Hydrogen fuel cells promise to keep drones flying for hours

The use of drones by consumers and companies has exploded over the past few years. As the devices have soared in popularity, a lot of the critical features and functions have rapidly improved. The aircraft have gotten steadily cheaper, more powerful, and easier to use. The cameras have gotten better while also getting much smaller. The autonomous navigation has evolved by leaps and bounds. One thing that has not changed much, however, is battery life.

Today Intelligent Energy, a British company specializing in hydrogen power, announced that it has created a fuel cell optimized for small drones. By adding a hydrogen fuel cell onto a typical battery, the company says it can extend flight times from around 20 minutes to over two hours. And…

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Author: Ben Popper

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Kojima to Form New Studio With Sony – Report

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima’s next move may have been revealed. The veteran game designer is in talks with Sony to form a new studio with a group of former Kojima Productions staffers, according to a new report today from Japanese publication Nikkei. If this were to happen, he would presumably become a Sony employee.

As of today, December 15, Kojima has officially left Konami, the report claims, citing unnamed sources. It is unclear at this time if Kojima is also in discussions with other studios.

GameSpot has contacted Konami and Sony in an attempt to get more details.

In October, 2015 it was reported that Kojima parted ways with Konami that month. It was believed he was under a non-compete clause that expires in December, which correlated with previous reports.

Kojima was not present at The Game Awards this month to accept for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. According to Geoff Keighley, a games media veteran who is also a close personal friend of Kojima, lawyers instructed Kojima that it would not be a good idea to attend. That was just one side of the story, though.

GameSpot first reported earlier this year that Kojima was likely to leave the company following the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which was released on September 1. A power struggle between Konami and Kojima Productions, the Kojima-led studio responsible for Metal Gear Solid, resulted in senior staff having limited access to emails, phone calls, and corporate Internet.

In July, the Japanese voice actor for Metal Gear Solid’s Snake stated that Kojima Productions no longer existed as a development studio. This came following the cancellation of Silent Hills, a collaboration between Kojima and film director Guillermo del Toro, and the removal of Kojima’s name from The Phantom Pain’s box art.

Kojima first came to work at Konami in 1986. It was there that he created the Metal Gear series, which he has helmed since 1987. His other projects have included Snatcher, Policenauts, Boktai, and Zone of the Enders.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Hideo Kojima is reportedly launching a new studio after leaving Konami

In October, Metal Gear Solid mastermind Hideo Kojima’s time at Japanese game company Konami reportedly came to an end with a farewell party, though a non-compete clause meant that the famed developer hasn’t been able to talk much about the situation. That clause was reported to end in December — and it looks like it’s up. According to a report from Nikkei, Kojima has not only officially left Konami, but is starting his own studio outside of his longtime employer.

The news isn’t exactly surprising given the clearly rocky relationship between Konami and Kojima. Leading up to the launch of Metal Gear Solid V, the company stripped Kojima’s name from the game’s boxart and website, and also reportedly laid off a number of senior staff from…

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Author: Andrew Webster

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Rainbow Six Siege Adding More "Realistic" Hardcore Playlist Next Year

Team-based tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege is getting a dedicated hardcore playlist next year, Ubisoft has announced. In a recent forum post, the developer said launching this playlist will be a “high priority” for the company in 2016.

“By having hardcore be its own playlist, we will have the liberty to have the hardcore experience that we want and that the community deserves,” Ubisoft explained.

In the interim, you can try the existing Hardcore mode via a pre-set in Siege’s Custom games.

Ubisoft added: “We fully understand the desire for a more ‘realistic’ mode and want to support this at its best, without compromising the gameplay. As stated, this is a priority for us in 2016 and in the meantime, we invite you to try the Hardcore pre-set in Custom games and send us your feedback.”

Ubisoft said it has not yet decided what will be featured in Siege’s Hardcore playlist, but noted that it is still compiling player data and reviewing feedback. One thing is for sure, however: Hardcore will have “minimal” HUD, while mag count will be displayed, but not ammo count. You can take a look at the chart below to see what you can expect in terms of HUD elements for Hardcore.

