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Ben Pack's Top 10 Games of 2019 (And More) – Giant Bomb

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Ben Pack is an editor at Giant Bomb and a swell guy. Ben did not write himself an intro this year, and this could have turned out bad for Ben were his list to fall into the wrong hands. Thankfully, the person editing this list is very nice, just like Ben.

Ah, the end of the year. Didn’t think you’d make it, huh? Well neither did I. But here we are, a couple of tough-as-nails motherfuckers. We’re walking away from 2019 a little older, a little wiser, and, if you’re anything like me, with a few more achievement points under our belt.

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This year certainly was hard, but it was also full of amazing new experiences, both in video games and outside of them too.

Movie of the year: Parasite

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I wandered into a movie theater while on vacation in Philadelphia because I had a few hours to kill before dinner. I knew nothing about Parasite, but grabbed a ticket for it on a whim after hearing about it from a couple of friends. I’ve since seen it two more times and will not shut the hell up about it. Bong Joon-ho does an incredible job of blending genres together, and kept me laughing at the edge of my seat while telling a hauntingly beautiful story about wealth inequality.

Album of the year: Chain Tripping

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I don’t listen to a lot of music, so take this one with a huge grain of salt, but, if my Spotify numbers are anything to be believed, I loved the hell out of this album. I’ve enjoyed the occasional single from Yacht dating back to 2009, but I wasn’t even aware they were releasing an album this year until I heard them on an episode of Comedy Bang Bang (side note this is also my CBB episode of the year).

Here is where I would talk about the album, if I knew how to write about music other than “this shit slaps.” This shit slaps. Also they worked with AI to write the lyrics, which normally might send me into a “oh god the future is here we’re all fucked” shock, but for this it worked.

Best new food that I found out I like in 2019: Broccoli

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In 2016, the Keto diet turned me around on a lot of foods. When you can’t eat carbs, you start to get desperate for… anything you can eat. It was then that I discovered plenty of foods I had previously hated. Cauliflower, brussels sprouts, mushrooms and more – turns out they’re all delicious. But there was one thing I was stedfast in my dismissal of – the cursed green sinner’s plant.

One time in 7th grade I got a baked potato for lunch, and underneath the nacho cheese topping there lurked a great darkness. I took a big bite and got a mouth full of brocc, and proceeded to throw up right then and there on the lunch table in front of Jessica S. I’ve never forgiven broccoli for that moment. But upon visiting a friend in Philadelphia, I was presented with some broccoli that she had cooked. I couldn’t say not out of politeness, so I took a little bit and lo and behold it was fuckin delicious. Broccoli, and trying new things, both rule.

Biggest Mistake of my 2018 GotY List: Not putting Dead Cells at #1

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I loved the hell out of Dead Cells, but December my Switch was stolen from me, along with my save for the game. I was heartbroken, but I had beaten the game at that point and figured that my time with it would be done there.

Flash forward to a random UPF where Rorie booted the game up. I immediately was reminded of how great it was and downloaded it that night. I’ve since put about another 100 hours into it, getting to boss cell 2 difficulty and downloading the paid DLC update. This game has joined my personal hall of fame with games like Super Mario World and Spelunky – all games that I could see myself playing for the rest of my life.

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Top 10 Games of the Decade: TOO HARD TO FIGURE OUT

I was going to do this, but I ended up with like 60 games, and there’s no way I’m narrowing that down to 10 in the amount of time I have to write this list. But just know that Vanquish would for sure be in the top 5. Instead I’ve done something stupider…

Top 10 Years of the Decade, Ranked by their Best Games

10. 2014 (Bayonetta 2, Wolfenstein: New Order, Shovel Knight)

9. 2013 (GTA V, Diablo III, Link Between Worlds)

8. 2011 (Saints Row: The Third, Dead Space 2, Dark Souls)

7. 2012 (The Walking Dead, Borderlands 2, Asura’s Wrath)

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6. 2019 ([REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED])

5. 2018 (Dead Cells, Return of the Obra Dinn, Tetris Effect)

4. 2016 (DOOM, Titanfall 2, Hitman 2)

3. 2010 (Mass Effect 2, Deadly Premonition, Vanquish)

2. 2015 (Super Mario Maker, Rocket League, Undertale)

1. 2017 (NieR: Automata, Super Mario Odyssey, Cuphead)

Honorable Mentions for Game of the Year 2019

Void Bastards

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My brief fling with Void Bastards was as intense as it was short. The style, atmosphere, writing, and progression were all top notch – all bolted onto a familiar, yet polished PC FPS core. I’ve yet to play the DLC, but I’ll definitely go back in 2020.

