Call of Duty: World War 2 Private Beta Bonuses Announced

The Call of Duty: World War 2 private beta for PS4 starts from August 25 and ends on August 28.

In the run up to this, Activision has announced what bonus items will be given to those who partake in it. Dubbed as the Call of Duty: World War 2 Private Beta Combat Pack, this is what it has.

Call of Duty: World War 2 Private Beta Combat Pack contents

  • Custom helmet
  • Beta calling card
  • Call of Duty: World War 2 emblem

Call of Duty: World War 2 Private Beta Bonuses AnnouncedThese will be available to those who play the Call of Duty: World War 2 private beta in the full game when it hits in November. Keep in mind that access to the private beta is only for those who pre-order the game. Xbox One players can try it out from September 1 to September 4 along with PS4 users again. No beta date has been given for PC gamers just yet.

Earlier, Call of Duty: World War 2’s India price was revised. According to several retailers speaking to Gadgets 360, the game will cost Rs. 4,499 on the PS4 and Xbox One. The PC version of Call of Duty: World War 2 is now Rs. 3,799. Previously it was announced that the game will cost Rs. 4,299 on the PS4 and Xbox One and Rs. 3,499 on PC.

Nintendo SNES Classic Mini Pre-Orders From ‘Late This Month’

Nintendo has announced that the SNES Classic Mini console will be available for pre-order later this August. The news comes via the company’s Facebook page.

“We appreciate the incredible anticipation that exists for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition system, and can confirm that it will be made available for pre-order by various retailers late this month,” the company said in a post.

Furthermore, it claims to have increased the number of units that will be made present at stores in order to avoid a scenario akin to the NES Classic, that was hard to find at launch and even tougher to find soon after.

“A significant amount of additional systems will be shipped to stores for launch day, and throughout the balance of the calendar year,” the post reads.

Nintendo SNES Classic Mini Pre-Orders From 'Late This Month'Earlier, Nintendo confirmed that the SNES Classic will be available for this year only. The complete quote is as follows:

“We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition. Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition is currently planned to ship from Sept. 29 until the end of calendar year 2017. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year.

Our long-term efforts are focused on delivering great games for the Nintendo Switch system and continuing to build momentum for that platform, as well as serving the more than 63 million owners of Nintendo 3DS family systems. We are offering Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition in special recognition of the fans who show tremendous interest our classic content.”

FIFA 18 Nintendo Switch Price in India Announced

The Nintendo Switch may not have an official Indian presence, but that hasn’t stopped game companies from making their titles available. FIFA 18 for the Nintendo Switch will be coming to India. EA’s popular football franchise joins Ubisoft’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Warner Bros’ Cars 3: Driven to Win as an official release for the console that’s not had a proper launch in the country.

Amazon India is FIFA publisher EA’s exclusive retail partner in the country. It has listed FIFA 18 for the Nintendo Switch priced at Rs. 3,999. The release date is inline with the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game of September 29.

And while EA supporting Nintendo’s new console can only be a good thing for gamers, keep in mind that FIFA 18 on the Switch doesn’t have all of the features of the PS4, Xbox One, or PC versions.

FIFA 18 The Journey: Hunter Returns – a follow up to FIFA 17’s The Journey single-player campaign, will be missing the Nintendo Switch. A press release from EA rattles off the modes it has and The Journey is not one of them. Instead fans get Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Kick Off, Women’s International Cup, Skill Games, Online and Local Seasons.

FIFA 18 Nintendo Switch Price in India AnnouncedIn addition to this, EA has previously stated that the FIFA 18 on the Nintendo Switch will run at 1080p when docked and 720p when in handheld mode.

As you can tell, this isn’t the first time a game has been made officially available in India for a console that hasn’t had a release through its manufacturer. We’ve seen this with the Nintendo DS and 3DS getting Pokemon games via Sunder Electronics and Nintendo Wii titles from E-xpress and the now defunct Milestone Interactive in the past.

