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Save big on these Nintendo Switch game bundles at Amazon

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 18:39

Amazon has dropped a wave of Nintendo Switch game bundles with some big combined savings. The bundles feature some of the console's best titles including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and many more. If you want to expand your Switch library or stock up on gifts for friends and family - now's a great opportunity to snap up some of the most popular Switch games, and save some money in the process.

Right now you can get Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for a combined price of £71 - that makes each game £35.50 each (normally £59.99 each). You can also pick up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Super Mario Maker 2 for a total of £95.98 - making each game less than £32 each.

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Categories: Video Games

DF Direct Weekly talks Microsoft/Activision, RX 6500 XT and Horizon Forbidden West

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 18:27

Welcome to the 45th edition of Digital Foundry Direct Weekly, where - as you may expect - the aftershocks of Microsoft's Activision acquisition continue to dominate discussion with a quarter-hour of chat in addition to the DF Direct special posted last week. I have little to add to this particular debate, except to say that the news continues an age-old tradition where you can guarantee that a major news event will kick off should I dare countenance taking a few days off. Yes, the rumours started to emerge as the doors shut at home, with the official Microsoft announcement arriving while on the road. Perhaps I should go on vacation more often, simply for the purpose of spicing up the news cycle.

Beyond the seismic Microsoft/Activision news, the team also cover the bizarre GPU that is the Radeon RX 6500 XT (see Will's more fully featured review right here. The product's attracted a lot of flak, lacks key features and performance is not great but it has led me to think about how GPUs are reviewed. The standard MO is simply to whack everything up to ultra then compare the new GPU to existing ones. From there we get a number, typically a percentage differential against a nearby-priced competitor. It's entirely fair enough, but the more GPU reviews I see, the more I tend to wonder whether we shouldn't be benching at optimised settings instead. It may well be that the percentage differentials will be the same, but then again, it may not - I'm curious to find out!

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Categories: Video Games

Here's another extended look at Elden Ring

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 18:27

The Taipei Game Show 2022 has offered an extended look at Elden Ring ahead of its release next month.

In a 45-minute presentation, producer Yasuhiro Kitao gave a full rundown of gameplay and answered fan questions, offering a few extra pieces of information.

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Categories: Video Games

Laughing with Dan Marshall and Ben Ward in The Eurogamer Podcast

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 18:21

I was hoping they'd be funny in real-life, because their games are, and I'm absolutely delighted to say they are. I'm still genuinely warmed that they're best friends in real-life and have been since school. I'd hoped as much - it's why I asked them to be on the Podcast together (the first double-header!) - but I didn't realise how fundamental to everything their friendship would be.

They are Dan Marshall and Ben Ward, the eponymous heroes and funny men behind the Dan and Ben series. See them in such daring adventures as Ben There, Dan That; Time Gentleman, Please; and Lair of the Clockwork God - the latter of which was one of my favourite games of 2020. And if you're a fan, know that it's getting a fancy Limited Run boxed release but that you've got only until the end of the week to order.

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Categories: Video Games

Julian Assange Wins Right To Seek Appeal Against Extradition To the US

Slashdot - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 18:04
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange scored a small win in court in London on Monday, when a judge granted him the right to appeal to the UK's Supreme Court over his extradition to the US. From a report: The High Court ruled that Assange has points that Supreme Court justices may want to consider ahead of the UK extraditing him. Assange will now petition the UK's Supreme Court for a hearing, but there is no guarantee his request will be granted. As his case proceeds through the courts, his extradition will continue to be stalled and Assange will remain in Belmarsh Prison, where' has been held since leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2019. "Today we won -- but Julian continues to suffer," said Stella Moris, Assange's fiancee, speaking outside the court on Monday. "Julian must be freed." Monday's decision follows a ruling by a High Court judge in December granting the US permission to go through with the extradition. It overturned a previous decision by a District Court judge that blocked Assange's extradition on mental health grounds. The WikiLeaks founder has raised a legal question about the circumstances in which the High Court received assurances from the US over the treatment he would receive in prison.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Facebook Promised Free Internet Access, but Users Got Charged Anyway

