Minecraft will get ray tracing for Nvidia RTX graphics cards

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Image: Microsoft / Nvidia

Minecraft is about to get a major graphics overhaul, thanks to real-time ray tracing support for any player using a Nvidia RTX card. Microsoft and Nvidia made the joint announcement today at industry trade show Gamescom in Cologne, Germany early Monday morning, and ray tracing support will arrive as a free update for all PC Minecraft users.

“Ray tracing sits at the center of what we think is next for Minecraft,” Saxs Persson, head creative director for Minecraft at Microsoft, said in a statement. “GeForce RTX gives the Minecraft world a brand-new feel to it. In normal Minecraft, a block of gold just appears yellow, but with ray tracing turned on, you really get to see the specular highlight, you get to see the reflection, you can even…

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This curvy cat font inspired by cat tails was created for a zine about cats

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Companies often like to create custom fonts to establish branding, and cat food subscription service Smalls is no different. Following in the footsteps of companies like Netflix, Samsung — heck, even Arby’s — Smalls has partnered with Oslo-based type foundry Good Type to create a font called Adieu Smalls.

The curvy font builds on Good Type’s Adieu as a base, but it takes inspiration from the way cats curl their tails to express emotions. “When a cat expresses interest, they form a slight hook at the tip of their tail. We applied this in the form of hooked tips to the ‘U’ and ‘E’ that break out of the ascender and descender of the characters,” Smalls lead designer Miles Barretto told Fast Company. “When a cat expresses pleasure, the tail…

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A Short Hike is one part Animal Crossing and one part Breath of the Wild

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Adam Robinson-Yu

It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.

Claire is on a camping trip with her Aunt May, but she’s also waiting for an important call. Unfortunately, the only reception in the park is at the top of the island’s giant mountain. Claire’s trek up the mountain is the core of the game A Short Hike, and how you get her to the top is pretty open ended. You could go straight up the path to the top of the mountain — but then you’d be missing out on the point of the game.

A Short Hike feels like what you would get if you turned Animal Crossing into an adventure game like The…

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9 new trailers you should watch this week

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Last week, a large portion of The Verge team went to see Hobbs & Shaw, the ridiculous new Fast & Furious spinoff. Most of this website’s staff has a frankly bizarre amount of love for this series, and having never seen any of the films, I’ve always been a little puzzled by it. But I guess Hobbs & Shaw just about explains everything.

Hobbs & Shaw is a great example of how a movie can get in on the joke and use that to its advantage. The characters are all big, broad, over-the-top caricatures, the plot is so basic as to be inane, and the film will happily do whatever it needs to do in order to land a joke, a punch, or an explosion in a car chase, even if it means making the bare minimum amount of sense.

But in boiling everything down to…

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Sonos’ first portable Bluetooth speaker leaks in more detail

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Purported Sonos Move Bluetooth speaker with base station. | Image via WinFuture

We’re getting a better look at the long-awaited portable bluetooth speaker from Sonos thanks to a slew of new images posted by WinFuture. The German publication that specializes in Microsoft leaks has posted what it says are “official marketing images” of the new speaker, while also giving us a name for product model S17: Sonos Move.

The images give us a first look at the stationary base station as well as the built-in handle whereby the Sonos Move can be undocked and transformed into an ordinary Bluetooth speaker via a toggle button on the rear. We’re also getting a first look at how the Sonos Move charges, either via the USB-C jack or the two charging contacts near the base of the speaker. It’s a clever design that lets you extend your…

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Nintendo denies reports of trade-in program for new, upgraded Switch models

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Earlier this week, a number of reports pointed to an exchange program for Nintendo Switch owners looking to upgrade from the original model. According to these reports, Nintendo would offer a free upgrade for those who purchased their Switch after July 17th, when the new model with improved battery life was announced. However, today the company says that these reports are untrue. In a statement to The Verge, a Nintendo spokesperson explained:

We do not have a Nintendo Switch exchange program. We always want players to enjoy their Nintendo Switch systems, and if anything ever gets in the way of that, we encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com for support, or to contact our consumer support team.

While the new model and the…

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At $299, the iPad with 128GB of storage is this week’s best deal

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

This weekend, you can save on a variety of tech products, including the sixth-generation iPad, the PlayStation Classic retro console, Sony’s WH1000X-M3 wireless noise-canceling headphones, and more.

The sixth-generation iPad is $299.99 at Best Buy. What makes this deal worth your while is that it’s for the 128GB model, which is rarely available at a discount. This configuration has stayed at $329.99 for a while, so this is a pretty sharp price drop. Amazon currently offers this discount, too, but it has gone in and out of stock since yesterday.

