Video game publisher 2K is warning the public not to open any emails from its support account after confirming it had been hacked. “Earlier today, we became aware that an unauthorized third party illegally accessed the credentials of one of our vendors to the help desk platform that 2K uses to provide support to our customers,” the official 2K Support Twitter account posted on Tuesday.
News of the security breach broke yesterday after shared screenshots of phishing emails sent to 2K customers. The emails took the form of unsolicited support tickets. Those who opened the message were subsequently sent a second email prompting them to download “the new 2K games launcher.” Putting the 107MB executable through and , Bleeping Computer found it contained designed to steal any passwords its target may have stored on their browser.
For anyone who may have clicked on a link in the emails, 2K recommends immediately changing any passwords stored in your browser, enabling two-factor authentication where possible, installing anti-virus software and checking that the forwarding settings on your email accounts haven’t been changed.
2K shares the same parent company as Rockstar Games. Over the weekend, the studio suffered an unprecedented security breach that saw early gameplay footage of shared widely online. While there’s no evidence to suggest the two incidents are linked, the Rockstar Games hacker claimed they were also responsible for the recent . On Monday, the company said it was working with the FBI to investigate the incident.
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Do you play enough mobile games that your phone gets hot to the touch? Probably not, but Razer has you covered regardless. According to iMore, Razer has released a $60 Phone Cooler Chroma that promises to keep your handset cool. There’s a version with a clamp for Android phones and older iPhones, but the star of the show is the MagSafe model — you won’t completely sully the design of your iPhone 12 or 13.
This being a Razer accessory, you can expect the seemingly obligatory RGB lighting (controlled through Bluetooth) as well as a high-powered seven-blade fan that remains quiet at about 30dB. Be prepared to stay near power outlets, though, as you’ll need to plug in a USB-C charger whether or not you’re using MagSafe.
The Phone Cooler Chroma is available now. The question, of course, is whether or not you’ll benefit from it in the first place. Modern phones do get warm and can throttle performance under sustained heavy loads, but it’s not clear how much cooler your phone will get when the fan sits outside of your handset. There’s also the simple matter of necessity. Do you really want a wired fan just for a performance bump in Genshin Impact or PUBG Mobile? This might not be completely far-fetched, though — gaming phones with elaborate cooling have an audience in countries like China, and Razer’s fan makes that overkill available to a wider audience.
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Xbox video game clips are about to become much more easily shareable via unique public URLs on the Xbox mobile app, according to a tweet from Microsoft’s Larry Hryb (@majornelson). Those links will also be collected into a new “trending content” area so you can see what others are doing. The features are now being tested in the app and will “soon’ roll out to all users, Hryb said.
“With Link sharing, just go to the capture you want to share in the Xbox mobile app to get a link, then paste it anywhere to share with your friends, who don’t need to be signed-in to view your capture. We are now testing this long requested feature,” Hryb said in the thread.
According to images shared by Hryb, the trending content section is a new social media-type site on iOS and Android kinds of resembles (wait for it) TikTok’s feed — somewhat of a trend lately. Clicking on it opens up highlights that you can scroll through and then like, comment and share (top).
Microsoft already offers the ability to share game clips and screenshots via your profile’s activity feed, clubs, messages and social media, on consoles as well as the mobile app. Sony also recently unveiled a similar feature on the PlayStation 5. However, letting you generate public links should make it more seamless, and Microsoft is making it more accessible with the social media aspect. The company has been testing the feature with developers, but you should see the feature in the near future.
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With the holiday season approaching, one of the most daunting questions of the year arises: “What will I get everyone on my list?” That question may hit even harder for those shopping for gamers. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to keep track of the nonstop new additions to the gaming world releasing all the time. That’s why we’ve put together a list of a few items that would make perfect stocking stuffers for whoever the gamer is in your life. Each is small and most cost $50 and under, so you can comfortably shop and not have to worry about breaking the bank.
This bad boy isn’t just for show, though. It features three full Legend of Zelda games including, the original Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. It also comes with a Zelda-remixed Game & Watch classic game titled Vermin, an interactive clock mode, and interactive timer mode. This is a must-have item for any Zelda fan in your life.
