Monthly Archives: March 2021

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Analogue Pocket Gets Delayed Due to Component Shortages…and the Boat in the Suez Canal

If you were eagerly awaiting the receipt of a modernized Game Boy-like with which to play your ancient copy of Wario Land 4, you will unfortunately have to wait a bit longer, as the Analogue Pocket has been delayed into October. And the boat that got stuck in the Suez Canal might be partially responsible. In an announcement today, Analogue apologized for the delay and cited two very specific issues. The first was an ongoing shortage of electronic components, an issue that's been prevalent due to COVID-19 causing manufacturing delays globally and which is impacting numerous industries, not just games. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=analogue-pocket-8-new-images&captions=true"] But the second reason cited was "logistical issues" that Analogue did not elaborate on in its post, except to link to this Forbes article specifically about how the Ever Given, a 1,300 ton boat that blocked the Suez Canal for six days last week and blocked the passage of over 370 ships during that time, was impacting global supply chains. Granted, many of the supply chain issues cited there have been ongoing for some time, the Ever Given's blockage caused a tremendous delay with impacts that the article posits may ripple across the next four to eight months. Meaning that the Ever Given's presence in the canal is probably at least partially responsible for everyone having to wait on their Pockets. The Analogue Pocket is a modern redesign of classic handhelds and looks an awful lot like a sleeker GameBoy. Its design was finalized last year and when it launches, it will be able to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance games. It's been up for pre-order already but keeps selling out, though back in February Analogue said it would offer more opportunities in the future to pre-order. At least now it looks like there's more time to do so if you've missed it so far. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.    

Breaking Down Cyberpunk 2077 and CDPR’s Future

BEYOND! On this week's episode of IGN's weekly PlayStation show, host Jonathon Dornbush is joined by Simon Cardy, Zach Ryan, and special guest StreetGrind to talk about all the latest PlayStation news...except for the new PlayStation Plus lineup, of course. (We'll catch your news on time, one day, Sony!) Instead, the cast jumps into the confirmation that PS3, PS Vita, and PSP PSN stores will be closing down in the coming months, Ratchet and Clank's PS5 patch and Sony's rollout of PS4 to PS5 upgrade patches, and more. But our centerpiece discussion is around all the Cyberpunk 2077 and CD Projekt Red news of the week. From Cyberpunk's new, massive 1.2 patch to CDPR's promise to market games on shorter timelines in the future and much more, we discuss how the company plans to move forward after the troubled launch of 2077 and its continued absence from the PSN store. (Knowing our luck, we expected Cyberpunk to become available again on PS4 in between when we recorded and when this episode posted.) Watch the new episode above! [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=the-best-ps5-games&captions=true"] Podcast Beyond! is live every Wednesday. For more on PS5, check out our PS5 console review and our PS5 wiki guide for tips on how to best use your system. And for more Beyond, be sure to watch the first episode of our Bloodborne let's play! [poilib element="poll" parameters="id=6dd2b926-8863-4080-99b2-d08eb61f67f6"] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jonathon Dornbush is IGN's Senior News Editor, host of Podcast Beyond!, and PlayStation lead. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

Netflix Purchases Knives Out Sequels for $450 Million

In a massive $450 million deal, Netflix has purchased the rights to two Knives Out sequels from Media Rights Capital, per Variety. Daniel Craig is reported to reprise his role as detective Benoit Blanc in both sequels, with writer-director Rian Johnson also set to return. The first Knives Out was produced by Media Rights Capital and distributed by Lionsgate. The whodunnit went on to become a sizable box office success, especially for an original property, grossing $311.4 million worldwide against a $40 million budget. The film earned Johnson an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay and chatter about a potential sequel quickly took hold. [ignvideo url=""] The purchase represents the latest continuation of Netflix maintaining a competitive line-up, giving the company a new flagship property. The streaming landscape has grown increasingly crowded in the past eighteen months, seeing the launch of services such as Disney Plus, HBO Max and, more recently, Paramount Plus. As more companies remove their titles from Netflix in their own efforts to compete against the streaming giant, Netflix will need to take bigger swings when pursuing and developing its own franchises. Although details are still sparse about Knives Out 2, Johnson has teased that the sequel will feature an entirely different cast and location from the first film, with Benoit Blanc taking on a new case somewhere else in the world. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=the-best-netflix-original-movies-and-tv-shows&captions=true"] Rian Johnson has already dipped his toes into the streaming landscape. Last month, NBCUniversal announced the filmmaker would be writing and directing a new mystery series titled Poker Face for Peacock. The 10-episode serial will star Natasha Lyonne. Additionally, the Star Wars: The Last Jedi director is still working on an original Star Wars trilogy for Disney. [poilib element="accentDivider"] J. Kim Murphy is a freelance entertainment writer.