As a die-hard Mario fan, not getting into the first Super Mario Maker was probably my biggest gaming sin to date. That’s why I was so excited for the sequel. Unfortunately, there just didn’t seem to be the same amount of enthusiasm around it as the original, so I ended up playing far less than I thought I would. However, I really enjoyed my time with the game and thought the single player mode was a great addition. This game was also was responsible for some of my favorite content from the year.

Remnant: From the Ashes

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Remnant was a huge surprise for me. If you can stop rolling your eyes enough at the “Dark Souls meets Resident Evil” description to check the game out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised as well.

Ok without further ado, the reason for the season, the canonical Ben Pack Best Video Games of 2019 that I played the year they came out. I’m going to keep some of these brief, as you can hear more of my extended thoughts in our podcasts.

Top 10 Games of 2019

10. Mortal Kombat 11

I think the most interesting thing I can say about Mortal Kombat 11 is that it made me care about the story mode of a fighting game. The actual fighting is very much “a good one of those,” and the towers and ranked seasons seemed… fine, but somehow Mortal Kombat made me care about Johnny fucking Cage of all people. They seemed to have a lot of fun with it, while still trying to tell an interesting story that works both on its own, and as a metatextual representation of the where the Mortal Kombat story has gone. Also the fatalities are fucking sick.

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9. Outer Wilds

I still haven’t beaten Outer Wilds. In fact, much to my dismay, I’ve only gotten the chance to really explore a couple of planets. But the first time the game clicked for me I knew I was in. I’m an impatient gamer, and normally the kind of guy who will hit up a walkthrough after only a very small amount of frustration with a puzzle, but the sense of discovery of Outer Wilds has me trying to complete the whole thing without looking anything up.

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8. What the Golf?

I played through about 2000 holes of Desert Golfing, a game which was a deconstruction of mobile golf-games. What the Golf? is just as perfect a golfing game, but on the complete other end of the spectrum. A mere handful of levels into the game, and you’re flinging your golfer, a soccer ball, cars, and the like towards the pole. This game has a similar spirit to WarioWare, with a mystery-packed overworld backing it up. Also it is chock full of clever homages to other famous video games–but golf.

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7. Hypnospace Outlaw

Hypnospace, to me, occupies the same parts of my brain that Return of the Obra Dinn did last year. Both games have premises that sound like they could be terrible free CD rom games (insurance adjuster on a boat in the 1800s, and digital detective investigating pseudo-early-’90s internet pages for copyright violations). Both games also extremely nail their aesthetic. The websites you visit in Hypnospace seem like they could have been real Geocities/Yahoo pages frozen in time.

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But the real reason both of these games struck such a cord with me is that they’re both games that, under the surface, tell a uniquely personal and heartfelt story. The aesthetics of Hypnospace were enough to hook me, but the turn that happens about halfway through the game was really what compelled me to finish the game.

6. Ring Fit Adventure

Ring Fit Adventures is the only game on this list that I try to make sure I play every day. And yes, I know that the nature of it being an exercise game means that you’re encouraged to play daily or you will lose results – but if the game that was there wasn’t fun I think I would have dropped it like the dozen other exercise games I’ve tried.

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I am consistently surprised by the depth of its systems. There’s turn-based combat, with certain moves being more effective against certain types of enemies. There’s a crafting system that is integral for harder difficulties. There’s an inventory system. There’s side quests. I just hit level 40 and unlocked a skill tree, which apparently branches out even further than it is initially presented. All of this is in the service of doing real exercises. I know I’m not going to become jacked if I continue playing, but I’m already feeling the effects of just a few weeks worth of sessions.

5. Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda

In the world of live service games demanding that you sacrifice any amount of free time that you have, I’m growing more and more appreciative of short games. I got a 100% completion on Cadence of Hyrule in under five hours, which definitely left me wanting for more. But looking back on it, I was on board from start to finish in those five hours.

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The exploration, the combat, the bosses and the world design were all top notch. The game could have very easily been a re-skinned Crypt of the NecroDancer, but it really worked hard to distinguish itself and cement itself as a true Zelda game. Plus the music is legendary, and I’ll be listening to the remixed Gerudo Valley theme for a long time to come.

