Hulu is Finally Getting Rid of It's Ads For A Price

Hulu is finally joining competitors Amazon and Netflix in offering ad-free video streaming, albeit at an extra cost to ad-averse subscribers. As reported by The New York Times, the video streaming service is splitting its existing subscription service into two tiers: an ad-supported version that costs roughly $8/month, and an ad-free version that costs $12/month. (Its free version, also called Hulu, will continue to exist alongside its premium subscription options.) The split has been rumored for months, with a July Wall Street Journal report nailing both the potential price and release date of Hulu's ad-free tier.

The company's decision to split their premium business into two different options is arriving in the midst of a major drive for new content — and a subsequent increase in complaints about the service's mandatory commercials. Hulu nabbed the exclusive streaming rights to Seinfeld in April, and it has placed greater emphasis on original content this year with shows like Difficult People and the revived version of The Mindy Project. New viewers accustomed to other ad-free services were undoubtedly in for a rude awakening the first time they had to sit through a block of ads they couldn't skip. By giving people the option to remove ads through paying a higher price, Hulu is trying to have its cake and eat it too: satisfy new customers, maintain its relationship with advertisers, and make a little more money, all in one fell swoop.

"There are clearly people who just are not going to buy Hulu because there are ads," said Hulu chief executive Mike Hopkins. "We think we can bring them back into the fold with new content and this new choice."

PS4 System Software 3.00 Features Detailed

PlayStation has detailed the features that will be introduced in its upcoming PS4 system software update 3.00. Codenamed Kenshin, the update will increase online storage capacity from 1GB to 10GB for PS Plus Members, introduce YouTube live-streaming capabilities, and allow direct sharing of videos up to ten seconds long on Twitter.

PS4 update 3.00 will also introduce a new events hub, which will provide an overview to players of activities taking place in the games they play the most. This may highlight events such as a double XP weekend, a special enemy appearing at a scheduled time, or the launch of seasonal in-game events. Players will be able to receive notifications when events start or when scheduling changes.
  • Online storage capacity increase — PS4 online storage capacity has increased from 1GB to 10GB for all PS Plus members. In 3.00 system software, you’ll see that we added a handy usage meter to monitor your available storage capacity, and a new Auto-Upload menu has been added to Application Saved Data Management.
  • YouTube live — PS4 owners will be able to livestream gameplay to YouTube. Livestreams will be viewable across YouTube, including on the new YouTube Gaming mobile app and website.
  • Events — A new hub for events has been added, giving an overview of activities taking place in the games you play most, as well as official broadcasts. For instance, you may see an update for a Double XP weekend, a special enemy appearing at a scheduled time, or seasonal events like in-game towns being decorated for the winter. You’ll also receive notifications when the event starts, or if the timing changes.
  • Favorite Groups — Favorite Groups has been added to the Friends app, letting you quickly access groups of people you like to play games with frequently. This will make the process of getting a game session up and running even easier.
  • Communities — PS4 users will have the ability to create communities based around shared interests, like games, genres, and more. Communities include a message board with general discussion, screenshots shared by players, and the ability to join parties / games. If you want to tackle a big multiplayer raid, but don’t have enough friends available, this could be a great way to connect with other players who are looking for the same thing.
  • Sharing video clips to Twitter — Users will have the ability to share video clips directly to Twitter. Maximum video length is 10 seconds, though you’ll have the ability to trim longer clips.
  • Stickers — Tired of typing out messages? With this update, you’ll be able to send stickers to friends through your messages.
  • Now Playing / What’s New — The Now Playing screen will display even more information about what your friends are doing, and you’ll be able to quickly jump into a game, party, request a screen share, or get sent to the PS Store to buy the game your friend is playing – further enhancing the social relationship with your friends online.
  • Live from PlayStation — We’ve improved the Live From PlayStation app, making it easier to view popular trending broadcasts in real time.
  • Request to watch gameplay — Want to view a friend’s gameplay session? Now you can send a ‘Request to Watch’ notification to a player, which will start a live broadcast or Share Play invitation to the person playing.

Street Fighter V Collector's Edition Pays Tribute To It's Most Loved Character

Capcom has revealed the Collector's Edition for fighting game Street Fighter 5 today. The special bundle will be valued by fans of Ryu.

