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Dr. Kawashima Is A Jerk And His Brain Training Makes Me Feel Stupid

19 hours 16 min ago

There was a moment I had while playing Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training for Nintendo Switch, which is currently only available in Australia and Europe. I had just finished my daily set of three exams to calculate my "Brain Age," the metric used to assess how strong and flexible your mind is. The lower the score the better, and 20 is the absolute best you can get. Anyway, the disembodied head of Dr. Kawashima popped up on the screen to deliver my result--it was 27! Wow! What a great score. I had some issues with one of the tests, but I had set a couple of new records the others, so I was feeling pretty happy with myself. But that emotion didn't last very long.

"Oh dear!" the head lamented, "I miscalculated your Brain Age". He threw up a new number: 59. "Your Brain Age is a little underwhelming." I could've snapped the Joy-Cons off my Switch then and there.

Dr. Kawashima, or at least this polygonal version of him, is an insensitive jerk. He pulls dumb stuff like that, he's visibly disappointed when he's telling me that I can do better, and the only time he's encouraging or visibly pleased (at which point he's freaking ecstatic) is when I make a really significant improvement on something. Improving incrementally? Maintaining a superb result day after day? Nothing. Maybe just a "good for you" if I'm lucky. I have Asian parents, so I'm used to this level of support. But when it's coming from a video game, from a cartridge I can easily rip out and never look at again, this low level of encouragement and high level of trolling really discourages me from wanting to keep going with it. Especially when I'm mostly doing math anyway.

I'm disappointed because I know Nintendo knows how to motivate me to keep coming back. Their video games are often very morish. I've been playing Ring Fit Adventure pretty consistently over the past few months, and a big part of the reason I've (surprisingly) kept coming back to it is because of the consistent positive reinforcement and the feeling that you're only ever making progress, not losing it. Ring Fit Adventure only ever has helpful advice and encouragement for me, and every session I have is positive. There's never any judgment if I'm having an off day, and I always feel welcomed back. Brain Training shows me my dips on a graph and makes me sad.

Am I just upset because I'm starting to realise that I'm actually stupid? Eh, maybe a little. But believe me, I would happily just own it and keep on working at if it wasn't for the other frustrating issue: the occasional, but hugely detrimental, issues with handwriting detection.

The first Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training came out for the Nintendo DS, and it made a huge deal about how you held the dual-screen console sideways like a book and wrote your answers with the console's included stylus. It had a pretty great version of Sudoku, and I played a lot of Sudoku on that thing (Sudoku was really big back then). My Brain Age was also much better than it is now. Now that Brain Training is on the Switch, it comes with its own stylus and requires you to hold your Switch sideways as well. It's still very novel, but because of the reliance on this kind of handwritten input in a number of minigames, you're likely to run into a lot of issues depending on how you write certain letters and numbers.

The DS version of Brain Training had these issues too, but for some reason it feels far more egregious on the Switch. Maybe it's the new fat Switch stylus versus the more precise and pointy DS one. Maybe it's some change in how the software translates strokes, or the ways certain activities are designed. Maybe it's all exactly the same and just a factor of my growing impatience as I get older and grumpier. I'm pretty sure I don't have terrible handwriting--my letters are usually bold and clear, maybe even a little cartoony, and the game can detect what I'm writing 98% of the time. But if I find myself getting caught in that 2% trying to get it to recognise a "5" or a "Y," I'll be screaming, because my results, progress, and my self-esteem are on the line.

Here's an example: There's an exam in Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training for Switch where you get two minutes to memorise the placement of 25 numbers on a 5x5 grid, and then two minutes to recall them. The catch is, you only get one guess for each square, so if you guess wrong, you lose that opportunity for a point. The last time I took this test, the game had real trouble interpreting how I wrote the numbers "5" and "9," so as soon as I would finish writing something like "25," I could see that the game interpreted it as 18 for whatever weird reason, and I wouldn't have a chance to hit the erase button in the split second before it buzzed and basically told me, "No, that's wrong. The number that's supposed to go here is 25."

There's a similar, slightly more gracious exam with the same kind of memory test, but you're trying to remember and write down all the four-letter words the game showed on a previous screen. You don't get locked out at all here, but when the game keeps misinterpreting the letter you're trying to write for another one? Well, your mind gets preoccupied with constantly erasing and rewriting the letter in the hopes that it will catch, and your focus is pulled away from all those words you were trying to juggle in your head. It can be infuriating.

The daily exercises that game has you do to prepare for these exams are mostly free from these issues. I can multitask and make an avatar jump hurdles while picking out the highest number in a lineup, no problem. I can mimic hand shapes and do finger calculations (which are tracked with the right Joy-Con's IR sensor, a pretty neat feature) faster than you can blink. I can sight-read music and play it on the touchscreen piano perfectly (because I've had years of training, but nevermind that). And when I perform all these tasks, I get that satisfying brain-squeezing sensation that makes me feel like I'm working my mind and getting smarter probably.

But when it comes to calculating your Brain Age, the game throws a whole different set of activities at you, most of which are specific to the examination mode and largely involve writing letters and numbers. That's when things get disastrous and Kawashima thinks I have rocks in my head. That's when he starts trolling me and telling me how disappointed he is. Brain Training's handwriting detection is not perfect. And it needs to be perfect if I want to feel like my mistakes are on me.

I have fond memories of the original Brain Training for Nintendo DS, and after how taken I was with Ring Fit Adventure, I was eager to hop back on Nintendo's weird lifestyle software train and ride it anywhere it would go. But Brain Training for Switch is pushing me away. Hopefully, now that we're in the age of software updates and user telemetry, the writing detection is something that Nintendo can improve over time. And maybe Tipp and whatever the sentient Ring from Ring Fit Adventure is called can give Dr. Kawashima a few pointers on how to talk to players, too.

Sudoku is still pretty good though.

Vine Successor Byte Has Officially Launched, Partner Program In The Works

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 12:47

In October of 2016 the world lost one of the greatest platforms for short-form comedy of all time. The app that gave us masterpiece skits such as 'Chris, Is That A Weed?,' 'And They Were Roommates,' 'Um, I Never Went To Oovoo Javer,' and 'Fre Sh A Vacado' was cruelly taken away from us. In its wake, the world mourned and, if we're honest, we never got over that loss. To this day, Vine lovers spend hours reliving the glory years. Like a person sadly scrolling back through their ex's Instagram thinking about what went wrong and how it could have been different, we latch onto compilations like Vines That Keep Me From Ending it All, Vines That Butter My Croissant, Vines That Give My Depression A Suppression, and Vines That Are Cleaner Than Your Grandma's Kitchen on YouTube to recapture some of the glory.

Fans were given hope when Vine co-creator Dom Hofmann announced he was creating a successor called Byte and, despite some doubt as to whether it would be realized, the app has launched on iOS and Android. Designed for the modern age of social media, Byte allows users to shoot six-second videos and upload them, which others can share (ReByte).

In a Twitter post announcing its launch, Hofmann described Byte as "both familiar and new" and said the team behind it hopes it will "resonate with people who feel something's been missing." If you're wondering whether that's you, take a look at the image below and if you know who that lad is going to see, it is.

The next step for Byte, and what distinguishes it from many other social video platforms, is its partner program, which will be implemented to pay creators. "Byte celebrates creativity and community, and compensating creators is one important way we can support both," reads a tweet from the Byte Twitter account. As of yet, details on the partner program have not been provided.

While getting a Vine successor from one of the original creators is certainly a big deal, whether it succeeds remains to be seen. Byte joins a competitive landscape--one that is very much built on the successes of Vine. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram all offer users a way to deliver bite-sized videos to their followers and have additional social networking hooks. TikTok is perhaps the most direct competitor to Byte and its where much of the same kind of content is now being produced. (Read: TikTok has big Vine energy). Stars are being created on TikTok daily, and major celebrities have a presence there. Global corporations are also recognizing its marketing capabilities and potential to reach a massive audience. TikTok is very much having its moment right now, and it may be difficult for Byte to draw attention away from it.

Nevertheless, a new video platform that evokes the heyday of Vine is certainly exciting. Plans to compensate its creators give it an edge in theory, and if it can execute could be just enough to make Byte competitive.

Ahead Of Season 4, Apex Legends World's Edge Map Has Changed

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 12:19

Ahead of the start of Apex Legends Season 4: Assimilation, the World's Edge map has begun to change. In certain places on the map, you can now find signs that advertise future construction. You can see the signs in the images embedded below.

The signs advertise that the valley between Fuel Depot and Thermal Station is the future location of a worksite. And the company responsible for the construction? Hammond Robotics--the same company that sponsors Forge, the new legend scheduled to release in Apex Legends at the start of Season 4, and the one responsible for creating the IMC's technology in Titanfall and Titanfall 2. The signs seem to tease that some type of building or Forge-themed town takeover is scheduled to appear in the valley during Season 4.

You can find the first sign at the top of the ridge that leads out of Thermal Station.

Respawn has done teases like this before. You could spot flyers on Kings Canyon ahead of the start of Season 2: Battle Charge, which saw the flyers and Leviathans on the outskirts of the map invade the battlefield. Prior to the Voidwalker event, flags appeared on Kings Canyon that outlined where Wraith's town takeover would be built.

