Google signs exclusive Stadia game deals with Rock Band and Until Dawn developers

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google has signed on five new developers to make exclusive titles for its Stadia cloud gaming service. Two of those five already have fully realized projects, with one ready for release.

Developer Splash Damage, which developed the recent Microsoft exclusive Gears Tactics, is now making an online multiplayer game called Outcasters, while popular strategy and tower defense studio Robot Entertainment has its third installment in its Orcs Must Die! series arriving on Stadia today as part of the Stadia Pro subscription or for $29.99. (Orcs Must Die! 3 was previously announced as a Stadia exclusive in August 2019.)

But the bigger news, part of Google’s broader Stadia Connect event on Tuesday, is that Google has teamed up with Rock Band…

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Palm Springs is the perfect comedy for a world where nothing matters anymore

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Image: Hulu

We’re all tired. Every day runs together, an endless tangle of hours and screens and occasional bursts of daylight to recharge. Old routines take on new wrinkles: meetings via webcam, masks to maintain and wear before outings, communal activities retrofitted to be done in isolation. Maybe we’re not in a literal time loop, but it sure feels like one; a long, endless stretch of days where little changes and we’re burned out all the time. Enter Palm Springs, a movie for 2020’s burnout state of mind.

At first blush, Palm Springs is another take on Groundhog Day: Nyles (Andy Samberg) is a dude with the terrible misfortune of having to relive an acquaintance’s wedding day over and over again. But what makes Palm Springs stand out is how little…

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Razer’s latest Blade Stealth 13 gaming laptop and other accessories are discounted today

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Razer hopes you’re reading to buy a bunch of gaming gear, as it has discounted several products on Amazon. Starting with one of the best deals: the Razer Blade Stealth 13 laptop usually costs $1,700, but you can get it today for $1,450. Inside, it’s full of capable components, including Intel’s Core i7-1065G7 quad-core processor, the Nvidia GTX GeForce 1650 Ti Max-Q graphics chip, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB PCIe-based SSD.

Unlike most other game-ready machines, this one features a Thunderbolt 3 port for faster data transfer as well as support for Razer’s Core X Chroma external GPU enclosure. What’s more, this model has the arrow keys in the right place. In previous models, the up arrow was between the forward-slash and shift keys, making…

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Razer’s Huntsman Mini is its first 60 percent keyboard

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Razer Huntsman Mini

Razer

Razer has announced its first 60 percent keyboard, the Huntsman Mini. It’s made for people who need just the bare minimum of dedicated keys. Gone are the number pad, arrow keys, and function keys — what’s left is a more simple, travel-ready option that’s great for those who want to maximize their desk space for a big mouse pad or just to have something that can more easily be tucked away.

Razer already makes different sizes of its Huntsman keyboard, including a full-sized option and the 80 percent tenkeyless Huntsman TE, but this 60 percent model is its smallest keyboard yet. And despite the small size, all of the functions that appear missing at first glance are still present. They’re just tucked in as alternate functions on each key…

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OnePlus Nord design revealed in new MKBHD video

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OnePlus has revealed a first look at the OnePlus Nord, giving a quick preview to Marques Brownlee during an interview about the phone’s design process. The Nord, which is supposed to be OnePlus’ return to midrange phones, is set to be formally announced next week — though, per usual, OnePlus has been teasing out details ahead of the launch.

In the latest MKBHD video, Brownlee displays a brief look at what the Nord will look like. It bears a strong resemblance to the OnePlus 8, released earlier this year, with a glossy back, curved edges, a central logo, and a camera strip. The big difference is that the camera strip is now located at the upper-left corner of the phone, whereas recent OnePlus phones have positioned it in the center.

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Peacock’s not-so-secret ingredient in the streaming wars is its free tier

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Peacock is NBCUniversal’s new streaming service and the last major entrant in the colloquial streaming wars. But Gidon Katz, the company’s president of direct to consumer, believes Peacock can win by leaning into something most of its biggest competitors won’t: offering premium entertainment, mostly for free.

When Peacock launches tomorrow across the United States, people can choose between three different tiers: a completely free ad-supported version that gives people access to more than 13,000 hours of content, daily news and sports programming, and samplings of Peacock original series, but not full access. Then there’s Peacock Premium, a $4.99-a-month version that gives people more than 20,000 hours of content, including all Peacock…

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Netflix’s The Old Guard keeps the summer blockbuster alive

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Image: Netflix

It’s been a strange summer for movies. Late April to July was supposed to be dominated by Marvel and DC superheroes, the over-the-top action of the Fast and the Furious franchise, and the inscrutable drama of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, but theater shutdowns due to the pandemic brought all of that to a screeching halt. But in the midst of this cinematic gridlock burst a breath of fresh air for anyone seeking a classic Hollywood summer blockbuster: The Old Guard. It’s the proper popcorn flick we’ve been missing.

