GameStop Is Selling A Fart Pillow For The New South Park Game

The new South Park game, The Fractured But Whole, focuses a lot on farting. Continuing this trend, retailer GameStop today announced an officially licensed “Fart Pillow,” a $30 accessory that, when sat upon, emits a fart noise. GameStop says it’s a perfect stocking stuffer for family and friends who just can’t get enough fart jokes. I think we all know someone like that.

“All they have to do is put the pillow on their couch and let the unsuspecting relative sit on it and BAM! The ‘backdoor breeze’ is blowing loud and strong,” GameStop said. “These familiar fart sounds are so realistic you’d think your brother was in the room.”

Thankfully, the fart pillow doesn’t actually deliver any nasty smells, just the noise. “When our discerning customers are in the market for a fart pillow, we know your run-of-the-mill fart pillow simply won’t suffice,” GameStop’s marketing and strategy boss Eric Oria said in a statement. “We put extensive research behind our newest exclusive–the South Park Fractured But Whole Fart Pillow–to ensure this product provides an array of realistic flatulence. We think this is perfect for anyone who wants to cut loose during the holidays.”

As mentioned, the “14 square Fractured But Whole pillow sells for $30 on its own, while you can also get it with the game via a bundle that sells for $76 on Xbox One and PS4. The pillow has two different fart sounds, and it comes with the three batteries needed to power it.

GameSpot’s Fractured But Whole review scored the game an 8/10. “Fractured But Whole succeeds as an interactive South Park mini-series, while effectively emulating the show’s current style of adult-targeted entertainment and satirization of political correctness,” reviewer Miguel Concepcion said. “In other words, it’s consistently amusing and provocative without the edginess the series used to be known for.”

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Nintendo Switch Gets Doom, Skyrim, and L.A. Noire Within 7 Days

Nintendo Switch has already received a good number of awesome games, but if you’ve been holding out for big, mature AAA titles on the platform, you’ll soon get your wish. In the space of a single week, Skyrim, Doom, and L.A. Noire all launch on the platform.

Even though the games have been out for a while on other platforms, it’s still a pretty awesome week for Switch owners, as they can pick up a huge RPG, an over-the-top FPS, and a fantastic crime-solving adventure game.

We already knew the release dates of Skyrim and L.A. Noire, but Bethesda just revealed Doom’s date today. The shooter is coming out on November 10, and it’ll come with the full game and all the DLC released on other platforms.

Skyrim, meanwhile, will be released on November 17, and it comes with all three of Skyrim’s expansions. It also features motion controls and Amiibo support. Finally, L.A. Noire launches right between Skyrim and Doom, on November 14. It, too, comes with all the DLC, and it includes some Switch-specific control schemes.

Even though these are older games, it’s good to see AAA developers supporting the platform with their big titles. Bethesda is even bringing at least one of its newer releases to the platform–Wolfenstein II is slated for launch on Switch sometime in 2018.

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Author: Alex Newhouse

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HP made a ridiculously powerful detachable tablet for artists

If you’re a graphic artist and find yourself needing a ton of power on the go, HP may have the answer. It’s unveiling a new detachable tablet today called the ZBook x2 that has the specs of a workstation PC: a quad-core i7 processor (from Intel’s Kaby Lake-R line), an Nvidia Quadro M620 graphics card, and up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD.

That’s all inside of a seriously chunky tablet and detachable keyboard cover. The tablet has a matte 14-inch touchscreen that can be configured up to 4K resolution with 10-bit color. It supports a passive pen — made by HP but with Wacom tech — that includes 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and an eraser on the back. An integrated GPU is built into the tablet itself, and the Nvidia card is stored in…

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Author: Jacob Kastrenakes

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Every Destiny 2 PC Graphics Option Explained And How To Improve FPS

The PC version of Destiny 2 is shaping up to be a game specifically tuned for the platform to such an extent that every graphics options gets a full explanation and side-by-side comparison. Nvidia did the brunt of that work, showcased in a blog post that went up today on the company’s official website. It even gave internal benchmark results that tested the framerate difference between all the different settings.

