Posts with «author_name|kris holt» label

Until Dawn and The Quarry developer Supermassive is reportedly laying off around 90 workers

Yet another notable game studio is laying off a significant chunk of its workforce. Supermassive Games, the developer behind interactive horror titles Until Dawn and The Quarry, is cutting around 90 jobs, according to Bloomberg. That's nearly a third of the studio's more than 300 employees.

Supermassive confirmed in a statement that the studio will reorganize. "As a result, we are entering into a period of consultation, which we anticipate will result in the loss of some of our colleagues," it said. "This is not a decision that's been taken lightly, with many efforts made to avoid this outcome."

A statement from Supermassive Games.

— Supermassive Games (@SuperMGames) February 26, 2024

Supermassive notes that it's not safe from the "significant challenges" facing the games industry. More than 6,000 workers in the industry have lost their jobs since the beginning of the year and we're not even into March yet.

Meanwhile, indie studio Die Gute Fabrik has paused production amid funding difficulties. The developer of Saltsea Chronicles and Sportsfriends will use its remaining funds to give staff a month of paid time "to catch their breaths" while they look for new jobs. The studio is still seeking backers to help it resume production and hopes to bring back current team members in the future. However, it notes that "the publishing and investment scene is so tough for companies and projects of our scale right now it's made it extremely difficult to secure funding for our next project without a gap in income."

We’re sad to share that we're halting production at @gutefabrik due to the challenging funding & investment scene in games right now. We downed tools earlier this month & have been doing our best to support the team who'll be looking for work from mid-March.

Full statement:

— Die Gute Fabrik (@gutefabrik) February 26, 2024

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

NVIDIA's RTX 500 and 1000 Ada GPUs bring more AI smarts to thin and light workstations

Just ahead of Mobile World Congress, NVIDIA unveiled its latest laptop GPUs and, what a surprise, they’re designed largely to assist with AI processing. The RTX 500 and 1000 Ada Generation graphics cards are primarily for thin and light laptops. While they won’t offer as much TOPS AI performance as current higher-end mobile GPUs, they could be a handy option for on-the-go AI processing for the likes of researchers, content creators and video editors. It's worth noting they're workstation GPUs rather than ones designed for gaming.

NVIDIA says the GPUs, which are based on the Ada Lovelace architecture, offer up to twice the ray-tracing performance of previous-gen GPUs (they employ third-gen ray-tracing cores). Fourth-gen Tensor Cores, meanwhile, deliver up to twice the throughput of previous GPUs, according to NVIDIA. The company says this helps with “accelerating deep learning training, inferencing and AI-based creative workloads.”

The RTX 500 has 4GB of dedicated memory, while the RTX 1000 has 6GB. NVIDIA says they deliver up to 154 and 193 TOPS of AI performance, respectively. Compared with a CPU-only AI configuration, the RTX 500 is slated to provide up to three times faster AI-powered photo editing, as much as 10 times the graphics performance for 3D rendering and up to 14 times the generative AI performance for various models.

The GPUs also support DLSS 3, the company’s upscaling tech. In addition, an eighth-gen encoder includes AV1 support. NVIDIA says this video codec is “up to 40 percent more efficient than H.264, enabling new possibilities for broadcasting, streaming and video calling.”

If you’re interested in picking up a laptop with an RTX 500 or 1000 GPU, you won’t have to wait long. They’ll debut this spring in laptops from the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo and MSI.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Some Apple Vision Pro units reportedly developed a similar hairline crack on the front glass

Picture the scene: you've had an enjoyable day of playing around in mixed reality using Apple's Vision Pro headset. Once you're done for the night, you carefully pack the Vision Pro away while leaving the battery pack connected and soft front cover attached. But when you wake up to begin a new day of work while wearing the $3,500 headset, you spot a problem: a hairline crack has formed on the front cover glass.

