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Computer Games

Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT review: Affordable, quiet, and smart


The Sapphire Pulse delivers a whisper-quiet spin on AMD's affordable Radeon RX 6500 XT, with the company's Trixx Boost software giving performance a helping hand. It's a good option for newcomers to PC gaming as long as you operate within limits imposed by the unusual technical configuration of AMD's GPU. AMD's Radeon RX 6500 XT is a humble graphics card built to bring 1080p gaming to the masses at a time when the masses haven't had an affordable GPU option for years. Sapphire's popular "Pulse" brand relentlessly focuses on delivering solid gaming experiences without cost-adding frills you may not want. On paper, it sounds like a peanut butter and jelly-type situation. But does the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT, which retails for AMD's $199 suggested price, hold up in practice?

'The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask' joins Nintendo Switch Online in February


Soon after adding Banjo-Kazooie to Switch Online's Expansion Pack, Nintendo is preparing to bring another classic game to the service. In February, The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask will join the lineup. Save Termina before it's met with a terrible fate! It'll be interesting to see whether Nintendo has resolved the emulation issues many players had with Ocarina of Time, the predecessor to Majora's Mask, on Switch. Majora's Mask is one of the most highly regarded Zelda games, so it'd be disappointing if the full experience of the N64 title isn't properly replicated on the handheld console. Nintendo announced Expansion Pack, a higher tier of Switch Online that includes Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games, back in September.

Microsoft-Activision deal: What will it mean? Talking Tech podcast

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below.This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text. Welcome back to Talking Tech. You likely heard me a couple days ago talking about Microsoft's huge deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, which is the video game publisher that makes a ton of big titles, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft through Blizzard, and a host of others. The big concern for some video game players, particularly owners of a PlayStation, is whether they should be worried that one of the industry's biggest games and Call of Duty may no longer be on the platform.

Blizzard chief promises to 'rebuild trust' ahead of Microsoft takeover


Blizzard Entertainment boss Mike Ybarra has promised in a blog post to "rebuild your trust" in the studio, marking his first comments since Microsoft's proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Blizzard Activision. The developer of blockbuster titles like World of Warcraft and Overwatch has been under pressure since it was sued by the state of California, which accused it of being a "breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women." Ybarra promised new measures to improve the company's culture, starting with tying executive and management compensation to "our overall success in creating a safe, inclusive and creative work environment at Blizzard," he said. "A Culture leader who will help us maintain the best aspects of what we have today, and change and evolve where needed to ensure everyone brings their best self to Blizzard; a new organizational leader for Human Resources who will build trust, empower our teams, and help foster a safe, positive work environment for everyone; [and] a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) leader solely focused on our progress across multiple efforts in this area." We're committed to more open dialog directly with the amazing player communities - not just from me but from all of our incredible teams.

Microsoft buying Activision: What it means for PlayStation owners, other Call of Duty fans

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

If you own a PlayStation, how worried should you be the company behind the rival Xbox could soon own one of the industry's biggest games? Microsoft's announcement Tuesday that it planned to buy Activision Blizzard – the video game publisher behind Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and other flagship franchises – stirred some concerns on social media over whether Call of Duty would remain on PlayStation platforms if the deal is cleared. The deal, which is expected to close no later than June 2023, would give the tech giant another trove of video game properties to bolster the Xbox as well as its Game Pass subscription service. The announced deal comes two months after reports surfaced Microsoft was evaluating its relationship with Activision Blizzard following allegations its CEO, Bobby Kotick, knew for years about sexual misconduct claims at the company. And as gamers pondered, it could also deliver a significant setback to PlayStation maker Sony if the acquisition is approved. It's a far cry from 2015 when Andrew House, then the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, revealed a deal with Activision to deliver early access to Call of Duty content with the launch of hit title "Call of Duty: Black Ops III." "PlayStation is the new home of Call of Duty," House proclaimed during a press event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2015.

Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Deal and the Post-Console World


Microsoft's war chest is a dynamo. With revenues that rival the GDP of a small nation, it's got enough cash on hand to buy whatever it wants. When it does, it just acquires another money-making machine. Video game company Activision Blizzard, which Microsoft announced yesterday it was buying for a staggering $68.7 billion--more than the $26.2 billion it paid for LinkedIn in 2016, almost 10 times the $7.5 billion it paid for Bethesda's parent ZeniMax Media last year. Microsoft now owns Call of Duty and Halo; it owns The Elder Scrolls and World of Warcraft.

Microsoft Buying Activision Blizzard Might Be Good For Gamers, But Bad for Developers

TIME - Tech

On Tuesday tech giant Microsoft announced its proposed purchase of gaming company Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion. The deal would grant Microsoft ownership over globally recognized franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush, to name a few. It also creates a new division in the company, Microsoft Gaming, to be led by the company's head of its Xbox division, Phil Spencer. For Activision Blizzard, this couldn't have come at a better time. The company, run by CEO Bobby Kotick since 1991, has been the subject of scrutiny and lawsuits based on numerous allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, and a toxic workplace culture at the company.

Microsoft takeover of Call of Duty games firm wipes $20bn off Sony shares

The Guardian

Shares in the Japanese conglomerate closed down 13% on Wednesday, their biggest fall since the global financial crisis in 2008, as investors reacted to the possibility that the $70bn bid for Activision Blizzard could result in hit games being pulled from the Sony PlayStation console and subscription service and offered exclusively on the rival Microsoft Xbox. The blockbuster deal is not only the largest Microsoft has struck but also the biggest ever in the gaming and tech sectors. It sparked a wave of investor interest in further consolidation, with shares in Electronic Arts, the maker of the Fifa football series, and Take-Two Interactive, the maker of Grand Theft Auto, rising. The shares of other video games companies also rose. France's Ubisoft, which makes Assassin's Creed, was up almost 12%, while Japan's Capcom and Square Enix each rose 3.5%. "Sony's response [to the deal] will be one to watch, of course," said Clay Griffin, an analyst at the research firm MoffettNathanson.

Monopoly money: is Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard good for gaming?

The Guardian

In 2014, Microsoft bought Minecraft's developer Mojang for what seemed, at the time, an eye-popping figure: $2.5bn (£1.8bn). It was the first in a series of bullish video-game studio acquisitions by the tech giant, whose games division has been led by executive Phil Spencer, a long-time advocate for video games within Microsoft and the wider business world, for the past eight years. More studios followed, for undisclosed amounts: beloved Californian comedy-game artists Double Fine, UK studio Ninja Theory, RPG specialists Obsidian Entertainment. It seemed that under Spencer's leadership, Microsoft was cementing its commitment to the Xbox console and the video-games business by investing in what makes games great: the people who make them. Then came 2020's deal to acquire Zenimax (and with it Bethesda), for a properly astonishing $7.5bn.

Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion: Talking Tech podcast

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text. Welcome back to talking tech huge news in the world of video games. And for that matter technology, Microsoft announced it plans to acquire video game publisher Activision Blizzard in an all cash deal valued at an eye-popping 68.7 billion.