Mario Kart VR Drifting Into Japanese Arcades, No Word On Worldwide Roll-Out

Bandai Namco have developed a version of Mario Kart playable in virtual reality, which will be heading to the VR Zone in Shinjuku, Japan, it’s been announced.

Whilst sitting in a traditional wheel-and-pedal rig, the game will see players don a HTC Vive headset, and wear wrist mounted trackers allowing them to throw shells and banana peels just like in Nintendo’s console classic.

It’s not clear to what extent Nintendo actually worked on this, but fear not, as Bandai Namco have previously developed the Mario Kart Arcade GP series, which was faithful to the original games, and bloody good fun!

Mario Kart VR Drifting Into Japanese Arcades, No Word On Worldwide Roll-Out

Microsoft’s Original Xbox Duke Controller Is Being Resurrected For The Xbox One

The oversized controller from the original Xbox console, known as The Duke, is making its way to Xbox One and Windows PC this holiday season, accessory maker Hyperkin has confirmed.

The Duke launched with the original Xbox in 2001/2002, but was replaced by the smaller, more hand-friendly Xbox Controller S worldwide roughly a year later.

The nicknamed “Duke” controller for the original Xbox was big, bold and tough. On June 11, Hyperkin, a video game hardware development company from Los Angeles, announced that – in partnership with Xbox – it is bringing back The Duke for the Xbox One family of devices (Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X) and Windows 10 PCs. Hyperkin’s Research and Development team sought the assistance and the blessing of Seamus Blackley, who played an integral part in the original Xbox team.

The Duke sports a faithful recreation of the original controller’s form-factor with some updated features: a logo display screen, left and right bumpers, and a 9 ft. detachable cable.

Duke’s revival comes at the perfect time too, since Microsoft announced original Xbox games are coming to Xbox One later this year – and they can now be played as intended, hand cramps and all. Hooray.

Microsoft’s Original Xbox Duke Controller Is Being Resurrected For The Xbox One

Sony Announces PlayLink Gaming Platform, Allows Smartphones To Interact With PS4 Games

As part of their E3 pre-show Sony have announced PlayLink – “a new way to play” – which allows players to interact with specially designed PS4 games via smartphone.

The technology isn’t an entirely new concept, as Jackbox Games’ Party Pack series of titles have done similar for a while, but the application shown here is certainly interesting, and looks to be a little more novel than just selecting from a range of answers.

The first two games were also shown off at the event, Hidden Agenda is a multiplayer murder mystery title, whilst That’s You is a more traditional party-game affair, that will be free to all PS+ subscribers from July.

Check out the trailers:

We also know there’s a Singstar title for PlayLink in the works, and a trivia quiz, Knowledge Is Power.

PlayLink certainly looks like it will bring party games to consoles when the first round of games launch later this year. Now, can someone get on the phone to Jason Donovan, and brink back Buzz, please?

Sony Announces PlayLink Gaming Platform, Allows Smartphones To Interact With PS4 Games

Xbox’ Project Scorpio Officially Revealed As Xbox One X, Launching November 7th 2017 For $499/£449

Microsoft have taken to their stage at E3 and unveiled the Xbox One X, previously known as Project Scorpio. The new hardware looks very similar to the existing Xbox One S but in classic black, and without a vent on the top. It was also announced the X will be the smallest Xbox to date.

In that box, we’re looking at “True 4K” – that’s over 8 million pixels – HDR, wide colour gamut, Dolby Atmos sound and 4K UHD Blu-ray playback.

For those without a 4K display, unsure of the X’s benefits, we’re told that Xbox One game currently running at lower resolutions will still be given a boost, thanks to enhanced load times, and supersampling, which will make everything look “super pretty” (not an actual quote).

Scorpio Engine: With 6 TFLOPS, 326GB/s of memory bandwidth and advanced, custom silicon, the Scorpio Engine is the most powerful console gaming processor ever created.

Centrifugal Fan: A supercharger-style design which rapidly pulls in and compresses air, Xbox One X’s Centrifugal Fan is crafted to deliver maximum cooling with minimum noise.

