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The Morning After: Microsoft changed its mind about an Xbox Live price hike – Engadget

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Usually, a company releasing news late on a Friday night is a bad sign, but Microsoft went the other way. After starting off Friday by awkwardly announcing revised pricing for Xbox Live Gold that would’ve doubled the cost for new Xbox accounts to access multiplayer, it backtracked. Admitting that “We messed up today and you were right to let us know,” the company announced that not only will pricing not change, but it’s also working on enabling free multiplayer for free-to-play games like Fortnite and Apex Legends and its upcoming title Halo Infinite.

Xbox Series X

There’s no word on how long it will take for the free part of the announcement to turn on, but since that’s already free on PlayStation Network, it can’t come soon enough. Even with the existence of Game Pass, asking $120 annually for new players would’ve made Xbox by far a second-class multiplayer experience for new customers and existing ones. 

It’s good that Microsoft reconsidered the move (after shipping $60 6-month Xbox Live cards that now feel like collector’s items), but if it really wanted to turn the tide in the console wars then free multiplayer for all would be a better choice. Hey, they seem to be open to suggestions, so why not ask?

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Facebook logged out iPhones for some reason

Ok, but why?

Facebook logout

If you use iOS and still have a Facebook account, you probably got logged out on Friday night. In a statement to Engadget the company said “We believe this was due to a configuration change” and that they’re looking into it, but didn’t provide any more information.
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The best deals we found this week: $40 off Google’s Pixel 4a 5G and more

The latest MacBook Pro with the new M1 chipset is $80 off at Amazon.

Pixel 4a 5G

This week brought a return of some holiday sale prices, plus a few deals that are even better than those we saw late last year. Google’s Pixel 4a 5G fell to a new record-low price, while the 8th-generation iPad remains on sale for $299. If you want to up your smart-home game, August’s WiFi smart lock is more than $65 off and some Beats headphones are 50 percent off, too.

Here are all the best deals from the week that you can still snag today, and remember to follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for more updates. 
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The Engadget Podcast

 Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra review

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Cherlynn dishes her thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra, and whether they’re worthy upgrades over last year’s phones. Do all those cameras make a difference? And is there a point to releasing a Galaxy Note this year? Also, Devindra discusses the virtual inauguration for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, as well as the rumors around Apple’s upcoming and potentially pricey VR headset. Is this the best strategy to get to an AR headset?

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts or Stitcher.
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The first big ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ patch has arrived

There are also fixes for a number of quests and bugged achievements.

Cyberpunk 2077

As promised, the first of two early-2021 patches for CD Projekt Red’s troubled Cyberpunk 2077 has arrived. This updates the game to version 1.1 on PC, consoles and Stadia, and according to the notes it lays the groundwork for future updates, while also addressing memory usage and crash problems. These patches are supposed to make the game more playable on PS4 and Xbox One consoles, and the one planned for February is apparently going to be more significant.
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Here are the free games hitting PlayStation Plus in March 2021 – MobileSyrup

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Every month, PlayStation offers a few games at no additional cost to those subscribed to its PlayStation Plus service.

Now, the company has revealed four games are hitting the service in March — one more than usual.

Most notably, Square Enix’s acclaimed Final Fantasy VII Remake will be free on PS Plus this month. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the PS Plus version of Remake is not eligible for the digital upgrade to the PS5 version of the game that was revealed earlier this week.

Outside of Remake, March’s other PS Plus offerings are the PS4 third-person survival action shooter Remnant: From the Ashes, PS5 first-person puzzler Maquette (making its debut right onto PS Plus, but only on PS5) and PlayStation VR shooter Farpoint. 

All four games will be available to download from March 2nd to April 5th.

As a reminder, Destruction AllStars, which joined the PS Plus catalogue this month, also remains free to download until April 5th. Meanwhile, February’s other two games, Control: Ultimate Edition and Concrete Genie, are leaving the service on March 1st.

PlayStation Plus costs $11.99 CAD/month, $29.99/three months or $69.99/year,

Image credit: Square Enix

Source: PlayStation

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Clinics to begin next week to vaccinate those 80 and older – Brantford Expositor

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The Brant County Health Unit said Friday that COVID-19 mass immunization clinics will be located at Laurier Brantford’s One Market building at 1 Market St and and the Paris fairground at 139 Silver St.

The health unit said the sites will begin operating next week to vaccinate local residents aged 80 and older.

“We were overcome with offers from various community groups and organizations to use their space to host clinics,” said Jo Ann Tober, the health unit’s CEO. “Our community has come together so much over what has been a very challenging year and it was wonderful to see the generosity and spirit we’ve become accustomed to, continued throughout this process. These sites were chosen because their combination of space, logistics and location made them the best fit for mass immunization delivery in Brant.”

Information about booking is available at the health units website at www.bchu.org/COVID19Vaccines.

The health unit said the sites will run in conjunction with additional on-site and mobile clinics designed to vaccinate specific population groups. More information on this can be accessed by viewing Brant’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan Overview on its website.

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Genshin Impact Surprises Fans With Reveal of New Character – ComicBook.com

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Genshin Impact has officially revealed a new character, Hu Tao, the 77th Director of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor who is said to walk the line between life and death, “shouldering responsibilities unknown to most mortals.” Completing the reveal is not only a teaser trailer for the character but a few details about Hu Tao as well.

At the moment of publishing, not much is known about Hu Tao other than what’s mentioned above. That said, most characters that have spoken about Hu Tao, have provided a negative impression that paints the character as one that can not be trusted. In fact, a tweet from the game’s official Twitter account warns players to be careful around the character.

Right now, not only are details on Hu Tao — which means Walnut in Chinese — scarce, but we don’t know when she’s coming to the game. We know she’s coming soon, but we don’t know how soon exactly. That said, despite not being in the game yet, she’s already cultivating a following, like all characters added to the game do.

Genshin Impact is available as a free-to-play game on PC, PS4, and mobile devices. The game is also playable on PS5 via backward compatibility, but right now this is the only way to play the game on PS5. Developer miHoYo has already confirmed the game is coming to PS5, and Nintendo Switch, but right now there’s been no word of when these versions will release.

For more coverage on Genshin Impact — including not just all of the latest news, but all of the latest rumors, reports, and leaks — click here. Meanwhile, as always, feel free to leave a comment or 53 letting us know what you think or, alternatively, hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there. What do you think of Hu Tao?

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