One thing to note is that multisample anti-aliasing (MSAA) was scrapped from the anti-aliasing options, which caused problems for performance and visual quality in the PC beta last month. However, everything else that was seen in the beta will be in the final game. Graphics options are as follows:

  • Resolution
  • V-sync (30 FPS, 60 FPS, Off)
  • Field of View (55 to 105)
  • Anti-aliasing (FXAA, SMAA,)
  • Ambient Occlusion (HDAO, 3D)
  • Texture Anisotropy (Anisotropic Filtering, up to 16x)
  • Texture Quality
  • Shadow Quality
  • Depth of Field
  • Environmental Detail Distance
  • Character Detail Distance
  • Foliage Detail Distance
  • Foliage Shadow Distance
  • Light Shafts
  • Motion Blur
  • Wind Impulse
  • Render Resolution
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Check out all the screenshots of Destiny 2 on PC with max graphics settings.
Check out all the screenshots of Destiny 2 on PC with max graphics settings.
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Nvidia makes note of certain options that will give the most noticeable boost in framerate without affecting visual quality significantly. This is particularly helpful for systems that struggle with max settings. Based on the company’s tests using a GTX 1060 GPU (6GB) and Intel Core i7-6700K CPU (4.6GHz) at 1080p, the following was recommended:

  • Turning off “Depth of Field” gave an extra 4 FPS
  • Going from an “FOV” of 105 to 95 saved about 2.4 FPS
  • “Foliage Detail Distance” from High to Medium added 4.1 FPS
  • Using HDAO instead of 3D for “Ambient Occlusion” boosted framerate by 5.4 FPS
  • “Shadow Quality” on High instead of Highest saves about 4.1 FPS
    • Note: using Medium offers a 9.4 FPS boost from Highest

Some visually striking effects actually don’t impact performance, as you can see from Nvidia’s test results and in-depth analysis. There are also interactive screenshot comparisons for nearly every option possible. You’ll be able to do this yourself on October 24 when Destiny 2 launches for PC. For more on the game itself, check out our wealth of guides here on GameSpot. And read Kallie Plagge’s Destiny 2 review in which she awarded the console versions 8/10, stating “It’s a much stronger foundation than the original had and one that’s enough on its own to keep people coming back week after week.”

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Author: Michael Higham

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EA Shuts Down Visceral Games; Destiny 2 Exploit Removed – GS News Roundup

GameSpot News with Jess McDonell and Dan Crowd brings you the big video game news stories you want to hear. Remember how yesterday we hoped that today’s news was all positive? We hoped wrong.

New Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle DLC Out Now On Nintendo Switch

Have you played 2017’s most surprising turn-based tactical strategy game, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle? If you haven’t given a shot, you should check out our review by some cool dude, and know that out of nowhere, they released a bunch of DLC today!

Destiny 2’s Game-Breaking Emote Is Gone

If you’re a fan of both 1970’s British sketch comedy and 2017’s hottest sci-fi multiplayer FPS, then you’ve probably picked up the Destiny 2 emote that replicates the silly walk from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Well, that’s gone now because people discovered that they could use it to get to places the aren’t supposed to be! OH NO.

EA’s Star Wars Action-Adventure Game Getting Revamped; Dead Space Dev Visceral Shut Down

And in today’s very sad news, the studio behind the Dead Space series and Dante’s Inferno has been shut down by EA. Allegedly EA felt they needed to pivot the design of the current Star Wars project they were working on, which has resulted in the studio’s closure. Get caught up on all the details, and send good vibes to all the Visceral Games employees.

GameSpot News returns tomorrow, and we’re again hoping that everything tomorrow will be a little more positive.

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Author: Edmond Tran

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Dead Space 2 Dev Says Game Cost $60M To Make And Sold Millions, But Failed Commercially

In the wake of Dead Space studio Visceral Games’ closure, a former employee has come forward to reveal details about Dead Space 2‘s budget and its profitability. Former level designer Zach Wilson said on Twitter that the 2011 Xbox 360, PS3, and PC game cost $60 million to produce, going on to sell 4 million copies. Wilson added that EA was “merciless” with the budget for Dead Space 2, suggesting it could have been higher.

