Microsoft Will Celebrate Xbox Series X Launch With Live Gameplay, Charity Drives

The Xbox Series X and Series S both launch on November 10, and Microsoft is planning a day of programming to celebrate. Depending on whether or not you were able to secure a preorder, it will either help you get more excited or make you angrier.

The event begins on November 10 at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET, and it will be shown across the official Xbox YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Gaming channels. There will be Xbox Let’s Play streams during the day, as well as charity drives and global “launch highlights,” but there will not be a bunch of new game announcements. According to head of Xbox Phil Spencer, the company wants the focus to be on players enjoying their favorite games rather than looking ahead to the future.

“This will be a moment of play, not press releases, as next-generation consoles begin to land in the hands of players around the world,” Spencer said. Instead of big announcements, we will mark the beginning of a new era by gaming alongside one another. We will take this moment to have some fun and look forward to having you join us.

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Author: Gabe Gurwin

The Biden-Harris campaign has launched a ‘Build Back Better’ map in Fortnite

No Malarkey Station appears in the Biden-Harris campaign’s new Fortnite map | Biden campaign

With just a few days to go before the November 3rd presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign has launched a new custom map in Fortnite. First reported by Mashable, the “Build Back Better with Biden” map is located in “Reboot City,” and is aimed at promoting the campaign’s message that the environment and economy are connected. The solo-player, adventure-type map takes about 20 to 30 minutes to play, and made its debut Friday night.

“Our digital program is built around how people spend time, and the most effective ways reach them in those places,” Christian Tom, the Biden campaign’s director of digital partnerships said in a statement to The Verge. “We see interactive, digital-first experiences like gaming as an…

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Author: Kim Lyons

How A Team Of Silent Hill 2 Fans Transformed A Buggy Port Into The Definitive Version

In every respect, Silent Hill 2 stands alone: in its crowded genre, in its long-dormant series, even in the medium of video games in general. Widely considered one of the greatest horror games of all time, critics have championed James Sutherland’s descent into madness as one of the high-water marks for video games as an artform.

Armchair enthusiasts and YouTube analysts have scrutinized every inch of Silent Hill 2’s dismal lakeside town for clues and symbols, and subsequent generations of horror games have imitated (and even parodied) its twists and tiny touches in equal measure. But while the classic series isn’t getting much in the way of love from Konami these days, a team of more than a dozen die-hard Silent Hill fans have developed an alternate version of Silent Hill 2 that is one of the most impressive fan restoration projects we’ve yet seen. This unofficial patch grants the buggy, broken PC port of the game the superior sound, control, and visual effects of the original PS2 version while also allowing the game to be played at modern resolutions.

“Silent Hill 2 is loved by many and considered the example of a horror game done right,” says one of the project’s key contributors, who goes by the online handle Ratiocinator. “For most who play it for the first time, they quickly realize what makes it so special: The visuals and art direction, the atmosphere, otherworldly audio, character stories, and more. This is what makes the game so special to me and important to revisit to allow others to experience it on modern displays/hardware.”

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Author: Steven T. Wright

Watch the AR concert that opened up the 2020 League of Legends World Championship

Once again Riot has turned the opening ceremonies of the League of Legends World Championship final into a technological showcase. This year at Pudong Football Stadium in Shanghai, the ceremony was split into a few different parts: it opened with virtual K-pop group K/DA performed via augmented reality, which was followed by a melody of anthems from past Worlds events. At the end, as the players were introduced, a virtual, towering version of League character Galio — known as the stone colossus — appeared on stage.

While the event wasn’t as visually impressive as last year’s holographic showcase, it was still an impressive feat considering the restraints created by the ongoing pandemic. The main cast of performers were virtual, but they…

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Author: Andrew Webster

The PS5 And Xbox Series X Launch Lineups Are Weak, But That’s Not The Whole Story

With the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S right around the corner, people want to know what the launch lineup looks like for each system. As many have already discovered for themselves, the list of launch titles for both next-gen consoles is not exactly strong when it comes to new releases, but there is more to consider for these new consoles.

