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2K confirms its support desk was hacked to send malware to gamers

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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Razer built a MagSafe cooling fan for iPhone gamers

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.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Xbox gamers will soon be able to share gameplay clips via public links

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.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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Best Stocking Stuffers for Gamers

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.

Nintendo Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda: $50

After Nintendo showed off the value in releasing a modern Game & Watch featuring Super Mario Bros., it decided to roll the dice once again with a model based on The Legend of Zelda series. The Game & Watch is already a classic novelty Nintendo item and the Zelda focus only adds to the charm.

This bad boy isn’t just for show, though. It features three full Legend of Zelda games including, the original Legend of ZeldaZelda 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

Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo gift cards

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

PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold, and Nintendo Online logos

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.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: $15

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate logo and a collage of featured games

Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that allows Xbox and PC players to select from a huge variety of games and play them to their heart’s content. The service has been the talk of the gaming world for a long time and for a good reason. It gives any player instant access to tons of quality games for a monthly fee. Amazon stocks a one month card for the service for $15 and a three-month card for $38. The service is only accessible from Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Game Pass does feature cloud play as well, allowing players to stream Xbox games to their phones.

Nintendo Switch memory card: Starts at $15

Four different Nintendo MicroSD card designs

The Nintendo Switch is a great system, with an even better library of games. Unfortunately, the console isn’t optimized to download too many games at once due to its small memory size. That’s why you may want to look into getting your Switch owner a SanDisk microSD card. These cards increase the console’s memory and allow for increased playability of more games without having to constantly manage memory. They start at $15 for the smallest size at 64GB and rise in price as the size increases. You can find them on Amazon.

An 8BitDo controller: $20 to $50

Mini, modern-styled, and retro-styled 8BitDo controllers

If what your gamer is looking for is a good controller, then check out 8BitDo’s controller line. This controller company has been releasing the gold standard of third-party controllers for PC, Xbox, and the Nintendo Switch for years now, and are easy to find on Amazon. Their controllers come in all shapes and sizes, from more retro-styled paddles to modern pads, mini controllers, and retro-modern hybrids.

Animal Crossing Amiibo cards: $6

Three Animal Crossing amiibo cards spread out.

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.

Editors’ Choice




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Pokemon GO maker responds to furious gamers, but it’s not what they want to hear

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.

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Valve’s Steam Deck handheld takes on Switch for PC gamers

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.

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Game

PSP gamers can get games via the PlayStation Store for PS3 and PS Vita after all

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 offered additional 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.

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LG Targets Gamers With 120Hz Dolby Vision for C1 and G1 TVs

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.

LG

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.

Game dashboard

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.

With their four HDMI 2.1 ports, support for both G-Sync and FreeSync Premium, and various gaming-specific picture adjustments, LG’s C1 and G1 series OLED TVs already caught the eye of Digital Trends’ reviewers as devices that will delight gamers.

Indeed, even before Monday’s announcement, Digital Trends’ reviewer described the C1 as having “a really comprehensive suite of gamer-friendly features” that made it “one of the best TVs for gaming.”

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Amazon Luna gets new titles to entice new cloud gamers

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.

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Demeo is the tabletop RPG experience VR gamers have been waiting for

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.

Credit: Resolution Games