Picture of Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh

Editor

Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

Switch clicks in the hands, but on paper, it's in trouble

First impressions of Nintendo's hybrid.

You shouldn't judge Nintendo hardware until you've held it in your hands. The Kyoto company, with its dedication to the synthesis of software and hardware, has always revelled in the physicality of video games. It has habitually excelled at creating innovative, ergonomic and tactile kit that can surprise and delight, just through its design.

Is this the year we can finally begin an editorial on Xbox's fortunes without referring to the catastrophic consequences of Xbox One's botched launch in 2013? I guess I've answered my own question there, but at least I feel a little bad about it. Phil Spencer and the rest of the Xbox management team deserve better than having past mistakes raked over yet again, because they have achieved what at one time seemed impossible. They start the new year no longer on the back foot, with some notable successes under their belt, and with, for the first time in years, a strategic advantage over their rivals at Sony. (They even bloodied their nose on Twitter.)

Family bulletin time: our Gamer Network stablemates at Outside Xbox have launched a new YouTube channel called Outside Xtra, which means they've stopped having to pretend that platforms other than Xbox don't exist.

The Fiat Dino coupé was produced for a few years in the late 1960s and early 70s. It wasn't particularly fast, didn't star in any cool movies, and didn't have a motorsport career. Classic car enthusiasts remember it now for its crisp and elegant Bertone body, and the fact that it had a Ferrari-made engine, the same V6 found in its more famous and voluptuous namesake, the Ferrari Dino. It is a lovely car - a personal favourite of mine, thanks to a youth misspent reading classic car magazines - but there is really no reason for it to be in a video game.

Try out seven EGX indie games at home for free

The Bunker, HoPiKo, Shu, Conga Master, Mainlining, Earth's Dawn and Hue.

Can't make it to EGX in Brimingham? (Doh!) Then Amazon is offering to bring Brimingham to you. The retail giant, in collaboration with GameSessions, is offering seven indie games from the Rezzed area of the show for free trial at its EGX hub.

It is the eve of EGX, the UK's biggest gaming show, which means our office is rapidly emptying of people as well as the huge flight crates filled with routers that have been stacked around the printer for the last week. (Disclaimer, if you didn't know already: our company, Gamer Network, runs EGX, but the events team is separately run from this website.)

It's been a long journey for World of Warcraft, and it's been a long journey for me with it. I've played it more than any other game, and loved it just as much. Yet for most of that time, I've been what the WOW community would term a casual. I dip in and out, questing mostly, solo or with a friend, working on crafting, running the odd dungeon, not really raiding any more. I have a fling with every new expansion and then move on, sometimes returning mid-season for a few weeks of idle comfort gaming when I'm bored.

The Hero Factory: Conversations with Chris Metzen

As he retires from his position as Blizzard's head writer.

Blizzard's head writer and lore guru - or senior vice president of story and franchise development to his friends - Chris Metzen has just announced his retirement. To mark the moment, here's a profile of the man we originally published on 20th October 2011.

RecommendedThe Witness review

The enigmatic puzzle epic is out now on Xbox One.

The Witness is released on Xbox One today. Here's our original review of the PC version, first published on 25th January 2016.

The Forza Horizon 3 demo is out now on Xbox One

PC demo coming "sometime after launch".

There's a demo for Forza Horizon 3 live now on the Xbox Live Marketplace. After a false start - it appeared on the Marketplace over the weekend, with an apparent launch time of Sunday - the demo was released yesterday evening.

I had a chance to play Forza Horizon 3 a short while ago, and can report that the third open-world racer from Playground Games is an awful lot like the first two. That is to say, it's gorgeous, slick, cheerful and free-wheeling; it's realistic enough for a car nerd like me to take seriously, but loose enough for anyone to enjoy. Best of all, it's not structured around competitive grind but around the enduring and universal joy of exploring a large and beautiful landscape. It's a racing game for everyone.

Final Fantasy 15 playable at EGX 2016

But never mind that, so is the best Final Fantasy game.

UK gamers will get a chance to go hands-on with Final Fantasy 15 at EGX 2016 at the NEC Birmingham in two weeks' time, as the epic RPG spearheads a big showing for Square Enix.

Life after console generations has one big upside

Why should we welcome PlayStation Neo and Xbox Scorpio? There is a reason.

Later today, Sony will reveal the console codenamed PlayStation Neo - a more powerful version of the PlayStation 4 which will, reportedly, run the same games at higher resolutions or otherwise enhanced. Alongside the similarly conceived Xbox Scorpio, due next year, Neo represents a major departure from industry orthodoxy that will change the fundamental business model of games consoles.

EGX 2016 to host world first hands-on with Dishonored 2

Plus Titanfall 2, FIFA 17, and developer sessions on Torment's story and No Man's Sky's music.

The latest news from our desk-buddies on the Gamer Network events team is that EGX 2016 will host the worldwide debut, in playable form, of Arkane's Dishonored 2. The show, which takes places at NEC Birmingham in a couple of weeks' time, will mark the first time anywhere that members of the public will be able to get their hands on the game.

