This week not only bring us a few notable game releases, but has also been full of gripping gaming news.

As we approach the tail end of July, let’s have a look at this week’s hottest gaming news. Joy-Con drift has been a pain point for Nintendo, and now they have come up with a solution. Overwatch’s new hero is revealed and a certain game’s latest update has become a hot topic for international players. Let’s get into it!

Nintendo reportedly offers Joy-Con repairs for free

Drift

Many Switch users have been experiencing what is now commonly referred to as “Joy-Con drift”. The issue has been a regular source of outcry, as users have been experiencing issues with the thumbstick on their left Joy-Con, causing it to tilt without any input from the user.

As of late, this problem has been gaining more and more traction and Nintendo had mostly stayed mum on the issue—until now. Nintendo seems to have heard the message loud and clear. As reported by Vice, an internal customer support memo has been passed around Nintendo reading:

Customers will no longer be requested to provide proof of purchase for Joy-Con repairs. Additionally, it is not necessary to confirm warranty status. If a customer requests a refund for a previously paid Joy-Con repair […] confirm the prior repair and then issue a refund.

Previously, users that contacted Nintendo’s customer support line were asked to pay a repair fee of $40 for repairs out of warranty. This is far from an ideal solution since the MSRP for a new single Joy-Con is $44.99 CAD—why not just buy a new one and save the hassle?

A gesture of good faith will go a long way on the back end, but fingers crossed that Nintendo rectifies the hardware issue completely.

Two halves of a Nintendo Joy-Con controller

Dave Bautista wants to play Marcus Fenix, but Hollywood doesn’t care

Gears of War

Many of us are still unwinding after the Gears 5 Tech Test. However, eyes have now been drawn to the Gears of War movie. When Universal announced that a Gears of War movie was in the works, fans began speculating which actor could play the titular hero, Marcus Fenix. One of the most common tossed around was wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista.

It seems even Bautista himself wanted in on the COG action, but his call to action seems to have fallen on deaf ears. In a recent tweet, Bautista replied to a fan saying:

In April of this year, Bautista formally retired from his wrestling career, giving him more time to pursue new ventures. Bautista has been honing his acting chops in films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War and Blade Runner 2049.

There aren’t too many actors that would suit the Gears of War franchise as well as Bautista. Universal, if you’re listening: give him what he wants!

Split panel with wrestler turned actor Dave Bautista on left and video game character Marcus Fenix on right

Overwatch introduces Hero 31

Sigma

Blizzard has pulled back the curtain on their newest hero to Overwatch, Sigma. The new hero is a Dutch astrophysicist who is able to control gravity as a result of his failed experiments. Alongside the reveal, Blizzard detailed his abilities:

  • Hyper Spheres: Sigma activates a pair of “gravity charges” which implode, causing damage to any enemy in its vicinity.
  • Experimental Barrier: Sigma is able to launch a barrier and control where it lands. As floats above the ground, Sigma can retract and move the barrier as much as he wishes.
  • Kinetic Grasp: Sigma can stop projectiles mid-air and convert them into shields.
  • Accretion: Gathers nearby debris and launches it towards enemies.
  • Gravitic Flux: Sigma’s Ultimate causes him to float in the air, taking nearby enemies along with him, slamming them into the ground.

Blizzard has not revealed when Sigma will become available on the roster. However, he has gone live on the Overwatch Public Test Region, a beta area of sorts where players can test new features before getting rolled out to the larger community. This may indicate his official launch is just around the corner.

Overwatch Hero 31 by Sigma

CD Projekt Red not offering in-game bonuses for Cyberpunk 2077

No

As we all continue to countdown the days until Cyberpunk 2077, a game we think should be at the top of everyone’s gaming wishlist, many have already taken to pre-ordering the game in-store or via a digital marketplace. As many publishers incentivize pre-orders with additional in-game content, some wondered what CD Projekt Red had in store.

It seems as though they had something else in mind. A recent fan posted a thread on Reddit, asking what to expect for pre-order bonuses. A CD Projekt Red rep later responded saying:

No, we don’t do that. Every person that buys the game gets exactly the same in-game content, no matter if they buy it in pre-orders, on release date or 2 years later.

That’s not to say that you can’t get more than just the game when pre-ordering Cyberpunk 2077. Indeed, CD Projekt Red has a Collectors Edition, which features a 10-inch statue of V, a steel bookcase, patches, stickers, pins and much more! However, it will run you $324.96 CAD.

Even the Standard Edition comes with a respectable amount of goodies. The base physical copy of Cyberpunk 2077 includes postcards, a map of Night City, stickers, an artbook, game soundtrack and a world compendium.

Screenshot from Cyberpunk 2077 video game

GTA Online’s new casino has been banned in numerous countries

Gambling

Loot box controversy and comparisons to virtual gambling are an ongoing and murky conversation. That didn’t stop Rockstar from releasing the latest update for GTA Online, which is the epitome of virtual gambling.

The Diamond Casino & Resort update launched this week and players in specific countries, such as South Africa, are reporting that they are unable to access the new luxury casino. Due to regulations and gambling laws in certain countries, gambling—both real life and virtual—are outright banned. Reddit user u/SlapShotTommy complied a list of regions that may be affected.

GTA Online’s casino update lets you dance with Lady Luck for in-game casino chips. Each day, visitors receive 1,000 free chips to play the slots, blackjack table and poker. Players can also use real money to purchase casino chips. However, Rockstar has placed a limit, capping purchases off at 50,000 chips each day. It’s worth noting that cashing out your chips won’t result in a payment of real cash, but a deposit of in-game currency to your GTA wallet instead.

GTA V continues to rank high on the best selling game month over month according to The NPD Group. As microtransactions continue to be a driving force behind GTA Online‘s success, Rockstar will likely continue to push Shark Cards, which are purchased with real money to acquire in-game currency in GTA Online.

This week’s game releases

Game
Game Release Date Platform Metacritic
Beyond Two Souls July 22, 2019 PC Link
Fire Emblem: Three Houses July 26, 2019 Switch 87%
Kill La Kill The Game: IF July 26, 2019 PC, PS4, Switch 74%
Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot VR July 26, 2019 PC, PSVR 59%
Wolfenstein: Youngblood July 26, 2019 PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One 76%

What’s up next week

Next

If you’re looking to soar to new heights next week, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has a third DLC set to release on July 31. Also, QuakeCon is on its way, so don’t forget to tune into the show this weekend!

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Steve's Take

Author

I’m glad that Switch owners no longer need to reach into their wallet in order to resolve the “Joy-Con drift” issue. There’s an expectation in quality when purchasing Nintendo hardware and software. Providing free repairs is one thing, but the problem must be stopped before the product even enters the box.

While CD Projekt Red seems to be continually under fire for creative choices in Cyberpunk 2077, you can’t deny that the studio is consistently raising the bar. The Witcher 3 had multiple in-game bonuses that every single player received and they only charged for meaty DLC. The respect CD doles to their community deserves an applause.

Rockstar’s situation isn’t unique. More and more countries are cracking down on microtransactions as the lines between lootboxes and gambling become blurred. As regulations are put in place, I would expect additional modes, services and games to become inaccessible in certain countries.