Thursday, February 20, 2020 February 20, 2020 at 02:18AM - The Capcom Cafe has a flattop Guile burger and it looks amazing

The Capcom Cafe in Japan is known for its wonderful video game-themed food and drink, but its new Street Fighter-themed menu could be the best yet.

The Capcom Cafe, in Shinjuku, Tokyo, now has dishes inspired by famous Street Fighter characters such as Blanka, Dhalsim and Sakura, as well as drinks inspired by Ryu, Chun-Li, Ken and Gill.

Here's a selection:

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from February 20, 2020 at 01:31AM - Fortnite is James Bond in Chapter 2 Season 2's reveal trailer

Fortnite has revealed its Chapter 2 Season trailer - and with it, the island's new theme as today's patch lands. It's all about... spies!

The trailer shows Fortnite favourites from the past being called to action - alongside several of this season's new skins. Top candidate for new favourite skin? Agent Meowscles - a buff half-cat half-man thing first glimpsed way back in season 7 and teased in Fortnite's recent ARG.

"The Island has been taken over by covert operatives - members of Ghost and Shadow. Will you join the fight?" the trailer's description reads, as Bushranger, Peely and Lynx leap into action.

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So What are the Actual Rules with Conjugal Visits and How Did They Get Their Start?

Japanadian asks: How do conjugal visits work in real life?

While in the last couple decades in the United States, various states have rapidly been putting an end to so-called conjugal visits, it turns out their benefit to prisoners, wardens, and the general public are surprisingly high, including in the long run saving enormous sums of money for John Q. Taxpayer, which is presumably why a huge percentage of the rest of the world allows them, among certain moral arguments in favor of such. So how do conjugal visits actually work? How did the program get its start in the first place, and why are countries like Britain and the United States so against it?

To begin with, in Britain, conjugal visits aren’t a thing, though in some cases when prisoners who have been locked up for a long period are getting close to their release date, if they are considered particularly low risk for committing crimes or going off on their merry way, they may be allowed to have family leave time for brief periods. This is time meant to help re-acclimate them to the world outside of prison and get their affairs in order, including re-connecting with family and friends, looking for work, etc.- all as a way to try to help said person hit the ground running once fully released.

Moving across the pond to the United States, first, it’s important to note that prisoners in federal custody and maximum security prisons are not allowed conjugal visits. Further, in the handful of states that do allow conjugal visits, prisoners and their guests must meet a stringent set of guidelines including full background checks for any visitors. On the prisoner’s side, anyone who committed a violent crime, has a life sentence, is a sex offender, and other such serious crimes are also not eligible. Further, in Connecticut, if an inmate is a member of a gang or even thought to be so, they are also banned from conjugal visits. On top of that, pretty much everywhere, any inmate who does anything wrong whatsoever while in prison also finds themselves either temporarily or permanently banned from such visits.

This brings us to how the whole conjugal visit thing got its start in the United States; the earliest official-ish policy with regards to allowing, in this case male, prisoners to enjoy the company of the fairer sex started in the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman Farm) in the early 20th century. This was instituted as a way to get its black prisoner populace, who were used pretty literally as slave labor, to work harder while working the 20,000 acres of land at this institution. In fact, the superintendent of the prison at the time was actually a farmer himself, which is why he was hired to oversee things. As historian David M. Oshinsky, author of Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice, notes, “[The Administrator’s] annual report to the legislature is not of salvaged lives. It is a profit and loss statement, with the accent on the profit.”

Prisoners who didn’t work hard could be beaten and other such “stick”-type incentives leveraged. On the other hand, prisoners who worked hard, were willing to help keep their fellow prisoners in line, etc. etc. were given various rewards. In fact, in the extreme, a prisoner who managed to kill another prisoner attempting to escape could even be rewarded with a full pardon for that and whatever crime they’d previously committed to get locked up in the first place.

Most pertinent to the topic at hand, for those prisoners who were particularly well behaved and worked the hardest, one reward they could be given was the company of a prostitute on their Sunday off-day. To help facilitate this, every Sunday a literal truck load of women would be brought in to tend to the best behaved prisoners. Later, the policy was expanded to include girlfriends and wives for the men who preferred their company.

To illustrate the thinking of the prison officials in perhaps the most offensive way possible, we have this time-capsule of a quote from one contemporary prison guard from Mississippi- “You gotta understand that back in them days n***ers were pretty simple creatures. Give ‘em pork, some greens, some cornbread, and some poontang every now and then and they would work for you.”

Moving very swiftly on from there, the effectiveness of promised sex for a male prisoner, regardless of race, if they toed the line caught on and, as the century progressed, around 1/3 of the states in the U.S. eventually adopted the practice, as well as many other countries through the 20th century also instituting similar programs.

As for that effectiveness, former warden of Great Meadow Correctional Facility in New York State, Arthur Leonardo, explains, “We don’t have much to give to people in prison. If you don’t have anything to take away from someone, you don’t have anything to take away to urge them to do the right thing.”

