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Bandai Namco buys developer behind Unknown9: Awakening

Eurogamer - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 12:35

Reflector Entertainment, developer of the upcoming Unknown9: Awakening, has been snapped up by Bandai Namco.

The Montreal-based studio released its first teaser for Unknown9 during Gamescom's Opening Night Live. It showed a young girl using some kind of special power to escape from an enemy on the streets of an unnamed city.

Reflector is a new studio which has recruited 120 staff from the bustling AAA game development scene in Montreal. It has big ambitions for Unknown9 as a franchise, with a book trilogy, podcast episodes and comic books planned.

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Categories: Video Games

Destiny 2 is getting customisable ghosts

Eurogamer - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 12:28

Destiny 2 is getting customisable ghosts, Bungie has announced.

Ghosts are the little floating balls that accompany guardians. Your ghost in the original Destiny was voiced by Peter Dinklage (he of "that wizard came from the moon!" fame), before he was replaced by Nolan North.

Ghosts have worked much the same in Destiny for years, popping into existence to res you whenever you bite the dust. Not to dig too deeply into the lore, but it is your ghost, supposedly a piece of the Traveler itself, who raises you from the dead at the beginning of Destiny 1 to become a Light-bearing guardian.

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Categories: Video Games

Watch Digital Foundry's Rich Leadbetter on Xbox, PS5 and the changing face of next-gen

Eurogamer - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 12:08

I love the smell of next-gen in the morning. It's exciting, isn't it? We've had quite a couple of weeks: the long-awaited, leaked reveal of Xbox Series S started a series of dominoes that saw both Sony and Microsoft price and date their new machines, and culminated in yesterday's PS5 preorder chaos.

We're finally in a position to look at the full next-gen offering from both PlayStation and Xbox and weigh them up against each other - the power, the price, the games, the strategy. Of particular interest is the final puzzle piece that, it seems, everyone was waiting for - Xbox Series S, the cut-price, cut-back machine that is quite unlike any previous new-generation console launch.

There's lots to pick over, so yesterday I took the opportunity to record a chat with Digital Foundry's Rich Leadbetter about it all - his impressions of Series S in particular, but also how all the machines are positioned and how he sees this console generation playing out. One thing's for sure - it will be quite unlike any generation that has come before.

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Categories: Video Games

Sony Makes It Official: PlayStation 5 Won't Natively Support PS1, PS2, PS3

Slashdot - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 12:00
In a Wednesday interview, Sony Interactive Entertainment chief Jim Ryan confirmed that the upcoming PlayStation 5 console won't natively support PS1, PS2, or PS3 games. Ars Technica reports: Ryan explained that "PS5-specific engineering" meant the design team was mostly focused on "the simultaneous use of high-speed SSDs and the new DualSense controller." This prevented Sony from delivering compatibility with older consoles, Ryan told Famitsu, even though he made clear that Sony wanted to support PlayStation 4's "100 million players" by developing compatibility with "99%" of PS4 games, since "we thought that they would like to play PS4 titles on the PS5, as well." This announcement doesn't clarify whether PS1 games purchased for use on PS4 will transfer to PS5. It also doesn't mention the existing ability for players to stream older-generation games to PS4 from the PlayStation Now cloud-subscription service or whether we should expect that functionality to seamlessly transfer to PS5 in November. [...] Wednesday's dump of PlayStation 5 news did not go into further detail about additional boosts to PS4 games as played on the upcoming console. Instead, we learned that some major PlayStation 5 games, particularly Horizon: Forbidden West and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, will launch simultaneously on PS5 and PS4. This appears to run somewhat counter to Sony's recent comments about maintaining "generations" instead of supporting an Xbox-style "forward-compatible" plan for its biggest games.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Life is Strange 2's first episode now permanently free

Eurogamer - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 11:55

The first episode of Life is Strange 2 has been made free forever on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This isn't part of some limited time offer or trial - though publisher Square Enix is clearly hoping this will attract more people to give Dontnod's second season of storytelling a try.

And you should! While mechanically similar, this is a more grown-up story to Life is Strange 1. It deserves a bit of time to get going, as you sink yourself into this road movie-type adventure which delves into the bond between two young brothers suddenly forced on the run.

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Categories: Video Games

Katamari Damacy Reroll launches on PS4 and Xbox One in November

Eurogamer - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 11:29

Katamari Damacy Reroll comes out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 20th November 2020, Bandai Namco has announced.

This is the remaster of Keita Takahashi's influential original, which came out on PS2 in 2004. Reroll first launched on PC and Nintendo Switch in December 2018.

Malindy Hetfeld wrote a wonderful article for Eurogamer about Katamari Damacy after playing Reroll back in 2018.

