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      These are the last Prime Day deals on Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation games / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 12 July, 2023 - 20:40 · 3 minutes

    We're in the final stretch for Prime Day , and a lot of the early sales have either been sold out or discontinued. If you're a console gamer, now is the perfect time to snag a terrific deal on some popular titles, and these are available on multiple platforms, ranging from Nintendo's Switch to Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X|S. Here are some of our favorite video game deals from Prime Day 2023.

    Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs .

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      Alan Wake 2 and the death of disc-based video games / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 25 May, 2023 - 17:12 · 1 minute

    Releasing <em>Alan Wake 2</em> on pre-shredded discs would probably just add insult to injury, right?

    Enlarge / Releasing Alan Wake 2 on pre-shredded discs would probably just add insult to injury, right? (credit: Getty Images)

    Anyone who pays attention to the game industry knows that the segment of players buying games on physical discs has been becoming less and less important as physical releases themselves become more and more niche . Still, even in recent years, you could usually count on big-budget console games from major studios to receive at least a perfunctory disc release to fill up the dwindling GameStop shelves .

    So it was a bit of a surprise that yesterday's release date announcement for Alan Wake 2 came alongside news that developer Remedy Entertainment and publisher Epic Games currently have "no plans to release Alan Wake 2 on disc," as they put it in a new FAQ . When you look a little deeper, though, what might be more surprising is that there haven't been more major console publishers willing to give up on discs completely.

    The rainbow of their reasons

    The Alan Wake 2 FAQ does note, correctly, that "it is not uncommon to release modern games as digital-only." In fact, measured on a per-title basis, the vast majority of console games are now not available on disc at all. Still, such disc-free releases are still relatively rare when it comes to the kinds of major games that dominate the console charts.

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      Alan Wake II coming in mid-October, promising another cryptic PC powerhouse / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 24 May, 2023 - 22:37

    Alan Wake trailer image

    Enlarge / There's really not much more context for what's going to happen in Alan Wake 2 than what you can see in this image. Well, maybe a typewriter.

    Alan Wake 2 has a release date, an evocative trailer, and the requisite amount of meta-contextual horror to come.

    The latest title from Control maker Remedy Entertainment, a sequel to the acclaimed Alan Wake will arrive on October 17, 2023, on PC (exclusive to the Epic Games Store), PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S. Given the studio's track record, we expect to see some impressive ray tracing, storylines that make you question what a story really is, and novel gameplay conceits.

    In typical Remedy style, you don't get much direct information, but instead, some teasing hints. After some flashes of cultish horror, we meet Saga Anderson, an FBI agent that Remedy states ( in a PlayStation blog post) will be a second playable character.

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      Halo and Destiny developer Bungie reboots classic FPS franchise Marathon / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 24 May, 2023 - 22:30

    Marathon trailer.

    It's been more than 25 years since the last game in the storied Marathon first-person shooter franchise came out, but developer Bungie is (sort of) returning to its roots by rebooting the IP with a new game simply titled Marathon .

    The game was revealed as a PlayStation 5 title in a short cinematic trailer during Sony's not-E3 "PlayStation Showcase" stream Wednesday afternoon. That said, it is also coming to PC and Xbox Series X/S. Bungie says it will support cross-play and cross-save between those platforms, just like the developer's current flagship title, Destiny 2 .

    The cross-platform nature of it wasn't a foregone conclusion though, as Sony closed an acquisition of Bungie in July 2022. This is Bungie's first non- Destiny title in 13 years.

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      Judge refuses gamers’ attempts to immediately halt Microsoft/Activision merger / ArsTechnica · Monday, 22 May, 2023 - 18:37 · 1 minute

    A group of PlayStation owners worries that an image like this is coming in their near future...

    Enlarge / A group of PlayStation owners worries that an image like this is coming in their near future...

    A federal judge has refused to grant a requested preliminary injunction that would have stopped Microsoft's continuing effort to buy Activision Blizzard . But as the private case moves forward, the judge in the case writes that the plaintiffs have "plausibly" argued that they might be adversely affected by the deal's anti-competitive effects.

    The so-called "gamers' lawsuit" against the Microsoft/Activision deal was initially filed by a group of 10 PlayStation Call of Duty players in December, alleging that the deal could lead to increased prices and/or decreased quality or availability for the franchise on their console of choice. While the case was dismissed in March , the plaintiffs offered an amended complaint last month , laying out more precisely the harm they believe they could suffer after a merger.