Illustrating the effectiveness on the prisoner’s side, one Ray Coles, whose temper resulted in an assault that saw him given a nine year prison sentence, states of the incentive the conjugal visits give him to never step out of line, “Every action or choice I make is made with my wife in mind.”

As for what actually goes on during a conjugal visit, the Hollywood idea and reality, as ever, are somewhat different. While in film and TV shows, a conjugal visit is a time to get hot and sweaty with your partner, the reality is that, while sex may or may not be involved, much of the time is spent just doing normal things with not just a partner, but kids and other family members. In fact, in New York, it’s reported that around 40% of conjugal visits don’t include a spouse or the like, rather often just children and other loved ones. For this reason, these visits are usually officially called things like “Extended Family Visits” or, in New York, the “Family Reunion Program”.

As one California inmate summed up of his extended family visit with his partner, “I got to spend 2 1/2 days one-on-one with my partner, my best friend, my confidant, my life partner. It wasn’t about the sex.”

For further context here, in the United States for most prisoners, at best during normal visitation they might be allowed a brief 2 second hug with their partner and a peck on the cheek, if the latter is allowed at all. On top of that, everything you say or do is being watched, and the time together is relatively brief.

As you can imagine from this, for many prisoners, regardless of their crime, whatever prison sentence was doled out often comes with a generally unmentioned punishment of the finishing of a relationship with their partner. Combined with limited access to phones and the extreme expense of prison and jail phone calls, this also often sees a near complete disconnect from their kids, friends, etc. while in prison.

Thus, for prisoners, while sex may or may not be involved, the reality of the extended family visit is just that- depending on the exact rules for a given prison, 6-72 hours where you can spend time with your partner, kids, and sometimes other family members or friends in a somewhat normal setting, doing normal things.

As for frequency, while in movies it’s a regular thing, and little lead up time, in reality in the United States, this may be granted at best once per month all the way up to once per year, or not at all.

Towards the end of facilitating family bonding, many prisons that allow this provide a couple bedrooms to accommodate a couple and their kids, as well as things like board games, a TV, and potentially food, though costs of things like food are footed by the inmate or their loved ones. For reference, the wife of the aforementioned Ray Coles, Vanessa, states she pays around $100 per extended family visit for things like food, which is then provided by the prison.

As for regions outside the United States, places like Canada allow for extended family visits up to 72 hours in length once every couple months, including allowing anyone with a close familial bond to take part, even friends if the authorities deem the bond strong enough. As in the United States, food and other such items are paid for by the inmate or their family or friends.

Interestingly one of the most generous of the nations when it comes to family visits is Saudi Arabia, which allows a once a month visit; but if you have multiple wives, you get once per month per wife! On top of that, beyond allowing such frequent visits, the government actually pays for the travel of those coming to see you.

Back over in the United States, at its peak in the late 20th century, extended family visits were allowed in about 1/3 of states, but began dropping precipitously starting around the 1980s and 1990s to just four states today- California, Washington, New York, and Connecticut.

This was around the same time a number of such programs designed to keep people from being repeat jailbirds were given the axe across the nation, unsurprisingly directly corresponding to the prison population in the United States absolutely exploding, in the four decades since rising an astounding 500%! For reference, before the 1980s, the growth was relatively slow and steady, more or less tied to population growth. More on this in the Bonus Fact in a bit.

As for the impetus for cutting the extended family visit programs, this is generally tied to increased public sentiment starting around the 1980s and 1990s that prisoners are there to be punished, not to be coddled, and that the program costs too much. For example, in New Mexico, who relatively recently killed the extended family visit program, it was costing taxpayers about $120,000 per year.

Now, this might sound like a lot, and if you go read the news reports, this was certainly used as the driving political rhetoric to get the program nixed by the politicians involved. However, it’s noteworthy that New Mexico reports an average cost per inmate annually is a whopping $35,540, which is pretty close to the national average of about $31,000…. Meaning the entire extended family visit program was costing about what it costs to house just over 3 of their approximately 16,000 inmates per year.

Of course this is still costing taxpayers something… except when you consider, for example, a 1982 study done on New York’s prison populace which found that prisoners who were allowed extended family visits were almost 70% less likely than other prisoners to end up back in prison within three years. This makes it potentially the single most effective recidivism program known, even soundly stomping on the second king of recidivism programs- education, which we’ll talk a bit more about in the Bonus Facts.

As to why family visits seem so effective at reducing recidivism, as the aforementioned warden Arthur Leonardo, notes, those who are able to maintain family bonds while in prison, when they get out, have “someone who loves you and will help you, and in the case of children, people who depend on you…”

Going back to the reality of an extended family visit, it’s usually required that partners and the inmates be tested for STDs and come out clean before being allowed to have their little rendezvous. Further, the prisoners themselves are strip searched both before the extended family visit and after. Should they test positive for drug or alcohol use after, they are then banned from future visits indefinitely, and those who brought in the contraband may also be banned from taking part again.

On top of that, those that are visiting the prisoners must be cleared as well, though strip searches, at least in the United States, are not allowed on the visitors, so contraband may occasionally be smuggled in in certain orifices or the like. To try to get around this in, for instance California, inmates and their families are searched regularly during the extended family visits, usually at a rate of about once every four hours.