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Categories: Video Games

Sony confirms PlayStation 5 won't natively support PS3, PS2, PS1 games

Eurogamer - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 11:24

Sony has now confirmed PlayStation 5 will not natively support PS3, PS2 and PS1 discs.

It's not a huge surprise, and a now-removed Ubisoft claim stated as much earlier this month, but it is the first time Sony has plainly said as much on the record.

Speaking to Famitsu (via Ars Technica), PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said the new console was designed to focus on PS5-specific engineering, although it was still important to support PS4 backwards compatibility since it has 100m players.

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Categories: Video Games

U died: what's going on with Demon's Souls font on PS5?

Eurogamer - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 11:24

There's a new generation of consoles just around the corner, and one of them's even got a launch game. It's a pretty damn compelling one too - Bluepoint Games' collaboration with Sony's Japan Studio to remake the iconic and much-loved Demon's Souls is one of the most exciting propositions on the PlayStation 5 slate, and to have it there on day one gives the console one hell of a push. But... There's something slightly awry about all this.

Like many of you, I'm sure, I first picked up Demon's Souls having read about it on these very pages thanks to Keza Macdonald's incredible review. What a thing the PS3 original was - enigmatic, unforgiving and totally unputdownable. And so began a love affair with From Software's series that's continued to this day.

This isn't From Software's Demon's Souls, though. From its first reveal it's been obvious that, while the fundamentals are the same, this is a radical makeover. There's a broader, less repressive palette, everything's that little bit shinier and - oh my god what's this - they've changed the 'You Died' typeface. WHAT?

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Categories: Video Games

Cosmic Spacehead is illogical and a mess and I still love it

Eurogamer - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 11:00

Cosmic Spacehead is a weird mess of a game that felt truly a thing of its time. I can't see it ever existing now. Originally released in the early 90s, I stumbled across it in that way that tends to happen when you're only about 9 or 10 and your access to insightful games media is limited. I saw it in a second-hand shop in London and decided I adored the colours of the box and would quite like it for Christmas if possible. I'm not sure how my Mum retraced her steps but a few days later, I inadvertently spotted it in her suitcase and discovered exactly what my main Christmas present was going to be. To be fair to nosy-child me, I never said a word. I acted surprised on Christmas Day, appreciating the importance of the occasion, and dived straight into the weirdness. Because Cosmic Spacehead is very weird.

Much of that weirdness is because Cosmic Spacehead makes very little sense. It's a sequel to Linus Spacehead, a platformer for the NES, and it starts out by completely forgetting that you may not have played the first part. I certainly hadn't and I only learned this fact through a sneaky Google search while writing this. Instead, child me was up against Cosmic/Linus clearing needing to complete a series of fetch quests without much logic to the plot. You eventually figure out he's trying to get hold of a camera and a working spaceship but none of it is well explained.

The game plays out like the most illogical of point-and-click adventures. Want to freeze a body? You need icing sugar! No, really! Similarly, you need to get past a one-eyed Godzilla-style monster. The only way is to give it a tiny helium balloon so it floats away. Weirdly, you don't float away through holding the balloon.

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Categories: Video Games

Battle Sister is the first Warhammer 40,000 VR game

Eurogamer - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 10:48

Here's a bit of a surprise: Battle Sister is the first Warhammer 40,000 VR game.

Battle Sister is an Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 exclusive, and lets you play as one of the Adepta Sororitas.

For the uninitiated - or the faithless! - the Adepta Sororitas is an all-female division of the Ecclesiarchy (the Imperium of Man's state church). The Sisters of Battle is the military arm of this division, and bad-ass they are, too.

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Categories: Video Games

Spinch is a spiralling marriage of psychedelia, precision and rhythm

Eurogamer - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 10:42

EGX is here! This time it's in the rather unique form of PAX Online x EGX Digital, but we're still covering it like usual.

That means we'll be running a few short articles like this throughout the week, featuring our impressions from some of the most interesting, unique, or just personal favourite games we've tried from the show floor (yes, there's a show floor!).

Last up was Neon Noodles. This time: Spinch!