That's a problem that at least a few users have encountered, according to a handful of reports on Reddit. It's unclear how many units have been affected, though MacRumors suggests it's a small number. The issue occurred on Engadget's review unit as well. 

The cause of the problem is not yet known. But the similar appearance of the cracks and apparently small number of impacted units suggests that it's down to a manufacturing flaw. Engadget has contacted Apple for comment.

If Apple doesn't officially recognize the issue as a manufacturing defect, it may not cover the crack under the device's warranty. That's reportedly been the case for some of the affected users. As such, they're been put on the hook for $300 to repair the cover glass if they have AppleCare coverage. Otherwise, the cost is a stinging $800.

As MacRumors notes, Apple often offers special repair programs for recognized hardware issues, but that's only likely to happen if there are enough reports to warrant the company fully investigating the matter and identifying a common problem. Still, this gives more credence to the maxim that maybe you shouldn't buy a first-generation Apple product.

This isn't the first time an Apple device has been susceptible to scratches in its first generation. Many users of the first iPod nano found that it scratched very easily. A lawsuit ensued, and Apple agreed to pay a $22.5 million settlement.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

A four-pack of AirTags is $20 off right now

Bluetooth trackers are handy little devices that can help you find things you've misplaced. If you're deep in the Apple ecosystem (or at least have an iPhone), AirTags are perhaps your best choice. If you've been meaning to pick some up, there's some good news for you as a four-pack of AirTags is on sale. The pack has dropped by $20 to $79. That's close to the lowest price we've seen for them, so it's a solid deal.

It's easy to set up an AirTag with your iPhone or iPad as it's a one-tap process. Once you've done that and attached an AirTag to an item, you'll be able to keep track of that alongside your family and friends in the Mind My app. AirTags don't store location data or history and their communications with the Find My network are encrypted and anonymous, Apple says.

You can play a sound on the AirTag's built-in speaker to help you find a misplaced item (useful for, say, a remote that's fallen down the side of a couch), and you can ask Siri for help finding your things. If you have a recent iPhone (11 or later), you'll be able to make use of a second-gen Ultra Wideband chip that powers precision finding — this will give you pinpoint directions to your AirTag once you're within range.

If you've lost an item away from home, you can put its accompanying AirTag into Lost Mode. This means you'll be notified whenever it pops up in the Find My network. In other words, when it is picked up by one of the hundreds of millions of Apple devices in the Find My network. The AirTag is a rugged little thing (it's IP67 water and dust resistant and the replaceable battery lasts over a year), which should give you some time to find your missing item.

To make sure it's securely fastened to your item, you might want to pick up some AirTag accessories. These enable you to attach an AirTag to various fabrics, keys or anything with a strap. There are also cases with adhesive mounts, meaning you can stick an AirTag to just about anything.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Framework's new sub-$500 modular laptop has no RAM, storage or OS

Framework is all about modular, upgradable laptops and now the company is offering people a more-cost effective entry point. It has dropped the price of its B-stock Factory Seconds systems (which are built with excess parts and new components). As such, it's now offering a Framework Laptop 13 barebones configuration for under $500 for the very first time.

The 13-inch machine comes with an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with Iris Xe graphics. So the CPU should be sufficient for most basic tasks and some moderate gaming. Here's the catch: Frameworks' barebones laptops don't include RAM, storage, Wi-Fi connectivity, power adaptor or even an operating system.

Tinkerers (i.e. folks who likely would be most interested in playing around with a Framework system) are likely to have some spare parts kicking around anyway. You can buy whatever other components you might need from the Framework Marketplace. To that end, Framework says it's selling refurbished DDR4 memory at half the price of new.

