Xbox Live Experiencing Issues Today

Following problems earlier this weekend, Xbox Live appears to be at partially down today, July 26.

Reports have been rolling in of various Xbox Live problems, including sign-in issues and an inability to see which of your friends are online. I’ve personally been running into the latter issue.

There hasn’t yet been an official statement from Microsoft regarding this, but the Xbox Live status page confirms there are sign-in issues on Xbox One and Xbox 360.

“Xbox members, are you having trouble connecting to Xbox Live? We are currently working with our partner to find a fix for these issues,” the status page states as of 12:24 PM PDT. “Thanks for being patient. Another update will be provided as soon as possible.”

We’ll report back with any updates. In the meantime, let us know if you’re having any Xbox Live issues in the comments below.

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Author: Chris Pereira

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Street Fighter 5 Beta Extended as Servers Taken Down Again

Servers for the beleaguered Street Fighter V beta will be down again today, but Capcom plans to make up for the ongoing issues by extending the test beyond its originally scheduled end date.

Capcom announced on Twitter this morning that the beta will be unavailable today, July 26. This is due to its servers being down for maintenance, which was also the case overnight.

Fans have struggled to get into the beta since its launch on July 23. As soon as it went live, the beta began experiencing problems that have lasted throughout the weekend. Capcom has repeatedly reset and taken its servers on- and offline, as documented in a post on Capcom’s forums.

The beta was scheduled to end this Tuesday, July 28, but that is no longer the case. The official Street Fighter Twitter account has posted a message which reads, “For those wondering, we will be extending the beta period to make up for the issues we’ve been experiencing.”

There’s not yet any word on how much additional time players will be given once the problems have been resolved. Keep in mind, with the game not due out until next year, this is a real beta. Capcom is hoping to test out its new currency system and matchmaking algorithm, so it has reason to want the beta to continue beyond making fans happy.

This PS4-only beta is to be followed by a PC and PS4 beta later this year, and then a third test after that.

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Author: Chris Pereira

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China's Console Ban Is Now Totally Over

China has now officially and fully lifted its console gaming ban, allowing systems such as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U to spread their reach into the gamer-rich and potentially lucrative market.

The Wall Street Journal reports that China’s Ministry of Culture released a statement this week that explains companies like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo can now manufacture and sell anywhere in the region.

This is a big step up from the previous conditions, under which console makers could do business only in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone–this “stifled sales and potential growth,” WSJ said.

“This is great news for us,” a Sony spokesperson said. Microsoft and Nintendo were not immediately available to comment.

Though there are undoubtedly lots and lots of gamers in China, the country’s censorship rules could impact the performance of games in the region.

The Xbox One launched in China in September 2014, with the PS4 following in March 2015. Nintendo has not yet announced specific plans to bring its consoles or games to the market.

China enacted its console ban in 2000, blocking the sale of systems over concerns about potential harm to the physical and mental development of children.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Tom Cruise says making Top Gun 2 'would be fun'

Tom Cruise is ready to reprise his role as hot-shot fighter pilot Maverick. At the London premiere of his latest action flick, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, the 53-year-old actor told Reuters that “It would be fun. I would like to get back into those jets.”

That’s certainly not confirmation that Cruise is on board for another high-flying movie full of dogfights and sharp one-liners, but it does mean that he’s interested. Cruise won’t just make any Top Gun sequel, though. He noted that “it would have to be practical. I don’t want any CGI jets. I want to shoot it like how we shot the first one.”

“I don’t want any CGI jets.”

Whether or not Tom Cruise gets in on the action, it seems Top Gun 2 is all but inevitable at this point….

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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Elder Scrolls Online Adding Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood Factions

Elder Scrolls Online developer ZeniMax Online plans to begin offering new DLC packs quarterly, and among those on the way are ones adding the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild.

During an ESO panel at QuakeCon, ZeniMax revealed more about its plans for handling DLC. The recently announced Imperial City pack and its accompanying patch will be available to those playing on public test servers next week, followed by their full PC/Mac launch on August 31. (Xbox One and PS4 get the DLC on September 15.) ZeniMax will follow this up with the Orsinium pack sometime this fall, which introduces the titular city and is said to consist of around 25 hours of new content.

More exciting is what’s planned for next year. The Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild, which tend to be responsible for the most entertaining quests in the single-player Elder Scrolls games, will both be added in the first half of 2016. Each of the two will be available in its own DLC pack; there was no word on which will come first or what exactly they’ll consist of.

