Microsoft Bows 40-Foot Replica of Xbox Series X to Celebrate Nov. 10 Launch

Microsoft Corp. unveiled a 40-foot-tall replica of the Xbox Series X in the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington state the weekend before the Nov. 10 launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

The structure featured a rotation of dream-inspired art from local artists — a nod to the Xbox Power Your Dreams campaign for the new consoles.

Nov. 9 the installation footage started streaming online, revealing clues for #SolveForX, an online global scavenger hunt. Consumers can follow @Xbox Twitter to review rules and participate for their chance to win the Ultimate Xbox Experience bundle or one of seven Xbox Series X consoles. Select pieces of art will also be made available digitally after launch.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The installation is one of many activations worldwide approaching launch day, all of which will be featured in the official Xbox launch livestream on Nov. 10 starting 11 a.m. PT.

Ubisoft Subscription Service Becomes Ubisoft+, Will Add Amazon Luna and Stadia Platforms

Ubisoft’s subscription service has become Ubisoft+ and has added a multi-platform model, beginning in beta in the United States this November with Amazon Luna and by end of year with Stadia.

Formerly known as UPLAY+, Ubisoft+ offers subscribers unlimited access to a catalog of more than 100 games on PC for $14.99 per month. Ubisoft+ includes premium editions, new releases such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion and Immortals Fenyx Rising, classic titles and additional content packs.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“With Ubisoft+, our vision is to provide more options for our players to access their favorite Ubisoft games, wherever they are and whenever they want,” Alexia Brumé, associate director of subscription, said in a statement. “This beta period with Stadia and Amazon Luna is just the beginning. We’re excited to offer subscribers the chance to check out the premium editions of our fall lineup so they can pick up and play across multiple platforms, all with one subscription.”

Starting Nov. 10, the beta will begin for subscribers in the United States. Once subscribers request and receive an invitation to Amazon Luna early access, they can link their accounts and start playing. By the end of the year, they will also be able to play select Ubisoft games on Stadia (no Stadia Pro subscription required). During this beta, players can enjoy Ubisoft games across their devices and benefit from cross-platform progression for upcoming titles, including Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on day one.

To sign up for Ubisoft+, register now at ubisoft-plus.com.

Netflix to Make Content Based on ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Game Franchise

Netflix has entered into an agreement with Ubisoft to develop content based on the video game franchise “Assassin’s Creed.”

The first series in development is slated to be a genre-bending live-action adaptation. Ubisoft Film & Television’s Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik will serve as executive producers.

Under the agreement, Netflix and Ubisoft will tap into the video game’s stories with “global mass appeal” for adaptations of live-action, animated, and anime series, according to Netflix.

“For more than 10 years, millions of fans around the world have helped shape the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ brand into an iconic franchise,” said Jason Altman, head of Ubisoft Film & Television, Los Angeles, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to create an ‘Assassin’s Creed’ series with Netflix and we look forward to developing the next saga in the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ universe.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that ‘Assassin’s Creed’ is beloved for,” Peter Friedlander, VP of original series at Netflix, said in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

Since it first launched in 2007, the “Assassin’s Creed” series has sold more than 155 million games worldwide.

Vizio Official HDTV and Sound Bar Partner for ‘Marvel’s Avengers’ Game

Vizio announced the launch of a partnership with Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics as the official HDTV and sound bar partner for the Marvel’s Avengers video game.

From the new line of IQ 4K HDR processors to Vizio’s ProGaming Engine, every new Vizio 4K TV is designed to optimize the gaming experience, according to Vizio.

The Vizio 2021 collection has started hitting retail shelves over the past four weeks and will continue to roll out through the fall.

“Today’s gamers want to enhance their playing experience,” Bill Baxter, chief technology officer at Vizio, said in a statement. “When they combine a new Vizio 4K TV and new 5.1 sound bar they increase their ability to win and raise their gaming position. We have created an entirely new lineup of 4K TVs with a dedicated gaming engine and immersive 5.1 sound bars that offer a best-in-class gaming experience. We’re excited to be the official HDTV and Sound Bar partner for the new Marvel’s Avengers game and to give gamers every advantage as they play the highly anticipated game upon its release.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“Video games are our passion,” Karl Stewart, head of worldwide strategic partnerships at Square Enix, said in a statement. “Now more than ever they are essential to bringing friends and family together. That’s why we are truly excited to work with Vizio and give gamers the perfect way to experience our game with Vizio as the official HDTV and sound bar for Marvel’s Avengers when it launches on Sept. 4.”

