#148: Sony set to Unveil its ‘vision of the future’ at CES 2020

TODAY: Get your goat on with PlayStation Plus this month — CD Projekt RED negotiates new terms with The Witcher creator Andrzej Sapkowski — Sega gets cryptic ahead of Sonic’s 30th anniversary

Top Story

Sony’s CES 2020 to unveil their “unique vision of the future” on January 6

The new decade is off to a flying start with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Sony will be unveiling their “unique vision” next week.

Sony’s CES conference will be streamed live at 5PM PST on January 6th, and while there is no reason to expect the PlayStation 5 to be playable on the show floor, Sony assures us that “the future is coming” and that they “are unveiling a unique vision of the future”. They will be tweeting about their event presence and announcements using the hashtag #SonyCES.

New York hosted the first CES in 1967

Sony promises to bring “creativity and technology together like never before, to unleash new sensations and emotions” – which could mean pretty much anything. In the meantime, there have been some leaks suggesting that Sony’s next-gen console will not be quite as powerful as Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.

This has prompted analysts to speculate that Sony is trying to balance price and performance to hit the $400 sweet spot at launch, a price point that helped the PlayStation 4 sell like hotcakes.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

What was Naughty Dog’s first game?

  • Way of the Warrior
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Keef the Thief
  • Rings of Power

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.

News Bits

WWE 2K20 gets clotheslined by 2020, fix released to address New Year crash

Turns out WWE2020 wasn’t quite ready for 2020, as it came crashing into the new year: There is some kind of bug preventing the game from launching on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The game also suffered from extensive technical problems at launch, to 2K Games’ disappointment. Fortunately, a fix has just been released, so now you can wrestle like it’s 2019 again.

Uncharted Collection and Goat Simulator free on PlayStation Plus

Lucky PlayStation Plus subscribers can look forward to playing a true masterpiece this January, one of the finest and most polished games ever made: Goat Simulator. Prepare to goat like never before with unrivaled tongue physics and the most realistic depiction of goat life ever. Oh, and then there’s Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection which is some kind of Tomb Raider knock-off with a stubbly dude. Boring!

Daily Fact

The first CD-ROM game outside Japan

Cyan’s The Manhole was a mail order game from 1988 without an ending, allowing the player to enjoy the game … forever. Like most games at the time, it was distributed on floppy disks.

But in 1989, Activision distributed a CD-ROM version, which was the very first computer game to be distributed on CD-ROM – at least outside Japan: There were a couple of CD-ROM games for NEC’s PC Engine.

It was re-released for Windows 3.1 as The Manhole: New and Enhanced in 1992 and once again in 1995 as The Manhole: CD-ROM Masterpiece Edition, which finally added colour, new music, sound effects and more characters.

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

Daily News

Competitive Pokémon scene bans Dynamaxing as it’s ‘too unpredictable’

There is a lively – if unofficial – competitive Pokémon scene, which makes perfect sense since the series is all about vanquishing other trainers and becoming a champion.

The Pokémon games aren’t exactly designed for the kind of fair and balanced competition the competitive Pokémon community is all about, so the scene has developed its own rules and guidelines that make Pokémon battles into a sport.

Recently, the popular Smogon community voted – with an 87% majority – to ban Dynamaxing. It’s simply too random and unpredictable, and so Dynamaxing is no longer allowed in their Singles 6v6 competitive format.

Surprise Team Rocket attacks are banned, sorry

Smogon’s ban decisions are based on what they call Suspect Testing, which involves the entire community in debate about whether moves or mechanics should be banned from competitive play. After a period of discussion and deliberation, proposals are voted on.

Z-Moves, which were introduced in the seventh generation and can be used once per battle, almost fell victim to Smogon’s ban hammer, and Gigantamaxing is still allowed since only a small number of Pokémon can perform it.

If you ever thought it was a chore to travel around and defeat gym leaders to earn badges so you can enter a tournament, be grateful that there’s no way for them to get together online and vote to ban your favorite strategy.

CD Projekt and author Andrzej Sapkowski kiss and make up

The Witcher was originally created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, but didn’t really reach mainstream success until CD Projekt RED adapted his works into best-selling videogames.

Perhaps a bit unexpectedly, the author and the studio are not on the best of terms, perhaps because Sapkowski feels a bit short-changed by the licensing terms: The author didn’t really expect the Witcher games to become a huge success story, and apparently didn’t ask for much.

While book sales picked up considerably thanks to the games’ success, Sapkowski decided to launch legal action against CD Projekt in a bid to renegotiate terms and get a bigger slice of the pie – and now they seem to have reached an agreement.

The Witcher games drove book sales, and arguably led to the Netflix show

“We’ve always admired Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski’s works – a great inspiration for the team here at CD PROJEKT RED,” said Adam Kicinski, President and joint CEO of the studio. “I believe today marks a new stage in our continued relationship.”

The new licensing agreement gives CD Projekt RED the rights to use The Witcher IP for games, comics, board games and general merchandise.

News Bits

Cryptic Sonic messages from Sega

Sonic the Hedgehog will finally be a movie star this year, but that’s not all: Sega is hinting at something with a bunch of hidden messages.

They refer to 2015, “glimmer of a flame” that has grown and endured challenges, followed by the latin phrase “ignis aurum probat” which means “fire tests gold” and ending with “next chapter belongs to you”.

2021 marks the blue hedgehog’s 30th anniversary, and it’s pretty safe to assume Sega’s got something in store to mark the occasion.

Metro Redux by 4A Games listed by PEGI for release on Nintendo Switch

Metro Redux, the remakes of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, has been rated by PEGI in preparation for a Switch release. Metro 2033 has been ported to the improved Last Light engine, and some levels have been recreated to ease up on the loading screens. Metro Redux was originally released on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2014.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What was Naughty Dog’s first game?

Answer: Keef the Thief!

Naughty Dog has been one of the biggest names in games for the past two console generations, but they’ve been around for a long time – ever since 1989. Their first game was the action RPG Keef the Thief for Apple II, Amiga and PC, which no-one really remembers today. Hardly the most auspicious beginning!

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