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Star Wars Outlaws Will Launch August 30

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 02:05

Announced just last year, Star Wars Outlaws already has a release date: August 30. Ubisoft did say that the game would be coming out in late 2024, but it still feels wild to see. Perhaps Skull and Bones just made me jaded.

The release date was revealed in a new trailer, which teased additional story elements of the upcoming open-world action-adventure game. In the trailer, we see protagonist Kay Vess accidentally cross the head of a rising criminal syndicate in the Star Wars underworld, leading to her need to stay one step ahead of the law and outlaws alike to earn herself a better life.

A few familiar faces from the seedier side of Star Wars make their appearance in the trailer. Jabba is the notable standout, a prominent member of the Hutt clan and a recurring character in the original Star Wars trilogy and The Clone Wars animated TV series. But there are other fun nods too, like the Pykes and Crimson Dawn--both are major crime syndicates that operated under or were allied with Maul in the final year of The Clone Wars.

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AMC Never Anticipated The Dune Popcorn Bucket Craze

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 01:57

AMC created a special popcorn bucket for Dune: Part II, and it generated quite a stir online. AMC chief content officer Elizabeth Frank now says the response to the bucket, which was so popular that it inspired a Saturday Night Live skit, surprised her.

"We would have never imagined the Dune thing. We would have never created it knowing it would be celebrated or mocked," Frank told Variety.

Frank went on to say that Saturday Night Live's spoof of the popcorn bucket was "absolutely" a seal of approval for the Dune popcorn bucket. "You couldn't make it happen if you wanted to. It wouldn't be fair to pull our creative talent aside to say, 'We hope it makes SNL," Frank said.

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Manga Box Sets Are B2G1 Free At Amazon - Chainsaw Man, One Piece, Tokyo Ghoul, More

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 01:56

Ever dreamed of having your very own manga library? Thanks to this B2G1 promotion on Amazon, you can easily grab several collections of popular manga series at a very affordable price. Amazon's buy two, get one free sale--that's running concurrently with Target Circle Week--has a pretty good selection to choose from, ranging from select volumes of Berserk to pirate adventure One Piece and more.

Amazon B2G1 Free Manga Box Set Deals

One of the standout deals here is for the complete first arc of Chainsaw Man. The recent anime series only covered a few volumes of the Public Safety Saga, and with this box set, you can get a head start on the next season by reading through the Bomb Girl, International Assassins, Gun Devil, and Control Devil storylines. On its own, this box set has been discounted by 40% to $60 and includes all 11 Chainsaw Man paperback volumes in a colorful slipcase, as well as an exclusive double-sided full-color poster.

The Tokyo Ghoul box set is another great offer here, if you have the stomach for it. Set in a world where flesh-eating Ghouls attempt to coexist alongside humans, this is a dark series with some haunting art. A gripping story of factionalism, turf wars, and a protagonist trapped between two worlds, this complete box set of 14 volumes is available for $86 at Amazon.

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$70 Video Games Won't Be Sustainable Forever, Saber Interactive CEO Says

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 01:54

Like most things in life, video games have become more expensive as the traditional $60 price-tag has given way to a new $70 entry fee to play new games. Sony's first-party PS5 games have transitioned to this price increase, big studios have followed in its footsteps, and even Nintendo has experimented with that MSRP as last year's The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was its first $70 game release. But can that MSRP last? Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch has voiced his opinion on the subject, and according to him, charging $70 for a new game won't be sustainable for long as studios look to cut development costs.

"I think that as games become more expensive to make, the $70 title is going to go the way of the dodo," Karch said to IGN. "I just don't think it's sustainable. Look, you remember the hype for Cyberpunk, which I think actually ultimately performed okay, but when the expectations are so high and so much money is put into one title, it's hugely risky for the company that's doing it. I think the market is going to shift to development which is not necessarily lower quality, but there's going to be an emphasis on trying to find ways to reduce costs."

It's worth noting that Saber Interactive's Warhammer 40K: Space Marine 2 will be a $70 game on release, but Karch explained that he doesn't want to sell the game at that price. For now, the challenge lies in persuading consumers that a lower launch price isn't a sign of poor quality, something that Karch says Helldivers 2 has excelled at. The CEO cited Helldivers 2 as a prime example of a "middle market" game that has performed well and is an example of the direction that he wants Saber Interactive to follow.

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Three Colorful Custom Xbox Series X Models Are On Auction For Cancer Research

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 01:41

Xbox Australia and New Zealand has partnered with Dr. Arutha Kulasinghe of The University of Queensland to create three custom Xbox Series X models inspired by his cancer research. Now through April 30, the models are on display at the Microsoft Experience Center at Westfield Sydney. The three consoles will go on auction during the same period, with proceeds going to the organization Cure Cancer.

The three Xbox Series X designs.

