You Can Still Play Xbox 360 Shadowrun On Xbox Live

A character fires a gun at the camera while a wall is damaged behind them.

Image: Microsoft

Remember Shadowrun? No, not the tabletop RPG with incomprehensible rules. Nope, not the very good 1993 SNES game either. And no, not Shadowrun Returns. Rather, I’m talking about the oft-ignored, largely forgotten Xbox 360 multiplayer FPS. It wasn’t a very good competitive first-person shooter, but if you want to revisit halcyon days of 2007, now’s a good time, as Microsoft just fixed the game’s matchmaking services.

Shadowrun, originally a tabletop roleplaying game first published in 1989, has been adapted to video game form a few times, and 2007’s Xbox / Windows Vista release was certainly one of them: A multiplayer-only first-person shooter, it wandered far from its RPG origins. Shadowrun wasn’t terribly notable as a first-person shooter, and it didn’t necessarily win over any fans from the RPG. But the game did do something very cool for 2007: cross-platform play between Xbox Live and PC (using the dreaded Games for Windows service). Shadowrun has otherwise drifted into relative obscurity since then. But could it be back? A new update for classic Xbox 360 Call of Duty games fully broke multiplayer matchmaking recently, but a subsequent update has Shadowrun online play working better than ever.

As documented in a thread on Resetera, Shadowrun’s dedicated servers had been shuttered a year after release, leaving the game to rely on very slow, peer-to-peer matchmaking. And the small gathering of folks who were still playing Shadowrun ‘07 weren’t too pleased when updates to Call of Duty games on Xbox Live seemed to bork matchmaking entirely.

Thankfully, Microsoft quickly fixed the unpopular, 16-year-old game’s new technical snafus. After fans reached out to Microsoft, the publisher restored service on Xbox and PC and it’s apparently better than it was before. According to wwm0nkey on Resetera:

the game usd to fake search for servers which would take a while before putting you into a match, well whatever [Microsoft] did they eliminated that process fully and now Search > Match takes like 3 seconds where ti used to be about 30+.

Between Shadowrun and 360-era CoD games, now’s a good time to get some late aughts gaming nostalgia in. Dare we hope for more old online games to get refurbished? Hey Sony, let’s talk about Dust 514.

Twitch Streamer Made Zelda Ocarina Chat Can Play While He Pees

Gif: Nintendo / nutty / Kotaku

What do you do when a Twitch streamer you’re watching needs a bio break? Chat, of course! Well, one streamer has implemented something even better than that: A playable ocarina from The Legend of Zelda that can be accessed via stream chat.

Twitch streamer and OBS content creator nutty showed off their latest creation on Twitter, and it’s pretty impressive.The chat-controlled ocarina is capable of playing actual songs from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. By typing in prompts that match what you’d input on an actual N64 controller, notes will display on stream via an overlaid music staff while an animated Link moves along to the song. And, if you type in a sequence of controls that matches a song from the original game, it will play through the whole song. Pretty neat, huh? You can see it in action here:

As they discuss in the video, nutty not only had to code this entire widget to work with their stream chat but they also had to create the PNGs of the “notes” to sit on the score. You can see the ocarina in action during this stream:

Elsewhere in that very stream, nutty reveals more of what went into bringing the ocarina widget to life. The notes and staff were traced from screenshots of the game using Affinity Designer, and the animated Link that bops along to the music was pulled directly from in-game footage using rotoscoping. The rotoscoping alone added around11 extra hours of work to an already extensive process. Together, it all works as an OBS widget available via their Patreon if you want to incorporate it into your next stream.

Everything is triggered via, which looks for inputs from Twitch, such as follows or chat entries, and then executes specific commands. Then using that in conjunction with original code written in C#, the inputs from the chat trigger notes to be shown and played on stream.

From the visual elements to the actual coding, the widget is a damn impressive piece of work and a fun way to pass the time in between stream breaks.

Sony’s PS5 Remote Play Gaming Handheld Is Just $200

On August 23, Sony delivered some news that’s sure to get PS Vita fans mildly interested: Sony is back in the handheld game (kind of) via a dedicated remote play streaming device that’ll beam pixels from your PS5 straight to your hands. It’s called the PlayStation Portal remote player and it will cost you $200.