Since this iPad was released in early 2018, Apple has released four other models (the 11-inch iPad Pro, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the iPad Air, and the iPad mini). Still, Dieter Bohn’s review rings…

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New ceramic and titanium Apple Watch models spotted in watchOS 6 beta

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Apple’s latest watchOS beta appears to have revealed the company’s plans for new Apple Watch models. Just days after spotting a potential iPhone 11 announcement date, iHelp BR has discovered references to new ceramic and titanium watch models in the latest watchOS 6 beta. Both new watch models will reportedly come in both the 40mm and 44mm versions, and iHelp BR has found animations for the initial Apple Watch setup process.

Apple has never released an Apple Watch in a titanium finish, but 9to5Mac notes that this is the same finish used on the company’s new Apple Card. A ceramic Apple Watch was first introduced with the Series 2 and 3, but Apple didn’t produce a ceramic version of the Series 4 Apple Watch.

It’s not clear…

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Teardown videos prove Nintendo’s revised Switch with new CPU lasts longer on a charge

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switch cloud

Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge

Nintendo claims that the only difference between its new, revised Switch and the older model is improved battery life. Not content to take Nintendo’s word for it, some popular YouTubers put their brand new, currently hard-to-find units to the test, cracking them open to search for any new undisclosed features or hardware tweaks along the way.

The consensus? Nintendo isn’t fibbing about that battery life. But unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be anything else inside to get too excited about.

Depending on the game that’s being played, the new Switch is supposed to last between 4.5 and 9 hours compared to the original’s range of 2.5 to 6.5 hours of battery life. That’s a huge improvement, and one that’s especially impressive…

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If you’ve bought a Nintendo Switch since July 17th, you might be able to upgrade for free

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Nintendo made a lightly updated version of the original Switch console that offers improvements like better battery life. But if you bought the old model recently, you might not be out of luck. The company is offering upgrades to the newer model for customers who bought the old version from July 17th going forward (when Nintendo announced the new model), according to a report from Polygon, which confirmed Nintendo is performing the swaps.

The upgrade program was first reported by Reddit user u/DarthMewtwo23, and at least one other user has said that they were able to upgrade their older unit. Per Polygon, a Nintendo customer representative has confirmed it’s doing the swap, although customers will still have to…

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How to make and share your own Instagram face filters

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Instagram face filters

A tool that lets you create custom face filters and other excellent effects for Instagram, Spark AR Studio is now available to all users. Previously, it had only been available for Facebook and beta testers.

We here at The Verge have already used it to create our first filter, which you can see and share through Instagram’s mobile app by going to The Verge’s Instagram account (@verge) and tapping on the face icon.

If you’d like to know how to make your own filter for use on Instagram, grab your phone and computer and let’s go.

Start your project

It’s always good to start with a sample project as a jumping-off point. In this case, we’re going to create a Face Distortion effect.

  • Download & install the l…

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Fundo is a new digital meet-and-greet service for creators from Google’s Area 120 incubator

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Google’s Area 120 incubator has a new project: the fantastically named Fundo, a digital meet-and-greet service for creators, revealed today in a report from Variety.

What is Fundo? Well, it’s not the name of an adorable, floppy-haired dog, although I can understand why that would be your first impression. No, Fundo is an online meet-and-greet service for creators that lets fans “meet your favorite creator from anywhere, using your phone or computer,” per the service’s FAQ.

The service is described as a sort of virtual photo booth, and it’s a pretty good analogy — like a meet-and-greet at a concert or event, fans pay a small fee to be able to wait on line together, and get to briefly talk to the celebrity in question while taking three…

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Fortnite’s next tournament will also be its most controversial, thanks to mech suits

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The future of competitive Fortnite kicks off tomorrow with the Champion Series, and it’s proving to be the most controversial e-sports contest developer Epic Games has ever embarked on. The issue is not prize money or who’s allowed to participate. Instead, the furor is over an in-game mech suit, ripped straight from the pages of classic Japanese manga. And it’s poised to boil over when pro players start competing for an eye-popping $10 million in prize money over the next 30 days.

Epic launched its most recent Fortnite season — the 10th one, dubbed Season X — a few days after the conclusion of its wildly successful World Cup event in New York City, where a 16-year-old was crowned the solo winner and took home $3 million in prize money….