Xbox, Switch, or PlayStation gift cards: $10 to $70
If you’re not exactly sure what to get the gamer you’re shopping for, you can always go the classic route and just give them money to spend on their console of choice. Xbox, PlayStation, and the Nintendo Switch each have readily available gift cards and digital codes for purchase, with each starting at $10 and going up to $70, depending on the console. You can easily find the cards at most stores, and the digital codes can be found through a quick Amazon search.
Xbox Live Gold, Switch Online, or PlayStation Plus card: $8 to $60
Xbox Live, Nintendo Switch Online, and PlayStation Plus are all subscription services that give special perks to subscribers. Those perks include being able to play games online, having access to special free games, getting special marketplace deals, and more. That’s why a gift card for these services is a great idea for a stocking stuffer. The price will vary based on how long you want to gift the service to them, but starts at $8 for one month of Nintendo Online and $10 for one month of PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold. The highest is $20 for a year of Nintendo Online and $60 for a year of Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus. You can find a digital code card easily on Amazon for each of these products.
If you have an Animal Crossing fan in your life, you might want to toss a set of Amiibo cards in their stocking. Originally created for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U era of Animal Crossing games, Nintendo has since reprinted them and made them compatible with Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Switch. You can use these cards for a variety of things in the game, like inviting villagers to your campsite or the newly added Roost. At just $6 a pack, these are an ideal stocking stuffer … as long as you can find them. They’re a particularly hot commodity, so keep an eye out on your Black Friday shopping trip.
Earlier this month, Niantic reverted the changes it made to Pokemon GO at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This included bringing the PokeStop and Pokemon Gym interaction distances back to their normal ranges, decreasing the number of gifts Buddy Pokemon grant, and reducing the effectiveness of incense when players are standing still. Niantic received a lot of pushback from the Pokemon GO community for this decision, primarily because of the changes to Gym and PokeStop interaction ranges.
Now Niantic has responded to those upset players, but unfortunately, it looks like the company isn’t interested in budging on this matter – at least not for now. Niantic’s statement gets into the nitty-gritty after explaining that it has heard the feedback and giving us background on the changes and their reversions in the US and New Zealand.
“We have heard your feedback about one change in particular – that of the PokéStop and Gym interaction distance,” Niantic’s statement reads. “We reverted the interaction distance from 80 meters back to the original 40 meters starting in the U.S. and New Zealand because we want people to connect to real places in the real world, and to visit places that are worth exploring.”
“However, we have heard your input loud and clear and so to address the concerns you have raised, we are taking the following actions: We are assembling an internal cross-functional team to develop proposals designed to preserve our mission of inspiring people to explore the world together, while also addressing specific concerns that have been raised regarding interaction distance,” the company continued. “We will share the findings of this task force by the next in game season change (September 1). As part of this process, we will also be reaching out to community leaders in the coming days to join us in this dialogue.”
So, for now, at least, the PokeStop and Pokemon Gym interaction ranges are going back to their original distances of 40 meters in the United States and New Zealand, and it looks like that will be the case for at least the next month. Of course, it’s impossible to know what this so-called task force will decide, but nothing is changing for now, and that’s probably not going to sit well with Pokemon GO players who wanted to see these interaction range increases stick around.
Of course, Niantic always intended these changes to be temporary, so we knew a day would come when they would be reverted. However, in the time that they were live, it seems many players ended up preferring the changes. The Pokemon GO community made some compelling arguments for keeping the distance changes yesterday, but it’s clear with Niantic’s statement that the message the community sent did not have the effect players were hoping for. We’ll let you know when Niantic shares more about this matter, so stay tuned.
If you’ve ever looked at a Nintendo Switch and thought, “it would be cool to have something like this for PC gaming,” then boy does Valve have the device for you. Today Valve announced the Steam Deck, a new handheld gaming device that lets you play Steam games on the go. Of course, we’ve seen PC gaming go portable through gaming laptops in the past, but the Steam Deck seems to take things to a whole new level.
On the freshly-launched Steam Deck website, Valve says that it “partnered with AMD to create Steam Deck’s custom APU,” and the result is a handheld machine sporting a Zen 2 CPU with 4 cores and 8 threads paired with an RDNA 2 GPU with 8 CUs. The Steam Deck features 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and has a few different storage options: 64GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1), 256GB NVMe SSD (PCI Gen 3 x4), or a 512GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4). All Steam Deck models will come with a microSD card slot for expanded storage as well.