Slashdot - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 17:26
Facebook says it's helping millions of the world's poorest people get online through apps and services that allow them to use internet data free. Internal company documents show that many of these people end up being charged in amounts that collectively add up to an estimated millions of dollars a month. WSJ: To attract new users, Facebook made deals with cellular carriers in countries including Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines to let low-income people use a limited version of Facebook and browse some other websites without data charges. Many of the users have inexpensive cellphone plans that cost just a few dollars a month, often prepaid, for phone service and a small amount of internet data. Because of software problems at Facebook, which it has known about and failed to correct for months, people using the apps in free mode are getting unexpectedly charged by local cellular carriers for using data. In many cases they only discover this when their prepaid plans are drained of funds. In internal documents, employees of Facebook parent Meta Platforms acknowledge this is a problem. Charging people for services Facebook says are free "breaches our transparency principle," an employee wrote in an October memo. In the year ended July 2021, charges made by the cellular carriers to users of Facebook's free-data products grew to an estimated total of $7.8 million a month, when purchasing power adjustments were made, from about $1.3 million a year earlier, according to a Facebook document. Facebook calls the problem "leakage," since paid services are leaking into the free apps and services. It defines leakage in internal documents as, "When users are in Free Mode and believe that the data they are using is being covered by their carrier networks, even though these users are actually paying for the data themselves."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

$130 Billion Wiped Off Crypto Markets in 24 Hours

Slashdot - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 17:01
The cryptocurrency market had around $130 billion wiped off its value over the last 24 hours as major digital coins continued their multi-day sell-off. From a report: Bitcoin was last down around 4% at $33,755.57, according to Coin Metrics, while Ether plunged 7% to $2,239.08. Earlier in the morning both fell to their lowest points since July and are each about 50% off their all-time highs. Cryptocurrencies are moving in tandem with stocks, which have continued to fall since the beginning of the year and just came off of their worst week since March 2020. Investors have been selling risk assets like technology stocks as they prepare for tighter monetary policy from the U.S. Federal Reserve and higher interest rates. "Looking forward, our most immediate concern is how equities markets respond to this week's Fed meeting," said Leah Wald, CEO at digital asset investment manager Valkyrie Funds. "A consolidation in traditional assets would catalyze a potential recovery in bitcoin, ether and other altcoins. Realistically, though, digital asset traders tend to be willing to take on more risk than traders in other asset classes, so we do expect some volatility in the coming days and weeks."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Doctor Who idle game on the way

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 16:59

A new Doctor Who idle game has been announced for mobile phones.

The free-to-play app will include new and classic stories set in the worlds of the Whoniverse, with familiar faces and enemies popping up along the way.

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Categories: Video Games

Australia PM Morrison Loses Control of WeChat Chinese Account as Election Looms

Slashdot - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 16:38
A little-known Chinese technology company that took over a WeChat social media account set up for Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday it wanted to buy an account with a large fanbase in Australia, and was unaware it was his. From a report: Australian politicians said Morrison's office lost access to the account on the platform, owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings, several months ago. The politicians claimed the move represented censorship amid growing diplomatic tensions between Canberra and Beijing with a national election to be held in Australia by May. The account, which bore Morrison's photograph and posted information on his policies in Mandarin targeted at Australian voters of Chinese ethnic origin, had 76,000 followers. The account was renamed 'Australia China New Life' in January by its new Chinese owner, Fuzhou 985 Technology, based in Fujian province, which notified followers the account would instead promote Chinese life in Australia. An employee from Fuzhou 985 Technology, who only gave his surname as Huang, told Reuters by telephone was not aware the account was previously connected to Morrison. He said the transfer of ownership was conducted with a Chinese male national living in Fuzhou, whose identity he declined to disclose. "We thought this account had a large fanbase, so we decided to buy it," said Huang, adding that the company was looking for an account whose target audience was the Chinese community in Australia. He declined to say how much his company had paid to take over the account.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

This Xbox Series S bundle can be yours for £234 at John Lewis

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 15:53

If you're itching to play the latest Xbox games like Halo Infinite and don't mind playing digital versions only, John Lewis has knocked £15 off the Xbox Series S bundle that includes downloadable content for Rocket League and Fortnite.

