Friday The 13th: The Game Patched On PC And Xbox One, But Killer Wait Times Persist On PS4

The launch of Friday the 13th: The Game has gone about as smoothly as, well…a kegger at a certain abandoned summer camp. The PC and PS4 have been beset with server issues, the Xbox version launched without the game’s day one patch, and the game is, generally speaking, a buggy mess on all platforms. But hey, at least Gun Media and developer IllFonic are trying to do something about the situation, issuing patches for both the Xbox One and PC. Like a nubile skinny dipper trying to escape Jason in the woods, these updates probably have a hopeless task ahead of them, but let’s check out what they contain all the same.

The Xbox One patch mostly seems to bring the game in line with the PS4 version of Friday the 13th. Basically, it’s the day one patch the Xbox somehow didn’t get at launch:WWGfriday13th11

Xbox One Update

  • New intro cinematics for Tommy Jarvis spawn, Game Intro, and Game Outro.
  • Fixed crash for VoIP that would during gameplay
  • Fix for out of memory crash with a bug in the texture system bloating out textures after playing a couple of rounds.
  • Fixed getting stuck when interactive with drawers.
  • Fixed getting stuck when climbing through windows
  • Fixed camera getting stuck when interactive with doors, windows and drawers.
  • Fixed Jason getting stuck in a chop loop when breaking down doors.
  • Fixed Jason getting off aligned when breaking down doors. He will no longer keep popping back in a new position.
  • Fixed environment and grab kills being off.
  • Fixed environment and grab kill jittering.
  • Made knife pickup grab animations more accurate.
  • Fixed some knife pickups from not working.
  • Fixed the shotgun and flare gun sometimes not firing.
  • Fixed weapon swapping from floating.
  • Fixed firecrackers going through the world
  • Fixed physics on car. No longer can a group of counselors push it around.
  • Fixed getting in and out of a car where animations would get off sync.
  • Fixed players standing up in the car.
  • Fixed pocket knife not working when getting pulled out of the car.
  • Fixed more than one player being able to get into the driver’s seat at the same time.
  • Fixed physics on boat. No longer can a group of counselors push it around.
  • Fixed getting in and out of a boat where animations would get off sync.
  • Fixed players standing up in the boat.
  • Fixed more than one player being able to get into the boat driver’s seat at the same time.
  • Fixed HUD getting stuck when getting in and out of Armour.
  • Fixed blood getting stuck on screen when dying.
  • Fixed blood getting stuck on screen when coming back as Tommy Jarvis.
  • Fixed repair mini-game getting stuck on screen when getting hit with a weapon while doing the mini-game.
  • Fixed exploit where users were able to go into combat stance and then sprint sliding around the character but not burning any stamina.
  • Fixed Jason sliding around when getting stunned.
  • Fixed counselors sliding around when playing the falling animation.
  • Fixed Jason grabbing someone out of a car and them becoming a ghost.
  • Fixed driving the car getting out of sync with the server / host then teleporting the player back to where they got into a car.
  • Made session invitations a lot more reliable.
  • Fixed crash where you would exit a match and then start a new Private Match.
  • Added movable hair to the female characters.
  • Optimized all maps to have a nice performance increase on Xbox One when action gets intense.
  • Did a warmer lighting pass to increase visual quality.
  • Fixed crash when getting grabbed by Jason.
PREVIOUSSLIDE 1/1
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(Photo: Gun Media/New Line Cinema)

Meanwhile, the PC update seems to be a bit more substantial. It makes some changes to how profiles are saved, tunes up the audio, and improves Jason and Counselor spawning.

PC Update

To optimize the database further, we have moved character profiles to the save file system, persisting in the cloud instead. However, this means that:

  • Counselor Perk and Clothing selections will have to be assigned again.
  • Jason grab kill selections will have to be assigned again.

Improvements

  • Added a Random option in the lobby.
  • Turned intro volume down.
  • Increased effectiveness of Jason and Counselor spawn preference options. Shuffling the possible Jason list 3x as much to help randomness.
  • Disabled inhale sound effect for breathing while in a hiding spot.
  • Made dead body stingers less obnoxious: Ignored while being pursued by Jason; 10s cooldown; Will not fire for witnessed nearby deaths.