Back in May, Sony gave us a sneak peek at “Project Q,” an upcoming handheld device that looked like someone took a bandsaw to a DualSense controller to fuse a screen to it. Using the PS5’s Remote Play feature that lets you stream a game running on your PS5 to a smartphone or PC, the device was billed as a way to take your PS5 games with you while still using DualSense controller features, provided you had access to Wi-Fi and, of course, had your PS5, somewhere, plugged in, turned on, and connected to the internet. Today, that device has been officially unveiled via a blog update from Sony, losing its the Project Q delineation and gaining the title PlayStation Portal remote player. Less snappy.

Read More: PlayStation 5 Handheld Looks Even Goofier Than Expected In Leak

Sony states that the PlayStation Portal remote player will include the full features of the DualSense controller: adaptive triggers and the device’s signature haptic feedback. It also sports a 3.5mm audio jack (thank god), and will use an 8-inch LCD screen to beam a streamed 1080p image at 60fps into your eyes.

A PlayStation Portal shows a homme screen and Astro.

Photo: Sony

But while the device does look rather snazzy, it’s important to reiterate that, unlike products like the Nintendo Switch, or portable PCs like Valve’s Steam Deck, the PlayStation Portal remote player (PSPRP?) can’t run games locally. In order to use it you will need to be connected to the internet and so will your PS5 back home. Sony says that this requires a wireless internet connection with at least 5Mbps, but that 15Mbps is ideal.

The device will not use any local processing power to run a game aside from what’s required to transfer a streamed image. Sony gave no details about what is under the hood of the PlayStation Portal remote player.

Sony also revealed some new official PlayStation headsets along with the announcement, with a set of earbuds (named Pulse Explore) and over-ears headphones (Pulse Elite) that will retail for $200 and $150 respectively. And if you’re planning to use your PlayStation Portal remote player wirelessly, you will need these as notably, Sony’s upcoming handheld will not use Bluetooth, instead favoring the company’s own wireless audio technology.

The PlayStation Portal remote player launches on November 15, 2023.

Update 9/1/2023 at 9:30 a.m. ET: Added the launch date of the PlayStation Portal.

Update 8/23/2023 at 11:00 a.m. ET: Added a detail to indicate that the PlayStation Portal remote player will not support audio over Bluetooth.

Atari’s New Replica 2600 Console Can Play Classic Cartridges

Today, in the Year of our Lord 2023, you can pre-order an Atari 2600 replica that Atari calls the Atari 2600+. Slightly smaller than Atari’s original 1977 console, and using modern connections like HDMI and USB-C, the Atari 2600+ will accept many original and recently released cartridges. And yes, it sports the same faux wood panels and red-button/joystick combo of the original machine.

The company currently named Atari—which after decades of mergers, buyouts, and shenanigans is a completely different corporate entity from the original—has sort of been in a messy situation in recent years. Its AMD-powered 2021 Atari VCS microconsole failed to achieve anything of note, and the company has been facing ongoing financial struggles. Its 2021 issuing of new 2600 cartridges was neat, though you would, of course, still need to have an actual Atari 2600 lying around in working order. That might be a bit easier now, as starting in November, you’ll be able to plug one of those carts (or some actual vintage ones for the original Atari 2600 or Atari 7800 consoles) into the Atari 2600+ for $130.

Read More: Porno Hustlers Of The Atari Age

Atari has released a PDF documenting the 2600+’s compatibility with classic cartridges; it looks fairly compatible, though we counted three “fails” and quite a few more games that were “untested.” The new 2600+ will ship with a “10-in-1 game cartridge” containing well-known classics like Adventure and Missile Command, among others. The company is also starting to sell brand-new cartridge games, starting with a a new platformer called Mr. Run and Jump and an “enhanced” edition of the classic maze shooter Berzerk, both of which will run on the classic 2600 console or the upcoming 2600+.

Purists may note that the 2600+ runs on a typical smart TV CPU, so the new device is clearly just using software emulation instead of more sophisticated (and expensive) field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology that could potentially reproduce the 1970s machines to a more exacting degree. Software emulation runs the risk of introducing input lag, but then again, so do HDMI displays, which the 2600+ also requires. If you want more authenticity you’re probably already spending more for a MiSTer.