On the front of the device, we’ll find a 1280 x 800 (16:10) 7-inch LCD touch screen running at 60Hz along with a collection of physical controls. There are ABXY face buttons along with a d-pad, L & R bumpers, triggers, and two analog sticks, just like you’d expect on any modern game controller. Those thumbsticks support capacitive touch, however, and they’re joined by two square trackpads with haptic feedback. Around the back, there are also four assignable buttons on the grips, so you’ve got a lot of control options.
It doesn’t stop at physical and touch controls, though, as the Steam Deck also supports 6-axis gyro controls, allowing you to aim by moving the device itself. In addition, valve says that the Steam Deck comes outfitted with a 40WHr battery that’s good for 2-8 hours of gameplay on a full charge, and we’ve probably got that relatively low-resolution display to thank for the fact that this can even be played on-battery in the first place.
If you don’t want to play in handheld mode, you can also connect the Steam Deck to a TV or monitor using the device’s dock, just like you would a Nintendo Switch. The dock will be sold separately, but it seems that it adds a lot of connectivity options beyond the Steam Deck’s USB-C port. It’s worth pointing out that the USB-C port supports DisplayPort 1.4 and can output at up to 8K at 60Hz or 4K at 120Hz.
While this is meant to play games through Steam, Valve also seems to be taking the novel approach of letting users do what they want with their machines. “You can also install and use PC software, of course,” Valve writes on the Steam Deck website today. “Browse the web, watch streaming video, do your normal productivity stuff, install some other game stores, whatever.”
So, if you’ve ever dreamed of having PC games playable on a handheld device, the Steam Deck sounds like the perfect machine for you. Considering that it can be hooked up to a TV or monitor, this could also serve as a solid replacement for a gaming desktop or laptop for some people, especially at the moment when PC hardware is hard to come by.
Steam Deck’s pricing varies depending on what kind of storage you want to get. The base model with 64GB of eMMC storage will run $399.00, while the 256GB NVMe SSD model will cost $529.00. To get the fastest 512GB NVMe model, you’re looking at a total cost of $649.00, though you do get some extras with that, including anti-glare etched glass and a carrying case.
The Steam Deck won’t be arriving until December 2021, but Valve will begin taking reservations for the device tomorrow, July 16th, at 10 AM PDT. You’ll want to head over to the Steam Deck page on Steam, log in with your Steam account, and make your reservation as soon as they open tomorrow because Valve says that users will be notified in the order they made their reservations once stock is available later this year.
Gamers around the world weren’t happy when Sony announced that it would be closing down the PlayStation Store on the PS3 and PS Vita. The move would have essentially made the retro consoles worthless as no games would’ve been available to purchase in the future. Sony is now backing away from closing up shop, which was originally intended to close today, July 2, 2021. The announcement that the stores would remain open on both consoles was made back in April.
Sony has now offeredadditional clarity for PlayStation Portable gamers, noting that some changes will be coming on July 6, 2021, for PSP owners. On that date, Sony will remove the ability to perform searches and make in-game purchases. Previously the store closed in 2016 for the PSP, but players could still perform searches and make in-game purchases.
While users will no longer be able to perform searches or make in-game purchases starting next week, Sony says that gamers will still be able to download all previously purchased PSP content. Downloads can be performed by accessing the Download List on the device itself. Another bit of clarity is good news for those who still enjoy playing games on their PlayStation Portable.
Some PSP content is available for purchase on the PS3 and PS Vita stores. Sony says that gamers will still be able to purchase and play PSP content available on both of those stores, but you will still no longer be able to make purchases via the in-game store for PSP content. Essentially, the base game is all you can get.
Retro gamers should be thrilled to hear that you’ll be able to get the content moving forward, as it essentially means many games will never die. Unfortunately, for those who like to add to their games via in-store purchases, that will no longer be possible.
LG is going after gamers with new features for its C1 and G1 series OLED TVs that are aimed at offering the best possible visual experience.
In an announcement on Monday, June 28, the Korean tech company said its latest firmware (03.15.27) makes LG’s C1 and G1 TVs the first in the world to support Dolby Vision HDR at 4K 120Hz on select gaming platforms.
Digital Trends has reached out to LG for more information on which specific platforms will benefit and we will update this article when we hear back.
Gaming with Dolby Vision HDR at 4K 120Hz should offer an elevated experience with stunning, silky smooth visuals.