Fixes

  • Fixed issue where you have infinite stamina.
  • Fixed a few areas where the player couldn’t reach with Jason. Also fixed a stuck spot on Packanack.
  • Fixed perk roller UI sometimes getting stuck if there is an error talking to the database.
  • Fixed session heartbeat requests to be more resilient to service failures.
  • Fixed some bugs with incremental Steam stats achievements. NOTE: These do not always update while the game    client is open, sometimes taking until you exit the game before Steam shows progress.
  • Fixed character hair stretching at lower frame rate.
  • Fixed inverted mouse look and mouse sensitivity options not working on the input settings UI.
  • Fixed Jason not always aborting the knife throw when stunned.
  • Fixed a case where it was possible to get stuck in a knife throw.
  • Fixed some visibility issues with the door interaction icons.
  • Fixed some placement issues with dropped items.
  • Fixed Jason’s mask floating when knocked off.
  • Fixed Jason not always cancelling shift or morph if they hit a car in reverse.
  • Fixed an issue with the hiding spot exit code.
  • Fixed Counselors potentially getting stuck inside of a wall if hit while climbing through a window at the perfect time.
  • Fixed Rotate Minimap With Player not updating when changed until a map change.
  • Fixed some server specific crashes.
  • Fixed people being able to share settings save games.

The PS4 version of Friday the 13th hasn’t received a patch, which is unfortunate, as it’s arguably the version people are having most trouble with. Players continue to report excessively long wait times for games on PS4 over a week after launch. Xbox One and PC are having similar problems, although to a somewhat lesser degree. But hey, if you do manage to connect to a game, we do have some handy tips for how to slaughter campers most effectively!

Friday the 13th: The Game is available for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. You can check out limited impressions of the game, right here.

 

BlackBerry launches new Aurora smartphone – but here’s why you can’t get it

 

This is BlackBerry’s next phone – but you might not be able to get your hands on it
BlackBerry is back with its next smartphone release.Following the hype that surrounded the launch of the BlackBerry KEYOne at Mobile World Congress last month, the company has now revealed another new device.

The BlackBerry Aurora is the company’s first release in partnership with Indonesian firm BB Merah Putih, and looks to offer another affordable Android smartphone.

However for anyone based in the UK, getting the BlackBerry Aurora might not be as easy as expected.

At first glance, the BlackBerry Aurora looks like a fairly decent mid-range Android device.The device comes with a 5.5-inch 720p display, and runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box alongside BlackBerry’s own software offerings, including the DTEK security suite and BlackBerry Hub.

Inside, there’s a Snapdragon 425, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a microSD slot up to 2TB, and a 3,000 mAh battery that the company says will provide over 20 hours of battery life.

blackberry aurora android 7.0 nougat releaseBLACKBERRY

The BlackBerry Aurora combines Android 7.0 Nougat with some interesting hardware

The phone is also available in black, silver, and gold, and will go on sale for around $260 – or Indonesian RP 3,499,000.That’s because the BlackBerry Aurora will initially only go on sale in Indonesia.

The move is due to Indonesia actually boasting the world’s largest population of BlackBerry users.

There’s no news on a wider launch for the device just yet, but if the device proves a success we may yet see the BlackBerry Aurora in other markets at some point.BlackBerry is gearing up to launch its latest smartphone - here's everything we know so far about the new BlackBerry Mercury

If you’re still keen to get a new BlackBerry handset, the company is still gearing up to launch its KEYOne device soon.Blending classic BlackBerry design with new influences, the KEYOne retains BlackBerry’s iconic physical QWERTY keyboard, which has been given a major intelligence upgrade, with a stunning touchscreen display and metal body.

Inside, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, with the device powered by a huge 3505mAh battery enhanced by Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 abilities that will allow the phone to go from flat to 50 per cent charge in just 36 minutes.

The BlackBerry KEYOne will cost £499 SIM-free. In the US, it’ll set you back $549, and in Europe, it’ll cost €599.

BlackBerry hasn’t confirmed an exact date in April for the launch just yet, so you’ve still got a few weeks to save up your pennies for the new device.

 

No Disrespect But Did Apple Change the World?

 

I got into a lively debate, twice, in Toronto last week about whether or not Apple’s products had changed the world. I discussed this first with the sharp strategic management professor Bill McEvily, who challenges his University of Toronto students by asking them to read my 2012 book Inside Apple. A central point of that work is that Apple conducts many of its affairs in ways contrary to what future managers learn in business school. Hence, the challenge.

Then, an unidentified member in the audience at my talk about Uber at the university’s Rotman School of Management challenged my assertion that the maverick San Francisco startup had changed anything. He preferred that I focused on game changers like Amazon, Apple, and Alibaba (BABA, +0.82%). (Perhaps Uber is too far down the alphabet for his tastes.)

 Image result for No Disrespect But Did Apple Change the World?