Read More: What if Pong, But Really Long?

So yeah, the Atari 2600 is back once again, plays those ancient carts you’ve got somewhere in the attic, and certainly looks the part. Shame it can’t play “Long” Pong though.

Spider-Man 2 Gets New Gameplay Trailer At State Of Play

Sony’s State of Play broadcast on September 14 released even more gameplay footage from Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Insomniac Games’ PlayStation 5 exclusive.

PlayStation seems giddy to share more about Spider-Man 2, the direct sequel to 2018 action-adventure Marvel’s Spider-Man, and the third installment in the series that also includes 2020’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

In a new gameplay trailer, we got a look at how the game’s updated progress system works as well as how it will let you switch between Miles Morales and Peter Parker “almost” instantly thanks to the PS5’s SSD. The game will also feature over 65 suits and over 200 different ways to wear them via a new suit-style system. Insomniac says the suits are based on looks Spider-Man has worn in past comics, movies, TV shows, and more.

Pre-order Spider-Man 2: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Insomniac / PlayStation

At its May Showcase, PlayStation released 12 minutes of gameplay footage that confirmed Spider-Man 2 would keep pulling on its predecessors’ throughline—web-swing from buildings in (a now more realistically congested) New York City and clobber bad guys by the dozens. In the upcoming sequel, players will be able to control both Spider-Man’s Peter Parker, who gains never-before-seen abilities while wearing his black symbiote suit, and Miles Morales.

You’ll help the spider-boys do what they boyishly do best: take down obviously bad guys like big-game hunter Kraven and liquid alien Venom. The latter infiltrates Parker like a parasite, in a way creative director Bryan Intihar compares to addiction.

“The theme of addiction is prevalent [in the game],” Intihar told Eurogamer in a June interview, “especially because of the symbiote.”

“Not to go into too many things about how it plays in the narrative, but we want to treat it very seriously,” he continued. “It’s about really playing into those themes of addiction, how that can impact someone’s personality, impact the people around them, and you’re going to see that it’s not just how it’s impacting Peter on his own, but also those close to him. You’re going to see that play out throughout the game.”

You can see for yourself just how well it pulls that off when Spider-Man 2 comes out on PS5 on October 20.

Pre-order Spider-Man 2: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop


Everything We Saw At PlayStation’s State Of Play Event

Today Sony held another State of Play event, showing off upcoming titles for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. Today’s event featured expansions for Resident Evil 4 and Tales of Arise, another look at a very funny walking simulator, and one epic, mega huge trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, which will launch on two (count ‘em) discs on February 29 of next year.

Let’s get into it.

Baby Steps

Devolver Digital / GameSpot Trailers

You know, sometimes you just wake up in a mud puddle in the forest and need to figure out how to walk. Well if you’re lucky or something and haven’t experienced that in reality, then Baby Steps looks like a solid simulation of such an experience. Try to walk, fall down, talk to yourself, rinse and repeat.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord

Sony Pictures Virtual Reality / PlayStation

PS VR2 will be seeing some cooperative ghost-capturing action soon with Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord.

Resident Evil 4 Remake VR mode

Capcom / PlayStation

Ready to play Resident Evil 4 yet again? PS VR2 will soon be home to a VR mode for Resident Evil 4, featuring the reimagined gory violence of this classic, undying entry in the legendary horror series.

Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways


Starring Ada Wong, Resident Evil 4 will see an expansion by way of Separate Ways, which will tell a parallel story to the main events of RE4. It releases on September 21, 2023.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

Ubisoft / PlayStation

James Cameron’s brightly colored fantasy world is coming to the land of video games by way of a first-person adventure adaptation (though you’ll get to ride some flying creatures in third-person, it seems). Like in the movies, those pesky humans are out to destroy the serene and lush environments of Pandora. It’s up to you to stop ‘em.

Ghostrunner 2

One More Level / IGN

Ghostrunner 2 will be arriving on PS5 on October 26. You can download a free demo of this fast-paced run-and-slash game today.

Deep Earth Collection PS5 plates and controller colors


If you’ve been looking for some new colors for your PS5, there are some on the way with Volcanic Red, Cobalt Blue, and Sterling Silver.

