Sony is pulling the much-hyped Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation stores around the world, the firm said Friday, after a flood of complaints and ridicule over bugs, compatibility issues and even health risks.
The dystopian-themed title is reportedly one of the most expensive video games ever made, and its December 10 release was hotly anticipated, but the rollout has been far from smooth.
Some gamers have posted videos of glitchy graphics on Twitter, with others pairing screenshots from much older games with sarcastic comments such as: “I’m blown away by the graphics and environment of Cyberpunk on PS4!”
“SIE (Sony Interactive Entertainment) strives to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, therefore we will begin to offer a full refund for all gamers who have purchased Cyberpunk 2077 via PlayStation Store,” Sony said Friday.
“SIE will also be removing Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation Store until further notice.”
This week, the game’s Warsaw-based developer CD Projekt RED had issued an apology and vowed to “fix bugs and crashes” with patches in January and February, while also offering refunds to gamers not willing to wait.
Cyberpunk 2077’s release had been delayed twice this year and CD Projekt RED was forced to add health warnings after one reviewer complained it had caused an epileptic seizure.
Last week, the Polish company said it was looking into a “more permanent solution” to tackle the health risk “as soon as possible”.
The delays, which the firm blamed on the coronavirus pandemic and the complexity of creating such a vast world for nine different platforms including Xbox consoles and PCs, sparked a fierce backlash, and even death threats.
Despite the problems, entertainment rating website Metacritic has given Cyberpunk 2077 a score of 87 out of 100, based on 69 reviews.
But ratings by gamers on Metacritic were somewhat less upbeat, with Cyberpunk 2077 earning a score of 7 out of 10 based on reviews from more than 20,500 users.
The main character is the gun-toting “V”, who makes his way through Night City, a conflict-ridden American megacity.
Metacritic describes the game as “an open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification”.
CD Projekt RED spent an estimated 1.2 billion (roughly Rs. 2,400 crores) to make Cyberpunk 2077, according to analysts at Polish bank BOS, which would make it one of the most expensive games ever made.
The company rose to global prominence five years ago thanks to its hugely successful The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, a sombre fantasy whose monster-slaying hero is endowed with superhuman powers.
But it has lost billions in value since the Cyberpunk 2077 launch last week, stock figures showed on Monday.
On Friday morning Sony’s stock was up 2.7 percent at JPY 10,295 (roughly Rs. 7,300).
Delays are becoming increasingly frequent in the gaming industry as games get bigger, more expensive and with more people involved.
This year, the coronavirus pandemic has complicated things further, with many studios forced to operate with developers working from home.
Is MacBook Air M1 the portable beast of a laptop that you always wanted? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Studying Chaos with One of the World’s Fastest Cameras
There are things in life that can be predicted reasonably well. The tides rise and fall. The moon waxes and wanes. A billiard ball bounces around a table according to orderly geometry.
And then there are things that defy easy prediction: The hurricane that changes direction without warning. The splashing of water in a fountain. The graceful disorder of branches growing from a tree.
These phenomena and others like them can be described as chaotic systems, and are notable for exhibiting behaviour that is predictable at first but grows increasingly random with time.
Because of the large role that chaotic systems play in the world around us, scientists and mathematicians have long sought to better understand them. Now, Caltech’s Lihong Wang, the Bren Professor in the Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering, has developed a new tool that might help in this quest.
In the latest issue of Science Advances, Wang describes how he has used an ultrafast camera of his own design that recorded video at one billion frames per second to observe the movement of laser light in a chamber specially designed to induce chaotic reflections.
“Some cavities are non-chaotic, so the path the light takes is predictable,” Wang says. But in the current work, he and his colleagues have used that ultrafast camera as a tool to study a chaotic cavity, “in which the light takes a different path every time we repeat the experiment.”
The camera makes use of a technology called compressed ultrafast photography (CUP), which Wang has demonstrated in other research to be capable of speeds as fast as 70 trillion frames per second. The speed at which a CUP camera takes video makes it capable of seeing light—the fastest thing in the universe—as it travels.
But CUP cameras have another feature that makes them uniquely suited for studying chaotic systems. Unlike a traditional camera that shoots one frame of video at a time, a CUP camera essentially shoots all of its frames at once. This allows the camera to capture the entirety of a laser beam’s chaotic path through the chamber all in one go.
That matters because, in a chaotic system, the behaviour is different every time. If the camera only captured part of the action, the behaviour that was not recorded could never be studied, because it would never occur in exactly the same way again. It would be like trying to photograph a bird, but with a camera that can only capture one body part at a time; furthermore, every time the bird landed near you, it would be a different species. Although you could try to assemble all your photos into one composite bird image, that cobbled-together bird would have the beak of a crow, the neck of a stork, the wings of a duck, the tail of a hawk, and the legs of a chicken. Not exactly useful.