One other thing worth noting is that Framework's B-stock systems have an original display with "slight cosmetic issues." The company notes that these can range from things like fine lines that can be seen from a certain angle or a lack of backlight uniformity that may be seen on a white screen. A-stock systems have a matte display, but they're a little more expensive. Factory Seconds laptops are available in the US, Canada and Australia for the time being.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Riot's Project L fighting game is officially titled 2XKO

It's been a big few months for fighting games between the likes of Mortal Kombat 1, Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8 all popping up. There's another would-be major player sitting in the wings though, as Riot is preparing to enter the fray. The publisher has provided an update on Project L, the long-awaited League of Legends spin-off it announced in 2019. The fighting game now has an official name: 2XKO.

Let's be honest, that's a real stinker of a name, It's isn't exactly going to roll off the tongue. Some of those commenting on a YouTube video in which Riot made the announcement suggested that "Double KO" would have been better. It's hard to disagree.

The name stems from the format of 2XKO. It's a 2 vs. 2 tag-based fighting game, borrowing an idea popularized by the Marvel vs. Capcom series. You can play solo or, in a nice touch, recruit a friend as your tag partner and battle another duo. Riot also says 2XKO will have streamlined controls and mechanics to help players jump in, but notes that there will be a "high level of depth and mastery."

In the gameplay teaser, 2XKO looks pretty solid. It appears to have Riot's trademark level of polish with smooth animations and distinct, eye-catching looks for each of the LoL characters. It's just a pity about that name.

Riot plans to release 2XKO on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2025. As with its other tentpole titles, 2XKO will be a free-to-play game.

The publisher will set up demos at fighting game events throughout this year, starting at Evo Japan in April. Riot is also hoping to run at-home playtests and you can sign up at the game's website.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

The 8Bitdo Ultimate C controller is on sale for $25 today only

8Bitdo makes some of the best third-party game controllers around, and one of them is now on sale for close to a record low price. The Ultimate C controller has dropped from $30 to $25.49 today only as it's an Amazon lightning deal. It’s only a few cents more than the lowest price we’ve seen for the peripheral to date.

The Ultimate C is compatible with a wide range of devices and platforms, including Windows PC, Steam Deck, Android and Raspberry Pi. It's a cheaper version of some of 8BitDo's other peripherals. 

It doesn't rely on Bluetooth or a 2.5GHz connection. Instead, the Ultimate C connects to your gaming system via a 2.4GHz USB dongle. 8BitDo was also able to reduce costs by opting for a charging cable instead of a dock and removing the profile toggle seen in pricier models. There's no support for 8BitDo's Ultimate customization software either, but the firmware is upgradable.

The tradeoffs may just be worthwhile for an inexpensive gamepad from a well-known peripheral maker. The controller will run for up to 25 hours on a single charge, according to 8Bitdo, and there's support for asymmetrical rumble when playing games on Windows (where you can plug-and-play via a wired connection as well). The field green and lilac purple colorways are quite fetching too.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Sony is working on official PC support for the PS VR2

Sony is looking to make its latest PlayStation virtual reality headset more useful by allowing folks to run PC games on it. The company said that it's "currently testing the ability for PS VR2 players to access additional games on PC to offer even more game variety in addition to the PS VR2 titles available through PS5." Sony hopes to roll out PC support for PS VR2 later this year and said to stay tuned for more updates.

Official PC support is something many enthusiasts have been hoping for, since the PS VR2 is, for the most part, a great virtual reality headset. Modders have been working on ways to make the device work with the likes of SteamVR, but official support will make things much easier. 

Despite Sony announcing PC support plans in a blog post detailing some of the titles that are on the way to PS VR2 on PS5, it's hard to argue that the headset has an especially strong library of games as things stand. Sony itself has only released three VR experiences for the platform since it debuted a year ago. In fact, the company has not announced any future first-party games for PS VR2. The lack of backward compatibility with PS VR titles limits the current headset's library too. 

Some notable developers also have cold feet about making PS VR2 versions of their projects. The eponymous studio behind popular VR social space Rec Room says porting the game to PS VR2 would be too expensive.

