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Oculus Rift to retail at $599; $200 above initial 2014 projections

Virtual Reality and augmented reality are the biggest trend in gaming right now, and the Oculus Rift is perhaps the most well known VR headset slated to operate with both the Xbox One and PC.

The technology is exciting to gamers and even for some non-gamers, but the biggest concern for the hardware was a simple one for many. Price. And Oculus seems to have heavily under estimated what the price was going to be when they suggested anywhere between $250 and $400 back in 2014.

Oculus Rift has been confirmed to retail at $599 — a full $200 above the highest estimations. The package will come with the VR headset, sensor, Oculus Remote, cables, Xbox One Controller, EVE: Valkyrie, and Lucky’s Tale. Perhaps they value the package like this but still value the Oculus itself at $400, but it certainly won’t make it any less frustrating for gamers.

And that $600 price tag is just for United States customers. Canadians will have to pay over $900 to get the headset on its March 2016 release date.

In an interview with eurogamer in 2014, an Oculus rep stated “We want to stay in that $200-$400 price range.” But he did warn, “That could slide in either direction depending on scale, pre-orders, the components we end up using, business negotiations…”

It seems “business negotiations” went poorly for the Oculus Rift.

Preorders have just gone live for the Oculus Rift’s March 2016 release.

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Activision buys MLG; hopes of expanding eSports appeal

Major League Gaming is one of the most popular and well known eSports organizations in existence and Activision is hoping it gets even bigger — acquiring it for $46 million over the weekend.

The deal gives Activision “substantially all of the Company’s liabilities” according to the esportobserver.com. The growth of eSports is one of the safest bets of the progression of gaming and Activision and its investors clearly see that with this purchase. MLG is well constructed, branded, and has excellent opportunity to flourish with an even greater cash cow behind it.

MLG will grow exponentially more with Activision at the helm.

eSports currently have an estimated 100 million viewers worldwide with countries like South Korea and China already showcasing gaming on TV. (Even the U.S. has had some minor exposure on ESPN 3.) Activision is predicting that number to increase massively over the next two years — estimating over 300 million viewers by 2017.

CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, looks forward to what they will now be able to do for eSports — most notably to create the “ESPN” of eSports.

“Our acquisition of Major League Gaming’s business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of esports. MLG’s ability to create premium content and its proven broadcast technology platform – including its live streaming capabilities – strengthens our strategic position in competitive gaming.

One of the most important notes from the press release is the increase gamers and MLG fans should expect to see in the quality and variety of sponsorships and advertisements. Higher quality bidders on ad screen time will be perhaps the biggest aid to helping MLG reach higher profits.

“With over 100 million unique viewers, the esports audience is estimated to be bigger than audiences for many professional sports leagues. Creating premium content for these audiences will provide significant opportunities in ticket sales, advertising, sponsorships, licensing and merchandising.”

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Halo: Reach framerate issues being addressed by Microsoft

Halo: Reach is one of the highest regarded games of the Halo franchise; taking players through a story of multiple spartans before the start of the 2001 title, Halo: Combat Evolved. When Microsoft announced backwards compatibility Reach was seen at the forefront of their advertising for it with the game case prominently displayed as one of the first titles to be available.

While Reach wasn’t one of the first titles, Xbox One owners and Halo fans were certainly excited that the game was still to come in the subsequent set of titles released through backwards compatibility.

Unfortunately for those fans, Halo: Reach has been an abject disappointment with borderline unplayable framerate issues and buggy physics all wrapped up in a package that only matches the graphical capability of the splitscreen mode of the original Halo: Reach.

The complaints of gamers have reached Microsoft and they “are aware some users are experiencing issues.” Microsoft claims the Xbox team is working on a fix, but no timeline has been given.

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Ep. 22 – Star Wars Ep. 7 Spoilercast | Did JJ Abrams nail it?

***Spoiler Alert*** This week the crew talks full spoilers for *Star Wars- The Force Awakens*

Did it leave up to the galactic level of hype? Who are your Favorite Characters? Favorite Moments? plus What went wrong?

Also, hear interviews from super-fans from a movie premiere at a theatre in Chicago!

May the Force be with You!

