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August Games

Xbox Games with Gold August 2020 free games announced – Polygon

Xbox Live Gold subscribers and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members are getting four free games in August thanks to Xbox Games with Gold.

Players can pick up the first of the month’s free games on Aug. 1 with Portal Knights, a third-person action RPG, and MX Unleashed, a classic Xbox dirt bike game with the most mid-2000s soundtrack of all time. Later on in the month, on Aug. 16, players will be able to pick up the giant robot battle game, Override: Mech City Brawl and Red Faction 2, a fantastic and underappreciated Xbox-era first-person shooter about taking down a corrupt government using really big guns.

Here’s a full look at the games coming to Games with Gold in August:

  • Portal Knights ($19.99 ERP): Available August 1 to 31 on Xbox One
  • Override: Mech City Brawl ($29.99 ERP): Available August 16 to September 15 on Xbox One
  • MX Unleashed ($14.99 ERP): Available August 1 to 15 on Xbox One & Xbox 360
  • Red Faction II ($14.99 ERP): Available August 16 to 31 on Xbox One & Xbox 360

Some of the Games with Gold titles form July are still available for players who want them, including WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship, which leaves the service on July 31, and the two-on-two basketball game Dunk Lords which will stick around until Aug. 15.

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Buffalo Games

Blue Jays to play home games in Buffalo amid pandemic – ESPN

12:21 PM ET

  • ESPN News Services

The displaced Toronto Blue Jays will play the majority of their home games in Buffalo, New York, this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the team announced Friday.

The Blue Jays will play at Sahlen Field, home of the team’s Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons.

“We are extremely grateful to have a home in Buffalo this season, thanks to the openness, creativity, and partnership of the Buffalo Bisons, Major League Baseball, and Blue Jays staff, who have worked tirelessly to prepare us for games at Sahlen Field,” Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro said in a statement. “This process has no doubt tested our team’s resilience, but our players and staff refuse to make excuses — we are determined to take the field on Opening Day today, and for the coming months, with the same intensity and competitiveness that our fans expect.”

Toronto begins the season at Tampa Bay on Friday. The team said the first scheduled home series, against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday and Thursday, will take place on the road to accommodate infrastructure modifications at Sahlen Field to meet Major League Baseball playing standards and COVID-19 safety requirements.

The Blue Jays’ first game in Buffalo will be either on July 31 against the Philadelphia Phillies or Aug. 11 against the Miami Marlins.

Shapiro said “substantial” new construction will be required to upgrade Sahlen Field. The locker room needs to be expanded so that social distancing can be practiced. The lights need be upgraded as well. The team will be incurring the majority if not all of the costs, Shapiro said.

The team has also reached out to the Buffalo Sabres about using some of their facilities.

Slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. expects the Buffalo’s park to favor pitchers because it is a larger field than the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

“It’s going to be different because of the way it is in Toronto compared to Buffalo,” Guerrero said through an interpreter. “There are no fans anyway. We’re just going to go play baseball.”

The Blue Jays had been looking for a major league park after the Canadian government declined to allow them to play in Toronto and the state of Pennsylvania nixed a deal to play in Pittsburgh because of frequent travel throughout the United States.

A source told ESPN’s Marly Rivera that Maryland offered to allow the Blue Jays to start playing at Camden Yards in September, but the team decided it did not want to wait.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that there had been talks about the state hosting the Blue Jays, but the team didn’t want to wait to see if Maryland officials would say no with its season starting Friday.

“Baltimore never got to a situation to where we were denied,” Shapiro said. “At some point, continuing to explore and look at an option like Baltimore was not going to be a risk we could take. That risk of being turned down certainly existed. And so we obviously had to make a decision knowing we had a very good alternative, albeit not a major league one, but one we felt could get close to a major league one.”

In a letter, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York urged MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to pick Buffalo.

“Since it is Opening Day, there is little time for continued deliberation — now is the time to act — and Buffalo is ready to roll out the red carpet and welcome Major League Baseball to Sahlen Field and Western New York,” he wrote. “I strongly urge MLB and the Blue Jays to choose Buffalo as your home for the 2020 season.”

Schumer noted the partnership between the Bisons and Blue Jays has been strong since their affiliation began in 2013.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters before the announcement that he spoke to Manfred on Friday morning.

“If we can get Toronto playing here, I say great. We have the protocols in place. It will be done safely,” Cuomo said. “I’d rather it happen here. It’s good for Buffalo.”

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said this week that his team had more than five contingency plans for a home stadium and was in talks with other teams. Atkins had previously said if the Blue Jays couldn’t find a major league park, Buffalo would be their most likely site for home games. But it lacks major league-caliber facilities.

