Virtual Reality is Invading Gaming

It wasn’t long ago that video games were thought of as nothing more than little computerized trinkets that could supply games in simple formats, and it took quite some time for the video game industry to reach the point it has grown to today. Foundational games of the past had to exist in order to lead to the games of the future, and those games are finally starting to reach the hands of players who have waited for them since childhood. It won’t be long before the dream of a fully realized virtual reality will enter the gaming world.

In a sense, all video games have been virtual reality to a certain degree. The only real difference between those virtual realities and the ones of the future is the perspective from which the player interacts with them. Super Mario started as a simple 2D game where the player controlled the character through a third-person perspective, but the goal is to eventually create a way to have the player enter the game world so they can play from a first-person perspective. While the VR systems of today are starting to get quite a bit more advanced, there is still a long way to go before humanity has the ability to completely replicate the experience of reality. Like something out of The Matrix, a near-perfect virtual world could be the future.

The beginning of the transition to a world that focuses on virtual experience is already here. A full arcade of VR games exists in Hong Kong, and it is only a matter of time before other major cities start to follow suit. The popularity of augmented reality games like Pokemon Go has already proven that the world is ready to see these sorts of virtual technologies incorporated into their entertainment and daily lives.

Madden 18

The Madden video game franchise is one of the most successful games in the entire video game industry. Now is the time of year when the new Madden installment comes out. In early reviews, Madden 18 looks to be one of the strongest games in a long time. There are a lot of people who are excited about the new features and the gameplay options that are available. This should be a great option for people to use if they want to learn the game. Here are some of the most important features and upgrades on the game this year.

Franchise

Running a franchise is one of the most exciting parts of playing Madden. Many players love taking over a franchise and controlling every aspect of the game. Over a period of time, a lot of people enjoy taking a bad team and turning it into a good one.

One of the keys to managing a team is managing the salary cap. This is a feature in the NFL that keeps one team from becoming too good. This is one of the reasons that the NFL is so volatile from year to year. On any given day, any team can beat the team they face. This is the same in the Madden game. Players will have to budget their salary cap spending appropriately in order to have success playing the game.

New Updates

In addition to the improved franchise play, there are other new updates that are coming with this version of the game as well. The gameplay features are much easier to use, and catching the ball is now more involved than ever. Over the years, this was an area that players wanted to see more updates in. Now players can go through the entire process with more control.

Atari Announces “NES Classic”-like Ataribox

Last year’s E3 conference saw Atari popping its head out into the gaming scene with mentions of releasing a brand new product. Despite presenting interested audiences with a 20-second teaser video and revealing that the “Ataribox” would feature a wooden design similar to the Atari 2600, any further details remained elusive.

In a recent email to fans of the company, Atari expressed its intention to create something new that retains traces of the company’s heritage and would appeal to existing and potential new fans of Atari. New details about the Ataribox reveal that its exterior includes the classic wood paneling that was iconic for the Atari 2600 while also incorporated ribbed lines, an elevated back and front paneling available in glass and wood. LEDs, used to signify being turned on or when a game is running, illuminate through the front panel. In terms of connection and interaction, the console includes support for SD cards, an HDMI port and a quartet of USB ports. Currently, the Ataribox will be available in wood or black-and-red.

As far as game offerings go, Atari intends to feature classic Atari titles as well as “current-generation material.” While the latter term is unclear, it seems that Atari intends to go for a similar approach as Nintendo’s recent “NES Classic” and “SNES Classic” products and function as an official, polished emulator. While the Atari brand has been licensed out for a few years, the company is fully involved in the Ataribox.

Currently, details like price tag, release date, game library and even technical specifications remain elusive. Atari’s email commented that it was not deliberately looking to tease fans and that it intended to let fans know about every step of the Ataribox’s development and would seriously consider comments about the product from communities dedicated to Atari’s influence.

Atari Announces New Game System: Ataribox

Atari, a video game company based in France, sent out an early preview of its first new gaming console in over 20 years. The details were sent via email and were sparse. Although the information was limited, photos of the console were enough to get fans and press talking about the brand once again.

In a press statement, Atari said that the new console is inspired by its previous works. The front and back will feature a wood and glass panel and the main console material will be available in either wood or a classic black and red paint job.

Drawing influences from Atari’s heritage, the company says it hopes to introduce something new to gamers, but also remain true to the brand’s sensibilities.

The technical specifications of the new Ataribox remain speculative at best. The company kept any mention of price, release date, and capabilities absent from their press release. Photos of the console haven’t stopped speculations about what’s inside though.

On the exterior, an SD card slot is visible, as well as four USB ports and an HDMI output. In addition to playing classic games, the Ataribox is expected to pack a modern punch. In the newsletter released to fans, the company said, “As you can guess, those ports suggest modern internal specs. It also means that while we will be delivering classic gaming content, we will also be delivering current gaming content.”

