Console Wars Decided by FTC, AI Wars in Gaming Continue, and Diablo 4 News & Secrets Revealed.

The Console Wars Have Been Decided!
In a side note to the highly contested Microsoft acquisition of Activision/Blizzard, is that to validate statements made by the parties presented, certain investigations needed to take place. And so, the FTC has made a statement regarding the console wars. Firstly, Nintendo has been removed from contention due to its hybrid nature, reliance on first party games and – and I quote – “underpowered performance.” So, in the US between Xbox and PlayStation, Generation 7 consoles… Xbox 360 beat the PS3, and in Generation 8, Sony beat out with the PlayStation 4!
While the FTC didn’t comment on the current generation, Microsoft has argued that they have consistently ranked third in the console wars.
While Sony has made it quite clear that it doesn’t want the planned merger to go ahead, Sony’s CEO Jim Ryan has stated in response to the exclusivity of titles such as Starfield “I don’t like it” but “I don’t view it as competitive”, and the possibility of losing Call of Duty in the future. “I’d rather this didn’t happen, but we’ll be OK, we’ll be more than OK.”
In other Microsoft news, Xbox Series X and Game Pass are going to receive a price hike, with the console to get a price closer to the PS5 and the Game Pass monthly subscription to increase around the globe. Oh, and Microsoft has missed its quarterly internal target by around US$780,000,000.
And don’t you PC players think you can scoff in your corner watching all this. You better be sure you can run your moddable version of Starfield. With AMD partnering with Bethesda for release, your precious DLSS and RTX features on your new Nvidia GPU may be left to the wayside. Oh, and there won’t be any keyboard and mouse support for the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol.1 coming in October.

AI in Gaming
The rebellion against AI being involved in game development continues with Jennifer Hale, the Voice Actor (VA) of “FemShep” in Mass Effect and David Hayter, the VA for Solid Snake from Metal Gear, voicing their concern of AI in the gaming industry. Hale has come forward emphasizing the importance of protecting voice actors’ work and voicing support of organizations like NAVA that provide contracts for safeguarding VA rights. Hayter, while less concerned about AI technology’s impact on voice acting due to its lack of “soul”, agrees on the need for legal protection. Meanwhile, the introduction of machine-learning platforms, Unity Muse and Unity Sentis, has sparked concerns among developers and artists regarding the generation of AI-created assets and both the copywrite and plagiarism issues now or in the future due to the art, assets, and their datasets that AI have been trained on.

Diablo 4 News; because I’m playing it and I’m doing the news this week.
Over the weekend Blizzard was hit by a DDOS attack, lengthening the already superfluous wait time to play a game most generally play solo. These attacks lasted around 12 hours and roused players online to ask why the game has joined the “always online” generation. Well, this may be due to the online store which has armour sets that can cost more than the base game, or maybe due to item drops with a higher rarity than winning the lotto with only 2 dropped so far since release. Adam Jackson, lead class designer of the game, confirmed last week that there are six top tier unique items in a tweet, all of which have staggering randomised stats (yes, you could still get this with a bad roll), and I join other players in the sentiment that if one dropped for you “it would be financially irresponsible not to sell your account.”
In other secrets revealed, if you are about to finish the game maybe don’t go skipping that credit roll with several different jump scare styled post-credit endings reported so far. These are all tipped to be clues into the gamut of expansions I’m sure are on the way for Diablo in the future. And if you haven’t looked into the secret cow level, the internet is looking… and they’re getting closer.

Now for some Game releases
So, Friday 30th of June, Master Detective Archives: Rain Code, a detective action game from the minds behind Danganronpa, and party game Everybody 1-2-Switch! both come to the Switch. And time traveling puzzle point and click indie game Crime O’Clock is coming to PC, and Switch.
Tuesday July 4th, break into the subconscious with VA David Hayter on the PSVR2 in Synapse.
And lastly Thursday July 6th, experience the branching narratives of retro inspired JRPG Alterium Shift, or experience bouldering in the climbing sim New Heights, both coming to PC. Last of all, face your fears in horror puzzler Gylt, coming to PC, PlayStation and Xbox,

Oh! And in Games coming to TV
Sonic Prime’s new season is airing on Netflix and Among Us is getting its own TV series! It is in development at CBS Studios and is reportedly being led by Owen Denis (Infinity Train) and animated by Titmouse (Big Mouth). However, no airdate has been released.