Normally £249.99, you can currently buy the console bundle for only £234 - when you create a free MY John Lewis account and use the code MYJL15 at the checkout. It's the lowest price we've seen this console.

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Categories: Video Games

AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT review: 1080p gaming, with a catch

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 15:30

The AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT is in many respects exactly what we'd been waiting for: a budget GPU at just $200, intended to offer solid gaming performance at 1080p. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is a little different - the card hasn't been widely available at that alluring price point and early reports point to performance that isn't as solid as it ought to be, even for this class of card.

One potential reason for this shaky performance is that AMD has opted to include just four PCIe lanes with the RX 6500 XT, compared to the more usual eight or 16. That makes sense with modern PCIe 4.0, where each lane can deliver an impressive amount of bandwidth, but what happens when you use the 6500 XT on a PCIe 3.0 system where bandwidth per lane is halved?

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Categories: Video Games

Unpacking Unpacking with creator Wren Brier

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 15:18

Our Game of the Year 2021 was a surprise for some of you, I'm sure. It was - and is - a game that found a powerful new way to tell a story. A game that invited our lives and experiences into it by keeping the subject of its story out of direct sight.

It's a simple game, a game about unpacking boxes, and it was inspired when co-creators Wren Brier and Tim Dawson did exactly that: moved in together. It was an idea that struck Brier almost immediately but she struggled mustering the confidence to build it out. With Dawson's encouragement and help, though, she managed it, and years later, here we are. Unpacking is a rare game that resonates quickly and deeply with nearly everyone.

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Categories: Video Games

The Next Huawei? US Threatens to Inflict 'Export Control' on Russia if It Invades Ukraine

Slashdot - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 14:34
How exactly could Russia be deterred from invading Ukraine? The U.S. government is now "threatening to use a novel export control to damage strategic Russian industries, from artificial intelligence and quantum computing to civilian aerospace," according to Stars and Stripes (an editorially-independent newspaper for the American military). The newspaper cites administration officials as its source: The administration may also decide to apply the control more broadly in a way that would potentially deprive Russian citizens of some smartphones, tablets and video game consoles, said the officials. Such moves would expand the reach of U.S. sanctions beyond financial targets to the deployment of a weapon used only once before — to nearly cripple the Chinese tech giant Huawei. The weapon, known as the foreign direct product rule, contributed to Huawei suffering its first-ever annual revenue drop, a stunning 30% last year, according to analysts. The attraction of using the foreign direct product rule derives from the fact that virtually anything electronic these days includes semiconductors, the tiny components on which all modern technology depends, from smartphones to jets to quantum computers — and that there is hardly a semiconductor on the planet that is not made with U.S. tools or designed with U.S. software. And the administration could try to force companies in other countries to stop exporting these types of goods to Russia through this rule. "This is a slow strangulation by the U.S. government," technology analyst Dan Wang of Gavekal Dragonomics, a research firm in Shanghai, said of Huawei. The rule cut the firm's supply of needed microchips, which were made outside the United States but with U.S. software or tools. Now officials in Washington say they are working with European and Asian allies to craft a version of the rule that would aim to stop flows of crucial components to industries for which Russian President Vladimir Putin has high ambitions, such as civil aviation, maritime and high technology.... But the effort could face head winds from American and European business interests that fear using export controls could lead to Russian retaliation in other spheres — and eventually cause foreign companies to seek to design U.S. technology out of their products. That's because the extension of the rule beyond a single company like Huawei to an entire country or entire sectors of a country is unprecedented. "It's like a magic power — you can only use it so many times before it starts to degrade," said Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank. "Other countries will say, 'Oh, man, the U.S. has total control over us. We'd better find alternatives.'" The newspaper also spoke to Paul Triolo, chief of technology policy at a global political risk research and consulting firm called Eurasia Group. His opinion "this would be weaponizing the U.S. semiconductor supply chain against an entire country." And in more ways than one: Targeted use of the foreign direct product rule could be a blow to Russia's military, which relies on a type of chip called Elbrus that is designed in Russia but manufactured in Taiwan at a chip foundry called TSMC, according to Kostas Tigkos, an electronics expert at Janes Group, a U.K.-based provider of defense intelligence. If the United States barred TSMC from supplying those chips to Russia, as it successfully barred TSMC from supplying Huawei, that would have a "devastating effect," Tigkos said. In a statement, TSMC said it "complies with all applicable laws and regulations" and that it has a "rigorous export control system in place ... to ensure export control restrictions are followed."Analysts say that Western multinational firms probably would comply with the export controls. All U.S. chipmakers include clauses in their contracts requiring customers to abide by U.S. export rules. The article also explores a scenario where businesses in China step in to supply Russia (citing estimates from the Peterson Institute for International Economics that China already builds 70% of the computers and smartphones that Russia imports). "If Chinese firms wound up supplying Russia in violation of the rule, that would leave Washington with a major diplomatic dilemma: whether to sanction them, even if they make ordinary — not military — goods."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Watch Dogs Legion will no longer be updated