Follow us on Instagram

Vizio delivers Quantum Color, Full Array LED with up to 3,000 nits of peak brightness, according to the company. The company is further enhancing its 4K TVs with next-gen gaming performance. Vizio V-Series 4K TVs include the new V-Gaming Engine, which utilizes Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Auto Game Mode to optimize performance upon identifying the game signal. Step-up models such as the M-Series, P-Series Quantum, P-Series Quantum X, and all new OLED include a ProGaming Engine, which offers support for variable refresh rate (VRR) and support for 4K at 120fps. Utilizing 64-bit image processing and offering HDMI 2.1 connectivity along with eARC passthrough, utilizing Vizio’s IQ Ultra and IQ Active processors adjust contrast at the level of individual pixels. The 1GHz CPU smooths contours and gradients in real time for more natural-looking graphics while accurately upscaling HD content to 4K resolution, according to Vizio. The Elevate Sound Bar features DTS:X and rotating speakers that blast sound overhead.

“We want Marvel’s Avengers to be a completely immersive gaming experience and VIZIO’s high performance takes everything to an entirely different level,” Crystal Dynamics creative director Shaun Escayg said in a statement. “The all-new Vizio ProGaming Engine in their TVs will make you feel like you’re a superhero.”

Marvel’s Avengers is a third-person action-adventure game combining a single-player campaign with online co-op action. Players must reassemble, rebuild, and customize their heroes’ roster to play an original Avengers single-player campaign, then enter the Avengers Initiative to battle solo or online alongside friends and continue the expanding story around the globe. They can also customize Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and master their unique powers to defend the world from escalating threats for years to come.

Marvel’s Avengers will bow for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC on Sept. 4, and will be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when the consoles launch in holiday 2020. The game is currently rated ‘T’ (Teen) by the ESRB.

ESA Report: More Than 200 Million Americans Play Video Games

Three-quarters of Americans have at least one gamer in their household and 214 million Americans play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) “2020 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry” report.

Almost two-thirds of U.S. adults (64%) and 70% of those under 18 regularly play video games.

Almost three-quarters (73%) in the survey own a game console, 43% own a hand-held system, 29% own a virtual reality device and 25% own a mobile VR device.

About two-thirds (65%) of video gamers play with others, according to the report, and the average age of a gamer is 35 to 44 years old. Still, many players over 65 years old (46% of men and 63% of women over 65) have been playing video games for 10 years or less.

More than half of parents (55%) say they play games with their children at least once a week, and 92% pay attention to the games their child plays.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Game playing is good for health, according to the report, with 79% of gamers saying games provide relaxation and stress relief, and 87% of male gamers ages 55 to 64 and 82% of women gamers ages 55 to 64 believing games provide mental stimulation.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Takes Full Ownership of Game Show Network

Sony Pictures Entertainment has acquired AT&T’s minority stake in Game Show Network for $500 million, the two companies announced.

SPE now owns 100% of the multimedia entertainment company offering original and classic game programming to millions of subscribers through the U.S.-based cable network. It also offers online and mobile games to millions of users through GSN Games. Following the transaction, the Game Show Network channel will continue to be carried on DirecTV.

Prior to the transaction, SPE owned a 58% stake in Game Show Network, and AT&T owned the remaining 42%.

Game Show Network will continue to be managed by Sony Pictures Television with Mark Feldman continuing as president and CEO of the multimedia outlet.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We’re excited to bring Game Show Network fully into the Sony Pictures Entertainment portfolio,” said Mike Hopkins, chairman, Sony Pictures Television, in a statement. “The acquisition allows us to work more closely with the company’s talented team to deliver the best iconic game shows, develop and syndicate new game show IP for audiences across the nation, as well as to advance the fast-growing GSN Games business, all of which directly aligns with our strategy of developing targeted direct-to-consumer offerings.”

Game Show Network television programming includes originals such as “America Says,” “The Chase,” “Common Knowledge” and “Catch 21,” syndicated shows including “Wheel of Fortune” and “Family Feud,” and classics including “The $25,000 Pyramid” and “Card Sharks.” GSN Games’ collection of mobile games includes GSN Casino, Bingo Bash, Wheel of Fortune Slots, Solitaire TriPeaks and WorldWinner.