I’m in the camp that argues that Apple is an extremely fine consumer device and software company, perhaps the best ever, and that it has radically altered multiple industries. I’ve written this many times. But did it change the world? Steve Jobs certainly wanted us to believe it did, and he touched the lives of many. But I mean no disrespect in suggesting that a company that makes gobs of money by making outstanding products that tend to be exceedingly better iterations of someone else’s invention is just that, an outstanding company.

I bring all this up because this morning Apple’s annual developer’s conference begins. It travels this year from San Francisco to San Jose—a mighty distance, believe me—and more than usual this year’s event seems likely to focus on the nitty-gritty work of developing programs and apps for Apple’s lucrative platforms, not on any breakthrough products. (I recommend this Ars Techica preview despite its low-expectations perspective.)

Apple (AAPL, -0.98%) doesn’t have to wow all the time, of course. Amazon (AMZN, +0.50%) may have a $1,000 stock price, but all of Apple is worth more than $800 billion. Its impact is huge, world changing or not.

***

Friends in Canada, please know that I know that Anna Maria Tremonti doesn’t work for CBS Radio. That was a typo. Her program, The Current, airs on CBC Radio, of course. I regret the error.

 

Google Pixel Now With Rs. 13,000 Cashback but Is It Worth It?

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pixel is available at an effective starting price of Rs. 44,000
  • However it still isn’t the best value for money
  • It’s worth considering only if you absolutely must have stock Android

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are now available in India at a steep price cut via Flipkart and other retailers across the country thanks to a cashback offer. Now, this usually means you get your money back for purchases made via credit or debit cards issued by specific banks. But in a refreshing change, the Pixel and Pixel XL purchases made via cash will also be eligible. What this means is that you get a Rs. 13,000 instant discount on the smartphones.

A prominent retailer told Gadgets 360 that the reason why the phone is getting such a big discount is because there’s a lot of unsold inventory in India – a stark contrast to the US where the phones can’t be found. But are the Google Pixel phones worth buying at the new price, nearly seven months after their release?

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL have last year’s tech

At launch the Pixel and Pixel XL were the fastest in their class, toting the then top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC along with integrated Adreno 530 graphics, 4GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage. The Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch 1440×2560 pixels display, while the Pixel has a 5-inch panel at 1080×1920 pixels.

Seven months later, Google’s flagship isn’t really flagship material any more. The Samsung Galaxy S8and S8+ (review) both sport far more processing power, and they’re not alone. Xiaomi had launched the Mi 6 with faster, more efficient internals as well, and OnePlus’s new flagship is said to be around the corner as well.Google Pixel Now With Rs. 13,000 Cashback but Is It Worth It?

At the same time, flagships from brands like LG and Sony, while also sporting last year’s internals have made some interesting strides in camera tech, with the LG G6 sporting a dual camera setup and the Sony Xperia XZs cramming in a Motion Eye camera system, which essentially shrinks the tech found in cameras such as the Cybershot RX10 III, to fit inside a smartphone.

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL look dated

The newest flagships are moving to sleek bezel-less designs, as we saw at the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. Google’s own industrial design looked familiar months ago, and it seems plain outdated today. Plus the mix of glass and metal on the back gives it an unfinished, inconsistent feel. All of this results in smartphones that are chunky, and even boring, considering what else is available in the price range today.

Even after a Rs. 13,000 price drop, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are still expensive

Speaking of the price range, the Google Pixel carries a maximum retail price of Rs. 57,000 for the 32GB storage variant; if you want more storage, you’re going to have to put down Rs. 66,000. The Pixel XL Rs. 67,000 and Rs. 76,000, for the 32GB and 128GB models respectively.

The cashback offer means the Google Pixel will be available at an effective starting price of Rs. 44,000, which isn’t too bad. But most flagships with comparable specs have gotten deeper price cuts at the time of writing.

These include the LG G5 (Rs. 31,600), HTC 10 (Rs. 37,600), and the Sony Xperia XZs (Rs. 38,468), while the likes of the OnePlus 3T were cheaper than the Pixel and Pixel XL from launch itself, and continue to be cheaper even now.

Seven months after launch, some of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL’s biggest problems haven’t been fixed

In the smartphone world, seven months is a lifetime. Despite touting a best in class camera, its lens flare issue is yet to be resolved. In addition to this, Bluetooth pairing is still inconsistent and batteries in some units are prone to early shutdown. Don’t expect Google to be supportive either with some suggesting that after sales service, at least in India isn’t quite capable of fixing all issues.

For all of these reasons, it’s hard to justify a Google Pixel or Pixel XL today, even after the price cut. The only reason could be knowing that you’ll get the latest versions of Android ahead of everyone else – at least until October 2018. If that’s enough of a reason for you to spend at least Rs. 44,000, then your choice is pretty simple; for everyone else, the Pixel phones need to go the extra mile to get us on board.