That is because Microsoft and Sony have taken new approaches to make this console transition much smoother and more seamless than before, thanks to backwards compatibility and free upgrade programs. For Microsoft specifically, it has also instigated a change in business practices to place less emphasis on exclusives and more of a focus on meeting customers wherever they are.

Backwards Compatibility

Starting with backwards compatibility, each next-generation platform will play thousands of games from the back catalog, and in many cases, older titles will perform better on the new machines thanks to their improved horsepower without any extra effort on the developer’s part. Simply put, many games will look and perform better by virtue of being on the new machines.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

Apple ordered to pay VirnetX $502.8 million in patent trial

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A jury in Texas has ruled that Apple has to pay VirnetX $502.8 million in royalties for VPN on Demand, a feature that lets iOS users access a VPN connection, Bloomberg reported. The two companies have been involved in a legal battle for ten years, with VirnetX— sometimes referred to as a patent troll — arguing that Apple’s VPN on Demand and FaceTime use its technology.

Apple said in a statement it plans to appeal the decision: “This case has been going on for over a decade, with patents that are unrelated to the core operations of our products and have been found to be invalid by the patent office. Cases like this only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers.”

Earlier this year, a US appeals court rejected Apple’s request to…

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Author: Kim Lyons

Hitman 3 Requires PS4 Version For VR Mode

VR support for upcoming PlayStation games is a little more confusing than we imagined. If you’re looking forward to playing Hitman 3 in first-person to truly become Agent 47, you’ll actually be doing it with the PS4 version of the game. Yes, even if you have a PS5.

Speaking to UploadVR, Sony explained that because the PlayStation VR headset acts as a backwards compatible unit on PS5, you need the PS4 version of Hitman 3 in order for it to work. The PS4 version includes a free next-generation upgrade if you play it on the newer console, so you should still be able to experience the enhanced visuals when outside VR. The entire “World of Assassination” trilogy is playable both in and out of VR.

It appears No Man’s Sky will be doing something similar to achieve VR support on PS5, using the PS4 version of the game, though the enhanced power of the new console should at least improve loading times and performance.

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Author: Gabe Gurwin

A Swiss cheese approach to pandemic safety

FRANCE-SWITZERLAND-CHEESE-EMMENTAL-SCIENCE-FEATURE

Photo credit should read CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images

Lately, I’ve been thinking about pandemic safety and Swiss cheese. It’s an uninspiring cheese, but it’s a good visual metaphor for a layered approach to infection control.

This ‘Swiss Cheese Model’ has been around since at least the 1990’s, when it was proposed as a way of thinking about how accidents happen. During the pandemic, it’s been pressed into a different kind of service, used to visualize disease prevention instead of accidents.

In a pandemic as widespread as this one, no single action can keep a person from getting sick. There will always be flaws (holes) in any approach. Washing your hands won’t keep you from breathing in the virus — and wearing a cloth mask won’t completely protect you if you’re stuck in a stuffy room with…

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Author: Mary Beth Griggs

Ruined King: A League Of Legends Story Comes To Consoles And PC In 2021

League of Legends has been among the most popular games in the world for several years, and it has managed to do it without appearing on consoles. However, that is going to change next year–kind of. Ruined King: A League of Legends Story comes to consoles and PC in 2021, and it offers a single-player role-playing experience to expand the world of Runeterra and introduce it to new players.

Launching early next year on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch, with Xbox Series X, Series S, and PS5 versions to follow a short time after with cross-buy, Ruined King is being developed by Airship Syndicate. The studio most recently created the underrated Darksiders Genesis, and the game uses a turn-based battle system that should be familiar to RPG fans.

You’ll form a part with several champions from the main League of Legends game, including Braum, Yasuo, Ahri, Pyke, and Miss Fortune. It features two different regions–Bilgewater and Shadow Isles–and the story focuses on a “corrupt and mysterious enemy.”

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Author: Gabe Gurwin