The $100 Collector's Edition comes with a statue of Ryu. The 10-inch statue replicates his crossed-fists pose from SF5's cover. Here's what else comes with the bundle:
  • Blu-ray copy of PS4 version
  • 48p hardcover artbook -" Jam-packed with design sketches and other behind-the-scenes materials that shed light behind the development process of the game."
  • Udon Digital Street Fighter Comics - "A collection of some of Udon’s finest work with the Street Fighter comic series."
  • SFV Soundtrack Sampler - "Curated selection of some of the best tunes from the game."
  • Twitch One-Month Subscription to Capcom Fighters channel - "Grants exclusive access to special Street Fighter chat emoticons, as well as video archive access."
  • Access to the multiplayer beta for SFV The Capcom Unity blog notes that the Twitch subscription is also included with standard copies of the game. 
Capcom revealed today that major retailers will offer exclusive Battle Costume costumes to attract your business. Battle Costume Ryu, offered by GameStop, is a shjrtless and beardy version of the famed fighter. Cammy's costume, available through Best Buy, makes her look like she's about to go snowboarding. As usual, though, she neglected to bring pants. M. Bison (Amazon) and Chun Li (PlayStation Store) receive a black-and-gold military uniform and dress, respectively.

Capcom notes that these bonus costumes are available to both past and future pre-orders. In other words, if you already reserved the game, you won't miss out on these extras.

There's no word on whether these outfits will only be available through pre-orders. Capcom has said that they're going to release a lot of content for Street Fighter 5after its launch that players can purchase or earn through gameplay.

Street Fighter 5 will launch in March on PS4 and PC. PC and PS4 owners will be able to compete against each other online. The fighting game will have a revamped battle system and a starting roster of 16 fighters. Returning veterans like Ryu, Ken, Cammy, Vega and R. Mika will be joined by four new additions.

(Click to make image larger)


Destiny King’s Fall Raid Launching After The Taken King Release

Destiny's new raid, King's Fall, won't be available right away when The Taken King launches on September 15. Creative director Luke Smith says in a new interview that Bungie has a date in mind for when it will make the new raid available, but it won't be on day one.

"We definitely have a plan for when it's going to be available," he told IGN. "I'm not going to announce the plan for it [today at PAX Prime]. "But I promise for people who are excited about the raid will know when it's time to take time off work. We'll give em' a heads up."

King's Fall is "objectively and emphatically" Destiny's biggest raid ever--and has story implications, too.

"It is a journey that we hope players and their friends are going to remember," Smith said in a previous interview. "We're really excited about it, and we think it will raise the stakes again for what the raid team is asked to deliver next time. It's big."

Bungie has also repeatedly teased that King's Fall will include something new that the developer has referred to as "special" and a "twist." Pressed for more details, a Bungie developer said previously, "It's not just going to be Normal and Hard mode."

The Taken King makes major changes to the overall Destiny experience, including weapon balance tweaks and lots more. In addition, Bungie will push out a huge update for all systems on September 8; it's so large that it may make Destiny unplayable on some platforms.

Bungie will share more details on The Taken King this coming Wednesday, September 2, during an hour-long Twitch stream that will focus on the expansion's new Court of Oryx mode.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Hits PlayStation 4 on March 18th

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, the final game in Naughty Dog's Indiana Jones-style adventure series, will hit PlayStation 4 on March 18th, 2016. We got a taste of the game right after E3 2015 with an extended, action-packed trailer that features protagonist Nathan Drake shooting up bad guys, driving through a mountainside city and surviving all manner of seemingly lethal evasion tactics.

There are a few versions of the game up for pre-order this week, including the Special Edition, which costs $80 and includes a steelbook case, an art book, in-game currency, a sticker sheet and the game on Blu-ray.

The Collector's Edition is $120 and includes everything in the Special Edition, plus a 12-inch statue of Nathan Drake from Gentle Giant, three in-game multiplayer outfits, two weapons skins and other in-game customization options. The Deluxe Edition, which runs $80, offers the game in digital form plus two multiplayer customization options and future access to three DLC packs. Two of the DLC bundles are multiplayer fare with rare and legendary items, while the third is "the first-ever, single-player story add-on for the Uncharted series." The DLC Triple Pack will be available for separate purchase, as well.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End releases March 18th, 2016 only on PlayStation 4.

Destiny: Xur Location & Inventory - Aug 28th Through 30th

Xur has returned to Destiny to give you another chance to spend all those Strange Coins and Motes of Light you’ve been hoarding.

You will find Xur by
 the Hanger in the "Tower" this weekend. You can trade with him until 5am eastern on Sunday, August 30th.

This is what you can buy this weekend:

  • Peregrine Greaves [Exotic Titan Leg Armor] – 13 Strange Coins
  • Crest of Alpha Lupi [Exotic Hunter Chest Armor] – 13 Strange Coins
  • Apotheosis Veil [Exotic Warlock Helmet Armor]  – 13 Strange Coins
  • Plan C [Exotic Fusion Rifle– 17 Strange Coins]
  • Exotic Shard – 7 Strange Coins
  • Exotic Engram [Exotic GauntletArmor] – 23 Mote of Light
  • Mote of Light – 2 Strange Coins
  • CURIOS – Auto Rifle Telemetry, Pulse Rifle Telemetry, Scout Rifle Telemetry,  Plasma Drive, Emerald Coil, & Heavy Ammo Synthesis

Destiny Update 2.0 Release Date Revealed & More

As guardians prepare themselves for the September 15 release of Destiny: The Taken King, Bungie has slowly been revealing the massive new changes that are coming along with this expansion. In this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, players were informed that the newest improvements to the game will affect the Nightfall and Weekly Heroic Strike missions.

