PS4 Update 3.11 Released, Here’s What It Does

The update should “enhance system performance” and make other stability improvements.

Sony is releasing a new PlayStation 4 firmware update, but this one focuses more on back-end items like general stability and performance than adding new features. PS4 3.11 is launching today, November 9, and is expected to “enhance system performance,” according to a tweet from the official PlayStation account.

The official patch notes (via DualShockers) are very brief.

“System software stability during use of some features has been improved,” reads the notes for the patch, which sadly do not include any references to the band 311. The update weighs in at just 250.4 MB.

PS4 update 3.11 follows 3.10, which was released at the end of October. It introduced new functionality like the ability to follow the verified accounts of game developers and customize messages with a selection of new stickers. For more on that update, check out GameSpot’s previous coverage.

With shipments exceeding 29.4 million units, the PS4 enters the holiday season as the top-selling new-generation console. For its part, however, Microsoft is expecting to see a “massive migration” of Xbox 360 players moving forward to the Xbox Oneover the coming weeks and months. The next update for the Xbox One, the New Xbox One Experience, launches on November 12, introducing a major UI design change and backwards compatibility support for Xbox 360 titles.

 

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All 100-Plus Xbox One Backwards-Compatible Games Revealed

Check out the initial list of supported games, while “hundreds” more are coming later.

As promised, Microsoft has announced the full lineup of Xbox 360 games that will be playable on Xbox One through backwards compatibility when the feature arrives on November 12. As you can see in the list below, the bulk of these games (as expected) come from Microsoft’s own library. A handful of big-name third-party publishers with games on the list are also featured, including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, Bethesda, and Disney.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Red Dead Redemption, the two most-requested games for backwards compatibility on the Xbox Feedback site, are nowhere to be seen in this list. In fact, there are no games at all from Activision or Take-Two, which is the parent company of 2K Games and Rockstar Games. But games those publishers (and possibly others) are indeed coming, just not right away.

“You can expect new Xbox One backward compatible games to be announced on a regular basis, starting in December,” Microsoft said in a statement. “More titles are on the way, including fan favorites like Halo Reach, Halo Wars, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Bioshock, Bioshock 2, Bioshock Infinite, and Skate 3.”

Unfortunately for fans, there is no word yet if Red Dead Redemption and Call of Duty: Black Ops II will be supported in the program. For now, check out the complete list of initially supported titles below.

Microsoft also reminds fans that all future Xbox 360 Games With Gold titles (starting this month) will play on Xbox One. In all, Microsoft will add “hundreds” of new Xbox 360 titles to the service over time.

Backwards compatibility officially arrives for Xbox One on November 12 as part of the console’s New Xbox One Experience dashboard update. For more on how backwards compatibility works on Xbox One, watch the video above or this one.

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Launch Titles:

A Kingdom for Keflings Lode Runner
A World of Keflings LUMINES LIVE!
Alien Hominid HD Mass Effect
Assassin’s Creed II Metal Slug 3
Asteroids & Deluxe Metal Slug XX
Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts Might & Magic Clash of Heroes
Banjo-Kazooie Mirror’s Edge
Banjo-Tooie Missile Command
BattleBlock Theater Monday Night Combat
Bejeweled 2 Monkey Island: Special Edition
Bellator: MMA Onslaught Monkey Island 2: Special Edition
Beyond Good & Evil HD Ms. Splosion Man
Blood of the Werewolf Mutant Blobs Attack!!!
BloodRayne: Betrayal N+
Borderlands NBA JAM: On Fire Edition
Call of Juarez Gunslinger NiGHTS into dreams…
Castle Crashers Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
CastleStorm Pac-Man: Championship Edition
Centipede & Millipede Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX+
Condemned: Criminal Origins Perfect Dark
Crazy Taxi Perfect Dark Zero
Deadliest Warrior: Legends Phantom Breaker:Battle Grounds
Defense Grid: The Awakening Pinball FX
DiRT 3 Plants vs. Zombies
DiRT Showdown Prince of Persia
Discs of Tron Putty Squad
Doom Rayman 3 HD
Doom II R-Type Dimensions
Dungeon Siege III Sacred Citadel
Earthworm Jim HD Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co.
Fable II Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe
Fallout 3 Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World
Feeding Frenzy Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage
Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown Shadow Complex
Gears of War Sonic CD
Gears of War 2 Sonic The Hedgehog
Gears of War 3 Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Gears of War: Judgment Sonic The Hedgehog 3
Golden Axe Super Meat Boy
Halo: Spartan Assault Supreme Commander 2
Hardwood Backgammon Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
Hardwood Hearts Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Hardwood Spades South Park: The Stick of Truth
Heavy Weapon Torchlight
Hexic HD Toy Soldiers
Ikaruga Toy Soldiers: Cold War
Jetpac Refuelled Tron: Evolution
Joy Ride Turbo Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon
Just Cause 2 Viva Piñata
Kameo: Elements of Power Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game Wolfenstein 3D
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga Zuma

What do you make of this lineup? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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New Star Wars Battlefront Video Shows Boba Fett, Leia, Han Solo in Action

Plus, check out all the planets you’ll be battling on.

A new gameplay video for Star Wars Battlefront has appeared online. The video hasn’t been officially released by publisher EA, and is instead a series of clips someone has grabbed from theStar Wars Battlefront Planets website that have been stitched together.

In addition to showcasing hero characters such as Boba Fett, Leia, Han Solo, and the Emperor getting into the thick of battle, we’re also given a look at various locations from the game. These include Endor, Hoth, Sullust, and Tatooine, where the Rebels and Empire can be seen duking it out on land and in the sky.