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Microsoft launches “17 days of deals” for holiday season

Black Friday is long over but Microsoft isn’t done with the deals now offering more price cuts on popular games on Xbox One. Their “17 days of deals” is supposedly Microsoft’s biggest sale ever with major titles like Halo 5 getting 20% off and Rise of The Tomb Raider 35% off. Exact prices will vary by region.

The majority of the deals are arcade games that won’t exactly blow you away, but that doesn’t mean there’s plenty of good titles scattered in the nearly 100 deals that MajorNelson listed on his blog.

The Witcher 3: Wildhunt may be the best deal right now at half price. This massive open-world RPG by CD Projekt Red has restored many gamers’ faith that developers can make an incredible high quality experience without adding micro transactions or only partially working games. It’s well deserving of the Game of the Year awards it’s winning from multiple outlets.

Ori and the Blind Forest (50% off) has been a name in the mix for best art from multiple outlets — including this one.

Borderlands The Handsome Collection is on the high end of discounts with a 60% price cut. Borderlands 2 is one of the best multiplayer games even today and the Pre-Sequel looks better than ever on a new generation console.

Destiny: The Taken King (25% off) the major expansion pack to Destiny adds a huge chunk of content to the base game, expanding the story, and adding more gear and weapons.

Forza Horizons 2 Storm Island content pack is now 75% off and a must have for any current player that hasn’t made the jump for the extra off-road content as of yet.

Just Cause 3 has been out for less than month and is already 20% off. One of the most chaotic sandboxes you can play in with an absurd amount of destruction.

Dragon Age Inquisition (40% off) from Bioware is another testament to the developers strength with making great RPGs. This continuation of the Dragon Age series was in contention for Game of the Year Last year.

Other notable games:
Grand Theft Auto V (40% off)
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (50% off)
Call of Duty Black Ops III (17% off)
Mad Max (33% off)
Need for Speed Deluxe Edition (60% off)

Check out the deals right now both on the Microsoft store and on the console’s own online store.

The deals will continue from December 22 to January 7 with offers changing weekly. Daily deals will also be available.

Full list of games available at MajorNelson.com

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YouTuber Jackfrags shines light on the most obscure easter egg ever in Battlefield 4

Almost every game has some fun little side quests, items, stories, characters, or other little seemingly unnoticeable tidbits that have some heightened purpose outside of the core of the game. These easter eggs are fantastic for gamers to explore and find, but it seems one engineer at DICE LA, Julian Manolov, has taken it to the next level.

DICE has recently released the long awaited map Dragon Valley for Battlefield 4, and with it is perhaps the most intricate easter egg process ever constructed. Players are tasked with solving a logic puzzle encompassing the entire map forcing players to travel to every corner of it to flick switches in an attempt to solve a logic puzzle regarding the central building’s lights.

But this is not where things end. It gets even more complex when the player is eventually able to solve the puzzle and unlock a subsequent clue leading to a morse code message communicated through the lights.

After switching maps to Zavod: Graveyard shift and searching for the next clue players find an obscure, distorted audio clip referencing “Little birdie legs” — a piece from the fan-made YouTube series Battlefield Friends.

Continuing to follow the instructions and with some creative thinking a code can be deciphered by multiplying the numerical values of the letters in Little Birdy.

Inputting the result into a keypad at the original central building gives players a unique code for access to an extremely exclusive DICE LA camo.

Check out Jackfrag’s complete breakdown below

Is this the best easter egg ever? Are there crazier easter eggs you know about? Leave a comment below!

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Ep. 21 – Why didn’t we realize that we loved Parappa the Rapper?

The guys talk big December releases including *Just Cause 3* and *Rainbow Six Siege* and reflect on the gem that is *Persona 5 Golden.*

Then we get a little weird and dive deep into the complicated, exhilarating and tragic tale of the iconic *PaRappa the Rapper*

Hold on tight, we’re going off road!

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Ep. 20 – Were the VGAs and PSX a let down?

Were the VGAs and PSX a let down? Matt, Chris and Imran breakdown the results and game reveals at this year’s Game Awards. Is producer Geoff Keighley an evil genius?

Also in this week’s episode, all the highlights from PSX including FF7 remake gameplay.

R U play?