NBCUniversal May Pull Movies From Netflix, HBO Max

Comcast is considering removing NBCUniversal films from streaming platforms like Netflix and keeping upcoming releases for its own Peacock serviceaccording to a new Bloomberg report. The report arrives at a time when competitors like WarnerMedia and Disney are using their streaming services to offer subscribers exclusive access to new, highly anticipated films. For subscribers like you and me, this means that movies like F9 could stream exclusively on Peacock instead of heading to HBO Max. Currently, Universal has an output deal with HBO Max that gives the streamer "rights to show new Universal Pictures movies about nine months after they leave theaters," according to Bloomberg. Illumination (the studio behind Despicable Me and Minions) reportedly has a similar deal with Netflix. Both deals are set to expire at the end of 2021. Losing access to films like The Secret Life of Pets could also impact Netflix's business, but executives have publicly stated multiple times they've prepared for competitors to pull their films as competition within the streaming landscape heats up. WarnerMedia would ideally like to keep the Fast and Furious franchise on HBO Max in some capacity, too. For NBCUniversal, the bigger question is whether or not executives think having those exclusive films on its Peacock streaming service will lead to enough customers signing up that losing out on those licensing deals is worth the risk. It’s a bet that several conglomerates in the entertainment industry are currently trying to figure out. ViacomCBS, which owns Paramount and Paramount+, specifically set a new deal with premium cable network Epix that allows for more control over where the studio's films land after leaving theaters. ViacomCBS can take movies like A Quiet Place II and Mission Impossible 7 to Paramount Plus before they’re available on Epix as part of the new deal. Much like Comcast and NBCUniversal executives’ reported internal thinking, the idea is that having big movies available exclusively and quickly on Paramount+ will encourage more people to sign up. [ignvideo url=""] Peacock had just over 33 million sign ups as of Comcast’s fourth quarter earnings report in January. There are, however, more questions than answers surrounding that number. Comcast and NBCUniversal executives didn’t specify how many users are paying for the premium $10 a month package, or are streaming Peacock for free as part of their cable and internet bundles, for example. If Peacock is scaling at an impressive rate (something we can’t know without concrete numbers), then using a similar strategy to ViacomCBS could help grow Peacock’s customer base exponentially. At the same time, if Peacock isn’t growing as fast as company executives wanted and if a new Minions or Jurassic World movie fails to bring in as many customers as NBCUniversal executives hoped, the better move is to license. All of these considerations are happening under the belief that having big titles will lead to more customers, but acquiring subscribers is one thing — retaining them is another. Take WarnerMedia. When the company decided to shift its 2021 theatrical slate to a hybrid model (for example, customers can either watch Godzilla vs Kong in theaters or on HBO Max in the United States), it was done so with the assumption that having a big new film every month will lead to more signups. [widget path=“global/article/imagegallery” parameters=“albumSlug=godzilla-vs-kong-whos-who-the-human-cast-and-characters&captions=true”] The first test was Wonder Woman 1984. WarnerMedia didn’t give any specific numbers, but between the third and fourth quarter of 2020, HBO Max doubled the number of activations (customers activating their HBO Max accounts) and tripled the number of retail subscribers (customers who sought out and paid for HBO Max without it being bundled into anything). While the hybrid model is immediately worse for a film’s overall revenue, WarnerMedia’s bet is on the longterm growth of HBO Max. If Wonder Woman 1984 gets millions of subscribers in the door, and HBO, Adult Swim, Studio Ghibli, or Friends is what keeps them subscribed month after month, the bet is more likely to pay off. Streaming is centered on recurring revenue, not just one big payoff that comes with a massive box office haul or a new licensing deal similar to what NBCUniversal and Comcast have with Netflix and HBO. What this means for us, customers who just want to watch movies and TV shows the easiest way possible, is that watching new movies may require subscribing to even more streaming services than ever before. There’s a chance that NBCUniversal and Comcast decide it makes better sense to license the studios films rather than try and pour everything into Peacock. Bloomberg's reporting suggests executives are open to renewing deals, and NBCUniversal has notably not dedicated the the same budget for Peacock content that other competitors have to their own streaming services. The other side is also true, though. If Peacock wants to compete against the Netflixes and Disney+s of the world, NBCUniversal and Comcast will likely need to up its exclusive offerings. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Julia Alexander is IGN's top streaming editor. Have a story tip? DM her on Twitter @loudmouthjulia or request her Signal number by emailing

Spider-Verse Producer Explains How Film’s Animation Inspired New Netflix Movie

If you loved Into the Spider-Verse’s unique animation style, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s upcoming The Mitchell’s vs. The Machines has plenty in store to surprise you.