Wang says that the ability of his CUP camera to capture the chaotic movement of light may breathe new life into the study of optical chaos, which has applications in physics, communications, and cryptography.
“It was a really hot field some time ago, but it’s died down, maybe because we didn’t have the tools we needed,” he says. “The experimentalists lost interest because they couldn’t do the experiments, and the theoreticians lost interest because they couldn’t validate their theories experimentally. This was a fun demonstration to show people in that field that they finally have an experimental tool.”
How to check if someone else accessed your Google account
Review your recent Gmail access, browser sign-in history, and Google account activity to make sure no one other than you has used your account.
Whenever a computer is out of your direct view and control, there’s always a chance that someone other than you can gain access. A person who returns from a trip might wonder if their computer and accounts have been accessed during their absence. A person might notice odd activity in Gmail, not aware that their password has been made public (or “pwned“). Or, in some cases, a person might be surveilled by a partner, a family member, a colleague, or even an unknown party.
To secure an account, you might first change your password, enable two-factor authentication, or even enroll in Google’s Advanced Protection Program. Those steps will help you secure your account. However, in cases where people are unsafe because of domestic abuse, these steps will likely not be encouraged by an abuser–help is available.
The following steps can help you figure out if someone, other than you, is accessing your Gmail or Google account.
SEE: Google Sheets: Tips and tricks (TechRepublic download)
Did someone access my Gmail account?
In a desktop web browser, Gmail allows you to review recent email access activity. Select Details in the lower-right area below displayed emails, below Last Account Activity (Figure A).
The system will show you information about the most recent 10 times your Gmail account has been accessed, along with the access type (browser, POP, mobile, etc.), location (IP address), and the date and time of access. This can help you identify if any of this access is from an unexpected device, place, or time.
Note: If you use a virtual private network or a hosted desktop, the location data may reflect information related to your service provider, instead of your physical address.
In a few cases, I’ve had clients concerned about access in an expected location, but at an unexpected time. Sometimes, this was simply because they’d left a computer on, with their browser or mail client open: The system could be configured to auto-check mail periodically. In one case, access occurred after a power outage. They’d configure the system to automatically power on after an outage, so it signed in and downloaded new mail shortly after power was restored.
Did someone access my browser?
In the Chrome browser–and on any Chromebook or Chrome OS device–press Ctrl+H to display browser history. Alternatively, type chrome://history in the omnibox, or select the three-vertical dot menu in the upper-right, then choose History | History. On macOS, press Command+Y. You may scroll through all available sites visited. Review these to see if any sites displayed are unexpected.
Additionally, you may enter search terms in the box displayed above the historical URLs listed. For example, search for “sign in,” or copy and paste this link into your browser omnibox: chrome://history/?q=sign%20in to display most site login pages (Figure B). Again, review the results for any sites you don’t expect. You might search for “gmail.com” as well.
Did someone access my Google account?
Go to https://myactivity.google.com/ to access your Google account history across all devices and Google services, such as YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play, and more (Figure C). Depending on your security settings, you may need to re-authenticate when you attempt to access this information. Again, review any recorded data to make sure it corresponds with your usage.
Similarly, go to https://myaccount.google.com/device-activity to review a list of devices to which you’ve signed in with your Google account (Figure D). You may select the three-vertical dots in the upper-right of any displayed devices, then choose Sign Out to prevent any future access without re-authentication on a device.
Go through Google’s Security Checkup (https://myaccount.google.com/security-checkup) for a step-by-step review of every item Google’s system identifies as a potential security issue (Figure E).
Use Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)? Ask an administrator for help.
If you use Gmail and Google Workspace as part of an organization (e.g., work or school), an administrator may be able to do additional review of your account access data. To do this, the administrator will need to sign in to the admin console at https://admin.google.com. From the Admin console, they might go to https://admin.google.com/ac/, select your account, then review security settings as well as connected apps and devices. Next, they might review all login information by going to the login report at https://admin.google.com/ac/reporting/audit/login, then filtering for your account (Figure F). Since this information is centrally logged by the system, access records will remain, even if the person accessing your account attempts to cover their tracks (e.g., by locally deleting browser history).
What’s your experience?
If you’ve wondered whether someone else has accessed your Google account, what steps have you taken? What did you learn when you completed the above access review of your Google account? Let me know any additional steps you suggest, either in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).
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