Atari was founded nearly four decades ago by Ted Dabney and Nolan Bushnell. The company was most recently acquired by Infogrames, a French video game creator. Shortly after acquiring Atari, the company rebranded itself to take on the original Atari moniker.

E3, the world’s largest gaming convention, passed in early June. While this announcement was unexpected, critics predict a full release or product debut at next year’s conference.

Bandai VR Zone In Shinjuku Showcases Their HTC Vive-Powered Virtual Reality Games

Many cynics are of the opinion that virtual reality is just a fad; another gimmick like 3d television that ends up tucked away in the attic gathering dust.

Well Bandai is here to prove those naysayers wrong with their new VR Zone arcade in Shinjuku, Japan. According to Engadget, VR Zone has two floors which are a total of 37,600 square feet, and could potentially get 1,500 visitors a day.

The arcade contains 12 games total, with some non-virtual reality games near the in-store restaurant. Games featured in the VR arcade include classic Bandai titles such as Gundam, Evangelion, and Dragonball. Also included in the line-up is a virtual reality rendition of the ever popular game Mario Kart, a flying bicycle game, a fishing game, and more.

The most intriguing of these games is the Mario Kart VR because of its setup. Players utilize the traditional steering wheel and pedals, and sit in a force feedback chair. They wear the HTC Vive VR headset and have custom strap-on controllers which allow them to interact with their virtual environment to, say, throw a koopa shell.

Mario Kart VR is the first virtual reality game to be officially licensed by Nintendo, though it is developed by Bandai Namco. Fans of Mario Kart are hoping that the game will eventually make its way to the Nintendo Switch, but there is no evidence that it will as of yet.

If Mario Kart isn’t your taste, you can always learn how to Kamehameha in the Dragon Ball VR game. This game requires two players, and players must put on a total of five HTC Vive motion trackers. A cool feature is that the tracker gloves will rumble in response to actions performed in the game.

With a brief training session from the Dragonball character Goku, you are then sent out to battle the person you are hooked up to the game with.

While the Bandai VR Zone is only located in Japan, one can hope something like it eventually makes its way overseas.

Marvel Powers United VR Takes Hero Games To The Next Level

Marvel Powers United VR is more than just another upcoming superhero video game. Marvel has produced a ton of those over the years. Anyone remember way back in the 1980’s when Spider-Man debuted for the Atari 2600? The newest planned video game definitely is a lot more advanced than any previous release. Marvel Powers United VR will be the House of Idea’s first virtual reality game.

Actually, the VR game is being developed and produced by Oculus on a Marvel license agreement. Oculus deserves the bulk of the credit for the creation of the game. Both Marvel and Oculus should experience a major cash windfall when the game comes out. Stepping into the virtual reality shoes of The Incredible Hulk and other heroes positively does sound like a cool gaming experience. Okay, The Hulk is barefoot but the sentiment remains the same.

The Hulk won’t be the only character players can assume in the game. A dozen different heroes are available opening the door for a player to enjoy the game from 12 different perspectives. How one hero deals with a situation is not the same way another would. Marvel Powers United VR definitely won’t become a boring game for any consumer too quickly.

Superhero movies are still doing quite well at the box office. The popularity of heroes has not translated to comic book sales. However, video games and other ancillary merchandise seem to be doing extremely well. Marvel Powers United absolutely should be a hit. The concept is great and the market is perfectly hot for such a product.

Giant Pokemon Go Festival Happening In Chicago

Just over a year ago, masses of people suddenly descended on some of the most random and obscure locations, deliriously excited about something that onlookers were at a loss to understand. What they were witnessing was the release of a brand new type of video game – one that took players out from in front of their TV’s and got them interacting with the world around them. Since then, the numbers of players have declined, but millions of die hard fans still remain.

While there have been rumors of several similar games scheduled to be released in the last year, including one based on the wildly popular Harry Potter series, none has materialized or gained anywhere near the massive following of Pokémon Go. As a result, Niantic closes off it’s first year as the completely undisputed champion of interactive “real world” video games.

On July 22, they will celebrate this crowning acheivement with a massive POGO celebration to take place in Grant Park, located in Chicago, IL. During the festival, Niantic will coordinate challenges taking place in Chicago with challenges that players around the world can participate in, based on challenges chosen by the players in Chicago. A final challenge will take place in the evening on the 26th, with a special reward being offered for completing the challenge. Rumors abound that the much-awaited legendary Pokémon will finally be released to anxious players around the world.

Aside from the initial release of Pokémon Go, this may be the first time that video game players all around the globe are all participating in playing one video game at one time, making it a truly global event. Given the stunning success that Pokémon Go has experienced, it is unlike that they will maintain their stranglehold on the market for this type of video game for long, but for the moment, they are basking in their success. In August, Niantic will also be hosting special events throughout Europe, as well as being part of a week-long celebration in Japan in August.

