working largely with Sony on series like Ratchet & Clank and Resistance but also with other big game companies like Microsoft, which published the colorful open-world game Sunset Overdrive (unlikely to get a sequel any time soon). Insomniac has also worked on several VR games with Oculus, including the upcoming Stormland, currently announced as an Oculus Rift exclusive. Notably, Insomniac's previous VR games have not been released on PlayStation VR.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • The Video Game Industry Claims Its Products Avoid Politics, But That's a Lie.
    Josh Tucker, writing for The Outline: Retired Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North was a Marine platoon commander in Vietnam, a U.S. Senate candidate, and eventually, a National Rifle Association president. At the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan, he helped manage a number of violent imperial operations, including the U.S. invasion of Grenada. Due to televised hearings in the Summer of 1987 where he gave horrifying testimony about the things that he and the United States government had allegedly done, he is probably best known for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Alternatively, you might instead recognize North as a minor character from Call of Duty: Black Ops II. In the game, he makes an appearance, service ribbons and all, to talk a retired Alex Mason -- the game's protagonist -- into joining a covert mission in Angola. The cameo was accompanied by North's role as an advisor and pitchman for the 2012 title. It was very bizarre, and, according to the developers, not at all political.

    In an interview with Treyarch head Mark Lamia, Kotaku's Stephen Totilo asked if the studio had expected the controversy around using North as a consultant. "We're not trying to make a political statement with our game," Lamia responded. "We're trying to make a piece of art and entertainment." This answer would be farcical under any circumstances, but to be clear, Black Ops II was already a jingoistic first-person shooter in a series full of dubious storylines and straight-up propaganda. Its writer and director, Dave Anthony, would later go on to a fellowship at D.C.'s Atlantic Council, advising on "The Future of Unknown Conflict." Regardless, Lamia felt comfortable insisting on record that there was nothing political about getting the Iran-Contra fall guy to shill for its game. In the time since, this brazen corporate line has become the standard for blockbuster games, including the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. "Are games political?" continues to be exhaustingly rehashed, because game companies continue to sell an apolitical delusion.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • $3 Million Fortnite Winner Becomes Latest Swatting Target
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Kotaku reports that Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf was streaming a Fortnite game late Sunday when he abruptly left his desk and abandoned the game with the livestream still running. The cause? His father coming to tell him that armed police were at the front door. Fortunately, Bugha returned unharmed to the stream several minutes later. "That was definitely a new one," he can be heard saying on a recording of the stream. "I got swatted." The comparatively quick and peaceful resolution of the issue was in part due to sheer good luck. "I was lucky because the one officer, yeah, he lives in our neighborhood," Bugha explained on the stream.

    Bugha won $3 million for his first-place finish in the first-ever Fortnite World Cup in July and even appeared on The Tonight Show to talk about his win with host Jimmy Fallon. He is also all of 16 years old, and so a threat against him also involved his parents, whose personal information may have been easy to find. "Swatting" occurs when someone places a hoax emergency call to a police department, hoping to mobilize an emergency response (i.e., a SWAT team) to the victim's home. Bugha was lucky in that the officers who responded to his address were of a mood to ask questions first. Not all swatting victims are so lucky. In 2017, a Kansas man named Andrew Finch was killed during a swatting event even though he was not the intended target. The man behind the hoax call was sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier this year for his role in Finch's death.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Epic Hit With Class-Action Suit Over Hacked Fortnite Accounts
    Epic Games is being sued over security breaches that allowed hackers to access the personal information of Epic Games accounts. From a report: The class-action lawsuit, filed by Franklin D. Azar & Associates in U.S. District Court in North Carolina, alleges Epic's "failure to maintain adequate security measures and notify users of the security breach in a timely manner." The lawsuit states that "there are more than 100 class members." In January, Epic acknowledged that a bug in Fortnite may have exposed personal information for millions of user accounts.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Ask Slashdot: How Will Abandonware Work With Today's DRM Locked Games?
    dryriver writes:
    Thousands of charmingly old-fashioned computer and console games from the 8-bit, 16-bit, MS-DOS era are easily re-playable today in a web browser -- many Abandonware websites now feature play-in-browser emulated games. Here is a video of 101 charming old MS-DOS games, most of which can be re-played on Abandonware websites across the internet in seconds.

    But what about today's cloud-linked, DRM crippled games, which won't even work without Steam/Origin/UPlay, and many of which don't even allow you to host your own multiplayer servers anymore? How will we play them 20 years from now -- on what may be Android, Linux or other OSs -- when they are tethered into the cloud? And is writing a fully-working emulator for today's complex Windows/DirectX games even feasible?

    How will Abandonware work 20 years from now?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Kotaku Posts 'A Reminder That Video Games Are A Force For Good'
    An anonymous reader quotes Kotaku Australia:
    Spurred on by the recent discussions of video games and violence, and spurred on by the emotional and often downbeat tone of that discussion, a user on Twitter posted a simple thought exercise. Rather than talking about the misery and pain of the week, what if people shared all the times Nintendo games changed lives instead?

    Unsurprisingly, the tweet went viral with over 22,000 retweets and 31,200 likes, prompting a trending discussion where people began sharing tales of how Nintendo games have served as a force for good.... Users began retelling stories of the first times they shared a Nintendo game with their parents. Others spoke about times how Nintendo games helped them while they were being bullied at school, difficult situations at home, or just being able to connect with people over a shared interest.

    The responses included game players with autism or depression, with other gamers sharing stories about bonding with a parent, getting inspired to pursue a career, or meeting friends or future spouses in online games.

    Any Slashdot readers want to share their own thoughts on whether videogames are "a force for good"?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Walmart Takes Down Displays of Violent Video Games in Stores
    Walmart is removing displays and signs of violent video games in its stores in the wake of two deadly shootings at its locations in Texas and Mississippi in recent weeks. From a report: "We've taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment," Walmart spokeswoman Tara House said. Further reading: Violent Video Games Don't Cause Mass Shootings, Study Says; and Dear Walmart C.E.O.: You Have the Power to Curb Gun Violence. Do It. (Op-ed).

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony To Require Loot Box Odds Disclosure
    All three major console manufacturers -- Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony -- have agreed to require games with paid loot boxes to include the chances of winning randomized in-game items from them, the Entertainment Software Association announced Wednesday. From a report: Michael Warnecke, the ESA's chief counsel of tech policy, made the announcement during a workshop on loot boxes hosted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. "I'm pleased to announce this morning that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have indicated to ESA a commitment to new platform policies with respect to the use of paid loot boxes in games that are developed for their platforms," Warnecke said. "Specifically, this would apply to new games and game updates that add loot box features, and it would require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomized virtual items in games that are available on their platforms." Warnecke said that in addition to the major console manufacturers, "many of the leading video game publishers" who are members of the ESA, the trade body that represents the gaming industry, will "implement a similar approach."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



| Date published: 2019-08-22T19:54:20+00:00
Back to newsfeed list