This brings us to what you can bring for an extended family visit. Well, not much- mostly just things like clean linens, certain toiletries, strictly regulated clothing, and the like. No cell phones, no electronic devices, and really not much of anything else. Even things like family pictures are pretty strictly regulated in number, type, and size. Going back to clothing, one Myesha Paul, wife of California inmate Marcello Paul who is in prison for robbery, states, “They don’t want you to have anything that’s form fitting… although we come with hips and all that, so it’s kinda hard to find what don’t fit around, you know? I just buy some men’s sweat pants and make it work.”

If you go look at the California regulations on this, they also have strict regulations when it comes to colors of clothing, for example no blue denim or forest green pants, no tan shirts, no camouflage, nothing strapless, no skirts or dresses or non-capri shorts- the list goes on and on.

Myesha also helpfully describes what a real extended family visit is like, stating, “We sat outside and played dominoes on Saturday. After that we went in and watched TV, watched movies.” And while she states her and her husband do have sex during the visit, as is almost universally noted by every other inmate and their partner we looked it, it’s more about the closeness and little things like getting to hold your partner’s hand or just hold them in general, as well as waking up next to them. She states, “It feels good… because I don’t get that at home. Ya know. At home I’m sleeping by myself, unless my grandbaby or one of my kids wanna sleep with me. But they’re grown. But they still do sleep with me sometimes. But other than that, you know, I’m waking myself up in the morning, or the alarm clock is waking me up, or my grandson comes and wakes me up. It’s good to have my husband waking me up. It’s the nicest thing about being married. Isn’t it? Waking up?”

She also states of her husband, “He watches me through the night… I know he does ’cause sometimes I wake up and he’s looking at me. And I do the same to him. Sometimes he’s sleeping and he wakes up and I’m watching him.”

Similarly summed up by the aforementioned Vanessa Coles, the value of extended family visits is about keeping her family together- “It keeps our bond going, keeps our marriage strong and keeps him on track.” As for the couple’s young kids, “The little one needs it because that’s all he knows. The older one needs it to remember what he knows.” And as for those arguing against allowing such visits, she states, “[The prisoners] are being punished. I get it. [But] destroying your marriage and family should not be a part of your sentence.”

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

Bonus Facts:

Going back to what caused the massive spike in U.S. incarcerations starting in the 1980s that has more or less continued unabated since, one thing often pointed to is that this was around the time the war on drugs was ramped up, generally considering to account for about 25%-50% of the increase in inmate population. This still leaves the rest, which is the majority. And unless you just think U.S. citizens are far more likely to commit crimes than, for example, our European brethren, obviously there is something weird going on. As to what, a variety of factors are pointed to including the cutting of many programs designed to keep people from being repeat offenders, marked increase in sentence length, especially compared to the rest of the world for similar crimes, and perhaps the catch-all which has driven a lot of this to the extreme- the privatization of prisons that occurred at this time, making many prisons for-profit institutions.

In the decades since, these entities have heavily lobbied for things that seem pretty directly tied to doing everything possible to make prison sentences longer and keep people coming back for more- most pertinent to the topic at hand, cutting costs wherever possible for themselves, including any and all recidivism programs. After all, they get paid per inmate, so aren’t too concerned with what the total cost is to the state, other than the greater that cost, the more they make.

Naturally, the longer sentences and increased likelihood of repeat offenders, at a rate of about 45% within 3 years and 76% within five, has seen prison populations skyrocket in the United States since the 1980s. The net result of all of this being that, at present, the land of the free currently houses almost one quarter of all inmates imprisoned in the entire world! The cost of housing these inmates comes to about $50-$70 billion annually. This does not include the police and judicial costs that get the prisoners put there in the first place- all summing up to massive sums of money being spent and many more crimes being committed while proven recidivism programs that see massive reductions in repeat offenders going largely unused. And noteworthy here is that about 95% of prisoners do get out at some point.

And speaking of recidivism programs like extended family visits, a study done by the United States Department of Justice noted that prisoners given access to educational programs were, for vocational certificates 14.6% less likely to find their way back in prison within 3 years vs. the general prison populace. For those achieving a GED while in prison, they were 25% less likely to end up back in the slammer. And those who attained an Associates degree were the highest of all in their study at about 70% less likely, approximately the same benefit as those given access to extended family visits.

Averaging it all out, the net effect of the educational programs was about a 43% reduction in rate of returning to prison within 3 years. From this, crunching the numbers, the study showed that this meant for every $1 spent by the states towards educating prisoners, it saved $5 annually thanks to the reduction of prison population, let alone other cost savings in court and police expenditures and, of course, a reduction in crime rate. Given each year about 700,000 inmates are released in the United States, that amounts to a massive reduction in crime, while a rather large increase in a better educated and more skilled populace.

