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Record Number of Valve Accounts Banned

 Last week the Valve Anti-Cheat System banned nearly 100,000 accounts on Steam.  A record setting number.

It is unclear what spurred this high level of enforcement action, but there is speculation that a revolt the prior week against Splatoon 2’s lack of anti-cheat protections may have been the catalyst.    A zero-tolerance policy, however, means there is no appeal process for the banned accounts.


Overwatch Free Weekend

 Between July 26-30, anyone with a Blizzard account (or a newly created account) will be able to download and play Overwatch on PC for free.   PS4 and Xbox One owners are not included.

The free version will come with 18 maps and all 28 heroes, including the newcomer Wrecking Ball.   Piloted by a hamster, Wrecking Ball is a giant, well-armed machine that can roll quickly

around the battlefield.  Information on how to sign up is available on the Blizzard website.


Nintendo’s Stance on ROM Versions Creates Controversy 

Nintendo filed lawsuits against two popular ROM websites while selling a game on the official Nintendo website that matches a version Nintendo deemed illegal. LoveROMs has already removed all Nintendo titles from its servers, but LoveRETRO has shut down for the forseeable future.  On the official Nintendo website, a version of Super Mario Brothers contained a unique line of code call an IMS header which many have concluded indicates that the version was created by hackers and then obtained by Nintendo.


Microsoft is Making a Streaming Machine at a Much Lower Price than Xbox

Microsoft’s Xbox team intends to invest in the streaming-only future of interactive entertainment, according to a report from Thurrot.  Scarlett Cloud is a game streaming box/subscription service that will be a lot cheaper than traditional Xbox consoles, utilizing cloud technology to provide high quality gaming with little computational power from the box itself. Instead, most of the software will run externally via streaming, as part of a subscription service similar to Netflix or what Nvidia currently offers with the Nvidia Shield.