“We want time to build it properly and we want to avoid extra player segmentation that would not be absolutely necessary,” Ubisoft said about taking its time with the new Hardcore playlist. “This game is still in its early days and we will make it grow with your help. When we’ll be ready for more playlist(s)–and extra segmentation of the player base–then we will gladly make these additional playlists, with your involvement throughout the whole process. What we want to avoid is creating a playlist or mode that does not have enough population, which would consequently have a negative impact on matchmaking and the overall experience of the game.”

On the more immediate horizon, however, are changes to Siege’s Casual and Ranked playlists. Coming sometime around mid-December (which is right about now) are some HUD changes for both playlists that aim to make both experiences feel more familiar.

“After compiling the open beta feedback we received, we have refined our choices for HUD settings and have decided to apply them identically to both Ranked and Casual,” Ubisoft said. “Minor exceptions will exist however for settings other than HUD.”

“We are convinced that Casual and Ranked experiences should be as close and consistent as possible,” the developer added. “Players of Casual matches should feel welcome to try a more ‘competitive’ playlist and get a rating for their performances, without having to re-learn or re-adapt to new settings. Similarly, Ranked players should feel compelled to launch in Casual, either to play without ‘ladder anxiety’ or just to try out a new strategy or Operator. For these reasons we are re-synching HUD on Ranked and Casual.”

Below is a chart that shows off Siege’s new HUD settings for Ranked and Casual. These new settings were chosen based on Ubisoft’s own observations, “numerous discussions” and a survey of 10,000 players.

For more, check out the full blog post. You can also read GameSpot’s Siege review here.

Siege launched on December 1 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Twitter Moments has arrived in the UK and I hate it already

Project Lightning, they called it. It was supposed to be the key to Twitter’s maturation and organization into a coherent (and unique) real-time news and opinion aggregation service. This October, Twitter launched Project Lightning under the title of Moments, its long-in-development addition that would curate tweets around particularly exciting, interesting, or just hot-right-now stories. Today Moments landed in the UK, and I realized why I hadn’t heard a single positive word about it since its launch: it’s garbage.

News breaks fast on Twitter, but lacks an inherent stricture or logic. Moments is supposed to be the skeleton upon which hangs the meat of a story like an ongoing sportsball game or, to take an upcoming example from tonight,…

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Author: Vlad Savov

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The Best Mobile Games of 2015

Being forced to choose between too many high quality, hundred hour experiences is truly a first world gamer problem. The only solution? Put down those controllers and mice and reinvigorate your senses by playing one of the many outstanding short-form experiences available on mobile platforms. If the likes of a Metal Gear or Witcher are like heavy meals, then think of mobile games as the quick, refreshing bites of the video game world. The games below are, in GameSpot’s opinion, some of the best short-burst, compelling mobile titles released in the last year.

The Go series of games may only be fairly new, but they’ve already become one of the most lauded to come to mobile platforms in recent years. While Lara Croft Go does share the same branding as the popular Hitman Go from 2014, the two games have only surface-level similarities. Yes, movement is still a board-game like single space at a time, but where Hitman rewarded efficiency in moves, Lara Croft Go’s puzzle solving requires much more looping, roundabout methods to avoid the game’s many deadly traps. The game is a wonderful exercise in planning and problem solving, and when it comes time to execute, you better have quick reflexes to avoid any unexpected hurdles thrown your way.

Reflexes are the prime requirement for Downwell, and yours better be cat-like if you expect to have any success in this compelling arcade platformer. Downwell is an intense roguelike that features simple controls and an equally simple goal: survive for as long as you can as you fall down a huge well filled with enemies and hazards. Gravity is the only constant amongst the procedurally-generated levels and enemy placement in Downwell; but with enough practice, you can begin to control your descent in increasingly graceful ways. Jumping on an enemy’s head or using a weapon to blast them out of the sky is just the beginning, and the tremendous feeling of satisfaction you get after bouncing, shooting, and bouncing again off multiple enemies while never touching the ground is one to be savored.

