At least these will be Playables
The nicest thing we can say about Google’s Stadia is that its death was swift. Despite the very tragic (and public) demise of the platform, Google isn’t giving up on gaming entirely. According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal (TWSJ), the search giant has been working on a new gaming initiative that’ll bring online games to YouTube.
Known as ‘Playables’ (for now, at least), the service will allow users to play games – instantly, apparently – on YouTube’s dedicated iOS and Android apps and the platform’s website. TWSJ has intimated that “YouTube is internally testing a product for playing online games,” with Google’s employees
The report hardly scratched the surface of the types of games YouTube will be focusing on – only mentioning that there are several, though it only dove into the specifics of one. That one is “Stack Bounce, an arcade game in which players attempt to smash layers of bricks with a bouncing ball.”
Stack Bounce, for the unaware, was birthed right in Google’s Area 120 incubator – built specifically with users with slow connections and older hardware in mind – which can be found and played right here,
As for the future of Playables beyond Stack Bounce, we’re not so sure. TWSJ says YouTube is looking to expand into “new areas of growth following a slowdown of advertising spending,” though Google has nothing official to announce at the moment.
Starfield doesn’t want to get physical
Despite Bethesda’s ongoing sale of Starfield physical editions, it’s looking like those boxes are going to be empty. The ‘physical’ aspect is referring to the box the disc would have come in, with an accompanying code printed on the inside for a console of your choice.
The news comes from a recently-deleted Bethesda Support tweet, confirming that “there are no physical discs” and “all physical editions include a code for the chosen platform,” though not in that order. Unfortunately for Bethesda’s Support admin, nothing is forgotten on the internet, with the tweet being visible on the Wayback Machine.
There’s still the possibility that the tweet was deleted because it was just plain wrong, though it’s far more likely that the news was released a smidge too early. Whatever the case, Bethesda has yet to comment on the situation. Evidently, Bethesda’s legal team took the weekend off.
It opens up a debate of whether Bethesda should have told potential customers of the physical disc (or lack thereof) before opening up Starfield for pre-order. We’re not so sure about you, but we’d prefer not to spend more money on an empty piece of plastic.
Formula E and the RFIDs
The Formula E(lectric) is home to the world’s best electric vehicles out there. Now, it’s also the home of the latest scandal in the world of racing. Whilst hosting a qualifying round in Portland, Oregon over the weekend, the DS Penske team was fined €25,000 (R509,000) for covertly attaching an RFID scanner at the entrance of the pit area. Harmless, right? Not really, according to the FIA stewards, who claim that the scanner was able to collect data from other racers’ vehicles without their knowledge, and gain an unfair advantage.
This gave the team in question knowledge of the other team’s tyre pressure, temperature, and condition, allowing them to know when a pit was incoming, and encouraging its drivers to speed up or slow down when needed.
Aside from the hefty fine, the team’s drivers – Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Éric Vergne – had to suffer a pit lane start penalty in their next race, significantly slowing them down and hurting their chances of winning the race massively. Whether this is the end of the story for DS Penske or not, we don’t know.
Goodbye Warzone, you might be missed
Call of Duty: Warzone is leaving us (and the Internet), forever. The free online battle royale that kept stopped plenty of us from losing our minds during lockdown will shut down on 21 September 2023. It’s not like we’re surprised – Activision has Warzone 2.0 (now just called Warzone) to worry about. And, you know, other regular Call of Duty titles, says the company in a blog post.
All gameplay, progression, inventories, and online services will expire when the bell tolls at midnight on 21 September. Fret not about your inventory of purchased items, as they’ll still be available across Modern Warfare, Vanguard, and Cold War.
Activision wants you to give up on what’s now known as Warzone: Caldera (Warzone 1.0) and jump ship to its more recent Warzone because that’s where it earns its bug bucks. Specifically, Activision said we should “Expect a vast amount of gameplay choices across three Battle Royale maps (including Season 04’s new map Vondel), as well as Ranked Play, the DMZ Beta featuring five different Extraction Zones, BlackCell offerings, and more.”
Activision may struggle to convince its die-hard fans to make the switch, however. And why should they, if Activision is planning on releasing a new Warzone every couple of years?