4. Apex Legends

YEETING ON FOOLS WITH THE EVA 8 WILL NEVER GET OLD.

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3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

My favorite FromSoftware game since Demon’s Souls, and there are two big reasons why.

First of all, I connected with the story and setting of Sekiro in a way that I never have with the Souls games before. Wolf’s story of carving his own path, figuring out what “duty” truly means, and the destruction of Ashina, all felt more tangible than the anything in the Souls games.

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Second, this is a game all about offense. There are plenty of moments where you need that good ol’ stick-and-move-style of Souls combat, but being able to just lay down a ton of offense with a few key parries, even against the scariest bosses in the game, was exactly what I was looking for.

2. Control

Control is one of the most visually stunning games I’ve ever played, and I played it unpatched on a base PS4 where it would often drop to single-digit FPS, or soft lock coming out of a cutscene for 10-15 seconds. I was willing to look past these flaws, however, as I’m a massive fan of the world that Remedy created in this game.

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It’s absolutely dripping with flavor. One of my favorite examples of it is a room you find early on that is covered in post-its. My first thought was it was just weird for weird sakes, an attempt at unsettling the audience ala Twin Peaks. But after playing through the game and learning about altered objects and objects of power, suddenly that room tells an entire story. The core gameplay and the plot involving Jesse Faden and her brother are competent, sometimes even compelling, but the thing that kept me coming back to Control was everything around the edges. Also, the Ashtray Maze is maybe my favorite moment of the year.

1. Disco Elysium

My 2018 Game of the Year was Into the Breach. It was unusual for me, as I’m not the biggest fan of games like XCOM or even FTL, but the game itself was just so good and confident in what it was that I couldn’t help but fall for it. Disco Elysium, for me, was that times 10.

I’ve never played a CRPG and typically will start to zone out of I have to read more than a couple of paragraphs of text at any given time. That’s why the initial buzz for this game blew right past me. But after hearing so much about Disco, I had to give it a shot and I’m so incredibly happy that I did.

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Disco Elysium is truly something special. The game is tight and interconnected in ways that few other video games have successfully done as. You can notice it when you dive into how the games limited systems work with each other, from the transparency in the passive/active checks, to the thought catalog system, to how the skills themselves take on a persona, and even talk to each other. These all serve a greater purpose, though, in making the city block that this game takes place on feel like an actual inhabited town and not a series of buildings and people that exist solely to propel the main character to their objective. The NPCs that you talk to feel like actual people with real emotions and flaws and hopes and dreams.

Then there’s the writing. The world of Revachol is tragic. As you start to explore and talk to the citizens of Martinaise, you begin to sense a presence, the ghost of a communist revolution. It’s omnipresent, stuck in the air like the stench of a sewer. You can still see dozens of bullet holes left by firing squads stuck in walls. There’s a war happening between two equally corrupt forces, using real people as pawns in a game that you can’t even initially perceive. But the best part about the world of Disco Elysium is that, even in the face of oppression, death, and destruction–you can find glimmers of hope. Even the most downtrodden characters, people who are unwilling pawns in a game between two corrupt forces who only care about themselves, can offer some levity in the face of the darkness.

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For the most part, Disco Elysium is a deadly serious game, but the majority of the moments that I can instantly recall were the times it made me laugh. One of the best ways that the game is able to balance these two tones are by making sure that none of your options as a player are black or white. There aren’t “paragon” or “renegade” choices that you’re making. The game often nudges you to make the “weird” choice, after all you are an amnesiac cop running around in gardening gloves and no pants, but the game makes it work as these choices usually result in more interesting developments. The game also backs this up by having failed rolls lead to sometimes hilarious results. You are constantly asked to “go for it” in Disco, which makes the times where you can’t bring yourself to do it even more effective. I saved about a dozen screenshots from this game, and upon revisiting them I was inspired to read other peoples’ favorite screenshots. The results were overwhelming.

It’s also worth mentioning that this is ZA/UM‘s first game. I feel like this is one of the strongest showings of a new studio I’ve seen in a long time. With them hitting it out of the park like this, I am already patiently awaiting their next game. In the meantime, if you haven’t, play Disco Elysium.