Finally, one more bonus fact- while violent criminals are almost always seen as the most dangerous and most likely to re-offend by the general public, the data does not back that up at all- not even close. According to the United States Department of Justice, the highest rate of re-offenders within 3 years after being released were those stealing motor vehicles at 78.8%! Next up are those in prison for selling stolen property at 77.4%. The list goes on and on, but essentially, those who steal are generally about 70%+ likely to re-offend within 3 years and are the highest at-risk re-offenders. In stark contrast, violent crime convicts are massively less likely to re-offend. For example, rapists and murderers are only 2.5% and 1.2% likely to re-offend respectively. Of course, the latter is much more news worthy and traumatic, leading to the skewed public perception.

Expand for References

The post So What are the Actual Rules with Conjugal Visits and How Did They Get Their Start? appeared first on Today I Found Out.

from Today I Found Out
by Daven Hiskey - February 20, 2020 at 12:59AM
Article provided by the producers of one of our Favorite YouTube Channels!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Video Games: Rent/Buy PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Wii U,...

Video Games: Rent/Buy PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, Wii, PS3, PS Vita, PS2, Xbox 360, 3DS, GC Games –
February 19, 2020 at 09:19PM

via Tumblr January 27, 2020 at 08:19AM - Metro... January 27, 2020 at 08:19AM - Metro Exodus’… | | #OurMischief, WitWGARA | ⠀ January 27, 2020 at 08:19AM - Metro Exodus’ second and final expansion has a release date | …
February 19, 2020 at 03:30PM

via Tumblr February 19, 2020 at 07:37AM - Capcom releases Street Fighter 5 netcode "adjustment"

Capcom has released a netcode "adjustment" for Street Fighter 5.

Street Fighter chief Yoshinori Ono took to Twitter to say this adjustment is available for all players, and called on fans to send feedback Capcom's way.

Street Fighter 5's netcode has been a point of controversy for some time, but it recently hit the headlines after a modder issed a self-made fix.

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from February 19, 2020 at 07:12AM - Biomutant confirms it's still alive and kicking

After a period of relative silence from Experiment 101, the developer has piped up to say Biomutant is still on schedule to launch sometime in 2020 - although, as ever, we still don't have an exact release date.

"We know many of you are wondering if the game is still in development," Experiment 101 said in a statement posted on Twitter. "Let us assure you that we've never been working harder and more focused on it than now!"

The reason for the lack of a set release date, Experiment 101 continued, is simply because the studio doesn't yet feel ready to announce it.

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from February 19, 2020 at 05:30AM - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's second fighter pass is its last

Nintendo's second season of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC characters will be also be its last.

That's according to Smash Bros. boss Masahiro Sakurai himself, writing in his weekly Famitsu column (via Ryokutya2089 and translated by PushDustin).

It means the forthcoming six characters included in Ultimate's Fighter Pass Vol. 2 will be the game's final additions to its bulging roster.

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from February 19, 2020 at 03:00AM - The best Dreams games we've seen so far

We're still nosing around Dreams because it's an unusual prospect and we want to make sure we understand it, but in the meantime, we wanted to share some of the things we've found.

The Dreamverse is a busy place. Launching in early access roughly a year ago was an inspired move. It means there's loads of good stuff to play already and it's curated well, sorted into various categories. The main one you should concern yourself with is the IMPY Award winners, which show off the best things made in year one. You can't miss them - the IMPYs are flagged with a huge image on the Dreamverse homepage.

But it's not just old stuff: it's genuinely staggering to see how much has been made since the game was released last week. There's real ambition on show and the beginnings of some very big dreams.

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from February 19, 2020 at 02:00AM - The story of the Atari Jaguar saviour that never came out

The year is 1994 and it's a typically bright morning in Sunnyvale, California. Chris Hudak is riding the Caltrain to work, powerbook in his lap, dozing in and out of consciousness. Arriving into the office sometime around noon, he rocks up at his cubicle and is approached by team leader and head designer BJ West. BJ has decided, in his capacity as captain, that his motley crew really need a staff meeting. Furthermore, he determines it would greatly improve morale if that meeting were to be held at the Brass Rail, a nearby strip joint. In the words of Hudak, they "all nod and gravely agree".

Dave, the DJ at the Brass Rail, is no stranger to these 'meetings' and celebrates their entrance by playing a load of industrial metal, much to the dismay of the girl dancing on the stage. The team share a pitcher of beer and muse on how this beats the hell out of spending the day at Atari's offices. Everyone agrees and the meeting is concluded. Begrudgingly returning to work, the team cap off the working day with a plastic dart gun fight, conducted with weapons procured from the local Toys 'R' Us. Another typical day in the life of the Black ICE\White Noise team, a group of rookie designers charged with the near-impossible task of saving the Atari Jaguar from destroying America's most legendary video game developer.

The mid-90s were perhaps the most transformative period in video game history. The leap from 2D to 3D and the amount of experimentation that took place at the time still staggers me. It's not just the power of those once-new machines I find incredible, but the sheer amount of choice we had back then. Today, we have the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, two (relatively) similar systems, then there's Nintendo with its quirky little handheld, and the goliath that is the PC. But between 1993 and 1996, there were more failed major console releases than there were consoles released in the last decade. Nevermind the fact there were still multiple PC alternatives for the mouse and keyboard community, such as the Mac or the Amiga, or indeed Atari's own line of computers.

