The Witcher 4 Announced and More!

Hello everyone. Welcome to another issue of Emmen Weekly, our new twist on gaming news. 

This week’s issue is a little longer than usual. It’s been a very hectic week for the games industry on multiple fronts.

So with no further ado, let’s get into this issue of Emmen Weekly.

The Witcher 4 Announced

Polish developer CDProjekt Red (CDPR) has announced the next installment for their world-renowned Witcher franchise. 

The developers went on to state that this new game will be the start of a new saga for the franchise.

CDPR also announced that the developers are moving from their proprietary REDengine to Unreal Engine 5 in a multiyear strategic partnership with Epic Games.

As for further details, the company also revealed that the Witcher medallion seen in the teaser image is from a brand new school of Witchers that the studio is inventing for this new saga. 

This new school will likely be called the School of the Lynx due to the fact that the medallion is a lynx.

This wouldn’t be the first time CDPR invented a school of Witchers as it had previously introduced the Bear, Viper, Manticore, and Crane schools into the game lore.

We at Emmen Gaming are big Witcher fans and look forward to more news on this upcoming project. 

Our only hope is that the developers do not face crunch conditions for the sake of the project, similar to how they did during the creation of Cyberpunk 2077; CDPR’s last game.

Unity Releases Teaser for Real-Time Cinematic Demo

Unity has released a teaser for its real-time cinematic demo.

Dubbed, “Enemies”, the teaser showcased the power and capability of the Unity platform for creating high-end, visually compelling content. 

According to Unity, the new tech offers overhauled digital humans with new skin shaders and more.

It also said that ray-tracing and native DLSS support will be available.

Unity went on to state that the technology can also handle real-time strand-based hair.

You can check out the teaser below. It looks scarily real.

Nintendo Releases Switch System Update 14.0.0

Nintendo has released a new software update for the Nintendo Switch dubbed System Update 14.0.0

One of the most appealing features that came with the new update is the ability to group software. 

This is a simple quality of life improvement that will allow users to group games together in their collections. Up to 100 groups can be created with a max of 200 titles per group.

The Bluetooth features have also gotten a quality of life upgrade. 

Users can now adjust the volume of Bluetooth audio devices using either the console itself or the Bluetooth volume control buttons on the device itself.

The volume displayed on the console will reflect the Bluetooth audio volume when using the console’s volume buttons. 

Lastly, the maximum audio output for Bluetooth has been increased.

These features are welcome additions to the Nintendo Switch and will likely improve the user experience.

That being said, these are features that other consoles have had for years. Including Nintendo’s own. 

So the addition of these features doesn’t come off as a triumph as much as “welcome to the year 2015, Nintendo.”

Still, you can be sure that we will spend way too long trying to organize our game library and love every second of it.

Gran Turismo 7 Devs Apologize for Launch Issues, Promise ‘Considerable’ Patch, and Gives Away 1 Million Credits

Polyphony Digital, the creators of the Gran Turismo franchise, have apologized for the rocky launch of the game.

After the release of the game, the developers released an update that lowered the rewards players could earn while playing it, resulting in many raising concerns that the developers were pushing them towards microtransactions.

Additionally, the game was unplayable for a day after the update as the servers had gone down.

The President of the company, Kazunori Yamauchi apologized to fans in a blogpost on the PlayStation blog.

As part of the apology, the company is giving away 1 million in-game credits* for free for anyone who played the game before March 25 and does so again before April 25. 

*That comes up to a little over $10 in case you were wondering.

An update coming in early April will add the following changes:

  • Increase rewards in the events in the latter half of the World Circuits by approximately 100% on average.
  • Addition of high rewards for clearing the Circuit Experience in all Gold/All Bronze results.
  • Increase of rewards in Online Races.
  • Include a total of eight new one-hour Endurance Race events to Missions. These will also have higher reward settings.
  • Increase the upper limit of non-paid credits in player wallets from 20M Cr. to 100M Cr.
  • Increase the quantity of Used and Legend cars on offer at any given time.

The company is also planning to roll out some other updates in the near-term, which will include the following changes: 

  • Increase the payout value of limited time rewards as we develop as a live service.
  • Further World Circuit event additions.
  • Addition of Endurance Races to Missions including 24-hour races.
  • Addition of Online Time Trials and awarding of rewards according to the player’s difference with the top ranked time.
  • Make it so cars can be sold.

What do you think about this Gran Turismo situation? Is the apology enough? 

Or should it never have come to this in the first place? 

New PS4/5 Firmware Update Released

Sony has released a new firmware update for PS4 and PS5 last week.

This update brings several features that fans were asking for, starting with the ability to make open and closed parties on PS4 and PS5. 

There are also UI enhancements on PS5 and more accessibility features such as mono audio for headphones. 

Players in the US and UK will also get to test drive a new voice command feature. It will let them find files and open games, apps, or settings with their voice. (English language only for now.)

Sony also announced that it will be adding Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support for the PS5 in the coming months.

According to Sony, VRR will enhance visual performance for PS5 games by minimizing or eliminating visual artifacts, such as frame pacing issues and screen tearing. 

Godfall Ultimate Edition Heads to PC and Xbox

The former PS5 launch title, Godfall, is finally headed for Steam and Xbox.

The publishers of Godfall, Gearbox confirmed the news and stated that the Ultimate Edition will arrive on Steam, Xbox Series S/X, and Xbox One. 

The Xbox Series S/X versions will support VRR and Dolby Vision.

The Ultimate Edition of the game includes the base game, the Fire & Darkness expansion, and the three content updates: Primal, Lightbringer, and Exalted. 

Gearbox also stated that previous exclusives such as preorder bonuses will be packaged with the edition as well.

Activision Blizzard Faces New Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Lawsuit

Attorney Lisa Bloom has filed a new lawsuit against Activision Blizzard on behalf of a current employee referred to as ‘Jane Doe’. 

“For years, Activision Blizzard’s open ‘frat boy’ environment fostered rampant sexism, harassment and discrimination with 700 reported incidents occurring under CEO Robert Kotick’s watch,” the lawsuit reads.

According to Doe, she started work as a senior administrative assistant in 2017. She claimed that since then, she has been pressured to drink alcohol and participate in lewd games.

She also stated that female employees were regularly subjected to sexual comments and groping by male colleagues during alcohol-fueled “cube crawls”.

Doe went on to state that this inappropriate behavior by leadership was explained away as “leadership being nice and trying to be friends with her”.

She was also pressured not to go public with these issues due to reputational damage to the company. 

These and other allegations are detailed here.

This case adds to the ongoing lawsuits against the company, which was recently bought by Microsoft.

Current CEO, Robert “Bobby” Kotik is expected to leave the company when the Microsoft deal closes.

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