It's worth noting that these Hammond Robotics construction signs on World's Edge mark off a significantly larger area than the construction flags that teased Wraith's town takeover. That doesn't necessarily mean anything, but World's Edge could see an addition that's fairly big--perhaps large enough to count as a new landmark.

You can find another sign on the hill overlooking both Fuel Depot and the tunnel that leads to Train Yard.

Based on an image revealed during the Season 4 Reveal Devstream, the structure appears to be a giant apartment complex composes of a skyscraper and several garage-looking and office buildings. The image is embedded below. You can see the new structure in the background on the left, which looks to be located directly across from Fuel Depot on the right.

Respawn hasn't confirmed it yet, but the buildings on the left look like they're being added to World's Edge.

Additionally, in the image that showcases when Season 4's Ranked Mode will transition from being located at World's Edge to being located at Kings Canyon, you can see what looks like Capitol City on the left. However, it can't be Capitol City. Based on where the train station is, Epicenter should be on the left of this city, not the right. This image seems to suggest a city is going to be built to the right of the cliffs that surround Epicenter--so where Refinery is right now. Either that or something is going to happen to World's Edge where all the structures get moved around and Capitol City and Epicenter somehow switch positions. Regardless, it looks like we can expect World's Edge to look very different come February 4.

That...that's not where Capitol City is supposed to be? And is that a...glowing pit of lava in the middle?

Season 4: Assimilation will do a lot more than add a new character and introduce some map changes. Respawn has announced Season 4 will see the return of Kings Canyon, the addition of a new firearm, and changes to the ranking and Assist systems.

Apex Legends is currently in the final weeks of Season 3: Meltdown. To send the season off, the game is hosting a limited-time event, Grand Soirée Arcade, which adds seven additional modes to the game, along with new rare and legendary character and weapons skins. The event launched alongside an update for the game that implemented a nerf for Wraith, buffs for Gibraltar and Crypto, and took away extended energy mags--which Respawn teased is a hint for something that's coming in Season 4.

Apex Legends News

Marvel's Dazzler And Howard The Duck Shows Have Been Canceled

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 12:13

Sorry, fans of extremely niche Marvel superheroes, but The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Hulu will not move forward with two of its previously announced animated superhero shows. Both Howard The Duck and Tigra & Dazzler have been given the ax and will not proceed. The other two shows announced on the animated slate, M.O.D.O.K and Hit Monkey, however, are apparently still happening.

Marvel News

This news doesn't come as a complete surprise. Since the advent of Disney+ and the shift of Marvel Television over to the MCU-integrated Marvel Studios under the direction of Kevin Feige, the era of disparate, disconnected Marvel shows seems to be drawing to a close. It was also recently announced that Hulu's plans for a live-action Ghost Rider TV show had been similarly called off--though, at the Television Critics Association winter press tour this month, Hulu VP Craig Erwich did confirm that the live-action Helstorm show was currently in production. Likewise, the cast list for the animated M.O.D.O.K show was announced, confirming that the streaming service still plans on the comedy seeing the light of day.

This news also likely means that the animated crossover event, The Offenders, which was slated to bring the casts of all four animated Marvel shows together, will also not be happening. After all, it would be pretty challenging to do a major crossover event with only two surviving shows to pull from.

Meanwhile, production on the Disney+ Marvel TV shows is proceeding with the first of the roster, The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, well underway. It is scheduled to premiere in the fall.

New Xbox Game Pass Games Available Now On Xbox One

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 12:12

The latest of wave of games for Xbox Game Pass has some great choices as Microsoft continues to hand out new games to subscribers. Some of the January 2020 games for Xbox One users are available now with a few more to come at the end of the month. This follows a recent announcement of new Xbox Game Pass PC games joining the service. As always, the Xbox One and PC game lineups are accessed with separate subscriptions, or one combined "Ultimate" subscription.

Microsoft's Major Nelson has provided the list of new games for this month, with the console version of the service getting A Plague Tale: Innocence and Indivisible on January 23, followed by Sea Salt and Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour on January 30. [Update: Both A Plague Tale and Indivisible are now available to download for Xbox Game Pass subscribers.]

A Plague Tale comes as no surprise since it was just announced for the PC service, as multiplatform games often come to both versions of Game Pass. Still, it's a treat to see given that it was one of GameSpot's choices for best games of 2019. Indivisible is another new game from 2019; it received a warm reception, especially for its lovely art style, creative combat system, and representation of Southeast Asian culture. Sea Salt is an action-strategy game in which you play as an elder god punishing humanity for defying you. Fishing Sim World is exactly what it says on the tin--a detailed simulation of everyone's favorite way to sport while you nap.

In addition to A Plague Tale, the PC version of Game Pass also recently announced Children of Morta and Gris. A number of games are preparing to rotate out of the subscription soon, including Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Resident Evil 4, Saint's Row the Third, The Division, and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.

Xbox Game Pass is an all-you-can-eat subscription service, granting a library of roughly 100 games. The Xbox One and PC libraries are slightly different, and you can subscribe to either one individually for $10 per month. Game Pass Ultimate combines the two, and also includes a subscription to Xbox Live Gold, for $15 per month. Check out some of our recommendations if you're just getting started.

Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence -- January 23
  • Indivisible -- January 23
  • Sea Salt -- January 30
  • Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour -- January 30
Leaving Xbox Game Pass Soon
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Saint's Row the Third
  • The Division
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Best Deals This Week

Destiny 2 Bastion Quest Gravesite Guide: How To Find Reysk's Grave

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 12:11

The Destiny 2 community has banded together and charted the maze-like Corridors of Time. That has unlocked the Exotic quest for Bastion, a new Kinetic fusion rifle, a full week ahead of schedule. You can start the quest right now if you visit Saint-14 in the Tower--but even if you skip the maze portion of the quest (although you shouldn't, because Destiny 2 has some interesting story in the Corridors of Time), you'll still have to hunt down another secret.

That secret is a specific location on the Tangled Shore: a Fallen gravesite. It's a bit out of the way and easy to miss. Here's where you need to go to find the grave, which unlocks a new version of the Tangled Shore Strike known as The Hallowed Lair. If you need more info, check out our Bastion guide for a complete rundown on the Exotic quest.

Destiny 2 News And Guides

Where To Find The Fallen Gravesite

Head to the Tangled Shore and make your way to Four-Horned Gulch. Once there, you're looking for the Trapper's Cave Lost Sector, located in the middle of the area in a trench near its western side. Yo You won't need to fully complete Trapper's Cave to find what you're looking for, but you'll need to keep your eyes open to locate the gravesite.

Head Into Trapper's Cave

Descend into Trapper's Cave and make your way forward. You'll first hit a group of sleeping Cabal War Beasts. Clear them out and keep moving into the next big room. You should find yourself at the top of a waterfall, with a bunch of Cabal Legionaries and Psions hanging out in the area below you.

Clear the enemies and drop down to the base of the waterfall. With the waterfall at your back, look to your left. You should see the smoky blue trail of Corrupted Ether swirling around the area, making a trail to the left wall of the room. Approach the spot, which is hidden a bit in shadow, and you'll be prompted the check the gravesite.

Interacting with the grave will give you a new step in the Bastion quest, awarding you the Altered Chief quest item. You'll also trigger a Scorn ambush, so be careful not to get yourself blown up while you're investigating the grave. Once you have what you need, you're clear to leave Trapper's Cave without moving on to complete the Lost Sector if you so choose.

Return To Saint-14

Once you've found the gravesite, your next step is to head back to Saint-14 and show him what you've found. That'll unlock a new version of The Hallowed Lair on your Director, titled "The Hallowed Lair, Memento." Head into the Strike and complete it to finish the Bastion quest. Check out our full Bastion guide and our Corridors of Time guide to make sure you complete all the steps, gather all the rewards, and unlock all the story for the Bastion quest.

How To Get Bastion In Destiny 2 - Corridors Of Time Exotic Quest Guide

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 12:09

The Destiny 2 community can do amazing things when it comes together--like solve the massive puzzle at the center of the Corridors of Time, as it did last week. Completing the Corridors unlocked a new Exotic quest, leading to a Kinetic fusion rifle called Bastion a week ahead of schedule. It also furthered Destiny 2's story in some really interesting ways. Thanks to that effort, you can earn Bastion right now--below you'll find instructions on exactly how to get Bastion, and you don't even need to solve the Corridors of Time's giant maze.

As of the January 21 weekly reset, you don't even need to solve the Corridors of Time puzzle to advance the quest. Instead, you can get it straight from Saint-14, who will send you to the Tangled Shore to complete a series of steps, which you'll find below. However, there is a prerequisite before he'll offer the quest; Bungie stated on Twitter that you'll need to first complete Saint-14's storyline, which involves the Recovering the Past and An Impossible Task quests.

If you're interested in earning the lore, secret emblem, and story dialogue that's in the Corridors of Time, you should complete those steps quickly; Bungie says the Corridors will only be available for another week, disappearing with the weekly reset on January 28.