The team had been considering playing home games at its training facility in Dunedin, Florida, but that is among the states that are virus hot spots.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Games receives

Epic Games Receives Strategic Investment from Sony Corporation – Business Wire

TOKYO & CARY, N.C.–()–Sony Corporation (“Sony”) and Epic Games, Inc. (“Epic”) are pleased to announce that Sony has agreed to make a strategic investment of $250 million to acquire a minority interest in Epic through a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony. The investment cements an already close relationship between the two companies and reinforces the shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services.

The investment allows Sony and Epic to aim to broaden their collaboration across Sony’s leading portfolio of entertainment assets and technology, and Epic’s social entertainment platform and digital ecosystem to create unique experiences for consumers and creators. The closing of the investment is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

“Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations. There’s no better example of this than the revolutionary entertainment experience, Fortnite. Through our investment, we will explore opportunities for further collaboration with Epic to delight and bring value to consumers and the industry at large, not only in games, but also across the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Corporation.

“Sony and Epic have both built businesses at the intersection of creativity and technology, and we share a vision of real-time 3D social experiences leading to a convergence of gaming, film, and music. Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike,” said Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic.

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. From game and network services to music, pictures, electronics, semiconductors and financial services – Sony’s purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology. For more information, visit: http://www.sony.net/

About Epic Games

Founded in 1991, Epic Games (epicgames.com) is a leading interactive entertainment company and provider of 3D engine technology. Epic operates Fortnite, the world’s largest game with over 350 million accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections. Epic also develops Unreal Engine, which powers the world’s leading games and is being adopted across industries such as film and television, architecture, automotive, and manufacturing for visualization and simulation. Epic has over 2,200 employees across 35 offices worldwide with headquarters in Cary, North Carolina. Follow @EpicGames for updates.

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Games Showcase

Xbox Games Showcase: What to expect from the July event – VentureBeat

Microsoft finally announced the date for its upcoming Xbox Series X first-party game showcase. The event will broadcast at 9 a.m. Pacific on July 23. This is the first opportunity for the Xbox Game Studios teams to show off their next-generation projects. Developer 343 Industries has already confirmed that it will show up with Halo: Infinite, but what else does Xbox boss Phil Spencer have to win you over? Let’s try to figure it out.

First, let’s put the Xbox showcase into context. This is part of the monthly Xbox 20/20 events, which started back in May with Microsoft’s smaller third-party-focused Inside Xbox. (Xbox ended up skipping June because it pushed its Xbox Series S/Lockhart reveal to August). But it is all part of what Microsoft would have originally debuted at E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) before organizers canceled that trade show.

Microsoft has spent years building up to this point with studio acquisitions, all while growing its offerings on Xbox Game Pass. With the big blowout reveal for the Xbox Series X, it’s time for the company to prove it believes in making games.

So let’s get to what that might look like.

What to expect at the Xbox Games Showcase

Microsoft continues to emphasize that it has 15 studios working on games. While all of them are working on projects, developers like Mojang are likely not going to have anything new. But you should still expect to see a majority of these teams show up in one form or another.

The most exciting games are the unknown, blockbuster-level projects from Microsoft’s biggest teams. Let’s run through those.

Is Playground making a Fable?

Rumors continue to suggest that Playground Games is working on a Fable reboot. Playground is best known for producing the Forza Horizon games with Turn 10 Studios. But now Microsoft fully owns the company, and it paid to open a second Playground Games studio that is working on an open-world adventure.

Whether this is Fable or not doesn’t really matter to me. Even if it is, I expect it to act as a clean reboot. What matters to me is Playground Games. That studio has continually crushed the Forza Horizon games, and I’m ready to see the studio take on an open-world on foot.

This is the game I’m most looking forward to from the Xbox Games Showcase.

The Initiative is not going to bring its game to this event

In addition to acquiring existing studios, Microsoft also started a new team in Santa Monica called The Initiative. The company built this studio specifically to bring in talent to create marquee games with massive budgets.

But don’t expect to see the fruits of that just yet.

I know some rumors suggest The Initiative’s game is going to debut at the Xbox Games Showcase, but that’s not the case. Microsoft is holding it back.

It might seem like a mistake to hold anything back when you’re launching a new console, but it seems unlikely that the game is ready. The Initiative only got started in 2018. It was hiring its staff throughout 2019. If this team really is working on a next-gen blockbuster, that’s the kind of thing that can take four or five years before it’s ready to ship. And Microsoft is probably feeling like it has enough games to get through the launch of the Xbox Series X.