According to Bungie’s Luke Smith, “The death penalty of being kicked to orbit often leads to players feeling forced to play too safe, rather than running through the world as a monster killing machine.” As many players will be both overjoyed and relieved to hear, guardians will no longer be returned to orbit after failing the mission.

In addition, it bothered Luke Smith that, “players could feel forced to play Nightfall as early as possible in the week to maximize the benefit from the Nightfall buff,” so the buff has been eliminated for now while, “we can reform it into something closer to its original intent – a mark of prestige for having achieved something challenging.” In the meantime, Bungie has, “adjusted sources of XP and Reputation up to account for its absence.”
“Update 2.0 marks the beginning of Destiny Year Two. We want to make sure you’re prepared when it drops, so Destiny Player Support is doing the most to ensure you know your foe. All Destiny players will be required to download and apply the Update to continue playing even if they do not purchase Destiny: The Taken King. Below are some of the big items to help you fully prepare for the update on September 8, 2015.”
Lastly, the changes to the Nightfall missions also include:
  • Now Requires Level 40
  • Now uses 30 second time-out penalty for Death (same as Raid Normal)

As for the Weekly Heroic Strikes, you can say goodbye to them. They are being replaced with a Vanguard Heroic Playlist that includes these details listed from Bungie:
  • Requires Level 40
  • Instead, accounts receive Legendary Marks for completing the first three Weekly Strikes 
  • Removed the Weekly Cap on how many Legendary Marks can be earned. 
  • Guarantee a Legendary Engram drop from a character’s first clear of a Weekly Heroic Strike

More Details on Destiny's New Court of Oryx Mode & A Big Raid Tease

Bungie has shared the first details about Destiny's upcoming "Court of Oryx" mode, which will be introduced as an end-game activity in the upcoming Taken King expansion. First, this new mode which takes place in The Taken King's new Dreadnaught location--is accessible after you hand over a rune that you either purchased from a merchant or looted from the game world.

Senior design lead Sage Merrill explains in the latest issue of Edge that there are four tiers of runes in the world, which correspond to four different difficulty levels once you make your sacrifice.

"Rather than the waves of increasingly powerful enemies found in public events, Court of Oryx battles are fights that, like The Taken King's campaign missions and Strikes, are more about mysterious mechanics than colossal health bars," Edge wrote.

In one encounter, three evil Wizards appear, and a team of Guardians must work together to kill each at roughly the same time. Take too long to kill one, and the other two will respawn.

Another encounter sees players taking on an Ogre who is immune to gunfire, but is instead susceptible to the splash damage caused by his underlings. These are Cursed Thralls who explode if you land a headshot. Yet another battle will see players taking on Boomer-wielding Knights whose shields can only be brought down when they are standing next to each other.

The Guardian who spent the rune to activate Court of Oryx will receive the best loot drop, but everyone on the team will be rewarded. Bungie will share even more details about the Court of Oryx next Wednesday, September 2, during an hour-long livestream broadcast.

Also in Edge are a few details on The Taken King's new raid, King's Fall. Unfortunately, Merrill wouldn't provide much in the way of specifics, instead electing to speak about it at a high level.

"You have to raise the bar," he said when comparing King's Fall to Destiny's previous raid, Vault of Glass. "The raid team always has the challenge of having to push itself a little further because expectations continue to go up, you know? It's our biggest raid to date--in terms of encounters, of spaces, of the conclusion. It is our most epic finale.

"The way we developed King's Fall was different to the other raids," he added. "We developed Hard mode first this time, then scaled to Normal. And we have one more thing we're not talking about yet that's pretty special. It's a twist I'm excited about."

Pressed for further details, Merrill said: "It's not just going to be Normal and Hard mode."

Finally, Destiny: Taken King creative director Luke Smith spoke generally about Bungie's approach to raids, a topic that has been much-discussed of late after the House of Wolves expansion did not include one.

"One of the reasons raiding is something I enjoy is that it's an opportunity for a group of people to come together and solve a problem," he said. "We've created a bunch of problems, albeit at smaller scale, for people to solve with the Dreadnaught. It's a series of problems, mysteries, and mythologies, and players are going to come together and figure out how it all works. The Internet's going to put this thing together and develop a strateegy guide for playing on the Hive ship, and that is so exciting to us."

The Taken King launches on September 15 across all platforms.