Check out our full Corridors of Time guide for everything you need to know.

Destiny 2 News And Guides

If You Want To Solve The Corridors Of TimeLook for signposts near the doorways in the Corridors of Time to find the correct path through the maze. This one is referred to as the Diamond with Three Plants symbol.

You no longer need to solve the Corridors of Time to get the Bastion Exotic quest--you can now pick it up from Saint-14. If you'd prefer the faster route, skip this section. If you do that, though, you'll miss out on some story opportunities, so read on for the full experience.

First, visit Osiris to get the "Explore the Corridors of Time" quest, then use the panel beside him at the Sundial to access the Corridors. There are a lot of things you can get in there, including lore and a special secret emblem. Check out our complete Corridors of Time guide to see how. You'll want to grab all that stuff before you do your final run to complete the quest.

When you enter the Corridors, head through the first door to enter a room with five different exits. Each one has a signpost beside it with a symbol. To finish "Explore the Corridors of Time," you'll need to go through the doors in a specific order to reach the Timelost Vault. This is the puzzle the Destiny 2 community has been working on for the last week, and all that effort has revealed a 30-symbol code that will lead you through the maze.

Go through the doors in this order to finish the quest:

  1. Clover
  2. Diamond with three plants
  3. Snake
  4. Clover
  5. Plus sign
  6. Plus sign
  7. Interlocking hexagon
  8. Interlocking hexagon
  9. Interlocking hexagon
  10. Plus
  11. Diamond
  12. Plus
  13. Snake
  14. Diamond
  15. Clover
  16. Snake
  17. Plus
  18. Plus
  19. Snake
  20. Snake
  21. Hexagon
  22. Diamond
  23. Clover
  24. Plus
  25. Diamond
  26. Hexagon
  27. Hexagon
  28. Diamond
  29. Plus
  30. Diamond

Once you reach the Vault, access it and listen to Saint-14's dialog to receive an item called a Chronometric Core. Return to Saint-14 to turn in the core and receive the next step of the quest, "A False Refraction."

Visit the tomb in the Timelost Vault for a bit of dialogue from Saint-14, which suggests there's more story to tell in the Season of Dawn.A False Refraction

Next, head to the Tangled Shore. You'll need to start by killing five Fallen Servitors and Captains to gain Fallen Intel. You should be able to find all five pretty quickly in the Thieves' Landing area. After that, head to Spider for the next step, called "Memento."

Backroom BrawlWith the Bastion quest in your inventory, you'll face Aksiniks in The Empty Tank.

Speak to Spider and he'll send you after a Fallen Captain called Aksiniks. You'll find him in the Thieves' Landing Lost Sector called The Empty Tank, which is right next to the Spider's area. Head inside and clear the Lost Sector like usual; you'll find Aksiniks in the arena near where you'd usually fight the Lost Sector boss.

With Aksiniks down, return to the Spider for the next step in the quest.

A Strong Arm

Now you're on to the grinding portion of the quest. You'll need to clear 10 of Spider's bounties, while also killing 30 Challenging enemies and finishing eight Public Events on the Tangled Shore. Those should go pretty quickly. Both daily Spider bounties and his Wanted bounties work for this step, including those Wanted bounties that take you to other planets.

Rude Awakening

Now that you've raised some havoc, Spider will have gained the information you need about your next step. You're looking for a gravesite hidden in the Trapper's Cave Lost Sector, which is located in the Tangled Shore's Four-Horn Gulch area. Head into the Lost Sector and continue until you hit the room with the waterfall, which is filled with Cabal Legionaries and Psions. Clear the room and drop down to the bottom of the waterfall, then turn left and face the wall.

Look for blue Corrupted Ether in Trapper's Cave--it marks the final resting place of the Fallen Captain Reysk and the gravesite for which you're searching.

You should see a gassy blue Ether trail leading to the gravesite. Interact with it to get the next step in the quest, but be careful--you've just triggered a Scorn ambush.

Altered ChiefYour final hurdle is Defiled Reysk, a Major Scorn Chieftain who shows up during your final fight with the Fanatic.

With the Altered Chief item in hand, you're ready to track down the Scorn Chieftain you've been hunting this whole time, and the weapon he took from Saint-14. Check the Tangled Shore map in the Director and you should see a new version of the Strike called The Hallowed Lair, marked "The Hallowed Lair, Memento." That's your next destination.

You'll find the Memento version of The Hallowed Lair is pretty much identical to the regular version of the Strike, with one key difference. In the final battle with the Fanatic, look for an Elite Scorn Chieftain enemy named Defiled Reysk, The Waning Light. Kill him and complete the Strike to get the last step in the quest. Return to Saint-14 and claim your Bastion.

Halo Co-Creator Left Bungie After Enduring Life-Altering Crunch

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 11:49

One of the reasons that Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto left Bungie was because of the extended periods of crunch that negatively impacted his life and wellbeing. Speaking during a roundtable interview for his new game, Disintegration, Lehto said his new studio, V1 Interactive, is taking a stance against crunch. By doing so, they hope to do right by its employees for their health and happiness.

"One of the reasons I left Bungie--and I know one of the reasons people from the industry have joined us here at V1--is that many of us have seen the bad side of extended crunch periods that would go on for months and months ... and what kind of human toll that took," Lehto explained. "We don't want to experience that, we don't want to replicate that at all again [at V1]. So at V1, one of our primary goals with the studio is making sure that we create an atmosphere where everybody is intimately involved with what we're working on, so there is a lot of responsibility on everybody's shoulders. And everybody wears several hats."

"We also value, incredibly, the health of everybody here--both physically and mentally. Making sure they have that time outside the office to be with their family," Lehto added. "And we support them to be home when they need to be home, to go to their kids' school concerts and to have the weekends to themselves. That is a very important part to me, and it's one thing we've extended to everyone here at the studio."

"We also value, incredibly, the health of everybody here--both physically and mentally." -- Marcus Lehto

Lehto assured people that he and his team work hard, while he also acknowledged that the team pushes extra hard when milestones come up. However, these periods of extended working hours are limited to around "a week or so."

"It's not like we don't work hard--we work really hard. And at the end of every milestone, we maybe spend a week or so working extra hours," he said.

This kind of intense work schedule, so long as it doesn't lead to burn-out, can actually be a good thing, Lehto said. That's because it brings the team even closer together as they collectively grind on a particular objective. So long as these periods of crunch are few and far between, this can be a positive, Lehto said.

Bungie is known for its periods of crunch. Engineering boss Luke Timmins recalled to GI.biz in 2017 how the 18 months leading up to the release of Halo 2 in 2004 were "brutal" and nearly destroyed Bungie. The developer was crunching for nearly the entire 18 months, he said, and during that time, developers were spending at least 50 hours per week.

"The Halo 2 crunch almost killed Bungie as a company," he said. "It is the most I've ever seen humans work in a year and a half. It was brutal."

Bungie is said to have adopted policies and practices after that to lessen the instances of crunch, but it still happened. For the first Destiny, there was a "department-wide crunch" for the engineering team, Timmins said, though the team never had to crunch on any of the game's numerous expansions. Destiny 2 also had no "full, enforced crunch," he said.

In 2019, following Bungie's split from Activision for the Destiny series, Bungie announced it would delay a Destiny 2 patch so its developers did not have to crunch.

As for Lehto, he left Bungie in 2012 while the original Destiny was just getting started.

Going back to Lehto's new game, Disintegration, the first beta test for the FPS launches on January 28--here's how to sign up. The game, which is made by a team of around 30 people, mixes FPS and strategy elements to create a type of game that Lehto says has never existed before. You fly around the map on a "grav-cycle" while simultaneously commanding soldiers on the ground. Check out the gameplay footage above to see Disintegration in action.

Here are some other things Lehto said about Disintegration:

  • The "incredibly ambitious" campaign will take you around 9-10 hours to complete, though it could stretch into the mid-teens depending on how you play
  • There will be no ranked multiplayer or stat-tracking at launch, though this could be added down the road
  • There will be microtransactions that allow players to customize their grav-cycles
  • It's possible V1 will support the PS5 and Xbox Series X down the road, but nothing is confirmed yet. The same is true for Nintendo Switch

Disintegration is published by Private Division, the independent games label run by Grand Theft Auto parent company Take-Two. Private Division also published Obsidian's The Outer Worlds and Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Desilets' new game, Ancestors.

Pokemon Go Celebrates Lunar New Year With Red-Colored And Rat-Themed Pokemon

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 10:48

The Pokemon Go Team has revealed details for a Lunar New Year-themed event for the mobile game. The Pokémon Go Lunar New Year event is live right now and will continue through to Monday, February 3 at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET.

During the event, certain red-colored Pokemon will appear more often in the wild--be on the lookout for Charmeleon, Vulpix, Parasect, Voltorb, Jynx, Magmar, Magikarp, Flareon, Slugma, Wurmple, Corphish, Kricketot, Foongu, and (perhaps the most famous red Pokemon) Shiny Gyarados.

Pokemon Go News

Generation V's Darumaka makes its debut in Pokemon Go during the Lunar New Year event, and it will hatch from 7km Eggs. The event will also feature several in-game bonuses too, such as random Rare Candy rewards when opening Gifts.