As for the Nintendo Switch itself? Gadgets 360 understands that the console is selling steadily online and offline sourced via parallel imports. Nintendo’s absence has been far from a detriment. Hopefully, Indian distributors and game publishers bring more of their games to the platform in the future.

Steam Cash on Delivery, Net Banking, and Digital Wallet Payment Options Not Working in India

Late last year it was revealed that Steam – the biggest digital storefront for PC games, would be getting local payment options including support for digital wallets and even cash on delivery.

Several reports on Reddit have indicated that these domestic payment options have stopped working, with users getting an error message stating it’s a temporary issue.

“We are temporarily unable to process transactions with this payment method at this moment. We apologise for the inconvenience,” reads the message on Steam when inputting local payment options such as credit card, debit card, net banking, cash on delivery, or wallets.

One Redditor claims that this could be due to “delays in payment”. Nonetheless, according to Novapay – the company responsible for bringing Indian payment options to Steam, this is not the case.

“We are in the midst of some routine maintenance because of which the domestic payment options are temporarily unavailable. Expect this to be back online in 24 to 48 hours,” a spokesperson for Novapay told Gadgets 360 over email. This was five days ago.

cod steam novapay steam_india

However, the errors still persist. At the time of writing this story, Gadgets 360 verified that you cannot use net banking, cash on delivery, third-party digital wallets, or local credit and debit cards either. And for its part, Novapay has been unreachable, not replying to our requests for comment, and we’ll update this story the moment we hear from the company.

It seems that gamers would have to resort to using debit and credit cards enabled for international transactions to buy games from Steam or purchase store credit via third-party vendors or use Bitcoin.

Given how popular Steam is in India, you’d expect a speedy fix. Evidently this is far from it, which makes us wonder if the size of the games market and monetisation potential are all some sections of the industry claim it to be.

Overwatch Summer Games 2017: Every Skin, Highlight Intro, and Emote Listed

The Overwatch Summer Games 2017 is now live. Like every event in the popular hero shooter, Summer Games 2017 brings to Overwatch a host of new cosmetic items. Although skins for characters like Mercy, Widowmaker, and Soldier 76 were leaked prior, there are a few surprises. Here’s every skin, emote, and highlight intro for the Overwatch Summer Games 2017.

Overwatch Summer Games 2017 skins

  • Reaper – Biker
  • Widowmaker – Cote D’Azur
  • Junkrat – Cricket
  • Soldier 76 – Grillmaster 76
  • McCree – Lifeguard
  • Sombra – Tulum
  • Mercy – Winged Victory

Overwatch Summer Games 2017 highlight intros

  • Pharah – Slam Dunk
  • Hanzo – Target Practice

Overwatch Summer Games 2017 emotes

  • Ana – Beach Ball

While this may seem lean compared to the Overwatch Anniversary Event, keep in mind that 2016’s cosmetic items make a comeback as well and are as follows:

Overwatch Summer Games 2017: Every Skin, Highlight Intro, and Emote ListedOverwatch Summer Games 2016 skins

  • McCree – American
  • Zarya – Champion
  • Mercy – Eidgenossin
  • Genji – Nihon
  • Lucio – Selecao
  • Tracer – Sprinter
  • Lucio – Striker
  • D.Va – Taegeukgi
  • Tracer – Track and Field
  • Torbjorn – Tre Kronor
  • Widowmaker – Tricolore
  • Zarya – Weightlifter

Overwatch Summer Games 2017 highlight intros

  • Lucio – Bicycle Kick
  • Tracer – Hurdle
  • Junkrat – Shot Put

Overwatch Summer Games 2016 emotes

  • Bastion – Boxing
  • Lucio – Juggle
  • Symmetra – Ribbon

Valve Teases Dota Card Game Called Artifact, Set for 2018 Release

While Valve’s annual Dota 2 championship, The International 2017, is still going on, the company has now given its fans a huge reason to be excited about. Valve has released the teaser trailer for a card game called ‘Artifact’ that will be based on its Dota gaming series. Considering that Dota is a highly-popular gaming series that has fans from all over the world, this card game is likely to be welcomed with open arms.