The custom consoles' colorful designs are based on Dr. Kulasinghe’s spatial tumor mapping, a method created with the collaboration of Akoya Biosciences and Nanostring Technologies. The process helps doctors and scientists identify areas of the tumor that are especially resistant or sensitive to treatment. The consoles themselves follow loose color schemes of red, blue, and green, but each design features multiple shades in splatter patterns across the black console. They resemble something between the cover design of Radiohead's In Rainbows and the "color field" paintings of artists like Ronnie Landfield. Each console also has matching controllers.

Dr. Kulasinghe said in a statement, "These groundbreaking realizations of how cells organize and communicate have been captured by these images that are now featured on the Xbox Series X consoles. With Xbox and Cure Cancer, we’ve been able to further highlight the transformative leaps we’ve achieved in cancer research."

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Star Wars Graphic Novels Are Buy Two, Get One Free At Amazon

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 01:41

Amazon kicked off a buy two, get one free sale, and for fans of Star Wars, this is a sale worth checking out. While you probably have several Star Wars films and TV series in your collection already, you won't want to miss out on these deals for graphic novels and books set in a galaxy far (far!) away. Dozens of graphic novels are on sale, and with a history spanning decades and publishers, there are some terrific stories to read here.

Star Wars B2G1 Free Graphic Novels

More Star Wars BooksEven more Star Wars books (Not B2G1 Free applicable)

Marvel's line of graphic novels has seen its A-list talent work on expanding the Star Wars universe, and some of the standout stories here feature the dark lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader. There have been some especially good stories here from an incredible roster of artists and writer Greg Pak, detailing what Vader was up to in the gaps between the movies. Dark Heart of the Sith sees Vader embark on a bloody mission of rage-filled revenge against everything and everyone who helped to hide his only son, while Unbound Force examines what would happen if Vader lost his control over the Force while opportunistic elements close in on him.

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First Joker 2 Footage Debuts, Full Trailer Arrives Soon

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 01:07

The first trailer for Joker: Folie a Deux is coming later today, April 9, but ahead of that, a brief teaser has arrived. This is the first footage of the highly anticipated sequel to one of the most commercially successful comic book movies ever.

In the teaser, we see Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/Joker standing in the rain laughing. Many are theorizing that he's within the walls of Arkham Asylum in this footage--take a look at the teaser below. The full trailer arrives at 6:30 PM PT / 9:30 PM ET tonight.

Trailer Tonight. 6:30pm PT. #JokerMovie pic.twitter.com/0kbYZQO74c

— Joker Movie (@jokermovie) April 9, 2024

In other news, Variety recently reported that the Joker sequel will feature at least 15 "reinterpretations" of popular songs, one of which is "That's Entertainment" from the 1953 Judy Garland musical The Band Wagon. The movie could feature original music, too.

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Fallout's Walton Goggins Says He Intentionally Chose To Avoid The Games

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 00:50

Actor Walton Goggins plays The Ghoul in the upcoming Fallout TV series, and now he's shared a little more about what to expect from the video game adaptation. Speaking to Empire, Goggins said The Ghoul started out as a jolly actor named Cooper Howard. But 200 years later, Howard lost his nose and became The Ghoul, a bounty hunter in the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

He said The Ghoul is a person who will "do anything in order to survive." Goggins also discussed why he intentionally chose to avoid playing the Fallout games to help shape his performance in the series.

"You have to understand the world that he was living in beforehand to really contemplate the horrors that he's seen over the last 200 years and why he's still alive," Goggins said. "Why doesn't he just succumb to becoming a [feral] ghoul or put a bullet in his head?"

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Ori 3 Isn't In The Works, At Least Not Yet

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 00:43

While Ori fans might have been hoping for a third entry in the Metroidvania series, developer Moon Studios has a good reason for pivoting to the action-RPG genre with No Rest for the Wicked. The team feels like Ori's story is "complete."

Speaking with Game Informer, Moon Studios co-founder Gennadiy Korol said the developer was "pretty happy with where it left off" the series after Ori and the Will of the Wisps. "It's a complete arc now; if you play both games, it's a complete story," Korol said. "So it felt like the only way we would come back to Ori 3 is if we have more to say, more story to tell."

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Christopher Nolan Was "On The Fence" About Making The Dark Knight

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 00:30

Christopher Nolan and his brother and collaborator Jonathan (Jonah to his friends) are officially Hollywood power players, with the latter winning Best Director at this year's Academy Awards. It's a far cry and 20-year plus journey on where they started, but their trajectory might not have been the same without The Dark Knight Trilogy. After the abysmal reaction to 1997's Batman and Robin, Warner Bros. rebooted the Batman franchise and was helmed by then-up-and-comer Christopher Nolan. However, he almost didn't take the job initially.