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Categories: Video Games

Hubble Captures Crisp New Image of Jupiter and Europa

Slashdot - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 09:00
A unique and exciting detail of Hubble's new snapshot appears at mid-northern latitudes as a bright, white, stretched-out storm moving at 560 kilometres per hour. This single plume erupted on 18 August 2020 and another has since appeared. From a report: While it's common for storms to pop up in this region, often several at once, this particular disturbance appears to have more structure behind it than observed in previous storms. Trailing behind the plume are small, counterclockwise dark clumps also not witnessed in the past. Researchers speculate this may be the beginning of a longer-lasting northern hemisphere spot, perhaps to rival the legendary Great Red Spot that dominates the southern hemisphere. Hubble shows that the Great Red Spot, rolling counterclockwise in the planet's southern hemisphere, is ploughing into the clouds ahead of it, forming a cascade of white and beige ribbons. The Great Red Spot is currently an exceptionally rich red colour, with its core and outermost band appearing deeper red. Researchers say the Great Red Spot now measures about 15 800 kilometres across, big enough to swallow the Earth. The super-storm is still shrinking, as noted in telescopic observations dating back to 1930, but its rate of shrinkage appears to have slowed. The reason for its dwindling size is a complete mystery.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Encrochat Investigation Finds Corrupt Cops Leaking Information To Criminals

Slashdot - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: After searching through some of the tens of millions of encrypted messages pulled from Encrochat devices, Dutch police have launched a new investigation team that will look specifically into corruption, the police force announced on Wednesday. In some cases authorities are looking to identify police who leaked information to organized criminals. The news broadens the scope of the Encrochat investigations, which have focused heavily on drug trafficking and organized crime more generally. Earlier this year, French authorities hacked into Encrochat phones en masse to retrieve message content, and then shared those communications with various other law enforcement agencies. "Criminal investigations into possible corruption are currently underway and there are likely to be more in the near future. In addition to investigations into drug trafficking and money laundering, investigations into corruption are also given top priority," Chief of Police Henk van Essen said in a Politie press release. Encrochat was an encrypted phone company that took base Android units, made physical alterations to them, and added its own software. Encrochat devices sent messages with end-to-end encryption, meaning only the intended recipient was supposed to be able to read them. The phones also had a remote wipe feature, letting users destroy communications if they lost physical control of the device, as well as a dual-boot system that let users open an innocuous looking operating system, or the second one containing their more sensitive information. The phones were particularly popular with criminals, including drug traffickers and hitmen. There are indications Encrochat may have had legitimate users too, however. Other Encrochat customers are allegedly those involved in corruption, including police themselves, the press release suggests.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Facebook Will Stop Recommending Health Groups

Slashdot - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 03:25
The Verge reports on the new rules Facebook is adding to slow the spread of misinformation and other harmful content on its Groups feature. From the report: Some of the new policies encourage more active administration of groups. If administrators step down, they can invite members to take their place; if nobody does, Facebook will apparently "suggest" admin roles to members, then archive the group if that fails. Also, if group members accrue a community standards violation, moderators will have to approve all their posts for 30 days. If the moderators repeatedly approve posts that violate Facebook's guidelines, the group could be removed. The health guidelines take a broader approach by focusing on an entire category of content, not specific rule-breaking behavior. Facebook says that although groups can "be a positive space for giving and receiving support during difficult life circumstances ... it's crucial that people get their health information from authoritative sources." Facebook also says it's continuing to limit content from militia groups and other organizations linked to violence. Groups that discuss potential violence will be removed, and it will soon down-rank even non-violating content in the News Feed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Nintendo 3DS Discontinued After Almost a Decade

Slashdot - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 02:45
Nintendo has discontinued its 3DS handheld after about 76 million sales over a nine-and-a-half year period. The BBC reports: A notice on the Japanese firm's site says "manufacturing of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems has ended." The device had the ability to trick the human eye into seeing 3D images like those in some cinema screenings -- but without special glasses. However, its launch received a lukewarm reception and it only gained popularity later. The console's demise has long been expected. Last year, the company said it no longer planned to make any new first-party games for the system. It means the original Nintendo DS retains the title of being the bestselling mobile console. And the Nintendo Switch -- a hybrid handheld-and-home machine -- is the current focus of Nintendo's efforts.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

US Charges Chinese and Malaysian Hackers In Global Hacking Campaign

Slashdot - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 02:23
schwit1 shares a report from NewsNation Now: The Justice Department has charged five Chinese citizens with hacks targeting more than 100 companies and institutions in the United States and elsewhere, including social media and video game companies as well as universities and telecommunications providers, officials said Wednesday. The five defendants remain fugitives, but prosecutors say two Malaysian businessmen accused of conspiring with the alleged hackers to profit off the attacks on video game companies were arrested in that country this week and face extradition proceedings. The indictments announced Wednesday are part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to call out cybercrimes by China.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

DuckDuckGo Is Growing Fast

Slashdot - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 02:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, announced that August 2020 ended in over 2 billion total searches via its search platform. While Google remains the most popular search engine, DuckDuckGo has gained a great deal of traction in recent months as more and more users have begun to value their privacy on the internet. DuckDuckGo saw over 2 billion searches and 4 million app/extension installations, and the company also said that they have over 65 million active users. DuckDuckGo could shatter its old traffic record if the same growth trend continues. Even though DuckDuckGo is growing rapidly, it still controls less than 2 percent of all search volume in the United States. However, DuckDuckGo's growth trend has continued throughout the year, mainly due to Google and other companies' privacy scandal.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Why Passenger Jets Could Soon Be Flying In Formation

