written by Fyren
PS Vita finally discontinued… officially
Sony announced this week that production of the Playstation Vita has been ceased. This comes a few years after Sony had already withdrawn their first party developer support from the platform. Of course the Vita had rocky go of things from the start with slow adoption rates and low user numbers. Third party developers quickly abandoned the platform after experiencing middling sales numbers at the best of times. None of this is to say that the Vita was not a good handheld system. By every measure it should have been a huge success on paper, and yet here we are discussing it as a failure. Despite it being such a failure, the console did enjoy a fairly long lifespan having been released in 2011 and surviving, if only just barely, until this week. Throughout it’s life the Vita enjoyed a fairly healthy community of homebrewers, modders, and hackers (not the cheating kind) that made the console into a bit of a hobby for some. I remember seeing a video of the little machine running a desktop version of Linux even.
Season of the Drifter coming to Destiny 2
The first content update to come to Destiny 2 following Bungie parting ways with Activision Blizzard is due out this coming Tuesday, the 5th. They are off to a running start with this one too it seems. There are several additions inbound to the game, though the coolest stuff is available only to the annual pass holders. Things like new bounties with rewards promised to boost players up to a power level of 640, which is just 10 shy of the current maximum, are held behind the $35 purchase price. However, everyone will have access to the new Gambit Prime mode which offers a unique spin on the Gambit PvPvE mode. Instead of a best of 3, Gambit Prime is only one round long and aims to reinforce a role system in the mode. Having players that play primarily to kill the other team gain the ability to do that better, while players that focus on killing the AI and banking points can do their role better. There is a bunch more coming with this update including new exotics, quests, and a neat vendor update. Check out the full announcement here.
THQ Nordic holds 8chan Q&A
THQ Nordic, the publisher that has grabbed headlines the last several months for buying up development studios and their IPs is now the topic of a different sort of conversation. For those not in the loop 8Chan is a message board similar to 4Chan, except that it has virtually no moderation. With other social media platforms trying to create safe spaces, and most often failing I might add (looking at you Twitter), 8Chan’s goal is to simply not even try. This is something I can appreciate. If the people who use your platform want to be stupid then let them. 8Chan has appeared in headlines previously for a scandal involving child pornography. This only had the effect of solidifying the the website’s reputation as a lawless zone of the internet. That scandal also caused Google to de-list the site from its search results. Now, why THQ Nordic would choose this platform to hold their public Q&A session escapes my reasoning and it apparently escaped theirs as well. Following the event a string of apologies came from the company. I am not going to join the bandwagon out there though and condemn the company for choosing to use what some deem as a “hate site”, but it isn’t a good look either. I believe “lawless” platforms like 8Chan, Minds, and Gab serve a very important function in society in that they provide a place for any person to express any idea no matter how bad or controversial it may be. By extension much of what ends up in these places is pretty bad, though that is not to say that it is all bad. Furthermore, these platforms could use more involvement from respectable companies in order to present a different picture to the public. It is obvious from THQ Nordic’s comments though, that they were not intending to do that and that they very much regret the entire thing.
Baptiste joins the Overwatch roster
A new character in Overwatch is always a cause for celebration. With each new addition to the roster the game is somewhat revitalized and feels a bit fresher for awhile. Jean Baptiste, a former Talon member turned good guy, is a burst rifle toting combat medic that will be providing support to your teams soon. He is currently playable on the PTR client and has already received a few tweaks there since his announcement on Tuesday. Having played around with the character for a few hours, I am happy to report that this may be one of the best and balanced characters Blizzard have released since Ana. Capable of putting out a respectable amount of healing, though firmly in the off healer slot, as well as protecting his team from some of the most devastating ultimate abilities, Baptiste is shaping up to be a powerful character that adds more opportunities for nuance and counter play in a meta that sorely needs it right now. Hopefully we can see him join the action in a few days. Though, I will have to wait to play him while all the DPS and Tank players out there get the “I’m now a Baptiste one trick” meme out of their systems.