EGX, the big UK gaming event put on by Gamer Network, which also runs this website, has announced that submissions are open to all comers for this year's Leftfield Collection indie showcase.
Help: The Game, a collection of 11 all-new games by studios such as Creative Assembly, Sports Interactive and Sumo Digital in support of the charity War Child, has a release date: it goes on sale on 26th July. It will be released through Steam and cost £9.99 / $14.99 / €14.99.
Oculus Rift is extremely hard to get hold of. The VR headset manufacturer has had parts supply and manufacturing problems that have severely restricted the number of headsets available to the extent that it still hasn't fulfilled all preorders made through its own website. (Its launch date was March 28th.)
PlayStation owners aren't the only ones suffering a bereavement today. Microsoft has announced plans to "sunset" Xbox Fitness, its Kinect-powered workout app for Xbox One. As of yesterday, Xbox Fitness content can no longer be purchased. In a year's time - from 1st July 2017 - support will be pulled entirely, and even owners will no longer be able to download or play the workouts they've bought. The Free With Gold offer that allowed Xbox Live Gold members to access over 30 workouts as part of their subscription will be removed on December 15th.
HTC Vive owners rejoice: at the end of last week, Oculus, manufacturers of the rival VR headset Rift, removed the hardware check that prevents games exclusive to the Oculus platform from being played on anything other than a Rift.
We've decided to take a slightly different tack with our E3 awards this year. Rather than pick a single game of the show, or nominate games to other sub-categories based on genre or achievement in some specific area of technology or design, we've simply picked five games that particularly impressed us this week and presented them with our Editors' Choice Awards.
We finally know what Sony's Bend Studio - former home of Syphon Filter and the Vita Uncharted games - has been up to recently. It's making an epic, cinematic, post-apocalyptic survival game with a biker hero called Days Gone.
Ubisoft is making an intriguing co-op VR game, based on JJ Abrams' Star Trek film series, and coming to Oculus Rift, Vive and PlayStation VR. It's called Star Trek: Bridge Crew.
There's a new game from Klei Entertainment! Our enthusiasm is automatic and unquestioning. The Vancouver indie, creators of Mark of the Ninja, Don't Starve and Invisible, Inc., is one of the most talented studios anywhere.
The weekend's Dead Rising 4 leak has been confirmed, and Capcom's zombie brawler has had a release window pinned on it by its new trailer (which you can watch below). It's coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 and will be out in Holiday 2016, which is American marketing speak for the end of this year.
Following this afternoon's Forza Horizon 3 leak, Microsoft has confirmed the return of the open-world racing series at its E3 press conference.
Relatively reliable gossip source Nerd Leaks reports that this year will see the release of Forza Horizon 3. Developed once again by Leamington Spa's Playground Games, the open-world racing sequel will be set in Australia, and will be released on 27th September for both Xbox One and Windows 10.
Nintendo's not to be left out of today's rampant leak action: a hitherto unseen piece of concept art for the next Legend of Zelda game, which we will be hearing a lot more about at E3 this week, has surfaced.
This is going to be a weird one. As we head into E3 2016, the console games industry is undergoing seismic shifts that will change its course radically and forever. But there's a good chance the tip of this looming iceberg will barely break the glossy surface of the annual promotional whirligig in Los Angeles. If you'll forgive the mixed metaphors, that's one hell of an elephant in the room.
The point at which we should have known that the decade-in-the-making Warcraft film (released in the UK today) wasn't going to work out was when its title was extended to Warcraft: The Beginning. Everything misguided about this production can be read into the two words after that colon. The producers' hubris in taking a future franchise as a fait accompli. This film's unsatisfying status as a set-up, rather than a main event. An admission to fans of World of Warcraft that this wouldn't quite be their Azeroth: the film turns the clock back a generation to tell, roughly, the story of the 1994 strategy game Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, and is more focused, but much reduced in scope from WOW's vivid tableau of squabbling races.