Vapor Chamber: A first for home consoles, Xbox One X’s Vapor Chamber uses advanced liquid cooling to help ensure the Scorpio Engine stays cool.

Hovis Method: To maximize performance and minimize power consumption, Xbox One X uses the Hovis Method, a cutting edge digital power delivery system to custom tune console voltage.

Of course, all that fancy tech doesn’t come cheap, and Xbox One X will cost $499US/£449UK – twice the price of the current Xbox One S – when it launches on November 7, 2017.

Xbox’ Project Scorpio Officially Revealed As Xbox One X, Launching November 7th 2017 For $499/£449

OnePlus 5 Will Be Officially Launched June 20th

After a steady stream of teases, rumours and apparent leaks over the past few months, OnePlus is finally ready to unveil the OnePlus 5 – and will be holding a keynote event on June 20th. Exact internal tech specs haven’t been revealed yet, but it’s widely known the OnePlus 5 will have a focus on the new dual-camera, with OnePlus itself using the “focus on what matters” tagline ahead of the reveal.

Elsewhere, OnePlus has acknowledged that the OP5 will include a Snapdragon 835 processor, which brings it in line with the highest-spec Androids, like the Galaxy S8, for example. We can also expect at least 6GB of RAM, and USB-C ultra-speed “Dash Charging”, as seen in the 3T.

OnePlus are also hosting pop-up stores across the world to coincide with the launch – whereby early adopters will be able to get their hands on some extra swag. Check out OnePlus.net for more info on that.

OnePlus 5 Will Be Officially Launched June 20th

Vince Gilligan Working With Sony On Breaking Bad VR Experience

Vince Gilligan – creator of TV masterpiece Breaking Bad – is teaming up with Sony’s PlayStation division to create virtual reality experience based around the show.

Details on the project are scarce, but we do know that despite PlayStation’s involvement, this is going to be an experience, rather than a traditional game.

“We set up a day at our campus where we brought seven of the best show runners [Sony Pictures Television] work with, like David Shore of The Blacklist and Ron Moore, who did Battlestar Galactica, Vince and some other folks,” says Andrew House, global chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment.

“And they just played around with VR. Several of them were intrigued, but Vince was the one who said, I really want to do something with this. I want to experiment with this.”

Sony Interactive Entertainment has increasingly been exploring beyond video games to expand their reach. In 2015, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television created Powers, an adaptation of the popular comic book, which ran for two seasons on PlayStation Network.

“I think [this] could be another interesting way to see how VR can drive towards the mainstream,” says House.

There’s no word yet regarding who’s on board by way of recognizable talent, but it’s hard to imagine a successful Breaking Bad experience without Walter White, Jesse Pinkman or Gus Fring. The project is still early in development, and will not release until at least 2018, Sony have announced.

Vince Gilligan Working With Sony On Breaking Bad VR Experience

Snapchat’s Spectacles Launch In Europe, Snapbot Vending Machines Arrives In London, Paris, Berlin & More

Snap Inc., the company behind smartphone app Snapchat have today launched their Spectacles across Europe. The wearables have been available for a few months stateside, but as of today gadget-loving millennials this side of the pond can also look remarkably fashionable (read: questionable) whilst grabbing short video clips.

SnapSpectacles

The plastic framed sunglasses – available in 3 colours at a shade under £130 – house a camera and microphone, and allow users to capture upto 30 seconds of video, which can then be shared with friends via the Snapchat network.

Snapchat was launched in 2011 by a group of former Stanford University students – based around the core idea of sharing photos that automatically deleted themselves once viewed. Initially dismissed, many of the apps features have since been directly copied by Facebook and Instagram.

If you really must have a pair of Spectacles, you can get yours online now, or by visiting one of the Snapbot vending machines which have popped up across major cities to coincide with the launch.

Snapchat’s Spectacles Launch In Europe, Snapbot Vending Machines Arrives In London, Paris, Berlin & More