Your Latest Game Industry News Round-up #24

Scope out a few of the game industry news stories from the last week below, hand-picked from across the world of games. This week, a PlayStation 5 showcase reveals a lot of details about Sony’s next-gen launch, the impact of an all-women esports event, a big investment in a social gaming startup, an end of an era at Nintendo, and more!

 

Index:

 

PlayStation 5 Launch Dates and Models Now Official
Source: Ars Technica

Following suit after Microsoft’s official showcase of a disc-based and all-digital model of their Xbox systems, Sony revealed their upcoming console hardware, along with announcing and teasing several games. Ars Technica’s story delves into the details:

“As part of a PlayStation 5 showcase today, Sony finally revealed the launch pricing for the PlayStation 5: $499.99 for the standard edition (€499.99, £449.99, ¥49,980) or $399 for the “All-Digital” version without a disc drive (or €399.99, £359.99, ¥39,980).Both consoles will launch on November 12 in the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, followed by a November 19 launch in the rest of the world. Pre-orders will be available at select retailers starting Thursday, September 16, Sony said after the event, though some retailers like WalmartBest Buy, and GameStop in the US have made the console available as soon as Wednesday.”

 


FTW: Women in Esports
Source: NBC News

FTW Summer Showdown text and video game character art

FTW Summer Showdown (Image: Nerd Street Gamers)

“In an ongoing effort to create space for competitive women gamers, three gaming companies upped the ante in September, hosting a historic esports tournament.

For The Women (FTW) Showdown — a collaboration between Comcast’s Spectacor Gaming, Nerd Street Gamers and Riot Games — culminated in a three-day, all-women’s virtual esports tournament with a $50,000 prize pot.

The winnings marked the highest amount distributed for an all-women’s tournament featuring the first-person shooter game Valorant, which launched in June.”


Tencent’s Investments in Game Companies Get U.S. Government Scrutiny
Source: Bloomberg

Tencent (Image: Tencent)

The U.S. government continues to keep the pressure on Chinese technology firms in the ongoing simmering tech trade war between the two world powers. Bloomberg broke the story, which affects several games companies, this week:

“The Trump administration has asked gaming companies to provide information about their data-security protocols involving Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., people familiar with the matter said.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which is chaired by the Treasury Department, has sent letters to companies, including Epic Games Inc., Riot Games and others, to inquire about their security protocols in handling Americans’ personal data, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.”

 


Social Gaming Startup Gets $20M Investment
Source: Forbes

Bunch "B" logo and brand text

Bunch (Image: Bunch)

During months of COVID-19 restrictions on socializing and travel, gamers of all kinds have found a comfortable place to go in interactive entertainment. Forbes tells the story about Bunch, who’s created a video chat app for multiplayer mobile games:

“On the strength of (pandemic-era) growth, Bunch has raised a $20 million Series A. The round is led by venture capital firm General Catalyst and brought in many of the major gaming companies, including Electronic Arts EA -0.4%, Take-Two Interactive and Krafton, the maker of PUBG. It’s unusual for the top game studios to partner in an investment like this and is a sign that these companies think there’s a potential to integrate Bunch into their games.

“The entire gaming industry is getting behind Bunch,” says Niko Bonatsos, the General Catalyst managing director who coordinated the funding. “We believe that there is a need for the next generation of gaming infrastructure to be developed. The YouTubes, the Twitches of the world have dated themselves. So whenever there’s any new gaming infrastructure product out there, I’m very interested.”

 


Nintendo 3DS Family of Portable Game Systems Discontinued
Source: Engadget

Black Nintendo 3DS on light background

Nintendo 3DS (image: Nintendo)

Since the original GameBoy launched in 1989, Nintendo developed and supported a dedicated line of handheld game systems. Since the Nintendo Switch has covered both handheld and traditional console system duties, there’s been less consumer interest in a standalone handheld system. Hence the following news this week, which Engadget posted about:

“Three years after launching the Switch, Nintendo is putting the 3DS out to pasture. Back in July, the gaming giant shut down the Wii U and 3DS eshops in dozens of regions. Now, it has officially discontinued the family of handheld devices, which used to be wildly popular until the Switch took over as the company’s main console. As The Verge reports, Nintendo has posted a notice on the 3DS’ UK and Japanese pages that says “The manufacturing of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems has ended.”

 


SoFi Stadium Used as a (Really Big) Big Screen for Playing Games
Source: USA Today

Imagine the possibilities. Clearly, players from the San Diego Chargers NFL team had!

“Chargers safety Rayshawn Jenkins and kicker Mike Badgley spent some time on Wednesday enjoying SoFi’s signature “Oculus” videoboard – a 2.2 million-pound, 70,000-square-foot double-sided screen – by using it to play Fall Guys from a gaming station set up on the edge of the field.”

Do you have interesting news to share, or something coming up that would also fit into this regular feature? Let us know!