That’s a lot of copies. But with marketing expenses of a reported $60 million, and the portions that retailers get and the cut that Microsoft and Sony take from sales, it meant that Dead Space 2 didn’t do well enough, Wilson said. Despite this, Visceral went on to make Dead Space 3, but that game failed to reach sales expectations. The game introduced a major change for the series through co-op, which was likely a move that was aimed at broadening the franchise’s appeal.

It is exceptionally rare to hear about specific numbers for production and marketing budgets, so Wilson’s comments, while not confirmed, are noteworthy and interesting. We have followed up with EA in an attempt to get more details on the veracity of Wilson’s comments.

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Wilson is now working at Bethesda on an unannounced game. He’s not the only former Visceral employee to speak up following the announcement of the studio’s closure today. Former game director Scott Warner said on Twitter that Visceral was set up for success but was “defeated by forces beyond our control.” Asked for more details about these unspecified forces, Warner said it’s “way more complicated” than pointing the finger at EA alone. Warner is now a design lead at Oculus VR.

Visceral was working on an action-adventure game in the Star Wars franchise, led by industry veteran and Uncharted director Amy Hennig. The game is still in development, but it is being revamped and has been delayed, while development has shifted to EA Vancouver. As for Hennig, EA said the company is “in discussions with Amy about her next move,” but that’s all we know for now.

In 2015, Visceral GM Steve Papoutsis said in an interview (via Cinema Blend) that returning to the Dead Space series was “definitely” something the studio would look at returning to. Now that Visceral is no more, it is unclear what the future will be for Dead Space.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Activision’s New Patent Is Designed To Make You Want To Buy Microtransactions

Microtransaction systems are a much-discussed and controversial topic in gaming. They make publishers a lot of money, in part because the margins are so high, so you can expect them to stick around. Now, it’s been revealed that gaming giant Activision holds a patent for a system that “drives microtransactions in multiplayer video games.” US Patent No. 9,789,406 was filed in 2015 but only granted to Activision this week, according to public records spotted by Rolling Stone.

The patent’s description explains that it’s for a “system and method” for encouraging players to spend money on microtransactions. It doesn’t specify any titles, but many of Activision’s biggest games have microtransaction systems such as the Destiny and Call of Duty franchises, along with Overwatch from Blizzard. Importantly, the patent does not say if this system is actually used in any of Activision or Blizzard games.

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The patent’s description further specifies that its system and methods can include matchmaking systems that influence buying behavior. “The system may match a more expert/marquee player with a junior player to encourage the junior player to make game-related purchases of items possessed/used by the marquee player,” the patent explains. “A junior player may wish to emulate the marquee player by obtaining weapons or other items used by the marquee player.”

One specific example is that Activision’s microtransaction system might match a player with expert sniper skills with a less skilled player. The idea is that the player with less skill would see the better player performing well, which in turn might encourage them to spend money on microtransactions that could help them get better.

The system goes further: “In one implementation, when a player makes a game-related purchase, the microtransaction engine may encourage future purchases by matching the player (e.g., using matchmaking described herein) in a gameplay session that will utilize the game-related purchase. Doing so may enhance a level of enjoyment by the player for the game-related purchase, which may encourage future purchases.”

The patent notes also explain that when a player spends on microtransactions for a specific weapon, the system might put the player into a session where the weapon they acquired is “highly effective.” Activision notes that this is a superficial representation of the wider game community. Such a system would give the player “an impression that the particular weapon was a good purchase,” and in turn this might encourage them to “make future purchases to achieve similar gameplay results.”

The full patent description is full of dense and difficult-to-parse language, but the above passage from the Abstract and Summary is really what it all basically boils down to. It is unclear if Activision is actually using this microtransaction system in any of its games; right now all that’s confirmed is that it holds the patent. We have contacted Activision in an attempt to get more details.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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