Gaming Weekly 08/07/2016 – Evolve Goes Free to Play, Xbox Avatars, FIFA 17 Cover Vote, Nintendo’s Next Handheld
The Gadget Helpline’s GAMING WEEKLY is here!
Each week our dedicated team of gamers will gather some of the top gaming news and announcements from the last seven days and deliver them here to you, our fellow players!
We’ve been able to find a few interesting titbits of gaming news for you this week (while the Pokemon GO servers have been down!) Including Evolve going free-to-play on PC, Xbox’s new disabled-friendly avatars, FIFA cover vote and Nintendo’s new handheld patent. There’s also a new Lara Croft who we think you’ll probably want to meet!
Evolve is Now Free-to-Play on PC, Consoles to Follow:
Turtle Rock Studios and 2k Games announced this week that first-person shooter game Evolve is to be relaunched as free-to-play on PC.
The public beta was rolled out on the Steam platform yesterday and is expected to reach consoles in the very near future, also without cost.
Evolve is a team-based alien hunting sci-fi game that was originally released in February of 2015 for Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4 and despite a lot of initial appeal the game lost pace after its DLC was deemed by players as overpriced and a ‘scam’ and developers Turtle Rock Studios themselves called the whole deal a ‘s**tstorm’ (yes, that exact description).
In order to win back favour the game will now be free, as will the previously high priced downloadable content and the whole game will revamped with added improvements to performance, maps and user interface. It’s as if they really want us back on board and those who previously bought Evolve at its full price will be granted an exclusive Founder Status with access to all their previously installed DLC as well as extras to use in the game.
Xbox Will Introduce Wheelchair Avatars in Future Update:
This week Microsoft’s Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, confirmed the arrival of a new wheelchair option for Xbox avatars.
Following Twitter discussion about the lack of any suitable avatar characters for mobility challenged gamers, Spencer responded telling his followers that the wheelchair option would not be far off.
This was followed soon after by a further tweet, this time from Director of Program Management, Mike Ybarra, who teased a sneak peek at the first pair of avatars, a male and a female, both equipped with stylish Xbox themed wheelchairs.
— ♏️ike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) July 5, 2016
You’ll notice the avatars also appear to be a bit cleaner and sharper looking than the selection currently available, suggesting some visual improvements and customisation options for the Xbox avatars may also be coming in a future update.
Xbox has always been a brand keen to make gaming accessible and welcoming to gamers of all abilities and in an update late last year introduced a range of ‘Ease of Access’ settings allowing closed captions to be used to help partially sighted players, as well as tweaks to image contrast, button mapping and a magnifier. This is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to listen to its customer’s needs and updating their platform accordingly. It’s just the way they roll.
Voting Begins to Find FIFA 17 Cover Star:
The voting for the next FIFA cover star has begun! And this year EA Sports is offering players a choice of elite footballing stars from around the globe to grace the front of the highly-anticipated annual offering!
After headlines and hot water for previous cover regular Lionel Messi, the FIFA 17 box art won’t include the Barcelona player at all this time and instead players are being offered the choice of Anthony Martial of Manchester United, Eden Hazard of Chelsea, Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund and James Rodriguez of Real Madrid.
The winning football star will appear on the final FIFA 17 cover when the game is released on September 27th on PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 – a date we’re sure is already underscored in many fans diary.
Next Nintendo Handheld Patent Surfaces:
It would seem the rumours of Nintendo working on a new handheld might just be true, as a new patent popped up this week showing the future portable in its design stages.
Looking like a single screened DS with the body shape of an Apple iPhone, the concept (filed on June 30th) fuels speculation that Nintendo’s next pocket console might be smartphone-inspired and work with the new mobile apps the company will be releasing with Japanese developer DeNA.
There’s little to tell us what Nintendo’s exact intentions with the new handheld will be, but there’s a lot to read about it technically at the USP&T site and on first glance the hardware follows a pretty standard format with screen, function buttons, D-pad and a thumb-stick all in the familiar places.
From the details currently available we’re told a bit more about the notable speakers at the bottom of the design, and the patent describes the location of the left and right speakers (facing the player) will provide the device with vibration capabilities and “notify a position in a depth direction in three-dimensional virtual space.” Sort of how a blind person with a stick detects when a person or object is near, we would imagine.
It’s thought the new handset will work in co-operation with the much discussed but little known of new NX console planned by Nintendo and we await more info on both. For now you can check out the patent for yourself at the US Patent & Trademark Office website.
To sign us off this week, we’ve got more gaming movie news, with the announcement of the next Lara Croft actress and a release date for a new Tomb Raider movie.
Taking over the proverbial archaeologist’s cap from previous on-screen Lara, Angelina Jolie will be 27 year old Swedish actress Alicia Vikander who has starred in Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E and Jason Bourne – so she’s no stranger to the action scene and can act, so a great choice for Lara in our opinion!
We look forward to seeing more of Ms. Vikander as she fills the well-worn boots of one of gaming’s most favourable female heroes!