Star Wars Battlefront is expected to launch on November 17 across all platforms, which is about a month before Disney’s new movie, The Force Awakens, hits theaters.

EA has said it believes Star Wars Battlefront could draw in lapsed gamers and younger gamers.

“Anecdotally, what we have seen is that Star Wars Battlefront is bringing in two groups that are very important groups to us,” said CEO Andrew Wilson. “One are gamers that have lapsed, traditionally who have been big gamers in the past and maybe haven’t played for a while, and [Battlefront’s beta has] certainly been a catalyst for those people to come back into the gaming universe as it relates to console. And two, onboarding a new younger age demographic.”

On October 29, EA updated its shipment forecast for Star Wars Battlefront in response to positive reception to the game’s multiplayer beta. The publisher now expects to ship 13 million copies by the end of its current fiscal year.

More recently, a trailer for Battle of Jakku, the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens-inspired DLC coming to Star Wars Battlefront in December, was released. Take a look at the video here.

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GTA 5’s Online Mode Has 8 Million Players Per Week, as Game Still Seeing “Robust Demand”

Take-Two revenue rises 169 percent compared to last year.

Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive on Thursday announced earnings results for the quarter ended September 30. Although a new shipment number for Grand Theft Auto V was not announced, the publisher said the game–which saw its initial release two years ago–continued to enjoy “robust demand,” while microtransaction sales from GTA Online showed “strong growth” during the period. The latest GTA V shipment number was 54 million, which counts copies shipped through June 30.

For the quarter ended September 30, Take-Two reported net revenue of $364.9 million, which is up 169 percent compared to the same period last year. Take-Two said revenue was driven primarily by the “blockbuster launch” of NBA 2K16, as well as the aforementioned GTA V game and microtransaction sales. Notably, NBA 2K16 launched on September 29, just one day before Take-Two’s reporting period ended.

During an earnings call, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said NBA 2K16 shipped 4 million copies and that sales of its microtransactions rose by 120 percent compared to last year’s game.

NBA 2K15 and Borderlands: The Handsome Collection were also called out as significant revenue-drivers during the quarter. Revenue from digitally delivered content jumped by 57 percent to $141 million, making up 39 percent of Take-Two’s overall revenue during the three-month period.

The largest contributors to Take-Two’s digital revenue during the quarter were games in the Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K, Borderlands, and WWE 2K franchises.

Another bright spot for Take-Two in the quarter was revenue from “recurrent consumer spending,” which includes sales of virtual currency, DLC, and online subscriptions. Sales in this area grew 39 percent and accounted for 51 percent of net revenue from digitally delivered content. Overall, recurrent consumer spending revenue made up 20 percent of Take-Two’s total revenue for the quarter.

GTA Online was the top performer in this category. Zelnick said GTA Online continues to see 8 million players per week. By comparison, EA recently announced that Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline together have 6 million players per month.

Catalog sales were also strong during the quarter, accounting for $165.8 million, which comes out to 45 percent of Take-Two net revenue. Top drivers were GTA, NBA 2K, and Borderlands games.

Profit for the quarter stood at $32.7 million. This is substantially better than the same period last year, when Take-Two posted a loss of $35.4 million. As of September 30, Take-Two had $1.06 billion in cash and investments on hand.

Looking ahead, Take-Two teased that it has a number of unannounced games in the pipeline.

“Our worldwide development teams are working on numerous unannounced projects–including new intellectual properties and offerings from our established franchises,” it said. “Our robust development pipeline extends years into the future, and promises to captivate audiences and set new benchmarks for creative excellence.”

Take-Two also announced today that Battleborn, the next game from Borderlands studio Gearbox, has been delayed by a few months.

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Virtual Reality Games May Require New Ratings Labels, Sony Boss Says

“In one of our demos, you get yourself stabbed, and it’s powerful.”

Virtual reality games have the potential to immerse players in worlds deeper and more vividly than ever. As such, violent games, or those including traumatic content, would theoretically be even more intense in virtual reality. Now, one of the biggest players in the virtual reality market, Sony, has spoken out to say new ratings labels might be needed for virtual reality games.

PlayStation boss Shuhei Yoshida told Digital Spy that Sony has considered the possible impact of violence in virtual reality. Violence in virtual reality games can be more “powerful” than in traditional games, he said, while also noting that he does not want to put limits on what developers create.

“It’s pretty much giving you an experience with other people that you’d otherwise not have,” he said. “If you are lucky, you won’t have experienced getting a gun pointed at your head–it’s scary, right? But that can be created easily in VR. It is intense. In one of our demos, you get yourself stabbed, and it’s powerful.

“The power of the medium is so much so that, in the future, the industry will probably come up with slightly different ratings so that we can communicate to consumers what kind of contents are inside,” he added. “It’s early days but it’s important, because we don’t want to handcuff the creativity of developers. But it’s a challenge for the future, as the media is so powerful, something could potentially cause trauma to people when they try that, because they’ve played something really awful.”

On the flip-side, Yoshida said some developers are already creating virtual reality experiences that help people empathize with others.

“There are people around the world not as fortunate as us, but using virtual reality we can let people experience what it’s like to be abused, or live in poverty. We hope this will contribute to decision-makers making some good decisions,” he said.

Asked directly if he thought virtual reality would need its own unique ratings system, Yoshida said, “something like that I hope we can work on.”

PlayStation VR launches in the first half of 2016. PlayStation president Andrew House has said the headset will be priced “as a new gaming platform,” though he did not provide any specific figures. Sony has also released a new overview video for the headset, which reveals its specs.

 

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