As for what The Initiative is working on, the rumors claim it’s a Perfect Dark reboot. And I hope that’s true. I love the idea of Microsoft digging into its weird backlog of properties and finding unique ways to update them for modern audiences.

What are the other Xbox Game Studios teams working on?

Let’s quickly run down some of the other Xbox studios.

Halo: Infinite is launching with the Xbox Series X, so it’s likely going to take up a significant portion of the event. We know that World’s Edge is working on Age of Empires IV.

Double Fine is sprucing up Psychonauts 2 with all of its Microsoft money. InXile is doing the same thing for Wasteland 3, which releases August 28. But InXile is also working on a bigger-budget game in the Unreal 5 engine.

Ninja Theory will definitely show more from Hellblade 2. Turn 10 could have a Forza game because you can’t launch a console without cars. And Rare may have something new in the works as well. But don’t expect anything from The Coalition, which just released Gears 5 in 2019.

What about Xbox Lockhart, services, and third-party?

I’m expecting the Xbox Games Showcase to live up to that title. Microsoft is going to primarily focus on games. But that doesn’t mean only first-party games, as it’s also bringing in third-party partners. That probably doesn’t mean Final Fantasy XVI from Square Enix, though (Sony is probably trying to lock that one down like Final Fantasy VII Remake).

When it comes to third-party reveals, maybe this is where Activision finally shows off the next Call of Duty. Maybe Rockstar brings Red Dead Redemption 2 here like it brought GTA V to the PlayStation event.

Or maybe Microsoft announces that it is buying all of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

When it comes to hardware, don’t expect to hear anything about Lockhart. Microsoft is saving that for August. The Xbox Series S could confuse Microsoft’s messaging, so the company is going to explain that one on its own next month.

But I would expect Microsoft to emphasize its services. It’s going to talk about Xbox Game Pass a lot. Of course, every Xbox Games Studio release is going to hit that subscription service.

But this is where Microsoft’s third-party strategy could come into play. Expect Microsoft to try to make a big splash by announcing an anticipated third-party game hitting Game Pass soon after release. Cyberpunk 2077 seems like a prime candidate.

It also seems like the right time for Microsoft to talk about the future of Xbox Gold. That service is starting to feel a bit outdated. Maybe it’s time to phase it out.

Xbox Series X price and release date

In June 2013, Microsoft and Sony revealed the price and release date for their upcoming systems. We are already well into July without that info for the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. And I don’t expect that to change.

Microsoft is unlikely to share those details at this showcase — the timing for that is almost certainly when it unveils Lockhart in August. That’s when Spencer and his team will lay out the final details of their strategy. Until then, save your money for the preorders.

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Games offers

Itch.io offers 700 games in a pay-what-you-want racial justice bundle – Engadget

You now have a chance to score a massive number of games for a low price — and support an important cause while you’re at it. The game store Itch.io has released a “Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality” pay-what-you-want offering that includes 700 indie titles. There’s a minimum donation of $5, but whatever you contribute is split equally between the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Community Bail Fund.

The collection includes some titles you might recognize. The relentlessly quirky Night in the Woods is in the mix along with Oxenfree, Catlateral Damage, A Mortician’s Tale, Wheels of Aurelia and Quadrilateral Cowboy, among others. Even if you don’t play the majority of the bundled games, there’s a good chance you’ll get some value out of the ones you do try.

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Games Summer

Summer Games Done Quick 2020 moving online this year – Polygon

Games Done Quick announced on Friday that Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ), the annual charity speedrunning event, will be held entirely online this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SGDQ was already postponed earlier this year due to the pandemic. The event’s original dates were June 21-28, and it would have been held in Minnesota. In March, as the coronavirus was starting to spread across the U.S., Games Done Quick postponed SGDQ 2020 until Aug. 16-23, but the plan was to still hold the event in person. However, with concerns about the virus still high, Games Done Quick has now chosen to move the event online instead. It will now be called Summer Games Done Quick 2020 Online.

This year’s event will have an official broadcast from the Games Done Quick studio, while the runners themselves will remain in their own homes. There will still be commentators for runners if they’d like to have them.

This won’t be Games Done Quick’s first online event. In April, the organization held an entirely online event called Corona Relief Done Quick, where it raised money for Direct Relief to help those affected by COVID-19.

Summer Games Done Quick 2020 Online will still run from Aug. 16-23, and will start at 11:30 a.m. EDT. All of SGDQ will be broadcast from the Games Done Quick Twitch channel, as usual. All donations to SGDQ 2020 Online will benefit Doctors Without Borders.


The PlayStation 4 Pro is 4K-ready, and several of the PS4’s best games are enhanced to take advantage of the more powerful console’s improved visuals and frame rates.

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