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Android's yearly updates aren't for you anymore – Android Police

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This year’s big Android update has finally arrived, but there’s not quite the excitement around its release that was common just a few years ago. Given the current worldwide pandemic and Google’s shift to working from home, it’s impressive that Android 11 arrived even close to on time, but the upgrade seemingly crossed the finish line with little fanfare.

The upgrade process has long been a point of criticism for Android, so much so that Google has pulled most public information about how many devices are running the latest OS version. Apple can roll out iOS updates across its entire portfolio of phones and tablets at once, but Google is only a small cog in the Android upgrade machine — chipset makers have to update their hardware drivers, then device manufacturers add their own modifications on top of that, and finally carriers give the final sign-off (sometimes with even more changes, like custom VoIP implementations).

These more staggered updates often limit excitement around new Android versions to the platform’s most devoted fans. Over the years, enthusiasts have largely been responsible for getting others pumped about Android OS updates — folks on Reddit, writers at tech blogs, and of course, the fantastic readers of Android Police. However, as Android becomes a more mature software platform, even enthusiasts don’t have as much to talk about as they did in previous years.

Android 11 focuses almost exclusively on platform changes instead of new features.

Android 11, just like 10 and 9, focuses almost exclusively on underlying platform changes instead of shiny user-facing features. Scoped Storage and temporary permissions continue to rein in unruly behavior from third-party apps, 5G is better supported, apps can’t replace the system navigation anymore, and so on. As with Android 10 and 9, many of the new APIs are there to replace legacy implementations that aren’t as secure or manageable. For example, the new Bubbles feature largely exists to encourage developers to stop using screen overlays. Android updates have also focused on adapting to new form factors, with notch support in Android Pie and compatibility with foldable screens in Android 10.

Simply put, Android updates aren’t necessarily for you anymore. Android is no longer the consumer-focused product it once was, with highly-publicized announcements and tie-ins with candy brands. Android has become a software platform first and foremost, intended for manufacturers to build experiences with, rather than itself being the experience. When so much of the Android experience depends on the OEM or app updates delivered through the Play Store, the underlying version mostly only matters to developers.

It’s easy to look at this change from a cynical perspective. Part of me still sees Google’s lack of updated distribution data as an admission of defeat to the “Android is fragmented!” crowd, but the truth is that the average person wouldn’t notice much of a difference between Android Pie and Android 11. Most of the changes to Android in that time have been behind-the-scenes improvements to privacy and security, and all the core applications (Chrome, Google Photos, Gmail, etc.) have been updated through the Play Store for years. Project Mainline has accelerated this trend, by keeping even more components of Android updated without the need for full system upgrades.

The de-emphasis of features in the OS update cycle has also led to some proclaiming that Android updates are now overrated or don’t matter, which couldn’t be further from the truth. While manufacturers like Samsung and LG often ship features on their devices months or years before they appear in ‘stock’ Android, they can’t make drastic changes to security and APIs, or they would risk breaking compatibility with most apps. TikTok has dominated the news cycle for months over claims that it has been collecting too much personal data, which is exactly the behavior Google has been attempting to curtail with newer platform releases.

Android updates aren’t that exciting anymore, but they’re still as important as ever. Just like a decade ago, updates bring new APIs to developers, much-needed core changes, and new building blocks for manufacturers to use when creating new devices and form factors. The only difference is that most of the new features you and I care about aren’t usually attached to OS upgrades anymore.

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Why is so hard to order a PS5, Xbox Series X, or RTX 3080? – The Verge

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Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S preorders went live on Tuesday, capping a rough week of product rollouts that included similarly messy situations for preordering Sony’s PlayStation 5 and buying Nvidia’s RTX 3080 graphics card. The next two months are, without a doubt, the most pivotal hardware launch season the video game industry has seen in almost a decade. But for some reason, the biggest names in interactive entertainment can’t seem to solve the simple task of giving consumers an easy and straightforward way to exchange their money for a product.

Why, in the year 2020, are companies as large, experienced, and well-funded as Microsoft, Sony, and Nvidia still failing at preorders? It’s an especially puzzling question when companies like Apple, Samsung, and even Facebook-owned Oculus seem to have figured out how to properly manage expectations and sell a new in-demand device without turning it into a stress-inducing scramble.