For those who are unaware, Dota 2 is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena video game that was developed by Valve. While the teaser trailer has mentioned the release timeline for the Artifact card game as 2018, it doesn’t share any other piece of information about the upcoming video game.

Valve Teases Dota Card Game Called Artifact, Set for 2018 ReleaseBrad Muir, gameplay developer at Valve, said in a tweet on Tuesday that he has been working on the game for a while now and can’t wait for others to play it too. As expected, Muir didn’t share any particular information about the game as well but we can at least deduce from the tweet that the work on the game has been going on for a while now.

Recently, Valve shared that the transparency in Dota 2’s matchmaking system, which helped players understand the algorithm better, has inspired the company to improve the discoverability on its Steamplatform. As with Dota 2 matchmaking, users will be provided the access to reasons behind the recommendations and thereby improve the suggestions accordingly.

Dota 2’s The International 2017 to Be Broadcast in India on Dsport

The International is Valve’s annual Dota 2 tournament. It’s widely regarded as the most prestigious event of the year with its latest event, The International 2017 (TI7) having a prize pool of around $24 million.

And while it’s streamed live on the Internet via Twitch and YouTube, the company has realised that there’s a larger audience to target. In an attempt to do so, TI7 will be broadcast on television in India on Discovery’s new sports channel Dsport. This is a first for Dota 2 in India.

Although TI7’s grand finals are live from 2:30am IST on Sunday, August 13, Dsport will be broadcasting it from 11am IST on the same day. The reason for this move is to keep the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) accessible to newcomers.

“The core audience for Dota 2 is like the test match cricket watching crowd in India and they’ll watch it as it happens live. Our aim is to get the IPL audience to watch it,” says Nodwin’s Akshat Rathee to Gadgets 360. Nodwin is Valve’s partner in India and is working with Dsport to make this possible.

Dota 2's The International 2017 to Be Broadcast in India on DsportDoubling down on accessibility seems to be of importance with Dsport’s broadcast of TI7 will feature Valve’s Newcomer Stream to aid understanding of the intricacies of Dota 2.

“95 percent of TI7 is as you’d see it globally,” Rathee tells us. Which means that fans new and old can breathe easy. As for the five percent? There will be some local additions such as views from local pub stomps and a predictions segment as well.

With Dsports successfully showing local ESL Counter-Strike: Global Offensive matches, Dota 2 seems like a logical step forward. More so with TI7 and attention the event garners.

DeepMind, Blizzard Make StarCraft II an AI Research Environment

StarCraft II is a complex video game that requires much strategic skill, and as it turns out, it can even help developers in training artificial intelligence to learn the skills used by humans while playing the game. After announcing the collaboration last year, Google’s subsidiary DeepMind, which is known for its work in the field of AI, has now released a set of tools along with Blizzard Entertainment that are expected accelerate AI research with help from the real-time strategy game.

The set of tools released by DeepMind include several elements from the game that can help in development of artificial intelligence. This includes a large dataset of replays from StarCraft II that has been taken from professional matches and a set of mini-games that can help in development of AI in one particular aspect among the numerous elements within the game, as pointed out in a report by The Verge.

Among the released tools, there is an API that allows AI agents to play the game with same contraints as humans and the data collected is then passed on to the researchers. This means that the AI is not able to see the entire map or move within the map with as much swiftness as an agent can actually do.

“This API also exposes a sandbox for the community to experiment with, using both learning based AI and scripted AI to build new tools that can benefit the StarCraft II and AI communities,” Blizzard Entertainment said in its post regarding the release.

