PlayStation users might finally be able to change their PlayStation Network names in the future after the idea was hinted at during the opening events of PlayStation Experience. Sony Interactive Entertainment America CEO Shawn Laydan was asked recently in an interview about the name-changing feature for PlayStation players.
He first joked about it and said that elves were hard at work on the feature, but he then admitted that implementing the technology wasn’t quite as easy as it seemed. When pressed for details on the subject, Laydan said that he had hopes that players would be able to easily change their PSN name in the future, perhaps by next year. He didn’t give a timeframe on when the feature would be available to PlayStation users, but he did say that he hopes similar questions won’t have to be asked during next year’s PlayStation Experience, a hopeful indicator that the name-changing tech would be implemented sometime within the next year.
Looking to other platforms for comparison, changing names has been a feature that other systems and games have offered for a while now. PlayStation’s big competitor, Xbox, for example, has had the feature for a while now with Xbox users being able to change their names for the past couple of years. It starts off free with users getting one shot to change their name without any cost to them, but you’ll have to give Microsoft a cut each time you want to change your name after that.
Other individual games like League of Legends simply require a fee each time you want to change your name, and while it’s unknown how PlayStation will structure the feature if it ever goes live, it’ll likely be some model similar to the ones already in place. The fee might seem like a hassle, but it definitely dissuades players from changing their name repeatedly to mimic their favorite games or the day’s trend.
Sony will have their hands full during PlayStation Experience with other reveals, so while viewers probably won’t hear any more about the question during the event, they can hope for progress to be made on the feature within the next year.
CORSAIR Intros New 75% Keyboard for Enthusiast Gamers
CORSAIR has launched a standout addition to its lineup of award-winning gaming keyboards: the K65 PLUS WIRELESS. Beautifully built, and loaded with the essentials needed to win, this 75%-layout keyboard maxes out both performance and personality. When you deploy the K65 PLUS WIRELESS, your gaming persona and your keyboard enthusiast side come out to play.
Powerful performance now resides in a cleverly compact 75% profile. The space-saving K65 PLUS WIRELESS optimizes the important desk space needed for your mouse, while including the essential arrow and utility keys that put game controls right where you want them. Pre-lubricated CORSAIR MLX Red linear switches are buttery smooth and register every input with crisp responsiveness. The switches are also hot-swappable, so you can customize the keyboard by subbing in your switches easily – how you play is completely up to you.
The K65 PLUS WIRELESS offers ultra-satisfying typing, with no modding required. Each keystroke is tempered by two layers of integrated sound dampening that hushes internal pings and clacks. The result is precisely tuned acoustics that you – and everyone nearby – will appreciate. The PBT dye-sublimated keycaps’ midnight grey and silver accents complement any desktop; you will want to make K65 PLUS WIRELESS your primary board for daily use.
Connect and play, more adeptly than ever. Make ultra-fast moves over a reliable, low-latency 2.4GHz wireless connection for gaming, or Bluetooth for tablets, mobile, and more, all with secure AES encryption and up to 266 hours on a single charge with RGB off. Toggle from PC to Mac layout by simply flipping a switch, and connect to multiple devices seamlessly with a single keystroke.
For RGB fanatics, the K65 PLUS WIRELESS comes alive with a shiny array of per-key RGB, endlessly customizable with CORSAIR iCUE software. Use the power of iCUE to record macros, remap keys, and sync your keyboard to the rest of your setup’s RGB and iCUE Murals profiles, for a lighting ambience that makes your space a haven for gaming and working.
Equip the infinitely intriguing K65 PLUS WIRELESS keyboard, and match your superior skill with stunning style.
To celebrate the launch of K65 PLUS WIRELESS, CORSAIR is excited to offer an exclusive deal on DROP Holy Panda X tactile switches. For a limited time, when you buy a K65 PLUS WIRELESS keyboard on the CORSAIR webstore, you can get a set of Holy Panda X switches for 50% off from DROP.com. When brought together, this keyboard and key switch combo makes tactile gaming and typing a delightful experience. (Offer only available in North America)
The CORSAIR K65 PLUS WIRELESS gaming keyboard is available immediately from the CORSAIR webstore and the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized online retailers and distributors. The K65 PLUS WIRELESS is backed by a two-year warranty, alongside the CORSAIR worldwide customer service and technical support network.
Post Malone Curates Soundtrack to WWE 2K24 and Joins Playable Roster
2K announced the WWE 2K24 Soundtrack, curated by music icon Post Malone. An avowed fan of both WWE and the WWE 2K franchise, Post Malone took on the role of Executive Soundtrack Producer and assembled an eclectic collection of songs across a variety of genres including rock, country, rap, electronic music, and pop. In addition to his soundtrack duties, the music megastar will also appear as a playable character in WWE 2K24, and will be available for purchase in a post-launch DLC pack.