This Lunar New Year marks the start of the Year of the Rat, so you can expect plenty of rat-themed content during a Limited Research event on February 2 from 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET to 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET. During the event, you'll have the chance to encounter Generation V's Minccino--both normal and shiny versions. Rattata, Raticate, Pikachu, Sandshrew, Nidoran♀, Nidoran♂, Sentret, Marill, Zigzagoon, Plusle, Minun, Bidoof, and Patrat will all appear more often in the wild as well.

Niantic--the studio behind Pokemon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Ingress--has announced that 2020 will feature several "immersive interactive experiences" for each game. Pokemon Go will have four events, which are detailed below.

Pokémon Go 2020 Events
  • Taiwan Lantern Festival in Taichung - February 6-9
  • Pokémon GO Safari Zone St. Louis - March 27-29
    • Tickets will go live starting January 24 at 8:00 AM CT
  • Pokémon GO Safari Zone Liverpool - April 17-19
    • Tickets will go on sale starting January 31 at 8:00 AM GMT
  • Pokémon GO Safari Zone Philadelphia - May 8-10
    • More information about tickets will be announced soon

PS5 Games, Price, Release Date, Specs, Controller, And More

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 10:23

It's finally 2020, which means Sony's next-generation console, the PlayStation 5, is fast approaching its launch sometime during this year's holiday season. Throughout 2019, Sony began to reveal some of the first details about their next-gen plans with PS5, and we only expect that to continue in the months ahead.

First, we know that the console's official name. Unsurprisingly, the console is indeed called the PlayStation 5--and we also know what the logo looks like. During 2019, it was revealed that the PS5 will also have PS4 backwards compatibility and SSD storage, and it will support PSVR. The company has also outlined some green, energy-efficient initiatives it is planning for the next generation.

If Sony follows the outline for how the PS4 was properly unveiled, we can expect it to host a special PlayStation Meeting event. There have been some speculation that such an event could take place in February 2020, but Sony has not made any official announcements as of this time. If that does indeed happen, that could be when we learn about things like a price and launch game lineup. However, when Sony plans to roll out new info, it won't be at the venue you might expect. Just like last year's E3, Sony will also skip E3 2020, citing their own announce plans.

Below you can find all the details known about Sony's upcoming console. It's likely we'll hear more details--big or small--in the coming months, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often as more gets confirmed.

Table of Contents [hide]PS5 Release Date

This is surely the question on everybody's lips: when will the PS5 come out? Sony, as you'd expect, is tight-lipped on the matter, but it has confirmed a "holiday 2020" release window for the PlayStation 5. The company has been no more specific than that--Microsoft has also provided the same vague window--but historically, November has been a frequent

PS5 Price

Again, Sony has not stated how much its new console will cost, but it did say that the PS5's price will be attractive to gamers. "I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set," said Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the PS4 who's currently working on its successor.

Of course, you wouldn't expect Sony to say anything different, but one gets the feeling the company has learned from the PS3's exorbitant price tag--and the console's subsequent struggles--and the PS4's more reasonable cost and subsequent successes.

Will PS5 Be Backwards Compatible With PS4 games?

Cerny also confirmed the PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games, as the two consoles are built upon similar internal architectures. This will be welcome news for those who were disappointed by the PS4's lack of backwards compatibility with PS3, PS2, and PS1 games.

SIE president Jim Ryan told GameSpot sister site CNET backwards compatibility and cross-gen are important for the PS5 to help players have a seamless transition.

"Whether it's backwards compatibility or the possibility of cross-generational play, we'll be able to transition that community to next-gen," he said. "It won't be a binary choice about whether you have to be either on PlayStation 4 or next-gen to continue your friendship."

In yet more welcome news, PS4 games will even run faster than they do on your current console, in part because the PS5 will contain a solid state drive, as opposed to hard drives that current consoles ship with. Cerny has demonstrated a load screen from Insomniac's Spider-Man taking less than a second on a PS5 development kit, compared with 15 seconds on a PS4 Pro.

Sony showed off the faster loading times during an investor presentation in May. You can see the video below, which was captured by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki.

Sony's official video comparing performance of PS4 Pro vs next-gen PlayStation pic.twitter.com/2eUROxKFLq

— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 21, 2019PS5 Specs And Disc Drive

This is where Sony has been surprisingly forthright with new information. The company has confirmed the PlayStation 5 will contain an AMD chip that has a CPU based on the third-generation Ryzen. It'll have eight cores of the seven-nanometer Zen 2 microchip. The console will also support 8K gameplay, but this will of course be dependent upon TVs catching up.

Graphics will be driven by a custom version of Radeon's Navi line. This graphics chip will support ray-racing, something which is starting to become popular in movies and video games. Although it is traditionally thought of as a lighting technique, Cerny says this technique could also improve game audio. In fact, PS5 will fully support 3D audio.

The aforementioned SSD is a big detail too, as it means games will load faster and be able to handle more objects on-screen at once than current HDD-driven consoles. Characters and cameras could move faster through game worlds, as environments could be loaded in much faster than they are at present.

As one final detail, we know the PS5 will not go the route of the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which doesn't include a disc drive. Instead, the PS5 will include a disc drive, so rest assured you'll still be able to buy and play physical games. PS5 discs will have a capacity of 100 GB, and the console will also support 4K Blu-Rays.

Sony has also confirmed that the PS5 is capable of supporting 4K visuals at 120Hz for those who have TVs that can support that. 120Hz is a refresh rate around double the rate of standard TVs.

PS5 Controller

Sony has opened up on its vision for the PlayStation 5's controller by saying: "One of our goals with the next generation is to deepen the feeling of immersion when you play games, and we had the opportunity with our new controller to reimagine how the sense of touch can add to that immersion.

"To that end, there are two key innovations with the PlayStation 5's new controller. First, we're adopting haptic feedback to replace the 'rumble' technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles. With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.

"The second innovation is something we call adaptive triggers, which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller, and we can't wait to see where their imagination goes with these new features at their disposal."

In addition to the above comments from Sony Interactive Entertainment president Jim Ryan, Sony has also separately confirmed to Wired that the controller "doesn't have a name yet," but contains an improved speaker, USB-C connectivity, and a larger-capacity battery.

Will PS5 Support PSVR?

The current PSVR will indeed be supported by PS5, as will the PlayStation Move controllers. "I won't go into the details of our VR strategy," Cerny has stated, "beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console." The system architect stopped short of saying whether a new PSVR device will ever come out, however.

The Logo

It was believed that Sony's briefing at CES 2020 could bring with it some PlayStation 5 news, but that only barely turned out to be the case. Sony's Jim Ryan appeared on stage to share some impressive stats regarding the PS4 and to reveal the PlayStation 5 logo, which you can see below. It's hardly surprising, maintaining the same style used for recent generations. Beyond that, Sony had nothing new to discuss about PS5 during the tech-focused event.

Energy Efficiency

Though Sony has been generally quiet about the PS5 since its announcement, it came forward to reveal just slightly more information in conjunction with the announcement of a United Nations initiative. The Playing for the Planet alliance aims to make the video game industry more environmentally friendly. To that end, Sony announced that the next generation of its hardware will use dramatically less power when placed into suspend/sleep mode. Just one million PS5 users turning on the energy-efficient feature would save enough electricity to power 1,000 US homes. The company is also conducting a carbon footprint assessment and looking into more energy-efficient data centers.

PS5 Games

We don't yet know many confirmed games coming to PS5. It's reasonable to presume annual titles like FIFA and Call of Duty would make the jump to PS5, though their developers haven't stated anything concrete.

Currently, the only confirmed PS5 game is Godfall, a loot-based melee action-RPG. It's scheduled for late 2020, which more than likely makes it a PS5 launch game. However, time will tell!

The other game possibly confirmed to be playable on PS5 is the Final Fantasy VII remake, after Square Enix's president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda said: "I believe that our teams have made it so that the game will support both the next generation and the current generation of consoles. I believe it is being developed so that it is going to be playable on both, so I'm not really concerned about that and I believe that the fans are also going to be able to enjoy it on both, including the next-generation of consoles."

However, it's not clear whether Matsuda was referring to a dedicated PS5 edition of the game, or if he was simply referring to the PS4 version being playable on PS5 via backward compatibility. If it's the latter, then we can technically count every PS4 game as playable on PS5.

Finally, we know Bluepoint Games, the studio behind remakes such as Shadow of the Colossus and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, is working on a PS5 game that it says is a "big" one.

PS5 UI

PlayStation 5's new user interface will allow you to see more details about friends' games without opening the applications themselves. "Even though it will be fairly fast to boot games," says Cerny, "We don't want the player to have to boot the game, see what's up, boot the game, see what's up. Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time. Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them—and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like."

New On Netflix In February 2020: TV Shows, Movies, And Originals To Watch

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 10:06

If you're looking for upcoming arrivals to Netflix for February 2020, then you've come to the right place. In the upcoming month, the streaming service has plenty of new movies, TV shows, and original content headed your way. Recently, it was revealed how Netflix calculate views, and the company also explained why they made the change. But these changes won't stop the service from rolling out a ton of new content, which you can check out below.