DeepMind, Blizzard Make StarCraft II an AI Research EnvironmentIn its own blog post, DeepMind explains the reasons behind choosing StarCraft II as an AI research environment, “StarCraft and StarCraft II are among the biggest and most successful games of all time, with players competing in tournaments for more than 20 years. The original game is also already used by AI and ML researchers, who compete annually in the AIIDE bot competition. Part of StarCraft’s longevity is down to the rich, multi-layered gameplay, which also makes it an ideal environment for AI research.”

DeepMind says that one of the best learning policies for the AI agents is imitation learning. It says that the anonymised replays gathered from the StarCraft II will not only allow researchers to train supervised agents to play the game, but also open up other interesting areas of research such as sequence prediction and long-term memory.

“Our initial investigations show that our agents perform well on these mini-games. But when it comes to the full game, even strong baseline agents, such as A3C, cannot win a single game against even the easiest built-in AI,” DeepMind said in its blog post. It will be interesting to see how this collaboration will eventually help in the development of AI but it is bound be exciting and interesting.

Glacier White PS4 Slim to Launch in India Next Week

India gets another variant of the PS4 Slim. According to several retailers speaking to Gadgets 360, Sony India will release the Glacier White PS4 Slim 500GB console. It will cost Rs. 27,990 and be available from next week. No games or PS Plus subscriptions will be a part of the offer. Something to keep in mind, if you were expecting freebies along with the purchase.

Expect the likes of Amazon India, Flipkart, and Games The Shop to have it listed today or by next week at the earliest. For the longest time, Sony India has stayed away from coloured consoles, bringing them in extremely late in the PS3’s lifecycle and ignoring coloured versions of the PS Vita altogether.

Glacier White PS4 Slim to Launch in India Next WeekAnd while the PS4 has seen several colour options since its inception, this is the first time the company has decided to release the PS4 in a colour that isn’t black.

We can’t help but feel Sony has dropped the ball by not including any games along with the package. More so when Rs. 27,990 gets you a PS4 with two controllers or a PS4 with Horizon Zero Dawn. For Rs. 1,000 more, you get Horizon Zero Dawn, Ratchet and Clank, Driveclub, and three months of PS Plus along with a PS4.

Suffice to say, if you’re really hankering for a PS4 that stands out from the crowd, this could be an option. Confused as to which PS4 to buy? We have you covered with our comprehensive guide.

Dota 2’s Top Players Beaten by Elon Musk-Backed OpenAI Startup

A bot created by the Elon Musk-backed nonprofit startup ‘OpenAI’ has defeated champion Danylo ‘Dendi’ Ishut in multiplayer online battle arena Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2) in two back-to-back demonstration matches. Several practice matches were played with other top players over the weekend, including Syed ‘Suma1l’ Hassan and Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev.

The game, played at the annual tournament The International on Saturday in Keyarena at Seattle Center, has a winning prize of over $20 million, Fortune reported.

Dota 2 is a complex, team-based game played by over 10 million people monthly. The game is continuous, has hidden information and good strategy and positioning win over raw mechanics.

OpenAI uses Dota 2 as a test-bed for new AI technologies.

Musk hailed the achievement on Twitter, saying: “It was a significant advance over what AI had accomplished in more traditional games.”

“OpenAI first ever to defeat world’s best players in competitive eSports. Vastly more complex than traditional board games like chess & Go,” Elon Musk tweeted.

Dota 2's Top Players Beaten by Elon Musk-Backed OpenAI StartupOpenAI describes it as “a step towards building AI systems which accomplish well-defined goals in messy, complicated situations involving real humans”.

From the last year, AI developers have shown that computers can dominate the best human players like in Go and chess.

“But Dota 2 has far more variables and possible board states than even Go, meaning decision-making is much more complex. The game also takes place in real time rather than discrete turns,” the report said.

Last year, Google-run artificial intelligence (AI) programme AlphaGo defeated legendary player Lee Se-dol in Go – a complex Chinese board game that is considered the “quintessential unsolved problem” for machine intelligence.

The win came in the first tie of the five-match series being held in Seoul, South Korea. The tournament, “Google Deepmind Challenge match”.