The Old Guard, released on Netflix, checks every box for a summer hit. The story of a group of immortal warriors doing good across the ages is pulled from the pages of a popular comic series. The cast, led by Mad Max: Fury Road and…

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Kano’s second-generation buildable Windows 10 PC has a faster processor and USB-C

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Kano is releasing a second-generation model of its buildable Windows 10 PC, which keeps the $299.99 price point and DIY touchscreen form factor, but offers a faster new processor and a slightly updated design (including the addition of USB-C).

The overall form factor — a convertible 2-in-1 tablet with an attachable keyboard that also doubles as a protective case — is the same as last year’s model, but Kano has made big improvements to the internal hardware. The main difference is the jump from the old Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor to a new Intel Celeron N4000 — jumping from a 2W chip to a dramatically more powerful 6W processor.

The company also now promises a minimum of 10 hours of battery life on the new model, which charges via…

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Panasonic’s hacky mirrorless camera webcam solution is now available on Macs

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Panasonic is updating its Lumix Tether application for Mac to make it easier to use some models of its mirrorless Lumix cameras as a webcam — but it’ll take a bit more effort than some other solutions, at least for now, via DPReview.

Like the Windows version, the current solution for macOS is pretty hacked together. Panasonic is simply taking its existing Lumix Tether software (used for tethered shooting from a computer) and offering an update that removes the GUI elements from the live preview on the software by adding a new “Live View” with a clean video feed. That live view window can then be passed to a streaming app, like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), and only then passed through to your videoconferencing or streaming service. If…

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Lego made a 2,600-piece replica of playing Mario on the NES

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Image: Lego

Lego and Nintendo are teaming up for a new Lego set that assembles into a blocky model of Nintendo’s 8-bit gaming console, the Nintendo Entertainment System, along with an interactive TV displaying Super Mario Bros. The two companies collaborated earlier this year to create interactive Super Mario-themed sets.

Designed for adult builders, this new set contains 2,646 pieces that combine to create Nintendo’s first home console as well as an NES controller, a game cartridge that can fit into the console, and a miniature retro TV. The TV displays Mario traversing through a stage from the 1985 classic, and a crank located on the left side of the TV lets you move the mustached plumber up and down between platforms.

Image:…

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Amazon’s new smart shopping cart lets you check out without a cashier

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Photo: Amazon

Amazon is expanding its real-world footprint with another unconventional physical product: a shopping cart. While it certainly looks like an aesthetic upgrade to your standard grocery store cart, the Dash Cart, as it’s called, is in fact a smart version of the tried-and-true food transport vehicle.

It’s equipped with a touchscreen and other various hardware components to automatically detect what items you’re placing inside and even how many of those items you’ve picked off the shelf. When you’re done shopping, you’re allowed to take the cart through a special lane that checks you out digitally without requiring a human cashier to ring you up.

The idea builds on Amazon’s approach of trying to take the convenience it’s mastered in the…

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You can get Watch Dogs 2 for free on PC right now

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Watch Dogs 2

Ubisoft will let you redeem a free copy of open-world hacking simulator Watch Dogs 2 for PC right now just by logging in to your Uplay account. To snag your copy of the 2016 game, head to this page on Ubisoft’s website where you’ll be asked to log in. When you do, you’ll see a message that you’ve successfully claimed the game and that it will soon show up in your Uplay library. It’s unclear how long the giveaway will be going on, though, so you might want to jump on the deal sooner rather than later.

Ubisoft had previously said the game would be offered for free if you watched its Ubisoft Forward digital press conference on Sunday and were logged in to Uplay. But technical problems prevented some people from claiming the giveaway….

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Star Wars: The Bad Batch is a new Clone Wars spinoff coming to Disney Plus in 2021

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Disney Plus is getting a new animated Star Wars series called Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which is set to debut on the streaming service in 2021. The new show is a spinoff of the recently concluded The Clone Wars animated series, which finished its run on Disney Plus earlier this year.

Like The Clone Wars, Rebels, and the live-action The Mandalorian, The Bad Batch is being executive produced by Dave Filoni, who has become one of the instrumental pieces of Disney’s upcoming Star Wars strategy, especially when it comes to the company’s TV series.