We still have no idea how many units any of these companies intended to sell, how many they allocated to each retailer, or to what extent they plan to restock at any point this year. Right now, if you don’t have a confirmation email in your inbox for a new PlayStation or Xbox, or receipt for an Nvidia RTX 3080 card, you may not get your hands on one until 2021. Everything is “sold out,” with little to no information on when the situation may change.

Why these companies can’t seem to competently sell their most important products is a more complex question than it seems, as it’s not explained by sheer incompetence alone. These are major brands that have been selling products for decades with long-standing retailer relationships, supply chain management expertise, and vast amounts of data to source from when trying to predict consumer demand and manage global inventories.

Yet, as we’ve seen in the last week, this would not appear to be enough for console makers and major PC gaming players like Nvidia to solve the puzzle. The aftermath of preorders for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S going live, as well as the initial wave of sales for Nvidia’s RTX 3080 graphics card online and in select stores, has been nothing short of a disaster. It’s created confusion and disappointment at a time when businesses like these should be celebrating such robust consumer interest in their products.

Even Microsoft, which watched Sony and its retailer partners completely fumble the initial batch of PS5 preorders, had a somewhat rough go of it on Tuesday, although it was a far cry from the chaos of Sony’s initial batch. Microsoft prepared fans well in advance with proper timing for when Xbox Series X and Series S preorders would go live in their region, throwing shade at Sony all the while. But when the pages went live, errors and other hiccups began to skyrocket.

Many consumers reported issues securing orders from Best Buy and Target, with Xbox consoles disappearing from shopping carts and issues processing payments during crucial slivers of time before the product pages listed the items as “out of stock.” Others said the Microsoft Store was experiencing similar problems before also reporting “out of stock” messages across the entire Xbox lineup, including the new Xbox All Access subscription. Many of these problems are the same issues that plagued Sony.

Stranger still is that these companies seemed to be surprised by the sky-high demand, even though they should have been well aware. Nvidia publicly apologized for its disastrous RTX 3080 launch, saying, “We were not prepared for this level, nor were our partners.”

The company claims its website received 10 times the traffic it did on its previous-generation launch of the RTX 20 series and that some of its 50 or so retail partners saw more interested buyers visit their websites than on Black Friday, causing all manner of issues with order processing and site crashes.

Nvidia’s new graphics card also seemed to be uniquely targeted by automated bots run by apparent scalpers eager to turn around and flip the newly available product on eBay and other marketplaces, forcing Nvidia to go so far as to manually review orders to ensure they went to legitimate customers. We may see a similar rush to hawk overpriced PS5s and new Xbox consoles come this November when both devices officially launch.

Sony apologized, too. “Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother. We truly apologize for that. Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder – retailers will share more details,” the company announced after the initial wave of preorders, which some retailers pushed live a day ahead of schedule and sold out immediately. “And more PS5s will be available through the end of the year.”

But ignoring the fact that retailers haven’t meaningfully restocked those consoles, Sony’s statement alludes to perhaps the most frustrating element of this fiasco: the lack of transparency. With record demand, companies like Microsoft and Sony could very easily implement a lottery system or any other manner of fairer preorder processes. Or they could allow retailers to disclose how many consoles they have, among other ways of helping manage consumer expectations.

For instance, the Oculus Quest 2, which went on sale last week and starts shipping on October 13th, is simply backordered by about a month in the US and Canada. Instead of telling people a product is “sold out” and hoping they’ll check back at the right time without any idea when that might be, Oculus is transparent about when it expects the product to arrive and is still taking orders. Apple does the same every year when it launches new iPhones, smartwatches, tablets, and other devices.

Instead, the video game industry and its intense culture of corporate secrecy means consumers don’t know when anything will happen. Sony claims “more PS5s will be available through the end of the year,” without offering any concrete details as to what that means — including how many, through which retailers, and whether those units will arrive on or around launch day or perhaps weeks or months after. Microsoft did the same on Wednesday morning, saying “more consoles to be available on November 10th” without any indication of where, including whether Microsoft means limited in-store options or more consoles for online retailers.

The primary issue at play may be one of misaligned incentives. The video game industry is fiercely competitive, and a primary motivator for even companies as large as Microsoft and Sony is getting to signal to investors, analysts, and consumers that a product is flying off the shelves and almost impossible to find. Immediate sellouts for these companies is a positive development because it means demand is higher than supply, and they don’t have to worry about producing units that sit unsold on store shelves or retailer warehouses.