Assetto Corsa console review

The lap of the gods.

The proof of any racing game is in its time trial mode. Just you, your vehicle and the track in communion; nothing to dilute or interfere with the faceted challenge of shaving seconds off your time through skill, ingenuity and courage; and nowhere for the game itself to hide. It has to be fun and interesting to drive for its own sake, or it's sunk.

EssentialThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review

Out now in a new complete edition, this is a landmark RPG.

The Witcher 3 has been released in a new Game of the Year edition, which includes its two expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine. To mark the occasion, here's our review of this remarkable game, first published on 18th May 2015. Below you'll also find links to our reviews of the two expansions.

The Crew gets a police-themed expansion this year

Calling All Units, out November.

Well this is a pleasant surprise - at least if you, like me, unfashionably insist that Ivory Tower's open-world racing MMO The Crew is an underrated gem. Publisher Ubisoft has just announced a second expansion, Calling All Units, to be released on 29th November.

No Man's Sky modders start by shutting up your exosuit

"Life support systems lommffffmfmf."

Modding of the PC version of No Man's Sky is under way, and modders have begun with a few graphics fixes, as well as some quality-of-life improvements that any player of the game will appreciate. Redditor TaintedSquirrel has a roundup.

RecommendedNo Man's Sky review

The discovery channel.

"Undiscovered." This word, appearing in tooltips that hover by waypoints, moons, planets and star systems, is No Man's Sky's sales pitch in a nutshell. In this remarkable game of space exploration, a universe has been born by algorithm, and it's so incomprehensibly vast that the chances of seeing anything another player has seen are vanishingly small. Your starting position is randomly selected. Even the wildlife is generated from an unthinkable number of variations. Every discovery you make is logged to the game servers and reported in those tooltips, so if anyone has been there before you, you'll know.

You may have seen reports circulating over the last few days that review copies of No Man's Sky have been very late in arriving. It's true - we have just received our PS4 copies today, and the game is released in the US tomorrow and in Europe on Wednesday. (The PC release date is Friday, and advance copies of the PC version are unavailable at present.)

Quadrilateral Cowboy review

A fistful of $variable$.

In Quadrilateral Cowboy, a surreal indie game of hacking and heists, you pull out your 'deck' - a briefcase-sized, late-80s/early-90s portable computer with a fold-out screen and a DOS prompt - and type on it to hack systems and command gizmos. Only, you're not really doing this. You're actually gazing into the virtual reality goggles of another chunky bit of retro computing in your hackers' lair, surrounded by flickering CRTs, humming mainframes and whirring tape decks, planning some future heist in the 'real' world. Only, you're not really doing that either. You're typing on your own keyboard in your own room, playing Quadrilateral Cowboy. (I recommend using a mechanical keyboard for the full, clattering, War Games wish-fulfilment.) Wheels within wheels!

NX is different, and different is Nintendo's best option

Perhaps its only option for staying in the hardware game.

Earlier this week, we reported that Nintendo NX will be a hybrid portable console, powered by Nvidia's Tegra mobile chipset. We'd heard both elements of this story as isolated rumours before, but suddenly - presumably in the wake of a round of presentations by Nintendo - we were able to corroborate both with multiple reliable sources. We were also able to establish a few new details, including the form factor, which intriguingly features two detachable controllers.

I'm delighted to announce that Chris Tapsell has joined the Eurogamer team as our new Guides Writer. (In fact, Eurogamer's latest Chris joined us a couple of weeks ago, but we thought we should ease him in gently before letting you lot loose on him.)

Actually, Pokémon Go isn't really a Nintendo game

But it's still great news for Nintendo.

Nintendo shares have risen in value by over 50 per cent since the launch of the smartphone phenomenon Pokémon Go. Small wonder when you consider that the app is the most popular mobile game in the US ever in terms of daily active users, raking in millions of dollars a day, and taking down social network titans like Tinder and Twitter in terms of engagement. One small detail though, which most mainstream media coverage (and a good deal of specialist coverage too) either ignores or glosses over: Pokémon Go isn't actually a Nintendo game.

It's pretty rare that a company can enter the world of consumer electronics manufacturing and not have a pretty rough time for it, and so it's been for Oculus, the Facebook-owned virtual reality pioneer. Its VR headset Rift has been dogged with supply and manufacturing issues, leading to long wait times for customers, since it launched back in late March.

The Eurogamer Podcast: Yep, it's about Pokémon Go

Plus Chris brings up XCOM 2 *again*.

Look, I know we've written a lot of articles about Pokémon Go over the last week, but honestly, you should see the traffic they're doing. This game is an absolute phenomenon. It's not just hugely popular, though, it's genuinely fascinating: a game like (almost) nothing you've seen before that's changing the way people behave online and in the real world.

Turbine, the veteran Boston-based online game developer, has laid off staff for the third year in a row. The Boston-based studio created the well-regarded online role-playing games Dungeons & Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online, but it has suffered since the launch of ill-fated DC Comics MOBA Infinite Crisis, and is now apparently turning its attention to mobile games - although LOTRO and DDO will be kept online.