It's fun to get swept along by new-game fever - especially when the game is as pleasant a surprise as id Software's robust Doom reboot - but the tide of enthusiasm can carry you to some regrettable places. Don't, as I did, make the mistake of thinking that this would be a perfect moment to reappraise the 2005 Doom movie, which is currently available on Netflix in the UK and across Europe. There is no reappraising to be done here. It's a bad film, probably worse than you remember. Just another rubbish video game movie - except it's not, because of one historically remarkable shot, and because Doom's fearsome magic has eluded other game makers as well as filmmakers. For years, it even eluded id themselves.
This is a rare treat: the creators of a popular series and a beloved character laying them to rest with elegant finality, and going out on an absolute high. In games as in other media, dignified endings aren't easy to come by. But Naughty Dog have outdone themselves with what they say (and I believe) is their last Uncharted game, and the last appearance of the series' hero Nathan Drake. It's the best of the lot.
In Play is a column taking a weekly sideways look at new game releases.
Hello from hip East London! It's the third day of EGX Rezzed and the second day of developer sessions - but if you can't make it to the show, you can watch all the sessions live on YouTube in the embeds below.
It's day three of Rezzed in East London - our parent company Gamer Network's friendly and indie-focused game show, little sister to September's big, bad (in a good way) EGX. Just like EGX, we host and stream developer sessions live at the show, this time with a little help from our friends at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
Movie studios talked about the 'high concept' or the 'elevator pitch'; the ability to condense the plot or premise of a film to a two-minute sell, a breathless paragraph, a single tag line and image that will lodge in the audience's mind. If you're making a video game in 2016, sometimes you need to go one further. If you're trying to stand out on Steam amid dozens of new releases every day, and you don't necessarily have a Hollywood marketing budget to get your point across, you need to sell a game with its title alone. (As someone who runs a website in the social media age, I have some sympathy with this.)
I am a tiny person, a few inches tall, and I sit in Shuhei Yoshida's enormous, outstretched hand. The cheerful Sony executive gently holds me aloft on a staircase in a spacious office environment. Other giants are gathered around us on the stairs; as I turn and look around, I see Hideo Kojima's face, inscrutable as ever, looming nearby like one of the chiselled heads of Mount Rushmore. How about that for a virtual reality killer app?
It's pretty rare that the moment an entire video game genre was conceived can be pinpointed to the second. But David Brevik, lead programmer, designer and co-creator of Diablo, did just that during an anecdote-packed postmortem session at the Game Developers Conference earlier this month.
Other indie games have had far more protracted gestations - The Witness, for one - but there's still been something drawn-out about development of Below, the dungeon-delving adventure with stylish miniaturised graphics from Capybara. First revealed at E3 2013 as an Xbox One exclusive, the game has only just been confirmed for a release - on PC as well - this summer. And though we've had a few intriguing glimpses of it over those three years, we haven't really learned a lot more about it in that time.
Oh, hey there. Chris Bratt and I have been in sunny San Francisco this week for the Game Developers Conference, which is why the podcast is later in the week than usual. Sorry! But we can hopefully make it up to you with a special edition recorded at the conference. You can hear some authentic game developer hubbub in the background. Feel the ambience!
Some of you will never be happy if it's not Half-Life 3, or at least another Left 4 Dead. Some of you just want to know what's in the next update for Dota 2, Counter-Strike: GO or Team Fortress 2. Some of you are still pretending that Steam Machines are going to be a thing. And some of you are wondering if Valve is really a game developer any more, or just a particularly idiosyncratic, not to say gnomic, platform company with more revenue than it knows what to do with and a habit of half-indulging its whims. (Hello, Steam Controller.)
Oculus showed 41 games for the Rift VR headset in San Francisco ahead of this week's Game Developers Conference. Impressively, a full 30 of them will launch with Rift in a couple of weeks on 28th March. Most of the remaining 11 will follow hot on their heels. This is great software support by the standards of any game hardware launch I can think of, let alone one by a company new to this sort of thing (albeit with Facebook's deep coffers behind it). Oculus' confidence in putting it all on display is justifiable.
In Play is a column taking a weekly sideways look at new game releases.
This doesn't happen every day: we have a couple of new opportunities to join our writing team here at Eurogamer. Both are working on the game guides that we introduced in 2014, and that we are now looking to expand on, improve, and integrate more closely with the rest of what we do.