“The secret to a great video game soundtrack is a little something for everyone and for every mood. It sgets you excited and it gets you pumped up to play,” said Post Malone. “This has been a total blast. We have a lot of cool ideas, so I’m super excited.”
“Austin’s passion for music is on full display with the artists and songs he chose for WWE 2K24, which accurately reflects the current soundscape of WWE,” said Neil Lawi, Head of Music, WWE. “It’s been so much fun working alongside him to make this all come to life and more so to witness the excitement it brings him. We are just getting started.”
The WWE 2K24 soundtrack features 12 songs, including:
- Post Malone – Chemical
- Post Malone – Laugh It Off
- 100 gecs – Hand Crushed By A Mallet
- Busta Rhymes – Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See
- Colter Wall – Motorcycle
- Grimes – Genesis
- Militarie Gun – Do It Faster
- Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Big Rig
- Speed – Not That Nice
- Turnstile – Mystery
- Tyler Childers – House Fire
- Yeat -Bëttr 0ff
Three editions of WWE 2K24 will be available:
- The Deluxe Edition will be available digitally worldwide, and physically in the US and select territories, on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, and will be available physically for the rest of the world on Friday, March 8, 2024
- The Forty Years of WrestleMania Edition will be available – in digital format only – worldwide on Tuesday, March 5, 2024
- The Standard Edition and Standard Cross-Gen Digital Edition will be available worldwide on Friday, March 8, 2024
Using Gaming as a Tool to Engage, Educate, and Inspire Action
Matt Dalio, the CEO of Endless Studios, speaks about the ‘Game On for Climate Change’ program, how his company is contributing to the UAE’s goal of creating 30,000 jobs in the gaming sector, and how gaming is being used as a tool to address global environmental challenges
Can you elaborate on how the ‘Game On for Climate Change’ program aligns with the UAE’s vision for the gaming industry and its role in economic diversification?
There are two levels at which I can answer that question. The first is the bigger picture that we are working towards. Economic diversification will come from talent development. Countries like Singapore and Switzerland have one thing in common: they invest in their talent. The result was that they each took a country without any natural resources and turned it into a hub. The trajectory of the UAE, as is the case for every country, will be determined by its people.
If its people are to build a better, more economically diverse UAE, its youth need to be trained in the disciplines that will drive growth in the decades to come. Those are technology skills. This is only becoming more important each year, with AI and the increasing pace of innovation. It’s essential to train youth in those technology skills.
We believe that the best way to do that is through their interest. If they are interested in something, they will work hard on it. If they work hard on it, they will get good at it. We see a clear interest in gaming, with the average student spending more than 10,000 hours in games. We want to harness that interest to teach them to build games, because if they can build games, they can build software, and if they can build one kind of software that can take that into every industry that is touched by software.
While our goal is to train a generation of innovators and entrepreneurs for every industry, as a youth game-making studio, we are also teaching youth how to build video games. The gaming industry is important in UAE’s vision of diversification as it represents a large segment of the entertainment industry. The game industry has grown to become twice the size of the music and film industries combined. Most adults consider it as it was decades ago, and yet it is a $200 billion per year industry, on its way to becoming a $300 billion industry. If the UAE wants to participate in the growth of this industry, it needs a way to train a generation of game makers.
But most importantly, it’s important to understand that Endless Studios is about more than just entertainment; it’s about using gaming as a tool to engage, educate, and inspire action. If we succeed, it will be with the support of the UAE. This not only opens up new avenues within the gaming sector but also positions UAE talent at the cutting edge of using technology.
How does Endless Studios’ initiative contribute to the UAE’s goal of creating 30,000 jobs in the gaming sector?
Endless Studios is a strategic contribution to the UAE’s ambitious goal of building a game industry. For example, DCT Abu Dhabi had earlier this year revealed its plans to drive job creation in the rapidly expanding e-gaming industry across more than 20 new companies. To achieve this, it will need to train talent capable of taking those jobs.
The question is: how does it train them? We believe that the best way to do that is by creating a community of game makers who are excited to build games and to do that at a young age. Traditional courses won’t work. Students aren’t interested in taking more classes. They want to make invigorating things with their friends. This is the core of how Endless Studios works.
Endless Studios puts youth together to build the game that they want to build. By providing the scaffolding and support so that they can succeed, we make it so that anyone can build a game. We have tools that make it easy for them to build games. We have mentors who guide them. We have live streams and community events that make game-making interactive and engaging.