Nolan's trilogy became the benchmark of DC Comics movies and put the budding director on Hollywood's A-list. During a recent interview on the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard, Jonathan Nolan said that it took some serious coaxing to get his brother to return for The Dark Knight after the success of Batman Begins.

"Chris was on the fence about making another one," Jonathan said, noting that Chris went straight from Batman Begins into the production of The Prestige, also starring Batman Begins' Christian Bale and Michael Caine. "He didn't want to become a superhero movie director."

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Persona 6's Main Color Might Have Leaked

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 00:24

We might already know what the main color scheme for Persona 6 is, and it could confirm a fan theory.

According to Midori, a prominent Sega and Atlus leaker, the main color for Persona 6 is green. They took to social media to share that Persona 6 reportedly started development in 2019 along with Persona 3 Reload and Persona 5 Tactica.

During Persona's 25th anniversary, Sega released new artwork to commemorate the occasion. There was a particular one that depicted all of the protagonists across the entire series standing against a wall with graffiti. On the ground next to the Persona 5 protagonist is a bucket of green paint, which fans have speculated could be the main color of Persona 6.

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EA's Iron Man Developer Now Working On Battlefield, Too

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 00:07

EA's Motive Studios, which is working on a new Iron Man game, is now assisting DICE in developing the future of the Battlefield franchise. This doesn't mean the Iron Man game is taking a back seat, though, as Motive GM Patrick Klaus said in a blog post that the game remains a priority for the studio and that it recently passed a development milestone.

Klaus said "a group" of developers from Motive are now working with DICE, Criterion, and Ripple Effect to creating experiences that lead to the "full potential of Battlefield." Motive joining the Battlefield team comes not long after EA closed Battlefield co-developer Ridgeline Games.

Specifically, the lead developers on the 2023 Dead Space remake, Philippe Ducharme Roman and Campos-Oriola, are building a team within Motive to make "what's next for Battlefield" across multiplayer and single-player.

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Xbox Is Moving "Full Speed Ahead" On Next-Gen Hardware

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 23:55

Microsoft is hard at work on the next generation of Xbox hardware, after it had already confirmed that Xbox consoles would not be ending any time soon.

According to emails acquired by Windows Central and confirmed to be genuine from Microsoft, Xbox president Sarah Bond said, "We are moving full speed ahead on our next generation hardware, focused on delivering the biggest technological leap ever in a generation."

Back in February, Bond expressed similar sentiments about how massive the technical gap for the next generation of Xbox will be. However, she stopped at mentioning any specifics such as the hardware itself or the release window.

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Witness Exactly When Nintendo 3DS Online Services Shut Down

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 23:25

It's no longer possible to play Mario Kart 7 against others across the world, as Nintendo has officially ended online support for 3DS and Wii U. In fact, one player was racing on Rainbow Road as Mario when the service shut down. That meant they couldn't reach the finish line and complete their last race.

On X (formerly known as Twitter), a user who goes by Jerm-X "captured the moment the 3DS online [service] shut down" by sharing video footage of their race in Mario Kart 7. Jerm-X had just picked up a trio of green shells as Mario as well as sped into first place when the screens on the handheld went black. Then, the bottom screen revealed that online communication had been disrupted.

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Borderlands Director Praises Cate Blanchett's Crazy Turn As Lilith

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 22:37

Beyond The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, as well as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Cate Blanchett doesn't have many genre films in her previous credits. But she's adding another one this summer in the live-action adaptation of the Borderlands video games. And according to director Eli Roth, audiences aren't prepared to see some of the things that Blanchett did while embracing her inner action heroine as Lilith.

"You’ve seen [Blanchett] twirling the baton [in Tár], but you haven’t seen her twirling guns behind her back," said Roth during an interview with Empire. "She’s a master at it. A big part of the fun of the movie is watching it and thinking, 'I can’t believe they all did this crazy stuff.' Cate with a flame-thrower--a real flame-thrower--come on! That’s pretty badass."

Roth also revealed that one of Blanchett's personal favorite films helped influence her take on Lilith.

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Fallout TV Show Release Date Is Now One Day Sooner

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 22:31

The Fallout TV series on Prime Video is coming sooner than expected. Previously expected to debut on April 11, Prime Video has now confirmed it's coming a day sooner.

The Fallout show will now premiere on April 10 at 6 PM PT. To watch the show, you'll need to subscribe to Amazon Prime or Prime Video. Alternatively, you watch tune in to Twitch to catch the debut episode for free.

Actor Walton Goggins, who plays The Ghoul, said in a video that the show is arriving early as a thank-you to Fallout fans. All eight episodes will arrive when the show premieres on April 10.

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27,000 Call Of Duty Cheaters Were Banned This Past Weekend

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 22:27

Activision has announced that 27,000 Call of Duty cheaters were banned over the weekend across Modern Warfare 3 and Warzone. In a statement, anti-cheat Team Ricochet attributed the ban wave to upgrades to its detection technology, with more bans still to come as new improvements are implemented.