Albion Online Sandbox MMO Launch Day Arrives

Albion Online is a new fantasy sandbox massively multiplayer online role-playing game with a flexible class system and lots of great player versus player (pvp) action.

Equipping items allows you to customize your character in both appearance and abilities, as your skills are tied to what gear you are wearing. You could wear, for instance, a full suit of plate mail and wield a staff for magic. On top of this, the game puts an emphasis on having all items being player made only, with a “black market” system in place that allows monster loot drops to be player driven and crafted.

Similar in style to EVE Online, the economy is driven by two types of currencies: gold and silver. These currencies already have their own markets, and their prices have fluctuated since the start of the game’s beta.

The game is filled with different environments that allow you to raise animals, grow crops, build homes, and explore dungeons. The game also allows for player guilds to acquire territory through pvp, and has game mechanics that would allow smaller guilds to successfully defend their territories against larger guilds. This was developed to combat what is known in EVE as “blobbing”, a pvp strategy in which massive fleets are used to overwhelm the enemy.

According to an interview with Albion Online developer Stefan Wiezorek, the Albion crew plan on releasing a roadmap post-launch which contains a schedule of new features to be added in the future. Wiezorek stated that there are no other game projects planned for the team, and that they will continue to develop Albion Online in full force.

Albion Online servers have launched on July 17th, 2017, with veteran founders and veteran starters (the lowest tier founders) being able to play on July 19th, 2017 at 13:00 UTC.

New “Kingdom Hearts 3” Trailer Confirms “Toy Story” World

A brand new trailer of the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3 has got a lot of gamers talking. This trailer was first shown to an audience at the D23 Expo on July 15th, but it has since gone viral on YouTube.

At the start of the commercial we see Sora, the game’s spiky-headed protagonist, jumping, gliding, and fighting Heartless. Many believe this first scene takes place around Mount Olympus, a world that’s based on the Disney film Hercules.

The next scene shows Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy battling both Heartless and Nobodies. All gamers could instantly recognize this location as Twilight Town, a prominent setting in Kingdom Hearts 2.

After that, the commercial shows what appears to be a boss battle in Mount Olympus. This part of the ad shows off special combos gamers will be able to use during combat.

While gamers were extremely impressed with the scenes listed above, the main part of the ad showed cut scenes from a Toy Story-inspired world in the game. Gamers finally got confirmation that at least one Disney/Pixar movie will be featured in Kingdom Hearts 3.

Sora and the gang are mysteriously transformed into toys and placed in Andy’s bedroom. After battling a few Heartless, the three teammates meet all the major characters from Toy Story. It’s quite amusing for English speakers to watch Woody, Buzz, T-Rex, and Hamm speaking fluent Japanese.

The advertisement closes with gameplay in the Toy Story level. At the very end, Sora confronts the powerful Xemnas in a store that resembles Al’s Toy Barn in Toy Story 2.

Although the ad says Kingdom Hearts 3 will be released in 2018, some fans are skeptical. Square Enix, the game’s developer, has been pushing back the release date for awhile now, and many video game critics say they wouldn’t be surprised if the game was delayed till 2019.

Kingdom Hearts 3 was announced way back in 2013. The only other confirmed worlds in Kingdom Hearts 3 include Twilight Town, Mt. Olympus, the Kingdom of Corona (from the film Tangled), and San Fransokyo (from Disney’s Big Hero 6). While nothing has been confirmed, many fans are still hoping Kingdom Hearts 3 will feature worlds from Disney’s latest acquisitions: Star Wars and Marvel.

Destiny 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow

“Destiny” may have had it issues when it was first released for the PS4 and Xbox One in September 2014, but it still quickly become one of the most successful games on both consoles. The highly-anticipated sequel will be released by Bungie on September 6, 2017, but some gamers will get the chance to try out “Destiny 2” starting tomorrow afternoon.

The “Destiny 2” beta will open on the PS4 on July 18 at 1 PM ET. It will become available on the Xbox One console 24 hours later. Only people that pre-ordered “Destiny 2” will get early access to the beta. Everyone will get a chance to play the multiplayer shooter on July 21. The console beta will officially close on July 23. You will need a PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold account in order to play the online multiplayer modes offered in the “Destiny 2” beta.

While playing a video game before it is released is always exciting, only a small portion of “Destiny 2” will be available during the beta. Bungie has promised to deliver an epic story to the new game. You can get a glimpse of the “Destiny 2” story by playing the first campaign mission during the beta. Three multiplayer modes will also be available to play online with your friends. Strike is a new cooperative mode that can be played two other people. You can show off excellent shooting skills in the competitive multiplayer modes called Crucible and Control.

Bungie has announced that players will likely experience a few glitches and errors while playing, so take that into account when evaluating the game. The errors should be fixed before the full game is released in September. “Destiny 2” fans will also be disappointed to learn that their character progression in the beta will not carry over to the full game.