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Press Start: The chaos before the storm

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

There would be no rest in the week leading up to E3. A lot of companies saw to that. We got fresh details on major new games — including Mirror's Edge (now Mirror's Edge Catalyst), Halo 5: Guardians, even NBA Live 16 (it lives!). We closed out the week hearing about games we didn't know (though, in the case of a Dishonored sequel, not really a surprise.) Oh, and Valve is completely overhauling Dota 2 with a project it calls "Dota 2 reborn."

Oculus finally showed off the final design of its VR headset and revealed more of its plans at a pre-conference show on Thursday. Lots of money also changed hands this week. A Magic: The Gathering card sold for nearly $15,000 on eBay. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night closed its crowdfunding campaign with $5.5 million, most ever for a video game. (Incidentally, the FTC finally took down its first Kickstarter scammer, someone making a board game.)

So, before looking ahead to E3, and wondering how this company or that company can "win" it, make sure you're caught up on the past week. Below you will find some of the week's must-read stories, a mix of original reporting and long reads. Welcome to Press Start, a recap of the week in games and gaming culture to get you ready for the one ahead.

Last Week in Five Stories

  1. The race for VR

    Nine stories providing exclusive coverage of some of the most exciting game studios working in virtual reality.

  2. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain feels like the end of an era, a stealth game triumph

    The opening moments of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain are memorable, and thanks to an apparent falling out between Kojima and Konami made somewhat more bizarre. I'm still not sure what to make of certain moments, certain decisions I'd been asked to make early on, but I couldn't shake Hideo Kojima's current reality with the situations presented in his game.

  3. The Witcher 3 achieved the impossible: It's a hit without being a jerk to its fans

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a hit, both commercially and critically. The game has sold over 4 million copies in three weeks worldwide, with an average review score of over 90 on every platform according to Metacritic. This isn't just a success, this is a slam dunk. And CD Projekt Red was able to pull it off without punishing its biggest fans.

  4. Learn how Street Fighter 5 plays, see new footage

    Capcom pulled back the curtain to explain Street Fighter 5’s mechanics and show what makes the game different this time around. We have a video to illustrate.

  5. How a French studio set out to make the next great Japanese RPG

    The day Mario Rizzo found out he was going to meet one of his idols, he wasn’t even slightly prepared. Rizzo had been the CEO of Kobojo, a small French free-to-play game developer that made small, simple Facebook games. Under Rizzo’s guidance, the team pursued something new: It wanted to make a Japanese role-playing game.

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