The massive wave of bans was reported by Charlie Intel on X, which includes a statement from Team Ricochet. "Team Ricochet identified and banned over 27,000 accounts over the weekend through a series of upgraded detection systems. The team is progressing on a new set of security updates and anticipates more ban waves to come."

Activision says over 27,000 accounts were banned in Call of Duty, across Warzone and MW3, over the weekend.
Statement from Team RICOCHET:
"#TeamRICOCHET identified and banned over 27,000 accounts over the weekend through a series of upgraded detection systems. The team is… pic.twitter.com/PPMXbsuEH7

— CharlieIntel (@charlieINTEL) April 8, 2024

Team Ricochet gave an in-depth update on its anti-cheat plans last year in the lead-up to Modern Warfare 3's release, saying it planned to use machine learning to improve detection and removal of cheaters in COD titles. Activision also revealed that it banned 80,000 cheating accounts in the lead-up to MW3's release, ensuring those accounts wouldn't be able to access the new title on launch.

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COD: Details On Canceled Live-Service Zombies Standalone Game Revealed

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 22:25

A former Call of Duty developer at Raven Software has spilled the beans on a cancelled project from 2011, which would have been a live-service game entirely focused on COD's popular Zombies mode. While the project was said to be in pre-production between 2011 and 2012, it was reportedly cancelled likely due to fear of competition with the main line games.

Former Raven developer Michael Gummelt appeared in an interview with COD YouTuber Glitching Queen, after the cancelled Zombies title was revealed through his LinkedIn page. Gummelt revealed that the project was codenamed Project Zed, and was intended to be a free-to-play game supported by microtransactions, inspired by Raven's experience with developing and supporting the China-only live service title Call of Duty Online.

Gummelt says that the project started when Zombies was handed off to Raven Software, due to Treyarch being unsure if it wanted to move forward with the mode. Gummelt explains that he was assigned lead designer on the project due to having prior experience designing Zombie modes for Call of Duty Online--even if they ended up being shipped as "Cyborgs" due to China's censorship laws.

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Laptops And Chromebooks Are Super Cheap During Target's Circle Week Sale

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 08:34

Several laptops and Chromebooks are discounted as part of Target's big Circle Week sale, which runs until April 13. While the discounted models aren't strong enough to play most games, these are still great deals if you need a new laptop for work or school. The discounts are available to Target Circle members, which you can join for free. All the discounted laptops also qualify for free shipping during the Circle Week event.

Shop Target Circle Week Sale

One such model is the HP 15.6-inch Touchscreen Laptop, which is available in two versions. The first model features a 2.4Ghz AMD Ryzen 3 CPU with built-in Radeon Graphics, 8GB of memory, and a 256TB NVMe M.2 SSD for storage for $350 at Target (was $530). If you need a bit more storage space, there's also an Intel-based configuration with a 13th-gen Core i5 with Iris Xe graphics, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD for $470 at Target (was $600).

15-inch HP Laptop

Both models include HDMI output, a USB-C port, USB Type-A port, a 3.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth support, and a built-in mic and web camera. Those are modest specs compared to a gaming laptop, but they're solid for work laptops like these. And since they come with Windows 11 preinstalled, both models are compatible with Microsoft Office apps and other standard productivity software out of the box. You can get a lifetime license to Microsoft Office 2019 for $40 or Microsoft Office 2021 for $56 with promo code ENJOY20 .

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Apple AirTag 4-Pack Gets Nice Price Cut At Amazon

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 08:02
AirTag (4-Pack) AirTag (Singles)

AirTags may not be the most exciting products in the Apple catalog, but there’s no denying their utility. Whether you use them to track luggage, keys, or even your car, AirTags are a great way to ensure your valuables never go missing. They’re also perfect for students heading back to school--as plopping one in a backpack means you’ll never lose track of your schoolwork or books ever again.

As part of Target's Circle Week sale, you can save on Apple AirTags through April 13. Amazon is matching Target's deals, but as usual, we'd expect Amazon to sell out before Target.

Apple AirTag $24 (was $29) | 4-Pack for $80 (was $99)

Amazon is slashing the price of AirTags to just $24, which is notable considering AirTags rarely receive meaningful discounts. If you need multiple AirTags, the four-pack for $80 (down from $99) provides the best bang for your buck. You're essentially getting each AirTag for only $20, which is one of the best deals we've seen for these handy little gadgets.

AirTag (4-Pack) AirTag (Singles)

While AirTags are fairly standard location trackers, they have a few features that set them apart from the competition. For one, they’re incredibly easy to set up--a single tap can connect them to your iPhone and get them ready for use. They also support Ultra-Wideband technology, which offers precise coordinates and enhanced tracking skills.

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