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Ben Joy
Ben Joy

It's been another huge week of videogame news. We've got you covered with all the highlights, including the new Harry Potter game, the latest update to Fall Guys, and of course the PS5 price reveal.

Dan

After holidaying in the Scottish Highlands last week with no signal, this week was certainly a change of pace on the industry news front! We covered a lot of the headlines during our weekly stream yesterday, which you can catch up on here.

I also had the pleasure this week of digitally attending Ukie's Annual General Meeting, to hear a retrospective on the past year and plans for what's next. Ukie is the games industry's trade body, and they're highly effective. One of the biggest AGM announcements was the selection of new board members, which sees some much-loved stalwarts stepping aside to welcome in new minds and perspectives. The new board is the most diverse Ukie have ever had, which is fantastic to see in an organisation that plays a key role in representing the industry at home and abroad.


As members, suppliers, and friends of the Ukie team, we wholeheartedly welcome the new board members and look forward to supporting them going forwards.

Pete

After leaks and rumours dropped in 2018, this week it was finally announced by Warner Bros. that they are releasing an open world Harry Potter game. Developed by Avalanche Software, Hogwarts Legacy will be launching on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One & Xbox Series X/S in 2021. As a bit of a Harry Potter fan it was great to see elements from the film in the trailer.

 

Slightly disappointing for myself is that the game is set in the 1800's which is way before the likes of Harry Potter and Newt Scamander. Nonetheless, it's exciting to have a game centered around the wonderful world of wizardry at Hogwarts, and I'm very keen to see some gameplay and find out more about the game.

Adam

So now we know. At the high end, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are the same price. PS5 pre-orders have begun (albeit in a slightly chaotic way) and the next console generation is nearly upon us.

Elsewhere, NVIDIA's RTX 3080 went on sale, driving more traffic to Newegg than Black Friday. The amount of time spent gaming in 2020 has skyrocketed and it's clear that as a result, consumer appetite for new hardware is extremely high.


Whether you're a PC gamer, PlayStation fan, or prefer the Xbox, it seems like we'll all be spending a lot of time refreshing online webpages trying to get our shiny new toys this year. If you want to get in on the PS5, start looking at shops right now - Argos might be your best bet if you're reading this on the date of publication. If you're on the hunt for a Series X or S, set your alarms for September 22nd at 8am.

Good luck!

Mobin

This week Apple had another of their yearly events, at which they only talked about two products lines; iPad and Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch Series 6 was the star of the show. Two key features of the new watch are the new processor called the S6 chip and the ability to track blood oxygen saturation. In addition to that, they've also introduced a budget-priced Apple Watch called Apple Watch SE.

applewatchseries6

The second part of the conference was about the new range of iPad products. The main change was for iPad Air, as they've redesigned it and added the Touch ID, which they have made to fit on the power button.

Last but not least news is that iOS 14 has been launched now which has changed the whole UI. This is a big change as the last time they made UI updates was back in 2016 with iOS 10.

Emma

The most exciting gaming news this week, for me, was the announcement of Hogwarts Legacy (sorry PS5). I will absolutely be playing that with great joy. I also enjoyed the WB Games clarification, later on, that J.K. Rowling was “not directly involved”. Can’t think why they needed to say that…

Moving swiftly on from one childhood passion to another, Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! arrived for my Nintendo Switch. However, a 20 year old addiction to Pokemon Yellow and all the nostalgia in the world was no match for Animal Crossing New Horizons, which has taken over my life. I can’t get enough of Blathers (hoo hoot!), shaking trees and watching island tours on YouTube.

AnimalCrossing-Blathers-Hero500

If all that means nothing to you, you clearly haven’t been spending 90% of your free time moving stuff around a make-believe island. A wise choice if you value your time. I mentioned last week how addictive it is and it’s only gotten worse.

Joe

Fall Guys dropped a decently sized and well received update this week. But, I want to talk about what happened in the days leading up to the update, as they revealed how they've been dealing with cheaters. Over on Twitter, Fall Guys started tweeting about the update, but also told the story of of "Cheater Island"

I'm not going to go into all the specifics of their story, they're a better story teller than me for sure, but it's a practice that's getting more common in games. CS:GO has a "Trust Factor" score, if you're lower you'll get ranked with people more likely to be cheating, DotA2 has something similar with a Behaviour Score, if you're lower you'll get ranked with worse people. Infinity Ward's latest Call Of Duty, Warzone also does this.


But, Fall guys decided to roll back this update and implement an anti-cheat system that stops cheaters playing the game all together. Why? Simply put, it was bad PR for them, people were posting videos, gifs, and who knows what else of these cheater-only rounds, implying the game was riddled with cheaters, and because nobody knew Cheater Island existed until it was already taken offline, nobody had any reason to suspect otherwise!

Ben G

This week I want to talk a bit about designing for motion sensitivities. 

"What makes a website accessible?". Most would answer that question by listing things like colour contrast, text legibility and ensuring a site can be read accurately by screen readers. All correct answers, but we should now be considering motion too.

These days, a huge number of websites are awash with moving parts and parallax. So, it's extremely important that we remember that our design choices, especially around motion, can have physical consequences for those with motion sensitivities.

Fortunately, thanks to the wide support of the prefers-reduced-motion-media feature, we now have more advanced ways to design motion that can be creative and innovative while also being safer for those with motion sensitivities.

This excellent article from Val Head, a Senior Design Advocate at Adobe, looks at how we can improve the website viewing experience for all.

Ben J

As Adam has touched on already, we now know both the Xbox and PS5 prices and release dates. What we also know a number of the PS5 launch titles, which are:

There is also a list of PS4 games that will be available for free on PS5 with PlayStation Plus, and games that are due around the launch time of the console, which you can take a look at here.

Now that we have a lot more information to go on for both consoles, have you decided which one you're going for, if any?

ps5

Thanks for joining us once again for the Etch Play Roundup, it sure has been a busy few weeks in games! If you want more from us, you can find us on Twitter, be sure to head on over to our YouTube channel, and come hang out with us on Twitch - we have a weekly live show on Thursday afternoons at 4pm where we cover the biggest news stories of the week, play some games, and chat video games marketing. 

Have a great weekend 👋

At Etch Play, we help games businesses think about, plan and execute on their extended experience. That means delivering value to players beyond the traditional boundaries of a game. You can find out more about our offering at etchuk.com/play/the-extended-experience.

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