The new comedy film, which focuses on an incredibly dysfunctional family as they fight off the robot apocalypse, utilized some of the talents from Spider-Verse in order to give the world a painterly look that blends similar comic book and action movie vibes. Miller took to Twitter Wednesday to explain how the new trailer does it.

Much like Spider-Verse, a lot of the beauty is hidden in the details. It makes sense, considering Michael Lasker, CG supervisor on Spider-Verse, was brought on as VFX supervisor on The Mitchells.

Miller points out that father Rick Mitchell’s fur collar is just brown painted squiggles rather than a realistic fur/hair simulation, something that Miller says is harder to pull off.

Inversely, some trees and bushes seen in the background of a suburban yard may look like watercolor paintings, but are in fact traditional 3D CG. A lot of love for Spider-Verse’s character designs stemmed from how each character was highlighted like a traditional comic book character, with thick outlines. In The Mitchells, characters, environments, and even hair have hand-painted outlines to help define each character. Character Katie Mitchell’s hair is drawn with watercolor-washed shapes, then accented with thick lines throughout. Katie’s design carries over into the overall world, too. As an indie filmmaker, her exaggerated personality gives life to comical 2D animations that spring up around her, such as the cartoon smiley faces that appear when her dad catches her in the air. It bears the most obvious similarity to Spider-Verse’s comic book “pow!” and “bagel!” animations. The titular machines that threaten humanity are also drawn with watercolor aesthetics, but are given a much more different color palette and drawn with a somewhat cleaner look to reinforce the idea that they’re a singular intelligence focused on one goal. There are sure to be some other animation tricks and easter eggs spread throughout The Mitchells vs. the Machines, so keep an eye out when it hits Netflix on April 30.   The film is directed by Gravity Falls’ Mike Rianda and stars Eric Andre, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson, along with guest stars like Chrissy Teigen and Conan O’Brien. Lord and Miller are both serving as producers. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/furby-phobe for IGN. Harvest him on Twitter.

Elder Scrolls Online Comes to PS5, Xbox Series X in June

The Elder Scrolls Online: Console Enhanced is the next-gen version of the popular MMO that is arriving on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 on June 8, 2021. The Elder Scrolls Online: Console Enhanced version will be free to all who own ESO on PS4 or Xbox One, and this new version cuts down loadtimes by half (on average), adds a 60 FPS Performance Mode, increases the draw distance by nearly double, and much more. [ignvideo url=""] Those who wish for a "visual feast" in ESO will also be able to take advantage of native 4K at 30 FPS in Fidelity Mode. There will also be improved reflections, shadows, depth of field, ambient occlusion with screen space global illumination, updated antialiasing, and unlocked textures. ESO: Console Enhanced was announced during the Blackwood Chapter Preview Event that will allow players to "expose the daedric plots and tyrannical schemes consuming the region and [they] must discover their connection to the Prince of Destruction and his dreadful plans for Tamriel." Although Blackwood is a standalone story, its events will further the overall Gates of Oblivion narrative that will continue to unfold throughout 2021. Also revealed is the all-new Companions System that will give players the option to choose between two new companions whose playstyle will be defined through selecting their gear and leveling up their skills. Blackwood Chapter will be released on PC on June 1, 2021, and will be available on consoles, including ESO: Console Enhanced, on June 8, 2021. [ignvideo url=""] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

IGN Prime Free Game: Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures

IGN Prime has partnered with Telltale Games to bring you Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures! IGN's prime free game is Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventure Enter the colourful world of West Wallaby Street with four brand new Wallace & Gromit stories!
  • Episode 1: Fright of the Bumblebees – Wallace’s idea for accelerating his honey business’ growth with supersized flowers has unintended side effects.
  • Episode 2: The Last Resort – Will the perfect holiday turn into the perfect crime?
  • Episode 3: Muzzled! – Introducing Monty Muzzle – charitable philanthropist or canine conniver?
  • Episode 4: The Bogey Man – Wallace & Gromit Take on the Country Club
Prime members Click here to get your Free PC copy of  Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures!   Not an IGN Prime member? No problem. Simply sign up and come back here to grab your game key. You can cancel with one click any time. Every month, the IGN Prime team provides members an opportunity to grab great games, exclusive betas, and other goodies picked by the Prime team.   
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CD Projekt Says Leaked Cyberpunk 2077 Add-Ons Aren’t DLC Names, So What Are They?