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from February 19, 2020 at 12:51AM - Best VR headset for Half-Life Alyx 2020

Valve returns to its most legendary franchise on March 23, 2020 with Half-Life Alyx, but you'll need a VR headset to play this game when it comes out on PC. This page is designed to make choosing the best VR headset for Half-Life Alyx as simple as possible, giving you the information you need to find the headset that fits your needs at a price you can afford.

Just looking at all of the options available can be daunting, especially if you're a newcomer to VR, with six SteamVR headsets that are officially compatible with Half-Life Alyx. Here are those six options, not including first-gen VR headsets that have disappeared from retail:

With different physical designs, screens, tracking solutions and price points, there's plenty to discuss about each option. Thankfully, once you get to know a little about each of them you'll quickly be able to narrow in on the right one for you. That makes choosing the best VR headset for Half-Life Alyx fairly straightforward - as long as you're equipped with our recommendations.

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from February 19, 2020 - Someone should make a game about: The collective unconscious

Hello, and welcome to our new series which picks out interesting things that we'd love someone to make a game about.

This isn't a chance for us to pretend we're game designers, more an opportunity to celebrate the range of subjects games can tackle and the sorts of things that seem filled with glorious gamey promise.

Check out our 'Someone should make a game about' archive for all our pieces so far.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Major #changes to #ourmischief and @WitWGARA soon! … |… |...

Major #changes to #ourmischief and @WitWGARA soon! … |… | | #OurMischief, WitWGARA | ⠀

Major #changes to #ourmischief and @WitWGARA soon! … | | #OurMischief, WitWGARA | ⠀⠀
February 18, 2020 at 01:00PM

via Tumblr February 18, 2020 at 09:42AM - Romero's mobster management sim Empire of Sin gets a delay

Empire of Sin, Brenda and John Romero's intriguing mobster-themed strategy game, will no longer release this spring as originally announced, and is now scheduled to arrive in a hail of sharp suits, fancy hats, and tommy gun fire sometime this autumn.

If you've yet to receive the elevator pitch, Empire of Sin drops players into the seedy side of 1920s Prohibition-era Chicago, where the goal is to create a formidable crime empire from the ground up and become mob king or queen of the city.

That involves a combination of business smarts and, inevitably, violence, as you "schmooze, coerce, seduce, threaten, or kill" your way to success. Oh, and you can expect a healthy dose of turn-based tactical combat, reminiscent of XCOM, when there's blood to be shed.

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from February 18, 2020 at 09:01AM - A rogue Cooking Mama: Cookstar trailer has appeared

What's on the menu? A Cooking Mama game for Switch, apparently, and if a newly-discovered trailer is to be believed it could be arriving as soon as March. Emphasis on could.

The unlisted video was first posted on YouTube in November, but has only been unearthed today thanks to a listing on Dutch store Nedgame. The channel bears the same name as the game's publisher, Planet Entertainment, but so far nothing else has been uploaded. Judging by the fact half the video is black screen, it's clearly been unveiled a little early.

The trailer gives a release date of March, and lists a retail price of $39.99 (£30.71), but as the video is a few months old and the linked website leads nowhere, it's worth taking this with a pinch of salt.

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from February 18, 2020 at 09:00AM - Stadia adds support for Samsung phones this week

A range of Samsung, Asus and Razer phones will soon support Stadia.

Google's game-streaming service will, on 20th February, become compatible with nearly two dozen Android devices. The full list lies below.

Up until now, Stadia has been confined to Google's own Pixel smartphones - as well as on PC and on TVs with a Chromecast Ultra.

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from February 18, 2020 at 09:00AM - The cost of PlayStation 5: are we looking at a $500 console?

A recent report from Bloomberg has attracted a lot of headlines - the suggestion is that Sony is struggling to control construction costs for the PlayStation 5 and that the $399 pricing sweet spot enjoyed by both PS4 and PS4 Pro may be out of reach for the next-gen system. Bloomberg says that the current cost for building the machine is around $450, suggesting that a retail price of at least $470 is likely - but is the analysis accurate? Will the next generation consoles really be more expensive at launch than their current-gen equivalents?

Pricing of console hardware has been a topic we've raised in the past on Digital Foundry because the fact is that the economics surrounding consumer electronics have been growing increasingly challenging for console manufacturers in recent years, while the pace of technological innovation has also slowed down significantly.

I genuinely believe that next-gen console hardware from both Sony and Microsoft will be superb - but inevitably, delivering a proper generational leap comes at a price. Solid state storage is a game-changer, we'll have a desktop-class high performance CPU component this time and while it can't hope to match the 8x increase in capacity we saw last-gen, 16GB of GDDR6 looks likely. In terms of graphics power, the arrival of the enhanced consoles - PS4 Pro and Xbox One X - has muddied the waters somewhat in terms of defining that a generational leap actually is, but I'd still suggest we'll get there.

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from February 18, 2020 at 08:42AM - Language app Duolingo is teaming up with Angry Birds

I'm almost at a 100-day streak on Duolingo, even though I feel bugged by the app's notifications into keeping going. I guess that's sort of the point? The game-ified language learning app makes things just fun enough - but it is still learning, and sometimes I'll need that nudge.