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Apple’s iPad with 128GB of storage is $299 for the first time at Best Buy

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

The latest iPad (sixth-generation, Wi-Fi) with 128GB of storage is $299.99 at Best Buy. This beats the best price that we’ve seen by $30, and it’s quite a large price drop for Apple’s most affordable iPad. Usually, it costs around $100 to jump up from the 32GB option to the 128GB model, but it’ll only cost $50 to do that today. The 32GB iPad is $249.99 on Amazon.

If you’re deciding between which iPad is best for you, choosing can feel daunting. I’ve written a guide that should help clear things up, but here’s the basic overview for this iPad: get this one if you don’t mind that it doesn’t have crispest display offered on an iPad or the most powerful hardware. It can still run any app that the other models can, but not as swiftly. Another…

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This weekend, stream two David Fincher crime thrillers: Mindhunter season 2 and Zodiac

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Photo: Paramount Pictures

There are so many streaming options available these days, and so many conflicting recommendations, that it’s hard to see through all the crap you could be watching. Each Friday, The Verge’s Cut the Crap column simplifies the choice by sorting through the overwhelming multitude of movies and TV shows on subscription services, and recommending a single perfect thing to watch this weekend.

What to watch

Zodiac, a 2007 true-crime procedural about the San Francisco reporters and police detectives who spent years trying to figure out the identity of “the Zodiac killer,” a serial murderer who taunted the public and the authorities with cryptic clues, beginning in summer 1969. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith, a political cartoonist and…

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Motorola’s One Action tries to stuff a GoPro into a smartphone

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Motorola introduced its line of “One” budget phones last year, and today it’s announcing the latest model: the Motorola One Action, which (per the name) looks to stand out from the crowd by offering action-camera-like video quality on a smartphone.

The “Action” in the name refers to the third rear camera: a dedicated ultra-wide video camera with a 177-degree field of view that’s designed to shoot video just like a GoPro. Motorola is doing a few things here to make the Action different from regular cellphone video, starting with the lens itself.

There’s the super-wide field of view, but Motorola has also physically rotated the sensor, meaning that when you hold the One Action vertically, the camera’s frame records video…

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Google Books adds new experimental features that you can test right now

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Image: Google

You can now opt-in to test experimental Google Books features on the web, allowing you to try out new features while they’re still under development and yet to be widely released. You can opt into the new features by going to play.google.com/books and clicking the settings cog on the top right of the screen. Within the “Beta features” menu, you have the option of enabling any features that Google is currently publicly testing.

At the moment there are three features that you can opt into. “Custom shelves” lets you organize your books into shelves with custom labels, while the new “Ready to read” shelf option automatically generates a section with any books that you’ve started but haven’t finished. Finally, “Searching / sorting” adds a new…

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Microsoft’s Xbox chief says no plans for streaming-only console

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Microsoft’s head of Xbox and gaming, Phil Spencer, has confirmed the company isn’t working on a streaming-only console. Rumors previously suggested that Microsoft’s next-generation Project Scarlett console would ship with both a high-end version, and a “cloud console” with limited amounts of local compute for things like like controller input, image processing, and collision detection.

“We are not working on a streaming-only console right now,” explains Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s gaming chief, in an interview with Gamespot. “We are looking at the phone in your pocket as the destination for you to stream, and the console that we have allows you to play the games locally.”

Microsoft’s plans for a second console were scrapped earlier this…

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Dropbox had to evacuate its headquarters when an electric scooter caught fire

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Sean O’Kane

You can buy an electric scooter. You can rent an electric scooter. And of course, you can pick one up off a crowded street. What you can’t do is escape the ridicule that comes with this extremely convenient mode of transportation — particularly not after they explode inside a tech company’s headquarters and cause people to evacuate.

The San Francisco Fire Department has confirmed to The Verge that Dropbox evacuated its SF headquarters at 333 Brannan Street yesterday after an electric scooter caught fire on the fifth floor of the building. The SFFD says it was able to extinguish the fire, and that no one got hurt.

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iOS 13 beta hints at an Apple iPhone 11 event on September 10th

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Apple just released iOS 13 beta 7 to developers today, and people are already digging through the software to find hints about the rumored iPhone 11. iHelp BR has discovered that the latest iOS 13 beta includes an asset that hints at an iPhone 11 event date of September 10th. An image, simply named “HoldForRelease,” includes the September 10th date on the calendar of the iOS 13 home screen. Apple uses this particular image for the out of box experience (OOBE) when you first set up a new iPhone.

iOS 12 includes a similar image, with a September 12th date displayed on it, which is the date when Apple announced the iPhone XS. The presence of this image does hint that Apple could be preparing its iPhone 11 event for September 10th, and it’s…

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