Han Shot First, but leave Lucas’ edits in Star Wars forever

Han Solo

Whew! Disney+ has launched and the only place with more content than its app is our website. Wow okay that was corny, I’m sorry, but something about Disney brings out the safe, anodyne jokes.

Really, though, we’ve got quite a lot of good things to read about how to watch it, if The Mandalorian is any good, and explaining what’s up with the new 4K HDR versions of the original Star Wars trilogy. You know, the ones that include yet another unasked-for edit from George Lucas, specifically of the most controversial edit he ever made on a special edition. Yes, George Lucas changed Han Solo’s scene with Greedo in Star Wars: A New Hope, Disney confirmed.

Technically, it seems as though both shoot in the same frame in this edit, though it…

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Author: Dieter Bohn

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel on why Spectacles are a new kind of camera

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

As long as mobile phones remain our primary computing devices, the balance of power between social networks seems unlikely to shift too much in any direction. New devices have now been in development for several years, but so far nobody has been able to deliver something akin to an iPod: a relatively cheap, beautifully designed, and dramatically useful new gadget that points the way forward. The company that invents a product like that could dominate the next generation of computing the way Apple, Google, and Facebook have dominated the current one.

Snap may have gotten the closest. Spectacles, the company’s toy-like video-recording sunglasses, were the subject of intense buzz when they debuted in 2017. And while other companies work on…

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Author: Casey Newton

Trump deal to share 3D-printed gun blueprints online ruled ‘unlawful’

The Liberator 3d-printed gun defense distributedThe 3D-printed “Liberator” gun designed by Defense Distributed.

A federal judge has struck down a decision by the Trump administration to allow blueprints for 3D-printed guns to be shared online.

In a ruling published Tuesday, Judge Robert Lasnik said the deal made in July last year was “arbitrary and capricious” and thus a violation of the federal Administrative Procedure Act and the Constitution.

The original deal was part of a settlement between the Justice Department and Texas-based nonprofit Defense Distributed, which garnered worldwide attention in 2013 with its claims to have created the world’s first “100 percent 3D-printed gun.” The dissemination of plans for the gun was blocked by the Obama administration, but last year Defense Distributed successfully sued the government and had the ban…

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Author: James Vincent

Xbox Live Deals With Gold And Spotlight Sale For November 12-18–Here Are This Week’s Bargains

This week’s Xbox Live Deals with Gold and Spotlight Sale discounts are now live for Xbox One and Xbox 360, serving up plenty of savings on digital titles. The Xbox One list contains a lot of indies this week, with the big headliner being Cities: Skylines, which is currently discounted by 75%. There are certainly some other interesting titles in here though, including The Count Lucanor and Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles.

The list of discounted Xbox 360 titles is shorter, but no less interesting. Curio RPG Resonance of Fate is half off, as are several Sonic the Hedgehog titles, just in time to celebrate the blue blur’s new movie trailer. If you want to finally pick up Sonic CD, now’s the time.

Prices will vary between regions, but below are the discounts and store links for this week’s titles.

Xbox One

Xbox 360

These deals will remain up until November 18, so you’ve got a week to take advantage. If you’re after more bargains, check out our Black Friday hub for all the best savings on games out there right now.

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Author: James O’Connor

Mario Kart Tour Microtransactions “Off To A Good Start,” Nintendo Says

Nintendo expects big things from the newly released mobile racing game, Mario Kart Tour. President Shuntaro Furukawa said in a recent earnings Q&A that the Japanese gaming giant expects the mobile game to have great results. It has big shoes to fill, as Super Mario Run has been downloaded more than 300 million times, but things are going well already.

Mario Kart Tour released at the end of September, and Furukawa said the game got off to a “very good start” compared to Nintendo’s previous mobile games. “Continuing on from Super Mario Run, which more than 300 million consumers are enjoying, I think we can expect remarkable results with Mario Kart Tour,” Furukawa said.

Despite the millions of downloads, Nintendo went on record to say that Super Mario Run was a disappointment as it relates to revenue. That game is free-to-start, and players need to spend $10 to unlock the full game.

That’s a different payment model than Mario Kart Tour, and the shift seems to be paying off. Mario Kart Tour is a free-to-play title supported by microtransactions. Furukawa said of the game’s profitability so far that “earnings are also off to a good start.”

The microtransactions in Mario Kart Tour come in the form of random items and the Gold Pass subscription package. “By including these mechanics and multiplayer functionality, we want to make it an attractive application that will be enjoyed by consumers in the long-term,” Furukawa said.

Also during the Q&A, Furukawa was asked if Nintendo would release Mario Kart Tour in China, but the executive declined to say. He said only, “I cannot say anything at this time about the mobile business in China.”