Helldivers II

Arrowhead Game Studios / IGN

In a close look at Helldivers II gameplay, today’s State of Play showed off the cooperative nature of this third-person shooter. With four players taking on some beastly lookin’ aliens, this looks like a pretty good excuse to round up some friends to devastate some alien wildlife.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Insomniac / PlayStation

Today we got a closer look at the open-world environment of Spider-Man 2. Not only will you have Manhattan Island, but also Brooklyn, and Queens—also known as the best borough.

Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn

Bandai Namco / PlayStation

Tales of Arise will see a new DLC expansion hit PS5 on November 9, 2023.

Honkai Star Rail

miHoYo / PlayStation

Featuring eye-pleasing combat and some slick anime style, Honkai Star Rail launches for PS5 on October 11, 2023.


Square Enix / PlayStation

This Splatoon-like trades ink for foam and features specific characters similar to that of a hero shooter. The open beta launches in late September.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Square Enix / PlaySttaion

Anticipation is at a fever pitch for the continuation of Final Fantasy VII’s remake project. Today’s trailer showed off some classic environments and scenarios from the original game, as well as some wildly unexpected twists (what’s with Zack carrying Cloud into Midgar?). We also saw some vehicular travel including an, uh, Segway? There’s a ton of stuff packed into this trailer, so you can bet we’ll be watching it several times over. And then some more.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth launches on February 29, 2024.

And that was it for today’s brief but very cool State of Play event. Now, I’m gonna go daydream some more about Final Fantasy VII.

Meta’s AI Chatbots Let You Play D&D With Snoop Dogg

Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a suite of AI-based chatbots, including one that portrays rapper Snoop Dogg as a role-playing game Dungeon Master, during the Meta Connect 2023 Keynote on September 27. Each of Meta’s 28 new bots (which are not yet available to the public) is a curated character represented by a celebrity, like tennis star Naomi Osaka, who represents an anime superfan, or Mr. Beast, who acts as “the big brother here for the jokes the banter and not the feels,” a reveal trailer indicates.

The Verge reports that Meta’s core chatbot assistant, Meta AI, is trained on a “custom-made” language model grounded in Llama 2, Meta’s reaction to OpenAI model ChatGPT. Zuckerberg said that, unlike Meta AI, the characters “don’t, for the most part, have access to real-time information yet” but didn’t specify what they were trained on; Kotaku requested comment.

It doesn’t seem like the bots take on the conversation patterns of the celebrities they resemble, the way musician Grimes’ Twitter bot, which is trained on her real Twitter, mimics her. The actors, “a bunch of pretty awesome people,” Zuckerberg said, ranging from basketball legend Dwyane Wade to 19-year-old TikToker Charli D’Amelio, seem to only be involved for visual flair.

Zuckerberg pulled up his Snoop Dogg bot for a live demo, telling it that he wanted to “forge ahead” in the medieval narrative it created.

“You gather your weapons and armor, ready to face whatever dangers lie ahead,” the bot replied while an image of Snoop Dogg nodded a bit incongruously in the top right corner. “The villagers bid you farewell, wishing you luck on your quest.”

“I mean, who hasn’t wanted to play a text adventure game with Snoop Dogg?” Zuckerberg wondered, placing emphasis on the “Dogg,” while the bot spun a generic questline involving a “mysterious elven rogue” and “wise cleric.”

To take you deeper into the uncanny valley, Meta will add voice to its characters “probably early next year,” Zuckerberg said, promising that these characters aren’t “just gonna be about answering queries,” but “about entertainment, and about helping you do things to connect with the people around you, and helping you accomplish the things that you want across whatever your different goals are.” And if one of your goals is to generate a lifeless, single-player RPG while a rapper stares at you like he’s falling asleep, then this is a great day.

Dashcam Shows Cops Ignoring Robbery To Play Pokémon Go

Newly released dashboard camera footage shows two Los Angeles Police Department officers ignoring an active robbery in order to catch some rare creatures in Pokémon Go. The footage shows how the driver ignored stop signs, sped through quiet residential areas, and drove the wrong way down a one-way road. All this was done to catch a Snorlax and Togetic.