The Bad Batch will focus on the titular squad of clone troopers — of Clone Force 99, aka “the Bad Batch” — who were first introduced in the final season of The Clone Wars (which aired as a Disney…

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You can now stake your claim in Apple’s $500 million iPhone slowdown settlement

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iPhone 6S

The iPhone “batterygate” saga was one of the bigger controversies that Apple has ever faced. Apple’s throttling of iPhones with aging batteries prompted a class action lawsuit, and now you can register to get your chunk of the settlement that was reached earlier this year. Per MacRumors, there’s now a website where US consumers who owned an affected iPhone can go to file a claim.

To meet the criteria, you must currently or have previously owned:

  • An iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and / or an iPhone SE that ran iOS 10.2.1 or later before December 21st, 2017
  • An iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later before December 21st, 2017

As part of the settlement terms, Apple agreed to pay out a maximum of $500…

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Google just put a photo of the Pixel 4A on its store

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Image: Google

Where is Google’s Pixel 4A? Sitting right on the company’s online store, as it turns out. Google seems to have mistakenly published an image of the Pixel 4A on its Canadian store. The text says “Nest Wifi,” but uh… that’s no Nest Wifi. The phone has already leaked extensively over the last few months, but this is a marketing render direct from Google — and it suggests that the 4A might finally be coming sometime in the near future.

Note also that the screen has a date of May 12th on it, which is pretty solid confirmation that Google did originally plan to launch the 4A during its annual developers conference before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nest Wifi, you say? I don’t think so.

The 4A seen in…

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OnePlus teases first pair of true wireless earbuds for July 21st reveal

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OnePlus is no stranger to producing headphones (pictured), but it has yet to release a true wireless model. | Image: OnePlus

OnePlus will reveal its first pair of true wireless earbuds on July 21st, the company confirmed today. The OnePlus Buds, as the headphones will be called, will be revealed alongside the OnePlus Nord, the company’s new “more affordable” smartphone lineup. Other than confirming the name, OnePlus didn’t reveal any more information about the earbuds, such as whether they’ll feature active noise cancellation or what kind of battery life we can expect.

OnePlus has produced some surprisingly good headphones in the past. When we reviewed its Bullets Wireless headphones back in 2018, for example, we appreciated their engaging, detailed sound and excellent fit. Later that year, we said that its wired Type-C Bullets were “the essential pair of…

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Death Stranding is worth playing again on PC

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Although Death Stranding was nothing if not divisive, I was very much on the side of those who loved it. The debut title from the newly independent Kojima Productions had its flaws, of course, and I wouldn’t take issue with Andrew’s review headline that called it both “breathtaking and boring.” But in totality, the experience really landed for me. There truly isn’t anything like it, and it’s rare to see such an expensive project with such an uncompromising vision.

That feeling has only grown stronger during my time with the PC version, which is set for release tomorrow. Death Stranding is a game that benefits from a second playthrough, as I’m learning, and it helps that it runs a lot better on my PC than it did on my PS4 Pro.

The PC I’ve…

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Superstrata unveils ‘world’s first’ 3D-printed unibody electric bike

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Image: Superstrata

Arevo is not a well-known name in the cycling world. But the Silicon Valley-based company is using its expertise in composites manufacturing and 3D printing to produce the “world’s first” 3D-printed unibody electric bike. (It’s not really the first, but more on that in a bit.)

Two models are being released today under Arevo’s newly created Superstrata brand. The Superstrata Terra is a lightweight analog that can be custom-built for a variety of riding styles. And the Superstrata Ion is a Class 1 e-bike with a rear-hub 250W motor, a 252Wh battery, and an estimated 60 miles of range.

The frame is unibody thermoplastic carbon fiber, meaning it’s manufactured as one single continuous piece…

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Apple AirPods Pro are more affordable than ever today at Woot

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Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Apple’s AirPods Pro have dropped to their lowest price yet at Woot, an online store owned by Amazon. Normally $250, they’re $35 off. This brings them down to $215 today only. For context, this deal is a mere $5 cheaper than the discount that has been happening at Verizon for the past week. Though, if you get these now, you’ll have gotten the best price yet on a brand-new set of AirPods Pro. Just add them to your cart, and you’ll see the price drop.

If you need a refresher on why these are the best wireless earbuds for iPhone owners, my colleague Chris Welch wrote a convincing argument for picking the AirPods Pro over any other set.

Need a USB-C hub that doesn’t skimp on ports? Vava’s USB-C hub is down to its most…

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