It'll get to 10pm and I know that I still need to finish a couple of lessons before midnight. I could skip a day, sure, though I'll use up valuable currency on a streak saver. And there's always the next achievement or leaderboard place to go chase.

Duolingo's constant nagging to keep going is theme of today's video - which sees the app's friendly owl mascot becoming ever more zealous and threatening as he interrupts a user's evening in the pub to make him play.

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Caveman Asks: Can Eat Candy on Paleo Diet?

Cn i haz chokolit?

from Candy Gurus
by Matty February 18, 2020 at 08:25AM February 18, 2020 at 06:29AM - Kingdom Hearts 3 and Yakuza 0 headed to Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass continues to impress with yet another great line-up of additions due on Microsoft's subscription service soon. Most notable, perhaps, is Kingdom Hearts 3 - which publisher Square Enix has separately confirmed will drop onto Game Pass on 25th February. It follows today's release of lots of Kingdom Hearts games on Xbox One via a couple of big compilations.

The acclaimed Yakuza 0 and Ninja Gaiden 2 are also on the way, along with Wasteland Remastered and enjoyable Theme Hospital spiritual successor Two Point Hospital.

Rounding out the new console additions will be Jackbox Party Pack 3, which includes mini-games such as the brilliant Quiplash 2 and T-shirt creation competition Tee K.O (which I have actually bought a T-shirt from).

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from February 18, 2020 at 06:07AM - Check out the flashy Cyberpunk 2077 graphics card you can't buy

If it's too good to be true, it probably is - and that's certainly the case with the Cyberpunk-themed graphics card teased earlier this week, which will not be sold to consumers. Better hope your luck's in.

Named the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Cyberpunk 2077 Edition, the card is a collaboration between Nvidia and CD Projekt Red, and has been designed with the upcoming game's art style in mind. It's bright yellow, for a start, and has some flashy neon blue bits on the side. Should go nicely with some RGB lighting.

Although it comes with a custom aluminium shroud and styling, this is basically the standard Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti with a repaint. Which, to be fair, is a very good card that will run Cyberpunk 2077 nicely when the time comes.

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from February 18, 2020 at 04:40AM - Fortnite fans piece together new Chapter 2 Season 2 locations

Last night brought more clues to Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 2 - and fans now reckon they've worked out several of its new locations.

A teaser posted to Twitter last night appeared to show the inside of a mysterious base, which can be glimpsed in the golden shards of the image below.

The top right of the teaser also includes a blueprint-style look at the existing ***Redacted*** map location, a Cheyenne Mountain Range-style military door which has so far remained tightly shut.

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from February 18, 2020 at 03:28AM - Looks like The Witcher 3 on Switch is getting PC cross-save

There's few things as annoying as starting a massive RPG from scratch when moving between platforms (I've seen the start of Skyrim about a dozen times), so it's just as well that PC cross-save looks like it's inbound for one of the biggest RPGs around: The Witcher 3 on Switch.

The mysterious new Switcher update, initially teased by the port's developer Saber Interactive in January (in a now-removed social media post spotted by Wccftech), appears to have started rolling out in Korea - and so too have its secrets. Korean players have spotted graphics upgrades and an intriguing cloud save option, which looks like it works with Steam and GOG.

Along with images showing the changes in Korean, some images showing the changes in English have also been uploaded on Reddit, including one showing the Steam cross-save portal.

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from February 18, 2020 at 01:59AM - Take a look at Japan's lovely coral colour Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo has shown off a new colour for the Nintendo Switch Lite, to be released in Japan on 20th March.

It's a coral shade of pink and it looks like this:

If you live in Japan, it'll retail for the usual Nintendo Switch Lite price and pre-orders will open on 7th March.

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Monday, February 17, 2020 February 05, 2020 at 07:59AM - The acclaimed... February 05, 2020 at 07:59AM - The acclaimed Florence is coming to Switch and PC | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA,, gaming, nerdy, News, OurMisc…
February 17, 2020 at 03:00PM

via Tumblr February 17, 2020 at 09:05AM - Lair of the Clockwork God launches with a surprise prequel

Lair of the Clockwork God, the next title by Size Five Games, is due to launch only next week - but developer Dan Marshall has somehow managed to make a second game at the same time, as a surprise prequel called Devil's Kiss has also been announced.

Oh, and it's also being bundled in for free for anyone who buys Lair of the Clockwork God - or a small $2 (£1.54) for those who want it as a standalone. Now that's a deal with the devil you'll want to make.

"Devil's Kiss is a hilarious and sexually-enticing visual novel following alluring teenage heroes Dan and Ben, who meet at high school and promptly uncover a vast, horny conspiracy involving some demons," reads the press release. If you want to see what the hell that looks like, there's a trailer to help, and you can find the Steam page here.

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from February 17, 2020 at 07:48AM - Lots of Kingdom Hearts games launch on Xbox One tomorrow

Kingdom Hearts fans rejoice - the Disney and Square Enix mash-up series rolls out in force on Xbox One tomorrow.