According to SensorTower, Mario Kart Tour had more than 120 million downloads in its first month, with players collectively spending more than $37 million.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

Major New Ghost Recon Breakpoint Patch Resolves Some Of Its Issues

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint’s 1.0.3 title update patch is available from today on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and the full patch notes have been released. The patch weighs in at 7GB on both PS4 and Xbox One, and a slightly slimmer 6.7GB on PC. It includes a number of bug fixes, tweaks, and improvements, as well as a few basic gameplay updates.

Some major issues have been addressed–drones will now deploy reliably, and players should no longer respawn under the map. The “Mission Completion” tutorial pop-up won’t display after loading screens anymore, and mission interactions are now prioritized over vehicle interactions. These are just a few examples, with the full patch notes listing many more.

Some controls and mechanics have changed too to make for a more enjoyable experience. Players can now do a camera shoulder swap in cover, which was not possible before. Your character’s base stamina has increased by 66% and regenerates 75% faster than before, while sliding now only consumes half the stamina it used to. This should make for a less frustrating game.

The full patch makes multiple changes to the enemy and NPC AI, as well as animation, audio, camera, chat, loot, and menu updates. Missions and general gameplay have also seen multiple improvements. The patch notes detail over 100 changes that have been made as of 1.0.3, which will hopefully go some way to improve the experience.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint has had a difficult launch period, and the game’s middling-to-negative reviews have disappointed Ubisoft, especially as the game has not sold as expected. In the wake of this disappointment, Ubisoft promised that the game would become a more “gritty and authentic military experience” in the future, and promised two major updates for November; this is the first of those.

If you’re jumping back in post-patch, make sure you check out our guide for dealing with drones in Breakpoint.

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Author: James O’Connor

The Mandalorian Actor Watches Wrestlemania And Keeping Up With The Kardashians, But Hasn’t Seen Star Wars

Disney’s new Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian, is finally out in some parts of the world with the release of Disney+. One of the show’s main actors, Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Jack Reacher), has given Variety an interview about it, and it contains some surprising and delightful answers.

Herzog, who hasn’t seen any Star Wars movies before, told Variety is “doesn’t really matter” that he isn’t too knowledgeable about the source material. Show creator Jon Favreau helped brief Herzog on what he needed to know, and that was enough.

“You see, it was a very lively exchange, man-to-man so to speak, between Jon Favreau and myself. I was not tossed into unknown territory. I was very well briefed,” Herzog said. “I knew what was expected of me–I knew the interior landscape of the character and I knew the exterior landscape.”

Herzog added that he doesn’t watch more than four movies every year anyway, so it’s not surprising that he hasn’t seen Star Wars.

He does, however, watch some television–and the programs he called out are unexpected. He tunes in for WrestleMania and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. “As vulgar as they may be, it doesn’t matter that much, but you have to find some sort of orientation. As I always say, the poet must not close his eyes, must not avert them,” Herzog said.

Herzog said he was drawn to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, specifically, because he is passionate about experiencing new things. “I’m curious; that’s my guiding principal,” he said.

Continuing in the delightful interview, which you should read in full to completely appreciate, Herzog said he doesn’t expect to watch The Mandalorian. It’s only available on Disney+, and Herzog said he isn’t very enthusiastic about signing up. He is already a subscriber to the Criterion streaming service, and he’s enjoying that. “They have hundreds of films, and every one of them is great.”

In The Mandalorian, Herzog plays a character called the Client, a mysterious man who gives The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) a bounty to track someone down. GameSpot sister site CNET said Herzog’s appearance in the show is “absolutely brilliant.”

GameSpot’s review of The Mandalorian Episode 1 scored it a 7/10.

“With its first episode, The Mandalorian has made a statement about what a live-action Star Wars TV show looks like,” Chris Hayner said. “Now, with the remaining seven episodes in Season 1, it needs to make a statement about how a Star Wars plot should unfold over a longer form of storytelling.”

Unlike shows on Netflix, episodes of The Mandalorian aren’t released all at once. Future episodes will follow on a weekly basis, except for Episode 2 which premieres November 15.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

Verizon’s new set-top box is possibly the worst option out there for streaming

Image: Verizon

In case you didn’t already have a Roku device, an Amazon Fire TV, a Chromecast, or an Apple TV, Verizon is launching a new set-top box called the Verizon Stream TV. It’s free for Verizon FiOS subscribers (according to 9to5Google), costs $69.99 otherwise, and it’s possibly the worst option for streaming on the market right now.

First, and probably most importantly, it doesn’t support Netflix. I’m guessing that’s all you need to know to never want to use the Stream TV, and I would understand if you’ve now decided to click away to read any of the other wonderful articles on The Verge. (Verizon confirms it doesn’t support Netflix at the end of this FAQ.)

But if you’re still with me, here’s what else the Stream TV offers. The box runs on…

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Author: Jay Peters