Panic got onto everyone’s radar by publishing Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game, and now it wants to make its way into the handheld gaming industry with a new system they’ve called Playdate.
Of course, that’s not an easy feat to accomplish, which is why Panic isn’t setting its eyes on competing with the big boys. “Playdate isn’t trying to compete with the other devices that we already play and love. It’s designed to be complementary. It’s designed to deliver a jolt of fun in-between the times you spend with your phone and your home console; something to fill the moments when you just want a game you can pick-up and play,” explains Panic’s website.
It’s a novel approach, but not the only original thing about the system.
One interesting aspect of the system is how you get games. You won’t be buying them, instead, they’ll be delivered to your console in “seasons” with a new game being delivered each week. Panic isn’t revealing what the games are, opting instead to keep them a surprise.
Another differentiating characteristic is the crank on the side of the system, which isn’t meant to power the device, but to be an analog controller for the games created for the Playdate.
Playdate is a unique piece of technology—from its bright yellow format to its monochromatic screen. It just might crank out some pretty big changes to the industry.
Razer Raiju Ultimate Review: the Superior PS4 Controller
Back in the day of split-screen gaming, there was a stigma surrounding third-party controllers. For the most part, they were cheap, ugly, and uncomfortable, so reserved for a visiting friend or younger sibling. Then the rise of online gaming changed everything. Competitive gamers began looking for tips, tricks and accessories to give them an edge over the competition. These days, professional gaming is big business, with the top streamers earning up to $50k per hour. It pays to be leader of the pack.
Razer released the Raiju Ultimate controller to elevate the PlayStation 4 experience. This premium accessory offers precision controls, replaceable thumbsticks and the ability to remap buttons, encouraging gamers to play to their strengths and potentially eliminate weaknesses. In many ways, Raiju Ultimate is superior to the standard DualShock 4. The main downside is its price – RRP $350.
When raising the controller, the first thing you notice is its weight. Razer’s Raiju Ultimate is heavy. 360 grams may not sound like a lot, but it weighs close to double that of a standard PS4 DualShock controller. It’s not a deal breaker but does take some time getting used to.
Raiju Ultimate is larger than the standard controller. It’s closer in size and shape to an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. This redesign results in more ergonomic triggers and an improved grip, which benefit prolonged sessions with racing games and first-person shooters. The triggers are wider, making them easier to press and they possess a nice amount of spring and firmness, bouncing back up much faster.
An alternate d-pad is included, so users can select between the standard four-directional design and a more accurate tilting d-pad that’s often favoured by fans of fighting games. A pair of alternate thumbsticks have domed grips similar the classic design of PlayStation 3 controllers. The d-pad and thumbsticks are held in place with magnets, so they simply clip on and off. The accompanying carry case has space to house the spare parts and the controller when it’s not in use.
The main benefit of this pro controller is its extra buttons. Two paddles designated M3 and M4 are found on the back, similar to gear-shift paddles on the reverse side of some steering wheels. Another two buttons are on top. They are labelled M1 and M2.
Using the Razer app, you can remap these buttons for a custom setup. The paddles can be a real game changer for competitive gaming, potentially offering a quick-fire alternative to the L1 and R1 buttons, but they can be customised to replace any button or trigger. The paddles are not perfect and are easily pressed by accident as they reside where the middle and ring fingers naturally grip the controller. The M buttons and paddles can also be switched off.
The Razer app offers four profiles, allowing custom setups catering to different genres. With the app, users can remap each button, adjust the sensitivity of the thumbsticks and fine-tune the rumble motors.
The four main buttons: x, square, circle and triangle are slightly smaller than those found on the standard PS4 controller, with the extra space in between potentially benefiting larger hands.
Razer Raiju Ultimate is wireless, connecting to both PS4 consoles and PC via Bluetooth. At the bottom is a 3.5mm jack for a headset and microphone although the controller has to be connected to the PS4 via USB for the accessories to work. Thankfully, the included cable is extra-long coming in at 2.8 metres.