Locke & Key is the latest comic book adaptation to hit Netflix, arriving on February 7. Based on the Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez comic of the same name, Locke & Key follows a widow and her children as they move into their ancestral home after the mysterious murder of the patriarch of the family. Inside this house are mysterious keys with mystical powers that have some connection to the murdered father. You can watch the first trailer here.

Season 2 of Altered Carbon arrives on February 27. The sci-fi series returns, and a teaser was recently revealed for the show. Anthony Mackie stars in the new episodes as main character Takeshi Kovacs. In a show about transferring consciousnesses into new bodies, recasting the star of the show isn't a big deal. Netflix's official synopsis of the series has arrived as well: "Altered Carbon Season 2 finds Takeshi Kovacs, the lone surviving soldier of a group of elite interstellar warriors, continuing his centuries-old quest to find his lost love Quellcrist Falconer. After decades of planet-hopping and searching the galaxy, Kovacs finds himself recruited back to his home planet of Harlan's World with the promise of finding Quell. Haunted by his past and responsible for investigating a series of brutal murders, Kovacs is stunned to discover his new mission to solve the crime and his pursuit to find Quell are one and the same. With the help of his loyal A.I. Poe, Kovacs must now partner with new allies to outwit his enemies and find the truth: Who is Quellcrist Falconer?"

If you're looking for a bunch of '80s comedies that probably haven't aged well at all--because they weren't that great to begin with--seven Police Academy movies hit Netflix on February 1. You can relive all the wacky adventures of your favorite characters you barely remember like Mahoney, Hightower, Tackleberry, and more. Personally, I recommend the fourth film in the franchise, Citizens on Patrol (its acronym is C.O.P., get it?), as the movie features David Spade as an '80s skateboarder.

Below, you'll find all of this month's releases for Netflix. If you're looking for more streaming news, check out everything coming to Hulu in February.

What's new to Netflix in February 2020?February 1
  • A Bad Moms Christmas
  • A Little Princess
  • Back to the Future Part III
  • Blade Runner: The Final Cut
  • Center Stage
  • Cookie's Fortune
  • Dear John
  • The Dirty Dozen
  • Dirty Harry
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Elizabeth
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age
  • Fools Rush In
  • Hancock
  • Love Jacked
  • The Notebook
  • The Other Guys
  • The Pianist
  • Police Academy
  • Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
  • Police Academy 3: Back in Training
  • Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
  • Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach
  • Police Academy 6: City Under Siege
  • Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow
  • Purple Rain
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  • Scary Movie 2
  • Sex and the City 2
February 3
  • Sordo
  • Team Kaylie: Part 3
February 4
  • Faith, Hope & Love
  • She Did That
  • Tom Papa: You're Doing Great!
February 5
  • Black Hollywood: 'They've Gotta Have Us'
  • #cats_the_mewvie
  • The Pharmacist
  • Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story
February 6
  • Cagaster of an Insect Cage
February 7
  • The Ballad of Lefty Brown
  • Dragons: Rescue Riders: Season 2
  • Horse Girl
  • Locke & Key
  • My Holo Love
  • Who Killed Malcolm X?
February 8

The Coldest Game

February 9
  • Better Call Saul: Season 4
  • Captain Underpants Epic Choice-o-Rama
  • Polaroid
February 11
  • Good Time
  • CAMINO A ROMA
  • Q Ball
February 12
  • Anna Karenina
  • To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
February 13
  • Dragon Quest Your Story
  • Love is Blind
  • Narcos: Mexico: Season 2
February 14
  • Cable Girls: Final Season
  • Isi & Ossi
  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
February 15
  • Starship Troopers
February 17
  • The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia
February 19
  • Chef Show: Volume 3
February 20
  • Spectros
February 21
  • A Haunted House
  • Babies
  • Gentefied
  • Glitch Tech
  • Puerta 7
  • System Crasher
February 22
  • Girl On The Third Floor
February 23
  • Full Count
February 25
  • Every Time I Die
February 26
  • I Am Not Okay With This
February 27
  • Altered Carbon: Season 2
  • The Angry Birds Movie 2
  • Followers
  • Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution
February 28
  • All The Bright Places
  • Babylon Berlin: Season 3
  • Formula 1: Drive to Survive: Season 2
  • Jeopardy!: Celebrate Alex Collection
  • Jeopardy!: Cindy Stowell Collection
  • Jeopardy!: Seth Wilson Collection
  • La trinchera infinita
  • Queen Sono
  • Restaurants on the Edge
  • Unstoppable
February 29
  • Jerry Maguire

Leaving Netflix in February

February 11
  • Clouds of Sils Maria
February 14
  • District 9
February 15
  • Milk
  • Operator
  • Peter Rabbit
February 18
  • The 2000s: Season 1
February 19
  • Charlotte's Web
  • Gangs of New York
  • The Eighties: Season 1
  • The Nineties: Season 1
  • The Seventies: Season 1
February 20
  • Lincoln
February 21
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
February 26
  • Our Idiot Brother
February 27
  • Jeopardy!: Buzzy Cohen Collection
  • Jeopardy!: College Championship II
  • Jeopardy!: Teachers' Tournament II
  • Jeopardy!: Teen Tournament III
  • Jeopardy!: Tournament of Champions III
February 28
  • My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
  • Primal Fear
  • Trainspotting
February 29
  • 50/50
  • American Beauty
  • Anger Management
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Free Willy
  • Hustle & Flow
  • Igor
  • Layer Cake
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • Stripes
  • The Matrix
  • The Matrix Reloaded
  • The Matrix Revolutions
  • The Mind of a Chef: Season 1-5
  • The Taking of Pelham 123
  • Up in the Air

Everything New Coming In Apex Legends Season 4 - Character, Weapon, Map Changes, And More

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 09:58

During its third Apex Legends Devstream, Respawn revealed new details for Season 4: Assimilation, the coming season in the developer's battle royale. Season 4 kicks off on Apex Legends' birthday and there's plenty of new content to look forward to.

Below, we outlined all of the new information we learned about Assimilation from the Devstream, including new character Forge and new weapon the Sentinel. Kings Canyon makes a return in this new season as well, though not how we expected. Assimilation also overhauls Ranked Mode and makes adjustments to how certain in-game features work, like getting Assists.

Table of Contents [hide]New Character

In Season 4, Apex Legends will gain a new character, Forge. Respawn revealed several lore details about him, including that he's an ex-MMA fighter who joins the Apex Games under the sponsorship of Hammond Robotics--one of the major corporations that partners with the IMC (the bad guys) in Titanfall and Titanfall 2.

Gameplay-wise, Respawn didn't reveal as much, simply commenting on how, as a brawler, he's the opposite of Crypto. The developer did not talk about Forge's abilities or in-game role, though based on his design he seems like he'd be an Offensive character, like Wraith, Bangalore, Octane, and Mirage.

Respawn hasn't confirmed any gameplay details about Forge, but datamine leaks suggest his abilities are melee-focused.New Weapon

Apex Legends is getting another sniper rifle. Like Season 3: Meltdown's Charge Rifle, Season 4: Assimilation's Sentinel is a sniper rifle focused around a charging mechanic. However, instead of needing to charge in order to fire, the Sentinel seems to be a gun that can charge itself to fire a more powerful shot--allowing you to snipe at foes with fast but weak shots or strong but slow shots.

The Sentinel isn't a Titanfall or Titanfall 2 weapon, though its name may be in reference to a spaceship from the games.Two Maps, Two Halves For Ranked Mode

Kings Canyon is returning to Apex Legends in Season 4, though you'll still have to wait a bit before you can play on it again. Assimilation's Ranked Mode will now be divided into two halves--the first of which will see you continue to play on World's Edge, while the latter half will take players back to Kings Canyon.

Season 4 will be split between two different maps, instead of solely focusing on one.Help Your Friends And Earn More Points

Respawn is changing how Assists work in Assimilation. The timer for getting an Assist will be extended from 5 seconds to 7.5 seconds, giving you a larger window of opportunity to earn points for helping a teammate down an opponent. Season 4 will also allow you to earn Assist points when an ally kills an enemy you tricked with a Mirage Decoy, nabbed with a Pathfinder Grapple, damaged with a Crypto EMP, or scanned with Crypto or Bloodhound.

Brand-New Rank Tier

In Ranked Mode, the tiers have been adjusted so that levels that were once considered Apex Predator are now called Master. The tier of Apex Predator will only be given to the 500 highest-ranking players on each platform (Xbox One, PS4, and PC), so only 1500 people in the world will hold the title.

Other than that, ranks will work as they did in Season 3, with the start of Season 4 giving all players a soft reset. The soft reset will lower your current rank by 1.5 tiers. So, for example, if you're currently Gold I, Season 4 will see you start as Silver III.

Party Restrictions

Season 4: Assimilation will also have brand-new restrictions on who you can party-up with. Once you reach Platinum IV, you can only party up with players who are within one tier rank of you. So, for instance, if you're Platinum, you can only party up with players who are Gold through Diamond, while a Diamond player can only party with teammates who are Platinum through Master.