Creating a narrative of scarcity also helps build excess consumer demand, even when the intention is not to outright restrict the number of people who can buy the product. Brands like Nintendo, to which a prolonged sense of scarcity is core to its business model, are able to drive interest in products by signaling that they may be hard to find for months or years to come.

We’ve seen time and again how Nintendo would rather produce too few of an item, even a major console like the Switch or the retro-fueled NES and SNES Classic, than produce too many or try to accurately predict demand. Nintendo is even being openly blatant about the short time frame in which you can buy its new classic Mario bundle, Super Mario 3D All-Stars. You have until around March 31st, after which Nintendo will presumably remove it from its eShop, and physical cartridges will become pricey collectors’ items.

Meanwhile, retailers just need to sell all of the units they can, and there’s not very much incentive for those companies to fix their websites or try to implement a proper digital queue when a website that works only some of the time during a mad preorder rush is sufficient to make that happen. GameStop seemingly tried a virtual waiting line with Xbox preorders, but savvy onlookers discovered its queue wasn’t even real. The company was just telling consumers not to refresh the page in hopes it would keep their servers from melting, all while an automated script refreshed the page every 30 seconds.

Soon enough, we’ll no doubt see the console bundles, the doorbuster deals, the Black Friday flash sales, and all manner of other retailer tricks that try to get you in the door and sell you stuff you don’t need. Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Walmart don’t have a good reason to care whether they have enough units to satisfy demand — and demand is great enough that they won’t for many months. The next priority is making the most of the situation. When people keep checking back online or visiting physical retail stores because they don’t know when units will arrive, each time is an opportunity for a retailer to sell other products.

Beyond the misaligned incentives is a lack of communication. We don’t know how many units these companies intended to produce, whether they will be more or less than the last console or graphics card launch, or whether that’s the result of shoddy logistics and planning or deeper issues like supply chain roadblocks and COVID-19-related manufacturing and distribution delays.

We don’t know if the companies or retailers anticipated situations like the ones that played out this past week or if they were all as genuinely surprised as they tried to sound in tweeted-out apologies. It’s hard to believe a megacorporation when they say they’re sincerely sorry you had trouble giving them money in exchange for a product.

Nvidia is promising it will continue to manufacture and ship new RTX 3080 GPUs to its partners and that it is “increasing the supply weekly.” But the RTX 3070, a slightly less powerful and less expensive version, goes on sale starting on October 15th, when the same ordering disaster might repeat itself. The same may be true in November when the new consoles launch and retailers inevitably reserve some for doorbusters and perhaps Black Friday deals to incentivize consumers to pick one store over another.

In an ideal world, this would be a solved problem, just as Apple has streamlined the process of selling as many iPhones as it can every year. But the video game industry doesn’t have much to say about how it intends to fix this, and it’s not clear these companies even care to try.

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Samsung announces colourful Galaxy S20 Fan Edition – MobileSyrup

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Following several weeks of rumours, Samsung has announced the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition (FE).

The South Korean company’s new version of the Galaxy S20 feature’s mostly high-end specs and is available in ‘Mint,’ ‘Lavender,’ ‘White,’ ‘Navy,’ ‘Orange’ and ‘Red’ colour variants, all with a hazy tinge to them.

Galaxy S20 Fan Edition offers a flat 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display and a 1080 x 2400 pixel resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The phone’s front-facing display hole-punch is 3.4mm, which is smaller than any other of Samsung’s flagships, according to the company. Size-wise, the device fits between the S20 and an S20+ and offers a pixel resolution lower than both.

The handset also sports Android 10 and One UI 2.5 and a Snapdragon 865 processor, up to 256GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. Only the 128GB model seems to be available in Canada.

Additionally, the handset features a triple rear-facing camera with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture, an 8-megapixel f/2.0 telephoto shooter with 30x digital zoom and a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide camera. Furthermore, there’s a 32-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture on the front.

The phone also packs the same size battery as the S20+ with a 4,500mAh source capable of 25W charging and reverse-wireless charging.

In Canada, the S20 FE starts at $949.99 outright through Samsung’s website pre-orders start October 1st and the phone goes on sale on October 16th. In the United States, the phone is available to pre-order right now. Samsung says the phone will also be available at Canadian carriers.

Samsung says it plans to launch more Fan Edition smartphones in the future.

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