So, enabling folks to more easily use PS VR2 for virtual reality experiences on PC is a smart idea. They'll be able to tap into a wider selection of games, including big hitters like Half Life: Alyx, on a headset that has excellent dual OLED displays. That could help Sony shift more PS VR2 units. It also gives Sony more of a reason to release Horizon: Call of the Mountain on PC so that the entire Horizon series is available on that platform.

Meanwhile, if Sony enables virtual desktop support, there's the possibility that PS VR2 users will be able to access Xbox Cloud Gaming through a web browser. Wouldn't that be something?

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Meta is testing cross-posts from Facebook to Threads

Despite quickly amassing more than 100 million users, Meta’s Threads hasn’t exactly broken through to the zeitgeist the way its main rival, X/Twitter, did. It’s arguably still awaiting its plane-on-the-Hudson moment. Nevertheless, Meta is doing what it can to bring attention to and keep eyes on the text-based platform, including by displaying popular threads on Facebook and Instagram.

Its latest test is out of a previous playbook too. The company is toying with letting users cross post from Facebook to Threads with ease. That could eventually make it easier for heavy Facebook users and/or content creators to share their thoughts, videos and photos on Threads without much more effort. As it stands, some users can share text and link posts from Facebook to Threads. There's no guarantee that Meta will deploy the feature in the long term or expand it to include images.

It makes sense for Meta to at least try this. Users have long been able to post stories and Reels to Facebook and Instagram simultaneously, so adding Threads to the mix is a logical step. Meta confirmed to TechCrunch that it's running the test, which is limited to iOS and isn't available in the EU. 

The opt-in approach is far more sensible than automatically sharing a user's Threads posts on Facebook, which Meta was doing for a while to boost awareness of the former. People often have different identities on Facebook and Instagram/Threads, even if they're tied to the same account. They might not want a highly political Threads post or dirty joke to show up in their friends' and family's Facebook feeds. At least this way they'll have the option to share a post on both platforms.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Xbox's Hi-Fi Rush is coming to PS5 on March 19

One of the worst-kept secrets in gaming is now official. Former Xbox exclusive Hi-Fi Rush is coming to PS5 on March 19. Many expected the announcement to come during Wednesday's Nintendo Direct, which focused on third-party games, but Bethesda confirmed the news a few hours later. 

It emerged during the Direct that Pentiment and Grounded were Switch-bound. Both titles are also coming to PS4 and PS5 on February 22 and April 16, respectively. Grounded will have cross-play support between Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and PC.   

Meanwhile, Microsoft revealed that the fourth game making the jump to other platforms is Sea of Thieves, which is coming to PS5 on April 30. It will support cross-play between PS5, Xbox and PC.

Hi-Fi Rush debuted in early 2023 when Microsoft announced and released the game on Xbox and PC on the same day. The rhythm-based beat-'em-up quickly found a fan base in large part thanks to its killer visuals and soundtrack — the fact it was immediately available on Game Pass at no extra cost helped too. 

The PS5 version will include all content, including the two extra modes from the Arcade Challenge update. A digital deluxe edition will include more cosmetics and grant you additional Gears to splurge on upgrades.

Microsoft is looking to improve the bottom line of its gaming division. In recent months, the company has carried out mass layoffs and folded in Activision Blizzard revenue to help it do that.

Perhaps in line with that strategy, Xbox leaders recently confirmed rumors that they were going to release some more first party games on "the other consoles." They revealed earlier this month that four games would cross the great divide but declined to mention their titles, other than to confirm Starfield and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle would not be among them. 

The four games have all been out on Xbox and PC for at least a year and have reached their "full potential" on those platforms, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said. Two (Grounded and Sea of Thieves) are community-driven/multiplayer games. The others are "smaller games that were never really meant to be built as kind of platform exclusives." Hi-Fi Rush fits in the latter category, given that it was in development long before Microsoft bought ZeniMax Media, the parent of both studio Tango Gameworks and publisher Bethesda Softworks. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at