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SYFY WIRE The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Gaming: Zelda Hyrule Warriors drops surprise Switch demo; Travis Scott hypes PS5 launch; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Princess Zelda in Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity

Remember those four Divine Beasts in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Dominating the Hyrule landscape even from far away, the colossal animal machines served as the game’s set-piece dungeons, filled with puzzles, traps, and resident enemies and bosses. Those areas also made for some of BOTW’s most fun and challenging gameplay.

Despite all that, the Divine Beasts were mostly inert by the time Link clambered onto them in BOTW. Left to their stranded fate 100 years after the Great Calamity, they were forbidding places to venture — but they never moved, frozen in place in the wake of Ganon’s victory.

That all changes in the new footage Nintendo showed off today for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, the upcoming action fighter that serves as a canonical story entry set 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild. In a surprise reveal, Nintendo announced (and then immediately released) a playable demo for Age of Calamity, one that’ll let fans play through the game's entire first chapter. Teasing that the demo will also let players save their progress and then transfer it over to the main game, the Big N also showed off some new footage as part of today's larger Nintendo Direct showcase:

Among other cool tidbits, the new looks answer the burning question that some BOTW players doubtlessly have been harboring about the Divine Beasts ever since the original game released in 2017: What would it be like if one of these things actually came to life?

Well, from the look of things, it’d be a lot of fun. Check out the way the camel-like Vah Naboris charges through baddies, or how giant bird-god Vah Medoh lets Link cast an ominous shadow over Hyrule as the beast rains down beams of destruction from above.

The demo went live as soon as Nintendo made its announcement, meaning Switch owners can download and play through the start of Age of Calamity while waiting for the full game to arrive. The demo’s free for all Switch owners, and thanks to its seamless lore integration with Breath of the Wild, it looks and feels like a proper entry into the larger Zelda canon — right down to the smallest sound effects. You can snag access to the demo now at the Nintendo eShop, ahead of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity’s Nov. 20 release.

With the countdown timer ticking down to T-minus 2 weeks until the PlayStation 5 finally arrives, Sony and recently-minted PlayStation “strategic creative partner” Travis Scott are boarding the hype train with a new launch trailer that aims to sweep up anyone who’s somehow not already amped for the next console generation.

Narrated by Scott, and featuring visuals that favor a pioneering spirit of adventure over a rote rundown of the console’s stats, the emotion-fueled trailer finds Scott inviting players to explore new frontiers, over crosscut docu-style footage that evokes historic “firsts” in human achievement:

If the clip feels like an over-the-top way to pump up enthusiasm for a device that plays video games and streams multimedia, it’s only following in the footsteps of fans themselves. Pre-orders for both versions of the PS5 continue to be sold out ahead of the console’s release, as Sony expects its shiny new machine to set sales records that eclipse its PS4 predecessor.

Sony Interactive Entertainment chief Jim Ryan told Reuters this week that the PS5 sold as many units, just in its first 12-hour pre-order window, as the hugely popular PS4 sold over the first 12 weeks of its 2013 release. “The demand as expressed by the level of pre-order has been very, very considerable,” said Ryan, noting that demand is so high that “[i]t may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one.”

Even so, Sony’s already laying the groundwork to make the PS5’s launch as smooth as possible, debuting a new PlayStation mobile app today that essentially turns your smart phone into a remote control for many of the console’s features — no matter how far from home base you might be.

The new app brings a host of new features including voice chat, native integration with the PS Store, and “a smoother experience delivered in an all-new design,” according to Sony’s official blog post. And it also comes with some neat new tricks that let players command their PS5s (and PS4s as well) to remotely download games and DLC, manage their console’s storage space, check out details about recently-played games (including viewing your trophy lists), and sign in to the PS5 straight from the app itself.

Available for iOS and Android devices, the new PlayStation app is available now, giving you plenty of time to tweak your settings ahead of the PlayStation 5’s long-awaited Nov. 12 release.