The bizarrely-named Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue collections are both live now in New Zealand, where it is already 18th February.

Look for them at midnight tonight elsewhere, too.

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from February 17, 2020 at 07:30AM - These Xbox One X bundles now start at £259

If you're looking for a bargain on a current-gen console with the PS5 and Xbox Series X on the horizon then you might want to check out Game where you'll find a range of Xbox One X bundles discounted to an all-new low price.

You can get an Xbox One X with one game for £259. The games available include the likes of The Division 2, Metro Saga, Fallout 76 and PUBG. There are also a handful of bundles that come with two games for £279. I've picked out a couple of the standout offers below, or you can browse the full range of Xbox One X bundles on sale.

It needs to be pointed out that these Xbox One X consoles are described as "New in Open Box" by Game. They define this as "some external packaging damage in the form of broken seals or cosmetic box damage". For all intents and purposes, then, these are new consoles you're getting. All your usual statutory rights are in place, too, so if you decide to get one and aren't impressed with what you receive then a return is still possible.

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from February 17, 2020 at 07:00AM - Renovation sim House Flipper arrives on consoles next week

House Flipper - the closest a millennial can get to appearing on Homes Under the Hammer - will let even more youngsters live out the property dream when it arrives on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next week.

Developed by Empyrean and first released on PC in 2018, House Flipper is an indie sim about turning around disgusting properties for profit. There's repair mechanics, interior design options, and budget management to keep you on your toes. But then so will the cockroaches.

If that sounds like a delight to you, House Flipper lands on PlayStation 4 on 25th February, and Xbox One a day later on the 26th. Carpet diem.

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from February 17, 2020 at 04:27AM - Fortnite's Chapter 2: Season 2 ARG drops hints worldwide

Fortnite has begun teasing its long, long-awaited new season with a Chapter 2: Season 2 ARG - and it's all themed around gold. And cats.

Clues have begun popping up around the world in physical locations, on social media, and within Fortnite itself ahead of Chapter 2 Season 2's release this Thursday, 20th February.

A mysterious advert featuring a golden handprint was first spotted at a metro station in São Paulo over the weekend, before similar posters were found in San Francisco, Melbourne and Paris shortly after.

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from February 17, 2020 at 03:54AM - Lara Croft's heading to Rainbow Six Siege… sort of

Ok, so it's not quite Lara Croft herself - but Rainbow Six Siege is getting its own Tomb Raider elite skin, and it'll be worn by American SWAT officer Ash.

The skin was unveiled as part of Ubisoft Montreal's two-year roadmap shown at The Six Invitational in Quebec, and will be available "soon after" the launch of next season's Operation Void Edge. There's no set date for this event - the first season of Rainbow Six's fifth year - which is due to add two new operators (Oryx and Iana) along with an Oregon map rework.

As an elite skin, Lara "Ash" Croft will likely need to be purchased in R6 credits, but at least she comes with a unique victory animation, a breaching rounds gadget skin, weapon skins (for the G36C, R4-C, M45 MEUSOC and 5.7 USG), and a unique charm. Time to raid the piggy bank.

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from February 17, 2020 at 03:00AM - Upgrade your PC with discounted Crucial RAM on Amazon today

Need a RAM upgrade? Amazon has discounted a range of DDR4 memory from Crucial to mark the start of a new week, offering up to 45 per cent off single sticks and kits from the company's popular Ballistix Sport and RGB-enabled Ballistix Tactical Tracer lines. Crucial memory already offers some of the best value around, so these discounts make it an excellent time to upgrade your system with more memory, faster memory or both! Here are the best deals from the Monday sale - plus a quick buyer's guide to RAM upgrades.

First, here are the highlights we've spotted:

8GB: If you're buying RAM for a new budget gaming PC, you can pick up 8GB of 2666MHz dual-channel memory for £30 - about £8 less than the usual price. If you plan to upgrade to 16GB of RAM in the near future, it might be worth getting a single 8GB 3200MHz stick for £26 (despite the performance penalty; see our RAM guide below). An RGB 8GB stick is also available for £36, down from £41.

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from February 17, 2020 - Yakuza 7 has some of the best RPG combat in a long time

I'll admit, when Yakuza 7 was announced, the first mainline game in the franchise since Kazuma Kiryu's story concluded, I was highly sceptical. Any new protagonist would have big shoes to fill, after all. And then there's the fact that it's turn-based. There's a lot to take in.

Thankfully Yakuza 7 is a lot of fun, and is a loving tribute to JRPGs and many other games besides. It all begins not with new hero Ichiban Kasuga, but with a glimpse into the life of Masumi Arakawa, head of the Arakawa Clan, itself a small family under the Tojo Clan. Arakawa hasn't had it easy - among other things his son was left disabled after Masumi had to hide him in a train station locker (!) as an infant. In typical Yakuza fashion, Arakawa saves teenage Ichiban's life, who then swears fealty to him and later goes to prison in his stead.