LG a confirmed that other premium models in its 2021 TV lineup — including its OLED Z1 series, QNED Mini LED QNED99 series, and NanoCell 99 series TVs — will also receive the update in July, with other 2021 and 2020 TVs undergoing testing for possible Dolby Vision gaming in either 60Hz or 120Hz.
“With enhanced gaming capabilities and convenient, user-friendly controls, LG’s premium TVs are ready to deliver sublime next-gen gaming experiences,” the company said in a release.
LG’s latest firmware update also brings with it another feature aimed at pleasing gamers who own an LG TV equipped with Game Optimizer. Called “Game Dashboard,” the floating onscreen menu is described by LG as “similar to the head-up display (HUD)” already found in many games.
The Game Dashboard give users fast access to the TV’s settings, enabling you to quickly jump between different genres — Standard, FPS, RPG, or RTS — without pausing the action.
“The dashboard also shows the status of other modes such as black stabilizer, low latency, and variable refresh rate (VRR),” LG said. To access more options, you can use the Game Dashboard to launch the Game Optimizer.
Amazon Luna has a few new games in the mix in the month of June, 2021. The Luna+ channel will get games like Yakuza O, The Falconeer, and Killer Queen Black in June, joining games added in the month of May. Here in May, Luna+ added RAD, Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos, The Wonderful 101, and The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV.
Amazon’s cloud gaming service Luna is one of several similar services out in the world today for multiple platforms. Luna allows users to sign up and play games instantly, without needing to download or update games. Games on Luna are generally made for gaming PCs, meaning they’d normally require the user to download and play on a high-powered desktop computer. With Luna, users are able to play games on their mobile device or on a laptop screen – courtesy of the internet.
In the month of June, Amazon adds the game The Falconeer to the platform. This game was developed by Tomas Sala and published by Wired Productions. In The Falconeer, the gamer explores an open-world environment with a bird – it’s an “open-world air combat game” that takes place in the environment known as The Great Ursee!
Another game coming to the platform in June is Killer Queen Black. This game was developed by Liquid Bit and BumbleBear Games, published by Liquid Bit. This game was inspired by the original arcade game Killer Queen, and includes pixel graphics side-scrolling action and a KQBTV feature where users can “watch matches and learn from the pros.”
The game Yakuza O will be added to Luna+ in June too. You’re going to need to be 17 years of age or older if you’re aiming to play this game. Yakuza O takes place in Japan in the year 1988, and features a “richly detailed, neon-lit world” in which you’ll be fighting, killing, and getting distracted by environmental elements aplenty.
Amazon Luna currently exists in a sort of early access situation through Amazon. There’s a $5.99 (per month) price for the early access system – then the price will be different after said Early Access period is over. There’s also a Ubisoft+ channel beta in the service that’ll cost you around $14.99 per month.
My Mercurial romance with virtual reality just got a dungeon‘s worth of kindling to relight the flame.
The game’s called Demeo and it was developed and published by Resolution Games. It’s a dungeon crawler that’s played from a first-person perspective. The player oversees the movement of miniatures (think: 3D models made to look like the physical figurines people use to play tabletop roleplaying games) in digital dungeon that sits on top of a virtual table.
That might sound complex, but the best thing about Demeo is that the only thing you need to know how to do to dive right in is how to pick up a toy with your hands and play with it.
The premise is simple: pick from one of four characters and move your token around the dungeon. You’ll encounter treasures with items and spells you can equip. And when it’s time for combat, you’ll fling out card-based magics by hand and roll virtual dice to resolve conflict yourself.
In essence, it’s a VR game that tries to emulate the experience of playing a tabletop roleplaying game (TTRPG) with a few of your buddies. You take turns, roll dice, laugh, and try to win.
It’s so simple that it’s brilliant. I can only swing a weightless sword or wield an unsubstantial assault rifle so many times before my ability to get lost in a virtual world butts up against the very real limitations of the current generation of VR hardware.
Those full-out experiences that try to blitz the player with action like a Hollywood blockbuster have their place – sometimes living out our Rambo or Neo fantasies in VR can be a cathartic experience.
But, ultimately, they’re pale imitations of popular console/PC games that simply play better on a 2D screen.
The VR experiences I’m most interested in are those that only work better in the real world. Demeo is one of those experiences.
