It has been a tumultuous week for gaming on Linux. Last Tuesday afternoon, Canonical's Steve Langasek announced that 32-bit libs would be frozen (kept as-is, with no new builds or updates) as of this October's interim 19.10 release, codenamed "Eoan Ermine." Langasek was pretty clear that this did not mean abandoning support for running 32-bit applications, however. While this means we will not provide 32-bit builds of new upstream versions of libraries, there are a number of ways that 32-bit applications can continue to be made available to users of later Ubuntu releases, as detailed in . We will be working to polish the 32-bit support story over the course of the 19.10 development cycle. To follow the evolution of this support, you can participate in the discourse thread at . Unfortunately, that part of the announcement may not have been entirely clear to all who read it. This group may include Steam lead Pierre-Loup Griffais, who responded by breaking up with Ubuntu … [Read more...] about Steam and Ubuntu clash over 32-bit libs
Gaming & Culture
Web-based game Mario Royale attracted quite a bit of attention last week by taking Nintendo's well-known mascot and placing him next to 74 other human-controlled doppelgangers in a race through level designs taken directly from popular Mario games. Further ReadingNintendo’s DMCA-backed quest against online fan gamesGiven Nintendo's litigious reputation when it comes to fan games, it's perhaps no surprise that the "game got DMCA'd," as creator InfernoPlus noted in a comment on the game's YouTube trailer over the weekend. InfernoPlus himself didn't seem all that surprised. In an interview with Vice last week, he said he "anticiapate[d]" a letter from Nintendo. "I’d say it’s [a] 50/50 [chance of attracting Nintendo's legal ire], maybe more, because it got so big all of a sudden. If [Nintendo] does, I can just re-skin it." Now, that's precisely what's happened. Following a June 21 "DMCA Patch," the game that was Mario Royale is now DMCA Royale. While the gameplay is … [Read more...] about Cease-and-desist transforms Mario Royale into DMCA Royale
Further ReadingThrowing cold water on some of Pokémon Go’s hottest takesThree years ago, Nintendo and Niantic released Pokémon Go, and the resulting game became an instant cultural phenomenon on hundreds of millions of mobile phones. In retrospect, the formula seems simple enough: combine a beloved children's series with a wander-and-collect-with-your-phone gameplay hook, and everyone will fall in love, right? This week, Niantic returns with an entirely new game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and it proves that the above formula isn't necessarily an instant winner. Wizards Unite tries to expand the Pokémon Go formula with a few new features and a completely new visual and gameplay theme. But its barrage of timers, currencies, missions, and screens full of text does something interesting: it proves in its failures how much more elegant and focused Pokémon Go really was. Getting this particular AR gaming formula right isn't as simple as slapping fan-favorite … [Read more...] about Wizards Unite is a bloated, slow, Harry Potter-ified Pokémon Go
In 2019, we've seen rumor after rumor after rumor after rumor that Nintendo is planning to release a new, smaller version of the Switch in the near future, possibly without the original system's signature detachable controllers. While Nintendo hasn't announced anything officially, some new listings from Chinese accessory manufacturer Honson have reignited the rumor mill surrounding a redesigned Switch system being potentially in the pipeline. Honson's Nintendo Switch Mini landing page showcases 11 different products, including a variety of bags, carrying cases, hard shells, and a screen protector. One page promises a "professional design to perfect fit Nintendo Switch mini." Similar product images were posted to the company's Facebook page a week ago. All of these products are listed as "out of stock" on Honson's own website (the company told NintenDIY that they'll be available starting next week). But some Honson products "for Nintendo Switch mini case" are already available for bulk … [Read more...] about Are these the first pictures of the “Switch Mini”?
It's not a secret that I like cars. I left a career in science policy to come to Ars to write about them, after all. But long before I fell in love with the automobile, there was Lego. I got sucked back into the world of the plastic brick on the eve of the millennium thanks to the first Lego Star Wars sets, but these days I've mostly been building little minifig-scale sports cars, particularly when writer's block strikes. So imagine how excited I was to find out that those Lego Speed Champions cars were coming to the rather excellent Forza Horizon 4. Expansion packs are no new thing to the Horizon series. Nor are cameos or guest appearances from other franchises—The Fast and the Furious has shown up previously, and the most recent game includes a brief Halo crossover. But this is certainly the most left-field of them, transporting you from Britain to the Lego Valley, a magical place where most everything is built from bricks, and the humans are all now minifigs. There are some … [Read more...] about How do you improve a great racing game? Just add Lego bricks