Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Holiday 2020, June Direct Cancelled

TODAY: Microsoft reports increased revenue during COVID-19 pandemic — Microsoft facing class-action lawsuit over Xbox controller analogues — Want to make Beat Saber tracks? An AI could help you with that!

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Ubisoft has officially announced Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Ubisoft live-streamed the creation of a piece of artwork yesterday, and the finished piece served as the official announcement of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

Today Ubisoft released the Cinematic World Premiere trailer, announcing that the game will be launched for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 for this year’s holiday season.

Latest Info Round-up

  • Developed by the Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Origins team
    • Ubisoft Montreal is the principal developer
    • 12 associate studios and 1 external also contribute
  • The main character is called Eivor and can be male or female
  • Full character customization including hair, beard and war paint
  • Set in Norway and England
  • Three major cities to visit: London, Winchester and Jorvik
  • Most weapons can be equipped in combination pairs
  • All gear is unique and upgradeable or customisable
  • Skill tree system for unlocking new abilities
  • Gear and abilities more important than character level
  • Greater enemy variety that produce more surprising combat encounters
  • Launch raids with your very own longship, complete with customizable crew
  • Assault towns in big set-pieces, different from raiding smaller settlements
  • Build settlements to serve as bases for your recruits
  • Hidden blade makes a return, Eivor will work alongside Assassins

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which of the following Oddworld games is not like the others?

  • Stranger’s Wrath
  • Abe’s Oddysee
  • New ‘n Tasty
  • Abe’s Exoddus

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today’s issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Daily Fact

Mega Man ZX really tinkered with the Mega Man formula

Mega Man ZX from 2006 was the first Mega Man game to feature a female lead, the robot girl Aile.

The game also featured Metroidvania-style open-world level design and full voiceovers, but most of the voice work got cut from the American release. The sequel, Mega Man ZX Advent, would eventually feature full English voiceovers – another first for the series.

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Nintendo Directs, Microsoft's Xbox Revenue

Xbox sales are down but revenue is up, Nintendo cancels June Nintendo Direct

The COVID-19 crisis has had significant economic impact, but videogames seem to be doing brisk business: Microsoft has seen a considerable rise in revenue this quarter.

Microsoft exceeded expectations earning $35 billion in revenue, yielding net income of $10.8 billion. “COVID-19 had minimal net impact on the total company revenue,” said Microsoft.

Revenue from the Xbox division increased by 2 percent, while gaming revenue was down 1 percent. Xbox Live services have 90 million active monthly users right now, while Xbox Game Pass has reached 10 million subscribers.

Work-at-home issues: Nintendo cancelled June’s Nintendo Direct stream since the whole company is working from home. That means Nintendo will have to wait to announce their plans for Mario’s 35th anniversary.

March warning: Several classic 3D Mario games are expected to be re-released for Nintendo Switch, but they may not be announced until the end of summer unless Nintendo decides to host a Nintendo Direct at the earliest possible opportunity.

COVID-19 did not take Nintendo by surprise, however and released a statement in March saying that “due to COVID-19, release dates and other information… are subject to change.”

Microsoft targeted with class-action lawsuit over drifting analogue sticks

Microsoft is under fire by a class-action lawsuit similar to the one targeting Nintendo and their drifting JoyCons.

Nintendo’s drifting woes started when a huge number of people reported that input was registered by JoyCons even when the stick was not being moved, causing problems in games. Plaintiff Donald McFadden claims Microsoft were aware of a similar defect in the Xbox One controllers, and filed a suit on April 28th in a US District Court.

Tokyo Drifting: The lawsuit claims that customers are required to pay for repairs after the 90 day warranty period despite Microsoft’s awareness of the design flaw. McFadden purchased a $180 Xbox Elite controller and experienced drifting after a short time of use. He bought another, and had the same problem again after three to four months of use..

Drifting along: McFadden added that Microsoft had “failed to disclose the defect and routinely refuses to repair the controllers without charge when the defect manifests” despite a significant number of complaints going back as far as 2014.

Nintendo stopped charging for repairs shortly after a different class-action suit was filed against them, though they do not acknowledge that the Joy Cons have a design flaw.

VR Bits

Beat Sage makes Beat Saber tracks

Ever wanted to make your own Beat Saber maps but found yourself overwhelmed by the effort required? Chris Donahue and Abhay Agarwal have created an AI-assisted tool that could help you out.

Beat Sage analyzes a music track and creates a custom level for it, although the result is pretty dependent on the genre and pace – slow songs don’t really work very well. It’s still an impressive tool, and if you want to support further development you can subscribe to the creators’ Patreon and also unlock more options for your custom tracks.

Pistol Whip is coming to PSVR soon

Pistol Whip is essentially John Wick meets Beat Saber, and it is coming to PlayStation VR this summer. It’s a rhythm-action game where you shoot enemies in time to a pacey soundtrack, and it’s a bit of an instant classic. There’s no definite release date yet, so follow Pistol Whip on Twitter if you want keep up.

Budget Cuts 2 performance update

Player were quite critical of Budget Cuts 2’s high system requirements, since a lot of people found themselves unable to enjoy the game. Now the developers have released a ‘Performance Update’ patch which tweaks many of the game’s CPU-dependant features and revamps the rendering, so players with low-end CPUs should see a considerable performance boost.

The game is also 45% off to mark the occasion, dropping the price to £13. The full change list is available on Steam.

What Else Happened Today?

  • Cities Skyline and Farming Simulator 19 in May’s PlayStation Plus available from May 4th
  • Switch system update 10.0.2 addresses Pro Controller issues allowing console to set up the controller properly and avoid “incorrect joystick control”
  • Munch’s Oddyssee out for Switch on May 14th As Oddworld Inhabitants brings back the third and previously Xbox-exclusive third game in the series
  • Dataminers dig into the Ninjala open beta and uncover references to Sonic and Dr. Robotnik
  • Indie RPG Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling hit consoles on May 28th get ready to bug out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Switch

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which of the following Oddworld games is not like the others?

Answer: Stranger’s Wrath!

The Oddworld games are most famous for 2D platforming, but the series has never been shy about trying new things.

Stranger’s Wrath is a hybrid first and third-person action game starring Stranger, a gruff bounty hunter making money for life-saving surgery using the local wildlife as ammunition for his crossbow.

The game was published for Xbox by EA in 2005, but was a commercial flop despite critical acclaim, perhaps due to weak marketing. It did better when re-released for PC in 2005, and is now available on Switch too. You should check it out, there’s literally nothing else like it!

Today’s issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Christian Vaz, Simon Priest, Erlend Grefsrud, and Jamie Davey.