Slashdot - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 01:20
New submitter ragnar_ianal writes: Looking at the V-shaped formations of migrating ducks, scientists have long surmised that there are aeronautical efficiencies at play. Airbus is examining this in a practical manner to see if fuel efficiency can be enhanced. "Building on test flights in 2016 with an Airbus A380 megajet and A350-900 wide-body jetliner, [the Airbus fello'fly] hopes to demonstrate and quantify the aerodynamic efficiencies while developing in-flight operational procedures," reports CNN. "Initial flight testing with two A350s began in March 2020. The program will be expanded next year to include the involvement of Frenchbee and SAS airlines, along with air traffic control and air navigation service providers from France, the UK, and Europe." "It's very, very different from what the military would call formation flight. It's really nothing to do with close formation," explained Dr. Sandra Bour Schaeffer, CEO of Airbus UpNext, in an interview with CNN Travel.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Is Apple One a Bargain? It's Complicated

Slashdot - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 00:40
Apple One, Apple's long-awaited services bundle, has arrived and The Verge's Chaim Gartenberg has crunched the numbers to see which subscription package, if any, is worth it. From the report: Let's start with the Apple One Individual plan. Offering a single Apple Music plan ($9.99 per month), a 50GB iCloud storage bucket ($0.99 per month), and access to Apple Arcade ($4.99 per month) and Apple TV Plus ($4.99 per month) for $14.99, it seems like it saves you money. But unless you're interested in subscribing to Apple Music and either Apple Arcade or Apple TV Plus, you're probably better off just saving the $4 and sticking with an $11 Apple Music and iCloud combo. (As a side note, Apple does grant everyone in your family plan access to Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus, even if you subscribe to it through the "Individual plan," which may impact your calculus.) It's a similar story with the Family plan: a regular family plan for Apple Music costs $14.99 per month, and a 200GB iCloud bucket (which can already be shared across a whole family) is $2.99. Once again, if you want either Apple Arcade or Apple TV Plus on top of that, the Apple One bundle effectively gets you both of those services for the price of one, but if all you want is Apple Music and iCloud storage, Apple One doesn't really offer any benefits. The Apple One Premier plan is a slightly different story, though. At $29.99 per month, it's the most expensive of the plans. Comparing it to the unbundled costs, an Apple Music family plan is once again $14.99, while a 2TB iCloud plan is $9.99. If you were already paying for both of those plans -- which isn't unreasonable for a family that's heavily invested in Apple products -- then you're only looking at a $5 per month increase to gain access to Arcade along with the additions of News Plus and Fitness Plus (which, at $9.99 per month each, are among Apple's priciest subscriptions). "But in most cases, Apple One only makes sense if you're already subscribing to Apple's most in-demand services: iCloud storage, which is essential for backing up most iPhones given Apple's increasingly absurd (and stingy) 5GB allowance for new devices, and Apple Music," writes Gartenberg in closing. "And at the end of the day, Apple One doesn't make subscribing to those two key services dramatically cheaper -- it just provides a discount for subscribing to Apple's less popular services. It's a good discount, mind you, but one that still results in most customers paying more than they are right now."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

WeChat Users Won't Be Targeted By Trump's Order, US Says

Slashdot - Fri, 18/09/2020 - 00:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: WeChat users who download the Chinese app for personal or business communications won't be targeted by President Donald Trump's executive order that will prohibit using the app for some transactions, the U.S. said. The U.S. Commerce Department plans to clarify by Sept. 20 which transactions will be prohibited. But it doesn't intend to define "the relevant transactions in such a way that would impose criminal or civil liability on such users," according to a government filing Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco. The U.S. WeChat Users Alliance is seeking a preliminary injunction against Trump's executive order. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Thursday. According to the WeChat users group, Trump's Aug. 6 order would sunder the primary and often exclusive channel many U.S. residents use to communicate with family and friends in both China and the U.S. WeChat is also used to run businesses and non-profit organizations, practice religion and as a source news. WeChat is so integral to Chinese and Chinese Americans' lives that a ban would be like "losing a limb" for some users, the group claims. "Having first failed to articulate any actual national security concern, the administration's latest 'assurances' that users can keep using WeChat, and exchange their personal and business information, only further illustrates the hollowness and pre-textual nature of defendants' 'national security' rationales," the group said in a court filing.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
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