Overwatch 2 players say that frame rate drops are making the game ‘unplayable’ on PS5

Overwatch 2's eighth season went live on Tuesday and things aren't exactly going smoothly for everyone. Some are complaining about performance issues, particularly concerning frame rates on PlayStation 5. On Blizzard's own forums and Reddit, players are suggesting that even the menus are lagging on the console.

"I play on PS5 with 120 Hz monitor and settings for that output, but randomly either in [fights] or walking back from spawn, even on menus, I am dropping down to what seems like single digit to low double digit frames per second," a player who goes by Sartell wrote. Others claim that Overwatch 2 is "unplayable" on PS5 at the minute, with some claiming that frame rates are dropping to below 20 fps. The problem doesn't seem to be as prevalent on other platforms.

I encountered the same issues in a brief test on PS5. It took a few seconds for my character to complete a full rotation, which can practically be a kiss of death in such a fast-paced shooter. It was almost like playing GoldenEye 007 at 12 fps all over again.

In the current list of known issues, which was last updated on Tuesday, Blizzard notes that "We are investigating reports of performance issues for some platforms." Engadget has asked Blizzard when a fix might be ready.

The performance issues are a pity in general, but even more so given that new tank character Mauga is a blast to play. As such, PS5 players may need wait for a hotfix before they can properly check out the latest hero, unless they're content with enjoying the action as though it were a colorful slideshow. Otherwise, downloading the PS4 version of the game could work in a pinch.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/overwatch-2-players-say-that-frame-rate-drops-are-making-the-game-unplayable-on-ps5-210043798.html?src=rss

Honda will reveal a new EV series at CES 2024

Honda is planning to make a bigger push into the EV market as part of its goal of introducing 30 electric models by 2030. We’ll soon get a look at a new EV series from the automaker, as it’s preparing to show off the lineup for the first time at CES 2024. We’ll get our first glimpse of these EVs during a press conference on January 9. The event starts at 1:30PM ET and you’ll be able to watch it below.

The automaker hasn’t revealed many more details about the new EV series. However, it did note that it will detail "several key technologies that illustrate the significant transformation Honda is currently undergoing." Honda is aiming to only sell zero-emission vehicles in North America by 2040, including battery electric and fuel cell electric powered models.

As it stands, the company has quite a bit of work ahead to hit that goal and perhaps catch up with its more EV-focused rivals. Currently, Honda has the all-electric Prologue SUV (which isn't available to the public yet) and two hybrids in its electrified lineup. In fact, it has killed off multiple hybrid models over the last few years..

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/honda-will-reveal-a-new-ev-series-at-ces-2024-182012834.html?src=rss

Meta faces another lawsuit over child safety

New Mexico is the latest jurisdiction to accuse Meta of failing to protect younger users. The state attorney general's office filed suit against the company this week after investigators set up test accounts on Instagram and Facebook in which they claimed to be preteens or teenagers. They used AI-generated profile photos for the accounts. The AG's office asserts that the accounts were barraged by explicit messages and images, along with sexual propositions from users. It also claimed that Meta's algorithms recommended sexual content to the test accounts.

The suit claims that “Meta has allowed Facebook and Instagram to become a marketplace for predators in search of children upon whom to prey," according to The Wall Street Journal. In addition, it asserts that Meta failed to employ measures to stop those under 13 from using its platforms and that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was personally liable for product choices that increased risks to children.

To get around Meta's age restrictions, investigators provided the company with adult dates of birth while setting up phony accounts for four children (kids often misstate their ages to access online services that they're not supposed to). However, they implied that the accounts were being used by children — one posted about losing a baby tooth and starting seventh grade. Per the suit, investigators also set up the account to make it seem as though the fictional child's mother was possibly trafficking her.

The suit alleges that, among other things, the accounts were sent child sex images and offers to pay for sex. Two days after investigators set up an account for a phony 13-year-old girl, Meta's algorithms suggested it follow a Facebook account with upwards of 119,000 followers that posted adult porn.