Pricing for ESO’s DLC has not been announced, save for the Imperial City pack, which is priced at $20 or is included with an ESO Plus subscription. These types of expansions are likely to be the norm going forward in light of Bethesda’s decision to drop ESO’s subscription.

The Elder Scrolls Online launched on PC last year, but has since seen major updates (including the abandoning of its monthly subscription). The long-delayed Xbox One and PS4 versions launched in June.

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Author: Chris Pereira

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Nike and Apple are giving FuelBand owners $25 after settling class action suit

Do you own a Nike+ FuelBand? If so, you can claim a little surprise “gift” courtesy of Nike and Apple. The two companies have settled a class action lawsuit and have agreed to pay owners $25 in the form of a Nike gift card. Alternatively, you can opt to receive a check for $15.

Anyone in the US who purchased a FuelBand from the fitness tracker’s original release on January 19th, 2012 to June 17th, 2015 is eligible, and you can receive a payment for each and every Fuelband you’ve purchased over the years. You can submit a claim online here, and you have until January 4th to do so.

The plaintiffs alleged that both Nike and Apple made false claims about the fitness tracker’s ability to track steps, calories, and even NikeFuel points. In…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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Things I learned driving a supercar for the first time

The gentleman patiently walking me through the controls of the McLaren 650S Spider stopped mid-sentence and eyed me, as if he’d picked up on a tell in my body language. “Have you driven a supercar before?”

My mind raced; I hadn’t. Seen supercars? Sure, I’d even had the pleasure of sitting in a few. But for perfectly good reasons — cost, liability, rarity, inexperience, my comprehensive lack of wealth or social status — no one had entrusted me with the keys before. “I, uh, I’ve driven a number of clutchless manuals,” was about as far as I could get without lying to the guy who was about to grant me custody of a hand-built $320,000 vehicle for five days and four nights. I then mentioned that I’d once owned a BMW M3, as if that somehow…

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Author: Chris Ziegler

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Video Game Movie Pixels "Censored" to Appease China – Report

The just-released video game movie Pixels was going to feature numerous scenes in China, including one where the country’s iconic Great Wall was partially destroyed by video game characters, but these never made it into the film film due to fear they would cause “some sensitivity.”

That’s according to leaked emails from Sony Pictures obtained by Reuters.

A 2013 draft for the Pixels included the Great Wall destruction scene, but it was cut. The movie still shows other famous places such as the Taj Mahal in India and the Washington Monument being destroyed.

Pixels sees a variety of iconic gaming characters, including Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, attacking earth after misinterpreting arcade games as a declaration of war against them. It stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, and Josh Gad as “Arcaders” tasked with saving the world.

In the leaked emails, Sony executives said they feared the movie might not be approved for release in China had they been kept this scene, and another where China was suggested to possibly be responsible for the alien attack. Yet another scene contained a reference to a “Communist-conspiracy brother.”

All of these scenes were ultimately cut. Sony Pictures China chief Li Chow said in a December 2013 email to senior Sony executives: “Even though breaking a hole on the Great Wall may not be a problem as long as it is part of a worldwide phenomenon, it is actually unnecessary because it will not benefit the China release at all. I would then, recommend not to do it.”

Also at this time, emails show that Sony executives were keen to move a car chase scene involving Pac-Man from Tokyo, Japan to Shanghai, China. However, Li Chow also shut this down, citing potential “sensitivity” concerns.

“As to relocating the Pac-Man action from Tokyo to Shanghai, this is not a good idea because it will involve destruction all over the city and may likely cause some sensitivity,” she wrote. “In other words, it is rather hard to say whether it would be a problem because the unwritten rule is that it is acceptable if there is no real intention in destroying a certain building or street and if it is just collateral damage. But where would you draw the line?”

Sony Pictures declined to comment specifically, but did explain that, “There are myriad factors that go into determining what is best for a film’s release, and creating content that has wide global appeal without compromising creative integrity is top among them.”

Pixels opened on Friday as the No. 1 movie, generating $9.2 million on Friday alone. Critics, however, have not been kind to the film, directed by Harry Potter and Home Alone‘s Christopher Columbus.

Looking for more video game movie coverage? Check out this image gallery to see all the video game movies currently in production–and there are lots.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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The Verge Review of Animals: the slow loris

This column is part of a series where Verge staffers post highly subjective reviews of animals. Up until now, we’ve written about animals without telling you whether they suck or rule. We are now rectifying this oversight.

The slow loris’s large, glossy eyes make it look a little like the model on which all Disney princesses are based. Its wide, inviting stare and fuzzy belly suggest it’s cuddly. But be warned: It may be adorable, but it’s also venomous.

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Author: Loren Grush

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