In 2022, we reported on then-newly-released court docs that revealed a 2017 incident involving two LAPD officers who drove dangerously and ignored direct orders while playing the hit mobile game, Pokémon Go. Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell skipped out on their job to catch some rare digital critters and then lied about their actions. The two law enforcement officers had a combined 28 years on the force. After a 2017 investigation revealed what they had done, the two officers were fired. Last year, we didn’t have footage of what happened. Now, six years later, video has finally emerged.


Thanks to 404 Media’s Jason Koebler, the dashcam footage from that day in 2017 is now publicly available following years of requests. As Koebler notes, the footage proves that the previously mentioned report was accurate. But this new video also reveals more details about what happened and shows just how recklessly the officers acted.

New footage shows LAPD officers trying to catch ‘em all

As seen in an edited version of the three-hour dashcam video put together by 404 Media, the officers can be seen driving quickly in their patrol car. The two tailgate dangerously behind numerous cars, forcing the other drivers to move out of the way. At another point in the video, the police can be seen speeding in a residential area, running a stop sign, and flying over speed bumps.

The police were apparently driving so quickly because they were concerned the Snorlax would despawn after a short timer ran out, saying in the video: “It’s gonna go pink and change into something else.”

After losing the Snorlax, the two officers track down a Togetic and while catching it, talk about Pokémon lore. According to 404 Media, the two cops mentioned that Togetic is Togepi’s evolution and discussed that the creature knows “Hidden Power,” a rare move in the series. Later, Officer Mitchell suggests that Master Ball items are buried in the game’s code and that one day they will be added to the game. He was right, but it would take another six years before the Master Ball would be added to the game.

After finally catching the Togetic, Mitchell can be heard shouting, “Holy crap! Finally!” He adds that the guys back at the station are “going to be so jealous.” Mitchell further celebrated, telling his partner—while the pair reportedly drove the wrong way down a street—that he “got a new high-level Pokémon today.”

A few minutes later Mitchell and Lozano were questioned by a higher-ranking officer, who was confused why the two of them—who were near the area where the robbery occurred—had failed to report in for 40 minutes. Their superior added that it’s “concerning” that they didn’t hear the radio or respond in a “swift manner.”

At this point the two officers decided to lie, and explain that they didn’t hear the radio, claiming they “were not always” in the car when the backup requests were transmitted. However, the video shows that at least one of the two officers was always in the patrol car during the incident. As mentioned, the two were fired in 2017 after an investigation by the LAPD.


Someone Used A Game Boy To Play A Church Organ

Gif: Look Mum No Computer / Kotaku

Modded consoles are pretty awesome, letting people tap into the raw computational power of gaming machines to run emulators, custom software, and more. But what if you combine a modded console with a modded musical instrument? And not just any musical instrument, but a modded pipe organ? Well, that’s what someone just did, using an old Game Boy to play music on a refurbished church organ. The results are pretty awesome.

UK-based musician and electronic instrument hacker extraordinaire Sam Battle, who performs under the moniker Look Mum No Computer and is no stranger to working with video game consoles as musical instruments, recently hooked up a modded Game Boy (which I am obligated to say is spelled as two separate words) to some musical instruments. After writing out a full song to be played on a more modern modular synthesizer via the Game Boy, the music hacker turned his attention to a church organ he’s rebuilt and outfitted with lights and microphones (I’m so jealous). Check it out here:

Look Mum No Computer

Battle acquired and started rebuilding the church organ last year. The instrument was recovered from a house in Bristol, UK, where it had been reassembled after being removed from a church some time before. After making its way to eBay, the organ was snagged by Battle for a price he says was “cheaper than just going and getting a run-of-the-mill synth” (though it certainly looks heavier than my Moog Grandmother).

After doing some extensive work to rebuild the instrument over the last year, Battle rigged up the organ to receive commands from a digital source via the Musical Instrument Digital Interface standard (MIDI), a technology developed in the ‘80s to synchronize synthesizers and send commands to turn notes and functions on and off in a musical fashion.

Read More: What If Pong, But Really Long?

That’s where the Game Boy comes in: running LSDJ, a console-based tracker synthesizer, and with an Arduino soldered into the unit (though you could also do this with a USB Game Boy cartridge), Battle is able to program in a series of notes that get sent to the modded pipe organ, creating lovely musical sequences. Writing music like this takes a while, as you need to work one note at a time. But damn, are the results cool.

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