Investigators flagged inappropriate material (including some images that appeared to be of nude and underaged girls) through Meta's reporting systems. According to the suit, Meta's systems often found these images to be permissible on its platforms.

In a statement to the Journal, Meta claimed it prioritizes child safety and invests heavily in safety teams. “We use sophisticated technology, hire child safety experts, report content to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and share information and tools with other companies and law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to help root out predators,” the company said. Meta has also claimed that it carries out work to stop malicious adults from contacting children on its platforms.

Earlier this year, Meta set up a task force to tackle child safety issues after reports indicated Instagram's algorithms helped accounts that commissioned and bought underage-sex material to find each other. Just last week, the Journal reported on the alleged prevalence of child exploitation material on Instagram and Facebook. According to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, a “network of Instagram accounts with as many as 10 million followers each has continued to livestream videos of child sex abuse months after it was reported to the company." Meta says it has taken action over such issues.

The New Mexico lawsuit follows suits that a group of 41 states and the District of Columbia filed in October. Among other matters, they alleged that the company knew its "addictive" aspects were harmful to young users and that it misled people about safety on its platforms.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/meta-faces-another-lawsuit-over-child-safety-164732291.html?src=rss

Pixar’s Disney+ pandemic movies are hitting theaters after all

Amid COVID-prompted lockdowns, many major movies skipped US theaters entirely and went straight to streaming services. Those included the Pixar films Soul, Luca and Turning Red, all of which debuted on Disney+. In 2024, though, you'll get the chance to see those animated films on the big screen. Soul will get a theatrical release on January 12, Turning Red will hit cinemas on February 9 and Luca will emerge on a silver screen near you on March 22.

Given that these movies have been around for as long as three years, it's unlikely that they'll set the box office charts alight. But the theatrical releases mean you'll have a chance to enjoy these films as originally intended.

They could also help pad out Disney's bottom line a bit during a rough spell for the company. Among other issues, Disney is slated to release just one Marvel movie next year, Deadpool 3. In addition, the three Pixar films will act as a lead up to the studio's next film and perhaps help get very young viewers accustomed to going to the movies. Inside Out 2 will arrive in theaters on June 14.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/pixars-disney-pandemic-movies-are-hitting-theaters-after-all-193622444.html?src=rss

Super Nintendo World Japan’s Donkey Kong Country area opens this spring

Super Nintendo World Japan will soon become a hotter ticket for many fans. Universal Studios has revealed that a Donkey Kong Country area will open in Spring 2024. Nintendo and Universal (which hosts the theme park at its Osaka location) haven't shown off actual footage of the new zone yet. Instead, they opted to make the announcement with an animated trailer.

Perhaps the main attraction of the new area is a ride called Mine Cart Madness, named after the best level in the 1994 SNES game Donkey Kong Country. After being blasted out of a barrel cannon, you'll take a mine cart ride through the jungle that includes a "leap across a collapsed track."

According to Universal, fans will also be able to try a play experience that prompts them to use their whole body. Of course, food and merchandise will be available too.

Nintendo confirmed in 2021 that the Donkey Kong Country area was under construction at Universal Studios Japan. It's said to expand the overall size of Super Nintendo World by 70 percent. The new area will open to the public two years after visitors started exploring the first Mushroom Kingdom-themed zone. Meanwhile, the Orlando version of Super Nintendo World isn't expected to open until 2025.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/super-nintendo-world-japans-donkey-kong-country-area-opens-this-spring-175610023.html?src=rss

The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered’s No Return trailer reveals all the playable characters

Naughty Dog is giving The Last Of Us Part 2 more than just a fresh lick of paint in a PS5 remaster of the game. The upcoming version includes a playable mode called Lost Levels (which features several segments that were cut from the final game), as well as one called No Return. The latter is an all-new roguelike survival mode and Sony has revealed more details about it in a trailer.