This does mean you will no longer be able to boost a low-ranking player and get a fresh Bronze-level account into Diamond or Master, as new accounts won't be able to join high-ranking matches until they've earned enough points to be Gold at the very minimum. On the other hand, the change should also mean that you will be consistently paired up against players within your skill bracket once you enter high-tier play.

Start Of The Season Rewards

At the start of Season 4, you'll earn rewards dependent on the rank you achieved in Season 3: Meltdown. All players will receive a new badge that reflects their Season 3 rank. Ranks Gold through Apex Predator will also receive a gun charm cosmetic that's colored to match your Season 3 rank--with the exception of Diamond and Apex Predator, which will receive ice and molten lava-themed charms, respectively. Diamond and Apex Predator will also get new dive trails, the former will get ice and the latter fire.

You'll also get rewards just for logging in on February 4. All players will receive a paper crane gun charm as well as a new badge that reflects when in the past year you started playing Apex Legends.

You'll only earn this particular charm if you've been playing Apex Legends since basically the beginning.End Of The Season Rewards

All ranks will earn new badges at the end of Season 4, but only Gold through Apex Predator will earn a new weapon cosmetic and only Diamond and Apex Predator will earn a new dive trail.

Only the highest-ranking 1500 players across the world (500 on Xbox One, 500 on PS4, and 500 on PC) will be able to earn the title of Apex Predator in Season 4.

Apex Legends News


Destiny 2's Corridors Of Time Reward Was More Than Bastion

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 09:55

Note: This post contains spoilers for the story in Destiny 2's Season of Dawn, specifically what's hidden in the Corridors of Time. If you still want to brave the maze before it disappears on January 28, best to stop reading and use our Corridors of Time guide to check it out yourself.

Last week, a huge chunk of the Destiny 2 community banded together to pour its efforts into solving the Corridors of Time--a massive, confusing maze that required the work of hundreds of players to map and traverse. For days, players filled Discord channels and the r/raidsecrets subreddit to trade information, theories, and assistance, all with the goal of revealing what new and fascinating rewards developer Bungie had secreted away in its latest puzzle.

Moments like these are Destiny at its best. Bungie occasionally introduces secrets into the vast world of its shooter MMO for players to uncover, almost always leading to exciting rewards. Most recently, there was The Whisper, a secret mission that uncovered a must-have sniper rifle and required some serious patience and skills to earn; Niobe Labs, a lengthy puzzle combined with difficult combat to unlock new content in the Black Armory expansion; and Zero Hour, a mission unlocked only after the community worked together to solve another in-depth puzzle, with lots of secrets along the way.

Destiny 2 News And Guides

The Corridors of Time is the biggest of Bungie's opaque, fascinating brain-teasers to date, requiring the combined efforts of many people in the community to solve because of the requirement of a ton of crowdsourced data. Events like these are kind of amazing if you're a Destiny player, as you watch (or participate in) something wholly inscrutable slowly being altered to make sense through the sheer effort and brainpower of dedicated fans working together.

But when the Corridors of Time was finally solved, not everyone was especially happy about it. The reward for days of effort wasn't a powerful new Exotic weapon, like with The Whisper or Zero Hour. Instead, completing the quest in the Corridors unlocked another quest, which allowed Guardians to earn an Exotic weapon called Bastion. A lot of people were disappointed--and even angry--about this reward, primarily because it wasn't a secret; Bungie had included Bastion on its content roadmap for the current Destiny 2 season, indicating that it was a reward players should expect. All that effort from streamers and community members only served to unlock Bastion's quest a week earlier than it would have appeared otherwise.

Some disappointment on the part of players is understandable. After all, past Destiny 2 secrets have hit so hard because nobody expected them, and powering through Bungie's complex puzzles has led to really remarkable, essential rewards. Because everyone knew Bastion was coming, completing the Corridors of Time to unlock it early felt like Bungie sucking the air out of the room, and some even were annoyed that so much work had been done for a reward that players would have gotten anyway. That emotional response seems reasonable, although in the usual way of the internet, extremely overblown.

The thing about the Corridors of Time puzzle, and a lot of what Bungie has been doing lately with its new approach to seasonal content, is that Bastion wasn't the only reward. Traversing the Corridors wasn't just meant to be a means to a new gun--it was meant to be a major moment in the season, and a further extension of the Season of Dawn story. It seems like what Bungie is trying to do with things like the Corridors is fundamentally alter how Destiny 2 tells its story, transitioning away from campaigns where you get a mission briefing, go kill a thing, and then come back for another mission briefing, to making you more of a participant in story moments.

The solution for the Corridors of Time doesn't just unlock the Bastion mission. It also treats you to a short dialogue cutscene with some serious ramifications. Hidden in the center of the maze is a room called the Timelost Vault, and at the center, players discovered a strange, unmarked tomb. Only by solving the Corridors could you get close enough to the tomb to discover whose it was. A eulogy given by the star of the Season of Dawn, Saint-14, revealed the tomb's owner: all of us, Destiny 2's players.

As a continuation of Destiny 2's story, that's pretty huge. For the last year, players have been bracing for major threats to make themselves known in the game--first the Hive god Savathun, who is responsible for the Groundhog Day-like curse that befell the Forsaken expansion's Dreaming City, and now the Darkness, a race of powerful evil creatures teased in the Shadowkeep expansion. Plus, we spent the early part of the Season of Dawn saving Saint-14 from his own demise by using time travel. The tomb revealed that we too might be doomed to fall facing what's coming, and that we might have to be the instruments of our own salvation (along with some fun time-travel shenanigans).

So the Corridors of Time weren't just about the gun we got at the end. Exploring the early part of the puzzle revealed a ton of new lore surrounding Saint-14 and Osiris, the other major character of this season. It also yielded a secret emblem to show off your involvement in solving the puzzle. Sure, as tangible in-game items, those aren't especially exciting. But the point wasn't just the idea that you "get stuff" for your work in the Corridors of Time. The point is that, as a community, Destiny 2's players just worked together to broaden the world.

The reward for all the effort in the Corridors of Time wasn't just Bastion, although it would have been nice to discover some wholly secret cool new thing, as has happened in the past. What made the big puzzle so cool was the way it worked the meta world of Destiny and its players into the storytelling of the game. We just used an army of players and some time travel to uncover a huge story thread that fundamentally shifts the way Bungie has delivered the story of Destiny.

The Corridors of Time is an event that made Destiny 2 different--it's more aware of itself and denser than ever before. The thing we earned solving Bungie's latest puzzle was a world that lets you get a little more lost in it. And in terms of Destiny's story approach emphasizing "you had to be there" moments, this was a pretty memorable one.

Best PS4 Deals (January 2020): PS4 Pro, PS4 Slim, PSVR, Games, And More

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 09:10

The PS5 releases this holiday, but there's no reason to forget about the PS4 just yet. With a massive install base and hundreds upon hundreds of great games to play, the PS4 will likely remain a fixture in living rooms for a number of years. One benefit of an aging console is the sheer abundance of deals you can find on the consoles, games, accessories, and memberships.

Deals can help you get the most out of the PS4. We keep up with all of the latest deals to find you the best bang for your buck on all things PlayStation. Whether you're picking up a PS4 for the first time, upgrading to the Pro, or just browsing for some new games or accessories, we've got you covered. Check out the best PS4 and other PlayStation deals available so far in January below.

Quick look: Best PS4 deals

Best PS4 Pro dealsPS4 Pro for $355 at AmazonPS4 Pro (1TB)

The powerful PS4 Pro is currently available at Amazon for $325.90, which is about $75 off. It's actually not too far off from prices we saw on Black Friday.

See at Amazon

More PS4 Pro bundles and deals

PS4 Pro Call of Duty: Modern Warfare bundle -- $354.95

Best PS4 Slim deal$250 at Best BuyPS4 Only on PlayStation bundle

This excellent bundle was the most prominent Black Friday PS4 deal. While the price went up from $200 to $300 after Black Friday, Best Buy is currently selling it for $250. It comes with three superb exclusives: God of War, The Last of Us Remastered, and Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition.

See at Best Buy Best PlayStation Classic deal$40 at Ebay

The PlayStation Classic launched in December 2018 for $100, which is easy to forget since it now regularly sells for $60 at most retailers. You can find a brand-new system for $40 at Ebay right now, though.

See at Ebay

Best PS4 game dealsCall of Duty: Modern Warfare for $45

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare returns the series to the contemporary setting that made it such a colossal hit over a decade ago. It released last fall on PS4, Xbox One, and PC with crossplay between all platforms, and you can get it for $45 right now over at Amazon. To learn more, check out GameSpot's Modern Warfare review.

See at Amazon

Looking for more deals on PS4 games? Here are a bunch of great PS4 game deals we've found.

Best PS4 game pre-order dealsCyberpunk 2077 for $49.94

Cyberpunk 2077 was recently delayed from April 16 to September 17, but it's never too soon to pre-order what will surely be one of the biggest games of 2020. The CD Projekt Red action-RPG is available to pre-order for a $10 discount at Amazon right now and comes with release day delivery.

