Pokémon Sword and Shield exclusivity ends, Black Ops Reboot

TODAY: Now you can catch any Pokémon from both Sword & Shield — Valve Index is still sold out, but HTC’s new Vive will support Half-Life: Alyx — Gabe Newell thinks we might manage to build The Matrix one day

Enter The Matrix

One day we might enter The Matrix

Valve’s head honcho Gabe Newell believes that we’re much closer to achieving the kind of neural interfaces shown in the movie than most people think.

Newell is spending much of his time researching “brain-computer interfaces” when he’s not distracted by other work. “We’re way closer to The Matrix than people realize,” he said, although hopefully referring to the whole learning kung-fu bits rather than being used for nourishment by an evil AI.

The idea, not the film: “…The Matrix is a movie and it misses all the interesting technical subtleties and just how weird the post-brain-computer interface world is going to be. But it’s going to have a huge impact on the kinds of experiences we can create for people,” he told IGN in an interview.

Ultimate entertainment: Apparently Newell thinks the brain has “really good interfaces for some things” but that others present considerable challenges. When brain-computer interfaces are finally commoditized, it will represent an “extinction-level event” for all other forms of entertainment. One game to rule them all!

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which Blizzard game has a brief cameo in Overwatch’s first cinematic trailer?

  • Hearthstone
  • The Lost Vikings
  • Starcraft II
  • Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans

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

The erotic thriller too steamy for Steam

No, this has nothing to do with the novel by American author Robert A. Heinlein.

Not even close: This particular Strangers in a Strange Land is a ‘modern erotic thriller’ set on a farm and starring 18-year-old Billy. It was released on Steam in August 2017, but was perhaps a bit too risque and was quickly pulled from the store before reappearing in September.

The game was definitely more erotic than thriller, and some customers complained that it was bordering on outright pornography, leading developer SOMG to release a censored version with an accompanying patch that uncensored it again. Confused? Don’t be, just admire the developers’ creative integrity and dedication to for their art.

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

Pokemon News and Events

Event temporarily suspends version exclusivity in Pokémon Sword & Shield

If you’ve played a Pokémon game before, then you know there tends to be two versions of each game in the series and that certain Pokémon are exclusive to either of them.

Fortunately, the Pokédex Completion event will temporarily lift this restriction for Pokémon Sword & Shield, giving you a chance to catch some – but not all – of the otherwise unavailable Pokémon.

Pokémon Sword and Shield

  • Pokedex Completion Event
    • Lasts from March 19th until March 26th
    • Pokémon rare in a version will appear in Max Raid Battles
    • Rare rewards including fossils
  • New Pokémon Collection Guide event exclusive to Japan
    • Redeemable codes award Dynamax Crystals
    • Unlocks Stonjourner and Eiscue Max Raid Battles
    • Codes redeemable until April 30th

Pokémon Masters

The next Pokémon Masters Spotlight Scout lasts until April 2nd, and this Sync Pair Scout introduces Fantina & Mismagius.

Black Ops Reboot 2020

Call of Duty 2020 is reportedly a ‘gritty reboot’ of fan favourite Black Ops

More and more evidence points to next year’s big Call of Duty being a Black Ops reboot.

The Modern Warfare series has already had a fresh lick of paint, and it would make sense to spruce up Black Ops as well since it’s another extremely popular sub-series.

The leaks so far:

  • Activision’s internal codename is Project Zeus
  • Likely to be called Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • An updated reimagining along the lines of last year’s Modern Warfare reboot
  • Currently in development by Black Ops developer Treyarch
  • Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software are providing production assistance
  • Alex Mason and Sergeant Frank Woods will be returning, portrayed by new actors
  • A new storyline with themes similar to the original Black Ops story
  • Focuses on real-life events from Vietnam and the Cold War
  • Apparently more realistic and gory the than Modern Warfare reboot
  • Will include enhanced interrogation (aka torture) and for extra shock factor
  • Vietnam story will be told from several perspectives, including:
    • United States
    • South Vietnam
    • Viet Cong
  • Reuses the game engine used in the Modern Warfare reboot
  • Multiplayer modes featuring teams of up to 32 players
  • Operators are back, less likelihood of Specialists
  • Multiplayer DLC expected to be free, while Zombie mode might feature season pass
  • New Zombies story set in Vietnam, with fewer fantasy elements – except for the zombies, of course

VR Bits

Half-Life: Alyx bundled with new Vive

HTC has announced that Half-Life: Alyx will be bundled with the Vive Cosmos Elite along with a 6 month subscription to VIVEPORT, HTC’s Game Pass competitor for VR.

Since the Valve Index is currently impossible to get hold of, other VR headset manufacturers are doing their very best to capitalize on the imminent launch of Half-Life: Alyx.

Note that the Steam code for the game is included in the actual box, so you will not be able to order the Vive Cosmos Elite and immediately preload the game while waiting for the device.

PS5’s limited backwards compatibility doesn’t address PSVR

Yesterday, Sony revealed that the PlayStation 5 will not feature full backwards compatibility with PlayStation 4 games. For now, Sony has promised to make sure the top 100 PlayStation 4 titles as ranked by playtime work well on PlayStation 5, and it’s unlikely that any PSVR title is in that top 100 list.

While it’s a bit early to jump to conclusions, it doesn’t seem likely that the existing PSVR headsets and games will be compatible with PlayStation 5.

Ragdoll Physics Overhaul mod now available for Blade & Sorcery

The Ragdoll Physics Overhaul mod does exactly what it says on the tin: reworks Blade & Sorcery’s ragdoll physics by increasing the weight of ragdolls to make them less flexible and thus allow them to settle in more realistic poses. The stand-alone mod is available on Nexus Mods.

What Else Happened Today?

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Breeder Homegrown Switch Code

You could be in with a chance to receive a Nintendo Switch code for Breeder Homegrown, if you refer DailyBits to a friend! You can use our widget to start earning your referrals, which you can build up throughout the year giving you a greater chance of being selected.

Breeder Homegrown is currently available on the Nintendo eShop for £4.49 and we’ve got a code to hand out today. This is only open to our European readers today.

Breeder Homegrown is a short horror game about a family dealing with a strange creature over several generations. You will encounter some puzzles but the game relies mostly on atmosphere, music and dialogues.

Previous Winners:

  • Jordan Wright, UK – Half Past Fate (PC)

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which Blizzard game has a brief cameo in Overwatch’s first cinematic trailer?

Answer: Hearthstone!

You probably missed it unless you were paying special attention.

The trailer features a scene where Tracer and Winston fights Widowmaker and Reaper, where a security guard is distracted because he’s busy playing Hearthstone. Blizzard should consider making him a playable character: His ultimate could simply be Playing Hearthstone!

The trailer was first shown at BlizzCon in 2014 when Overwatch was announced. According to senior producer Kevin Vanderjagt, the trailer was the result of 12 months of pre-production and over 300 man-months of labor. No matter what you might think of Overwatch, Blizzard’s cinematics department certainly wasn’t slacking off.

Let’s hope the team delivers more of what we really want: the dark and mysterious origin story of Hearthstone Security Guard Dude!

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