In this single-player mode, the aim is to survive as long as you can. You'll need to stay on your toes as the encounters with enemies are randomized and feature boss battles. You'll have to contend with unique gameplay modifiers too, such as setting enemies ablaze when you punch them or visual effects being applied. I'd actually advise against watching the trailer if you haven't played through the main game yet, as it spoils a few of the more fearsome enemies you'll come up against.

In No Return, you'll be able to play as Ellie, Joel and Abby. On top of those, you'll be able to take on the guise of several unlockable characters that haven't been playable before. Per the trailer, those are Dina, Jesse, Tommy, Lev, Yara, Mel and Manny. Every character has unique traits that support different playstyles. Pick Yara, for instance, and her brother Lev will help her out in combat (a co-op version of No Return could be pretty compelling!). Dina, meanwhile, will be able to craft trap mines and stun bombs.

You'll unlock more characters, skins, weapons (and weapon upgrades) and levels as you progress through No Return. While it strikes me as somewhat odd to introduce an infinitely replayable survival mode to a game in which the core theme is ending the perpetual cycle of violence, TLOU 2's combat is exceptional. No Return should let the combat mechanics shine without players needing to worry too much about remaining stealthy.

The Last Of Us Part 2 Remastered will hit PS5 on January 19. Those who own the original PS4 version of TLOU 2 will be able to upgrade for $10.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-last-of-us-part-2-remastereds-no-return-trailer-reveals-all-the-playable-characters-160325747.html?src=rss

Apple reportedly wants India to exempt older iPhones from USB-C charging rules

Apple is reportedly lobbying India to delay the implementation of a rule that requires all smartphones sold in the country to have a USB-C charging port. While Apple has already started shifting away from the Lightning port in the iPhone 15 lineup (and other products), the regulation differs from a similar one enacted in the European Union in that India may press Apple to switch to a USB-C port on older iPhones.

Other manufacturers, including Samsung, have agreed to India's plan to have a universal USB-C charging port on their smartphones by June 2025, which is six months after the EU's deadline (such OEMs have long been using USB-C charging ports anyway). Apple, however, is said to have pressed India to delay the implementation of the rule, or at least to exempt older iPhones from the requirement.

According to Reuters, Apple executives told Indian officials late last month that were the rule to be applied to older iPhones, the company would not be able to meet production targets as set out by the country's production-linked incentive (PLI) program. Under this scheme, India grants electronic manufacturers financial incentives to make new investments and generate incremental phone sales each year.

Apple suppliers such as Foxconn are said to have taken advantage of the program to boost iPhone production in India. Estimates suggest that between 12 and 14 percent of iPhones made this year will be manufactured in India. That proportion could rise to as much as 25 percent next year, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple is said to have told officials that it can't change the design of earlier iPhones to include a USB-C port. The company reportedly argued that, unless it gains an exemption for pre-iPhone 15 models, it will need 18 months beyond the end of next year (i.e. until mid-2026) to comply with the regulation. That's presumably to give Apple enough time to phase out Lightning ports on older iPhones, which Indian consumers tend to prefer since they fall in price when the company releases new models.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/apple-reportedly-wants-india-to-exempt-older-iphones-from-usb-c-charging-rules-151558675.html?src=rss

Microsoft’s Seeing AI app for low-vision and blind users comes to Android

Microsoft's Seeing AI app is available on Android devices for the first time starting today. You can download it from the Google Play Store. The aim of the free app is to help blind and low-vision folks understand more of the world around them with the assistance of their smartphone's cameras and AI-powered narration. Microsoft says the Android app uses the company's latest advances in generative AI and it has the same features as the iOS version. Given that there are more than 3 billion Android users around the world, the app could help improve the quality of life of many people.

Seeing AI's latest features were built with the help of feedback from users. Microsoft says the app now offers more detailed descriptions of images. By default, Seeing AI will provide a brief summary of what a photo depicts. When a user taps the "more info" icon, the app will generate a far more in-depth description of the image. Move your finger over the screen and the app can tell you about the locations of various objects. Photos can be imported from other apps too.

