Microsoft and Nintendo make moves on Russia

Today: Grand Theft Auto V is about to enter its third console generation — The most fearsome encounter in Elden Ring? Thomas the Tank Engine — Gotham Knights briefly appears on Steam

Microsoft “suspends new sales” in Russia

Microsoft logo on office building

Microsoft has joined the wave of sanctions and embargoes targeting Russia, and is blocking new sales of products and services, stating that it's “horrified, angered and saddened” by the invasion of Ukraine.

It went on to condemn the “unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia,”, stating that Microsoft is “coordinating closely and working in lockstep” with the EU, UK and US.

  • Microsoft “stopping many aspects” of business
  • Existing customers will not lose their access
  • Russia has launched numerous cyberattacks
  • Ukraine requested that Russia should be locked out of Xbox

Cyber defence: “Our single most impactful area of work almost certainly is the protection of Ukraine’s cybersecurity,” Microsoft said, and its contribution will be focused on assisting Ukraine’s cyber defences.

Civil assistance: Microsoft detailed its cybersecurity initiatives in a blog post, which also explained what the company is doing to protect its employees and support humanitarian efforts.

Meanwhile: Nintendo has temporarily placed its Russian eShop into "maintenance mode", but this is mainly because of the payment service not being available in the region, which could be due to a third-party service provider. EA has also made the decision to "stop sales of our games and content" in Russia and Belarus.

What was the time limit in Kenji Eno’s D?

a) Five Hours
b) Two Hours
c) One Hour
d) Thirty Minutes

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.

Chocobo GP spin-off & WWE 2K22

Image of the various Final Fantasy characters you can use in Chocobo GP

Fulfill your lifelong dream of becoming a Chocobo jockey in the aptly named Final Fantasy spin-off Chocobo GP, or make your heel turn in WWE 2K22.

Tuesday – March 8th

Thursday – March 10th

Friday – March 11th

Grand Theft Auto goes next-gen next week

Grand Theft Auto V’s Los Santos

Rockstar has announced that the next-gen upgrade for Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online will launch on March 15th, introducing “high-end PC visuals” on the next-gen consoles.

The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S versions will support up to 4K resolution, up to 60 frames per second, improved texture quality, HDR options and ray-tracing.

Load times: The upgrades aren't all graphics, though: Expect faster load times, 3D audio and greater density of pedestrians and vehicles in Los Santos.

Migration: GTA Online will be available as a stand-alone game for the first time, while both the single-player and multiplayer games will feature character migration so you don't lose any progress when upgrading. Nice! 

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What was the time limit in Kenji Eno’s D?

Laura looks into a broken mirror in D

ANSWER: Two Hours!

Kenji Eno was one of gaming's most unique auteurs, creating games that went far beyond the norm. Outside Japan, he is most famous for D, an eerie horror adventure mixing full-motion video, pre-rendered panoramas and puzzles. The twist? A two-hour time limit.

There's no way to pause, everything happens in real-time, which makes the game's ponderous pace feel weirdly stressful and uncomfortable. Make sure to go to the bathroom before you fire up D after buying it on Steam or GoG.

Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey. If you have any feedback or news tips for the team, please email us!