Nintendo Switch Lite Launches

Nintendo has launched Nintendo Switch Lite, which is cheaper and lighter than the original Switch, as well as a new Switch game, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

“The introduction of Nintendo Switch Lite gives people the choice of a Nintendo Switch system that best fits their needs and personal play style,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s SVP of sales and marketing. “With the simultaneous launch of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, today is a great day for newcomers and existing Nintendo Switch owners alike.”

A lightweight device with integrated controls designed specifically to play Nintendo Switch games that support Handheld mode, Nintendo Switch Lite is available in three colors: yellow, grey and turquoise. Available at $199.99, the system has integrated controls and is smaller than the original version. The original Nintendo Switch, which offers TV mode and Tabletop mode, in addition to Handheld mode, retails at $299.99.

As a dedicated handheld gaming device, Nintendo Switch Lite supports all Nintendo Switch software that can be played in Handheld mode. It’s designed for consumers who have lots of opportunities to play on the go, and for anyone who wants to play online via Nintendo Switch Online (sold separately) or local wireless multiplayer with friends or family who already own a Nintendo Switch system.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which can be played on any system in the Nintendo Switch family, is available at $59.99.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In the new Chamber Dungeon mode, players earn Chambers (dungeon rooms) throughout the story and arrange them to complete objectives. Launching alongside the game is a new Link amiibo figure. By using this figure, players can unlock Shadow Link in the Chamber Dungeon.

Also launching is The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Adventure, a reimagining of one of the games in the series. Link has washed ashore on a mysterious island, filled with strange and colorful inhabitants. To return home, Link must explore a reimagined Koholint Island that’s been faithfully rebuilt in a new art style. Along the way, he will battle enemies and conquer numerous dungeons riddled with tricks, traps and enemies, including some from the “Super Mario” series.

Game-Based Feature ‘The Division’ Starring Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal Coming to Netflix

The Division, a feature to be based on Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy video game, is coming to Netflix.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain will star in and produce the project.

Rafe Judkins, who is creating the upcoming series “Wheel of Time” based on the fantasy novels for Amazon, will adapt the screenplay. David Leitch (Deadpool 2) will direct.

In the film, set in the near future, a pandemic virus is spread via paper money on Black Friday, decimating the city of New York and killing millions. By Christmas, what’s left of society has descended into chaos. A group of civilians, trained to operate in catastrophic times, are activated in an attempt to save who and what remains.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

At launch, The Division quickly became the fastest-selling new IP in video game history and currently has more than 20 million players, according to the Netflix release.

The Division 2 launched in March 2019. During E3 June 10, Ubisoft announced it would offer the game free to play June 13-16 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Players have the option of purchasing it at a discount through June 24, keeping progress made during the free period.

EA Reveals New Mode in ‘EA Sports FIFA 20’

Electronic Arts announced a new mode in EA Sports FIFA 20, Volta Football, inspired by the small-sided form of football played in the streets, cages and futsal courts across the world.

The mode launches worldwide Sept. 27 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Volta Football lets players build their own character, express their individual style and immerse themselves in a realistic street football experience.

“This year, we are embedding a whole new experience with Volta Football into the game that reflects how many footballers started out their careers in the streets. This is a unique aspect of the sport that gives our players an experience unlike anything they have ever seen before in EA Sports FIFA,” said Aaron McHardy, executive producer for EA Sports FIFA. “We’ve also focused on delivering key gameplay updates that raise the level of realism and quality across the game. And with small sided football ingrained in FIFA 20, players can take the learnings from the streets and apply them to the stadium or vice versa.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Report: Sony PS5 Details Revealed

During a recent Sony investor relations meeting,  a PDF emerged with details on the “next generation” of PlayStation, including Blu-ray capability, according to a report in Dealerscope.

In addition to the new CPU and GPU, support for 8K graphics, 3D audio, SSD storage, ray tracing, disc support, and backwards compatibility with PlayStation 4 details already known, according to Dealerscope, the Sony PDF states, “We will leverage backwards compatibility to transition our community to next gen faster and more seamlessly than ever before.”

The move to next-gen previously required buying all new game titles, but Sony seems to be making the upgrade easier this time, according to the report. The Sony PDF also stated the PS4 “will remain the engine of engagement and profitability for the next three years.”

Sony listed Blu-ray, download and streaming options under the capabilities of the next gen in the “long term.” For the “medium term” Sony is looking to boost its PlayStation Now service.

Sony in the meeting also showed how much more quickly the PS5 was able to load and navigate cities in the Spider-Man game.