Our program is not just about game development; it’s an ecosystem of opportunities, fostering skills and innovation in multiple facets of industry. We teach coding, art, design, management, marketing and all facets of entrepreneurship. Whether someone enters the gaming industry or takes this innovative approach into a startup or an industrial behemoth, we are preparing them for the most important skills of today. The skills of innovation and technology.
Looking ahead, we envision a future where every student in the UAE has a delightful experience that teaches them the basics of entrepreneurship. Some will turn these skills into their career, while others will simply gain a solid understanding of the principles. However, if we have the opportunity to widely teach entrepreneurship to our students across the UAE, all will be influenced by what they find delightful, and we will all consider it educational.
Emphasising the development of digital and creative skills among the UAE’s youth, we are directly nurturing the next generation of game developers, designers, programmers, and creative thinkers. These are the professionals who will drive the gaming industry forward, contributing to job creation not just within gaming, but also in related fields like technology, creative arts, and digital media. Additionally, our programs at Endless Studios encompass more than mere technical training in engineering, coding, design, art, and management. We’re passionate about fostering indispensable life skills – creativity, problem-solving, empathy, agility, communication, and collaboration – through our immersive learning model.
Our focus on climate change and sustainability through gaming opens up new avenues for job creation. It’s not just game development; it’s about creating content that is socially responsible and impactful. This approach attracts a broader range of talents and skills, from researchers and environmental experts to educators and storytellers, all contributing to a more diverse and sustainable gaming industry.
This global outreach not only brings in external expertise and resources but also creates new job opportunities by expanding the market reach of the UAE’s gaming sector. We have also partnered with E-Line Media, aiming to provide opportunities for participants to become paid apprentices on professionally made games.
In summary, Endless Studios’ initiative is a multi-dimensional approach to job creation in the gaming sector. It’s about equipping the youth with the right skills, fostering innovation in content, and expanding the industry’s horizons both locally and globally. We are committed to playing a pivotal role in achieving the UAE’s goal of not just creating jobs but shaping a future-proof, diverse, and dynamic gaming industry.
How does Endless Studios determine the theme for each cycle of its programs, and how has the current program integrated the concept of sustainable development and climate change awareness into its gaming initiatives?
To deeply embed ourselves in the UAE’s landscape, our programs follow a cyclical pattern, each cycle highlighting a theme significant to the region. With COP 28 currently being hosted by the UAE, we’ve chosen to emphasize climate change and sustainability in gaming this year. In past cycles, our focus revolved around themes encompassing UAE culture.
These themed initiatives serve as a magnet, drawing diverse talents and skills—from researchers and environmentalists to educators and storytellers—to our endeavours. This strategic thematic alignment allows Endless Studios to fortify the impact of its initiatives, aligning them closely with the UAE’s cultural and environmental priorities. By integrating these themes, we ensure that our programs resonate deeply within the fabric of the UAE, fostering a more sustainable and impactful gaming industry.
The current program uniquely integrates the concept of sustainable development and climate change awareness into our gaming initiatives by intertwining education and entertainment – a concept we often refer to as ‘edutainment’. Our approach is multifaceted and deeply rooted in the idea that games are not just a form of digital entertainment, but powerful tools for social change and education.
First, the games we develop under this program are designed to embed sustainability and climate change themes into their core gameplay. This means players engage with concepts like environmental stewardship, renewable energy, and conservation not as abstract ideas, but as integral parts of their gaming experience. By doing so, we make learning about these crucial issues both immersive and interactive.
Second, we emphasize storytelling. Each game tells a story that resonates with the players, making the concept of climate change more relatable and tangible. We believe that when players see the impact of their decisions within the game world, they are more likely to understand and reflect on the real-world implications of those actions.
We also integrate real-world data and research into our games. This approach not only educates players about the current state of the environment but also challenges them to think critically about solutions to these pressing issues. It’s a way of turning players into problem solvers, encouraging them to think about sustainability not just in the context of the game, but in their everyday lives.
Lastly, community engagement is key. We encourage players to participate in discussions, share ideas, and collaborate on solutions both in-game and through various online platforms. This creates a sense of community and collective responsibility, reinforcing the idea that everyone has a role to play in addressing climate change.
Can you share examples of how gaming is being used as a tool to address global environmental challenges in your program?
In our ‘Game On for Climate Change’ program at Endless Studios, gaming is leveraged not just as a medium for entertainment, but as a powerful tool for addressing global environmental challenges. We’re pushing the boundaries of what games can do in terms of raising awareness and inspiring action on climate issues.
Furthermore, we’re exploring the use of augmented reality (AR) and visual reality (VR) to connect players with their immediate environment. Imagine a game that encourages players to collect virtual items that correspond to real-world recycling efforts or conservation activities. By blending the digital and physical worlds, we aim to create a more tangible connection between the player’s actions in the game and their impact on the environment.