Earlier this week the Cyberpunk 2077 subreddit uncovered several names from the Epic Games Store initially believed to be the names of upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 content. In an email to IGN a CD Projekt representative confirmed that these names “are not DLCs for Cyberpunk 2077.” This begs the question, what are they? In a thread on the Cyberpunk 2077 subreddit, user u/PricklyAssassin shared images of a now-gone Add-on page for Cyberpunk 2077 in the Epic Games Store with a series of blank listings for what looks like Cyberpunk 2077 content. This add-on page apparently appeared on the Epic Games Store shortly after this week’s 1.2 patch but has since been removed. [ignvideo url=""] The screenshots showed the following listings:
  • Ripperdocs Expansion
  • Body Shops Expansion
  • Fashion Forward Expansion
  • Gangs of Night CIty
  • Body of Chrome
  • Rides of the Dark Future
  • The Relic
  • Neck Deep
  • Night City Expansion
  • Expansion Pass
[poilib element="accentDivider"] Given CD Projekt’s confirmation that these aren’t names for upcoming DLC, this leads to a couple of different possibilities. The most likely being that these aren’t the final names for Cyberpunk 2077’s upcoming add-on content. The generic names like “Ripperdocs Expansion” and “Body Shops Expansion” seem to indicate that whatever CD Projekt Red has in store for Cyberpunk 2077’s upcoming DLC aren’t finalized yet. Even more specific titles like “Rides of the Dark Future” could be code names or placeholders before official titles are chosen. CD Projekt confirmed in its 2021 roadmap that aside from patches and a next-gen update, there are free DLCs in the works for Cyberpunk 2077. Before launch CD Projekt confirmed Cyberpunk would have a similar post-launch structure as The Witcher 3 with a mix of free, smaller DLCs and much larger paid expansions sold separately. cdpr_roadmap The company reaffirmed the plan to release free DLC and paid expansions during their strategy update yesterday where the company also announced it would change its marketing strategy to prevent misleading customers. That said there was some confusion yesterday regarding comments from CDPR president Adam Kiciński who said plans for Cyberpunk 2077’s multiplayer mode are being reconsidered. Despite promising clearer marketing going forward, Kiciński's comments only created further confusion. Since CD Projekt won’t confirm what exactly these titles from the Epic Games Store are referring to, it remains speculation. All we know for sure is that Cyberpunk 2077 will get free DLC sometime this year, and we’ll likely hear more about it closer to launch. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt T.M. Kim is IGN's News Editor.

Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles Is Batman in Batman: The Long Halloween

The upcoming animated film adaptation of Batman: The Long Halloween has revealed its voice cast, including Supernatural's Jensen Ackles in the starring role as Batman. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, joining Ackles is well-known video game voice actor Troy Baker as The Joker, and the late Glee actress Naya Rivera as Catwoman, having completed her work on the role before her death last July. [ignvideo url=""] Other voice actors in the cast include Transformers star Josh Duhamel (Harvey Dent), Twilight's Billy Burke (James Gordon), Lost's Titus Welliver (Carmine Falcone), stage and film actor David Dastmalchian (Calendar Man), Amy Landecker (Barbara Gordon), Julie Nathanson (Gilda Dent), Jack Quaid (Alberto), Fred Tatasciore (Solomon Grundy), and lastair Duncan (Alfred). Frances Callier, Greg Chun, Gary Leroi Gray and Jim Pirri will also voice unspecified roles. Superman: Man of Tomorrow and Voltron: Legendary Defender veteran Chris Palmer will direct a script by his fellow Man of Tomorrow colleague Tim Sheridan, with producers including Jim Krieg, Kimberly S. Moreau, Butch Lukic, Michael Uslan, and Sam Register. Batman: The Long Halloween was announced last year as a part of a series of four DC Universe films coming in 2021, two of which encompass the two-part Long Halloween. The other are Batman: Soul of the Dragon (which is out, and which we found "shallow but entertaining") and Justice Society: World War 2 -- the latter of which recently saw a number of new images revealed. It's currently planned to release in the summer of this year, and will be based on the 13-issue comic arc of the same name that follows Batman's pursuit of the Holiday Killer, a serial murderer who kills a new person each calendar holiday. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.
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