The past couple of weeks have been chock full of back-to-back showcases and endless announcements about what’s next in tech and gaming. Honestly, it’s pretty exhausting to keep track of, and it all comes in light of the fact that there’s very little hope that E3 will ever return to its former glory. With publishers and developers taking it into their own hands to show off their stuff, there’s no rest for the weary when it comes to finishing off that ever-growing games library!

…I’m talking about myself, but anyway: here’s the news.

Apple’s Expensive Headset

Apple held their Worldwide Developers Conference 2023 (WWDC23), and their grand finale introduced the Apple Vision Pro, an AR headset starting at a retail price of $3,499.00. Apple vouches that the Vision Pro will be compatible with not only the company’s proprietary services and apps, but several third-party titles coming to the Apple Arcade.

Earlier in the WWDC23 presentation, Hideo Kojima discussed Death Stranding‘s port to Mac. Apple has been honing in on the games market in other areas, too, such as updating and finessing a toolkit for developers to port their games titles for the macOS.

But Right, Video Games

The Summer Games Fest 2023 marked the official premiere of a new Prince of Persia. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown will be a side-scrolling platformer in the fashion of the series’ classic titles. Ubisoft went into further details about the game in their own Forward event, accompanied by extended looks into Star Wars Outlaws, an Avatar game, and their next entries in the Assassin’s Creed series.

Akira Toriyama’s work beyond Dragon Ball is finally getting some time in the spotlight: there’s an upcoming a game adaptation of his manga Sand Land.

The Summer Games Fest also included updates on the next entries in the Final Fantasy VII remake series, such as Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis, a mobile game.

Capcom is repackaging a new, remastered Ace Attorney collection focusing on the Apollo Justice arc, and a demo of the Ghost Trick remake is now available. We also got some updates on the hotly anticipated Dragon’s Dogma 2, and Capcom teased the completely new titles Exoprimal, Kunitsu-Gami, and the mysterious PRAGMATA.

The PC Gaming Show was riddled with new installments to big franchises, such as Pathfinder’s own spin on Vampire Survivors with Gallowspire Survivors, as well as Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin, and more updates to Baldur’s Gate 3. Additional developments were also shown on the progress of an upcoming Dune MMO.

In a bizarre sequence, Grasshopper Manufacture not only delayed their own developer presentation by forgetting to preload it for livestream, but also took all that time to reveal… a new merchandise store and a blurred out screenshot of their next game in development.

At the Tribeca Games Fest, more gameplay was revealed for the sequel to Alan Wake and fans were treated to a further behind the scenes talk with Sam Lake. Attendees of the fest were not only able to attend talks but were also able to try out various demos, such as Telltale Games’ prequel to Amazon’s adaptation of The Expanse. The Fest’s last hours into the weekend were capped off with a screening of a documentary on Hideo Kojima, Hideo Kojima: Connecting Worlds

From frogs, to farming, and to even fighting fascism—the Wholesome Games Direct returned for another year, taking things easy and exclusively virtually to draw attention to a variety of indie titles and a couple bigger household names.

In other news…

Preceding the line-ups of any of the aforementioned shows, Mortal Kombat is getting a reboot. Again.

Discord received waves of criticism for the rollout of its new username system. Before last week, Discord usernames were all suffixed with a four-digit numeric sequence; the company has now decided to remove those numbers so that each user can (or… has to) have a completely unique handle. The change has been only rolling out to a small number of users at a time, and many have pointed towards the disorganization and unfairness of the transition due to the unclear order of the process. Some Nitro users (Discord’s premium account service) have yet to receive the update over free users, while some newer accounts have managed to access priority over older accounts. Discord discussed this update earlier in May, and users leveled concerns at the company even then—including those of identity theft and safety.

Actual play series Dimension 20’s newest season, “Dungeons and Drag Queens” features drag queens Monét X Change, Alaska Thunderfuck, Bob the Drag Queen, and Jujubee as players. With four planned episodes, the adventure uses Dungeons & Dragons 5E with Brennan Lee Mulligan returning to his usual role as the campaign’s Dungeon Master.

BioWare apologizes for the release of a commemorative Mass Effect statute that depicts a dead, floating Commander Shepard. The female depiction of the character rarely has seen (living) representation in official merchandise, and as a result many criticized the statue as being in very poor taste.

AEGIS-CWA representatives report that Sega management launched an anti-union campaign. The union, Allied Employees Guild Improving SEGA (AEGIS) is comprised of Sega of America employees and has filed a petition requesting that management remain neutral for the duration of the union election. AEGIS could potentially be the first union in the video games to include members of multiple departments.