It wouldn’t be a modern gaming device without some RGB lighting. So you better believe Razer included custom Chroma lighting. Light surrounds the touchpad with colours, patterns and pulses customised via the Razer app. It’s possible to colour code the Chroma lighting to match an eSports team or a user’s favourite colours. The lighting can also be switched off entirely.
The Razer Raiju Ultimate controller may not appeal to casual PS4 gamers, although aspiring professionals or hard-core online competitors should certainly check it out. The main downside is the price. At RRP $350, Raiju Ultimate is bound to frustrate some potential buyers. The good news is that JB Hi-Fi has dropped the price to $280. It’s still high, but if the standard PS4 controller gets between you and victory, it may be time to upgrade.
Man of Many received a controller for review courtesy of Razer.
Did You Know Top Live-Streamers Make $50,000 an Hour?
The next time your mum, dad, or girlfriend complains about how much time you spend playing video games, point them to the Wall Street Journal. A recent article titled “Top ‘Live-Streamers’ Get $50,000 an Hour to Play New Videogames Online” should be a strong enough argument that you are doing something with your life.
The article reports that companies like Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, and Take-Two Interactive Software are just some of the video game publishers that are paying out massive amounts of cash to popular live-streamers to play their games. The streamers broadcast their experiences with the games on Twitch or upload videos to their YouTube channels. “Having celebrity streamers play games is an important part of the business,” explains Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two’s CEO. “It’s relatively new, but it has to be organic. The streamers have to believe in it.”
And there’s definitely a career to be had in playing games. Take, for instance, Sean “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin. The “professional gamer” has more than 22 million subscribers and earns about USD$300,000 per month. Not convincing enough? Consider Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who also has over 22 million subscribers and rakes in between USD$500,000 and $1 million per month.
Now there’s a take-home pay that no one can complain about.
E3 2019: 20 Bangin’ Games Coming to Nintendo Switch
The third and final day of E3 2019 announcements saw a tonne of games revealed for Nintendo Switch. Plus, all the heavy hitters we already knew about scored new trailers or gameplay videos.
The biggest and arguably best Nintendo announcement was that a sequel to the award-winning The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is in development. A brief teaser revealed the good news. You can watch it below. The Breath of the Wild sequel is just one of three Legend of Zelda games on the horizon.
The previously announced remake of the Game Boy hit Zelda: Link’s Awakening scored a new trailer along with a release date of September 20, 2019. The last of the three launches this week. It’s a rhythm game from an indie developer, and it has a ridiculously long name: Cadence of Hyrule — Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda is available Friday, June 14. You can find its trailer below.
The other big Nintendo Switch exclusive is Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order – a beat ‘em up multiplayer game starring the Avengers, Spider-Man, Deadpool, the X Men and Fantastic Four. Don’t confuse it with the other Avengers game announced for PC, PS4 and XB1.
Pokémon Sword and Shield scored a new trailer, as did Luigi’s Mansion 3 and the recently announced Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The 2015 Game of the Year The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is making its way to Nintendo Switch. Plus the popular Nintendo 64 characters Banjo and Kazooie are making their way to Super Smash Bros Ultimate as new fighters.
All of these trailers and more are featured below. See you at E3 next year.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 – Available TBA
Zelda: Link’s Awakening – Available September 20, 2019
Zelda: Cadence of Hyrule – Available June 14, 2019
Pokémon Sword and Shield – Available November 15, 2019
Super Smash Bros DLC: Banjo Kazooie – Available TBA
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Available March 20, 2020
Luigi’s Mansion 3 – Available 2019
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order – Available July 19, 2019
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Available 2019
Minecraft Dungeons – Available TBA
Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Available November 2019
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – Available 2019
Empire of Sin – Available 2020
Dragon Quest Builders 2 – Available July 12, 2019
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair – Available 2019
Dragon Quest XI S – Available September 27, 2019
No More Heroes 3 – Available TBA
Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Available July 26, 2019
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – Available September 20, 2019
Astral Chain – Available August 30, 2019
Daemon x Machina – Available September 13, 2019
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