    Regarding those amended claims, District Court Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley said in a Friday ruling that, while it was too early to fully rule on the merits of the case, the plaintiffs "plausibly attest to their loyalty to the Call of Duty franchise and thus that each will purchase a different console or subscription service, or pay an inflated price, if needed to continue to play Call of Duty, especially if needed to play with their friends." That's a turnaround from the initial March dismissal, where Corley wrote that the plaintiffs didn't "plausibly allege" that the merger "creates a reasonable probability of anticompetitive effects in any relevant market."

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      PlayStation’s new Discord integration is a key step for the cross-play dream / ArsTechnica · Friday, 10 March, 2023 - 12:24

    Cross-platform voice chat has arrived on the PlayStation 5.

    Enlarge / Cross-platform voice chat has arrived on the PlayStation 5. (credit: Samuel Axon)

    This week, Sony rolled out Discord voice chat support for PlayStation 5 consoles, marking the first time a third-party OS-wide game voice call option has been available on Sony's consoles.

    Previously, PlayStation 5 users could display what game they were currently playing on their Discord profiles, but they couldn't communicate with other players without using their phones, tablets, or computers.

    The rollout follows a similar one on Microsoft's Xbox consoles last fall. Discord voice calls had long been available on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. The only major gaming platform outlier is Nintendo's Switch.

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      Horizon Forbidden West delayed, leaves Sony with fall 2021 first-party gap

      Sam Machkovech · / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 25 August, 2021 - 19:56 · 1 minute

    After receiving a lengthy gameplay reveal in May of this year, the upcoming PlayStation-exclusive sequel Horizon Forbidden West went into hiding in terms of previews and hype. Today, the game's developers at Guerrilla confirmed a major reason for that silence: the game wasn't actually ready for its teased "2021" release window.

    The news of the game's delay—and a (possible) firm release date of February 18, 2022—came from its director, Mathijs de Jonge, as part of Wednesday's Gamescom 2021 Opening Night presentation. While he claims that the sequel had reached a "major milestone" shortly after its May gameplay reveal, he then offered familiar-sounding caveats about the challenges of video game development during a pandemic—and didn't clarify whether the upcoming game was yet feature-complete.

    The Wednesday news was met with neither new gameplay footage nor any clarification of how Horizon Forbidden West , launching on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 next year, will scale between two generations of consoles. Instead, de Jonge took the opportunity to announce that a patch is now live on PS5 to bring the franchise's first PS4 game, Horizon Zero Dawn , up to a 60 fps refresh rate.

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      Sony shipped 4.5M PS5s in 2020 but is struggling to speed up production

      Kyle Orland · / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 3 February, 2021 - 17:18 · 1 minute

    PlayStation 4 vs PlayStation 5 comparison pic, horizontal orientation

    Enlarge (credit: Sam Machkovech)

    Sony shipped 4.5 million PlayStation 5 consoles worldwide through the end of 2020, the company revealed in an earnings report Wednesday. The number is broadly comparable to the 4.5 million PS4 consoles shipped in that system's 2013 holiday launch quarter . But potential PS5 customers shouldn't expect the rate of production to increase, Sony said, despite widespread retail sellouts that have led to substantial secondhand markups .

    "It is difficult for us to increase production of the PS5 amid the shortage of semiconductors and other components," Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said during a briefing accompanying the results. "We have not been able to fully meet the high level of demand from customers [but] we continue to do everything in our power to ship as many units as possible to customers who are waiting for a PS5."

    Overall, Sony's Game and Network Services division saw its holiday quarter profits increase nearly 50 percent year over year. The company now forecasts the best fiscal year performance for the gaming division in company history, thanks in large part to an increase in PlayStation Plus subscriptions (which now sit at 47.4 million). A full 87 percent of PS5 owners so far subscribe to PlayStation Plus, Sony said, making those subscriptions key to the company's profits going forward.

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      Copyright law is bricking your game console. Time to fix that

      WIRED · / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 12 December, 2020 - 15:00

    picture of Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S.

    Enlarge / Awkward Thanksgiving portrait, next-gen console edition. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

    Kyle Wiens is the cofounder and CEO of iFixit , an online repair community and parts retailer internationally renowned for its open source repair manuals and product teardowns.

    There aren't enough game consoles in the world for our upcoming locked-down holiday. Good luck finding a PS5 for Christmas. As Nintendo similarly struggles to keep up with demand, the number of people searching iFixit for Switch repair guides has more than tripled since last year. Traffic to our Joy-Con controller repair page started growing dramatically on March 14—the day after President Trump declared a national emergency. It’s been surging ever since. At a time when so many of us are turning to games for fun, stress relief, and social connection, it is imperative for our collective sanity that we press every game console into service.

    But if you talk with expert repair technicians like Bryan Harwell, they’ll tell you that significant obstacles stand in the way.

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