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 14:24

Watch Dogs Legion will no longer be updated, Ubisoft has said, and the game's current multiplayer season will be its last.

In a blog post flagged via social media on Friday evening, Ubisoft said that the game's 5.6 patch - released four months ago in September 2021 - was actually its final update.

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Categories: Video Games

Dress Geralt in his Netflix attire thanks to a new Witcher 3 mod

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 13:52

You can now dress Geralt in his Netflix Witcher clothes thanks to a new mod.

WitcherSeb has been hard at work modding The Witcher 3 to match the Netflix show. Last year the modder released a mod to change Geralt's face to that of actor Henry Cavill, as well as mods to add Anya Chalotra's likeness to Yennefer and Freya Allan's likeness to Ciri.

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Categories: Video Games

Riot Games sues Vietnamese developer for copying League of Legends spin-off Teamfight Tactics

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 13:39

Riot Games has filed a lawsuit against Vietnamese developer Imba Network for creating a "knock-off" of its League of Legends spin-off Teamfight Tactics.

The studio has accused Imba Network of stealing likenesses, stories, and lore for its game I Am Hero: AFK Tactical Teamfight, Reuters reported.

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Categories: Video Games

Yakuza creator Nagoshi details new NetEase studio

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 13:09

Toshihiro Nagoshi, creator of the Yakuza series, has officially announced Nagoshi Studio - his new Tokyo-based development house that's part of Chinese technology company NetEase.

Nagoshi announced his departure from Yakuza publisher Sega in October last year, when it was first revealed he would be joining NetEase.

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Categories: Video Games

Nintendo takes aim at fan-made Pokémon FPS

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 13:03

Nintendo is attempting to scrub the internet of a fan-made Pokémon FPS, footage of which began to bubble up online last week.

As chatter around the bloody Pokémon fan project grew, Nintendo began to take action, issuing copyright claims to block footage on YouTube and Twitter (thanks Kotaku).

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Categories: Video Games

Missing: The story behind the Indian game tackling sex trafficking

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 13:00

Warning: this article discusses trafficking and child sex abuse.

"In empathy for the millions of girls who disappear from the face of the earth." -Missing: Game for a Cause, 2015.

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Categories: Video Games

Streamers are broadcasting Pokémon Arceus: Legends ahead of release

Eurogamer - Mon, 24/01/2022 - 12:36

Streamers are already broadcasting Pokémon Arceus: Legends ahead of its release date this week.

The notoriously secretive Pokémon Company has been especially silent about the forthcoming game, with no access for hands-on previews and information controlled through limited trailers.

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Categories: Video Games
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