These examples underscore our commitment to utilizing gaming as a platform to engage, educate, and empower players about environmental sustainability. We believe that by embedding these crucial messages within the framework of gaming, we can reach a wider audience and make a significant impact in the fight against climate change. It’s all about turning players into advocates and stewards of the environment, one game at a time.
In what ways is your initiative helping to position the UAE as a global hub for cultural and technological advancements in gaming?
Our initiative at Endless Studios is meticulously designed to position the UAE as a global hub for both cultural and technological advancements in the gaming industry. We’re leveraging the unique aspects of the UAE’s strategic vision, its cultural diversity, and its technological prowess to create a gaming ecosystem that resonates on a global scale.
As it relates to aligning with Sheikh Hamdan’s vision, we’re focusing on innovation in the gaming sector. This involves not just adopting cutting-edge technologies but also pioneering new ones. We’re pushing the boundaries in areas like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and AI-driven game design. These technologies are not just futuristic; they’re game-changers, literally. They allow us to create more immersive, interactive, and engaging gaming experiences, which is crucial for establishing the UAE as a technological leader in the gaming world.
Culturally, the UAE is uniquely positioned as a melting pot of global cultures, and we’re channelling this into our games. By incorporating diverse cultural elements into our game narratives and designs, we’re creating games that resonate with a global audience while showcasing the rich heritage and modern dynamism of the UAE. This approach not only celebrates the cultural diversity of the UAE but also positions it as a centre for cultural exchange within the gaming industry.
Moreover, our programs are a testament to our commitment to using gaming for social and environmental impact. By addressing global challenges like climate change through gaming, we’re aligning with the UAE’s commitment to sustainability and demonstrating how technology can be harnessed for the greater good. This not only puts us on the global map as a forward-thinking gaming studio but also as a responsible corporate citizen.
We’re also heavily investing in talent development. By empowering the UAE’s youth with digital and creative skills essential for the future job market, we’re building a strong talent pool that can drive the gaming industry forward. This focus on youth and education ensures a sustainable, skilled workforce that will continue to drive innovation in the sector.
Could you share some success stories or tangible impacts of the ‘Game On for Climate Change’ program on the UAE’s youth?
One of the most significant impacts of the program has been its role in empowering the youth of the UAE. We have witnessed a remarkable increase in digital and creative skills among participants. Many of these young individuals, who previously had little to no experience in gaming or programming, are now developing games that not only entertain but also educate on important topics such as climate change. It is truly inspiring to witness their transformation into confident and skilled creators who are passionate about making a difference.
Mariët Westermann, the Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi, commended Endless Studios for bringing together talented peers and creating games with high production values in a short period. She emphasised how this initiative aligns with NYUAD’s mission to be a hub for collaboration and networking among young talent in the GCC and MENA countries.
The impact of our programs is also evident through direct feedback from the apprentices:
- 97% of the apprentices believe that the program provided them with an opportunity they had never had access to before joining Endless Studios.
- 94% believe that they acquired relevant skills during the program that will benefit them in their future careers.
- 91% of the apprentices expressed their willingness to participate in the program again.
- Importantly, 100% of the participants would recommend or strongly recommend the program to their friends.
How do these success stories align with and contribute to the UAE leadership’s vision for a youth-centric, sustainable future?
By equipping the youth with digital and creative skills, Endless Studios directly responds to the UAE leadership’s focus on empowering young people. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s vision emphasizes the importance of preparing the youth for the future job market, particularly in innovative and technology-driven sectors. Our program goes beyond teaching coding and design; it prepares young individuals for the future by fostering indispensable life skills.
The focus on climate change and sustainability in our ongoing program resonates with the UAE’s commitment to sustainable development. The UAE leadership has been vocal about the importance of environmental stewardship, and our program’s emphasis on creating games that address global challenges like climate change is a practical application of these principles. Through gaming, we’re making complex issues more accessible and engaging for young people, thereby fostering a generation that is more aware and proactive about environmental issues.
The success stories also showcase how gaming can be used as a tool for cultural exchange and global outreach, aligning with the UAE’s aim to be a global hub for cultural and technological innovation. Our program participants are not only creating games that have local relevance but also have the potential to resonate globally. This positions the UAE as a burgeoning epicentre for gaming and technological innovation, contributing to the nation’s reputation as a leader in these fields.
The tangible impact of these initiatives on the job market, with participants securing internships and positions in the gaming industry, directly contributes to the UAE’s goal of economic diversification and job creation. By fostering home-grown talent and opening up new career paths in the gaming sector, we are helping to realize the leadership’s vision of a diversified, knowledge-based economy.
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