Defying gravity is also a key component of Alto’s Adventure, although instead of a dark cavern, this game’s setting is a picturesque mountainside where you’re continually snowboarding downhill. Endless runners are commonplace on mobile, but Alto transcends its competitors thanks to intriguing mechanics that mix pure speed with a variety of impressive tricks you can do on and around the game’s environments. Plus, the game is a visual and aural delight. Snowboarding at dawn while the light fades on the mountain is a joyous experience, and the mood the soundtrack imparts helps elevate Alto’s Adventure above others in a crowded genre.

When Fallout Shelter was first unveiled at this year’s E3, many were (rightly or wrongly) skeptical of a free-to-play game set within the Fallout world. The game proved all of its doubters wrong. Filled with the trademark dark humor and violence of the Fallout series, Fallout Shelter made you truly feel for your little Vault Dwellers, while at the same time making you feel like an all-powerful Overseer. Best of all, Fallout Shelter was a free-to-play game that didn’t have any of the negative trappings of other free titles. If you spent money on this game, it’s because you wanted to, and not because the game required you to.

Neko Atsume is an intensely quirky title that is more than a little strange, but don’t let that put you off from trying it. Describing the game only adds to its aura of weirdness; the game is essentially a simulator where your goal is to attract cats. You’ve got a backyard you can use to place different items to attract different types of cats, and once the elusive little felines visit, you can take pictures of them and add them to your scrapbook. By our own admission, that description makes the game sound somewhat dull, but trust us when we say Neko Atsume becomes increasingly compelling as you mix and match your items in an attempt to lure as many cats as you can. Once you let Neko Atsume sink its claws into you, then if you’re anything like some of the GameSpot crew, you’ll be constantly checking your phone to see if any new visitors are in your yard. It’s definitely a weird game, but it’s an undoubtedly fun and unique experience.

Voting for the People’s Choice Best Mobile Game of 2015! Click here to vote!

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Author: Randolph Ramsay

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The 12 Days of Fetty Wap’s instant Christmas classic, 'Merry Xmas'

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Fetty Wap — New Jersey rapper, bringer of joy and good tidings, the real Santa Claus — has just unleashed a Christmas song onto the world. “Merry Xmas” is everything a Christmas song should be: festive, twinkling, and brassy, with an ever-so-subtle undertone of vaguely monogamous sexual activity. It’s so perfect in fact, that it deserves a song about itself; a song about listening to a song. So today, I present to you: The 12 Days of Fetty Wap.

The first day of Fetty Wap

You wake up in your childhood bed. There’s snow on the ground. Everything is as it once was and nothing hurts.

The second day of Fetty Wap

There’s a fire in a fireplace you didn’t know you had, and the boy sitting…

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Author: Lizzie Plaugic

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Dragon's Lair Movie Crowdfunding Exceeds Goal

The new crowdfunding campaign for a Dragon’s Lair movie has met its target. With 32 days still to go, the Indiegogo campaign for the film passed its $250,000 target; more than 3,500 people contributed.

In a somewhat awkward, but kind of endearing video statement, producers and animation veterans Don Bluth and Gary Goldman thanked fans for their support and promised continued updates going forward.

Bluth and Goldman, whose film credits include The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go To Heaven, An American Tail, and The Secret of NIMH, launched the original Kickstarter campaign back in October, at the time asking for $550,000. However, they later canceled the Kickstarter campaign and launched a new crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo in December.

$250,000 is not the Dragon’s Lair movie’s budget. Instead, it’s the budget for a 10-minute teaser that Bluth and Goldman will then use to pitch to Hollywood studios and other investors. Bluth and Goldman estimate that it would actually cost around $70 million to make the full movie when all is said and done, which is reportedly on the lower end of what animated films cost these days.

Dragon’s Lair was originally released for arcades in the 1980s. Bluth and Goldman have said that it’s Dragon’s Lair, not any of their films, that fans know them best for. They estimated that there are “millions” of Dragon’s Lair fans out there, 30 years after the game’s original release.

More information about the Dragon’s Lair movie is available on Indiegogo.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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