Another feature Microsoft recently rolled out following feedback from users is the ability to ask questions about a document. After scanning a document, you can ask Seeing AI questions about things such as menu items or the price of an item on a bill. You can also ask it to summarize an article you have scanned. The app provides the user with audio guidance on how to scan a printed page.

Seeing AI offers users many other ways to find out about the world around them by pointing their camera at or taking a photo of something. For instance, the app will read out a short piece of text as soon as the camera picks it up. Seeing AI can scan barcodes and provide product information such as the name and details from packaging when available, which could be particularly useful when it comes to dealing with medication.

In addition, the app can help identify people (and their facial expressions), currency, colors and brightness. It's also able to read handwritten text in some languages.

Seeing AI is landing on Android on the International Day of People with Disabilities. The app is now available in 18 languages: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian Bokmal, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish. Microsoft plans to expand that number to 36 languages in 2024.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/microsofts-seeing-ai-app-for-low-vision-and-blind-users-comes-to-android-160052026.html?src=rss

Telegram now offers all users limited transcriptions of voice messages

Telegram has released a major update for its iOS and Android apps that includes an array of new and upgraded features. Since last year, Telegram Premium users have been able to get transcriptions of voice and video messages and now the platform is opening up that feature to everyone, albeit on a more limited basis. Free users will be able to convert two messages per week into text. Just hit the →A icon on a voice message and you'll get a text version of the memo. Telegram notes that it's rolling out this feature gradually, so you may not have access to it right away.

Elsewhere, Telegram is looking to improve channel discovery. Whenever you join a channel, you'll see a selection of similar public channels. Telegram is basing these recommendations on similarities in subscriber bases. You'll be able to view these recommendations at any time by going to a channel's profile.

A circular icon shows a group of friends looking down and waving at a camera lens. The image is overlaid on top of a windy beach in a mobile app. Text reading

You can now include a video comment or reaction with a story. You'll have the ability to resize this video message and move it around the screen. You can add a video message, a feature that takes a page out of the TikTok playbook, by holding down the camera icon in the story editor to capture a selfie clip. You can adjust the volume by holding a finger on the video track at the bottom of the screen.

Reposting someone else's story is now a cinch too. Just tap the share button on a story, then you'll have the option to repost it. Only stories that have their visibility set to public can be reposted. You can add a video comment to reposted stories too.

Elsewhere, Premium users can set up their profiles with unique color combos, everyone can apply custom wallpapers to each individual chat (Premium users can set the same wallpaper for both participants) and channel admins can customize the emoji that appear as reactions. In addition, any Telegram app can now detect a coding language in messages and highlight the syntax with proper formatting.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/telegram-now-offers-all-users-limited-transcriptions-of-voice-messages-185114448.html?src=rss

Sci-fi RTS sequel Homeworld 3 will arrive on March 8

The long-awaited sci-fi strategy sequel Homeworld 3 at last has a release date. It’s now slated to arrive on March 8. That’s another slight delay, given the February release window that developer Blackbird Interactive and publisher Gearbox were aiming for, but at least there’s now a concrete date. Those who pick up the Fleet Command edition, meanwhile, will get access 72 hours earlier.

In a short behind-the-scenes video, Blackbird CEO and co-founder Rob Cunningham said this was "really our original dream of Homeworld 2. The problem was, in the late '90s, early 2000s, the vision for Homeworld 3 was utterly impossible to make." Homeworld 2 debuted in 2003. Cunningham noted that Blackbird had to wait 20 years to achieve the kind of scale and scope it wanted.

The team has revealed a few more details about what's in store. Players will have a choice between the classic Homeworld control scheme or a more modern setup that should be familiar to fans of other real-time strategy games or MOBAs — you'll just need to click on an element in the environment to get there. There's also a focus on cover-based tactics. You can use a larger ship to protect yourself or even flank enemies.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sci-fi-rts-sequel-homeworld-3-will-arrive-on-march-8-153139081.html?src=rss