See at Amazon

Check out more upcoming titles already seeing markdowns below.

Best PS4 controller dealsDualShock 4 wireless controller for $42

The DualShock 4 wireless controller is crucial to any PS4 setup, and you'll probably want more than one, both for convenience and for local multiplayer. This stylish translucent crystal version is on sale for only $42 at Walmart, down from the usual $65.

See at Walmart

You can find more DualShock 4 PS4 controllers of different colors on sale right now below.

Best PlayStation Plus deal$37 at Ebay

PlayStation Plus is Sony's premium membership for PS4 owners that grants them access to online multiplayer, exclusive discounts, and two free monthly PS4 games (which you keep for as long as you're a PS Plus member). Year-long memberships usually sell for $60, so it's always a big deal when the price drops below that level. Currently, one of the best deals on PS Plus is at Ebay, where you can get a 12-month subscription for $37. PS Plus subscriptions stack, too, so if you're already a member, you can extend your membership on the cheap when you see a good deal.

See at Ebay

Best PlayStation VR dealsPSVR Mega Pack Five Game Bundle -- $290PSVR Mega Pack with five games

The PSVR Mega Pack was one of Sony's best deals last Black Friday. And even though it's only discounted $10 at Amazon, it's still the best PSVR deal around. The bundle comes with the PSVR headset, PlayStation Camera, and five games: Resident Evil 7, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, PlayStation VR Worlds, and Everybody's Golf VR. That's incredible value for $290.

See at Amazon

For more discounts, check out more of the best PlayStation VR deals right now below.

Systems and accessories:

Games:

For more savings, be sure to check out our roundups of the best Xbox One deals and best Nintendo Switch deals available this month.

Super Bowl 2020: Madden NFL 20's Simulation Prediction Has A Spotty History

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 09:03

There's a sports tradition in the early part of every year: EA Sports uses its latest entry in the Madden NFL series to predict the outcome of a sports ball contest known as the Super Bowl. (Subsequently, real-life people act this out in a live-action version.) That's expected to be the case again for the 2020 Super Bowl, Super Bowl LIV, which takes place on February 2.

EA's official Madden simulation typically comes out in the week or so prior to the big game itself, so you can look for Madden 20's Super Bowl 2020 prediction to arrive in the next week. You could also just run a simulation yourself if you own the game and are especially eager, but it's the EA-sanctioned one that's most fun to look at and pick apart.

The franchise's simulations have a spotty track record at best, as is to be expected from any prediction--let alone one that's done using a video game. Madden 20's pre-season simulation for this year suggested the Dallas Cowboys would top the Cleveland Browns in Super Bowl LIV. The Cowboys went 8-8 and the Browns went 6-10, with neither making the playoffs and both moving on from their head coaches. Predictions are hard, okay?

Madden 19's prediction of last year's Super Bowl also turned out wrong, saying the Los Angeles Rams would beat the New England Patriots. 2018 also went poorly, getting quite a lot wrong, while 2017 was right. If you go back to 2015, things look much better for Madden, as the game not only suggested a comeback and the correct winner, but it also predicted the final score correctly.

We'll have to wait until February 2 to see if Madden makes itself look downright foolish or not. You can also likely look forward to a sale on Madden 20, as the latest game in the series is traditionally discounted just in time for the big game.

Obi-Wan Star Ewan McGregor Addresses Disney Plus Show Delays

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 08:58

Earlier, reports emerged suggesting that the Obi-Wan Disney+ series, announced last August, was running into problems. Sources close to the project said that the series was on indefinite hold, and that crew was being sent home. Now, the series' star has clarified the rumors and given an update about how they will actually impact production.

The Disney Plus series will see Ewan McGregor return to the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which he previously played in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. GameSpot managed to catch up with Ewan McGregor at an event promoting the upcoming Birds of Prey, which he stars in as bad guy Roman Sionis, aka Black Mask. Naturally, we asked him about what's happening with the Obi-Wan series, and he denied that anyone was unhappy with the scripts.

"We just pushed to the beginning of next year," McGregor says, adding that "the scripts were really good," and that he had seen "90% of the writing."

"There's all this bullsh*t about creative differences and all that stuff, none of it true," he says, commenting directly on the rumors. "None of it's true; they just pushed the dates...they had more time to read the stuff that had been written (after Episode IX), and they felt like they wanted to do more work on it." Everything is, McGregor says, "not nearly as dramatic as it sounds online."

He says they'll start shooting in January 2021, and they don't want to move the release date--which has not been officially announced. "It gives them more time to write, make the scripts even better," he says.

The Obi-Wan series follows on from The Mandalorian, the first original Star Wars series to come to Disney Plus. A new series of The Clone Wars is also coming to the service on February 21.

We'll continue to follow this as it develops.

Best Xbox One X And Xbox One S Deals (January 2020): Consoles, Games, And More

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 08:58

It's finally 2020, which means the next generation of Xbox is nearly here. The Xbox Series X will launch this holiday season, but there are still many months until the next Xbox is available, and plenty of exciting games are planned to release between now and then. Xbox discounts are usually not hard to find--at least compared to Nintendo Switch deals--but with so many games, accessories, and console bundles out there these days, it can be hard to wade through it all and find the absolute best deal. To make your job easier, we've gathered all the best Xbox One deals, sales, and discounts for Microsoft's gaming system. These include notable deals on the console itself, controllers, games, and more.

With Xbox Series X a year away, Xbox One consoles are discounted more than ever right now. Xbox One S bundles are dropping as low as $200, and the All-Digital Edition--which launched at a price many felt was too high, $250--is now available for $150 at several stores. Meanwhile, you can still snag several Xbox One X bundles at their Black Friday price, $349.

Many of last year's best Xbox One games are seeing notable discounts right now, including Resident Evil 2 and Control. You can also use a limited-time promo code to get the newly released Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot for just $40; plus, pre-orders for one of the most anticipated games of this year, Cyberpunk 2077, are on sale for $49.94.

We'll update this article with any other notable Xbox One deals that pop up throughout the month, but in the meantime, read on for the best Xbox discounts available now.

Quick look: Best Xbox One deals

Best Xbox One X dealsXbox One X with Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order + free Xbox One controller - $350 (was $500)

Best Buy is offering a fantastic deal on the Xbox One X right now. For $350, you'll get the powerful Xbox One X, the Deluxe Edition of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and a bonus Xbox One wireless controller (so two total).

See at Best Buy More Xbox One X bundles and deals

Best Xbox One S dealsXbox One S All-Digital Edition - $150 (was $250) See at Ebay More Xbox One S bundles and deals

Best Xbox One controller dealsXbox One Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller - $160

The brand-new Xbox One Elite Series 2 wireless controller features an adjustable analog stick tension, an extra trigger position, and more configuration loadouts. Right now, it's on sale for $160 at Amazon, the best deal you'll find.

See at Amazon

More Xbox One controller deals

Best Xbox One game dealsStar Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - $40 with coupon

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order released in mid-November, but the excellent first-person adventure game is available for just $40 with a limited-time coupon at Amazon.

See at Amazon More Xbox One game deals

*with promo code JANSAVE20; ends February 2

Best Xbox One pre-order dealsCyberpunk 2077 - $49.94

Cyberpunk 2077 is only $49.94 to pre-order at Amazon right now. If you wanted to grab CD Projekt Red's Witcher follow-up for a little cheaper than normal, then now might be a good chance to do so. With Amazon's pre-order price guarantee, you'll be charged the lowest price even if it drops again between now and release day. You aren't charged until the item actually ships.

See at Amazon

More upcoming Xbox One games on sale

For more savings, be sure to check out our roundups of the best PS4 deals and best Nintendo Switch deals available this month.

Where Is Xur Today? Destiny 2's Exotic Location, Weapon, Armor Rolls (January 24-28)

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 08:40

The vast Corridors of Time was conquered last week by the Destiny 2 community, leading to the revelation of a new Exotic weapon quest for all Guardians, even if they haven't ventured into the Timelost Vault. Bastion is now available for everyone to earn, and you can use our Bastion guide to get the Exotic fast. In the meantime, Xur is back for the weekend and offering Exotics for a lot less effort--provided you can pay for them.

As usual, the Agent of the Nine is hanging out in the solar system through the weekend and up to the weekly reset on Tuesday, January 28. Here's where to find him and what he's carrying in his bag of goodies. And don't forget: If you want to get the other rewards waiting in the Corridors of Time, you only have until Tuesday to do so, so check out our Corridors of Time guide to avoid missing out.

Xur Location

Xur is located on Titan on The Rig this weekend. His Exotic weapon this week is Monte Carlo. Hunters can get the Orpheus Rig leg armor; Titans get a chance at the Actium War Rig chest armor; and for Warlocks, there's the Verity's Brow helmet.

Head to Titan to find Xur this week, hanging out in the shadows inside one of the structure's abandoned buildings.

Destiny 2 News And Guides

Xur Inventory

This week, Xur offers an Exotic we haven't seen from him before: Monte Carlo. The Destiny 1 auto rifle was reintroduced in D2 with the Shadowkeep expansion, but up until now, the only way to get it was from a random Exotic engram drop. It's definitely a gun worth snagging, thanks to perks that increase its power the more enemies you mow down.