 

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is here, but the Indian Apps Just Don’t Seem Ready

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amazon has finally launched the Fire TV Stick in India
  • The launch was accompanied by a large number of Indian apps
  • Most of these offer a poor experience on the television screen

On Wednesday, Amazon launched its Fire TV Stick in India, priced at Rs. 3,999 (there’s a Rs. 499 cashback for Prime members), which means that for the first time since the launch of Amazon Prime Video in India four months ago in December, there’s an easy way to get your content on to the television screen. Of course, that’s not all the Fire TV Stick does – you can install apps for Netflix, Hotstar, Gaana, Eros Now, DittoTV, and others, though, at 8GB, storage space is a little limited on the Fire TV Stick.

Although you could import a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick to India before this, there were limitations. For one, there were almost no Indian apps available, so if you wanted to watch the IPL on Hotstar, for example, then you were out of luck.

And of course, Amazon’s own Prime Video wasn’t supported. What’s more, the service wasn’t available on other devices that support it internationally, such as game consoles. Yes, you could AirPlay it onto an Apple TV if you have an iOS device, but not many people in India live wholly inside Apple’s ecosystem. With the official launch of the Fire TV Stick in India, that’s changed, and you can now queue up an episode of The Man in the High Castle without having to use your phone to force it to launch, but most of the new Indian apps leave a lot to be desired.

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amazon fire tv stick story

Poor design not optimised for televisions
The Fire TV stick is great if you’re a Prime Video subscriber who also uses Netflix and YouTube. These are easily our favourite services on the platform, because of how aesthetically pleasing and simple to use they are.

On the other hand, out of the various Indian applications that we tried after the announcement on Wednesday, only Gaana’s music stream app seems like one that doesn’t need a complete overhaul. The app’s fairly basic, but the search works fine, the different UI elements are at least clearly readable, and the UI is easy to navigate with the Fire TV remote. Meanwhile one of the worst experiences was while using Hotstar.

On one hand, given Hotstar’s catalogue and relatively reasonable pricing, we’re happy to see it as a Fire TV app. On the other hand, the UI is practically an incitement to violence. Scrolling through is not smooth, the focus seems to get ‘stuck’ at times when you’re nearing the edges of the screen, requiring one or sometimes even two extra keypresses to continue to scroll, and there are times when it’s is even more inconsistent.

hotstar tv ui hotstar

Sometimes, for example, you’re trying to scroll down the list of categories on the home screen, and the focus will jump up to the categories bar on the top of the screen, so you’re now on the Sports tab. Tapping the left or right keys at this point is fine, but tap down again, and you’re back to scrolling through the list you were on.

Sometimes, pressing the back button will take you to the categories bar. At other times, it will ask you if you want to exit Hotstar. Accurately scrubbing is next to impossible, and there are no subtitles available.

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A clear lack of testing
We tried out a number of other apps – having used an imported Fire TV for a couple of years we’ve got a fair amount of exposure to how apps can and should look on the device.

What we found was that just about every other app had some issues. For example, although Hotstar was definitely the worst experience, DittoTV also suffered from poor navigation, and felt more like something that was designed for mobile displays – and touchscreens.

Eros Now was the best looking app, but there were a couple of major shortcomings that keep us from wholeheartedly praising it. For one, there’s no search function in the application, which is pretty much unforgivable. Secondly, the content is a little too small to read easily on the screen. It looks like you should either be watching it on a big, 70-inch display, or you should be sitting just two feet away from the television.

eros now ui eros now

This led to – for example – looking at the Rangeela poster thinking, “this doesn’t look like I remember”, and on loading you realise it’s actually the poster for Rangeeley. In that case, it wasn’t just the title text under the poster that was too small to be seen – that’s the case with every entry on Eros Now – but also the text on the poster itself. Finally, a minor quibble – in the settings the first option is select languages. The only choice in there is ‘All languages’, which makes us wonder why the option was added at all.

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Things will get better
The good thing about all of this is that apps can and likely will be updated, and get better. And unlike the Apple TV, which is expensive and – according to completely unofficial estimates – doesn’t have a wide install base in India, Amazon’s offering is relatively cheap. Add in the fact that it’s the ‘official’ – and for many, the only – way to watch Amazon Prime Video on your TV, and Prime Video itself is a service that’s pretty reasonably priced, you can see a number of people being interested in the Fire TV Stick.

And if there are users, then the developers will also be motivated to improve their offerings and provide better solutions. What’s surprising though is why Amazon, which has been in this business for some time now, didn’t work more closely with the developers to ensure that the first experience people have with its hardware doesn’t have these kinds of issues.