When Ichiban gets out of prison in 2019, 18 years after his incarceration, the world has changed rapidly, but the biggest shock is probably that the Arakawa family has joined the Omi Alliance, famously the nemesis of the Tojo Clan Arakawa originally served. When Ichiban tries to demand an explanation from Arakawa, his former saviour shoots him.

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Sunday, February 16, 2020 February 16, 2020 at 07:00AM - Revisiting Road Rash on 3DO - one of the system's greatest games

Isn't it about time we had a reboot of Electronic Arts' Road Rash franchise? Combining traditional racing with bike-to-bike violence, Road Rash was one of EA's most exciting titles back in the early 90s, making a fantastic debug on Sega Mega Drive before making the transition onto what were then the next generation consoles. However, before the series hit the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, we got our first taste of how the series would evolve into an actual three-dimensional experience - in July 1994, Road Rash arrived on 3DO.

One of the first 'next-gen' consoles with 3D capabilities delivering games via optical disc, the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer is something of a curiosity. Similar to the MSX of yore, the 3DO Company put together what you might call a reference design that was available for licensing, with manufacturing heavyweights such as Panasonic, LG (then known as Goldstar) and Sanyo each delivering their own take on the hardware across the system's relatively short lifespan.

Out of the box, the 3DO's best video output was a 480i interlaced video signal delivered via S-Video - which is something of a problem in terms of image quality as the internal framebuffer was actually a more traditional 320x240, or 240p. That's where Black Dog Technology's 3DORGB mod comes into play. Piggy-backing onto the GPU, the 3DORGB bypasses the system's internal interpolation and brings the best quality progressive scan output to the fore.

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from February 16, 2020 at 06:22AM - Meet Oryx and Iana, Rainbow Six Siege's Y5 S1 latest operators

Following the reveal of Rainbow Six Siege's first season of Year 5, Void Edge, Ubisoft has revealed the next two operatives coming to the competitive shooter: Iana and Oryx.

While Jordan-born Oryx is the first operator that ships without a gadget, he'll compensate with two abilities, one that allows him to jump up through hatches and another, Remah Dash, with which he can dash-attack not just walls but enemies, too.

"Stable, sure, and predictable" Iana will be able to confuse foes with Replicator, a gadget that deploys a hologram that the player can directly control.

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from February 16, 2020 at 06:00AM - This mod will let you play the entirety of GTA 5 in VR

It's weird how VR can make a familiar game feel like a completely new experience. For example, I've played GTA 5 many a time before and on multiple platforms, but looking at the world of Los Santos through the twin lenses of a VR headset allowed me to spot so many little details that I'd missed on previous visits.

The best way I've found to describe this phenomenon to non-VR users is to liken it to looking through a holiday brochure at photos of a resort you're planning on visiting. The resort looks beautiful from the pictures sure, and in your mind's eye you can easily picture yourself sat there by the side of the pool, sipping on a cocktail.

But those flat images are nothing compared to the feeling of actually being there in person, to stand by that pool and to see the size of it in three dimensions. To know the depth of it by peering over the edge into the water or to spot the little weeds or odd bits of wear and tear dotted around the paths that surround it because in the photos they masked by all the scenery.

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from February 16, 2020 - The inescapable impact of plastics in the video game industry

Ed Annunziata loves the ocean.

"I can hear the waves right now!" he tells me from his home on the coast of Northern California. "I knew when I moved from New York that I needed to live by the ocean. I've always been enthralled by the dichotomy of its beauty and the dangers it harbors. What's more terrifying than something swimming from the darkness towards you? Yet, what's more gorgeous than a coral reef teeming with life?"

It's an idea reflected in Annuziata's games, most notably, Ecco, his beloved series about a dolphin fighting to save the ecosystem and his species from mysterious aliens and human oppression. It is often considered one of the first environmental ocean games, but even Ecco couldn't predict the threat that would be posed by plastic pollution.

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Saturday, February 15, 2020 February 04, 2020 at 04:09PM - Rockstar... February 04, 2020 at 04:09PM - Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser is leaving the company in March | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA,, gaming, nerdy, …
February 15, 2020 at 06:30PM

via Tumblr

Friday, February 14, 2020 February 14, 2020 at 08:44AM - Marvel's Avengers achievements list leaks story details

Marvel's Avengers is still over six months away, but you can take a peek at its leaked achievement list right now.

Trophy snooping site Exophase has scooped up the details - which include a few story spoilers. There's also lots of achievements for collecting lots of things.

Marvel's Avengers was, of course, originally due to launch much sooner - until it was slapped with a sizeable delay last month. It's now set to arrive on 4th September for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (and then, presumably, on PS5 and Xbox Series X down the line).

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from February 14, 2020 at 07:58AM - Save up to 75% in the Humble Store's VR Sale

With Half-Life: Alyx's release date now officially confirmed by Valve as 23rd March, it's a good time to be getting hold of a VR headset.

While that's potentially a huge investment for just one game, it's also an opportunity to get hold of the many other VR experiences already available. Just as well that there's currently a VR sale over on The Humble Store.

Being the most supportive of the technology, Bethesda arguably has the biggest showing here, with 50 per cent discounts on the following:

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