If Xur's wares aren't compelling, you can always roll the dice on the expensive Fated Engram he brings with him. This gives you a single Exotic from the limited pool of ones you haven't already earned, for the price of 97 Legendary shards. If there's something you're missing from your collection and you want it sooner rather than later, it can be a good deal--starting with the Season of Dawn, all Exotic Engrams are Fated Engrams, but you'll have to level up your Season Pass or wait for a random drop to get some. Be sure to purchase it on the character who's missing the Exotic, and note that you can only get one per week, so choose wisely which of your characters makes the buy. If you're a PC or Xbox One player taking advantage of cross-save, you can now potentially get Wavesplitter from the Fated Engram as well, thanks to the fact that it's no longer exclusive to PS4.

Xur Item Lineup (January 10-14)
  • Monte Carlo (Exotic auto rifle)
  • Orpheus Rig (Exotic Hunter leg armor)
  • Actium War Rig (Exotic Titan chest armor)
  • Verity's Brow (Exotic Warlock helmet)
Monte CarloXur's got Monte Carlo this week, an Exotic that was released with the Shadowkeep expansion you'll definitely want in your collection.

Xur's weapon this week is a Shadowkeep Exotic, which already should put it on your radar. This is one you could only get from random Exotic engrams, so take this opportunity to snag it. The powerful auto rifle has a big magazine and does increased damage both as you rack up kills from the gun and as you earn melee kills, while simultaneously reducing your melee cooldown and giving a chance to fully restore your melee ability. Pair Monte Carlo with a melee-specific armor build and you should able to punch and shoot through just about anything.

Orpheus RigOrpheus Rig is one of the most useful Hunter Exotics in PvE.

This Hunter mainstay needs to be in your collection, if it isn't already. It gives you ability energy back when you use your Nightfall Super's arrows, increasing your gains for each enemy tethered. That makes it great in a lot of situations, like most boss fights and tough PvE activities. Orpheus is an old Exotic, but if you haven't been using it, you really should be.

Stats:

  • Mobility: 12
  • Resilience: 6
  • Recovery: 6
  • Discipline: 6
  • Intellect: 12
  • Strength: 6
  • Total: 48
Actium War RigKeep your auto rifles and machine guns full of bullets with the help of Actium War Rig.

Xur's Titan offering this week makes a pretty good pair with Monte Carlo. With the Exotic equipped, your equipped auto rifle or machine gun will slowly get reloaded from your reserves, keeping more bullets in your magazines. Throw on some melee mods and you're good to go.

Stats:

  • Mobility: 7
  • Resilience: 11
  • Recovery: 7
  • Discipline: 6
  • Intellect: 6
  • Strength: 10
  • Total: 47
Verity's BrowIf you like energy weapons and Warlock grenades, you'll love Verity's Brow.

For Warlocks, Verity's Brow can be great if you have a favorite energy weapon and love chucking grenades. The helmet gives you grenade energy for every energy weapon kill you score--so if you're using something that chews up enemies, like The Recluse, you can refill your grenades super quickly. This is a useful one for PvE especially.

Stats:

  • Mobility: 12
  • Resilience: 6
  • Recovery: 8
  • Discipline: 10
  • Intellect: 6
  • Strength: 6
  • Total: 48

Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 2 Release Date Set Following A Delay

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 08:27

The first season of Fortnite Chapter 2 had been expected to already come to a close, but Epic opted to extend Season 1 into February. We know when the new season will start, as Epic has confirmed the release date for Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 2 is coming on Thursday, February 20. This date is potentially subject to change, as Epic states this is when Season 2 is "expected" to begin, and we still don't know what to expect in terms of a season-ending event like the comets or rockets of the past.

Epic shared the news in a post on Fortnite's website, offering a very vague, redacted teaser. It states, "Season 2 will feature [redacted] with multiple [redacted]. We can't brief you on all of next Season's secrets just yet..."

The studio also announced that it will introduce new Overtime challenges in the meantime, as well as a two-week event to keep players occupied in the waning days of Season 1. No details were shared yet, but those will be coming soon.

We have an update on Chapter 2 - Season 1 and when to expect the next season.
Read more: https://t.co/RkuJetQKEe

— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) January 24, 2020

Beyond when to expect Season 2 and the new Season 1 content, Epic also shared that the 11.50 update is set to be released in early February. A major component of this patch will involve a move to the Unreal Engine's Chaos physics engine, although it seems this will be tested in a limited fashion initially.

"At launch, the goal is to ensure that Fortnite still feels like Fortnite," Epic explained. "Along the way there will be some bumps, so we're starting tests with a small group of players. We'll also closely monitor feedback and make improvements over time."

Fortnite News

Best Nintendo Switch Deals (January 2020): Switch Lite, Games, Accessories, And More

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 08:14

Nintendo hasn't yet shown off everything it has in store for Nintendo Switch in 2020. Currently, the company's biggest confirmed releases for the year are Animal Crossing: New Horizons, No More Heroes 3, and Deadly Premonition 2. While that's not a terrible lineup, it's certainly lacking compared to previous years; however, we're likely to see more major games get announced and confirmed for 2020 as the year goes on. As such, it's a good time to pick up some new accessories and clear out your backlog, and to help you do that for cheap, we've rounded up the best Nintendo Switch deals available right now.

There are now two Switch consoles on the market: the original Nintendo Switch and the smaller, handheld-only Switch Lite. Normally sold for $300 and $200, respectively, these consoles rarely see discounts larger than $20 off, even during major sales events like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. However, you can find surprising deals at places like Ebay and Google Shopping, so we recommend checking those sites if you're not finding any great markdowns at Amazon or Best Buy.

Amazon and Walmart tend to have the best prices on Nintendo Switch games, and Amazon, in particular, will quickly price-match stores like Best Buy and Target if they have a major game sale. If you're looking for a discount on a brand-new Switch game, it's worth checking your local Walmart store--the company has started offering select newly released games for $10 off as early as release day, but it's an in-store-only promotion.

Overall, Nintendo is pretty stingy when it comes to discounts, and now that the holidays are over, deals on Nintendo Switch consoles and games are few and far between. That said, there are still some solid discounts to be had, and we've gathered them below. This story is updated regularly as we spot more notable deals, so be sure to check back regularly.

Quick look: Best Nintendo Switch dealsNintendo Switch console dealsNintendo Switch (new model) $295 at Ebay

Deals on the updated Switch model (which sports better battery life) are hard to come by, but there's usually a minor discount going on somewhere. Ebay's got a minor, five-dollar discount on the console.

Nintendo Switch (old model) bundle with Mario Tennis Aces and 1-2-Switch $350 at Amazon

If you're not too picky about battery life and don't mind picking up a pair of games with your Switch, Amazon has a good deal. This bundle includes an older-model Switch, Mario Tennis Aces, and 1-2 Switch. Both games are going for $50-$60 at most retailers, so if you were looking to get both of those games, this bundle could save you between $50-$70.

Nintendo Switch Lite $177 at Google Shopping 183 at Ebay

As the latest model of the Switch, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better deal on the Switch Lite right now. For a limited time, you can get one for $183 over at Ebay--almost 10% off. Even better, if you're a first-time shopper with Google, you can get it for $177 if you use coupon code JANSAVE20 until February 2.

Best Switch game dealsLuigi's Mansion 3 $43.44 at Google Shopping

Major deals on Switch games are hard to come by compared to deals for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games. Google Shopping has a slick promo going on that can save you quite a bit of cash on Switch stuff, but only if it's your first time buying with them. Luigi's Mansion 3, for example, is $43.44 with the promo code JANSAVE20 until February 2.

*discounted pre-order

Best Switch accessory dealsSamsung 256GB Switch-Compatible Memory Card $33 at Amazon

Samsung's line of microSDXC EVO memory cards work with Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite, making them indispensable for anyone who wants to load up tons of games on their Nintendo console. Amazon is currently selling the 256GB of their cards for $38, making them one of the best ways to expand your Switch's storage space before Black Friday.

Check out more of the best Switch accessories on sale below.

Best Switch Online membership deals

Switch Online is Nintendo's monthly membership that grants access to online multiplayer, save data cloud backup for most (but not all) games, and a selection of over 40 NES games and 20 SNES games, as well as the ability to buy official NES and SNES controllers compatible with Switch. Nintendo Switch Online is far cheaper than Sony or Microsoft's online subscriptions--an annual individual subscription sells for $20, while a family plan for up to eight Nintendo accounts is $35--but it's still another expense added to the ever-growing pile of Switch-related purchases.

There was an excellent Amazon Prime deal that gave subscribers one year for free, but that promotion has since ended. As of right now, we're not seeing any straight-up discounts on Switch Online--but there is a bundle we recommend. Popular Switch Online game Tetris 99 has gotten a physical release, and it includes 12 months of Nintendo Switch Online. Not only that, but you'll get all current and future DLC for the game. That bundle will cost you $30.

See Tetris 99 at Amazon

For more savings, be sure to check out our roundups of the best Xbox One deals and best PS4 deals available this month.

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