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This is a discussion on Game Tech News within the Electronics forums, part of the Non-Related Discussion category; With the Cambridge Analytica scandal still roiling, Silicon Valley companies have collectively just discovered that privacy is something they care ...

          
   
  1. #651
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    New Steam Privacy Changes Kill Steam Spy Service



    With the Cambridge Analytica scandal still roiling, Silicon Valley companies have collectively just discovered that privacy is something they care about. Valve, which owns the Steam gaming service that dominates PC game distribution, has announced a new set of privacy changes that give users more control over their profiles, and a greater ability to hide what other people see in them. Unfortunately, one side effect of these changes means the end of the Steam Spy service.

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    Sega Is Prepping a Mega Drive Mini



    Sega announced this weekend that it’s prepping a new Mega Drive Mini to take advantage of the recent craze for retro hardware. The question of who is building it, however, is somewhat less clear — and that matters, given how the company handled its last micro console.

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    God of War Might Be the Best-Looking PS4 Game to Date



    When the original God of War came out in 2005, it was arguably the most attractive game on the PS2. Thirteen years later, Sony Santa Monica is still capable of blowing us away. This new heartfelt interpretation of God of War on the PS4 stands alongside Uncharted 4 and Horizon as the most visually impressive games on both the vanilla model and the PS4 Pro.

    After the massive shrug that was 2013’s God of War: Ascension, a complete redesign was absolutely necessary. As such, every aspect of the series has been rethought for this impressive comeback. We’re dealing with a different pantheon, more methodical combat, a close-up camera that never cuts away, and a palette of emotions that actually extends beyond pure rage.

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    Graphics Card Prices Are Finally Improving



    Back in February, we covered the enormous surge in graphics card prices and the impact this had on AMD and Nvidia hardware. For the past few months, our recommendation has been to avoid building a PC with a discrete GPU at all, and to instead make do with older hardware, used cards, or an APU. Intel’s Hades Canyon was another possibility. But it’s been a few months since we checked in on GPU prices (See on Amazon), and we know the crypto market is cooling off — so is it time to buy?

    That’s going to depend on what you’re looking for. All prices are current as of today (5/10/2018) and were sourced from Newegg. We did not include temporary sale prices on GPUs, but took the lowest price listed as a non-sale price. We’ve run the lineups for AMD and Nvidia, covered below.

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    There’s a New Halo Game Coming



    Halo has been a flagship Xbox franchise since the original Halo: Combat Evolved debuted on the original console back in 2001. It’s been about 2.5 years since the last flagship Halo title appeared, and plenty of game publications have bet on seeing Halo at E3 this year. We still don’t know if there’s going to be a console Halo title in the works for E3, but Microsoft does have a Halo game to talk about — it’s just not one you’ll be playing in your living room. Halo: Fireteam Raven is a four-person team-up that you play at an arcade on a 130-inch 4K panel.

    Fireteam Raven is a light-gun shooter that sees you teaming up with up to three other people (and Master Chief in-game) as you battle through areas last visited during Halo: Combat Evolved. It’s going to be deployed exclusively at Dave & Busters arcades in the US and Canada, with deployment to other locations coming later this year. The game won’t even be available at all Dave & Busters — the installation apparently eats some 11 cubic feet, which isn’t a small footprint.

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    20 Best Games for Laptops in 2018



    As fun as gaming is, it’s not always possible to sit at the high-end of the market and play the latest titles. Whether you’re traveling with a lightweight system, using a secondary rig, or simply working from an old PC because you can’t afford an upgrade, we’ve put together a list of titles you can still enjoy, even from an older system.

    One of the greatest strengths of PC gaming is its backwards compatibility. Thanks to the steady advance of system performance, even at the integrated graphics level, even modest machines from several years ago can enjoy a huge range of games today. The titles on our list below range from relatively recent games that run well on even modest systems to old titles that still hold up today.

    Keep in mind, however, that after decades of publishing, there aren’t just “25 great games you can play on laptops and low-end PCs.” There’s hundreds, possibly thousands of titles that still run well on even low-end hardware. Travel back to the early days of the 3D era, and even Intel integrated GPUs have far more horsepower than the GPUs that powered games like Quake II or The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. GoG has a huge list of games released from 2004 or earlier that would run well on even an aging Atom netbook today. We’ve tried to cover a range of franchises and titles, from indie games to AAA releases, and with multiple genres represented.

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    Microsoft Replaces Xbox Support Reps With Unpaid Volunteers



    The next time you reach out to Microsoft’s Xbox support, you might not be talking to a Microsoft employee — or an employee of any kind. According to a new report, Microsoft has replaced most of its paid social support staff with unpaid “Xbox Ambassadors.” In some cases, the support reps who were let go spent their final weeks of employment training the new unpaid volunteers.

    The Xbox Ambassador program existed prior to this move, but they weren’t taking on the role of front-line customer support reps. The Ambassadors were active on the Xbox forums, essentially acting as moderators who answered questions and kept order. These are entirely volunteer roles in the Xbox community, but Microsoft opted to replace a dozen paid staff who ran the popular @Xboxsupport Twitter account with ambassadors. When you use the Xbox support site, you get an AI chatbot that will eventually pass you off to the Twitter account or forums.

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    Asus Announces Gaming Phone



    With the release of popular competitive mobile games like PUBG and Fortnite on mobile, there is renewed interest in “gaming phones.” Devices like the Razer Phone and Red Magic are a bit more mainstream than old gaming-oriented devices like the Sony Xperia Play. They’re still normal Android-powered slates, but they have high-end specs and “gamer” design quirks. Asus is the latest smartphone maker to jump into this emerging market with the ROG Phone. This phone has all the bells and whistles — in fact, it has extra bells and whistles.

    Internally, the Asus ROG Phone has similar specs to other high-end smartphones. There’s a Snapdragon 845, 8GB of RAM, 1 4,000 mAh battery, and either 128 GB or 512 GB of storage. The Snapdragon chip is slightly overclocked compared with the standard version in other phones (2.96GHz versus 2.8GHz). A 6-inch OLED panel dominates the front of the phone with a resolution of 21601080 and HDR support. It has an 18:9 aspect ratio like many new phones, so it’ll be more comfortable to hold than a Razer Phone, which has the same diagonal measurement. Although, it’s just a 60Hz panel as opposed to 120Hz on the Razer.

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    E3 2018: Nintendo Announces Super Smash Bros



    Nintendo stumbled with the Wii U, but its follow up console/portable hybrid has been a hit. According to Nintendo America, the Switch is the fastest selling game console in history. However, the Switch still has the classic Nintendo problem of a shallow game catalog. The company is looking to bulk up its offerings at E3.
    The Nintendo press conference included some much-anticipated announcements, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Fortnite, and more. Here are all the major new Switch titles.

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    Diablo Source Code Reconstructed



    Blizzard has recently revisited some of its classic titles, with updates and improvements dropping for Warcraft III, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft’s upcoming Classic servers. Some of its older games, like the original Diablo, however, haven’t received the same coat of paint or support. Diablo was a huge hit in 1996, eventually shifting 2.5 million copies by 2001 — but it was completely dwarfed by Diablo II, which reportedly sold 17.5 million copies. But interest in the original game has never died, and one programmer, GalaXyHaXz, has posted a reconstruction of Diablo’s source code, dubbed Devilution, that’s intended to significantly improve the original game’s compatibility with modern operating systems, as well as allowing it to be ported to OSes like Linux.

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