Sony’s PlayStation 5 opened pre-orders today, and it’s an utter fiasco so far — there was no communication about when, where, or how to get one without competing with scalpers. But perhaps we can help you get your hands on Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 graphics card, a GPU that finally powers 4K 60fps gaming or better for $700?
Truth be told, we don’t know when precisely these orders will begin, but it should be sometime between now and the end of day tomorrow, since September 17th is launch day.
But we do know where you might want to look: Amazon, Best Buy, and Newegg all have dedicated landing pages that list all the cards they plan to sell — though do note that they’re mostly third-party designs from the likes of EVGA, MSI, and Gigabyte, each with different coolers than the ones you’ll find on Nvidia’s own Founder’s Edition card. For the exact card we reviewed with its new push/pull cooler and 12-pin power adapter, you may also want to try Nvidia itself.
You might want to keep an eye on those links above. Technically, we’ve already seen this MSI card go in and out of stock. You could also try a tracker like this one at NowInStock.net; I’ve used their Google Groups variant to nab a Nintendo Switch before.
Twitter’s voice tweets are rolling out to more iOS users, and transcriptions are on the way
Twitter has just expanded its voice tweets feature, which lets you record a snippet of audio to include with a tweet, to more users on iOS. But perhaps more significantly, Twitter is now saying it plans to add transcriptions to voice tweets to improve accessibility, which could help address criticisms from the feature’s June 17th launch.
If you want to get an idea of how voice tweets work right now, just press play on the below tweet to hear a voice clip from my colleague Tom Warren. There’s currently no way to see captions or a transcription of what he’s saying. (Note: Tom is not actually sharing exclusive next-gen console news.)
Without any way to see a transcription, voice tweets were quickly criticized for not being accessible. Then it came to light that there wasn’t a dedicated team at Twitter for accessibility — instead, the company asked employees to volunteer their time on top of their usual work to focus on accessibility. That all meant that one day after voice tweets were announced, the company told The Sports Grind Entertainment it was exploring how to make a “more dedicated group” focused on accessibility.
Twitter has since announced two new teams dedicated to accessibility, on September 2nd: one promoting accessibility within Twitter’s products, and one focusing on accessibility for Twitter as a business. And as part of that announcement, Twitter said it’s planning to add automated captions to audio and video on the platform by “early 2021.”
It’s unclear when transcriptions might be available in voice tweets. Twitter didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. And if you want to try voice tweets on other platforms, you might have to wait awhile — the company said on its Twitter Support account that voice tweets would be coming to Android and the web sometime in 2021.
Twitter also plans to start testing voice DMs soon, starting in Brazil.
Cyberpunk 2077 developer will require crunch ahead of November launch
Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red is reportedly implementing a mandatory crunch period ahead of the game’s November release date, according to a Bloomberg report. Employees will be required to work six day work weeks — “your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend” according to an email allegedly leaked from the Polish company.
Previously, CD Projekt Red promised that its employees wouldn’t have to “crunch” — that is, work grueling hours over a span of time to complete a game. However, in January, CD Project Red CEO Adam Kicinski admitted during an investor’s call that “some degree” of crunch would be necessary in completing the game. Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed multiple times, moves that onlookers hoped would reduce crunch. The game is now slated for Nov. 19.
According to the Bloomberg report, CD Projekt studio lead Adam Badowski sent an email to notify employees about the required crunch period.
“I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision,” Badowski wrote in the email. “I know this is in direct opposition to what we’ve said about crunch. It’s also in direct opposition to what I personally grew to believe a while back — that crunch should never be the answer. But we’ve extended all other possible means of navigating the situation.”
An employee also told Bloomberg that some workers have already been crunching for “more than a year.” CD Projekt Red has not responded to Sports Grind Entertainment’s request for comment.
Cyberpunk 2077 dev breaks promise, will force employees to work six days a week
Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has told employees that six-day workweeks will be mandatory ahead of the game’s November 19th release date, even though the studio has repeatedly and explicitly promised it would never do that, Bloomberg reports.
On two separate occasions in 2019, studio co-founder Marcin Iwiński told game journalist Jason Schreier how it would address crunch, once even saying that “we want to be more humane and treat people with respect.” It seemed pretty clear from excerpts like this that mandatory crunch was not going to be part of it!
Jason: If I’m a designer at CD Projekt Red and I say you know what I have kids, I have a family, I’m going to work from 10am to 6pm every day, and that’s it. Even until the very end. Am I going to be okay with that?
Iwiński: Yes. Yes.
Jason: No matter what.
Jason: So you can commit to that?
Iwiński: We’ve committed to that already.
While CD Projekt Red didn’t completely throw crunch time out the window, the company was clear that employees would be able to say no. In one interview with Kotaku, Iwiński said the studio would have a “non-obligatory crunch policy,” meaning that while the company could still ask employees to work overtime, it would not be “mandatory.” The words in quotes are Iwiński’s actual words.
But by January, it was already starting to look like the company wasn’t going to keep its promise to employees. As Polygon notes, when asked whether the development team would be “required to put in crunch hours” during an investor call in January, CD Projekt CEO Adam Kicinski answered yes, suggesting that it was somehow out of his hands: “We try to limit crunch as much as possible, but it is the final stage. We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately.”
In an email obtained by Bloomberg, CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski offered a similar excuse, suggesting that his company somehow has no alternative than to force employees to work harder to address the remaining bugs and glitches in the game — even though a CD Projekt Red employee told Bloomberg that some staff had already been working nights and weekends “for more than a year.”
“I take it upon myself to receive the full backlash for the decision,” Badowski wrote in the email. “I know this is in direct opposition to what we’ve said about crunch. It’s also in direct opposition to what I personally grew to believe a while back — that crunch should never be the answer. But we’ve extended all other possible means of navigating the situation,” he said, apparently without describing any of the other possible means that the company has already tried.
Cyberpunk 2077 was originally supposed to launch on April 16th, but the studio pushed the game’s release to September 17th, saying the developers “need more time to finish play-testing, fixing, and polishing” the game. CD Projekt Red would then push the release date once again to November 19th, explaining that the development team needed extra time to “go through everything, balance game mechanics, and fix a lot of bugs.” We’ve already waited this long and the game is almost done: could CD Projekt Red just push the release date one last time instead of forcing its developers to crunch?
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