Okay, glancing up at that feature list doesn’t make this seem like the most robust game ever made. But we’re not talking about Skyrim here. We’re talking about something arguably better for fans of old-school tabletop roleplaying games.
Demeo feels like the start of a beautiful friendship. I spoke with Revolution Games’ CEO Tommy Palm and he told me the game was very much based on the developers’ shared love for early tabletop roleplaying games.
VR, Palm says, is the perfect medium for this kind of game. Having made a deep impact in mobile gaming (ever heard of Candy Crush Saga?) he’s decided that VR is the next big thing.
I asked him why the mainstream still seems reluctant to fully embrace VR and he told me it had a lot to do with making good on the promises of virtual worlds:
VR has been one of these technologies that’s stuck in the future. It’s always five minutes away … I think we’re going to see a very exciting time going forward as people experiment with genre.
And that’s exactly what Demeo does: it experiments with genre. Decades of RPG development has taken us from early RPGs such as Atari’s Adventure, a startlingly good representation of TTRPGs for such an early console:
All the way to modern era games such as Skyrim that attempt to place you in the shoes of an adventurous character in a seamless world.
Rather than try to imitate 2D games in a virtual reality environment, Resolution Games decided to recreate the experience of playing roleplaying games with dice and figurines with Demeo and it’s a clear winner.
Palm told me the game had sold half a million dollars in the first 48 hours after launch and they were experiencing an average play time that far exceeded the VR-baseline of 30 minute sessions. This is incredible, but it’s not hard to believe once you’ve played the game.
The act of reaching out with your gloved hand to physically pick up your pieces and move them around fixes a lot of problems with VR. You can resize your game table and dungeon environment to view the action from nearly any angle, so this helps with neck fatigue, eye fatigue, and makes it easier for old people with failing vision such as myself to see what’s going on.
Furthermore, it solves the “too much happening at the same time and I don’t know where to look issue” because you’re physically initiating everything that happens. Nothing sneaks up on you or happens when you’re trying to figure out how to use your abilities – you don’t need a pause button because you control the action.
And, finally, because your head is the camera and your hands control the zoom, rotation, and angle of view, this is a very comfortable game to play. Without hesitation, I highly recommend this game as the first VR game you ever play if you’ve never donned a headset.
That being said, Demeo is a bit of a thin experience. If I hadn’t spoken to the developers’ CEO personally to confirm they planned on supporting the game with a lot of additional content, I might be tempted to withhold my enthusiasm for a sequel or the inevitable clones that’ll run away with this idea. But Palm seemed pretty excited at the prospect of continuing to develop Demeo and expanding its world.
Currently, there’s a single-player skirmish mode that’s a ton of fun for a few hours. The game’s very much focused on the fun-factor of playing what’s essentially a very well-made board game. But it’s really only scratching the surface when it comes to roleplaying.
First off, there is experience and progression, but levelling up only unlocks new cosmetics. That’s pretty cool for a while, but essentially you realize you can’t “grow” in this game – you just get new toys.
Where things get cool is in the multiplayer. You can link up with up to four of your friends, or you can try to match up with randos for a group experience if you’re looking to get social. It feels like you and your friends are gathered around the old kitchen table chatting and strategizing, and that’s pretty awesome.
These experiences are fun – to the game’s credit it’s very smooth and suitable to multiplayer and the community seems to be quite friendly. But the only thing that keeps me coming back is the novelty and nostalgia of it all.
I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but: I kind of wish there were some carrots or at least a repetitive grind that slowly pays off to keep me slogging forward. Cosmetics are nice, but the TTRPG player deep inside of me wants to unlock new abilities, skills, and titles that make me feel more and more powerful as I play.
Still, even with a rather shallow overall gameplay experience, this is one helluva game. There’s a reason why reviewers such as ArsTechnica’s Sam Machkovech are gushing over this game in weird ways, such as proclaiming it’s so good it made them sad.
That’s not an insult, I get it. It’s the best version of something I didn’t know I wanted, and now I want it to magically have four-decade’s worth of D&D or Rifts baked in.
I want to make my own Demeo levels. I want to collect figurines to debut inside the game and dive-in for full-on campaigns. I want this game to be more than it could possibly be right now because, at the end of the day I’m so excited it exists that I’ve fallen back in love with VR.